Aiken, South Carolina, is the largest city in Aiken County, the county seat, and one of the largest municipalities in the Central Savannah River Area. The city has a mix of bustling commercial districts and residential neighborhoods. Traffic flowing into the city’s business and commercial districts means car accidents happen frequently, and some roads and intersections are particularly hazardous.
If you’ve suffered injuries or property damage in a car accident in Aiken, you might have the right to recover compensation for your car repairs, medical bills, and lost income. An experienced Aiken car accident lawyer could help you pursue financial relief and hold the at-fault driver accountable for their carelessness.
Aiken, SC Car Accident Statistics
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS), the state saw nearly 150,000 traffic collisions in one recent year. These accidents included over 100,000 property damage-only collisions, nearly 2,400 collisions resulting in severe injuries, over 34,000 collisions resulting in other injuries, and over 1,100 fatality collisions.
That year, traffic crashes in South Carolina resulted in $5.2 billion in economic losses. Some top contributing factors to traffic collisions in South Carolina include speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way, improper lane changes, and tailgating.
The DPS reported that the Aiken area had 21 traffic fatalities in one recent year. However, the county had 33 traffic fatalities the previous year.
Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in the Aiken, SC Region
In Aiken, roads and intersections around the city’s commercial district see some of the highest rates of motor vehicle accidents.
Notable roads, highways, and intersections for car accidents in Aiken include:
- Whiskey Road and Pine Log Road
- Whiskey Road and East Gate Drive
- University Parkway and Robert M. Bell Parkway
- University Parkway and Richland Avenue
- Richland Avenue and Laurens Street
- Whiskey Road and Dougherty Road
- Old Barnwell Road and Cedar Road
- University Parkway and Vaucluse Road
- Whiskey Road and Eagle Road
- Interstate 20
- SC 19 North/Edgefield Highway
Where and When Do Car Accidents Occur?
According to traffic collision data compiled by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, certain times of day and days of the week or year see higher rates of car accidents.
For example, the hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. have the highest rates of traffic collisions. However, the highest rates of fatal traffic collisions occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Furthermore, Fridays have the highest number of traffic collisions, with 17.2 percent occurring on Fridays. However, Saturdays have the highest rate of fatal traffic collisions, with 18.2 percent of fatal accidents occurring on those days. October sees the highest number of traffic collisions, while August has the highest number of fatal collisions.
Secondary state highways had the highest number of traffic collisions in one recent year, with over 43,000 collisions, followed by U.S. highways with over 38,000 collisions, state primary highways with over 33,000 collisions, interstate highways with over 16,000 collisions, and county roads with over 13,000 collisions.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Drivers can get into various car crashes.
Some of the most common types of accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions: Rear-end collisions involve the front of one vehicle running into the back of another. These collisions frequently occur at intersections or in stop-and-go traffic, usually due to distracted drivers who fail to notice stopped or slowing traffic.
- Sideswipe collisions: In a sideswipe collision, the side of one vehicle bumps or grates along the side of another car. Sideswipes usually occur when a driver attempts to move into a lane already occupied by another vehicle.
- T-bone/side-impact collisions: T-bone collisions occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another, causing the two vehicles to form a “T” shape. T-bone accidents usually occur at intersections when a driver runs a red light or stop sign or fails to yield to an oncoming vehicle with the right-of-way.
- Head-on collisions: Head-on collisions involve the fronts of two vehicles colliding. These collisions can occur when a driver ends up on the wrong side of the road by drifting over the double yellow line or going through an intersection incorrectly, or when a driver travels the wrong way down a one-way street or highway access ramp.
- Rollover accidents: A rollover accident involves a car flipping onto its side or roof or tumbling over. These accidents can occur due to a tire or brake failure, hitting a pothole, or getting hit by another vehicle in such a way as to cause a driver to swerve and lose control of their car.
- Single-vehicle accidents: A single-vehicle accident refers to a crash involving only one moving vehicle, which may run off the road or hit a guardrail, median, or another object along the side of the road.
- Multi-vehicle/pile-up accidents: Multi-vehicle or pile-up car accidents involve three or more vehicles. The vehicles involved in the crash may collide simultaneously, or a pile-up accident may involve a series of collisions where other cars hit wrecked vehicles.
Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Depending on the severity of the crash, a car accident can cause various injuries, some of which may become life-altering or even fatal.
Examples of injuries that may occur in car accidents include:
- Lacerations and abrasions (including road rash injuries for passengers ejected from a car)
- Degloving injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament, tendon, muscle, and other soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries such as herniated spinal discs or whiplash
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Burns or smoke inhalation from post-crash vehicle fires
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic amputation or limb loss
Who Might Bear Liability for an Aiken Car Accident?
In most cases, one or more drivers involved in a car accident will bear responsibility for causing the crash. A driver may bear liability for injuries and losses arising from a car accident when the driver causes the crash due to careless or reckless driving. However, other parties may also bear or share liability for a car accident under certain circumstances.
For instance, when a driver causes a car accident while driving for their job, such as a delivery driver or someone traveling to a client site or for a work event, the driver’s employer might bear liability for injuries and property damage suffered by other people in the car accident.
The owner of the at-fault driver’s vehicle may also bear liability for car accident injuries and losses if the owner negligently entrusted their car to the at-fault driver. A car owner might negligently entrust their vehicle to another driver when the owner knows or should know that the driver poses a substantial risk of causing an accident due to the driver’s poor driving history.
A victim of a drunk driving accident might also have a claim against a bar, restaurant, or party host that continues to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated driver who subsequently causes a car accident.
What Steps Should You Take After Getting Into a Car Accident in Aiken?
After a car crash in Aiken, you can take steps to begin the recovery process and put yourself in a favorable position to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
To protect your legal rights following a car accident:
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and recovery instructions. You could jeopardize your car accident claim by deferring treatment or not following recovery instructions because the insurance may take that as a sign that you’ve recovered from your injuries or did not suffer as severe an injury as you’ve claimed.
- Keep records of all expenses you incur from the accident, including medical treatment, car repairs, and other ancillary costs like car rental fees.
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements if you need to take time off work to recover from your injuries or earn less than before the car accident because you’ve taken a part-time or light-duty role due to medical restrictions.
- Request copies of the police accident report. Remember to obtain copies of medical records of your injury treatment and rehabilitation.
- Notify your car insurance provider about the accident and confirm the coverage in your policy.
Finally, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash to discuss your legal options and plan the next steps to pursue financial recovery for your injuries and losses.
Seeking Car Accident Compensation
After a car accident in Aiken, you might have the opportunity to recover compensation for various financial and personal losses you sustained due to the crash, including:
- Car repair bills and temporary alternative transportation costs
- Reimbursement of the cash value of your car if totaled in the accident
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses, including hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, and physical or occupational therapy
- Costs of long-term care, such as home health services or housekeeping, if you need assistance due to prolonged or permanent disabilities caused by your injuries
- Lost income from missed work or reduced earning capacity in a temporary part-time or light-duty position
- Lost future earnings if your injuries result in permanent disabilities that prevent you from returning to your job or other kinds of work
- Pain and suffering and reduced enjoyment or quality of life
In many cases, compensation for losses arising from a car accident will come from insurance companies. Drivers in South Carolina must have liability insurance coverage to pay for bodily injury, death, or property damage from a car accident they cause. However, an injured car accident victim might have the option of turning to their insurance provider for coverage for a car accident.
Drivers can purchase optional medical payments (Med Pay) coverage to help pay for medical expenses to treat car accident injuries. Drivers may also purchase optional collision coverage, which pays for car repairs after an accident or provides reimbursement for the actual cash value of a totaled vehicle.
Furthermore, a person who gets hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured or hit and run driver could turn to the uninsured motorist coverage in their car insurance policy for compensation. Car insurance companies must also offer underinsured motorist coverage for purchase, which pays for a car accident caused by a driver whose liability insurance policy limits are too low to pay for the crash losses.
How Can an Attorney Help You After Suffering a Car Accident in Aiken?
If you sustained injuries in a car crash in Aiken, you deserve to devote your time and energy to your medical treatment to move forward with your life as quickly as possible. If the car accident occurred due to another driver’s fault, you might have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses. However, pursuing compensation can be time-consuming and complicated.
A car accident attorney can handle all the details of pursuing financial relief so that you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. An attorney can investigate the crash to determine who is liable for your injuries, secure and preserve evidence to build your case, and document your injuries and losses to calculate the full value of your claim.
An experienced Aiken personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation and accountability after a car accident in Aiken, SC, no matter where the accident occurred or how complex the facts are.