What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Charlotte?

Hopefully you will never need this advice, but in case you do, time spent now considering what to do in case of an accident will avoid legal, financial and personal problems that can result from any accident. If you are involved in an accident, don’t panic; stay calm; remember the following advice and call a lawyer – it’s free!

First 10 Minutes After Car Crash:

  1. Stay calm, Assess injuries and passengers.
  2. Turn hazard lights on.
  3. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Stay until police arrive.
  4. Move out of traffic ONLY if minor damage and safe to do so.
  5. Check on others who may need medical care.
  6. Get out insurance, registration and driver’s license for police officer.
  7. Ask bystanders and helpers for name & phone number before they leave the scene.
  8. Be polite but don’t admit fault.
  9. Take pictures if safe to do so. Okay to use cell phone camera.

First 10 Hours After Car Crash:

  1. Secure vehicle and remove valuables.
  2. See doctor ASAP, even if injuries seem minor.
  3. Contact your insurance agent but do not give a recorded statement.
  4. Photograph all damages to your vehicle.
  5. Photograph visible injuries.
  6. Write notes about your recollection of the crash and what happened.

First 10 Days After Car Crash:

  1. Get repair estimates for your car.
  2. Obtain police report when available.
  3. Contact employer if you can’t work.
  4. Contact your attorney…
    • If you are injured and/or there is extensive property damage
    • Before providing any information to an adjuster from another driver’s insurance company
    • If anyone is pressuring you into a quick settlement
    • Before the time period allowed for filing a claim (called the statute of limitations) expires

What Steps will Best Protect Me Following a Car Accident in North Carolina?

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you need to collect and document as much information as possible about the accident. Try to gather the following facts for a h3 court case if needed. It is better to write down all information as soon as possible:

  • Other drivers’ names, numbers and addresses
  • Other drivers’ license numbers and insurance information
  • Registered owners of all vehicles
  • Exact location of the accident and position and directionality of vehicles
  • Was there suspected drug or alcohol use
  • Passenger names and contact information
  • Pedestrians or witness contact information
  • Were any other drivers’ or passengers injured?
  • Was medical assistance rendered at the scene?
  • What were your personal injuries or suspected injuries at the time of accident and upon medical evaluation?
  • Time of day and weather conditions
  • Apparent damage to each vehicle involved
  • Did the other driver admit responsibility?
  • Were police on the scene? If so, was anyone issued a ticket?
  • Under what circumstances is a driver considered to be negligent?

The law considers negligent behavior to occur when a person fails to act as a reasonable person would. This definition can be vague and interpreted with a variety of meanings. A jury trial in a court of law can help determine if reasonable standards of conduct were not followed. Speeding, failure to follow traffic rules, aggressive driving, and reckless driving can all be considered examples of negligence.

What is a Notice of Loss?

”Notice of loss” is a provision in most insurance contracts that require a policyholder to notify the insurance company in the event of an accident, complete with property damage and injury estimates. Hiring an experienced auto accident attorney to handle your case immediately after your accident can protect your rights. Your attorney will make sure every attempt is made to allow the insurance company to offer a fair settlement before filing suit. If you fail to notify the insurance company of the accident in a timely manner, you may forfeit your rights.