After an accident, law enforcement assists the people involved and insurance companies with an official report. This can be used later for many different purposes.
Several people had to be treated for injuries near Charleston, South Carolina following a two car collision in the Awendaw area.
Police and rescue personnel respond to begin their investigation
Emergency crews consisting of fire district officials and local police responded to the area of the intersections of Chandler Road and Highway 17 at about 6:30 pm. Photos from the scene showed one vehicle overturned, and the other vehicle involved was a black pickup truck that sustained severe front end damage.
The crews stated that when they arrived they found four victims, some of which had minor injuries, while others were more seriously hurt. They also said that both vehicles involved appeared to be totally destroyed. Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on the scene afterward to begin their investigation of the accident. As of the time of the report, there was no known cause of the collision or information available about the drivers’ actions in the moments leading up to the crash.
Highway 17 north had to be closed off for some time as crews worked to clear the scene and begin their investigation.
Awendaw is a town located in Charleston County, just northeast of the city limits of Charleston.
How does the process of an accident investigation and generating a report unfold?
The news story above is related to a car accident that was still in the process of being investigated by law enforcement.
The investigation process generally begins with the first officers who arrive on the scene. Their conclusions will be helpful to any insurance companies and lawyers who have to review the situation later. Police determinations on the scene can affect the outcome of claims.
The documentation will contain some basic factual information about the collision such as where it happened, what vehicles were involved, and a summary of the damage. The officers also formulate some opinions about how the situation probably unfolded.
People who are involved in the accident will receive some kind of instructions regarding how they can get their official copy of the report from the local police department later. Sometimes, the insurance company is also given copies and they can provide them as well. It is important to notify an insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident, so they can begin the process to send out payments related to vehicle damage and other costs.
How is the report used afterwards?
One of the purposes of an accident investigation is to determine exactly what happened and possibly declare an official cause. This is used during both the insurance process where an adjuster views damages and claims, and when legal professionals have to decide whether to file a case and estimate the value of the lawsuit. It also is supposed to provide an independent and unbiased summary of the damage and incident that helps the people involved get payments from their insurance companies.
Any documentation, photographs, reports, or other information related to the accident should be brought to a personal injury attorney’s office during an initial consultation. This will help them estimate the value of your lawsuit and the probability of winning your case.
Can you determine the value of an accident lawsuit based on the report?
As a general rule, it is best to not speculate regarding the value of a personal injury case until you have had a discussion with a lawyer regarding the particular facts surrounding your incident. Lawsuits related to severe accidents that cause people to require long term medical treatment or leave them with permanent disabilities tend to pay out the most damages. Future lost wages are also a large factor in determining damages if a person cannot work for a long time following an accident.
How exactly are damages calculated?
There are two categories of damages in civil lawsuits. These are non-economic and economic damages. Economic damages are tangible costs for things like property repairs, hospitalization and medical treatment, missed time from work, and even funeral expenses in fatal accidents. Non-economic damages are tied to emotional pain, suffering, and trauma that is caused by the incident. This allows a plaintiff’s lawyer more room to argue, because it can be difficult to quantify a reduced or changed quality of life into a monetary amount. However, after serious accidents the amounts available for emotional pain and suffering tend to become quite large.
Consider the possibility of filing a lawsuit or taking other actions
It is important to speak with an attorney who focuses on personal injury claims and automobile accidents in the Charleston area after any accident. Lawyers at The Clekis Law Firm are licensed in the state of South Carolina and they are available to help.