Five Things You Should Know About Auto Accidents in South Carolina

1. If you are injured in a South Carolina auto accident, you may be entitled to damages not only for your medical bills, but for lost wages, decreased earning capacity, future medical costs, mental anguish, and a number of other losses.

Each case is different and there is no guarantee of recovery. However, please know that in most cases where medical bills have been incurred, additional losses demanding compensation arise as well. The law is designed to place you in the position you enjoyed prior to your wreck. Thus, for every loss you suffer, money damages may be sought.

2. You should only seek reasonable and necessary medical treatment after your car accident.

Do not allow a pending claim or lawsuit to influence your healthcare decisions. I have met people who mistakenly believe that driving up medical bills (or oppositely, avoiding medical treatment) will result in a greater recovery. Rather than trying to “game the system,” I encourage clients to apply a simple principle: seek reasonable and necessary treatment they can afford. Moreover, if you have any form of health insurance, present it to your provider at the time of treatment. A defendant’s liability, and the money he/she owes you, is not reduced by the fact that your health insurance company paid for treatment. Though your health insurance company may be able to demand reimbursement for some of its expenditures once your case is resolved, a defendant can never reduce the amount it owes you based on a third party (i.e. your health insurer) paying for your treatment. 

3. Before filing a lawsuit, a claim is filed with the defendant’s insurance company and a fair settlement is sought.

Money will never give you back the life you enjoyed prior to your crash. Nonetheless, my job is to maximize the value of your accident case by obtaining compensation for every loss you have suffered. This job is often accomplished by way of settlement. In other instances, I may have to defend your rights and file a lawsuit. My team understands that the faster you receive compensation for your losses, the sooner you can move forward with your life. We therefore work diligently to collect medical records, take photos, obtain affidavits and submit a demand package to the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf – all in hopes of achieving a fair settlement of your claim. Nonetheless, should an insurance company prove unreasonable, we do not hesitate to file suit and seek justice.

4. Even if the defendant is uninsured, you may still seek compensation based on South Carolina uninsured motorist laws.

The law requires that every car insurance policy sold in South Carolina include uninsured motorist coverage. Therefore, if you are injured by an uninsured driver, you may still receive compensation from the insurance company that insures either you, a family member with whom you live, and/or the vehicle in which you were a passenger. Furthermore, in some instances we may be able to “stack” these uninsured policies.

5. Most if not all auto insurance companies are profit-driven corporations.

Auto insurance companies have the goal of maximizing profits. Their allegiance is often to executives, board members, and shareholders. To accomplish their goals, insurance companies charge premiums while paying out as few claims as possible. Even when settlement offers are made by "insurance adjusters," my experience is that initial offers to unrepresented persons are far less than what an insurance company is ultimately willing to pay – especially when they know a trained attorney is working on your behalf.

If you have questions about a car accident in South Carolina, I am here to answer them. For a free case evaluation and free copies of my books, call me today at (803) 790-2800. You do not have to take on insurance companies, hospitals, or billing agencies by yourself. We are here to help.

Kenneth Berger
Columbia South Carolina attorney dedicated to securing justice by helping the truly injured