Personal Injury Law
By: Bill Powers, Carolina Car Accident Lawyers in Charlotte North Carolina
Many people involved in a “car accident,” motorcycle wreck, or motor vehicle accident (MVA) don’t immediately seek medical care, let alone start searching for legal representation from attorneys in Charlotte NC. There are a lot of different reasons for that.
“I personally believe there are two main reasons why clients don’t go to the emergency room or get appropriate medical care after an accident. First, a lot of people don’t have medical insurance. As much as they’d like to and probably need to go to a doctor, they just can’t afford the bills. Second, too many people hold the mistaken belief that the insurance adjustor is looking out for their best interests.”
- Bill Powers
Let’s get something clear from the outset. The insurance adjustor is NOT looking out for your best interests. That’s not their job. You are not their client. Adjustors look out for the insurance company, not you.
Personal injury attorneys (Plaintiff’s Lawyers) represent their clients’ best interests after a wreck. It doesn't matter if it's a relatively minor "fender bender," or a life-changing catastrophic injury - we're here to help.
“I’m not sure who thought of the term ‘personal injury lawyer.’ Most clients refer to us as ‘accident lawyers’ or ‘car wreck attorneys’ or something like that.”
- Bill Powers
What do Carolina Car Accident Lawyers in Charlotte NC do to Help?
Frankly, life keeps us all busy. It’s just not convenient to get in a wreck.
Even if you have health insurance, making an insurance claim with the carrier (the NC insurance company) is all too often complicated and frustrating.
If you don’t know the NC insurance laws or fail to fully understand how insurance companies work to settle car accident claims in North Carolina, you could be doing yourself a real disservice in trying to go it alone.
The Carolina accident lawyers at our law office believe the primary focus of legal representation is to make our client whole. That may seem like an odd thing to say. Indeed, what does it even mean to be “made whole?”
Think about it this way. We want to restore you and your life to where it was, one second before the accident. Car accidents take things from people.
What were you doing? What was life like before things were taken away, before you were hurt?
Those “things” may be your health or your economic well-being. Those “things” may be your hobbies or what you enjoyed doing with friends or family. Those “things” may be what your body could do before mobility was taken away, or you suffered permanent, life-altering injuries.
To figure that all out, our car accident lawyers in Charlotte NC ask a lot of questions like:
- How was your health before the car accident?
- What was your quality of life?
- What were your hobbies?
- What did you do with your time?
- Were you out of work and for how long?
You’ll note we use the “past tense” in asking those as part of legal representation and the attorney-client privilege. Our legal consultations are both free and confidential for personal injury claims in NC.
That’s because if we become involved in making a claim against the insurance company or filing a lawsuit for money damages, it’s often because people hurt in wrecks no longer have what they did before the accident.
After the accident, the goal is to get clients back to where they were BEFORE THE WRECK.
Our clients generally seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney, and legal representation by our law firm because something isn’t right. Something was taken from them. Our job is to work to get those “things” back, as best as we can.Why do Insurance Adjustors Deny NC Accident Claims? Why Don’t Insurance Companies pay What They Should After a Car Accident in North Carolina?
Insurance companies and insurance adjustors in North Carolina don’t profit by making large, generous settlement offers.
Indeed, the exact opposite is true.
Insurance companies profit by settling car accident claims for less than they’re worth. The faster they can get a settlement agreement signed, the better. The sooner they can limit their legal liability for the negligence of the person who caused the wreck, the better.
They’re looking out for the insurance company, not you.
And insurance companies often move fast and press hard to “settle” before an attorney gets involved.
Ask yourself, “Why is that?”
- Do lawyers make a difference in NC accident cases?
- Is it possible that the insurance adjustor doesn’t want you to know your legal rights or what types of compensation you are entitled to?
- Is it more profitable for the insurance company if you don’t have experience litigating accident claims in court or perhaps don’t know the full value of a settlement or claim, like a personal injury lawyer in North Carolina?
Those are the cold, hard truths about car accident claims in North Carolina. Insurance companies and insurance adjustors in North Carolina represent the company, their employer. That company profits by avoiding responsibility and shifting blame.
They have no legal duty or responsibility to protect you or your best interests. You and your damages are “adverse claims” and are adverse to their financial interests. You are what accident lawyers refer to as an "adverse interest."
“Don’t take it personally. Trust me, they don’t. It’s not personal. Far from it. If someone doesn’t care about you as a person, how could it ever be personal? You are nothing more than a claim number and liability. If an insurance adjustor in North Carolina can pay you less than you deserve, that’s just fine and dandy with them. There’s no law against it.”
Your personal injury lawyer is your legal representative in North Carolina. Your attorney looks out for you and your best interests. At our law firm, that’s our job: Looking out for the client.Is it Legal to Make an Insurance Claim in North Carolina if I Have Health Insurance or Major Medical Coverage? What are the Contributory Negligence Laws in NC?
- Why should you, or your insurance company, pay for the damages associated with injuries caused by the negligence of another?
- Why should the person who wasn’t paying attention, and THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY, be able to avoid legal liability?
- Why do multi-million-dollar insurance companies get to profit because you were responsible, had good insurance, and paid your monthly premiums for years on end?
Instead of treating folks in North Carolina hurt in an accident fairly, claims are denied because insurance companies are looking to shift the financial loss or responsibility.
The false narrative goes like this: If you have been injured after an accident and make a claim, you’re exaggerating, you don’t need that level of care, you don’t need that surgery, you can go back to work, you’re just being greedy and trying to make a quick buck.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, this shifting of responsibility or assigning blame to the injured person is deeply rooted in the North Carolina insurance laws. It’s called “contributory negligence.”
North Carolina is one of the few states in the nation that still allows insurance companies to take full advantage of the outdated, unfair, and terrible law known as contributory negligence or “contrib” by personal injury lawyers.
“North Carolinians believe in personal responsibility and doing the right thing by others. The contrib laws in NC don’t represent who we are as a people. The contributory negligence laws in North Carolina serve one purpose, to make the insurance companies richer at the expense of people who have been hurt and are already down.”
Put simply, this is what the NC contributory negligence laws say: If you are AT ALL responsible for the accident, you get nothing. Zero. Even if the other person is 99% the cause of a NC car accident, you are entitled to nothing.
“That flat out makes no sense to me. How is that doing right by people? It’s a mean-spirited law and one of the best kept secrets protected by the insurance lobby and powerful, monied interests that control the North Carolina personal injury laws. It breaks my heart to tell clients, ‘I can’t help you because of this stupid law. You get nothing. Sorry.’”
The vast majority of people hurt in car accidents start looking for experienced Carolina personal injury lawyers because they feel they aren’t being treated fairly by the insurance company. Smart adjustors know the NC insurance laws. They understand contributory negligence. They also understand many people don’t have health insurance.
Insurance companies often have a tremendous financial advantage, knowing if they wait long enough, many people will accept a settlement for much less than it’s worth because they need the money.
Getting hurt in an accident isn’t what our clients planned or hoped-for in life.
Who in their right mind would go through the pain of a collision, surgeries, physical therapy, loss of mobility, and put their family in financial trouble with medical bills and not being able to work or provide for their loved-ones, due to a car accident or motor cycle wreck in NC?
That’s nonsense spewed by insurance corporation public relations teams and lobbyists, who care about their profit margins. They look out for number one, the corporation. And with the millions they make by taking advantage of ordinary, everyday people, they make darn sure the North Carolina Insurance Laws and Contributory Negligence Laws in NC never, ever change.
Insurance companies make billions of dollars each year, collecting insurance premiums. Carriers thereafter fail to make good on their end of the deal by refusing to pay legitimate settlements or by outright denying claims without legitimate legal grounds after people are unnecessarily hurt.
“What sane person says to themselves, ‘Gee, I’d like to get hit or almost killed in an accident because someone else wasn’t paying attention?’ Reasonable people prefer what they had before the wreck, not a financial settlement or money damages that seek to restore them to their former life.”
Bill Powers, Courtroom Lawyer and Car Accident Lawyers in Charlotte NC
As plaintiff’s lawyers, “making someone whole” means taking legal action to get the insurance companies to reimburse clients for the care they’ve received after a wreck and for the medical treatment they may need in the future.
We normally get involved after an insurance company has denied the claim and the client finally realizes, “Hey, I need a lawyer. The carrier isn’t being reasonable.” But you don’t need to wait or go through the hassle of dealing with the carrier by yourself.
If you call our law office now, we can help you understand the legal system and give you legal advice about what we believe is the most appropriate manner in which to proceed. We’ll explain your legal rights under the North Carolina insurance laws. Call NOW: 704-342-4357
Compensation for damages from a car wreck or motorcycle collision or tractor trailer accident may include physical therapy or some other extended medical care or “in-home” treatment. That type of treatment is completely reasonable with matters that involve brain injuries, and paralysis, and catastrophic loss legal matters.
It might involve compensation for future corrective surgeries. It normally would also include reimbursement for lost wages, if you were out of work or can no longer do a job due to physical limitations resulting from a serious car accident.
If our law office becomes involved, we work hard to hold the insurance company responsible if they have illegally denied the claim. In the worst-case scenario, if the carrier has been unreasonable or unfair, we file a lawsuit or “Complaint for Money Damages.” Not every case is litigated. Not every case goes to trial in North Carolina.Personal Injury Settlements in North Carolina – Traumatic Injury and Death
“Frankly, there are times when no matter how large the settlement or verdict after trial, no amount of compensation will ever be enough. That’s especially true in accident cases when a loved one is lost, killed in an accident due to the negligence of another.”
In those heartbreaking cases we help families who have been through the devastating loss of a loved one. Lawyers often refer to those types of tort claims as "wrongful death cases in NC."
Hospitals and doctors still send medical bills, even after person dies. Damage settlements cover things like the ambulance or “medi-evac,” ER diagnosis or treatment, X-rays, MRI, and all the things medical professionals due to save a life and help people after a traumatic injury due to MVA.
In the right legal matters, we help to hold people accountable if they were grossly negligent. That happens in “drunk driving” fatalities where there is a punishment factor and “punitive damages” awarded due to the wrongful death of another.Helpful Information About Accident Cases in North Carolina
Cases, especially involving injuries, can be very, very different because every person is different, and every circumstance that caused a wreck or an accident or a loss can be different.
But there are some general ideas that we look for. First, when someone calls we want to know, are you still undergoing treatment? Are you cleared from the doctor? Once we get a general handle on what’s going on with the medical bills–whether they’ll be cleared soon or could be for the rest of your life. Then we like to sit down and go over, what’s the cost of all this? What did it cost you personally?
We like to look at the economic damages; we like to look at the personal damages, and in some instances we’re looking at–you know–the mental damages: the anguish, the pain, the suffering. And I think people kind of give those short shrift at times, and sometimes that’s the worst part.
Heck, I give people a memo pad, and I say, “Start writing down how you felt today,” because two, three, four, five years later, you may not remember; you may gloss over how hard it was on that particular day to get up, to go to work, to leave to go to physical therapy, to limp around in pain, to not be able to go to your child’s basketball game, to not be able to play outside with your family.
Those are the type of things that we really want to focus on with people. And we encourage you to call us to discuss any of the types of situations below: