What Should I Do after an Auto Accident in North Carolina?
First and foremost, you should contact emergency services and seek medical attention. But you also want to:
- Exchange information with the other parties to the accident, which includes names, insurance, driver's license, phone numbers
- Gather evidence, like pictures and video of the scene, the surrounding location, the vehicles, property damage, injuries (if any).
- Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as a brief recorded statement, if you are able to do so because their recollection will be best on the scene and preservation of it will be best if recorded either in writing or by video.
- Consult with an attorney so that you can obtain a good understanding of whether you have a compensable case and how to go about pursuing what you are legally owed.
What Should I Not Do After an Auto Accident in North Carolina?
In juxtaposition to what you should do if in a car collision, here is what you should not do.
- You should never leave the scene of an accident. If you leave a scene, especially when someone is injured, it is a hit and run, a criminal offense. You must stay with your vehicle and contact emergency personnel if someone is injured.
- You should not leave your vehicle where it can pose a risk to others. If you can, move the vehicle to a safe location. If you cannot move it on your own, contact someone who can.
- You should not ignore calling 911. Even when no one is injured, you should still contact 911. The police will investigate and write a report that can later be used to help identify liability.
- Do not forget to exchange information. Try not to let fear or anxiety get the best of you. You really need to obtain contact and insurance information from the other party involved in the collision. Insurance will be critical to recovery of compensation.
- Do not underestimate your injuries. Some injuries are delayed (like whiplash) while other injuries may not seem serious (like bruising as there may be internal bleeding). You should get checked out by a doctor.
- Do not admit fault. Even if you think or know you are at fault, do not admit it. The other party may have contributed in some way, too. In comparative negligence states, you can still recover in most situations if both parties contributed to the accident.
- Do not contact or give a statement or documents to the other party's insurance company. You must speak to your own insurance company, but you are not obligated to do the same with any other insurance company. To do so could jeopardize your case. Either your attorney or your own insurance company can communicate with the other party's auto insurer.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in North Carolina Today
If you've been in an auto accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Vincent-Pope Law Firm today for a free consultation. We can answer your questions, put together a strong case, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (919) 645-8255 today or fill out our online form today.