Put plainly, car accidents are unpleasant. They can lead to serious injuries and costly property damage. Fortunately, after leaving the scene of the crash, you can begin seeking the compensation you need to carry on with your life after the incident.
As you aim to move forward and heal from the event, it’s important to carefully follow-up. Because if you don’t take cautious steps, then you may wind up in legal trouble or without enough compensation to pay for all the medical bills you’ve accumulated.
Don’t hesitate to call for emergency help
The impact of the car crash can leave victims with injuries that require the help of a paramedic or an ambulance ride to the hospital. Sometimes people don’t face any life-threatening conditions, but their car isn’t drivable. In these cases, an emergency responder can help individuals get somewhere safe instead of waiting for a ride on the side of the road. Calling 9-1-1 allows both parties to get the emergency help they need. And if you don’t call for help, then you may face a misdemeanor charge. State law requires those involved in motor vehicle crashes to report the accident if it resulted in injury, death, at least $1,000 worth of property repairs for at least one party or a minimum of $2,000 in repairs between both parties.
Don’t take any of the blame.
You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t say anything about the accident being your fault. This starts with being extremely mindful about how you speak to the other party. Don’t apologize. Because even if you aren’t to blame and you are sorry anyone had to be involved, it’s best to simply ask them how they are doing, call for any necessary emergency help and share contact and insurance information.
While speaking to the police on the scene or an insurance adjuster after the accident, you should also be choosy with your words. You might not remember exactly how the accident unfolded because it happened so fast, so only discuss what you truthfully remember without taking the blame. This is because South Dakota is an at-fault state. Therefore, victims will seek compensation through the insurance company of the driver who caused the crash. The insurance adjuster might find that you are 30% at-fault, but you should leave that to them to figure out. Because if you give them reason to believe that you are 50% at fault or more, then you won’t be able to recover anything.
The at-fault party’s insurance might offer you a settlement quickly or at a low amount. So, another trap you’ll want to avoid after a crash is to take the first offer that comes your way. Reaching out to an experienced personal injury can help you get the damages and justice you deserve.