If you are considering hiring a lawyer to represent you for an injury that occurred in the course and scope of your job, you will need to determine who is the best workers’ compensation lawyer for you. Hiring the best attorney is important. We caution people from choosing a lawyer based on silly advertisements, paid actors on commercials, or representations that appear too good to be true. You will not find any gimmicks with our firm! When injuries on the job, you need a serious lawyer that devotes time meeting with clients and representing them in court. Experience matters in hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina. Here are some tips on hiring a workers’ compensation attorney based on frequently asked questions:
1. Should I hire a workers’ compensation attorney?
- If you have been injured on the job, the first questions to ask yourself is “Do I need to hire an attorney?” An attorney is not required for all workers’ compensation claims. In fact, many job injuries do not require the need for an attorney if injury is not severe or your work is not limited. However, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney if you fall within any of these categories:
- The workers’ compensation carrier has delayed or been been slow in providing medical care.
- The worker’s compensation carrier has denied your claim.
- If your injury requires surgery.
- If your injury requires you to be out of work for over 14 days.
- If your injury requires hospitalization.
- If you have not received a workers’ compensation check for being out of work.
- If any of these situations apply to you, then we strongly recommend contacting our office today to see if we can represent you in your workers’ compensation claim.
2. Will the Insurance Company hire an attorney?
- Yes, the insurance company will have a team of attorneys to represent the interests of the insurance company and the employer regardless of you hiring an attorney. If the insurance company and the employer always has attorneys representing them, shouldn’t you have an attorney to represent you? It’s can be dangerous to represent yourself in a workers’ compensation claim. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you if your injury falls within any of the categories above.
3. Who should I hire to represent me in my workers’ compensation claim?
- It is important to hire the best attorney to represent injured workers in workers’ compensation claims. We believe the best representation that you can receive is to hire an attorney who only practices in the field of workers’ compensation. Not every attorney in South Carolina handles workers’ compensation claims. The workers’ compensation system is unique in South Carolina. The South Carolina worker’s compensation laws consist of thousands of pages of statutory laws and regulations, and case law from the South Carolina Court of Appeals and South Carolina Supreme Court. It is important to hire an attorney with a sole and singular focus in representing injury workers before the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The workers’ compensation team at the Goings Law Firm has the sole mission of only representing injured workers.
4. Look at Testimonials or Reviews when Hiring your Attorney.
- We believe that online testimonials and reviews are a great place to start when choosing a lawyers for your workers’ compensation claim. Testimonials and reviews allow you to hear from past clients who have dealt with the law office to determine if you are the right fit for that firm. We would recommend that you look at sites, like Facebook, Google, Avvo, Super Lawyers, Expertise, and Lawyers.com. You will find that the Goings Law Firm has received great reviewed from former clients!
5. Why Hire the Goings Law Firm as your Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
- When you hire the Goings Law Firm, you are getting a team of dedicated workers’ compensation professionals to represent you. We believe experience matters. The more experience your attorney has, the more likely they have seen similar cases in the past and know the best ways to prove your claim. Robert Goings founded the workers’ compensation practice. Year after year, Robert Goings receives honors for his commitment to fighting for the right of the injury. In 2019, Robert was recognized as Legal Elite under Personal Injury Law for the Columbia/Midlands Business Monthly publication. He received the most votes for Personal Injury Law and was nominated by his peers in Columbia as the Top Personal Injury Lawyer in the Midlands.
- The workers’ compensation team is lead by Christian Boesl. Christian has devoted his career to workers’ compensation in South Carolina. He is listed as a Super Lawyer and in the Best Lawyers in America in the field of Workers’ Compensation. Before joining the Goings Law Firm, Christian lead the workers’ compensation team at one of the state’s most respected insurance workers’ compensation defense firms for nearly 15 years. In defending workers’ compensation claims, he knows how the “other side” works in order to best represent you before the Workers’ Compensation Commission. His experience in defending workers’ compensation claims has proven invaluable in helping injured workers get the benefits and compensation that they deserve under the law. Many clients and opposing counsel refer to Christian’s efforts as “relentless”, “hard-charging”, and “aggressively confident.” We believe Christian is the go-to attorney for Workers’ Compensation based on his proven results both in and outside of the courtroom. Additionally, the paralegals that work at the Goings Law Firm on the workers’ compensation team only focus on workers’ compensation claims. These paralegals have a combined more than 20 years experience for on the job injuries to ensure that your case is properly handled and that your questions are timely answered. Just check out the reviews online about our workers’ compensation practice.
6. How much does the Goings Law Firm charge to represent me?
- For on the job injuries and workers’ compensation claims, the Goings Law Firm only represents clients on a no-obligation contingency fee basis. This means that we only get paid if you receive compensation. If you lose, then you owe nothing to our office. Our fee is a percentage of the recovery based on the amount permitted by the statutory laws and regulations for workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina. Our fees are fair, and reasonable, and are always approved by the Workers’ Compensation commission. Due to the complex nature of workers’ compensation laws, we believe that clients have a better chance in getting a better resolution with the aid of an experienced lawyer instead of representing yourself in court. There is a lot of value in hiring a firm like the Goings Law Firm.
7. How do I get in touch with the Goings Law Firm for my on the job injury?
- Contacting the Goings Law Firm is easy! Simply call or text us today to see if we can help you get the benefits and compensation that you deserve for your on the job injury.
As you enjoy the last day of 2019, make sure you’re being safe this is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year in South Carolina and throughout the nation. In fact, South Carolina ranks as the third most dangerous state based on highest crash rates based on the number of licensed drivers.
According to nationwide statistics from AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the odds of getting in a car accident on New Year’s Eve skyrockets because there are more drunk drivers on the road. New Year’s driving statistics from SafeAuto.com show that between 2008 and 2012, January 1st had the highest percentage of alcohol related deaths when compared to other days and holidays. During the holidays, more drivers are alcohol impaired because so many people are going to holiday parties, and drinking alcohol in excessive amounts.
Here are some statistics to keep this New Year’s Eve:
- The five states with the highest crash rates (most dangerous states) were: (1) Mississippi; (2) Oklahoma; (3) South Carolina; (4) Wyoming; (5) Texas
- During the Christmas and New Year’s period last year, there were 285 drunk driving-related traffic deaths in the United States.
- January 1st is the day of the year with the highest percent of deaths related to alcohol from 2008-12.
- Across the country, 36 people, on average, were killed every day in crashes involving alcohol between 2001 and 2005.
- DUI arrests peak between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
- Between Christmas and New Year’s, 40 percent of deadly crashes involve drunk drivers.
- More pedestrians are killed on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.
- The hours between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. are the most dangerous during the New Year’s holiday.
Five Years of Fatal Crashes on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in South Carolina
The reported crash rates in South Carolina for the last 5 years on New Years Eve and New Year’s Day is 1.25 crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers. The statistics are as follows:
- 50 Motor Vehicle Collisions in South Carolina that involve fatalities.
- 19 Motor Vehicle Collisions in South Carolina that involve fatalities caused by drunk drivers.
Have you been injured due to a Drunk Driver on New Year’s Day?
If you or a member of your family has been injured as a result of the reckless or drunk driving of someone on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, please contact the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Goings Law Firm today to learn about your rights to financial compensation. We have the experience to fight against drunk drivers to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation. We vigorously pursue legal action against the impaired drivers, and the bars, restaurants, and party hosts that over serve them. Call or text us today at (803) 350-9230 for a free, no obligation consultation.
DISCLAIMER: We are not “BILLBOARD LAWYERS” or “TV LAWYERS”. We are real lawyers that go to court to fight for truth and justice!
Summertime is here, and with it, one of our favorite things: vacation!
Our entire team loves to go on vacation with our families each summer. Some of our favorite destinations include flying up to New York City or taking a trip down to the low country for a week of relaxation at the beach. Where do you and your family enjoy vacationing over the summer?
If you’re hitting the road to travel down to the coast for a week at the beach or to road trip to visit the grandparents, you’ll want to take extra care on the roadways. Millions of Americans gas up and travel by car throughout the summer months from Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day. Traffic is heavier and patience is thinner as people hurry to get to their vacation destination.
In South Carolina alone this year, 438 people have died on South Carolina roadways.
How can you make sure that you and your family stay safe on the roads as you travel to your vacation destinations this summer?
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, of the 438 people who have died in 2019, 292 had access to seatbelts and 143 of them were not wearing them. It’s the easiest step towards keeping your family safe: buckle up!
Plan ahead for long drives and have stops mapped out along the way for you to stretch, wake up, and refuel for the next portion of your drive. You don’t want to drive while drowsy!
Help keep everyone safe on the road this summer, and be sure to look twice for motorcycles. Be alert and be sure to share the road with all motorists including motorcyclists and bicyclists.
Here’s to a safe, fun-filled summer full of wonderful vacations with your friends and family!
If you are wondering if you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney, listen to this short video. Christian Boesl explains when you should hire an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. Here are the tips to know when you need an attorney. The insurance company will have attorneys defending the case against you, shouldn’t you have legal representation? Call us today at 803-350-9230 for a free, no obligation, consultation to see if we can help you.
Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Workers’ Compensation
The entire team at Goings Law Firm is proud to announce that our team of attorneys—Robert Goings, Christian Boesl, and Jessica Gooding, were all included in the 2019 South Carolina Super Lawyers List.
Both Robert and Christian were recognized as Super Lawyers and Jessica was named as a Rising Star.
Photo by: Joshua Aaron Photography
Being recognized on the South Carolina Super Lawyers list is a true honor in our field as Super Layers is an exclusive list that recognizes the top 2.5% of lawyers in our state. Selections are made annually and they are based on several factors including peer nominations, research by the team at Super Lawyers, and on evaluations put together by a panel of attorneys.
Please join us in congratulating Robert, Christian, and Jessica on this honor!
A high percentage of serious roadway collisions and fatalities in South Carolina occur on the Interstates. The old saying from the South Carolina Department of Transportation is that roads “can be highways or dieways, the choice is yours.” The only way to prevent collisions and fatalities is to should enforce traffic laws, engineer safer roads and educate drivers of their duties and responsibility behind the wheel.
Several major Interstate roads run through South Carolina, including I-85, I-20, I-95, and I-26. The reason that a high number of serious injuries and fatalities occur on these Interstate highways is due to a combination of heavily traveled and congested roadways, large commercial trucks, and multiple lanes and and motorists are traveling at high speeds. To make matters worse, many of the Interstate highways and bridges in South Carolina are poorly maintained and need immediate repairs. The deteriorating conditions of the roadways are simply not safe for many drivers. The roads and highways of our neighboring states, North Carolina and Georgia, are much safer. Fortunately, in the last several years, the the State of South Carolina has begun much needed road construction to these Interstates. While construction efforts are ongoing, this also leads to more collisions due to the inherit dangerous of driving through construction zones.
Traffic Collision Statistics in South Carolina
- 141,00o+ traffic collisions in South Carolina in 2017
- Greenville and Charleston Counties had the highest amount of traffic collisions in 2017, totaling 34,000 collisions
- About 39,000 collisions resulted in injuries
- About 925 results in fatalities
- On average 1 traffic collision every 3 minutes
- Most collisions occur between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm
- Most fatal collision occur between 9:00 pm and midnight
- 1 person injured every 8.7 minutes
- 1 fatality every 9.5 hours
- One person killed in a DUI .08+ Collision every 28 hours
- One Unrestrained Vehicle Occupant killed every 27.5 hours
- One Bicyclist killed every 21.5 days
- One Motorcyclist killed every 3.1 days
- One Pedestrian killed every 2.3 days
- One Child Under 6 seriously injured or killed every 9.4 days
- Traffic collisions cost South Carolina citizens more than $4.5 billion in economic loss
Primary Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in South Carolina:
- Failure to yield right of way
- Improper lane usage
- Failure to maintain distance from other vehicles
- Distracted driving
- Driving Impaired or Intoxicated
We Help Injured Drivers in South Carolina
The Goings Law Firm, LLC is a South Carolina law firm dedicated to helping people who were injured in motor vehicle collisions caused by the negligence and reckless driving of others on the roadway. Don’t confuse us with as one of those advertising lawyers on TV. You will not find us on TV. We are Real Lawyers who work hard to obtain Real Results. Instead of making cartoons on TV, we are in court working hard to get the best possible financial outcome for our clients.
The Goings Law Firm, LLC is a highly-rated law firm featured in publications such as Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Robert Goings was recently named the Top Personal Injury trial attorney in the Midlands of South Carolina in a recent best attorney review publication. Many of the cases we handle involve large commercial trucks and eighteen wheelers that cause large collisions on the Interstate. We aggressively fight against the trucking industry from allowing unsafe drivers to violate federal and state motor carrier safety laws. Because of our track record of success obtaining large settlements and verdicts for our clients, we are often called to handle cases throughout the entire state in cases involving major collisions that result in serious injury and death.
If you were injured or family member or loved one has suffered a fatality from a car accident or truck accident in South Carolina, contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC today at (803) 350-9230 to find out about your legal rights. We are aggressive, yet compassionate. We will ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve though a personal injury or wrongful death legal action.
Tragedy can happen unexpectedly on our highways everyday. Unfortunately, a gentleman named Calvin Casson of Columbia was killed on Monday, April 15, 2019 when when a tractor trailer truck collided head with him on Fernandina Road in Lexington County, South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a pickup truck driven by Casson was traveling east on Fernandina Road just after 7:00 p.m. when a large tractor trailer truck on I-26 went off the right side of the road, made its way through a fence, and collided head-on with the Mr. Casson’s truck. After striking Mr. Casson’s truck, drove into a Dick Smith car dealership on Fernandina Road, hitting parked cars. The first responders reported that Mr. Casson became entrapped in his vehicle and died on the scene. He was 51 years old. The driver of the tractor-trailer suffered minor injuries.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Casson. Dealing with the loss of a family member from a collision is an unspeakable tragedy. While the cause of this collision is still under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, our firm knows that often times these collisions are preventable if drivers of large commercial vehicles would follows the safety laws enacted to protect other motorists. When traffic laws are violated, innocent people can be killed.
At the Goings Law Firm, it is our mission to ensure that families of loved ones who are killed on our roadways are fully compensated for the loss of their family member. While no lawsuit against a tractor trailer company or its driver can fully bring back what was lost, our job is to leave the family in a better place that we found them. A wrongful death case can provide monetary relief to a grieving family. Wrongful death actions are designed to compensate for the current and the future financial and emotional costs to the deceased’s family. These damages include the following:
- Medical bills and funeral costs
- Lost wages, including future earnings
- Lost benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of support or companionship
- Funeral expenses (unless these are recovered through a survival action)
- Punitive damage (for willful, wanton, reckless, or intentional conduct)
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Tractor Trailer Drivers
South Carolina’s wrongful death statute, S.C. Code Section 15-51-10 through 60, allows a lawsuit to be brought on behalf of the deceased’s spouse and children when a family member has died due to the deliberate, reckless, or negligent actions of another. If there is no spouse or children, then the lawsuit is for the benefit of the deceased person’s parents. If there is no spouse, children or parents, then the lawsuit is for the benefit of the deceased person’s heirs (heirs are persons who are legally entitled to inherit property from the deceased). Under South Carolina law, the wrongful death action must be brought by (or in the name of) the executor or the administrator of the deceased person. An administrator or executor is a person or an institution that carries out the terms of a deceased’s will or, if there’s no will, distributes the deceased’s property according to South Carolina’s probate laws.
Lawyers for Wrongful Death in Columbia, South Carolina
If you need a wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina, please contact our office to assist you and your family. We can help you to with the wrongful death process to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation that you deserved. It does not cost you anything for a consultation to learn about your rights under the law.
One of the types of cases the Goings Law Firm handles the most involves drunk driving car collisions. We are offended by drunk drivers, and we fight hard to make sure those intoxicated drivers stay off the road. We demand that drunk drivers pay our clients a lot of money for the harm they cause.
Injuries caused by drunk driving are often times result in civil lawsuits. Drunk drivers can face serious criminal charges, with penalties including suspend licenses, fines, and jail time, but in order for you to be compensated for your injuries or the death of a family member, you will need to bring a civil claim. Because of the egregious nature of alcohol related collision, juries can award large verdicts to punish and deter the drunk driver from doing this again to others. Because of this, the most important thing you can do if you were hit by an intoxicated drive is call an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney. In order to be fully compensated from a DUI collision, an aggressive team of attorneys with the Goings Law Firm will answer all of your questions.
Our firm take an aggressive approach to prosecuting the drunk driver in civil court for the needless harm that they cause our clients. In the legal profession, our firm is best known for fighting against drunk drivers. Drunk drivers kill. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States are killed in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one person every 48 minutes. South Carolina ranks as the 2nd worst in DUI related fatalities in the nation based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drunk drivers also cause serious bodily injury. We understand the devastating effects that drunk drivers can cause and that is why we are one of South Carolina’s leading litigation firms aimed at protecting injury victims that result from DUIs or other alcohol related collision. Because the actions of the drunk driver are illegal and reckless, we believe that you should be paid much more. We fight drunk driving cases hard so you receive the best results in not only fully recovering all for your medical expenses, disability, pain and suffering, but also “punitive damages” design to punish and deter this reckless conduct.
The Case Against the Drunk Driver
The legal claims against the drunk driver is based on negligence and violations of statutory laws that prohibit impaired or intoxicated driving. In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in South Carolina with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Often times the drunk driver will refuse to take a breathalyzer test or provide a blood sample to legally establish blood alcohol content when they are arrested. The failure to administer these tests does not prevent our firm from proving the driver was drunk. Even in these cases, we have the tools to find the evidence to prove that the drunk driver was intoxicated through assembling strong fact and expert witnesses to testify against the driver. Also, under the rules of civil discovery, we routinely subpoena phone records, bank records, medical records, and other relevant documents of the at-fault driver that would aid in proving that the driver was drunk. We will also put the driver under oath in a deposition or a court proceeding. If the driver pleas the Fifth Amendment in the deposition, we ask the court to give an ‘adverse inference’ that if the driver did answer the question he would admit that he was intoxicated. We will fight to ensure that you get the full amount of recovery against the drunk driver.
The Case Against Who Illegally Served Alcohol to the Drunk Driver
The efforts of our firm to collect money for our clients does not stop with the intoxicated driver. We investigate thoroughly to determine who served alcohol to the driver or those that enabled the illegal conduct prior to the driver getting behind the wheel. The State of South Carolina allows you to file a civil case against the private host who provided alcohol to an underage or obviously intoxicated guest. This state has laws in order to discourage serving alcohol to already drunk guests and to hold party hosts accountable if their intoxicated guests leave and cause an accident. We pursue claims against the party host, and regularly bring legal claims against the convenient stores, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and businesses that may have illegally served alcohol to them as permitted under South Carolina’s dram shop and alcohol liability laws.
The Case Against the Owner of the Vehicle
Additionally, we will explore if a “negligent entrustment” claim exists against the owner of the vehicle. If the drunk driver is operating a vehicle he does not own, you may have the option to sue the vehicle owner for negligent entrustment. In the past, we often successfully argued that if the owner gave the drunk person the keys to their vehicle, it is likely that they were aware of the intoxication and unable to drive. If a negligent entrustment claim is successfully proven, the vehicle’s owner is also liable for the vehicle accident.
Workers Compensation Claim if the Drunk Driver Hits You On the Job
Another consideration is whether workers’ compensation applies. If you were hit by a drunk driver while working or on the job, then you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Many of the DUI related collisions that we handle involve a workers’ compensation claim because the collision occurred while driving for work. The workers’ compensation carrier would have a “lien” on any civil court recovery but it is important to handle these cases through an experienced attorney so that you do not waive any rights to recovery. Because the Goings Law Firm handles both workers compensation and civil litigation claims, so we have the knowledge and expertise to successfully manage both cases in order to maximize your total recovery.
Contact an Highly Rated Drunk Driving Injury Attorney in South Carolina
The best advice is to contact today a highly-rated law firm that handles DUI injury and wrongful deaths to request a free consultation. Our proven track record of success in South Carolina against drunk drivers is what we are known for. The Goings Law Firm has the reputation of representing victims of serious injuries or deaths throughout South Carolina, and is ready to help you get the answers you deserve and the compensation you are entitled to receive. It is important to contact our firm before you speak with an insurance company or provide a statement to an insurance adjuster. Even if the insurance company representative tells you that you that your claim will be processed, it is our experience that you may not get the benefits that you are entitled to receive without the best legal representation. In order to be fully compensated from a DUI collision, contact an aggressive team of attorneys with the Goings Law Firm, LLC will help you today. Call us at (803) 350-9230 for a free, no obligation, consultation.
More frequently we are hearing that motorist are being struck by vehicles that do not have insurance. Uninsured drivers are a danger to us and our families on the roads. Without insurance, victims of automobile collision are often left without any ability to be compensated. In South Carolina, it is illegal to drive without proper insurance coverage. South Carolina law requires that you purchase liability and uninsured motorist coverage to drive in the state, which is divided into two coverages: bodily injury liability and physical damage liability.
Many uninsured motorist collisions involve hit and runs, drivers who are not authorized to operate a vehicle, or even driving a vehicle that was stolen. The most recent study, performed by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) in 2017, shows that approximately 13.0 percent of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, are uninsured. Stated differently, approximately 29.7 million drivers who are uninsured. Usually, in a car accident, the insurance of the driver who is at fault covers initially the injuries and damages. But, with 13% of drivers uninsured, victims of auto accidents have many questions about what to do when involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Will Allow Compensation
The law in South Carolina allows a victim of an uninsured motorist to receive compensation. South Carolina motor vehicle insurance laws are intended to protect citizens against uninsured drivers. In fact, the law requires that every auto insurance policy sold in our state includes “uninsured (UM) motorist coverage.” Uninsured Motorist Coverage can provide you protection, but successfully bring an uninsured motorist coverage claim often requires an attorney to get you the best recovery.
Uninsured motorists coverage protects the policyholder directly, along with any person in the vehicle. This coverage pays if you are injured or your property is damaged by a hit-and-run driver or an uninsured driver. South Carolina law requires you to carry uninsured motorists coverage equal to the minimum amounts of liability coverage. The minimum mandatory coverage in South Carolina is $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per collision for bodily injury, and $25,000 in property damage, also referred to as (“25/50/25”). We strongly encourage everyone to purchase auto insurance with coverage limits greater than just minimum coverage. In our experience, just one trip to the hospital following a collision can far exceed the this limits. If your vehicle is totaled, this is often not enough to replace the vehicle, or cover the vehicle loan, and to provide a temporary vehicle
We have found that it does not cost much more money to have double or triple this amount, and often times drivers need in excess of $100,000 or $300,000 for each vehicle. After you read this article, please check your insurance policy to see how much uninsured motorist coverage you have listed, and call your insurance agent today to get increased coverage.
The compensation that you are entitled to receive with uninsured motorist coverage would cover all legal damages that you are entitled to recover under the law including medical bills, chiropractic treatment, future medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, property damage, and in certain cases, even punitive damages. Don’t worry, your insurance premiums should not increase for having to file a uninsured motorist claim because this is mandatory coverage and it is not your fault that the at-fault driver was negligent and failed to get insurance.
It can be difficult for victims of an uninsured driver to successfully navigate the laws of an uninsured motorist claim on their own. It is easy to be mislead by the insurance companies in giving recorded statement, not understanding the forms they want you to sign, or being uninformed about how much compensation you should receive for your injuries. If you say or do the wrong thing in communicating with the insurance company, you may lose important benefits allowed under the law. The auto insurance company will have a team of attorneys that will attempt to defend the interests of the insurance company over your own best interests.
Tips After a Collision with a Uninsured Driver
Unless it is a hit and run, many accident victims do not learn at the scene about a driver being uninsured. We have found that drivers at the scene will provide proof of insurance that has expired or is otherwise fraudulent. Proof of valid coverage is typically not performed until after a formal claim is made with that insurance company. Because you may not learn until after the fact that the negligent driver was also uninsured, its important to always take this steps following a car accident:
1. Gather as Much Information At the Scene
As with any collision, try to get as much information as possible about the driver. Ask the driver for his name, contact information, driver’s license number, and a copy of his insurance card. Take pictures of all the damage to your car, the other cars, and the license plate on any vehicle involved in the collision. Ask anyone at the scene if they saw or heard the collision, as it is important to get the names and all contact information of any witnesses. Now these days, the chances that the collision was caught on camera is greater. Look around to see if there is a traffic camera that could have captured the incident, or any surveillance camera at a neighboring businesses. Never rely solely on the police officer to get any of this information. We have seen that police do not take the time to do a thorough investigation, so make it a priority for you to gather as much information on the scene.
2. Always Call The Police
Whether the other driver is cooperative or not, call the police immediately. This is especially true if the damage is extensive or injuries are sustain. The police will document the incident and should provide you with an FR-10 Report, which is an exchange of driver information. Also, the police should prepare a TR-310 Traffic Collision Report, which is the complete accident report. TR-310 Traffic Collision Report is generally available within 30 days after the collision from the SC Department of Motor Vehicles. These police reports can become critical to any insurance claim. For example, without a police report you are barred for recovering for any hit and run collision under South Carolina statutory laws.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company and get Help from an Experienced Lawyer
The insurance company should be contacted the same day of the collision, or as quickly as possible. Call your insurance company and follow the necessary steps to inform them of the accident. The insurance company will want you to send in the FR-10 Report. Notifying your insurance company will not increase your rates if the other driver is at fault, and is essential if the other driver is uninsured. Your insurance company will be able to determine if your policy covers uninsured drivers and offer directions on what to do next. If you have substantial injuries, you should not give a statement to the insurance company without first seeking the advice of the best attorney you can find to answer your questions.
Our Attorneys Can Help with your Uninsured Motorist Insurance Claim
The Goings Law Firm has years of experience helping victims of collisions caused by negligent uninsured drivers. Bringing an uninsured motorist claim in South Carolina can be difficult on your own, and without the best attorney for your case, you may not get the compensation that you are entitled under the law. Contact us today for a free case evaluation or call us at 803-350-9230.