U.S. Highway 17 Bypass has the most number of car accidents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This 663-mile stretch of road runs north-south from Florida to New England. It’s a highway that residents and tourists alike use to access Myrtle Beach’s many amenities.
In general, the majority of South Carolina’s car accidents happen on the state’s highways and busier roadways. Congested traffic, intoxication, distracted driving, and other negligent behaviors contribute to hundreds of collisions each year. When these situations happen, accident victims can partner with a Myrtle Beach car accident lawyer. Your attorney can work to prove fault and pursue the compensation you need after a car accident.
Car Accidents Happen Throughout Myrtle Beach
Car accidents don’t happen exclusively on U.S. Highway 17 Bypass.
They also frequently occur on these major roadways:
- U.S. 501
- S.C. 544
- U.S. 701
These Myrtle Beach intersections see many accidents as well:
- S.C. 9 at SC-57
- U.S. 501 at Carolina Forest Boulevard
- U.S. 17 at SC-544
- U.S. 501 at S-1315
According to statistical data, you’re most likely to get into a collision between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., although accidents can happen at any hour of the day.
More Facts About Collisions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety compiles data on car accidents throughout the state each year. It recently published the 2020 edition of the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book.
On a scale of one to five (with one being the lowest and five being the highest), Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area are right in the middle when it comes to the frequency of traffic accidents.
Here are some other facts reported about Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area in one recent year:
- A total of 19 fatalities stemmed from intoxicated drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels higher than 0.08 percent (the legal limit).
- Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area had the highest number of non-fatal DUI accidents (503) out of all South Carolina counties.
- Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area had the fourth-highest traffic accident rate compared to all other South Carolina counties.
- Motorcyclists are more likely to get into collisions than any other road user.
The Leading Cause of Traffic Accidents in Myrtle Beach
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety lists the top five causes of traffic accidents in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area:
- Speeding. Some drivers go over the speed limit, while others go too fast for current roadway conditions. For instance, even if the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, if it’s raining, motorists must slow down to avoid collisions.
- Failure to yield. Left-turning cars must yield to oncoming traffic at intersections. Yielding reduces the likelihood of certain types of collisions, such as sideswipes and head-on accidents.
- Improper lane changes. Motorists must use their turn signals to alert other drivers when they change lanes—otherwise, they risk causing collisions. Having non-functioning turn signals is no excuse. South Carolina requires every vehicle to have functioning headlights and taillights.
- Tailgating. South Carolina law requires motorists to use their best judgment when maintaining enough space between the front of their vehicle and the back of others.
- Distracted driving. You cannot use an electronic device to send, read, or receive text messages while driving. Doing so can result in fines and “points” added to your license.
South Carolina has various laws in place to discourage negligent motorists. Still, the state sees hundreds of collisions each year.
South Carolina Has Laws That Pertain to Car Accident Cases
Some South Carolina laws that apply to personal injury cases include:
Duty of Care
It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving in downtown Myrtle Beach or in a rural area—the laws of the road still apply. As a licensed motorist, you have a duty of care, meaning you have an obligation to drive with reasonable caution.
Other motorists have that obligation, too. If someone fails to operate their vehicle safely, they increase their risk of causing an accident and violating this obligation. This could make them liable for any damages they cause.
You Generally Have Three Years to File a Lawsuit
South Carolina law imposes a filing deadline on all civil actions in the state. You generally have three years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Your filing window starts from the day of your accident or when your loved one passed away.
The county court system (as well as other courts in the state) rejects cases filed beyond the standard three-year period. Therefore, considering your legal options right away is crucial in the aftermath of a car accident. Three years may sound far away at the moment. But gathering evidence and building a strong case takes time, and waiting too long to file could prevent you from seeking damages via litigation.
What Should I Do After Getting into a Car Accident in Myrtle Beach, SC?
Many accidents in Myrtle Beach happen along some of the state’s busiest streets and intersections. After your collision, we hope you pulled your vehicle over, exchanged contact information with the other driver, and sought medical attention. Doing so laid the foundation for any injury case you hope to pursue.
These recommendations could also keep your options open if you decide to seek compensation:
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Even if you already left the accident scene, taking photos can still be a good idea. Suppose you were in a collision where U.S. 501 meets Carolina Forest Boulevard. You or a family member could revisit the accident scene to take pictures of any skid marks, broken glass, or roadway debris that still remains from the collision. You could also take photos of any nearby land markers to prove your location, such as the nearby Wheels of Yesteryear museum.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
Hopefully, law enforcement was called and came to the accident scene to document the collision. This starts a paper trail of what happened during the accident and shortly after you got hurt. If the police didn’t come, you typically have 15 days to report the incident to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Your report should contain the location of the accident, the name of your insurance provider, and your basic contact information.
Document Your Accident-Related Losses
Medical expenses, lost income from work, car repair bills, and other expenses can pile up quickly after a serious collision. You shouldn’t have to shoulder these losses if another party’s negligence caused them. By keeping track of all your accident-related losses, you can request fair compensation from the liable insurance company.
Follow Your Prescribed Treatment Plan
It’s one thing to seek medical attention after getting hurt in a car accident. It’s an entirely separate matter to follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your doctor may recommend taking certain medications, attending physical therapy, or undergoing procedures. Following these instructions helps you reach maximum medical improvement. It also helps prevent the insurer from contesting the cause of your condition.
You don’t have to navigate these post-accident measures on your own. You can entrust your case to a personal injury attorney serving Myrtle Beach. Your legal team can take photos of the accident scene, report your collision to the authorities, document your losses, and more.
The Benefits of Partnering With a Lawyer After a Myrtle Beach Car Accident
As recommended above, you should consider legal representation in the days or weeks following your collision. Having a legal advocate could mean the difference between juggling the obligations of your case on your own and focusing solely on your recovery with your loved ones. A car accident lawyer shares your goal of seeking maximum financial recovery for your injury-related losses.
Your attorney can:
Determine Fault for Your Collision
Again, human error is the underlying cause of most collisions in Myrtle Beach. However, you still need evidence to assert that another party caused your accident.
A lawyer can determine fault for your accident by:
- Investigating the collision. They can watch traffic camera recordings, review the police report, and interview witnesses to learn what happened.
- Consulting with field experts. Your lawyer likely has a network of professional consultants they can work with. For instance, they may contact an accident reconstruction specialist to confirm the factors involved in your accident.
- Reviewing the at-fault driver’s history. Some motorists have a history of reckless driving. If the motorist who hit you had a history of traffic violations (such as driving while intoxicated), this information could help supplement your claim.
Learning who caused your accident allows your lawyer to determine who should pay for your losses. The South Carolina Department of Insurance notes that all motorists must carry specific limits of liability coverage. Ideally, if the at-fault driver has insurance, you could file a claim against their policy. If not, you could file a claim with your own insurer or file a lawsuit.
Identify Your Compensable Losses
Your recoverable damages may go far beyond your immediate medical costs.
You could also seek recovery for:
- Lost wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, or other forms of income
- Loss of future earning ability if you cannot return to work
- The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
Your loved one may have suffered a fatal collision on a Myrtle Beach roadway. If so, you could pursue recovery for their funeral and burial costs—among other damages.
Advocate for What You Need
Your car accident lawyer is personally invested in your case because most work on a contingency fee basis, which requires no upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. You don’t pay any attorney’s fees unless they recover compensation for your damages.
While advocating for what you need, you can count on your lawyer to:
- Investigate your case
- Manage communications with the at-fault party and their insurer
- Assess the value of your damages
- File your claim and/or lawsuit
- Submit all case-related documents on time
- Negotiate with the insurer for an out-of-court settlement
- Be available to answer your questions and address your concerns
- Implement a case-specific legal strategy to recover your damages
Questions and Answers About Car Accident Cases in Myrtle Beach
While weighing your legal options, you may have these questions about car accident cases in South Carolina:
Does It Matter Where My Accident Happened?
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter where your accident happened. You can still seek damages from the negligent motorist through a claim or lawsuit. However, matters may change if poor roadway conditions cause your collision. You could file a claim against a government entity (such as a city or county), arguing that because they didn’t keep the roadway safe, you suffered harm.
What Constitutes a Poor Roadway Condition?
Some of Myrtle Beach’s roads are in better shape than others.
Poor roadway conditions that can cause accidents include:
- Broken guardrails
- Uneven pavement
- Non-functioning street lamps or traffic signals
- Debris in the roadway
- Overgrown foliage that obscures traffic signs
As noted above, if poor roadway conditions led to your collision, you have financial recovery options.
Are Collisions Common in South Carolina?
When it comes to the deadliest states for car accidents, South Carolina consistently ranks among the top five. There are a few theories why. Some sources note that despite the state’s restrictions on texting and driving, many motorists ignore this rule. Other possible factors in collision frequency include intoxication and unsafe driving maneuvers.
The liable insurer doesn’t care about other car accident cases—it only cares about yours. Even if you were the only person to suffer a collision on a stretch of road, you can still seek damages.
Hurt on a Myrtle Beach Highway? Contact a Lawyer Today
Whether you visit the Palmetto State as a tourist or live here permanently, getting into a collision is a very real possibility. When an accident happens, you have legal options. With a personal injury attorney on your side, you could recoup compensation for various losses, even those without inherent monetary values.
You don’t have to struggle through the legal process alone. Contact a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer today to learn more.