If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto wreck that wasn’t your fault in Myrtle Beach, you may be wondering what the next steps are and how you can hold the negligent party responsible for the harm you’ve experienced
Here at the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate the aftermath of a car wreck. We treat all of our clients with the empathy and respect we would want for our own families, and we will take everything off your plate so you can focus on healing.
Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorney team is dedicated to helping our clients through the legal process to seek full justice. You can schedule a free consultation by calling our Myrtle Beach office at 843-427-2800.
Who Determines Fault In A Car Crash in South Carolina
Determining fault in a car accident is often straightforward, but it can also be difficult to determine who the negligent party is depending on what happened. Fault is often determined by the law enforcement officers that arrive on the scene, insurance companies, and in some instances, the court system.
When law enforcement officers arrive at the scene of the crash, they will conduct an investigation to determine who was at fault for the wreck. This investigation may involve interviewing witnesses, examining the vehicles involved in the crash, or an assessment of debris from the accident. Additionally, the officer will take into account any traffic violations that may have occurred, such as speeding or failing to yield.
After they conduct their investigation, our personal injury lawyer says, law enforcement will make their determination as to who was at fault for the wreck and create an official report based on the evidence. They may also give out traffic tickets for any violations that they find. While the determination by the officer may not always be the final word in a car wreck case, it can be very important for insurance companies in assigning responsibility for the crash.
After a crash is reported to an insurance company and after a claim has been filed, the insurance company will typically conduct their own investigation to determine who was at fault. This can involve reviewing the police report, speaking to any witnesses, and examining the physical evidence, such as the damage to the cars or debris from the crash. After their investigation and after reviewing all of the evidence, the insurance company will make their determination as to which driver was at fault for the wreck.
However, there may be cases in which each party’s insurance company disagrees over who was really at fault. In this case, the companies may go to the courts to get an ultimate determination as to which driver was responsible for the crash. It is very important for drivers to understand their insurance policies and to know how insurance companies determine fault for a wreck. It may be helpful to seek legal advice from a Myrtle Beach injury attorney to make sure that your rights and interests are protected, and to ensure that you get full and fair compensation for any damages.
The Court System
In instances where there is a dispute over who was at fault for a car crash, the court system may get involved to make a determination of fault. Some cases go to court because of differing opinions of insurance companies, or because a driver has filed a lawsuit against the other. The court will consider a range of evidence, such as police reports, witness testimony, and any physical evidence.
After hearing all of the evidence, the court will make a determination as to who was at fault for the accident. This determination of fault can have both legal and financial implications for those involved, and the courts may assign damages to be paid by the at-fault driver. When facing a legal dispute over a car crash, you should always seek legal advice to make sure that you understand your legal rights and options. An experienced car wreck attorney can help make sure your rights are protected as you move through the legal process.
What To Do After a Car Wreck in Myrtle Beach That Wasn’t Your Fault
Following a car wreck, there are a few steps you should take to ensure the claims process gets started in a timely manner, so you and your family can get the compensation you need to recover.
Seek the Medical Care You Need
After calling the police and notifying them of the crash, your first step after an accident should always be to seek medical care for any injuries you may have sustained. It’s important to get checked out by medical professionals even if you feel fine or your injuries seem minor to make sure there aren’t any undiagnosed injuries that could worsen over time. Additionally, make sure to always keep medical documents and other records of the crash. Your attorney can use this information when presenting your case to the insurance company, so the adjuster has a better understanding of the impact the crash had on you and your health.
Contact Insurance Companies to File a Claim
After a car crash, you should contact your insurance company even if you were not at fault for the crash. It’s important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the wreck so you can explain what happened and to get the claims process started.
If you were not at fault, you should also contact the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance information should be available to you on the police report you received at the scene of the crash. If you were not at fault for the crash, the other driver’s insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for any property damage, medical bills, or other damages that you may have stemming from the accident.
What If the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?
If you were injured in a crash by an uninsured driver, you can still collect compensation for your damages. South Carolina law requires that every person have uninsured motorist coverage included in their policy, so that you do not have to pay damages from the crash out of pocket. So even if an uninsured driver caused your accident, you can still seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future medical expenses, and a number of other losses through your uninsured policy.
What If the At-Fault Driver is Underinsured?
South Carolina law also requires that whenever an auto insurance policy is sold, an offer of underinsured motorist coverage be made as well. If you were injured in a crash that wasn't your fault, underinsured motorist coverage ensures that you, your passengers, and your family are protected from a driver that does not have sufficient liability coverage to pay for your injuries or other losses.
When to Hire a Myrtle Beach Accident Lawyer After Being Injured in a Crash
In many cases, the aftermath of a car wreck is a process that you can handle on your own. However, there are some cases where it is a good idea or even necessary to consult an experienced car crash attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
The Compensation You’re Offered is Not Enough
If the compensation that you’ve been offered by the insurance companies is not enough to cover the costs of your injuries, property damage, lost wages, or other expenses, an experienced car wreck attorney may be able to help you get a full and fair settlement for any damages. Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be difficult, especially if you are not being given adequate compensation for your injuries. An experienced injury lawyer can help assess the value of your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If the situation arises where you need to file a lawsuit, an injury attorney can guide you through that process, protect your rights, and help you get the justice you deserve.
Your Injury Claim is Denied
If your injury claim was denied altogether by an insurance company, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer to help pursue legal action. Claims may be denied for a wide variety of reasons, but an experienced injury attorney can help track down the reasons for the denial and determine if legal action is needed. A car wreck attorney can gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with insurance companies to help you seek compensation after a crash. If the need arises for you to file a lawsuit, an attorney will help ensure your rights are protected as you move through that process and can help you seek full, fair compensation.
If You Have Suffered Significant Injuries
If you have suffered significant injuries as a result of a car wreck, it is important to seek legal help from an experienced car wreck attorney. A lawyer can help assess the value of your claim, the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other losses, as well as work with insurance companies or take your case to trial if needed to hold the negligent party responsible. Lawyers can help ensure you are treated fairly by the legal system and advocate for your interests throughout the whole process. In cases where your injuries are severe, the road to recovery can be long and difficult, and the compensation you receive is critical in helping to cover the costs of medical care.
Types of Compensation in a Myrtle Beach Car Crash
If you were injured in a car wreck that was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for all of your losses. Damages can be broken down into three types: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.
Economic damages are verifiable monetary losses resulting from a car wreck. Some examples are:
Noneconomic damages are different from monetary losses, but they are just as important as economic damages. These can include:
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate for any damages, but rather they are meant to punish the responsible party for their reckless actions, and to ensure that those negligent actions do not happen again.
Contact Our Myrtle Beach Car Wreck Legal Team For a Free Consultation
If you were injured in a car crash that was not your fault, we understand how painful and frustrating the aftermath can be. At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, our experienced legal team is here to help you through this difficult time. We work hard to ensure our clients are treated fairly and that our clients receive full and fair compensation for the harm they have endured. We will communicate with you every step of the way, so you and your family can focus on healing.
To speak to a member of our team, or to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you, call us at 843-427-2800.