After the initial shock wears off, you might find yourself wondering, “What should I do in the days following a car accident?” You will need to employ measures to protect your legal rights, health, and wellbeing.
You can do this by:
- Seeking prompt medical care
- Filing a police or accident report
- Notifying your insurance company of the collision
- Talking to a personal injury lawyer
- Arranging for vehicle repairs
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) says that traffic collisions happen every 3.7 minutes in our state. It can help to know what to do when this happens.
You should always do what makes sense to you and your loved ones. Every scenario is different. Read on to learn more about things you should consider doing after an accident.
Seeking Medical Attention for Your Injuries
If you did not get medical attention right after the collision, you should do so now. The longer that you wait to get a thorough medical examination, the harder it will be to prove that the accident caused your injuries.
It can take up to two or three days for symptoms to develop from some injuries, but trying to perform regular tasks during that time can cause further damage. Also, some hidden problems, like internal bleeding, might not show signs until you are in a medical crisis.
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Notify Law Enforcement and Send in an Accident Report
It is best to call the police following any type of motor vehicle accident. However, that is not always an option. You might be in an area without cell phone service, or you might not have a phone with you. Sometimes, law enforcement will not come to the scene, particularly if there are no known injuries at the time.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) says that if the police did not come to the accident scene and make a report, you will need to file a crash report. You will need information about the other drivers and vehicles to complete the form.
You should gather this information at the accident scene if it is safe to do so. Getting the license plate numbers and make and model of the other vehicles is essential to filing an injury claim. You will also need to get the names, driver’s license numbers, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of the involved parties, including the drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
Inform Your Automobile Insurance Company
Many insurance companies have short time limits for reporting automobile accidents. Your carrier might require you to notify them within 24 hours of the event. If you do not report the collision to your insurance company promptly, they might try to deny your claim.
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Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
While the law does not require you to partner with a personal injury lawyer, working with one can advance your legal interests. A personal injury lawyer can take on your legal obligations so that you can focus on your health and recovery.
Also, an attorney can help you avoid missteps that could decrease the amount of compensation you can pursue for your injuries.
Here are a few examples of things that can adversely affect your claim:
- The claims adjuster might ask you to give a recorded statement, in which they will ask you questions and record your responses. These statements are for the benefit of the insurance company, not you. The insurer can take your words out of context to say something you did not intend. If the adjuster asks for a recorded statement, tell them to talk to your lawyer.
- The claims adjuster might falsely accuse you of causing the collision. Placing the blame on injured claimants is a strategy that some insurance companies use to get people to drop their claims.
- Our state gives injured people very little time to file lawsuits seeking monetary damages for their losses. If you miss the deadline, the state will bar you from going after compensation from the negligent party, no matter how severe your injuries are. With this information in mind, you should consider taking legal action as soon as possible.
These are but a few examples of things that can negatively affect your right to fair compensation for your injuries. Talking with a lawyer soon after the accident can protect your legal rights.
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Arrange for Repairs to Your Vehicle
Your insurance company will give you instructions on getting estimates on the damage to your car and getting it repaired or replaced. Every insurer has its own procedures for handling the physical damage to vehicles. Make sure that you follow your carrier’s rules so that you have these expenses covered.
Get in Touch with Hammack Law Firm Today
If you would like more information on what to do in the days following a car accident, you can contact Hammack Law Firm. Our goal is to make the roads of South Carolina a safe place for everyone. You can call us today at 864-326-3333 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.
Our Client Bill of Rights offers a 30-day unconditional satisfaction guarantee —no costs and no fees. We serve our Greenville clients in all areas of personal injury, including auto and motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and boating accidents.
To get started with our Greenville personal injury law firm, please simply contact us online or call 864-326-3333 for a free consultation.