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As high as the accident rate is around the holiday season, the fact is that a car crash can occur at any time of the year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that six million US drivers will be in an auto accident every year. If you have found yourself in a car accident, then you may need to pursue compensation for your car repairs, your injuries, and more.

One of the first steps toward claiming this compensation is working with your insurance company. While a Raleigh car accident lawyer can be of invaluable help in this process, there is a lot you can do as well to either bolster or undermine your claim. Here then are some tips for pulling off a successful accident claim.

Things Not To Do

If involved in a car accident in North Carolina, here are the things you should avoid in order to keep from hurting your case:

  • DO NOT admit any fault whatsoever. Even apologizing is a particularly damaging thing to do in North Carolina. Our state has contributory negligence, so if you are considered to be as much as 1 percent at fault for an accident, you will not get compensated at all.
  • DO NOT give out any more information than is necessary. That is, when you are being questioned by police officers, insurance adjusters, etc., you want to give only the bare facts, no opinions and no guesses. And no dishonesty either.
  • DO NOT send anything in writing to an insurer, not until you have gone over the policy. Even if you have some questions about the policy or the claim you want to submit, you may want to hold off on sending anything to the insurance company.
  • DO NOT sign any release forms or waivers. If you think a certain paper includes a release or waiver, be sure to ask a lawyer before you sign off on it.
  • Finally, DO NOT accept an unfair settlement. You do not even have to accept an insurance adjuster’s low evaluation of your claim; you have the opportunity to negotiate with the insurer. And you do not have to accept a payment as final unless it really is a complete and fair amount. You can consult an attorney about what fair compensation is, and a legal advocate can further help you negotiate your settlement if it comes to that.

Steps to Take

Here are the things you should do after being involved in an accident:

  • DO contact your insurance company and read your policy as soon as you can. A policy is not exactly going to be light reading, so if you need any clarifications, you can contact your insurer or lawyer.
  • DO collect as much information on the accident as possible. Pictures of the scene and damage, witnesses’ contact information, and other drivers’ insurance information are just some of the things you could use in your claim. If you were injured in the crash, then you will need medical records to establish the extent of your injuries.
  • DO stay on top of every time you touch base with an insurance company or anyone who has something to do with the claim. You want to record the exact time these communications take place, and to write in brief what happened. If these are letters or emails, make copies of them.
  • DO keep your receipts and billing statements for every cost that is included in your claim. If you don’t know if a receipt or bill is pertinent, hold on to it anyway to be safe.

If you have any further questions, you can find the legal advice and representation that you need at the Whitley Law Firm. Contact a Raleigh personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience to learn how to get the compensation you deserve.