While the circumstances of every accident differ, there are some routine steps that you should follow in the aftermath of any type of vehicle accident that involves injuries and/or property damage. Taking these steps can be essential to the ability to recover damages from any negligent party who caused the accident. Whether you are the victim of a South Carolina vehicle crash or a party who is potentially at fault for the crash, following this advice can lead to a better resolution for all parties involved.
Call for Emergency Assistance
Your first step following any accident should be to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency for emergency assistance. If the accident occurs within city limits, you should contact your local police department. If the accident occurs outside of city limits, you should contact your local county sheriff’s department or the South Carolina Highway Patrol. This is the case even if you do not think that any injuries or property damage has occurred due to the wreck. Taking this step will ensure that you have an official police report if necessary for insurance purposes.
Protect Everyone at the Scene
South Carolina law requires that any driver who is involved in a vehicle accident involving personal injuries or property damage to stop at or near the accident scene. Any driver who is involved in accident should move his or her vehicle off the road, if possible, so as to avoid obstructing traffic. Individuals who are involved in an accident also should take care to prevent further accidents and ensure the safety of anyone at the scene. Individuals also should generally refrain from moving injury victims until emergency personnel arrives.
Take Note of Important Information Related to the Accident
It is essential that you gather and document as much information as possible about the accident, particularly if injuries or property damage occurred due to the accident. First, you should obtain the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident, including the drivers who were involved, if possible. You also should ask the witnesses to describe what they observed at the time of the accident. The investigating officer is also likely to request this information to include in his or her police report. Next, you should record your personal observations about the accident, including the date, time of day, weather conditions, and a general description as to what happened.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should always report any accident in which you are involved to your insurance company. You are required to furnish proof of insurance to the South Carolina Department of Transportation within 15 days of any accident, so your insurance company can assist you in completing and submitting this form. Additionally, if you were injured in the accident, you should provide your insurance company with the applicable insurance information from the other driver and/or from your medical insurance policy. While you are required to cooperate with your own insurance company, you are not required to give any statements or information to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, you should not give the other driver’s insurance company any information at all, since it could be used against you at a later date.
Call Your South Carolina Auto Attorney for Assistance
At Workers Compensation Lawyers- PLLC, we pride ourselves on the high level of legal services that we provide for victims of serious automobile accidents. When you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, you need strong representation that will help you to obtain the compensation that you need and deserve. Contact Workers Compensation Lawyers- PLLC today to explore any potential personal injury claims that you may have as a result of a vehicle collision.