Immediately dial 911 if you haven’t already. The police should be called for all accidents in South Carolina, and when they come to the scene, they will prepare a police report. If either driver violated a traffic law, they may be given a ticket at the scene. 911 should also dispatch an ambulance or the fire department to help manage the scene and evaluate any injuries.
Request a business card or the officer’s information so you can follow up if questions arise that you need to discuss with the officer later.
If the police do not come to the scene and prepare an accident report, you are required to self-report the accident to the DMV if there is $1,000 or more in damages or if bodily injury or death occurred as a result of the accident.
Say only what is necessary.
Do not admit that you are to blame for the accident, even if you think you were at fault. It is not up to you to decide “fault” while you are under the immense stress of a car accident and standing on the side of the road, because legally, this is something that is for the lawyers, insurance companies, and the court to work out.
Be sensible and seek medical help.
A minor scrape on the bumper or a slow-speed collision with a parking meter are examples of accidents that are likely not to require medical attention. However, some injuries, like whiplash, soft tissue damage, bruising, and concussions, may not show any outward symptoms.
Your injuries might not seem so bad when the adrenaline is pumping through your veins. Still, it’s best to see a doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms. The natural human response to danger, “fight or flight,” can dull the sensation of injuries until you have time to collect your thoughts and assess the situation more rationally. Whiplash, internal bleeding, and other soft-tissue injuries are often not felt until much later. It may be more challenging to get treatment later on, or the injury may have worsened. To further complicate matters, if no one reports the injury for several days after the accident, it will be harder to prove that it was caused by the collision from a legal standpoint.
In short, seek medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor.