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In A Car Accident Without Insurance

If you are in a car accident without insurance, don’t panic. Regardless of whether you have insurance, you have a duty to exchange information with the other driver. If you are the driver without insurance, and the accident is not your fault, you can still pursue the other driver for economic recovery.

Your Property Damage

You will be assigned a property damage adjuster if you pursue a property damage claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If it is determined that the other driver is at fault, their insurance company should pay for your property damages. You may need a lawyer to assist in negotiating a property damage agreement, or you may be able to successfully negotiate it yourself. Often, the other driver’s insurance company will want time to investigate the claim. This is reasonable, as they will attempt to determine whether their driver was at fault, and assess the property damage.

Your Personal Injury Claim

If the accident is not your fault, you will be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver regardless of whether you had active insurance at the time of the car accident. The lack of insurance is a non-material or irrelevant fact as it relates to which driver was at fault. This information should also be excluded from evidence if the case goes to trial, under NC Rule of Evidence 402.

Your personal injury lawyer will work with the adjuster for the other driver’s insurance company to assure that the full value of the claim is achieved, despite not having insurance. While you can count on the at-fault driver’s insurance company offering push-back regarding lack of insurance, ultimately it should not be an issue for recovery.

Medical Payments Coverage

If you had an auto insurance policy with Medical Payments coverage and it was canceled or lapsed just prior to the accident, unfortunately, you will not receive the benefit of medical payments coverage. However, if you live with an immediate family member who has medical payments coverage on a separate auto policy, we may be able to access that coverage to assist with paying your medical bills.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you are in an accident and have questions about car insurance, fault, or any other aspect of settling your claim, please call us at 704.749.7747. Or you can click HERE to request a consultation. All consultations are free and can be done over the telephone. 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 an 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 an 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 an 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 that 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 that 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 an 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 the 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 the 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 liable 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 the 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 a 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.

 

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 the 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.

Medical Bills In Personal Injury Settlements

If there are medical bills in your personal injury settlement, they will need to be addressed as part of the settlement. Your personal injury lawyer will assist with this. Generally, there are two types of medical bills in personal injury settlements. First, there are those bills that are liens. Second, there are those bills that are not liens. The two are treated differently for purposes of whether they must be paid out of your personal injury settlement.

Liens In Personal Injury Settlements

Certain medical providers will claim a lien against your personal injury settlement. The claimant does so by citing the language in NCGS 44-49 and NCGS 44-50. This statute allows the medical provider to claim a lien against your settlement or jury verdict. However, there are limits—the statute limits all lien holders to one-half of the settlement after attorney fees and expenses have been deducted.

Your personal injury lawyer should discover the liens against your personal injury settlement when requesting medical records and medical bills related to your claim. Keep in mind, if you were treated at a facility and did not tell your personal injury lawyer about it, it would be difficult for them to discover the lien.

The personal injury attorney will keep track of all liens claimed against settlement. Upon disbursing the settlement proceeds, the liens will be paid. Remember, the lien holders are limited to roughly one-third of your settlement. The amount they receive will differ depending upon how much your personal injury settlement is worth. Your attorney will calculate the appropriate payments for each lien holder. While the lien holders may still pursue you for the balance of the lien, our firm typically requests the lien holder accept the pro-rata share as full and final payment of the lien.

Bills Which Are Not Liens

There will be other medical providers who will have an outstanding bill related to the injury. However, they may choose not to claim a lien. Or, they may simply fail to claim a lien against your settlement. This gives you the option of having your attorney pay them from the settlement, or paying them yourself, outside of the settlement.

Medicare, Medicaid, ERISA Liens

Healthcare providers like Medicare, Medicaid, and ERISA health plans, are entitled to be reimbursed if they pay for treatment related to your personal injury claim. Medicare applies what they call a “Procurement Formula” to the settlement amount. Your attorney can estimate what this amount will be prior to reaching a settlement. Medicaid is generally limited to roughly one-third of the settlement. ERISA health plans, unfortunately, are entitled to be reimbursed for their entire lien out of your settlement proceeds. Your personal injury lawyer can usually successfully negotiate the lien prior to reaching a settlement.

Personal Injury Lawyers And Medical Liens

Your personal injury lawyer will make a dramatic difference for you as it relates to any liens against your settlement proceeds. The law firm will negotiate the liens, and present your case to the medical providers in such a way that entices them to take a reduced rate. Most of this negotiating is done before you reach an actual settlement. That is when your leverage is highest against medical providers and lien holders.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have a personal injury claim and you would like to speak with a lawyer, call us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or request a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will call you today to discuss your case.

 

When you are rear-ended by a company vehicle, it’s important to understand your rights. Your claim for damages can often be dramatically different when you’re rear-ended by a company vehicle. The reason for this is the potential for punitive damages, which increase the value of your personal injury case. Punitive damages are codified by the NC General Statutes in N.C.G.S. sec. 1D.

As a Charlotte personal injury law firm, our firm has experience representing individuals who have been in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Sometimes those clients are pedestrians who have been struck by a work vehicle. Other times, our client was rear-ended by a company vehicle while driving their own personal vehicle.

How Your Case Is Different When A Commercial Vehicle Is Involved

In a typical car accident, both drivers are operating their personal vehicles. Ideally, both drivers are insured at the time of the accident. The at-fault party can expect to pay damages to the other driver if they were injured in the accident. In these cases, each driver should carry the NC state minimum insurance requirements. In the event the injuries exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver, our firm can typically recover additional funds from our client’s insurance company under the Underinsured Motorist coverage on our client’s policy.

In the commercial setting, if someone is rear-ended by a company vehicle, a few things are different. First, the insurance limits covering the company driver will typically be much higher than those carried by most private motorists. Second, as a personal injury law firm, we will investigate the facts surrounding the accident to determine if the company itself is at fault. For example:

Did the company driver have a prior history of accidents?

Did a failure to maintain the company vehicle contribute to the accident?

Does the company have a history of negligent retention of employees?

In the corporate setting, when you are rear-ended by a company vehicle, your case may be a good case for additional damages. Juries are often asked to consider punitive damages in these cases. This changes the nature of the jury’s deliberation. Usually, a jury is awarding the injured party an amount of money meant to compensate the injured party for their loss. When punitive damages are considered by a jury, the jury is considering an amount that will discourage the at-fault company and all other companies from engaging in similar behavior. This is why a failure to maintain a vehicle or knowledge surrounding an employee’s prior driving record is relevant.

Negotiating A Claim When Rear-Ended By A Company Vehicle

The available insurance coverage and the public policy to prevent companies from knowingly engaging in negligent behavior change the negotiation. Your personal injury lawyer will present your case to the insurance adjuster or their attorney in a manner that reflects this. By citing recent case law which supports the damages requested, your lawyer can build the value of your case so that you are adequately compensated.

Ultimately, your personal injury settlement should reflect all circumstances surrounding your accident. Our staff will walk you through the demand package we are submitting to the insurance company to be sure you understand the process as we request a settlement from the insurance adjuster.

Investigating The At-Fault Company

Another distinguishing factor in rear-end collisions involving commercial vehicles is the tendency for the personal injury law firm to employ an investigator to research the company’s history. This investigation will include uncovering past accidents, corporate policies, and finally whether the company complies with state and federal regulations. In cases like these, quite often the case is as much about your injury as it is about the company’s failure to abide by the rules for doing business in the state. If a failure to follow those rules contributed to the accident, it becomes a key factor in achieving full value for your claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Most of our clients have never sued another individual. Most of our clients have never been seriously injured in a car accident before. We understand this is all new territory to you, and your primary focus is on recovery from your injuries. In our opinion, it makes sense to partner with a personal injury law firm to be sure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly.

If you’d like to speak with us about your accident, call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out to discuss your case today.

Do I Pay A Deductible If I’m Not At Fault?

If you’re in a car accident in North Carolina, you may have to pay a deductible, even if the accident is not your fault. The primary reason for this is that the other driver’s insurance company will want time to investigate the claim, and you simply want to get your car fixed. Therefore, the quickest option for you is to put in a claim through your insurance company to have the car repaired without waiting. As a result, you pay the deductible associated with your policy.

Getting Reimbursed For Your Deductible

While you may pay a deductible if you’re not at fault, there’s a chance you will be reimbursed. After your insurance company repairs your vehicle and you pay your deductible, you can expect your insurance company to pursue reimbursement. Your insurance company will be reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurance. Lastly, your insurance company should reimburse your deductible to you when they get paid. It is noteworthy that if you wait until the at-fault driver’s insurance completes their investigation, you could be without a vehicle for several weeks. As a result, most drivers choose to move forward with a claim against their own insurance.

Why Does The Claim Need To Be Investigated?

We recently wrote an article about why an insurance company is investigating your claim. First, the insurance company has a duty to their driver to make sure you were not at fault. Second, in North Carolina, Contributory Negligence can prevent recovery.  This means the insurance company is investigating whether you contributed to the accident. Lastly, the insurance company takes a statement from their driver regarding what happened. If the police report is inconclusive, and if each driver tells a different story, you may be in for a fight. It’s a good time to consider hiring a North Carolina personal injury lawyer.

Is My Personal Injury Claim Handled By My Car Insurance Company?

No. Your personal injury claim is a claim against the other driver. Therefore, their insurance company will be pursued by your injury attorney, if you choose to hire one. Consequently, you can expect an investigation much like the one mentioned above. As a result, the other driver’s insurance company may want to take your statement. We highly recommend against giving a statement to the insurance company. First, everything you say will be recorded (and used against you). Second, the insurance company will not share their driver’s statement regarding the accident, so why should you give a statement? Lastly, if a lawsuit is filed, both drivers will give testimony by way of a deposition. Until then, negotiations can move forward without statements being given. Additionally, if you’ve been in a slip and fall or a grocery store slip and fall, it’s even more important not to give a statement.

Do I Have To Pay My Personal Injury Lawyer?

Our firm is like most personal injury law firms. We work on your case for free. If we are unable to get a settlement for you, you owe us nothing. Likewise, if we do reach a settlement, you owe us a fee. Our standard fee is one-third (33%) of your settlement or jury verdict. If you’d like to discuss working with a personal injury lawyer, please call us at 704.749.7747. You can also simply click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and you will speak with a lawyer today. You can also read more at the car insurance claims FAQ by dmv.org.

Why Is The Insurance Company Investigating My Claim?

If you’ve had a recent car accident and are trying to get your property damage addressed, you may be feeling some frustration. We talk to clients every day who tell us that while the car accident was not their fault—and the police report clearly shows that—the insurance company is delaying repairing their car. The reason given is that “the insurance company is investigating my claim.” If the insurance company is investigating your claim and it’s interrupting your life, we’re here to help.

Are They Allowed To Investigate My Claim?

If the police report clearly shows the accident is not your fault, and if the other driver does not dispute fault, it would seem that the insurance company has no need to be investigating your claim. That being said, they are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to investigate the claim. We will always argue over what is a reasonable amount of time. In instances where the other driver is lying about the accident, you may face a tougher battle. Usually, from your perspective, it feels like the insurance company is simply delaying doing a necessary repair.

What Can I Do While The Insurance Company Is Investigating My Claim?

Your main concern is getting your vehicle in operating mode again, or getting a repair done. While the insurance company investigates your claim, you have no way to get to work or pick up kids from school activities. Typically, the answer to this is to start a property damage claim with your insurance company. This might feel counter-intuitive because the accident wasn’t your fault. First, you’re correct in feeling this way. Second, you’re right to be skeptical of an insurance company that claims to need more time to investigate an obvious claim. Lastly, your insurance company has seen this countless times and they will step in to help.

Usually, your insurance company will provide you with a rental vehicle, repair your vehicle, or both. You may even have to pay your deductible. In the end, however, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This means that in the end, the other driver’s insurance company pays for the property damage. You should fight hard to not have to pay a deductible, though, this varies from one insurance company to the next.

Should I Get A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Typically, a personal injury lawyer or personal injury law firm will be more interested in your personal injury claim. Each accident claim contains both a property damage claim and a personal injury claim. We always tell clients that we don’t want to charge them for the property damage claim, so we don’t. Instead, when a client hires us to handle their personal injury claim, we offer guidance on how to proceed with getting blue book value for your car or getting the repair properly done. We are happy to make a phone call or write a letter to the insurance company if they are not performing on the property damage end for the client.

Further Reading

If you’d like to read more articles like this one, please visit the rest of our Personal Injury Blog on this site.

Help! The Insurance Company Is Investigating My Claim!

If an insurance company is investigating your claim and you’d like to speak with a lawyer, we’re here to help. You can call us at 704.749.7747, or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out to you. You’ll speak with a lawyer today, and you’ll understand your rights by the end of the phone call or meeting. We know you have choices, and we hope you choose to Recover With Us.

When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

The best time to hire a personal injury lawyer is before you start communicating with the insurance company that represents the other driver. Fortunately, hiring a personal injury lawyer shouldn’t cost you anything upfront—the lawyer doesn’t get paid until you get paid. As a result, you can get legal protection immediately. The knowledge and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you with the following, which may help you decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer:

Preserving Your Rights

Establishing Fault Of The Other Driver

Arguing Pain And Suffering

Gathering All Medical Records, Bills, and Liens

Negotiating Your Lost Wages

Discovering Insurance Coverage

Settling Your Claim For A Fair Amount

How To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury attorney is easy. You simply pick up the phone and call. Personal injury law firms are usually available to hear about your case, and you should be able to speak with an attorney. Once the attorney gathers enough information to understand the situation, they will generally tell you on the first phone call, if they are interested in taking your case.

While there will be some paperwork that has to be completed in person, if we decide to take your case we will send you a link you can use to complete most of the intake necessary for us to start working on your claim. We will then either mail you the remainder to sign, or you can come by the office to sign the remaining paperwork.

Protect Your Rights In Personal Injury

When determining when to hire a personal injury lawyer, some clients do so after making numerous statements to the insurance adjuster assigned to the claim or case. These statements are usually recorded and can be used against you later. Recorded statements are used to show you have made contradictory claims regarding the facts, or to establish admissions on your part. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will be given a fairly strict set of rules to follow regarding communicating with the parties involved in the claim. Generally, the lawyer prefers you do not communicate directly with anyone other than the personal injury lawyer’s office.

The personal injury lawyer you hire will work hard to establish liability in your case. This usually means establishing the elements of a Negligence claim, so that you can recover damages in a settlement or lawsuit. Each case or claim has a theory of liability. Take your lawyer’s advice not to speak with the insurance company about your claim, and let your personal injury lawyer work to build the case for you.

Further Reading

What Is The Personal Injury Process Like?

How Much Is My Car Accident Worth?

Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident, call us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. Or, click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out shortly to discuss your case with you. You deserve to know your rights, and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

If you’re considering settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer… don’t. It’s important for you to understand the risks associated with settlement and why hiring a personal injury lawyer is a critical step in getting your medical bills paid and receiving a fair value for your injury. Quite often a potential client will reach out to our office to inquire about whether they should accept an offer made by an insurance adjuster; our answer depends upon a few factors, and yours will too. Our strong advice is to hire a personal injury attorney to help you settle your claim. We have found the end result is better for you and you get the legal protection you need and deserve. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out today.

Completing Treatment Is Key

If you haven’t completed your treatment, you’re not aware of your total damages. The reason for this is that your damages are a combination of your medical costs associated with treatment, and the injury itself. Until your doctor or team of physicians releases you from care, it’s impossible to be certain of the full extent of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will be happy to settle your claim before treatment is finished. That way, your injuries, and medical bills are no longer their responsibility. If you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer and you receive bills after settlement, the insurance company won’t pay them. The same is true for understanding the value of your claim– if you settle before treatment is finished, you’ll be settling for a lower value in almost every case. When settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of accepting less than you deserve. Remember, you can’t go back to the insurance company for more money once you settle and release them.

Understanding Health Insurance Liens

The insurance company may claim that they will handle all of your medical bills. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, your medical providers—including your health insurance company—may have a lien against your settlement proceeds. When settling a personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of your insurance company refusing to cover future treatment until your lien is paid. Lastly, if the health insurance lien is not paid from settlement proceeds, the health insurance company has rights that may extend as far as placing a lien against your home or other valuables you own. In this FindLaw.com article, the over-reaching arm of health insurance companies is discussed:

“Your health insurance company often has a right to take part of your auto accident settlement, depending on what you agreed to in your health insurance policy. Often, your health insurance company is entitled to recover everything it paid for your medical care, which is called subrogation. The theory behind subrogation is that a person should not have his medical bills paid twice-once by his health insurer, and a second time in the form of a settlement or judgment for damages in an accident liability case. So, rather than having your medical bills paid by the insurance company and getting the equivalent sum to keep from the settlement, you would have to pay the amount you received for your medical expenses in the settlement to your health insurance company.”

Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will ensure that your liens are valid, negotiated, and paid as part of orchestrating your settlement. This result ensures you avoid the pitfalls you will encounter when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer.

Reaching A Fair Settlement

Fairness is subjective. Our experience has been that our clients do better with a personal injury lawyer than when settling their personal injury claim without a lawyer. One reason is economics. Once you involve a personal injury lawyer with your claim, you have leverage against the insurance company. Instead of asking themselves how much it will cost to make you go away, they instead have to face the prospect of spending thousands of dollars in court against you and your lawyer. In the end, your lawyer fee will most often not outweigh the increase in settlement offer you receive by hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Peace of Mind

Consider a scenario where the insurance company offers you $2,000.00 in your pocket after paying all medical bills and you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer. Now consider the same scenario where you hire a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to represent you. Suppose the lawyer is able to obtain a $6,000.00 settlement, with the net result being the same—you end up with $2,000.00 in your pocket. The numbers are the same but there’s a difference. With the personal injury lawyer’s involvement, you get peace of mind. You can be sure that:

  • All medical bills/liens are paid unless otherwise agreed upon;
  • You didn’t accept a low offer only to be left wondering if you could have done better;
  • Your health insurance provider will not withhold treatment or come after your assets for repayment;
  • A licensed professional has done all of the work instead of you managing your own claim while trying to move on with your life;

Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

We’re here to help. Call 704.749.7747 to speak with an attorney today, or click here to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION today. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.