What Information Do I Need After a Car Accident in North Carolina?
The aftermath of an accident can be stressful and overwhelming. In addition to any injuries you may have suffered, you will also need to provide a lot of information to law enforcement, the insurance company, and a car accident lawyer if you decide to hire one to represent you. Many of our clients ask us, “What information do I need after a car accident in North Carolina?”
In this article, we’ll outline what information you should collect after a car accident and how it can impact the outcome of your case. To be clear, the information you obtain after an accident can significantly affect how your claim or lawsuit progresses.
IMPORTANT: If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, the most important thing to do is to call 911 and immediately seek medical attention. After that, it’s advised that you contact an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer who can help you navigate all aspects of your injury claim.
Information to Have Available After an Accident
It’s important to have the following available immediately after a car accident:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance information
This information will be requested by the law enforcement officer responding to the scene and will be included in the official accident report. After you contact the insurance company, the adjuster will also want to collect this information from you in order to start processing a potential claim.
REMEMBER: Never admit fault to law enforcement or the insurance company after an accident. Insurance companies will often use “tricks” to try and get you to accept liability and avoid paying a claim. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to help protect your legal rights.
Collect Contact Information
After a car accident, collect important contact information from those involved in the accident. This includes contact information for all parties, including the other driver, as well as any potential witnesses.
Remember to collect:
- Names and addresses of all drivers involved
- Names and addresses of all vehicle owners (if different from the drivers)
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
It’s also important to document the crash scene and any injuries, and also collect other important evidence after a car accident. This evidence will be useful in helping prove liability and strengthen your case when you make an injury claim with the insurance company.
Take photos of the following after an accident:
- The crash scene, including vehicle damage, debris, skid marks, road markings and signage, and any other property damage
- Photographs of any injuries suffered
Video can also serve as powerful evidence in a car accident injury claim. You may be able to capture another driver’s slurred speech or an admission of fault. Dash cam evidence and surveillance video footage should also be obtained.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, they will review these photos and all other evidence gathered. In some cases, we send out experienced accident investigators to collect and preserve additional evidence. We also routinely seek any available dash cam footage or surveillance recordings to help strengthen our clients’ cases.
You’ll also want to obtain the official accident report from law enforcement. The accident report contains a wealth of information that may be useful to proving your claim. You can request an accident report from the law enforcement agency, or sometimes from the insurance company, which should have a copy.
In some cases, there are errors in the accident report that can be disputed by an experienced car accident lawyer after investigation.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ll also likely have medical records and bills from seeking treatment. These records are an important part of the evidence that will be used to evaluate your claim, and will also help your attorney calculate damages.
After a car accident, be sure to carefully keep track of these medical records and expenses:
- Medical records
- Bills from medical providers
- Receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses like medications or medical devices such as crutches, slings, etc.
- Records of any health insurance claims you make
- Records of any cash payments or co-pays you make
- Mileage traveled to and from medical appointments (these expenses can be reimbursed)
When you hire a car accident lawyer at Riddle & Brantley, we can help you obtain the medical records and bills necessary to support your injury claim. We also advise clients to continue to get the treatment they need. In order to pursue compensation for your injuries, it is important to complete treatment in line with your medical provider’s recommendations.
Loss of Income Records
In many cases, a car accident will leave you unable to work, either due to disabling injuries or another factor like missing time for medical appointments or the loss of reliable transportation.
In these instances, compensation may be available for loss of income. It is important to document all instances of work missed due to your accident, as this lost income may be compensated as part of a car accident settlement or verdict.
Be sure to keep the following to support your loss of income claim after a car accident:
- Paystubs and paychecks
- Any correspondence with your employer or human resources department
- Tax returns and other tax documents
- Records of the dates and hours you missed work
Vehicle Damage Information
In addition to injuries, you will likely have expenses associated with damage to your vehicle.
In order to seek compensation for vehicle damage, be sure to keep any estimates and/or bills for vehicle repair. If you require a rental vehicle while repairs are being made, be sure to keep those receipts, as well.
Have You Been Injured in a North Carolina Car Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a North Carolina car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve justice and may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced car accident lawyers can help collect important records and evidence to support your claim. We also have a team of experienced accident investigators who can help prove liability in your case.
We will review your personal injury claim and advise you on your best legal options. Let’s review your case.
“They handled my case very professionally, with respect from beginning to end.”
–Joseph P., Riddle & Brantley client
Justice Counts for those injured due to others’ negligence and we would love to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve if we can.