South Carolina pedestrians have the same rights to a car accident settlement as drivers and passengers. There are three critical things you need to know about your case.
If you're wondering how you actually get the settlement, I'm about to unveil my law firm's process to get a South Carolina car accident settlement when you’re a pedestrian who got hit by a car, truck, or motorcycle.
Before that, let me introduce you to who you're up against: a highly-trained insurance adjuster whose professional purpose is to force you into a cheap settlement. Her chief weapon, used with great success, is your ignorance: you don't know how to value your case for settlement. If you're seriously hurt, this is the key reason why you need a South Carolina car accident attorney—but there's a list of good reasons to get legal advice in this situation.
I'm not here to give you the “hard sell” to hire me. I'll be the first to tell you not every South Carolina car accident case needs a lawyer. As a Spartanburg, South Carolina car accident attorney, I've seen too many people taken advantage of by adjusters because they just didn't know basic information about these cases. So I designed this website to answer questions victims have, and most importantly, I wrote a book on South Carolina car accident cases, which you can download for FREE.
If you've got specific questions, I want to hear from you. I'll answer them for free. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form for a FREE, NO PRESSURE strategy session with a Spartanburg, South Carolina, car accident attorney.
Let me show you the process I use to get pedestrians a good South Carolina car accident settlement.
How Much Can a Pedestrian Get in a South Carolina Car Accident Settlement?
The vast majority of at-fault drivers cannot afford to pay a settlement from their pocket. Insurance pays it instead. The at-fault driver carries liability insurance to pay for your injuries. Sadly, many at-fault drivers only have the South Carolina minimum of $25,000 insurance, which may only scratch the surface pain for a severely injured pedestrian. But there may be another source.
Underinsurance, or UIM, can be used if you have it on your policy. But don't expect your insurance company to help you. To the shock of many injured pedestrians who try to use UIM, your own insurance company turns against you, defending the at-fault driver.
Finding UIM and using it is tough and highly complex, and it's got to be done right. When I review cases for UIM coverage, I carefully research all possible insurance policies and insurance law to be sure I know exactly how much coverage you've got. If I'm a professional and I've got to be this cautious, this is just not a job for the inexperienced.
If you're a pedestrian in a South Carolina car accident who may need underinsurance to pay your settlement, you've got too much at stake to risk overlooking coverage or getting shortchanged by any insurance company, including your own. Call me toll-free at 888-230-1841 to get your questions answered and discuss the available insurance to pay a settlement.
My Six-Point Process to Negotiate a Settlement in a South Carolina Pedestrian Car Accident Case
Here's the steps we take to help our pedestrian clients get car accident settlements:
1. Prove you're not at fault for the crash. We get a clear understanding from you how you got hit, then get additional evidence to prove it wasn't your fault:
- The police report. Sometimes this is all we need. For car accidents involving DUI drivers, we get the entire police file to include the dashcam video, to can prove how drunk or high the at-fault driver was, in our challenging pursuit to get you a settlement for punitive damages.
- Pictures of the crash scene, if available. In addition to proving fault, they can often prove how badly you were hurt.
- Witness statements. Independent eyewitnesses can provide all the proof of fault you need. If we can contact them to help your case, that's what we do.
2. Use medical evidence to prove your injuries. First, we have to get it, which is a time-consuming, frustrating challenge. It's such a tough task, I have a dedicated staff member whose only job is requesting this evidence and repeatedly following up over weeks and months until we finally get it.
Then I use the records to prove the severity of your injuries, sending them with a summary of their contents to the adjuster. That way, the insurance company knows they're facing a lawyer who does his homework and knows his case, which helps you get a better settlement.
For complex or permanent injuries requiring future medical care, I often meet with doctors to get a better understanding of your injuries. Based on that, I can create a powerful exhibit called a medical questionnaire. By simply checking yes or no questions, the doctor can highlight the key aspects of your medical treatment, permanent injuries, and what your future holds medically.
3. Prove more than “pain and suffering.” Pedestrian car accident victims in South Carolina often ask, “How much can I get for pain and suffering?” First, I'll dispel a horrible fairy tale: there is no pain and suffering calculator in South Carolina accident injury cases. The law recognizes all people are unique, and everyone is affected differently by injuries.
Second, there's more to “pain and suffering” than just pain and suffering. South Carolina law allows car accident victims to get a settlement that takes into consideration a laundry list of factors, which is why I call it human loss.
This is likely the most important—and hardest—part of your case. Other aspects of your case can be easily valued, because there's already a dollar value attached to them, like medical bills and lost income. Human loss is the gray area in South Carolina accident injury settlements where an experienced accident attorney can make a big difference. This is where we tell your story to make what you went through real. Good lawyers are good storytellers. I make sure to have a thorough understanding of everything you've been through, so I can do the truly hard legal work to evaluate your human loss settlement amount and tell your story to get it.
You can get a settlement for lost income. We work to help you recover the income you lost, even helping your employer verify it.
Husbands and wives of victims have a case, called “loss of consortium.” It compensates for the damage to your marriage caused by the injuries.
4. Figure out how much we should ask for in a settlement and discuss it with you. Your case is always about you, and we never lose sight of that, especially when we reach the end. When we have all the evidence, I create a written settlement evaluation for you, including the facts that are against us. Once we discuss it, we set a settlement goal and go for it!
5. Send a demand letter to the insurance company. This is our formal settlement offer to justify the insurance company paying a good South Carolina car accident settlement.
For serious cases, we may send several letters over time, updating your medical progress and steadily climbing medical bills. This helps the adjuster make a settlement offer faster by evaluating your case as it develops instead of having to digest a huge package with hundreds of pages of medical evidence at once.
6. Settlement negotiations and the next step if the insurance company refuses to do the right thing. I keep you updated with every step in negotiations for your input on how we'll respond. Most cases end with a successful settlement.
But sometimes, the insurance company refuses to settle for the right amount. That requires a lawsuit. If we file a personal injury suit, we’ve done most of the work to get it ready for trial. I work to push your case through the legal process, urging the insurance company’s attorney to pay a proper settlement. In most cases, we eventually reach a settlement.
Why You Should Get Legal Advice if You're Injured as a Pedestrian in a South Carolina Car Accident
If you're seriously hurt, you've got a lot at stake. While this process seems simple, it took years to develop, and it still takes hours and hours and hours of tough, dirty legal work to do it right. A brutal fact of South Carolina car accident cases is that severely injured victims leave a lot of money on the table they really need because they don't know any better or because the insurance company wears them down until they give up.
That doesn't have to be you. I'm a Spartanburg, SC car accident attorney, and I'm here to help. Make a simple toll-free phone call at 888-230-1841 to get your questions answered and get some peace of mind. If you don't need a lawyer, I'll tell you and give you free advice. If you do need a lawyer, I won't strong-arm you, but if you let me, I'll happily take your case over so you can get back to getting better and reclaiming your life.
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