Car accidents can happen suddenly without any notice resulting in thousands of dollars in damages and causing severe injuries. From dangerous road conditions to reckless drivers, while they are out on the road drivers must continuously deal with the distinct possibility that they will become part of these tragic statistics.
Unfortunately, many North Carolinians already have experienced the destructive effects that auto accidents cause. Even more concerning is the fact that car accidents are reported practically every day in our state. Also, the extent of those injuries are usually far-reaching and extensive and involve very high fatality rates.
Accident victims are often left to deal with a great deal of emotional trauma and pain from the initial shock caused by the accident. The victims can also sustain severe injuries with some symptoms not manifesting immediately. If you find yourself in this type of situation, then it is essential to contact a Cornelius, North Carolina car accident attorney. Harman Law offers all of our clients a free consultation.
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, then it is understandable if you are feeling confused. You may be concerned about how you are going to pay for your car repair expenses and medical bills, especially if your injuries have caused you to have to spend time away from work. Our expert injury lawyers in Cornelius will listen carefully to you and will provide you with all of the necessary guidance and help you need.
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What Should I Do After An Auto Accident?
In the event of an accident, there may be severe injuries and an overload of emotions. However, the steps that you take thereafter will be very crucial to your wellbeing and that of others at the scene, and also to the success of your case. The following is a list of steps that you need to follow after an accident in Cornelius, NC:
Do Not Leave the Scene
Whether you are at fault or not, you never attempt to flee the scene. If you leave the scene, particularly in a situation where a victim is either killed or severely injured, then you can end up dealing with serious criminal charges for being a hit-and-run driver.
Call the Police
In case there are serious injuries, significant property damage, or even death, then it is crucial that you contact the police. Ensure that the police file a report, and if possible, ask the responding officers to give you their names and badge numbers.
Check on All Victims
If you are in a position to do so, perform a check to find out if there is anyone who is in need of urgent medical attention. In case the police haven’t arrived at the scene yet, then you should call for ambulance services for those in serious condition. You shouldn’t attempt to move a victim who’s unconscious or seriously injured until the paramedics get to the scene. However, carefully do so in case the position the victim is in puts them in further danger.
Collect the names, addresses, license numbers, plate numbers, and basic insurance information of all the drivers involved in the accident. Also, remember to request any witnesses present at the scene for their names and contact information.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Use your phone or camera to take pictures of any damage inflicted on your vehicle and other vehicles involved in the accident. Other important details such as the presence/absence of skid marks, types of injuries suffered, the extent of property damage, how the vehicles are positioned, and so on, will prove to be very handy in your case, hence, it is important to take images of these too.
Never Admit Fault
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to apologize for anything. For example, if you say that you are sorry for accidentally running the red light, then you will be technically admitting legal liability for whatever happened. Note that it is not always clear who was at fault for the accident, thus, you should never admit guilt for any action even if it was unintentional.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been involved in an auto accident, then it is crucial that you get medical treatment as soon as possible. Documenting your injuries, pain and suffering, types of treatments undergone and those required, and the impact that your injuries have had on your life will significantly help to support your claim.
Ensure that you get a full medical examination by a specialist, and remember to keep a detailed journal of what you are going through as a result of your injuries.
Hire an Attorney
If you have recently been involved in an accident and sustained injuries, then you should definitely consider hiring an attorney. As if dealing with an insurance company wasn’t daunting enough, you will be required to collect sufficient evidence to support your claim.
However, with an experienced car accident attorney on your side, the process will be far much easier for you. They will help you to collect all the necessary evidence to build a strong case and also take the extra steps to maximize your compensation.
What Injuries Are Commonly Seen After Car Accidents?
It is typical to see these types of injuries after a car accident:
- Neck injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Leg and Knee Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Brain Injuries
When Is The Right Time To Hire An Attorney for My Car Accident?
While it is possible to handle an auto accident claim by yourself and represent yourself in such a case, this rarely brings forth the best outcomes.
You have to consider that insurance companies often have big teams of expert lawyers working diligently for them. They will use everything in their power to discredit and devalue your claim, ensuring that the insurer pays the least amount of compensation or even none at all. The only way to ensure that you have any chances of success against the insurance company and their lawyers is by having an aggressive lawyer on your side.
In some cases, the services of an attorney might not be required. This often applies in cases where the accident was minor and no serious injuries or damages were incurred. In such cases, you can be able to effectively handle the claim on your own.
However, the stakes are usually higher when it comes to more serious accidents that result in severe injuries, damages, and death. You shouldn’t attempt to handle such claims on your own as there is a high chance of you actually jeopardizing any chances of success that you might have. Remember that the insurance claims process in North Carolina is rather complex and it requires having the necessary knowledge and experience, which an average citizen like you lacks.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
In case you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, then the bills can quickly accumulate. But considering the fact that your injuries were as a result of another party’s negligence then their insurance company will be required to pay for the damages. While medical expenses are quite simple to calculate there are other types of damages that aren’t that easy to put a monetary value on such as pain and suffering.
However, our auto accident attorneys at Harman Law will guide on how to calculate the full value of your case and ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
How Can an Attorney Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
After the at-fault party and the victim have notified their respective insurance providers, the two companies will initiate their own investigations. While you might be requested to provide a recorded statement by both insurance providers, just keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to do so. In fact, you should avoid doing so at all costs, especially to the insurance provider of the at-fault party. In case of anything, just ask the insurance adjusters to communicate directly with your Cornelius car accident lawyer.
The most information you should give out to the adjuster is your name, the name of the other drivers involved, and the date of the accident. Again, you shouldn’t apologize for anything, lessen your injuries, or speculate on details regarding the accident. Remember that the adjusters are not your friends and they will be readily looking for loopholes in your claim.
If the adjuster determines that indeed the other driver was responsible for the accident, then the insurance company will make you an initial settlement offer. Do not accept this settlement without first consulting your attorney. Your attorney is able to determine how much your case is actually worth and they will make a counteroffer for you. If the insurance provider fails to cooperate then you can initiate litigation.
Our team is committed to ensuring that you get the justice you deserve and help you to quickly get back on your feet. We will handle the bulk of the process for you to enable you to focus on your recovery. We will be in constant communication with you and our lines are open 24/7 in case you have any questions or concerns.
What If The At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Under North Carolina Law, it is a requirement for all drivers to take out Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM). This has been put in place to protect victims in such circumstances. UM in addition to UIM helps to provide compensation in situations where the at-fault driver isn’t insured or the insurance coverage isn’t enough.
UIM is meant to offset the gap in coverage in cases where the damages and injuries exceed the policy coverage carried by the driver. If you are facing such a situation, you will have to file a claim with your insurance provider.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Cornelius Today
If either you or a family member has been injured recently in a car accident, then you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Harman Law will go over your case meticulously to determine whether or not you have a valid case. Also, we will be very happy to respond to any concerns or questions you might have.
Contact our personal injury firm in Cornelius today to get a free consultation scheduled with one of our expert car accident attorneys. Keep in mind that you will not have to pay us anything until we have won your case for you.