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What to Do After a Car Accident in North Carolina

Seek medical attention and contact an injury attorney immediately after a car accident to protect your health and legal rights.So, you’ve been in a car accident. Now what?

The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and confusing. If you’ve suffered injuries, there is not only physical pain, but the uncertainty of future medical expenses, how to file a claim, and whether you should hire a lawyer.

If you’ve been in a car accident in North Carolina, follow these tips to protect your health and safety, protect your legal rights, and strengthen your case in the event you file an injury claim. Remember, what you do in the hours and days immediately after an auto accident can have a significant impact on the outcome of any potential personal injury claim or lawsuit. Contact Riddle & Brantley for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer today.

What to Do After a Car Accident

  • Call 911 — Call 911 immediately in order to get first responders on the scene. Paramedics can attend to any potential injuries, and law enforcement can begin working on the official accident report. In North Carolina, reporting a car accident to law enforcement is required by law in all cases resulting in injury, and in most cases involving property damage.
  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention — You should absolutely see a doctor after a car accident. If you’ve been injured, immediately seek medical attention. Not only will this ensure your health and safety, but the medical records and doctors’ notes will play an important role in supporting any potential injury claim. Keep in mind that some “delayed onset injuries” may not become apparent until hours, days, or even weeks after an accident, and some traumatic brain injuries cannot be diagnosed without advanced imaging, making it even more important that you seek medical attention.
  • Get the Other Driver’s Contact Information — If you’re able, talk with the other driver and get their contact and insurance information. Never accept money if the other driver offers you a check or cash, and do not apologize or admit fault. In the case of a hit and run accident, do your best to get the other driver’s license plate number and write it down for use by law enforcement later.
  • Take Photos — Document the crash scene with plenty of photos. If you’re unable to take the photos yourself, have someone else get them. Get photos of the accident damage, debris, skid marks, road markings and signage, and any other evidence. Also, be sure to get photos of any injuries you or other vehicle occupants may have suffered.
  • Get Witnesses’ Contact Information — Talk with potential witnesses and get their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. These eyewitness accounts will be important in supporting any potential car accident injury claim.
  • Obtain the Accident Report — The official accident report (sometimes called the “police report“) will often play an important part in any potential car accident injury claim or lawsuit. You can obtain the accident report from the responding law enforcement agency, or an experienced injury attorney can help obtain it for you.
  • Report the Accident to the Insurance Company but Do NOT Give a Recorded Statement — As soon as you’re able, report the accident to the insurance company, but do NOT give them a recorded statement without first talking with an attorney. Also, never admit fault or apologize for the accident, even if you think you may have contributed to the cause. Insurance companies often resort to “tricks” to try to minimize or dismiss your claim, and you want to protect your legal rights.
  • Talk with an Attorney — Contact an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer as soon as you can. It’s critical that you hire a lawyer in order to protect your legal rights. At Riddle & Brantley, our injury lawyers can help investigate your claim, advise on your best legal options, and, if you decide to hire us, fight aggressively for the compensation you need and deserve. We even have investigators on staff to help investigate the circumstances of the accident, identify and interview witnesses, preserve evidence, and strengthen your claim. Remember, you’re not required to hire an attorney, but research shows that those who hire a personal injury attorney recover three times more compensation on average than those who represent themselves.

Gathering Information and Collecting Evidence

The amount of information you need to collect after a car accident can be overwhelming. Be sure to review our guide to information to get after a car accident for helpful tips. A North Carolina car accident lawyer can also assist with collecting information and investigating the facts and circumstances of the accident. At Riddle & Brantley, we even have a team of investigators on staff to help lead comprehensive auto accident investigations. These are retired law enforcement officers who know how to handle complex investigations and prove fault.

Contact an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer for a FREE consultation with. There is no obligation, and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation. We don’t get paid unless you do — it’s as simple as that.

Why Riddle & Brantley?

At Riddle & Brantley, our experienced, award-winning personal injury lawyers have more than 220+ years of combined legal experience serving injury victims from our many convenient offices throughout North Carolina (see disclaimer below), including in:

Our Results

Since 2000 alone, we’ve recovered more than $665 million in compensation for those injured due to others’ negligence and we would love to help you if we can (see disclaimer below). Some of our recent wins for our clients include:

  • $2,750,000 — Attorneys Gene Riddle and Adam Smith recovered $2.75 million in total compensation for our client, who was seriously injured while working in a construction zone. A truck hit him and he suffered serious injuries, ultimately losing his right leg below the knee. We filed separate personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, and even filed a lawsuit against the truck insurance company after they denied liability.
  • $3,600,000 — Riddle & Brantley represented surviving loved ones of a man who was hit in a terrible rear-end collision and suffered devastating injuries that ultimately led to his death. After filing a lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle and an involved construction company, we secured $3.6 million in total compensation for our clients in pre-trial mediation.
  • $2,750,000 — Our attorneys fought for justice when our client suffered serious injuries in a head-on collision. The car accident left him with fractures to his neck, leg, and arms. We represented our client at arbitration, securing $2.75 million in compensation, an award that was followed immediately by a separate $1 million declaratory judgment against the insurance company.
  • $1,800,000 — Riddle & Brantley represented a truck driver who suffered a disabling injury when another truck crossed the center line and hit him head-on. We filed separate personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, ultimately securing $1.8 million in total compensation for our valued client.

In addition to our record of settlements and verdicts on behalf of our deserving clients, we’re also proud of the memberships and awards presented to our attorneys in recognition of their experience and results (see disclaimer below), including:

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers “Rising Stars”
  • The National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Litigator Award

“You’ll walk in the front door as a client, but leave as family. They’re the absolute best.”

Susan S., Riddle & Brantley client

Call us immediately after a car accident so we can help protect your legal rights. - Riddle & Brantley

You deserve justice and you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. At Riddle & Brantley, we fight tirelessly to protect the rights of our clients and hold at-fault parties and insurance companies accountable. Remember, there are absolutely no upfront costs and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.

Justice Counts.


*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.

*** Disclaimer: An attorney must meet certain requirements to join these organizations or receive these awards. For more information on Membership Criteria for Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers “Rising Star” designation, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, AV Preeminent designation by Martindale-Hubbell, the Litigator Award, and other memberships, awards, and accolades, please visit our Membership Criteria page. These awards and memberships should not be construed as a promise or guarantee of a similar result. Each case is different and must be evaluated separately.