Steps to Take – and Not Take – in a North Carolina Car Accident

Even drivers who are experienced and practice defensive driving skills can find themselves involved in a crash or collision with other motorists. When car accidents and injuries do occur, what you do in the immediate aftermath can have a significant impact on your ability to get compensation for the damages you have suffered. The following outlines what you need to do in the event of a car accident, as well as what not to do to protect your rights in a claim. For more detailed information if you have been injured in a crash, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney.

Legal Requirements of Drivers in North Carolina

Under North Carolina law, drivers have certain duties and obligations when a car accident occurs. Failing to adhere to these requirements could result in criminal charges, along with fines and the loss of your driver’s license. Regardless of how minor the accident is, anytime there are suspected injuries or property damages, it is important to do the following:

  • Pull over immediately at the scene, using care to not block traffic if you can avoid it
  • Notify local law enforcement or the state police
  • Exchange personal contact, vehicle, and insurance information with other drivers
  • Call 911 if there are any injuries at the scene

You should get yourself checked out thoroughly by a doctor or at the hospital, regardless of whether you think your injuries are severe. Serious car accident injuries often have symptoms that can take days to appear, and not getting medical care could put your health in jeopardy.

Notify your car insurance company as soon as possible, however, do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company without first speaking to your own North Carolina car accident attorney.

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

There are additional steps you can take (if you are physically able) at the scene of a car accident to protect yourself in a car accident claim. This includes getting the names and contact information for any witnesses who may have seen how the accident occurred, as well as taking a variety of pictures from different angles of the car accident location, your injuries, and the vehicles involved.

The following, however, are things you should not do at the scene of the crash:

  • Do not argue with other drivers or their passengers.
  • Do not make any statements admitting fault or offering to pay for damages.
  • Do not accept cash at the scene in exchange for filing a claim.
  • Do not sign any statements releasing others from liability.
  • Do not accept any settlement amounts before speaking with an experienced attorney.

Contact Us Today for Help

Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp as soon as possible after you suffer injuries in a crash or collision. Our skilled North Carolina car accident attorneys provide the professional legal guidance you need to protect your rights in a claim. Our firm has a solid track record of obtaining financial compensation for our clients for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and more.

It is critical to remember that North Carolina has placed a statute of limitation on how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.

Contact our office today to request a free and confidential consultation to find out what type of damages you may be entitled to.