Do I have to notify my own insurance company if another driver hits and hurts me in North Carolina? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Your car insurance policy states somewhere that you must report all collisions that result in significant damage to the vehicle and/or injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. Comply with that provision even if you can in no way be found at fault for causing a wreck.

Self-reporting a crash allows you to access coverage under your own insurance policy months — sometimes years — before the at-fault driver’s insurer pays out on your claims. Additionally, you may need to rely completely on your own insurance if the person who hit and hurt you does not have adequate coverage of his or her own.

Note that it is still a good idea to consult with a North Carolina personal injury attorney even if you plan to deal entirely with your own car insurance company. Your insurer may investigate and look for ways to deny some or all of your claims just like they would if someone you crashed into filed claims against you.