Your Car Accident — Procedures And Tips
If you’re in a car accident in Charlotte, NC, chances are it’s on a busy road with numerous concerns. Stay calm and take the following immediate steps to both insure your health and protect your rights.
- Pull Over—You’re required by law to stop your vehicle if you’ve been in an accident. Additionally, there is no harm in moving vehicles to the side of the road. Snap a picture of the scene first, if you’re afraid you won’t be able to establish the position of the vehicles later. But do it quickly, and remove the cars from the flow of traffic.
- Decide Whether 911 Needs To Be Called—While you may not be a doctor or emergency medical technician, you will probably know based on the impact of the collision whether an ambulance is needed immediately. If so, call 911 and request medical help for yourself or others.
- Get a Police Report—Once you’ve looked after the health of those involved, calling the police is your next step. It will be extremely important after the accident, to have a documented report created by the police department. If your car accident is in Mecklenburg County, you can request a free copy of your police report. We’ll obtain a copy of the report for you and help you analyze it over the phone.
- Exchange information—Be sure to get contact information and insurance information from the other driver. If there are witnesses on the scene, quickly get contact information for them. Witnesses tend to disperse as soon as they think they are not needed, or if they decide nobody is in need of serious medical attention. But, you may need their statement as to what happened, when you are later attempting to establish that the accident was not your fault.
- Take More Photos And Videos—If you haven’t taken any photos yet, take them now. This is important and will help establish the scene at a later date. Be sure to take some ‘establishing’ photos from further away. They help to show all parties the road conditions and establish a point of reference for what happened. You can also shoot a video, panning the scene of the accident, and calmly speak into your recorder any thoughts you have as to what happened. This is an easy way to document what you remember while documenting the actual scene.
What To Do After A Car Accident
After the car accident, we recommend all clients keep a notebook or notes about the accident. You’ll be surprised what comes to mind when you’re in the grocery store—perhaps you remember something the other party said, or remember another fact about the accident. These are fleeting thoughts and need to be captured in a notebook.
You’ll also want to report the accident as quickly as possible to the other side’s insurance company. They will assign you a claim number. If you later choose to work with a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer can reference the claim number when reaching out to the insurance company.
Should I Give A Statement To The Insurance Company?
Generally, you shouldn’t speak at length about the facts of the car accident with the other side’s insurance adjuster until you’ve spoken with an attorney. If you’re proceeding without an attorney and you decide to give the adjuster a statement, be concise and stick to the facts. Don’t be afraid to say that you do not remember something, if in fact you do not remember it. You’re not responsible for remembering every fact about the car accident—it’s quite common to forget details during such an event.
Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers answer questions as part of our job. Each day, I expect to take phone calls from individuals who may or may not ever become a client. The goal during those calls is to be of help to you, whether you choose to hire our firm or not. If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your car accident, call 704.749.7747 today or click HERE to ask us to call you at a preferred time. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.