The liable party may be responsible for paying for a car accident victim’s medical bills and other damages.
In personal injury cases, negligence is used to establish liability. If you were in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a judge or jury might decide that they are liable for your injuries and that they have to pay for your medical bills.
Several factors may affect liability, as well as how much compensation you may receive for medical bills and other damages. Furthermore, to recover compensation, you may need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Negligence and Liability in Car Accident Cases
Negligence, in legal terms, is a person’s failure to exercise due care toward another person. Liability in car accident claims may depend on whether the at-fault driver was considered negligent.
For example, negligent driver actions may include:
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Illegal lane changes or turns
- Drunk driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Failure to yield the right of way
Proving negligence may require evidence such as:
- Photos or videos from the accident
- The crash report
- Witness statements
- The opinions of accident reconstruction experts
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Comparative Negligence and How It May Affect Your Case
When considering fault, the state of South Carolina operates on a principle of modified comparative negligence. This means that you can only prevail in a personal injury claim for compensation if your fault for the car accident is 50% or less, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated §15-38-15.
However, any money you are allowed to collect gets reduced according to your degree of fault in this system. For example, a driver with 15% of the fault for an accident and $10,000 in damages can only collect $8,500.
Comparative negligence makes evidence gathering a critical aspect of a car accident case in South Carolina.
Damages and Liability
Negligence alone is not enough to hold the other driver responsible for your injuries. You typically must also be able to show that the accident their negligence caused injured you and cost you money.
Evidence of your damages and their value may include:
- Your medical records
- Car repair or replacement invoices
- Bills and receipts for any accident-related expenses
- Financial documents indicating lost wages
- Testimony of pain and suffering
This evidence may help you estimate a fair value for your case to use in settlement negotiations.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Damages
Every driver in South Carolina is required to carry liability auto insurance coverage. This rule means that after a car accident caused by another driver, your first step to pursuing compensation may be a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If the at-fault driver owes you more money than the limits of their liability plan, you can seek additional compensation by filing an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim through your own insurance policy, if you have this type of coverage. UIM is a voluntary form of insurance designed to protect you in the event of a car accident if the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage, according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI).
Car accident victims who do not carry UIM might be able to sue the at-fault driver for their remaining damages.
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Damages You May Be Able to Claim
In general, you may also be able to recover compensation for the following damages in a car accident claim:
- All current and future accident-related medical bills
- Lost wages for the time when your injuries forced you to miss work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Reach Out to Hammack Law Firm for Help with a Car Accident Claim
If you were injured by the negligent behavior of another driver, Hammack Law Firm is here to help you. We represent car accident victims in and around Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, and Seneca.
As a full-service law firm, Hammack Law Firm will oversee your entire case so you can focus on getting better. We can:
- Communicate with all parties on your behalf
- Collect evidence of liability
- Collect evidence of the value of your damages
- File your insurance claims and/or lawsuit
- Negotiate for a settlement
- Take your case to trial
Hammack Law Firm treats our clients with the compassion and empathy we would show our family and friends. Look at our client testimonials and Google reviews online for more information on our customers’ experiences.
Get started on your case by calling Hammack Law Firm today at (864) 326-3333. A representative of our firm can help you figure out who may have to pay for your car accident-related medical bills during this call.