After you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Greenville, South Carolina, you may be feeling worried and scared about what to do next. To start, here are some of the initial steps you should take:
- Contact 911
- Document the accident scene
- Obtain a medical evaluation
- Contact a car accident lawyer in Greenville, SC
- Prepare your insurance and several claims
Although taking steps to hold the liable party accountable for your damages may be the furthest thing from your mind, the sooner you get started on your case, the more likely you are to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Immediately following your hit-and-run accident, the first thing you should do is call 911. Police and emergency responders will arrive at the scene of the accident. Although you may be under the impression that reporting the accident to the police may be useless, given that the driver who hit you fled the scene, getting police involved can help create evidence to support your case.
Furthermore, law-enforcement officials can begin investigating and could identify the driver who struck you in the course of their investigation.
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Document the Accident Scene
While waiting for the ambulance and law-enforcement officials to arrive at the accident scene, you should begin to document everything you can, if possible. Take a few minutes to write down your version of how the accident happened. This will help to ensure that even the smallest details are documented from the start.
Using your smartphone, take photos of the accident scene, any property damages, photos of your injuries, and photos of any other relevant damages. You might also take this time to talk to any witnesses who may have seen the accident and survey your surroundings to determine whether any nearby businesses or homes may have surveillance cameras that could have caught the accident on video.
Obtain a Medical Evaluation
Once emergency responders have arrived at the accident scene, it is important that you obtain a medical evaluation immediately. Not only could you be suffering from injuries that could cause severe injury or illness if left untreated, but failure to obtain a medical evaluation immediately after the accident could leave the opportunity for the defense to argue that your injuries did not occur through the hit-and-run accident.
By getting medical documentation of your injuries from the start, you are building evidence to support your case against the driver who hit you and anyone else who could be responsible for causing your injuries or accident.
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Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
After you have been declared medically stable, it’s time to get on the phone with a car accident attorney. Although you may be unsure whether you have grounds for a claim and how you will approach your case, given that the driver who hit you fled the scene, getting an attorney involved early may be well advised. With hit-and-run accidents, in particular, proving liability will be essential to your case.
Some of the most time-sensitive evidence, including video footage, forensic evidence, and even injuries the hit-and-run driver may have sustained, could all prove valuable in building a powerful case against the driver who hit you. We will work with law enforcement to identify who the driver is so they can be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. In addition to any civil action you may take against them, they may also face criminal charges related to fleeing the scene of a car accident.
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Prepare Your Insurance and Civil Claims
Once you have retained a legal advocate, your car accident lawyer can handle the rest of the legal details. We will investigate the cause of the accident and determine who is responsible for causing your hit-and-run accident. Generally, after a car accident in South Carolina, you would file a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider since South Carolina is a fault state for car accidents.
However, in hit-and-run accidents, the driver who fled the scene may not be protected by auto insurance coverage. When this happens, the next step will be to file a civil lawsuit against them. This way, you can pursue compensation for your damages.
Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist Coverage in SC
It is important to notify your own insurance company after an accident with a hit-and-run driver in Greenville. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is required by law for all South Carolina drivers and can cover your medical expenses and property damage per the policy limits. You are not required to purchase underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, but your insurance company must offer you the option.
You can learn more about insurance requirements at S.C. Ann § 38-77-10.
Call Hammack Law Firm for Help with Your Greenville Hit and Run Case Today
Although the aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic, now that you have a better idea of the initial steps you should take, you can plan and take the action needed to protect your future and your injury settlement.
Start working on your insurance and civil claims today with a free, no-obligation consultation with a Greenville, South Carolina, car accident lawyer at Hammack Law Firm. You can reach us by phone when you are ready to get started on your case.