When you or someone you know is injured in an accident you will admittedly have a lot of questions. While we can’t answer all of your questions in one post, we want to provide you with some brief answers to a number of frequently asked questions that we receive, in addition to our more in-depth posts. If you don’t find the answer to your questions here or in our other posts, feel free to contact our personal injury attorney to set up a free consultation.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is one of the main processes available to you after an auto accident through which you can seek to receive compensation for your damages. These damages can include: medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of future medical care, pain and suffering, and future loss of earning potential. For more information about the timeline of a personal injury claim click here.
Do I need an attorney?
In a great number of accidents the injury you may sustain is not serious and may not require extensive treatment. You may be able to handle your claim without the representation of an attorney. However, if you are seriously injured or have questions about a claim feel free to contact us and we will let you know how we can help.
How much does an attorney cost?
Our office, and many firms in North Carolina work based on a contingency fee for personal injury claims. This means that there is zero up front cost for representation. We don’t receive a fee unless we successfully obtain a settlement that you accept.
What is contributory negligence?
Some states, North Carolina in particular, have a doctrine called contributory negligence that severely reduces the amount of injured drivers that can seek compensation. This doctrine means that if you are just one percent at fault for the accident that caused your injuries you are barred from recovery against the other driver.
Should I use my health insurance to pay for my medical bills?
The general answer is yes, we recommend in most situations that you use your health insurance for your medical expenses. In short, your health is what your health insurance is designed for, health insurance companies have significant bargaining power in reducing your medical bills, you only pay your co-pays, and prevent the medical providers from marking your bills for collections. There are some health insurance plans that may require reimbursement from so it is very important that you discuss this at length with your personal injury attorney.
What is medical payments coverage?
Med Pay, or Medical Payments Coverage, is a policy addition that you may have on your own auto or home insurance policy. Med Pay coverage helps you to cover the costs of your medical treatment and is available to you regardless of who was at fault in an accident. You can find out whether you have Med Pay coverage by locating your declarations page from the last time you renewed your policy.
What should I do about my property damage claim?
In North Carolina, most insurance companies separate property damage and personal injury claims. In fact, it’s possible for an insurance company to settle your property damage claim but later deny your personal injury claim. While our office is not set up to represent you on your property damage claim we are more than happy to answer your questions. In most cases, settling your property damage claim should not impact your ability to bring a personal injury claim but it is important that you share the documents you sign from your property claim with your personal injury attorney.