South Carolina Classic Car Accident Attorneys

South Carolina Classic Car Accident Attorneys

For those who love them, classic cars are a way of life. Yet, an accident in a classic car can have catastrophic outcomes. These vehicles were built before modern safety features, including crumple zones, airbags, or even seatbelts, were standard. When a crash occurs, the results can be severe or even deadly.

Most classic car owners take great care on the road. They love their cars and drive to protect them. Yet even the most careful driver cannot prevent a crash if other drivers are negligent or reckless. 

If you’ve been injured in a classic car crash, don’t wait. Talk to a South Carolina car accident lawyer with experience handling classic car claims. The team at the Steinberg Law Firm can help. 

What Makes Classic Car Accidents More Dangerous?

Older cars pose more risks than newer ones, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA data on the ages of vehicles involved in US car accidents shows that:

  • The risk of death was 56 percent lower for vehicles on the road in 2012 than in 1950. 
  • The national car crash fatality rate in 1997 was 17.81 per 100,000 registered vehicles. By 2017, that number had dropped to 10.05 per 100,000 registered vehicles. 
  • In 1960, vehicle safety features helped save 115 lives. In 2012, vehicle safety features helped save 27,621 lives.
  • In 2018, an NHTSA study found that when a vehicle was made in 1984 or earlier, 55 percent of those involved in crashes died in the crash. When the vehicle was made between 2013 and 2017, only 26 percent of crash victims suffered death. 

Many classic cars do not have the safety features required in newer cars. For instance, many classic vehicles made before 1965 do not have seat belts. Older cars may also lack airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and anchor systems for children’s car seats. They also tend to lack crumple zones to absorb the impact of a crash. 

Safety features are designed to help protect a vehicle’s occupants from catastrophic injury or death in a crash. When these features are absent, they cannot protect the vehicle’s occupants. If a negligent driver causes a crash, those inside a classic car can suffer serious or fatal injuries. 

Common Injuries in South Carolina Classic Car Crashes

In a car crash, any part of the body may be injured by the forces generated during the collision. Research of fatal car accidents shows that some injuries lead to death more often than others. 

Common fatal injuries suffered in classic car crashes include:

  • Blunt force trauma injuries. Blunt-force trauma injuries to the head, neck, and chest commonly prove fatal in car accidents. These injuries occur when the body strikes or is struck by any part of the vehicle or another object during a crash. These may include spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and organ damage.
  • Sharp force and penetrating injuries occur when an object enters the body. Broken glass, twisted metal, and other objects can cause these injuries, which can severely injure or disrupt body systems and cause death. 
  • Burn injuries. Electrical, chemical, or thermal burns during a crash can be fatal, especially if the lungs, brain, or a large portion of the body’s surface are damaged.
  • Suffocation. Inhaling chemicals from burning oil, gas, or vehicle parts or being pinned in a crash can result in suffocation. 

Some injuries prove fatal almost immediately, while others may take longer to claim a life. A combination of injuries may be deadly even when any one of the injuries is survivable on its own. After any fatal or injury-causing crash, it’s important to protect your family’s legal rights with the help of a dedicated attorney. 

What Makes Classic Car Wrecks More Dangerous?

Classic cars embody the design and style of a bygone era. Unfortunately, these vehicles also embody the lower safety standards and less safe materials of a bygone era as well.

Elements of classic cars that can make a wreck more dangerous include:

  • Lack of seatbelts. Older classic cars may not have seatbelts. Without a seatbelt, passengers risk more serious injuries from being thrown around inside the vehicle during a crash. They are also more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a crash or a rollover, exposing them to injury risks outside the vehicle.
  • Lack of airbags. Airbags were invented to cushion the impact between the body and interior parts of the vehicle during a crash. Without them, passengers’ bodies are exposed to the full force of hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, frame, and other vehicle parts in a collision. 
  • Lack of crumple zones. Classic cars were typically built before the invention of the “crumple zone,” a structural feature that absorbs the impact of a crash. Crumple zones prevent the full force of a crash from being transferred to the passengers’ bodies, reducing injury severity. Without them, passengers’ bodies are vulnerable to the full impact of a crash. 

Lessons learned from older vehicle crashes have allowed today’s engineers to create safer materials and designs for modern cars. For those still driving their classic automobiles, however, lack of these features can increase the risk of serious injuries. 

How An Experienced South Carolina Classic Car Accident Attorney Can Help

It’s difficult to know what to do after the sudden loss of a loved one. To start, contact an experienced South Carolina classic car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can:

  • Answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights and options.
  • Gather evidence to determine exactly what happened and who is accountable.
  • Communicate with insurers and other parties.
  • Negotiate for the compensation you and your family deserve.
  • Build a strong case on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary. 

If you’ve lost a loved one in a car crash, your life has been turned upside down. Every day, you carry the burden of knowing your loved one is gone as you tackle tasks like handling the estate, paying the bills, and figuring out how you’re going to continue when your life has changed forever.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we understand how hard it is to be severely injured or lose a loved one suddenly – especially when someone else’s negligence is to blame. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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