If you have been injured in a car accident in Chester, South Carolina, there are many documents that you will have to keep track of and submit to the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to resolve your claim. Having a lawyer can help you gather these documents and obtain the ones you don’t have.
Below, we look at some of the most important documents you will need to submit if you need to claim for a car accident injury.
If you or the police gathered any witness statements, it is important to get copies. Witness statements may be given in written form, such as a police report or a written statement, or by recordings on a law enforcement official’s dashcam. In the latter case, you should be able to obtain the recording by sending Freedom of Information Act request.
A Police Report
If the police responded to your car accident in Chester, South Carolina, then there should be an incident report. Police reports contain information about your accident along with basic details like the date and time of your accident, the weather conditions, and also witness information. The report will also have a drawing of the accident.
Photographs of a Car Accident in Chester, South Carolina
Photos are important as they give insurance providers a visual image of the accident. Often, more than one person takes pictures at the scene. However, it is always best to take your own photos to protect yourself.
Medical Records and Bills
Your medical records should contain thorough details about the cause of your injuries, the extent of your injuries, and the resulting treatment. While medical records may be costly to obtain, they are a necessity, as an insurance company often won’t evaluate your case thoroughly without them.
The medical bills reflect the financial impact your accident has had on you. Keep a list of all the medical providers along with receipts of payment and bills so that compensation for your injuries can be valued.
Tickets in Relation to a Car Accident
If the person who caused the accident contests their ticket, it may be helpful to go to the trial to help prevent the ticket from being dismissed. If the at-fault driver admits guilt in any way, it may be used against them when you seek fair compensation.
If you have health insurance, your medical bills will have been covered. However, your attorney will need your health insurance card so that he or she can collect information about your health plan to discuss your medical bills with the insurance provider.
A Work Schedule
If your injuries from the car accident in Chester, South Carolina, led to you having to miss work, be sure to keep a detailed record of the time you have spent off as well as lost wages.
Medicaid Card or Medicare Card
If Medicaid or Medicare has been paying your bills, they will have a lien on any settlement that you receive. The task of determining whether or not they do have a lien and the amount can be lengthy and tedious, but your Chester car accident lawyer can do the work for you.
Your Car Insurance Policy
Give your lawyer a copy of your car insurance policy to review so that he or she can determine the type and amount of coverage you have, as well as any exclusions that may be in place.
What Can You Expect from an Insurance Settlement?
How your car accident claim proceeds depend on the particulars of your case, how the accident happened, whether or not laws were disregarded, if anyone acted negligently, and whether or not there were extenuating circumstances.
If the accident was not your fault, you are likely to hear from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, and chances are they will want to offer you a quick and easy settlement. While this may sound tempting, especially if you’ve never had to deal with a claim before, be wary of being taken advantage of. The insurance company might try to get you to settle for a relatively low amount, or they could deny your claim completely. They will want you to believe everything they say about the validity and value of the claim without exploring further, and this means you may not get what you deserve.
Instead, when the insurance company contacts you, let them know that you are not prepared to give a statement without speaking to your car accident lawyer. Your attorney will handle the entire negotiations process for you to ensure that you get fair compensation. Many times, insurance companies will only take a claim seriously when a lawyer gets involved. A knowledgeable lawyer who deals with car accidents in Chester, South Carolina, will understand the process and how to carefully gather all the documents and evidence together to prove damages and liability, while ensuring you are not taken advantage of.
Most of the time, such claims do not go to trial, since both sides can benefit from reaching a fair settlement. However, it is necessary to act quickly when filing a claim so that you do not lose out on your right to take the insurance provider to court. In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim.
Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident in Chester, S.C., call a trusted attorney at Elrod Pope to discuss your case and the necessary documents.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.