Charleston, SC Single Vehicle Accident Attorneys
One Car Crash May Have Injury Compensation Options Depending on Who is Responsible.
Popular images of “car accidents” often feature two or more vehicles that have collided with one another. Yet a significant percentage of car accidents involve only one vehicle.
In most South Carolina vehicle accidents, the primary contributing factor to a crash is a driver’s behavior. Driver behavior is the primary contributing factor in 82.47 percent of fatal crashes and 94.12 percent of non-fatal crashes, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
When your vehicle crashes without a second vehicle involved, you cannot seek compensation from another driver. But you may still have options. Talk to an experienced South Carolina single-vehicle accident attorney at Steinberg Law Firm to learn more.
South Carolina Single Vehicle Accident Statistics
Single-vehicle car wrecks can be just as dangerous as multi-vehicle crashes. While not all of these accidents are caused by a vehicle’s driver, any collision can cause injuries to a driver and passengers.
- Nationwide, 52 percent of car accident deaths in 2021 occurred in single-vehicle crashes.
- Single-vehicle crash deaths increased by 6.0 percent nationwide between 2020 and 2021.
- South Carolina is on par with the national average. In 2021, 619 people died in single-vehicle crashes in the state, accounting for 52 percent of all South Carolina crash deaths that year.
- In 33.51 percent of fatal traffic crashes in 2020, the initial event involved a vehicle hitting a fixed object like a ditch, tree, or guardrail, not another vehicle.
- Hitting a fixed object was also the initial event in 18.04 percent of non-fatal crashes.
- Teen drivers are especially vulnerable to deadly single-vehicle crashes. In one study, South Carolina teen drivers were 2.5 times more likely to die in a single-vehicle crash than other licensed drivers.
- 37 percent of motorcycle crash deaths in 2018 occurred in single-vehicle accidents.
Single-vehicle accidents can be dangerous or even deadly. They can also cause complications, confusion, and headaches for vehicle owners and occupants seeking compensation after a crash.
How Do Charleston Single Vehicle Accidents Occur?
Single-vehicle accidents share many of the same causes as multi-vehicle crashes. Common types of single-vehicle accidents include the following:
- Driving off the roadway due to distracted, drugged, or drunk driving. Also, conditions such as slick roads or poor lighting can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
- Hitting debris or objects in the road, like fallen trees or branches, rocks, or items that have fallen off other vehicles.
- Driving too fast for the conditions, resulting in a rollover accident or the vehicle hitting a tree, guardrail, pole, or another item because the driver couldn’t stop in time.
- Hitting an animal in the roadway, such as a deer, dog, or other animal.
- Dealing with a sudden vehicle or equipment failure, like loss of steering, braking problems, or a blown-out tire.
- Encountering issues with the road or its signs, like a broken traffic light or a dangerously deep pothole. Also, visitors to Charleston or inexperienced drivers may not anticipate roadway rules due to their lack of knowledge of the area.
- Avoiding a collision with another vehicle, like swerving a car to avoid hitting another car that crossed the center line.
Drunk driving is a common cause of single-vehicle crashes, especially at night. One study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that while drunk drivers are involved in 21 percent of all fatal crashes, they are involved in 35 percent of single-vehicle fatal crashes. Forty-seven percent of single-vehicle fatal crashes involving a drunk driver occurred at night.
What to Do After a Charleston Single Vehicle Car Crash
If you’re involved in a single-vehicle accident:
- Call 911 right away. Especially if someone is injured. Rescue crews can help injured victims and secure the accident site so the single-vehicle crash doesn’t turn into a multi-vehicle pile-up.
- If possible, move everyone to a safe location off the road. Do not move a person who is severely injured or who may have neck or back injuries unless you must move them to prevent imminent harm or death.
- Use vehicle flashers and other items to warn oncoming traffic. Turn on the vehicle’s hazard lights. Use flashlights or flares if you have them to make the accident site more visible to oncoming drivers.
- Collect information at the scene. Talk to any available witnesses and get their contact information. Take photos or draw a diagram of the scene. Write down the basic facts you can remember, such as what happened and what each person was doing at the time.
After a single-vehicle accident, your priority is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, see a doctor to verify that you’re okay and to receive medical treatment if necessary.
If your insurance company wants to speak with you about your accident, we recommend that you speak with one of our attorneys to see if you have a case. Don’t blame yourself or anyone else for the crash, even if you feel strongly that you know who is responsible. Save conversations about who might have been at fault for your attorney.
Someone Else Was Driving My Car And Got Into An Accident. Who Is Considered Responsible?
It’s not unusual for South Carolina vehicle owners to let someone else drive their car. Whether you’re taking a road trip, recovering from an illness, worried about your sobriety, or simply want to take your mind off the road for a bit, asking a friend or family member to drive isn’t an unusual thing to do.
But what if that person crashes your car? Suddenly, you may have many unanswered questions about insurance coverage and compensationーespecially if you or another family member was injured in a single-vehicle accident. Does your auto insurance cover the accident? Does the driver’s auto insurance cover it if they have coverage for another vehicle? What if the driver had no insurance?
Navigating these questions can be challenging. For example, you may find that your insurance covers your injuries but not the driver. Your insurance may or may not cover the damage to your vehicle.
Every single-vehicle accident has a unique set of facts that determine the outcome of that case. If you turn to a friend for advice, remember that your case differs from what happened to another person. Your outcome will likely be different as well. An experienced South Carolina single-vehicle accident attorney can help.
What to Consider When Seeking Help After a Single Vehicle Crash in Charleston
After an accident, you may wonder what to do next. You may feel especially overwhelmed or confused if you’re recovering from an injury or dealing with expensive vehicle repairs.
Here are a few points to keep in mind as you seek help with your single-vehicle accident claim.
Time Limits for Filing Single Vehicle Accident Claims
Insurance companies also set time limits on when claims can be filed. Insurance time limits are often much shorter than three years. It’s important to move quickly and speak to a lawyer if insurance deadlines are looming.
Paperwork to Save and Show to Your Lawyer
After a single-vehicle crash, you may not have another driver to deal with, but you certainly have paperwork. You can build your case by saving this paperwork to share with your attorney.
Copies of paperwork to keep include:
- Medical bills, receipts, and encounter forms after medical visits. If you’re missing any of these, ask your doctor’s office for a new copy.
- Repair bills, repair estimates, and receipts for work done on your vehicle.
- Towing bills or receipts.
- Any notes or photos you took immediately after the accident.
Store paperwork together in a safe place. Bring this paperwork with you to any meetings you have with your attorney.
How to Choose a Qualified Charleston Single-Car Accident Attorney
Many South Carolina attorneys work with clients who were injured in car accidents. Yet not all South Carolina car accident lawyers offer the best choice for someone who has endured a single-vehicle crash.
When looking for a lawyer to help you with your case:
- Look for someone with experience handling single-vehicle crash claims. Single-vehicle accidents differ in some important ways. The best attorney for your case is one with experience handling single-vehicle accidents.
- Look for a track record of success in insurance negotiations. Single-vehicle claims often involve one or more insurance companies who may fight to avoid paying any compensation. You need a lawyer with a proven record of success in negotiating with insurance companies.
- Choose an attorney who gives you answers you understand. Make sure you feel comfortable asking your lawyer questions and that you understand the answers. Ask for clarification if you need it.
- Ask for information about how your lawyer will be paid. Experienced attorneys provide this information in writing and will discuss it with you openly. Get your questions about fees and costs answered before you agree to work with a particular lawyer.
Single-vehicle accidents can leave you or someone you love injured. You may struggle to handle work or manage your household. You may worry about how you’re going to get your vehicle fixed or replaced. You may fear for your health and your family’s future.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Car Accident Settlement
Workers' Comp Case
Leaders in the Legal Industry
Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.
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