One of the most dangerous roads in America travels right through North Carolina.
Interstate 95 ("I-95") runs from Florida to Maine, making it a popular choice for drivers headed to work, visiting family, or taking a vacation to one of the many tourist destinations along the East Coast.
But I-95 presents unique problems for travelers. The heavy congestion throughout I-95 causes delays that can be aggravated by work zones, and high speeds that range from 60 -70 mph can pose major hazards for drivers. Plus, the high volumes of tractor trailer trucks that use I-95 to transport consumer goods between states constantly also contribute to the danger.
In a recently released study comparing miles traveled on states' interstates and highways in 2011, North Carolina ranked 9th. That year, people drove 21.241 billion miles throughout North Carolina's interstates and highways. Although the overall amount of driving in 2020 decreased due to the pandemic, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report shows that fatal crashes increased by about 7.2% compared to 2019, while fatal accidents on urban interstates increased nearly 15% in the same year.
Because people frequently use I-95 to travel, they may find themselves in a terrible wreck in an area of North Carolina in which they do not live. These victims may be unfamiliar with the hospitals and medical care, and they may not know anyone in the area. These accidents are even more frightening for victims when their family members are also injured in the accident, and they are separated, or they cannot locate their vehicle.
It is important to be aware of the steps you should take if you are a car accident victim due to someone else's fault. These include:
- Immediately seek the medical care you need.
- When you obtain this medical care, use your health insurance.
- Report your accident to the appropriate car insurance companies.
- Assess your property damage claim as quickly as possible after the accident.
- Document the entire process, including pictures of your injuries and property damage, medical records, medical expenses, time missed from work, and any other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the wreck.
- Speak to an attorney as early as possible after the wreck.
Each of these steps can vary depending on the specifics of your situation. That is why it typically is so important to retain counsel as quickly as possible. Time is truly of the essence when hiring an attorney so you can begin to secure evidence, locate vehicles, download electronically stored data if necessary, interview witnesses, and communicate with insurance companies to navigate all of the applicable coverage. Also, most importantly, a lawyer can help protect you, your future, and your family while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Tragically, you can find yourself in a terrible car accident due to no fault of your own. What's worse is when this accident occurs in an area with which you and your family are unfamiliar. If this happens, it is important to know what to do to help ensure you receive the best medical care possible and to safeguard your legal rights.
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This article is not intended to give, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance upon the information contained in this article without obtaining the advice of an attorney.