When you are involved in a car accident, it can be a stressful experience, both physically and financially. Even more frustrating is dealing with your insurance company, especially when you feel like you’re not being offered a fair settlement for your damages. If you’re wondering whether or not your car insurance company is required to make you a fair offer after an accident in South Carolina, read on.
Before diving into whether or not your insurance company is required to make you a fair offer after an accident in South Carolina, it’s essential to understand the state’s car insurance requirements. In South Carolina, drivers are required to carry liability insurance, which covers damages and injuries caused to other people in an accident that is your fault. Every South Carolina automobile insurance policy also includes uninsured motorist coverage, which covers you for injuries and damages caused by an uninsured driver.
Additionally, South Carolina drivers can also choose to carry additional types of insurance, such as collision coverage, which covers damages to your vehicle in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, and comprehensive coverage, which covers damages to your vehicle from things like theft, fire, or natural disasters. Every driver should strongly consider adding underinsured motorist coverage to their policy. Underinsured coverage helps pay for your damages and injuries when another driver is at fault and has insurance but not enough insurance to fully compensate you.
At a minimum a fair offer should compensate you for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc. However, the offer is not truly fair unless it also includes a reasonable amount for other types of damages recognized under the law, such as pain and suffering, emotional /psychological impact, and loss of enjoyment of life due to an inability to participate in your normal activities.
It’s important to note that insurance companies are for-profit businesses and may try to offer you a settlement that is less than what you are entitled to. In these cases, it’s essential to understand your rights and know when to seek legal assistance.
In South Carolina, insurance companies are regulated by the Department of Insurance, which sets guidelines and rules for how insurers must conduct their business. According to the South Carolina Code of Regulations, insurers must act in good faith and deal fairly with their policyholders, which includes making a reasonable and prompt offer for damages sustained in an accident. Additionally, if your insurance company denies your claim, they are required to provide you with a written explanation detailing their decision.
Unfortunately, despite these regulatory requirements, insurance companies often use their superior knowledge to take advantage of injured parties and try to get away with paying a lowball settlement or getting the injured party to accept a quick settlement before the true extent of all of their damages is even known. Advice from an experienced personal injury attorney is often invaluable in making sure that the insurance company is dealing with you fairly.
If your insurance company denies your claim, ask for a written explanation detailing their decision. You may also want to consider seeking legal assistance.
Yes, you can negotiate with your insurance company for a higher settlement. You will likely remain at a disadvantage, however, because the insurance company has dealt with thousands of similar claims in the past, and this is likely your first time dealing with an injury claim. Additionally, the only real leverage that you have in negotiations is the threat of taking the insurance company’s policy holder to court. Until you have a capable attorney on your side, the insurance company knows that there is little you can do to enforce your rights, so they really have little incentive to negotiate with you.
In conclusion, car insurance companies in South Carolina are required to make a reasonable and prompt offer for damages sustained in an accident. However, what constitutes a fair offer depends upon the circumstances, and every claim is different. It is often better to seek advice from an attorney who has the experience to know what a fair offer would be in your situation and can enforce your rights in court if negotiations do not lead to a fair offer for your claim.
If you suffered an injury from a serious auto accident, you may be facing significant medical bills. You may also be struggling to pay for your expenses because of an inability to work while you recover from your injuries. However, help is available to those who suffered injuries due to the negligence of others as well as for the families of fatal accident victims.
For years, our Columbia injury lawyers have worked on behalf of the people of South Carolina to gain them compensation for their motor vehicle accident injuries. We may be able to provide personal and effective legal support for you as well. Call the attorneys at Proffitt & Cox, LLP today at 803-834-7097 for a free consultation. You can also call the firm toll free at (877) 276-0533 or by filling out the contact form on our site.
We offer free initial consultations for all injury cases. We handle injury cases on a contingency fee basis which means that our fees are a percentage of what we recover for you. You will not owe us any attorney’s fees in such cases unless we are successful in obtaining compensation on your behalf.
Our South Carolina accident attorneys have recovered over $30 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. These claims involved automobile accidents, trucking accidents, harmful prescription drugs, medical malpractice, product liability, slip and fall accidents and class action cases. Review our representative cases to see some of our past successes and review our client testimonials to see what some of our clients have to say about us.