Newly passed legislation in North Carolina could make it more difficult for accident victims to take care of business following a minor collision. The Fender Bender Law requires drivers involved in a minor, non-injury crash to move the vehicles to the shoulder or risk being assessed a $110 fine in addition to court costs.
Asheville injury lawyers are leery of a law like this because it promotes motorists to leave the scene of an accident before all the necessary information is exchanged. To avoid a fine, motorists will be more likely to leave the scene in a rush if no injuries occur. Back, neck and shoulder injuries from a car crash in Charlotte or elsewhere can sometimes take days, weeks, or months to develop, which puts victims out of luck when they suffer chronic pain if they don’t follow the right protocol at the scene.
WBTV reports that signs will start being posted along major roads and highways to remind motorists in a fender bender to move away from the road. A local trooper commented that minor crashes put victims at risk of another accident with flowing traffic. To avoid another collision with passing cars, law enforcement will start fining motorists who don’t get their vehicle moved off the road. Rubbernecking from passers-by is always discouraged at the scene of an accident to reduce the risk of another collision.
Motorists involved in a fender bender should never be too quick to rush from a scene. In order to know what to do in the event of a collision, let’s review some important crash scene protocol:
- It is illegal to be involved in a collision with any person or thing and not stop at the scene. Avoid criminal charges by always stopping.
- Always report the collision to the police, no matter how small. If damage to a vehicle or person occurs, call 911 immediately for assistance.
- If no one is injured and the vehicles can be driven, attempt to move them over to a safe location to avoid additional collisions with passing vehicles. Stay alert for oncoming traffic.
- When asked if you are injured or need medical treatment at the scene, always accept the offer to be looked at. Even minor injuries can develop into something serious so getting treated can document that an injury may have occurred from the crash. Don’t let minor injuries following a crash linger without getting medical treatment.
- Never present an attitude by becoming belligerent or hostile to law enforcement officials; that are there to help. They are often called as witnesses so treating them with respect is important.
- Obtain as much information as possible. If someone was riding with you, have them help get all the witness names and information that can help with remembering the accident. Document names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, as well as, write down what you recall about the accident. Making note of environmental factors like pot holes, traffic signs, skid marks to name a few can help you to recall the accident later if needed.
- Make a call to the insurance company as soon as you get home to alert them of the accident.
- Camera phones make it easy to capture the accident right at the scene. Snap a few photos or video with your cell phone before you leave.
- If an injury develops or persists weeks or months later, get medical treatment.
- Contact an experienced car accident law firm if you have questions about the case and feel you need to pursue a claim.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A. can help answer questions and give advice to victims injured in a car accident in North or South Carolina. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free consultation to discuss your claim.
New law on how to handle minor accidents, WBTV staff, WBTV.
More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Car Accident Watch: Safer Vehicles Reduce the Risk of Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 25, 2011.