Car Accident Attorney
Each and every day auto crashes occur in the state of North Carolina. And each and every auto crash contains different elements. These elements include, but aren’t limited to: the type of injuries suffered by the driver(s), the type of property damage (to the vehicles), and the reason for the crash (i.e. what caused the crash). Some auto crashes are caused by impaired driving or other reckless conduct, but more often car crashes are caused by driver inattention or negligence by a driver. Some acts of negligence that we see often involve failure to yield the right of way, running a stop sign or stop light, crashing into the rear-end of a vehicle, or changing lanes in an unsafe manner.
In North Carolina, if the at-fault driver is negligent the driver or passenger who was injured is entitled to the following: reimbursement for damage to their vehicle, payment for medical bills incurred, pain and suffering, mental suffering, permanency of physical or mental damages, and lost wages from not being able to work. If the at-fault driver was reckless in addition to his or her negligence, the victim should be able to recover what is known as “punitive damages”, which are damages meant to punish the at-fault driver in addition to his or her actual damages. The idea is to punish reckless behavior and stop others from acting in a similar fashion.
Our car accident lawyers and our entire legal team understand the rules and regulations related to the roads of North Carolina but we also work regularly with experts and investigators to understand the often complex engineering questions that can tell the story of what happened in each crash, determining fault to a certainly provable in court. Our Greensboro car accident lawyers have experience handling auto crash cases involving:
- Uninsured Motorists
- Hit and Run Crashes
- Drunk Driving Crashes
- Rear End Collisions
- Intersection Accidents
- Tractor Trailer Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Passenger Injuries
- Reckless Driving and Road Rage
- Pedestrian Accidents
If you or a family member or friend has been injured in a car crash, call us today. Our legal team always offers a free initial consultation and we aren’t paid unless we are able to get money for you. So, of course that means there is never an attorney fee unless we are successful in resolving your case. We’re here for you, call our top rated car accident attorneys today!
Liability – How is it Established?
Determining who is at fault in a car crash in North Carolina means determining who was negligent or “at-fault”. Issues surrounding fault can become complicated. You may feel that the fault is obvious, but understand that the other driver’s insurance company has an agenda to take blame off of their insured. You need someone in your corner to fight for you. Our lawyers can help. We will download the police report associated with your car crash, research and review the pertinent traffic laws and contact any witnesses in order to determine who was truly at fault in your car crash.
What Steps should I take after a Car Accident?
It is important after a car crash to first take account of any injuries you may have. Just like in an airplane, you must place your oxygen mask on first in case of an emergency, so in the aftermath of an auto accident you must determine your physical status. Only then can you move on to check on the status of those in your vehicle. And after you’ve determined the status of those in your vehicle, you may check on the status of those in the other vehicle. Next you should call the police and get your driver’s license and insurance card ready to present to the officer when he or she arrives.
The most important thing to remember after an accident is not to argue with the other driver(s) or witnesses. In this day and age, everything is being recorded and any act or statement could be twisted and used against you in court or by the insurance company. Nothing that is said at the accident scene will determine fault anyway, so don’t waste your breath or time focusing on that. Simply contact the authorities and let them sort everything out and put it in a report. Focus your energy on communicating clearly with the authorities what happened from your point of view.
You should also never admit fault after an accident to anyone. Of course, do the right thing and check on everyone’s safety and wellbeing, but again, there is no need to determine or discuss fault at the accident scene.
Finally, take your own videos and/or photos to document the scene and the property damage. These pictures may be the best way to show the insurance company and our investigators or crash reconstructionists how the wreck happened as well as documenting property damage. A Greensboro Car Accident Lawyer at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson can talk you through this process at the scene, and our car accident attorneys will be there for you from the very start of your accident case all through you being compensated for your personal injuries. We’re here for you!
How do I Deal With the Insurance Company?
After a crash, you will of course exchange insurance information with the other driver(s). You may wish to contact the at-fault insurance company in order to get some things moving such as a rental car for you if your car is left undriveable, as well as your property damage claim for your vehicle. The big thing to take away is not to give a recorded statement or a statement of any kind to the insurance company before you speak with a lawyer. Insurance agents are often skilled at getting you to say something that might be twisted to place fault on you. I can’t tell you the number of times a client has shot down his or her own case by providing an oral or written statement to the insurance company without my help.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
I know it sounds strange coming from an attorney, but sometimes you just do not need an attorney! If a case is a property damage claim only, it is not worth paying a lawyer to litigate a dispute over just a few hundred dollars of difference in settlement money. Go ahead and take any reasonable offer on the property damage side. But be careful not to sign anything that settles your injury rights when you sign off on the property damage settlement. You may want to take any settlement agreement to an attorney for review before signing off. Things can get tricky in this area! The same goes for cases where you went to a hospital or emergency room and checked out just fine health-wise. In these cases, my advice is to get the insurance company to pay all your medical bills and give you maybe a few hundred dollars for your trouble and walk away. Of course, give your potential injuries enough time to express themselves, because it can take a few days for some soft-tissue injuries to become evident.
All this being said, if there are serious injuries, one of the most important services that a car accident lawyer can provide is to locate insurance coverage. Sometimes there are more insurance policies out there than you think that will apply to your car crash. We are here to sniff out any and all sources of insurance dollars in your crash case, so let us help you with that!
What About Accidents Caused by Highway Defects?
Roads that are poorly maintained, as well as traffic signals which malfunction can also cause accidents. Improper designs, traffic patterns, poor maintenance, issues with signs or lighting can cause serious and sometimes deadly crashes. In cases like these the construction company that built the road, or even the State of North Carolina can be held responsible. Special rules apply to claims and lawsuits brought against the state or federal government, so it often takes some legal maneuvering to file these claims.
What if My Crash Was Due To Recklessness or Road Rage?
A driver can also be found at fault for a crash due to his intentional or reckless conduct. North Carolina law will hold an actor responsible for at least the state minimum coverage of $30,000.00 even if the act was intentional. Reckless conduct can enhance payouts and penalties as discussed on this website.
A reckless driver operates his or her vehicle with “willful and wanton disregard” for the other drivers on the road. Road rage or drag racing on public highways is illegal and can result in punitive damages.
In the cases described, it is so very important that the injured party or his family take quick action to preserve evidence, investigate the crash and have doctors or other expert witnesses evaluate all of the factors surrounding the injuries you have suffered. If you have been a victim of an automobile crash, call our Greensboro Personal Injury Attorneys. We are skilled, motivated, and experienced in motor vehicle accident cases.
Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson is located at 436 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27401. Our phone number is 336-379-0539. Call us today and see the difference. Our car accident attorneys are here for you!
Top Rated Car Accident Lawyers