Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Most people wake up every morning focused on getting their children off to school, and themselves off to work. The basics of life are putting food on the table, and keeping a roof over our heads. We do not get the benefit of knowing what life has in store for us. We don’t get a notice in the mail, or an e-mail or text message, telling us that today we will be involved in a potentially life changing automobile accident.
So, what should you do if you are involved in an automobile accident in North Carolina? The first thing is: Stay as calm as possible. When an automobile accident happens, adrenaline kicks in, and the heart starts pumping, especially when our loved ones are involved. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you! Instead follow these steps to be prepared, and keep the legal rights of you and your loved ones protected.
Check on your passengers and the drivers, assess how serious the injuries are to those involved, and see how bad the damage is to your own car. Call for medical attention immediately. Do not try to move someone complaining of an injury, especially if it is to their neck and back. However if the car is on fire, or they are near, or lying in a flammable liquid such as gas or oil that may ignite, you may have no choice but to carefully move them to save them from certain harm, or death.
Immediately call the police and if the police officers are not doing a report, request that one be done. Make sure you get the names and badge numbers of the police officers, state troopers, or sheriff’s deputies that have responded to your accident. Do not move your vehicle until directed to do by the responding police officer.
Gather as much information as possible at the scene, including obtaining personal information from the driver that hit you. If they are denying responsibility for the accident, take pictures of the accident scene, and the vehicles – ideally before the vehicles are moved, and speak with independent witnesses who saw the accident. Get their names, addresses, and phone numbers, and when you speak to the investigating police officer, make sure that he or she has this information and preferably talks to the witnesses at the scene.
After the accident, and after you have sought the necessary medical attention, contact Tippens & Zurosky toll free at (877) 372-3580, or 704-343-0018 to schedule a consultation so that we may assist you. We will deal with the insurance company for the person that hit you, and also investigate if there are benefits under your own insurance policy that you may be eligible to receive such as medical payments, or personal injury protection coverage.
If you do not contact our office immediately, make sure you follow up and get the medical attention you need, and keep track of the doctors you have seen. If your car is drivable, get two or three property damage estimates. Above all, be careful discussing the accident with anyone other than an attorney. In cases where the person that hit you does not have valid auto insurance, your insurance company may have to pay you benefits under your uninsured coverage. If the person that hit you does have valid insurance, be on guard for quick settlement offers. Don’t sign anything until you have consulted an attorney.
Tippens & Zurosky in Charlotte has represented people involved in auto accidents in North Carolina and South Carolina for nearly twenty years. Let us help you deal with the unexpected, and get your life back on track. Call us toll free at (877) 372-3580, or 704-343-0018 or visit us online at www.tandzlaw.fusionidea.com to schedule a consultation so that we may assist you.