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Every year, millions of American citizens are involved in car accidents. Thousands die. Some accidents cannot be avoided, but most wrecks are preventable. These accidents are caused by people who do not follow the law and act negligently, causing the accident.

When faced with an injury caused by a car accident, it is very important to consult with a skilled Charleston car accident attorney that can help you fight for your justice and get the compensation you deserve.

What are the most common causes of car wrecks?

Car wrecks can be attributed to a wide variety of causes including:

Distracted driving
Many local counties and jurisdictions have already passed laws banning texting while driving or talking on a cell phone (without speakerphone) behind the wheel.
Driver impairment
More than 350 fatal auto wrecks in South Carolina in 2010 were alcohol-related, according to MADD. Other forms of intoxication that can play a role include drugs, illegal or over-the-counter, fatigue, and illness.
Defective car parts
Cars can have defects too, case in point, defective seat belts, stuck accelerator controls, faulty wiring, misaligned wheels, tire blowouts and brake failures, can all contribute to car crashes.
Poor road conditions
Uneven roads, potholes, and other conditions can cause automobile wrecks and injuries to motorists. Other conditions include unknown obstacles or foreign substances on the road. These conditions produce abrupt slides or overcorrecting of the vehicle.
Speeding can contribute to collisions and every driver must consider weather and road conditions, traffic, or the speed of other drivers to prevent car crashes.
Inadequate road design
There are roads that lack proper design, lacking in visibility, poor surface condition, or inadequate marking or signage to promote safety.

What should I do after a car accident?

Car accidents are common occurrences in Charleston, and those who are involved often come away feeling more stressed and confused than in charge of the situation. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that many of us will eventually be involved in a car accident, so it is important to know how to protect your rights after an accident so that you can maximize your chances of recovering compensation.

Car accidents can range from slight fender benders to full-on catastrophes, but no matter what kind of accident you’ve been involved in, it’s important to put safety first.

If anyone has been seriously hurt in the accident, call 911 immediately.After establishing primary safety, there are several important steps that you should take:

  • If any property damage has occurred, the drivers involved must stop their vehicles at the crash scene – moving to as safe a location as possible – and must provide each other with contact information and proof of car insurance. It’s important not to share more information than is necessary with other parties – an innocent “I’m sorry” now can later be construed as an admission of fault.
  • After getting safely out of traffic, report the accident to law enforcement. An officer will meet you at the scene, will write up an accident report, and, if applicable, will issue tickets for any driving violations. The accident report and any tickets issued can be instrumental in determining fault as your claim moves forward.
  • Once the authorities have been notified, obtain statements (written if possible) and contact information from any witnesses who can help corroborate your account of the accident.
  • Take photographic evidence of the accident site, including all property damage, the scene of the accident, and any injuries incurred. This can provide crucial information for establishing liability.
  • Take written notes of how the accident happened and exactly what transpired. Accidents are very upsetting, and it’s imperative that you concisely capture the incident while it’s still fresh in your memory.
  • Even if you don’t think you were hurt in the accident, see a doctor and get checked out as soon as you can. Soft tissue, neck, and spinal injuries can be slow to appear, and waiting to get a doctor’s evaluation can ultimately be damaging to your claim.

It’s a lot to take in, but it is in your best interest to know what to do if you are involved in a car accident. Finally, contact an experienced Charleston car accident attorney. Car accidents can result in complicated insurance claims; and our car accident lawyers have the experience, expertise, and commitment to help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Often asked Questions

Click on the questions to reveal the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Studies show that insurance companies pay, on average, significantly more (40% conservatively) to people when they are represented by a car accident lawyer. However, every crash has its specific set of facts that help determine value. How much compensation you receive can be based on a number of factors. In general, victims of car accidents can receive funds to cover:

*Medical bills  
*Hospital expenses  
*Lost wages  
*Lost earning capacity  
*Property damage  
*Future medical expenses  
*Pain and suffering

How much you get in a car accident settlement will totally depend on the circumstances of the accident. It is also best to call an attorney before speaking to an insurance company, yours or theirs. Insurance companies record calls for a reason. They will twist what you say in order to pay you less. So before you call your insurance company and make any statement, call an attorney first.

Car accidents often involve powerful physical forces that are capable of causing serious damage to the human body. This is true even in cases in which vehicle occupants are buckled in and the vehicle in which they were riding was equipped with modern safety features such as multiple airbags. Many people involved in severe accidents are left with life-changing injuries that will result in substantial economic and non-economic losses, making it critical for them to retain an attorney that can help make sure they obtain the compensation to which they are legally entitled.Here are some of the more common injuries that people can sustain in a car accident.

Individuals who are involved in car accidents often sustain fractures, which are also called broken bones. People can break arms, legs, ribs, hips, or even the bones in their face or their head, depending on how exactly an accident took place. Fractures are extremely painful, can result in disfigurement, and may require surgery to treat. In many cases, people who sustain them miss weeks or months of work and may require the immobilization of a body part for a significant period of time. Even less serious broken bones may take a significant period of time to heal and result in long-term complications.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, often referred to as “TBIs,” occur when a person’s head is bumped or jolted with force sufficient to result in a disruption of normal brain function. These injuries often occur in car accidents in which a person’s heads slams against the dashboard or steering wheel or he or she is ejected from the vehicle. In instances in which the head snaps back and forth on the neck hard enough to rattle the brain within the skull, a TBI can occur even if the head does not come into contact with another object.TBIs are capable of causing extremely serious complications, including:DizzinessProblems concentratingSensitivity to light or soundsProblems with communicationDifficult problem solving

Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur when physical trauma damages the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. They can be categorized into two broad categories, which are as follows:
Incomplete – A spinal cord injury is characterized as “incomplete” when the victim retains some feeling or function below the site of the injury
Complete – In an incomplete spinal cord injury, victims have no sensation or function below the site of the injurySpinal cord injuries often result in significant long-term problems and victims who are paralyzed often require a lifetime of medical treatment and care. As a result, it is essential for spinal cord injury victims to make sure their rights are protected by retaining an experienced Charleston car accident lawyer.

In many car accidents, one or more of the vehicles involved catches fire during or immediately after the accident, potentially causing extremely serious burns to the people inside them. Burns can be extremely painful, require long-term medical treatment, and leave victims with scarring and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.

In short, yes.
The spine is made up of 33 bones. If you think of them like a stack of Legos, that is how the spine is arranged. Each bone is in its own place and together, they support the body. There are muscles, tendons and ligaments around the bones to support them. In between each of the spinal bones are intervertebral discs. These discs are filled with a gel-type substance and keep the bones from rubbing on each other. With all those parts, each one is at risk for being injured in an accident. Even the smallest accident can disrupt the spine and it’s functions.

What kind of spine problems can be caused by a car accident?
Discogenic pain is the overall term for spine pain. It is pain that is caused by the discs of the spine. The discs of the spine are the round pieces of cartilage that act as cushions between each spinal bone. If these discs are disruptive, the pain can be unbearable. It affects a persons ability to walk, sit, sleep, bend over and do everyday tasks.The top back injuries seen after a car accident are:
Spine Fractures
Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Cord Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries
Disc Herniation

Car collisions lead to all sorts of injuries. Some collisions cause only minor bumps, bruises or soreness. However, other collisions can cause devastating and life-changing damage in just a few seconds.

At The Hartman Law Firm, LLC our auto collision firm has helped people who have suffered any number of injuries, including:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A TBI can result from trauma associated with impact or from striking an object inside the car such as the steering wheel.
Spinal cord injury – Spinal cord injuries are associated with paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia) and hemiplegia.
Neck injuries – Most injuries in Charleston-area automobile collisions result from rear-end collisions. Neck injuries are a common injury in these accidents. The head whips forward and back in the classic whiplash movement. Injuries can be permanent, depending on the severity of the impact.
Broken bones –Car wreck victims often suffer broken bones to the arms, legs, knees and wrists. The injury typically occurs when the victim braces with that part of their body immediately prior to impact. Some breaks can require surgery. It may also require weeks or months to properly heal.
Amputation – Sometimes parts of a victim’s body are fully or partially severed as a result of the collision. Such injuries can require amputation.

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