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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  • 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 843.484.0707 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, Murrels 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 843.484.0707 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.
    How To Preserve Car Accident Evidence The Derrick Law Firm
     

    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 843.484.0707 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 843.484.0707 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 should I do if the at-fault driver of my accident calls me?

    A car accident scene can be a stressful and chaotic place. Many accident victims have not been involved in a crash before and are unsure of what to do. They may realize later that they have unanswered questions or need further information. In some cases, the driver who caused the crash may reach out to those involved. However, Myrtle Beach injury victims should take care when it comes to any discussion with the at-fault driver and his insurance company. Communicating with the at-fault driver after a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Derrick Law Firm

    Avoid Discussing the Accident With the At-Fault Driver

    If the police were called to the accident scene and insurance companies are involved, there is no need for any interaction between the at-fault driver and those hurt in the crash. It is the job of the insurance adjusters to obtain the information they need from the appropriate parties and resolve the claim. Adjusters understand how the process works, and they know where to find the answers to any questions they may have.

    If the at-fault driver does contact a victim, the victim should simply refer him to the insurance adjuster. There is nothing to be gained through a conversation with the other driver, and it can put victims at risk. Much like talking with an insurance adjuster, the at-fault driver may be fishing for information or comments that can be used to unfairly shift blame onto the victim.

    Protect Your Rights by Limiting Communication

    Additionally, while it can be tempting to try to work the matter out privately with the at-fault driver, this is rarely a good idea. Despite the hope that a personal arrangement can save either side money by keeping insurance premiums down, it is a risky endeavor. The other driver may not live up to his end of the bargain, and victims may find themselves in a very difficult position. Ultimately, victims may lose out on vital compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair and replacement.

    If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, call the police to report the accident immediately. 

    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, Murrels Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

     

  • How long do I have to file a Myrtle Beach car accident claim?

    After a car accident, most injury victims hope their claim will be resolved quickly and successfully. Often, this is true, and victims are able to move forward and get back to their regular lives. However, in some cases, accident victims must file a legal claim in order to obtain the compensation they need and deserve after a crash. While South Carolina law provides the right to file these claims, it also specifies a time limit to do so. This is known as the statute of limitations. Myrtle Beach statute of limitations Derrick Law Firm

    What Is a Statute of Limitations?

    A statute of limitations prescribes a specific amount of time in which a victim can pursue a legal claim against the responsible party of an accident. In South Carolina, victims have three years to file a claim. After this time period has passed, a court will likely dismiss the claim, and the victim will not be able to obtain any compensation.

    For car accidents, the clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking on the day of the accident for claims related to injuries and property. If someone was killed as a result of the accident, the time period to file a wrongful death case begins on the day of the death, which may not necessarily be the day of the accident.

    Statute of Limitations Applies to South Carolina Legal Claims

    It’s important to note that these rules pertain to legal action taken through the state system, not private auto insurance. If an accident victim needs to utilize his own insurance or that of the at-fault driver, it typically needs to be done fairly soon after the accident. Often, insurance companies expect to hear about an accident within days.

    Filing a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Injury Claim

    While three years may seem like plenty of time to file a legal claim, it’s best to be prepared and get started as soon as possible. Accident victims may assume their claim will be resolved quickly through insurance and, in doing so, lose valuable preparation time. An effective injury claim needs to be investigated and examined. Information and documents need to be gathered from a variety of sources, and legal paperwork must be carefully completed. This can all take time.

    If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, it’s best to seek the advice of an injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a claim or expect insurance to take care of things, an experienced attorney can make sure all your rights are protected. Compensation after a crash can be critical for medical care and lost wages, so don’t leave your future to chance. Have a conversation with an attorney who can help you fully understand your situation. The lawyers at The Derrick Law Firm offer free, no-obligation consultations to help accident victims get started with these important decisions. Call our Myrtle Beach office at 843.488.3165 today.

     

  • How do I choose a Myrtle Beach car accident attorney?

    Desk of a Local Attorney With the Scales of Justice in Myrtle Beach Derrick Law FirmYou were seriously injured in a car accident in Myrtle Beach, and you want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You know that the best way to do that is to work with a personal injury lawyer, but with so many options, how do you choose? We offer this helpful guide.

    Choosing a Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Attorney

    You have a lot of options when choosing a personal injury attorney in the Myrtle Beach area, so how do you narrow down your choices? We think you should focus on these key areas:

    Experience 

    You don’t want to be a lawyer’s first car accident case. Look for a firm that has been in business for a long time and has successfully resolved hundreds of cases like yours.

    Resources 

    Investigating a car crash and negotiating with an insurance company require time and attention. You want a law firm with the resources to conduct a thorough investigation and with connections to the local insurance and legal communities.

    Location 

    If your crash happened in Myrtle Beach, you want a lawyer who knows Myrtle Beach. Firms across South Carolina will be willing to take your case, but a local lawyer can offer advantages that out-of-towners can’t.

    Personality

    You must be able to communicate freely with your legal team and to trust them to do what’s best for you. Finding a law firm that offers a free initial consultation will give you the opportunity to meet the attorneys with no obligation to hire them and decide if they are a good fit for you.

    It is important that you take the time to find the right law firm for you, rather than calling the first lawyer you come across. It can make all the difference in the amount of compensation you will get.

    Start With The Derrick Law Firm in Myrtle Beach

    With nearly 30 years of practicing personal injury law in Myrtle Beach, founding attorney Dirk Derrick offers unmatched experience in South Carolina. He and his team are committed to their clients’ success and will do whatever it takes to get the outcome you deserve. Call our Myrtle Beach office at 843.488.3165 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrels Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

     

  • Am I responsible for any damages if I was forced to act quickly?

    When we are put in a sudden emergency or potentially dangerous situation, we are forced to quickly act to avoid a car accident or injury.

    According to South Carolina law, if a driver is placed in such a situation and he makes a choice that a rational person would make in the same situation, he is not considered guilty of negligence even if his actions were not the best ones to make. This law allows for error on behalf of the driver who is faced with an emergency situation.

    For more information on sudden emergencies or potentially dangerous situations, please read our full blog.

    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 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

    Voted Best Attorney by the readers of the Horry Independent and Myrtle Beach Herald, The Derrick Law Firm will work to get you the full value of your case.

  • What are my responsibilities if I injure or kill someone in an accident?

    If you are involved in a car accident, there are several things you are required to do by law. The South Carolina Code says a driver must immediately stop at the scene of the accident.

    He must return and remain at the scene until he has fulfilled the following requirements:

    1. Must give name, address, and registration number of the vehicle.
    2. If asked to see his license, the driver must show his identification to the injured party.
    3. Must offer reasonable assistance to help the injured person(s), including making arrangements to carry or have the injured party carried to the hospital via EMS.

    Following these guidelines are important when you are involved in an accident. If you or your family member are the injured party, you may need help getting the benefits you need after the accident. Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney Dirk Derrick has over 30 years experience in helping clients after a wreck and will work to get the full amount for your claim.

    Voted Best Attorney by the readers of the Horry Independent and Myrtle Beach Herald, The Derrick Law Firm will work to get you the full value of your case.

    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 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.