Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Miller|Conway, Goose Creek car accident lawyers, understand experiencing a car accident is a stressful, painful event. The following is a list of steps you should take following your car accident to protect your rights.
1. STAY CALM. After a car crash, you should stay calm and behave in a civilized manner. Do not argue with other drivers and do not make accusations. Cooperate with police and emergency responders who show up to the scene of the accident.
2. COOPERATE WITH POLICE. Answer questions the police ask honestly and openly. That said, do not speculate or offer more information than what is requested.
3. OBTAIN EVIDENCE. If you are physically able to do so, gather as much evidence as possible to assist in determining the cause of the collision. Take photos of the crash scene, including damage to all vehicles involved and their position relative to each other. Photograph debris, skid marks, damaged roadway items or an obscured road sign or signal. Take photographs of your injuries. Gather names and contact information from witnesses and those involved in the accident.
4. SEEK MEDICAL CARE. Do not decline medical care. If you are physically able, call 911 for assistance immediately. Cooperate with medical personnel regardless who called for them. If the on-scene medical personnel wants to transport you to the hospital, go with them via ambulance. If you believe you need to be taken to the hospital, tell the medical personnel you need to be taken to the ER. If you do not think you need a doctor you should still undergo a full medical exam as soon as you can. Some serious injuries are not immediately apparent, but may begin to cause problems hours after the crash. Visiting a doctor documents the accident and your injuries, which may be important if you decide to pursue a claim for injuries suffered as a result of the crash.
5. NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. You should contact your insurance company within 24 hours of a car accident. Do not admit fault or accept blame for the accident. Do not make a written or recorded statement without talking to a lawyer first. Do not downplay your injuries or the damage to your vehicle.
6. OBTAIN A POLICE REPORT. If a police officer responds to the accident, he or she will file an incident report. Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as you can.
7. DON’T ALLOW THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU. You may hear from the other driver’s insurance company shortly after the accident and be offered a settlement check. This offer is almost always less than you deserve as a quickly made offer cannot take into account unrealized costs of the accident. The insurance company’s goal is to get out of each case while spending as little money as possible. Do not let the other party’s insurance company take advantage of you.
8. HIRE AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER. If you have been injured in a car crash you will likely benefit from hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Miller|Conway, our personal injury lawyers ensure our personal injury clients do not get taken advantage of by insurance companies and work each case to ensure maximum compensation. If you have a claim based on injuries, property damage and other losses, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and take the matter to court if necessary. Each case is unique, but in most cases an experienced attorney can obtain a better car accident settlement than you could acting alone.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Miller|Conway.