Motor vehicle accidents can result in property damage, personal injury, and in worst cases, catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Insurance companies work to pay out as little as possible and losses are even greater if the at-fault driver is uninsured. If you have suffered damages, whether it is loss of transportation, loss of income or costly medical bills, a Six Mile motor vehicle accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After A Car Accident
Car crashes can be disorienting and confusing, even without bodily injury or severe property damage. Knowing exactly what to do in the event of a motor vehicle collision can not only bring you peace of mind but can also help protect your health and recover financial losses. The following checklist is the best way to avoid further complications related to the incident.
Stop Your Vehicle
This step seems obvious but is crucial. Leaving the scene of an accident can lead to serious criminal charges. After a traffic collision, if all vehicles are operable and no persons are injured, drivers should move their automobiles to a safe area that obstructs traffic the least. Many people think you should leave the car where the accident occurred, but obstructing roads can lead to more accidents and injuries and can delay emergency assistance.
Contact Law Enforcement
Reporting a car accident to local law enforcement is the legal duty of the drivers. When law enforcement arrives, the police officer will file a police report. The police report will document the details of the event and name the at-fault driver. This can be crucial evidence in the event of a dispute or lawsuit.
Exchange Personal Information
When involved in an auto collision, you should always exchange information with the other driver(s), passengers, and any witnesses. You should collect the names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance information, and license plate numbers of the owner and/or driver of any vehicle involved. Collecting the name and phone numbers of any passengers or witnesses can be helpful to corroborate your story for insurance claims and the legal process.
Documenting as much of the scene as possible is very important to provide a clear understanding of events in case the liable party tries to dispute your story. Besides collecting witness information and filing a police report, you should take pictures of the scene. Photograph any damage on all vehicles and the location of the incident.
If you are near a business or residence with security cameras, you may ask for a copy of the footage. Also write down any information about the weather conditions, traffic conditions, road defects, and driver behavior. You never know what details could be relevant to the claims process.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you are not experiencing pain or believe your physical injuries are minor, you should always seek medical attention from an urgent care facility or from your primary care physician. Certain injuries may not be immediately present, like traumatic brain injuries or internal bleeding. It's important to get them treated immediately. Not only to prevent further harm but also to have accurate documentation that your injuries were caused by the accident and not by another incident. For severe injuries, contact local emergency medical services to receive medical care on the scene.
Contact An Attorney
An attorney can help by gathering evidence, filing insurance claims, and proving liability in order to collect a fair settlement. Beyond compensation for property damages, you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, loss of income, and mental anguish. A personal injury lawyer will work hard to protect your rights and help you receive maximum compensation.
Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents We Handle
At Trey Merck Law, we provide legal representation for a variety of personal injury claims involving traffic collisions including:
We handle claims related to incidents involving commercial trucks like semis, delivery trucks, and garbage trucks. Common truck accidents include rollovers, rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, jackknife accidents, t-bone accidents, side-swipe, and wide turn collisions.
Motorcycle crashes are extremely common and carry a lot of risks. Most motorcycle collisions are caused by the failure of another driver to detect the presence of a motorcycle. Because these incidents usually result in serious injury, it is very important to enlist the aid of an experienced auto accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.
If you were involved in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft, our firm will handle your case. Whether you were injured as a passenger, as a pedestrian, or your vehicle was struck by an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be entitled to additional compensation. You should report the accident to the company immediately. Speak to a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement, as the company will likely try to lowball you.
Similarly to motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents carry a high risk of extensive injury and are often the fault of the driver. Drivers have a duty to operate with a reasonable degree of care in order to prevent such events. Bicycle crashes are often the result of distracted drivers, drunk drivers, negligent drivers, or reckless driving. Violation of traffic laws is an easy way to prove liability.
How Much Does a Car Accident Attorney Cost?
On average, experienced car accident attorneys charge between 33-40% of the settlement. The more simple the case, the lower you may be charged. Complex cases that cannot be handled out of the courtroom will generally be at the higher end of that range. Most accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee, meaning you only pay if you receive a favorable outcome. This is a great incentive for your attorney to work hard on your case.
How Long Do You Have to File an Accident Claim in SC?
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for most automobile accidents is three years from the date of the collision. Accidents involving a government vehicle are given two years to file a lawsuit. For incidents involving a minor, the clock for the statute of limitations does not begin until the minor child turns 18.
How a Lawyer Can Help You With an Accident Claim
An experienced attorney can help gather evidence, review your case, complete the insurance process, negotiate with insurance providers, and if necessary file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. A lawyer's job is to help you get fair compensation to cover any damages incurred. This can include property damage, medical bills, loss of income, loss of enjoyment, and financial compensation for pain and suffering.
Don't hesitate to take action by contacting an attorney to fight for the settlement you deserve. Contact Trey Merck to begin your free consultation today.