If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know how disruptive they can be. One minute you’re on your way to work. The next thing you know, you’re standing on the side of the road assessing the damage to your car. Greenville automobile accident attorneys speak with people every day who have been injured in a car accident. They aren’t sure what to do or how to proceed. Here, we’ll discuss this very thing.
It can be difficult to know exactly what to do after a car accident. If it’s a minor accident, you’ll probably just call the police and submit a claim to your insurance company. If the claim is small, it will likely be paid. Insurance companies don’t want to waste money fighting tiny claims. However, if your injuries are serious or your vehicle is totaled, you will need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina.
As long as you know what steps to take immediately following your car crash, you should be okay. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your legal rights. One way to avoid doing this is to retain a seasoned car accident attorney right away.
The First Thing You Need to Do is Call the Police
One of the biggest mistakes accident victims make is agreeing to not call the police. It doesn’t matter how minor or major your car accident is – you need to call the cops. Not only is it the law, but it’s the only way to protect your legal interests. In addition, your Greenville automobile accident attorney will need a copy of the police report to prosecute your claim.
When you call 911, the dispatcher will send an officer (or two) to the accident scene. They’ll also arrange for an ambulance to come to the scene and deal with any injured passengers. Once there, the officers will investigate the crash and talk to everybody involved. They’ll document their findings in their report and make it available to you within a few days.
Some of the information contained in the police report includes:
- The name and contact information for both drivers
- Statements made by either of the people involved
- Description of the accident scene
- Description of the road conditions
- Pictures of the accident scene and vehicles involved
- Documentation if any tickets were issued for speeding, DUI, etc.
- Witness statements and their contact information
Without this information, it will be very hard for your Greenville automobile accident attorney to prove your case.
You Must Go to the Hospital for Medical Treatment
Ask any personal injury lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina and they’ll tell you – way too many people refuse medical treatment after their car wreck. They feel fine in the hours following their crash. Then, a few days later they start to ache or feel like something’s not right. By the time they get checked out by a doctor, it’s been days or even a week.
The longer you wait to be seen by a doctor, the easier it is for the defendant to claim something other than your accident caused your injuries. This can be impossible to come back from. You need to prove causation to recover damages. This means that you must prove the defendant was the sole (or primary) cause of your injuries. If you don’t get medical treatment immediately following the crash, they’ll claim something happened between the time of the crash and your visit to the hospital.
File a Claim With the Insurance Company Right Away
For your insurance claim to be paid, you have to file it immediately after your accident. If you wait too long, it’ll be denied. Most insurance policies state that you must report any accidents within a “reasonable time.” The problem is that your policy doesn’t indicate what constitutes a reasonable time.
If you wait a week or longer to file your claim, the insurance company may claim it was not filed in a timely fashion. To avoid this from happening, make sure to file your claim the same day as your accident. If you’re seriously injured and can’t do this on your own, have a friend or family member do it for you. You can even contact our office and have one of our personal injury lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina file it on your behalf.
Get an Estimate to See How Much It Will Cost to Fix Your Vehicle
One of the reasons car accidents are so frustrating is that you’re left with a damaged vehicle. You may have no other way to get to work. You and your spouse may share a car. If your car is damaged or destroyed, you’ll have no choice but to get it fixed right away. This means that you’ll likely have to pay your deductible.
You need to keep proof of any out-of-pocket expenses if you expect to be reimbursed. If you hire an attorney right away, you’ll be able to provide them with this information at the outset. This way, they can add the cost of your repairs to your claim. It also makes it a lot easier to file your lawsuit (if it comes to that).
Contact One of Our Experienced Greenville Automobile Accident Attorneys Right Away
One thing we always tell our clients is that it costs nothing to meet with an attorney. Even if you’re not sure if you want to retain counsel, you should still discuss your case with a skilled Greenville personal injury lawyer. Let them look at your documentation and ensure your claim is being handled properly.
Some people are afraid to meet with an attorney because they worry about how much it’ll cost. The good news is that your initial consultation is absolutely free. You don’t pay anything until your case is settled. This gives you the chance to get an attorney’s opinion first and decide how you want to proceed.