A car crash can lead to catastrophic physical injuries. it can cause you emotional pain and mental anguish and leave you unable to earn a living. Car accidents are often the result of someone’s careless or negligent behavior. If that is the case in your situation, our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers will aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda will fight to recover compensation so that you can focus on healing and restoring your well-being after an accident.
Common Causes of Car Crashes
Some of the most common causes are:
- Texting while driving
- Cell phone use while driving
- Dangerous construction zones
- Defective or dangerous roadways
- Drunk driving
- Defective vehicles or vehicle parts
All of these issues can be traced back to another party’s negligence. Even defective roads can be the result of an initial act of careless design or faulty construction.
The initial shock of a crash may leave you unsure of what caused it. Our experienced Columbia auto collision lawyers know how to investigate the details of your case to determine who is at fault. It’s important not to make any premature admissions of fault during this time. Even if you think you might be partially to blame, car accidents are often complex, involving many contributing factors. Our legal team can unravel these complexities and determine if you have a claim.
Types of Auto Accident Lawsuits
When someone else’s carelessness is the cause of your accident, you deserve compensation for the ways the injuries have and will affect your life. Some of the most common types of claims related to auto accidents involve:
- Distracted driving
- Dram shop cases/business liability
- Defective/dangerous roads
- DUI accidents
- Accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers
- Reckless driving
The Columbia attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda handle all aspects of your car accident case from start to finish. As experienced trial lawyers, we can take your case before a judge or jury, if necessary, to ensure you receive the best possible recovery. We are firmly committed to giving your case individualized attention and putting your best interests first.
Distracted Driving Collisions
South Carolina currently has a law banning texting while driving for motorists of all ages, but the texting ban can be difficult for law enforcement officials to enforce. Also, texting is just one source of driver distraction. There are many others. Across the country, numerous car accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Distracted driving involves any action that:
- Takes your eyes off the road
- Takes your hands off the wheel
- Takes your mind away from the activity of driving
Motorist safety agencies say texting is one of the most distracting of activities because it involves all three forms of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive.
Driving requires focus and attention. When your attention is split between driving and other things, then an accident can result.
While smartphones are a major source of distraction, they are certainly not the only thing that can divert your focus while you drive:
- Eating or drinking
- Conversations with passengers, especially heated or emotional interactions
- Adjusting audio controls
- Adjusting the navigation system
- Personal grooming or applying makeup
- Looking at accidents or other things occurring outside your window
Our Columbia auto collision attorneys know it’s easy to become distracted. But by taking a few steps, you can minimize your risk of causing an accident:
- Turn off your phone while driving, or turn it to silent and place it out of sight
- Consider using one of the many apps that will disable your text messages while you drive and send an auto-text informing the sender that you are driving
- If you have a passenger in the front seat with you, have them adjust the radio, help you navigate, or answer your cellphone
- Eat, make calls, compete your grooming before you get in the car
Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving
The law imposes liability on bars, restaurants, and other establishments selling alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a person under 21 if they drive and cause a wreck. This is called dram shop liability. The bar or restaurant may be responsible for any DUI crashes that result from over-serving the at-fault driver. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling these claims and can help you determine if it is a factor in your car accident.
Accidents Caused by Defective Roads
Sometimes, an accident is not the fault of the motorist but the road itself. Inadequate road maintenance and defective road design can manifest in many ways, such as:
- Pavement drop-offs
- Inadequate signage
- Obstructed view of the road
- Unmaintained overgrowth covering warning signs
- Lack of road barrier
- Dangerous guardrails
- Failure to warn of sharp curves
- Confusing road markings
- Lanes that are too narrow
You assume a certain level of risk any time you get behind the wheel of a car, but governments and transportation agencies as well as road contractors have responsibilities to design and maintain roadways in a reasonably safe condition.
Lawsuits against the local, state, or federal government agency responsible for the road defect can be complex. Our car accident lawyers have handled numerous cases involving governmental agencies, and we know how to navigate and resolve such cases. We can also determine if roadway engineers or another party is responsible for the defect. The car crash attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda never back down to even the most powerful opponents. We will not stop fighting until we have obtained the best possible results on your behalf.
Our Lawyers Explain What To Do After an Accident in Columbia
By contacting our local vehicle collision attorneys as soon as possible, we can begin advising you on how to proceed to protect your rights. In the meantime, here are some things you should do following a wreck:
- Get the medical care you need. Getting proper treatment for your injuries is of utmost importance to your case and to your physical wellbeing
- Keep notes and other documentation of the accident. Jot down what you remember happening in the accident, as well as any other observations you made at the time. At the scene of the accident, insist that a police report is made. Also, take note of any independent witnesses who may have seen the accident and get their contact information
- Contact our lawyers as soon as possible. Our attorneys can explain your rights and advise you on what to say and not say to insurance companies
Once you call our specialized team of car accident attorneys, we can make sure you know what to expect if you pursue a claim. We will explain all of the options available to you for recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.
Establishing Fault After an Auto Wreck
In South Carolina, you can pursue a claim against the person who is at fault for the car accident. We are what is known as a “comparative fault” state, which means if a judge or jury determines that you are more than 50 percent at fault, then you cannot collect damages against the other driver or at-fault party. As long as you are 50 percent or less at fault, our Columbia car accident lawyers can help you work on collecting monetary damages.
Determining fault is not always easy. The police will make reports and can cite other drivers for traffic violations, but their initial impressions as to which party was at fault is not always correct. Our auto accident attorneys understand that often a crash scene needs to be more thoroughly investigated, independent witness statements need to be taken and accident reconstruction experts called in.
Arrange Your Free Consultation with a Columbia Car Accident Attorney
Our Columbia car accident lawyers know how overwhelming these situations can be. The last thing you need is any additional financial burden while you work through this ordeal. This is why our attorneys offer free case evaluations without any obligation attached. Our team wants to learn about your case and give you the opportunity to learn about us. Then, you can be confident that you have clear, accurate information about your options moving forward.
For your free case evaluation and to learn more about our experienced attorneys, please contact Whetstone Perkins & Fulda today.