One of the most common questions that people have after a South Carolina auto accident is: “Do I need a lawyer?” The answer this question, in the vast majority of auto accidents, is a resounding “Yes!” The reason you need a lawyer, in most cases, is because you need legal expertise on your side to prove who was at fault, to prove your injuries and losses, and to avoid being taken advantage of or misled by car insurance companies. Having an attorney will not only ensure that you successfully navigate the complexities of South Carolina law, but it will also allow you an opportunity to minimize your stress as you recover from your injuries and focus on getting back on your feet. There are some situations where a lawyer may not be necessary; but if you have any doubt, you would be wise to get a consultation. You want fair compensation with a solid case, so contact the lawyers at David R. Price, Jr. P.A. for a free consultation.
Common SC Auto Accident Injuries
While there are many injuries that people experience after South Carolina auto accidents, the most common and serious include head, neck, back, chest, and facial injuries.
Head injuries and brain injuries can be as mild as a concussion or as severe as brain death. The most frightening aspect of such injuries is that you may not notice them in time to prevent further damage. These injuries are not necessarily as obvious as broken bones and lacerations. You may have nothing more than a headache, but you could have a serious injury. When the vehicle stops suddenly from an impact, there is nothing to prevent the brain from crashing into the skull. A seatbelt can protect your body, but your brain is at greater risk.
The most common neck injury is whiplash, caused by the motion of your head being violently snapped forward and back again. Whiplash involves significant strain to the muscles of your neck and result in severe damage to the nerves. This is another injury that you might not recognize the severity of in the moments following the accident, but can quickly grow worse.
Similarly, back injuries can be much more severe than they seem at first. Your spine is not meant to twist so quickly, suddenly, or severely as it may in an auto accident. It is also not meant to absorb the kind of shock that an accident can create. You can, again, end up with terrible nerve damage, as well as damage to your vertebra, discs and spinal cord.
Chest injuries are another severe and common issue with auto accidents. The pain can be significant even if you get away with nothing more than bruised ribs. On the more severe end of the spectrum, you could end up with broken ribs or a punctured lung.
In the same way that there is nothing to protect your brain, neck, or spine in an auto accident, there is nothing to shield your face from the broken glass and vehicle parts that so frequently result in disfiguring facial injuries.
If you’ve experienced any of these injuries, you need medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are injured or if you think your injuries are inconsequential, seek a full medical examination as soon as possible and do not refuse any offer of emergency care. Some injuries have few symptoms at first but can be life altering or deadly if untreated.
South Carolina Auto Accident Claims Process
An auto accident can greatly disrupt your life and leave you worrying about recovering from injuries, paying medical expenses, taking time off work, and find some way to pay your accumulating bills during the process. Then, on top of everything else, you have to worry about the auto accident claims process. There are important steps to take and a lot of things to do. It can all be too much for someone who has so recently been traumatized by a collision. Contact David R. Price, Jr. P.A. to get the benefit of legal expertise as you face the challenges ahead. The following steps are essential to the claims process, and we will gladly walk you through each:
1) File a Police Report. The first thing you need to do to file an auto accident claim is to file a police report. This is going to valuable evidence that the accident occurred, who was involved, and how it happened. Be careful not to indicate that you are at fault by taking any blame or apologizing to anyone. This could be used against you if you do.
2) Seek Medical Treatment. Depending on your condition, you may need to do this before filing a police report. However, if you are in a condition to file a report first, then this will be your second step. Do not refuse emergency medical attention if it is offered. If it is not offered, then you should go right to the ER when you leave the scene.
3) Gather Evidence. You will need as much evidence as you can gather to prove negligence and liability when you file your auto accident claim. If you can take photos or videos, this will be useful. You can also obtain the contact details of any witnesses who may have seen the accident. You should also maintain thorough records of your medical treatment, diagnoses, expenses, and lost wages. All of this will be used to prove your case, later.
4) Contact a dedicated South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney. If you have not already done so, you will want to contact an attorney before proceeding with the next step.
5) Send a Demand Letter. The demand letter is your method of seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages. Your attorney is going to work with you in this step to compose a demand letter and send it to the defendant. This will start the negotiations process, where your attorney will negotiate with the defendant to come to a fair agreement for compensation.
Contact us at David R. Price, Jr. P.A. to learn more about this process and how we can help you in seeking fair compensation in your South Carolina auto accident claim.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.