Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “Should I give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company?”
If you witness a car accident in North Carolina, it is critical to know exactly what to do following the crash. Many people who witness car crashes do not understand their rights and obligations.
It is important to review North Carolina laws that might apply to your particular situation if you witnessed a car accident in Monroe, Mooresville, Charlotte, or elsewhere. Contact our North Carolina car accident attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to talk about your specific situation.
Note: While there is no North Carolina law that requires you to stop and provide assistance when you witness a car accident, helping those in need is a noble thing to do.
Does North Carolina Have a Good Samaritan Law?
As a car accident witness, one of the first questions you may have is, “Does North Carolina have a Good Samaritan law?” The question may arise if you moved the victims or caused/aggravated injuries of those involved in a crash.
Many states do not have a Good Samaritan law, which means those who cause or aggravate car accident victims’ injuries while trying to help can be held liable for the resulting harm.
Fortunately, North Carolina has a Good Samaritan law, which can be found in N.C.G.S. § 90-21.14. Under the statute, people who render first aid or offer emergency assistance to victims at the scene of car accidents cannot be held liable for their negligent acts or omission.
The only exception to the Good Samaritan law in North Carolina is when the witness is guilty of:
- Wanton conduct; or
- Intentional wrongdoing.
If a car crash victim is trying to hold you responsible for causing or worsening their injury, do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss liability in your specific case.
What to Do When You Witness a Car Accident in North Carolina?
While the steps you take following a motor vehicle accident will depend on the severity of the crash, you should stick to these five rules if you witnessed a car accident in North Carolina:
- Stay safe
While it is noble that you want to help other people, you do not want to get injured at the car crash scene that you have just witnessed. Stop your car a safe distance away from the scene of the collision and turn on your hazard lights. Stay safe when getting out of your car and approaching the crash scene.
- Call 911
Never assume that someone else has already called 911. Pick up your phone and request emergency assistance. When speaking with the 911 dispatcher, provide as many details as you can.
- Check on victims
The victims may need your help following a car accident. However, it is not advised to move anyone unless there is a risk of a vehicle catching fire. Wait until paramedics arrive.
- Make sure that all the vehicles involved in the crash are turned off
Often, people involved in car crashes forget to turn off their vehicles. This can cause a fire hazard at the scene of the accident. If possible, remind all drivers involved in the crash to move to the shoulder of the road (if the crash does not involve injuries and fatalities) and tell them to stay calm.
- Talk to the police
You should talk to the police when they arrive. Answer a police officer’s questions about the crash and provide your name and contact information.
If you have witnessed a car crash but do not know how you can help the victims, speak with a North Carolina car accident attorney as soon as possible. Schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss your situation. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video or phone consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
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.
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