Any auto accident can be traumatic – property damage, hospitals and doctor visits, lost time from work, and the stress of trying to get compensation for the accident are just a few of the problems that an auto accident victim must deal with. When you are involved in an out of state auto accident, however, the stress and confusion can be even worse.
Are the laws different in South Carolina than in your home state? Where do you file the lawsuit against the other driver – at home or in South Carolina? Can an attorney in your hometown help you to get compensation or do you need to talk to someone in SC?
Millions of people visit the Myrtle Beach/ Grand Strand area every year as tourists or for business trips, and many are involved in auto accidents each year. Below, we will try to answer some of your questions about what you should do if you are involved in an out of state auto accident while in the Myrtle Beach area.
What Should You Do After an Out of State Auto Accident?
If you are involved in an out of state accident in the Myrtle Beach area, you should immediately contact the police and wait at the scene until an officer arrives.
Try to remain calm while you are talking with law enforcement, and make sure that they have accurate information about what happened – they will document the details of your accident in an accident report that lawyers, insurance adjusters, and the court may rely on for information if you later file a claim for damages.
If you are hurt, cooperate with EMS at the scene and follow any recommendations that they give. Follow up with any recommended appointments with your family physician or other providers, keep records of any facility or doctor that you visit, and provide this information to your attorney.
If you can do so safely, take photos or video of the vehicles, the road conditions, and any injuries to yourself or others. Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident – although the responding officer should take this information down, they often don’t and your attorney may not have a way to locate them later if they are needed.
Contact your insurance company and let them know what happened, but do not give any statements to the other driver’s insurance company.
Do not discuss the details of the accident with the other driver’s insurance company or anyone until you have met with your attorney about your case. When the other side’s insurance adjuster calls and asks you for a statement, refer them to your attorney, or, if you have not retained an attorney yet, tell them your attorney will call them soon.
Do not sign any documents that could be a release of your right to file a lawsuit or a settlement of your claims.
Contact a Myrtle Beach auto accident attorney immediately after your accident and meet with them before you leave town if possible.
Where Should I Seek Medical Treatment if I was in an Out of State Auto Accident?
You should seek medical treatment immediately if you are injured, and follow any recommendations made by EMS or ER physicians.
When you return home, follow up with your physician in your hometown and continue to get any treatment that is recommended. It is okay to continue treating in your hometown even though it is in another state.
Out of State Auto Accident – Where do I File Suit?
If you live in another state but were in an out of state accident in South Carolina, you cannot file suit in your home state.
You will need to contact a local personal injury lawyer who is licensed in South Carolina. Although your hometown attorney may be able to help by making a recommendation for you, they cannot represent you in SC courts unless they are licensed to practice law in SC.
Will I Have to Come Back to South Carolina After an Out of State Auto Accident?
You may need to come back to South Carolina for your court case. Your auto accident lawyer on the Axelrod team will make every effort to settle your case for full and fair compensation without a trial, but you must return when the court requires it.
Your attorney can represent you in your absence at some proceedings, but you may need to return for a deposition, for some court hearings, or for the trial of your case if there is no settlement.
Although we may be able to help you avoid returning to SC, and some clients never have to return, you must be willing and able to return when it is necessary to prosecute and win your auto accident claim.
At Axelrod and Associates, we have helped many clients get full and fair compensation for their out of state auto accidents. We understand the additional stress and the unique issues that our out of state clients face, and we are prepared to do everything possible to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries.