If you've been in a car accident, the moments following can be a whirlwind. You may be unsure of what to do other than calling 911 or emergency services. While there are laws governing what you can and cannot do after an accident, there are also things you should not do to avoid negative impacts on your potential accident claim in SC.
5 Things You Should Not Do After A Car Accident:
1. Leave the scene of the accident:
If you are in one-car accident or a multi-car accident, you should do everything possible to stay at the scene of the accident. Drivers who leave the scene of the accident may be considered "hit and run drivers" even if they were not at-fault. The penalties for a hit and run in South Carolina range from a misdemeanor to a felony with jail time.
2. Make claims about who is at fault:
After an accident, emotions may be high. Try to keep to yourself until an officer arrives on scene. Do not tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was. The officer will investigate the accident and gather information from all parties involved as well as any witnesses. An investigation should reveal a more complete image of what happened.
3. Fail to Collect Important Evidence
Photos, videos, and witness information play a large part in determining who is at fault in an accident. When there are multiple cars involved and/or questionable liability, having videos and witnesses are especially key. Determining liability can be complex and time-consuming if there is doubt, so collecting important evidence is crucial in showing who is at fault.
4. Refuse to Get Medical Attention
Many accident victims may be in shock after an accident and not feel injuries immediately. Most people also want to resume their normal lives as soon as possible. If you feel pain after your accident, it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as you can. Delaying treatment or not seeking medical care can weaken your claim if there are not any medical records to back up your injuries.
5. Signing Paperwork From an Insurance Adjustor without Speaking to a Car Accident Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after being in a car accident in South Carolina, is signing a medical release form from the insurance company. A medical release form gives the insurance company access to your medical history in which they can use against you if you make medical claims down the road.
There are other forms that the insurance company may ask you to sign to end your claim and prevent you from receiving all of the benefits you are legally entitled to after your wreck. Car Accident Attorney Dirk Derrick wrote a book for those who have been hurt in an auto accident and gives vital information for handling your accident claim. You may download your free copy here.
If you have been seriously hurt in a car or auto accident, you may need an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer to help you get the benefits you need. The Derrick Law Firm has represented injured clients since 1991 and has the reputation to settle your claim at full value.
Voted Best Attorney by the readers of the Myrtle Beach Herald and the Horry Independent, The Derrick Law Firm always strives to treat each client like family and to thoroughly handle each claim. Call today for a free case review at 843-248-7486.