Did you know that every 10.5 minutes someone is injured as a result of a car accident in South Carolina?
We know that car accident happens every day, but we never expect that one will happen to us. After an accident, most drivers are shocked and overwhelmed. In such a state, it is difficult to find the clarity of mind needed to deal with the situation at hand and to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your future.
Although you cannot predict when an accident will happen, you can ensure that you are prepared by learning these 6 important steps to take following a car accident.
1. Call the police
Even if you believe the collision is minor and no injuries have occurred, you should still contact the police; the police report may prove helpful if you decide to file a personal injury or liability claim later on. Always remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
2. Move to a point of safety
After a collision has occurred, it’s not uncommon for damaged vehicles to be sitting in the roadway. Turn your hazard lights on if possible. Remember other motorists are going past the wreck scene. Do not exit the vehicle and stand in the roadway. If you are physically able, move to a point of safety clear of oncoming vehicles. In the case of injury, call a doctor or ambulance immediately. It is best not to move or assist an injured person as you may cause further damage.
3. Exchange information with involved parties and witnesses
After the police and emergency services have arrived, you should exchange the following information with anyone involved in the accident: name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance information, and vehicle descriptions.
If there are witnesses, take down their name and address as well. Do your best to get a statement from each witness. Statements can be written, or if you have a smartphone, you could even record the witnesses’ statements. Record the date, time, and location and ask the witness to describe what they saw and if anyone was injured in the collision. I find that most people forget to even get the witnesses’ names. These names can be very important later on if you have to make a liability claim or file a lawsuit.
4. Take photos
Photos could help support your insurance claim after a collision. They can act as objective proof of the other driver’s negligence, and document the damage and losses caused by the collision. Take photos of your car, the other car(s) involved, any injuries sustained, and of the scene of the accident.
5. Take notes
The days and weeks following an accident can be a very stressful and confusing time. For this reason, it is best to record the details of what happened while they are fresh in your mind. Immediately following the accident, write down all significant details concerning the accident to ensure that you have a written record of what occurred.
6. Know your rights
After an accident, it is important to contact your insurance company in a timely manner. However, in certain circumstances, you may wish to contact a lawyer first in order to find out whether you are eligible for further compensation. If you are injured in a collision caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will not be working in your best interest. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve following your accident.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not intended to provide legal advice. You should consult an auto accident attorney for your particular situation. If you would like to speak with one of the experienced auto accident lawyers at Lewis Law Firm, please contact us for a free consultation.