Avoid Auto Accidents With Proper Car Maintenance

Car inspections are not enforced by the state of South Carolina, so how do you know if your car is safe to drive? By keeping track of basic car maintenance yourself, you should be able to keep you and your car safe on the road.

Oil Change
Oil keeps your car’s engine running smoothly, lubricating the many moving parts. When you run out of oil, those parts start to grind, and can cause any number of problems—including a complete stall of your vehicle. How far and how often you drive, along with the model and make of your vehicle, will determine how often you should change the oil. This information should be in your owner’s manual.
Radiator Coolant
Your car’s coolant keeps the engine’s temperature down to ensure that it does not overheat. If your engine overheats, you will know because of the smell of burning coolant (green in color) and the presence of smoke coming from underneath your hood. This can prove to be very dangerous on the road, impeding a driver’s eyesight, and causing an auto accident.

Brake Lights / Signals
This is a must for all cars on the road, and if not properly maintained, you may be pulled over by the police. You will typically know if a brake light or signal is out, because of a rapid signal chiming, typically at double the normal speed. Having working brake lights and blinkers is essential for on-the-road safety. Most parts can be bought at local auto shops and easily installed at home.

Brake Pads
If you have been experiencing screeching or a bumpy rumble when braking, then your brake pads may need to be replaced. As they wear down, the rods of your brakes begin to rub against one another. Over time, this will lead to delayed stops, making you more susceptible to rear ending someone, or fishtailing during a rain storm.

Transmission
Maintaining your transmission fluid and being mindful of needed transmission maintenance could save your life out on the road. Your car’s transmission is what keeps you “in gear” so that your car can accelerate properly and maintain a constant speed. When a transmission is failing, you may find that your car has difficulty starting and accelerating, lacking a sense of “pick up,” or stalling on in the middle of traffic. This uncertainty could easily cause a car accident. Transmission issues can range from a small misfire to a completely defunct transmission.

Have You Been In A Car Accident And Need A Lawyer?

If you have been in an auto accident recently and believe that the other driver may have been at fault, then contact the auto accident lawyers at Anastopoulo Law Firm in Charleston, SC.

Used Car Accident History In South Carolina: How Accidents Diminish Value

Used Car Accident History In South Carolina

When purchasing a new car, truck or SUV, many customers opt to shop for a used vehicle. This can be a great way to save money on a vehicle that is still reliable. However, there is a risk when you don’t know the history of the vehicle, as past accidents can diminish the value of the car you are considering–which may mean that you could end up paying too much.

How Accidents Diminish The Value Of A Used Car

After a car is in a crash and a report is filed with the driver’s insurance company, the insurance company automatically calculates this as a depreciation of value, even if the car is repaired correctly. While the car may appear “as good as new,” it may not be, and future buyers will factor this into their decision to buy the car. This is why insurance companies and car sellers accommodate for this in the price of a used car.

The Best Way To Get Used Car Accident History

There are several ways to get the accident history of used vehicles. To save you the footwork, auto dealers often do this themselves, either from their own research or by using an outlet such as CarFax.com or AutoCheck. However, you can run these reports yourself from home on these websites, or others. The important piece of information for you to know as the car purchaser is the vehicle’s VIN number. VIN numbers are the ideal identifier for cars, because they are linked to the car no matter who owned it, where it was owned or where repairs were done. A VIN number can even tell you if the car was stolen, traded, recovered or sold, along with an accident and repair history.

Has Your Car’s Value Diminished Because Of A Wreck In South Carolina?

If your vehicle has sustained damages in an auto accident, then the at-fault party is responsible for the repairs to your vehicle. Furthermore, because car accidents depreciate the value of cars, you may be able to recover this loss of value.

To hire a Charleston car accident lawyer who can help you recover for auto damages, contact The Anastopoulo Law Firm today.

Charleston Lawyer For Car Accidents: DUI Accident Lawyer

The road should be a safe place, day or night, for those who travel. However, not every driver takes this responsibility seriously, with nearly 40% of traffic fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers in the state of South Carolina. While those convicted of Driving Under the Influence face losing their license, fines and legal repercussions, if you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, he/she is most likely liable for your medical and car repair bills, so you will need a lawyer for car accidents who can bring you justice after an accident with a person Driving Under the Influence.

With Blood Alcohol Concentration levels above .08% a person’s ability to drive safely and maintain order on the road is in flux. Drunk drivers often speed, run stop signs or red lights and swerve into oncoming traffic, causing auto accidents. If this is the case, then you should be compensated for your financial loses.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, whether you were in a car, truck, motorcycle or a pedestrian, then you should seek medical attention. After visiting a trusted doctor, you will be charged for your check up, operation, prescriptions and possible follow up visits and physical therapy. These costs mount up quickly and can often be expensive. You should not be the one to pay. Rather, the at-fault party and his/her insurance company are responsible for paying medical bills, which may also include mental trauma from the accident or lost wages at work.

Likewise, DUI accidents can often cause substantial damage to the victim’s vehicle. Since drunk drivers often lose their sense of control and/or speed, these collisions can happen suddenly and at high impact. After getting a quote from a state sanctioned car garage for repairs, the at-fault party should pay for those repairs in a timely manner.

By hiring a local Charleston lawyer for a DUI accident, you will be provided with legal guidance and professional candor as your case is resolved with your best interests in mind. The car accident attorneys at Anastopoulo Law Firm have over 20 years of experience in getting safe drivers what they deserve in auto accidents across the Southeast, recovering millions of dollars for medical and auto repair bills.

Get in touch with The Anastopoulo Law Firm today to get the compensation you deserve.

An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer: Akim Anastopoulo

How A Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Have you recently been in an auto accident in the Charleston, SC area? By hiring an experienced car accident lawyer like Akim Anastopoulo, you will find that recovering due damages for medical bills and auto repairs is far easier than going through the process alone. By partnering with Akim, you are associating yourself with a well-respected lawyer who knows the ins and outs of car accident law. With thousands of cases under our belt, The Anastopoulo Law Firm has time and again produced satisfactory results for our clients by collecting evidence, re-constructing crash scenes, communicating with police officers, negotiating with insurance companies and delivering in the courtroom.

More About Akim Anastopoulo: A Local Charleston Lawyer

You may recognize Akim Anastopoulo from his stint as the preceding judge of Eye For An Eye, a non-traditional courtroom television show in which “Extreme Akim” handed out judgment in the form of “paybacks.” The judgment would literally fit the crime. For example, if a shoe store owner was found guilty of kicking out a customer without due cause, he would be sentence to giving the customer a foot massage. While the antics of the show were well received for over six years, Anastopoulo also knew that the law was serious business. The same experience that vetted him as a go-to choice for reality television has led him to become Charleston’s first choice for representation in auto accidents for over 20 years.

After earning his four-year degree from the University of Louisville on a tennis scholarship, Anastopoulo received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina in the late 1980’s. He then became actively involved in the Charleston community, and has since recovered millions of dollars for his clients throughout the Southeast.

Hire A Car Accident Lawyer In Charleston Today

Don’t delay in your pursuit of justice. Contact the car accident lawyers at Anastopoulo Law Firm in Charleston to start the process of getting your due compensation today.

Reporting An Accident: Do I Need To Report A Minor Car Accident?

Maybe you’ve seen this scene before: two people get into an accident and one is begging the other to shrug it off, not to report it to the police or insurance—maybe it could be handled “under the table,” right? You may have also seen the same situation, but the party not at fault passes grace onto the at-fault driver and waves off the damage. Although thousands of car crashes occur every day, not all of them are reported to insurance companies. So do you really need to report a minor car accident?

If you have been in a car accident, even if it is a minor accident, you should file a report with the police and your insurance company. This is because most insurance company’s policies mandate that you report every accident, no matter how minor it may be. Likewise, you may be required to file an official police report depending on how severe your accident was. Your insurance company will most likely request a police report as well. Failing to file a police report after an accident can be used as evidence by the DMV that your car is uninsured, and you could be subjected to legal penalties for driving uninsured.

Drivers involved in auto accidents often worry about their insurance premiums going up after an accident. Insurance companies do take into account the number of claims that a driver makes during the year when calculating his or her insurance rate, but more importantly they also look at who was at fault in an accident. If you were not at fault in the accident, your insurance rates should not suffer. However, if you do not file a claim and decide to take an offer from the at-fault driver, you may find that there is nothing to hold them accountable for actually compensating your auto repair bills. If you are at-fault in a minor car accident, you too, should file a claim with your insurance company. Since it is standard procedure to file a police report, you are likely to be issued a ticket at the scene of the accident if the officer believes you to be at fault for the wreck. If your insurance company sees that you did not report a wreck—remember, this is mandated in almost all insurance agreements—then you may find yourself much worse off than if you had been honest and reported the accident. Insurance companies who find tickets for non-reported accidents have been known to drop coverage completely.

Contact A Car Accident Attorney in Charleston, SC

If you have been in a car accident, then you deserve an auto accident attorney in Charleston who can ensure the insurance companies involved in your accident treat you fairly. Don’t let your premiums skyrocket or risk the chance that your medical or car repair bills won’t be fully compensated. Contact the Charleston car accident lawyers at Anastopoulo Law Firm today.

Truck Accidents In Charleston, SC: Hire A Truck Accident Attorney

Common Causes of Truck Accidents In Charleston, SC

Charleston is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, which means commercial traffic both within Charleston and from interstate commerce is on the rise. Interstate 26, flowing from Columbia into North Charleston and bottlenecking into downtown Charleston maintains a steady flow of traffic filled with tractor-trailers and commercial trucks. Likewise, I-526, which encircles the Greater Charleston Area, is a busy pipeline for trucks and eighteen-wheelers.

Since tractor-trailers are larger and heavier than the typical car, these trucks create a unique set of challenges and hazards on the road, which may lead to you being in a car wreck. For example eighteen-wheelers have enormous blind spots and need to brake earlier, given their heavy loads. They are also unable to correct their path in the event of fishtailing or hydroplaning on rainy days.

Commercial drivers may also not be adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by the government and other regulatory agencies. For example, a driver can only be on the road for a certain allotted amount of time before being considered a fatigued, and thus dangerous, driver. It is not uncommon that these drivers use unsanctioned stimulates to stay awake or commit fraud on their drivers’ logs. A commercial driver might also be carrying a load that is overweight, therefore increasing their odds of being in an accident.

Who Is At Fault In a Truck Accident?

If any of the above circumstances take place, be it negligent driving or not following regulations, then the commercial driver is most likely at fault. This could mean the driver is personally responsible, or the company that hired him/her is held accountable.

A commercial truck accident, either because of rollover or simply heavy traffic, could also cause a multi-car accident. Depending on circumstances, this could mean the driver of the truck is responsible for the wreck, or another car in front or behind you is responsible if that driver was not exercising proper caution.

Hire A Truck Accident Attorney in Charleston, SC

To be compensated for medical and/or auto repair bills for a truck accident in Charleston, SC you should hire a truck accident attorney who knows the laws and regulations of the road as it pertains to commercial trucks. These are unique cases that often have differing circumstances from the typical car wreck. To learn more about traffic law as it applies to tractor-trailer accidents in Charleston, and to partner with a car accident lawyer who can help you recover reparations in your wreck, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm today.

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Personal Injury And Medical Bills In A Car Accident

Car accidents often result in medical bills due to personal injury. Below are 5 ways to protect yourself from personal injury and medical bills after a car accident, brought to you by Anastopoulo Law Firm.

1. Wear Your Seatbelt

The best way to stop a personal injury in a car wreck is to have the proper constraint. For adults, this means always buckling up your seat belt. Auto accidents kill up to 2 million people a year, with over half of all fatal accidents involving someone not wearing a seat belt. For children, this means being securely buckled down in a child safety seat. Be sure to select the correct child safety seat for your child based on size and weight, and read the instructions carefully to better ensure that you are using the child seat properly. In the case of an auto accident, the best way to protect yourself is to exercise safety by wearing your seat belt.

2. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Immediately after an accident, survey the scene around you. It is not uncommon for people involved in auto accidents to enter into a state of shock immediately after an accident. Take the time needed to collect yourself and be sure that it is safe to exit your vehicle. Be aware of your car relative to other motorists and any debris that may have been a result of the accident.

3. Document the Scene

When you determine that your environment is safe, take pictures of your car and other car(s) involved in the wreck. Call the police to file a report and get the other driver’s insurance information. This will be important in documenting your case and protecting yourself from having to pay medical or car repair bills. Never admit fault at the scene of an accident or agree to give a verbal or written statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Even if you have zero fault in the accident, these statements can be contorted against you.

4. Seek Medical Attention

After a car wreck, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may need to go to an urgent care, the emergency room or the hospital. Not all injuries are immediately recognizable, so if you feel any discomfort or you were in a severe auto accident, you should always visit a doctor and take their professional advice.

5. Hire A Charleston Accident Lawyer Who Can Protect You After A Car Wreck

Working alongside a lawyer after your auto accident is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself after a wreck. At The Anastopoulo Law Firm, our car accident lawyers are knowledgeable about how to protect your rights after a car accident in the state of South Carolina. We can protect you from the at-fault party’s insurance company and opposing legal counsel, who will try to manipulate your case or make unfair claims.

By working with The Anastopoulo Law Firm, you can take comfort in knowing that you are working with a team of car accident lawyers who have twenty five years of experiencing protecting people from having to pay medical bills and car repair bills, because we make sure the responsible party is brought to justice. To learn more about an auto accident lawyer who can protect you after a wreck, contact The Anastopoulo Law Firm today.

Semi Truck Rollover Accident Stalls Traffic In Charleston

Commercial truck accidents are not uncommon in the Charleston, SC metro area. Interstate 26 traffics thousands of people in and out of the greater Charleston area on a daily basis, and many of those drivers are commercial truckers who may be driving negligently or under fatigue. Likewise, I-526 is often crowded with traffic that circumnavigates the Charleston area including North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Daniel Island. Heavy congestion on I-526 has also led to auto accidents involving semi trucks and other large vehicles.

For example,  Live 5 News recently reported that a semi truck rollover accident caused all three lanes of I-526 to be shut down for almost an hour early last Friday morning. Not only do these kinds of auto accidents create traffic delays and gridlock, but commercial trucking accidents can also cause an exorbitant amount of damage to vehicles as well as serious personal injury.

If you have been in an auto accident involving a semi truck in the Charleston, SC area, the auto accident lawyers at Anastopoulo Law Firm are here to lend a helping hand. Our accident lawyers are well versed in the law and have the fervor needed to fight off insurance companies and trucking companies who will battle against your case for compensation.

Our semi truck accident attorneys have an extensive knowledge of trucking laws and regulations, which may have been violated by the truck driver in your accident. Do not let a large company intimidate you when it comes to your rights as a safe and cautious driver. Contact Anastopoulo Law Firm today if you have been involved in a semi truck accident in Charleston.

Single Car Accidents In Florence, SC

Auto accidents in the lowcountry can cause personal injury and even be fatal. Most car accidents involve two or more vehicles, but single-car accidents can be just as severe.

According to SCNow.com, a man was retrieved from his car by local rescue workers mid-afternoon on Monday after running off the road into Alligator Creek, just south of Cashua Ferry Road. It took a half hour for medics, firefighters and local deputies to remove the roof of the car and rescue the driver, closing the road to traffic for some time. The motorist was then transported to a local hospital in Florence.

The wreck in Darlington is currently being investigated by the state’s highway patrol. Even though it has not yet been reported if another motorist was involved, the driver’s medical and car repair bills may still be paid by the state if it is found that the road was not properly maintained or not marked with the appropriate signage.

One-car accidents are not uncommon and can lead to personal injury. If you have been in involved in an auto accident, single-car or otherwise, and believe that your accident is the result of negligence by another party, the Anastopoulo Law Firm can help you to obtain payment for medical bills and/or car repairs. We have representatives across the state of South Carolina ready to assist you, including those who may have been in a car wreck in the Florence area.

If you have been injured in an auto accident in South Carolina, hire a car accident lawyer in Florence today.

Likelihood of a Motorcycle Accident in SC

The total number of all auto accident fatalities on South Carolina roads fluctuate from year to year, but recent data shows that while car and trucks deaths have been trending downward, motorcycle deaths are slowly increasing each year.

Nationally, motorcycle accidents are over thirty times more likely to occur than other types of auto accidents. According to an article in The Post and Courier, there were thirty more motorcycle deaths in 2011 than in 2010 across the state of South Carolina. While states like South Carolina have instituted “share the road” campaigns to encourage other drivers to be aware of motorcyclists, motorcycles still present a unique set of problems, like drivers who do not wear helmets, lack of safety equipment and exposure at high speeds. However, motorists who are negligent of others’ safety on the road and drive recklessly often cause motorcycle accidents, not necessarily the person driving the motorcycle.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you deserve to be compensated for your medical bills and repairs to your bike. To get your due compensation, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm today.