NEXT STEPS AFTER AN ACCIDENT
If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, you probably know how stressful and devastating the aftermath can be. Because emotions run high following the accident, many people do not know what steps to take after being involved in a crash.
Understanding your next steps after an accident can protect your health, rights, and interests. If your car crash was the result of someone else’s negligent conduct, reach out to an experienced attorney. Contacting an attorney is one of the most critical steps you can take in the aftermath of an accident to fight for fair compensation.
At Duncan and Nobles LLC, our attorneys provide compassionate legal counsel to injured individuals in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and all across Lancaster and Chester counties. We are dedicated to defending the rights of accident victims. We will be by your side during this challenging period of your life.
Steps to Take After an Accident
Being involved in any kind of accident is a traumatic and life-changing experience. The stress and suffering that come along with a crash can make it difficult for accident victims to think clearly and make rational decisions. The steps you should take following your accident should include:
Check yourself and others for injuries. Even if the collision was minor, you or other people involved in the accident could have suffered injuries. That is why the first step you should take following an accident is to check yourself, your passengers, and other people at the scene for injuries. If anyone suffered injuries, call 911 to request an ambulance.
Contact the police. South Carolina law requires people involved in car accidents to notify the police when the collision results in injuries or deaths. Calling the police after an accident is also important to obtain a police report that provides vital information about the accident, including the parties involved, the facts of the crash, and more.
Exchange information with other parties. At the scene of an accident, it is critical to exchange your information with other persons involved, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and witnesses. The information that you should exchange includes names, phone numbers, home addresses, and insurance information.
Take photos. One of the most critical steps to take after an accident is to take photographs of the scene of the crash, including damage to the vehicles, visible injuries, skid marks, and other details at the scene.
Notify your insurance company. There is a contractual obligation to contact your insurance company and report the crash, even if the accident is minor. Many insurers give their policyholders as few as 48 or 72 hours to report accidents.
Hire an attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will guide you through the legal process, help you fight for the compensation you deserve and manage all communications with insurers on your behalf. Hiring an attorney can help you with all aspects of your claim following an accident.
The Importance of Medical Care
After an Accident
A common mistake people make in the aftermath of an accident is not seeking medical attention immediately following the crash. Many people underestimate the importance of getting medical care after being involved in an automobile crash. Reasons for getting immediate medical care after an accident include:
Protecting your health. Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident is vital to protect your health. Symptoms of an injury may not be apparent immediately after the accident, which is why it is recommended to receive medical care even if you feel absolutely fine.
Documenting your injuries. Receiving medical care after the crash also documents the extent of your injuries and proves that the accident was the cause of your injuries.
Proving your injuries to the insurer. When you do not seek medical attention immediately after the accident, the insurance company could devalue or deny your claim, arguing that your injuries were not serious enough.
Even if you did not receive medical care immediately after the accident, your personal injury attorney might still be able to help you prove your injuries and fight for the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
Mistakes to Avoid
Following an Accident
In addition to knowing what steps to take after an accident, you also need to understand that doing certain things can jeopardize your claim following the collision. Some mistakes to avoid include:
Provide a recorded statement. Usually, an insurance claims adjuster will contact an accident victim and ask them to provide a recorded statement. However, it is not recommended to give any recorded statements to the insurance company because the insurer could use your words against you later in the claims process.
Getting a quick settlement. Often, insurance companies make a quick settlement offer to accident victims in the hopes that they will accept the offer. However, those initial settlement offers are usually much less than the victim’s injuries are worth.
Not documenting the accident. As mentioned earlier, one of the steps to take after an accident is to document the scene of the accident. One of the best things you can do to document the accident is to take photos and keep a written account of the incident.
Saying that you are sorry. Apologizing after the accident or saying that you are sorry is a mistake that could hurt your claim. For many people, saying “I am sorry” is their natural reaction after a traumatic event in which they were involved, even if they were not responsible for what happened.
Making mistakes after an accident can have a negative impact on your ability to pursue the compensation you need to get back on your feet and move forward with your life.
Let Duncan and Nobles LLC Help
Taking the above-mentioned steps can protect your rights and interests following an accident. If you need further guidance and assistance with the legal process, contact an attorney at Duncan and Nobles LLC. Our attorneys in Rock Hill, South Carolina, represent accident victims and help them hold negligent drivers responsible for injuries and losses. Get a case review by contacting Duncan and Nobles LLC today.