You see the car pull out in front of you. You stomp on the brakes, but it’s too late. There’s the screech of tires, the crunch of collapsing steel, the stench of burned rubber and oil, that terrifying moment when you try to find out if everyone in the car is OK. What do you do now? Obviously, your priority is emergency medical care and cleaning up the aftermath. If you can, however, you should also begin the process of gathering the evidence that we will need to help you get compensation for you and your family. Below, we will go through some of the things that you may need to do immediately after your accident.
What to do at the Scene of the Accident
If you are able, the first thing you should do after a car accident is call the police. If anyone on the scene is injured, dial 911 and a dispatcher will send the appropriate law enforcement and medical personnel. If no one is injured, call the non-emergency number for the highway patrol or local police. If it is not necessary for you to be transported by medical personnel, there are steps you can take at the scene to preserve any evidence that you may need to file your personal injury claim or lawsuit. As long as it does not place you or anyone else in danger or interfere with emergency personnel, there are a few things that you can do at the scene of the accident:
- Ensure that you give the police accurate information – your attorney, the insurance company’s attorneys, and others involved in the case will often rely on the accident report for objective information about what happened;
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident;
- Take photographs of the vehicles involved, any property damage, and any injuries;
- Talk to witnesses and ask for their name, phone number, address, and email address; and
- Ask witnesses to write a statement describing what they saw.
What to do After the Accident
After the excitement dies down a bit, there are a few more things that you may need to take care of:
- Even if you did not require emergency medical care, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. You may not feel hurt, and hopefully you are not, but some car crash injuries like back injuries, head injuries, and soft tissue injuries, are not obvious until days or even weeks later. If you wait too long after the crash to get diagnosed and treated, the insurance company may claim that you were not injured or that there was another cause of the injuries…
- If you were taken to the hospital, give your insurance information to the hospital staff and find out how to get a copy of your medical records before you leave.
- Notify your insurance company immediately with a phone call. You must let them know an accident occurred, but do not give them details, a statement, or answer questions until you have talked to your personal injury lawyer.
- Do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company at all until you have talked to your personal injury lawyer.
- Contact your Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to find out what your options are.
Myrtle Beach SC Auto Accident Lawyers
At Coastal Law, we help people who have been hurt in auto accidents to get compensation from the at-fault drivers or their insurance company. We will help you to determine who was at fault and how to collect from them. Call us now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.