SC Car Accident Lawyer


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Mark is one of the hardest working people you will meet. Unlike other personal injury lawyers, he truly cares about improving quality of life for his clients. If you want someone who will spring into action covering your medical expenses so you can get the care you need, then win it back at trial, Mark is your guy!

ALEX COLAO - CHARLESTON, SC

Free Case Evaluation

Filling out the form below and scheduling a free case evaluation is an important step towards obtaining justice in your injury case.

If you’ve been injured in an accident in South Carolina caused by another driver, a personal injury lawyer can help you get money for your medical bills, lost income from being unable to work, and other damages.

Attorney Mark Bringardner represents car accident victims who have been injured by careless drivers. Having represented hundreds of victims of car accidents, he understands what a devastating car accident can do to a life, career and family. To learn about your rights following a South Carolina car accident, contact Mark Bringardner today for a free consultation.

Causes of South Carolina Car Accidents

Safe driving relies heavily on visual attention and awareness of surroundings. Some causes of South Carolina car accidents include:

Distracted Driving:

Not paying attention is deadly. It is also a leading cause of car accidents. Cell phones are one of the biggest distractions because they take a driver’s eyes, hands, and mind away from driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018, including 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists. “Texting and driving” is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. Other distracting activities in a car include applying makeup, eating, adjusting the radio, or dealing with children or pets.

Speeding:

Speeding causes greater potential to lose control of a vehicle, increased distance required to stop, and increased crash severity, leading to more serious injuries and higher likelihood of fatal injuries. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), in 2018, there were 44,810 speed-related crashes on South Carolina roads. More than 36 percent of all fatal traffic collisions in South Carolina were speed-related, much higher than the 26% national average for 2018 reported by the NHTSA. The SCDPS launched a campaign in 2019 titled “Speeding takes you nowhere fast.”

Drunk / Drugged Driving:

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs decreases reaction time and slows reflexes. In 2019, South Carolina ranked third in the nation for drunk driving deaths over the Christmas and New Year Holiday. In 2018, 31% of fatal accidents in South Carolina involved a drunk driver, higher than the national average of 29%.

Multiple Vehicle Accidents:

Sometimes, several vehicles are involved in an accident. Multiple vehicle rear-end or chain-reaction crashes are common. So are highway accidents with 18-wheelers and several vehicles. More than one driver can be found at-fault. Determining liability between the different vehicles can be difficult without an attorney experienced in accident investigation and reconstruction. Even if you think you bear some responsibility for causing an accident, you may still be entitled to compensation and should consult an experienced attorney to conduct an investigation.

Complex and Shared Fault:

The traffic collision report, which may include the opinion of the responding police officer, is not admissible in South Carolina Court. It does not matter what the traffic collision report says. The reason is that the police officer did not see the accident and only has second-hand information. Unfortunately, sometimes law enforcement does not interview all of the parties and witnesses before making a decision about fault. It is important to protect your rights by hiring a personal injury lawyer even if you were found at-fault by law enforcement. Many of our past clients were initially found “at-fault” by law enforcement, but after our in-depth investigation, law enforcement and the insurance companies changed their liability decision and agreed that our client was not “at-fault” to begin with.

Dangerous Road Conditions:

Sometimes, we see car accidents involving roadway design issues, road maintenance, and intersection engineering defects. Even something small like a missing or defective guardrail, pothole, or obstructed sign can cause a catastrophic accident. These could be temporary conditions involving construction zones, or deferred maintenance on rural roads like landscaping which obstructs line of sight or signs. In most cases, the city, county, state or federal agency in charge of maintenance must be aware of dangerous conditions before they can be held liable for a car accident. These cases can be complex and challenging, but we are familiar with their unique legal issues. Because dangerous conditions are very quickly corrected, repaired, or updated, it is imperative to contact us as soon as possible anytime a dangerous road condition is suspected.

Types of South Carolina Car Accidents

From intersection pile-ups to hit and run crashes, we handle all types of accidents. We understand the unique aspects of different types of accidents, and will quickly dispatch investigators and help you preserve evidence for your case as needed. Some of the types of car accidents we handle include:

Rear-end Collisions

Rear-end crashes are the most frequently occurring type of crash in the United States. In a typical rear-end crash, the lead vehicle is stopped or moving slowly when it is struck from behind by another vehicle. The severity of injuries will depend on the speed and severity of the impact, but whiplash injuries as well as back injuries are common. In severe rear-end crashes, we help people with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries that cause long-lasting pain or permanent disability.

Left-turn Collisions

Another common cause of crashes involves a vehicle making a left-turn in front of another vehicle. Sometimes the vehicle making the left turn fails to yield the right of way. Sometimes the vehicle going straight is speeding or runs a red light. Every accident is different. It is important to investigate and obtain evidence quickly after an accident. If you were taken to the hospital, the investigating police officer may decide that you were at-fault without even talking to you or locating the eye witnesses. It is important to investigate these cases quickly while memories are fresh and while the vehicles can be inspected.

Pull-Out and Side-impact Collisions

Side-impact, T-bone or broadside crashes can occur in different situations, but are common in intersections or when a driver runs a red light or stop sign, or makes a left turn into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The severity of the crash will be directly related to the size of the striking vehicle and its speed. Neck, spine and head injuries are common. This type of impact can also lead to drivers being trapped or pinned in their vehicle.

Head-on Collisions

A head-on collision involves the front of one vehicle colliding head-on with the front of another vehicle. This type of “lane-departure” collision accounts for just about 2% of all crashes. Typically, the driver fails to stay in their lane, and drifts into oncoming traffic and into the path of another vehicle. Head-on collisions may occur as a result of a distracted driver, drunk driver, driving too fast and losing control in a curve, or a quick maneuver to avoid an animal or debris in the road.

Single Car Accidents

A single car accident or solo-vehicle collision is exactly what it sounds like: a car accident involving only one vehicle. The driver is not automatically liable for ever single car accident, but it is often the case. If the driver’s actions caused the crash, they will be liable. There are cases where a road work crew diverted traffic unsafely and another driver had to swerve and crashed. In this case, the driver may not be liable for their accident.  If you were injured as a passenger in a solo-vehicle accident where the driver operated negligently (for example, was distracted, drunk, or speeding)  you may have a case against the driver of the vehicle, and their insurance company. If you are unsure if you were responsible for a single car accident, we are happy to review your situation.

Vehicle Rollover Accidents

Rollovers are a serious type of crash. Vehicles like SUVs, pickup trucks and vans are more susceptible to rollover accidents. They often happen when a vehicle “trips” on something, like a soft shoulder, a pothole, or a curb, or when a vehicle rapidly loses tire pressure, causing the driver to lose control and overcorrect. According to Consumer Reports, nearly three-quarters of fatal rollover accidents happen in rural areas on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or more. Injury and fatality rates are drastically reduced when occupants are wearing safety belts.

Common South Carolina Car Accident Injuries

If you are involved in a car accident and experience any type of injury, get medical attention as soon as possible. We represent victims of all types of injuries resulting from a car accident:

  • Traumatic brain injuries / Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries / Herniated discs
  • Broken ribs
  • Collapsed lungs
  • Blunt force injuries
  • Whiplash / neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Amputation injuries
  • Surgeries
  • Fatal injuries.

Seat belts save lives, but still aren’t utilized by about 9% of drivers (the national use rate was at 90.7% in 2019)  Of the first 500 people who lost their lives in early 2019 in South Carolina Car accidents, 164 were not wearing a seat belt.

Getting Medical Attention For Your Car Accident Injuries

Immediately following an accident, seek prompt medical attention. Your adrenaline may initially mask your injuries. It is common for pain to come in the hours, days and even weeks after an accident. It is important to get checked out by a doctor who can detect and diagnose injuries before they get worse. If you delay or do not get medical attention following a crash because you hope the pain will go away on its own, the insurance company may try to make a case that you were not seriously injured simply because you delayed in getting medical treatment. Your medical records are important evidence to your car accident case that document:

  • The nature of your injuries
  • The duration of your hospitalization and/or treatment
  • The link between your injuries and the collision
  • How much your injuries cost you financially
  • How your injuries will affect you in the future
  • How much pain and suffering you experienced
  • Whether you require a surgery
  • Whether you have a permanent injury
  • Whether your need to be placed on short-term or long-term disability from work

Your injuries can affect your ability to work, and so calculations for lost earnings and lost earning capacity will also be based on these records. Pain and suffering damages calculations also take into account the severity of your injuries.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations

The biggest mistake that you can make is not hiring a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Many people try to represent themselves after a wreck. However, after the insurance company delays and/or disputes your claim, you then try to hire an attorney. Unfortunately, that delay can permanently hurt your case. Most insurance companies do not take people who try to represent themselves seriously, resulting in smaller settlements and future problems that you did not anticipate.

You generally have three years in South Carolina to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim for a car accident. However, this time limit could be much shorter in a number of situations, for example, if a governmental entity is involved, such as a crash involving a government work truck, or a dangerous road condition accident. Once the applicable statutory time limit to bring a claim expires, you will not be able to pursue a case. It is always advisable to talk to a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney in South Carolina as soon as possible, so that evidence can be preserved and the accurate statute of limitations can be determined.

Call Us Today for a Free South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Consultation

We will review your case for free. Our team is available to provide immediate help after a car accident in South Carolina. In your free case evaluation, we will answer your questions and evaluate whether or not you may have a case, how much it may be worth, and how long it may take to resolve.  Contact us today to speak with a skilled and experienced South Carolina car accident attorney. As with all of our personal injury cases, if we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you.

The Auto Accident Claims Process

You are Injured in An Accident

What should I do after an accident?

Immediately after an accident, if you are injured, you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. This may seem obvious if you have pain at the scene of the collision, but often times injury victims may not feel pain until the adrenaline wears off, hours or even days after an accident. Any delay in seeking medical attention and the appropriate diagnostic testing could lead to problems down the road. Next, before contacting any insurance company, it can be smart to consult an experienced South Carolina accident attorney to protect your rights.

You will likely want to make sure that your medical records, bills, lost income, and other issues are being handled and documented properly.

Does health insurance pay for your medical bills? Does the other person’s insurance company pay? What is Medpay? How do you submit a claim for lost income? Should you go to your primary care doctor or a specialist? What if you don’t have a doctor? Who fixes your vehicle? Where do you take your vehicle? These are questions an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney can assist you with. It may also be a good idea to have your attorney conduct an investigation on your behalf as soon as possible so important evidence does not get lost.

How do I hire Bringardner Injury Lawyers?

First, you should call our office and speak with us directly about your case. Or, you can fill out our online form and we will call you as soon as possible to go over your claim and answer all of your questions. We are happy to meet with you in-person, through a virtual conference, or over the phone.

If you decide to hire us, we will send you the necessary paperwork so we can immediately begin working on your case.

So I've Hired A Lawyer. Now What?

When you hire us, we immediately go to work on your case. We will deal with the insurance company, the investigation, gathering of your medical bills, and building your case.

After getting your vehicle repaired or replaced, you only have 1 job to do after hiring us. Get better. We want you to focus on your recovery and follow all your doctors' orders. Doing this will hopefully put you on the path toward a full recovery.

Building Your Case

Immediately after you hire us, we will begin building your case. First, we will send a letter to the insurance company stating that you have retained representation, and that they are not allowed to contact you directly. They must go through us.

The Investigation

We quickly start investigating your accident by obtaining witness statements, obtaining evidence, gathering your medical records, calculating your wage losses and future medical bills, and any other damages you may have suffered as a result of your accident. Your only job is to go to the medical appointments and try to get better.

Settlement Negotiations

What's a Settlement?

A settlement is typically a sum of money paid by an insurance company. The vast majority of cases settle before going to court. However, we prepare all of our cases for a trial if that becomes necessary. We will fight to the fullest extent of the law to try and get you full and fair compensation.

How Long Will It Take?

Typically clients want to know two things: How much is my case worth and how long will it take? No lawyer knows the answers to those questions when you first hire them. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of factors that will determine the answers. Early in the case, you may not know the extent of any permanent injuries for which you may need compensation, and you may not know the total amount of your medical bills until a later date. Once your condition stabilizes and our investigation into the case is completed, your South Carolina accident attorney will be able to give you a more informed legal opinion. At that time a “demand” is typically sent to the insurance company to begin the potential settlement process.
Once a demand is sent to the insurance company, the insurance company usually responds after completing an evaluation of your case. At that point, your accident attorney will discuss the insurance company's response with you. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company's settlement offer or response, and no settlement is reached, then the next step is for your accident attorney to file a lawsuit. Most settlements are paid within 4 weeks of being accepted. However, if an acceptable settlement is not reached at this phase, the next step is for us to prepare and file a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing The Complaint

Most of the time, auto accident cases are resolved in a settlement, but in some instances, they require a lawsuit to get resolved. In this instance, the first step is for your auto accident attorney to write a legal document called a complaint. The complaint is filed at the courthouse, and then the defendant (more likely his insurance company) will have an attorney file a formal response with the Court. Filing a lawsuit does not mean that you are going to trial. Again, the vast majority of lawsuits also settle before trial. People often think they are “going to court” if the file a lawsuit. In layman’s terms, the filing of a lawsuit simply takes the case out of the informal setting between your lawyer and the insurance company and formally puts it in into the court system so that a judge can assist with any legal disputes that arise.

Discovery

The discovery phase begins after a lawsuit is filed. This phase of the case allows both sides to ask questions and obtain additional documents that may not have been available without a subpoena. The purpose is to “discover” the other side's evidence, and learn more about the opposing party's case. This is done by many methods, including submitting requests for documents, and submitting interrogatories (questions in writing that the opposing party must answer) or depositions (in-person or videoconference interviews conducted by the attorneys.)

We will be by your side, every step of the way, to fight for a favorable outcome in your case.

Alternative Resolution Methods

At any point during the case, you can decide to settle your case. There are several ways to settle a case.

Negotiation

Sometimes cases settle on “the court house steps”. That means that the case settles right before trial. Often times, the threat of a jury trial is the only thing that encourages the insurance company to increase their settlement offer. That is because during your case, the settlement money is under their control. Once a trial begins, the insurance company loses some of that control and it is placed in the hands of the judge and/or jury – who may order a lot more money to be paid to you than what the insurance company wants to offer. Sometimes the most reasonable and fair settlement offers do not get made until right before a trial is scheduled to begin. Some cases even settle during or even after trial. While this is less common, it occurs from time to time.

Mediation

Mediation is a process where both parties meet in front of an agreed-upon mediator. Mediators are trained professionals who are skilled at moderating fair negotiations. The goal of mediation is a resolution, but if no resolution is reached, the case will continue on.
During The Course Of The Case, Both Parties May Also Engage In Direct Negotiations.

Trial

We prepare every case as if we are going to trial. We believe the best way to avoid trial and obtain the best settlement possible is to show the insurance company that we will accept nothing other than a fair settlement, and take it to a trial if it is necessary.

What Happens At Trial?

At trial, we will present your case in front of a jury or judge to let them decide the fair value of your case.

Resolution

At the end of trial, we typically receive a verdict, which can result in a judgement. Trial can take anywhere from a day to a week (or more) depending on the complexity of the case.

Get in touch with us today to get started on your free case review. After you submit your information, we will contact you as soon as possible before the end of the business day. We review all submissions as quickly as possible in the order in which they are received.