If you’ve been involved in a North Carolina auto accident the very first thing you need to do is stop your car. This is because the law says that all drivers involved in car accidents that result in either injury or property damage are required to remain at the scene of the accident until a police officer has completed the necessary investigation. While you are allowed to leave temporarily to call for help (the law requires those involved in such accidents to contact local police and notify them of the incident) or receive medical treatment, you are supposed to return as soon as you are able to do so.
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You are required by law in North Carolina to exchange information with the other drivers involved in an accident. That means you should get the other driver’s name, number, physical address and driver’s license number. You can also exchange insurance information, though the law does not technically require that.
After the police have arrived, you should jot down some notes about what took place leading up to the accident. Write down a statement if you have the time, making sure to document what you saw happen and whom you believe is at fault. Make note of the position and location of vehicles, any identifying marks on the cars, damage that was sustained and anything else that you think might be important later on. If you have a camera or a phone that takes pictures, it is also wise to take some photographs of the accident scene. You should try to get a shot of the damage and the location of the vehicles involved in the crash. Though statements are good, it’s true what they say; a picture really is worth a thousand words.
While you’re making notes, it is important to scan your surroundings and identify anyone else who might have seen the accident. If there are other drivers, pedestrians or bystanders who saw the crash, make sure to get their names and contact information.
Go to the Doctor
If you’ve been injured, even if the injury does not appear to be serious at first, it is critically important that you go see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries take time to fully manifest themselves and might not be obvious initially. Make sure your doctor performs a full examination and takes notes, something that might come in handy later on.
Go See an Attorney
Finally, if you’ve been injured and have questions about what to do next, consult a North Carolina car accident attorney who can help guide you through the process of filing an injury claim against the responsible party.