What Not To Do After a Car Accident in South Carolina

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Navigating the aftermath of a car wreck can be difficult, especially if injuries or fatalities result from the incident. Recognizing what not to do after a car accident can be highly beneficial if you proceed with a personal injury claim. Our team of Charleston car accident attorneys at Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney in Charleston, South Carolina, understands that the steps you take after a wreck can have a direct impact on the success of your personal injury claim, as well as certain mistakes you may make along the way.

What Not To Do After a Car Accident

Emotions tend to run high after a car crash. As a result, many people make the same mistakes. Identifying and avoiding these pitfalls can increase your chances of succeeding in your personal injury claim.

1. Failing to report the incident

While failing to report the incident to authorities can hinder your chances of receiving the compensation you need when filing a personal injury claim, it may also lead to criminal charges. Failing to report a car accident with injuries or fatalities is a punishable offense in South Carolina.

You also have a legal obligation to complete and return the insurance verification form law enforcement gives you after the wreck within 15 days of the incident. Failing to do so may lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. It may also result in your insurance company refusing to cover expenses related to the accident or dropping you entirely as a client.

2. Admitting fault

Admitting fault is another example of what not to do after a car crash, as doing so may lead to considerable legal and financial repercussions. Admitting fault implies liability, which can impact your insurance coverage or personal injury claim.

Even if you suspect you might hold partial blame for the incident, avoid stating as much. Making any admissions of fault, whether to others involved in the accident or law enforcement, is an example of what not to do after a car accident — and an example of something that can come back to haunt you by complicating your injury claim.

3. Failing to seek prompt medical attention

It is wise to seek prompt medical attention after a car crash, even if you believe your injuries are minor.

There are two main reasons for doing so. First, some types of car accident injuries, such as whiplash or certain head, back or neck injuries, do not always become apparent until some time after the initial incident occurs. Second, if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your injuries, having medical documentation highlighting their severity adds strength and credibility to your claim.

While delaying medical attention can hinder your ability to recover from your injuries fully, it can also make it harder to pursue legal recourse after a wreck.

4. Discussing the incident on social media

Another example of what not to do after a car accident involves discussing the case or your injuries on social media. Doing so may lead to unintended and detrimental consequences. For starters, anything you post may come back to bite you. It is common for insurance companies or attorneys on the other side to monitor the social media profiles of those involved in crashes, and you want to make sure that nothing you post could potentially threaten your ability to collect compensation.

While you may feel a temptation to post about the incident on social media, resist it. If you are pursuing compensation for injuries after your accident, you may also want to think twice before posting photos or videos of you engaging in physical activities, even if they took place long ago. Insurance companies or attorneys for the opposition may use them to suggest that your injuries were not, in fact, as serious as you claimed.

5. Accepting an insurance company’s initial offer

Accepting an insurance company’s initial offer is another example of what not to do after a car accident.

While an insurance company may make you an offer right away, it may do so to settle your claim quickly and avoid paying you even more.

If you accept an insurance company’s initial claim, you risk settling for an amount that may not reflect the true extent of your injuries, property damage and other losses. In many cases, an insurance company’s claim reflects injury costs alone, without considering other losses you might have experienced due to the car crash, such as lost wages or mental or emotional trauma. Before accepting an insurance company’s offer, consider the full extent of your losses and the long-term implications of your injury.

6. Attempting to handle the situation alone

Trying to navigate the aftermath of a car crash on your own is inadvisable. It may also prove detrimental to your case. Without the help of someone knowledgeable about state laws, liability and related matters, you risk accepting a low-ball offer or otherwise jeopardizing your claim.

Some people neglect to hire legal help after a car accident because they fear the expense involved.

However, many personal injury attorneys follow contingency fee arrangements, meaning they do not receive payment unless the case has a successful outcome. From understanding state laws to identifying what to do after a not-at-fault car accident, having a knowledgeable advocate by your side can increase your chances of a successful claim.

While avoiding these common car crash mistakes improves your chances of a positive resolution, it also increases the odds of you getting fair compensation for all of the losses you experienced in the crash.

Find Out What Not To Do After a Car Accident From Our Attorneys

Need a hand navigating the aftermath of a Charleston, South Carolina car crash? The team at Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney knows what goes into crafting a successful personal injury claim. Trey helps by advising you on what not to do after a car accident to avoid common pitfalls and strengthen your case. Call us today to discuss your situation and identify your next steps.

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