No one plans to be in an accident. It happens so quickly that it can be hard to figure out what to do at that moment if you don’t already know. Most people reach out for help after an accident and find out too late what they should have done. We don’t want that to happen to you! We want everyone to be prepared—just in case.
We’d like to share some important information about what you need to do if you find yourself in this situation to give yourself the best shot at getting the compensation you deserve.
10 ways to protect yourself if you are in a car accident.
- Try to move to the side of the road if it is safe to (especially if it is just a minor fender bender) and then stop. If there are injuries or it is a serious wreck, you may need to wait until the police arrive and not move anything.
- Call 911.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive.
- Get medical attention immediately for any injuries. And remember that some people don’t feel pain at the scene of the accident even though they are injured. Certain injuries can take a bit of time to manifest.
- Never admit fault to the other party or the other party’s insurance company.
- Only talk about the accident with the police, your doctors, your auto insurance representative, and your attorney. Do not talk about the accident with the other drivers, passengers, or witnesses.
- Try to gather information if you can:
- The other drivers’ contact (phone and email) and insurance information (company name and policy number).
- The other vehicles’ make, model, VIN number, vehicle registration, and license plate numbers.
- Any witnesses’ contact information (phone and email).
- Photograph the scene for evidence from multiple angles, if possible.
- Information about what happened (write or record yourself speaking).
- Note information about the driving conditions, the weather, any dangerous conditions, etc…
- The name, badge number, and contact information for the police officer.
- Get the police report number from the police department.
- Call your auto insurance company’s emergency claims number ASAP. Or start the claims process through your insurance company’s app.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after taking care of any injuries and initial medical visits you need, especially if there were serious injuries or damages.
- Keep all medical records, explanation of benefits statements, and receipts—including receipts you have submitted to your own health insurance company.
When you avoid mistakes at the scene of the accident and can collect important information, you help give yourself the best chance for receiving any compensation you may deserve. Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can so that they can make sure you get the compensation you deserve if someone hits you.
No-fault insurance covers you and your passengers if you are injured in an accident regardless of who was at fault for the accident. (No-fault insurance is also called personal injury protection insurance, personal injury coverage, pip coverage, or pip insurance.) Some states require it. In other states, it is optional or not available.
For more information on what no-fault insurance covers, the limits, and what it doesn’t cover, please check with your auto insurance company.
Most states are “fault” states and require drivers to have liability insurance that covers other people’s injuries and property damage if they are at fault in a car crash, at least up to a predetermined liability limit.
The at-fault driver is liable to cover injuries or property damage to anyone else who was harmed by the accident. These damages may include property damage, medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, funeral costs, and other costs.
In some states, the driver who was not at fault can file a personal injury case against the at-fault driver and may be awarded money damages. But in a no-fault car insurance state, there are only certain situations where the at-fault driver can be sued.
Be sure to check with your auto insurance company and your attorney about the type of coverage you need in your state and how to protect yourself from someone else’s personal injury claim.
Looking for a Personal Injury Attorney Near You?
At Burriss and Ridgeway, we have experience as auto accident injury lawyers who handle all types of personal injury cases in the Columbia, South Carolina area with offices in Lexington and Orangeburg, as well.
Please contact us today!
Schedule a free consultation with us to see if we can help you.