Being in a car accident is certainly not something anyone enjoys. Unfortunately, though, it is something that happens all too often in America and around the world. It is estimated that in 2021, there will be over 6.5 million car accidents on US roads alone, making it the most common place to get injured by far.
If you’ve experienced a car crash and didn’t know what to do afterward, then you have come to the right place. In this article, you will receive advice from specialist attorneys on all the proper procedures to follow after a car crash happens. Read on for everything you need to know.
Always Call the Cops
The first thing you should do at the scene of an accident is calling the police. Even if the injuries are not severe or if the other party drives away, you should still contact the police. The police can be vital when it comes to evidence later down the line, so not calling them to the scene could jeopardize your case. Many insurers will also often require a police report for an accident.
Stay at the Scene
As mentioned, sometimes people panic and drive away from the scene of an accident, especially if they fear they have hurt someone or damaged property. This is not a good move. Even if you think you may have been partially at fault for the collision, stay put and wait for the police. Driving away from a scene is an admission of guilt and is also illegal. Your attorney will find it extremely hard to defend this action when it comes to fighting for a settlement, so stay at the scene, be responsible, and speak to the emergency services.
Get Medical Attention
No doubt about it, car collisions can cause serious injuries. For your own sake and the sake of your future legal proceedings, get yourself checked out immediately. If ambulances are called to the scene, seek medical attention right away. If not, you should still seek attention right away!
Many injuries can go unnoticed to start with unless looked over by a medical professional. Internal injuries can rear their heads at a later date, causing undue pain and stress. Getting checked immediately reduces your risk of long-term issues. Make sure you receive all the help you need and that it is all recorded by doctors. Ask for copies of everything so that you have plenty of evidence – more on this a little later.
Seek Specialist Legal Help
So, you’ve got through the accident. Now it’s time to seek legal help. Get on Google and look for South Carolina car accident attorneys who can help you fight your case. You should always seek a specialist lawyer like this, one who understands the local laws and regularly fights these sorts of cases. This way, you know you’re going to get the right help in your case. It’s best to stick local, too, as these attorneys will have all the experience with the local courts and lawmakers, giving you an upper hand when it comes to negotiations or legal proceedings.
Don’t Settle For Second Best
This advice comes up time and time again. Don’t just pick the first lawyer you meet. Use your time to have an initial meeting – which is free of charge – with multiple attorneys. This way, you can listen to how they work, their experience, and what they think they could achieve for you. IT also gives you the chance to work with someone you truly trust and think you will get along with.
Speak To Your Insurer
Alongside finding the best lawyer for the job, you also need to keep your insurer informed and up-to-date. Many insurers require immediate notification of any damages and medical attention to help activate your policy and ensure you are covered. If you neglect to notify your insurer of your accident or anything else along the way, you could end up losing cover. Plus, all communication with your insurer as well as any bills you receive can all be included in evidence for your settlement amount.
Speaking of evidence, there’s a lot to collect when injured in a car accident. This is why everything mentioned so far is important. The police will collect crucial evidence, your doctors will provide important evidence, and your insurers will form part of it too. Make sure you have all of these things collected to help build the strongest case. Your legal team will help with the rest, but you can help by ensuring all of these steps are followed and by providing all of the evidence to your attorney.
Get a Settlement
After all the evidence is gathered and every lead has been followed up, it’s time for you and your attorney to decide on a settlement amount. Once they have advised you on what they think is appropriate, they will start reaching out to your opposition or their lawyers. At this point, negotiations will begin, with your attorneys fighting to get you as much money as possible.
They will not accept any offer unless you instruct them to, but they will advise you when they think they have got as much as possible on your behalf. Remember, if a settlement is not reached, your only remaining option is to file a lawsuit and go to court.
Look After Yourself
Let’s not forget the fact that you’ve been hurt in an accident and, therefore, need to look after yourself in all of this. While chasing a settlement and dealing with evidence, it can be easy to forget your physical and mental wellbeing. Even if you win a settlement, if you don’t give yourself time to heal, that money will be useless. So take time to look after yourself, get back to full strength, and make sure you are OK.
This is what every good attorney’s advice will look like after a car accident. Follow all of these steps and you will have the strongest possible case to present to an opposition legal team, likely leading to a healthy settlement. Then, you can move on and put the nasty accident behind you.