Motor vehicle collisions impact every community. According to data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were 247,214 accidents reported within the state in 2020. The City of Raleigh alone saw 73,047 crashes during the year.
Following a serious accident, it is crucial that injured victims know what to do to protect their rights and interests. Too many people make avoidable mistakes in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision. Here, our Raleigh car accident lawyer highlights five common mistakes to avoid after a crash in North Carolina.
Mistake #1: Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Attention and Follow-Up Care
If you were hurt in a car crash, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention. You need to see a doctor for your own health, safety, and overall well-being. The sooner you get professional medical care, the better position you will be in to make a full physical and mental recovery.
Another critical factor is that you will not be eligible to recover full and fair financial compensation for your injuries unless you have supporting medical documentation. If you fail to see a doctor and/or start skipping your follow-up appointments, you may be prevented from bringing a personal injury claim.
Mistake #2: Agreeing to Give a Recorded Statement Directly to an Insurance Company
The insurance company is not on your side after an accident. You cannot rely on any insurance provider—even your own insurer—to look out for your best interests. A common tactic of insurance companies is trying to get people to answer questions and give a recorded statement shortly after an accident.
You can and should decline to give a recorded statement at this point in the process. Insurance adjusters are trained to find information that they can use to reduce their company’s financial liability. Your words can easily be twisted or taken out of context. Protect yourself by working with insurers through an experienced North Carolina auto accident lawyer.
Mistake #3: Blindly Signed Papers—Including a Release for Medical Records
It is a big mistake to sign a legal document without a full understanding of its terms and implications. Before you sign anything that is presented to you by the insurance company or any other party, it is crucial that you know the full meaning of the document.
As an example, insurance companies often try to get people to sign a full release of their medical records after an accident. The insurance company may request more medical records than it is actually entitled to under the law. They are looking for anything that they can use to reduce the value of your case. Do not sign anything without consulting with an attorney.
Mistake #4: Accepting the Very First Settlement Offer
After a serious crash, most people want to resolve their case as soon as possible so that they can finally move forward with their life. Unfortunately, defendants and insurers sometimes try to take advantage of this reasonable impulse. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to lead with a lowball, unfair settlement offer. They may try to get people to agree to settle their car accident injury claim for far less than it is worth.
Make sure that you know the true value of your case. The full scope of your damages should be considered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any permanent disfigurement/disability.
Mistake #5: Waiting Too Long to Hire an Auto Accident Injury Attorney
Navigating the auto accident claims process is not easy. Victims do not have to take on a big insurance carrier alone. One of the best steps that you can take after a serious crash is hiring an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney. During a free initial consultation, your lawyer can review your case, answer questions, and determine the best course of action to help you secure justice and maximum financial support.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Paynter Law Today
At Paynter Law, our North Carolina auto accident attorneys are driven by a dedication to excellence and a true passion for justice. We have helped clients secure more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements across our practice areas. If you or your loved one was hurt in a crash, we are here to help.
Call now to speak to a Raleigh car accident attorney at Paynter Law or connect with us online for a free review of your case. With offices in Raleigh and Hillsborough, we handle car accident injury claims in the Triangle and throughout the state.