What to Do After You Have Been in a Car Accident
A serious car accident is always a major disruption to your life. And planning for the long term can be challenging when the unexpected forces you to begin living day by day. But if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, there are several things you should do to avoid forfeiting important rights. While an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney can help protect yourself, the things you do even prior to contacting a lawyer can have a lasting impact on your case.
- Take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved — The condition of the involved vehicles can often provide insight into both how a car accident occurred and how serious it was. Unfortunately, once the involved cars are repaired or destroyed, this evidence is gone forever. Important details of the accident scene itself, such as tire marks or the condition of traffic controls or obstructions, may fade or be altered as well.
- Keep track of the doctors you see — Medical records are crucial to proving the nature and severity of your injuries. But in order to obtain these records, your attorney must know where — and preferably when — you received treatment. Moreover, retaining medical bills may help you recoup out-of-pocket costs for your medical care.
- Take note of people who witnessed the accident — In cases where fault is in dispute, statements from other drivers and bystanders who actually witnessed the accident can be crucial to determining what actually occurred. Unfortunately, as time passes they can become more difficult to find and their recollections of the accident can become increasingly hazy.
- Deal carefully with insurance companies — While it is important to contact your insurance company promptly after a car accident, you should limit your contact with the other involved insurance companies until you have consulted an experienced North Carolina attorney. Even your own insurance company may become adverse to you at a later time and should be handled accordingly.