Sometimes the unavoidable happens, and you find yourself in a fender bender or worse – a serious car accident. When this happens, do not panic. Doing or saying the wrong thing might cost you financially and prevent you from collecting on an insurance claim.
The most important consideration is your health and safety. Additionally, it is important to take certain steps to ensure you are protected legally and financially after an accident in South Dakota.
Assess the damage
First, make sure your vehicle comes to a complete stop. You should leave your vehicle where it is if it does not cause a traffic hazard. Assess your injuries and move to a safe spot on the side of the road if you are able to do so. Wait for emergency services if you sustained a severe injury. If you have passengers, check on them as well. Seek treatment at a local hospital or one closer to where you live.
Call emergency services
According to South Dakota Legislature, you must report any accident that results in an injury, more than $1,000 worth of individual property damage or $2,000 of total property damage. It is usually in your best interest to call the police immediately because injuries and property damage are not always apparent.
Finally, gather all the relevant information. Ask the other driver for their information, including a phone number and insurance provider. Take pictures of the accident and write down notes about any physical pain or property damage you notice. It is also helpful to document your injuries with photographs. Never speak with another insurance provider or give a statement to another party.
Talk To A Personal Injury Attorney
In the aftermath of an accident, you may be overwhelmed and unable to think clearly. In the process, you may miss certain steps that could help protect your financial and legal interests. Getting help from a car accident attorney can help alleviate this burden and position you as you move forward. Take the first step by meeting with an attorney in a free consultation.
The steps above do not cover everything you should do after an accident. However, if you follow the advice in this article, you will start your case off on the right foot.