Charleston Attorneys for Distracted Driving Car Accidents
When drivers look away from the roadway or take their hands off the wheel, they risk injuring or even killing another driver or pedestrian. If a distracted driver injured you, you could still seek financial compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, lessening the burden of medical costs and lost wages.
The team at Crantford Meehan supports Charleston residents and their loved ones as they fight for justice after a car accident. Contact our Charleston car accident attorneys today at (843) 376-4030 for a no-cost case review.
Types of Distracted Driving Accidents
In a recent year, there were 7,427 car accidents in South Carolina with distracted driving as the primary factor. While each car accident has unique circumstances, there are general types based on how the vehicles impacted each other. Some common types of distracted driving accidents we work with include:
- Head-on crashes – A head-on collision can occur when a distracted driver veers out of their lane into opposing traffic. They are among the most devastating crashes because of the force involved.
- T-bone crashes – A T-bone crash can happen when a driver runs a stop sign or red light and enters cross traffic.
- Sideswipes – Sideswipe accidents involve a driver hitting another vehicle with the side of their car. Like head-on crashes, they may occur if a distracted driver moves out of their lane or into a parking lane.
- Rollovers – A distracted driver will have an impaired reaction time and may not steer accurately. If they turn too sharply, they risk rolling their vehicle and injuring others nearby.
- Rear-end crashes – A distracted driver may not realize that other vehicles in front of them are slow-moving or stopped and cause a rear-end accident.
- Skidding/loss of control – If a distracted driver brakes suddenly, they risk losing control of their vehicle and entering a skid.
Distracted Driving Laws in South Carolina
On June 9, 2014, former Governor Nikki Haley signed Bill 459 into law. The act, now codified as SC Code of Laws 56-5-3890, established penalties for certain forms of distracted driving.
No one can use a “wireless electronic communication device” while operating a motor vehicle on any South Carolina road. These devices include the following:
- Cell phones
- Palm pilots or PDAs
- Pagers or other text messengers
The distracted driving law does not apply if someone uses a hands-free tool, such as a Bluetooth earpiece or voice recognition software, to send a message or dial a number. Other exceptions include:
- The driver is stopped or parked in a legal place.
- The driver is calling 911 to report an emergency.
- The driver is a police officer or another public safety official who must use the device for their job.
- The driver is using a navigation system to get directions or traffic information.
Violators of the law will face a maximum fine of $50, though they will not have the violation added to their driving record.
How an Attorney Can Help
Crantford Meehan’s attorneys and staff can help you at any stage of your distracted driving accident case. While you focus on healing, we will:
- Investigate the accident – We can help you obtain copies of official reports, medical documentation, therapy reports, and insurance documents after your accident. Our team will also work with trusted subject matter experts to determine what happened, identify who is responsible, and calculate how much compensation we should pursue for you.
- Work with your insurer – Your car insurance policy may carry personal injury protection (PIP) that can pay a portion of your medical costs, no matter who was at fault for the accident. PIP coverage is optional in South Carolina and differs from required bodily liability coverage. If you have PIP as part of your plan, we can help you prepare and file a claim.
- Negotiate with the defense – We will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the responsible party’s insurer.
- File a lawsuit if necessary – If your lawyer needs evidence that we can only obtain through discovery, or if negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer can proceed to file a lawsuit. Though many car accident cases in South Carolina do not go to court or settle before a trial can begin, we will represent you at trial if necessary.
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident
If you are hurt after a car accident, take the following steps to protect your rights:
- Call 911 – Report the accident immediately. Law enforcement will arrive to conduct their investigation, take statements, and write an objective report of what happened.
- Seek medical attention – If a medical team does not arrive at the accident scene, you and any other injured parties should go to the nearest emergency room. Your care team will identify any injuries you have and begin early treatment in pursuit of the best possible prognosis. Getting your injuries into medical records as soon as possible is also prudent for your personal injury case to have documentation of your injuries.
- Identify witnesses – Get the names and phone numbers of any third parties who saw what happened. If your injuries prevent you from gathering witness information, have someone you trust do it on your behalf.
- Take videos and photos – You or someone you trust should take pictures and video footage of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries.
- Don’t speculate – Don’t make any speculatory statements about the accident, including comments about who you think is at fault.
- Stay off social media – Do not post anything on social media until your case resolves. You should also ask your friends and family to refrain from posting about you.
Contact a Charleston Car Accident Attorney
If a distracted driver injured you in Charleston, let the Crantford Meehan team fight for the best possible outcome for you. Charleston personal injury lawyers William Crantford and Jerry Meehan Jr. have won multi-million-dollar awards in car and truck accident cases. Our peers at Martindale-Hubbell have also recognized us for our high ethical and professional standards. Contact our firm at (843) 376-4030 today for a no-obligation case evaluation.
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