When you’ve been in an accident, the entire process can be stressful. You have injuries, bills, and it feels like everything is piling up. We’re taught how to avoid accidents on the road, but not what to do once we’ve been in one. Thankfully, there are experienced Charleston car accident attorneys like David Aylor to help! Regardless of the type of accident you have been in, there is a protocol you should follow after you’ve been in an accident.
What are the steps of a car accident claim?
- Call the police: You will need a police report to turn into your insurance company. So, once the police show up to give them your side of the story. Don’t admit any fault, just state what happened. An apology can even be seen as a sign of guilt.
- Go to the doctor: You need to make sure that you are ok after your accident. So, you should go visit a doctor to diagnose the extent of your injuries. You can also take this information with you to meet your attorney.
- Who is responsible?: Determining who caused your accident is essential in receiving your compensation. In South Carolina, if you are found over 51% responsible for your accident, you will receive no compensation. If you are found at all responsible, you will receive a lower settlement amount. It’s important that your claim supports your innocence in your car accident.
- Get evidence: You can go back to the scene of the accident to take pictures. In fact, most victims of car accidents will take pictures directly following their accidents. It’s also important to note the weather, but this will be on your police report if you forget. Finally, you can get the names of witnesses.
- Demand letter: This is where you demand that your injuries are compensated and the amount you need to cover these injuries and damages. The other party can respond with a counter offer.
- Settle the case: Your attorney will work on your behalf and negotiate with the defense. Most cases don’t go to court, but an experienced car accident attorney can go to court if they need to. However, most cases will negotiate a fair settlement before the case is escalated to court.
Do I need an attorney?
It depends. Some victims of car accidents always retain the services of an attorney, while others handle their cases on their own. If you have significant damages and injuries, you should always hire an attorney. We recommend at least meeting with an attorney following your accident, as the consultations are free. That way, if you have any issues with the insurance companies, you have already spoken to a lawyer that you can hire to handle your case. When you are relying on your settlement to cover your property damage and medical bills, you deserve a proper settlement.
How long do claims take to go through?
It depends on the insurance companies. In some circumstances, a case could be closed and filed within 30 days. In other accidents, you should spend years fighting back and forth with the insurance companies and other parties. The more complex the case is, the longer it takes to settle.
Hire a Charleston car accident attorney today
If you have been in a car accident because of the carelessness of someone else, you could be entitled to a settlement. You only have a limited amount of time to file your claim, so you should contact our offices immediately. We will review the details of your case and go over your options. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.