Preparing a Car Accident Claim

Each year, there are millions of car accidents in the United States. If you haven’t already been in at least one auto accident, there’s a high chance that you will be in a car accident within your lifetime. Because the chances of being in a collision are so high, it’s important that all drivers know how to properly prepare to file a car accident claim.

Car accidents are stressful events. They have a way of making our hearts race and making our bodies be flooded with adrenaline. Often, a car crash can make it so we don’t think clearly. A crash makes it so we say and do the wrong things, which jeopardizes the claims process. After the initial shock of a crash, drivers frequently make these mistakes:

  • They flee the scene of an accident, which not only places the health and safety of the other parties in the crash, but leads to criminal charges.
  • They automatically say something to the effect of, “I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault!” Such admissions can seriously jeopardize the claims process, even if the driver was NOT at fault for the crash.
  • They fail to obtain the other driver’s license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance and registration. If the at-fault driver gives false information (e.g. fake phone number), he or she may be impossible to file a claim against if the innocent driver cannot track them down.
  • They wait too long to seek medical treatment. Failure to seek medical treatment after a crash in a timely manner sends a powerful message to the other party’s insurance company: “I’m not badly hurt” and this can hurt a claim.
  • They never call the police. This is NOT a good idea. It’s very important to have the police file a police report as this is valuable evidence to support a claim. Not only that, but it ensures the innocent driver that he or she has the other driver’s accurate information and they won’t disappear.

In order to properly prepare a car accident claim, you need to do the exact opposite of the items listed above. You need to: 1) stay at the scene of the accident and make sure you call an ambulance if necessary, 2) never admit guilt, even if you “think” you were at-fault for the crash, 3) always obtain all of the other driver’s information, including their plate and license numbers, 4) seek medical treatment asap after a crash (preferable within 48 hours), and 5) call the police to the scene and have them file a police report.

Contact a Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyer

These are the basics of what needs to be done to prepare for an accident claim. It also helps to document the scene by taking lots of pictures and of course, contacting a personal injury attorney right away. An experienced injury lawyer will ensure that your rights are fully protected and that the insurance company does not low-ball you out of the claim that you rightfully deserve.

To meet with a Columbia, SC injury attorney for free, contact the Law Offices of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today. We are here to help you in every way possible.

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