Car accidents can be a traumatic experience, and it’s essential to respond appropriately to protect your interests. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Camden or anywhere else in South Carolina, contact us today for a free consultation.
1. Disregarding Your Injuries
It’s common to feel sore or disoriented after a car accident, but these symptoms could indicate a serious injury. For instance, stiffness could signal a soft tissue injury, while confusion could be a sign of a concussion. Always seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you feel okay.
2. Failing to Report the Accident
Not reporting the accident to the police is a significant mistake. An official police report is vital for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings. South Carolina law requires a report for any accident that causes injury, death, or $1,000 in property damage.
Drivers involved in an accident causing injury or death must stop, assist the injured, and immediately report the accident to the relevant authorities. It’s wise to call the police even if no one appears hurt.
An accident that causes $1,000 or more in property damage must be reported. If the police aren’t called or don’t investigate, a driver must submit the FR-309 form to the DMV within 15 days.
3. Overlooking Evidence Collection
One of the most important actions is to collect and preserve evidence. You should exchange contact details and insurance information with the other driver. Get the names and contact information of witnesses, and ask them if they’d be willing to give a statement.
Don’t forget to take photos or video of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and physical evidence like skid marks and debris on the road. This can provide valuable evidence in proving who was at fault.
Solid evidence can increase the chances of a favorable settlement or verdict in your personal injury case. Without evidence, insurance companies may downplay your injuries and offer lower settlements, leaving you struggling to cover medical expenses and lost wages.
4. Admitting Fault Prematurely
People often apologize or accept blame in the aftermath of an accident, even if they’re not at fault. However, this can affect your ability to seek compensation later. Avoid discussing fault at the scene.
5. Postponing Medical Care
Seek immediate medical attention, regardless of injury severity. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and delaying care can harm your health and your claim. Prompt medical attention can prevent complications, document injuries, protect legal rights, and aid in pursuing fair compensation.
6. Not Seeking Legal Advice
Many people assume they can handle the legal complexities of a car accident claim themselves. However, a knowledgeable car accident attorney can guide you, protect your rights, and help you receive fair compensation.
Car accident lawyers can also help collect evidence, interview witnesses, and work with accident reconstruction experts.
7. Ignoring the Psychological Impact
Car accidents can have a profound psychological impact, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and driving-related phobias. Seek professional help if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
8. Neglecting Follow-Up Medical Care
Follow-up medical care is crucial after a car accident. Smaller fractures, tears, and other injuries can go undiagnosed due to swelling, bruising, or inability to perform certain medical examinations. Your physician can correctly diagnose your medical problems and provide the necessary treatment.
South Carolina Car Accident Laws
South Carolina is a fault state for accidents. Victims may claim compensation from the responsible party for their losses.
Drivers must carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage with the following minimum limits: $25,000 Bodily Injury Per Person / $50,000 Bodily Injury Per Accident / $25,000 Property Damage Per Accident.
The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is three years after a car accident.
Contact Our Camden Car Accident Lawyers Today!
By avoiding these common mistakes after a car accident, you can protect your interests and ensure a smoother claims process. Always report the accident, gather evidence, avoid admitting fault, seek prompt medical attention, and consult with a knowledgeable attorney.
Contact the office of Connell Law Firm at 803-310-5700 for a free injury case review.