Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Automobile Injury Claims in South Carolina

Unfortunately, every day in South Carolina undeserving people, including drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, are injured through no fault of their own and as a result of automobile collisions caused by negligent drivers. Such injuries are often made even more difficult due to the additional disruptions to the injured person's life, including work, finances, and personal relationships. This article intends to provide an overview of various issues relating to automobile injuries and suggestions as to how best to deal with such unforeseen challenges.
A typical scenario begins when a motor vehicle passenger is struck unexpectedly by another motorist while traveling along South Carolina's roadways. The collision, whether resulting in the total loss of one or more vehicles or less significant property damage, may nonetheless have significant effects on the physical health of the occupants of the vehicles. After the appropriate emergency personnel, typically a police officer, responds to the scene of the collision and performs the investigation, including interviewing the drivers and any witnesses, a traffic collision report is then completed. This report, a copy of which is provided to all involved motorists, will indicate the officer's opinion as to which motorist is the at-fault driver, and further provides information regarding the appropriate automobile insurance companies and policy information.
Upon the request of any injured occupants an ambulance may be summoned to the scene to provide emergency medical services or transportation to an area medical facility, typically a local hospital's emergency department. However, many passengers in a collision may feel well enough immediately following a collision to decline the offer of an ambulance, only to awake the following morning in significant pain and discomfort. Regardless of the timing, however, the resulting medical treatment can be expensive and often requires significant out-of-pocket expense for the injured person.
Generally, the injured person is required to provide payment for the medical treatment at the time the treatment is provided, which results in an unfair financial burden for the blameless injured person. The amount of the claim, which typically includes additional compensation for the injured person's pain and suffering, is negotiated between the insurance company's claims adjuster and the injured person's attorney, with the injured person having the option to pursue the claim in court should the insurance adjuster fail to make an appropriate offer satisfactory to the injured person.
Of course, these are general principles concerning automobile injury claims in South Carolina and common issues relating to them. Because every situation is unique, please contact an auto accident attorney in Hilton Head or give me a call for advice as to your particular case.
-Joseph DuBois