Personal Injury Lawyer
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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
1-866-900-7078
Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

What to Do After an Accident (4 Easy Steps)

Woman hurt neck in car accidentYou've been in an accident.

What should you do next?

Accidents often have short-term effects (ex. missing work) and long-term effects (ex. ongoing medical care). If the accident wasn't your fault, an insurance company should compensate you for these consequences, but you need to take steps to protect your rights.

Below are 4 steps that may help, but click here if you want to contact a NC car accident lawyer right now, or call us at 1-866-900-7078. Your initial case evaluation is free.

 
Medical17_072320141)      Medical Care - Be Thorough With Your Doctor
It's natural to feel scared after an accident - especially if you've experienced serious bodily damage. While it may be difficult to focus on the minor injuries, reporting every scratch, cut, and ache to your doctor will make sure every injury is documented and help ensure that your rights are protected.

Warning: Not reporting an injury right away could lead to serious complications in your case.

For example: let's say you have a broken leg and a sore shoulder after an accident. You know that soreness after an accident is somewhat normal, so you don't mention the shoulder to your doctor. However, weeks later, it's just getting worse. You find out it's a torn rotator cuff and you need surgery.

But when you send the surgery bill to your insurance company, they balk. Since you didn't report the injury right away, they argue that it wasn't a result of the accident and say that they won't pay it. (If this happens, please contact a NC car crash attorney right away).

Reporting every injury you see or feel is essential to try to make sure that you do not end up paying the price for someone else's negligence.

It is also important to get consistent treatment for all of your injuries until they are fully healed. Frequent visits allow the doctor and insurance company to have a detailed history of your resulting medical problems and expenses.
 
2) Collect and Save Evidence From Day One
After years of experience, we can say that you never know what shred of evidence can end up supporting your claim.

Photos, clothing, paper, and other seemingly mundane materials could be important to building your case. The best rule is to just keep everything.  If in doubt, ask your attorney.

For example: one of the most important pieces of evidence could be the clothes you wore on the day of the accident - particularly if you were bleeding or thrown from the vehicle. Therefore, it is important to keep them and not to wash them in order to preserve their integrity.

Keep a record of all medical appointments, examination records, bills, and pictures of injuries. Be meticulous about how you manage all this material. With respect to your car, have someone take and keep pictures of vehicle damage, any other property damage, skid marks, and/or street signs. Keep witnesses' names and telephone numbers. Record the weather on the day of the accident. All of this information could eventually play an important role in building your case.

As soon as you're able, write down everything you can remember about what happened - or dictate the details to a loved one. Thorough documentation is incredibly important!
 
3) Keep an Accident Journal
One of the best ways to keep a record of everything is to start an accident journal. These journals can contain whatever information you find relevant, but most importantly they become a personal timeline of your experience that you can share with your attorney to help build a stronger case. Additionally, since these cases can sometimes last for years, starting a journal immediately means you will have something to look back on to refresh your recollection of how you were feeling shortly after the accident, when you are questioned about it.

What to include in your accident journal:

  • Name/contact information of anyone you speak to regarding your case (police officers, insurance adjustors, doctors, etc.)
  • When you spoke to them
  • Notes of your conversations and anything you think could be relevant

 
Paperwork3_07312014Bonus tip #1 (speaking with your insurance agent): Although we strongly recommend you speak with an attorney before talking with an insurance agent, if you find yourself in a position where you have to speak with them, this video may help you prepare.
 
4) Get a Professional Opinion - At No Cost
We've been doing this for many years. We've seen how insurance companies might seem sweet and accommodating up front, but as the bills add up, they may not be as accommodating as they were in the beginning. You should know:

It is very likely that an insurance company - whether the at-fault driver's or your own - may offer to pay you far less than what you may deserve for your injuries and damages. Don't sign anything or agree to a settlement without an attorney on your side reviewing the offer to ensure you aren't losing rights, compensation or benefits.

Many personal injury attorneys will review your claim for free.

Bonus tip #2 (hiring an attorney): If you think you may want an attorney, hire one early. If they work on contingency, it won't cost you any more than it would if you waited and they can help keep you from making inadvertent mistakes that may hurt your case.

Secondly, when you choose an attorney, we recommend you find one who has successfully represented people in car crashes like yours in court - just in case you need to take your case that far, and so the insurance company knows they're willing to go there.

If you want the opinion or advice of an experienced NC car accident lawyer, please call us at 1-866-900-7078.  We'll try to answer any questions you have, and there is no obligation to hire us afterward.

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

201 McCullough Drive, Suite 220
Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078