Automobile Accident Attorney

Columbia, SC

If you have been injured in an automobile/wreck case you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you are a driver involved in the accident, you will have a case if you were not more at fault than the other driver. If you are a passenger injured in the automobile accident, you will have a case against the at fault driver.

A person is entitled to recover all actual damages as a result of the wreck case. Actual damages include medical bills, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any permanent injury. A person may also be able to recover under punitive damages if they were struck by a drunk driver or someone driving recklessly.

At the accident scene, you should always keep in mind that any statement you make to the police officer, the other driver, or any person could later be used against you. When you say, “I’m fine. I don’t need an ambulance.” -- you will be reminded of that later at your deposition or trial. Oftentimes a person will feel alright immediately following the accident but develop pain later that day or the next day.

It is always wise to seek medical treatment from a family doctor who is familiar with your medical history. By getting treatment from a medical doctor that you already know, the defense attorney cannot accuse you of going to the “wreck doctor.” You should follow the advice and treatment plan outlined by your doctor. Otherwise, it may appear that you are not really injured.

Once you have completed your medical care and have been released by your doctor, the attorney will then be in a position to settle your case. The attorney will submit your medical bills and lost wages to the insurance company. It is the attorney’s job to convince the insurance company that you should be compensated for all of your damages including pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent injuries.

The insurance company will normally respond to the demand package sent by the attorney. The client will have to decide whether to accept the offer after listening to the attorney’s advice. If the case cannot be settled, the attorney will file the Summons and Complaint to start the lawsuit.

Once the lawsuit is initiated, discovery will take place which involves sending interrogatories and requests to produce to the defense attorney. The client’s deposition will also normally be taken. Physicians may also need to be deposed before trial as well. It may take six months to a year before the case is called to trial.

Please contact the Columbia SC Attorney experienced attorneys at Koon Cook & Walters, LLC to help get the compensation you deserve when injured in an automobile accident.

Advice for those Injured in Autombile Wrecks

You should retain an attorney experienced in handling automobile wreck cases as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney not only how many accident cases he has handled, but how many cases he has tried. Insurance companies know which lawyers will take a case to trial and which attorneys will always settle. This does not mean that your case will have to go to trial, but the insurance adjustor and insurance attorney will make better offers if they know that your attorney will go to trial if a fair offer is not made.
Until you hire an attorney, you may want to follow these instructions:

1. TALK TO NO ONE. Do not talk to anyone about your accident except for the attorneys or employees in this office. Do tell the adjustor where your damaged car is located, but do not give any recorded or written statements to anyone including your own insurance company. Do not talk to your friends or co-workers about the case or about what you hope to receive from the case.

2. MEDICAL BILLS. Keep copies of all medical, hospital, and drug bills that you receive. Also keep records of any other expenses that you have in connection with this wreck including babysitting costs or costs incurred to have others do your usual duties.

3. LOST INCOME. Keep an accurate record of all days or time lost from work even if you are paid or use your sick leave for this time lost. Save any check stubs, tax returns, W2’s, or 1099’s from previous years.

4. HEALTH OR MEDICAL INSURANCE. If you have health insurance, file all of your medical bills and costs under health insurance. You may have to pay some of the money back to your health insurance company at the end of the case, but you should submit all bills to your health insurance company as you receive them. In most cases you will receive more money by paying your health insurance company back than if you or your lawyer paid the medical bills directly from the proceeds of the settlement.

5. WITNESSES. Keep a list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any potential witnesses.

6. PHOTOGRAPHS. Take photographs of any visible injuries including cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Keep a record of the date the photographs are taken, but do not write or mark on the photographs in any manner. Take these photos immediately. Take photographs of your vehicle before it is repaired.

7. CASTS OR BRACES OR TORN OR BLOODIED CLOTHES. If your clothes were torn or bloodied in the wreck, save them and do not wash them. Save any cast, brace, or other medical devise or appliance that you received as a result of your injuries and let your attorneys know that you have them.

8. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. If you sign a "Release" you may have given up all of your rights against the at-fault driver and his insurance company. Consult an attorney before signing any documents.

Please contact the Columbia SC Attorney experienced attorneys at Koon Cook & Walters, LLC to help get the compensation you deserve when injured in an automobile accident.

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