With estimates ranging from 8.2 million to 18.6 million visitors a year, Myrtle Beach, SC is a busy tourist destination throughout the spring, summer, and fall with something for everyone – water parks, beautiful beaches, amusement parks, and three motorcycle rallies a year.
While most families leave Myrtle Beach with happy memories that will last a lifetime, the congested highways and other problems that come along with such a high number of tourists will inevitable result in tragedy for some.
For many, their summer vacation will include an auto accident – from minor fender-benders to traffic fatalities, a car crash on vacation can transform a happy time into a nightmare for some families.
If you are involved in an automobile accident while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, what’s next?
What to Do After an Accident While on Vacation
If you are in a car wreck on vacation, far from home, it’s overwhelming.
What do you do? Where do you turn? How will you get home and how much is this going to cost?
Get Medical Attention Immediately
EMS: Call law enforcement immediately – you will need an accident report that contains accurate information about how the wreck happened.
When EMS arrives, let them check you out and then follow any recommendations they give to you.
Local Doctors: Get checked out by a local doctor before you return home. Whether it’s the emergency room, a local Doctor’s Care facility, or a regular doctor who see you or your family member, see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
You can see your local physician when you get home and continue treating for any injuries, but, if you are not immediately evaluated by a doctor, the insurance company might later claim that you are faking your injuries or that your injuries were not caused by the accident.
Delayed Onset Injuries: Insurance adjusters know that some severe injuries, like traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, or soft-tissue injuries, are not immediately apparent and that symptoms can worsen over the coming days and weeks.
They also know that they can use your failure to get an immediate diagnosis against you. Remember that they are not interested in helping you get better – they are interested in saving money for their company.
Gather Evidence Whenever Possible
Take photos of any injuries, damage to vehicles, and the area where the accident happened.
Get contact information for other drivers and witnesses – the other driver may be local or may also be from out of town or another state, and we will need to be able to track them down if we need their testimony to make your case to the insurance adjuster or a jury.
Talk to Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company – do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company about your injuries or the cause of the accident and do not give statements to anyone until you have met with your personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach.
Get transportation – if your car is disabled or totaled, talk to your insurance company about whether they can provide a rental car for you. If you are already driving a rental car, talk to the rental agency about getting a replacement vehicle so you can get home.
Talk to a Myrtle Beach Auto Accident Attorney Before You Leave Town
If you live out of state, your attorney in your home state most likely cannot help you with a car wreck that happened in South Carolina.
Call a local personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach and, if possible, meet with them before you leave town. Your attorney will need to immediately begin the process of investigating the crash, gathering information on the other driver, and putting together your medical records so that we can prove both liability and the amount of your damages.
What Laws Apply if I’m in a Car Wreck in Another State?
In most cases, South Carolina insurance laws and South Carolina personal injury laws will apply when you are in an auto accident in Myrtle Beach.
Our laws may be very different from what you expect based on your home state’s laws, which is another reason you should consult with a local attorney as soon as possible – differences may include whether you can stack multiple insurance policies, the availability of punitive damages, caps on damages, comparative negligence, and many other differences in both substantive laws and court rules.
With some exceptions, the location of the accident determines which court your case is filed in and what laws will apply.
Preventing Car Wrecks on Vacation
It’s a fact that there are more accidents during holidays and peak vacation times, around the country and in Myrtle Beach. Stress, alcohol and drug use, heavier traffic, unfamiliar surroundings, and unfamiliar traffic patterns all combine to create conditions that are ripe for traffic collisions.
There are a few things that you can do to increase your chance of staying safe on the roads, including:
- Drive in the daytime – for various reasons, more accidents happen after sunset;
- Take breaks and have a backup driver – drowsy driving is a leading cause of car wrecks;
- Be aware of your surroundings – the Myrtle Beach area is full of road construction sites and unexpected hazards like potholes or wildlife on the road;
- Don’t drink and drive, and assume that other people are drinking and driving; and
- Follow the law – seatbelts, traffic laws, traffic signals, and leave space between yourself and the car in front of you.
South Carolina Auto Accident Lawyers in Myrtle Beach
The Myrtle Beach car wreck attorneys at Coastal Law have years of experience getting full and fair compensation for our clients in Horry County and statewide. We understand the stress and trauma that families go through when a vacation turns to tragedy, and we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate what may be one of the most difficult times in their lives.
Call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or email us online to speak with your personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach today.