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July 15, 2022
Clarke Speaks

What to Do After a Car Accident in Wilmington, North Carolina

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When you have a car accident, you often feel overwhelmed, shocked, and confused. While adrenaline levels remain high, you may not be aware of potential injuries that may reveal themselves later. You might want to leave the scene as soon as possible, but this can create complications with your claim.

Any car accident lawyer knows that the way you react immediately after a car wreck can determine what kind of settlement offers you receive. So, how can you respond to an accident in a way that will build a successful claim?

Here are the top steps you should take immediately after an accident so that you can protect your rights and build a solid claim.

1. Stay Put

Often, people leave the accident scene without truly understanding the potential ramifications. Although your vehicle might not display any signs of internal damage, certain mechanical problems may be present that you cannot see. Similarly, you may feel physically intact but have serious injuries that may not present until later.

Try to move your car out of traffic if you can. If you notice any smoke rising from the engine bay, leave the vehicle and move as far away as possible to a safe location. After an accident, regardless of severity, you must stay put until completing the rest of the steps on this list.

2. Call 911

North Carolina law dictates that you must contact the police whenever an accident results in injuries or property damage above $1,000. Calling 911 also ensures that you receive proper and immediate medical attention, if needed. A police officer will likewise respond and fill out a report on the accident scene, which is a crucial step for any future claim or eventual litigation.

You must call 911 in the event of an accident, even if there is no visible damage to the vehicles. Even if everyone feels healthy, you should still call 911 and await the arrival of a police officer. If the other driver asks you not to call the police, you must ignore their request and protect your interests in pursuing a claim.

If you are injured and need to leave the scene to go to the emergency room to address injuries, and the medical personnel arrive before law enforcement, you should tend to your injuries first and give your version of what happened to the investigating officer later. Your health and safety must take priority.

3. File a Police Report

When the police arrive on the scene, they will create a report of the accident. Typically, this report covers:

  • The accident cause
  • All traffic, weather, and road conditions
  • Every vehicle and passenger involved
  • Insurance information from the at-fault driver (according to the officer’s interpretation of the events)

After the officer drafts the report, make sure you review the paperwork before they leave. They should give you an exchange slip with the other driver’s personal and insurance information.

4. Gather Evidence and Witnesses

Before leaving the accident scene, you should gather as much evidence as possible. If you can, take pictures of any injuries and property damage. Ask around for witnesses as well. Be sure to collect contact and insurance information from any involved drivers, passengers, and witnesses.

5. Seek Medical Attention

You should have a medical professional examine every potential accident injury. If emergency medical trainers attend to you after the accident, they can recommend how and when you should treat your injuries. Regardless of severity, you must see a doctor and receive a professional diagnosis if you wish to receive compensation for any medical bills or injuries.

It is critical that you get medical attention on the date of the accident and mention all injuries, no matter how small. It is also critical that you get follow up treatment in the following days fro the right medical professionals. An experienced injury lawyer can help you obtain the proper treatment, even if you have no health insurance. Consistent treatment is key, as is taking photos of any visible injuries, hospital stays, or treatments rendered (wounds, bruising, abrasions, casts, stitches, surgery sites, and the like).

6. Find a Car Accident Attorney

Car accident victims should hire a lawyer immediately. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer can help build your case, collect evidence, prove fault, deal with insurance companies, obtain proper medical treatment, and obtain adequate compensation for your financial and physical suffering, as well as wage losses.

Should I File an Insurance Claim Before I Find a Car Accident Attorney Near Me?

No. Insurance companies often pressure you to settle for lower amounts than your case is worth. Insurance adjusters may make you accidentally claim liability by asking misleading questions. Avoid these mistakes by hiring a car accident attorney before creating a claim. If an adjuster calls and asks you any questions, you can tell them that you need to consult with a legal advisor before answering. You should not speak of any injuries, damage, or fault without legal representation. Do not give a recorded statement, even to your own insurance company.

Quit Searching for a “Car Accident Lawyer Near Me,” and Call Speaks Law Firm Today!

If you were hurt in a car accident, who speaks for you? If you search online for a “car accident lawyer near me,” you’ll find several options. Save yourself the time and the headache and consider Speaks Law Firm for your legal needs. Do not hire just any attorney. Who you hire matters. The insurance companies know to take our firm seriously. They know we fight for our clients and will take cases to trial.

Our all-star team offers a lengthy track record of knowledge, experience, dedication, and talent. We want to stand up for your legal rights and help you pursue the financial compensation that you need to heal and move on. Often, we can find additional insurance coverages of which you may not be aware. Call a car accident lawyer from Speaks Law Firm in Wilmington, North Carolina, today at (910) 341-7570, or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We won’t charge a dime unless you win.

Copyright © 2024. Speaks Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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