If you have been in a car, motorcycle, truck, or other vehicle accident, there are important decisions that you must make almost immediately. These actions that you take at the scene of the accident and the next several days may have a huge effect on whether an insurance company compensates you for your losses as well as how much compensation they will pay. To ensure your rights and your compensation, you should take the following steps:
- Pull Over and Stop – If you have been in an accident, even if your vehicle is still drivable, you need to pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and stop at the accident scene. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in most states.
- Check for Injuries – Determine if you or any of your passengers have been injured, as well as the occupants in other vehicles. If there are any injuries, even minor, call an ambulance. Don’t try to move someone that is injured by yourself.
- Make Yourself Visible – To prevent further injuries, make your vehicle easy to see by raising the hood on your vehicle and turning on your hazard lights. This is also when you need to call the police. Even if you don’t feel like the accident is bad enough to have the police involved, an accident report by the police can be valuable later on.
- Exchange Information – While you are waiting on the police, exchange information with the other driver including their name, address, phone number, driver’s license information, and vehicle insurance information. Give your information to the other driver as well.
- Gather Witness Information – If anyone is present that witnessed the accident, attempt to get their contact information as well. Their testimony may be needed later on.
- Take Photographs – Having pictures of the scene of the accident can be valuable. Take photos of the surrounding area, marks on the road, traffic signals and signs, damage to any of the vehicles, and injuries if possible.
- Write Down Your Own Account of the Accident – Make a note of the circumstances of the accident and anything out of the ordinary that you noticed such as the speed limit, your speed at the time the accident occurred, weather conditions, your estimate of the other driver’s speed, and any other information that you feel might be valuable later on.
- Don’t Admit Fault – Who was at fault will be determined later on. Do not sign any waivers by the other driver or insurance company, and do not admit fault to anyone, even if you believe you might have been partially at fault.
- Seek Medical Attention – Even if you feel like you haven’t suffered a significant injury, it is important to be examined by your physician as soon as possible after the accident so they can document the accident. Some injuries don’t rear their ugly heads for days or weeks after the accident occurs.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you or your loved one has been in a car accident and it was due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact the David Aylor Law Offices today to schedule a consultation. We will review your situation and advise you of your legal rights.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.