What to Do If You Are in an Accident

As an accident and personal injury attorney, I have come to know what things you do and don’t need to do if you are involved in an auto or motorcycle accident. In this article, I list those things.

1.    Stop at the scene
It is a crime in North Carolina for a driver involved in a collision resulting in injury to fail to stop their vehicle at the scene.

2.    Call the police
The insurance company will need to see an accident report from a police officer to confirm that their driver was responsible for the accident.

3.    Do not move the vehicles
Because the police officer will indicate on the accident report who he believes is at fault, the placement of the vehicles after the collision could be important to him in making that decision.

4.    Get the names of witnesses
You may need these witnesses to tell the police officer what happened. You would be surprised how many times another driver will tell you they are sorry for causing the accident, but when the police arrive, they change their story.

5.    Respond carefully to the officer
You need to cooperate with law enforcement officers by providing basic facts. Do not, however, guess or speculate about facts that you are not sure about because what you tell the officer can end up in the accident report.

6.    Take photographs of your damaged auto or motorcycle
It could be important to show the insurance company the type of damage to your auto or motorcycle.

7.    Take photographs of any visible injuries
The insurance company will want to know how you were injured in the accident. If you have visible injuries, such as bruising, cuts or road rash, it is important to photograph those injuries so the insurance company can appreciate the extent of those injuries.

8.    Contact the other driver’s insurance company
The other driver’s insurance company will need to be contacted about claims for your injuries and damage to your auto or motorcycle. Some individuals want to make that contact themselves. Other individuals would rather have an attorney make that contact on their behalf. If you decide to make contact with the other insurance company yourself, just be careful about what information you relay to the other insurance company. In addition, be very careful about any documents that the insurance company wants you to sign. The insurance company may ask you soon after your accident to sign a document called a Release in which you agree to settle your entire case right there on the spot. If that document is signed, you will never be able to obtain any additional money in the future for lost wages, medical expenses or your injuries.

If you have any questions about an auto or motorcycle accident, please give me a call directly at 919-942-1181, send me an email at garyrpoole@mindspring.com or complete our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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