What If I Am Partially Responsible for a Car Accident?

You’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, and it’s a lot to deal with. Now, the insurance company is attempting to shift fault onto you – and you’re not sure what to do. You’ve been injured, are facing medical bills and lost earnings, and are about as vulnerable as you may have ever felt. Car accident claims are complicated, and because your recovery likely depends upon your ability to fully recover on the losses you’ve sustained, winging it isn’t a good idea. Reach out to an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney for the professional legal counsel you need at this challenging juncture in your life.

A Note About the Insurance Company

You may think that the insurance company should step up, do the right thing, and cover your claim, but that isn’t really what the insurance company is about. Instead, the insurance company that is handling your claim is in the business of turning a healthy profit, and the method it employs in the process is keeping settlement payouts as low as it can get away with. When the insurance company responds to your claim with a statement that amounts to them telling you that you are actually responsible for the accident that caused you to be injured, it can leave you feeling defeated (at best). Take heart – the insurance company does not have the final say on this issue (the law does), and your dedicated car accident attorney will help you understand the strength of your claim and will assertively advocate for its best possible resolution.

The Insurance Company’s Efforts

The insurance company is fully aware that you are at a low point, and you may not have the wherewithal to fight back against tactics like casting doubt on the other driver’s fault in the matter. In fact, they bank on it. Unfortunately, this tactic is just one in a long list of efforts the insurance company may employ to minimize your settlement. Consider the following additional weapons in its arsenal:

  • Denying claims early on in the hope claimants will walk away
  • Artificially prolonging or complicating the claims process in an effort to wear claimants down
  • Calling the extent of claimants’ losses into question
  • Offering early settlements that are far too low to cover claimants’ complete losses but that they may be desperate enough to accept

Because the insurance company is not on your side, you need an experienced car accident attorney who is.

If You Do Share Fault

Determining whether or not you share fault for the car accident that leaves you injured isn’t something that the insurance company gets to decide. Nor is the decision based on your sense that, if you’d only taken an earlier exit, the accident would not have happened. Fault in the matter of car accidents is determined by the facts that apply, and your seasoned car accident attorney will gather all the relevant evidence in their efforts to help make this important determination, including:

  • The police report and any tickets that were issued
  • Photos and videos that were taken at the accident scene
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • The input of expert witnesses
  • Accident-scene recreations and models

If your car accident attorney believes you have a strong claim, you should trust them and proceed accordingly.

Your Total Losses

The fact is that a car accident can leave you facing considerable losses (or legal damages) that should not be diminished or overlooked in your car accident claim.

Medical Expenses

To begin, you’re going to be facing medical bills resulting from any combination of the following (to name a few):

  • Emergency care at and transportation from the scene of the accident
  • Surgical care and hospitalization
  • Treatment and care from doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
  • Pain management
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical procedures, treatments, and tests
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Adaptive physical devices
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home healthcare

If your injuries are serious, your medical expenses may continue into your future.

Your Lost Wages

While you’re recovering from your physical injuries, you’ll likely be off the job, which means lost earnings. This financial loss can extend to a reduction in earning potential if your injuries are serious or lead to secondary health concerns.

Your Physical and Psychological Pain and Suffering

The physical and psychological pain and suffering you’re caused to endure by someone else’s negligence behind the wheel can be profound and should not be ignored in your car accident claim.

If You Do Share Fault

If it is determined that you do share fault, never fear – it’s not the end of the story. The state of South Carolina employs what is known as comparative fault when it comes to assigning fault in personal injury cases, such as car accidents. Comparative fault basically means that, as long as you are not found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident that causes you to be injured, you can seek compensation for the percentage of your losses for which the other driver is responsible.

Let’s consider a simplified example. If you were speeding at the time of the accident – when the other driver made an illegal U-turn and hit you – you may be found 10 percent responsible, meaning that the other driver’s insurance provider is responsible for covering 90 percent of your total related damages. If your total covered losses come in at $100,000, this amount will be reduced by 10 percent (or $10,000) – making your total compensation $90,000 (or $100,000 reduced by $10,000).  

You Need an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney on Your Side

If you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, the accomplished car accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina have an impressive track record of helping clients in your situation prevail with optimal outcomes that support their best interests. We’re on your side, so please don’t wait to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today for more information about how we can help you.

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