As you may already know, in life, things are rarely black or white. Most of the times, they are tinted with another color or tend to grey. The rule applies to car accidents in Greenville, SC, as well. In many cases, both or all of the parties involved in the accident share fault for it. The best way to find out how that influences their case is to consult a Greenville car accident lawyer. Until you get to do that, we will review the relevant South Carolina laws below.
Shared Fault According to SC Laws
The most important laws you need to be aware of if you contributed to your own accident are:
- SC Code Section 15-1-300 according to which contributory negligence or shared fault does not bar recovery
- SC Code Title 15, Chapter 38, which explains how liability is shared and how it impacts recovery rights in case of multiple tortfeasors.
Generally, the fact that you contributed to your accident does not bar your right to recovery. It may, if your share of fault exceeds that of the other party or parties. Since, in South Carolina, the burden of proof falls on the claimant, it is your duty to prove that it did not. What does that mean?
When claiming your losses from the party at fault or their insurer, you will need evidence. That evidence needs to show that, had it not been for the defendant’s actions or negligence, the accident would not have occurred.
Sure, perhaps you played a part in it as well. However, the evidence should clearly show that your contribution was lower than that of the defendant. If your share of fault exceeded 50%, you lose your right to recovery. If it was lower than 50%, the value of your compensation will be reduced accordingly.
There is a catch, though, one that explains why you need an experienced Greenville car accident attorney on your side. The party at fault will try to blame you for the accident. The reason is simple: every percentage of fault they attribute to you means less money out of their own pockets. Moreover, if they prove that you were more than 50% at fault, they will not have to pay you anything. You should not let them get away with it, though, and a car wreck lawyer can help.
What Can a Greenville Auto Accident Lawyer Do for You?
1. Review Your Case and Estimate Your Claim Value
This includes estimating your fault percentage and calculating how much money you can recover, if anything. If the damages you incurred were minor and your fault percentage was considerable, your claim may not be worth pursuing. If you incurred severe injuries and property damage, your claim could reach a considerable value. The lawyer will help you put a number on it.
2. Gather All the Necessary Evidence
Evidence is the only thing that matters when it comes to establishing fault and claim value. We have already explained that the claimant needs to provide it, in this case you. Your car accident lawyer can take over the responsibility. They will gather evidence and counteract any evidence the defendant may present.
3. Follow All Procedures and Handle Paperwork
Both insurance claims and court trials require following certain procedures within a clearly established timeframe. They also involve tons of paperwork. Your auto accident lawyer can handle everything and let you return to your routine. This will save you a lot of time and effort, and increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve by eliminating potential mistakes.
4. Negotiate with the Defendant on Your Behalf
If you prove your case and follow procedures, the defendant will have no alternative but to pay. Most of the times, they will not wait for a court decision but rather make you a settlement offer. Your Greenville car wreck attorney can review their offer and negotiate a better one.
5. Appeal the Insurer’s Decision or the Court Verdict
Sometimes, despite the claimant’s best efforts, the defendant refuses to pay or offers an unacceptable settlement. An experienced car accident attorney will not let them get away with it. They will file an appeal and not rest until they obtain the compensation their client deserves.
Get an Experienced Greenville Car Accident Lawyer on Your Case Now
You too can benefit from the help and advice of an experienced car accident lawyer. You can even have your case reviewed for free. All you have to do is call our office and schedule a free consultation with one of the Brumback & Langley car accident lawyers in Greenville, SC.