The following links and resources are provided by the attorneys at Peake & Fowler for the benefit of individuals and families in and around Columbia seeking information and help in car, truck or motorcycle accidents, incidents of nursing home abuse or neglect, workplace accidents, and serious injuries including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. We hope these resources are helpful to you. If you need legal advice and representation in an accident or injury case in Columbia, contact Peake & Fowler for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Car Accident Resources
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) administers the state’s motor vehicle licensing and titling laws.
If your car has been totaled and you need a good resource to estimate its pre-crash value, try the Kelly Blue Book or NADA Guides.
Driving safety and vehicle safety statistics can be found at the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with consciousness-raising materials on topics such as distracted driving, drunk driving and pedestrian safety.
The official U.S. website on distracted driving, including texting while driving and handheld cell phone use, is Distraction.gov.
Truck Accident Resources
Truckers and trucking companies are bound to follow regulations put out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA regulations cover topics such as maximum hours of service allowed for drivers, height, width and weight limit for semis, required safety equipment, inspection routines and maintenance schedules, and other topics related to the trucking industry.
The FMCSA maintains a database containing accident histories and safety records for trucking companies, called Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER).
Motorcycle Accident Resources
The American Motorcycle Association is an organization which advocates for the rights of motorcycle riders.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation provides tips for safe riding on its website. MSF also develops curriculum and teaches courses on safe motorcycle riding, including training for instructors.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Resources
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging administers the South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. Ombudsmen hear complaints about long-term care services and voice those concerns to the nursing homes in an effort to resolve the complaints. There are ten regional offices throughout the state, including the Central Midlands Council of Governments in Columbia, covering Lexington and Richland Counties, and the Santee Lynches Regional Council of Governments in Sumter, covering Kershaw County and others.
Complaints against healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, can be lodged with the Health Facilities Licensing Bureau at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
Nursing Home Compare is a service provided by Medicare that allows you to review nursing homes in South Carolina according to Medicare’s five-star quality rating system. You can select up to three nursing homes at a time for side-by-side comparisons.
Workplace Accident Resources
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes and enforces workplace safety standards around the nation.
A division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), works to prevent illnesses and injuries in the workplace.
The South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board licenses architects, engineers home builders and others. Use their website to look up a licensee or file a complaint.
Resources for Persons with Serious Injuries
Help and support for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be found at the Brain Injury Association of America or Brain Trauma Foundation. Also, the Centers for Disease Control has a section on mild and severe TBI, concussions and diagnosis, management and long-term outcomes of a head or brain injury. Another informational page on the treatment and prognosis of brain injury, including the latest research and clinical trials, is the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page.
Persons with spinal cord injury can find helpful information at the Mayo Clinic, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and NINDS. Valuable support groups for patients, families and caregivers include the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, the Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure, and Determined to Heal.
You thought it could never happen to you. But, now you may be lying in a hospital bed, unable to work, and with a totaled car. You might have injuries you never imagined. It is no secret that car crashes happen every day. Whether it is due to intoxication, distracted driving, or speeding, drivers may take careless actions that can have serious consequences for other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and more. When a Columbia auto accident destroys your life, turn to the attorneys with the experience and legal savvy to help obtain full and fair compensation from the at-fault party.
For years, Peake & Fowler has been helping Columbia car accident victims like you recover the money they need after a serious crash. We represent a wide range of clients, from motorcycle drivers to bicyclists—anyone who has been affected by the trauma of an auto accident. Our South Carolina car crash attorneys are here to help you navigate the complex legal maze of personal injury claims. The insurance company is not on your side. We are.
Common causes of auto accidents
With technology taking over drivers’ attention, new drugs hitting the market all the time, and inexperienced teenagers getting behind the wheel, potential dangers are all over the road. At Peake & Fowler, our attorneys handle many types of auto accidents, including ones caused by:
- Distracted driving. From texting to putting on makeup, drivers are constantly taking their attention away from the road. Eating, drinking, smoking, making phone calls, and changing a song on the radio are all activities that divert a driver’s eyes and focus.
- The faster a car was going when it impacts another car, the more severe the crash. High-speed accidents can total cars and leave injury victims with life-threatening injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, and more.
- Drunk driving. Getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks can be a fatal mistake. Intoxicated drivers have slower reaction times, blurred vision, and reduced concentration. Drunk or drugged drivers are known to cause multi-car accidents, hit pedestrians or bicyclists, and even kill other drivers.
- Drowsy driving. Operating a vehicle while fatigued is another potentially deadly behavior. Besides the threat of falling asleep at the wheel, tired drivers can cause rear-end accidents because of reduced reaction times, veer into other lanes, or cause other life-threatening accidents.
Common injuries sustained in car crashes include broken bones, concussions, severe bruising, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and wrongful death.
Scary South Carolina car accident stats
There was 909 total fatal crashes in South Carolina, resulting in 977 fatalities, according to 2015 statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). According to this report, over 600 of those fatalities were driving or passengers in an automobile, 138 were driving or a passenger on a motorcycle and 123 were pedestrians.
In other words, if you have been hurt in a crash, you are not alone. If you lost a loved one in a car crash, you are not alone. Our attorneys are here to help you.
What should you do if you are in a car accident in South Carolina?
There are some very simple steps to take after an accident:
- Call the police and 9-1-1.
- Do not admit any fault to the other driver or law enforcement.
- Go to the hospital for injury treatment, even if you feel fine in the moment.
- Call your insurance company and report the accident.
- Follow up with your doctors.
- Keep all medical records and bills.
South Carolina is a tort liability state, which means the not-at-fault person can pursue a claim against the at-fault party. South Carolina is also a comparative negligence state, which means you can be barred from collecting for the percentage you contributed to the accident.
Please call an attorney as soon as possible or have a loved one call on your behalf. A lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected. Do not speak to insurance adjusters or accept the first settlement offer. They are not on your side. They are in the business of making money, so adjusters may offer you a settlement for less than your case is worth.
Our auto accident lawyers at Peake & Fowler accept no upfront fees, and you only owe us compensation if your claim is successful. So, it never hurts to speak with one of our attorneys. You have nothing to lose.
What if you are involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance?
All drivers must be insured before hitting the road in South Carolina. This is the minimum amount of coverage required:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
However, if you are involved in an accident with someone who is not insured, you should be protected by your uninsured motorist coverage.
In the state of South Carolina, you are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This means if a driver without insurance causes a collision, your policy should protect you from having to pay out-of-pocket for the damages. You must carry uninsured motorist coverage equal to the minimum amounts of liability coverage (25/50/25). In most cases, there is a $200 deductible.
If the person who caused your car accident does not have insurance, report the claim to your insurance company and your attorney.
Speak with a hard-hitting auto accident lawyer in Columbia right away
Most people do not know their rights. They don’t know how to handle negotiations with an insurance company. They are not sure how to get every penny they deserve. That is where the Columbia car accident attorneys at Peake & Fowler come in. Our tenacious legal team is ready to fight for you. Call us today at 803-788-4370 or complete our contact form to arrange your no-cost, no-obligation initial consult.
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.