When you are involved in a car accident in South Carolina, there are several important steps you need to take to move on. Especially if you were injured in the accident, you will need to be very careful to protect your legal rights, and you will need to avoid mistakes that could lead to less than a full recovery.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself after a car accident is to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to speaking with a lawyer, here are 15 more steps you should take as you begin to move forward:
5 THINGS TO DO AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT
1. CALL 911
Any time you are involved in a car accident, you should call 911 from the scene. Answer the dispatcher’s questions to the best of your ability, and try to stay calm until the police arrive.
2. OBTAIN THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE INFORMATION
If you are physically able to do so, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver. You can write down the other driver’s name, insurance company, and policy number, or you can take photos of both sides of the driver’s insurance card with your phone.
3. OBTAIN ANY WITNESSES’ CONTACT INFORMATION
If any witnesses stopped at the accident scene, ask for their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. You won’t need to contact them directly, but your lawyer may reach out to them to obtain statements about what happened.
4. TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEO
Take plenty of photos and videos with your phone. At a minimum, you should try to capture photos and/or video of each of the following:
- The damage to your vehicle
- The damage to the other driver’s vehicle
- The other driver’s license plate
- An image or video that shows the entire crash site
- Any signs or traffic signals in the vicinity of the crash
5. MAKE SURE YOU GET A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT
Before you leave the scene of your accident, the responding officer should provide you with a copy of the police report. If the responding officer prepares to leave the scene without providing you with a copy, you can ask to receive one.
5 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU GET HOME
1. SEE A DOCTOR
If you did not go to the hospital directly from the scene of your car accident, you should see a doctor promptly. You can drive yourself if you have another vehicle and you feel capable of doing so, or you can ask a friend or family member to drive you. If you feel that you may need emergency care, you can call 911 from your home as well.
2. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT
Once you have received treatment, make sure you know your next appointment. Following through with your medical care will be important for both your physical recovery and your claim for financial compensation.
3. CREATE A FILE
As time goes on, you will receive many records and communications related to your accident and your injuries. To keep everything organized and in one place, it is good to create a file where you will put all documents pertaining to your insurance claim and medical care.
4. START A DAILY PAIN JOURNAL
If your injuries impact your day-to-day life in any way, you will want to start a daily “pain journal.” Car accident victims in South Carolina can recover financial compensation for their pain and suffering. Creating a record of your injuries’ day-to-day effects will help prove your claim for damages.
5. LEARN ABOUT YOUR SITUATION
When you have an insurance claim after an accident, there is a lot you need to know. To learn more about your situation, we encourage you to read:
- What are South Carolina’s Auto Insurance Laws?
- 12 Reasons the Insurance Companies Might Deny Your South Carolina Auto Accident claim
- 12 Key Terms for Understanding Your South Carolina Car Accident Claim
5 THINGS TO DO WHILE YOUR AUTO INSURANCE CLAIM IS PENDING
1. KEEP UP WITH YOUR FILE AND PAIN JOURNAL
As time goes on, you will want to be sure to keep up with your file and pain journal. Try to get in the habit of placing relevant documents in your file right away, and do your best to take notes about your injuries’ effects on a daily basis.
2. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S ADVICE
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident is ignoring your doctor’s advice. Go to your appointments, fill your prescriptions, and rest if you have been instructed to do so. If you question your doctor’s advice, seek a second opinion.
3. RESPOND TO ALL COMMUNICATIONS PROMPTLY
When you receive communications from your doctor’s office, your lawyer, or your insurance company, you should respond promptly. Unnecessary delays will only serve to prolong the recovery process. If you are unsure what to say (or what not to say) to your insurance company, you can ask your lawyer for guidance.
4. STAY OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are a social media user, you will want to stay off social media while your insurance claim is pending. The insurance companies might be monitoring your accounts, and you do not want to inadvertently post something that they can try to use against you.
5. KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
Recovering from a car accident takes time, and you need to have a clear understanding of your legal rights before you start thinking about the settlement. Our lawyers can explain everything you need to know, and we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation.
SPEAK WITH A SOUTH CAROLINA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FREE
Were you injured in a car accident in South Carolina? If so, our auto accident lawyer encourages you to contact us promptly to help you through the recovery process. To discuss your next steps in confidence, please call (803) 327-1103 or request a free consultation online now.