Car accidents are scary for everyone involved–even witnesses. It may be hard to think straight following a crash, especially if you’ve sustained a head injury. Navigating legal and insurance systems can be difficult. Thankfully, you can hire a South Carolina car accident attorney to help.
Let’s explore what to do after a car accident, including how to dispute a car accident fault and how to put yourself in a good position should a lawsuit occur.
Immediately Following a Crash
If you’ve been in an accident and are working with an accident attorney, follow these steps to protect yourself during any legal processes:
Seek Medical Attention
Assess the scene to see if anyone is injured. If they are, call 911 and have them taken to the nearest emergency room. Even if you think your injury is minor, it could turn out to be far more serious. Having the hospital document your injuries will also help you build your case should you wind up filing a lawsuit.
Following a crash, the drivers should collect names, contact information, and car insurance details. This will allow both parties to file claims with the insurance companies, which can pay for damages, injuries, and sometimes, settlements.
Take photos of all cars involved from different angles so you can show the insurance company exactly what happened. You should also get pictures of skid marks and debris, because these can determine things like speed, the direction the cars were going, and more.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the accident, ask if they’d be willing to provide a testimony as to what happened. They can talk to the police when they arrive or appear in court with you, if necessary.
Talk to the Police
By now, the police should have been called to the scene. Give them a detailed overview of what happened. Make sure you’re telling the truth, not exaggerating, and only giving them the facts. The officer will prepare a police report that you can then give to the insurance companies.
If you were issued any citations at the scene of your accident, you should contest them. Even if you lose, it shows that you don’t find yourself to be at fault for the accident, which can come in handy if you’re disputing a fault or filing a lawsuit. If you luck out, you may even beat the ticket.
Stay Off of Social Media
Keep any information about the accident off of your social media accounts. Your community may start talking about the crash on Facebook or Nextdoor; do not engage with those posts, because saying too much about the accident or your current condition can hinder a lawsuit or fault dispute.
When Do We Learn Who Is at Fault?
You likely won’t learn who the insurance company believes is at fault for your accident until a few days after, so worrying about this should not be your top priority immediately following a crash.
If you weren’t involved in the accident, though, this can suddenly become more important. Are you liable if your spouse causes a car accident in my car? Under South Carolina’s Family Purpose Doctrine, you are liable if a family member causes a crash. Thankfully, your spouse is probably covered on your insurance policy (if they aren’t and they’re driving your car, they should be).
South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers
Doing your due diligence after an accident can be overwhelming, but Strom Law can help you get through it with ease. Contact us today to make sure you’re on the right path to putting your accident behind you!