Dealing with the aftermath of a vehicle accident can be hectic. Your injuries may require an extended stay in the hospital, and you may be scrambling to notify your employer and make other changes to your family’s normal routine, not to mention tracking down your vehicle and talking to police. In navigating through the chaos, it’s understandable that some aspects of dealing with your accident may slip your mind. But contacting your insurance company should not be one of the things that you forget or delay.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the role that insurance companies may play in your personal injury case.
I was involved in a vehicle accident in South Carolina. How quickly do I need to bring a claim against the other driver?
South Carolina has a time limit, called a statute of limitation, for how long the injured party has to file a personal injury claim. Wrongful death legal claims also have a statute of limitations. These time limits may vary based on the nature of your case, so it’s important to contact a knowledgeable attorney at the Louthian Law Firm as soon as possible.
What happens if more than one person is responsible for the crash?
Sometimes more than one person or party (such as a vehicle manufacturer of a faulty car part) plays a role in an accident. South Carolina’s modified comparative negligence law allows you to recover a portion of your damages from another at-fault party, as long as you were less than 51 percent to blame.
I’ve heard people talk about “dram shop” lawsuits. What does that mean?
If you were injured in a DUI crash, you may be able to get money from more than just the intoxicated driver. Under South Carolina’s dram shop law, the business that sold the alcohol to the driver may also be held liable for your injuries.Â
I feel fine, but my vehicle is a total loss. Do I still need to see a doctor?
Yes. Even if you do not feel hurt following a motor vehicle accident, it is important to be examined by a physician who can check for injuries that may not be readily apparent. A checkup is also important because it creates a paper trail of medical documentation that can support any future legal claims.
What other ways can I protect myself if I’ve been injured in a motor vehicle crash?
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible following your accident. It is also a good idea to keep track of all receipts, police and witness reports, photographs and other documents related to the crash. All of this information can help vehicle accident attorneys like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm evaluate your claims and advise you of your legal options and potential compensation.
How soon do I need to notify my insurance company of the crash?
As soon as possible. Some insurance companies have time limits on how quickly a report must be made, and missing important deadlines may negatively impact your claim.
Will the insurance company of the at-fault driver cover all of my damages?
That depends on the insurance policy. Catastrophic injuries following vehicle accidents can be personally and financially devastating, and an individual policy may not be sufficient to cover the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, prescription medications, or lost wages. However, your own insurance company may offer some relief. For example, if you were in a car accident, uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits can aid in your recovery.
What should I do if the insurance company offers me a check right away?
Talk to a South Carolina attorney like the ones at the Louthian Law Firm first. Insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly and inexpensively as possible and will likely offer you a settlement that underestimates the severity and long-term impact of your injuries.
What if the at-fault driver has no insurance?
Current South Carolina law requires motorists to have auto insurance, but not everyone follows the rules. If you’ve been in a vehicle accident, you may also be able to recover damages from your own insurance company through an uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.
Injured in a South Carolina Vehicle Accident? Contact the Louthian Law Firm Today
The Louthian Law Firm has successfully represented accident victims in South Carolina since 1959, and our knowledgeable attorneys will aggressively work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve following a motor vehicle crash. There is no fee unless we win your case.
For a free evaluation of your claim, call the Columbia lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm toll free at (803) 454-1200 or fill out our confidential online form.