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Car Accidents

Car Accidents

South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

Our attorneys steer auto accident cases to the right results

With more than 100 years of combined experience the South Carolina car accident attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, are seasoned legal advocates for car crash victims and their families. We understand how complicated auto accident cases can be. You have immediate worries of getting healthy and having money to pay for daily bills. In the long run, you might be concerned about receiving the right follow-up care and ensuring all your medical bills are paid. On top of everything, you may be getting the run-around from insurance companies.

When expenses start piling up and the other side refuses to cooperate, count on our experienced South Carolina auto accident lawyers to handle your complex car accident case. We are not afraid to how to take on big insurance companies who might offer you a “low ball” settlement before the true cost of your injury is known. With more than 20 attorneys at the firm and a large support staff, McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC leaves no stone unturned when building a strong case against the at-fault party.

Common reasons for car accidents in South Carolina

When you retained an attorney at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, a South Carolina car accident lawyer reviews how and why the accident occurred so we can explain to an insurance company, opposing counsel, or jury why another person or company is legally responsible. Typical reasons for car accidents include:

An accident may have also occurred due to speeding or a driver’s lack of attention to posted traffic signs. For example, a vehicle operator may have run a red light or failed to yield to another automobile in a four-way stop. Some crashes are even caused by greater lapses in judgment, such as driving the wrong way down a one-way street, tailgating, or driving while fatigued.

South Carolina distracted driving attorneys file claims against those who cause car accidents

Each day in the United States, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is now one of the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths and injuries. Although different forms of distracted driving have always caused auto accidents, the onslaught of hand-held devices and smartphones has rapidly increased distracted driving accidents at alarming rates. When a driver is not paying attention due to distractions in the car or on the road, innocent motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians can die or sustain serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries. Our South Carolina distracted driving lawyers at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC provide strong counsel for victims of inattentive drivers. We have a proven track record of success. Our lawyers have obtained millions in settlements with insurance companies and jury trial verdicts.

Distracted driving is a numbers game

Distracted driving statistics are grim:

  • In 2012, 3,328 people died in an auto accident because a driver was distracted. 421,000 were injured in car accidents in 2012, due to distracted driving.
  • 69% of drivers between 18 and 64 admitted to talking on a cellphone while driving in the 30 days prior to being asked.
  • Nearly 33% of drivers between 18 and 64 admitted to actually texting or sending an email while driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a distracted driver, you are not alone. Most importantly, you may have a legal right to compensation.

The dangers of distracted driving

Distracted driving is operating a vehicle while doing some other action that takes the driver’s attention away from their driving. Distracted driving increases the odds of an auto accident. Many drivers, especially teens, think they can adapt, but the statistics prove otherwise.

Distracted driving causes three types of problems:

  • Visual: The driver does not see the road, other vehicles, or anyone on the road.
  • Physical: Many distractions require that the driver take one hand off the wheel. Some drivers, for even a second, may take both hands off of the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive: While a driver is distracted, he or she is not thinking about reacting to traffic.

Types of distracted driving

Many types of driver distractions place other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians at great risk of catastrophic injuries. These distractions include:

  • Texting while driving
  • Talking or texting on cell phones
  • Changing the radio or music
  • Diverting attention to children or other passengers
  • Looking at maps or GPS devices
  • Personal grooming
  • Eating and drinking
  • Surfing the internet or watching video
  • Using social media

Out of all these distractions, texting while driving is particularly dangerous as it takes one’s eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Federal regulations forbid truck drivers from texting while driving throughout the country. In South Carolina, texting while driving became illegal for all motorists in June 2014.

The rights of victims and families injured by distracted drivers

An attorney will seek compensation from all responsible parties. This includes the owners of the vehicles as well as the drivers. We seek payment from all insurance companies who cover South Carolina car accidents and vehicle accidents.

Our lawyers may sue for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost and future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Any other compensable loss

Because some distractions, such as texting while driving, may be considered gross negligence, we may also sue for punitive damages. Punitive damages include additional money awarded to the victim, with the intention to punish the negligent party and deter future reckless behavior.

Families of anyone who is killed by a distracted driver have the right to bring a wrongful death action.

South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Protecting Victims of Drunk Driving Auto Accidents

A large percentage of South Carolina car crashed are alcohol-related. State Department of Transportation statistics show that 47% of fatalities and 43% of injuries on secondary roads in South Carolina are due to drunk driving. Over one in five deaths and injuries on primary South Carolina roads are drunk driving related. Drunk-driving deaths on county and federal roads are also quite high. Of all the types of motor vehicle accidents, drunk driving accidents that seriously injure or kill innocent people are the most easily preventable.

At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, our attorneys have decades of experience handling such complicated car accidents throughout the state. We represent the victims of drunk driving accidents and families who have lost loved ones in crashes involving intoxicated drivers. Our South Carolina drunk driving accident attorneys have the resources and experience necessary to open independent investigations into drunk driving injuries and fatalities to hold all responsible parties legally accountable to victims and their families.

Liability in drunk driving cases

In many drunk-driving cases, the police will prosecute the drunk driver for violation of South Carolina driving while intoxicated laws. An accident attorney works with the police in these cases to use the conviction to help prove the drunk driver caused the accident and is responsible for paying damages.

If even the police do not move forward with a criminal case, or the drunk driver gets acquitted of charges, an attorney can bring a civil action on behalf of anyone hurt or killed by the drunk driver.

Who can be sued?

There are several people and businesses that can be held liable when a drunk driving accident happens. Our lawyers seek to hold all responsible parties accountable for a victim’s injuries. Examples of parties that might be held liable include:

  • The drunk driver. A driver who was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash.
  • Social hosts. Social host laws hold adults responsible when they serve alcohol to minors.
  • Businesses that serve alcohol. Our McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC lawyers also use the state dram shop laws to hold any business, such as a tavern, that served someone alcohol accountable for the injuries or death that later ensued.

Damages in drunk driving cases

Drunk-driving cases often cause serious injuries or fatalities because, most times, the victim has no time to react to a drunk driver. Families whose loved one has died in a drunk driving accident can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. Survivors of drunk driving accidents can bring their own actions for damages. Common damages suffered by victims and families after a drunk driving accident include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical expenses, medical equipment and prescriptions.
  • Long-term care and rehabilitation costs.
  • Lost income, wages, and employment benefits.
  • Property damage.
  • Pain and suffering.

South Carolina Vehicle Accident Lawyers Explain Why Reckless Drivers are So Dangerous

Reckless driving, also known as aggressive driving, is a major cause of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle and pedestrian accidents. The term refers to driving without regard to the safety of others. It is more than just being negligent. Reckless driving, as a lawyer at our firm understands, involves willful or wanton conduct. It is a deliberate failure to exercise due care. A driver does not have to violate South Carolina motor vehicle laws to be reckless. For example, a driver who knows he is sleepy but continues to drive instead of stopping somewhere he can rest, is reckless.

The South Carolina reckless driving attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder have the proficiency to prove a driver was reckless. We review the police report to see if the driver was cited by the police for reckless driving or any motor vehicle violation. We also review the scene of the accident. Long skid marks may indicate the driver was going way too fast for conditions. Severe damage to the front of the reckless driver’s auto indicate the driver was too close to you. Our lawyers and professionals work tirelessly to hold reckless drivers accountable for their complete disregard of people’s safety.

Examples of reckless driving

Some of the most common examples of reckless driving include:

  • Driving at excessive speeds
  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Passing without looking
  • Failing to obey traffic signals and traffic signs
  • Tailgating – driving too closely
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road or on the shoulder of the road

Why reckless driving is different

Reckless driving is worse than just being negligent or careless. When it comes to proving fault, we must show that:

  • Reckless driving is willful. People who make mistakes should be liable for the harm they cause. Still, it is understandable that people make mistakes. It is NOT understandable that people disregard the safety of others.
  • Reckless driving is extremely dangerous. Reckless driving can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. Each attorney who works at our firm fights to get our clients payment for all of their medical bills including future medical bills, lost and future wages, pain and suffering, property damage and other damages.
  • The insurance companies are wrong about the severity of the accident. Insurance companies will try to convince a jury or a lawyer that the driver was just negligent or not at fault. Because we have been trying cases for over 20 years, we anticipate the tactics insurance companies like to use. We counter those tactics. We fight every step of the way towards a just and fair outcome. 

Because of the seriousness of these accidents, an accident lawyer at our firm may request punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer – to make sure the driver does not drive recklessly ever again. Proof of reckless driving may also mitigate any contributory negligence on the part of the injured victim.

Don’t let reckless drivers get away with inexcusable conduct

Some drivers think they own the road. They do not. If a reckless driver causes you harm or caused the wrongful death of a loved one, you have the right to make the reckless driver pay. A South Carolina reckless driving lawyer at McGowan, Hood & Felder LLC, will not quit until the reckless driver and his or her insurance company is forced to pay for their misconduct. Our firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis which means we do not get paid unless you win. Please call our firm for a free consultation.

South Carolina Automobile Defect Lawyers Explain Product Liability and Negligence

Consumers have the right to demand that the vehicle they purchase will operate safely. Many cars and other vehicles, unfortunately, are not designed or made properly. Some of the vehicles may be recalled for repairs, but often cars malfunction without any recall. Some examples of car defects that can cause serious injuries are SUVs that roll over, cars that have faulty steering mechanisms, or automobiles with faulty brake systems.

There are many reasons a car may not work properly. Our attorneys understand what evidence is needed to prove liability. We work with reconstruction experts and product design engineers to determine how and why the accident happened. Our lawyers are skilled with product liability laws which favor injured consumers, even if the consumer cannot prove exactly why the accident happened.

Types of automobile defect cases

An automobile defect attorney at our firm knows the main reasons why cars can be dangerous before they leave the showroom. One reason is poor design. Before building a car, there has to be a design plan on how the car is to be manufactured. When the company designing the car does not design a part of the car correctly, our firm holds the manufacturer and others accountable.

Another cause is improper manufacturing. The design may be solid but the car might still be dangerous because of faulty procedures used during the manufacturing process or the installation of inadequate parts. Perhaps certain parts were installed incorrectly or plant workers cut corners to time or money.

Who is responsible when a car is defective?

In vehicle accident cases, it is essential to identify each and every defendant that is responsible. In product liability cases, such as faulty car design or manufacturer, there are many possible defendants. Our attorneys begin by reviewing every business involved in the chain of distribution of the car. The businesses that can be held responsible for an automotive defect include:

  • The car manufacturer
  • The parts manufacturer
  • The car dealership
  • Any car supply shops
  • Any middlemen
  • Used car dealers

The key to automobile defect cases

Automobile defect cases are more formally known as product liability cases. The key advantage of a product liability case over a negligence case is that it is not necessary for the plaintiff to prove fault. The key tasks our lawyers need to prove are that there was an automobile defect at the time of the accident and that the defect caused our client’s injuries. Once those two facts are proved the burden then shifts to the defendant to show it was not negligent.  Attorneys at our firm understands that this key shift can mean the difference between winning and losing.

We work with engineers and other professionals to show that the automobile did have a defect at the time of the accident. We work with these same professionals and medical professionals to show the defect was the cause of our client’s injuries.


Frequent types of car accidents

How the vehicles collide is different for each accident. The type of impact can be used to help determine who caused the accident and what injuries the accident might reasonably cause. Some of the more common types of accidents our firm will review are:

Auto accident damage claims

Each South Carolina car accident attorney at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC is ready to pursue the compensation you deserve after your accident, which may include the following expenses:

  • Medical bills. These include the cost of emergency room care, surgeries, and initial doctor visits through the time of settlement or trial.
  • Cost of future medical care. Many clients will need extensive medical treatment after their case is settled or tried. The future cost to treat these injuries has to be figured so there is money in reserve to pay for more doctor visits, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical equipment costs, and medication.
  • Lost wages and future lost wages. Injured victims have the right to claim lost income and any future income they will be unable to earn because they are injured.
  • Household expenses. This cost can include the money to hire people to perform the tasks the victim would normally do.

Our South Carolina clients come first at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC

Car accidents happen fast, but the effects can last a lifetime. You may be traveling along I-77 or I-26 when a drunk driver strikes you. A distracted driver may cause a rear end crash on Harden Street in Columbia or Route 16 in Forest Acres. Even if your injury does not seem serious at first, your injury can quickly worsen. That is why it is critical you seek immediate medical attention after an accident.

An experienced attorney at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, answers your questions, investigates why the accident happened, and fights for all damages South Carolina law allows. Our attorneys review police reports, speak to witnesses, conduct independent investigations, and sometimes work with traffic reconstruction experts to help prove who is responsible for the accident. We also navigate through complicated insurance issues. There are different types of coverage that need to be reviewed such as liability insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured auto accident coverage.

Cut through the confusion. Contact us today

You have so many things to worry about after your accident. Whether you hired the right attorney should not be one of them. That is why it is critical you contact us and discuss the details of your case with a knowledgeable, experienced car accident attorney who is looking out for your best interests. Your auto accident case matters to us. Let us help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, today.  Call 803-327-7800 and schedule a free case evaluation by a South Carolina car accident attorney, or fill out our contact form from any device.  We proudly serve people throughout South Carolina from offices in Columbia, Anderson, Rock Hill, Sumter, and Georgetown.

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