As we have observed in our many decades of serving clients in Florence and throughout South Carolina, no two car accidents are the same. Crashes differ in many ways, including the:
- Type of fault
- Type of impact
- Parties involved
Jebaily Law Firm provides our clients with the skill and experience that comes from handling many different types of vehicle accidents. Our Florence car accident lawyers, investigators and support staff understand the many unique issues that arise in these cases. Consider the following:
A threshold issue in any car accident case is determining whether the negligence of one or more parties caused the crash. Keep this in mind: As long as your own fault in a crash does not exceed the combined fault of all other parties, you can still recover for your losses under South Carolina law. However, your recovery would be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
The types of fault typically found in auto accidents are:
- Speeding – When a driver violates the posted speed limit or goes too fast for road or weather conditions.
- Recklessness – When a driver is engaged in dangerous, aggressive behavior such as making a dangerous pass, tailgating or running through a stop sign or traffic light at an intersection.
- Distracted driving – When a driver allows talking on a cell phone, texting while driving, talking with passengers, reading a GPS device, eating, drinking, grooming or any number of other distractions to get in the way of safe driving.
- Drunk driving – When a driver operates a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher in violation of the law or when the driver’s mental and physical faculties are otherwise impaired by alcohol, drugs or both.
- Drowsy driving – When a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle is impaired by fatigue (a factor that often arises in commercial truck accidents). Drowsy driving may also result from taking a medication.
In some cases, fault is not attributable to another driver. Instead, it is based on factors such as:
- Defective road conditions – The negligence of a state or federal agency may be to blame for poorly designed, constructed or maintained roads that cause an auto accident to occur.
- Defective automotive parts – A crash may be caused by a tire blowout, tread separation, faulty brakes or a faulty ignition switch. In some cases, the injuries in an accident may be worsened by a defective airbag, seat belt or safety seat.
The type of impact can often point to the cause of the crash and explain the severity of injuries suffered by victims. Examples are:
- T-bone collisions – When a car smashes into the side of another vehicle. Intersection accidents often are T-bone collisions. The crash may be due to a driver running through a red light or stop sign. The lack of side protection in most cars can make these particularly frightening crashes.
- Rear-end crashes – In most of these crashes, the driver who runs into the other car is at fault due to speeding, tailgating or failing to keep a proper lookout. Facial and whiplash injuries are common in these crashes. More severe injuries may result from the car being pushed into other traffic.
- Sideswipes – When a car scrapes the side of another car, knocking the car off the road or into oncoming traffic. This type of impact is common in interstate accidents when drivers switch lanes or merge carelessly while traveling at high speed.
- Head-on crashes – These are the mostly deadly accidents. They can occur for any number of reasons, from a driver making a reckless pass on a two-lane road to drifting across the center-line due to fatigue or alcohol impairment.
- Rollovers – This is a type of crash that often results from a design defect. For instance, many trucks, SUVs and large passenger vans are prone to rollover accidents.
Who is involved in your car crash will bear heavily on many issues. In particular, it will determine the auto insurance policies that will apply to your case. Consider the following:
- Single-car accidents – If you drove the only vehicle in your crash, you will turn to your own auto insurance policy for coverage. However, if you are a passenger in a car that was operated by a negligent driver, you may turn to his or her liability coverage. A defective road or auto part could also be the cause of a single-car accident. A manufacturer may be held responsible.
- Multiple car accidents – Several parties may be at fault in a crash that involves a pile-up or chain reaction. Each party may be held responsible for the percentage of fault attributed to them. Numerous auto insurance policies could be involved.
- Uninsured (UM) / underinsured motorist (UIM) – In many cases, a driver who causes a crash may have no liability insurance or may have insurance that fails to pay for all of your losses. You may need to turn to your own UM/UIM coverage.
- Hit-and-run accidents – You may need to file a claim through your UM policy if a driver who causes your crash leaves the scene. Your UM coverage may also apply if you or another person covered under your policy is injured in a hit-and-run crash as a bicyclist or pedestrian.
- Motorcycle accidents – Collisions between a motorcycle and a vehicle typically result in severe injuries suffered by the motorcyclist. These crashes tend to boil down to one or both parties failing to share the road safely or to respect the other’s rights.
- Truck accidents – Many complex issues arise in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs, tractor-trailers or semis). Multiple parties may be responsible, including the truck driver, trucking company or the company who hired them to haul goods.
- Bicycle /pedestrian accidents – Unfortunately, children often are the victims of these crashes. The accident commonly is traced to the motorist’s failure to keep a proper lookout or to yield the right of way.
Contact a Florence Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident, the attorneys of Jebaily Law Firm can investigate all aspects of your case and work hard to seek full and fair compensation for you and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation. We promise to give you a prompt response.