Being injured in a car accident isn’t something we plan on experiencing when we get behind the wheel. However, studies reveal that there are six million accidents per year with nearly half resulting in injury. There are approximately 300,000 accidents in North Carolina every year according to statistics from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Knowing the possible risks, it is important to know what to do following an auto accident in North Carolina.
But, just as there are many good ideas of things to do, there are as many not to do. Remember, your first steps after an accident can affect any compensation you may receive from an insurance company if you file a claim.
Below are detailed steps you should take following an injury accident.
Stay at the scene with your vehicle
If your car is not debilitated, you should attempt to move your vehicle off the roadway so as to not impede traffic and prevent further crashes. While it is good to move the vehicle off the roadway, don’t go very far. In North Carolina, leaving the scene of an accident can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the accident.
If your car is still operable, turn on your hazard lights to warn oncoming traffic. Furthermore, if you have an emergency kit in your car, use your flares or traffic cones to help signal to other motorists to be aware of your accident.
Make sure you have thoroughly checked yourself and other passengers in your vehicle for injuries. Be sure to also check on the occupants of the other vehicle involved. Notify emergency responders immediately to aid those who may be injured on the scene, including yourself. Should you be injured, do not move. Emergency personnel will be arriving shortly, and moving may cause more harm than not.
If you are able and your injuries are not life-threatening, begin to take notes and pictures of the scene, your vehicle, and any other details including your injuries. Be sure to exchange insurance information with the occupant of the other vehicle involved. Keep notes even as you seek medical attention.
Seek medical attention
After your injury accident, see a doctor immediately. Not all injuries are obvious right away, and while you think some of your injuries are minor, symptoms can appear days and even weeks after the accident. Be sure to visit your local emergency room right away. Do not wait to seek medical attention, as it is more difficult to demonstrate that your injuries were the result of the accident. It’s important to also keep notes of the names of doctors, therapists, and any other professionals you may need to seek as a result of your accident.
Hire a personal injury attorney
If you need help with your injury claim, hire a personal injury attorney. Personal Injury attorneys are experienced with injury claims and can help you obtain as much compensation as possible.