Did you know that even a minor accident could entitle you to compensation for personal injury? Chances are, you’ve been involved in a “fender bender” of some kind: Maybe you were rear-ended at a red light, or maybe you were backing out of a parking space and a car “bumped” into you.
Fortunately, the damage caused by these accidents is often minor, such as scraped paint or a dented bumper. You may not notice any injuries. However, many injuries–soreness, neck or back pain, or headaches–may show up days or even weeks after an accident. Even if you never went to the hospital, other factors like mental or emotional suffering, time lost from work, or even inconvenience can mean compensation.
There are some important steps to take immediately following an accident:
- Contact law enforcement immediately. If accident was minor, the other driver may try to persuade you to work things out without filing a police report. However, if you and the other driver do not agree about who was at fault, law enforcement will investigate the situation, recording the location of the damage to both vehicles and the word of any witnesses. More importantly, if you later discover an injury, without an official record the other driver may decide to deny that the accident ever happened. Finally, South Carolina requires that you contact the police if the damages from the accident exceed $1,000.
- Exchange contact and insurance information from the other driver. You are required to do this by law in South Carolina.
- Document the accident. If you do notice any injuries--bruising, a sprain, etc.–take pictures, along with pictures of any damage to the vehicles.
- Get a free consultation. If you are unsure whether the circumstances of your case warrant compensation, set up a free consultation with Scott Allmon of Bagwell & Corley. With years of experience in Personal Injury law, Scott can help to explain your legal options.