I was in a car accident that resulted in a head injury. What should I do?
South Carolina drivers and others on the road face a daily risk of serious accidents. 2019 crash data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety shows that there is an injury-causing wreck every 3.7 minutes and a fatal accident every 9.4 hours in the state.
Many of these accidents involve serious head injuries, which can have life-altering consequences. In fact, the number of head injuries resulting from car accidents is growing, affecting thousands of people each year. With this in mind, knowing what you should do after sustaining a head injury in a car accident could be critical to protecting your wellbeing and your legal rights.
If you were in a car accident, the collision and long-term consequences could be traumatic and make everyday life more difficult. Even a head injury that initially appears mild shouldn’t be taken lightly, since they can grow worse when left untreated.
Unfortunately, the medical costs of treating a severe head injury can be high, often leading injury victims wondering where to turn for compensation. Luckily, they have at least one option. By filing a claim against any at-fault drivers, injury victims can seek to recover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and more. This is why The American Association of Neurological Surgeons emphasizes the importance of consulting an attorney if you face a head injury after a car collision in South Carolina.
What You Should Do If a Car Accident Results in a Head Injury
Drivers involved in car collisions that cause injury, property damage, or death should stop the vehicle immediately and request a police respondent. Filing a police report is critical because it can provide key evidence for the crash in a later personal injury claim.
Note that after any wreck, drivers need to submit proof of insurance to the South Carolina DMV within 10 to 15 days to avoid license suspension. Providing proof of insurance is just one of the things you should be doing after a car crash in South Carolina. Here are some more important steps you must take;
Calmly Wait for Police to Arrive
When you request a police respondent, inform the 911 dispatcher of anyone who was injured at the scene. Wait patiently for emergency responders to arrive. Avoid admitting fault or apologizing for any action you took leading up to the accident.
If you have sustained a possible head injury, have you or someone else try to stabilize your head and neck and avoid unnecessary movement. If you are able to make a statement when police arrive, do so, but if emergency response suggest you should be immediately evacuated to a nearby care provider, consent to an ambulance ride.
Document Information About the other Driver and Witnesses
If you are able to, you should document all the essential information of the other driver involved in the accident, such as their name, insurance information, and address.
Take photos of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and any visible wounds.
Try to gather statements and contact information from witnesses, as well, if there were any. You may need to contact them later to support your story if the other driver lies about the accident.
If your head injury was serious, allow others to perform these tasks, and try to remain stationary while supporting your head and neck until emergency medical teams arrive.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention after the Car Crash
To avoid any medical issues down the line, it is vital to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident, even if you don’t see any signs of injury. There could potentially be internal bleeding or tissue injury, both of which aren’t easy to spot right away. However, any significant head injury eventually manifests in the form of alterations in the body’s functions. This risk is why it is so important to seek a diagnosis and begin care promptly.
Seeking medical assistance right away is also essential to protect yourself legally after a crash. In some injury cases, the other party will fight your claim by trying to prove that you were not actually hurt or injured in the accident. Delaying treatment can leave open the opportunity for defending parties to allege your head injury didn’t happen during the accident or that it was made worse by a delay in receiving care.
Consult Your Car Accident Lawyer
After an accident that results in a head injury, speaking to your personal injury lawyer is the most important step. These attorneys provide you with legal representation to uphold your accident claim.
Plus, a qualified and experienced attorney protects your legal rights, helping you receive the compensation you need under South Carolina laws and regulations. They will gather relevant evidence and deal with the insurance company.
You will also get help in proving your claim to recover compensation for suffering, lost wages, pain, medical costs, and emotional distress associated with head injuries.
Damages in a Head Injury Case
Head injuries vary in nature or severity. From mild wounds to life-threatening injuries to the head, there are numerous effects of a car accident. Some brain injuries heal on their own with proper rest and medication, while others risk causing permanent damage.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, 33 percent of fatal traumatic head injuries resulted from motor vehicle accidents. Some victims will have a long and painful recovery process, whereas others may remain in a coma or vegetative state.
In fact, life after a head injury might require victims to stay in long-hospital term care. The aftermath of a major crash can turn life into a struggle that’s full of emotional and financial challenges. The financial stress alone makes it difficult for some people to cope with the current situation.
The risk of long-term medical and financial consequences is why it is so important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer in South Carolina who can represent your injury claim. With your attorney’s help, you can seek the maximum available damages for you or a loved one who was injured.
Common damages sought in a head injury case include:
- Emergency transport and trauma treatment
- Diagnostics, testing, and imaging
- Specialist services
- Hospital inpatient costs
- Drugs, medications, and devices
- Follow-up care and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Reduction in earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, or time spent with loved ones
Get in Touch with Auger & Auger if You Were in an Accident that Resulted in a Head Injury
If you were in an accident that caused a brain or head injury, seeking legal assistance is usually the best way forward. Getting compensation after a car accident that resulted in a head injury is a complex and lengthy process. This is where a lawyer can provide indispensable services.
The South Carolina car accident attorneys at Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers can help you negotiate a settlement from insurers and navigate your injury claim. The firm is dedicated to providing advocacy for clients in South Carolina seeking to recover compensation for the damages and losses they have experienced.
Our firm has helped thousands in South Carolina alleviate the financial burden incurred as a result of accident-related head injuries. Your lawyer will ensure that you get prompt legal assistance to begin your claim, document your damages, and begin the process of seeking proper compensation. You can rely on our skilled attorneys to guide you through every step of the way.
Book your free, no-risk consultation by visiting us online or calling our firm at (855) 971-1114. Rest assured that Auger and Auger is ready to assist you and your family following your South Carolina motor vehicle injury accident.