Hickory is a city located in the Catawba County of North Carolina. The population of Hickory was estimated to be 43,490 in 2020. As part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area, the city is home to Lenoir-Rhyne University and Catawba Valley Community College.
Whether you’re traveling with friends to Lake Hickory for a fishing weekend or heading to the Hickory Motor Speedway for some stock car racing, there are plenty of things to do in this city. Unfortunately, as with any place, accidents can happen. And if you find yourself injured in a car accident as a passenger in Hickory, NC, you may wonder what your next steps should be.
Fortunately, the team at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is here to help you every step of the way. We have experience dealing with all types of car accident cases, and we know what it takes to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Contact a car accident attorney today for a free legal consultation.
What To Do After a Car Accident If You’re a Passenger in Hickory, NC
The period following an auto accident can be incredibly stressful. If you were a passenger in a car accident and suffered injuries as a result, here are some of the things you should do:
- Get medical attention immediately, even if you think your injuries are minor. It’s important to get checked out by a doctor to record your injuries in case they become more serious later.
- Gather as much information as you can at the scene of the accident. This includes taking pictures of the damage to both vehicles, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and filing an accident report.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Hickory, NC, who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Whether you have suffered serious injuries or minor injuries, it’s important to know that you have rights and options.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Hickory, NC
If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you might be able to:
File a Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
One of the first things you should do after being injured in a car accident is to contact the other driver’s insurance company. You will need to file a claim with their insurance company to get compensation for your injuries.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely try to lowball you with an initial settlement offer. It’s important to avoid accepting any settlement offers, or making any settlement demands of your own, until you have spoken with a car accident lawyer in Hickory. An experienced lawyer will be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and help you recover fair compensation.
File a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
If you were injured in a car accident, and the insurance company makes a lowball offer, you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get full and fair compensation for your losses. You will need to prove that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence led to your injuries. By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost income, and more.
File a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Company
If you were injured in a car accident, and the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured, you might also be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. This is known as either an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. If you have insurance, you have uninsured motorist coverage as it is required in North Carolina. You may also have underinsured motorist coverage, which is over and above the minimum limits. These types of insurance coverages allow you to get compensation for your injuries even if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages.
Collect Medical Payments Coverage
If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you might also be able to get compensation through both your driver’s medical payments coverage as well as your own. This coverage can help pay for your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Determining who will pay for your injuries after a car accident can be complicated. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Hickory, NC. At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we can help you understand your legal rights and options and get the compensation you deserve.
How to Prove Fault in a Hickory, NC Car Accident
There are a few different ways to prove fault in a car accident. The first is by looking at who was ticketed at the scene of the accident. If the other driver was given a ticket for speeding, running a red light, or any other traffic violation, they will likely be found at fault for the accident. However, if there aren’t serious injuries, the officer may not issue a ticket and let the insurance companies and lawyers figure it out.
Another way to prove fault is by looking at the police report. Based on their investigation, the responding officer will usually include their opinion on who was at fault in the accident. But the police report is not necessarily the end of the investigation. You will note that at the top of collision reports in North Carolina, it says that determinations of fault are for insurers or the state courts.
Finally, you can also prove fault by gathering evidence from the accident scene. This may include taking photos of the damage to both vehicles, pictures of the scene itself, any possible video footage of the collision from local businesses or dash-cams, getting witness statements, and anything else that can help show what happened.
If you’re not sure who was at fault in your accident, or if the other driver is denying responsibility, an experienced car accident attorney can help. They will investigate the accident and gather evidence to build a strong case to support your claim.
What Happens if the Driver Who Caused the Accident is a Friend or Relative?
If the driver who caused the accident is a friend or relative, you might be hesitant to file a claim against them. You might be worried about what will happen to your relationship if you do.
It’s important to understand that filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not necessarily mean that your friend or relative will have to pay anything out of pocket. Their insurance company will likely be responsible for paying any damages awarded up to their policy limits.
The only party that benefits from an injured party not filing an insurance claim is the insurance company. By not filing a claim, the insurance company gets to keep the money that would have otherwise been paid out.
Compensation You Can Recover After an Accident
If you are injured in a car accident, you might be eligible to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages for your injuries. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault driver for their negligence. They are available in rare cases where there is an impaired driver or if the driver was engaged in particularly egregious behavior.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we have been helping passengers injured in car accidents in North Carolina since 2005. We have a track record of success in car accident cases and are ready to put our experience to work for you. We understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the aftermath of a car accident.
We value the attorney-client relationship and will work with you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and answer any questions you have about filing a personal injury claim.