Here Are Five Things You Should Do Immediately After a Car Accident

by Charnell Glenn Peake on Jun. 08, 2020

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: Car accidents happen fast, and a wreck is not something anyone plans on experiencing when they get behind the wheel. But statistics show that you take a significant risk every time you leave your home. Roughly 6 million people are involved in car accidents annually, and about half of those suffer injuries.

Here Are Five Things You Should Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Car accidents happen fast, and a wreck is not something anyone plans on experiencing when they get behind the wheel. But statistics show that you take a significant risk every time you leave your home. Roughly 6 million people are involved in car accidents annually, and about half of those suffer injuries. 

If you or someone you love has been hurt on South Carolina’s roadways, you may be entitled to compensation if another party was responsible. There are things you should and should not do following a car accident to protect your safety, wellbeing, and your rights. Here are five things you should keep in mind immediately following a crash. 

1. Call 911 / Get Help

The first thing you should do is call the authorities. When you call 911, it accomplishes several things. First, it notifies the police that a crash has just taken place, and an ambulance can be dispatched if there are serious or life-threatening injuries. If you have been seriously hurt and the paramedics recommend that you be transported to the hospital, don’t argue; it is a good idea to follow their advice.

The police will also document the accident and create a Traffic Collision Report. If you do leave the scene in an ambulance, you can rest easy knowing that the police are investigating the crash and getting the names of any witnesses. The authorities will also make a determination about fault, which can help your case. 

2. Document Everything Yourself

Even though many accidents are serious, you might stick around the scene long enough to take a few additional useful steps. Most people today have a smartphone with a built-in camera. Use it to take as many photos as possible of the accident scene, the people involved, the vehicles, and anything else that might have a bearing on the accident. Include pictures of license plates, street signs, skid marks on the road, and vehicle damage. 

Speak to the other drivers and get their contact information. Take photos of their driver’s license and insurance card whenever possible. Also, speak with any witnesses and get their contact information. Finally, write down your recollection of the accident to memorialize the events for future use. 

3. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Sometimes accident victims don’t feel the need to rush to the hospital following a crash. But injuries can still be severe, and they will be more difficult to link to the car crash the longer you wait to document them. 

It is not uncommon for an accident victim to believe they are “fine” due to the adrenaline that gets released in the body after a traumatic event. But injuries such as whiplash can lead to lasting issues, even though the pain and discomfort might not arrive until hours or days after a crash.

If you have been involved in an accident, it’s always a good idea to seek immediate medical attention. Go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center and ask for a thorough medical exam to ensure you receive the treatment you need. 

4. Call Your Insurance Company

After a car accident, you need to report the crash to your insurance company. You should do this immediately to conform to the requirements of your policy and give them details of the crash. But you don’t have to speak with any other driver’s insurance company. In fact, you shouldn’t speak with any other driver’s insurance company.

You will likely receive calls from the insurance representative of the other driver or drivers. They will want to know about your medical condition and will probably ask to take a recorded statement. They might even threaten to deny your claim if you don’t comply with their requests. 

It’s never a good idea to cooperate with insurance adjusters whose sole aim is to downplay the extent of your injuries and shift blame in your direction. Their tactics are meant to save their company money instead of helping you get the compensation you need and deserve. 

5. Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney

Following a serious auto accident, you should speak with a qualified personal injury attorney that can advocate for your rights. Get as much information as possible about how these cases work and the potential value of your case. 

There are thousands of lawyers who claim to handle car accident cases, but some don’t have the resources or experience necessary to help you collect fair damages for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Choose an established law firm with years of experience that will protect your interests and help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Injured in a Car Accident in South Carolina? We are Here to Help

The experienced Columbia car accident attorneys at Peake & Fowler will fight to protect your legal rights and pursue all available forms of compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today at (803) 788-4370 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation. 

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