Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in South Carolina
At Duncan and Nobles LLC, we've noticed a series of misconceptions people often have about car accident claims. We're here to clarify these misconceptions and provide you with the accurate information you need. We believe in empowering you with knowledge, so let's dive in and address these myths one by one.
Leaving the scene of a minor accident is not a big deal.
Wrong. Regardless of the severity of the accident, leaving the scene can be considered an illegal hit-and-run. We always advise clients to stay put and follow the proper procedures. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also protects you legally. In some cases, leaving the scene may result in additional charges and make it more difficult for you to claim compensation.
I don't need to call the police if it's just a small accident.
Not true. No matter how small the accident, it's important to call the South Carolina Highway Patrol or the police department. They can provide assistance and create an official accident report; you'll want a copy of this when you go to file a claim.
I don't need to seek medical attention. I feel fine.
This is a common and dangerous misconception. Many injuries caused by car accidents, such as whiplash or internal bruising, do not manifest immediately. They may take hours, days, or even weeks to become apparent. Neglecting to seek medical attention could not only worsen your condition but also affect your claims process. An immediate medical examination establishes a connection between the accident and your injuries, strengthening your case. Without it, the insurance company could argue that your injuries are unrelated to the accident, which could lead to a harsh reduction in your potential compensation.
I don't need to gather evidence from the accident scene.
Wrong again. Taking pictures of the scene and obtaining contact information from witnesses can strengthen your claim. Nearby businesses or homeowners may even have security camera footage that could support your case. Collecting contact information and driver's insurance information from all parties involved in the accident is also essential for building your claim.
I can handle the insurance claim process on my own.
This one's a bit tricky. While it's possible, car accident claims can be complex. Insurance carriers often have lawyers on their side. That's why we recommend seeking the help of a personal injury attorney who can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.
I can file a claim whenever I want.
No, there is a specific time frame, known as the statute of limitations, within which car accident claims must be filed in South Carolina. In this state, the statute of limitations is set at three years from the date of the accident. This means that if you do not file a claim within three years, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
I will receive unlimited compensation for my car accident.
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. While South Carolina doesn't have a cap on most damages, there are limits on non-economic damages in certain cases. Non-economic damages refer to losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. (These damages are subject to a cap of $350,000 per claimant in medical malpractice cases and $300,000 per claimant in any claims against the government.)
It's crucial to have a skilled attorney by your side who can help you receive the maximum compensation possible for your specific case.
I don't need a lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company.
Again, not true. Insurance companies are focused on minimizing their payouts. Having a personal injury attorney on your side can level the playing field and ensure you receive fair compensation.
All car accident claims go to court.
Most car accident claims are resolved through negotiations and settlements outside of court. In fact, less than 5% of all personal injury cases ever make it to court. However, having a skilled attorney can prepare you for litigation if necessary.
It's too late to file a claim if some time has passed since the accident.
While it's important to file a claim as soon as possible, there may still be options available even if some time has passed. Consulting with an attorney can help determine the best course of action.
I can't afford / don't need a personal injury attorney.
Most personal injury attorneys, including us, work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we win your case. This arrangement makes legal representation more accessible to those who may not have the financial means upfront. Plus, having a skilled attorney on your side can potentially result in higher compensation and better outcomes.
Reach Out if You Need Help
Car accidents are stressful and overwhelming enough without these misconceptions clouding your judgment. We hope that debunking these common misconceptions has provided you with a clearer understanding of how to go about the claims process in South Carolina. Remember, seeking legal guidance from a knowledgeable attorney is crucial to protect your rights and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation. We're here to help, so don't hesitate to reach out if you need us.
At Duncan and Nobles LLC, we're proud to serve clients in Fort Mill and Rock Hill, South Carolina. But our reach doesn't stop there. We also extend our services to those throughout Chester County and Lancaster County. Whether you're down the road or a few towns over, we're here to help navigate the road of car accident claims with you.