February 17, 2024

How to Choose a Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims and Accidents

Few people ever anticipate the need for a personal injury attorney. After all, as a general rule, accidents take place at the most unexpected times. Still, every day people are injured wrongfully, and when this happens, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you receive fair compensation for your losses, financial setbacks, pain, and suffering.

Here, we will discuss how to choose a lawyer for personal injury cases. We will also discuss a few key things to keep in mind as you choose the best lawyer to help file claims and seek compensation following your accident.

Need assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney in South Carolina?

Have you been trying to find an experienced personal injury attorney in South Carolina to represent your interests and help you stand up against insurance companies? To speak with an personal injury lawyer about your claims case in South Carolina, contact the Law Offices of Brian Murphy at 877-721-9484 today!

How to Choose a Lawyer for Personal Injury Matters: What to Keep in Mind

Dealing with the aftermath of an injury caused by someone else's negligent actions can be complicated. It is important to remember that if you have been hurt in an accident, one of the best things to do is hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. There are many reasons for this.

• Your Lawyer will Represent Your Best Interests

Not only will your lawyer be able to advise you as you file claims and gather evidence supporting your case, but they will also be able to speak to insurance adjusters on your behalf, answer your questions, assist you with complex court documentation, and prevent you from making costly mistakes.

• These Legal Professionals Can Help You Get Your Life Back

Personal injury attorneys often know how to handle an array of issues ranging from car accidents to dog bites. When an injury causes you to lose your job, impacts your ability to earn an income, creates unexpected medical expenses, damages your property, reduces the quality of your life, or causes you pain and suffering, hiring a lawyer may be the wisest move. Your attorney will help you seek compensation for what you have suffered and get your life back on track following your accident.

• An Attorney Gives You Access to More Resources

Experienced personal injury attorneys may also help you gain access to other additional resources, which can improve your chances of receiving the full settlement you are entitled to. A good attorney will have a large network of medical professionals or experts available to help support your claims. Moreover, your attorney may also be able to assist you with matters like negotiating liens, tracking medical invoices, documentation of your recovery process, and damaged property valuation.

Choosing a Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims: Steps to Take and Considerations

Here are some steps to take and things to keep in mind as you research and evaluate attorneys to represent your personal injury claims case.

1. Choose a Lawyer that Practices Personal Injury Law in Your State

First and foremost, you will need to select an attorney who not only practices personal injury law, but who also operates in your respective state or the state in which your accident took place. Not all attorneys are equipped to handle the complexities of personal injury cases. As such, you will need to choose a lawyer with experience in this specific legal realm. In addition to this, personal injury laws and statutes vary from state to state. Therefore, choosing a lawyer who is actively practicing accident and injury law in the state where your incident took place is important.

2. Consider an Attorney’s Experience

It is important to consider how experienced the attorney you are considering hiring is in the area of personal injury law. a seasoned personal injury lawyer has likely seen it all and will know how to tackle big obstacles or highly complex cases.

3. Read Past Client Testimonials and Reviews

Reading what past clients have to say about the lawyer you are considering can be incredibly helpful. How well have they treated clients in the past? Does the attorney you are interested in have good reviews in general? By reading through client testimonials, you can get a better general idea of what a personal injury lawyer will be like.

4. Look at a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Track Record

You will also want to ensure that your personal injury attorney has a strong track record of winning cases or attaining fair settlements on behalf of their clients. How consistent is your attorney? Can they represent you if your claims case has to go to trial? Keeping these things in mind can help you find the best match for your personal injury case.

FAQs How to Choose a Lawyer for Personal Injury Law

Now, let’s go over a few frequently asked questions for people wondering how to choose a lawyer for personal injury.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer after an accident that wasn’t my fault?

If you were involved in an accident that was caused by someone else's wrongful actions or sheer negligence, you are not legally required to hire a personal injury attorney. As a victim, you have the right to represent yourself in court. However, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is often the better option. Your attorney can help you prevent making costly mistakes, reduce stress, and substantially increase your likelihood of receiving a larger settlement.

How to choose a lawyer for personal injury automobile accident cases?

If you were in a car accident that was caused by someone else, an automotive personal injury attorney will be able to help you file claims and get a settlement. Most personal injury attorneys will be very experienced with automotive law. However, you should still plan to have a consultation with the attorney you are considering to find out if they can help you with your specific accident claims case.

How to Choose a Lawyer for Personal Injury Cases that took place in South Carolina?

It is important to select a personal injury lawyer who practices law in the state where your accident took place. Not only do the laws and legal statutes vary in many states, but a lawyer with experience practicing law in your specific state will be able to more easily navigate the jurisdiction processes and have access to better local resources.

How to Choose a Lawyer for Personal Injury Cases: Final Thoughts and Considerations

So there you have it! Now you know a little more about how to choose a lawyer for your personal injury claims case. Remember to always select an experienced personal injury lawyer with a winning record who practices law in your respective state. Reading client testimonials and scheduling a case consultation to discuss your accident can also help you more easily find the ideal personal injury attorney for your unique needs.

Contact Brian Murphy Now For Help with Your Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina

Looking for an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your interests after an accident in South Carolina? If so, contact the Law Offices of Brian Murphy! This five-star rated personal injury attorney serves Greenville, Charleston, Rock Hill, and the surrounding areas. Brian Murphy has comprehensive experience representing his clients with dedication.

Focusing on vehicle crashes, workplace injuries, dog bites, dangerous conditions, and many other areas of personal injury law, Brian Murphy can help you create a battle plan to seek the full compensation amount that you need to truly recover from your injuries, pain, and suffering.

With award-winning client service and the skills needed to go up to bat against insurance companies on your behalf, you can rest easy knowing that Brian Murphy is on your side! To learn more or schedule your risk-free South Carolina personal injury case consultation, follow this link or call 877-721-9484.

February 9, 2024

Here’s How a Lawyer Can Assist You with Your Car Accident Claim

A traumatic automobile accident can take place in an instant. Unexpected calamities of this kind can be life-changing, with serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences. So do victims need to hire an attorney after a car accident in South Carolina? And what does a car accident lawyer do, anyway?

What does a car accident lawyer do?

Many people fairly wonder "What does a car accident lawyer do" for a victim of a collision caused by someone else's negligence? The answer is that your lawyer will protect your rights, represent your best legal interests, and fight to get you the largest settlement possible. Your lawyer can also help you navigate any unexpected issues that may arise during any legal processes or insurance negotiations.

Should you hire a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer?

You may be wondering whether you have to hire a Rock Hill car accident attorney to help you after a collision. While you have the right to represent yourself in court or during the insurance and claims filing processes, hiring an attorney to assist you may be a better option. After all, navigating the intricacies of a car accident claim can be complicated. Particularly, if you are still recovering from the physical, financial, or emotional ramifications of your collision.

A Rock Hill Car Accident Lawyer Professional Can Help Make Things Easier After Your Crash By Offering Guidance, Advice, and Help Throughout Various Legal Processes. This Increases the Likelihood that You Receive a Fair Settlement.

So, while it is fair to wonder whether you need a South Carolina car accident lawyer, it is important to understand that hiring an experienced attorney serving victims in your area can help. If you were hurt in or near Rock Hill, a South Carolina car accident lawyer will work hard to help you get the largest settlement, file claims, and so much more. With a skilled professional on your side, your chances of getting a desirable outcome for your claims case tend to increase significantly.

Now, let's discuss the benefits of hiring a South Carolina car accident lawyer to assist you after your collision. We will walk you through just what a car crash attorney can do for you, and how our car accident lawyer Rock Hill area firm can assist you with your claims case.

Why would a victim need a lawyer for a car crash in South Carolina?

Automobile accident cases can be incredibly complicated with a series of in-depth legal processes required before claims are paid by an insurance company. This can include negotiations, proving fault, calculating damages, and possibly even defending your case in court before a judge and a jury.

Handling these complex legal matters alone and without the guidance of a qualified legal professional may result in costly mistakes. As a victim, you have the right to seek compensation for your suffering and are not required to attain legal representation. Still, hiring a skilled car accident lawyer who practices personal injury law in the state where your mishap took place can dramatically increase the odds that you will receive the full compensation amount that you are entitled to, and in a timely fashion.

Exactly what does a car accident lawyer do?

Car accident injury attorneys offer a multitude of beneficial services to victims of automobile collisions. When you hire a car accident attorney in South Carolina, you will gain access to a wealth of useful tools including legal advice, professional experience, and helpful services. Here are a few things that a lawyer can help you with after your car accident.

• Evaluating Your Case

One of the first things that your attorney can do is provide you with a complete personal injury case evaluation. After explaining the details of your automobile accident to your lawyer, matters related to your case like liability, injuries, medical bills, and financial damages will be examined thoroughly.

Often, case evaluations are provided on a contingency fee basis or may even be offered at no cost at all. This is to help you determine how strong your claims case is. If you do end up retaining the services of an attorney, they will also calculate the actual cost of your damages, taking points like future financial difficulties, pain and suffering, and more, into account. In this way, the claims you file will be accurate and in the full amount needed to cover your actual expenses now and later on down the road.

• Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claims

Your attorney can also help you gather important evidence that will support your claims. So, if an insurance company tries to dispute your claims, you will be able to effectively prove your side of the matter.

Using specific skill sets and legal experience, your attorney will gather relevant evidence like witness statements, accident reports, photographs, video evidence, medical records, and more to prove your side of the story. The professional networking capabilities of your lawyer can also be implemented on your behalf to build a more compelling case.

• Negotiating With Insurers

Unfortunately, in many instances, the primary objective of a profit-based insurance company is to deliver the lowest possible compensation amounts to victims. As such, certain tactics may be executed to try to reduce the monetary amount of your claims or final settlement size.

Insurance claims adjusters may offer you a lower settlement than you require or even deny your claims completely. So what does a car accident lawyer do in these instances? Well, your personal injury attorney will do everything possible to prevent this from happening and defend your case. Using years of experience and skills in negotiating with insurance companies, a lawyer can help ensure you are not short-changed or exploited. Not only will your rights be upheld, but maximum compensation will be sought on your behalf.

• Helping You File Everything Promptly and Correctly

Providing evidence, filing claims, and filling out paperwork can be stressful for victims of automobile accidents. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations requires that you file all claims within a designated time limit. Your attorney will walk you through the process of filing everything required and may also be able to take care of certain documentation matters on your behalf. This dramatically reduces your burden and allows you to focus on recovering from your casualties.

• Representing You In Court

Sometimes, reaching a fair settlement through negotiations with insurance claims adjusters becomes an impossible task. In this event, your lawyer will assist you by representing your claims and case in court. Your lawyer will use their aptitudes to present your case competently in a court of law. This may include gathering witnesses, displaying evidence of your injuries, and bringing forward other key materials to help support and prove your claims before a jury and judge.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do: Summary and Key Points:

All in all, a car accident lawyer will help you increase the likelihood of getting the settlement or claim amount you truly need to recover. While all car accident injury lawyers will work to defend your interests, a car accident lawyer Rock Hill professional will know the specific laws and statutes in your area, which in this case is in South Carolina.

Not only will your South Carolina car accident lawyer help you build a strong case that proves your claims, but they will also assist you in gathering evidence, filing paperwork, and keeping track of your medical expenses and damages. With the assistance of a competent Rock Hill car accident layer law firm, you will also be given advice that applies specifically in your state and county. With help from a skilled and seasoned professional, you will have a better chance of getting a fair settlement or claim payment that can cover all of your damages and expenses.

Now that you know the answer to the question of "what does a car accident lawyer do?", you will be able to proceed with confidence as you seek justice in the aftermath of your collision. If you are ready to call a five star rated South Carolina car accident lawyer to represent your interests, our firm can help!

Five Star Rated Rock Hill Car Accident Lawyer: Call An Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today!

If you were hurt in a car accident in or near Rock Hill, South Carolina, the Law Offices of Brian Robert Murphy can assist you. With legal representation from our firm, you can rest easy knowing that your claims case is in good hands. Not only will our skilled legal team work hard to ensure that your claims are filed correctly and within the designated statute of limitations, but our experienced automobile accident injury team will fight hard to help you receive full compensation for everything you have suffered.

Why settle for less than what you need to recover from your crash when you can have a Rock Hill car accident lawyer helping you at every step of your recovery journey? Instead, let us handle the legalities so that you can focus on what really matters: healing and recovering. To schedule your risk-free automobile accident claims consultation with a South Carolina car accident lawyer from our firm now, click here for car accident lawyer Rock Hill services. Or, you can also call us at 877-721-9484

January 18, 2024

What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina?

No one expects to be involved in a personal injury claims case. However, whether by accident or sheer negligence, injuries do happen. When someone is wrongfully injured due to the negligent behavior of another, it may be time to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. That way, you can begin the process of accessing compensation for your pain, suffering, and financial losses.

Understanding what types of personal injury claims are most common in the state of South Carolina can help you better determine whether you have a case on your hands and when it’s time to call a lawyer. If you have questions or need assistance with your personal injury claim, we encourage you to reach out to our law firm right away. With an experienced professional on your side from the very start, the outcome of your case is likely to be more favorable. In the meantime, here are the six most common types of personal injury claims filed every year in South Carolina.

The Most Common Cause of Personal Injuries: Automobile Accidents

By far and away, motor vehicle collisions are the most common cause of personal injury lawsuits. In the United States, more than 3 million people every year are seriously injured in automobile accidents. These collisions may include pedestrian accidents, commercial vehicle crashes, motorcycle crashes, DUI-induced accidents, or vehicular accidents involving two drivers. If you were injured in South Carolina from an automobile accident that was caused because of someone else's negligence, call our firm and receive a risk-free consultation.

Other Common Causes of Personal Injuries:

• Medical Negligence

• A Lack of Workplace Safety

• Animal Attacks

• Violent Acts

• Nursing Home Abuse

• Daycare Negligence

• Defective Products

• Bus Crashes

• Boat Crashes

• Slip and Falls

A Note on Premises Liability Laws

Some accidents fall under South Carolina's Premises Liability Laws. These types of accidents may result in personal injury claims. For instance, if a patron suffers from a slip and fall injury at a grocery store, the owner of the grocery store or the parent company may be held liable for damages resulting from the accident. This was especially true if the slip was caused by the negligence of store operators in some way.

The Six Most Common Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina

Now, let's discuss the most common types of personal injury claims filed annually in South Carolina. These injuries can range from minor to severe and may be followed by additional medical expenses, aftercare costs, and rehabilitation fees. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney may help you access reimbursement for the cost of medical care, lost time at work, and other damages that often coincide with injuries like this.

1. Head and Neck Injuries

a person with a neck brace sitting in an office

Head and neck injuries are the most common types of claims seen in South Carolina. This is because these upper areas of the body are most susceptible to trauma, as in a car wreck. Additionally, the resulting damage caused by an injury to the head or neck can take a very long time to heal from. These kinds of injuries may also require lengthy (and often expensive) rehabilitation processes. For instance, whiplash is incredibly common after a car accident and may result in damage to a person's upper spinal cord. This kind of trauma can be life-altering.

2. Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, also called TBI injuries, are sometimes difficult to detect. For this reason, if you are in an automobile collision, it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Often, TBI symptoms don't manifest immediately. However, these sorts of injuries may result in an array of neurological and non-neurological symptoms including musculoskeletal damage, gastrointestinal damage, pulmonary damage, and issues with autonomic function, motor function, and speech. Victims of traumatic brain injuries may also suffer from social deficits, mood changes, learning difficulties, suicidal thoughts, or other behavioral changes.

3. Amputations

Amputations are often a result of serious accidents with heavy equipment like a car crash or workplace disaster. Traumatic amputations may be caused by crushing or pinning. In instances like this, surgical removal of a limb or body part may be required to save a person’s life. Amputations can take a long time to recover from and generally have a large and permanent impact on an individual's career, future ambitions, and life enjoyment.

4. Breaks, Cuts, and Lacerations

Cuts, broken bones, and lacerations are also common after an accident. Car accidents, for example, may cause loose objects to become airborne before coming in contact with a person's skin. Sharp objects can lead to cuts, punctures, lacerations, impalement, and more. In some instances, these lacerations and puncture wounds develop into infections. Objects or impacts may also cause deep lacerations or bone breaks that also damage muscles or tendons. These kinds of injuries may take months, if not years, to fully recover from.

6. Severe Burns

Burns are another common claim. Severe second-degree burns can damage the second layer of skin known as the dermis. This may lead to scarring, infection, and more. The worst types of burns, known as fourth-degree burns, can be life-threatening.

7. Toxicity

Toxicity, illness, and toxic exposure can be caused by hazardous materials. This may include explosives, combustible substances, cancerous toxins, or other materials. Illnesses and diseases that arise from toxic exposure may take a long time to materialize and be difficult to prove. Mesothelioma, for instance, is an example of a toxic exposure claim.

Are You an Injured Victim? Contact a Five Star Rated South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer to Help with Your Claim

If you were wrongfully injured in South Carolina, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your damages. However, before filing a claim, it is often best to first contact an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can prepare your claims correctly and file the necessary documentation promptly for the best possible case outcome. Moreover, your lawyer will be able to speak with insurance adjusters on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the highest possible compensation amount.

Call the Law Offices of Brian Robert Murphy Now

The five star rated South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian Robert Murphy are ready to help you file your personal injury claims now. Serving Rock Hill, Charleston, Greenville, and the surrounding areas, our experienced team is here to answer your personal injury claim questions in-depth. We can help you get the compensation you are legally entitled to after being wrongfully injured in South Carolina. Call today for your risk-free personal injury claims case consultation!

December 7, 2023

When to Call a Lawyer After Your Car Accident: Here’s What to Know!

Automobile accidents can be incredibly distressing and often occur at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. After a collision, victims may be left with all kinds of problems, including stressful medical expenses, traumatic memories, painful injuries, and plenty of unanswered questions.

Here, we will discuss when you should call a car accident attorney after your South Carolina automobile collision. We will also walk you through what to do in the aftermath of your car wreck to protect your best interests (legally and financially). That way, you can stop wondering what to do next and start focusing on what really matters: healing and recovering!

When Should You Call A Lawyer After Your Car Accident?

It's crucial to know when to seek legal counsel after a car crash. Trying to navigate the aftermath of your collision alone can result in serious consequences including unfavorable out-of-pocket expenses, and even worse, being held wrongfully liable for something that was not your fault.

Understandably, most people are hesitant to contact a lawyer right after a crash. However, waiting too long to call a good lawyer can be a huge mistake. As a rule, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible after any automobile collision to ensure that your rights are protected and your best interests are represented from the start.

Some personal injury lawyers even offer car crash consultations to help you figure out if you have a strong case and what the best course of action after your wreck most likely will be. Here are some things to know and steps to take after your accident to help you prevent even more problems from arising after your crash. Why take unnecessary chances when you can get legal advice easily at no personal risk?

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in South Carolina

Here are some steps to take directly after your collision to protect your physical safety, financial interests, and legal rights.

1. Safety First: Keep Calm and Seek Medical Care

Before thinking about who may be held liable for any damages, get yourself and anyone else who was in the vehicle with you to safety. Evaluate if you should move off the road and immediately seek help from emergency services (take pictures before moving if it can be done safely). Even if your injuries seem minor, you should be evaluated by a medical professional.

If possible, write down the names and contact information of the first responders in charge, as well as your attending physician. This will help you gather important records and other facts to support your claims case later.

2. Call A Lawyer to Begin Addressing Legal Concerns Like Liability, Damages, and Insurance

After things have stabilized, it's time to seek help from a skilled legal professional with an in-depth understanding of personal injury law. Hiring a competent personal injury attorney after your automobile accident can be incredibly beneficial for several reasons. Here are some things your attorney may be able to do for you after a crash.

Your Lawyer Can Help You Recover Damages

For one thing, your lawyer can help you recover damages. These damages may apply to your physical person, passengers, or vehicle. The more severe your injuries and damages are, the more substantial your bills and expenses are likely to be. Someone must be held accountable to pay for damages of this kind, and if the person responsible for causing your accident is denying fault, your attorney can help to protect your interests.

An Attorney Will Know How to Deal with Insurance Claims Adjusters

In addition to this, your insurance company is sure to be involved after a collision. Unfortunately, insurance providers may try to deny your coverage claims. A skilled lawyer will be able to provide the necessary documentation needed to help ensure that your insurance claims are paid fairly. It is best to always consult a lawyer before giving any information to an insurance claims adjuster after your accident.

Other Things Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With

A competent personal injury attorney can help you with an array of other issues as well.

For example, your lawyer will help you if:

• A drunk driver was involved

• You were in a hit-and-run accident

• A third party or commercial vehicle operator was responsible for your collision

What to Know Before Seeking Compensation for Your Damages

Injured person visiting car accident lawyer

It is important to understand that the severity of your injuries will be a major determining factor when considering damages and pursuing compensation after an accident. After all, if you were badly injured, you should be compensated fairly.

Some People Don't Realize What Their Claims Are Really Worth

Ongoing medical problems can become incredibly costly over time, and sometimes, people don’t realize just how much their claims are really worth. This can lead to settling for less than what you actually deserve. To prevent this, it is important to consult with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

Your attorney can support you and advise you as you pursue reimbursement for your rehabilitation costs and medical expenses. They can also assist you in calculating the actual value of your claims case. From there, your legal team can help you accurately keep track of your bills and expenses during the entire healing and recovery period.

Proving Fault After Your Car Accident May Be More Complex Than You Realize

South Carolina is an “at fault” or “tort” state. This means the person who is at fault for causing an automobile accident will be liable for paying damages to the other individuals involved. However, if the party at fault tries to deny responsibility, things can get complicated quickly.

If the at-fault party attempts to deny their liability or wrongfully accuses you of being responsible, the role of your attorney is more important than ever. Your lawyer will gather evidence about your accident to prove liability and represent your interests in the aftermath of an accident.

Moreover, in some instances, a third party may be involved. This third party should be held liable if they contributed to the crash in any way. For instance, if a construction company leaves debris on the road, it should be held responsible for a resulting collision. Your attorney will be able to determine all responsible parties regarding your collision and contact their insurance providers for you.

Let Your Lawyer Handle Negotiations with Insurance Claims Adjusters

In South Carolina, it is illegal to drive without minimum liability insurance. The insurance company of the at-fault party will be responsible for paying damages. However, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. This means that insurance claims adjusters often try to reduce a claim amount as much as possible. Your attorney is there to prevent this from happening. After all, why should you settle for less than what you are rightfully owed?

Some claims are fairly straightforward while others are incredibly complex. It is critical to speak with an attorney before discussing anything with your insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault party. Imagine having something that you said recorded and used against you to reduce your claims.

Instead of taking any calls from insurance adjusters, consider contacting an attorney right away to prevent making costly legal mistakes. A personal injury attorney can speak to insurance claims adjusters on your behalf and will know what to say to ensure that your compensation is adequate and equitable.

Don’t Wait, Call a South Carolina Personal Injury Auto Crash Attorney Now!

If you want to seek monetary recovery after your car crash, keep in mind that South Carolina has a statute of limitations on filing claims. Calling a qualified automobile accident personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your car accident is usually the best move. The sooner you call a personal injury attorney, the better your chances of receiving fair compensation are likely to be.

If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to the skilled South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian Robert Murphy. Proudly serving Rock Hill, Greenville, Charleston, and the surrounding areas, you can rely on our team to answer your questions and help you navigate the complexities of your car accident case. Call today for your free personal injury consultation!

October 13, 2023

What to Do if Your Car Was Crashed by an Uninsured Driver

Did you recently get into an automobile accident caused by a driver without car insurance? In order to drive legally, all drivers in South Carolina must have auto insurance. If you find yourself stuck with repair costs due to negligence on the other driver's part, the outlook can look grim. However, you may have options if you follow the right steps. Learn more about what to do if your car was crashed by an uninsured driver.

Exchange Driver and Car Information

After you get into an accident, you need to exchange contact information and car information with the other driver. If the other party doesn't have insurance information, you should still take down their name, phone number, address, license plate #, and car make/model.

If the other driver refuses to give you their personal information, take a picture of the license plate. If the driver attempts to commit a hit-and-run, the authorities may be able to locate the perp with the license plate #.

Report the Incident to the Police

You should call the local authorities to inform them about the accident and the other party's lack of insurance. A police officer will write a report based on the information in front of them. The report can be helpful in the case, so keep it in a safe place.

When you talk to the police officer, keep your report as general as possible. If you forgo too much information, it can be used against you later. Limit what you say until after you speak to a lawyer.

Collect Evidence

Without evidence, you have a case of "he-said", "she-said". As the plaintiff, you have the burden of proof, so you'll need to prove that the accident was the uninsured driver's fault. Without evidence, the court will need to side with the defendant.

There are a number of items you can collect as evidence. For example, you can take pictures of the damage. The pictures may be able to explain how the accident happened based on the point of collision, extent of damage, and tire tracks on the road. Sometimes you can obtain video footage of the accident if the collision occurred near a business with security cameras. If there were third-party witnesses to the accident, ask if they would provide you with a written victim statement. If you have another person in the car with you, they can provide a witness statement, but it's not as convincing as a statement from an unaffiliated third party.

Contact a South Carolina Car Crash Lawyer

After you report the incident and gather as much evidence as you can, your next call should be to a South Carolina car crash lawyer for a free consultation.

Present all of the details about the case, including all evidence, police reports, and communications between you and the other driver. The lawyer will determine if they want to take your case based on the initial consultation.

If the lawyer agrees to represent you, he will begin developing your case. Clarify with your lawyer what verbiage you should use in your official statements to the insurance company and the court.

Learn About Local Car Accident Laws

It's important to talk to your lawyer about the car accident laws in South Carolina so you understand your rights and responsibilities.

South Carolina is an "at-fault" state, meaning that the culpable party will be responsible for paying for the damages. The authorities may determine that the other driver wasn't 100% at fault but rather 80%. The driver found to be 80% at-fault will need to pay for 80% of the damages.

In most instances, the at-fault driver will file a claim through their insurance company. Since the at-fault driver in this case doesn't have insurance, you need to look into alternative solutions.

Drivers in South Carolina are required to have both liability insurance and uninsured driver insurance. Minimum coverage for property damage is $25,000, and the minimum coverage for bodily injury is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Visit a Doctor

Car accidents can cause serious physical damage, even if the injuries aren't immediately apparent (ex. internal bleeding, back pain). We recommend that you visit a doctor as soon as possible after the accident to receive an evaluation. If you wait too long after the accident, it can create doubt about the cause of the injuries.

Get Repair Quotes

Bring your vehicle to multiple auto repair shops to get quotes for your vehicle's repairs. You will use these quotes to prove the extent of the damages caused by the accident.

Verify the Details of Your Insurance Policy

Contact your insurance company to verify the details about your insurance policy. If you have the required uninsured driver insurance, you have the option to file a claim through your own insurance company.

Verify with your insurance company if your premiums will go up as a result of the claim or not. If you don't have uninsured driver insurance, can't afford increased premiums, or the insurance company denies part or all of your claim, meet with your attorney to discuss your next course of action.

You should also verify if your policy covers the cost of a rental while your car's in the shop.

File a Civil Claim Against the Uninsured Driver

When all else fails, you will need to file a civil claim against the uninsured driver for property damage, bodily injury, court fees, and any other losses you experienced. If the judge rules in your favor, the defendant will be responsible for paying you the damages.

Auto Accident Attorney in South Carolina

If you got into an accident with an uninsured driver, contact the Law Offices of Brian Murphy LLC for a free consultation.

August 2, 2023

5 Rules For Approaching A Stopped School Bus +infographic

Its the end of summer, and that means back to school time. School buses will be returning to our roads after the summer absence. All of us at the Law Offices of Brian Robert Murphy want to remind you of the rules when approaching a stopped school bus.

We all know the law requires us to stop for a stopped school bus; however, some of us forget the detailed rules when it comes to divided highways, multilane roads, and approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction. Others just don’t care about the rules of the road. It infuriates me to see someone fly by a stopped school bus when its lights are flashing.

Rule breaking drivers infuriate school bus drivers too. Imagine having the primary responsibility for the safety of 50+ students going to or coming home from school. Often students cross the road to get onto or off the bus. Having a distracted or aggressive driver pass the school bus (or worse--crash into the school bus) is a recipe for absolute disaster. We have no tolerance for inattentive rule breaking that puts people’s lives in danger.

I’ve also even seen people stopping when they shouldn’t, presumably out of an abundance of caution. That can also be dangerous if the driver behind you doesn’t expect you to stop.

This reminds us of recent tragic stories around stopped buses and injures at bus stops. In September of last year, a logging truck crashed into the rear of a SUV who was pushed into a stopped school bus, injuring fifteen students. In a close call just a couple months later, a rule-breaking logging truck driver broke the crossing gate off a stopped school bus in Lancaster.

So here they are: 5 Rules for Approaching a Stopped School Bus (along with a shareable infographic).

  • Don’t overtake (pass in the same direction) a school bus that is flashing its amber lights
  • Stop while the flashing stop sign is extended
  • Always stop when behind a school bus going in the same direction
  • Stop when approaching on a two-lane road
  • Keep going when approaching a school bus on a multilane road (at least two lanes in each direction)
5 Rules Infographic

5 Rules Infographic

If you have been injured in a car accident by a rule breaking driver, please feel free to reach out to us at one of our locations in Rock Hill, SC, Greenville, SC, or Charleston, SC for a free consultation. 

April 19, 2023

The Role of Cell Phones in Car Accidents

cell phone distracted driver

Every day, nine Americans lose their lives in car crashes suspected to have been caused by a distracted driver. Distracted driving occurs when a driver's attention is diverted from the road. The risk of car accidents rises when a driver is distracted. A distraction might be anything that causes you to take your mind off the road. Distracted driving involves texting, chatting on a cell phone, using a navigation system on your phone or any touchscreen interface, and eating. These things can put you and your passengers and other drivers at risk.

We can categorize distractions on the road into three:

·   Visual distractions or diverting attention away from the road

·   Manual distractions or taking the hands off the steering

·   Cognitive distractions or mentally diverting oneself from the task of driving

Thousands of Americans suffer because of distracted driving every year. In 2019, accidents involving a distracted motorist resulted in over 424,000 injuries and 3,100 fatalities. Around 20% of traffic fatalities were pedestrians or cyclists who were not in a car at the time of the accident.

Distracted driving is more common among specific demographics. As a result, distracted driving legislation has been passed in many jurisdictions to help safeguard the public from further injury and fatalities.

Such examples include restricting the number of minors who can ride as passengers with teenage drivers and making it illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel. In addition, high-visibility enforcement (HVE) measures for distracted driving laws can be beneficial in cutting down cell phone use while driving. However, the efficacy of cell phone and texting regulations requires further study.

Many folks, unfortunately, still ignore public service announcements and basic sense and use our phones while behind the wheel. We have become so reliant on our phones that we don't think twice about taking them up in dangerous situations, such as behind the wheel.

Cell phones are linked to incidents resulting in significant injuries and even fatalities for innocent bystanders.

The statistics on the dangers of texting and driving are shocking. It is estimated that over half a million motorists attempt to use their phones while driving at any given moment.

Thanks to smartphones, maintaining constant contact is a breeze. But, if a person decides to check any electronic communication on other mobile applications while driving, that can eventually result in risk and danger to both the driver and the people around them.

How Do Cell Phones Cause Crashes?

In many states, it is already against the law to use a handheld mobile phone or similar device for any purpose while driving. Like eating, drinking, tinkering with the music, or adjusting the GPS, using a telephone while driving is cognitively distracting. Among the ways it can increase the risk of an accident are:

1. The driver has only one hand on the wheel, reducing his ability to respond quickly in an emergency.

2. The driver's attention is diverted from the road while dialing, searching for, or messaging on the phone.

3. An individual's visual processing capacity and peripheral awareness are reduced while texting or talking on a cell phone.

4. When a split-second decision needs to be made to avoid an accident, a driver whose attention is diverted by a phone call or text message is putting themselves and others in danger.

5. When a driver's attention is diverted from the road to focus on his phone, he is more likely to cause accidents by weaving, swerving out of his lane, or colliding with a guardrail or sign.

The Consequences of Using Cell Phones While Driving

How significant is the role of cell phones in causing accidents in the USA?

- More than 1.6 million car accidents occur yearly because drivers are texting or talking on the phone, compared to drunk driving, texting while behind the wheel is six times as risky.

Although using a cell phone of any kind can indeed be a distraction, studies have proved again and time again that texting while driving is particularly dangerous.

- Every time you send a text, you remove your eyes off the road for around five seconds. It may not seem like much, but at 55 mph, your eyes will have been off the road for the length of a football field.

- Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, even the youngest and least experienced drivers like teenagers. Although 94% of teens agree that texting and driving is dangerous, 35% say they do it regardless. It is common knowledge that texting and driving is extremely risky, yet many people still check their phones until they get behind the wheel.

When you combine the cognitive demands of driving with those of using a cell phone, your reaction time suffers. Because of this, you will be less responsive to things like brake lights and lane changes if you use mobile tech while driving.

Talk to a personal injury attorney ASAP if you or another person has been hurt in an accident caused by someone using a cell phone while driving.

The burden of proof rests on the plaintiff in an automobile accident lawsuit to establish that the defendant's negligent actions were the direct cause of the plaintiff's damages.

Recent cases prove that a driver's mobile phone use during a collision (or before) can make the driver negligent or legally at fault. Additionally, a company could be liable if an employee causes an auto accident while on the clock and doing work-related things like talking on the phone or texting. As a result, many companies are banning employees from using any phone or device (including company-issued ones) while behind the wheel.

If you have been injured in a car accident, get a free consultation by calling us at 877-721-9494 or visit one of offices in Greenville SC, Charleston SC, or Rock Hill SC.

February 24, 2023

Understanding Personal Injury Lawsuits in South Carolina

personal injury law

Personal injury lawsuits that involve life-changing events like auto accidents must always be handled by a knowledgeable and emphatic personal injury lawyer Charleston SC. Many factors make personal injury lawsuits complex, including that insurance companies have dedicated legal teams that will do everything they can to reduce the cost of settlements and minimize liabilities. While it's never personal, the work of the opposite legal team will always be against the plaintiff's claims, and that's why you should be ready with an experienced attorney in personal injury law in Charleston SC.

How Does "Pain and Suffering" Work?
The term "pain and suffering" is commonly used to refer to the noneconomic damages of mental anguish and physical injury. It encompasses the physical and mental suffering that results from an injury. Loss of enjoyment of life is one example of the non-monetary damages that fall under this umbrella term.
Damages for loss of enjoyment of life reflect the aggravation and distress one feels when they are prevented from engaging in past pleasures.
It's normal to feel like your world has turned upside down after suffering injuries in an accident that wasn't your fault. Suddenly, you must schedule your life around medical procedures and doctor's visits, keeping you from returning to work while you focus on getting better.
You're suffering from physical discomfort, mental distress, and emotional strain. You may have heard that in addition to medical bills and lost wages, you can seek compensation for your emotional distress by filing a personal injury claim.
Understand that two types of suffering can arise from a personal injury case: physical and emotional. What does each term mean?

A victim's physical suffering because of their injuries. It includes the present and future difficulties they face because of the defendant's negligence and any difficulties they may face in the future.

The victim's mental state is affected by the daily reality of living with pain and physical injury.
They probably feel a wide range of emotions, including anxiety, shock, hopelessness, humiliation, anger, and fear. In a nutshell, the term "mental pain and suffering" refers to any distressing feelings the victim may be experiencing because of the accident. Everything that has come up in your mind because of the shock of the accident is included here.
Sleep disturbances, mood swings, anger, and depression are all symptoms that can occur when a victim is overwhelmed by emotional distress. PTSD, depression, and a general lack of interest in life are some other symptoms that may be present.
Many years, if not a lifetime, may pass before the victim finally finds relief from the physical and mental pain and suffering.
Most people have never been a party to a legal dispute. Consequently, many people who have been injured in an accident and their loved ones are hesitant to file a personal injury claim.
A lawsuit might go to trial before a jury, but in practice, this rarely happens, and the litigation process shouldn't be traumatic for the parties involved. From meeting with an attorney to settling your case, each step of the personal injury lawsuit process is outlined below.

1. Consulting with a Lawyer About Your Accident
After seeking medical attention for injuries sustained due to another's negligence, the next step is to speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a case.
Do not forget to bring any notes, medical records, and other paperwork you may have taken that pertain to your situation. Consultations with personal injury attorneys are typically free of charge, so you won't have to worry about shelling out money right off the bat.

2. Assessing the Legal Counsel
The outcome of your injury case may hinge on whether you have the right attorney representing you. Talk to the lawyer about their experience and success rate with cases like yours, how they handle client communication, and anything else on your mind.
The lawyer will ask you many questions at the first consultation to get a feel for your situation. However, be wary of any lawyer who guarantees a specific settlement amount in the first meeting. To determine the worth of your case, a reasonable attorney will need more time.

3. Hiring Legal Defense and Understanding How They're Compensated
Personal injury lawyers typically don't get paid unless you do. When your case concludes, and you receive compensation, your attorney will receive a fee equal to a percentage of that amount as payment for their services.
If you decide to retain legal representation, you'll be asked to sign a client contract outlining the terms of your relationship and the agreed-upon fee. Therefore, answering all your questions about the fee is essential before signing the contract.

4. Case Investigation
Your lawyer will investigate your case to learn what happened to you and the full scope of your injuries, damages, and associated expenses. Then, the insurance company will be contacted, and a lawyer for the at-fault party may be consulted if necessary.
You can rest assured that your lawyer will keep you updated on the status of the case and any negotiations or other significant developments. Getting the care, you need and returning to your routine as soon as possible should be your top priorities.

5. Reaching a Possible Settlement
Personal injury claims are often settled out of court. Your lawyer will speak with the insurance company representing the negligent party.
Most of the time, the insurance company will make a settlement offer, and your lawyer will advise you on whether to accept the offer. A lawyer's opinion is valuable, but whether the settlement is satisfactory is up to you. If you've been injured and want to know how much your case is worth, click here.

6. The Pretrial Procedure
Your lawyer will take the matter to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached. A judge will then establish time limits for each step of the litigation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this could take anywhere from several months to several years.

7. Mediation
Requests for mediation, an alternative dispute resolution, can be made at any proceeding stage. A mediator acts as a referee between the parties and brings in the lawyers for both sides. As the mediator facilitates, each side makes its case and attempts to reach a compromise. However, the parties involved in a mediation session are under no obligation to accept the mediator's proposal.

8. The Courtroom
Your attorney will argue your case in front of a judge or jury, and the other side (the defendant) will present their defense afterward. The judge or jury hears evidence and arguments from both parties and then decides who is liable for the harm and injuries you suffered and how much the defendant must pay.

September 29, 2020

Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus

Early September, we posted 5 Rules for Approaching a Stopped School Bus. We reviewed the rules of the road about when to stop and when to go when encountering a school bus on the highway. According to a national survey, these rules are being violated every day.

In 2019, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation conducted a nationwide survey to report passing violations. The 39 states participating reported 95,494 passing violations in a single day. South Carolina reported 223.

Convictions are a 6-point violation on your driver’s license and can be proved by onboard video. Cameras are installed in the stop arm of certain school buses to catch rule breakers. The legal penalties add up for multiple violations.

For a first offense, a violator can be fined up to $500.00 or imprisoned up to 30 days. A second or subsequent offense can bring fines of $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 or imprisonment from 30 days to sixty days.

The penalties are greatly enhanced if the violator causes great bodily injury or death. A conviction is a felony, includes a fine of $5,000.00 to $10,000.00, and 60 days to one year in jail. If death results, the fine increases to $10,000.00 to $25,000.00 and imprisonment from one to five years.

Our take: Slow down, pay attention, and stop for school buses.

July 21, 2020

Taking My Own Medicine, Part 2

I wrote the first part of this article here. If you missed it, I detailed how a distracted driver crashed into a vehicle behind me, moved that vehicle to the side, and then crashed into my vehicle. While I was released from the hospital without serious injuries, the whole ordeal continued to be frustrating.

First, a disclaimer, I am pro-law enforcement. I have many close friends who bravely serve to protect our communities. Our officers put their lives at risk every day to protect all of us. I am very much indebted to those dedicated public servants.

The trooper who responded to my traffic collision was not professional. Many of my clients have told me about inaccuracies and errors in police reports. These errors usually make the largest impact when my clients are being deposed. Skilled defense lawyers will compare the police report with my client’s version of the collision. Many clients are dumbfounded when the police report notes that they were not injured.

Having that background, I was very careful to tell the responding officer the truth. I was hurt, I told him, but did not need an ambulance. As many of you know, some very painful and lasting injuries do not require an ambulance ride to the hospital. I also told the EMS that I was injured. They evaluated me on site and told me to get medical attention.

After the trooper finished investigating, he told me he would send the FR10 the next day to my email address. Without the information on that form, I couldn’t verify whether the at-fault driver had insurance, I couldn’t get a rental car, and I couldn’t get my vehicle damage evaluated. 

I figured the officer was busy, but that the form would probably come on day 2. When the officer still hadn’t contacted me, I called his office and left a message. He didn’t return my call. Day 3 came and went without any contact. Finally, on day 5, I received an email that contained the FR10.

Five days is way too long to process an FR10. During that time, I had no information about the at fault driver, I did not know whether or not he had insurance, and I could not arrange for a rental car. That waiting only added to the frustration and anxiety of being in a car accident in the first place.

Next, I found errors on the collision report. First, the officer indicated on the report that I was not injured. It must be a mistake, I thought. I also noticed that a passenger in the car directly behind me was not listed. I respectfully replied to the officer’s email that I had read the report, that I recalled telling him I was injured, and that I believed a passenger’s information had not been included. I kindly asked him to revise his report.

His reply was surprising. The officer told me he remembered me telling him I was hurt. However, since he didn’t see any visible signs of injury, he indicated on the report that I was not. He also told me that because the passenger did not seem hurt to him, he had not included the passenger’s information on the report either. Finally, he refused to correct the report.

I knew this inaccurate report could cause many problems down the road. I couldn’t believe a police officer would knowingly refuse to correct these inaccuracies. His errors could cause doubt about whether or not I told him I was hurt. They could lead to an inaccurate investigation by the insurance companies because the passenger’s name and contact information were not included. Leaving a witness’s information off that report could deprive an injured party of finding relevant evidence and testimony.

In a following article, I will continue to detail my auto collision saga. My future articles will discuss the challenge in getting my vehicle fixed, and how I eventually took my own medicine when it came to being the victim of an auto collision.

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