What to Do If You Are a Passenger in an Accident

South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Assisting Clients in Clinton, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and North Charleston

Car accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC can be devastating. When you sustain injuries in a traffic collision caused by another party’s negligence, you should not be responsible for covering the medical bills and lost wages associated with your injury treatment and recovery period. For passengers in auto accidents, the crash can feel particularly unfair. Did you know that one traffic collision occurs every 4.4 minutes in South Carolina, one injury crash occurs every 15.4 minutes, and one fatal collision happens every 11.6 hours? Those figures come from a fact book published by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to emphasize the frequency of traffic collisions and the serious harms that can result from them.

At the Joye Law Firm, we know how difficult it can be to have done nothing wrong and to have suffered losses because of another person’s carelessness or aggressive driving. We have years of experience helping car accident victims to hold the negligent party responsible and to seek financial compensation. Do not hesitate to discuss your case with an experienced North Charleston car accident attorney.

Gather as Much Information as Possible at the Scene of the Accident

You should know that a passenger injury claim in South Carolina will move forward in a manner that is similar to another other car accident case. As such, it is extremely important for the injured party to gather relevant evidence at the scene of the crash, including the following:

  • Information from the driver(s): names, contact information, and insurance information from any and all drivers involved in the car accident;
  • Information from the witness(es): names and contact information for any witnesses at the scene of the accident, which can include passengers who were riding in the same vehicle with you, passengers in another vehicle, or anyone else who may have witnessed the events that led to the crash;
  • Photographs of the scene: including close-up pictures of damage to all vehicles involved (including the vehicle in which you were a passenger), close-up pictures of any immediately obvious injuries, and long-shot photos of the vehicles and the scene of the accident. In brief, you want to take as many photos as possible from as many angles and positions as you can. An accident reconstruction expert may be able to use your pictures to help reconstruct the events that resulted in the accident;
  • Recollections of the events surrounding the accident: if you are able to do so, briefly jot down your recollections of the events of the crash; and
  • Police report: if there is a police report (if anyone was injured, there should be a police report), make sure that you have a copy of it to provide to your lawyer.

In addition to gathering information the same way you might do so if you were the driver of one of the vehicles, it is also important to avoid discussing subjective issues at the scene of the crash, such as who may have been at fault. You do not want to place blame on anyone, or alternately suggest that someone is not liable, until you have had an opportunity to discuss the case with a Columbia car accident attorney. It is also important to note that passengers sometimes can be held comparatively negligent in car accidents. When this happens, South Carolina law still permits a passenger to recover damages (minus the percentage for which the passenger is deemed to be at fault) as long as the passenger’s fault is not considered to be 51 percent or greater.

File a Claim for Compensation

After you gather relevant information to use in your case, it is important to seek immediate medical attention in Myrtle Beach—or wherever the accident occurred—and to retain documentation of any medical visits. While you are speaking with your Myrtle Beach auto accident lawyer, the insurance companies of the drivers involved in the accident will be seeking to determine fault for the collision. Depending upon the specific facts of the case, you may be able to file an insurance claim with one or any of the following:

  • Insurance company of the driver of the car in which you were a passenger;
  • Insurance company of another driver involved in the accident; and/or
  • Your own insurance company.

Discuss Your Case with a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney

It is extremely important to work with an aggressive car accident attorney in Myrtle Beach after you have been involved in an accident. As a passenger, you have a right to compensation for your losses. Contact the Joye Law Firm today to discuss your options for filing a claim.