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Physical Therapy After A Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident, you may be referred by your doctor for physical therapy. Often, injuries from a car accident don’t manifest until several days or even weeks after the accident. While you may not have broken bones or need surgery, often the injuries require ongoing treatment to heal.

Whiplash From Your Car Accident

The most common injury from a car accident is whiplash. If you need additional treatment beyond your emergency room visit, quite often it will be physical therapy sessions. Rebuilding strength and increasing mobility is the general goal and your therapist will work with you to achieve this.

Other Injuries Requiring Physical Therapy

If you do need surgery after your car accident, it is not uncommon to have a course of physical therapy in order to regain strength and use of the injured area. While neck and back injuries are more common with car accidents, slip and fall victims often need therapy for knee, hip and shoulder injuries.

Types Of Physical Therapy

There are numerous strategies your therapist may employ when treating you. Everything from manual therapy—including massage—to electric stimulation, may be employed in the healing process. Exercise in the form of both hydrotherapy and unassisted exercise under the care of a therapist helps re-train muscles and build endurance.

It is also not uncommon to employ heat/ice therapy for inflammation, swelling and pain. The most common advice for a soft tissue injury is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. While this is true, heat and ice are often overlooked as an important part of the therapy process.

The Value Of Physical Therapy In A Car Accident Settlement

If your physical therapy was received at the direction or referral of your doctor, the value assigned to it will be greater than if you were treated without a referral. This is due to the belief that the injury (and required treatment) is better substantiated when documented by a doctor.

Insurance adjusters are trained to minimize the value of your claim. Our office will fight to make sure you are treated fairly when considering any settlement amount, and when negotiating the value of your claim as it relates to each aspect of treatment you received as a result of the accident.

Paying For Physical Therapy

If you have health insurance it may cover some or all of your physical therapy costs. If you have been in a car accident, many physical therapy offices will work with our office to allow you to receive the treatment you need, while waiting for your claim to settle in order to be paid for their services. If you have questions about paying for physical therapy we can help.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident, we recommend speaking with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Phone consultations are free and you deserve to understand your rights. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a phone call. We know you have options. We hope you Call Layton Law.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go To Trial?

Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. Every case is unique, and we will discuss your case with you in detail. Part of that discussion will include whether we believe it will go to trial. If you were recently injured and your case or claim has just started, it may be too early to know whether your case will go to trial. To make things worse, due to Covid-19, the Mecklenburg County court system is overloaded with cases.

Do not Lose Sleep Worrying About The Trial

If you are like us, you are obsessed with your case. Because of that, it is tempting to lay in bed imagining being cross-examined by the other lawyer. You may wonder whether the jury will believe your version of the facts about a car accident. Lastly, you may wonder whether the other driver will lie on the stand. The reason it is not worth worrying about these things is that most cases even if they are filed as lawsuits, do not get in front of a jury. Keep in mind, this is good news.

Trials Are Risky

No matter how strong you think your case is, anything can happen at a trial. We only represent plaintiffs, and the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a personal injury trial. All it takes is one jury member to decide they do not like your case, or that you somehow contributed to the accident, and the entire trial can be in jeopardy. The same is true of the defense, however. There’s tremendous risk for both sides—this is the primary reason most cases settle before going to trial. Both sides recognize it would be better to reach an agreement than to put all the power in the hands of a third party (The jury).

Settlements Can Be Fair

Our clients often find that a well negotiated settlement offer ends up being fair for them. The choice to accept a settlement offer is always the client’s choice, but we will help you weigh out the pros and cons of accepting a settlement offer or filing a lawsuit against the other party. The settlement process is lengthy and both sides work hard to prove their case, while arguing over the value of the case and the legal merits. If a fair offer is on the table, it is worth considering accepting the offer.

New Information Comes To Light

Another reason many claims or cases settle is that new information is discovered by one or both parties. It could be that both drivers claim they had a green light. This argument may go on for several months, with both sides unable to reach an agreement due to the dispute. However, a witness may surface who is willing to sign an affidavit that our client had the green light. As soon as this new evidence surfaces, the other side will often reverse their denial of the claim and offer a fair settlement amount. The same is true if video evidence is reviewed by either side. Evidence, as it comes in, usually strengthens the case for one side and leads to a different outcome.

We May Discover We Have A Bad Case

The truth is, sometimes we discover we have a bad case. Our firm is in the business of taking risks for our clients, but there are times where evidence surfaces which indisputably establishes that the other side was not at fault. In that unlikely scenario, usually both our firm and the client agree together that we will not win a lawsuit. In that event, getting a settlement would be a great outcome; however, the other side usually has access to the same information, which may lead to a denial of the claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have questions about your personal injury case, call us. We can be reached at 704.749.7747 and we are happy to discuss the merits of your case, and whether it may go to trial. You can also click HERE to request a consultation. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, this article will help you understand a few factors to consider, together with the typical lawyer-client relationship involved between the personal injury lawyer and the injured client. If you would like to speak to an injury lawyer, call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call today.

The Contingency Fee

You will find that most personal injury law firms—including ours—work on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that the law firm only gets paid if they successfully reach a settlement or court award for you. If the firm does reach a successful outcome for you, the payment is typically based on a percentage of that settlement or court award.

The contingency fee is unique in that it allows individuals access to legal representation at no up-front cost. Without the contingency fee, individuals deserving of legal representation would not be able to afford that protection. It is our opinion that personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency basis are playing an important role in keeping auto insurance companies and premises liability carriers (Think: Grocery Store Slip And Falls) in check. Individuals injured by the negligence of others not only deserve representation, but they need it, to be sure they are treated fairly.

Why We Like The Contingency Fee

There are many cases or claims that personal injury lawyers take on, which do not pan out. This means the firm works tirelessly in hopes of achieving a good result for the client, and in the end, loses the case. The downside of course is that neither the injured client nor the law firm receives any compensation.

That being said, we actually like the contingency fee for a few additional reasons. Often, during the course of the representation, the client will need to rely on the advice of the lawyer. It could be that the lawyer is advising the client that the offer received it the best offer we are going to receive. It could also be that the lawyer feels the offer is low and a lawsuit should be filed. In any case, the client finds themselves at a crossroads—whether to accept the offer or not. Because the law firm is getting paid a percentage of whatever they recover for the injured client, we believe the client can trust their lawyer during these critical conversations. The decision is always the client’s in the end, but the lawyer is the trusted advisor.

The Personal Injury Process

We have written about the process of a personal injury claim in the past (How Long Will My Personal Injury Settlement Take?). It is important to establish expectations at the outset with clients. Often, the process is long and drawn out. First, the client must finish treatment. This could mean surgery and recovery time for physical rehab. Second, the law firm must gather medical records and medical billing. Providers are slow to respond and process these requests and it requires diligence on behalf of the law firm—and the delay often frustrates clients. Third, the law firm must put together a demand package for submission to the insurance company in hopes of negotiating a settlement. Many times, after all of these efforts, the lawyer and client do not receive a settlement offer and must consider filing a lawsuit. If so, the timeline starts over again. Finally, once an agreement is reached, medical billing and medical liens can often be negotiated by the law firm to benefit the client’s bottom line from settlement.

Choose Your Personal Injury Lawyer Carefully

Care should of course be taken when hiring a personal injury lawyer. You will work hand in hand with your lawyer for quite a long time. Frustrations can grow if phone calls are not returned, or if progress is not being made on the file. We are sensitive to this, of course. While you should not expect to be able to speak with your lawyer every day, it is important to establish that there will be regular updates to keep the client informed.

Most personal injury law firms operate as a “team” in the office. Each attorney has one or two paralegals assisting with processing the file, gathering information, and keeping the client informed. Our firm is no different. This means you have numerous individuals you can contact for an update at any time.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been in a car accident, a slip and fall, or have been injured in some other way, we would lHiringove to hear from you. The call is free, and the consultation is designed to help you understand your options. Plus, you get a chance to speak with the lawyer who you may be working with if you decide to move forward with our firm. Call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

Proving Fault In A NC Car Accident

In a North Carolina auto accident claim, the burden of proving fault is on the plaintiff. The defendant has no burden; however, the defendant will present evidence in order to rebut your attempts to prove they were at fault. As the plaintiff in the car accident, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence, as discussed in this article.

Burden Of Proof

The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than the burden in a criminal case. In a civil case (car accident, slip and fall, pedestrian injury, etc.) you must prove that based on a preponderance of the evidence, the defendant is liable. The “preponderance of the evidence” is the greater weight of the evidence. Therefore, the standard amounts to more likely than not, the defendant was at fault.

The Four Components Of Negligence

Generally, in a NC car accident case, you are attempting to prove the defendant was negligent. Negligence has four components: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages. The plaintiff must prove all four of these components in order to prevail when proving fault in a NC car accident. First, you must show the defendant owed you a duty of care. Automobile drivers owe one another the duty to show reasonable care for one another when operating a vehicle or sharing the road. Second, you must show that the defendant breached that duty, or failed to uphold that duty. Third, you must show that this failure was the direct cause of the accident. In other words, if not for the defendant’s failure to uphold the duty, the accident would not have happened. Lastly, you must show that the breach of this duty caused damages, or injury. After all, it is the injury that brings you to court seeking to be compensated or made whole.

Keep in mind that in North Carolina, if the defendant can prove contributory negligence, this serves as an affirmative defense to your claim of negligence. Contributory negligence is a standard by which if the defendant can prove the plaintiff contributed even 1 percent to the accident, the jury is instructed to give the plaintiff nothing.

The Challenge Of Proving Fault

Every day in our office, we examine police reports in which our driver claims she had a green light. The other driver—per the police report—also claims to have had a green light. (If you need a free copy of your police report, click HERE and we can help.) While we know that both drivers did not have the right of way, the challenge becomes proving this. These cases are often known as “He Said, She Said” cases. Essentially, you have to individuals telling two different stories. From a jury’s perspective, how are they to decide which driver is telling the truth? What evidence can a lawyer put forth to establish that their client is telling the truth, and had the right of way?

Without an independent eyewitness to testify as to what they saw—including of course who had the green light or right of way—quite often these cases represent extreme risk for a lawyer or law firm to take to court. The risk is not in losing. Any attorney knows they are not going to win every case. However, the risk is in the hours and financial investment the law firm is putting into the case, without any independent evidence to prove fault in the car accident case.

Presenting Evidence To Prove Fault In A NC Car Accident

Your personal injury lawyer will present evidence in hopes of establishing that the defendant was at fault. Below are a few examples of evidence which may be presented in court:

Client Testimony – The plaintiff will take the stand to tell their version of what happened in the car accident. Presumably, the plaintiff will state that she had the right of way, and that the defendant did not. Keep in mind, per the example above, the defendant may also take the stand and claim the exact opposite.

Photographs – If there are photographs which were taken at the scene, those may be authenticated and entered into evidence in the case. The plaintiff’s attorney will use the photographs to tell the story of the accident. Perhaps the position of the vehicles on the road helps to establish which vehicle was at fault. Often, the location of the damages on each vehicle helps to establish how the vehicles collided, which vehicle was in front or behind, etc. General photographs of the accident location, even after the vehicles have been moved, also help the jury to understand the nature of the intersection or piece of roadway involved in the accident. This may help corroborate the plaintiff’s testimony regarding what happened.

Witness Testimony – As mentioned above, an independent eyewitness may testify as to what they saw. Unless they are a friend or relative of one of the parties in the accident, there is no reason not to believe their testimony. In fact, their testimony may serve as a “tie-breaker” between the conflicting testimony of the plaintiff and defendant.

The Police Report – If the police report is in your client’s favor, the attorney will attempt to admit the police report into evidence as an official record. This report was made during the officer’s duties as an employee and the officer can often testify as to its authenticity based on what the officer witnessed at the scene of the accident.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Proving fault in a NC car accident is often more challenging than we predict. Insurance adjusters see the world through a different lens than the injured party. Having a lawyer represent you can make all the difference. If you would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your car accident case, call us at 704.479.7747 or click HERE to request a free consultation. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

Want to meet Chris Layton? Here is a one minute introduction VIDEO.

 

Can I Sue A Homeowner’s Insurance Company?

The liability of a homeowner for injuries or “Can I sue a homeowner’s insurance company” is a topic which clients often reach out to our office about. Does the property owner have homeowner’s insurance? What can I do if the homeowner refuses to go through their insurer? Can I even sue a homeowner if I’m injured on their property? These are a few routinely asked questions. Every personal injury case is different, and liability is often determined by the severity and origin of the injuries which were incurred on the property.

Yes, you can sue a homeowner’s insurance company. A more important question is whether you can establish liability or negligence of the homeowner and win the lawsuit.

Statistically speaking, according to The Insurance Information Institute, roughly 1 in 900 policies experience a claim for bodily injury as a result of something the homeowner did or failed to do.

Is the Homeowner Liable?

Liability is situational, and arguably is the key factor when debating legitimacy of any personal injury claim. In order for the property owner to be liable for your injuries, and your claim to be considered legitimate, there are a few requirements relating to both severity and origin of your injuries that must be met.

  • Where did the injury occur?
    • Your injury must have occurred within the property belonging to the homeowner. The homeowner is generally responsible for the safety of others on his/her property.
  • Were you on the property legally?
    • Trespassing typically negates any homeowner’s liability, unless the homeowner grossly overlooks and actively ignores a serious hazard on their property, and/or expects trespassers. Otherwise, to be liable during trespassing, the property owner must have acted aggressively towards you in an unreasonable manner.
  • Was the homeowner negligent?
    • The injuries must have been caused by the property owner’s own negligence. If any of your actions specifically caused your injuries, the homeowner is not likely to be held accountable for them.
    • If there is a hazard overlooked by the homeowner, which caused your injuries, you may be able to establish negligence and therefore liability for damages.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Often, the first determination to be made when pursuing a personal injury claim against a homeowner is whether or not they have insurance on the property. Typically if a property owner has a mortgage, they have homeowner’s insurance, because mortgage companies require it. However, if the homeowner owns the property free and clear, with no mortgage, there is a possibility they do not carry homeowner’s insurance.

The primary way to discover whether or not the property owner has homeowner’s insurance is to ask them. If the homeowner refuses to tell you this information, but you suspect they may have insurance because you know they have a mortgage, the only way to obtain that information is by suing the property owner, and demanding that information through the court’s Discovery process.

What happens after I make my claim?

Prior to suing the homeowner’s insurance company, you’ll make a claim. First, if you are injured on someone else’s property due to the homeowner’s negligence, inform the homeowner’s insurer as quickly as possible. The insurance company’s suspicion of illegitimacy will rise as time passes.

A claim is not a lawsuit against someone’s homeowner’s insurance company. A claim is just that– a claim for damages, in hopes of being paid for your injuries. After a personal injury claim is made against the property owner, an insurance adjuster from the homeowner’s insurance company will typically contact both the insured (homeowner) and the claimant (you) in order to gain perspective regarding the injury and facts surrounding it. The adjuster, may ask for a recorded statement about what occurred on the property which caused your injuries. Do not give them a recorded or written statement without first consulting with your lawyer.

If the adjuster is going to honor the claim, they will ask for medical records, bills, and proof of lost wages. After your treatment is finished, will try to settle the claim with you. If settlement cannot be reached, the filing of a lawsuit is necessary in order to receive proper compensation for your injuries.

When To Speak With A Lawyer

It’s important to speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later, if you may have a personal injury claim. Every communication you engage in with the homeowner’s insurance company can potentially be damaging to your case. We can help you get an answer to the question “Can I sue a homeowner’s insurance company?”

If you would like to speak with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer about an incident regarding an injury at a homeowner’s property, or homeowner’s insurance questions, please call us at 704.749.7747. You can also click HERE to request a consultation. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

 

Do I Qualify For Workers’ Comp  in NC?

In a typical Workers’ Comp case, you will qualify for Workers’ Comp in NC if your case meets these requirements:

You must be employed

Your employer must carry Workers’ Comp insurance

You must have sustained a work-related injury or illness, and

You must meet North Carolina’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a workers’ comp claim.

After promptly notifying your supervisor about your desire to file for workers’ comp, a form 18 should be completed and filed within 30 days. The employer and/or insurance carrier should receive a copy while you keep one for yourself. This form must be filed within two years of the injury taking place. All of these components are critical for you to qualify for Worker’s Comp. You can hire a Workers’ Comp lawyer at any time during the process of your claim; however, it is best to involve an attorney earlier rather than later, to help preserve your rights under your case and to help build your case as time goes by.

Common On The Job Injuries that Qualify for Workers’ Comp

Getting hurt on the job is never a good outcome. Unfortunately, some injuries do not qualify for Worker’s Comp in NC. Generally speaking, injuries that occur in the workplace or while doing something on behalf of your employer, are qualifying injuries for Workers’ Comp in NC. Other injuries include those sustained while operating a company vehicle or traveling as a passenger in a company vehicle. For example, delivering mail, or traveling to a client destination. If you are injured during a company sponsored event, you may have the option of choosing between Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury. Your choices will depend upon the facts which led to the injuries. Your injury attorney can help you understand the factors which trigger pursuing Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury. Lastly, while you may have a claim for mental injuries such as anxiety or depression, you will typically need a physical connection to those injuries in order to claim them. If you claim PTSD as part of your injury, and you can tie the PTSD to a physical injury you sustained on the job, you are well on your way to making the necessary connection.

Which Employers Must Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Any employer in North Carolina who employs three or more individuals must carry Workers’ Comp insurance. Often, a Workers’ Comp lawyer will devote resources to establishing that an employer actually has three or more employees. In ever-changing work structures, there are many times that an employer employs only independent contractors. While it is permissible to employ an independent contractor, an employe cannot use the status as a way to avoid Workers’ Comp insurance or paying a Workers’ Comp claim. Your attorney can help to successfully recover against the employer in these situations.

There are some allowable exceptions to the requirement to carry Worker’s Comp for an employee whether they are in independent contractor or not. Housekeepers and/or domestic servants that are directly employed by the household, certain farm laborers, and certain railroad employees are among them. Employers who fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance may face stiff financial penalties, be charged with a misdemeanor, be charged with a felony, and be imprisoned. If your employer fails to carry required workers’ compensation insurance, you should report the lack of workers’ compensation insurance or approved self-insurance to the NCIC Fraud Section and, if injured, should file a form 18 and form 33.

Coverage For Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent partial disability cases are some of the most common Workers’ Comp cases. The disability can originate from either a work related injury or an occupational disease. Permanent partial disability means that there is a permanent impairment which causes an employee to be unable to complete certain work related tasks to the best of their ability. This disability can be a physical impairment caused by a work related accident, or even a mental condition caused by the job. For example, post traumatic stress disorder. Physical examples of permanent partial disabilities include losing a limb, carpal tunnel syndrome, loss of vision in one eye (both eyes would be considered total disability), nerve damage, or a knee injury that causes walking or standing for prolonged amounts of time to be painful.

Workers’ Comp claimants routinely find themselves in a battle between their doctor and the Workers’ Comp doctor, over the percentage disability and whether it will be permanent or temporary. Good Worker’s Comp claims are won and lost over these distinctions and your lawyer will assist with building a case for the worst case scenario for your injury, to combat the insurance lawyer’s attempt to minimize your injury and the amount you should be compensated for it.

Lost Wages Claims

Lost wages are compensable in Workers’ Comp; however, even if you qualify for Worker’s Comp in NC, only a percentage of your lost wages will be paid under a Workers’ Comp claim. While this is true, when combined with a permanent partial disability, the total compensation is meant to compensate you for the injury and the financial loss you have suffered and will continue to suffer over time.

Speak With A Worker’s Comp Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your Workers’ Comp or personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Hit And Run Accident Lawyer

If you were the victim of a hit and run accident, we’re here to fight for you. You may think the only option is to either put a claim in with your insurance company or pay for your damages yourself. In fact, after a hit and run accident, North Carolina drivers have the option of accessing the Uninsured Motorist Coverage on their own policy. An experienced hit and run accident lawyer will help prove your case to the insurance adjuster and obtain best results for you in this difficult fact pattern.

Establishing Liability After A Hit And Run Accident

Insurance adjusters see a lot of insurance fraud. Every day, someone claims to have a slip and fall claim, or claims to be the victim of a hit and run. Before an insurance company will pay for damages to your property or pay for your personal injury, you must prove their obligation to do so. In a hit and run scenario, the only proof you have is the damage to your vehicle. Even with that, you have the burden to prove to the insurance adjuster that another driver caused that damage and that the incident was the other driver’s fault. You may have a police report, but again, that report will only contain your statement to the officer that another vehicle hit you. It is not strong evidence.

The Layton Law Firm will examine your fact pattern, photographs of the damage to your vehicle, and other pertinent information to help establish fault. In some cases, there is footage of the incident available through a request with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. This requires a hearing to obtain the footage but it can often make all the difference in whether you recover anything for your injuries from the hit and run accident.

Accessing Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If your personal injury lawyer can establish that another party was responsible for your damages and injury, and fled the scene, the lawyer will be able to successfully trigger a claim under the uninsured motorist provision of your policy. A claim placed under this designation should not have any negative consequences upon your insurance rates, and allows you access to the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Fighting Your Own Insurance Company

For a time, while your underinsured motorist claim is active, you and your insurance company will be adversaries. For this reason, it’s extremely important to have a personal injury lawyer represent you. Most clients we speak with who have tried to make an underinsured motorist claim for a hit and run have been denied by their insurance company. We are usually able to reverse that decision.

Addressing Personal Injury Liens

Your personal injury attorney will also make sure that the medical providers who have liens against your injury settlement pursuant to N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50 are addressed as part of the settlement. Individuals who settle their own claims without addressing these liens may find out after the fact that they owe most of the settlement to third parties—this entirely undoes the benefits of having negotiated your own settlement.

Speak With A Hit And Run Accident Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Will A Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Case?

A pre-existing injury will affect your personal injury claim because your attorney will need to establish the difference between your physical and mental condition at the time of the car accident, and after the car accident. In other words, the at fault party is only responsible for the damage they cause as a direct result of the accident.

Most commonly, pre-existing injuries are back or neck injuries, shoulder injuries, and knee injuries. As you might imagine, it’s easy to distinguish a pre-existing shoulder injury from a head injury which stemmed from the accident. In that case, the at fault party would not be responsible for the shoulder injury because it is not related to the accident. A much more difficult situation to sort through is one where a client has a pre-existing back injury, and the most recent car accident worsens that back injury. The at fault party only wants to pay for the additional damage which was caused by the car accident.

Medical Records Prior To The Accident

One way to prove that the injuries you are experiencing are a direct result of the accident, is to prove you did not have those conditions prior to the accident. Quite often, insurance adjusters will ask you to provide a few years of prior medical records. If you were treated for back pain the year prior to the car accident, you can count on the insurance adjuster arguing that the car accident only aggravated the back injury, but did not cause it. As a result, the adjuster will lower the value of your claim, affecting the settlement value of your case.

Treatment After The Accident

The insurance adjuster will also carefully review your medical records after the accident. For this reason, if possible, you should treat with the same physicians or team of health professionals after the accident, that you treated with before the accident. Those professionals are in the best position to make a statement as to your injuries prior to the accident, versus after the accident.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Theory

There is an eggshell plaintiff theory in North Carolina. While this is not a statute, it is a result of common law or case law over the years. The general rule that comes from the eggshell plaintiff theory essentially states that just because an injured party was prone to a particular injury does not mean they should not be compensated for it. For example, assume a particular individual has a condition which makes them more susceptible to suffer PTSD from a traumatic event. If the accident causes them PTSD, the at fault party is still responsible for that. This is true even if most other individuals would not have had PTSD from the event. The at fault party is not responsible for the underlying susceptibility to PTSD, but they are responsible for the PTSD which was caused by the accident.

Before And After

Your personal injury lawyer will address any pre-existing injury concerns by demonstrating to the adjuster the difference between your life before the accident and after the accident. While medical records and medical billing help to establish this, the attorney can also gather additional evidence to support this. Your inability to participate in activities such as horse back riding or running, or your inability to interact with your grandchildren in the same manner after the accident as before the accident, all count toward the value of your car accident or slip and fall claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Your minor auto accident or motorcycle accident is important to us, no matter how small. Even in cases or claims where most of the damage is property damage (vs. personal injury or bodily injury), we can and want to help.

Clients quite often don’t know what their rights are in an minor auto accident, and it’s not always as easy as making a claim with the at-fault party’s auto insurance company. Quite often, those claims are denied or individuals are ignored by the insurance company, in hopes they will give up or go away. Additionally, there are times when an insurance company will offer a dramatically low value for your damaged property based on a quote provided by a third party they have a strong relationship with. Having a personal injury lawyer represent you, even if your claim is only for property damage, helps prevent this type of behavior.

Call our office for a consultation today. We’ll discuss what happened, and help you determine your options, which may range from pursuing a claim against the at-fault party’s insured, to simply determining what insurance is available for you to pay your existing medical bills or compensate you for your damaged property.

If you have questions about a minor auto accident or motorcycle accident, take the next step toward recovery and call 704.749.7747 today. We’re here to help.

Lost Income From Car Accidents

If you’re in a car accident, chances are you will have lost income. Lost income from car accidents can be recovered in a personal injury claim. Your Charlotte personal injury attorney must establish or prove the amount of time lost, the wages associated with that time, and the connection to the accident. The key is documenting all aspects of your lost wages claim in order to recover lost income from your accident. You can significantly change how much your car accident is worth, with a successful lost wages claim.

Establishing Your Wages Prior To The Car Accident

In order to claim lost income from car accidents, you must first establish the wages you were making before the car accident. The personal injury adjuster will want to see proof of your wages, which can be established by some or all of the following:

Tax Returns

W2 Forms

Pay Stubs

A Signed, Notarized Wage Form From Your Employer

When you provide one or more of the above items to your personal injury lawyer, they can use that documentation as the foundation to prove the wage you were earning right before the car accident occurred. Unless there was a change in your employment status, it is safe to assume the same wage would have been paid to you if you continued to work and had never been in the accident.

Establishing Your Missed Hours

Your employer will need to complete a Lost Wages Form for your injury lawyer. Typically, someone at your job with authority to do so will complete the form. The form will need to disclose your average weekly hours, your hourly wage, the date range during which you missed work, and the total hours missed. With this information, your lawyer can calculate the total wages lost as a direct result of the accident.

Claiming Lost Earning Capacity

There are some instances in which your car accident may lead to a permanent reduction in your ability to earn wages. For instance, if your car accident leads to a permanent disability rating, it will most likely mean you can no longer work full time, or can no longer perform the job you performed prior to the accident.

In order to claim any sort of permanent lost earning capacity, you will need a doctor to verify your disability. Your personal injury lawyer can work with you in order to obtain an opinion from an independent medical examiner, which will indicate your lost wage earning capacity. This opinion will serve as evidence, whether your claim is a Workers’ Compensation claim or a personal injury claim.  It’s important to note that the attorney for the insurance company will most likely find a way to provide an opinion which argues there is not permanent lost earning capacity resulting from the accident. Both sides will argue these points as they negotiate the lost income from your car accident.

Claiming Lost Wages If You’re Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, you can expect a much more difficult process regarding a lost wages claim from a car accident. Self-employed individuals are often paid inconsistently due to the nature of being self-employed. Your attorney will work with you to gather as much information as possible in order to support your claim. What is most beneficial is to have a strong history of self-employment income which can be compared to your income after the accident.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Concerned about getting a fair offer from an insurance adjuster for your car accident? Get legal protection today—it’s only a phone call away. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article regarding “Lost income from car accidents” was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

If you have significant economic losses from a personal injury claim and you’re having trouble paying bills, you may consider a Bankruptcy filing. You can read about your options on our Bankruptcy Blog.