North Carolina Car Accident FAQs - Part 1
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have helped many Charlotte-area clients recover the compensation they deserve after suffering severe injuries in a car accident. Going through a car accident is never easy, and many of our clients have suffered painful, life-altering injuries. When they come to our office, many of them have questions about the process of recovering compensation. Today we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions we received from clients who have been injured in serious Charlotte car accidents.
- Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Charlotte Car Accident?
- Must I Call the Police and an Ambulance After a Car Accident?
- Should I Move My Vehicle After a Car Accident?
It is technically possible for a car accident victim to submit a personal injury lawsuit and represent themselves. However, due to the complex nature of personal injury litigation, representing yourself is not advisable. If you are attempting to recover compensation from an insurance company, hiring an attorney will help you tremendously. Insurance companies are large for-profit companies that hire lawyers to find gaps in their policies so they can deny paying out claims or giving you the full amount of compensation you deserve.
If you are trying to handle your insurance claim by yourself, the insurance company may try to take advantage of your lack of experience working within the insurance system. Insurance adjusters are often aggressive and may use bullying tactics to avoid paying out the full compensation that injured car accident victims deserve. Many people assume that they will lose a significant amount of money in legal fees if they hire an attorney. However, in many cases, your lawyer will help you recover more compensation than you would have been able to had you represented yourself. Additionally, most personal injury lawyers do not charge you fees until they recover compensation for you, whether through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit.
We are frequently asked whether people need to call law enforcement officers after a car accident. We recommend calling 911 and requesting emergency medical services and law enforcement to come to the scene of the accident. Unless you are entirely sure that you are not injured, it is wise to be evaluated by medical professionals. If you do need to go to the hospital, you should. Receiving a comprehensive medical evaluation and following your doctor's orders will help your personal injury claim for compensation.
Requesting that a police officer come to the scene of the accident is also important. The officer will interview witnesses and investigate the scene before completing a police report. They will give their professional opinion on how the car accident occurred and who the at-fault driver is. They will also collect important information, like the other drivers’ names and addresses. You will likely be able to use the police report to help your claim.
If your car is in a dangerous location, such as in the middle of a highway, you should move it out of the way. If it is possible to do so safely, take a few photos of your vehicle before you move it to show the location and position of your car immediately after the car accident. You can leave your car where it is if it is not blocking any traffic. If your engine does not start, you will obviously need to call a tow truck to move your car.
When you take photos of the accident scene, make sure that you include any unusual circumstances, such as debris in the road are potholes that may have contributed to the accident. Take photos of the damage to all of the vehicles involved and photos that show each vehicle’s exact location and any skid marks on the road. The photos you take of your car's position, and location can be crucial for your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. These photos could show that the at-fault driver is liable for your injuries.
Researching before contacting an attorney is essential. After all, your attorney will be in charge of seeking compensation on your behalf. Hiring an attorney is an important decision. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we offer potential new clients a free consultation so they can learn more about our legal practice. We want our clients to feel comfortable asking questions and discussing a case with us. If you have been in a serious car accident in Charlotte, we can help. Contact us today at 704.370.2828 to schedule your free initial consultation.