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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Sumter Rear End Accident Lawyer

Sumter Rear End Accident Lawyer

These collisions account for about a third of all car crashes in South Carolina. Only an experienced Sumter rear end accident lawyer from the Sawyer Law Group should handle such matters.

Spine injuries, broken bones and head injuries are among the most common rear-end crash injuries. The back cannot possibly absorb the full impact of a rear-end collision. At best, the impact misaligns the spine. At worst, it breaks the spine. Seatbelts and airbags, the most common safety devices, don’t prevent arm or leg injuries, as these limbs flail wildly during collisions and often strike solid objects, like the dashboard. Furthermore, these restraint systems offer little or no protection against motion-related head/neck injuries, like whiplash.

Furthermore, the extreme stress of a rear-end collision often causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a specific kind of brain injury. The stress alters the brain’s chemical composition. This imbalance causes symptoms like depression and anger that are hard to control, even with strong medication and regular therapy.

Sumter Rear End Accident Lawyers and Legal Responsibility

Law enforcement and insurance investigators almost always fault the rear-ending driver for these crashes. However, the difference between fault and liability is like the difference between a halftime score and a final score. The liability determination, like the final score, is all that matters.

Second-half comebacks often change the game’s outcome, and legal doctrines, like sudden emergency, often reverse the fault determination. Basically, the insurance company argues that the tortfeasor (negligent driver) couldn’t avoid the collision, no matter what. If the sudden emergency doctrine applies, this excuse is a legal defense. This rule has two basic prongs:

  • Reasonable Reaction: This element is often easy to prove. Most people react reasonably after car crashes. They pull over, help injured victims if they can, call for help, wait for help to arrive, and cooperate with investigators and other authorities.
  • Sudden Emergency: This element is often nearly impossible to prove. A stopped-short or stalled car is an everyday hazard. The duty of care requires drivers to anticipate such hazards and be prepared to avoid them. A sudden emergency is a completely unanticipated situation, like a hood fly-up.

Alternatively, the comparative fault doctrine could apply especially in chain-reaction rear-end collision matters.

Assume Tom was tailgating Dick, and Harry was tailgating Tom. Dick slammed on his breaks. Tom slammed on his brakes, barely avoiding a collision. Harry slammed on his brakes, but he still crashed into Tom.

Tom and Harry were both tailgating, so they might both be partially responsible for the wreck. If that’s the case, the jury must apportion fault on a percentage basis between the drivers.

South Carolina is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent threshold. If the victim was no more than 49 percent responsible for the wreck, the tortfeasor is responsible for a proportionate share of compensation.

Damages in Car Crash Cases

Compensation in a negligence case is based on a simple “you break it, you buy it” responsibility principle. If people break instruments in music shops, they must pay compensation (replace the instruments). If people break other people, they must pay compensation.

The compensation in a car crash case is higher than the compensation in a broken-instrument case because a person is worth much more than a tuba. So, the damages in a car crash or other negligence claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Determining the amount of fair compensation in an injury case is a process that combines science and art.

Prior economic losses are relatively easy to determine. Future economic losses, such as future medical bills, are harder to calculate, but still a matter of science. The art is calculating emotional distress and other noneconomic losses. Usually, attorneys multiply the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the facts of the case and a few other factors.

Work With a Hard-Hitting Sumter County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Sumter rear end accident lawyer, contact the Stanley Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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