Unfortunately, car accidents happen every single day in North Carolina. No matter how safely you operate your vehicle, drivers who are reckless, distracted, drunk, or otherwise negligent can cause you to crash. If you’ve been injured in a North Carolina car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
At DeMayo Law Offices, one of our experienced North Carolina car accident attorneys can take your call, evaluate your case, and advise you on the best route to take to recover the cost of your car crash injuries.
You may be owed compensation for your medical expenses, missed work, and pain and suffering. Call the NC personal injury lawyers of DeMayo Law Offices at (866) 338-7477 to set up your free consultation.
What to Do After a Car Accident in North Carolina
The moments after a car accident can be harrowing, particularly if you or a loved one sustained a serious injury. If you are able to do so safely, exit your car and check on anyone in the other vehicle. Next, call 9-1-1 to report the accident and any injuries so those first responders can get to the scene as soon as possible.
You can take these steps after your safe to protect your legal right to compensation:
- Move the vehicles out of the road, if possible. This may not be an option if your car is totaled, but it’s important to clear your car so that you can safely wait for help.
- Get contact information from the other driver. You will need to collect insurance information from them so that you or your attorney can communicate with their insurance company. If the driver is uninsured, ask for their direct phone number and address.
- Speak with any witnesses. If anyone stopped to help after the crash, get their contact information. Their statement could be important evidence of the cause of the accident.
- Never admit to fault of any sort. If you outright admit fault at the scene, the other driver’s insurer or attorney could use your statement against you. Be truthful to the police, but don’t try to explain why the crash happened.
- Call a car accident lawyer. Don’t wait to contact a lawyer after your accident. Make the call to a qualified attorney, like ours at DeMayo Law Offices, as soon as you can so they can take over communications with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer. You should have the time and space to focus on healing from the injuries you sustained in the wreck.
Why Your Lawyer Should Speak with Your Insurance Company
Don’t be tempted to make statements to an insurance adjuster. Your lawyer knows how to negotiate on your behalf with both your own and the opposing insurance companies.
Unfortunately, you can only count on your lawyer to be on your side. Insurance companies look out for their bottom line, so it’s the insurance adjuster’s job to pay you as little money as possible. If you try to negotiate with them directly, you could be shortchanged or denied compensation altogether.
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Insurance policies are confusing, and they’re designed to be that way. Your car accident attorney will cut through the legal jargon and show you what your coverages are and what you can demand from the at-fault party.
Types of Car Accidents That May Entitle You to Legal Compensation
As recently as 2018, North Carolina reported one of the top five total car accident-related deaths in the U.S., according to WCNC. Of those deaths, almost 33 percent involved alcohol, while 40 percent were linked to speeding. If you were injured in a DUI accident or by a speeding driver, you might be owed compensation from the drunk or reckless driver’s insurer.
A free consultation with our car accident lawyers will help you determine how much you may be able to get from the negligent party that caused your wreck when you file a personal injury claim.
You might be able to seek financial damages for any type of car accident if there another driver, a motor vehicle manufacturer, or other entity caused it through negligence or recklessness. Our car accident attorneys have experience helping Carolinians get the money they need after being injured in an accident.
The types of car crash we see often include:
- Hit & Run Accidents: When a driver crashes into you and leaves the scene quickly, an attorney can help you find the responsible party.
- Drunk Driver Accidents: Drunk drivers cause many accidents, including serious ones causing catastrophic injuries.
- Drugged Driver Accidents: An impaired driver may crash into another car when their reflexes are suppressed by the drugs they took.
- Distracted/Texting While Driving: Distracted drivers take their eyes off of the road, which means the chances of them hitting other vehicles are high.
- Rear-End Collisions: One of the most common types of accidents, rear-end collisions can cause severe whiplash and spinal cord injuries.
- Speeding Accidents: Speeding is a kind of reckless driving that can cause serious injuries. Speeding drivers are unable to stop quickly, making them likely to cause crashes.
- Accidents with Underinsured/Uninsured Drivers: If an uninsured or underinsured driver runs into you, a lawyer can help you get the coverage you need.
- Road Defects: Sometimes, potholes or other road defects can cause you to lose control of your car and crash through no fault of your own. The negligent municipality in charge of the road may be liable for your wreck.
- Car/Mechanical Defects: Manufacturer defects can cause cars to stop working correctly, ultimately causing collisions. The manufacturer could be responsible for the damages they cause.
Remember, neither your insurance company nor the other driver’s insurer will look out for your well-being after an accident. They only want to minimize your payout.
If your medical bills exceed the minimum coverage required by North Carolina law, this can be a problem. Minimum coverage requirements in our state are:
- $30,000 per person for injury or death
- $60,000 total for all people involved in the wreck
- $25,000 for property damage
The lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices can help you seek the maximum compensation you’re owed so that you can recover fully.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina
North Carolina’s negligence laws are fairly strict because the state is one of the few that adheres to the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if you are even partially at fault for the accident, then you can’t file for any damages.
If you’re found even one percent responsible, then you can’t recoup any costs no matter how badly you were injured in the accident. That’s why you need a good attorney. They will help you prove the negligence of the other party when you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Make sure you contact a lawyer to file in a timely manner. North Carolina’s personal injury laws outline a three-year statute of limitations. After the deadline, you may not be able to recover the compensation you deserve.
To make your personal injury claim go as smoothly as possible, your attorney will ask you for documentation of all the costs you or anyone in the car with you incurred due to the car accident, including:
- Medical Bills: Keep records of all hospital bills, surgery costs, doctor appointments, and any future estimated costs related to your injuries.
- Lost Wages: If you missed work while you recovered from the wreck, you could be entitled to compensation for those lost wages.
- Future Lost Wages: If your injuries don’t allow you to resume your prior job duties and hurts your future earning potential, you could ask for damages. Your lawyer will help estimate what you’re owed.
- Car Repair Costs: You can demand damages for the cost of your car repair or replacement if the wreck was not your fault.
Some states cap how much compensation, or damages, you can receive for personal injury cases, but North Carolina doesn’t. Your car accident attorney will negotiate on your behalf and fight to get you the maximum settlement possible for your injury.