What Should I Do After I’ve Been in a Car Accident?
Car accidents are terrifying. Emotions can run high, so knowing what to do in the aftermath of a wreck can be challenging. Below, we’ve highlighted some important steps to take if you experience a car accident..
1. Dial 911
Sure, this one may sound like a no-brainer, but calling 911 is by far the most important step to take in the aftermath of a car accident, especially in the event of a serious injury. Even if you only sustain a minor wound, you should still report the accident to the authorities.
In South Carolina, a driver must report an accident to the police, sheriff, or Highway Patrol if there are any physical injuries or death. And it’s not just the driver required to report an accident–– anyone who witnesses it is technically required to report it to local law enforcement.
By calling 911, you help make sure all parties receive the medical care they may need. Calling 911 also means the police can collect all necessary evidence from the scene, which helps in negotiating with insurance in the future.
2. See Your Doctor or Go to The Hospital
Your well-being should always come first. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, take care of any and all injuries by dialing 911 and seeking any medical care required first–– police reports are not more important than your life.
If your injury does not need immediate medical attention, stay on the scene of the accident until you finish filing a police report. Once you’ve spoken with authorities, it’s so important to go to your doctor’s office or an urgent care facility as soon as possible. Getting a doctor’s report of injuries caused by the accident is crucial to your case if you need to file a claim in the future.
3. Document Everything
Receipts matter, especially when it comes to filing insurance claims or going to court over a car accident. So plan to log all of the details of your wreck, including medical bills, photographs of the damage, witness statements, and police reports.
The more paperwork you have to prove your case, the smoother potential legal proceedings will be. The more prepared you are, the better.
4. Talk to an Attorney
Sometimes, it may be necessary to file a claim against the person who was at-fault for your wreck. If you choose to take legal action, a personal injury lawyer will help with your claim and make sure you receive the maximum compensation you are owed.
Hiring an attorney who has experience dealing with car injury lawsuits will help ensure that your case is in good hands. Most law firms will provide a free initial case evaluation and work on a contingency basis, which means that they will not get paid unless they win your case.
5. Make Your Claim as Soon as Possible
The statute of limitations means there is only a certain amount of time you have to file a claim after your accident. In South Carolina, you must file a claim within three years of your car accident, meaning it’s best to file your claim as soon as you have spoken with an attorney. This is very important, considering most insurance companies would prefer to allow your time to run out before reimbursing you.
Car injury accidents are stressful, and it’s easy to lose sight of the necessary steps to take during such a confusing time. By calling 911, seeing a doctor, keeping all the evidence, and speaking with an experienced attorney, you can ensure a better chance of getting the justice you deserve.