Aiken Car Accident Attorney

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A car accident is always unexpected. It can turn your life upside down in unpleasant and unforeseen ways. This is particularly true when it involves physical injury, physical and emotional trauma, as well as massive medical bills that continue to accrue.

If the reckless, negligent, or careless actions of another driver left you with significant injuries in Aiken, South Carolina, you have the right to seek compensation for the impacts and costs you experienced due to your auto accident.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs (JJWLS) in Aiken, South Carolina can explain this process and how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Table of Contents

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident in Aiken, SC, you should do the following to increase your chances of being compensated:

  1. Move your vehicle to a safer location: If you can, consider moving all the vehicles involved in the accident out of the road and to a safer place, such as a nearby parking lot or the shoulder of the highway.
  2. Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries: If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, call 911 and ask for an ambulance. If you aren’t sure whether someone needs emergency medical care, it’s still advisable to call anyway.
  3. Call the police: No matter the severity of the accident, you should call the police and tell your story. The police report detailing your accident will come in handy when pursuing your claim since it can help establish who is at fault.
  4. Gather evidence at the scene: Use your cell phone to record as much detail as possible about the scene including the location, conditions (such as traffic signs, skid marks, hazards, etc.), damage to all vehicles involved, and your injuries.
  5. Notify your insurance company: South Carolina is a fault state, which means that you can claim compensation from the party responsible for the accident. Still, you should contact your insurance provider even if you can recover damages.
  6. Visit urgent care or your primary care physician: If you have been injured in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t think that your injuries are serious, it’s always better to be safe and get checked out by a medical professional.
  7. Meet with a car accident lawyer: The final step you should take after a car accident is to contact the legal team at JJWLS to find out if you have a claim. Our lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

Car accident lawyers are typically paid on a contingency fee basis rather than a flat rate. This means they receive a percentage (usually between 33% and 40%) of the total recovery secured for their client in a case as payment. Typically, clients won’t owe any legal fees if the lawyer cannot recover compensation.

Why Do I Need an Aiken, SC Car Accident Lawyer?

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer is that they will navigate the legal system for you so that you’re free to focus on your health and recovery. Here are some of the reasons why you need a car accident lawyer from JJWLS:

Case Preparation

Our car accident lawyers will gather evidence (police reports, witness statements, video surveillance footage, photos, etc.) to build a strong case. We do everything possible to get your car accident case started so that your compensation isn’t delayed unnecessarily.

Settlement Negotiations

Our experienced car accident lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance providers so that they can get the best settlement possible for our clients. They are also prepared to file a lawsuit to recover compensation if necessary.

Trial Preparation & Representation

If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company through negotiations, our lawyers may recommend filing a lawsuit. We will guide you through the legal process and advocate for your rights and interests every step of the way.

When Should I Get a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?

If you were in an auto accident, you should consider getting a lawyer in any of the following situations:

  • It is unclear who was at fault
  • Multiple people were injured
  • The accident resulted in a serious injury or fatality
  • Medical expenses are more than a few thousand dollars
  • The accident happened in a school zone, construction zone, etc.
  • Other people were involved in the accident
  • The accident resulted in non-monetary damages (PTSD, pain and suffering, etc.)
  • The accident involves workers’ compensation
  • Your insurance provider asks you to speak to their lawyer
  • The police report contains something confusing or unclear
  • Your insurance provider isn’t handling things in a straightforward manner
  • There are questions about insurance status or liability limits or there’s a lack of insurance
  • You suspect the insurance company will trick you into taking a lower settlement than you deserve
  • You suspect that your auto insurance, pip insurance, health insurance, and/or the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t be sufficient to cover all of your expenses.

What is the Average Settlement Amount for a Car Accident in Aiken, SC?

If you have been involved in a car accident in Aiken, South Carolina and you weren’t at fault, you may be entitled to significant compensation. But you might be wondering, how much can you expect from a car accident settlement?

The reality is that each car accident claim is different, but the average settlement amount typically ranges from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars. The amount you receive will often depend on the type of injuries sustained in the accident.

What Type Damages Can I Claim After My Car Accident?

Car accident victims in Aiken, South Carolina may be entitled to various types of damages, which include economic, non-economic, and punitive. The following is a more detailed explanation of each of these types of damages:

Economic

Economic damages are the tangible losses suffered in the car accident that have a specific monetary value. They are calculated based on receipts, bills, employment records, as well as expert testimony regarding lost earning potential and future costs.

Examples include:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for hospitalization, medical treatment, physical therapy, medication, surgery, and the future medical care related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work following the car accident. It may include lost future earning capacity if the victim is unable to return to work at the same capacity.
  • Property Damage: Costs for repairing or replacing the vehicle and any other personal property that was damaged in the accident.

Non-Economic

Non-economic damages are the subjective, non-tangible losses that don’t have a direct monetary value. They are usually more challenging to quantify and are usually assessed based on the severity and the impact of the injuries on the victim’s life.

They include:

  • Emotional Distress: Compensation for any psychological impact such as trauma, depression, and anxiety.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the loss of the enjoyment of daily activities and hobbies.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for any physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.

Punitive

Punitive damages are usually awarded if the at-fault party’s actions were particularly malicious, egregious, or reckless. They are intended to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar conduct in the future.

South Carolina has caps on the punitive damages that car accident victims can recover, generally limited to 3 times the amount of compensatory damage (economic and non-economic) damages awarded or $500,000, whichever amount is greater.

How is Liability Determined in a Car Accident Case?

Determining liability in a car accident requires satisfying the following 4 elements of negligence:

  • Duty of Care: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care to ensure that their vehicle is roadworthy, to obey traffic laws, and generally exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm.
  • Breach of Duty of Care: The defendant breached their duty of care, either by breaking specific traffic laws or operating their vehicle in a less-safe manner to the extent that they could cause foreseeable harm.
  • Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty of care was the direct cause of the auto accident and any resulting injury and/losses. The damage or injury should be reasonably foreseeable in that situation.
  • Damages: The plaintiff’s injury led to damages (provable injuries and/or losses sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the injury) that can be recovered through the South Carolina civil court system.

What if I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?

Pursuing compensation might be possible if you were involved in a collision in South Carolina even if you were partially at fault. However, it is only possible to recover compensation in an accident where you were partially at fault if you were 50% or less at fault.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

If you have been injured in an Aiken, SC auto accident, you should be aware of the time limits for filing a claim. South Carolina law specifies that individuals that have been injured in car accidents caused by others generally have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a claim.

What Happens if Insurance Denies My Claim?

If insurance denies your claim, our legal team at JJWLS can help you fight for the compensation you deserve by reviewing and building your case, dealing directly with insurance adjusters, and taking the matter to court if necessary. We will essentially help you appeal the claim denial using the resources and experience at our disposal.

Can an Attorney Help Me File My Initial Claim?

Yes. While you aren’t legally obligated to hire a lawyer when seeking compensation following your auto accident, it is still important to consider hiring one since they can help you file your initial claim and increase your chances of successful recovery.

Aiken, South Carolina Car Accident Statistics

Car accidents are a significant cause of personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage in Aiken, SC. According to the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book 2021 Edition, there were a total of 4,406 collisions in the city, broken down as follows:

  • Fatal Collisions: 35
  • Serious Injury Collisions: 65
  • Other Injury Collisions: 963
  • Property Damage Only Collisions: 3,343

The accidents resulted in 36 fatalities while 80 people suffered serious injuries while an additional 1,732 suffered other types of injuries.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Aiken, SC?

Car accidents in Aiken, SC occur due to a variety of reasons, but can usually be traced back to negligence on the part of one or both drivers. Oftentimes, car accidents occur because of the following:

  • Distracted Driving: Failure to pay attention while driving is incredibly dangerous. Distracted driving includes things such as texting, eating, talking on a cell phone, or even watching a movie while driving.
  • Driving Under the Influence: It’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in South Carolina. Impaired drivers are more likely to cause accidents because of their slower reaction speeds and limited ability to make rational decisions.
  • Reckless Driving: Any reckless behavior while driving such as following too closely, speeding, or even merging without warning puts people at risk and is one of the leading causes of auto accidents.
  • Failure to Yield Right Away: Ignoring the legal right-of-way, as defined by South Carolina traffic laws, isn’t just illegal but also very dangerous. It can include maneuvers such as running a red light, aggressive lane changes, etc.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Suffered From Car Accidents?

Car accidents often leave victims with physical damage that lasts for years or perhaps even a lifetime. Generally, there are a few types of injuries that people usually suffer from after being involved in an auto accident.

Which can include:

  • Broken Bones: Broken wrists, ankles, arms, ribs, and legs are common injuries in auto accidents. Victims may even suffer a broken pelvis. The severity of this type of injury ranges from simple breaks that require a case to compound fractures that sometimes require surgery to fix.
  • Whiplash: It occurs when the head is quickly jerked forward and then backwards, snapping the head as a whip would be cracked. Unfortunately, whiplash can damage the tendons, ligaments, discs, facet joints, and/or muscles in the neck.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of TBI. It occurs when the brain is damaged by a blow or piercing injury to the head. However, TBI can be slow to appear and diagnose.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: The impact of a car accident a on the human body can cause spinal cord injuries that lead to long-term disability. If the spinal cord is damaged, the person may suffer partial or complete paralysis below the level of the injury.

How Can Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs (JJWLS) Help You?

You should consider working with Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs after being injured in a car accident to help you with the following:

  • Protect Your Rights: The compassionate lawyers at JJWLS never forget that our commitment to clients always comes first. We are always focused on representing car accident victims and fighting for their rights.
  • Don’t Pay Unless You Win: If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us. We handle each case on a contingency fee basis, which means that we get paid only if we win. We also offer our clients a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
  • We Pursue Maximum Compensation: We bring the full resources of our firm to bear in our efforts to make sure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation that you need and deserve.

Why Should You Call Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs (JJWLS) for Your Auto Accident Case?

If you are ever involved in an auto accident in Aiken, SC, it would be highly advantageous for you to engage the legal services provided by Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs (JJWLS) for the following reasons:

  • Experience and Knowledge: Our car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to handle all aspects of the case from the investigation to the settlement negotiations to the litigation stage.
  • Resources: Our car accident lawyers have all the necessary resources at their disposal to effectively and thoroughly prepare the strongest case on your behalf to ensure the most favorable outcome.
  • Advocacy: Our car accident lawyers will always be your advocate throughout the entire claims process. They will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you are rightfully entitled to and deserve.

Injured in an Aiken, South Carolina Car Accident? JJWLS Can Help!

Car accidents can have profound and lasting impacts on your physical and emotional well-being. If you or a loved one was recently involved in a car accident where you weren’t at fault, you deserve justice that only a competent lawyer such as those at JJWLS can help you pursue.

At Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs (JJWLS), we understand the complications that usually occur with auto accidents. Our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers will ensure that you recover fair compensation. Call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.