Hit By A Belligerent Driver
Having to deal with the after effects of getting hit by a belligerent driver can be scary and frustrating. While getting hit by a belligerent driver isn’t uncommon, it can be difficult to find the information you need to get the compensation you need to recover. You might be wondering what the next steps are or if you did the right thing immediately after the accident. Here are a few of the most common questions we get from South Carolina drivers about what to do after a crash.
What to do immediately after getting hit by a belligerent driver
Knowing what to do immediately after an accident is an important part of the process. After a crash, you should
- If possible, pull your vehicle over to the side of the road, out of the way of traffic
- Make sure you and everyone else in your vehicle is ok.
- Call the police to report the crash. Note any injuries to the operator so you or your passengers can get medical attention.
- Use your phone to collect evidence of the scene of the crash. Inspect and take pictures and video of the damage to your vehicle
- If the belligerent driver also pulls over (as they should), get information from them, including their driver’s license number, vehicle make and model, insurance and vehicle registration info. Be sure to take pictures of their vehicle, too, especially damage related to them to colliding with yours.
- Seek medical care ASAP (even for something that might seem as harmless as whiplash). Not only will doing this provide further evidence to help support your case, it will also ensure you’re not injured internally (keep in mind, injuries like traumatic brain injury aren’t immediately apparent after an accident).
- File a report with your car insurance company, send the information and pictures you collected.
If you believe the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, be sure to alert the police of this suspicion when you file your police report.
Should I confront the driver if I believe they are under the influence?
After the accident, it’s normal to feel anger, upset, or frustration towards to the driver responsible for the accident. Keep your emotions in check. Confronting the other driver just isn’t a good idea. If the driver is under the influence, they may respond to your accusation in an aggressive way. They may lash out and attempt to fight you. Or they could attempt to cause further damage to your car or other property. It’s best to just call the police and let them handle the situation on your behalf. Again, keep in mind to include the possibility of intoxication or impairment in your police report.
What information should I give to the police?
You need to file a police report as soon as possible following the accident. Preferably at the scene of the crash. Provide as much accurate information as possible when filing the report. Again, keep your emotions in check to avoid over-exaggerating or falsifying information. Typcially, the average police report will collect:
- Your name & driver’s license number
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle insurance info
- Your version of events (again, make sure it’s accurate)
- Immediate injuries you’re experiencing
- Damage to your vehicle and other property
- Your reasons for thinking the other driver was acting belligerently
Can I sue the driver who hit me?
If the driver hit you and caused damage to your property and injuries to you or passengers in your vehicle, you have a couple of options to follow to obtain compensation. You can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses your claim or isn’t giving you enough to cover the cost of damages to you, you can get help from an auto accident attorney to pursue the compensation you deserve. You can file a lawsuit directly against the driver responsible for your injuries. This usually isn’t done until settlement negotiations have been reached with the insurance company.
Do I need a lawyer to file a claim?
You don’t need an auto accident attorney to file a claim but it definitely helps. Your attorney can help you collect the evidence you need to support your case. This includes more advanced investigation into your suspicions that the other driver was operating their vehicle under the influence. A car accident lawyer can also guide you through filing the claim, speaking with the insurance adjusters who may try to use jargon to trick or exhaust you into settling for a lower amount, and negotiating a fair compensation with the insurance adjusts. They can also help file a lawsuit, if needed.
How can I schedule a consultation?
Get in touch with a car accident attorney to discuss your case and find out if legal representation might be helpful for you. Give us a call today!