Were you hurt in an accident caused by a fatigued driver? Don’t let someone’s carelessness cost you everything. An experienced injury attorney like those at Hammack Law Firm can help you get the answers and fair compensation you deserve after a severe injury accident.
Just one second of driver inattention can cause a serious accident, and when a driver is drowsy, they are often struggling to stay focused and alert. In many situations, a fatigued driver lacks the attention span to notice the actions of other drivers or pedestrians near them or react quickly to adverse conditions on the road. When someone feels tired and gets behind the wheel, it could lead to physical, emotional, and financial consequences for victims of a collision.
Call Greenville’s Hammack Law Firm at (864) 479-8742 to find out how we can help you recover the compensation you need to move forward with your life.
South Carolina Fault Rules
In South Carolina, any person who causes an auto accident could be held responsible for the resulting losses. Driving fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel is a form of negligence that proves liability for the victim’s injuries.
The fault rule states that a motorist could be financially responsible for an injured party’s losses if they are solely to blame for the crash. If the victim shares some fault, then the comparative negligence rule goes into effect.
Comparative negligence determines the maximum financial compensation an injured person is allowed to pursue if they’re partly to blame for the car accident. Their total costs and percentage of fault calculates how much money they can receive from the fatigued driver’s liability policy.
In a situation where you incurred $100,000 in expenses, for example, but the insurance adjuster finds you 20% at fault, you would subtract your percentage of blame from your total costs. That would leave you with up to $80,000 of compensation you’re allowed to pursue in an insurance claim.
What to Do After a Car Accident
You might think your injury is minor and choose not to call the cops to the scene or exchange insurance information with the other driver. That could end up being a colossal mistake. Some injuries take a few days to exhibit noticeable symptoms. Many times, shock kicks in immediately after a crash that masks the severity of some injuries.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, you have to call 911 and get the other driver’s auto insurance information. The investigating officer will speak to both of you to determine who was at fault and write up a traffic crash report.
Even if you’re unsure about whether or not you want to file an insurance claim, you should still collect some evidence before leaving the scene of the accident. Take photos of the area, including damage to the vehicles, skid marks, broken glass, and anything else you think is significant. You should also get the names and phone numbers of people who witnessed the collision happen.
Seek medical attention immediately after leaving the crash site. You can go to the hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility. The physician can evaluate your injuries and rule out anything serious. Medical records are one of the most critical pieces of evidence available in an accident claim.
The fatigued driver accident attorneys at Hammack Law Firm can handle all the legal aspects of your case for you, such as investigating and collecting evidence to build a strong case, so you can focus on your recovery.
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To?
There are some factors to consider when you’re pursuing compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit. The person reviewing the details of your case will look at multiple elements that could affect whether or not you receive the maximum compensation available.
- The at-fault driver’s policy limits
- The severity of your injury and necessary medical treatment
- The extent of the damage to both vehicles
- Your total costs resulting from the accident
- Any missed earnings from the inability to return to work
- Emotional distress or physical pain experienced that affected your daily life
- The negative impact of the crash on your relationship with a spouse, child, or someone dependent on you
- If comparative negligence existed at the time of the accident
Depending on all of these factors, you could potentially receive compensation for part or all damages. In South Carolina, the damages you can claim from a fatigued driver accident include:
- Medical costs
- Vehicle damage
- Emotional or psychological trauma
- Physical pain
- Loss of consortium
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
If you can show clear negligence and evidence of your losses, there’s a good chance you can pursue the maximum compensation available to cover your damages. An experienced attorney can assist you and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Suing the Fatigued Driver for Damages
There’s no question that drowsy driving is dangerous. It puts other people at risk and could lead to debilitating or life-threatening injuries. If you want to file a lawsuit against the fatigued party for damages, you must prove the following:
- The driver owed you a duty of care;
- They breached that duty; and
- Their breach led to your injury.
There’s a statute of limitations for all civil action in the state of South Carolina. The statute of limitations for pursuing compensation in an auto accident lawsuit is three years. You only have three years from the date of the crash to sue for damages.
If you try to file a lawsuit after the statue passed, the judge will likely dismiss your case. However, some exceptions could allow for an extension to the filing deadline, such as:
- The injured party is physically or mentally unable to pursue their case because of mental illness.
- The victim of the car crash serves time in jail, preventing them from filing a lawsuit.
- The injured motorist files for bankruptcy, which places a stay on additional legal proceedings.
- Both parties attempted to negotiate a settlement in good faith, but negotiations failed.
How Hammack Law Firm Can Help You
Fatigued driver accident cases are complicated. There are deadlines, state laws, and requirements you must adhere to if you want to receive compensation. If you submit inaccurate documentation or miss a deadline, your whole case could get thrown out, prohibiting you from pursuing legal action again in the future.
At Hammack Law Firm, our attorneys understand the complex nature of the legal process. When you hire us to represent you, we will take over to ensure each step gets handled appropriately and promptly. We know the kinds of evidence that will prove negligence on the part of the other driver and that you deserve compensation.
As soon as you retain our firm, we will begin a complete investigation into the accident and obtain crucial evidence, including:
- The at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy
- Copies of all your medical records and bills
- Photos of the crash site and vehicle damage
- Car repair bills
- Rental car invoices
- Lost wage reports for time missed from work
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Video surveillance
The evidence we submit during your case could increase the value of your compensation. Those who are unfamiliar with car accident cases don’t understand the type of documentation necessary to show your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence. That’s why hiring an attorney is important. We know how to maximize a case so our clients can pursue the financial compensation they deserve.
We have been able to secure millions of dollars for our clients over the years. Our fatigued driver accident attorneys have decades of experience and received recognition from prestigious legal organizations, such as Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the American Association for Justice.
We serve victims throughout South Carolina and Georgia. We’re also available 24/7, so reach out to us to schedule your free consultation any time.
If you’re looking to meet with a fatigued driver accident attorney at no risk, you can schedule a free consultation with us. We don’t charge for an initial meeting to review the details of your case and determine if it’s something we can handle.
We know choosing a law firm can be a difficult decision. Our 30-day unconditional satisfaction guarantee means you won’t have to pay any legal fees or costs. If you decide you don’t want to pursue your case or want to work with a different law firm, you won’t owe us anything.
Speak with a Fatigued Driver Accident Attorney
Call (864) 479-8742 today to find out how we can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve. We’ll schedule your free consultation with a dedicated attorney. At Hammack Law Firm, our Greenville car accident attorneys know how to get our clients a full and fair settlement so they can recover from their injuries and put this devastating time behind them.