Don't Panic. Stay calm, stay focused, and stay out of the way of oncoming traffic. Cars and trucks collide every day across the United States. In fact, there are millions of wrecks every year in the US. The vast majority of these wrecks are minor fender-benders. But even a minor crash can shake you up enough to forget crucial facts and critical details at the scene of the collision.
If anyone has been injured, the first calls after the accident should be to emergency responders. Even if no one has been injured, you may be required to call the police to report the accident. In South Carolina, some accidents are required to be reported. After everyone involved is secure, it is time to take notes and pictures. Most everyone these days has a camera in their pocket. Pull out your camera and document the scene. Take pictures or video of all vehicles and each vehicle's license plate, the roads, the intersections nearby, the traffic signals, the lane markings, and witnesses. Take a picture of the other driver's insurance card, if you can.
Write down the other party's insurance information, and the names and contact information of any witnesses. Ask the witnesses what they saw and write that down next to their name. These steps may sound basic, but it is all too easy to forget what to do in these extremely stressful moments. Having useful information, video, and photographs will likely expedite resolution of your claim.
Never be pressured into accepting responsibility or liability for the accident. With some types of collisions, like rear-end collisions, the involved parties may think that the blame is easily assigned. This is not always true. There may be facts you don't know that could lead to a legal conclusion like contributory negligence, which would shift at least part of the blame to the other party. Never sign anything at the scene of an accident unless the police ask you to do so. The only thing you need to exchange with the other driver is your insurance information.
After a wreck, your insurance premium may rise if you file a claim. The decision of whether to file a claim to fix your vehicle is a basic one: if the cost to repair is less than your deductible, pay for the repair out of pocket instead of filing a claim.
Finally, call Surasky! Our attorneys can help you avoid needless headache and worry. We will help you get what you deserve and get on with your life.