Columbia Auto Accidents Lawyers
Anyone who lives in South Carolina knows that our state does not have the safest roads. South Carolina is consistently ranked in the ten most dangerous states in which to drive because of the high rate of roadway fatalities, especially on rural roads. Even so, personal vehicles are still the most common form of transportation. Our cars are an absolute necessity that helps us visit friends and family, go grocery shopping, and commute to work. Unfortunately, with so many people out on the road, accidents are bound to happen.
Some accidents are not anyone’s fault. Drivers are injured every day even when they are following traffic laws and doing their best to drive safely. Weather conditions, such as fog, rain, or animals on the road can all cause accidents. However, many more accidents are completely preventable and caused by the reckless or negligent actions of drivers who do not take care to drive safely. If your auto accident resulted from the careless actions of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC to learn how a Columbia car accident attorney can help you win the money you need following your accident.
Car Accident Practice Areas
With so many people on the road at any given time, there are many ways an accident can occur. The possibility for distraction while driving, biking, and walking is higher than ever, which can make staying safe seem difficult. It takes only one driver to look down at a cell phone and lose focus to cause an accident. When carelessness strikes, a qualified car accident lawyer can help you hold other drivers accountable. At the Goings Law Firm, LLC, we have experience handling the following cases:
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Auto Defects
- Speeding Accidents
- Reckless Driving Accidents
- Road Defects
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Insurance Claims
- Distracted Driving
- Failure to Observe Traffic Laws
- Running Stop Signs / Stop Lights
- Driving too Fast for Conditions
- Rear End Collisions
Our attorneys believe that one fatality caused by a reckless driver is too many. South Carolina has a greater percentage of road deaths than most states, the majority of which are caused by driving under the influence and driving too fast for the current conditions. These are preventable causes that we can work together to end by forcing drivers to take responsibility for their actions.
South Carolina Auto Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, South Carolina continues to suffer from high rates of car accidents and fatalities compared to the national average. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), South Carolina had the highest fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2017. This points to trends in our state of driving too fast, driving under the influence, and not following traffic laws. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety organizes the South Carolina Traffic Collision Factbook. According to the most recent data available, in 2017, South Carolina had:
- 141,874 total traffic collisions
- 39,466 collisions in which at least one person was injured
- 925 traffic fatalities, a 28.7% increase from 2013
- 200 of the 925 traffic fatalities were due to driving under the influence (DUI)
When and where you drive contributes to your likelihood of being involved in an accident. For example:
- There were a higher proportion of traffic deaths on Friday, Saturday and Sunday than on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with Friday being the single highest proportion of the total (19.7%).
- The highest proportion of collisions occurred between 3:01pm-6pm, with the highest proportion of fatal collisions occurring between 9:01pm-Midnight.
- Charleston and Greenville Counties had the highest number of traffic collisions per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
- Lexington and Richland Counties, where Columbia is located, had a higher than average collision rate for the state per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
With these statistics in mind, Goings Law Firm, LLC understands the importance of holding people accountable should they cause an auto accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, you should contact us as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case with a qualified legal professional.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents
In South Carolina, three of the most common ways people are injured in car accidents include those caused by driving under the influence, driving too fast for conditions, and failure to yield the right of way. As such, these are the types of cases our attorneys are most likely to take. We have obtained millions of dollars throughout our careers for drivers just like you: people who were following all traffic laws and ended up injured. Below are further explanations of the accidents for which we can seek compensation.
Drunk Driving Accidents
When a driver gets behind the wheel, they owe it to their fellow citizens to be of sound mind. This level of competence is impossible if someone is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while intoxicated is more common on rural roads, which account for most of the miles driven in South Carolina. Intoxication negatively impacts your motor skills, reaction time, and the quality of your judgment. All of these skills are necessary for driving, so accidents are far more likely to occur when a driver is under the influence. If you suspect you were injured by an intoxicated driver, we can look to the police report, field and sobriety tests, and witness testimony to make your case for damages.
Driving too Fast for Conditions
Speeding is often overlooked as the primary cause of an accident, but 17,376 people were injured by people driving too fast for conditions in 2015, more than any other cause. When someone is speeding, they do not have the maximum control possible over their vehicle, meaning they are more likely to lose control and exit the roadway or cause a collision. Driving too fast for conditions covers drivers who were perhaps going the speed limit but not accounting for other conditions, such as rain, snow, fog, or darkness. Visiting the scene of the accident can tell us a lot about how someone was driving at the time of the accident, which can help your case.
Failure to Observe Traffic Laws
Between disregarding traffic signs, failing to yield the right of way, and changing lanes improperly, thousands of injuries are caused by the failure to observe basic traffic laws. Drivers have a commitment to one another when on the road to signal their actions, account for other vehicles, and follow all traffic laws. When a driver is negligent and fails to perform these basic actions, they should be held accountable for the damages they caused. Typically, a police report will say whether there was a traffic violation related to the accident. We can speak with the insurance company of the other driver, obtain records and evidence, and examine the police report to prove the other driver caused your injuries due to negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions
After an accident, most drivers who come into our offices feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin when seeking compensation. To get you started, here are the answers to some of the questions we hear the most often.
How much is my case worth?
No attorney can answer this question without knowing the details of your case. Numerous factors go into deciding how much compensation a car accident victim will receive as a result of the accident. Some of the factors that can influence the amount of money your case will receive are the type of accident you were in, whether you were at fault, the severity of the injuries you sustained, and whether the other driver was under the influence. Without knowing how these factors affected your accident, it is impossible to say how much your case is worth without speaking to an attorney.
Why should I seek compensation?
At the Goings Law Firm, LLC, we believe in justice and fairness. Someone was unjust towards you by causing an accident, so it is only fair that you receive the compensation you need to move forward. The money we obtain for you could be used to cover medical bills, property damage, and any income you lost if you could not go to work. Receiving what you are owed can mean the difference between struggling or not, and we want you to feel good about your financial and personal situation. Going through an accident is tough, but compensation can help to stabilize your position.
Why choose the Goings Law Firm, LLC?
The attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC understand how devastating an accident can be. A serious personal injury case can reach into every aspect of your life. Our lawyers are South Carolinians just like you who want to make our state a great place to live. That includes acting with kindness and taking care of our own. If you were hurt in an accident, we guarantee you will receive the respect and personal attention required to get your case as far as possible.
What Should I Do if I Was Involved in an Auto Accident?
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, especially if you believe you were injured, you might find yourself in a state of panic. You may be thinking about what you need to do, who you should talk to, and what you should and shouldn’t say. Until you can contact a lawyer, it is usually best to avoid all but the most critical discussions concerning any injuries you may have sustained. Nonetheless, there are a number of specific actions you should and should not do in immediately following an accident.
What To Do:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Ensure that you cooperate with law enforcement and emergency services once they arrive, and do not leave the scene until you are cleared to do so.
- Make sure that you collect the contact and insurance information of all parties involved, if possible.
- If you are able to, always take pictures of the accident scene, surrounding area, and any personal injuries or property damage.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to get an evaluation of your claim.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and receive guidance on the insurance process.
What NOT To Do:
- Do not leave the scene of an accident until told to do so.
- Do not admit fault or even engage in a discussion of who was at fault in the accident.
- Do not discard any evidence, such as car parts or clothes that may have been damaged in the accident, until the case is over.
- If you are able to move, do not remain in an area that could put you at further risk for an injury.
By cooperating with law enforcement and emergency services as well as filing your insurance claim as soon as possible, you are putting yourself in a better position to have a favorable outcome in your case. Importantly, you must never admit fault in the preliminary stages of the case, even if you partially contributed to the crash. Even a simple “I’m sorry” at the scene of the accident can be considered admissible evidence of your guilt during a settlement or in court.
The dedicated Columbia area car accident lawyers of Goings Law Firm, LLC are here to help you navigate the insurance process and hold reckless and irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations on most personal injury cases in South Carolina is three years from the accident date, so it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney as soon as possible following an accident.
Speak with a Car Accident Attorney in Columbia, South Carolina
Following your accident, hiring an attorney to help you seek compensation is probably the last thing on your mind. We understand this, which is why we want you to focus on recovering while we make sure you are treated fairly by the insurance companies. If you have any questions or are ready to fight for the money you deserve, contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC by calling (803) 350-9230 today.