Car accidents can happen when we least expect them to and are capable of leaving victims with extremely serious injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives. If you have been hurt in a car accident, you should be aware of the fact that South Carolina law often entitles people to recover financial compensation for their economic and noneconomic losses, including the following:
Importantly, while car accident victims may be legally entitled to recover compensation, they are still required to take certain steps in order to receive it. Additionally, there are certain actions that victims can take that may either increase or diminish their chances of actually receiving financial compensation. In the information provided below, some of the steps that victims can take to protect their legal right to recovery are detailed. For more information or to discuss a specific case, call our office today.
After a car accident, many people are shaken and confused, and may be unable to clearly remember how the accident occurred. Your first instinct may be to say “I’m sorry” to the other people involved, particularly if they are injured or if their vehicle has sustained significant damage. While this sentiment may be understandable, it is extremely important to stop yourself from apologizing to anyone at the scene of the accident. Unfortunately, an apologize may come across as an admission of fault, which may significantly complicate your case and jeopardize your ability to recover compensation at all.
These days, taking to social media to express your thoughts and feelings is commonplace among many people. In a day and age where people post about what they eat for their Tuesday lunch, involvement in a car accident is sure to be viewed by many as social media-worthy. If you have been involved in an accident and would like to recover compensation, however, it is highly advisable to stay off social media as much as possible. Posts about the accident could accidentally imply that you were at fault and those about other activities could be used to argue that your injuries are less severe that you claim, and there is no guarantee that your privacy settings will keep a determined insurance adjuster from viewing your account. In short, nothing you could do on social media could help you case, but it could certainly hurt it.
Another thing that accident victims can do to protect their legal right to recovery is record as much information about their accident as possible. Examples of the types of facts to make note of include the names of the drivers involved, whether any of the vehicles were owned by businesses, insurance policy information, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, whether there were any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident, the license plate numbers of the vehicles involved, and the like. Additionally, if you have the ability to take pictures of the aftermath of the accident, it is generally a good idea to do so.
It is critical to seek medical attention after you are involved in an accident, even if you do not think that you have been seriously hurt. There are certain injuries, notably whiplash, which may not become symptomatic for days or even weeks after the initial trauma occurred. In addition, there are certain injuries that may not seem serious until the symptoms linger for a significant period of time and start to affect your ability to function as you did before the accident took place.
By seeing a physician and undergoing a thorough medical evaluation, you can be sure that your injuries are identified and that you start the recommended course of treatment as soon as possible. In addition, seeing a medical professional will result in the creation of a medical record that can be important in the event that the person or party responsible for your injuries argues that your injuries were actually caused by another event or that they are not as serious as you are claiming.
Many accident victims receive settlement offers from insurance companies shortly after their crash, especially in cases where liability is clear. It is critically important for victims to talk to an attorney before accepting an offer, as insurance companies regularly lowball victims who have not retained legal representation. This is because determining the value of an accident claim can be extremely difficult, and many victims significantly undervalue their claims. When you accept a settlement offer, you are giving your right to sue at a later date, meaning that you will not be able to recover any additional compensation, even if it turns out that you experience significantly more losses than the amount of your settlement.
An attorney will thoroughly evaluate your case and ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. In the event that the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to trial, if necessary.
Putting your life back together after a serious car accident can be tremendously difficult, particularly in cases in which you have sustained severe injuries that affect you on a daily basis. It is important to understand that you do not have to go through the process of healing and recovering compensation for your losses by yourself. With more than 30 years of experience successfully representing the rights of injured victims, our Anderson car accident lawyers have the skill and experience required to successfully recover on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today.
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.