Automobile Accidents in North Carolina, the Laws and the role of Lawyers
Automobile accidents are a very common occurrence in North Carolina, and are a primary manner in which many people deal with the insurance industry and with the legal system. A person involved in an automobile accident who sustains any property damage or bodily injury will soon encounter several issues that may require knowledge of this area of law.
Immediately following the accident, the parties should contact local law enforcement and they will eventually exchange information, such as their insurance information. More complicated cases may require that the parties to an automobile accident quickly begin to gather information and evidence, which may be lost with the passage of time. It often useful to obtain photographs of the vehicles, the accident scene, and any injuries (e.g. bruising). It is also important to obtain contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
The same motorist also took photos of the property damage at the scene, and at the salvage yard.
Following an accident, the drivers will typically begin to deal with an insurance company regarding the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle. They often also encounter issues of obtaining a rental vehicle, and storage and towing on their damaged vehicle. In addition, they are often dealing with their claims for bodily injury, and begin receiving bills for medical treatment.
John Kirby has represented hundreds of persons in automobile accident cases in North Carolina. He has tried cases involving bodily injury and property damage to a jury, and has represented both the injured person and the insurance company in these cases, including claims for wrongful death. He has taught courses to attorneys and paralegals on handling automobile accident cases and insurance.
Many people having insurance claims following an automobile accident can benefit from the services of a lawyer to guide them through the process. The lawyer can help to ensure that all of the damages recognized by law are recovered, and that all insurance available is utilized. This can include liability insurance, excess insurance, underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage. The lawyer can also help to work through the maze of Medicaid and Medicare liens, ERISA liens, and hospital bills.
This site contains further information regarding dealing with bodily injury, property damage, children’s injuries, and brain injuries. This site also contains a page on which one can estimate the speed of a vehicle based on the length of the skid marks. The links page contains a link to a document which you can use to interpret the standard North Carolina accident report.
Following an accident, one can sometimes examine the tail-lights to determine if they were illuminated at the time of the collision. This can be useful in determining whether a motorist was braking at the time of the impact, and whether his lights were on at night.