What are Damages? How Do You Recover? Are There Time Limits? What to Do After You’ve Been In a Traffic Accident this Holiday Season
- Check on Everyone Involved
- Call the Police
- Exchange Information
- Take Pictures
On scene it is important to protect your safety and, if possible, others involved in a wreck – Danny Glover
The holiday season is here. With it comes hours of interstate travel to see loved ones, celebrations with special food and drinks, and time spent shopping for the perfect gifts for everybody in your life.
Because of the increased number of holiday travelers on the roadways, the number of traffic accidents tends to be higher during the holiday season than during other times of the year. A 2013 study published by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles confirms this, showing multiple accidents leading to injuries and fatalities over the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
Being involved in a serious car accident can disrupt your life. You might sustain damage to your vehicle or a physical injury that limits your ability to work. In many cases, motorists suffer from both. Although it can be easy to panic when you are involved in a car accident, it is critical that you remain calm and think clearly. The moments immediately following a car accident are critical and can determine whether a victim makes a full recovery.
Focus on your own health and safety. Once you have received adequate medical care for your injury, consider having an experienced car accident attorney review the accident and explain your legal options to recover compensation for your expenses, such as medical bills and physical therapy, lost wages due to time spent out of work, and other related expenses.
If you are involved in a car accident this holiday season or at any time, take the following steps to ensure that you remain safe and have the evidence you will need if you choose to file a personal injury claim.
Check on Other Parties Involved in the Collision
Check on all other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who were involved in the accident. If anybody is hurt, call for emergency medical services right away.
Call the Police
Regardless of whether anybody is hurt, the next step is to call local law enforcement to have a police officer come to the scene. He or she will file an official police report, which you will need to use as evidence to support your personal injury claim if you choose to file one. Take down the officer’s contact information and badge number to reach him or her if you need to at any point in the claims process.
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Take Photos of the Damage
While waiting for police to arrive, use your cell phone to take photographs to convey the accident scene and the damage that resulted from the collision. Take photos of the cars, of your accident, and of the scene surrounding the accident to show how it happened and your injuries.
- Help Others in Need First
- Be Careful
- Cell Phone Pictures are OK
- Take LOTS of Pictures
- Take Pictures from Different Angles and Distances
Exchange Contact Information with Other Motorists
Exchange contact information and insurance policy information with all other parties involved in the accident. You will need to contact their insurance provider and they might need to contact yours in the months following the accident.
Be sure to take down contact information for any witnesses to the accident as well. When you file a personal injury claim, a witness’ testimony can be an important piece of evidence to support your claim. This is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident.
Pull Off the Road
Move your vehicle off the road when it is safe to do so. Pulling off the road takes you out of the flow of traffic, allowing other drivers to reach their destinations. It also protects your car from another collision. If it is not safe to move your car, leave it where it stands until a wrecker arrives to remove it.
Seek Medical Attention
If you don’t need emergency medical care, seek a medical examination as soon as possible following your accident. Even if you do not feel like you are injured or your injury seems to be minor, it is important that you have a doctor evaluate you. Many injuries appear minor at first, then become more serious if they are left untreated. Others, like traumatic brain injuries, do not have visible symptoms and can easily be overlooked. Your doctor will give you a diagnosis and the correct treatment for your injury. The record of your doctor visit and subsequent treatment will be an important piece of evidence for your personal injury claim.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Once you have received medical treatment for your injury, take advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to understand your legal options. Do not wait to take this step. Under North Carolina law, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is three years from the date of your accident. This means that after your accident, you have three years to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your damages. Once the time has passed, you are no longer eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.
Your attorney will use the evidence you have collected to support your claim. This includes the information you gathered at the scene of the accident, the official police report, photos, and your medical records and documentation of your treatment.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Eastern North Carolina
If you have been involved in a car accident in the Outer Banks or elsewhere in eastern North Carolina, you need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your eligibility to pursue a personal injury claim. Contact our personal injury attorneys at Glover Law Firm today to schedule a legal consultation with us. During your consultation, we will go over the details of your case and advise you of your legal options. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, we are here to represent your interests and advocate for you as you seek the money you deserve for your losses.