Car accidents occur quite frequently. In fact, hundreds of car accidents happen every day across the country. While not all accidents are serious, many of them are. Drivers are required to carry insurance to cover these damages – property damage, injuries, and medical expenses – should an accident happen. However, there are many situations where the insurance company will not provide the compensation necessary to cover the expenses caused by the accident.
After an Accident
Small fender-benders with minor vehicle damage can easily be resolved without an attorney. However, when the accident is major and involves severe injuries or death, you need legal help. An experienced personal injury attorney will answer your questions and assist you with all of your legal needs after experiencing a serious accident. There are some things you should and shouldn’t do after an accident.
- Seek Medical Attention – Even if you are feeling okay, it is important to have a medical checkup. There may be serious internal or head injuries which may not be immediately known.
- Take Pictures – If it is safe to do so, take photos of the accident before the vehicles are moved. You may also want to take some pictures of the roadway or intersection where the incident happened.
- Call Police – A police report is essential when you want to ensure that the proper parties are held accountable for the accident. The police should be called even if you feel unharmed at the time because some injuries may appear later.
- Get Witness Data – Witnesses can be critical in helping determine the cause of the accident. If there are any witnesses make sure that you get their names and contact information before they leave the location. The police should also speak with witnesses and include their information in their report.
- Contact Insurance Company – Even if the accident is not your fault, you may want to let your insurance company know about it. This will protect the other party from making a report or false claim to your insurance company.
Follow the instructions the police provide at the scene of the accident. If your vehicle is blocking traffic it may need to be moved, if it is drivable. Do not get out of your vehicle until it is safe to do so. If you are hurt, wait in your car until help arrives, unless the vehicle is on fire. According to South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), anyone involved in an accident is required to provide their name and information to the other driver
Were You Injured?
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you should not have to pay for the required treatment. Injuries can be quite serious. Just taking an ambulance to the emergency room will likely cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Medical treatment in a hospital is costly and if you stay overnight, you will be paying quite a large sum of money. Additionally, diagnostic tests, treatments, surgery, nursing care, and medications are all expensive costs that will be billed to you after a hospital visit.
Do You Require Additional Treatment?
Sometimes injuries cannot be treated with just one doctor’s visit or hospital stay. For example, if you suffered a severely broken leg, it probably required surgical repair. You will also need to return for a possible additional surgery and to have the cast changed several times. Then, you may need to attend rehabilitation treatment to help get proper use of your leg once it is healed. All of these appointments and treatments can be expensive and it is important that you take these costs into account before you settle for a low amount of money.
Did You Have to Miss Work?
If you had to miss work because of your injuries you should be compensated for lost wages. You will need to prove that you did not work for a specific period of time and must be able to show documentation from your employer of the exact amount of money that you were not paid because of your injuries. An attorney will help you gather the information necessary for proof.
Did You Suffer Pain?
Pain is often lingering long after an accident happens. In fact, the pain often increases before it gets better. Your pain and suffering is certainly worth something since you would not have had to deal with the problem if the accident had not occurred. Extensive pain may make it difficult to work and to do the things you like to do. If pain continues, which is often the case, you may never fully recover from your injuries.
Keep These Factors in Mind
While not everyone always hires a lawyer to represent them in personal injury cases, there are some important factors to keep in mind.
- Victims represented by attorneys are more likely to achieve settlements than those without representation.
- Those who have attorneys often receive a higher settlement than those who don’t.
- Negotiations are more easily done by an experienced attorney than by you.
- Cases without attorneys can take longer to resolve than others.
- Insurance companies prefer to settle quickly with victims instead of working more fairly with an attorney.
If a case needs to go to court, working with an attorney improves the chances of a more positive outcome.
Help from a South Carolina Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident with injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. A qualified personal injury attorney will assist you in resolving your case fairly and quickly. Your lawyer will review every aspect of your case including deposing witnesses, examining the police report, reviewing medical information, and recreating the accident if needed. When you’ve been hurt in an accident you deserve the best possible representation. Contact the dedicated auto accident injury lawyers in Columbia at Connell Law Firm to learn more about your case.