What Steps Do I Take To File A Personal Injury Claim After A Car Accident In North Carolina?
If someone is the victim of an auto accident injury due to someone else’s negligence, the accident must be reported. In North Carolina, the local authorities should be alerted if there is a motor vehicle accident. What will typically happen is that a police officer, sheriff, or a member of law enforcement will come to the scene of the accident and complete a motor vehicle accident report.
It’s not uncommon after investigating the accident and speaking to the parties involved that law enforcement issues a ticket to one side or the other. Law enforcement then reports what is agreed upon between the parties involved and what happened in the accident, and they’ll also take insurance information. This information forms the basis for the insurance companies to sort out in the future.
If you’ve got a cell phone with a camera, it’s always good to take pictures of the accident. It’s also important to identify any possible witnesses. Ask people if they saw what happened, and if they will provide a statement or if they noticed anybody driving erratically or acting irrationally that could have caused the accident.
How Long Do I Have To File A Car Accident Personal Injury Claim In North Carolina?
In North Carolina, the statute states that you have up to 3 years to file an auto accident personal injury claim. Though there’s no problem with contacting insurance companies immediately, the extent of the injuries isn’t always readily available directly after the accident, and that’s why it’s essential to collect information after an accident and get medical treatment.
After gathering information and getting medical treatment, you can contact your insurance company and the negligent driver’s insurance company. If you choose to file a lawsuit, it’s crucial that you’re ready to file way before that statute date, as there’s a lot for a law firm to accomplish before the statute of limitations date approaches in your case.
What If I Was Injured In An Accident By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver In North Carolina?
If people who drive in North Carolina are fully insured the way they should be, they will have underinsured and uninsured coverage. This means they’re paying on their own for insurance that covers them in this situation.
Suppose somebody hits you without insurance or they’re underinsured for the type of damages that you’ve suffered. In that case, your insurance company can be contacted to provide compensation for the car accident resulting from an underinsured or uninsured driver. Most properly insured drivers will have uninsured and underinsured coverage in North Carolina. If you were injured, compensation would be available, but it will be through your insurance in this situation.
Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney In North Carolina If Liability Is Clear In An Accident?
The main reason to hire an attorney in a motor vehicle accident case is that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. That means the driver who was 99% at fault and the injuries that resulted from the accident do not matter if the injured driver was at fault for even 1% of the accident. In North Carolina, because of the contributory negligence laws, the driver that was just 1% at fault cannot recover from the other driver because of that 1% negligence.
Insurance companies are well aware of this fact; even though they might have a driver who has some fault for a car accident, they know if they can gather some evidence of the less at-fault driver being just 1% at fault for an accident, they are going to try to find that information.
Speaking with an insurance company after a car accident without an attorney guarantees that what the adjuster or investigator is trying to do is find you 1% to 10% at fault. By doing this, an argument can be made that the less at-fault driver was somehow responsible to some even minuscule extent so that they can take the liability off the more at-fault driver.
Attorneys are aware of auto insurance company tactics. Reasonable attorneys specializing in personal injury claims and representing victims of motor vehicle accidents will always be mindful that the insurance company is constantly looking for that tiny mistake made by the injured person. That little mistake could get the other driver off the hook entirely.
For more information on Filing A Car Accident Injury Claim In NC, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (833) 444-4127 today.