If you have been involved in a Car Accident and believe it was caused by a Drunk Driver in South Carolina, it is important to know what you should do after the wreck.
If a drunk driver causes an accident, they could face more than just criminal penalties; for example, they could also be held responsible for any injuries, medical bills or other damages that were caused in the accident.
If you believe you were hit by a drunk driver, what you do immediately after the wreck could significantly affect your ability to obtain the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve for your injuries and losses.
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, it is important to follow these 6 steps:
1. Call 911
First thing is first—call 911. Your 911 call should be recorded and could be a key piece of evidence in your case. All cases are about documentation, and your description to the 911 dispatcher and how he/she documents the wreck, could be crucial when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the person who caused the accident.
If you don’t contact the police, not only will a drunk or impaired person drive again, but you will have lost a critical piece of evidence when seeking any money damages for injuries that you sustained.
2. Cooperate With The Police
A police officer’s job is to investigate the collision. That officer’s investigation is going to be used as a tool in your case. Tell the police officer exactly how the accident took place. Be very specific and accurate in your description, and just like with the 911 call, you are most likely being recorded by in-car cameras in the police vehicle or body-worn cameras by the officers on scene.
3. Collect Information
If you are physically able, try to collect as much information from the accident scene as you can. This should include the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance information and any potential witness information. If you do not feel comfortable talking with the intoxicated driver, be sure to get their information from the police once they have arrived. Also, be sure to get the FR-10 form from the officer so you can obtain the full police report once it is completed. The FR-10 is the form the officer uses to collect all driver’s information involved in the wreck.
4. Take Pictures
Take as many pictures of the scene as you can. You can never have too many pictures. The best way to describe the impact on scene is to have documented evidence of the damage to your car, any visible injuries, and any debris or marks in the road that can later help you claim. At some point during the claims process, an adjuster for an insurance company is going to try and evaluate what happened in the wreck. Let them see it!
5. Go See A Doctor
It is critical to your injury claim or lawsuit, as well as your health and well-being, to seek immediate medical attention after being hit by a drunk driver. Regardless of how you are feeling right after the crash, don’t refuse medical treatment. Some injuries can take time to notice before you begin to experience pain but that does not mean that you have not suffered an injury from the crash. Let a medical professional evaluate your symptoms and trust in their expertise on your diagnosis. Having the medical records to corroborate your injuries, will help justify your demand for the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and damages.
6. Hire An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Before you speak with the insurance company regarding your accident, it is important to contact an experienced Personal Injury Attorney for legal advice.
If a drunk driver has hurt you, you deserve to be compensated for any damages, losses, injuries, pain, and suffering that you’ve suffered as a result of the collision.
Hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your case is your best chance at obtaining the amount of compensation that you are owed.
Your attorney will conduct an intense investigation into the collision, including securing evidence of the other driver’s intoxication and fault for the wreck.