A Guide to Understanding Auto Accident Settlements

One of the most important parts of the first consultation with a Greenville car crash lawyer is understanding the value of your case and the potential outcome of settling your claim versus going to court. This article will provide information on how a car accident settlement works.

If you were injured in an accident, you should contact us as soon as possible to understand your legal rights.

Why Lawyers Try to Settle Cases Instead of Going to Court

One of the first things an experienced attorney will tell you is that they will try to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company. This means that you will not get the full amount of your claim, down to the last dollar. However, the amount will be sufficient to cover your medical care costs, and lost wages and compensate you for pain and suffering.

Going to court poses many problems:

  • While a claim can be settled in months, a lawsuit can take more than a year.
  • Filing a lawsuit involves significant extra legal costs.
  • There is no guarantee that you will win the case.
  • The at-fault driver may not own valuable assets that can be seized to pay your award.

Important Factors in a Car Accident Settlement

Now let us focus on the main topic: how car accident settlement works. Here are the most important aspects that influence the entire claim process and its outcome.

1. Proving Fault

South Carolina uses a comparative negligence principle for all personal injury cases, including car crashes. This means that only the party that is less than 51% at fault for the accident has the right to seek compensation for their damages.

Thus, one of the basic aspects of a car accident claim is proving that the other driver was more at fault than you for the crash. An experienced lawyer can do that with the help of:

  • The police report
  • Photos and videos you took at the scene of the accident
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • CCTV and traffic camera footage
  • Expert witnesses.

2. Proving Your Damages

The next key element in a successful car accident claim is proving that:

  • Your injuries were caused by the accident
  • You suffered economic damages.

car accident settlement in South Carolina

This is one of the main reasons why you should go to the nearest hospital or ER immediately after the police finish investigating the crash scene. The correlation between the time specified in the police report and the time of the initial medical report is essential for proving that you were injured in the crash, not elsewhere.

Also, your Greenville car accident lawyer will need all the bills and receipts for expenses related to the crash to prove your economic damages. These include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Refilled prescriptions
  • Receipts for doctor’s appointments and treatments
  • Estimate of car repair costs
  • Pay slips to prove your lost wages.

3. The Compensation Is Influenced by Insurance Coverage

One of the most important things accident victims must remember is that the insurance company will not pay one cent above the available coverage of the other driver’s policy.

Many South Carolina drivers opt to carry the minimum amounts required by law, which are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

4. Your Percentage of Fault

Any car wreck attorney will tell you that situations where one driver is 100% at fault are very rare. Thus, you will be likely found partly responsible for any slight oversight that may have contributed to the crash.

As a consequence, the maximum compensation you may recover will be your total damages minus the amount representing your percentage of fault. Let us assume that your damages are $50,000 and you were 10% at fault for the crash. Thus, the compensation you may collect is $45,000.

5. The Lawyer’s Negotiation Skills

Finally, people with lawyers get consistently larger car accident settlements than people representing themselves. This is a fact proven by many statistical studies over the years. Attorneys know the law and how insurance companies operate.

They are aware of all tactics an adjuster may use to reduce or deny your claim. And, using evidence and know-how, the lawyer counters all these tactics, reaching a fair and acceptable settlement with the insurer.

Call a Skilled Greenville Car Crash Lawyer! 

The best course of action after any car accident is reaching out to an experienced Greenville car crash lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the more evidence the attorney will be able to collect to prove your case.

We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 864-310-7897!