You’ll be given a date for a hearing before an independent panel (made up of current or retired judges or attorneys) that will hear your side of the story, as well as the insurance company’s reasons for denial, in order to determine whether you’re entitled to compensation for your property damage. You don’t need a lawyer to enter the arbitration process. You may present your side of the story to the arbitration panel on your own and hope that it will recommend an acceptable award. 

In some cases, though, the insurance company (whether your own or the at-fault driver’s) might dispute the liability of the negligent driver or question the validity of your repair/replacement costs despite your evidence. If arbitration does not result in a fair settlement offer to make you whole (in the same circumstances you’d be in but for the accident), you might want to consult a car accident attorney to see:

  • What the estimated attorney fees and costs would be in your case
  • If the amount of money you’re seeking justifies the estimated attorney fees and costs

How Comparative Negligence Can Affect Your Claim

Because South Carolina personal injury law follows a modified comparative negligence rule, you might be found partially responsible for your accident. This means you may still collect damages, but the amount will be reduced according to your percentage of fault as long as you’re no more than 50% responsible for the crash. If you’re found more than half responsible, you may collect no compensation at all. 

If there is a shared fault for the crash, you might need a lawyer to help you prove you’re less than half responsible. It all depends on:

  • The real or estimated cost to repair or replace your car
  • The estimated attorney fees and costs for handling your case
  • How much you can afford

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.