Accidents can happen at any time.  No matter how good the driver, a person can still be involved in a crash and sometimes left with a totaled vehicle and serious personal injuries. This is particularly the case in Columbia, South Carolina which was ranked the second worst in the nation for drivers. While your insurance is intended to protect you against financial consequences that could break the bank, you could still end up on the hook for medical bills and car repairs. Being informed about what do if in an accident before it happens is the smart way to protect yourself. Here's a list of things you need to know if you or a loved one is involved in an accident in Columbia SC.
 
The first thing you want to do when a collision occurs is to check for injuries among those involved. That includes all passengers who were riding in your vehicle and everyone in the other automobile. If there has been any apparent physical injuries, immediately call 911. It's also important to remember that an internal injury can potentially be life-threatening and waiting to get help could make the situation worse. You should get checked by EMS after a car accident have record of your physical condition and ensure you don't have injuries you are unaware. 
 
Then, of course, you should always report the accident to the authorities.  This is the case even when an accident seems relatively minor. An officer will come to the scene to fill out a report, or you may be able to file one at your local precinct. This is important to have the record for your insurance claim or if anyone were to bring a claim against you. 
 
When completing the report, it’s crucial to be as detailed as possible and include everything you can remember. It’s also a good idea to get a copy of the report for your records, in case you end up in court later on.
 
Always take pictures of all the cars involved in the incident as soon as possible, noting any damage and how they’re positioned including photos of the area, including traffic signs or signals, lane markings, trees and anything you believe may have aided to the crash. Make a note of where in Columbia the accident occurred, the time of day, which direction you were heading and how fast you were going if possible.
 
Sometimes the other driver will tell you they don’t want to get their insurance company involved, but it's essential that you exchange the relevant information make sure to get their full name, address, and phone number as well as the name of their insurance company. Write down the car’s make, model and tag number and make sure they have all of your information as well. You should also get the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident which may be needed later on as proof.
 
If it’s possible, you should call your insurance company while you’re still at the scene of the accident. The agent you talk to should be able to tell you what you need to do next to file a claim. They should advise you in what kind of things you don’t want to do, which would include admitting guilt or signing anything that hasn’t first been reviewed by your insurer.
 
Once you’ve alerted the insurance company and begin the claims process, continue to document everything that happens. If you were injured, for instance, it’s a wise idea to keep copies of your doctor’s reports and medical bills.
 
It’s also vital to hold on to any receipts for all car repairs you pay for out-of-pocket. If the other motorist or their insurance company tries to contact you, remember to make a note of the call and politely refer them to the adjuster who is managing your claim or your lawyer. 
 
When a car accident happens, it’s up to the insurance companies to try and determine who ’s liable and what each party is responsible for financially. While it’s generally in the best interest of both sides to settle, there are situations where one person may decide to take the dispute to court. You should always speak with an experienced attorney following a car accident. 
 
Never make an admission of fault at the scene of the accident, as they admission can and will be related in court to your detriment.  Insurance companies will normally not settle claims in favor of a party who made an admission.  Even if you think you may have done something wrong, the other driver may be more at fault. 
 
The more you know, the more prepared you will be if you are involved in an accident. 
 
 
 

 

Accidents involving personal injury usually come without warning, and what happens right after can be a whirlwind to those who are hurt. In some cases, the injury is bad enough to cause unconsciousness. In that event, the person hurt might wake up in medical treatment away from the scene of the accident. Usually, the person hurt is conscious but in some level of shock after the accident. Decisions made in the immediate aftermath can have later wide-ranging consequences when it comes to redressing for the damage caused by the accident. That is the purpose of this article: Knowing what to do, and thinking about what to do after personal injury.

The first priority after an accident must be safety and immediate care of those involved. The important thing to remember during this time is, In South Carolina, any admission of fault can and will be part of the record in the event of a legal dispute. Normally, "hearsay" testimony is not allowed in court but an exception is for the admission of a party.

Anyone who has heard an admission can testify about that admission and it can be the evidence that determines the case. With any accident involving personal injury, A person might feel sorry for what happened and even think they are at fault. However, in the emotion-filled moments after an accident parties are not normally thinking clearly or possess all the facts. On an objective reflection with the facts a party may discover they are not at all at fault, or less at fault than the other party. If the other party admits fault, it is important to note.

The other priority after an accident in South Carolina is ensuring an accident report memorializes the incident. Wait for law enforcement to arrive and record the accident, and take the time to speak to the officer if that is possible. Note the witnesses to the accident and attempt to learn their identity if possible. If EMS has evacuated before the arrival of law enforcement, ensure you speak to the officer at the first opportunity. That includes in the Emergency Room if possible.

Note potential evidence beyond witnesses that may be used to help prove what happened. For example, almost all modern vehicles will have a so-called "black box" data recorder which provides a great deal of evidence of what happened: Speed of the vehicles at impact, angle of impact, etc. In some cases, the accident may have taken place under the observation of a video camera. This can be the case if it was inside or near a business.

Using discretion in what is said, ensuring accident is properly memorialized with your input, noting and remembering witnesses, knowing about other evidence like black boxes and videos. Ensuring a thorough medical exam in the immediate aftermath to note all injuries immediately after the accident (to prove the connection to the accident). All of these things should be reflected before an accident to ensure the right actions after an accident.

Bill Connor is a Personal Injury Attorney in Orangeburg South Carolina. If you have been involved in an accident contact the Bill Connor Law Firm Today.

The Bill Connor Law Firm

1408 Russell St

Orangeburg, SC 29115

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PHONE: 803 937 5571

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