If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering what to do next. You may not know where to turn, or who to trust.
That’s where we come in.
Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers in Lincolnton NC are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The attorneys at our law firm have years of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims after a car accident, and we know how to get results.
Don’t go it alone – call us today!
We offer a free legal consultation on your personal injury case.
What to Do Immediately after an Accident
The number one priority after an accident should be your safety and the safety of your passengers and loved ones.
If it is safe, also try to check on the welfare of anyone else involved in the wreck.
On busy roadways, like Highway 321 in Lincoln County, it may be advisable to stay in your vehicle, make sure your seatbelt is on, and wait for first responders.
Walking around an accident scene can be very dangerous and could result in a secondary crash and additional injuries.
Our law firm has seen very minor fender benders turn into fatality cases when people aren’t careful getting out of their vehicle after an accident or while looking at damages on the vehicles.
Rubbernecking doesn’t just slow up traffic or result in “onlooker delays.” It can be fatal.
Passing drivers aren’t always paying attention to where they are going and can hit pedestrians in the roadway, emergency medical personnel, police officers, and other vehicles stopped in the roadway.
Get Checked Out by Medical Professionals
If you’ve been involved in a car accident or any other type of wreck (motorcycle accident, semi-truck, pedestrian) the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you’re injured.
Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Adrenaline after a wreck can mask pain.
In fact, in emergency situations, it may take a while for our brains to catch up and fully understand what just happened.
We’ve helped people with auto accident cases who had extremely serious, if not life-threatening injuries who didn’t immediately realize how badly hurt they were.
It’s possible you may not feel the effects of your injuries after a car accident until days or even weeks after the accident.
Tips for Recovery After an Accident
We think it’s important to get checked out by a doctor, just in case. Listen to what first responders say.
They see people hurt in accidents all the time. They are experts at what they do.
If an EMT thinks you should go to the hospital, listen to their advice. Allow them to transport you to an emergency care center.
Additional Tips after an Accident
Call the police and ask them to file an accident report. This can be important if you need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
Take photos of the scene of the accident, if possible.
Call your insurance company and let them know about the accident.
Check out our BLOG post: What to do after an accident for more information.
Contact a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
What NOT to do after a Car Accident:
There are a few things you should avoid doing after an accident.
First, don’t leave the scene of the accident, even if it was not your fault. Leaving can be interpreted as fleeing the scene of a crime, which is a serious offense.
Second, don’t apologize to anyone at the scene of the accident. This can be interpreted as an admission of guilt or legal responsibility.
Third, don’t admit fault to anyone, including the police or your insurance company. Even if you think you were at fault, it’s important to speak with a car accident lawyer before saying anything.
North Carolina is a Contributory Negligence state. Admitting even partial responsibility for an accident may result in a denial of your claim.
Fourth, don’t sign any documents except for medical releases. If an insurance adjuster asks you to sign a release, it’s best to speak with an attorney first.
Finally, don’t give a recorded statement to anyone without first speaking with an attorney.
These are just a few of the things you should avoid doing after an accident. If you have any questions about your personal injury and what you may be entitled to in compensation, please call us.
Our law firm provides a free legal consultation for personal injury claims.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Under North Carolina law, if you are found to be even partially at fault for an accident, you may be barred from recovery.
This is known as “contributory negligence.” Accident lawyers may also refer to it in shorthand as “contrib.”
For example, if the other driver ran a stop sign, but you were speeding, then both parties may be deemed negligent and found to have contributed to the cause of the accident.
If this is the case, you could be barred from recovery, even though the other driver was primarily at fault.
Contributory negligence applies to motorcycle accidents, 18 Wheeler Wrecks, and pedestrian accidents.
That may include what otherwise would be just compensation for medical bills, property damage, costs for car repairs, lost wages, and other damages ordinarily paid to injured victims of an accident.
Unfortunately, contributory negligence can also play a role in wrongful death claims too.
This is why we think it’s so important to speak with an experienced car accident attorney after an accident, even if you think you were not at fault.
Contributory Negligence is a common defense asserted against legitimate accident claims in North Carolina.
It’s important to understand, insurance adjusters for the at fault driver are not there to help you.
Their job is to limit claims and damages paid out due to the negligence of their insured after a car accident.
If they can avoid paying for damages altogether by alleging Contributory Negligence, that is all the better for the insurance company.
There are many factors that can contribute to an accident, and it’s important to have an attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.
If you’ve been injured in a wreck in Lincolnton, we’d like to help. Personal injury law can get pretty complicated.
Seek out a car accident lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about the law in North Carolina.
We can help you understand your rights and options.
Call us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.
Do I need a lawyer?
You may be wondering if you really need a car accident lawyer. After all, insurance companies are required by law to pay claims for injuries sustained in car accidents, right?
The answer is not always so simple.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They’re not in the business of paying out claims, they’re in the business of making money.
That’s why they have adjusters and lawyers on their side, to help them minimize the amount they have to pay out on claims.
You need someone on your side, fighting for you and your legal rights.
An experienced car accident lawyer will level the playing field. They will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Don’t go up against the insurance company alone – call us today!
Determining Who is At-Fault
In order to get compensation after a car accident, you may need to prove that the other driver was at fault.
There are several ways to do this:
If the other driver was speeding, you can use this as evidence that they were not driving safely.
If the other driver ran a red light or stop sign, this can also be used as evidence of negligence.
If the other driver was driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, this can be used as evidence to show their negligence.
If you were hit from behind, the other driver may be at fault for not leaving enough space.
In North Carolina, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
It is also against the law to drive while under the influence of drugs. If you were hit by a drunk driver, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries.
That may also include punitive damages against the drunk driver.
Punitive Damages in North Carolina
There also is not a “cap” on damages for claims involving drunk drivers.
If you have questions about Punitive Damages or Limitations on Amounts of Recovery in NC, we’d love to help.
Give us a ring today. Our personal injury attorneys are more than willing to sit down with you, discuss your case, and help explain your legal rights and options.
What types of compensation am I entitled to after a car accident?
If you are injured in a car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Lincolnton NC today to learn more about what is available to you.
- Medical Bills, Costs of Care, Treatment, Surgeries, Rehab
- Lost wages
- Property Settlement / Damages to Vehicle and Personal Property
- Scarring, Disfigurement
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages – Drunk Driver Accidents
What happens if the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance?
If you are involved in a car accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may still have options.
Our car accident lawyers in Lincolnton NC can help you file a claim with your own insurance company or file a lawsuit against the driver for personal liability.
What is uninsured motorist protection?
Uninsured motorist protection is a type of insurance that helps protect you if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
It can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.
Call our law firm today to speak with a car accident lawyer and learn more about uninsured motorist protection and how it can help you after a car accident.
What is under-insured motorist protection?
Under-insured motorist protection is a type of insurance that helps protect you if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages.
Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death is a type of personal injury claim that can be filed when someone dies as the result of another person’s negligence.
The family of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim to recover damages such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If a loved one was taken from you in a car accident, first, please accept our condolences. We are truly sorry you even need a lawyer.
If you have questions, we offer a free consultation for wrongful death claims in North Carolina.
We charge nothing to sit down with you, answer questions, and see what we may be able to do to help you and your family.
Personal injury settlements for wrongful death cases resulting from a car accident or motorcycle accident can also include things such as:
- Expenses for Emergency Treatment and Transport
- Lost Wages / Lost Income / Future Earnings
- Pain and suffering of the loved one who died
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages in appropriate circumstances
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, our law firm may be able to help you file a wrongful death claim and obtain fair compensation in North Carolina.
Our attorneys provide a free consultation, and we charge nothing unless we recover damages for you.
Our lawyers have experience with all types of personal injury cases, including those that arise from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, injuries to pedestrians struck by vehicles, and trucking wrecks.
Contact us now to learn more if you’ve been injured in Lincolnton North Carolina.
How to Handle Car Repairs After an Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is getting your car repaired or arguing with a claims adjuster about the value of your vehicle.
Accident lawyers help negotiate property damage claims.
It is important to document all damage to your vehicle before having it repaired.
You may also be entitled to a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
Here are some additional helpful tips:
- An insurance company cannot require you to use a certain repair shop
- After receiving a claim, the insurance company has 30 days to acknowledge it
- If you and the insurance company cannot agree on the amount to be paid by collision coverage, a lawyer may be able to help prove the value of your vehicle, damaged or destroyed personal items, etc.
If you have a personal injury claim involving an auto accident in Lincolnton, North Carolina, call now for a free consultation.
Our legal team is available to answer questions you may have and help explore your legal options.
Your time to file a lawsuit may be limited
We believe it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Personal injury claims in North Carolina are subject to something called a Statute of Limitations.
An experienced car accident lawyer will investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claim.
The insurance company will likely have its own team of lawyers working to minimize the amount of compensation you receive after an auto accident.
Having a legal advocate on your side can help explain the different legal issues involved, determine liability, prove your case, and achieve the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact our legal team today for your free consultation.
We would be honored to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Building a strong case to prove the other party’s liability
Proving liability in a car accident case can be difficult.
It is not always clear who is at fault in an accident.
That’s why it is important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.
Law Firms work to gather evidence and build a strong case to prove the other party’s liability.
That may include things like:
- Accident Reports – Police Reports and Narratives
- First Responder Statements and Reports
- Medical Records and Summaries
- Treatment Notes
- Drawings and Diagrams of the Scene of the Accident
- Witness Statements and Depositions
- Pictures and Video Evidence
- Proof of Medical Bills, Treatment Costs, Medications, and Therapy
Teddy, Meekins, and Talbert Law Firm – Lincolnton Car Accident Lawyers
Our team of experienced car accident lawyers in Lincolnton, NC is here to help explore your legal options.
We have a long history of fighting for the rights of injury victims in North Carolina.
We know what it takes to build a strong case and get our clients the compensation they deserve.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident or one of our related practice areas, please contact us today for a free consultation.
Our legal team helps people in Lincolnton North Carolina obtain fair compensation in claims involving:
- Accidents in the Course of Employment
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Personal Injury Cases – Auto Accident, Trucking Accident, Motorcycle Wrecks
- Slip and Fall Injury
- Victims of Drunk Driving
- Airbag Injuries
- Rear End Accidents
Car Accident FAQs
Do I need an attorney after a car accident?
Technically, you can represent yourself in a car accident claim. However, you should know that the insurance companies will have lawyers working on their side, and they can be especially aggressive if you were injured (because there is more money on the line for them). Having an experienced car accident attorney in your corner will even the playing field and help you fight for the full and fair compensation you need.
Do I need to call the police if I am in an auto accident?
Yes, you should always contact law enforcement so officers can write up an official report, which can later be used as evidence in your case. The officers will take down the names and contact information for all those involved in the accident, as well as give their professional opinions on what exactly happened and who is at fault. With that in mind, never admit fault when talking to a law enforcement officer. Just be honest about the facts.
Should I move my car after my accident?
If your car is not blocking traffic, leave it where it is. If you have to move it, try to take a photo of it, along with where the other driver’s vehicle ended up. Showing the positioning of the vehicles, as well as any skids marks or traffic signs, can be helpful when it comes to proving what happened in the accident and who is at fault.
Should I call my insurance company after my auto accident?
Yes, you have an obligation as part of your policy to report an accident within a short amount of time. Call the insurance company as soon as possible to report the basic information about the accident. You are not obligated to give any details. DO NOT admit fault.
What should I say to the insurance adjuster after my auto accident?
You should just give the insurance adjuster the basic information about the accident. Stick to the three W’s: WHEN it happened, WHERE it happened, WHO was involved. DO NOT give a recorded statement. DO NOT admit fault.
Insurance adjusters are notoriously skilled at leading accident victims to say things that could come back to haunt them. Protect yourself and your case by sticking to the basics. Any other questions they have can be directed to your attorney.
What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts me?
You do not have to explain anything to the other driver’s insurance company. It is best to simply refer them to your attorney.
Your car accident attorney will handle all communications with the at-fault party and any insurance companies that are involved, so you can keep your focus on getting better.
Should I accept the insurance company’s offer to pay for my auto accident?
You should remember that the insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible, so the first offer is likely a very low one, compared to what your claim is actually worth. You need to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to get a clear picture of the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
What types of compensation can I get after a car accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, our attorneys may pursue payment for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Repairs or replacement for your vehicle
- Lost wages if you miss work
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages in extreme cases
What should I do after a traffic accident?
- Call law enforcement.
- Seek medical help as soon as possible.
- Get contact information from the other driver and any witnesses.
- If you can, take photos of the scene and make notes about what happened while everything is still fresh in your mind.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Contact a knowledgeable North Carolina car accident lawyer to discuss your next steps.
What are the common causes of auto accidents in North Carolina?
Some of the most common causes of auto accidents in North Carolina are speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, ignoring traffic signs, failure to yield, and aggressive driving.
What are common auto accident injuries?
Common injuries include whiplash, broken bones, sprains or strains, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, abdominal injuries, bruises and cuts.
Do I have to pay my own medical bills if someone else caused the accident?
Your lawyer will keep track of your medical bills while your accident case is pending. Our knowledgeable Shelby car accident lawyers are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and health care providers to make sure you are not feeling pressured by bills while you are trying to recover.
If you do receive a call about a medical bill, refer the caller to your attorney.
What happens if I was at fault for a car accident?
First, it is extremely important that you do not admit fault or make presumptions about who was at fault in your accident. That’s because there are so many contributing factors that you may not know about until a thorough investigation is conducted. For example, the other driver may have been texting and you didn’t notice, or a defective part in your car may have caused you to lose control.
If an investigation reveals you are at fault, you will need to turn to your own insurance policy to recover compensation.
What if the driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?
In North Carolina, you are required to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which is meant to protect you in situations like this. In addition, you may have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which is another source of compensation if the driver who hit you does not carry enough insurance to cover your damages.
What is underinsured motorist coverage?
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is the part of your policy that is meant to protect you if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages.
However, even though you may pay for this coverage, your insurance company may be reluctant to pay you out of it. Our experienced auto accident attorney knows how to handle insurance companies that are dragging their feet on UIM compensation.
What should I do if a defective part in my car caused a crash?
In some instances, defective brakes or other auto parts can be the cause of a crash, and neither driver may know it. That’s why it’s important to never make assumptions about fault and let the investigation show what actually happened. If a defective auto part was to blame for your crash, our skilled attorneys can pursue compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, and any other parties involved in the distribution of the dangerous part.
What if the other driver says the accident was my fault?
Do not worry about what the other driver says. Our dedicated Shelby car accident attorneys will conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident and collect every bit of evidence to prove exactly who was to blame. It is very important, though, that you do not admit fault, no matter what the other driver is claiming.
How does North Carolina’s fault law work?
North Carolina follows a pure contributory negligence rule, which means that if a person contributed to a car accident in even the slightest way, he or she cannot recover compensation. This is why an insurance company may be aggressive in trying to claim that you were in some small way responsible for the accident. This extremely strict law is also why you need a knowledgeable car accident attorney on your side to protect your right to full and fair compensation.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney for a car accident case?
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., we take your case on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay us upfront to start working on your car accident claim. Instead, we collect our legal fees if and when we recover compensation for you. This contingency fee generally ranges from 25 percent to 33 percent of your recovery.
How do I get paid if I win my car accident case?
When compensation is decided upon, either through a settlement agreement or a trial verdict, your attorney will send you a check for compensation after subtracting legal fees and resolving any medical liens and other expenses.
Will my car accident case go to trial?
Every car accident case is different. We will thoroughly investigate your case and aggressively pursue maximum compensation with the knowledge that a trial may be necessary to get justice for you.
However, you should know that most car accident cases do end with a settlement, rather than a verdict, because many insurance companies do not want to risk a trial. Some cases even settle at the very last minute, right before the trial is set to start.
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., we will be prepared to do whatever is in your best interests.
Will my car accident case end in a settlement?
Every car accident case is unique, and our lawyers are extremely skilled at negotiating with even the largest insurance companies. Many times, our aggressive negotiation tactics result in a full and fair settlement offer. However, we are always prepared to take your case to trial if the at-fault party refuses to agree to the compensation you deserve.
How long do I have to file a claim for compensation after a car accident?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the crash. It’s important to note that the deadline for filing a lawsuit is not the same as the deadline for reporting the accident to your insurance company. You should start the process with the insurance company immediately.
What should I look for in a car accident attorney?
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., our dedicated Shelby car accident attorneys are proud to offer clients:
- Extensive knowledge of North Carolina car accident laws
- Smart legal strategies tailored to your needs
- Comprehensive resources to thoroughly investigate your traffic accident
- Aggressive negotiation tactics to combat insurance companies
- Compassion and sensitivity for what you are going through
- Complete commitment to pursuing full and fair compensation for you