What To Do After a Car Accident
An accident on a road or highway can be extremely traumatic, and you or a loved one may be seriously injured. It’s important to try and move to a safe location if possible, and then to call 911 for emergency assistance. North Carolina law requires an accident to be reported if someone was injured or if there is property damage that totals more than $1,000. However, we recommend that you always report your car accident when possible. An official accident report can be used by your lawyer to understand the details of your accident better and can serve as an important piece of evidence for determining who was responsible for the wreck.
Your Charlotte auto accident attorney will be able to help your case for compensation significantly, but there are some things that you can do as well. After calling for emergency help in the moments after an accident, you should also try and do the following:
- If injured or in pain, allow medical providers to treat your injuries as they deem necessary
- Call your lawyer as soon as possible
- Speak with the police who responded and inform them of what exactly happened to you
- Write down every detail that you recall, and be sure to do this as soon as possible
- Make a list of everyone who witnessed the accident, and include their contact information
- Do not sign anything, or agree to any settlement offer, before speaking with your lawyer
- Be sure to follow up with your medical treatment as recommended by your doctor
Common Causes Of Car Accidents
The causes of car accidents can sometimes be easy to identify, but many accident situations leave a lot of uncertainty about who is responsible. If you are to recover for the damages that you sustained, your car accident attorney will need to find out exactly what happened.
Obtaining a successful result requires showing how the other party was negligent, and then demonstrating how their negligence directly resulted in your injuries. A skilled car accident injury attorney knows how to study police reports, insurance claims, and accident reconstruction data. With over 25 years of combined legal experience and a history of helping car accident victims in North Carolina, the attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC, have seen virtually every type of car accident, including:
- Speeding and reckless drivers
- Texting and driving
- Drowsy and intoxicated drivers
- Wrong-way driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Irresponsible left turns
- Unsafe teens or elderly drivers
- Road-rage and dangerously aggressive driving
- Potholes and poorly kept roads
- Poorly assembled or maintained vehicles
- Uber or ridesharing drivers
North Carolina’s Statute Of Limitations Requires You To Act Quickly
A statute of limitations law limits the amount of time that an injured person has to file a lawsuit for property damages or personal injury. For car accidents in North Carolina, the two distinct statute of limitation laws that you should be mindful of are:
- Three Years – A lawsuit for an injury or property damage must be filed within three years after the accident that caused the damages.
- Two Years – A lawsuit for wrongful death must be filed within two years of the death of the loved one, and therefore it might begin to run well after the accident if the victim passed away on another date.
While you must act within three years for an injury after an accident, there are important exceptions. A prominent example is in cases where the injuries are not obvious at the time of the accident. The statute of limitations can be delayed and begin on the date when a person should have been reasonably expected to notice the injury. An experienced lawyer will be able to argue that you could not have been expected to notice certain injuries or damages for some time after your accident.
Do not delay contacting a car accident personal injury lawyer. While the statute of limitations sets the date by which your lawyer must formally file a lawsuit, there is still a lot to do before a suit can be filed in court. Your lawyer will first have to negotiate with the insurance companies involved to see if an adequate settlement offer can provide the compensation you need without going to trial. Building a strong case requires your lawyer to investigate your accident by gathering evidence from police, doctors, and other witnesses. Therefore call a Charlotte car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you wish to seek financial compensation from the negligent party in your accident.
Obtaining Compensation After Your Accident
Over 130,000 people are injured in car accidents in North Carolina every year, and these wrecks affect each victim differently. You may have complex injuries, and it’s quite possible you may not be able to definitively identify those responsible for your accident. Proving negligence requires determining exactly what happened to cause your wreck. However, if you’re to recover compensation, your lawyer will also have to demonstrate how the other party’s actions directly caused your injuries. To do this, we will work closely with your medical professionals, so we can fully demonstrate how the accident resulted in your injuries and has impacted your life.
The insurance companies involved in your case will be seeking to reduce their exposure and limit the money to be paid for your recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience successfully negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients, and we can help you receive an acceptable recovery amount that meets all your present and future needs. By working with a skilled car accident lawyer, you may be able to obtain damages for things like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage