What to Do (and What No to Do) After a Car Crash In South Carolina
Experiencing a car crash can be terrifying. It is important, even during such a chaotic event, to keep your wits about you and look out for your own interests whenever possible. If you have just been involved in a crash, there are certain actions you should take and actions you should avoid:
- DO get yourself to a safer area. Roadways are dangerous places to stand on or near, so be sure to pull your vehicle as far off onto the road’s shoulder as possible, if you can. If your vehicle has been damaged to the point that it is no longer operational, turn on your hazard lights. If it is safe to do so, you should stay inside the vehicle until emergency services arrive at the scene.
- DO call for emergency services. Even in the case of a very minor accident, you will need to have a police officer come out to investigate the situation and generate a police report. This will be important for documenting what happened and will be relied upon heavily when pursuing compensation and negotiating with insurance companies later.
- DO get appropriate medical treatment. Auto wrecks are violent collisions, even at a slow speed. Even when a crash seems mild, it can cause a variety of injuries to the fragile human body. Injuries from auto crashes very commonly show symptoms several days after the crash occurs. You should always seek out medical attention, even if you do not think that you are injured.
- DO inquire about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If the other driver in the auto crash caused your injuries, you will be collecting compensation through his or her insurance policy. If that insurance policy does not have enough coverage for all of your expenses, you may be able to turn to your own policy. You should check to see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is optional coverage that you can draw on, if you are injured by someone who is uninsured or underinsured. If you do not currently have underinsured/underinsured insurance coverage, you should consider adding it immediately.
- DO NOT rush to settle your case. After a car crash, you will be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. Often, these companies will rush to present you with a lowball offer, so that you and your case will go away for the minimum possible amount. The insurance company is relying on the fact that you aren’t familiar with these cases and will take advantage of you, if you let it.
- DO Contact an experienced auto wreck attorney to advise you on exactly how you should protect your legal rights. Insurance companies do not play fair with unrepresented individuals. It is important to have an attorney on your side who knows how to professionally negotiate with corporate insurance company’s claim adjusters and get the fair amount of compensation that you deserve for your injuries.