Getting into a car accident is already bad enough, but having it deemed your fault is even worse. We rarely think we’re at fault for accidents, but sometimes, insurance companies say otherwise.
Thankfully, you’re not always stuck taking responsibility for the wreck. If you’re not sure what to do after a car accident that you’re deemed at fault for, contesting it should be your top priority.
Today, we’ll explore how a South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you dispute a claim that finds you at fault for the accident.
After a Car Accident
There are several steps you need to take following a car accident, including:
Address Safety and Injuries
Immediately following a car accident, ensure everyone’s safety. Stay calm, call the police, and obtain medical assistance for anyone who needs it. Even if you are only slightly injured, head to the nearest emergency room because this can be used as evidence to help your case.
Additionally, some injuries don’t automatically present as life-threatening, but can be more serious than they appear (head injuries, deep bruising, neck sprains). The lives of everyone involved are more important than the logistics of the accident.
Gather Contact Information
After you’ve secured the scene and ensured safety, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. This will allow you to file your claim.
Next, take photos of the scene. Get photos of all vehicles involved from different angles to verify the damage that occurred at the scene for insurance companies. Make sure you also take pictures of debris, skid marks, and anything else that paints a picture of what happened.
File a Police Report
If police are called to the scene of an accident (which they should be), they will take a report for you. Be honest with them about what happened, don’t exaggerate, and only give them the facts. They will then prepare a report summarizing your statement. If, for whatever reason, the police are not called at the time of the crash, head to your local station as soon as possible to file a report.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Lastly, call your insurance company and let them know what happened. Provide them with photos, police reports, hospital records, citations, and any other evidence you have. From there, an insurance agent will investigate the accident and determine who’s at fault.
Limit Your Contact With the Other Insurance Company
When the other driver’s insurance company calls you, don’t give them too much information. In fact, you can even tell them that you will handle all of your communications through an attorney, because giving them the impression that your injuries or damages are less severe than they are will weaken your case.
How to Dispute a Fault
If an insurance investigation finds you to be at fault, don’t panic. You can fight this determination. At this stage, you should hire a car accident attorney in South Carolina if you haven’t already.
Fight Any Tickets You Received
If you were given a ticket as a result of this accident, it’s crucial that you fight it–even if you think it’s a losing battle. Fighting your ticket shows that you legitimately disagree with the notion that you were at fault for the accident.
State Your Disagreement
First, your attorney should contact the insurance company who deemed you to be at fault and let them know that you are disputing their claim. Even if this doesn’t automatically lead to another investigation, it will leave a paper trail that shows you plan to fight this.
Follow Any Dispute Processes
Insurance companies may have specific processes to follow in order to dispute a decision they’ve made. If this is the case, abide by their guidelines. To avoid making statements that could hinder a lawsuit if one is needed, it may be best to have your attorney dispute the decision on your behalf.
South Carolina Accident Attorney
Fighting a car accident fault can seem daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Instead, let Strom Law handle the case for you. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to!