Screeching tires. Shattered glass. The crunching of metal. Then unbearable pain. In a flash, your life can change.
The sights and sounds of a serious car accident can haunt you in the months to come, as you cope with doctor visits, medical bills, insurance claims, and other constant reminders of the moment you wish you could forget.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car accident caused by another driver, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of serious injuries alone. Lean on the Gastonia, North Carolina injury lawyers at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C. Our compassionate legal team has years of experience representing traumatized accident victims and negotiating with insurance companies to fight for full and fair settlements.
We are here to answer your questions and explain your legal options for getting the help you need. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.
The law office of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C.’s mission is to provide aggressive, innovative, and passionate representation for people who are often in the midst of stress and anxiety associated with legal problems.
Gastonia, North Carolina Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics
Every day, preventable highway accidents in North Carolina cause serious injuries and put a heavy burden on North Carolina families.
226,552 traffic crashes were recorded throughout the state.
110,525 people were injured in car accidents.
1,277 people were killed.
3,419 motorcyclists were injured and 144 motorcyclists were killed
170 pedestrians were killed.
These accident statistics are surprising, especially when you let it soak in that behind every single one of these numbers is a face, a life, and a family.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries in Gastonia, North Carolina
North Carolina Doctors and Medical Workers See a Rush of Car Accident Victims Coming Through Emergency Room Doors Every Day.
Common types of car accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Abdominal injuries
- Strains, sprains, and tears in muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bruises and cuts to the skin
However, just because doctors are used to dealing with these types of car accident injuries, that doesn’t mean you are. Serious car accident injuries can leave victims shocked and terrified about what’s going to happen to them. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need:
- Months of physical therapy
- Time off work to recover
- Job retraining
8 Things to Do Immediately After a Car Accident Occurs in Gastonia, NC
When Your Day has Come to a Screeching Halt as a Result of a Car Accident, There are Several Steps You Should Take to Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights.
The North Carolina Bar Association suggests you take the following steps after an auto accident:
- Stop and do not leave the scene. Unless you have serious injuries that require immediate treatment, you should remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives.
- Call the police or other law enforcement. The authorities will file an official accident report that includes details of the scene and other information you may need to eventually pursue compensation.
- Seek medical help. Even if you are feeling fine immediately after the accident, you could be suffering from internal injuries that won’t be obvious until later. Seeking medical attention right away also shows the insurance company that you are serious about getting treatment for injuries.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get the driver’s name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration information, insurance company name, and policy number.
- Get contact details for witnesses. Try to take notes about what they saw, including whether they heard the other driver admit fault.
- Take photos and make notes. While your memory is fresh, write down what happened and draw a diagram showing the position of the vehicles, where they collided, and where they ended up. If you can, take photos of the vehicles, the scene, and yourself.
- Tell your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible to get the claims process started.
- Contact an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer right away. The insurance companies are looking out for themselves, and they have mass amounts of resources at their disposal. An experienced car accident attorney knows how to take on these insurance powerhouses and pursue full and fair compensation for your car accident claim.
What Not to Do Immediately After an Accident
- Do not admit fault. According to North Carolina law, when an accident occurs, you are only required to give your name, address, driver’s license number, and the registration information for the vehicle. Do not tell law enforcement, the other driver, or any witnesses that you think you caused the accident.
- Do not give the insurance company a detailed account of what happened. You are required to report the pertinent details of the accident. But talk to an experienced Gastonia car accident lawyer before you give a full statement about what happened. Remember, the insurance company is looking for ways to save money. Don’t give them any reasons to try to withhold compensation.
- Do not promise to pay anything. Your attorney and the insurance companies will hash out details about payments. Do not talk to the other driver about paying for damages.
Determining Who is At-Fault in A Gastonia, North Carolina Car Accident
In North Carolina, all parties will perform a thorough investigation to determine who is at fault in the accident. Insurance adjusters will look over the vehicles, review reports, and interview witnesses.
On your side, your injury attorney will comb through all the evidence, including any photos or notes from the scene, police reports, medical records, and any other information available. Your attorney may also hire an expert to re-create the accident scene and provide more insight into what happened and who is at fault.
It is important to note that North Carolina law adheres to “pure contributory negligence,” which means that if you are found even 1 percent at fault for the accident, you may be denied compensation in many cases. That’s why having an experienced Gastonia car accident lawyer on your side is imperative.
Options for Car Accident Compensation
If it is determined that you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages due to injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Punitive damages (intended to punish the at-fault party)
If the insurance company has offered you a settlement, you should discuss this immediately with a qualified car accident lawyer.
An experienced Gastonia attorney will be able to evaluate the offer and help you determine what to do to pursue a full and fair settlement, including whether you should consider a car accident lawsuit.
When the Worst Happens: Wrongful Death from a Car Accident
The stress and frustration that come with being injured in a car accident can pale in comparison to the pain and suffering of those who lose a loved one suddenly and tragically in a crash.
If you have lost a family member in a car accident, you may be able to seek justice by filing a wrongful death suit. Loved ones may be entitled to pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering of the loved one who died
- Lost income
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages
How to Handle Car Repairs After a Gastonia, North Carolina Accident
It’s important to know your rights when it comes to getting your car repaired after an accident. The North Carolina Department of Insurance reminds consumers:
- An insurance company cannot require you to use a certain repair shop. However, if the insurance company can get a lower estimate from another shop, you may have to pay the difference.
- After receiving a claim, the insurance company has 30 days to acknowledge it – either by paying it, offering a settlement, denying the claim, or telling you the investigation is ongoing. Payments must be sent within 10 business days after the claim is settled.
- If you and the insurance company cannot agree on the amount to be paid by collision coverage, you can opt to use the appraisal provision of your policy. Each party will choose an appraiser, and the appraisers will choose an umpire. If the appraisers do not agree on the amount, the decision goes to the umpire.
Arguing with an insurance company can be a huge headache. A qualified Gastonia, North Carolina car accident attorney can take this burden off you by managing these negotiations on your behalf.
Skilled Gastonia Car Accident Lawyers
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., our hearts are with those people in our community who have suffered as a result of a senseless car accident, and we want to help you pursue justice for your injuries and loss. Our Gastonia, North Carolina car accident lawyers have the skill and resources to investigate the serious car, truck, pedestrian, electric scooter, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents in order to identify all the contributing factors. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and are committed to obtaining full and fair compensation for clients.
You should know that there are time limits on how long you have to file a personal injury claim. If you have a car accident injury, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., you will get the individual service of a small firm combined with the knowledge and legal skill of a law firm that takes on big cases.