Accident attorneys explain what you need to know to stay safe on the road
Several people were recently injured in a 13-vehicle accident during the morning rush hour on Interstate 20 near Columbia, South Carolina, according to The State. The recent highway accident illustrates just how dangerous highways can be for many motorists, according to attorneys who represent people injured in car accidents throughout South Carolina.
The recent multiple-vehicle accident happened at around 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning in June. It occured on the eastbound side of I-20 near Exit 58 near the junction for U.S. Route 1 and Lexington, West Columbia, and Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to the accident. The crash caused numerous injuries, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The cause of the crash remains unknown and is under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Why do highway accidents happen?
Accidents in highways and other limited-access roads happen for a wide range of reasons. These include distracted driving and falling asleep at the wheel. One of the most common causes of highway accidents is speeding.
Speed was a factor in 26 percent of fatal car accidents in 2019, when 9,478 people died nationwide in speeding-related accidents, the NHTSA reported. In South Carolina, there were 459 speeding-related fatalities that same year, the highest number of speed-related accidents statewide in the past 10 years, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Part of the reason why speeding has become a common cause of highway accidents has to do with higher speed limits in many states. In South Carolina, rural sections of some highways have a maximum speed limit of 70 mph. Other states have speed limits as high as 85 mph.
Even though there were fewer drivers on the road overall last year, speeding-related fatalities in 2020 increased by 11 percent compared to 2019, according to recent accident statistics compiled by the NHTSA.
What should drivers do after a highway accident?
If you or a loved one have been involved in a highway accident caused by another driver, take the following steps if you’re healthy enough and it’s safe enough to do so:
- Call the police and ask them to respond to your accident
- Check yourself for injuries , then check fellow passengers
- If you are seriously injured, do not move or aggravate your injury
- Wait in your vehicle or a safe place off the highway where you will not be hit or injured more severely
- Once police arrive, get the other driver’s name, driver’s license and insurance info
- If it is safe to do so, take pictures of your accident
- Have a medical professional examine you right away, even if you feel fine
- Call a lawyer right away to learn more about your legal rights
How can a lawyer help?
You might think you don’t need an attorney if the South Carolina Highway Patrol or another police agency is investigating your highway accident. They’re only focused on determining the cause of your crash, not whether you’re fairly compensated for your accident-related expenses. In addition, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will likely do everything they can to pay you as little. They may possibly try to pay you nothing at all.
Our experienced lawyers at Johnson + Johnson, Attorneys At Law in South Carolina can help you every step of the way. We know how to investigate highway accidents. We know what evidence matters. This includes traffic camera footage, what the investigating police officer or Trooper wrote in your official accident report and statements from witnesses. Our lawyers also often conduct our own independent investigation and frequently consult with accident-reconstruction experts.
Learn more about how our law firm can help you with your highway accident. Simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation today. Our law firm is conveniently located in Lexington, South Carolina and proudly serves people throughout the state.