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Car Accident Lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina
Many vehicular accidents are the result of someone’s negligence or failure to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. If another driver was responsible for causing a traffic accident, he or she may be liable for the damages you incurred. Being involved in an automobile accident can be very confusing but you should seek the advice of a Columbia car accident lawyer in a timely manner. The attorney you choose can launch an investigation and begin documenting the facts before crucial evidence is lost forever.
Common Causes of South Carolina Car Accidents
- Drunk Driving Drivers impaired by alcohol have poor judgment and often lose the ability to react in time. This significantly increases the risk of being involved in a collision. Experts estimate that driving while under the influence of alcohol increases the probability of being in an accident by nine times.
- Reckless Driving Nonalcohol-related reckless driving often stems from driving too aggressively. Dangerous drivers have a blatant disregard for others and feel they are more important than anyone else, which can lead to road rage.
- Driving Too Fast Failing to follow the speed limit is still one of the most common causes of traffic accidents in the United States. It is often associated with reckless driving and/or driving under the influence. High-speed collisions tend to result in more severe outcomes.
- Tailgating Failing to keep a safe distance from the car in front can reduce a driver’s reaction time. There really isn’t a good excuse for following too closely. If a sudden turn or braking causes an accident, the driver in the rear is most often to blame.
- Distracted Driving Drivers using handheld devices are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident, and the consequences can be tragic. Cell phones are not the only distraction that causes accidents but they are to blame for about 12 percent of fatal crashes. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes over 1.6 million car accidents each year. South Carolina law bans texting while driving, but the state does not currently have a distracted driving law.
- Rubbernecking When a driver looks at anything other than the road, it is considered a type of distracted driving called “rubbernecking.” This often occurs in heavy traffic when someone either watches another traffic accident occur or becomes fixated on the aftermath of an accident. It can also include looking at scenery or reading nontraffic-related road signs.
- Falling Asleep at the Wheel Being overly tired or extra sleepy can diminish a driver’s reaction time behind the wheel. While there is no test for drowsy driving, studies indicate that sleepiness impairs a driver’s abilities as much as alcohol and can lead to a devastating auto accident.
- Bad Weather Weather can change suddenly, creating a situation where it may become difficult for a driver to stop in time. Rain, snow, ice and sand on the roadways are contributing factors in many vehicular accidents, and prolonged periods without rain can result in a slicker-than-normal surface that also can contribute to a driver’s loss of control.
- Road Construction and Roadway Defects Accidents in construction areas are often linked to drivers exceeding the posted speed limit in a designated area. However, the improper installation of signs and traffic lights, as well as bad roadway designs and poorly maintained surfaces, can also be to blame.
- Defective Automobile Parts Auto industry recalls have become all too common and often lead to serious injuries to a vehicle’s occupants. Common auto defects include tires, poor designs that cause a vehicle to be more prone to rollovers, defective or exploding airbags and faulty seat belts.
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Verdicts & Settlements
Car Versus Horse Accident
Our client ran into a horse which got loose from adjoining property. Our claim was that the horse owner was negligent in failing to keep the horse confined, including improper fencing. Client sustained significant injuries to the spine. A settlement of $300,000 plus future payments of $2,000/month for lifetime was achieved.
Premises Liability/Wrongful Death
A man was killed due to a hazardous condition created by a major corporation and supplier. He left behind two adult children. The case was resolved at mediation for $3.2 million.
Our client had a head injury following a concussion at work. She had some orthopedic complaints as well. An IME procured by defense counsel indicated she had a very limited impairment and was fully able to work. We were able to obtain a statement from the primary treating physician indicating that she was totally and permanently disabled due to organic brain injury. Recovery after mediation was $300,000.
Our two clients, a husband and wife, were hit by a drunk driver. Both of them spent weeks in the hospital with multiple surgeries. The at-fault driver had fairly low coverage, but the clients had good under insured motorist coverage. Total recovery was $1 million, which was the combined policy limits.
Dram Shop/Wrongful Death
Two minors procured alcohol from a package store and became intoxicated. Later that evening they ran off the road and were killed in a one-car accident. Suit was filed and extensive discovery conducted. Major issues of comparative negligence were raised. The case settled prior to trial for $500,000.
A man was seriously injured while driving a work truck. At issue was how many policies of under insured motorist coverage he could stack, or accumulate. They were business policies, and he owned the business. The insurer took the position that the business was the insured, not the man, and that he could not stack policies. Case settled while in litigation in federal court for $600,000.
Dram Shop/Wrongful Death
Our clients sister was killed after a night of drinking at a local establishment when the driver she was riding with, while intoxicated, crashed into another car. Major issues of comparative negligence were raised. Sum total of recovery between car insurance and tavern liability (dram shop) was $550,000.
Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death
A man presented to his family physician with various symptoms and test results indicating cardiac disease. He was let go with no substantial treatment. Shortly afterward he died of a heart attack. Case was settled with the insurance company for the practice group in the amount of $500,000.
Slip & Fall/Brain Injury
Our client slipped and fell on a foreign substance in a local grocery store. It was alleged that the grocer either caused or had notice of the substance, and that our client sustained permanent brain injury following a concussion. A lawsuit was filed, and voluminous discovery was conducted, including multiple depositions of medical providers and fact witnesses. The defense denied being at fault and denied the extent of the injuries. The case settled at mediation for $495,000.
Our client had a herniated disk following a work-related injury. He had fusion surgery by a neurosurgeon. Our contention was that he was permanently and totally disabled. Recovery was $200,000.
Any result we may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.