What Should I Do After a Car Accident in North Carolina?

4What Should I Do After a Car Accident in North Carolina?

Getting hurt in a car accident can be a traumatic and difficult time in your life. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you could spend time in the hospital, might undergo surgery, and could face some rehabilitation time. You will also lose time away from work and suffer other damages. You will want to know what you should and should not do after a car accident in North Carolina.


Call the Police

It is extremely important to call the police at the scene of the crash. The police will investigate the accident, take statements from drivers and witnesses, and gather necessary information. The police report could become extremely critical in proving your claim that the other driver was at fault for the accident. You will also want to exchange driver information, including name and contact information, and insurance info.


Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Should I take photographs of the property damage sustained to my car, of the accident scene, or of my visible injuries following an accident?”


Do I Have to Report a Car Accident?

It is always best to contact the police at the time of the accident. However, if that did not happen, you may wonder if you must report the accident. North Carolina law (G.S. 20-4.01(33b)) requires you to file an accident report when there is personal injury or death or when the damages are more than $1,000. You must report the accident in the jurisdiction where it happened. The police will investigate the accident and make a report. If you fail to file a report, you could face charges.


Seek Medical Care

Your medical condition is the most important consideration following an accident. The paramedics may come to the scene and will evaluate your condition. If you require further treatment, they will transport you to the hospital. If you leave the scene without getting care, make sure that you go to the hospital or your doctor as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the incident, if possible. The longer you wait for treatment, the harder it may become to prove that your injuries happened during the crash.


What is Contributory Negligence?accident-3-1474586

When someone is hurt in an accident, the negligent driver is responsible for the resulting damages. Negligence is “the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” In car accidents, negligence can happen when someone does something, such as speeding, or fails to do something, such as stopping at a stop sign, for example. North Carolina utilizes the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that you may only collect damages from an accident if you were not at all negligent. Insurance companies typically assign a portion of negligence to each driver involved in a crash. If you were negligent, you cannot collect damages from another party.


Contact an Attorney

One thing you may want to do as soon as possible is contact an attorney. Your lawyer will gather and review information about the crash and will guide the process to help you get the compensation you deserve. You may be owed money for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney will work on your behalf to help you get enough money to cover your damages.


If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, do not delay. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a free initial consultation to discuss your injuries.






The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.



negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)



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