A car accident can be an overwhelming experience, not just because of the injuries and property damage, but also the paperwork and phone calls that need to be handled quickly after the accident. It can be even more daunting if you don't know what steps to take afterward, particularly with the specific personal injury laws […]
Passenger Personal Injury Checklist
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 2,282,015 people in the United States sustained injuries from roadway accidents in 2020. The moments during and after an accident are often jarring and filled with anxiety, and some individuals may feel disoriented, confused, and even scared. Although the situation may feel overwhelming at the time, it is essential for accident victims to remain calm and focus on securing the necessary information to protect their rights and pursue compensation for their injuries.
For those who have experienced an injury while traveling as a passenger in a vehicle owned by another person, utilize the passenger personal injury checklist below to preserve your rights and seek compensation for your injuries.
Immediate Actions to Take After the Accident
Your health and safety are paramount and take priority after an accident. Once you are safe and your condition is stable, it is crucial to document the incident and series of events.
- Call or ask someone to call 911 for assistance.
- Write down or take a photo of the contact information, driver’s license, and insurance card for each driver involved in the accident.
- Snap a photo of each vehicle involved in the accident and the corresponding license plate.
- Ask to take a photo of the responding officer’s contact information and the accident report number.
- Secure the contact information of any witnesses at the scene.
- Snap a photo of yourself if you have any apparent injuries.
- Seek medical attention, including an in-depth physical exam, even if you are not in pain.
- Avoid giving statements to insurance companies or legal representatives of any involved parties until you have retained an attorney.
- Once you are in a safe and secure area, jot down the details of the accident to the best of your ability. If possible, store your notes on your cell phone to make them easy to access later.
Gather Documentation and Evidence to Support Your Claim
It is necessary to support your compensation claim with documentation showing the amount and types of damages and injuries you sustained.
As soon after the accident as possible, begin gathering the following types of documentation. Include any information you think might be helpful to your case but at minimum, be sure to collect the following:
- Medical reports from your doctor detailing your injuries, treatment received, and any future treatment or therapy that might be needed
- Documentation of loss wages (if applicable)
- Receipts for any expenses incurred as a result of your injuries
- Copy of the accident report
- Photos taken at the scene
- Witness statements
Remember, it is better to have more documentation than you need rather than too little.
Promptly File a Claim
One of the most crucial steps accident victims must take is to file a claim for their injuries promptly. North Carolina state law requires an injured person to file a lawsuit within three years of sustaining an injury; therefore, the timing for filing your claim matters.
While many settlements are achieved outside of court proceedings, gathering evidence, holding discussions, and negotiating a final agreement take time. Additionally, sometimes negotiations break down, and filing suit and pursuing relief from the courts is necessary.
If you miss the filing deadline, you forgo your chance for recovery.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Navigating a personal injury claim as a passenger can be more complex than it may seem, especially when you wish to receive all the compensation to which you are entitled. Insurance companies try to entice accident victims with quick settlement offers, which are typically far less than what the injured party deserves. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is important because they can help you secure the highest settlement available.
They will oversee all accident investigations, gather additional evidence that might be harder to access, and ensure you do not miss statutory deadlines. In addition, your attorney serves as your legal representative handling all formal discussions with the drivers and owners of the vehicles involved. When a relative or friend is responsible in whole or part for your injuries, having a third-party involved can be particularly helpful.
Personal Injury Attorney Near Me Charlotte, NC Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC, provides exceptional legal representation without prohibitive costs. There is never a fee for an initial consultation to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer. Our office is conveniently located at 132 N McDowell St, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28204. To make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys, call our office at (704) 714-1450 or fill out our online form.
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