When a car accident occurs, resolving the situation and navigating the subsequent case can be quite complex regardless of who caused it or how it happened. Accidents on the road are very common, and the causes can be varied. However, in many cases, it can be quite difficult to establish the cause or to prove who is at fault. This can cause a lot of pain and confusion for the involved parties as the general principles of liability come into play before insurance can decide whether or not to pay compensation and how much.
South Carolina is an at-fault state. This means that insurance companies in the state process claims based on who is at fault when an accident occurs. When two or more people are involved in an accident, the insurance cover of the party responsible for the accident must pay for the other party’s injuries and damages.
For example, if a driver runs a red light or drives negligently and causes an accident, their insurance company will be responsible for the damages and injury costs of the accident. This may involve paying the medical bills, property damage, and other compensation for other drivers, pedestrians, or bystanders affected by the road accident.
When you are involved in a car accident, you should speak to a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. If you are in Myrtle Beach, you should call David Aylor Law Offices on (843) 548-1577 as soon as possible for a free professional case evaluation regardless of how the accident happened or whom you think is at fault.
Understanding ‘At-Fault’ vs. ‘No-Fault’ States
Some states use the ‘no-fault’ insurance system to deal with car accidents. In these states, it simply means that each party involved in the accident will file a claim with their insurance for the cost of the accident. Each party will need to exhaust their own insurance to meet the costs of the damage or injuries resulting from the accident, no matter who caused it.
South Carolina’s at-fault system means that the insurance company of the driver who is not at fault for the accident does not need to be brought into the accident case. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to establish who is at fault as soon as possible to avoid any complications when filing claims.
Note, however, an injured party who is not at fault for the accident may claim immediate recovery costs from their own insurance company. Later on, the insurance company can file for reimbursement from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. The people involved in the accident may also file for compensation for the medical costs, costs of vehicle repairs, and punitive damages from the person at fault or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
5 Steps to Take When You Are Involved in an Accident in Myrtle Beach, SC
What you do immediately after an accident you are involved in occurs can determine how the case will eventually unravel and who pays for the damages. Road accidents are rarely ever straightforward, more so because the parties involved will often blame the other party for causing it.
You will need to be careful and act deliberately to protect your legal rights and avoid mistakes that could prove costly. Here are five steps you should take as soon as an accident occurs.
Step 1: Call 911
If you are aware of your situation after the accident, call 911 immediately. A dispatcher will ask you questions regarding your condition, location, and personal details. Stay calm and answer them to the best of your ability. If you or anyone else involved in the accident has sustained injuries, you should also request an ambulance.
Step 2: Take Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene
It can be quite a challenge to put together how an accident happened or what damages it caused immediately after a car accident. If you can, take the time to collect the evidence that may be used to piece together how the accident occurred and what damages it caused. Use your phone to take lots of pictures and videos from different angles, ensuring that you capture:
- Any physical injuries you sustain
- Damages to your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle
- The other driver and their vehicle’s license plate
- The entire crash site
- Any traffic signs within the vicinity of the accident
Step 3: Exchange Insurance Information
Exchange insurance information with the other driver. The relevant information includes the driver’s name, the name of the insurance company, and policy number. It is much easier to simply take pictures of both sides of the driver’s insurance card.
Step 4: Collect Witness Testimony and a Copy of the Police Report
Witness testimony can play a major role in determining who is at fault after an accident. When possible, ask passersby or other drivers who witnessed the accident if they are willing to narrate what happened before or after the accident. Be sure to wait around until the police arrive and collect a copy of their report. Note, however, that if you are at fault, witnesses will not be your friend.
Step 5: Talk to an Experienced South Carolina Accident Lawyer
Whether you are at fault for the accident or not, you will need a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected at all times. In many accident cases, every party will try to shift blame or claim unnecessary damages. This is why you must speak to an accident lawyer who knows how to navigate the South Carolina accident and insurance laws.
Contact David Aylor Law Offices to talk to an experienced Myrtle Beach car accident attorney to protect your rights after an accident. Whether you are at fault or not, a good lawyer will investigate the details of the case and advise you how best to navigate the resulting case or insurance claims.
1. What does ‘at-fault’ insurance state mean?
In an at-fault insurance state, the insurance company of a driver who caused an accident is responsible for the costs of the accident.
2. What does it mean when a driver is at fault?
A driver is at fault for an accident if they were driving negligently or carelessly.
3. How long do I have to file a recovery claim after an accident in South Carolina?
The statutes of limitations in South Carolina give accident victims up to three years to file claims for damages from a car accident. These include personal injury as well as property damages.
Contact David Aylor Law Offices Today!
Regardless of how an accident happens, the law will always protect all the parties involved. However, since someone has to be responsible for the costs of the accident, the legal stuff can be quite a challenge to understand.
A good lawyer will use the law to protect you and ensure that you get the justice you deserve and get back to living your life. Request a free case evaluation if you have been involved in a car accident in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.