Auto Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Can my claim for car/property damage be safely resolved in the days following the accident, without causing any damage to my rights as a victim and my personal injury claims?
Typically, yes. Claims for property damage are subject to very few defenses and responsible insurance adjusters have few options to avoid payment. These claims are usually paid fairly and promptly. The injured victim who also happens to own the vehicle should avoid any and all discussions about the nature and extent of injury or related medical care before consulting with an accident and injury attorney. Also, any conversations concerning accident facts should be had only after careful discussion with independent counsel. However, it is typically safe to resolve property damage claims as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
What actions should I take to establish my claims and preserve my case and my rights after a collision?
While this is not a complete list, these are the essential steps and concerns any victim should consider after suffering an injury as a result of another party's negligence or wrongdoing:
- Identify all witnesses to the incident with reliable names, addresses and contact numbers.
- Secure detailed photos of property damage to all vehicles involved and of the incident scene to show road configuration, visual obstructions and the condition of the roadway.
- Secure detailed photos of all visible injuries and bruising. Where wound care is progressive, secure 35m photos of progressive care to document the healing process for bruising and surface wounds, and to show progressive healing of scarring.
- Seek medical attention immediately and voice all complaints to the attending physician to ensure that all medical complications are documented and all injuries are evaluated and treated as early as possible.
- Keep all medical appointments. This helps ensure the speediest, most thorough recovery from your injuries. Follow your doctors' advice and directives to show your commitment to health and recovery.
- Talk with several attorneys in order to locate the advocate who you feel will best present your story, and who will most zealously fight for full and fair payment on all of your claims.
- Avoid discussions about your injuries or the accident facts with insurance adjustors until you have cleared all liability issues with a victim's rights attorney.
- Begin a diary/daily log to help preserve your memories of the incident that resulted in your injuries. Record the day-to-day affects and losses that you experience during recovery. Begin your log with an address, "Dear Attorney", to protect your privacy through the Attorney/Client Communications Privilege.
- Save all accident-related documentation in one convenient, easy - to - access location. Important items include medical invoices, physicians' after-care instructions, pharmacy receipts, pay stubs and wage loss proofs, police reports, vehicle damage appraisals, and any other documentation relating to your accident and injuries.
Does an attorney really get more money from insurance companies?
Yes. The Insurance Research Institute conducted an independent study comparing accident cases involving attorneys vs. un-represented victims and found that insurance companies paid approximately three and a half times more when the victim's case is prepared and presented by an accident attorney. Remember, to the extent we add value to your case, we pay our own legal fees. Inmost cases, the client with an accident attorney ends up with more money in hand even after the lawyer is paid.
How soon should I hire an accident attorney?
Immediately. The insurance adjuster begins working immediately to build all defenses to your claim. Further, helpful evidence can get away in time, and don't expect the adjuster to do anything to help you prove your claim. Once an attorney is involved, the adjuster can't contact you directly. They must contact you only through your lawyer. Further, we act immediately to secure scene and vehicle photos, begin building your medical file, and we take over all aspects involved in building your case for success. Don't cooperate with the adjuster who is working only for the other side. Act quickly to find a Raleigh accident attorney you trust to enforce your rights, and leave your worries there.
Do I pay anything up front for legal services?
No. Our attorney fee is paid only after we secure a settlement or verdict. Simple private settlements are most common, and our percentage fee structure leaves our client with no fee unless and until we win your case. Further, we are financially motivated to zealously push your claims, and to highlight all helpful evidence to promote a top dollar case payout.