Man driving car

What Are the Odds of Dying in a Car Accident?

Many people have anxiety when driving or riding as a passenger in a car. They might be surprised to learn how low their odds are of getting killed in a crash. They are much more likely to die of other causes rather than a collision.

If you got hurt or a loved one died because of a motor vehicle accident, a South Carolina personal injury attorney can help you go after the compensation you deserve from the party whose negligence caused the collision. Let’s take a look at the odds of dying in a car accident. 

Statistics for Fatal Car Crashes

The National Safety Council reports that the lifetime odds of dying from a motor vehicle crash are one in 101. In comparison, the lifetime odds of death for a pedestrian incident are one in 541, and for a motorcyclist, the odds are one in 799. Bicyclists have odds of one in 3,396. 

When you compare the deaths odds for motor vehicle crashes to the statistics for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists, it might look as if it is safer to be a walker, motorcyclist, or bicyclist in a collision in a person driving or riding in a car, but that would be an incorrect conclusion. The odds are lower for those three groups because there are far fewer pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists than people riding around in cars and trucks. 

Comparative Lifetime Odds of Death from Various Other Causes

Before you swear off ever leaving your house again in an attempt to avoid dying in a car accident, it might allay your concerns to know the lifetime odds of death for some other causes. For example, the lifetime odds of death, based on 2020 numbers in the United States, are:

  • 1 in 6 from heart disease
  • 1 in 7 from any type of cancer
  • 1 in 12 from COVID-19
  • 1 in 21 from accidents and other incidents that were preventable
  • 1 in 28 from lung disease and other chronic diseases of the lower respiratory tract
  • 1 in 67 from an opioid overdose, including prescription opioid painkillers, heroin, and other forms of opioids
  • 1 in 93 from suicide

Seeing these lifetime odds of death can put help to put the likelihood of death from a motor vehicle collision into perspective.

Recoverable Damages After a Car Accident

So, what are your options for getting compensation for your losses after a motor vehicle crash?

Personal Injury

You could seek money damages from the at-fault driver for your economic losses, like medical bills, lost wages, and decreased earning capacity. Also, the party who caused the accident could be liable to pay compensation to you for other losses, like pain and suffering and loss of function. 

Wrongful Death

If your close relative did not survive their injuries from a car crash, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the party whose carelessness caused the collision. South Carolina law allows the legal beneficiaries to recover compensation for the loss of the deceased person’s income that helped to support the family, loss of services performed for the benefit of the household, loss of companionship and guidance, and other losses.

Also, the estate of the decedent could recover the final medical expenses, as well as funeral and burial costs. 

A South Carolina personal injury attorney could help you hold the careless party accountable in a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Get in touch with our office today for legal help.

Car speeding down the road

What Should You Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

South Carolina law prohibits any involved party from leaving the scene of a car accident other than temporarily going to report the accident to the authorities. Unfortunately, not all people obey the law, and hit-and-run accidents occur. This can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. Our South Carolina car accident attorney is here to help if you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident.

What to Do After a Hit And Run Accident

After a hit-and-run accident, the most important thing is to call 911 and file a police report. You should also seek medical attention promptly. If you can, take note of any information about the other vehicle and accident scene, such as license plate and details about the other car and driver. If anyone witnessed the incident, try to get their contact details.

Although leaving the scene of an accident is a crime with serious implications, many drivers never face the consequences of their actions. If the police are unable to locate the driver, you may need to seek the advice of an attorney to file an uninsured motorist claim.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Most people who leave the scene of the accident do so because they lack car insurance, were driving under the influence or had other legal problems they feared would come up if police were called. Even if a hit and run driver is not found, you still have options for recovering compensation for your injuries or property damage.

South Carolina requires uninsured motorist coverage for all drivers. Specifically, every driver must have minimum injury coverage of $25,00 per person or $50,000 for all involved. This covers medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Every driver must also carry minimum property damage coverage of $25,000.

To recover from this portion of your insurance, you file a suit against the “John or Jane Doe” who abandoned the accident scene.

To access this coverage, you must meet some requirements:

  • You must report the accident promptly after it happens.
  • Your crash and injuries must have resulted from contact with the other car or something the car did to cause you to crash. 
  • You are not careless in identifying the hit-and-run driver.

Seeking coverage under your uninsured motorist policy can be difficult to go alone. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can be invaluable after a hit-and-run accident and lead to a better outcome.

Speak With An Attorney

It is not uncommon for individuals to find the uninsured motorist insurance process challenging to navigate. Most people understandably do not like dealing with legal matters or insurance companies alone.

If you have questions about uninsured motorist coverage in South Carolina or need an attorney for your pending case, we can help. Do not delay seeking help as you have three years to sue on a claim, with some exceptions. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Moving Truck on the Road

What Happens if I Was Hit by a U-Haul With No Insurance in South Carolina? Who is Liable?

Every year, thousands of people opt to use self-service trucks like u-hauls to move into new homes, complete projects, and much more. While services such as u-haul may make the process less expensive, most drivers are not experienced in driving commercial vehicles. As a result, accidents can occur. So, what happens if a u-haul driver hits you with insufficient or no insurance? Our South Carolina car accident attorney can help evaluate your case and determine if you may have a claim and how to pursue it.

Accidents With Moving Trucks Can Be More Severe 

Unfortunately, because of the scale and weight of many commercial vehicles, they have the potential to do a lot of damage. Moving trucks also have more blind spots than your average vehicle, and many U-Haul drivers are inexperienced at driving commercial vehicles. As a result, an accident involving a u-haul can cause a lot of damage, and injuries can be significant. 

So, what recourse do you have if a u-haul hits you? U-Haul and similar companies typically require proof of insurance before they allow a person to rent their vehicles. However, this does not guarantee that the driver’s insurance will have sufficient coverage if an accident does occur. A person may also be insured, but their insurance coverage may exclude operating a commercial vehicle. If you are faced with this situation, you may have other options.

File an Uninsured Motorist Coverage Claim

South Carolina law requires that every driver carry uninsured motorist coverage for personal injuries and related damages of $25,000 per person, or $50,000 for all people, per accident. This is the minimum required coverage, and you can also purchase more coverage. An uninsured motorist coverage claim can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering (up to the coverage limit). 

If you are injured or you suffer property damage from a U-Haul driver with inadequate coverage, you may be able to file an uninsured motorist claim to cover your losses. You may even be able to stack insurance coverage across multiple policies. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate if this is possible.

File an Underinsured Motorist Coverage Claim

A second option that may be available is filing an underinsured motorist coverage claim. This insurance is similar to uninsured motorist coverage. The difference is that it could pay what remains uncovered of your injuries and property damage if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover these items. Although insurance companies are required to offer drivers this type of insurance coverage, they are not required to buy it in South Carolina.

You should be aware, however, that you can only recover damages through either underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. This can be confusing, and having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can be invaluable. 

Speak With an Attorney Right Away  

You should contact a lawyer for advice if a u-haul driver has hit you with insufficient or no insurance. The sooner the better. You have a limited amount of time in which you may be able to file a claim in South Carolina. The statute of limitations for these types of claims is three years, with some exceptions. 

Our firm knows how to protect your rights and deal with insurance companies. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Traffic on the road

Common Injuries Sustained in Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are very common. Roughly one-third of the traffic accidents in 2019 involved a rear-end collision. Insurance companies try to minimize the injuries and damages caused by rear-end crashes. They refer to rear-end accidents as “fender benders.” However, rear-end collisions can cause traumatic injuries. Our South Carolina personal injury attorney works with insurance companies to recover full compensation for our victims of rear-end car accidents. 

Neck Injuries and Whiplash Caused by Rear-End Collisions

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by rear-end car accidents. Whiplash is a strain or sprain of the neck that occurs when the head is forcefully “whipped” back and forth. When a vehicle is rear-ended, it causes the occupant’s head to whip back and forth forcefully.

Generally, people recover from whiplash in a few weeks with rest and minimal medical treatment. However, some cases of whiplash can cause chronic pain, limited range of motion, and long-term complications. 

A doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, and antidepressants. In some cases, the neck injury may be more severe and require muscle relaxants and a cervical collar. Physical therapy and cervical traction may also be prescribed in some cases. 

Other Injuries Sustained in Rear-End Collisions

In addition to neck injuries, occupants in a rear-end accident can sustain injuries including:

  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Bone fractures and broken bones
  • Wrist, arm, and hand injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures
  • Facial injuries
  • Seatbelt syndrome
  • Internal organ injuries 

The sudden force from a vehicle hitting the rear of your vehicle causes your body to jerk forward. Depending on the severity of the crash, you could hit the steering wheel, dashboard, or window. The airbag and seatbelt may cushion some of the impact from the crash, but the impact can still injure your face, head, and torso. 

It is normal to feel aches and pains after a rear-end accident. Do not ignore those pains and aches. It is always best to seek medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries may be masked by the shock and release of adrenaline after a car crash. 

Some injuries could worsen over time, especially if you do not receive prompt medical treatment. Delays in medical care could also cause problems with a personal injury claim.

Damages Available for a Rear-End Accident Claim 

South Carolina is an at-fault insurance state. All drivers are required to have minimum amounts of bodily injury liability insurance. If the other driver caused your accident, you could file a claim seeking compensation for you:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Therapy costs
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Emotional suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Decreased quality of life

The amount of your claim depends on the severity of your injuries and other facts of the case. The insurance company may downplay your injuries or claim that a case of whiplash is not severe enough to require medical care or loss of income. An accident lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal options to recover money for your injuries and damages. 

Contact Our South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation 

Rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries. You deserve fair compensation for all damages. Call our law office today to schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney.

Cop car going to investigate a scene

Hit-and-Run Accidents in South Carolina – What You Need to Know

If you got hurt in a hit-and-run accident in South Carolina, you probably have many questions. Frequently, the driver who fled the scene illegally will turn himself in or get caught within a few days or weeks of the collision. At the time of the crash, however, you have no way of knowing if they will ever catch the driver.

A South Carolina personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf and help you navigate this tricky situation. Not knowing what to do can make the situation more stressful for you, so here is a guide to hit-and-run accidents in South Carolina – what you need to know. 

You Can Increase the Odds of the Hit-and-Run Driver Getting Caught

Try to notice as many details as possible about the other vehicle, and share this information with law enforcement and your personal injury attorney. Sometimes, the tiniest detail, like a bumper sticker, is the item that leads to the capture of the hit-and-run driver.

If you can do so safely at the scene of the accident, make a note of the color of the car as well as the make and model. If you can remember even part of the license plate number, that could help the police. Also, notice the direction the car drove from the scene. If you call 911 immediately and share that information with them, they might catch the hit-and-run driver before the driver hides the vehicle.

You or another person in your car could try to use your cell phone to capture a photograph or brief video of the car as it speeds away. The police might be able to enlarge and enhance the images to retrieve more information that could be useful to them.

Additional Sources of Evidence

Look around at the scene of the hit-and-run accident for anyone who might have witnessed the collision itself or seen the car shortly before or after the crash. You will want to get the names and contact information of these people and provide that to law enforcement. Talking to those people while you are still at the scene could give you information that could help catch the driver. People often forget details with the passage of time, so you want to talk with them right away.

It is essential to note the precise time that the crash happened, to make it easier to track down security camera footage in the neighborhood. Also, you will want to make a note of the exact location of the collision. Often, video doorbell cameras and security cameras at residences and businesses within a few blocks of the crash capture valuable footage that helps to identify the hit-and-run driver. Red light cameras at intersections can also be useful.

Your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage on Your Automobile Policy

If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy, that insurance can help to pay for your losses from a hit-and-run collision if they do not find the driver who left the scene of the accident. Sometimes, people flee from a crash site because they do not have car insurance. Even if found, the at-fault driver might not have coverage that can cover your losses. In that situation, your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can still help you.

People often have questions about what happens if it takes a while for the police to capture the hit-and-run driver. For example, if you already had to pay your deductible and your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage paid for some of your damages, what happens when they later find the hit-and-run driver? In that situation, you should get reimbursed for your deductible and the hit-and-run driver’s automobile insurance company should reimburse your insurance company for the money they paid.

Hit and run accidents are challenging, complicated events. A South Carolina personal injury attorney could talk to you and represent you in your personal injury claim. Contact our office today for legal help, we offer a free consultation.

Client sitting with personal injury attorney

What Should I Do Following an Electric Vehicle Accident?

Electric and hybrid electric vehicles are growing in number. Therefore, you have a better chance of being involved in a traffic accident with an electric vehicle. Additionally, these vehicles pose significant risks to pedestrians and bicyclists because of the low noise levels emitted from these vehicles.  

An electric vehicle accident can cause traumatic injuries. If another party caused the crash, you could recover compensation for your damages. First, however, you must prove fault and liability. Our South Carolina car accident lawyer assists victims in fighting for the money they deserve.

Steps to Take After an Electric Vehicle Accident 

The steps you take after an accident involving an electric vehicle significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury case. Important steps to take include:

Report the Car Accident to the Police

Drivers involved in a car crash are required to stop at the accident scene. Call 911 to report the accident and request assistance. The emergency operator dispatches a police officer and emergency medical services.

Do not admit fault for the cause of the car accident. Saying you are sorry could be misinterpreted as admitting fault. Instead, tell the police officer what happened without embellishing or accepting responsibility for the cause of the collision.

Document the Accident Scene 

If it is safe to do so, take pictures and make a video of the accident scene. Try to capture the location of the vehicles, vehicle damage, skid marks, road signs, and the surrounding area. Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information. 

Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries

Saying you are “fine” or “okay” could hurt your personal injury claim. It is better to say that you will see your doctor regarding any injuries caused by the accident. 

Seeing a doctor as soon as possible is best. The insurance company could use delays in medical care to deny the claim. The insurance adjuster may argue that you would have sought medical care immediately following the accident if the crash had caused injuries. 

Notify Your Insurance Company 

Report the accident to your insurance company. However, be cautious when answering questions about the cause of the crash. It is not wise to agree to provide a written or recorded statement for your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company without discussing your case with an accident attorney. 

The statements you make could be used to blame you for the cause of the accident. The result could cost you thousands of dollars in lost compensation. 

Document Your Damages

Take pictures of your injuries as you recover from the electric vehicle accident. Keep copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts for expenses related to the car crash or your injuries. It can also help your case to keep a journal detailing your pain and suffering, activities you cannot perform, and other details about your recovery. 

Seek Legal Advice 

An electric car accident lawyer reviews your case to determine fault and liability. An attorney can protect you from aggressive claims adjusters and unfair insurance tactics. Your attorney understands how to value damages to maximize the amount of your recovery.

The insurance company has a team of highly trained, experienced professionals protecting its best interest. They work to reduce the money the company must pay you for your claim. You need a legal team that works to protect your best interests. 

Contact Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation 

Your time to file a claim after an electric vehicle accident is limited by the South Carolina statute of limitations. Seeking legal advice as soon as possible after a car crash can improve your chances of recovery and avoid missing filing deadlines. 

Call now for a free consultation with one of our South Carolina car accident lawyers.

car accident

What is a Driver’s Basic Duty of Care in South Carolina?

If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to know what the driver’s basic duty of care is in South Carolina. The driver has a duty to use reasonable care while driving and must avoid causing injury to others. If the driver fails to meet this duty, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney to learn more about your rights.

How is the Driver’s Duty of Care Determined?

South Carolina drivers are required to take all precautions to drive in a safe manner. If the driver is in a foreseeable danger zone, they must use reasonable care to avoid harming others.

In order for a victim to recover damages from an accident, they must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. If a driver is found to have breached their duty of care, they can be held liable for any damages that resulted from the accident.

When determining a driver’s duty of care, there are a few factors that are considered:

  • The driver’s speed
  • How well they were paying attention to the road
  • Whether they were following the rules of the road

If you have been injured in a car accident and are looking into filing a lawsuit against the negligent party, it is important to understand your legal options as well as how liability works.

What Are the Consequences for Violating This Duty of Care?

If the driver violates their duty of care, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result. This can include monetary damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. It is important to contact an attorney right away if you have been injured in a car accident, so they can help you understand your rights and options.

How Can Drivers Avoid Violating Their Duty of Care While Driving in South Carolina?

First and foremost, drivers should be aware of the laws that apply to them while driving in South Carolina. Secondly, drivers should always use caution when driving, especially in busy areas or around other vehicles. Finally, drivers should make sure they are well-rested before hitting the road. If you follow these tips, you can help avoid violating your duty of care while driving in South Carolina.

What Should You Do if You Are Involved in an Accident Caused By a Driver Who Violated Their Duty of Care?

There are many different things you can do if you are involved in an accident caused by a driver who violated their duty of care. A good first step is to make sure that the other party or parties experience no harm as a result of this injury. You should also take steps to ensure your own safety after the incident. It’s best not to leave the scene of an accident, even if it appears that there is no damage.

If you find yourself in a car accident, take these steps to ensure your life and rights are protected:

  • Check yourself and passengers for injuries
  • Call the police
  • Seek medical attention right away
  • Take pictures and record details about what happened
  • Document your expenses related to the incident
  • Do not sign anything or give any statements until you have talked with an attorney

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Options

In addition to the steps listed above, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to help you understand your rights and begin the process of filing a claim.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. An experienced personal injury lawyer can explain your rights and options to you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Car Accident in parking lot

Parking Lot Injuries – How to Protect Yourself

While parking lots are often some of the slowest driving that we will do all day, it can also be some of the most potentially injurious driving as well. Parking lots are infamous locations for every type of minor fender bender, paint-swap, and hit-and-run imaginable. Every South Carolina personal injury attorney in the state has seen parking lot injuries. 

One of the main reasons that South Carolina parking lots become the site of so many accidents, is that there is always so much going on. There are tons of pedestrians, other vehicles going about their business, and multiple directions of travel factoring in. In addition to all of that, there are islands, landscaping, and carts that can all present a potential hazard. 

Causes of Parking Lot Accidents

Just as the cause of nearly every type of motor vehicle accident, the main cause of most parking lot accidents is negligence in one of its many forms. In some cases, the negligence is due to an act someone performed that they shouldn’t have, such as driving while intoxicated or speeding.

In other cases, it may be negligence by inaction, which means someone failed to do something they should have done. Popular examples of this type of negligence are distracted driving, failing to use a turn signal, and failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision. 

Reducing Parking Lot Accidents

There are steps that can be taken to reduce the number of accidents that occur in parking lots in South Carolina. Speed bumps, stop signs, and crosswalks can all help, but the main thing is that drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings. Distracted driving in parking lots can lead to damage to property and to injuries to other people.

Steps to Take After Getting Injured in a Parking Lot Accident

If you’re ever involved in an accident in a parking lot, it’s important to keep a clear mind so you can keep the details in order. The first thing you should do is contact emergency services and inform them of the accident. Next, you’ll want to take pictures and document the scene of the accident. Also be sure to get the contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information from the other driver. Additionally, make sure to seek medical attention so that any injuries are well documented.

Compensation for Your Injuries

If you have been involved in an accident in a parking lot that resulted in you sustaining injuries, you may be able to collect monetary compensation for your injuries and damages. Generally, this is best accomplished by working with an experienced personal injury attorney. 

The damages that can be sustained include both economic and non-economic damages. Examples of economic injuries would be your vehicle repair cost, the cost of repairing or replacing personal property damaged in the accident, and your medical bills resulting from the physical injuries. Non-economic injuries could include anguish, pain, and suffering, as well as other potential psychological or emotional damages. 

If you are involved in a parking lot car crash contact our office today for a free consultation.

Male And Female Drivers Arguing Over Damage To Cars After Accident

Why Road Rage Causes So Many Car Accidents

Some people might think that road rage only includes extremely violent behavior when behind the wheel, like shooting at another car or ramming a car or pedestrian with one’s vehicle, but road rage can include many different types of aggressive driving. When a driver engages in dangerous conduct because of anger, impatience, or other uncontrolled emotion, the risk of a collision skyrockets.

A South Carolina personal injury attorney can help you try to hold the at-fault driver accountable if you got hurt because of road rage. If your close relative died because of a road rage incident, we might be able to pursue additional money damages for the legal beneficiaries. We can also answer your questions about why road rage causes so many accidents.

What Kind of Actions Can Be Examples of Road Rage? 

Driving can be stressful. We have all tapped the horn at someone who did not go forward within a reasonable amount of time after the light turned green or who clogged up traffic by going well under the speed limit in the “fast lane.” If those brief incidents do not escalate or involve extreme, out-of-control emotions, they are not examples of rod rage.

Here are some things that can be road rage:

  • Driving dangerously close behind a vehicle, as if to “bully” it into driving faster. When it is safe to do so, the better course of action is to change lanes and get past the slow car.
  •  Yelling or screaming curses and threats that people in other vehicles can hear.
  • Using your headlights on high beam when right behind another car.
  • Slamming on the brakes when someone tailgates you, also called brake-checking.
  • Cutting off by pulling in front of them sharply right after passing them.
  • Frequent lane changes without justification.
  • Any other unsafe driving maneuvers intended to express anger or intimidate another person.

There are many other actions that can constitute road rage.

Why is Road Rage So Dangerous?

An aggressive driver creates a heightened risk of harm to himself, people in other vehicles, and pedestrians for these reasons: 

  • The road-raging driver is out of control emotionally and making poor decisions. While focused on his anger, he is less likely to think clearly or notice facts that would otherwise indicate peril
  • Road rage often involves high speeds for the conditions. It is more challenging to control a speeding car than one that is traveling at an appropriate speed 
  • If the aggressive driving involves cars traveling at unsafe proximity to each other because of tailgating or brake-checking, the vehicles are at high risk of a collision because there is not enough time or distance to stop to prevent an accident
  • The extreme emotions that tend to accompany road rage can become “contagious,” with the driver who perceives himself as the victim of road rage might strike back and escalate the violence, by pulling a weapon or approaching and confronting the other driver at a stoplight

What started as mere inattention by one driver irritating another driver could quickly become a dangerous road rage incident. A South Carolina personal injury attorney can fight for you to go after all the compensation you deserve if you suffered harm because of road rage. If you’ve been affected by a road rage incident get in touch with our office for a free consultation.

baby car seat

South Carolina Car Seat Laws – Protecting Your Child During an Accident

Our state has enacted safety seat laws to protect children in South Carolina. This article will explain how South Carolina car seat laws do a good job of protecting your child during an accident. 

A South Carolina personal injury attorney can help you go after money damages from the at-fault driver if you or your child got hurt in a collision that was the result of someone else’s carelessness. 

What Are the Child Passenger Safety Seat and Seat Belt Laws in South Carolina?

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), every child who is a passenger in a motor vehicle on public streets must at all times be secured by one of these safety devices:

  • Rear-facing car seat. If your child is younger than two years, he will have to ride secured in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the car. Only children whose height or weight exceeds the limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer of the rear-facing car seat can move up to a forward-facing car seat.
  • Forward-facing car seat. Children between the ages of two and four years and those who are larger than the height or weight limits for a rear-facing car seat must be secured in a forward-facing car seat. Like the rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat must be in the back seat of the vehicle. To “graduate” to a booster seat, the child must be at least four years old and have outgrown their forward-facing car seat. 
  • Booster seat. After a child turns four years old and exceeds the height or weight limit of the manufacturer of a forward-facing car seat, he can ride in the back seat of the vehicle in a booster seat. The booster seat must be properly attached to the seat of the car and the child must be secured to the booster seat with both the lap belt and shoulder belt.
  • Seat belt. When a child turns eight years old or is at least 57 inches tall, the child can ride as a passenger in a motor vehicle while using an adult safety belt, but only if the adult safety belt actually secures the child properly. “Properly secured” means that the lap belt rides across the child’s thighs and hips, not the abdomen, and the shoulder belt goes across the middle of the child’s chest, not across his neck. Also, there are leg length requirements that can vary from one vehicle to another.

It is vital that all car seats and booster seats get fitted correctly to the vehicle to protect your child.

Do Safety Belts and Car Seats Really Save Lives?

Yes, our state’s Department of Public Safety has a Safety Seat Fact Sheet on its website that offers facts and statistics about these devices. Using this safety equipment correctly and consistently significantly reduces a person’s risk of moderate, critical, and fatal injuries in accidents. 

For example, when properly secured in a child safety seat in a passenger car, an infant’s risk of death goes down by 71 percent and a toddler’s risk of death goes down by 54 percent. Unfortunately, studies show that about 85 percent of people in South Carolina do not use child restraints properly if at all. 

A South Carolina personal injury attorney can talk to you and evaluate whether you might have a personal injury claim for an accident involving your child or yourself. Call our office today to set up a consultation.