Other Liable Parties

If improperly maintained highways or hazards on the road contributed to the crash, you might have a claim again the agency responsible for road maintenance.

If the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol, you might be able to invoke dram shop liability laws to bring a claim against any bar/restaurant that served the driver drinks the day/night of the crash.

If the liable party was driving a commercial vehicle like a truck, you might have multiple claims against:

  • The trucker
  • The trucking company
  • The owner of the truck
  • A leasing/rental agency
  • A manufacturer
  • A repair service

Protecting Your Charleston Car Accident Claim

There are several things you can do at the scene of the accident to protect your claim. If you are physically able to, you should get to a safe place and do the following:

  • Call 911 and report the accident.
  • Take photos of all damaged vehicles, the scene, skid marks, and other evidence.
  • Exchange contact information with other drivers, but don’t discuss the accident or admit fault.
  • Get contact information from witnesses.
  • Sign no documents beyond what police require.
  • Seek medical attention immediately even if you don’t feel you’re seriously injured.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Consult an attorney.

Comparative Negligence

South Carolina follows a doctrine of modified comparative negligence with a 51% bar. This means that you may recover compensation for damages even if you are partially at fault in your accident. Your award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault as long as you are no more than 50% responsible for the crash. If you are found 51% responsible or if your percentage of fault is greater than the other drivers’ percentages of fault combined, you may not collect any compensation at all.

To make matters even more complicated, South Carolina’s joint and several liabilities rule can hold any liable defendant responsible for all the damages awarded to injured plaintiffs. If you’re hurt in such a crash, a car accident attorney can help you by:

  • Interviewing and getting statements from all drivers, passengers, and witnesses to the crash
  • Bringing in an accident reconstruction worker to help figure out percentages of fault
  • Obtaining data from the “black box” of any commercial vehicle involved before that data is erased
  • Obtaining video footage from any cameras mounted near the scene
  • Organizing/presenting your medical evidence and assigning a monetary value to your pain and suffering to evaluate your claim
  • Filing claims against or suing multiple liable parties to get you full compensation for damages


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