8 Simple Steps to Avoid Further Injury
While a fender bender on the way to work is an inconvenience, a serious car accident can be a life-changing event. And in the days that follow your wreck, you’ll likely face another collision – this time with reality. You may be left wondering how you’ll pay your medical bills. How you’ll take care of your family if you can’t work. How you’ll ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Because South Carolina is an “at-fault” state, the person who caused the car accident is the sole party responsible. That means it’s up to you to prove which driver was to blame before receiving compensation. Sometimes this task is simple, but often, car wreck cases are not so cut and dried. This is where experienced attorneys, like those at West Law Firm, come into play, serving as your advocates and lending clarity to the days ahead. The South Carolina legal system is complicated, and attempting to navigate it alone can be detrimental – to your future, to your family.
In the moments following your car accident, follow these simple steps:
1. Remain at the accident scene. As long as you feel safe, stay at the scene until law enforcement arrives. Remember, if someone in the other vehicle was injured and you leave the scene, the accident can be considered a hit-and-run.
2. Assess everyone’s physical condition. Check to see if any drivers or passengers need medical attention. If so, call an ambulance. Don’t move an injured person to avoid further complications unless they’re in a dangerous location.
3. Call the police. If there’s injury, a death or vehicle damage, a police report needs to be filed. Be sure to tell the police officer, in as much detail as possible, what happened. It’s also a good idea to record the officers’ names and badge numbers.
4. Exchange information. Get the following information from the driver:
- Phone number
- Drivers License number
- License plate number
- Insurance information
Get the contact information of any passengers as well. If there were any other witnesses present, ask if they’re willing to make a statement. If so, have them write it down or record them.
5. Take photos. Use your cell phone to photograph the scene, getting close-up shots of vehicle damage that will be helpful to your insurance adjuster or attorney.
Once you’ve received any necessary medical attention, these steps will help guide you through the days and weeks to come:
6. Consider hiring an attorney. West Law Firm offers free consultations and can help determine if legal counsel is required. If you’re unsure whether you need to hire a lawyer, give us a call. It won’t cost a thing! You likely need a lawyer if:
- You were serously injured ( Or haven’t yet determined the extent of your injury)
- You’re unsure how you’ll pay for medical care
- Your injury will keep you out of work
- The other driver or insurance company blames you
Because your insurance company will want you to make a statement when you report the accident, it’s in your best interest to seek legal advise beforehand.
7. Contact your insurance provider. Inform your insurance provider of your accident as soon as possible – and tell them as many details as you can about the incident. Be sure to explain your injuries accurately and in detail.
8. Carefully document medical treatment. If you require medical attention, make sure to keep track of every appointment – including follow-ups and physical therapy. You will need this documentation if you pursue legal action.
At West Law Firm, our experienced attorneys can help in accident and auto injury cases. Our clients in Moncks Corner, SC and across South Carolina trust our team to get the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve been in a car accident in South Carolina and don’t know if you need a lawyer, get in touch. We won’t charge you a thing, but can help determine if you need legal representation moving forward.
To schedule your free consultation, call 843-761-5626 today. We look forward to speaking with you!
About West Law Firm, P.A.
Founded by H. Norman West in 1945, West Law Firm has served the Lowcountry for nearly 75 years. Practice areas include personal injury, car wrecks, criminal defense, DUI defense, family law, wrongful death, land disputes, business litigation, probate and estate planning, and alternative dispute resolution.
West Law Firm, P.A.
207 Carolina Avenue
Moncks Corner SC 29461