The Lowcountry region is a popular tourist destination in South Carolina, and with so many visitors come car accidents. If you’ve been injured in a wreck on Hilton Head Island, the Thumbs Up Guys are ready to help you get compensation.
Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys has car accident lawyers in Hilton Head ready to help you gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies. Here’s what you need to know when you’re facing a personal injury claim in this state.
Possible Damages You Could Receive in a Car Accident Claim
Like most states, there are two main kinds of possible damages you could receive as part of your accident case. These are economic and non-economic damages. Damages is a legal term for the ways you were hurt in your accident. Compensation heals those damages.
Economic damages are all those costs related to your accident to which you can tie a number. These include property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and similar economic losses. Non-economic damages are things like pain and suffering compensation.
Usually, an insurer will calculate all the economic damages, then add a multiplier for the non-economic damages based on what they think is fair. Our Hilton Head car accident attorneys will look over their offer and see if it truly is or not.
What Are Punitive Damages?
In certain situations, you may also be eligible to claim punitive damages after an accident. The aim of awarding punitive damages is not to compensate the victim for losses they have suffered as a result of their accident. Instead, these damages are meant to punish the liable party for their actions.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the actions of the at-fault party were willfully negligent or performed with a wanton disregard for public safety.
Car Accident Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
Car accidents fall under the broader category of personal injury law. Personal injury lawyers charge their clients differently from most other types of lawyers. While other attorneys might charge you a retainer fee and bill you for every minute of work they spend on your case, personal injury lawyers never charge you a single penny out of pocket.
Instead, personal injury lawyers receive their fee as a prearranged percentage of your payout. If your attorney fails to secure you a settlement or court-awarded compensation, you don’t owe them anything.
A contingency fee based payment structure ensures that the objectives of your lawyer and you are aligned. The more money your attorney is able to secure from the liable party, the better off you will both be, financially.
In most cases, those who hire a car accident lawyer in Hilton Head end up with a payout that is significantly higher than they would have received had they attempted to represent themselves. Even after your lawyer’s fee has been deducted, you will likely be left with substantially more money.
Understanding Fault Laws in North Carolina
Another crucial thing to know is the fault laws in North Carolina. This state is an at-fault state, which means that we’ll have to prove that the other party was responsible for your crash. North Carolina also uses a modified comparative fault rule.
Under this rule, you’re allowed to claim damages from a car accident in Hilton Head if your percentage of responsibility is under 50%. The amount of compensation you can get will be reduced by whatever fault you contributed to the accident.
For example, if you got into a wreck with a drunk driver but didn’t wear your seat belt, the court would likely reduce your compensation by a percentage. You weren’t the one with the most fault, but not wearing a seatbelt did contribute to your injuries. If you were 10% responsible, you will only be able to recover 90% of the full value of your claim.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Speak With a Lawyer
Under S.C. Code § 15-3-530, you have up to three years after your accident to file a lawsuit. However, it is almost assured that the insurers in your case will have a shorter deadline than this. In some cases, special circumstances may reduce the length of time you have to file from years to weeks.
By getting a lawyer early, they can stop the clock on court deadlines and start working on building a case that will get you the true value of your compensation. Many insurers will offer a quick, below-average settlement before you can get a lawyer. However, this offer is almost always lower than what you truly need.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney for Free in Hilton Head
Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Lawyers are ready to help you if you’ve been in an auto wreck on Hilton Head Island or anywhere else in South Carolina. Here are some of the results that our firm has been able to show clients:
- $4,000,000 settlement for a tractor-trailer collision
- $2,000,000 settlement for a tractor-trailer collision
- $825,000 for back surgery after a car accident
- $437,000 for a back injury and surgery after a car accident
We have the experience and the aggression to go after the insurers and get them to pay what you truly deserve in your accident. Don’t wait. Contact our Hilton Head car accident lawyers today for a free consultation. We’ll be glad to help you.