After an accident, you may feel like there are hundreds of things that you have to do. Contact your insurance company, go to a doctor, bring your car to an auto body shop, and consult with an attorney—and the list goes on. However, it’s possible that what you don’t do at the scene of an accident may be more important than what you do. The following list of things to avoid can help you after being involved in an accident.
DON’T Hesitate to Call the Police
You may believe that a minor fender bender doesn’t merit the involvement of law enforcement officers and that you can handle it yourself. The other driver may believe that you can manage the situation collectively and not get the police involved. No matter what the amount of damage, it is important to call police and report the accident. Police officers can help determine who is at fault and will develop an official record of your accident. They are trained in recognizing damage and putting together your story and the other driver’s version of what happened to get a big picture view. An officer’s observations can be very helpful in dealing with insurance companies or at trial.
DON’T Leave the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident, or “hit and run” carries serious penalties in South Carolina. If a person hits a car and flees, they could face a minimum of 30 days in jail and fines up to $1000. If you hit an individual and cause bodily injury or death, the penalties could be much higher.
DON’T Say More Than You Have To
Admitting fault or liability in a spur of the moment outburst can hurt your case later on. You should be cooperative with the other driver and law enforcement—but even saying that you’re sorry could end up working against you. Make sure the other driver has not been injured and does not need immediate medical attention. Otherwise, as a general rule, the less you say at the scene of an accident the better.
DON’T Assume You are Fine
After an accident you may feel more embarrassed than anything else. However, just because you feel fine after an accident does not necessarily mean that you did not suffer any injuries. Some injuries from car accidents won’t show symptoms until hours or days later. It is always a good idea to consult a medical professional before deciding on your own that you did not get injured in the accident.
DO Call an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, you may be overwhelmed by all you have to do to make things right again. However, you don’t have to make decisions alone. The accident attorneys at Surasky Law have experience in helping individuals through each aspect of their case, from moments after the initial crash, to helping ensure that long term medical expenses are taken care of.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.