While you can do your best to avoid a car accident, they can and do happen even to the safest of drivers. When an auto accident in Greenville, South Carolina, takes place, it is devastating to all parties involved. You may likely be confused on how to handle the situation and unsure of how to proceed after the crash. Knowing what to do after an auto accident can help prepare you should you be involved in a wreck. You will then be prepared to follow the laws required by the state for all car accidents.
Gather as much information as you can from the accident scene. This means that you should take photos if you can, write down what happened, where each vehicle was before, during, and after the accident, and record any other details that may or may not be relevant to your claim down the road. If there are witnesses, get their contact information; and exchange insurance information with other involved drivers. Do not say anything that indicates guilt when you are communicating with others about the accident. Even a simple and sympathetic apology can be used against you later.
When involved in a car accident, you need to follow these steps to ensure you gather the proper information to file a claim and avoid a fine for not reporting it. Keep these steps in mind should you be injured in a Greenville, South Carolina, auto accident.
Assess for injuries: The first few minutes after the impact of a car crash is scary. You need to take a few moments to ensure that you are not hurt. If you are, you need to get medical attention immediately to treat your injuries. Be sure to check on the other drivers to see if an injury occurred in any way. Call for emergency medical care if anyone at the scene has injuries that need care.
Call the police: You need to report the auto accident to the local law enforcement authorities to comply with the law and start your claim on the right foot. Reporting the accident shows that you acted appropriately and gives you evidence of the when, where, how, and who of your collision. You will want to call the police to immediately report your accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the police will determine the post-accident procedure. The law enforcement officer on scene will make an accident report of your crash and interview you as well as the other driver to determine the cause of the auto accident. You are required by law to report your car crash to the authorities regardless if you call the police. Calling the police is always recommended, as this will provide an account of the accident that is useful in your car accident case.
Seek medical treatment: This may seem obvious when you think of the terrible injuries that occur in auto accidents, but the reality is that many people do not seek immediate medical care because they do not perceive their injuries right away, or they think that they are too minor to require treatment. This is one of the biggest mistakes that a person can make after an auto accident. You must seek medical treatment as soon as possible, regardless of how well you may be feeling. You may have injuries that you aren’t aware of, or that are worse than you think, and which may worsen with time. You need to have a very clear picture of the state of your physical health after an auto accident. You don’t want to miss something and be unable to prove the causal link when the time comes to seek compensation for the injury.
Exchange contact information: While waiting for police to arrive, you will want to exchange contact information with the other driver. You need to get their name, address, phone number, insurance card information, driver’s license number as well as the make, model and license plate number of all cars involved in the auto accident in Greenville, South Carolina.
Take photos: Be sure to take photos of the crash and all damage that occurred to your vehicle. You will want to document any injuries that occurred and any circumstance that may have contributed to the crash. You can use your cell phone camera to record these photos as they will become valuable later for your auto accident case.
Talk to witnesses: If there are witnesses to your Greenville, South Carolina, auto accident, you should speak to them and get their account of the crash. Be sure to get their name and phone number as they may be needed as witnesses in your car accident case to testify to the events that led up to the crash.
Contact your insurance company: After the wreck, you need to contact your insurance company within one day of the auto accident. You may also want to contact the other driver’s insurance company and inform them of your claim. It is the responsibility of the other driver to notify their insurance company, but you may want to follow up to ensure they reported the car crash.
Hire an auto accident attorney: Speak to a car wreck lawyer following your auto accident in Greenville, South Carolina. They can advise you on your legal rights under the law and help determine if you have a case that deserves a settlement. They will fight for your rights to compensation and get you the maximum settlement in your case.
Should I Admit Fault in a Greenville, South Carolina Auto Accident?
It is important that you do not admit any fault in your Greenville, South Carolina, auto accident. Even if you are certain you caused the car accident, avoid apologizing or accepting blame for the crash. These statements can be used against you should you file a car accident claim for your injuries or property damage.
There may be circumstances with the other driver that you are unaware of that caused the car crash to occur in the first place. A driver could be under the influence or was distracted before the crash. Allow the police to determine fault in an auto crash in Greenville, South Carolina.
When Do I Need to File a Greenville, South Carolina Auto Accident Lawsuit?
You need to file your Greenville, South Carolina, auto accident lawsuit quickly. You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver and this time can go by quickly if you are not careful. According to the statute of limitations in Greenville, South Carolina, all lawsuits for car accidents where injury or property damage occurred need filing within three years from the date of the crash.
You need to speak to an auto accident lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina, about your case as soon as possible. This will allow time to negotiate with insurance companies prior to filing your car accident lawsuit.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, your case will then be dismissed, and no settlement will be awarded for your car accident claim. No matter how severe your injuries are or the egregiousness of the other driver’s behavior, the statute of limitations must be adhered to in order to preserve your rights in a car accident lawsuit. A Greenville, South Carolina, auto accident lawyer will ensure your auto accident lawsuit is filed within the deadline and in accordance with the law.
Schedule a Consultation with a Greenville Auto Accident Attorney Today
When involved in a Greenville, South Carolina, auto accident, you need to follow these tips to ensure that you are safe and that you are following the law to preserve your car accident claim. A car crash lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries and property damage, and will advise you of your legal rights. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney to determine the value of your claim and protect your rights to recover damages.
Don’t Settle Early for Less on Your Auto Accident Claim
Do not let the insurance company or their attorneys convince you that you should settle before your own attorney advises you to do so. You may think that the offered settlement is sufficient, and you may feel the pressure of your mounting medical bills and lost wages, but it is a mistake to settle early and to settle low, which is exactly what they want you to do. You will feel the mistake and regret it deeply when you find that your settlement is not even enough to cover your medical debt, much less to address the lost wages, vehicle repairs, and expenses of rehabilitation and medications.
Contact an Auto Accident Law Firm
It doesn’t take long to receive contact from the opposition insurance company when you’ve been the victim of an auto accident. You may hear from them within moments of returning home from the hospital, in fact, with a few missed messages already awaiting you. Do not make any statements to the insurance claims adjuster or any auto accident attorney who contacts you.
Politely decline to provide a statement and express that you wish to speak to your auto accident attorney before doing so. Anything you say could be held against you to lessen the value of your claim or deny it altogether, no matter how friendly the communication seems to be. This is when you need to contact a qualified law firm to retain an experienced auto accident attorney.