Statistically, there are approximately 1.35 million people who die each year in a vehicle accident worldwide. Moreover, in the United States, it is expected that 4.4 million people who are injured in a car accident crash require medical attention. Suppose you have been involved in a car accident in Columbia, SC, and have been injured, you likely don’t know who to contact or what to do. That’s why you need to work with a lawyer after a car crash.
In addition to working with an attorney, it is crucial you know what you need to do after being involved in a car accident. If you know what you should do, you will encounter fewer issues and have an easier time initiating a lawsuit if you hope to gain compensation.
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The Steps You Need to Take if You Have Been Involved in a Car Accident in Columbia
Knowing what to do after a car accident or disaster could be the difference between a favorable and unfavorable lawsuit outcome. Additionally, car crash situations are often incredibly emotional and financially stressful. If you know what to do, you won’t panic, nor will you worsen the situation you are in. Should you have been involved in an accident already, you can still utilize these steps to explain to your attorney what you did.
Get Yourself and Your Vehicle off the Road
When involved in a vehicle accident, usually, the best course of action is to first get yourself and your vehicle off the road and out of harm’s way, if possible. Under certain circumstances, this isn’t always a possibility, especially if you have been severely injured. That’s why you need to remember to always be cautious and evaluate your situation before taking action.
If you can get off the road and into a safe area, you can do what you can to alert people of the accident. Often this is done with a traffic triangle or by placing your hazards on. Additionally, if you have flares, it could be a good idea to use them if the accident has occurred at night.
Contact Emergency Services and Your Attorney
After you have reached safety, you need to contact 911, as they will send first responders to the scene and a police unit. If you contact 911, they will be able to assess your injuries and treat any that you may have. They will also be able to take you to the hospital if your injuries are severe enough.
Additionally, when the police are sent to the scene of your accident, they will be able to file a police report. This report is crucial if you want to try and attain compensation by initiating a personal injury claim.
Once you have contacted emergency services, the next thing you need to do is speak with your attorney. If an attorney is aware of the situation at hand, they are able to advise you on what you should and should not do. They can also help you through the evidence retrieving stages and with the proceedings that follow.
Take Witness Statements and Photos of the Scene
If you are well enough after getting to safety and being seen by medical professionals, you need to take witness statements and photos of the accident scene. These witness statements will help police, insurance companies, and courts determine who was at fault for the accident.
Moreover, taking photos will act as evidence demonstrating the damages that occurred to your vehicle. It can also shed light on the particulars of why the accident occurred. This evidence will go a long way in helping you obtain compensation.
Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of if the 911 team of medical professionals states you are well enough to go home, you still need to seek medical attention. When you seek medical attention at a doctor or hospital, there will be a record of any injuries that you sustained. It will also ensure you have a record if you only later develop an injury from the accident. With these medical records, your attorney can use them to help you with a personal injury claim against those you believe to be responsible for the accident you were in.
Now you know the most important things you need to do if you have been involved in a car accident. However, if you follow these steps, you have a better chance of attaining compensation if you decide to initiate a lawsuit. Additionally, if you hire an attorney, they will be able to guide you through all the various legal proceedings. This will take the stress and hassle out of the situation while you focus on recovering.