I was in an accident caused by an uninsured driver in South Carolina. What can I do?
Even though it is against the law to drive an uninsured vehicle, unfortunately, people in South Carolina choose to do so every day. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), more 13% of the drivers on the road are uninsured. This is bad news for everyone, as uninsured drivers can drive up insurance costs for the rest of us — and create a real headache if you were a victim in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
Fortunately, if you were involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, there are still steps that you can take in order to recoup your losses. Hiring a car accident attorney is a great first step. Car accident attorneys are familiar with many different accident scenarios, and they can give you informed advice about how to best move forward in your case. Whether you think you will be filing under your state-required uninsured motorist coverage or seeking another form of recovery, contact an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney so a legal professional can begin reviewing your case today.
Steps to Take Immediately After Your Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident and the person at fault was uninsured, there are some steps that you should take in order to protect yourself:
Call the Police
As with any wreck, it is important that you call the police to come out and write a police report for the accident. Getting an accident report is imperative in situations where you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, as your insurance will require one should you file a claim for uninsured motorist (UM) or collision coverage. The police report can also be used as evidence in a lawsuit against the uninsured party, if a claim does not result in a reasonable settlement offer from the insurer.
Document the Scene
If you are safe and not seriously injured, another important step to take immediately after an accident is to document as much as you can. Use your phone’s camera to take pictures or videos of the damage from the accident. You will also want to document where the crash took place. These pictures or videos can also provide other context, such as what the road conditions were like during the accident and what kind of weather you were experiencing when the accident occurred.
Gather Contact Information
Though the police officer will likely already have gathered information from the other motorist, it is important for you to have their contact information, as well. Even if they don’t have insurance information, you will want to get their name, driver’s license number, as well as contact information. You may also want to document their license plate number and note the state in which it was issued. Writing down the make and model of the car can also be helpful information to have. If there were witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and contact information, as well, and see if they’re willing to make a statement as to what happened during the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel that you’ve been injured, it is important for you to see a doctor as soon as you are able after your car accident. Your doctor can give you a full medical evaluation, which is necessary as some injuries don’t make themselves apparent until well after the accident occurred.
Seeing a doctor and having your injuries reported on your medical file may be the only way you have to prove that your injuries occurred as a result of your wreck. Your medical files are important evidence, and they will help support your case against the uninsured motorist.
Consult an Attorney
If your accident resulted in minor damage to your vehicle and you have the state’s mandatory uninsured motorist coverage, you may be fully covered by a claim. However, if you were in a serious accident and/or are not covered against uninsured drivers, or if the damages surpass the amount your insurance company is willing to pay, contacting an experienced car accident attorney in South Carolina is critical.
Experienced attorneys can give you professional legal advice about how to proceed, as they have worked with these types of complicated car accident cases before. They can also help you value your claim appropriately, since it can be difficult for the average person to project the future costs of their medical care.
Having an attorney is especially important if your claim is denied or if you are unsure of whether a third party, such as a defective vehicle manufacturer, may have been involved in your collision. In these situations, a South Carolina car accident lawyer can apply their knowledge and experience to identify all possible forms of compensation and to see that the terms of applicable policies are enacted according to the law.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as you have the accident report and the contact information from the uninsured party, you may think about contacting your insurance company as soon as you are able, even if the other party was at fault. However, talking to insurers can involve risky conversations where the insurer may try to get you to admit partial fault or otherwise reduce the value of your claim. Even a conversation with your own insurance company can have serious consequences to your injury case. Entrust these conversations to your attorney, who can assist you with valuing your claim, filing a demand letter, negotiating with insurers, and facilitating your claim process from start to finish.
Contact Auger & Auger After Your Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident with an uninsured motorist, contact the law offices of Auger & Auger. With almost 40 years of combined experience, our knowledgeable attorneys will be able to guide you through the complicated legal process of trying to recoup damages from an uninsured driver.
Contact us today by calling us at (855) 971-1114 or reaching out online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Your attorney will sit with you and listen to the specifics of your case, and provide you with personalized expert advice about how to move forward in your case.
The time immediately following a car accident can be stressful and scary, but having an attorney from Auger & Auger can help ease some of your burdens. You will be able to rest assured, knowing that our attorneys are fighting for you, working to ensure you have the best chance at recouping the damages you need in order to get your life back in order and move on from this ordeal. Contact us today so we can start working for you!