Charleston Car Accident Lawyer
If you were in a car accident near Charleston or the surrounding area, let the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC help. Our practice has won many significant auto accident cases throughout the state South Carolina. We know how to properly prepare and litigate a strong case. Let a Charleston accident attorney help you fight for fair compensation.
Why You Should Choose the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC for Your Car Crash Case
- All of our Charleston accident cases are handled on a contingency-fee basis. We won’t charge you a fee unless we win.
- Our lawyers have secured over $3.5 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
- We have experience working with car insurance companies and will take your case to court if we believe that they are not treating you fairly.
- We will not settle your claim for less than it is worth.
- We have the experience, skill, and resources needed to help you properly investigate and litigate the most complicated car collision cases.
Do I Need An Accident Attorney?
A car wreck can cost you thousands of dollars in property damage and medical bills. If a distracted driver killed your loved one, your family will never be the same. Car accident survivors often sustain emotional damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, and much more. Their quality of life often changes after a crash. In the face of these myriad damages, trust your case to our experienced lawyers. Aggressive representation from a Charleston personal injury attorney can help maximize your odds of winning your case.
Insurance companies want you to settle for as little as possible. You can protect yourself from insurance bad faith tactics used by these companies by hiring the right legal representation for your claim. When you call an insurer to report a crash, the company will assign an adjuster to your case. An adjuster sees many cases per month. Because of this, they often don’t know much about your individual case when they call.
If you receive a call from an insurance claims adjuster or claims analyst, don’t trust him or her. The adjuster does not have your best interests in mind. Adjusters will try to convince you to settle for less than your claim is actually worth. Answer the adjuster’s questions, sticking only to the facts of the accident. Do not agree to a recorded statement and do not say yes to any settlement offer or award. Instead, decline to answer until you speak to an attorney about the incident.
Our team of Charleston accident attorneys will review your case and tell you what we believe it’s actually worth. We will make sure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you. We can also take over settlement negotiations on your behalf. Our firm is on your side.
Charleston Car Accident Resources
- Who Could Be Liable For Your Car Crash?
- Car Insurance Laws You Need to Know in Charleston
- How to File Your Insurance Claim
- What is Negligent Driving?
- Common Charleston Car Accident Causes
- South Carolina Car Accident Statistics
- Common Car Collision Injuries
How to Determine Fault in A Car Accident
There are several different factors to look at when trying to determine who is liable for a motor vehicle accident. Some common things to look at are the speed of the vehicles at the time of the crash, location, and the police report.
However, there are variables to consider that aren’t obvious to the everyday driver. For example, if a motorist sustains an injury from another motorist after turning onto another street, they may still be liable for the crash. We need to look at if they were speeding or made an illegal lane charge prior to the accident.
More often than not, the negligent driver will be held liable for any injuries or damage caused in an auto accident. However, there could be instances where the owner of the vehicle is the one that is held liable. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Accident lawyers can examine and analyze car crash situations in depth.
South Carolina Car Accident Laws
When you retain a car accident attorney in Charleston you don’t need to understand every facet of the state’s car crash and insurance laws. We have the education, knowledge, experience, and resources to take on any crash-related case you might have. Our team of attorneys can take the burden of litigation off of your shoulders and give you peace of mind during negotiations. We realize, however, that the more you know about South Carolina’s car wreck laws, the better you can protect your rights after a collision.
Here are three of the state’s laws that our accident attorneys believe are most important for drivers to know:
- Fault insurance system. Like most other states, South Carolina uses a “fault” insurance system. This means the driver at fault for the accident is the one responsible for covering the injured party’s damages.
- Comparative fault laws. If your car accident does result in a personal injury claim based on negligence, the court must find you (the plaintiff) 50% or less at fault for the crash. If you were more than 50% responsible then you will lose your right to recovery. As long as you’re 50% or less at fault you’ll receive at least a portion of the compensation. Courts will reduce your award by your percentage of fault.
- The statute of limitations. There is a statute of limitations – a time limit – for filing a car accident claim in South Carolina. In most cases, you must bring your claim against the at-fault driver or another party within three years of the car accident. However, there are some cases that need to be brought in within two years. Failing to file your personal injury claim within the deadline may mean losing your right to file forever.
Schedule a free claim assessment with the Charleston car accident attorneys at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC, in South Carolina now. The faster you can learn your rights and file a claim. Our accident lawyers can help you navigate the state’s laws to your greatest possible advantage. We will also take over communications with insurance companies and the courts on your behalf.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident in Charleston?
The first step toward a financial settlement or judgment is the auto insurance claims process in South Carolina. You will file your claim with the at-fault driver’s vehicle insurance company. All drivers must carry minimum amounts of vehicle insurance. If the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance then contact our Charleston car accident lawyer for help with an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim.
When you go to doctors after your accident may also affect your insurance claims process. Go to the doctors as soon as you can after your accident. You want to go sooner rather than later because you don’t want an insurance company to accuse you of faking your injuries.
If you wait, insurances companies can argue that you sustained that injury outside that accident, even if you didn’t. This could also affect the amount that you receive in your claim. Having a reliable medical record will also help your auto accident lawyer help defend your case better.
In order to have a strong case, you need to have all the paperwork from your doctors and other medical providers. If possible, you should also provide photos and witness statements from the accident. Give these documents to your attorney, it will help them build a case.
What is Negligent Driving Behavior?
When drivers get behind the wheel, they have a responsibility to be cautious and alert in their surroundings. This includes looking out for other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users. However, when a driver decides to text, eat, or talk on the phone while driving, they are failing to do this and are acting negligently.
Negligence is acting in a careless way that results in harm or damage. Other forms of negligence include running a red light, failing to yield, and ignoring the speed limit. In car crashes, it is difficult to prove that only one driver was acting poorly. In many cases, courts find both parties partly at fault and make both parties pay. If you’re looking for help determining negligence for your crash, contact the car accident attorneys at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC today.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in South Carolina
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that there were 37,461 lives lost due to car accidents. This was a 5.6% increase from 2015. While each car accident is unique, all of them were caused by human error. Here are a few of the most common causes of car wrecks in South Carolina.
- Distracted Driving. Known as the new drunk driving, distracted driving is when an activity diverts your attention away from driving. This could include texting, eating, changing the music, or adjusting your air conditioning. On average, distracted driving accounts for 25% of all motor vehicle crashes.
- Drunk Driving. Did you know that every day, 29 people in the United States die due to drunk drivers? In 2016, 10,497 people died in crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Act safely and refrain from drinking and driving. Designate a friend as the sober driver or use a ridesharing app to get where you need to be.
- Speeding. Almost 1 in 3 accidents are caused by speeding. Many people believe that you are only speeding if you are driving above 80 miles per hour. However, this isn’t true. Whether or not you’re speeding depends on the situation and environment that you’re in. You can be speeding if you’re going above 25 miles per hour in a congested safety zone.
- Reckless Driving. Reckless driving is purposely disregarding safety by driving aggressively. Examples of this would be weaving in and out of lanes, driving extremely close to another vehicle and sudden braking.
- Drowsy Driving. It is very dangerous to drive while tired. Sixty percent of drivers have admitted to driving while tired. Driving while drowsy can cause you to be less attentive and have a slower reaction time.
If you want to learn more about what causes car accidents, speak to one of our accident lawyers now.
Charleston, South Carolina Car Accident Statistics
When adjusting for vehicle miles traveled, South Carolina had more fatalities than any other state in the U.S. A large percentage of these fatal traffic collisions occurred in Charleston, the largest city in South Carolina with more than 130,000 residents as of 2016.
When navigating through the bustling city, there are plenty of opportunities for car accidents. Many busy highways run through our Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville Metropolitan area, including Interstate 26 in the downtown area, connecting to North Charleston, I-95, and Columbia. U.S. Route 17 also runs through Charleston traveling east to west. Other major roads include I-526, U.S. 52, and U.S. 78.
South Carolina Car Collision Statistics 2006-2016
[Source: South Carolina Department of Safety ]
The number of collisions in South Carolina has been on an upward trend since 2011, with 2016 bringing in the highest number of collisions in the last decade at 141,599 collisions.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic and busy intersections make for a high collision risk. The following are the latest car accident statistics for Charleston and throughout South Carolina:
- In 2016, there was a car crash every 3.7 minutes in South Carolina and a fatal crash every 9.3 hours. There were 61,8999 reported injuries in these accidents and 1,020 deaths. It was the highest number of crash-related deaths the state has seen since 2007. The estimated economic loss of car crashes in South Carolina in 2016, was $4.54 billion.
- Drivers are the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal accidents in South Carolina. Drivers caused 793 fatal crashes and 132,862 non-fatal crashes in the state in 2016. Non-motorist, environmental, vehicle defect and roadway defect were other main contributing factors. The greatest mistake drivers make that causes accidents in SC is “driving too fast for conditions.”
- In 2014, there were 19 vehicles involved in nine fatal car accidents in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. These accidents killed 10 people. One fatal crash involved a drunken person.
It’s important to keep up with the latest facts and statistics for car accidents in South Carolina to help protect yourself. Knowing the most common causes of crashes and where they occur most often can help you be especially careful when encountering any of these factors. Our Charleston car crash lawyers keep up with crash facts in the state to better represent our clients. We can help you learn everything you need to know.
Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Three types of collisions happen in every car crash: vehicular, human, and internal. The human collision occurs when the body strikes an object that halts kinetic movement. This collision can cause broken bones, lacerations, crush injuries, burns, and head injuries. The internal collision occurs when the internal organs stop their kinetic movement by striking other organs or elements within the body. Internal injuries such as hemorrhaging or brain injuries can happen in the internal collision.
The most common car collision injuries include:
- Bone fractures. Any bone in the body could break in a vehicle collision. Broken bones are painful and can require weeks to months of recovery time. The worst breaks, such as spinal cord fractures, can cause permanent injuries such as paralysis.
- Soft tissue injuries. Injuries to the soft tissues in the neck and back are also common. Whiplash injuries can occur even in “minor” rear-end collisions and cause significant pain in the neck from the head jerking back and forth. Soft tissue injuries can cause chronic pain and disability.
- Back and spine injuries. Slipped discs in the spine or other spinal injuries can disable a person for life. Spinal cord injuries can result in loss of movement and sensation below the point of injury for the duration of the victim’s life. Learn more about the effects of these injuries by speaking to a spinal cord injury lawyer in Charleston.
- Head and brain injuries. Other serious injuries to the skull and brain can occur if the head strikes an object in an accident. The brain can bleed, swell, or lose oxygen that results in temporary or permanent brain damage.
- Death. The most serious outcome of a major car accident. In 2016, over 1,000 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions in South Carolina – 53 of which occurred in Charleston County.
Learn about your specific injuries and rights by law, by speaking to attorney Max Sparwasser. You can find out what your physical injuries could be worth in the eyes of the law and how to fight for fair compensation through the use of medical records, expert witnesses, crash reconstruction, and other means.
Contact A Charleston Accident Lawyer Now
Call us as soon as possible after a motor vehicle crash in South Carolina. We have experience handling rear-end collisions, truck wrecks, rideshare accidents, and more. We can help you with the insurance claims process and maximize your financial compensation. Our accident lawyers handle all car collision cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us unless we win.
Contact us online for a free car accident case evaluation in Charleston or call our firm at (843) 864-6444.
Our personal injury law firm is proud to serve clients from the East Cooper, I’on, West Ashley, Brynes Down, Park Circle, and South of Broad neighborhoods in Charleston.
“Max Law Firm, I wanted to take a moment to offer a heartfelt “Thank You” for the work that was done on my behalf regarding the motor vehicle accident claim starting in December of 2014. During the time of pain and suffering your office had been in contact with me to check on my health status and to aggressively seek out any funds that were due to me. A special thank you goes out to all of you for your dedication in my case. I appreciate the time spent in explaining information to me about the detailed work, negotiations and instructing me on how to file my claim, which lead to my settlement. I would highly recommend Max Law Firm for anyone in need of legal counsel.”