Answering Your Motor Vehicle Accident Questions
A personal injury attributed to a motor vehicle accident can be devastating, life-changing and bring a great amount of uncertainty to your life. The Law Offices of West & Smith, L.L.P., in Southern Pines is a seasoned personal injury law firm with decades of experience.
Here, we have answered some frequently asked questions related to motor vehicle accidents in North Carolina that we hear from our clients.
What should I do after a motor vehicle accident?
If you are physically able to do so, exchange names and insurance company information with the other driver. Notify the police, too.
You also should document everything related to the accident. If you have a cellphone with a camera, take photos of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles and the license plate of the other driver. Also, seek statements and names from any witnesses to the motor vehicle accident.
What should I do if I or any passenger in my car was injured by a negligent driver?
It’s crucial to seek medical treatment right away, rather than waiting days or weeks. If you delay, not only will you be suffering pain for delaying treatment, you also may make it difficult for a lawyer to help you prove your case.
Why do I need a lawyer?
Protecting your rights is essential, and a skilled personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal system. A lawyer can discuss your legal options, hire independent investigators to review your accident, collect accident-related evidence and deal with insurance companies. We will also investigate all potential sources of insurance coverage, including underinsured motorist’s coverage.
How should I deal with insurance companies?
You should contact your insurance company to report details of the accident along with your injuries. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not talk to them. These companies want to settle the case as quickly as possible and will provide a lowball settlement offer. Instead, let a skilled personal injury attorney take care of that.
How long will this process take?
The length of the process varies from case to case, but it may take as long as six months, or longer in some cases. First, it may require up to three months to collect records, evaluate the case and make a settlement offer. If you are undergoing medical treatment, that may further lengthen the duration of your case.
Once we have determined the medical treatment as well as the cost, we may be able to pursue a settlement in these latter cases. Our goal is to thoroughly gather the information to resolve your claim as soon as practical.