Motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim and can have a devastating effect on your life. In a split second your life can change even if you were doing absolutely nothing wrong. This can come from someone not paying attention, someone driving too fast, someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, someone texting and driving, or even someone looking away from the roadway for a second. This can lead to a terrible car accident causing severe injuries and scars, time out of work, medical bills piling up, and you spending precious time dealing with all of these issues.
Each of your decisions and actions following the incident can have long term effects on you. Decisions like:
- What do I say to the officer?
- What do I tell the other person’s insurance company that hit me?
- What do I tell my insurance company?
- Where do I take my car after it is damaged?
- How do I get a rental car?
- How do I pay my medical bills?
- Will my health insurance pay for my medical bills?
- How can I afford to miss time from work?
- What does my diagnosis mean and who do I follow up with for medical care?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The First Thing To Do Following An Accident?
Seek medical attention if you are injured! Take pictures, get the names and numbers of any available witnesses, remain at the scene to collect all the insurance information and contact information of everyone involved. Talk to an attorney prior to talking to the insurance companies.
Where Do I Get Medical Treatment?
You can go to your doctor(s) for medical treatment. The sooner the better! Since the insurance company in a car accident does not pay for your medical bills upfront, you may go where ever you want for treatment. Document the medical facilities where you’ve received treatment and keep records of all your bills so at the end of your medical treatment you can ask the insurance company to reimburse you for bills that have been paid or are outstanding.
What If I Had Some Very Minor Fault In The Accident, Can I Still Recover?
Unfortunately, probably not. North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. What that means is that if you are found to have contributed in any way to the fault of the accident then you cannot recover at all from the other person. (not even if you are 1% and the other person is 99%)
For example, if you are texting and driving and get hit by a car you might not be able to recover if it is found that you could have avoided the accident by staying off your phone.
Can I Recover For Pain And Suffering?
Yes, unlike workers’ compensation cases where pain and suffering is not a benefit, people injured as a result of another person’s negligence can receive compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can include many, many things and cover a wide variety of situations. Just a few examples of this could include pain recovering from surgery or burns, suffering from losing a job, or not being able to hold your child due to your injuries. Injured individuals should consider creating a daily journal or some kind of record of pain following an injury.
Why Should I Hire An Attorney Quickly?
Insurance companies have no interest in paying you all that you deserve. They often deny claims, delay giving you answers, and hope you become so frustrated that you give up. An attorney can make sure you obtain what you are entitled to, not only from the other driver’s insurance company but also from your own insurance policy that you purchased to protect and cover you.