Car accident lawyers in South Carolina and around the country look at many issues and information before agreeing to accept a car wreck case. First, many attorneys first look to see that their are serious injuries caused by the crash. Every case is different but if no one is hurt or dies in the accident, there is little other than property damage to the vehicles to be determined. Assuming their are personal injuries or death from the accident then there are a host of damages that the plaintiff can recover. The list includes, but is not limited to, past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, wrongful death, survival damages and punitive damages. We will be doing an entire future blog post on each of the definitions of the above referenced damages and how they may apply to a South Carolina auto accident case. Again, if no one is injured, disabled or dead as a result of the accident then a lawyer may decide that there are not enough damages to pursue the case.
After considering damages, many attorneys next look to the issue of liability. In other words, we not only want to know if the potential client want was injured in a car accident, we also want to know who is at fault for the injuries and other damages. For example, if the potential client was a driver of one of the cars in the collision and was found to be at fault for the accident, their chance of recovery would be diminished substantially, However, it is important to note that just because a policeman or highway patrol officer issues a ticket to someone at the accident scene that this does not, I repeat does not dis positively decide who is at fault. In fact, the ticket will not likely even be admissible in civil court. What matters are the facts and circumstances surrounding the wreck and what the witnesses and other evidence in the case point to as likely being the cause. Most drivers not found to have contributed to the accident or that can prove, by the evidence noted above, that they are not at fault can bring a case against the at fault driver to be reimbursed for their injuries and other losses from the wreck.
This likely seems obvious but you next want to make sure that their a causal link between the auto accident and the injuries and/or damages caused by it. This is known as causation. In order to prove ones case, they must prove that the car collision was not only the actual or but for cause of their injuries but also was the “proximate cause” as well. Proximate cause is determined by whether the damages caused by the car wreck were “foreseeable.”
The next issue to look at is whether or not their is car insurance coverage or other means to collect for injuries from the car accident. The state of South Carolina has required by law that all drivers have insurance and that they carry minimum coverage in the amount of 15/30/10. This means fifteen thousand dollars per individual and thirty thousand dollars per occurrence and ten thousand in property damage for losses incurred by the victim(s) in any given car crash. Drivers can carry more than the minimum limits required by our state and you will always want to know what the defendant driver’s policy limits are so that you can maximize your recovery against him or her. If there is not adequate coverage to cover all of the medical bills, lost wages and the like, those injured should obtain an assets check of the at fault driver to see if has property that can be attached to satisfy a judgement is one is obtained.