Car wrecks in orangeburg county


From fender benders to head-on collisions, an automobile accident can leave you confused about which steps to take next.

We have questions and answers below on what to do following the car accident, how to handle medical and personal injury situations, what to do if you've suffered property damage, how to file insurance claims, and when you should hire an attorney.

What are the first steps I should take after a car crash?
What kind of evidence should I collect at the accident scene?
Should I call the police after an accident?
Why is It important to get a copy of the police report?
Should I admit fault for the accident?
Should I always see a doctor after a car accident?
How do I know if I have a “personal injury” case?
What if my injuries keep me from working?
What kinds of medical records should I keep?
Should I provide the other driver's insurance company with my medical records?
Should I allow my own health insurance to cover my medical bills?
Should I continue driving my car?
How should I have my car inspected and/or appraised?
What if my car is totaled?
Can I get a rental car?
How should I choose a car accident attorney?
How long do I have to initiate a lawsuit?

Assess the situation
After the collision, quickly determine whether anyone is harmed. If so, call 911 to get an ambulance on the scene. Even if nobody is harmed, call the police if there is notable damage or if anyone involved is acting aggressively.

Contemplate contacting law enforcement even if the conflict was minor and everyone is cooperating. That way you’ll have a report to give to your insurance company. In some cities, an officer won’t be sent out unless the accident is severe. If this occurs, you’ll have to file your report with law enforcement.

If the vehicles included are still functional, get them off the main road. If you have flares, set them up to alert other vehicles. If there seems to be a risk of explosion, get everyone to safety.

Remain cautious because drivers looking at the damage might not notice you.

Document the crash
State laws differ as to how much information you’re required to present at an accident scene. Usually, you need to give only your name and your insurance information to any other motorists involved.

If the other motorist doesn’t have to show his license, ask anyhow to confirm his identity. If he declines, get a photo of him while taking a picture of vehicle damage; that way, he can’t later claim he or she wasn’t included.

Some car insurance companies allow free mobile apps to their consumers that help document the specifications and the scene of the accident.

Don’t have a smartphone app? Sketch a diagram of the accident and make notes about how the collision happened, including the way in which each vehicle was moving. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses also.

Do not say that the collision was your fault, even if you might think it is. Don’t state anything like “I’m all right,” either, since you may be injured and not realize it.

Determine what insurance coverage would apply
The insurance claims process depends on who's fault the collision was and on the kinds of coverage held by the motorists. Supposing you were at fault, here’s how the insurance might shake down:

Other driver’s medical bills: These would be incorporated up to the limits of your bodily harm liability coverage, which is needed in most states. In the 12 no-fault states, the other motorist’s personal injury protection coverage would come into effect.

Assume you didn’t have car insurance or don't have sufficient coverage to pay the other person's bills? Uninsured motorist coverage is needed in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and a number of those states also expect underinsured motorist coverage.

Your own injuries: The medical payments coverage part of your own policy would act in tandem with your health insurance coverage.

Other driver’s vehicle: Your property damage liability coverage will reimburse for repairs up to the policy’s limit.

Your own car: Collision coverage will cover repairs up to the vehicle’s cash value, minus a deductible of course. Usually, this coverage is voluntary, unless you’re financing or leasing a vehicle.

Emergency roadside service: This is an option but becomes beneficial if you need a tow truck to get to the repair shop. This service is one of the advantages of AAA membership; nevertheless, it’s typically cheaper to get emergency roadside service from your auto insurance. The negative is that using it will count as an insurance claim, and too many claims will cause your rates to increase.

Temporary transportation: Rental car reimbursement coverage is also an option but very beneficial. Be conscious that you’ll probably require collision and comprehensive coverage in order to add rental car reimbursement and to add emergency roadside service.

Decide whether to file a claim
If a collision was your fault and the damage looks small, it’s tempting to attempt to pay for the other person's repairs. But it might be a lot more expensive than you imagine.

Some insurance companies allow “accident forgiveness,” which means your at-fault accident may not end in higher premiums. If you don’t have this, prepare for a premium rate increase that could last years.

When the collision isn’t your fault, the other operator's insurance should step up. You might be able to apply your own insurance upfront.

Collision coverage: Filing a claim might mean quicker service but might also mean spending money on a deductible. Your insurer will presumably ask the other driver’s insurance company for compensation and then refund you any deductible. In addition, you could instantly take advantage of rental car reimbursement coverage, if you have it of course. Nevertheless, deductible reimbursement can take a while (up to months), and there’s no promise that you’ll get it back.

PIP or medical payments coverage: You can apply the same process of filing an injury claim through your own insurance. You would still have the right to sue for serious injuries you may have suffered.

The other driver’s insurance company will examine and find out whether its client was responsible. After that, you’ll either be asked to get an estimate, or an insurance adjuster will evaluate the damage. You’ll also get a rental car until your own transportation is fixed.

The company will also include your medical costs except if you live in a no-fault state that is. But in both cases, you’ll be compensated only up to the liability coverage limits your company offers.

Just surviving an auto accident can feel like a success. But don’t let your post-crash shock divert you from taking care of important business, both at the accident scene and in dealing with insurance problems. Don't forget to contact an experienced lawyer to answer your questions.

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