Auto Accident Injury in Durham, NC
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Durham? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in and around Durham, NC that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Durham, North Carolina
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that Durham County, home to Durham, saw 12,858 car accidents in 2019 alone. That year, there were more than 4,000 accidents involving injuries and 36 fatal car crashes in Durham County. Fortunately, Durham is part of North Carolina’s Vision Zero program, which has the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries across the state. To accomplish this objective, state leaders have focused on reducing drowsy, distracted, and impaired driving.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
Durham car accidents involving injuries, fatalities, or property damage over $1,000 must be reported immediately to the Durham police. You must stay at the crash scene and call 911. Once the accident report is filed, you may obtain a copy through the Durham Police Department.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total cost of traffic crash deaths in North Carolina was $2.26 billion in 2018. Motor vehicle occupants accounted for 72% of this cost, whereas motorcyclists accounted for 10%, pedestrians 17%, and bicyclists 1%. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the average annual cost of crashes in Durham County was $911,417,200, with an average cost per crash of $56,474.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in North Carolina
Liability Laws for Durham
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process.
North Carolina is an at-fault state regarding car accidents. This means that the person who is responsible for the collision typically pays for damages through their insurer. You also have the option of filing a legal cause of action for your Durham collision.
However, under North Carolina law, you may not be able to sue for damages if you bear any responsibility for your injury. According to the North Carolina DMV, a vehicle must carry minimum insurance limits of $30,000/$60,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.
Statute of Limitations in Durham
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for auto accidents is 3 years. If you live in Duram this means you only have 3 years from the date of your accident to file a suit.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Near Durham, NC
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct. We can even help you connect with legal help across North Carolina state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!