Car Accident Insurance Claims
Why can Negligence be hard to prove?If you have been involved in an accident and your insurance claim has been denied, contact us today for a free consultation. We will review your case and advise you on the best course of action.
What should I do if my car insurance claim is denied?
Frankly, carriers regularly deny valid claims.
If that weren’t the case, there would be no need for lawyers. We think one of the best ways to avoid a denial of an insurance claim is to establish an attorney-client relationship immediately after the accident.
This is especially important if the injuries are serious, or if there is significant damage to your vehicle. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to investigate the accident, how to deal with the insurance company, and how to maximize your chances of recovering for your losses.
In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a favorable settlement with the insurance company without filing a lawsuit. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, then filing a lawsuit may be the best option.
What are some common pitfalls of car insurance claims?There are a few common pitfalls that can occur when filing a car insurance claim. One is if you do not have the proper documentation.
It is important to have all of the necessary paperwork in order before you begin the claims process. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to start over or worse, not being able to get your claim approved at all.
Another potential pitfall involves failing to keep good records of any communication you have with your insurer throughout the claims process. This will come in handy if there are any discrepancies or disagreements down the road.
What are some tips for getting the most out of my car insurance claim?
There are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting a fair settlement from your car insurance company:
- Gather all pertinent documentation. This should include a copy of the police report (if applicable), estimates for repairs, and any other relevant paperwork. Your attorney will ordinarily handle gathering documentation and preparing a demand.
- Keep detailed records. Make sure to keep track of all correspondence with your insurance company, including phone calls and emails.
- Be patient. The claims process can be slow, so it’s important to be patient and keep following up with your insurer.
- Know your rights. We do this for a living. We will explain the process to you and help explain your legal rights and options.
- Consult with an attorney. If you feel like you’re not getting fair treatment from your insurer, consider consulting with a lawyer who has substantial experience handling accident claims.
How long does it take to process a claim?
The time it takes to process a claim can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the insurance company’s claims process.
However, most car insurance companies want to do everything they can to settle as quickly as possible, for as little as possible.
What are the most common mistakes people make when filing a car insurance claim?
There are several common mistakes people make when filing a car insurance claim:
- Not seeking medical attention right away – This is a mistake because some injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, and brain injuries may not be immediately apparent
- Not contacting an attorney – Some people believe they can save money by handling their own bodily injury and property damage claims
- Giving a Recorded Statement – It is common practice for the insurance adjuster to ask for a recorded statement, despite the fact that is not required under the NC Accident laws
- Not Keeping Accurate Records – One of the most important things you can do when filing an insurance claim is to keep accurate records of your damages, injuries, and expenses
- Not understanding the claims process
All too often, people representing themselves with the carrier settle for less than their claim is worth. In some instances, without legal protection, they find themselves dealing with allegations of Contributory Negligence and a denial of a claim altogether.
An attorney with substantial experience handling car accident claims is in a better position to negotiate with the insurance company to get a full and fair settlement.
Providing a statement to the insurance adjuster, whether it is recorded or not, gives the adjuster the opportunity to trip you up and use something you say against you later on.
An innocent, off-handed, or out-of-context comment can easily create problems for a valid claim for damages.
We think it’s best to let your attorney handle all communications with the insurance company.
Be sure to save all medical bills, receipts, and documentation of any lost wages or income and the costs to get your car repaired.
This will be vital in support of your claim for damages.
The car insurance claims process is often confusing and complicated.
An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the process and ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
The only person on your side is your attorney. The insurance company adjuster represents the carrier and their financial interests.
- Big insurance companies profit by denying legitimate claims they should, by all rights, pay
- Big insurance companies profit by paying less than they should for valid claims
- Big insurance companies profit by taking advantage of unrepresented victims of car accidents
How long does it take to process a car insurance claim?
The time it takes to process an auto accident claim and property damage claims can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the insurance company’s claims process.
However, most auto insurance companies want to do everything they can to settle as quickly as possible, for as little as possible.
The insurance company is not your friend. They are not looking out for you or your best interests or your personal injury protection.
They make money by denying claims or paying less than they should even when their insured is 100% at fault. It’s all about their profit margin and money.
What information do I need to file a car insurance claim?
To file a personal injury claim after a car accident, you will need the following information:
- The At-Fault (Negligent) Driver’s personal information – Name, address, telephone number, and email
- The other driver and other drivers’ insurance information – Insurance Company name, policy number, contact number
- The Police Report (if one was filed) – Accident Report
- Documentation of any injuries or property damage
To file a car insurance claim, we believe it’s better to have your attorney contact the appropriate insurance company about your personal injury claim and provide them with information about the accident.
The carrier will then likely send an adjuster to inspect the damage on your vehicle and determine how much your “property damage” claim is worth.
How do I file a car insurance claim?
While that is a common question, we think it’s a better idea to first speak with an experienced accident lawyer.
Filing a car accident claim is not as simple as many people think.
If you make a mistake, it could cost you thousands of dollars – or even result in your claim being denied entirely.
We firmly believe you should not speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company without the benefit of legal counsel.
An experienced lawyer will be able to help you understand the process and ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
The process of formally filing a claim for damages may take weeks, if not months, from the date of the wreck and after you’ve been released by your doctor.
People tend to confuse putting the carrier on notice of a potential claim with making a formal claim for damages. There is a difference and it is important to protect yourself from any effort of the adjuster to limit or deny the value of your claim – Ralph Meekins, Shelby Accident Lawyer
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to stop your vehicle and assess the situation.
If there are injuries or significant damage, you should immediately call the police.
Once the police arrive, ask them to create an accident report. That will be important for filing your insurance claim.
How much does a lawyer cost for child custody in Lincolnton, NC?
Some lawyers charge by the hour for child custody cases, while others charge a flat fee. In many cases, the cost of hiring a lawyer depends on the amount of work required. Be sure to ask about attorney’s fees during your initial consultation with your family lawyer.
How do I request a modification to child support?
You’ll need to file a motion with the courts to modify a child support order. A child custody lawyer can help you with this.
How is child support calculated?
A child support order will consider each parent’s ability to pay, the current standard of living for the child and both parents, and other factors. A child custody lawyer can help evaluate your situation and help you understand what you might have to pay or what you might be entitled to receive.
Does a criminal record affect child custody?
Having a criminal record might make it more difficult for you to secure custody of your child, depending on your situation. It does not automatically preclude you from seeking and getting custody, however.
If I have custody of my children, can I move out of state with them?
It depends on the details of your custody order. If you have sole legal and physical custody, you can most likely move out of state without worrying about the other parent. If you have joint physical custody of your children, though, you will probably need to file a court motion before you can leave the state.
How is visitation decided?
Courts make visitation decisions based on what’s best for the child. The goal is to minimize the disruption in the child’s life while still allowing the child to spend time with both parents. If one parent has shown that they are unfit to spend time with the child, they may be denied visitation or be required to have supervised visitation.
How do I get my child back from the non-custodial parent?
If the non-custodial parent has violated a court order, you can file a motion in court to have them held in contempt. The judge will decide the appropriate penalty based on the severity of the non-custodial parent’s actions.
How is child support decided?
Child support is an obligation of a parent to provide financial support for his or her child. In North Carolina, child support is calculated using Child Support Guidelines.
The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines consider things such as:
- The income of each parent, if any
- The number of “overnights” each child spends with each parent
- The cost of health insurance for the child or children
- The costs of daycare
- The cost of extracurricular activities
Who decides child custody, visitation, and child support?
Custody and vistitation are often the most difficult issues to resolve during a divorce. The best interests of the child are always the primary consideration. Family law attorneys may refer to Best Interests as the “North Star” or “Polar Star.” There are different types of custody in North Carolina: legal and physical. Legal custody generally refers to who makes decisions regarding the child’s welfare, including education, health care, religion, and extracurricular activities. Physical custody refers to where the child will live. The Court possesses a tremendous amount of discretion in determing child custody and visitation in North Carolina and may award joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or sole legal and physical custody to one parent.
Will debt be divided as part of a divorce?
Marital assets and marital debts are very much part of Equitable Distribution. Divorce lawyers in North Carolina may refer to something called the Marital Estate, which includes assets and debts of the parties.
The Court (the Judge) will consider the same Equitable Distribution factors to determine how to divide debt.
How will our property be divided during the divorce?
In North Carolina, marital property is divided equitably between the parties. Divorce lawyers often refer to that process as Equitable Distribution or ED. This does not necessarily mean that property and assets will be divided evenly, but rather what is fair under the circumstances. Some factors to consider are:
- The length of the marriage
- The incomes and earning capacities of the parties
- The contributions of each party to the acquisition of assets and debt
- The relative needs of each party
- The value of property and debts
Do I need a lawyer to get divorced?
It’s not required, but we think it’s a very good idea to have legal representation. The divorce process can be complicated and often involves the largest assets of your life. The decisions you make during the process can have a lasting effect on your life and the lives of your family
members. We can help make sure that your rights are protected and that you understand all of your options.
How do I start the divorce process?
You’re doing it. You’re gathering information. We think the next thing you need to do is meet with an experienced divorce lawyer. It’s important to know your legal rights and responsibilities. A family law attorney can help in the decision-making process. Each case is different. What’s best for you and your family is likely not the same as other people you may know, like friends or family.
How do I tell my spouse that I want a divorce?
This is often the hardest part of legal separation and divorce. It might help to sit down with your spouse and explain that you have been thinking about divorce and why. You can talk about your feelings and what you think might be best for you and your family. You can also explain that you would like to talk about the process and what to expect. If your spouse is open to talking, you can try to work out a plan together. If not, you can still proceed with the divorce process. North Carolina is a “no-fault divorce” state. Both parties do not have to agree to get divorced.
How do I know if I’m ready for divorce?
There is nothing wrong with having questions about your marriage. Gathering information is not the same thing as saying, “I want a divorce.” Indeed, blurting out that you want a divorce, without making prior plans, is not a good idea. Only you can decide if you are ready for divorce. You may have tried to work out your differences, but it has not been successful. That’s OK. Prior to doing anything, we think it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer in Lincolnton NC. You’re not required to follow through or get divorced. In fact, once made aware of legal responsibilities and options, some people decide to stay married.
Can alimony payments change?
In most cases, alimony payments can be changed through a court order. Usually, you’ll need to petition the courts if you want your alimony payments changed, but if your former spouse remarries or dies, you will no longer need to pay the alimony.
What should I do if I can’t keep up with making alimony payments?
Failing to make your alimony payments could land you in deep legal trouble, as your spouse may file a complaint with the courts. If you’re having difficulty making your alimony payments, talk to an alimony lawyer, who can petition the courts to have your level of spousal support adjusted.
If I am separated from my spouse, can I file for alimony or spousal support?
If you’re separated from your spouse, but your divorce has not been finalized, you can seek post-separation financial support. If you have questions about obtaining alimony while you’re separated, talk to a spousal support lawyer in Lincolnton, NC.
When do I need to file for spousal support?
You’ll need to file for spousal support during the divorce process. The easiest time to do this is when you submit your initial divorce paperwork to the courts, but you can ask for alimony at any point before the final divorce decree is handed down. If you wait to ask for alimony until the case is completed, you’ll be out of luck.
What should I look for in a car accident attorney?
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., our dedicated Shelby car accident attorneys are proud to offer clients:
- Extensive knowledge of North Carolina car accident laws
- Smart legal strategies tailored to your needs
- Comprehensive resources to thoroughly investigate your traffic accident
- Aggressive negotiation tactics to combat insurance companies
- Compassion and sensitivity for what you are going through
- Complete commitment to pursuing full and fair compensation for you
How long do I have to file a claim for compensation after a car accident?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the crash. It’s important to note that the deadline for filing a lawsuit is not the same as the deadline for reporting the accident to your insurance company. You should start the process with the insurance company immediately.
Will my car accident case end in a settlement?
Every car accident case is unique, and our lawyers are extremely skilled at negotiating with even the largest insurance companies. Many times, our aggressive negotiation tactics result in a full and fair settlement offer. However, we are always prepared to take your case to trial if the at-fault party refuses to agree to the compensation you deserve.
Will my car accident case go to trial?
Every car accident case is different. We will thoroughly investigate your case and aggressively pursue maximum compensation with the knowledge that a trial may be necessary to get justice for you.
However, you should know that most car accident cases do end with a settlement, rather than a verdict, because many insurance companies do not want to risk a trial. Some cases even settle at the very last minute, right before the trial is set to start.
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., we will be prepared to do whatever is in your best interests.
How do I get paid if I win my car accident case?
When compensation is decided upon, either through a settlement agreement or a trial verdict, your attorney will send you a check for compensation after subtracting legal fees and resolving any medical liens and other expenses.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney for a car accident case?
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., we take your case on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay us upfront to start working on your car accident claim. Instead, we collect our legal fees if and when we recover compensation for you. This contingency fee generally ranges from 25 percent to 33 percent of your recovery.
How does North Carolina’s fault law work?
North Carolina follows a pure contributory negligence rule, which means that if a person contributed to a car accident in even the slightest way, he or she cannot recover compensation. This is why an insurance company may be aggressive in trying to claim that you were in some small way responsible for the accident. This extremely strict law is also why you need a knowledgeable car accident attorney on your side to protect your right to full and fair compensation.
What if the other driver says the accident was my fault?
Do not worry about what the other driver says. Our dedicated Shelby car accident attorneys will conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident and collect every bit of evidence to prove exactly who was to blame. It is very important, though, that you do not admit fault, no matter what the other driver is claiming.
What should I do if a defective part in my car caused a crash?
In some instances, defective brakes or other auto parts can be the cause of a crash, and neither driver may know it. That’s why it’s important to never make assumptions about fault and let the investigation show what actually happened. If a defective auto part was to blame for your crash, our skilled attorneys can pursue compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, and any other parties involved in the distribution of the dangerous part.
What is underinsured motorist coverage?
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is the part of your policy that is meant to protect you if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages.
However, even though you may pay for this coverage, your insurance company may be reluctant to pay you out of it. Our experienced auto accident attorney knows how to handle insurance companies that are dragging their feet on UIM compensation.
What if the driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?
In North Carolina, you are required to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which is meant to protect you in situations like this. In addition, you may have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which is another source of compensation if the driver who hit you does not carry enough insurance to cover your damages.
What happens if I was at fault for a car accident?
First, it is extremely important that you do not admit fault or make presumptions about who was at fault in your accident. That’s because there are so many contributing factors that you may not know about until a thorough investigation is conducted. For example, the other driver may have been texting and you didn’t notice, or a defective part in your car may have caused you to lose control.
If an investigation reveals you are at fault, you will need to turn to your own insurance policy to recover compensation.
Do I have to pay my own medical bills if someone else caused the accident?
Your lawyer will keep track of your medical bills while your accident case is pending. Our knowledgeable Shelby car accident lawyers are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and health care providers to make sure you are not feeling pressured by bills while you are trying to recover.
If you do receive a call about a medical bill, refer the caller to your attorney.
What are common auto accident injuries?
Common injuries include whiplash, broken bones, sprains or strains, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, abdominal injuries, bruises and cuts.
What are the common causes of auto accidents in North Carolina?
What should I do after a traffic accident?
- Call law enforcement.
- Seek medical help as soon as possible.3
- Get contact information from the other driver and any witnesses.
- If you can, take photos of the scene and make notes about what happened while everything is still fresh in your mind.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Contact a knowledgeable North Carolina car accident lawyer to discuss your next steps.
What types of compensation can I get after a car accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, our attorneys may pursue payment for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Repairs or replacement for your vehicle
- Lost wages if you miss work
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages in extreme cases
Should I accept the insurance company’s offer to pay for my auto accident?
You should remember that the insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible, so the first offer is likely a very low one, compared to what your claim is actually worth. You need to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to get a clear picture of the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts me?
You do not have to explain anything to the other driver’s insurance company. It is best to simply refer them to your attorney.
Your car accident attorney will handle all communications with the at-fault party and any insurance companies that are involved, so you can keep your focus on getting better.
What should I say to the insurance adjuster after my auto accident?
You should just give the insurance adjuster the basic information about the accident. Stick to the three W’s: WHEN it happened, WHERE it happened, WHO was involved. DO NOT give a recorded statement. DO NOT admit fault.
Insurance adjusters are notoriously skilled at leading accident victims to say things that could come back to haunt them. Protect yourself and your case by sticking to the basics. Any other questions they have can be directed to your attorney.
Should I call my insurance company after my auto accident?
Yes, you have an obligation as part of your policy to report an accident within a short amount of time. Call the insurance company as soon as possible to report the basic information about the accident. You are not obligated to give any details. DO NOT admit fault.
Should I move my car after my accident?
If your car is not blocking traffic, leave it where it is. If you have to move it, try to take a photo of it, along with where the other driver’s vehicle ended up. Showing the positioning of the vehicles, as well as any skids marks or traffic signs, can be helpful when it comes to proving what happened in the accident and who is at fault.
Do I need to call the police if I am in an auto accident?
Yes, you should always contact law enforcement so officers can write up an official report, which can later be used as evidence in your case. The officers will take down the names and contact information for all those involved in the accident, as well as give their professional opinions on what exactly happened and who is at fault. With that in mind, never admit fault when talking to a law enforcement officer. Just be honest about the facts.
Do I need an attorney after a car accident?
Technically, you can represent yourself in a car accident claim. However, you should know that the insurance companies will have lawyers working on their side, and they can be especially aggressive if you were injured (because there is more money on the line for them). Having an experienced car accident attorney in your corner will even the playing field and help you fight for the full and fair compensation you need.
How much will I have to pay to hire a lawyer?
In most cases, Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., is paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that the firm does not earn a fee unless and until the firm recovers any money on your behalf. Depending on the nature of the claim, the contingency fee can range in percentage. The percentage is set based upon the time involved in the claim, the risk involved in the claim, and the potential amount recovered on your behalf. Typically, the contingency fee will vary from 25% to 33% of the recovery.
If I make a claim, how long will my case take?
The answer varies depending on your situation, including the nature of your injuries and the defendant’s willingness to resolve the matter. Many claims are resolved quickly, while others may take longer, for example, if the extent of the person’s damages are not immediately known.
Why do I need a lawyer to represent me in my personal injury case?
Your lawyer’s focus is to protect you and make sure that you are treated fairly. You need to recover the maximum damages you are entitled to, consistent with the nature of your injuries and losses, to make sure that you are protected from the consequences of your injuries. You need a lawyer working for you to protect your interests. A lawyer can investigate all sources of insurance coverage to make sure that any insurance carrier that has coverage is contacted and all avenues of recovery are explored. You may need to make a claim with your own insurance carrier for Med Pay coverage, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What damages can I recover for my injuries?
You may recover all or some of the following:
- Medical expenses (present & future)
- Lost wages (present & future)
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
An insurance adjuster wants to settle and he said that I do not need lawyer. Should I consult with an attorney anyway?
Yes. It is always a smart decision to consult with an attorney to help you with your case. Most law firms, including Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., do not charge a consultation fee for personal injury cases. Remember, the adjuster works for the insurance company, to protect its interests. Your attorney will work for you, to protect your rights. The insurance company has one goal, and that is to settle your case for the least amount of money possible. What may seem like a fair offer to you could fall far short of the amount of money you may be entitled to. It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before agreeing to any settlement with your insurance company.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
The general rules for bringing a personal injury lawsuit are:
- You must have suffered an injury to your person or property.
- Your injury must have resulted from someone else’s negligence or an intentional act.
Contact an experienced Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., personal injury attorney today to help you file a personal injury claim. We can help after a slip-and-fall accident, car wreck, truck collision, and more.
If I’ve been hurt in an accident, what are some of the things that I can do?
- Write down as much as you can about the accident itself, your injuries and any other losses (such as wages) you’ve suffered as a result of the accident.
- Make notes of conversations that you have with people involved in the accident or the injury claim.
- Preserve evidence of who caused the accident and what damage was done by collecting physical evidence and taking photographs.
- Locate people who witnessed the accident and who might be able to help you prove your case.
- Notify anyone you think might be responsible for the accident of your intention to file a claim for your injuries.