Car Accident Case
Summerville Car Accident Lawyer
No one gets into a vehicle expecting to be involved in a car accident that leaves them seriously injured. However, life is unpredictable, and accidents can and do happen. If you or your family members have been hurt in a car accident, a Summerville car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical costs, property damage and more.
For a free case review, call us at 843-720-2800.
Auto Wreck Injury Attorneys Serving Summerville and Berkeley County, SC
After an accident, you must take time to focus on recovery for yourself and your family.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, we represent accident victims who have suffered serious injuries in Summerville car accidents. We provide our clients with exceptional representation from the moment we begin working on a case. Our Summerville car accident lawyers have been helping individuals and families recover fair compensation for the injuries they sustained since 1927. Over the past century, we have developed an effective and client-centered model of representation that our clients appreciate.
You can trust our clients:
My experience with the Steinberg law firm has been very good! I’d recommend them to anyone. Their professional attitude and no nonsense approach left me feeling secure and positive they would get me the best outcome possible. They don’t depend on silly commercials and gimmicks to get clients. Their track history says it all. - Joe
Answering Your Questions
If you have spent much time driving in Summerville, chances are you know the answer to this question. Summerville sees an extraordinary number of car accidents, especially given the city’s relatively small population.
Are Car Accidents Common in Summerville?
According to a recent study, Summerville ranks among the cities with the most accidents in the country when considering population size. The researchers conducting the study reviewed 2.5 million insurance applications, looking for drivers who disclosed that they had been previously involved in a car accident. A shocking 17.5 percent of Summerville drivers have a prior accident for which they were at fault. That is almost one in five drivers. This is higher than the national average for the percentage of drivers who have a prior speeding ticket, which stands just under 12 percent.
Why Are Car Accidents So Common in Summerville?
It is a given that Summerville has a very high rate of car accidents, but why? There are a few possible explanations.
Rapid Population Growth Over Recent Decades
Summerville has seen tremendous population growth over the past few decades. For example, Summerville had fewer than 10,000 residents until the mid-1980s. However, once the city’s population surpassed 10,000, it began to grow at a nearly exponential rate. By 1990, Summerville’s population doubled to over 25,000 residents. While the period between 2000 and 2009 revealed modest population growth, the past two decades reveal something else. By 2010, Summerville had a population of nearly 45,000. Today, Summerville’s population is estimated to be almost 54,000.
Summerville roads were not built to accommodate the current number of drivers. Aggravating this infrastructure issue is the number of drivers who do not keep up with traffic for various reasons. Many new residents are unfamiliar with the roads, leading to uncertainty in their driving. Some are older and tend to drive more slowly. A slow driver can be just as dangerous as a fast one.
The population increase can contribute to the number of Summerville car accidents. More people on the road means that there is more traffic. Thus, every time you leave the house, your chance of encountering a negligent driver increases.
Additional Causes of Summerville Car Accidents
Infrastructure that Cannot Keep up with the Demands of a Growing Population
Summerville roads were not designed to accommodate the number of residents currently living in the city. Roads may be too narrow or lacking in traffic control devices.
While the city attempts to fix these issues by widening roads where possible and installing traffic lights, we have reached a situation where city administration can hardly keep up with the rapid population growth.
A Large Number of New Residents
Like any other activity, driving is a skill that takes time and practice to master. While much of a motorist’s abilities stem from their experience behind the wheel, people are naturally more comfortable driving on roads they frequently travel. With the influx of people moving to Summerville, many new residents are unfamiliar with the roads and traffic patterns. This can cause them to make otherwise avoidable errors that can lead to a serious Summerville car accident.
New residents unfamiliar with everything that Summerville has to offer may also be more inclined to focus on things other than the road ahead of them. This is a form of distracted driving, one of the leading causes of Summerville car accidents.
A High Percentage of Older Drivers
South Carolina has one of the oldest populations in the United States, in that more than 17.7 percent of residents are over the age of 65. That is over 900,000 South Carolinians over 65. Certainly, there is nothing inherently wrong with older drivers. Driving helps older adults stay mobile and independent. However, drivers aged 70 and older have higher fatal crash rates per mile traveled than middle-aged drivers. In large part, this is because older drivers are more susceptible to certain health conditions that can make them more dangerous motorists. For example, older drivers may suffer from vision or hearing problems that prevent them from noticing another motorist, pedestrian or cyclist. Additionally, older drivers are at an increased risk of experiencing a sudden medical emergency, resulting in them losing control of the vehicle.
Outdated Safety Technology
Outdated Road Safety Technology
One issue that significantly impacts traffic safety is that many traffic control devices are outdated and need to be replaced. For example, many traffic lights in the area consist of a single-lit box that changes colors instead of the traditional three-light device. These lights are harder for motorists to notice, resulting in them failing to notice they are entering a controlled intersection.
Additionally, many of the traffic lights in Summerville are untimed, causing awkward traffic patterns that can catch motorists off guard and may even encourage them to speed through poorly timed lights as they turn from yellow to red.
Free Car Accident Consultations
In the aftermath of an injury-causing accident, there are numerous damages for which you may seek compensation.
While these factors may help explain the high rate of Summerville car accidents, they certainly do not excuse a driver’s negligence. If you have been injured in a car accident in Summerville, reach out to the Steinberg Law Firm to discuss your options.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can occur for many different reasons, whether it is a distracted driver or a drunk motorist. Your car accident lawyer will painstakingly assess your case, determining how negligence was a factor in the accident and how these facts can be used in court to obtain compensation for your injuries. Here are some common causes of car accidents in Summerville:
Drivers are responsible for paying attention to the road and their surroundings. This means refraining from engaging in any activity that removes their attention from the road. Common forms of distracted driving include:
- Attending to children
- Changing the radio
- Eating and drinking
- Scrolling social media
- Talking to passengers
- Use of cell phones or other electronic devices
- Applying makeup
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving claims more than 3,100 lives each year. In South Carolina specifically, about 9,000 distracted driving accidents occur each year. However, the total number of distracted driving accidents is likely to be higher, as drivers rarely admit to being distracted after causing an accident.
Aggressive driving is a leading cause of Summerville car accidents. Speeding, following too closely, running other motorists off the road, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, or engaging in road rage are all examples of aggressive driving. Together, all forms of aggressive driving result in more than 50,000 South Carolina car accidents each year. Thus, while aggressive drivers like to think that they are “better than the average driver,” that is not the case when looking at the statistics.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Brain Injury Case
Truck Accident Case
Driving while intoxicated impairs decision-making and reaction time. It puts the driver, passengers and others on the road at risk of a serious crash. Each day, more than 30 people die across the country as a result of drunk driving accidents. This amounts to one fatality every 30 minutes. Over the past ten years, more than 10,000 lives have been lost due to drunk driving. According to experts, fatalities from drunk driving cost more than $44 billion per year in economic loss.
In Dorchester County, DUI accidents are a serious threat to motorists. The most recent data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety shows there were more than 150 DUI accidents resulting in eight fatalities in 2019 alone. For a county with fewer than 163,000 residents, these figures are startling.
When you purchase a vehicle, you have a reasonable expectation that it will function as it should and keep you and your family safe. However, cars can sometimes have dangerous design or manufacturing defects. Or, a vehicle or component part lacks the necessary warnings to instruct customers on safely using the product. In any of these cases, the manufacturer may be liable through a Summerville product liability lawsuit.
Under South Carolina law, manufacturers can be held strictly liable for any injuries resulting from the use of a dangerous or defective product. This means that, unlike in most other personal injury cases, an accident victim does not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in any way.
Glen: Seriously injured in a car accident. Represented by the Steinberg Law Firm.
Pickup Truck Accidents
According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorists are more than 150 percent more likely to die in a pickup truck accident than they are in a car accident.
Notwithstanding the dangers of pickup trucks, some who own them do not take the necessary precautions when on the road. In addition to the typical causes of motor vehicle collisions, pickup truck accidents are often caused by dangerous equipment modifications. Many who own pickup trucks modify the trucks to fit their tastes. This may involve lifting the truck to have higher ground clearance. While this allows the truck to perform better off-road, it also significantly increases the chance of a rollover accident. Many pickup trucks also have enormous tires that are not designed to work well on asphalt. This can mean that drivers have an even more difficult time bringing the truck to a safe stop.
Have you been driving in Summerville and seen a golf cart on the road? Did you wonder if operating a golf cart on a public street was legal?
In South Carolina, golf cart owners can legally use these vehicles to get around under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, golf cart operators tend not to take their responsibilities as seriously as those driving other motorized vehicles. As a result, Summerville golf cart accidents are much more common than most realize. Between 2007 and 2017, there were over 156,000 hospitalizations due to golf-cart-related accidents across the United States.
Damages in a Car Accident Claim
The amount of damages you receive in a car accident claim depends on many factors, including the extent of your physical injuries and property damage, and the amount of mental or emotional suffering your experience has caused.
South Carolina law allows accident victims to recover two types of damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The Steinberg Law Firm has decades of litigation experience and intends to ensure justice is served in your case.
Compensatory damages focus on providing you with money to put you in as close as possible to your position before the accident. Compensatory damages are further broken down into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those accident-related costs that require you to spend money or lose out on making money because of the accident. The following are examples of economic damages:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Wages you could not earn while you were recovering
- Decrease in your ability to earn as much as you did before the accident
Non-economic damages compensate you for the accident’s emotional and psychological effect on your life. Non-economic damages are very case-specific and can make up a significant portion of the total damages award. Examples of non-economic damages in a Summerville car accident lawsuit include:
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of the ability to complete daily tasks
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Physical or mental disability
- Pain and suffering
At the Steinberg Law Firm, we diligently review all evidence and medical documentation, ensuring that we identify the full extent of our clients’ possible damages. We recognize that you only have one chance to bring a car accident claim and how important it is to make sure that you are not left on the hook for any of your accident-related expenses.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Summerville
A car accident can leave you shaken up and dealing with some very painful injuries. Not only that, but an accident may result in lifelong limitations, making it harder—or impossible—to work or participate in the activities you used to enjoy before the accident. While it can be difficult to think straight after a serious accident, remembering to take the steps below can be helpful if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
REPORT THE ACCIDENT
Report the Accident
After a Summerville car accident, the first thing to do is to call 911 or the local police or sheriff’s office to report the accident, even if the accident appears minor or the other driver pleads for you not to report the accident. Reporting the accident prompts a call to emergency responders who will come to the scene to determine whether anyone requires potentially life-saving treatment. Additionally, an accident report can serve as official proof that an accident occurred. Otherwise, you run the risk of the other driver or insurance company arguing that your injuries were caused by something else.
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION
Get Medical Attention
After reporting an accident, the next step is to arrange to see a doctor. Even if your injuries appear minor, you cannot be sure of the extent of your injuries until you get checked out by a medical professional. In some cases, such as traumatic brain injuries, the symptoms you experience immediately after an accident do not reflect the seriousness of the underlying injury. A doctor can rule out any potentially serious but unnoticeable injuries that may show up in the coming days, weeks or months. Additionally, if you do not visit the doctor after an accident, you open the door for the other driver or the insurance company to argue that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant immediate medical attention.
Gather Important Details
Before you leave the scene of a Summerville car accident, be sure to get the name, insurance information and contact details of the driver or other parties involved in the crash. Do not admit fault. Also, consider obtaining the names and contact information of any witnesses. This can be valuable information that can support your personal injury claim. Finally, take a few pictures of the scene if you have the ability. The most important things to focus on are the relative positions of the vehicles, any damage to the cars, and the presence of any road signs or lane markings. If you do not have a camera or a cell phone, you may consider asking a bystander to take pictures for you and text them or email them to you.
Be Careful Who You Talk To
After an accident, you will need to report the accident to your insurance company, even if you were not at fault. An insurance company representative will likely reach out to you to discuss the accident and your injuries at some point. First, clarify which insurance company you are speaking with, as it may not be clear whether you are speaking to your own insurance company or the at-fault driver's insurance company. Second, be cautious in what you tell any insurance company representative. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to reduce the value of your claim and will use whatever you tell them for that purpose. Similarly, you should refrain from posting comments or photos on social media, as the insurance company may try to use these posts against you.
TALK TO A LAWYER
Contact a Summerville Car Accident Lawyer
The next step is to reach out to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer to discuss the accident when you are ready. Of course, the thought of picking up the phone and talking to a lawyer may not be on the top of your list of priorities, but it is essential, nonetheless. An attorney can provide you with an honest assessment of your case and explain how you can effectively pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have almost a century of experience helping accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve. We are committed to advancing our clients’ interests at every stage of the process and promise to keep you informed along the way.
In the aftermath of a crash in Summerville, South Carolina, you may need medical treatment and may even be hurt badly enough to be hospitalized. You may be thinking your vehicle insurance should be adequate to cover your costs but if your accident was caused by someone else, they should be held accountable for your injuries and damages. Insurance companies have a duty to pay you reasonable, legitimate and adequate compensation for injuries caused by an at-fault driver.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Insurance companies are concerned about one thing— padding their bottom lines. Thus, insurance companies will often do everything possible to reduce the amount of compensation paid to an accident victim and may even deny an accident victim’s claim.
One common tactic insurance companies use is to try to get you to settle your case for less than you may be entitled to in court. While most Summerville car accident lawsuits are settled out of court, it is not necessarily the best option. Reach out to a Summerville car accident attorney rather than take an insurance company’s word. Your lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and keep them from taking advantage of you. Do not settle for a lowball offer when the Steinberg Law Firm can help you get what you deserve.
The Steinberg Law Firm Looks Out for Your Best Interests
We will ensure you avoid mistakes that could potentially hurt your claim or reduce the amount of damages you are entitled to.
Our Summerville car accident lawyers have years of knowledge and experience which we put into every case we handle. For example, we can help you navigate any of the following issues to maximize the amount of compensation you recover:
- Comparative fault principles
- Medical testimony
- Understanding how insurance companies operate
- Accident reconstruction to demonstrate who was at fault
- The seatbelt defense
At the Steinberg Law Firm, we take a holistic approach to each case, focusing on doing everything we can to make our client whole again. We recognize the challenges you face in the wake of a Summerville car accident and will make the recovery process as smooth as possible for you and your family.
Your Questions Answered
Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
South Carolina law requires accident victims to bring a claim within three years from the date of the accident. Notably, this means you must file your claim within three years; your case does not have to be complete within three years. However, generally, it is better to reach out to a Summerville car accident lawyer as soon as possible. This ensures that your attorney can more easily locate all-important evidence to help you bring your claim. Physical evidence can get lost or destroyed as time passes, and witnesses’ memories may fade. Thus, the sooner you can contact an attorney, the better.
Yes, in most cases, you can still bring a Summerville car accident claim even if you shared responsibility for causing the accident. South Carolina uses the “modified comparative fault” approach when determining which accident victims can recover compensation for their injuries. Under this rule, you can recover from other at-fault parties as long as your negligence does not exceed the total negligence of the other parties combined.
In other words, you can still bring a claim against another party if you were less than 51 percent at fault. However, if a judge or jury determines that you were partially at fault, the court will reduce your damages award by your percentage of fault. For example, assume you were in a Summerville car accident and sustained $200,000 in damages. If the jury found that you were 20 percent at fault and the other driver 80 percent at fault, your total recovery amount would be $160,000 ($200,000, less 20 percent).
Contact Steinberg Law Firm Today
What Our Attorneys Can Do For You
The Summerville car accident lawyers at Steinberg Law Firm understand the issues you face when you have been involved in a serious accident. We have extensive experience preparing, investigating, negotiating, and litigating these cases and put our knowledge and experience into every case we handle. Our Summerville car accident attorneys thoroughly review clients’ cases and guide them through the legal process of making a claim. If you are a Summerville car accident victim, call us today for a free initial consultation at 843-720-2800. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. We do not earn a fee unless we secure compensation for you.
Let Us Handle the Insurance Companies
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a car accident, we do not advise that you try to handle the insurance companies yourself. They have teams of lawyers, adjusters and investigators working against you to try to pay you as little as possible on your claim. Contact the car accident lawyers at Steinberg Law Firm today.