Cary Car Accident Attorney
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
We at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood are dedicated to providing you with the legal representation you deserve to maximize the compensation you’re entitled to when you’re involved in a car accident. In the blink of an eye, your life can change forever.
Whether it is you that is in the accident or your loved one, any accident caused by an irresponsible driver can change everything. In today’s busy, on-the-go society, transportation is an important part of life. Unfortunately, even though automobiles have been in use for nearly a century, cars account for a huge number of accidents and injuries every day.
Many motorists simply do not understand the responsibilities they shoulder when on the road, and it is people like you that suffer at the hands of those who do not take their driving responsibilities seriously. Our Cary car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Liability Laws After a Car Accident in North Carolina
After a car accident occurs, North Carolina adheres to an “at-fault” rule to determine who is liable for any following damages. This means that the driver responsible for causing an accident is the one responsible for paying damages, though this is typically done through an insurance carrier. An at-fault system is directly opposite a no-fault liability system which some states follow. Generally, at-fault states allows more opportunities for injury victims to both file a personal injury claim and pursue a wider array of damages.
The Car Accident Statute of Limitations in North Carolina
According to North Carolina General Statutes section 1-52 the statute of limitations to file a car accident claim is three years from the date of your accident. The statute of limitations is a law imposed on a state level which dictates how long an injury victim has to file a claim before they lose their legal right to do so.
In short, if the statute of limitations runs out before you file a claim you will most like be unable to file or pursue compensation no matter how severe your injuries are. There are some exceptions that can extend or lengthen this three year time period so it is important to speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. Our firm offers free, no-obligation consultations so you have nothing to lose by contacting our firm today!
What to Do After a Car Accident
There are several steps that you should take immediately following an accident, as well as a few more steps to take once the immediate action has been taken.
These include the following:
- Stop: Stay at the scene of the accident but do your best to avoid obstructing traffic. North Carolina law requires that all drivers involved in an accident that involves personal or property damage or death stay at the accident scene. You may leave temporarily to get medical assistance or to call an officer, but you must return to the scene as quickly as possible.
- Assist the Injured: Next, if anyone has been seriously injured, call for medical assistance. Try to make the injured individuals comfortable, but do not move them unless you are trained to do so.
- Call an Officer: By the quickest means possible, contact the local police department or North Carolina Highway Patrol if the accident involved death or personal or property damage. If the accident does not involve personal or property damage or death, you are not required by law to notify the police unless an unattended vehicle is damaged. It is advisable, however, to create a police report if you feel the other party is at fault.
- Witnesses: Gather the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses who might have information about the accident. Try to obtain statements from those witnesses as well about what happened.
- Assist the Officer: If you are not injured, stay at the scene until the officer arrives and tells you it is okay to leave. Cooperate with the officer and give him or her the basic facts, but remember that no one is required to give opinions regarding the cause of the accident. You have the right to consult with a car accident attorney before making any statements.
- Exchange Information: Obtain the other driver’s information including name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number. The law requires you to share this information. It is also recommended that you ask to see the other driver’s license and ask for his or her insurance information.
- Take Notes: Fill out an accident information diagram and form and make your own written notes on any significant circumstances surrounding the accident. Be certain that you take good enough notes that you can, at a much later date, point to exactly where the vehicles collided on the road. If you have a camera, it is advisable to take pictures of the scene, including skid marks, road signs, etc.
- See a Doctor: Keep in mind that costly and serious injuries may not always be obvious immediately at the scene of an accident. Inform your insurance company of any medical condition or injury and of your medical bills. Many types of injuries appear several days after the actual accident.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Make a full report to your automobile liability insurance company immediately, or have your attorney make the liability report for you.
- Pay Nothing: While it is important that you comply with the law and keep your driver’s license and insurance up to date, you should never make an immediate payment of any kind to the other party. Remember that the other driver cannot force you to make any kind of payment or hold your car without legal action.
Should I Contact a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
Technically you do not need an attorney to represent you in a car accident claim, but keep in mind that the insurance companies will always have lawyers working on their side. Those attorneys can be exceptionally aggressive, especially if you sustained an injury from the accident because there is more money on the line for them.
Having an experienced Cary car accident lawyer on your side will help even out the playing field and give you a much better chance of receiving the maximum and fair compensation you deserve. Our attorney fights for full compensation for our clients including damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
An experienced attorney can handle a variety of car accident injury claims including:
- Rear-end Collisions
- Head-on Accidents
- T-bone Collisions
- Intersection Accidents
- Left Turn Wrecks
- Driving Left of Center Accidents
- Red Light and Stop Sign Accidents
- Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving and/or Speeding
- Accidents Resulting from Talking or Texting on a Mobile Device
- Wrongful Death Due to a Car Accident
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries and symptoms with long-term effects, and many of those do not present themselves for days, or even weeks, after the date of the accident. Some of the physical injuries and symptoms our team handles include whiplash, sprains and strains, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, seat belt injuries, traumatic brain injuries, cuts and bruises, and abdominal injuries.
What Can I Get for a Car Accident Settlement?
Each accident and set of circumstances are different, so there is no definite dollar amount that we can guarantee. However, we will seek every possible source of compensation for your damages including the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, the insurance policy for the owner of the other vehicle if the owner is different from the driver, and any available uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If your accident involved drunk driving, speeding, or texting and cell phone usage, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Our Cary Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
We may be able to pursue payment for past and future medical bills, repair or replacement of your vehicle, lost wages if you missed work, pain and suffering, and in some extreme cases, punitive damages.