Once you are involved in a car accident in Greenville, SC, it is extremely important to act quickly, especially when it comes to collecting evidence. The longer amount of time that you wait to contact an auto accident lawyer, the greater the chance of losing contact with witnesses who were at the scene of the incident. And if you don’t have much evidence on hand at the time of your trial, you could end up losing many benefits you might have received otherwise.
How Soon Should I File a Greenville Car Accident Claim?
Another important reason you should act fast following your automobile accident is because there are statutes of limitations that require the victim to file a case within an amount of time. Failure to file a claim before the due date could result in the plaintiff losing their case and not receiving any payment at all.
In South Carolina, The law states that the plaintiff must file a personal injury case within three years of the date of the accident. The same rule also applies to cases with property damage involved. Therefore, if your property was damaged due to a car wreck you were not involved in, you also have three years to file a case in court.
You may think that anyone should be able to file a claim within three years, but the prolonged amount of time isn’t necessarily for the victim’s convenience. It is also because court systems schedules are not always on time and they often run very slowly. Therefore, it is important to file a case as soon as you can so that you can reach your results as soon as possible. It doesn’t mean that your case will conclude within the three-year period.
If you fail to file a case in time, it is highly likely that the judge will dismiss your claim and deny you the chance to hold the defendant responsible for your injuries. The law in South Carolina makes it clear that failure to file a case within three years bars the case from court. This rule would even apply to car accident cases where there was a fatality or a severe, life-threatening injury.
Essential Steps to Take After a Car Accident in South Carolina
- Get medical attention
It is important that you receive medical care following an accident, even if you don’t believe your injury is severe. Those who have visible injuries should go to the nearest hospital by ambulance immediately. But, even if you can stand, walk, and move around easily, seeing a medical professional is still a good idea. That is because a doctor can find injuries that you may not be aware of immediately following the car wreck since your body is usually in shock at the time. See a doctor as soon as possible and hold on to any medical records, bills or test results which could help you with your case.
- Place vehicles in safe location if possible
As soon as you assess the damage and injuries, you should make sure that your vehicle is out of harm’s way and in a safe location where it will not cause any additional accidents or injuries. If you are unable to move the car on your own, a member of law enforcement on the scene can help. And if you can’t remove the car from the street due to damages, a tow truck can remove it from the premises.
- Exchange details with other drivers
You will want to exchange contact information with the other driver such as their name and phone number, as well as their insurance details. You should write down any names and contact details of witnesses at the scene of the accident. That is because their statement could help if your claim goes to court. It is important to gather as much support as possible so that you may build a significant case for yourself.
- Take Pictures
Taking pictures at the scene of an automobile accident is easier now than ever before with the help of smartphone devices. People involved in car accidents should take advantage of this technology by taking as many photos as possible of the damaged car, the accident scene, visible injuries or additional property damages. Having evidence of the injuries you endured and the severe damage to your car is the best form of evidence that you can have when trying to gain compensation for your case. You may also want to take pictures of the other driver’s car, making sure that you focus on all the damaged areas. The more photographic evidence you have, the easier it will be to explain the details of the accident to a judge.
- Take notes
Once you have received information from the other driver about their contact details and their insurance information, you should use a notebook to keep down notes relevant to the accident. Use the notebook to store contact information, important dates, doctor appointment information, and the details of the accident written down in your own words. This could work as a written statement in court, and the sooner that you are able to write it all down, the more details you will have fresh in your mind to add to it.
Consulting with a Car Accident Lawyer in Greenville, SC
One more thing that all car accident victims should do quickly after their incident is getting in touch with a reliable and experienced car accident lawyer in Greenville. The team at Double Aught Injury Lawyers have the knowledge needed to take on any type of auto accident claim and help you win. Even if you feel that you are partially responsible for the accident, you can still receive help with your injuries or loss of wages when you hire a competent car accident attorney.
The experienced team at Double Aught Injury Lawyers is available to help the people of the Greenville, Easley, Pelzer, and Piedmont areas with any type of car wreck case. Get in touch today and get a FREE case review.
Bryan Ramey is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from The University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 27 years now. Bryan Ramey believes in representing the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.