Automobile accidents can be a very traumatizing experience. Not to mention the possible pile of paperwork and confusing steps that need to be followed when seeking compensation from the insurance agency. The Rember Law Firm has expertise in dealing with these types of claims and is here to help you.
Know Your Rights
The first thing to do is remain calm; this will help you think more clearly about what needs to be done next. Make sure everyone in your vehicle is alright, and no one has been injured. If anyone is hurt or unresponsive, immediately call 911. If everyone is okay and your car is capable of driving, try to get it out of the way of the other drivers, so there are no more accidents, pullover to the side of the roadway and turn on your emergency lights. Turning on the emergency lights will help alert other drivers of an accident. Then contact the authorities about the accident.
When you've been a part of a pile-up or a situation where more than two vehicles are a part of a collision, figuring out the ins and outs of who is at fault and whose insurance covers whom can be daunting. We know how to cut through the confusion to get the proper people held responsible so you can focus on getting better rather than investigating fault.
Hit by Drunk Driver
In South Carolina, juries have zero tolerance for injuries caused by drunk drivers. Aside from returning large verdicts for pain and suffering, they also typically award substantial punitive damages. At the Rembert Law Firm, we've had a great deal of success leveraging the knowledge of what juries do with the insurance companies of drunk drivers to make sure that our clients are very often able to secure very large settlements without having to file suit or go to trial. And if the insurance companies don't want to play ball, we are more than ready to fight that fight in court.
Hit and Run
You can still recover if the person that hit you drove off. It's best if you can get their license plate, but even if you can't, report the collision to the police. Everyone in South Carolina is required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage and that usually is what we use to make sure your injuries get taken care of even when the other person drives off.
Passenger in Car Accident
If you're the passenger in a vehicle that's been involved in an accident, you are guaranteed* to recover. This is because liability simply cannot be the passenger('s') fault*. If you were the passenger in a car involved in a collision and have questions, give us a call and we'll talk through the scenarios and get you on the road to recovery. (*in all but the most unusual circumstances)
What to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident in South Carolina
If you've been in an accident in South Carolina, here are five things you should do at the scene
[according to the SC Department of Motor Vehicles' Driver's Manual and the SC Bar Association]
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
S.C. law requires you to stop your vehicle if it has not already been stopped by the accident. The law also require that you move your vehicle from the roadway to the shoulder after a collision. Aid the injured to the degree that you can that will notcause more harm unless necessity requires so (e.g. they are trapped in a smoking vehicle). Protect the accident scene as much as possible. TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF THE VEHICLES AND THE DAMAGE. If you have flares, flashing lights or a flashlight, use any of these to warn others that there has been an accident.
Report the Accident to the Police
In the event of an accident, notify law enforcement as soon as possible, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. This is to ensure your safety and to prevent traffic congestion, which can cause more collisions. Also, the police will need to investigate
the scene to determine fault.
Do Not Admit Fault
South Carolina law requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident to: give his or her name and address; provide the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving; and to show his or her driver’s license. Every law enforcement officer who investigates an auto accident must file a written report. You are obligated by law to assist any officer in this investigation by answering questions and discussing the circumstances. Be aware that any statement can be held against you. You should not admit or sign anything even if you think you were wrong. You may learn later that you were not at fault or that the other driver was equally at fault.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Identify yourself to the other driver by giving your name, address, driver’s license number and vehicle license number. Exchange your insurance company name and policy number using your insurance card or proof that the vehicle is insured. Additionally, the investigating officer will issue a form (insurance verification) to be completed by your liability insurance company verifying that insurance coverage was on the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Obtain the Names and Addresses of all Witnesses
Get the names and addresses of all witnesses. After writing down the names and addresses of any witnesses, try to get statements of what happened. If they will, have the witnesses write down this information at the scene. The investigating officer will also obtain this information. Always have a pencil and pad, as well as this pamphlet,
in your car.