In addition to driving safe and undistracted, there are a few key steps we should consider taking before an accident ever occurs. It’s smart to always pack a safety kit for your car with first aid. Keep your phone charged and within reach. And try to have important documents in the car like driver’s license, insurance company contact information, and vehicle registration. But no matter how prepared you may be, accidents can and do happen.

Knowing how best to respond after a car accident can not only protect you from liability in the eyes of the law and insurance companies, but it might also save lives. Here’s what you should do if you ever find yourself in a car accident…

Call the Police and Check for Wounded

If you can, pull over and get your car out of traffic to best avoid further accidents. But do not drive on. Stopping after an accident is required by North Carolina law. Then, call law enforcement. North Carolina law requires that you call the police at the earliest opportunity if there is an injury, death, or property damage worth $500 or more.

While you wait for the police to arrive, check for the wounded. Check yourself and your passengers first, then move on to pedestrians and the occupants of other vehicles. If someone appears hurt, do not move them unless their car is on fire. Call 911 for an ambulance instead of moving the injured yourself.

Document the Witnesses and Exchange Information

If you are not badly injured and have your wits about you, now is the time to exchange important documentation such as insurance information. Also, take time to speak to witnesses. Get everyone’s name, phone number, and address if possible. And if they are able, try to get them to document the accident as they saw it transpire.

Write down what you can and record everything else via photography if you have that ability. When the police do arrive, you will report to them, and they will begin their investigation.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company and Contact a Lawyer

If you believe the accident was the fault of the other driver, you should call their insurance company. But as a precaution, you should also take this time to report the accident to your insurance company. The insurance companies will investigate and try to determine liability in the crash. If an insurance adjuster arrives on the scene, you don’t need to speak to them.

And last, but certainly not least, you should remember to contact a car accident attorney to defend your rights. The lawyers of Greg Jones Law are seasoned auto accident injury advocates in Wilmington defending clients in car accidents. We could help you with insurance companies as you attempt to reach a fair settlement. Call today at (910) 251-2240 to get started.