Experienced & Aggressive North Carolina Lawyers
Auto Accidents & Tractor Trailer Collisions
The effects of a vehicular accident involving automobiles or tractor trailers can be devastating. Long hospital stays and missed time from work can wreak havoc on your family’s finances. Furthermore, the at-fault insurance company may wrongfully deny your claim or try to get you to settle before you have finished your medical treatment.
Our attorneys and staff stand ready to assist you in putting your life back together. We take care of all the legal issues. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the facts surrounding the accident. Every case receives individual attention and every case is important to us.
Below is some information that you may find useful. Some of it is pertinent only to accidents that happen in North Carolina.
Personal Injury Information
- Do not settle your personal injury claim until you are released from the doctor’s care and feeling better. The insurance company will try to convince you to settle within a few days of the accident. Do not do it, even if you do not get an attorney. However, you must always consider the statute of limitations in this regard. An experienced attorney can explain this to you.
- If you have health insurance, file all your medical bills with your plan. This helps to keep bill collectors from sending you into collections. The at-fault insurance company often will not pay your medical bills until you settle.
- Keep track of the mileage to your doctor, physical therapist or other injury-related appointments. Sometimes you can use this mileage as part of your claim.
- Keep a copy of your prescription receipts. These are part of incurred medical expenses for which you should be compensated.
- Keep a list of all doctors and hospitals you have been to. Get a written note from your doctor for any missed days from work. This is very important. It is difficult to claim lost wages for days you missed when you do not have a written doctor’s excuse.
- It is very important that you keep your appointments with your doctor or therapist. The value of your claim can be affected by your cooperation with your doctor or therapist. Please make every effort to keep your appointments. If you simply cannot make an appointment, call their office and let them know.
- Make sure your doctor writes down each symptom that is bothering you at each appointment, not just the one that is bothering you the most.
- Make sure you give a complete history of any past injuries to your doctor. Trying to cover up past problems will usually only hurt your case.
- Always tell the truth--the whole truth. Never exaggerate your injuries.
Your Car Damage Claim
Sometimes your car damage claim can be the most frustrating aspect of your auto accident. You may not be able to get to work or to the doctor because your car is not driveable and the at-fault insurance company is not being helpful. It is important that you understand how insurance companies process these claims so you know what to expect.
The insurance company is not going to take responsibility for your claim until they have completed their investigation into the accident. This means they may want to review the accident report, inspect your car, take a statement from their insured, and interview the police officer and any witnesses. They may also want to take your recorded statement.
If a decision is made to accept the claim, the at-fault insurance company will then pay to have your car repaired or, if the car is totaled, pay you the fair market value. By North Carolina law, if the repair bill is greater than 75% of the fair market value, then the at-fault insurance company will total the car. If the insurance company decides to total your car, they will probably pay off any outstanding loans on the car and then pay you the balance. They will also take possession of the car after you sign over the title. If your bank has the title, the insurance company will have you sign a power of attorney to give it the authority to transfer the title.
If your car is repairable, then the at-fault insurance company will give you a cost estimate prepared by their appraiser. You then have the freedom to chose whomever you want to fix your car. You are not required to take it to the insurance company’s approved repair shops, although there are certain advantages to doing so.
Furthermore, if they accept responsibility, the at-fault insurance company will usually pay for a rental car. You will normally have to have a credit card to get the car. Generally, they pay between $20 to $26 a day for the rental. In certain circumstances, they will pay for more. If your car is not driveable but is repairable, you will be provided a rental car for a reasonable period of time while your car is repaired. If your car is driveable, you will be provided a rental car when your car goes in the shop and until it is repaired. If your car is totaled, you will be provided a rental car for a reasonable period of time usually not more than a few days.
Other questions we can answer for you:
- Can the at-fault insurance company insist on used parts to repair your car?
- What is substitution of collateral and how it can help you get into a new car faster through your current car loan if you don’t have enough equity in your car?
- What to do if the insurance company’s investigation is taking too long or they deny the claim?
- If the at-fault insurance company is delaying accepting the claim, can your own insurance company assist you?
- How does depreciation work and when are you entitled to it?
- What is the 25% rule in regards to disclosure to any potential buyers of the wrecked status of your repaired car?
Automobile Accidents FAQs
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