Ten Tips for handling Your North Carolina Personal Injury Claim

personal injury

Ten tips on how to handle your Personal Injury Claim from your Durham Accident Attorneys and Greensboro Accident Attorneys:

  1. Get the identity of the driver who hit you (and his or her insurance information and employer information (if in a work vehicle) and the identity of the witnesses at the scene.
  2. Call the other driver’s insurance company and file a claim (they will be very friendly to you and sound helpful, but, if you are injured, don’t let them advise you to settle your claim as they have a fiduciary duty to the person who injured you — if you are looking for advice on your injury claim, contact a Durham Attorney or Greensboro Attorney).
  3. Obtain photos of your vehicle and of the other driver’s vehicle, and also of the scene of the accident.
  4. Decide if you will agree to give the North Carolina insurance adjuster a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company (I wouldn’t recommend it, but you’ll be repeatedly asked for one so you need to think about it immediately).
  5. Make a decision on whether you will allow the other driver’s North Carolina Insurance Company to obtain your signed medical authorization to obtain all of your medical bills and medical records (I wouldn’t advise this either, but, again, it is something that the other insurance company will pressure you to sign so you need to think about it immediately).
  6. Avoid unnecessary medical treatment. “Overtreating” will diminish the value of your North Carolina Personal Injury Claim, not increase it. Many people think the more medical bills you have the more value your North Carolina Personal Injury Claim will have.  This isn’t true.  Unnecessary treatment will diminish the value of your claim. Plus, the insurance company will dispute any unnecessary medical bills and you may be stuck paying them out of your North Carolina Personal Injury Settlement.
  7. When you are finished with your necessary medical treatment, gather all of your medical bills and records, and ask your doctor for a summary of your prognosis (e.g., what type of long-term effect can you expect from your injuries).
  8. Do some research and decide how much you think you should demand from the other insurance company. Note that there is no formula for calculating your damages. Asking for 3 times your medical bills is not a formula that anybody uses…even Durham Personal Injury Attorneys or Greensboro Personal Injury Attorneys. Your settlement demand should request reimbursement for your medical bills (i.e., “special damages”) plus damages related to your pain and suffering, inconvenience and long-term prognosis (i.e., “general damages”).
  9. If you are able to reach a settlement agreement with the other insurance company, be sure to read through the release carefully to be sure that you agree with all of your releases, waivers and obligations under the settlement agreement.
  10. If you can’t come to a settlement agreement with  the other insurance company, then contact a Durham Injury Lawyer or Greensboro Injury Lawyer.