Even if you think you were not seriously injured and you’ll be fine in a couple of days, seeing a doctor right away is essential for the success of your claim.
In 2020, there were 69,000 car accidents resulting in injuries in North Carolina. As a result over 100,000 North Carolina residents were left dealing with property damage, unexpected medical bills and lost wages. If you want to recover the damages you sustained you need to know exactly what to do in the aftermath of a car accident. And what mistakes to avoid. Here’s a quick look at what to do to maximize the chances of a successful personal injury claim.
Don’t talk too much
If you’ve ever passed by the scene of an accident you must have seen people caught up in an animated debate of what just happened. If you are one of the drivers involved in the crash, make sure you don’t say anything that might sound like an admission of guilt. Don’t say anything about what you were doing in your car right before the crash, don’t offer explanations or excuses. Keep in mind that more than one person might be filming the whole thing and that video might end up in the hands of an insurance adjuster.
Unlike many other states, North Carolina follows the contributory negligence rule. If it is established that you were partly to blame for what happened, no matter how minor your fault, you risk losing your right to get damages.
If you’re afraid you might be found partly to blame, it’s best to get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer servicing Lumberton and the nearby communities.
Do not talk to the insurance adjuster on your own
Your insurance policy probably requires you to inform the company of the accident as soon as possible. Make sure you comply with this requirement, but don’t go into any details. Give them the time and place of the crash and nothing else. The insurance adjuster might seem sympathetic and ask a lot of questions, but it’s just a strategy to trick you into saying something they might use against you when you present your claim. Cut the conversation short and let them know your attorney will be in touch.
Don’t put off a medical evaluation
Even if you think you were not seriously injured and you’ll be fine in a couple of days, seeing a doctor right away is essential for the success of your claim. It may very well be that your injuries don’t cause any symptoms for the moment. This may be the case with a head or back injury. If you start noticing pain, numbness, dizziness or difficulty moving a few days or even weeks after the accident, it will be very hard to prove that your health issues were caused by the accident. See your personal physician or go to the ER to have your injuries properly documented, just in case. Your lawyer will need solid evidence to back up your personal injury claim.
Don’t accept a quick settlement
If the insurance company surprises you with a quick settlement offer, be very wary. They’re probably trying to lowball you, taking advantage of your state of your confusion. Let them know they’ll hear from you soon and contact a seasoned North Carolina accident attorney immediately. A lawyer with plenty of expertise in this area will have a look at your medical bills, consider what future medical needs you might have and evaluate your lost earnings to figure out the economic damages.
On top of that, he will evaluate your non-economic damages, those related to the pain and suffering your injuries caused you. In North Carolina, there is no cap on pain and suffering damages related to a car accident so what you get depends very much on how skilled your lawyer is.