Four Quick Tips if You're Involved in a Car Accident
DO Call the Police or Highway Patrol.
This may seem obvious, but many folks won*t call if the collision seems minor. Don*t be one of those people. There are two reasons to call: First, they will respond and make sure everything: drivers, passengers, vehicles, etc. are safe and drivable. Second, they will prepare an accident report that serves as evidence that a collision happened, the people involved, what insurance companies are responsible, and identify the at-fault party. This evidence is valuable if either party (or their insurer) does not accept liability or refuses to settle.
DO Get Medical Treatment (if needed)
Car wrecks are traumatic, violent, and happen in the blink of an eye. Moments after impact, your heart is pounding, knees weak, arms heavy (okay, only if your Eminem). Let a doctor make the decision whether something is wrong, whether you are injured, and whether further treatment is necessary. The other benefit of immediately seeking treatment is the creation of a paper trail- hard evidence in the form of medical records that can come into play down the road if the at-fault party contests your claim.
DON*T Rush to Settle Your Case
Without knowing the long term consequences of your injuries, it is impossible to accurately estimate how much it will cost to get the care you need. While it is tempting to go ahead and quickly wrap up your case, until a doctor can tell you *This is what the issue is- you will need this future treatment,* settlement is premature. Firms that pride themselves on quickly settling claims often leave money on the table and clients with undiagnosed, untreated medical issues.
DO Inquire about UIM Benefits (if you don*t have it, get it; if you do have it, use it)
Underinsured motorist coverage is offered on every policy sold in South Carolina, however, most folks don*t know they have it, or don*t know what it does. UIM coverage protects you if the at fault party has little insurance coverage. Remember, this is a benefit YOU pay for, to protect YOU from drivers with little insurance. Don*t be afraid to use it.
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