Virtually no one plans to be involved in an accident. Accidents are often inevitable and part of the unforeseeable risks that we encounter through life. They come in different forms and involve different means. You could be taking a drive to the beach and need to avoid highway hypnosis and learn other safety precautions. You could be involved in a car, bicycle or even in an Uber accident etc. The severity of accidents differs, sometimes it could be minor and other types severe to cost you your life or other third parties involved. Most people panic and not sure what to do when they are in such a situation. Well, don’t! In this article, we will guide you through some of the crucial steps to take if you have a car accident in South Carolina.
Stop at the scene
This first step depends on the severity of the accident. You may have heard of “hit and run cases”. This is where motorists hit other people and flee the scene to avoid facing the law or justice. Ideally what most people do not know is that leaving the scene of the crime is an even bigger offense. It is prudent that you stop the car safely and offer any help to the victim(s) involved. The recommended action is to call an ambulance if there is an injury. While you might want to take the person to the hospital, it might result in more injuries. You will also need to gather information about the other drivers i.e. name, address, etc.
Call the police
After you have exchanged information with the other party, you will need to contact the authorities. Reports indicate that most people fear to report accidents because they fear policy cancellation. Others don’t report it at all because they did not cause the accident. Well, according to Charleston auto accident lawyer it is in your best interest to report the incident regardless of who is at fault. Surprisingly, most policies require insured parties to report all accidents where coverage applies, or risk policy cancellation.
Sample all the evidence
You might be well aware that the details you indicate on the police report affects your case. If you are not severely hurt and can still give an account of the accident, it is advisable to do it exhaustively
For example, where were you headed, what prompted the accident, the weather conditions, what you remember about the other driver, witnesses, etc. In a case of hit and run make sure to at least get the other driver’s number plate. It will help the police in tracking down the car. Another way to sample evidence is to take pictures of both cars and the roads. Pictures provide stronger evidence and help shape your case
All these note-taking will come in handy when you hire an attorney. He/she will use it to build strong evidence to ensure that you are compensated.
Don’t accept any offers and settlement
Let’s settle this here? Don’t call the police? We can avoid complications? We are pretty sure you have or will hear some of these statements. Sometimes the offer is from the other driver’s insurance company. Experts note that it is one of the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid liability in accidents. It happens in cases where the insurance company knows that their client is at fault, and want to avoid lawsuits. While the offer could be enticing, and the process easy it is not the smartest thing to do. Seek help from South Carolina Accident Lawyer who will ensure you get you what you deserve.
Tip: Accepting bribes and settlements makes you look guilty and can impact your case greatly
Call your insurance
This is another crucial step after being involved in a car accident. Whether you are the victim or not, you need to provide information about the accident to your insurance company. The insurance will need both your details and the other driver’s details. This step is very important, especially when claims are involved. Some of the information that will support your insurance claim include:
- The details of the driver, occupants, and any relevant witnesses at the scene of the accident.
- Pics or videos of damage to vehicles and any visible bodily injuries
- Pics or videos of the potential causes of an accident such as a road hazard, driver error etc.
Contact a South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney
This is the most important step especially when lawsuits and claims are involved. You need to find a seasoned Auto Accident lawyer who will help you deal with all the legal implications that come with accidents. Yes, some accidents will only get resolved by a few phone calls while others will need you to hire an attorney. If a court finds you guilty, you might be awarded punishment depending on how severe the accident is. The other reason you need to hire a lawyer is when the insurance refuses you pay your claims and when the car accident injuries are severe. Get yourself a lawyer that will ensure treatment is facilitated and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Tip: Take time to research the law firm in South Carolina that you hope to work with. Find out credible information about them, their lawyers, experience, and expertise. Some Accident Lawyers are only interested in your money and will not offer you the service that you deserve.
It is quite clear that the steps you will take when involved in an accident will depend on the severity of the accident. Some incidences might necessitate you to hire an auto accident lawyer while others might not. If you do not get to the later stage, it is advisable to follow legal procedures i.e. notifying the police and calling your insurance. If you will need to hire a lawyer, you must remember that you shot to compensation will depend on the evidence and how the lawyer defends you. Find an auto accident lawyer in South Carolina that’s credible, skilled and has a good reputation in these type of legal processes.