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Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of day-to-day life in the Carolinas, and they can leave a lasting and devastating impact on you and your family’s physical, mental and financial health. According to the NC Department of Transportation, North Carolina alone was the site of nearly 320,000 car accidents in 2019, and there were almost 1,500 fatalities as a result.
It is common to feel confused and disoriented in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. That’s why it’s important to know what steps to take after an accident – and what actions to avoid – to protect yourself and any potential legal claims you may have. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor are here to help. For your free consultation, call us today at (800) 351-3008 or schedule an appointment online.
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Important Steps To Take After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be highly stressful. While this sounds somewhat obvious, it’s hard to truly capture all the emotions and feelings you might experience after an accident involving significant injury or property damage. Your adrenaline could be through the roof and contributing to a sense of confusion, anger, or shock.
As difficult as it may be, you must try to maintain a clear head and a sense of calm when you’re involved in a car accident. Keeping cool can help you document essential details that may prove helpful if you file an accident claim or a lawsuit. So if you’re involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, follow these steps as closely as possible:
Stop Your Vehicle, Get to Safety and Call 911
The first thing to do after a car accident is to stop your vehicle – leaving the scene of a car accident is a serious crime. Check for any apparent injuries among the involved parties. Move any involved vehicles safely out of the roadway and onto the shoulder, if possible, while prioritizing your own safety. Then call the police to report the accident as well as any injuries.
Calling the police to report the accident is essential, even if someone else tries to convince you not to contact them. A police report can be a valuable source of information for any future legal claims, and you should let them focus on investigating the facts. Often, there are other factors or variables involved that you may not be immediately aware of. Give the police your understanding of the basic facts without admitting fault or blaming the other driver. Make sure you request a copy of the report and the reporting officer’s name and phone number.
Get Medical Attention
If you or another person in the accident are injured, try not to move until emergency personnel have reached the scene. It’s important to note that some injuries may not be obvious at first. Adrenaline can flood your body and mask painful symptoms until you’ve had a chance to calm down. So even if you don’t require immediate care on the scene or an ambulance, you need to get checked out ASAP by a doctor.
When talking to your doctor, describe any problems or injuries you are experiencing with as much detail as possible. Their official medical documentation can be critical to future legal claims. Also, make sure you save any receipts for medical expenses and any diagnostic imagery like X-rays. An experienced car accident attorney may be able to help you recover these expenses down the road.
Document the Accident and Photograph Everything
Detailed documentation of an accident scene can make all the difference for any potential legal claims. Fortunately, most people today have phones with great cameras. From a variety of angles, photograph and take video of the position of the vehicles, the damage incurred, road conditions, license plate numbers of the other drivers involved, and details that can help provide context for what happened.
Talk to Witnesses and Collect Contact Information
If there are witnesses to your accident, either observers or anyone who stopped to help afterward, move quickly to gather their name and contact information. Often, these witnesses will leave the scene before police arrive, so don’t hesitate. Their statements may help substantiate any legal claims in the future.
It will also be helpful to collect the contact and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident. If a driver is uninsured, then ask for an address and direct phone number. Get as many of these details as possible, such as:
- Full name and detailed contact information, including a phone number if they are willing to provide that
- Insurance information, including their policy number
- License plate number and driver’s license
- Vehicle make, model, and color
Don’t Admit Fault
After an accident, don’t admit fault of any sort, especially to an insurance adjuster. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should lie to the adjuster or the police. Just state the facts as you understand them, but don’t try to explain why the crash happened. When insurance companies or another driver’s attorneys are trying to establish fault in an accident, these statements could come back to haunt you.
Call The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor
To protect yourself and any potential legal claims, we recommend that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor immediately after your accident. That way, we can take over communications with insurance companies and opposing lawyers ASAP. It’s easy to get in over your head when dealing with tons of paperwork, emails, and phone calls from insurance companies that want to close out your claim as quickly and as favorably (to them) as they can.
Having a trusted resource in your corner can also reduce the stress you’re feeling after an accident. It’s very common to have a lot of questions during this time. We’ll help you get answers to questions such as:
- How will I pay for all these medical bills?
- How will I pay for the repair and replacement of my car?
- How will I support myself and my family if I can’t work?
- Can I be compensated for lost earnings in the future as a result of my accident?
Act Quickly and Confidently With The Help of an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Every moment matters when you or a loved one is injured in a car accident. At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we take pride in helping our clients navigate this stressful period with compassionate and comprehensive legal representation. We’re real humans who like to help out other humans, and we’ll never treat you like just another case.
Our hard-earned track record includes recovering millions* for clients who suffered from car accidents caused by other people’s negligence. Nobody should have to fight alone to receive justice and fair compensation for their suffering. Let us help you maximize any legal compensation that you may be entitled to. For your free consultation, call us today at (800) 351-3008 or schedule an appointment online.
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