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Charleston, SC Car Accident Attorney
The Hartman Law Firm

The Hartman Law Firm, LCC is Charleston, South Carolina's Car Accident Attorney

Every year millions of Americans are involved in car accidents. Thousands die.

A flipped car after an accident with firemen helping the injured.

Most accidents are avoidable. They're caused by people who don't follow the law and act negligently, causing the accident.

Studies by the National Safety Council show that there were more than 39,000 motor vehicle deaths in 2019. What's worse, preliminary estimates from the first six months of 2021, compared to 2020, show an increase of 16%, from 18,480 in 2020 to 21,450 in 2021. Predictions from this study could show a potential of more than 40,000 deaths in 2021.

Furthermore, studies show that insurance companies pay, on average, significantly more (40% conservatively) to people when they're represented by an attorney. Naturally, every crash has its circumstances that ultimately determine the value of final compensation. How much compensation you receive is based on several of factors.

Choosing the best personal injury lawyer to represent your best interests is easy to do just by reviewing local attorney's online ratings. Google Ratings, Avvo and Facebook all have rating systems that are there to help you choose the best law firm to represent them. Make sure you read those reviews, because you need legal representation who will fight for your best interests.

What Questions Should You Ask Before Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?

When seeking a car accident attorney, it's important to locate a professional with trial experience in your state who can easily point to specific settlements and awards in your type of case. For example, an attorney may focus more on whiplash cases with small awards or an attorney may focus more on big DUI cases with catastrophic injuries. The latter cases take much more time to conclude, and the law firm must be able to advance all costs of making the case against the defendant's insurance company.

How Soon After an Accident Should I Call a Car Accident Attorney?

You need to call an attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies work around the clock, try to pay out as little as possible, have no emotions involved and handle car accident claims for a living. You need an equal opposing force to protect you from these companies. That's where Frank Hartman comes in. 

Frank works around the clock as well and knows how to get you the compensation you deserve. He understands the emotions of personal injury, car crashes and trucking accidents and he fights insurance companies for a living.

Don't sign anything

Do not talk to any insurance company

Call the Hartman Law Firm and let Frank handle handle it for you. 

If you call the other driver's insurance company, or yours, they record your calls. They take those recordings and twist what you say into their favor. It's imperative that you never talk to anyone but Frank first. Your focus needs to be getting your life back on track.

How do you find The Best Car Crash Attorney in Charleston?

Choosing the best attorney to represent you in after a car crash has become a lot easier than it used to be. Google Ratings, Avvo and Facebook all have rating systems that are there to help people make good decisions about who they choose to represent them.

Make sure you read those reviews because you definitely want someone who not only can fight but you want to make sure that whomever you pick has your best interests at heart. You don't want to be just a number or someone to push through to a settlement because that's the easy way out. You want someone that will get you the maximum payout.

You'll understand why Frank has a 5 star rating on Google from more than 121 clients. These ratings are real, through and through.

Frank cares about you and your loved ones, your situation and getting justice and the compensation you deserve. This may sound like the same message as other firms, but the biggest difference is that you will be dealing with Frank, the attorney, not some other lawyer within some huge firm that you've never talked to before.

There's nothing worse than being passed off to another lawyer, especially when you're not expecting it. You hired the person you spoke with. That's who you're comfortable with and that's who should represent you.

If you ever have to go to court, or someone needs to speak to an insurance company, you need Frank Hartman there by your side, standing up for you and your rights.

What Should I Know About Personal Injury Cases

Frank wants you to be educated in all personal injury matters. If you look at his YouTube channel, you'll see that Frank gives a lot of free legal advice.

This is so that people who may not be ready to contact him can get some answers through the videos. If you aren't finding the answers to your questions on the website or the videos, remember that Frank offers a 20-minute strategy session for free.

Frank Hartman has Successfully Represented Several Charleston Residents with Car Collision Related Injuries

Car accidents often involve powerful physical forces that are capable of causing serious damage to the human body. This is true even in cases in which vehicle occupants are buckled in and the vehicle in which they were riding was equipped with modern safety features such as multiple airbags. Many people involved in severe accidents are left with life-changing injuries that will result in substantial economic and non-economic losses, making it critical for them to retain an attorney that can help make sure they obtain the compensation to which they are legally entitled. Here are some of the more common injuries that people can sustain in a car accident.

Fractures

People involved in car accidents often suffer broken bones. People break arms, legs, ribs, hips, or even the bones in their face or their head, depending on the circumstances of the accident. A broken bone is extremely painful, can result in permanent disfigurement, and may require extensive surgery to treat.

In many cases, people who sustain fractured bones miss weeks or months of work. Their injuries may require immobilization of a body part, or parts, for a significant period of time. Even less serious factures can take a long time to heal and result in long-term life complications.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries, often referred to as “TBIs,” occur when a person's head is bumped or jolted with force sufficient to result in a disruption of normal brain function. These injuries often occur in car accidents in which a person's heads slams against the dashboard or steering wheel or he or she is ejected from the vehicle. In instances in which the head snaps back and forth on the neck hard enough to rattle the brain within the skull, a TBI can occur even if the head does not come into contact with another object.

TBIs are capable of causing extremely serious complications, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Problems concentrating
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Problems with communication
  • Difficultly problem solving

Burns

In many car accidents, one or more of the vehicles involved catches fire during or immediately after the accident, potentially causing extremely serious burns to the people inside them. Burns can be extremely painful, require long-term medical treatment, and leave victims with scarring and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are associated with paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia) and hemiplegia.

Spinal cord injuries occur when physical trauma damages the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. They can be categorized into two broad categories, which are as follows:

Incomplete – A spinal cord injury is characterized as “incomplete” when the victim retains some feeling or function below the site of the injury

Complete – In an incomplete spinal cord injury, victims have no sensation or function below the site of the injury

Spinal cord injuries often result in significant long-term problems and victims who are paralyzed often require a lifetime of medical treatment and care.

Neck injuries

Most injuries in car accidents result from rear-end collisions. Neck injuries are common in these accidents when head whips forward and back in the classic "whiplash" movement. Injuries can be permanent, depending on the severity of the impact.

Vehicle-related accidents are caused by people who don't follow the law and act negligently.

Common Questions About Car Accident Injuries

Can Car Accidents Cause Spine Injuries?

Yes.

The spine is made up of 33 bones. It can be compared to a stack of Lego, one on top of the other. Each bone has its place. All together, the spinal column support the body.

Bones in the spinal column are supported by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Intervertabral discs sit between the bones in the spine to act as cushions. These discs are filled with a gel-type substance and keep the bones from rubbing together. With all those parts, each one is at risk for being injured in an accident.

Even the smallest accident can disrupt the spine and it's functions.

What kind of spine problems can be caused by a car accident?

Discogenic pain is the overall term for spine pain. It is pain that is caused by the discs of the spine. The discs of the spine are the round pieces of cartilage that act as cushions between each spinal bone. If these discs are disruptive, the pain can be unbearable. It affects a persons ability to walk, sit, sleep, bend over and do everyday tasks.

The top back injuries seen after a car accident are:

  • Whiplash
  • Spine Fractures
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Disc Herniation

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Symptoms of Whiplash include

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Inability to turn your head because of pain and/or stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Tingling or numbness in the neck, upper back, one or both arms
  • Dizziness

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash, also known as hyperflexion or hyperextension, occurs when the shoulders, neck, and spine are suddenly whipped past their limits. The forces involved in a collision that causes whiplash can cause damage to the spine, disks within the spine, muscles, ligaments, nerves and surrounding neck tissue. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common cause of whiplash is rear-end collisions in which the driver of the front vehicle experiences the unexpected impact.

When Does Whiplash Start?

Whiplash can manifest immediately or even up to a few months following the injury. Either way, be sure you see a doctor right away after an accident. Even if you are not experiencing pain right away, that does not mean you do not have injuries. Sometimes there is a delayed response to pain. The most common reason for this delayed response to pain is your own body's “flight or fight” mechanism.

How is Whiplash Treated?

Treatment for whiplash depends greatly on the severity of the injury. The primary objective of treatment is to manage pain and promote recovery, including returning to a normal range of motion and returning to normal levels of activity.

  • Rest
  • Hot and cold treatment, such as ice packs and heating pads.
  • Over the counter pain medications
  • Prescription pain relief medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Injections of localized pain relieving medicines, such as lidocaine (Xylocaine)
  • Foam neck collars
  • Neck exercises
    • Turning your head left and right
    • Tilting your head from side to side
    • Bending your head forward and backward
    • Shrugging or rolling your shoulders
  • Physical therapy
  • Nontraditional alternatives
    • Chiropractic manipulation of the affected joints
    • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
    • Therapeutic massage
    • Acupuncture or accupressure
    • Radiofrequency neurotomy
  • Topical medications
    • Capsaicin cream
    • Homeopathic anti-inflammatory ointment

What is a Spine Fracture?

A spine fracture occurs when sudden trauma to the spinal column results in the fracturing of the vertebrae along the spine. Unlike typical fractures, such as a broken arm or leg, spine fractures can cause a myriad of symptoms, from pain and numbness to paralysis. When the fragile bones within the spine break, bone fragments can cause damage to the surrounding tissues, nerves, and spinal cord.

What are the Symptoms of Spine Fracture?

The types and severity of spine fracture symptoms are largely based on the degree of injury. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities, or other affected areas
  • Weakness in the spine or extremities
  • Muscle spasms
  • Changes in the behaviour of bowels and bladder
  • Temporary or permanent paralysis

What Causes Spine Fracture?

According to the Mayfield Brain and Spine Clinic, the most common cause of spine fractures is being involved in a car accident, accounting for 45% of all such injuries. These injuries occur when the force of impact from an accident causes the spine to compress, twist, or move in a way that it is not intended. The pressure and shock of these movements result in the bones of the spine being crushed or snapped.

How Long Does a Spine Fracture Take to Heal?

The range of types and severity of spine fractures affect the recovery period. In some cases, severe injury can be permanent. If bone fragments cause damage to the spinal cord, the effects can often be permanent.

Pain related to spine fractures can take anywhere from days or weeks to three or more months. Much of the recovery period time frame is dependent on swelling of joints and tissue surrounding the fractured vertebrae. With treatment by anti-inflammatory medicine, the recovery period can be reduced greatly.

How is a Spine Fracture Diagnosed?

Immediately following an accident, you should always be seen by a medical practitioner as soon as possible. Depending on the severity or types of injuries sustained in an accident, your doctor may prescribe a number of tests to check for many types of possible injuries.

The most common methods for determining whether fractures have occurred in the spine are X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or Computed Tomography (CT) Scan. Radiographic imaging is the best way to see bone fractures, and the procedures are non-invasive and safe, greatly reducing the possibilities for further aggravation of the affected areas.

What are the Treatments for a Spine Fracture Injury?

A wide range of spinal treatments is available for spine fractures. Traditional treatments can include the use of orthotic back and spine braces, minimally invasive procedures to treat compression, and more invasive surgery.

  1. Back braces
  2. Cervical, cervical-thoracic, and neck braces
  3. Surgical fusion of vertebrae
  4. Surgical insertion of plates, screws, rods, cages, or related hardware
  5. Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty, involving the injection of bone cement to strengthen the spine
  6. Steroids
  7. Physical therapy

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition which results from the vertebrae in the spine sliding over one another. This sliding often results in compression of the nerves and spinal cord, causing further complications such as pain, loss of bowel and bladder control, numbness, and weakness. This condition most commonly occurs in the lower back, though it can occur anywhere along the spine.

What are the Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?

The most common symptoms of any back injury is pain. Spondylolisthesis is no exception. Symptoms include:

  1. Pain in the back or buttocks areas
  2. Pain running down your leg or legs
  3. Numbness and/or weakness in your leg or legs
  4. Difficulties in walking
  5. Pain in the lower back, buttocks, or legs that worsens with certain activities, such as bending at the waist or twisting your torso.
  6. Loss of bowel and bladder control

In some cases, there may be no symptoms of this condition. This is why it is so important to go see a doctor immediately after an accident.

How is Spondylolisthesis Diagnosed?

Radiographic imaging is the most common method for diagnosing this condition. This includes X-rays, CT Scans, and MRI's.

What Treatments are Available for Spondylolisthesis?

The treatments for spondylolisthesis are in the same range as those for other back injuries. Immobilization and pain management are the most common treatments for less severe cases. In the event of more traumatic injuries, doctors may prescribe surgical procedures. Treatments may include:

  1. Back braces or a rigid cast
  2. Surgical fusion and decompression of the affected vertebrae
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Acupuncture and/or acupressure
  5. Chiropractic adjustments
  6. Over the counter pain medications
  7. Prescription pain medications
  8. Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as Tylenol

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the channel that the spinal cord resides in. With regard to auto accidents, this condition typically results from compression of the vertebrae. Again, the forces involved in an accident can result in the spinal column being compressed, which can result in the crushing of the vertebrae and narrowing of the spinal channel.

There are two characterizations of spinal stenosis which are based on where the injury and symptoms occur. When it occurs in the lower back it is known as Lumbar Stenosis. When it occurs in the neck it is known as Cervical Spine Stenosis.

What are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

In several cases of spinal stenosis it is common for there to be no symptoms at all. On the other hand, symptoms can be severe and debilitating. These can include:

  1. Pain in the affected area which can come and go, rather than persisting
  2. Pain which occurs during certain activities or when holding certain positions
  3. Relief of pain after rest that returns upon re-aggravation of the injury
  4. In the case of lumbar stenosis, pain in the legs while walking or performing certain exercises is common
  5. Tingling and numbness, or “pins and needles” in the legs

What are the Treatments for Spinal Stenosis?

There is a range of severity of spinal stenosis and, therefore, there is a range of treatments. In less severe cases, your doctor may only prescribe a certain regimen of exercise or a reduction in certain activities. However, more severe conditions may require surgery for remediation. Treatments of this condition can include the following.

  1. Physical therapy
  2. Cortisone injections directly into the affected area of the lower back
  3. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  4. Short term narcotic pain relievers
  5. Nerve desensitizing prescription medicines, such as napr0syn or gabapentin
  6. In fewer cases, anti-depressants can help with pain
  7. Spinal surgery for relief of compression

What Does a Herniated Disc Feel Like?

A herniated disc is usually described as one of the worst pains a person can experience. It can involve several different types of pain from shooting pain, sharp pains, numbness and tingling. It is not usually just one type of pain but many because the nerves are being affected. It can radiate down to the toes, through the fingers, up into the neck or just be a localized pain.

That being said, if you feel pain in your chest, arms, neck and/or jaw, please call 9-1-1 as these are also signs of a heart condition.

How Long Does a Herniated Disc Take to Heal?

Most people opt to have the least invasive procedures first when they have a herniated disc. If those don't work, they take the more invasive treatments as a secondary course of action. It is always best to get as many opinions as possible and do what you feel is right for you.

Depending on the amount of damage you have and your chosen course of action, treatment for herniated discs can be from 3 months to life long. Again, everyone is different and some treatments work for some but not others. (Webmd)

What Are Some Non-Invasive Herniated Disc Treatments?

  1. Chiropractic care
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Massage
  4. Accupressue
  5. Over the counter pain relievers
  6. Home remedies
    • What are some home remedies for herniated discs?
      • Heating pad
      • Ice pack
      • Adding a feather bed
      • Add a board under your mattress
      • Spa tub or jaccuzi
      • Floating in a pool
      • Warm wet compresses
      • Back support brace
      • Vibration
  7. Topical Remedies
    • What are some topical herbal remedies for herniated discs?
      • There are topicals like Tiger Balm, Capzasin, Icy Hot,  Aspercream, Eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, and menthol infused patches
  8. Herbal Remedies
    • What are some herbal remedies for herniated discs?
      • Feverfew, tumeric, devil's claw, ginseng, kava kava, valerian root
  9. Exercise
  10. Weight Loss
  11. Rest
  12. Anti-flammatory diet
    • What is an anti-inflammatory diet?
      • Green leafy vegetables, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, cage-free eggs, grass-fed meats and fish.
  13. Meditation
  14. Biofeedback
    • What is biofeedback?
      • Biofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that uses your own mind to control your body. It is usually in association with relaxation and meditation
    • What kinds of biofeedback are there?
      • Guided biofeedback is like meditation where the messaging is telling you to control what is ailing you
      • Thermal biofeedback attaches sensors to the body. It is the goal of the therapist to get the patient to the point that they can control their own body temperature and thereby control their own pain responses.
      • Electromyography biofeedback uses electronics to reinforce thoughts and/or behaviors through auditory and visual signals. This will give positive reinforcement to control body functions.
      • EEG Biofeedback uses brain waves to evaluate how a person responds to a stimuli and then the therapist will assign techniques to help with the triggers to that stimuli (in this case, pain)

One thing to keep in mind, just because it is natural, does not mean it is safe. Always consult your doctor before trying anything, even something as seemingly harmless as a heating pad could make your condition worsen.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto collision, contact your Charleston car accident attorney, Frank Hartman. Don't talk to anyone else until you've spoken with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.

Why The Hartman Law Firm?

We don't spread ourselves thin practicing all types of law. We focus on very specific personal injury and vehicle accidents. It has allowed us to gain the experience needed for every type of situation possible. If you are still curious as to how good we are, please look at our Google feedback.

Contact the Hartman Law Firm now for your free 20-minute consultation

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Free Consulation and Case Evaluation

Frank offers a Free Case Evaluation and Consultation. He will visit with you at your convenience at your home or hospital bed to evaluate your matter. This is done on a case by case basis.

Frank Hartman opened The Hartman Law Firm, LLC in 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina. He chose Charleston so he could help his clients get the best results. He knows the people of South Carolina deserve better.

Frank concentrates his legal practice in several personal injury practice areas. His success in representing his clients is evident in the numerous case results cited. The office of the Hartman Law Firm brings a warm welcome and an understanding legal representation that you'll be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

Learn more about Frank's success in getting his clients the compensation they deserve in the Case Results and Testimonials pages.

The Hartman Law Firm, LLC

Serving North Charleston and the Charleston Metro Area

6650 Rivers, Ave, Suite 600

North Charleston, SC 29406


305 W Indian Ave

Folly Beach, SC 29439


Phone: (843) 300-7600

Email: frank@thehartmanlawfirm.com