The Triangle area of North Carolina is one of the most populous and fastest growing areas in the state and country. This growth increases the likelihood of getting into an auto accident. That risk is further increased by heavy interstate traffic on I-40 and I-85, as well as commuter traffic throughout the Triangle.
Car accidents can result in life altering, catastrophic injuries that require costly medical procedures and significant rehabilitation in order to make a full recovery. It’s important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side who will fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.
The best way to learn about your rights and options after being injured in a car accident is to speak with the attorneys at Wilson Law, P.A. Please call 919-890-0180 today to schedule a free consultation at our Raleigh, North Carolina office.
- Benefits of Working with a Car Accident Lawyer
- What to Do after a Car Accident
- Drunk Driving Car Accidents
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving Car Accidents
- Wilson Law, P.A. Can Help
Benefits of Working with a Car Accident Lawyer
If you weren’t injured in the car accident and you are only dealing with vehicle repairs, then you most likely don’t need to work with a lawyer. But if you’ve been seriously injured, you’ll need an experienced attorney on your side who can help you recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
Unfortunately, your insurance company isn’t on your side. They’re in the business of making money, not paying money. While they’re happy to collect your premiums, most insurance companies will do everything in their power to minimize your benefits after a car accident. Sometimes this involves offering you a settlement that is too low to fairly compensate you, and in extreme cases it may involve trying to deny your claim outright.
The attorneys at Wilson Law, P.A. have more than two decades of experience handling car accident claims. They understand the hardships you are going through right now, and they will fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
What to Do after a Car Accident
Your first priority after an auto accident should always be to make sure that no one has been seriously injured. If you or one of your passengers requires immediate medical assistance, call 911 at once. Never attempt to move someone, especially if they are experiencing back or neck pain. It's best to wait and let the medical professionals take care of this in order to avoid making the injury worse.
While Still at the Accident Scene
Before leaving the scene of the accident, it's important that you obtain the following information:
- Name, address and phone number of all other drivers involved
- Driver's license number, license plate number, VIN number, and make/model of all other vehicles
- Insurance information for all other drivers involved
- Photos of any damage to both vehicles
- Pictures of the accident scene, such as skid marks or positioning of the vehicles, which might help you prove the other driver was at fault
- Names and contact information of any witnesses who observed the car accident
We encourage you to download this PDF file containing a checklist of items you should document after your car accident. Print out the checklist and keep it in your glove compartment so that you will have it handy in the event that you are involved in a collision.
Call the Police
It's always a good idea to request that a police officer be sent to the accident scene in order to fill out a report. This is particularly important if you believe the other driver was at fault. The police accident report may contain information such as whether the other driver violated any traffic laws or appeared to be intoxicated. In some instances, the police report may indicate which driver was at fault. This information can be crucial to the success of your claim.
When speaking with the police officer, always answer all questions as truthfully as possible. However, you should never admit fault without consulting with one of our experienced Raleigh car accident lawyers first. Admitting fault to a police officer may potentially jeopardize your ability to recover compensation.
Seek Medical Attention
Once you've left the scene of the accident, you should always get examined by your doctor, even if you don't think you've been injured. In many instances, car accident injuries can take days or even weeks to develop symptoms. This is especially true of brain injuries. Seeking medical attention in a timely manner will help you ensure:
- All necessary treatment is provided quickly enough to prevent your injuries from becoming worse
- All injuries are documented, preventing the other driver's insurance company from arguing that they were caused by a different event
Call Your Insurance Company
It's important to contact your insurance company and report the accident in a timely manner. Failing to take this step may potentially jeopardize your ability to recover the benefits to which your policy allows.
As with any discussions with police officers, make sure to be honest with your insurance agent. However, do not admit fault or sign any statements and waivers without speaking with an attorney.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
The insurance company is not on your side, and they'll often go to great lengths to reduce the value of your compensation. Working with a lawyer is the best way to maximize the value of your compensation. The attorneys at Wilson Law, P.A. have been fighting for the rights of car accident victims in the Raleigh area since 2000. We know the tricks used by insurance companies to unfairly limit your compensation, and we can make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.
Drunk Driving Car Accidents
Sometimes even the safest and most responsible Raleigh motorists can find themselves in harm’s way on the road with impaired drivers. As car accident lawyers with extensive experience representing victims of negligence in drunk driving cases, we know how to hold these reckless drivers accountable for the damage they inflict.
There are several factors that are unique to drunk driving accident claims and can influence the outcome of your case, such as:
- The application of dram shop liability – Sometimes restaurants and bars can be held liable for damages if they are found to have served a visibly intoxicated person who then caused an auto accident.
- The inclusion of punitive damages – In order to punish the drunk driver at fault and to deter future offenses, further compensation may be awarded to the victim.
- The presence of a criminal conviction – When a drunk driver is charged with a crime, the conviction can be advantageous in your accident case.
Depending on the circumstances, compensation you may be awarded if you are injured in a drunk driving car accident can include:
- Costs for immediate and future medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages due to an inability to perform at work
- Damages for pain and suffering
The best way to determine what compensation you might be entitled to is to let one of our professional car accident attorneys personally assess your claim.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Car Accidents
Even though it’s against the law for a driver not to carry car insurance in North Carolina, you may still find yourself dealing with uninsured or underinsured drivers in the event of a car accident. This means that under the already unfortunate circumstance of being injured in an accident, you may have a much harder time getting the compensation to which you are entitled.
In North Carolina, all motorists are lawfully required to have liability insurance as well as uninsured motorist coverage; however, you are not required to have collision or comprehensive coverage.
The minimum liability coverage requirements are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person per accident
- $60,000 of bodily injury liability total per accident
- $25,000 of property damage liability per accident
The same minimum bodily injury liability limits apply to uninsured motorist coverage to ensure that your own accident-related personal injuries are covered if the car accident involves an uninsured or underinsured driver.
While dealing with an uninsured motorist may seem like a straightforward case, these claims can become complicated by individuals who want to avoid taking responsibility and insurance companies that don’t want to give you the compensation you deserve. It is not uncommon for completely innocent drivers to end up with far less monetary compensation than they deserve due to the sly practices of insurance companies or dishonest drivers. Fortunately, the experienced car accident lawyers at Wilson Law, P.A. know how to help you fight for a fair settlement.
Distracted Driving Car Accidents
As handheld electronic devices have increased in popularity over the past few years, distracted driving has emerged as one of the leading causes of car accidents. While the use of these portable devices is a major cause of driver distractions, there are other ways for people to lose focus behind the wheel.
Common driver distractions include:
- Talking or texting on a cell phone
- Eating or drinking
- Operating a GPS device or in-dashboard vehicle navigation system
- Adjusting an iPod or other music system
- Reading maps or directions
- Applying makeup in the rearview mirror
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
Of these distractions, cell phone use while driving has become one of the greatest dangers to other vehicles sharing the road. The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use is a causal factor in approximately 28% of car accidents.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- A driver diverts his attention from the road for approximately 5 seconds when sending a text message – this is a long enough amount of time to drive the length of a football field when traveling on the highway
- Cell phone use impairs driving-related brain activity by 37%
- Talking on your cell phone makes you 4 times more likely to get into a car accident, while texting increases your risk of a collision by 23 times
While it can be difficult to prove the other driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, our attorneys can take the following steps to document this behavior:
- Viewing surveillance camera footage from traffic light cameras
- Interviewing witnesses who observed the other driver using their phone
- Reviewing cell phone records to prove the phone was in use at the time of the accident
If the other driver involved in your car accident was using a cell phone or engaged in any other form of distracted driving, it can significantly increase your likelihood of a successful outcome to your case.
Wilson Law, P.A. Can Help
Car accident claims can be very complicated. It often takes days, weeks, or in some cases months for the severity of your injuries to become apparent. This creates certain unique challenges when trying to estimate the true value of your damages. Kimberly Wilson White understands how to demonstrate the extent of damages that can be caused by low impact and high impact accidents. She will work with a team of experts, including accident reconstructionists and medical specialists, who will help prove negligence and demonstrate the extent of your damages in court.
Please contact Wilson Law, P.A. using the form on this page or call 919-890-0180 today to schedule your free car accident consultation. We serve clients in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and throughout North Carolina.