In the aftermath of an accident, it’s normal to feel confused and overwhelmed. But there are a few key mistakes you want to avoid in order to protect yourself legally and financially. Stay calm, think before you act, and whatever you do, don’t admit fault or sign anything until you’ve talked to a Greenville car accident lawyer.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 946 fatal traffic accidents reported in South Carolina in 2022, resulting in 1,015 deaths – 180 fewer deaths compared to 2021. On average, at least two deadly crashes occurred per day across the state in 2022.
Leaving the Scene of the Accident
Staying at the scene is required by law, but it also allows you to exchange information with the other driver and ensure everyone’s safety. You’ll want to move your vehicle off the road if possible and turn on your hazard lights. Check on the other driver and passengers right away.
Even if there are no injuries, call emergency services so they can properly assess the situation. While waiting for help to arrive, get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance details.
Admitting Fault or Blaming Others
Admitting fault or blaming the other driver immediately following an accident can be tempting, but avoid doing so. Stay calm and composed. What you say can be used against you later.
- Say as little as possible to the other driver. Only exchange insurance information and contact details. Do not discuss who is at fault.
- Do not apologize or say something like, “I’m sorry, this was my fault.” Let the insurance companies determine the fault.
- Do not get confrontational or aggressive with the other driver. Remain polite but avoid lengthy discussions about the accident.
Neglecting to Get a Police Report
A police report is critical for dealing with insurance claims, medical bills, and potential lawsuits. Without an official record of the accident, insurance companies and attorneys will have a hard time determining who’s at fault.
This can delay or prevent you from getting compensation for injuries, vehicle repairs, and other expenses. Police reports also provide important details about the accident that may be difficult to remember later on, like:
- The time and location of the accident
- Contact and insurance information for other drivers
- Witness statements and accounts of what happened
- Photos of the vehicles and scene of the accident
Failing to Gather Information
Use your phone to take pictures of both vehicles, including license plate numbers. Capture the positions of the vehicles, debris on the road, and any damage. Your Greenville car accident attorney will use them as evidence.
If there were any witnesses, ask them for their names and contact details. Politely request that they provide a written statement about what they saw. Their accounts can support your version of events. Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance details, and driver’s license number. Also, give them your information in return.
Refusing Medical Attention
After an accident, refusing medical attention is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Even if you feel fine in the moment, injuries can reveal themselves later. Seeking medical care right away is critical.
- Get checked out by paramedics at the scene. They can properly assess you for internal injuries or head trauma, which you may not notice yourself.
- Head to an urgent care clinic or emergency room as soon as possible after the accident. Whiplash, concussions, and internal bleeding aren’t always obvious.
- Mention any pain, dizziness, or confusion to the doctor, no matter how minor. Seemingly insignificant symptoms could indicate a more severe underlying issue.
- Get follow-up care with your primary doctor. You may feel the effects of injuries for days or weeks after the accident.
- Document all medical visits related to the accident in case you need to file an insurance claim. This establishes a record of your injuries and treatment.
Call an Experienced Greenville Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, there are several mistakes you’ll want to avoid to protect yourself legally and financially. One of the biggest mistakes is not contacting an experienced Greenville car accident lawyer.
Call us at (864) 310-7897 or get in touch with us online today for a free consultation. One of our experienced lawyers can advise you on the proper steps to take following an accident and help you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.