With the 4th highest number of fatal road accidents in the US in 2021, it helps to be prepared for any eventuality you may face on North Carolina’s 227,544 mile-long road network. Let’s take a look at what to look out for after a mishap, including dealing with your North Carolina car insurance agency
If you’ve ever been in a road accident in North Carolina and are worried about what happens next, you are at the right place. Often, you hear stories about people ending up in serious debt after being involved in a fender-bender. The victims are either unable to pay their medical bills or have enough insurance coverage to repair their cars and get back on the road for work. With some of the most outdated laws of any state regarding accident claims, you must do everything right immediately after an accident to make a full recovery after a car accident.
What to do immediately after a road accident in North Carolina
- Pull over: North Carolina laws mandate a driver to stop their vehicle immediately after an accident. If you can, try to pull over to the side of the road so that you do not cause any hindrance to other road users. Please note that you could face criminal charges if you fail to stop your vehicle.
- Call 911: Always call the police immediately after an accident, no matter whose fault it was. Calling the police and filing an official report will come in handy when you wish to pursue compensation at a much later date as it can be used as evidence of what happened.
- Check if anyone else is injured: After calling 911, check if anyone else is injured from the accident. You MUST NOT move them unless their car is on fire as it could worsen any existing injuries.
- Exchange info with the other party: After an accident, it’s vital to get the details of all involved, including their full names, home and work address, and cell phone numbers, as these may be required by your insurance provider to process your claims. Additionally, it’s good practice to write down an account of what happened as it could be added to the official complaint and used as evidence later.
- Beware of insurance adjusters: We can’t stress this enough. Always be wary of insurance adjusters! If the insurance adjuster arrives at the accident scene, make sure you do not answer any of their questions. The only person you should speak to is the police officer.
- Seek medical attention: A minor fender-bender or a high-speed collision notwithstanding, it is crucial to seek medical attention after an accident as some injuries may not show any symptoms until several hours or even days.
- Report the accident to your insurance company: Always file a report with your insurance provider after an accident, as failing to do so may make it difficult to file a claim in the future. While on the call, ask about your medical and property damage coverage. There are instances when the at-fault driver’s insurance provider may be unable to pay you immediately. In this case, you could ask your insurance company to pay for property damage and recover the money for the at-fault insurance carrier later. It’s also important to report the accident to the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make it easier to recover compensation.
- Maintain a list of expenses: Take notes on how much you spend for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, rental car receipts, house cleaning bills, etc., as you could recover these costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Top Tip: If possible, take pictures of the accident site with your phone camera as it can be used as evidence of the events that occurred.
How does an accident affect my car insurance premium in NC?
With an efficient points-based system, North Carolina discourages bad driving by adding points to driver licenses. A number of points can be tacked onto your license depending on the severity of the traffic infraction. Drivers are assessed insurance points per accident, which are predetermined by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, and this determines how much your insurance carrier can increase your premium. More often than not, drivers with at least one at-fault collision in North Carolina can expect their premium to increase by 30%.
The good news is that this premium increase is not permanent. In North Carolina, the premium increase typically lasts for around three years, after which your insurance premium will be assessed again. Think you could escape the rise in premiums by switching your insurance carrier? Well, good luck with that as these insurance points will follow you from one company to the next.
How can way.com help you?
Using the way.com app, you can shop around to find cheap car insurance quotes and even compare car insurance rates based on your location. Way.com can also assist you in changing your existing policy to a new one. Best of all, by searching for quotes through way.com, you can rest assured that it will not affect your car insurance rate or credit score!