1. Do I need an attorney to represent me?
You may not need an attorney to represent you for your injury case. My view is that very minor impact cases with little or no property damage or medical treatment can usually be settled on your own. For these cases, my book, The South Carolina Accident Book: Avoid the Mistakes Can Wreck Your Injury Case, may be all the information you need to settle your case yourself.
2. Who should pay my medical bills now?
Submit your bills to your own health insurer. If you do not have health insurance, to avoid the possibility of a collection action, you will need to make payments on the medical bills until the bills are paid from the injury settlement, either by you or the auto insurance company. Then, call your car insurance company and ask if you have medical payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you do, submit the bills to your car insurance company as well. (My book will explain in detail how all of this works.) The insurance company for the person who hit you will not advance these funds to you, rather, they will typically take their time and settle everything at one time at the end. You don’t want your medical bills going to collections!
3. Who pays to get my car fixed?
Often the other driver’s (the person that hit you) insurance company will help you immediately with this. If they don’t, contact your own car insurance company and get them to work on it. Yes, you’ll pay a deductible, but your insurance company will help you recover that deductible from the person who was at fault. Most of the time the property damage claim can be resolved without the assistance of an attorney.
4. What else should I be doing at this time?
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and keep all medical appointments.
- Take pictures of your car and your injuries.
- Obtain the police report. If you have an attorney, he/she can do this for you. You may settle and release your property damage claim with the other person’s car insurance company. But make sure you carefully read the release. You do not want to sign a full release, so it is better to have the release reviewed by an attorney first.
- You may give a recorded statement to your own car insurance company if requested, but you should not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
5. I am miles away from you; will you still take my case?
My law firm represents accident victims throughout South Carolina and, from time to time, we handle cases out of state. If we accept your case, it doesn’t matter where you are located. Just call my office to schedule a free consultation.
Call 843-297-8485 to schedule your free case evaluation today!