A car accident is a scary experience and hopefully not a regular occurrence. Because of that, it's not always easy to know what the right course of action is after an accident on the South Carolina roads. Sink Law offers a few pointers. Here are six of the first things you should do immediately after an accident.
1. Call Authorities.
South Carolina law requires drivers to report all auto accidents with $1,000 or more in damages. Call for help after an accident and file a report detailing what happened and what caused the crash even if there is only minor property damage and no injuries.
2. Get contact information.
Talk to the other driver or drivers involved in the crash and get their contact information along with their vehicle registration, driver's license and insurance information. However, do not talk to them about how the wreck occurred and never admit fault. Even if South Carolina authorities are on the scene and collecting that information, it's helpful for you to have your own records if everyone is able enough to give it and you are in condition to collect it. Also, be sure to get the names of the officers and paramedics who help you.
3. Gather evidence.
Pay attention to the site and what's happening around you. Who is being treated for injuries? Did you notice anything unusual about the other driver or drivers involved in the crash? Were they acting strange or angry? Did they smell of alcohol? Note any of your observations and take pictures of the scene and damage to all of the vehicles involved if you're able. Sink Law has a helpful mobile personal injury kit app for smart phones. It helps South Carolina auto accident victims organize photos and notes from an accident scene. Download it for free here: http://www.sinklawapp.com/
4. Get medical help.
If you are injured, you might not be able to gather information or evidence. Don't worry about it. The most important thing is your health and safety. Make sure you get medical attention if you're in pain. Even if your injuries seem minor, get attention as soon as possible. A small pain could be dulled by adrenaline in the moments after a traumatic crash, or you may not realize how seriously you are injured. It is always worth getting checked out by a medical professional.
5. Be careful what you say.
Don't talk to the responsible party's insurance company if you have been injured. Tell the adjuster who calls you that you need to first speak with an attorney. Anything you tell them could be used against you later in ways you may not expect. If anyone from an insurance company, especially the one representing the responsible party, asks you to sign something, tell them you need to talk with a lawyer before you sign anything. If you inadvertently agree to a settlement, you will not likely be able to pursue a legal case in South Carolina.
6. Talk to a lawyer
You might not need an attorney. But if you have been injured, talk with the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Sink Law. We offer free consultations that will leave you with a better understanding of your rights, what to expect next and how to proceed.