Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim? What if the driver who hit me is uninsured? Why do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer?

We answer these questions and many more in our collection of frequently asked questions. Unlike many websites that provide brief yes-or-no answers to important legal questions like these, we provide detailed answers to help you get a better idea of your rights, your options, and what you can hope for in the future.

If your questions are not answered here, feel free to connect with us through our website, or call us at 843-488-5360, to speak directly with us about your legal concerns.

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  • How soon should I contact a car accident lawyer after a Horry County crash?

    If you’re injured by a negligent driver in a Horry County car accident, you should do the following three things, in this order:

    Horry County South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Derrick Law Firm
    1. Stay at the scene, call 911, report the accident, and gather evidence.
    2. Seek medical attention/treatment.
    3. Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.

    Why You Need an Attorney as Soon as Possible

    South Carolina law allows you to file a claim against the at-fault driver for your damages:

    • Medical expenses
    • Property damage
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering

    Even if your claim is valid, however, there is no guarantee that it will succeed. The insurance company’s adjusters are trained to dispute claims in order to save money for the company. They are likely to offer you a quick settlement that will not compensate you adequately for your medical and car repair bills.

    Getting a fair award depends upon gathering strong evidence and presenting it convincingly to the negligent driver’s insurance company (or in court if you end up going to trial). Because car accident evidence can deteriorate or be lost over time, you need an attorney who can:

    • Quickly get footage from any nearby security or red-light cameras that might have recorded your wreck
    • Contact witnesses and get their statements before memories get fuzzy with time
    • Check immediately for evidence from the towing company that removed the car(s) from the scene

    If you happen to have been hit by any kind of commercial vehicle (such as a taxi, delivery van, or truck) there might be an electronic data recorder or “black box” with evidence that is crucial to your case. Your lawyer will know how to get a court order to obtain the black box data from the company that owns the at-fault vehicle. Because black box data is generally erased every 30 days, your attorney can send a spoliation letter requesting that the company preserve that data and other evidence related to your crash. This needs to be done quickly.

    Other Reasons To Hire A Horry County Car Accident Lawyer

    To avoid making common mistakes.

    Many accident victims make the mistake of talking to insurance adjusters or giving recorded statements, either of which can hurt their claims. If you hire an attorney as soon as possible, you can refer the insurance company’s representatives to your lawyer until the claim is settled.

    To strengthen your case with experts.

    Your lawyer will know how to retain expert medical witnesses to testify about your injuries, recovery time, prognosis, and possible disabilities. An accident reconstruction expert is someone else your attorney can call in to reconstruct your accident and show that the other driver was at fault.

    To stay within deadlines.

    If the insurance company denies your claim or offers an unacceptably low settlement, your lawyer will file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.

    To evaluate your claim and stand up to the insurance company.

    Your attorney can put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering, evaluate your injuries to determine what a reasonable settlement would be, and negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair award. 

    To make the best use of your medical records.

    Very soon after you’re injured, you could have an avalanche of bills and receipts for hospitalization, ER treatment, physical therapy, prescriptions, and assistive equipment.

    Rather than try to keep track of all this evidence for yourself when you’re injured and recovering, you can turn it over to your attorney, who will organize and present it to your best advantage in negotiations with the insurance company.

    How Comparative Fault Affects Your Settlement

    In South Carolina, if you’re found more than 50% responsible for your own accident, you may not recover any damages at all. When the insurance company starts trying to claim you were more than half responsible, you’ll need a seasoned attorney on your side to prove that you were not.

    Have You Been Injured On The Job?

    If you've been hurt at your job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, Conway, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • How can I prove the driver who caused my Charleston accident was driving too fast for road conditions?

    Posted speed limit signs in South Carolina advise drivers of top speeds permitted under ideal road conditions. When conditions are not ideal, drivers are required by law to reduce their speeds in order to operate safely under conditions such as:

    Traveling too fast for road conditions causes accidents. Derrick Law Firm
    • Road construction
    • Sharp curves
    • Loose or uneven pavement
    • Heavy traffic
    • Unusual traffic patterns
    • Wet or slippery roads due to rain, snow, or ice
    • Poor visibility due to fog or mist

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 45% of speeding-related auto accidents occur because drivers are traveling at speeds too fast for such road conditions, which can cause:

    • Slower reaction time because of poor visibility
    • Less vehicle control because of greater momentum
    • Longer stopping distances due to wet or slick pavement

    Negligence and Damages Following A Charleston, SC Car Accident

    The average passenger car traveling at 70 mph requires approximately 315 feet to stop. At 50 mph, the same car can stop in 174 feet, so reducing speed in bad conditions gives you much more control of your vehicle. A driver who causes an accident by ignoring road conditions and traveling too fast, even though driving under the posted speed limit, is considered negligent and can be held responsible for damages that result from the crash. This includes:

    • Medical expenses for injuries
    • Lost wages due to time off work
    • Pain and suffering due to injuries
    • Emotional distress
    • Property damage

    Holding the Speeding Driver Responsible

    If you are the victim of a crash caused by a car going too fast for road conditions, South Carolina law allows you to file a claim for damages against the negligent driver. You can improve your chances of recovering damages by following several guidelines after your accident. If you’re physically able to do so, you should:

    • Move to a safe area.
    • Call 911 to report the accident.
    • Take photos of both vehicles involved, the accident scene, and anything that shows the road conditions (wet pavement, snow or ice on the ground, road construction, etc.).
    • Exchange information with the other driver but do not get into a discussion or an argument.
    • Don’t admit any fault.
    • Get contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
    • When the police arrive, answer their questions and point out the road conditions, but stick to the basic facts of the accident.
    • Don’t sign anything other than the forms required by the police.
    • Contact your insurance company.
    • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
    • Consult an attorney.

    The law enforcement officer at the scene will probably investigate, listen to the accounts of both drivers and any witnesses, fill out an accident report, and possibly issue a ticket to the driver deemed to be at fault. The officer’s report and conclusions, however, are not admissible in court and cannot be used as evidence of negligence on the part of either driver. To prove negligence and seek compensation for your damages, you will need the services of a car accident attorney. 

    The Role of Your Lawyer In A Charleston Car Accident Claim

    An experienced lawyer will know the steps to take in proving the negligence of the at-fault driver and helping you to get fair compensation for your damages. Your attorney can:

    Have You Been Injured In A Charleston South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

    • Hire an independent investigator to investigate the accident.
    • Get statements from witnesses.
    • Document weather and road conditions at the time of the crash.
    • Hire an accident reconstruction specialist to reconstruct the crash, showing evidence of the road conditions and the at-fault driver’s speed.
    • Collect evidence of your injuries, surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical treatment.
    • Put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering.
    • Evaluate your claim.
    • Negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get you a fair settlement.
    • Take your case to court if necessary.

  • How long will it take to receive a check after I settle my North Charleston car accident claim?

    South Carolina Car Accident Settlement Derrick Law FirmIf you’re injured by a negligent driver in a North Charleston car accident, you may file a claim for your damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When you’re facing medical bills, car repair expenses, recovery, and more, you need compensation as soon as possible. 

    In most cases, you’ll receive your check a few weeks after the claim is settled. Before the check can even be issued, though, there’s a settlement process that usually takes at least a few months.

    Steps In A North Charleston Car Accident Settlement Process

    The process of receiving an insurance settlement has several steps.

    Verifying insurance and filing claims.

    Your attorney will obtain the insurance policy of the defendant(s) in your case and notify the insurance companies that you’re filing claims against them. In some cases, one of the companies could be yours.

    Investigation.

    Your lawyer will investigate your accident and collect evidence. This may include police reports, medical reports, photographs, medical bills, other accident-related bills, wage statements, and witness statements.

    Waiting for MMI.

    Your attorney will want to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before actually filing your claim. MMI is the point at which you’ve recovered as much as you’re going to. Only then do you know what your future medical needs and expenses, lost wages, and disabilities might be. If you file your claim too soon, you might have unforeseen medical issues for which you cannot claim further compensation. 

    Demand letter.

    Once you’ve reached MMI, your lawyer will send the insurance company a demand letter including evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence, your itemized medical expenses, your lost wage statements, and a calculation of damages for your pain and suffering.

    Negotiation.

    The insurance company will probably respond with an offer lower than what you’re demanding. Your attorney will then begin negotiations to get a fair award, which might require additional evidence or statements from expert witnesses.

    A lawsuit (if necessary).

    If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, your attorney will take your case to court. It’s always possible that a settlement will be reached before a trial actually begins.

    It’s difficult to estimate how long your particular settlement process might take. In most cases, you should allow a few months before your check is issued. Some cases can take much longer, depending on:

    • Severity of injuries
    • Quality of evidence
    • Recovery time before MMI
    • Multiple defendants
    • A dispute or denial by the insurance company
    • A trial

    What Happens Following A Settlement To Your South Carolina Car Accident?

    Once the settlement process is complete, a check can be issued by the insurance company, and another multi-step process begins:

    1. Releases and other documents are signed.
    2. The insurance company issues a check.
    3. Your attorney deposits the check in an escrow account and pays your liens. This includes unpaid medical bills, any deductibles or other bills from your health insurance company, unpaid child support, outstanding taxes, and any Medicare or Medicaid costs. 
    4. Your attorney deducts legal fees, court costs, etc.
    5. Your attorney forwards a check to you. 

    Other Factors To Consider Regarding Settlement After A Car Accident

    In most cases, you can probably expect your check a few to several weeks after your claim is settled, but there are other factors that can affect how long you wait:

    • Insurance adjusters are not in a rush to part with any money. They might want releases signed and notarized before ordering a check to be issued.
    • The accounting department of the insurance company has to get around to issuing the check.
    • The mailing department has to physically put the check into the mail.
    • Out-of-state banks might be involved. If so, checks have to clear (usually in 7-10 days) before money can be disbursed.
    • Medicare or Medicaid expenses might be paid directly by the insurance company before the check is sent to your lawyer.

    Although there’s no way to say exactly how long it will take for you to receive your check, an experienced attorney can and will do everything possible to expedite the process.

    Have You Been Injured in a North Charleston Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

     

  • How do insurance companies value car accident claims in Mt. Pleasant, SC?

    If you’ve been hurt in a Mt. Pleasant car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is legally bound to evaluate your claim for damages in good faith. That means the company is supposed to be fair, reasonable, and honest about compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. 

    North Charleston Car Accident Settlement Value Derrick Law Firm

    While fairness, reason, and honesty are positive traits we normally associate with human beings, the insurance company actually works hard to remove the human element from the process of claim evaluation. It uses data mining and artificial intelligence to evaluate your claim by computer, according to a formula that multiplies your “special damages” by a certain factor. The factor is determined by analyzing statistics from settlements and trials of cases similar to yours.

    Special Damages Following A Mt. Pleasant Car Accident

    Your special damages are basically your financial losses due to the accident. They generally include:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Property damage

    Once the computer generates these numbers, the insurance adjuster multiplies them by a factor from approximately one to five to estimate the value of your total claim, including pain and suffering. This gives the company an idea of the award you might be granted by a judge or jury if your case should go to trial. If you accept a settlement that’s less than what you might be awarded in court, the insurance company saves the cost of a trial. Its goal is to dispute, deny, or devalue your claim in order to pay you the least amount of money possible.

    How the Factor Is Determined In Your South Carolina Car Accident Settlement

    If your medical bills are comparatively low, the adjuster assumes your injuries were not so serious. They'll multiply your special damages by a fairly low factor, perhaps between one and two.

    If your medical bills are very high, this indicates you were probably hospitalized for a time and perhaps needed long-term treatment and/or physical therapy. A longer recovery period means more physical and mental pain and suffering, so the adjuster might multiply your special damages by a larger factor between three and five to determine the award you could get in court if your case went to trial.

    There are also other variables to consider in the evaluation of your personal injury claim:

    • How soon after the accident you sought medical treatment. If you waited for months, the adjuster assumes your pain and suffering were not extreme. If they were, you would have sought treatment sooner.
    • Whether you received excessive, unnecessary treatment like long-term chiropractic care or extensive physical therapy.
    • Whether you had pre-existing conditions that were aggravated rather than caused by the accident.
    • Your age.
    • Any partial fault you might bear. 

    Your First Settlement Offer Will Be Low

    Because your award depends on the numbers generated by the computer, the information that goes into the system is important to your case. That’s why you need the services of a personal injury lawyer, who understands the formula for calculating your award. The insurance company knows that you’re probably not an expert in this area and will offer you a low settlement, especially if you don’t have legal representation. 

    Your attorney can do many things to strengthen your case and be sure that all the proper data is in the insurance company’s systems when it calculates your award:

    • Get statements from witnesses.
    • Obtain police reports.
    • Gather detailed medical records.
    • Provide extensive photographic evidence of your injuries and property damage.
    • Hire an independent investigator.
    • Collect dashcam or security-video footage of the accident.
    • Put a dollar value on your damages.
    • Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
    • File a lawsuit and go to court if necessary.

    For all of these reasons, you should never accept the insurance company’s first offer. It might be as little as 40% of what your case is actually worth. Such an offer is always negotiable and should be referred to your lawyer. 

    Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident in Mt. Pleasant? 

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • I think I made a mistake talking to the at-fault driver's insurance company. What should I do?

    Consult a personal injury lawyer ASAP. You’re not legally required to speak to adjusters from the insurance company of a negligent driver who injured you in an accident.

    The insurance adjusters are likely to call you shortly after the accident, sounding friendly and compassionate. They’ll inquire about your health and say they are just asking some routine questions so they can get you a settlement as soon as possible. Unfortunately, none of what they say is true.

    What the Insurance Adjuster Wants Following A South Carolina Car Accident

    The insurance adjuster’s job is to keep the insurance company profitable by denying as many claims as they can and giving low settlements to claimants they can’t deny. Their real reasons for calling you are to:

    • Catch you when you’re not thinking clearly because of trauma and/or medication
    • Ask you to make a recorded or written statement
    • Ask misleading questions to confuse and make you misspeak or contradict yourself
    • Ask for a blanket medical authorization to get all your records
    • Get enough information to “friend” you on social media
    • Discourage you from hiring an attorney
    • Offer you a quick, low settlement before you have a chance to see a personal injury lawyer and find out what your case is worth

    The adjuster will compare your recorded or written statement to police reports, depositions, and other accounts of your accident. If you’ve misstated anything or forgotten some detail that creates a discrepancy, the adjuster will use it to question the validity of your claim. A medical authorization can be used to look for pre-existing conditions that the adjuster will cite as evidence your injuries were not caused by the accident. An insurance adjuster might even send you an anonymous social media friend request, hoping you’ll post something about your injuries that can be used to dispute your claim or offer you a low award. 

    Controlling the Damage

    After getting the insurance adjuster’s name, title, company, and contact information, you should simply say that your attorney will handle communication on your behalf. Keep in mind the following:

    • Do not admit any fault, full or partial.
    • Do not give any information about your accident, injuries, level of pain, or medical history. 
    • Disclose no more than your full name, address, phone number, and email address. 
    • Don’t give an adjuster your Social Security number. It provides access to private information.

    If you’ve already given an insurance adjuster information that could affect your claim, it’s not too late for you to retain an attorney. You may do so at any stage of the claims process, and the sooner, the better. 

    After learning the details of your case and finding out what information the insurance adjuster has, your lawyer needs as much time as possible to build a strong case and overcome the insurance company’s advantage by:

    • Obtaining police reports
    • Hiring an independent investigator if necessary
    • Providing extensive photographic evidence of your physical injuries and property damage
    • Collecting dashcam or security video footage of the accident, the scene, skid marks, damaged guardrails, or other evidence
    • Gathering detailed medical records of your accident-related injuries, treatment, care plan, and prognosis
    • Getting statements from witnesses to the accident and from expert witnesses who can support your claim of negligence and strengthen your case
    • Putting a dollar value on your damages, so that you know what award is reasonable
    • Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement
    • Filing a lawsuit and going to court if necessary

    While talking to an insurance adjuster can make it harder to prove your claim, it doesn’t mean that you will fail. An experienced personal injury attorney can go to work on building a case strong enough to overcome the damage that’s been done and get you the compensation you deserve. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Charleston South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • Can a lawyer help get me compensation from an insurance company delaying my accident claim?

    After a Myrtle Beach accident caused by a negligent driver, you probably expect your insurance company to have you covered. Whether dealing with your own carrier or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, the last thing you expect is a denied claim.
    Myrtle Beach Denied Insurance Claim Lawyer The Derrick Law Firm
     
    When you’re already grappling with the pain of an accident and potentially lost wages, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing out on compensation during this difficult time. If an insurance provider denied your South Carolina auto, motorcycle, or truck accident claim, our experienced attorneys can walk you through your legal options.

    How a Myrtle Beach Accident Attorney Helps With Denied Claims

    Insurance is supposed to be there when you need it most. However, insurance companies only make money if they don’t pay out claims or if they pay out smaller amounts than they take in through premiums.
     
    After denying your claim, many insurance companies hope you won’t take the matter further, and they may not be particularly helpful in explaining why your claim was denied in the first place. A skilled Myrtle Beach accident attorney can help guide you through the process of appealing an insurance denial by:
     
    Reviewing your policy to ensure the carrier adequately covers your accident
    Investigating why the claim was denied to determine next steps in an appeal
    Acquiring medical documents to show the injury wasn’t a pre-existing condition
    Gathering supporting evidence to strengthen your case
    Collecting police statements to show the other driver was at fault
    Handling all communication with the insurance company and negotiating on your behalf while you are recovering
     
    With an attorney’s help, you may be able to appeal the denial and receive a payout or possibly show the insurer acted in bad faith. In that case, a lawsuit may be necessary, and our skilled legal team can help.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.248.7486 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant,  North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • If I’m injured in a car accident while vacationing in Myrtle Beach, should I hire a local attorney?

    If you’ve vacationed in Myrtle Beach, you know that there are many excellent venues where you can take the kids, spend time, and relax. However, a wonderful vacation with your family can be ruined quickly if you or a loved one is injured in a car accident by a negligent driver in South Carolina. If the unforeseen does happen, it’s in your best interest to contact a Myrtle Beach personal injury attorney for
    help with your case, even if you’re just visiting and don’t live in South Carolina.Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Lawyer The Derrick Law Firm

    Why You Need a Local Myrtle Beach Attorney

    If you’ve already left Myrtle Beach and gone home after your accident, you might think of hiring an attorney in your area to handle your personal injury claim. While that may seem more convenient at first, it can actually cause additional headaches and hurt your case. Here’s why you want a skilled local attorney to handle your South Carolina car accident:
     
    To avoid unnecessary delays and procedural issues if the attorney in your area isn’t licensed to practice in South Carolina
    To have an experienced team already licensed to practice law in South Carolina working with you—one who knows the details of state-specific personal injury laws
    To have a legal team with a recognized reputation and who is known in the community because of its accomplishments and skill in injury cases involving negligence  
     
    Additionally, a proficient Myrtle Beach-based legal team can be a valuable asset in proving negligence and recovering compensation for:
     
    Medical expenses
    Property damage related to the accident
    Lost wages
    Pain and suffering
     
    To bring a successful case against the at-fault driver, you need to prove that he failed to execute his duty to drive safely and, as a result, was partially or fully responsible for causing the collision. Here’s how a local Myrtle Beach attorney can help you investigate your accident: 
     
    Gather police reports and take statements from eyewitnesses
    Work directly with local insurance adjusters 
    Bring knowledge of applicable South Carolina laws to help you get the compensation you deserve
     

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.3165 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • What should I do if a tourist caused my car accident and injuries in Myrtle Beach?

    In 2018, more than 20 million people visited Myrtle Beach, and tourism numbers have been growing in recent years. Many of these visitors are from out of state. A 2019 report from the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau reported that more than 80 percent of vacationers in the Grand Strand live outside of South Carolina. While it’s exciting to know that others want to share in the beauty and fun of Myrtle Beach, citizens also face challenges in hosting so many people unfamiliar to the area. Traffic accidents are one such issue. Drivers do not know the roads; they may be fatigued after a long drive; or they may be impaired after a night out. What should South Carolina residents do if they suffer injuries in a crash with an out-of-state driver?
    Tourist Accidents In Myrtle Beach The Derrick Law Firm

    South Carolina State Laws Concerning Traffic Accidents

    In any accident situation, those involved are typically bound by the laws where the crash took place. South Carolina is a fault state, which means that the driver who caused the accident and injuries is responsible for providing compensation for any damages related to the crash. Additionally, South Caroline follows the rules of modified comparative negligence, which stipulates that the victim will obtain compensation equal to the other driver’s degree of fault, as long as the other driver was more than 50 percent responsible for the crash. 
     
    It is possible that the driver who caused your crash lives in a state that follows similar rules, but there are different laws governing injury claims in different states. Regardless, when the accident occurs in South Carolina, South Carolina law will apply.

    Protecting Your Rights After a Crash

    An accident that happens while a driver is on a vacation is still an accident. The injuries are just as real, and victims deserve compensation. So, it’s important to follow a few critical steps if you are involved in any traffic crash:

    Seek Medical Care 

    Even if you think your injuries are minor or that you are not injured at all, it’s best to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries are not apparent immediately, and only an experienced provider can fully and accurately assess your health.

    Call The Police

    File an official report with law enforcement regarding any car accident. This police report can provide important information and critical opinions that are valuable to both insurance and legal claims.

    Retain Evidence

    Hold onto any evidence related to your accident. If possible, take photos of the accident scene and surrounding areas, write down names and contact information for witnesses, and keep any receipts or documents related to medical care.

    Discuss Your Case With An Attorney

    While some small claims can be resolved without an attorney, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, consult an attorney to ensure that you fully understand your rights. An experienced lawyer can provide the information you need and offer guidance to help you recover as fully as possible.
    Most insurance policies cover drivers when they travel out of state on vacation. However, when the driver who caused your injuries heads back home, you may feel like you have few options. But it is possible to hold that careless driver accountable, and an experienced attorney can ensure that victims are able to obtain all the compensation they deserve.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.248.7486 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • What kind of evidence do I need for a Myrtle Beach personal injury claim?

    When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s understandable that your first thoughts are not about preserving evidence for a future legal claim. Especially if you believe the other driver was clearly at fault, protecting your rights soon after a crash may not enter your mind. However, it’s important to retain as much evidence as possible after the accident. The at-fault driver and his insurance company will likely try to deflect blame and shift liability to you. To ensure that you’re protected and able to obtain all the compensation you deserve, there are some key pieces of evidence that should be retained.
     

    The Evidence Victims Need to Support an Injury Claim

    In general, accident victims should try to obtain any type of evidence that can help paint a clear picture of what happened when the accident occurred. The more evidence, the stronger the victim’s legal claim will be. Some common, helpful items include:
     

    Photos

    If possible, take photos of everything related to the accident scene. This can include the vehicles, the street or intersection, surrounding areas, and any signage or lighting near the road. If the other driver appears impaired, it may be useful to take a photo or video of his behavior, but only do so with extreme caution. Do not put yourself or anyone else in further jeopardy by agitating an impaired person.
     

    Witness Information

    Ask anyone who may have witnessed the accident for his name and contact information. Witnesses can be contacted later to support your claim or provide further details.
     

    Police Report

    Police reports are public record, and accident victims can obtain a copy. While it may not be admissible as evidence, the police report can be understood as an unbiased description of the circumstances of the accident, including the police officer’s perspective about who was at fault for the crash.
     

    Property Damage Records

    Keep all receipts and appraisals related to any damage that was done to your property in the accident. This can include both your vehicle and any other items inside the car at the time of the crash.
     

    Medical Records and Bills

    It’s important to maintain a file that contains all your paperwork from medical appointments related to the accident, including those from hospital stays, office visits, rehabilitation appointments, and medications.
     

    Personal Journal

    While a personal journal isn’t considered legal evidence, it can serve an important purpose. Write down what you remember about the accident, and track the progress of your recovery. Over time, memories can fade, and details can be lost. A journal can help victims provide specific and timely information when asked.

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.248.7486 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

  • Should I talk to an attorney before agreeing to an accident insurance settlement?

    After an accident, it’s common for an insurance company to contact injury victims quickly. The agency will get in touch right away and seem to be understanding of the victim’s difficult situation. Often, the insurance company offers a settlement award right away. When this happens, many victims are unsure of what to do. Taking the money can seem like a good idea, but it may not be the best decision in the long run. Consulting an attorney can help victims and their families understand their rights and options, so they make the best decisions for the future.
    The Derrick Law Firm Speak To A Lawyer Before Agreeing To Insurance Settement
     

    4 Reasons to Speak to an Injury Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement 

    While the law doesn’t require an attorney to represent accident victims who are considering a settlement offer, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer because:


    Insurance Companies Are Not On The Victim’s Side

    Insurance companies are out to protect their own interests, and that means providing as little compensation as possible for victims. However, an attorney will be your advocate. He will examine your situation and demand compensation based on your current and future medical bills, lost wages, probable household modifications, pain and suffering, and property damage.
     

    It Won’t Cost Victims Anything Upfront

    Our attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement, which means we don’t get paid unless we are successful with your claim. When we are successful, our legal fees come directly from the settlement award, and victims pay only nominal fees out of pocket.
     

    Once Injury Victims Agree To A Settlement It Cannot Be Changed.

    It is not typically possible to change the terms of a settlement agreement after the fact. Often, these early settlement offers are much lower than a victim deserves. An experienced attorney can gather the information necessary about the accident, as well as the victim’s current and future prognosis to determine how much compensation is needed for a complete recovery.

    An Attorney Can Ease The Stress Of The Settlement Process 

    While simply accepting the settlement and moving on may seem like the easiest path to recovery, accepting a settlement that doesn’t meet your needs can actually make life more difficult. An experienced attorney knows what victims deserve and can ensure their rights are protected. He can take on the frustrations of dealing with the insurance company while victims focus on what’s really important—their physical and emotional recovery.
     
    Most injury attorneys offer free consultations, so victims can gain a better understanding of their situation and their options. If an insurance company is offering you or someone you love an injury settlement, protect your interests by speaking with an experienced attorney. 

    Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Car Accident?

    If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.248.7486 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.