2024 What to Do After a Car Accident in Hickory

2024 What to Do After a Car Accident in Hickory

Feb 07, 2024 | Car Accidents

It’s important to prepare for the possibility of a car accident. Unfortunately, it is something that happens to most drivers on the road. Knowing what to do after a car accident in Hickory before you are in one can be instrumental. It can help you respond promptly after a collision, protect your rights, and create a stronger and more successful insurance claim.

You may only be in a minor property damage-only accident, or you may be involved in a serious crash with life-altering consequences. Either way, the situation can be terrifying. If you are severely injured following an accident, not all steps will be possible, and someone else at the scene will likely need to be responsible for reporting the accident. However, if you are able, it’s crucial to know what to and what not to do following a collision:

  1. Pull over or get to a safe location. Get vehicles off the road and out of traffic. If there are any immediate dangers from vehicles, get a safe distance from them. Turn on the hazard lights on your vehicle so that your location is clear to other drivers. Not stopping after an accident could result in hit-and-run charges.
  2. Check for injuries. Look over yourself and your passengers for any immediate or obvious injuries, then check those in the other vehicle. If there are injuries, say so when you call to report the accident so that the necessary emergency responders can be dispatched. If someone is injured, it is better to not move them unless there are immediate dangers by remaining in the vehicle.
  3. Report the accident. Under state law, accidents that result in significant property damage, injury, or death must be reported. If you are not sure whether the property damage is significant enough to warrant being reported, it is better to report it. Otherwise, you may end up facing charges for not reporting the accident. A police report is also an important piece of evidence for an insurance claim.
  4. Exchange information with the other driver. This includes insurance information, driver’s license information, and full contact information. If there were other witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. This is important evidence to file your claim. Do not say anything to the other driver that might be interpreted as admitting fault or liability.
  5. Get onsite medical care. Any immediate injuries should be checked by emergency paramedics. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is important to get looked at by a professional.
  6. Be honest but careful when reporting. You should answer truthfully when giving a police report, but do not admit fault for the accident. Once the police report is completed and paramedics have seen those in the accident, you are able to leave.
  7. Document the scene. Before leaving, it can be helpful to take pictures of the accident scene, including where vehicles are, your injuries, the damage to the vehicles, and damage to the surrounding environment.
  8. Get medical care. You should get a full medical examination after an accident. Some injuries are not obvious following an accident. Traumatic brain injuries are common injuries in car accidents, but they may not show symptoms for days after the incident. A medical professional can look for signs of these internal injuries. Additionally, the documentation that you received while getting medical care can be beneficial in your claim.
  9. Report the accident to your insurance company. Insurance companies have different deadlines for reporting an accident, and some require it within 24 hours. Do not discuss a claim or a settlement when you report the accident, and do not speak to any other insurance adjusters about the accident until you have representation.
  10. Contact an experienced attorney. A Hickory car accident attorney can protect your rights when filing a claim.


Q: How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in North Carolina?

A: There is no specific time limit in North Carolina to report an accident, although it should be done as soon as possible. If you are unsure whether to report an accident, it is important to be cautious and report it. Failing to report an accident that you are required to report could be charged as a hit-and-run.

It is also important to report an accident to your insurance provider. Each provider has its own policies, although most require you to report the accident as soon as possible or within a few days of the incident.

Q: What Do You Do After an Accident in North Carolina?

A: After a car accident, it is important to move vehicles to a safe location, if possible, and turn on hazard lights. Remove yourself and others from immediate hazards. Look over yourself, your passengers, and others involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is injured or there is any property damage, you must report the accident.

When you report the accident, inform the emergency dispatcher of any injuries to ensure that you receive emergency medical care. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, and wait for emergency aid.

Q: How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Insurance in North Carolina?

A: In North Carolina, a car accident is likely to impact your car insurance premiums for three years after the accident. However, this is also influenced by your own insurance provider and your history of accidents. If you have been in multiple accidents in recent years, it may be longer than three years. Additionally, each insurance provider will have its own policies, including those based on which driver was at fault.

Q: Do You Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident in North Carolina?

A: Under North Carolina law, you are required to report an accident if:

  1. It resulted in significant property damage.
  2. It resulted in personal injury to any person.
  3. It resulted in the death of any person.

This includes accidents involving damage to parked cars with no one in them. You can call the local police, the highway patrol, or 911 to reach emergency dispatchers. If you are not sure whether the accident should be reported, it is likely beneficial for all parties to report the accident. This also provides you with a police report and other important evidence.

Contact the Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC

Our experienced team can investigate and determine the true cause of an accident to help you get compensation for any complications. Contact our law firm today. We proudly represent clients all throughout Caldwell, Burke, and Catawba Counties.