Thousands of auto accidents occur on North Carolina roads each year. The actions you take immediately after an accident can make or break your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. If you are involved in an auto accident, be sure to do the following.
- Call the Police
Contact your local police department as soon as possible. The responding officer will give you a report for your insurance company. If you decide to file a lawsuit against the other driver, you’ll also be able to use the police report as evidence in your case.
- Seek Medical Attention
It’s important to seek medical attention after any auto accident, especially if the accident was caused by another driver. Not all accident-related injuries show symptoms right away, so you may need a physical exam or X-rays to determine if you need medical treatment. If your injuries are minor, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or visit a walk-in clinic. If your injuries seem serious, go to the nearest emergency room.
- Talk to Witnesses
If you decide to consult with an auto accident lawyer at Wilson &Reives, you’ll need the names of all the people who witnessed the accident. Talk with witnesses to determine if they saw anything useful. If possible, have them give you signed statements. Write down the name, address, and telephone number of each witness. You may have to give the information to a police officer or your attorney.
- Collect Evidence
Once your vehicle is towed away, you lose the opportunity to document the damage caused by the accident. That is why it is important to collect evidence right after the crash. If your cell phone has a built-in camera, use it to take photographs of your vehicle. Snap photos from several angles to ensure you capture every scratch, ding, and dent. If the other vehicle left skid marks on the road, take pictures of the skid marks. Document anything that might have contributed to the accident, such as a broken traffic light or missing stop sign. Take (or have taken) pictures of yourself, documenting any bruises and other injuries.
- Hire an Attorney
If you didn’t cause the accident, you shouldn’t have to pay for accident-related expenses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you by gathering evidence, questioning witnesses, and negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company. Before you accept a settlement offer, consult with an attorney to make sure the offer is enough to cover your expenses.
Being involved in an auto accident is scary, but it doesn’t have to ruin your finances. If you are involved in an accident, a personal injury lawyer can help. Contact us to discuss your options following a motor vehicle crash.