Car Accident Roadmap: Navigating a Personal Injury Claim after you have been hit

By Kimberly BishopMarch 15, 2024
Navigating a personal injury claim after you have been hit

If you have been in a car accident and are wondering about what your next steps should be, read on.

Immediately after a car crash, you need to take action to preserve personal injury claims. Our car accident roadmap can put you on the right track.

Help! Someone Hit Me!

If you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury case. To have a personal injury claim, you will also have to demonstrate damages from your injury (medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering, etc.).

Read: North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

What do I do?

Immediately after the accident call 911 and wait for police officers to arrive in a safe spot (out of roadway). Exchange insurance information with the other driver if possible.

Take as many photos as possible of your motor vehicle property damage, the other driver's vehicle, the auto accident scene, and any visible injuries to your body (ask a family member if you are unable to do this yourself). You should also seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries.

Read: Twenty Steps to Take After a Car Accident

To DIY or Not to DIY

You do not need a car accident lawyer (personal injury attorney) to file an insurance claim or deal with the insurance company's adjuster. But you should remember that insurance companies make money off collecting premiums, not paying insurance claims. An attorney may be able to help you recover more money and eliminate the stress of having to deal directly with the insurance company while you are healing from your serious injuries.

If you do decide to DIY your personal injury claims, you should obtain your police report as soon as possible to confirm that it describes the car crash, insurance information and who was at fault correctly.

Also, if the other driver faces criminal charges (drunk driving) or a traffic violation (moving violation, distracted driving, revoked drivers license, etc.) for the accident, you will need to follow the outcome of that case with your local district attorney's office.

Read: When to hire a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer? & Raleigh Car Accident Reports

Insurance Blues

If you decide to handle your own car accident injury claim, do not be surprised if the insurance company offers you less than the cost of your medical bills, pushes you to settle your claim before you have finished all medical treatment or refuses to pay you pain & suffering. Unfortunately, these are common adjuster tactics. If you choose to do this alone, patience will be your ally.

Read: Insurance Adjusters & Insurance Policy Limits

Hiring a Car Accident Injury Attorney

A car accident injury attorney (personal injury attorney) can help you recover a higher settlement simply because having an attorney makes the insurance aware that the cost of litigating can be added to the case. Insurance adjusters want to pay you as little as possible but they know that going to court is expensive so they may offer more money to avoid litigation. The choice to proceed to trial should be discussed with an attorney.

Read: NC Personal Injury - Settle or go to trial?

The Bishop Law Firm

We represent car accident victims in Raleigh and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We are familiar with insurance adjusters, the claims process, and all the steps that an injured victim may have to go through to attain recovery. We offer free case reviews and we do not get paid unless we win.

Read Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers

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