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When you’re in a car accident in Charlotte, NC, you’ll most likely be given a Crash Report Exchange Slip by the attending officer. This form is meant to provide basic information about the car accident, as well as information about the drivers and vehicles involved in the car accident.

The Crash Report Exchange Slip is not what we think of as the police report for the accident. The Crash Report Exchange Slip has information on how to obtain a copy of your police report from www.cpmd.org. Once at the website, you’ll need to enter the accident number given at the top right of the Crash Report Exchange Slip, at which time you’ll be given an opportunity to purchase your full police report for five dollars.

Free Police Report

If you’d like to have us analyze your police report for you, you can skip purchasing the report on your own and let us do it for you. While on the phone, we can obtain the report and review it with you. We will also email you a copy after the phone call. Typically, the police report will have information about both drivers and their vehicles, as well as a summary from the police officer about the facts surrounding the accident. If there were witnesses who volunteered their contact information, that information will also be contained in the police report.

Understanding Your Rights In A Personal Injury Matter

Interpreting the police report will help you determine whether you are likely to recover from the other driver’s insurance company, and often provide enough information for your personal injury lawyer to start a claim on your behalf for property damage and for personal injury. This is true whether you are in a major accident or even a fender bender or minor accident. It’s also true whether you were injured as a driver or as a passenger in the accident. The police report will also help to provide information indicating whether Contributory Negligence will be an issue in recovery.

Working With A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in a car accident, we would be happy to discuss your rights with you. Our firm is happy to discuss our interpretation of the police report, listen to your story, and let you know whether we believe the other driver will be responsible for your property damage and your personal injury. A phone consultation is free and it’s important to take action quickly if you want to preserve your rights after a car accident. If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer today, click HERE to request a call. Or, you can call us at 704.749.7747. We devote our practice to helping people recover after a personal injury. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

Our experience is that a large majority of car accidents are the result of a rear end accident. While many of these are minor “fender benders”, they can still lead to meaningful injuries for one or both drivers or passengers in the car accident.

Treating Injuries From A Rear End Car Accident

If your injuries are soft tissue injuries—no broken bones—then you may seek immediate emergency treatment from the scene of the car accident. Most likely, you’ll be referred to a chiropractor or physical therapist for a course of therapy designed to help you recover from the accident. If you are working with a personal injury lawyer, typically your medical provider will defer their bill until you reach a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. Your personal injury lawyer can facilitate this relationship by communicating with the medial provider.

Your may also have Medical Payments coverage under your own insurance policy. This is an option when taking out your insurance policy. Your personal injury lawyer will reach out to your insurance company to determine if you have the coverage, and help facilitate a payment. There is no harm in you using this aspect of your own auto policy if you have already paid for the coverage.

Establishing Liability In A Rear End Accident

Liability in a rear end accident is typically clear. While there are some exceptions for sudden stopping done by the driver in front, in North Carolina it is almost always the responsibility of each driver to leave enough stopping distance between your vehicle and the next vehicle, to accommodate sudden stopping.

Because each personal injury claim has two key components (Liability and Damages), a rear end accident claim tends not to involve an argument over liability as much as a negotiation over your damages.

Damages In A Rear End Accident

First, you must establish that damages exist. This is one key component to a successful Negligence claim. At the scene of the car accident, you can do this by taking photos of the position of the vehicles, as well as the physical damage to your own car. It is not a bad idea to take photos of the other vehicle damage as well—it can establish the severity of the accident, and also help to establish how the vehicles made contact with one another.

Obtaining a police report is a key element in overcoming liability and also goes toward establishing damages. The police report may list witnesses, insurance companies, and also a narrative written by the officer, regarding the car accident. If you know a police report was generated for your car accident but you don’t have one, we can obtain one for you for FREE.

Using A Personal Injury Lawyer For Your Rear End Accident

While your claim may seem uncomplicated by the nature of being rear ended, if you proceed without a personal injury lawyer you’ll quickly find that there are hurdles to maximizing your damages recovery. Not only will insurance adjusters hurry you through the process of settling the claim, but they may pick up value at each turn by offering you less money for your property damage, minimizing your medical damages, and settling your claim prior to making sure you’ve received all the medical treatment you need.

Your personal injury lawyer will also negotiate your medical bills as part of your settlement. While you’ll get a full explanation of how this aspect of settling the claim works, essentially it means more money from the settlement goes into your pocket.

If you have been in a rear end accident and would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer, we’re here to help. Call us at 704.749.7747 or email us HERE to tell us when you’d like to speak. The consultation is free and it’s part of our job. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

If you’re in a car accident in Charlotte, NC, chances are it’s on a busy road with numerous concerns. Stay calm and take the following immediate steps to both insure your health and protect your rights.

  1. Pull Over—You’re required by law to stop your vehicle if you’ve been in an accident. Additionally, there is no harm in moving vehicles to the side of the road. Snap a picture of the scene first, if you’re afraid you won’t be able to establish the position of the vehicles later. But do it quickly, and remove the cars from the flow of traffic.
  2. Decide Whether 911 Needs To Be Called—While you may not be a doctor or emergency medical technician, you will probably know based on the impact of the collision whether an ambulance is needed immediately. If so, call 911 and request medical help for yourself or others.
  3. Get a Police Report—Once you’ve looked after the health of those involved, calling the police is your next step. It will be extremely important after the accident, to have a documented report created by the police department. If your car accident is in Mecklenburg County, you can request a free copy of your police report. We’ll obtain a copy of the report for you and help you analyze it over the phone.
  4. Exchange information—Be sure to get contact information and insurance information from the other driver. If there are witnesses on the scene, quickly get contact information for them. Witnesses tend to disperse as soon as they think they are not needed, or if they decide nobody is in need of serious medical attention. But, you may need their statement as to what happened, when you are later attempting to establish that the accident was not your fault.
  5. Take More Photos And Videos—If you haven’t taken any photos yet, take them now. This is important and will help establish the scene at a later date. Be sure to take some ‘establishing’ photos from further away. They help to show all parties the road conditions and establish a point of reference for what happened. You can also shoot a video, panning the scene of the accident, and calmly speak into your recorder any thoughts you have as to what happened. This is an easy way to document what you remember while documenting the actual scene.

What To Do After A Car Accident

After the car accident, we recommend all clients keep a notebook or notes about the accident. You’ll be surprised what comes to mind when you’re in the grocery store—perhaps you remember something the other party said, or remember another fact about the accident. These are fleeting thoughts and need to be captured in a notebook.

You’ll also want to report the accident as quickly as possible to the other side’s insurance company. They will assign you a claim number. If you later choose to work with a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer can reference the claim number when reaching out to the insurance company.

Should I Give A Statement To The Insurance Company?

Generally, you shouldn’t speak at length about the facts of the car accident with the other side’s insurance adjuster until you’ve spoken with an attorney. If you’re proceeding without an attorney and you decide to give the adjuster a statement, be concise and stick to the facts. Don’t be afraid to say that you do not remember something, if in fact you do not remember it. You’re not responsible for remembering every fact about the car accident—it’s quite common to forget details during such an event.

Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers answer questions as part of our job. Each day, I expect to take phone calls from individuals who may or may not ever become a client. The goal during those calls is to be of help to you, whether you choose to hire our firm or not. If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your car accident, call 704.749.7747 today or click HERE to ask us to call you at a preferred time. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

Blue old Car broken front light closeup

A car accident can be one of the most shocking and terrifying events in people’s lives. This is especially true in cases when individuals are injured. In the event you’ve been injured during a car accident that came as a result of someone else’s carelessness and/or recklessness, you deserve fair financial compensation from that person. Quite often, getting a fair result from an insurance company without using a personal injury attorney can be an uphill battle. I know, because I get calls every day from individuals who are having this same difficulty.

 

 

Fair Compensation

If the other driver’s insurance company agrees to fairly compensate your losses and cover medical bills, you probably won’t need the help of a personal injury attorney. But, if the individual who caused the car accident is not cooperative or their insurance companies is not prepared to pay, then hiring a personal injury attorney is a your next step.

Insurance companies are a for-profit endeavor. In most cases they are trying to settle such disputes for as little as possible, which is why clients find that even when the insurance company is offering a settlement, the client can do better with an attorney. Not only is your attorney in a position to argue value with the insurance company, but in addition the insurance company is attempting to avoid having the attorney file a lawsuit. Defending a lawsuit is an expense most insurance companies would like to avoid, especially in instances where liability is clear.

Uncovering Insurance Policies

In some cases, there is more than one insurance policy available from which to collect. Each personal injury claim is unique whether you are a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian. Your personal injury lawyer will maximize the value of your claim by uncovering all available insurance policies in your claim.

Personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, experience and skill to help you negotiate your way through a personal injury claim. A good personal injury attorney will be able to predict the actions of insurance companies and will strategize with you regarding actions which guarantee you’ll get the compensation you truly deserve. The attorney will also more than likely be familiar with your type of case and your injuries, which puts them in a unique position to assess the value of your claim. They’ve already worked similar cases like yours.

Preparing For Trial

If you’re unable to settle your insurance claim and face litigation against the insurance company, you’ll be much better positioned to win at trial with the help of an attorney who was brought on early. Whether from the perspective of preserving evidence, examining medical records, or creating a history with the insurance company, the pre-trial work done by the personal injury attorney during settlement negotiations will pay off in the courtroom.

Generally, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that people injured in a car accident won’t have to pay anything if the attorney does not recover something for them. If you have been in a car accident and would like to find out more about working with a personal injury attorney, call 704.749.7747 today. Or, click HERE to request a consultation.

CarAccidentWhether you’re traveling on Interstate 77 or 85, or taking a more local route through uptown Charlotte on South Blvd. or Providence Rd., you’re bound to see a Charlotte car accident. Our sincere hope is you can avoid being part of one. But if you are in a car accident in Charlotte, here’s what you need to know:

Report The Accident

So often, victims of accidents don’t feel injured at the scene. They exchange information with the other driver, clear the road, and try to move on with their day. Quite often, that’s a big mistake. By reporting the car accident and generating an accident report, you create the first official record of the event. Additionally, the officer will ask each driver questions about what caused the accident. That information is often relied upon by insurance companies and personal injury attorneys to establish fault in the future.

When a police officer attends to an accident, he or she is more likely to get valid information from both drivers. This can be crucial for the victim of the car accident, when attempting to reach out to the other driver’s insurance company to make a claim for property damage or bodily injury.

Seek Medical Treatment

Whether you take an ambulance from the accident to the hospital is your choice. It’s understandable in a minor accident or ‘fender bender’ not to do so. However, if you’re in a serious car accident, not only do you need to seek medical attention immediately to establish your health condition, you’ll also want to do so to create a health record related to the car accident.

If you wait until after the car accident to seek medical treatment, you need to seek it within a reasonable time. Primarily, because the longer you wait the more damage you can be doing to your health. Additionally, insurance companies deny claims every day based on their assertion that the plaintiff waited too long to seek treatment. They conclude that the delay between the accident date and the treatment date means either you weren’t injured in the car accident, or perhaps you were injured after the car accident and are now trying to blame your injury on the car accident. Either way, your claim is denied and you receive nothing for your injury.

Keep Notes

Write down your thoughts about the car accident. What conditions were present? Who had a green or red light? What chain of events do you remember which led to the collision or car accident? In the days after the car accident, continue to keep notes, including how you feel. Judge your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, and indicate what is hurting you.

When you see a doctor or chiropractor, bring your notebook with you and be sure to clearly communicate to your medical provider what pain you’ve been experiencing since your last visit. These clear indicators then become part of the medical record and can play a critical role in financial recovery when it comes time for your personal injury attorney to make a demand of the insurance company.

Call A Personal Injury Attorney

If you’re in a car accident, a phone call to a personal injury attorney is free. Take advantage of that free call to ask for advice, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. You’ll find almost any charlotte personal injury attorney will devote time over the phone or in person to answer your questions and give you the confidence to feel you’ve done all you need to do with regard to the car accident.

If you’ve been in a car accident and would like to speak to an attorney, call us today at 704.749.7747. If you’d like to request a call from us, you can do so HERE. We’re here to help.

Car Accidents are at the least a gigantic nuisance, and at worst can change your life dramatically, giving rise to permanent injuries and health complications. Negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company– and even your own insurance company– can bring on an amazing amount of frustration and fear that you’re not going to get a fair result. A Charlotte personal injury attorney can make all the difference. In the meantime, here are some tips:

The Negotiation Process For Car Accidents

Typically, your negotiations won’t really begin until your treatment for your injuries from the car accident has completed. This allows your personal injury attorney to value your claim without the insurance adjuster responding that it’s “too soon to tell what the permanent/final injuries are.” In the meantime, HERE are some tips for gathering support for your claim, while treatment is ongoing.

Once treatment is complete, your attorney will value the claim from a number of different perspectives including lost wages, pain and suffering, outstanding medical bills, future medical expenses, etc. This is all summarized in the demand package your personal injury attorney sends to the adjuster, which will include an amount your personal injury attorney thinks the claim is worth.

Getting a response from the adjuster often takes 45-60 days. Keep in mind this is the insurance company’s first chance to review all the paperwork involved in the case, review doctors’ notes, and examine your personal injury attorney’s breakdown of the demand. Once you get a response from the insurance company, each side is essentially attempting to figure out how much movement there is between the initial demand and response, what each party is willing to settle for, and how much patience each side has to wait the other out.

Key Factors In Successful Car Accident Negotiations

FACTS: It helps to have good facts– a police report that establishes the accident was the other motorist’s fault, or damage to the rear of your vehicle (vs. being side-swiped). In negotiations arising from these car accidents, there is little chance the other side will argue their driver is not responsible.

PERSISTENCE: While patience is a key factor in not accepting too low a number, your personal injury attorney also needs to establish a sense of urgency with the adjuster. Once the adjuster has done his/her initial evaluation of the case, there is no reason for each exchange of new offers to take another 45 days.

UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY: Insurance adjusters are corporate employees who are over-worked and under-paid. Your personal injury attorney will develop a relationship with the adjuster which goes beyond trading offers back and forth. It is your personal injury attorney’s job to get the adjuster to see you as a human being with a full life, who has been sidetracked by a car accident that was not your fault.

PATIENCE, AGAIN: If the adjuster’s number and your number aren’t even close, the best advice is to wait it out. Sometimes that’s not possible, as hospital bills are piling up; however, most personal injury attorneys can get medical providers and billing agents to defer payment until the case is settled. This helps buy time to play the waiting game. The longer you wait, the quieter your side is, the less the insurance adjuster thinks they can get away with a low offer because the most important thing to you is getting the case settled.

If you have questions about negotiating a personal injury arising out of a car accident, please call 704.749.7747 to speak with me today. I’m here and answering questions is my job.