What To Do After A Truck Accident in South Carolina?
Taking the right steps after a semi-truck accident in South Carolina can help you get the biggest return on your accident claim. However, considering the pain you’re likely experiencing and the anxiety you feel because you can’t work, it is understandable you might not know what to do. You’re not alone. Most people are confused and angry after a truck accident. Knowing what to do after an 18-wheeler accident can help you protect your right to compensation.
The Peace Law Firm understands how difficult it is to deal with the aftermath of a truck accident. Our experienced team will take on the burden of pursuing the largest settlement possible for you while you focus on caring for your family and healing from your injuries.
What to Do After an Accident With a Semi-Truck?
Colliding with a semi-truck probably frightened you beyond words. Semi-trucks are much larger than passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs. Consequently, anyone in a passenger car that collides with a big rig will likely sustain a serious injury. You might be so shaken up by the crash that the adrenaline rush you experience masks your injuries. You might even feel lucky to be alive. We have compiled a list of things you can do to protect yourself and your family after a truck crash.
South Carolina law requires drivers involved in a collision involving death or bodily injuries to report the incident and to stop immediately near the accident scene or as close to the scene as practicable.
You can move the vehicles aside if they are operable so they do not obstruct traffic. However, you do not have to move your car to the side of the road if doing so might endanger someone.
The 911 operator will ask you if anyone sustained any injuries and if you need medical assistance. Answer honestly and request medical help as needed, including for yourself.
Sadly, many severe and fatal injuries are not obvious at the accident scene. You might only feel like you bruised your sternum because the seatbelt restrained you, but you could have internal bleeding that requires immediate treatment. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should still get checked out by a medical professional right away.
Document the Scene
South Carolina law requires drivers involved in accidents to file written accident reports with the law enforcement agency investigating the crash. However, you should talk to an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer before you file the report.
Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney before filing your crash report ensures you make a complete and accurate statement. Otherwise, an insurance defense lawyer might use the incomplete statement against you.
It is extremely helpful to take photos of the area where the crash occurred, noting traffic signs, traffic patterns, weather conditions, lines of sight, and the vehicles as they are immediately after the crash. Try to find surveillance cameras in the area as well. Documenting the scene lets you refer back to pictures or videos so that you can accurately recall what happened.
You should collect contact information from the witnesses, including their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Chances are the police will locate witnesses to the crash and include their statements in the final report. However, the report might not be done for a while. Identifying witnesses and giving their information to your truck accident lawyer can help them get started on their investigation right away.
Keep in mind that your health and safety must be your priority. You should refrain from taking photos or videos if you are hurt and need medical attention.
Watch What You Say
Staying calm and thinking rationally is incredibly hard in situations like the aftermath of a truck collision. Do the best you can to keep cool.
You do not have to say much beyond identifying yourself to the police and other motorists involved. You also have to provide your driver’s license and proof of insurance. That’s it.
Do not apologize to anyone about the incident. Someone might misconstrue your apology as an admission of guilt. Do not admit fault either. Given the stress of the situation, you might be wrong. A complete and thorough investigation into your accident will determine who is at fault or if both parties share the blame.
Handling Insurance Companies After an 18-Wheeler Accident in South Carolina
We have learned several important lessons throughout our decades of experience handling truck accidents. We can predict that the truck driver’s insurance company will try to speak with you. You should politely decline and call us right away. You have no obligation to talk to them. However, you do need to cooperate with your insurance company, and your lawyer can help you fulfill that obligation.
Insurance adjusters might contact you to offer an early settlement. You should decline their offer and refer them to your lawyer. They cannot speak to you after you tell them to talk to your attorney.
Similarly, do not sign any medical authorizations without first speaking with your attorney. Our firm will collect your medical records and distribute them as the law requires.
Here are some additional pointers that could help you maximize your financial recovery.
First, do not miss any doctor appointments. Reschedule if you cannot make a certain appointment. Otherwise, you give the impression that you do not care or do not have the injuries you claim to have.
You should also keep a journal where you document your symptoms. Record as much as you can about your recovery. Note both good and bad days and describe your emotions. This information can help your attorney support your claim later on.
Still Have Questions About Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in South Carolina?
If you’ve been in a truck accident, the Peace Law Firm can protect your rights. We have extensive experience helping our clients get the compensation they deserve and a proven track record of outstanding results. At Peace Law Firm, we never take a fee unless you win. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.