What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Charlotte?

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?Car accidents happen daily in Charlotte and the surrounding areas stemming from causes like speeding, distracted driving, or failure to obey traffic signals.

When you are involved in a Charlotte car accident, knowing how to handle such situations is crucial.

What are the accident laws in Charlotte, North Carolina?

According to North Carolina § 20‑166.1, all drivers involved in “reportable accidents” must report their crashes to law enforcement right away. If an accident occurs in a city or town’s limits, the responsible police department should be contacted immediately. If the accident occurred outside of the city or town limits, the sheriff’s office or State Highway Patrol should be called.

Reportable accidents are considered any type of accident that involves an injury or death, property damage of more than $1,000, or property damage of any amount if the driver is charged with driving while impaired.

What are the immediate steps to take after a car accident?

When involved in a car accident, quick actions can make a significant difference. Here are the essential steps to follow:

  1. Pullover or move out of the traffic’s way: Immediately after the accident, ensure safety by moving your vehicle out of the traffic flow, if possible. If you do not pull over or move out of the way, other vehicles may strike you and your vehicle, leading to more damage and personal injuries.
  2. Check for any injuries: Next, assess yourself and passengers for any injuries. Ask them if they are hurt and what symptoms they are experiencing. Encourage them not to move if severely injured, except in emergencies. After you check on your passengers, go to the other vehicles and see if the parties involved are injured. If you are physically unable to move because of your injuries, remain seated.
  3. Contact the police: Dial 9-1-1 to report the accident, regardless of its severity. You will need to explain where the accident occurred, whether any passengers were present, if other vehicles were involved, and what type of injuries occurred. Let the 9-1-1 operator know whether you think an ambulance is necessary, although they will likely send one just in case.
  4. Exchange information with other parties and witnesses:  Exchange information such as names, contact details, and insurance information with the other parties involved. If any witnesses are at the scene, ask to exchange contact information with them.
  5. Take pictures and videos if possible: If possible, take photos and videos of the accident scene, different angles of the vehicles involved, any debris or markings on the road, street signs, and any injuries.
  6. Seek medical attention: Even if injuries seem minor, it is critical that you still seek medical attention promptly to ensure that you do not have any hidden injuries that could result in severe complications. A healthcare provider will assess your injuries and symptoms and run tests to find any other injuries that are not immediately apparent. It can take hours, days, or even weeks for some injuries and symptoms to emerge.
  7. Notify your insurance company about the accident: Inform your insurance provider about the accident to initiate the claims process. This will ensure that they begin seeking recovery from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
  8. Contact a car accident lawyer:  Seek legal assistance from a Charlotte car accident attorney who will help you navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights. The legal process can be overwhelming when you are healing and recovering from painful injuries. However, an attorney can handle all communication with insurance companies, ensure that you never miss a deadline, help you gather supporting evidence, and provide legal advice about the next steps in the process.

Is North Carolina an at-fault or no-fault state?

North Carolina follows an at-fault system, meaning the responsible party bears liability for damages. In Charlotte, if you’re not at fault in an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance typically covers your losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.

At Price, Petho & Associates, PLLC, our Charlotte car accident lawyers have the experience, skills, and resources to help you pursue fair compensation for your losses. We take all car accident cases seriously and will handle the legal tasks while you focus on your medical recovery. Please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options and rights today. We have offices in Charlotte, Rutherfordton, and Rockingham for your convenience.