Columbia Car Accident Lawyers
We've Recovered Millions for Our Clients
We all know how quickly our lives can change in one instant. Car crashes are a prime example of that. One second, you’re driving the I-26 and the next second, someone has crashed into you from behind. One moment you’re going through the I-20 and Broad River intersection in Columbia, and the next moment you’ve been hit on the driver’s side.
Or maybe it’s a back road or suburban street where your vehicle was struck. No matter where it was or what the circumstances, your life has changed. Our Columbia, SC car accident lawyers can fight to get the fair settlement you need and deserve.
When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
It’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer after a car accident as soon as possible. The first reason for this is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law which is implemented on a state level that allocates a specific amount of time for personal injury cases to be filed. Once this allotted time is up, injury victims will legally lose their right to file a claim and recover compensation.
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-530 the state of South Carolina has a three-year timeline. This means you have three years from the date your accident occurred to file your claim. There are some exceptions to this law where the filing time may change, including:
- If the injury victim is a minor at the time of the accident
- If the injury victim is under a legal disability
- The negligent party left the state for a year or more before a claim could be filed
Beyond the statute of limitations, which applies to all personal injury claims, car accident injuries are unique in that they are very often soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are injuries that affect the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the body. These injuries are less obvious when they are first inflicted and tend to progressively get worse over a few days or weeks after the injury occurred.
Without knowing this, many injury victims sign a compensation agreement with an insurance company before talking to a lawyer only to discover later that their injuries are worse than they initially believed. Unfortunately, claimants are usually not eligible to recover additional compensation in these situations. If you have suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent driver, talk to our Columbia car accident attorney for help today!
Mann Blake & Jackson has a demonstrated track record of winning settlements that have run higher than $50 million. From our Columbia office, we serve all of South Carolina. Call today at (803) 525-1645 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
What is Breach of Duty in a Car Crash?
Securing a settlement in any personal injury case requires demonstrating the four components of negligence
While every case has its own unique dynamic, car accidents often bring the middle two components–duty and cause–to the forefront. The first component of duty simply means the defendant (the other driver) owed the plaintiff (the injured party) a duty of care. This duty exists for all drivers on public roads, so unless there are some extremely unusual circumstances, duty will be self-evident. Breach, on the other hand, is more vexed.
South Carolina does not expect people to be perfect in exercising their duty of care responsibilities. What’s required is that people act reasonably in doing so. Some accidents are just that—accidents, where no one is at fault. It’s the job of the Columbia, SC car accident attorney to prove that the defendant could have prevented the accident had they acted with reasonable care.
An Example of Reasonable Care
As an example, let’s consider a crash on the intersection at I-20 and Broad River. We’ll assume the plaintiff had the green light and were clearly in the right to proceed. The defendant crashed into them coming the other way.
But what if there were heavy rains that caused the defendant’s car to skid? The defendant–or, more precisely, the lawyers for the defendant’s insurance company–might well argue that the defendant was acting reasonably and that this was just an unfortunate accident.
Attorneys will dig into everything from police reports to witness statements in an attempt to get at what precautions the defendant driver took (or didn’t take). The actions of the injured plaintiff will also be examined. Given the weather conditions, were there any steps that might have been taken to reduce the odds of a crash?
How An Attorney Can Help You
Who decides which party is right? If opposing counsels can’t reach agreement, the answer is that a jury will decide. What each jury decides on reasonable care will depend on the disposition of the jurors and the quality of the arguments put forth by the lawyers. Having an attorney who has winning experience in court–as ours do–can be a valuable asset to any plaintiff.
If you have been injured, don't wait to get help. Contact our firm today for a free consultation!
Even if the plaintiff is able to show breach of duty, it must still be shown that the defendant’s breach is in fact the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Back and neck injuries are common in car accident cases. These are also common areas where people have pre-existing medical conditions. Insurance companies will have access to a plaintiff’s medical history. They may well claim that the injuries are really the result of those preexisting conditions and not because of the accident.
A Columbia, SC car accident lawyer can counter this with testimony from the plaintiff’s doctor, as well expert witnesses. It’s important that these claims be vigorously contested because an insurance company–even if they don’t get a complete victory on the question of causation–can still reduce the damages that have to be paid out.
The reason is that South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state. That means the defendant only pays out to the damage in inverse proportion to their responsibility. If the defense is able to establish that preexisting conditions were 30 percent of the cause of the injuries, they will only have to pay 70 percent of the total damage award. If the share of responsibility assigned to the plaintiff rises to 50.1 percent, the defendant’s insurance company is off the hook entirely.
All of this underscores the fact that little details matter in a car accident case. A little detail can add up to a large sum of money. We’re committed to fighting for that money to go to the injured plaintiff who must now go through physical rehab and get their life back on track.
Mann Blake & Jackson know all about the hard fights it takes to win car accident lawsuits. We’ve taken on big cases and won them, to the tune of millions of dollars in settlement awards. Insurance companies know we don’t back down from a legal battle and we aren’t afraid to stand in front of a jury and make our case.
We've Fought and Beaten Government Agencies
We've recovered over $100M in verdicts, settlements, and awards for our clients, much of that against government agencies. We know what you're facing, and we're the team to help you win.
These Cases Are Close to Home For Us
Not only are we North and South Carolina attorneys, but our families, friends, and neighbors have fallen victim to the injustices at Camp Lejeune. We'll fight vigorously for you and your family not just because it's the right thing to do, but because we've been hurt by this too.
We Know How to Protect and Service Our ClientsWe've fought for whistleblowers. We've fought for catastrophic injury victims. We know this can feel like a daunting road, but we have the experience and know what it takes to provide you the justice you deserve.
First-class in their representation of our family.
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The compassion for their clients is excellent.
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I highly recommend Jenkins and his firm.
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