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ARCHIVES: September 2015

5 Mistakes to Avoid Making after an Auto Accident

Getting hit by another driver can be as frustrating as it may be damaging. What you do in the immediate aftermath at the scene of the accident, however, can help you start to pick the pieces – or it could cause you to subvert a future auto accident claim.

To help you avoid doing anything that could cost you compensation later, below, we will point out some common missteps to avoid following an auto crash.

Dodge these Missteps following a Car AccidentKnowing the common mistakes to dodge after an auto crash can help you preserve a claim for compensation, a Columbia SC car accident lawyer explains. Here’s how & why.

  1. Knowing the common mistakes to dodge after an auto crash can help you preserve a claim for compensation, a Columbia SC car accident lawyer explains. Here’s how & why.

    Not calling the cops – Not reporting the wreck to police may save you a little bit of time now, but it can cost you significantly later. This is because police can gather important evidence and document crucial details regarding the collision in a police report. This may also be due to the fact that some auto insurance policies may require motorists to report more significant collisions to police (so there is a police report later). So, make sure you report a crash to the cops ASAP.

  2. Not taking pictures of the damage – If you are not too severely injured, don’t skip this important step as you wait for police and/or the OK to leave the scene. Use your cellphone (or another camera) to take as many photos of the damage caused by the wreck as you can. Having these pictures later can back up your version of the story. It may even provide additional important evidence regarding the weather conditions, road conditions, etc. at the time of the wreck.
  3. Apologizing for the accident – Do NOT do this. And do NOT admit or accept any blame for the collision, even if you think you may have been at least partially at fault. Apologies and fault admissions will likely come back to hurt a future claim, as insurers can use these statements to pin as much of the blame on you as possible and, in doing so, limit or deny you the payouts may have been entitled to otherwise (i.e., had you not accepted blame).
  4. Counting on insurers to be on your side – This is another big mistake that can cost you significantly, as insurance providers are typically not on claimants’ sides. Instead, insurers are on their own side, looking to protect their interests and profits by limiting their payouts to you. So, be very careful about what you say to insurers and don’t count on them to offer you the compensation you deserve. In all likelihood, they won’t.
  5. Not consulting with a lawyer – This may be the biggest mistake people make following auto crashes because failing to consult with an attorney can prevent people from understanding their rights and knowing how to protect their interests.

Contact a Columbia SC Car Accident Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a Columbia SC car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for effective legal advocacy moving forward. Since 1993, our lawyers have been committed to protecting the rights of people injured in traffic accidents and helping them succeed in their financial recovery.

Call our firm at (803) 929-3600 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

3 Myths about Personal Injury Cases that Can Cost You

The negligent actions of others can end up harming you on a physical, psychological and even financial level, especially if you are left with permanent impairments that prevent you from working and/or that require long-term medical care.

In these cases, you may have the opportunity to financially recover by pursuing a personal injury case against the negligent parties. However, if you believe certain myths about these cases, you may end up compromising your rights and claims to compensation before your case even gets started.

To help you avoid doing this, below, we will uncover the facts behind some common misconceptions about personal injury cases.

Don’t Be Misled by these Personal Injury Myths

Myth #1: I don’t have to file my case right away because there’s plenty of time to do so.

Believing these personal injury myths can cost you your financial recovery later, a Columbia SC personal injury attorney explains. Here’s why.

Fact: You really do not have “plenty” of time to file a personal injury case, as South Carolina law limits this time frame to three years. In other words, you will have three years from the date of your accident (or from the date on which your injuries were discovered) to file your case.

While a few years can seem like a substantial amount of time, it really is not in the legal arena, and putting off your case for too long can result in:

  • A loss of important evidence to support your case
  • Reduced payouts later if time deteriorates the strength of your case.

So, it’s strongly advised to move forward sooner – rather than later – when it comes to filing a personal injury case.

Myth #2: Whether or not I follow doctors’ orders won’t affect my future personal injury case.

Fact: This is also not necessarily true. In fact, if your doctor specifically recommends certain treatments and/or limited physical activity for some time, not complying with these orders or recommendations can come back to haunt you later.

This is because defendants in your case may use your noncompliance as “evidence” against you, possibly arguing that your injuries were not as severe as you have alleged or that you may not have been injured at all in the accident/event (and that’s why did not follow through with the recommended treatments).

So, if you know you will be filing a personal injury case in the future, listen to and follow doctors’ orders now. If you think you are getting the wrong medical advice, get a second or third opinion.

Myth #3: I don’t need to worry about retaining documents or evidence related to my accident. I can get copies later when I’m ready to move forward with my case.

Fact: This is another myth that can come back to hurt your personal injury case in the future, especially if the “evidence” you fail to retain includes things like pictures, items worn on the day of the accident, etc.

In fact, while you may be able to locate certain evidence later (like medical reports, doctors’ bills or even police reports), there may not be copies/additional versions of other evidence for your case.

So, make sure you error on the side of caution, and don’t throw anything away that may be useful to a future case. Even if you are not sure, keep the item. You can always toss it later. However, if you toss it now, it may not be available later – and it could cost you in compensation when you are ready to move forward with your personal injury case.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

For superior personal injury representation in South Carolina, contact a Columbia SC personal injury attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.

Call our firm at (803) 929-3600 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

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