Personal Injury + Car Accident Questions

Personal Injury Questions

What is Plaintiff and what is Defendant?

The Plaintiff is the injured party – the person making the claim. The Defendant is the at-fault party or the person that caused the injury.

What am I entitled to for a Personal Injury claim?

You can get compensation for damages or losses due to the injuries. There are a number of different types based on the facts of each case. But the three most basic damages one can recover are 1) medical bills reasonably related to the crash, 2) lost wages reasonably related to the crash, and 3) pain and suffering reasonably related to the crash.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering can be a very complicated damage to value. At its most basic level, pain and suffering is just that, the pain and suffering that a person suffers as a result of the motor vehicle crash, but in reality, it is much more complicated than that. Because a jury pays a Plaintiff’s pain and suffering, adjusters look at what a jury might consider when calculating pain and suffering. For that reason, adjusters look at the type of crash, the severity of the crash, the types of injuries, the severity of the injuries, the types of treatment and the length of treatment. But what this all boils down to is what is good for you (lesser injuries and lesser treatment) is bad for your case (less money for pain and suffering), and what is bad for you (worse injuries and more treatment) is good for your case (more money for pain and suffering).

What is my Personal Injury case worth?

I cannot tell you what your personal injury case is worth because there are so many variables that decide that number. Factors such as treatment time, medical bill amounts, bad acts by the Defendant, insurance limits, prior medical conditions, as well as many others play a role in determining the value of your Personal Injury case. What I can tell you is that we will fight every step of the way to get you every penny your case is worth.

What is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory Negligence is a very old law, left over from old English Common Law. North Carolina is one of only a handful of states which still use Contributory Negligence. Under the Contributory Negligence rule, if a Defendant is 99 at fault but a Plaintiff is 1% at fault for injuries, the Plaintiff gets zero ($0.00).

What is Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical Payments Coverage is an optional coverage that an individual can purchase from their automobile insurance provider, and in the event that they are in a crash and suffer an injury, their insurance provider will cover their medical bills up to the insurance limits purchased. For instance, if a person purchases $1,000.00 in medical payments coverage, their insurance will cover up to $1,000.00 in medical bills related to the crash. This is a great coverage to have and acts as an extra layer of protection for individuals injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Will Medical Payments Coverage affect my insurance premium?

No, making a claim for Medical Payments should not affect your insurance premium. It may affect discounts through your carrier such as a no claim discount, but it will not affect your premium.

Who is responsible for paying for my medical bills related to this crash?

You are the person ultimately responsible for paying for the medical bills associated with your injuries from the motor vehicle crash, but those bills are one type of your damages. The insurance company for the at-fault driver’s responsibility to compensate you for those costs. The personal injury system is designed to compensate injured Plaintiffs for the injuries they suffered, past tense. Therefore, Plaintiff’s do not receive compensation until AFTER they are done treating. We therefore ask all of our clients to utilize their health insurance whenever possible.

Who pays to fix my car?

It is the responsibility of the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance to repair your car. If the damages to your car exceed 75% of its fair market retail value, your car would be deemed a total loss and you would have two choices: You can choose to keep your car and receive what is called the salvage value (the fair market value of your car at the time of the crash minus the salvage value), or sign over the car title to the insurance company and accept the fair market value of your car at the time of the crash. See our Property Damage video here.

What happens if I owe more than my car is worth?

If your current loan is greater than the value of your car, you may have to pay the balance if you do not have something called Gap Insurance. If you have Gap Insurance, you may be protected from just such a circumstance.

 

Car Accident Questions

If I am hit and injured by a common carrier, who is responsible for damages?

If the accident was the direct result of negligence on the part of the operator, the common carrier company can be held liable and subject to pay damages to the injured party.

What protocol will best protect me following an auto accident?

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you need to collect and document as much information as possible about the accident. Try to gather the following facts for a h3 court case if needed. It is better to write down all information as soon as possible:

  • Other drivers’ names, numbers and addresses
  • Other drivers’ license numbers and insurance information
  • Registered owners of all vehicles
  • Exact location of the accident and position and directionality of vehicles
  • Was there suspected drug or alcohol use
  • Passenger names and contact information
  • Pedestrians or witness contact information
  • Were any other drivers’ or passengers injured?
  • Was medical assistance rendered at the scene?
  • What were your personal injuries or suspected injuries at the time of accident and upon medical evaluation?
  • Time of day and weather conditions
  • Apparent damage to each vehicle involved
  • Did the other driver admit responsibility?
  • Were police on the scene? If so, was anyone issued a ticket?
  • Under what circumstances is a driver considered to be negligent?

The law considers negligent behavior to occur when a person fails to act as a reasonable person would. This definition can be vague and interpreted with a variety of meanings. A jury trial in a court of law can help determine if reasonable standards of conduct were not followed. Speeding, failure to follow traffic rules, aggressive driving, and reckless driving can all be considered examples of negligence.

What is a Notice of Loss?

”Notice of loss” is a provision in most insurance contracts that require a policyholder to notify the insurance company in the event of an accident, complete with property damage and injury estimates. Hiring an experienced auto accident attorney to handle your case immediately after your accident can protect your rights. Your attorney will make sure every attempt is made to allow the insurance company to offer a fair settlement before filing suit. If you fail to notify the insurance company of the accident in a timely manner, you may forfeit your rights.

What is underinsured and uninsured auto coverage?

If you are involved in an accident involving an uninsured motorist, uninsured motorist coverage provides compensation for injuries and damages. Underinsured auto coverage protects you and your vehicle if you are hit by a driver with coverage that is inadequate.