Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you had a car accident due to the negligence of someone else  but you had no way of identifying the negligent party? South Carolina law requires every motor vehicle owner to carry uninsured motorist (UM) insurance, which may allow you to file a lawsuit ostensibly against the “John Doe” who caused the accident, and, if the suit is successful, your UM carrier will be liable for the damages ultimately awarded by the courts (up to the amount of your policy limits).

In theory, this might sound a little bit like shooting fish in a barrel; after all, you and your insurance company are on the same side, right? Unfortunately, no, you are not. Proceedings against a UM carrier can be just as adversarial – sometimes, even more adversarial – than a run-of-the-mill lawsuit in which the actual defendant is known and present at trial. Continue reading

In a perfect world, the evidence in a lawsuit would be so obviously convincing in favor of one party or the other that a jury would be able to reach a quick and unanimous verdict. In the real world, however, a case in which the evidence is so clearly in one party’s favor usually gets settled out of court.

As for the rest, the question sometimes arises as to what a judge should do after the jury has said they are deadlocked. In the landmark case of Allen v. United States, 164 U.S. 492 (1896), the nation’s highest court approved, at least for the federal courts, a jury instruction advising jurors to listen to one another with a disposition towards being convinced of each other’s arguments.

Recently, the South Carolina Court of Appeals was called upon to consider whether an Allen charge was acceptable in a particular South Carolina state court case.

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Did you know that in the United States, speed limits are determined by individual agencies within each state? For a lot of our South Carolina readers, this makes sense. Many people believe that state agencies know their state best and should be able to make speed limit determinations that make the most sense in their area.

Although many states consider accident risk when raising speed limits, a recent Associated Press investigation determined that some state agencies may have set speed limits without considering tire speeds. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is facing difficult questions from the public, particularly concerning what the agency intends on doing about this potential problem.

Often disregarded or even unknown to many people, tire speed limits are incredibly important in the trucking industry because they establish guidelines for safe operation and help drivers avoid tire blowouts that could cause serious or even catastrophic accidents. Though some states have restrictions on how fast large trucks can travel, not all states do, meaning truck drivers as well as other motorists could be at risk of an accident and not even know it.

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Imagine for a moment that you’re driving on the freeway, doing the speed limit in the left lane when you realize that you’re quickly approaching the vehicle in front of you. You reduce your speed to avoid a collision and wait for the other driver to change lanes so that you may pass, as is common courtesy here in South Carolina. But the driver never does change lanes, causing a line of vehicles to form behind you.

If you’ve been involved in a situation such as this, you’ve probably also been angered by it. But the actions that you choose next could mean the difference between what is right and what could be considered reckless. This is an important distinction we’d like our Spartanburg readers to consider, especially because reckless driving could leave you liable in a crash.

As you can imagine, in a scenario such as this, you have a number of options. You could stay behind the person or you could change lanes instead. But the worst decisions you could make are to tailgate the other driver or worse still, weave in and out of traffic so that you can get ahead of the driver only to slam on your brakes. These types of behaviors are not only considered reckless but they can lead to a serious or even fatal accident. And in the end, you could be the one at fault, not the other driver.

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Just about everyone knows that before a vehicle is released on the market, manufacturers have to prove that the vehicle is safe and that it meets all government safety standards as well. But as we all know, safety standards are constantly being changed and updated. What was once considered safe 20 years ago might not be the case now.

This poses an important question to drivers of used cars then: if your vehicle is deemed unsafe now but wasn’t when it was first produced, can the manufacturer still be held liable in the event of a serious or fatal crash? It’s a question most people don’t get an answer to until after the unthinkable happens, which is not the way we want any of our readers to find out. That’s why in today’s post, we’d like to highlight an out-of-state case that may provide some clues as to how a personal injury claim involving an older unsafe vehicle might go.

The case we’d like to present to our South Carolina readers is the wrongful death claim against Chrysler which recently received a ruling in a Georgia courtroom. Just as we did above, this case raised the important question about a manufacturer’s responsibility for a vehicle that had been deemed safe but was no longer considered as such by today’s standards. After less than two hours of deliberation, the court had its answer: yes, a manufacturer can be held liable.

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There are certain lists that you never want to see your state take the number one spot on. One such list is a “worst drivers” list. Unfortunately, a recent worst drivers list has South Carolina right at the top.

The list was compiled by Car Insurance Comparison. The score which determined a state’s overall ranking on this list was based off of comparisons of the states (and Washington D.C.) in five different categories: careless driving, drunk driving, speeding, failure to obey and fatality rate.

The list puts South Carolina and one other state, Montana, in a tie for having the worst drivers of any state.

South Carolina did particularly badly in the fatality rate, careless driving and drunk driving categories, ending up among the 10 worst states in all three of these categories. When it came to the fatality rate category (this category is based on how many traffic deaths occurred for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled), South Carolina did the worst of any state.

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Whether you live here in South Carolina or another state, everyone knows the devastation that accompanies a motor vehicle accident. Although there is the physical damage to the vehicle or vehicles involved, the injuries suffered by passengers can be just as devastating. In more severe accidents, a person may even be killed, which can wreak havoc on a victim’s family and friends.

Although injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident can range from minor lacerations and abrasions to more severe and even fatal injuries, many consider pedestrian accidents to be the worst. That’s because, unlike victims of motor vehicle accidents, people involved in pedestrian accidents do not have the protection of a vehicle’s frame to absorb some of the impact. Instead, a pedestrian’s body is taking all of the force, oftentimes resulting in catastrophic injuries and a higher risk of death.

Pedestrians who are unfortunate enough to become victims of an inattentive or negligent driver may suffer a variety of injuries including, but not limited to:

  • Bruises
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

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No matter what state you live in, whether it’s here in South Carolina or somewhere else, drunk driving is a huge problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 12,000 people die every year in alcohol-related crashes. But what makes this statistic perhaps most impactful is the fact that all of these accidents could have been prevented if the drivers had taken the necessary precaution and not gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.

Most people think that counting drinks or basing their sobriety on “how they feel” will be enough to prevent a drunk driving accident. Unfortunately though, these methods are flawed and do not give an accurate representation of actual intoxication. In a number of drunk driving cases, accidents are the result of a driver mistakenly thinking that they are okay to drive when in fact they are not.

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If you’re like most parents here in Spartanburg, then your children are probably incredibly important to you. If you could, you would do anything for them, including taking their place in the event of an injury-causing accident. Unfortunately, real life does not allow us to trade places with people, which means parents must do the next best thing after a serious accident: seek compensation for their child’s injuries.

From car accidents to cases of premises liability, injuries caused by someone else’s negligence happen all the time in South Carolina. In a number of cases, victims could be children who do not have enough life experience to know that they could be entitled to compensation for their injuries. That’s why it’s important for parents to not only know their own rights but the rights of their child as well.

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Unlike our neighbors in states just to our west and north, South Carolinians can enjoy bike riding year round because of our mild temperatures and typically snowless winter months. Unfortunately, this also means that a rider is at risk of getting into a bicycle accident year round as well.

It’s because of this fact that the number of bicycle accidents that occur each year in our state is typically higher when compared to other states where residents cannot bike year round. But according to a report recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, these higher numbers could be a result of something else as well.

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