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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Georgetown Hit & Run Accident Lawyer

Georgetown Hit & Run Accident Lawyer

Proportionally, South Carolina has one of the highest rates of hit & run accidents in the country. Law enforcement agencies do very little to make people safer in this area. Fundamentally, many investigators believe that car crashes are civil matters that do not merit law enforcement involvement. Furthermore, investigators have very little evidence to go in, at least in most cases. Finally, South Carolina’s hit & run law is rather unusual. It allows tortfeasors (negligent drivers) to leave the scene of an accident in some cases. Therefore, the law enforcement hit & run wreck closure rate is under 10 percent.

In contrast, the experienced Georgetown hit & run accident lawyer at the Stanley Law Group successfully resolve over 95 percent of the car crash matters we handle. Once we identify the tortfeasor (negligent driver), we generally settle these matters out of court. A settlement is a final resolution which prevents an insurance company from tying up a verdict in appeals courts, often for years to come. Furthermore, settlements give victims more control over the outcome.

Georgetown Hit & Run Accident Lawyers in Criminal and Civil Court

The different burden of proof is probably the biggest difference between civil and criminal court. Criminal court prosecutors must establish guilt, or legal fault, beyond any reasonable doubt. Additionally, prosecutors must wrestle with the unusual nature of Section 56-5-1220, the hit & run law. Most prosecutors would rather not make such an effort, especially for what they consider to be a civil dispute.

A Georgetown hit & run accident lawyer must establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Evidence in a hit & run claim is discussed below.

These two forums serve different purposes. Criminal courts punish offenders. If you were accused of hit & run, we can connect you with a top defense attorney. Furthermore, since South Carolina is a comparative fault state, you may still be entitled to compensation.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Evidence in Hit & Run Claims

Because of the lower burden of proof in civil court, a little evidence usually goes a long way. Some examples include:

  • Surveillance Video Footage: Cameras almost never record footage of drivers’ faces, especially at night. But they often do record partial plate numbers and vehicle damage, even at night.
  • Additional Witness Statements: Chances are, somebody saw something. However for various reasons, these people do not voluntarily loiter at accident scenes to speak with police officers. Private attorneys, often working with private investigators, find these witnesses and secure their cooperation.
  • Stakeouts: Sitting and waiting for a vehicle to appear may be the most important evidence-gathering tool. Most people drive the same route pretty much every day and night. So, criminals often return to the scene of the crime.

The minimum burden of proof is enough to prove a case, but not enough to obtain maximum compensation. Minimum efforts usually yield minimum results. There’s usually a relationship between the amount of evidence a victim presents and the amount of money jurors award.

In the unlikely event an attorney cannot locate the tortfeasor, victims usually have other options, such as a PIP claim.

Work With a Dedicated Georgetown County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Georgetown hit & run accident lawyer, contact the Stanley Law Group. We routinely handle matters throughout the Palmetto State.

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