Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful, especially if you have been injured. Mistakes can make the process even more challenging, and certain mistakes may even jeopardize your claim for just compensation. Unfortunately, many people make decisions based on common misconceptions about dealing with insurance companies.
We don’t want this to happen to you. So, here is the truth behind 10 common myths about car accident insurance claims in South Carolina:
MYTH #1: THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL HELP YOU.
Although it may seem like the insurance companies are helping you, the truth of the matter is that everything they do is calculated to ensure that they pay as little as possible for your injuries. From the information they collect from you to any settlement offers they make, their efforts are solely focused on closing your claim as quickly as possible and for minimum compensation.
MYTH #2: YOU WON’T RECEIVE A DIME FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANIES.
However, while the insurance companies will be focused on protecting themselves, this does not mean that filing an insurance claim is a waste of time. On the contrary, filing a claim could be your only option for recovering your losses. If you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can hold the insurance companies accountable, and you can make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
MYTH #3: WITHOUT VIDEO EVIDENCE, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PROVE FAULT.
While video evidence (i.e. traffic camera, GoPro, or cell phone camera footage) is one way to prove fault in a car accident, it is by no means the only type of evidence you can use to prove your claim for financial compensation. From skid marks to cell phone records, there are numerous potential sources of evidence for establishing liability after a car accident in South Carolina.
MYTH #4: IF YOU DIDN’T CALL 911 OR TAKE PHOTOS, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO FILE A CLAIM.
If you are involved in a car accident, you should call 911 from the scene of the collision. While this is generally good advice, if you didn’t call 911, this doesn’t mean that your insurance claim is over before it begins. Similarly, while it is a good idea to take lots of photos at the scene of the collision if you forgot (or if your phone broke in the crash), your auto accident attorney will be able to use other evidence to prove your claim for compensation.
MYTH #5: IF THE OTHER DRIVER DIDN’T RECEIVE A TICKET, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO FILE A CLAIM.
If the other driver received a ticket, this might be something you can use to help prove your claim. But, if he or she did not receive a ticket, this fact should not have any bearing on your claim for financial compensation. The criminal process is entirely separate from your civil personal injury claim, and the standard for proving a traffic violation is different from the standard for proving civil liability.
MYTH #6: IF YOU WERE PARTIALLY AT FAULT, YOU AREN’T ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION.
While this is the rule in a very small number of states, it isn’t the rule in South Carolina. In South Carolina, if you are injured in a car accident, you can recover compensation as long as you were not primarily at fault (i.e. 51% or more) in the collision. Your compensation award will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault; but, if your losses are substantial, you could still be entitled to a substantial recovery.
MYTH #7: IF YOU DIDN’T SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY, YOU AREN’T ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION.
After a car accident, it is always best to seek medical treatment immediately. But, many people do not. In many cases, the symptoms of concussions and other internal injuries do not begin to appear for hours, days, or even weeks following a collision. If you didn’t go to the hospital directly from the accident scene, that’s okay. But, if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms now, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
MYTH #8: WHIPLASH ISN’T A REAL INJURY.
Whiplash is a very real injury that commonly results from rear-end, head-on, and other vehicle collisions. In fact, whiplash is a medical condition that often involves multiple injuries to the nerves, muscle, and other soft tissue in the neck and upper back. If you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, you may be entitled to financial compensation; and, once again, you should seek a medical diagnosis promptly.
MYTH #9: HIRING AN ATTORNEY WILL PROLONG THE PROCESS AND INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GOING TO TRIAL.
While a good personal injury lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial if necessary, the reality is that hiring an attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive fair compensation as quickly as possible. Hiring an attorney is also the only way to ensure that you accurately calculate your current and future losses and determine if you are entitled to punitive damages. Due to the complexities and challenges involved in dealing with insurance companies, it is strongly in your best interests to engage the services of an experienced attorney.
MYTH #10: YOUR ATTORNEYS’ FEES WILL EAT UP YOUR VERDICT OR SETTLEMENT.
Most personal injury attorneys handle car accident claims on a contingency-fee basis. This means that your attorneys’ fees are calculated as a percentage of your verdict or settlement. As a result, under no circumstances will your attorneys’ fees be more than (or anywhere close to) the total value of your financial recovery. Even taking your attorneys’ fees into account, the amount you take home is still likely to be significantly more than what you could have negotiated on your own.
ARE YOU ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION? SPEAK WITH A ROCK HILL AUTO CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FREE
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Rock Hill, SC area, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your insurance claim in confidence. To speak with our experienced auto accident lawyer for free, (803) 327-1103 or request a consultation online today.