Car accidents happen in South Carolina every day. If you are involved in a crash, both the collision and its aftermath can be very frightening and confusing. Knowing what to do after an accident is important, not just to protect your health, but also to protect your legal rights.
Our Charleston personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm have nearly 250 years of combined experience helping clients in car accident cases. We have helped victims of many types of auto accidents, including those that resulted in serious injuries or even fatalities. We are prepared to help our clients understand and enforce their rights.
What To Do After A Car Accident
Drivers who are involved in an accident that causes property damage, injury or death must stop their vehicles at the scene of the crash and must provide proof of insurance. Proof of insurance must also be submitted to the South Carolina DMV within 15 days of the accident in order to avoid suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Providing proof of insurance is just one of the many things that you should do after an accident. It is also important to do the following:
- Contact law enforcement to report the accident. A police officer will come to the scene and write up a report about the accident. If any driver violated driving rules, that driver may be ticketed. It is important to have an accident report from a member of law enforcement, as this report could be used as evidence in the event that the party who is at fault for the accident later tries to tell a different story about the events that occurred.
- Get prompt medical attention right after the accident for yourself and for all passengers. You should be checked out by a doctor after the accident even if you think that you feel fine. In some cases, a soft tissue injury, internal bleeding or brain injury may not be immediately apparent and, when these injuries do become apparent, they can cause serious harm or even death. Injuries may also turn out to be worse than you originally thought. Not only is it important to go to the hospital or to get checked out right away to protect yourself medically after an accident, but it is also important to protect yourself legally. If you delay, then the person who caused your accident could try to claim that you weren’t really hurt or that you were injured by something other than the accident.
- Write down information about the other drivers, as well as information about witnesses to the accident. You should get the name, address and insurance information of the drivers and owners of the other vehicles involved. You should also write down the names and contact information for any witnesses, as you may need to call upon them later to back up your story if the other party is untruthful about what happened at the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene and record any relevant information. You should write down the location of the accident, take photographs of the area and of damage to the vehicles and record details about everything you remember from the accident. All of this will help you later on if there are questions about who was responsible for the accident or if you need to prove certain details. If anyone appears to be intoxicated, you should also take note. For example, you might write down that the other driver had slurred speech or smelled of alcohol.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. You will need to have legal representation to make sure you do not do anything to jeopardize a car accident claim and to make sure you protect your rights to get the compensation you deserve under South Carolina law. Your attorney can deal with the insurer, gather evidence and help you prove liability so you can recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, emotional distress and other damages.
These are just a few of the many things that need to be done after a car accident. It is also important to avoid doing things that could potentially jeopardize your right to recover compensation, such as telling law enforcement that you aren’t hurt before you’ve been checked out by a doctor, admitting fault for the accident, or apologizing to the other driver for doing something wrong. Also, while it is important to notify your insurance company that an accident happened, you should not provide an insurance company with a written or recorded statement about the accident without the advice of an attorney.
Contact Our SC Car Accident Lawyers Today
Just Call Joye Law Firm. Let our Charleston car crash attorneys at Joye Law Firm handle the insurance adjusters for you. Call us now at 877-936-9707 or fill out an online consultation form. If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina auto accident, you can trust our attorneys to work to get you the money and benefits you are entitled to.