With the holidays approaching, the Cary and Raleigh injury lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates wanted to remind everyone about different ways to get help following an accident. Thanksgiving travel and December holidays prompt more drivers to share the roads than many other times of the year. Individuals might get involved in an accident out-of-state, and out-of-towners might get into an accident in North Carolina. When you are far from home, how can you manage to keep yourself and your vehicle passengers safe in the time following an accident?
- Emergency services. There is no substitute for calling 911 if accident victims require immediate medical attention. Call for help if you suspect yourself or passengers require medical attention. To help ensure emergency help gets to you in the event you are unable to call for help, let family and friends know your travel plans so that they know to expect you by a certain time. Check in with them during rest stops and let them know your location. This can help emergency services locate you much sooner than if you kept your travel plans to yourself.
- Your insurance company. Check with your auto insurance provider (before traveling, if possible) to learn if your coverage includes emergency roadside assistance. Many policy holders don't realize they have this extra benefit and it can save you time and money if you need your vehicle towed or temporarily replaced.
- Your car dealership. If you lease a vehicle your dealership might include roadside assistance with your lease. Some new car purchases also come with this benefit. The lessee or vehicle owner might be able to take advantage of tows and courtesy vehicles at the nearest affiliated dealership.
- AAA. The American Automobile Association offers one of the most well-known roadside assistance programs. AAA offers nationwide service, but check to make sure the type of vehicle and the area you are traveling in are covered. For example, some areas do not offer RV towing, and some areas might have other towing restrictions.
- North Carolina IMAP. The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Incident Management Patrol service provides a limited range of free roadside assistance - call *HP from your smartphone for help. (The IMAP service is now referred to as State Farm Safety Patrol as of May 2015, but individuals need not have State Farm insurance to benefit from this program.) IMAP offers lighting, traffic cones, winches, push bumpers, jumper cables, water, gasoline, vehicle jacks and more to stranded drivers and accident victims in North Carolina. IMAP used to be 24/7, but as of August 2014 the service is only available Monday-Friday during the day. As of this writing, the service is available "during peak travel hours," but the NCDOT site does not state what these specific hours are. These may change over time as the state budget affects service.
- App for that. Add a few roadside assistance applications to your smartphone before traveling. Urgent.ly and Honk are a few among many roadside assistance apps. Research rates and availability as they change over time.
- Med-Pay. Many people don't know that they have Med-Pay coverage, which is often included in your auto insurance policy. Med-Pay helps cover medical costs and is available regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
If you are involved in a car accident in North Carolina, let us know if we can help. If you are from out-of-state, you probably have questions about North Carolina's contributory negligence laws. Brent Adams has represented accident victims for more than 40 years, and he is board-certified in trial law. Our Raleigh injury lawyers represent accidents anywhere in the state and offer complimentary case evaluations. Brent Adams also wrote a book explaining mistakes after accidents. The book is available at no cost to accident victims and their surviving family members - use the form on the right side to request a copy.