10 Things To Do If You Are Injured In A Car Accident

In 2013, there were an estimated 3.8 million injuries from car crashes in the U.S. which needed medical attention. In that same year in North Carolina alone, 1,100 people lost their lives due to vehicular accidents. In fact, NC is the third most dangerous state in the country for driving in rural areas. Accidents are unpredictable and can be life-altering for those involved. If you are involved in an accident, one of the most important things to remember is that you only have a short time frame to photograph your injuries. Nat Smith, an attorney at Bagwell Holt Smith in Chapel Hill, stresses that, “You’ll never have another chance – once that window of opportunity passes and you’ve healed, you’ll never be able to get that photo again. In court, a picture can be worth more than a thousand words.” So, what should you remember if a car wreck affects you?

  1. Make sure you (and your passengers) are safe. You should ensure that your vehicle is safely out of the way of other traffic.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Wait until the authorities (police, highway patrol, EMS) arrive.
  4. Explain what happened to the police or highway patrol.
  5. Get appropriate medical care – including EMS transport to a hospital if you feel it is warranted.
  6. Do not belittle or exaggerate your injuries
  7. Take pictures of your injuries (bruises, stitches, cuts, etc.) and the vehicles involved in the accident. Write down what happened, describing the location, weather, and individuals involved.
  8. Notify your insurance company – and, if the other driver was at fault, notify that driver’s insurance company.
  9. Keep a list of all medical providers who treat you.
  10. Consider hiring a personal injury attorney. If you want to file a lawsuit, you have 3
    years from the date of your injuries to file a claim in North Carolina.

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