Who to contact after being involved in a car accident
Knowing who to contact after a car accident seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many clients contact our office and are confused on who to contact after a car accident. We receive many cases where an appropriate authority has not yet been contacted. Many folks believe that the only person you should call after a car accident is the police department. For the sake of this blog post, we are talking about who to call directly after the car accident occurs.
We hope that the following helps with understanding who are important parties to contact after a car accident occurs.
1) Contact local authorities immediately after a car accident
This one may seem like a no brainer, however, this does not always happen. Depending on the severity of the car accident may determine whether or not the parties contact authorities.
Minor car accidents and property damage
We have all heard of the minor fender bender where one party simply states they will pay out of pocket for damage. This same scenario play out time and time again. The problem with this is that some people are not always trustworthy when it comes to paying out of pocket for damages. One party may provide false information, or give wrong information and you may never hear from them again.
Make sure that if the car accident is minor you still contact local authorities and have an officer show up to the scene. This helps establish a record of the car accident. A police report will be generated and each party’s insurance information will be documented. You should end up with a breadth of information that you can use to ensure that your property damage is fixed. You will no longer need to worry that the other driver might provide fake information. Even if you have a separate agreement with the other driver to cover damages, you still have their insurance information if need be.
Major car accidents
If you are involved in a major car accident which results in personal injuries and/or property damage, it is a must that local authorities are called. Even if you feel as though you can simply walk away from the auto accident, it is always smart to be checked out by medical professionals. One reason it is important to contact medical professionals is you may be in shock after the car accident. You may not realize you are injured until a couple of days after the car accident. The quicker medical professionals can diagnose your injuries, the quicker you can get treatment for your injuries.
2) Contact the other driver’s insurance after a car accident
Once authorities are called, the officer will complete a police report which will contain the other driver’s insurance information. It is important to contact the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible to report the car accident. Before providing details of the car accident to the insurance company you should contact an attorney. An attorney will be able to write a letter of representation and provide details on your behalf to ensure there are no issues down the road. Give our office a call if you are about to contact an insurance company to report an accident.
3) Contact your own insurance company after an auto accident
You always want to contact your own insurance so that they may perform their own investigation. Given that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, you insurance company will be able to perform their own investigation and assess liability.
It is also important to contact your own insurance company to put them on notice of the car accident. If it turns out that the other driver does not have insurance, your insurance company may be able to provide you with some relief. Your insurance company can review your policy to determine if you hold uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
4) Contact your family after a car accident
Contacting your close family members is always a good idea after an auto accident. What most folks don’t understand is that family members make great witnesses in court. If you contact a family member directly after an auto accident, they will be able to testify to your state of mind after the car accident. Should you forget details after the auto accident, your family members may be able to testify to your recollection of the events. However, ensure that what you tell your family members is accurate regarding the accident. You want to ensure that if they testify in court, their statements are going to be accurate.
5) Make “contact” with your journal after a car accident
Be sure to jot down notes after the car accident. One thing about the court system is that things move very slowly. Although the accident may seem fresh in your mind, the details may not seem so fresh when you are testifying years later. Unfortunately, because cases move slow through the court system, you may not remember everything from the accident. A journal is a great place to write down details so that you can later refer back to them.
It is important to ensure that you write accurate notes about the accident. During the process of discovery, the defense attorney will gain access to the journal. If your statements are accurate, you will give the defense no ammo to attack your case.
6) Contact an experienced attorney after a car accident
One of the most important things you can do is contact an experienced personal injury attorney after the car accident. A good personal injury attorney will have a magnitude of experience in dealing with insurance companies and litigating cases. An attorney will be able to contact the insurance company on your behalf, and understands the tricks they will play. An experienced attorney understands how to dispute liability, and collect all necessary evidence to build a case.
Without an experienced attorney by your side, you run the risk of lowball offers from the insurance company. These lowball offers never take into consideration all of your physical and mental suffering. Not only will insurance companies not take your injuries serious, but they will find other ways to not include your lost wages and future damages.
To read about our practice areas, click here. If you are having trouble finding the other parties insurance information after a car accident, you can contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance here.
Contact us today so we can represent you in your car accident
At Schehr Law PLLC, we have years of experience in dealing with insurance companies. We understand what it takes to make you whole after an accident. The sooner you are able to contact us, the easier it will be for us to build a strong case. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you. You can contact an attorney at our office directly at (704) 900-0336. We offer free consultations for all personal injury cases. We don’t get paid until we get you paid.
To reach our Spanish speaking assistant or paralegal, please contact our office at (980) 267-2761.