Car accidents can be complicated. Not only do you have to focus on healing from your physical and emotional injuries, but you also might have car damage, missed work, and other stress-inducing issues to handle. But when your accident was out-of-state, you could have yet another headache to deal with.
That’s where a car accident lawyer from Solomon Law Group in Columbia comes in. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process of filing an out-of-state car accident claim since it can be complicated and confusing. Let’s take a look at what you should do after a car accident so that you are prepared to take action.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident
Even though your accident was out-of-state, the protocol that you should follow immediately after your car accident is the same as it is after an in-state collision. Here’s what you should do to maximize the potential for your safety as well as for making your claim:
- Assess the situation. The first thing you should do is assess your situation and try to figure out if you have any injuries. If the pain is too bad, don’t move until emergency services arrive. If you can move, then you’ll want to get out of your car and out of the way of more danger.
- Call 911. You should call emergency services so that emergency medical services and the police can come to the scene and evaluate any serious injuries immediately as well as evaluate the scene.
- Take pictures of the scene. You’ll want to document the scene as much as possible. Take pictures of your injuries as well as any damage done to your car. You should also take pictures of the whole scene so that investigators can more effectively figure out what happened and determine fault.
- Exchange contact information. You and the other driver need to exchange contact and insurance information so that you are prepared to file a claim later. It’s important that you don’t apologize or place blame on anyone in this exchange because it can be used against you later. At this point, you can also ask any witnesses for their contact information if they are willing to make a statement about the accident.
- Get medical attention. Regardless of how much pain you feel after an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes adrenaline can mask the pain, so it’s best to get checked out quickly.
- Contact a lawyer. Since you’re out-of-state and probably not familiar with all of that state’s laws, you should hire a car accident attorney to ensure that you have proper guidance through your claim.
Consider State Laws and Your Auto Insurance Policy
In South Carolina, we are a fault-based state where drivers at fault for the collision are responsible for damages and other costs. But if you are in a car accident out of your usual state, their fault laws could be different from ours. For example, some other states, like Kentucky, follow a no-fault law when a car accident happens. This means that no matter who caused the accident, each driver involved must use their own insurance to cover their injuries and damages from an accident.
So while other states might have different fault laws, with our insurance laws, you will most likely be covered in the event of an out-of-state accident. Our state requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 for all persons injured in one accident. You also need to carry a minimum of $25,000 for property damage in one accident. Unlike many other states, South Carolina also requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage equal to the liability minimums, where there is typically a $200 deductible.
Contact Solomon Law Group
Even though your auto wreck was not in South Carolina, you still might need our legal counsel to help you through the process. Car accidents can cause incredible amounts of physical and emotional damage. When you weren’t the at-fault driver, you deserve to be compensated for your expenses. If you’re not sure where to go from here, reach out to our office today so that we can discuss your options and your best course of action moving forward.