Car collisions are one of the most common causes of injuries in South Carolina. During 2017 alone, 141,784 traffic collisions took place across South Carolina. Of these, 39,466 collisions resulted in injuries and 925 proved fatal. Given the exceptionally high rate of car crashes across the state, it is important to know what to do if you are involved in one. A car accident is a traumatic experience. In the aftermath of one, you are understandably shaken, stressed and likely injured. However, it is important to make the right decisions after the crash. Such decisions will help you stay safe while also enabling your Greenwood car crash attorney to help you recover suitable compensation for your losses.
1. Get to Safety
Your first and foremost priority should be to move to a safe place. If it is possible, push or drive your vehicle to the side of the road. If the vehicle can’t be moved, you can use a cloth or hand to signal oncoming traffic. This prevents any other vehicles from slamming into the accident-wrecked vehicles. However, if you have injuries, it is best to move to the side of the road and wait for help.
2. Call the Authorities
Most car crashes result in injuries ranging from mild to serious. Once you are in a safe position, call the ambulance to help the injured. You should also call 911 and report the accident. The ambulance and the police personnel will reach the crash site in no time. The average response time in car crashes is 15 minutes. Have the medical personnel look at your injuries and provide you first aid if required. Many accident-related injuries are not immediately visible. Make sure you report all the abnormal symptoms, pains or wounds you have incurred in the accident. This information will also go on the record of a crash report.
3. Stick to Facts in the Police Statement
The police personnel who arrive at the scene of the car crash will ask you to make a statement. You should include all the facts in this statement. These include the vehicles involved, the time and place of the crash, the injuries you have incurred, the initial and final positions of the vehicles and so on. However, try not to ascribe responsibility to any party at this point as this can later be used against your injury claim.
4. Gather Evidence
The evidence at the site of a car crash will later be used in your car accident claim. If you are able, you can gather valuable evidence right after the crash. Such evidence includes the names and details of the eyewitnesses and the other drivers and vehicles involved. If you have a mobile phone, you can also take pictures of damage to the vehicles, the final position of the vehicles, the marks on the road and other aspects of the crash site. These will later prove valuable when filing a compensation claim with the insurance company.
5. Get a More Thorough Medical Examination
Many injuries in a car crash are not immediately apparent. Once you have received first aid and provided a police statement, you are free to go home. Make sure you visit a doctor as soon as possible and undergo a more thorough medical examination. This may include tests to determine whether you have any internal injuries or symptoms. The results from this examination will also be helpful in putting together your personal injury claim later.
6. Notify Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will be notified about your car accident sooner or later. It is best that the notification comes from you. When informing your insurance company about the accident, attach a copy of the crash report from the police. Do not make a compensation claim at this point. Do not respond to requests of a recorded interview or negotiations for a settlement. An insurance company may use these pretexts to pay you a tiny sum or sabotage your claim.
7. Contact an Attorney
You can seek compensation for your car accident injuries from your own insurance company or the insurance company of the other party. This is determined once the negligence or fault is known. It is important to contact an attorney at the earliest after a car crash. Your attorney will help you bring together the relevant evidence, file a compensation claim and negotiate a fair amount of compensation.
Finding a Greenwood Car Crash Attorney
You can file a personal injury claim on your own after a car crash. However, your odds of winning are small as you have to face the high-paid attorneys of the insurance companies. This is why it is vital to have a qualified automobile accident law firm to help with your case. Here at ASB Law Firm, we have many years of experience in handling Greenwood car crash claims. We work with you to maximize the payout so that it can cover all losses such as medical bills, property damage as well as lost wages. Contact us today for a FREE consultation with our attorneys.