Durham is the fourth most populated city in North Carolina, home to Duke and North Carolina Central University. The hustle and bustle of the city and streets can increase the likelihood of being involved in a car crash. If you or or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, you likely sustained serious injuries, have mounting medical bills, and feel overwhelmed and anxious.

At the Law Offices of Naomi Ellis, PLLC, we understand, which is why we provide one-on-one compassionate representation to each client. If you are suffering after an accident, contact our office today to discuss your legal options.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Durham

Terrible Car accident in Durham needing a lawyer.

There are infinite possibilities for the causes of motor vehicle accidents. However, Durham’s busy streets and big highways often lead to increased collisions.

Some common causes of Durham car accidents include:

  • Disobeying traffic signals
  • Driver negligence, including driving under the influence and using the phone while driving
  • Poor road conditions (for example, uneven payment, untreated potholes, debris in the road)
  • Inclement weather (like flooded or slick streets)
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Road rage
  • Mechanical failures, including brake and engine failures
  • Vehicle manufacturing defects

Sometimes, an accident is just that, but another driver’s negligence or misconduct often causes the crash. You might be entitled to compensation for your injuries if negligence or willful and wanton conduct is involved. The best way to know if you have a valid claim after a car accident is to consult an experienced car accident lawyer in Durham, NC.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Because the severity of a car crash can range so significantly, the potential injuries also vary widely in seriousness. Sometimes, a victim can simply walk away from a wreck with minor bumps and bruises. However, other times, a victim may sustain serious, permanent life-altering injuries or even death. 

Common types of injuries we routinely see from car crashes include the following:

  • Lacerations
  • Seatbelt and airbag burns
  • Bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash and neck injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Death

No matter the extent of the crash, you should always seek immediate medical care after a car accident, even if you believe you are uninjured. The shock and adrenaline from the impact can often mask injuries in the hours and days after. It is also possible to have an internal injury that the naked eye cannot see, so be sure to see a medical professional immediately, regardless of your assessment of your injuries.

What You Should Do Following a Car Accident

No one wants to be the victim of a car accident; they often happen when you least expect them. You may feel overwhelmed, confused, and hurt in the moments and hours following a crash. Being familiar with these steps can ease your anxiety. Remember, every car crash has unique circumstances, and each step may not apply to your situation. Or you may need to take additional steps not listed here. However, here are four simple steps you can take immediately after a car accident. 

Call 911

First and foremost, if you are physically able, you should call 911 after an accident. This will ensure you receive emergency assistance, including EMS and police response. 

Document the Accident Scene

If you can, you should document the accident while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. 

This can include:

  • Snapping pictures and recording videos with your cell phone
  • Speaking to eyewitnesses
  • Noting down anything you can remember from right before and during the crash
  • Locating any potential video surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident

If you are reading this and are worried you did not do any of these things, don’t panic. It is not always feasible to gather this information at the scene. We can assist you, even later, in investigating and obtaining evidence.

Seek and Continue Medical Treatment

Whether your injuries necessitate emergency medical treatment or not, a doctor should see you after your crash. And be sure to follow any recommended treatment plan. Even if you did not need emergency medical attention, you still may require treatment from a healthcare professional, including:

  • Radiological Diagnosis
  • Orthopedic Care
  • Primary Care Visits
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pain Management
  • Surgical Repair
  • In-patient Rehabilitation

Many injuries manifest or worsen over time, so quickly getting to a doctor is a crucial step.

Consult a Durham Car Accident Attorney

Finally, you should consult a car accident attorney in Durham, NC, to discuss your legal options. After a motor vehicle accident, you will have a lot on your plate. As your car accident attorney, I will answer your questions and help you understand your options. 

North Carolina Law

In North Carolina, you generally have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. Like most rules, some exceptions may shorten or lengthen your time to pursue your claim. We always recommend speaking with a car accident lawyer in North Carolina shortly after the accident to preserve your rights and ensure you do not miss any important filing deadlines.

Additionally, North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This strict legal doctrine means that if you are found to have contributed any fault to the accident—even as little as 1%—you could be barred from recovering any damages. It can be difficult to navigate a car accident lawsuit independently; hiring an experienced Durham car accident attorney is best.

Durham, NC Car Accident Lawyer

The Law Offices of Naomi Ellis, PLLC is a boutique personal injury law firm that helps car accident victims receive the compensation and justice they deserve. We provide a higher level of individualized and personal attention to each of our clients that large firms cannot. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.