Getting rear-ended can be very scary. Many times, rear end collisions lead to physical injuries, emotional pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses. Luckily, if you’ve been rear-ended in South Carolina, you likely have the opportunity to recover compensation. 

This article will discuss rear-end collisions, what to do if you’ve been rear-ended, and when it is in your best interest to hire an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer to represent your case.

Fault in South Carolina Rear-End Collisions

South Carolina is an at-fault state. This means that the percent you are found to be at fault for the accident directly impacts the amount of compensation you can recover.

For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, then you may qualify to recover up to 70% of the total compensation available.

In most rear-end collision cases, the driver who hit the vehicle in front of them will be held liable for the accident, thus their insurance company will be responsible for paying your compensation. 

However, this may change if the collision resulted from:

Brake Checking:

If the rear-end collision was caused by brake checking, the party who “brake checked” may be held liable if there is sufficient evidence that brake checking occurred, as this is considered reckless driving under South Carolina law.

Pileup Accidents

Sometimes, rear end collisions cause pile up accidents. If multiple vehicles were involved, and the car that rear-ends you forces you into the car in front of you, the party who began the pileup accident will likely be held liable. However, with multiple parties involved, it can become difficult to prove liability, and multiple parties may be held liable.

Other Factors 

On the other hand, if you rear-ended a vehicle due to their brake lights being out at the time of the accident, so you could not see them, they may be held liable or partially liable. In South Carolina, owners are responsible for keeping their cars properly maintained.

Another example where the driver of the rear-ended vehicle may be found liable is if the accident was caused by that driver making an unexpected move, such as reversing. 

Hiring an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer can help ensure that the proper parties are held responsible for the accident. If you were rear-ended and have any questions about liability, please contact our team today. We’d be happy to help.

What To Do If You’ve Been Rear-Ended

Rear-end collision. Small white car collided with white truck. Hood of the smaller car is under the truck bed.

If you were the victim of an unpreventable rear-end car accident, it is always in your best interest to:

1. Seek Medical Attention 

Even if you feel fine, you should always seek medical attention after an accident. While some injuries may be immediately apparent, other injuries may take days or weeks for symptoms to appear.

2. Call the Authorities

After any accident, you should call the police.

3. Gather Evidence

Following an accident, it’s important to gather evidence such as witness contact information, the police report, photos of the accident scene and property damage, photos of any immediately apparent injuries, the other party’s insurance and contact information, and notes of any other factors that may have contributed to the accident.

4. Report the Accident

Following a rear end collision, you should notify your insurance company that you’ve been hit.

5. Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Once you’re able to do so, you should call a lawyer to discuss your case and how to best handle your insurance claim. Our Columbia car accident lawyers can help optimize your personal injury claim to ensure you get the compensation you deserve under state law.

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

Rear end collisions in South Carolina are commonly tied back to driver negligence. Many rear-end accidents are caused in some way due to:

  • Following Too Closely
  • Distracted Driving
  • Speeding
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Poor Weather Conditions
  • Lack of Proper Vehicle Maintenance
  • And More.

When you’ve been rear-ended by someone else, no matter the cause, you deserve justice. Our lawyers will gather critical evidence to determine why your accident happened, who was at-fault, and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Compensation Available After a Rear-End Collision

If you were rear-ended in South Carolina, you likely qualify to receive compensation for all past, present, and future damages related to the accident. This includes, but is not limited to, compensation for:

  • All Related Medical Expenses: Including surgery costs, ambulance costs, emergency room visits, follow up appointments, and more.
  • Rehabilitation/Treatment Plan Costs: This includes physical therapy, any future medical care needs, prescription medications, etc.
  • Lost Wages
  • Reduced Earning Capacity
  • Property Damage
  • Rental Cars
  • Travel To and From Appointments
  • Pain and Suffering
  • And More.

Before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company, it’s always in your best interest to review it with an experienced personal injury lawyer first. Many times, an insurance company will lowball your offer and try to make you settle for less than what your case is actually worth. Our lawyers have the experience and resources needed to optimize your compensation.

How Much Is My Rear-End Case Worth?

Without knowing the specific details of your accident, it is impossible to give an accurate estimate of how much your rear-end collision settlement may be worth.

Generally, the value of your case depends on many factors, such as the extent of your injuries, the length of your treatment, how much property damage you have, how much time you missed from work, the percent you were found at fault, if you had any preexisting conditions, and much more.

To understand the potential value of your rear-end collision case, it’s in your best interest to discuss the details of your case with a reputable rear-end collision lawyer through a free case evaluation.

Do I Need a Lawyer For a Rear-End Collision Claim?

Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of car accident victims, from lowballing your settlement offer to ignoring important communication. 

An experienced lawyer makes sure your case is being treated properly and will optimize your case to ensure you’re getting the entirety of what you’re owed for your physical, financial, and emotional damages.

If you’ve been injured, are having any issues with the at-fault party’s insurance company, think your settlement offer is low for your damages, there is confusion over fault, or other factors are making the recovery process challenging, it is certainly in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. 

Even if you believe you may be able to handle your claim on your own, it’s worth double-checking with a lawyer. Plus, with Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, your initial conversation with an attorney is complimentary.

South Carolina Rear End Collision Lawyer

If you’re unsure whether or not you need a lawyer for your rear-end collision case, our firm offers free consultations and would be happy to walk you through your options and what to expect during the claims process. We will also help you understand if your case is something you can handle on your own or if you should involve legal assistance.

With offices in Columbia and Mount Pleasant, our lawyers represent rear-end collision clients throughout the state. We are available via phone 24/7 at 803-888-2200. You can also fill out our secure online form or start a chat on our website, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.