How Fast Can I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

How fast you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends a lot on how quickly you can provide information to your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. In some instances, you can file an emergency Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which puts the Automatic Stay into effect while you and your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney continue to gather necessary information for the remainder of your filing. Click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll call you today.

Reasons To File Chapter 7 Quickly

Wage Garnishment—If you’re facing a wage garnishment, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will put a halt to the wage garnishment. Whether this will be a permanent solution or not depends on the type of debt which gave rise to the garnishment. If the debt will be discharged in bankruptcy, you should not experience the garnishment again. If the debt will not be discharged in bankruptcy (Spousal support, some IRS debt, etc.) then the garnishment may start again after your Chapter 7 closes out, or after the creditor applies for and receives Relief From Stay.

To Prevent Foreclosure—If you have a pending foreclosure, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will halt the foreclosure process. Keep in mind, this may only be a temporary delay in the foreclosure process. Unless you’re able to get current with the mortgage lender quickly after filing, the lender will probably appeal to the court for Relief From Stay, in order to once again pursue their foreclosure. Even if the foreclosure does move forward, you may be entitled to some proceeds from the foreclosure under the Homestead Exemption in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

To Prevent Repossession—If your vehicle is about to be repossessed, filing a Chapter 7 will freeze the vehicle lender in their pursuit to repossess. You’ll need to be ready to get current on your loan before your 341 meeting (40 days after filing), or expect the repossession efforts to continue at that time. You’ll also be given a chance to surrender the vehicle, if you want to get rid of the car and the heavy debt associated with it.

To Stop A Lawsuit—Filing a Chapter 7 will put the court on notice that you have filed and the Automatic Stay in bankruptcy is in effect. This serves to stop judicial proceedings against you. Depending upon the type of debt which gave rise to the lawsuit, there is a good chance our Chapter 7 will eliminate the debt and the lawsuit with it. In that case, the creditor will no longer have any rights against you.

Requirements To File Chapter 7 Quickly

Our firm can generally work as quickly as you would like, to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The answer to “How fast can I file Chapter 7” is often: how fast can you do or provide the following:

Take the required online Credit Counseling course

Provide six months history of income

Provide two years of tax returns

Provide a current monthly budget of income and expenses

Provide limited other necessary information required to file

Pay Your Attorney Fee

Further Reading

You can read more articles on our Bankruptcy Blog Articles page, or click one of the recent articles below:

How Long Will My Bankruptcy Take?

Can I File Bankruptcy And Keep My Car?

Speak With A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Find out how fast you can file a Chapter 7 by calling us today at 704.749.7747 or by clicking for a FREE CASE EVALUATION. We will reach out to you within 24 hours to discuss your reason for filing, and to put a plan together to fight your creditors by using the powerful resource of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. When it comes to choosing a law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Charlotte Accident Attorney

When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

The best time to hire a personal injury lawyer is before you start communicating with the insurance company that represents the other driver. Fortunately, hiring a personal injury lawyer shouldn’t cost you anything up front—the lawyer doesn’t get paid until you get paid. As a result, you can get legal protection immediately. The knowledge and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you with the following, which may help you decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer:

Preserving Your Rights

Establishing Fault Of The Other Driver

Arguing Pain And Suffering

Gathering All Medical Records, Bills and Liens

Negotiating Your Lost Wages

Discovering Insurance Coverage

Settling Your Claim For A Fair Amount

How To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury attorney is easy. You simply pick up the phone and call. Personal injury law firms are usually available to hear about your case, and you should be able to speak with an attorney. Once the attorney gathers enough information to understand the situation, they will generally tell you on the first phone call, if they are interested in taking your case.

While there will be some paperwork that has to be completed in person, if we decide to take your case we will send you a link you can use to complete most of the intake necessary for us to start working on your claim. We will then either mail you the remainder to sign, or you can come by the office to sign the remaining paperwork.

Protect Your Rights In Personal Injury

When determining when to hire a personal injury lawyer, some clients do so after making numerous statements to the insurance adjuster assigned to the claim or case. These statements are usually recorded, and can be used against you later. Recorded statements are used to show you have made contradictory claims regarding the facts, or to establish admissions on your part. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will be given a fairly strict set of rules to follow regarding communicating with the parties involved in the claim. Generally, the lawyer prefers you do not communicate directly with anyone other than the personal injury lawyer’s office.

The personal injury lawyer you hire will work hard to establish liability in your case. This usually means establishing the elements of a Negligence claim, so that you can recover damages in a settlement or lawsuit. Each case or claim has a theory of liability. Take your lawyer’s advice not to speak with the insurance company about your claim, and let your personal injury lawyer work to build the case for you.

Further Reading

What Is The Personal Injury Process Like?

How Much Is My Car Accident Worth?

Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident, call us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. Or, click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out shortly to discuss your case with you. You deserve to know your rights, and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Charlotte Personal Injury and Bankruptcy

A wrongful death claim arises when there is a fatal injury due to the negligence of another party. Usually, the close family relatives of the deceased who suffered a wrongful death can claim compensation. This blog post will give you the knowledge to better understand the process.

Wrongful death case:

A wrongful death case is a case against a person or an organization who is responsible for the death of a person. Wrongful death contains two types of proceedings.

  1. The Criminal
  2. The Civil

There are specific rules in each state which will explain the extent to which people can get the reward and the procedure to follow. There are also rules about who can file the civil case on behalf of the individual who died, in order to get the damages. In some cases, it is the immediate family member of the deceased person i.e. his spouse, children or parents.

Categories of damages in the wrongful death case:

There are two types in which the people can get the damage in the monetary value of the wrongful death case. These categories are in the form of two types.

Pain and Suffering

The first type will involve all the damages of the death caused by the defendant. The time duration of the calculation of damages will start from the second of the incident till the death of the person. If you take an example of a car accident, the damage will start counting from the time when the car hits a person till the death of that person. The defendant must pay all the damages of this duration to the individual or family filing the lawsuit. You are entitled to obtain compensation for the medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses.

Financial And Emotional Losses

The second type is the one which provides the plaintiff to get compensation for damages in a broader sense. The immediate family member(s) could claim the expenses which the death person would have gave to his family if he/she were alive regarding value. The defendant would be entitled to pay all future expense to the plaintiff(s).  For example, wages of the deceased and his increments till his retirement. You should note, the rules and regulations are different for every state. Some states will allow you to claim compensation for the loss which you have suffered which is commonly referred to as “loss of consortium.” For example, if a father died his children can sue for having their parental guides taken away from them.

Are you entitled to compensation in a Wrongful Death Case?

In a wrongful death case, the court will figure out who the immediate members are entitled to the compensation. Here are some types which are eligible to get the damages:

Children:

If the person who died has small children, these children will get the damage because they need it for their future. These children need to be minor i.e. they are not adults. They will get the damage because they lost the love and guidance of a dead parent.

Spouses:

Wives and husbands are eligible to obtain compensation because they both depend on each other financially.

Parents:

Parents are qualified to receive compensation of their child if they have suffered a wrongful death.

The law surrounding getting compensation and the people eligible to receive it is different in every state. It is better to have a personal injury lawyer who can guide you in this process. This blog post was written by Percy Martinez a Miami wrongful death attorney with over 20 years of experience handling complex accident cases.

percymartinez

When someone is involved in a pedestrian personal injury involving an automobile, the results are often heartbreaking. The Layton Law Firm began its reputation for representing pedestrians by successfully represented a 17-year-old boy who was seriously injured by a driver, while crossing a busy Charlotte street at night. After fighting a denied claim and ultimately prevailing against the insurance company for the child and his family, we made it a priority to fight hard for injured pedestrians.

We currently represent numerous pedestrians in personal injury and wrongful death actions. We take each law firm client’s injuries seriously, but injuries to children and pedestrians are specifically important to us because of the extreme nature of the injuries and the age of the individuals involved. As a result, children and pedestrian injuries have become a passion of ours. Unfortunately, winning a pedestrian claim can be an uphill battle requiring persistence, creativity, and diligent pursuit of recovery.

Don’t Pedestrians Always Have The Right Of Way?

This is the question always asked when there is a pedestrian injury. As a Charlotte pedestrian personal injury lawyer, unfortunately I find myself quite often answering “Not always”. While pedestrians often start with a presumption of right of way, they can easily forfeit it by being too far outside a crosswalk, crossing the road at a non-designated spot, or being inebriated. In fact, there are some instances where a pedestrian actually must yield to the motorist.

How Do I Preserve The Pedestrian Right Of Way?

There are a few guidelines which will help preserve your right of way as a pedestrian. Always strive to:

  • Walk with the cross-walk signals
  • Stay inside specifically marked cross-walk pathways
  • If a sidewalk exists, use the sidewalk (and not the roadway)
  • Electric wheelchair users: follow the rules for pedestrians, NOT for vehicles

Do Drivers Have Responsibilities To Pedestrians In NC?

Yes, there are. Even in a situation where a pedestrian may have yielded the right of way, the operator of a motor vehicle must still exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian in the roadway. The doctrine of Last Clear Chance can also be applied, and your Charlotte Pedestrian Personal Injury Lawyer will discuss it with you. Essentially, it says that even if a pedestrian has forfeited the right of way, if the operator of the vehicle has the last clear chance to avoid an accident, he or she must avoid the accident. This doctrine applies in other personal injury situation as well, such as automobile accidents between the operators of two vehicles.

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

A Charlotte personal injury lawyer will help to make sure you are treated fairly. Insurance companies often deny pedestrian claims based on contributory negligence, or some other factor. An aggressive legal strategy can often overcome this denial and help achieve a fair result. It is our opinion that pedestrians make good plaintiffs. When an insurance denial is met with a threat of a lawsuit, quite often we are able to reach settlement before entering the courtroom. In most cases, an insurance company does not want to appear in court against a pedestrian, because it shows an unwillingness to settle the case or to be reasonable in accepting liability for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Pedestrian injuries also often lead to large medical bills. Your personal injury lawyer will not only work to secure a fair offer for you, but can also negotiate some of your medical billing. The end result is you end up with more money in your pocket. The ability to negotiate these bills stems from the attorney’s understanding of N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which is a limiting factor when it comes to liens resulting from medical treatment related to the injury.

You deserve to have someone fight for your rights. Insurance companies are focused on the bottom line. We focus on the client.

Speak With A Charlotte Pedestrian Lawyer Today

If you were a pedestrian, and you were hit by the driver of an automobile or motorcycle, please call us at 704.749.7747. Or, if you’d like us to call you, just click HERE to request a call online. An attorney will be happy to discuss your rights and provide you guidance, at no charge. There’s no obligation to hire us but we hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

If you need a free copy of your accident report, we’re happy to obtain that for you as well– just click HERE to request one and simply let us know the date of your accident, the location, and your full name.

Loans Against Personal Injury Claims

Loans Against Personal Injury Claims

Yes, you can get loans against personal injury claims. You will need to provide extensive information to the lender, and your personal injury attorney will most likely need to provide an opinion to the lender as to the value of your claim. While a loan against your personal injury settlement may sound attractive, you should carefully consider the pros and cons before committing to financing your personal injury settlement.

What Is A Personal Injury Settlement Loan?

A personal injury settlement loan is an agreement between you and a lender, where the lender gives you money in exchange for an ownership right to some or all of your personal injury settlement funds. Most loans against personal injury claims are limited to the settlement funds. In other words, if there is no settlement, or if the settlement is not enough to pay off the entire loan amount, the lender can’t pursue you personally for the remainder.

Should I Consider A Loan Against My Personal Injury Claim?

If money is tight and you view the loan as a way to help you make ends meet until your settlement is complete, loans against personal injury claims can be a perfect solution. Additionally, the loan may provide you with more time to settle your claim for fair value rather than rush to settle at a lower amount. If an insurance company thinks you are in a rush to settle your personal injury claim, they will typically lower the settlement offer in hopes you will take it.

What Should I Consider Before Taking A Settlement Loan?

First, you need to carefully review the terms of your loan. There are no guarantees as to whether your claim will settle. There are also no guarantees as to how much your claim will settle for. If you do take a settlement loan, you’ll want to know exactly what the language of the agreement says, in the event your personal injury settlement or jury verdict is not high enough to repay the loan.

Second, you’ll want to consider the fees and interest involved in taking a loan against personal injury claims. Lenders believe they are taking a risk by lending funds against the personal injury claim. As a result, their fees are higher than typical in the lending marketplace. If you do take a loan against your personal injury settlement, you would do well to limit the amount of the loan as much as possible, so as to minimize the interest and fees charged.

Lastly, consider how long it may be until your case settles, together with other options for making ends meet. Sometimes a family member can assist with lending you some money to get by until your personal injury claim settles. Or, you can cut expenses in the meantime. If your claim is only a few months from settling, stretching to make ends meet is probably a much better option than borrowing against your personal injury claim.

Further Reading

If you’d like to read more than 100 articles about personal injury, visit our Personal Injury Blog.

You can also read specifically about the following:

How Much Is My Car Accident Worth?

How Long Will My Personal Injury Settlement Take?

 

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have questions about working with a personal injury attorney, or if you have questions about a car accident or slip and fall, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

 

Does bankruptcy clear federal tax debt

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Reviews

One factor to consider when choosing a Charlotte personal injury attorney is the reviews. Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews can tell you a lot about the attorney, the paralegals, and the general experience you will have with that particular Charlotte personal injury law firm.

Can I Trust Personal Injury Attorney Reviews?

Absent some reason not to believe them, it’s safe to assume that the reviews you read on Google.com are valid reviews for Charlotte personal injury attorneys. Reviews are typically left by one or all of the following:

Happy Clients—People who were represented by the Charlotte personal injury law firm. These individuals then decided to voice their opinion online so that potential clients would have an idea as to what their experience was working with the firm.

Angry Clients—These exist too, and they tend to be vocal. It’s often said that one bad review for a business shows a potential client that the business is not flawless. It may also show that the business or law firm is not trying to regulate their reviews. However, if you encounter numerous bad or “one star” reviews for a Charlotte personal injury law firm, it may be a sign to avoid them.

Colleagues—Often, a colleague or another business will leave a review for a law firm or for a business. Generally, this is a gesture where the colleague has had a good experience working with the business or the law firm and wants to voice support for the law firm or business. They do so by leaving a review.

Disgruntled Former Employees—While this is less often the case, sometimes angry former employees will leave a bad review for a business or law firm.

What Can I Learn From Personal Injury Attorney Reviews?

It is our belief that by reading the reviews left for a Charlotte personal injury law firm, you will get a sense of what it’s like to work with the firm. Some reviews discuss results achieved, others discuss the level of service the client received. The reviews can tell you quite a lot about the law firm or company, and are best taken into consideration together with your direct communications with the law firm.

Can I Discuss A Bad Review With A Charlotte Personal Injury Law Firm?

If you read a bad review about a Charlotte personal injury law firm and would like to discuss it with the firm, we think that’s a reasonable request. Most likely, the law firm or attorney will remember the client and should be willing to discuss the review with you. No law firm is perfect. The law firm’s choice to honestly discuss why they received a bad review, or why you will not have the same experience as the upset client, is a feather in their cap and a sign you can trust them.

Are The Layton Law Firm’s Google Reviews Good?

We are very proud of our online reviews, and you can read them here: Layton Law Firm Google Reviews While not every client chooses to leave a review, the ones that do remind us how important each client’s legal matter is to them. The reviews also remind us that while clients are focused on results, they also are entitled to good communication and understanding. Clients who are going through a traumatic personal injury have an emotional experience in doing so. As a Charlotte personal injury law firm, we are just as proud of the results we achieve for our clients as we are proud of the relationships we form with our clients. Here is a sample of one of our reviews:

(5 STARS) Chris is a great lawyer! He’s very dedicated and committed to you from start to finish. We were working on my case for 2yrs before I settled! He communicated with me to make sure I was aware of everything and he made sure I got the most out of my settlement!!

Bridgett McKinley

Call To Speak With An Attorney Today

If you have questions about working with a personal injury attorney, or if you have questions about a car accident or slip and fall, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

If you’re considering settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer… don’t. It’s important for you to understand the risks associated with settlement and why hiring a personal injury lawyer is a critical step in getting your medical bills paid and receiving a fair value for your injury. Quite often a potential client will reach out to our office to inquire about whether they should accept an offer made by an insurance adjuster; our answer depends upon a few factors, and yours will too. Our strong advice is to hire a personal injury attorney to help you settle your claim. We have found the end result is better for you and you get the legal protection you need and deserve. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out today.

Completing Treatment Is Key

If you haven’t completed your treatment, you’re not aware of your total damages. The reason for this is that your damages are a combination of your medical costs associated with treatment, and the injury itself. Until your doctor or team of physicians releases you from care, it’s impossible to be certain of the full extent of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will be happy to settle your claim before treatment is finished. That way, your injuries and medical bills are no longer their responsibility. If you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer and you receive bills after settlement, the insurance company won’t pay them. The same is true for understanding the value of your claim– if you settle before treatment is finished, you’ll be settling for a lower value in almost every case. When settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of accepting less than you deserve. Remember, you can’t go back to the insurance company for more money once you settle and release them.

Understanding Health Insurance Liens

The insurance company may claim that they will handle all of your medical bills. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, your medical providers—including your health insurance company—may have a lien against your settlement proceeds. When settling a personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of your insurance company refusing to cover future treatment until your lien is paid. Lastly, if the health insurance lien is not paid from settlement proceeds, the health insurance company has rights which may extend as far as placing a lien against your home or other valuables you own. In this FindLaw.com article, the over-reaching arm of health insurance companies is discussed:

“Your health insurance company often has a right to take part of your auto accident settlement, depending on what you agreed to in your health insurance policy. Often, your health insurance company is entitled to recover everything it paid for your medical care, which is called subrogation. The theory behind subrogation is that a person should not have his medical bills paid twice-once by his health insurer, and a second time in the form of a settlement or judgment for damages in an accident liability case. So, rather than having your medical bills paid by the insurance company and getting the equivalent sum to keep from the settlement, you would have to pay the amount you received for your medical expenses in the settlement to your health insurance company.”

Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will ensure that your liens are valid, negotiated, and paid as part of orchestrating your settlement. This result insures you avoid the pitfalls you will encounter when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer.

Reaching A Fair Settlement

Fairness is subjective. Our experience has been that our clients do better with a personal injury lawyer than when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer. One reason is economics. Once you involve a personal injury lawyer with your claim, you have leverage against the insurance company. Instead of asking themselves how much it will cost to make you go away, they instead have to face the prospect of spending thousands of dollars in court against you and your lawyer. In the end, your lawyer fee will most often not out-weigh the increase in settlement offer you receive by hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Peace of Mind

Consider a scenario where the insurance company offers you $2,000.00 in your pocket after paying all medical bills and you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer. Now consider the same scenario where you hire a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to represent you. Suppose the lawyer is able to obtain a $6,000.00 settlement, with the net result being the same—you end up with $2,000.00 in your pocket. The numbers are the same but there’s a difference. With the personal injury lawyer’s involvement, you get peace of mind. You can be sure that:

  • All medical bills/liens are paid unless otherwise agreed upon;
  • You didn’t accept a low offer only to be left wondering if you could have done better;
  • Your health insurance provider will not withhold treatment or come after your assets for repayment;
  • A licensed professional has done all of the work instead of you managing your own claim while trying to move on with your life;

Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

We’re here to help. Call 704.749.7747 to speak with an attorney today, or click here to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION today. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Will My Personal Injury Bills Go To Collections?

Car accidents lead to hefty personal injury bills for both property damage and medical treatment. Hopefully, you’ll recover enough in your personal injury settlement or your child’s personal injury settlement, to take care of all of your bills. The problem is that many personal injury claims take a year or longer to settle. Medical providers are not always as patient with your billing as you might want them to be.

Communication With Billing Providers Is Key

If you’re represented by a Charlotte personal injury attorney, generally they will reach out to your providers to let them know they represent you. This puts the billing provider on notice that it will be a while before the bill is paid. The hope is that once your provider knows your bill is being paid in conjunction with settling your personal injury claim, they will hold your bill until the case settles. In many cases, the provider will check in with the personal injury attorney’s office every few months for a status update on the case. They will then mark your file to be reviewed again in a couple of months.

What If They Send My Bill To Collections?

Even if your personal injury attorney tells the billing provider you are represented in a personal injury claim, the provider may still choose to send the bill to collections. This could also mean that credit reporting agencies will be notified that your bill is delinquent. While this is annoying and you don’t deserve this treatment, the providers have the right to treat unpaid bills this way.

Should I Make Monthly Payments On My Medical Bills?

There is nothing wrong with making payments on your medical bills until your personal injury case settles. When the case does settle, you can get credit for any payments you’ve made on the bills, the same way you will get credit for paying co-pays at the time of treatment. This may be a way to keep the bills out of collections until your settlement comes through.

Will My Personal Injury Attorney Negotiate My Personal Injury Bills?

We have written a few articles on this website in our Personal Injury Blog about negotiating medical bills. Typically your personal injury attorney will negotiate your medical bills. There are relevant North Carolina statutes which also limit the amount of your settlement that medical billing providers are entitled to. Your attorney will use these statutes together with arguments about your case, to encourage medical providers to lower their bills.

Filing Bankruptcy After Personal Injury

If your personal injury settlement is insufficient to pay all of your personal injury bills, you might consider filing bankruptcy. Our firm has helped numerous personal injury clients with bankruptcy filings. Clients generally have additional debt such as credit card debt or unrelated medical bills, which make filing a bankruptcy a smart decision. We’re happy to discuss how bankruptcy works, or you can visit our Bankruptcy Blog and get some questions answered there.

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have questions about working with a personal injury attorney, or if you have questions about a medical bill from a car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Passenger In A Car Accident

What To Do If You’re A Passenger In A Car Accident

We are happy to speak to you over the phone if you have questions about being a passenger in a car accident. We get phone calls every week from people who are still at the scene of an accident, wondering what they should do to protect their rights. We are proud they think to call us. We can be reached at 704.749.7747 or you can click here for a FREE CASE EVALUATION.

Passengers In Car Accidents Have Extensive Rights

If you’re a passenger in a car accident, the news is good. The accident was not your fault. This means there are options for you in terms of financial recovery. The path to personal injury compensation may involve disputing with multiple insurance carriers regarding liability (who is responsible). Generally, either the driver of your vehicle will be responsible, or the driver of the vehicle who collided with you. But again, as a passenger, there should not be any liability for you. There are exceptions to this rule and those exceptions include:

Knowingly Driving With A Drunk Driver

Knowingly Driving With A Driver Known To Be Irresponsible

Engaging In Behavior Contributing To The Accident

Getting Medical Treatment For Your Injuries

After documenting the accident with a police report, the next thing a passenger in a car accident needs to do is get appropriate medical treatment. We recommend you receive medical treatment the day of the accident, and preferably go directly from the accident scene to the emergency room. Sometimes this isn’t convenient, or you may not feel you are injured. Quite often, you don’t feel your injuries immediately after the car accident. This is a combination of adrenaline and the time it takes for injuries to reveal themselves.

You will generally not compromise your passenger claim by seeking medical treatment for the first time a day or two after the accident. If you wait more than a week after the accident to receive treatment for the first time, you can expect the insurance company to put up resistance regarding the value of your injuries.

Once you have been seen by a physician at the emergency room or hospital, you will be given follow up recommendations. Be sure to follow up with your doctor as recommended. If you have what are known as ‘soft tissue’ injuries (back, neck and shoulder strains) you may consider seeking Chiropractic Treatment for those injuries. Generally, your treatment, if reasonable and not excessive, will be honored by the insurance company analyzing your claim.

Who Will Pay Your Passenger Claim?

Your personal injury attorney will review your police report and send a letter of representation to the party believed to be at fault. If there is a dispute between two insurance companies as to fault, the easiest solution is to file a lawsuit against both parties. Or at least to threaten filing a lawsuit against both insurance companies. The theory is that you as the passenger were not responsible, and that a jury can decide how the two insurance companies should share fault.

Typically, even if there is resistance, your personal injury attorney will be able to successfully encourage the insurance companies to work out an arrangement which will lead to you being paid the full value of your passenger car accident claim.

If the at fault driver does not have insurance, you can typically file an uninsured motorist claim. These situations are discussed routinely on Avvo.com

Filing Your Passenger Claim Against The Insurance Company

Passenger claims are filed like most other claims. You must reach out to the insurance company to start a claim. Generally, you’ll need your police report on hand to do this. The intake officer will want to know details about the accident and the police report number. Lastly, the intake officer will need to establish there was insurance coverage on the at fault driver at the time of the accident. At the end of the conversation, you should be assigned a claim number and be given contact information for an adjuster.

Establishing The Value Of Your Passenger Claim

We have written extensively on this site about establishing the value of your personal injury claim. As a passenger, not much is different. The value of your claim will be a combination of your medical bills, injuries supported by medical records, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any special damages which might exist. If the at fault driver was texting, racing, or driving under the influence, you may be able to recover punitive damages meant to punish the driver for that activity. Your personal injury lawyer’s job is to maximize the value of your passenger claim and make sure you’re treated fairly, all things considered.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have questions about working with a personal injury lawyer, or if you have questions about a passenger claim from a car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

How is pain and suffering calculated in north carolina

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In North Carolina (NC)? Pain and suffering is calculated differently by personal injury attorneys and insurance companies. As a result, often your attorney and the insurance company will argue about the value of your pain and suffering. As you might imagine, the insurance company’s number is always lower than the attorney’s number. This article addresses how pain and suffering is calculated in North Carolina. It attempts to help you understand the value of your personal injury claim. Keep in mind every claim is different, and a personal injury attorney can assist you with establishing your claim and fighting for a fair result.

Liability Is Key To Any Recovery

Before we ask “How is pain and suffering calculated?”, we must first establish that there was responsibility on the party from which you seek reimbursement. In other words, was it their fault? It is a given you had injuries resulting from a car accident or slip and fall. The next step is to prove that the other party was at fault, or responsible. If you fail to prove that, your pain and suffering—in fact your entire recovery—will often be zero.

Proving liability can be challenging. North Carolina makes it more difficult with the Contributory Negligence rule, we have written about on our website. This rule states that if you are even 1% responsible for the accident or injury, you should receive nothing. North Carolina personal injury attorneys spend their days fighting this rule for their clients.

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In Different Car Accidents?

Imagine a scenario where two individuals are in two separate car accidents. In Accident #1, the injured party is rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. They suffer a concussion. In Accident #2, the injured party is injured when another driver changes lanes, and the two vehicles collide side-by-side. The injured party suffers a concussion, just like in Accident #1.

In Accident #1, liability is clear. The personal injury attorney and the insurance adjuster may end up arguing over the value of pain and suffering, which is normal. In Accident #2, the attorney and insurance adjuster will also argue over the value of pain and suffering; however, the insurance adjuster will potentially only offer half of what they are offering in Accident #1. Why? Because there is an argument that if the case went in front of a jury, the jury might decide that the insurance company’s client was not at fault. Or, the jury may decide that the injured party was 1% or more responsible, and offer them nothing, based on the rules of Contributory Negligence.

In the instance above, we have identical injuries, yet the pain and suffering calculation for each injured party will likely be different. Here are a few other factors which affect pain and suffering calculations:

Medical Treatment Sought—A failure to seek proper medical treatment immediately after an accident can result in a lower value of your claim, despite legitimate injuries.

Time Of Recovery—If an individual takes an abnormal amount of time to recover, their pain and suffering is arguably higher than someone who recovers quickly.

Age Of The Injured Party—Children may receive higher pain and suffering than adults, to compensate for the emotional content of their experience.

Extenuating Circumstances—Therapy needed for anxiety can change pain and suffering. Also, if the accident caused you to miss your child’s wedding or graduation, this would be considered as well.

One Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

When taken in context with the information above, some attorneys will argue that pain and suffering starts with a calculation based on the medical treatment received. Insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys will then argue about the billed amount of the treatment vs. the actual cost. The reason is that health insurance often pays far less than what the doctor billed. The same is true of Medicaid and Medicare. Lastly, these health providers may have Personal Injury Settlement Liens, and those will need to be addressed with any settlement figure reached.

A Second Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

A method far less popular is to assign a per day amount that pain and suffering is worth. The personal injury attorney takes that amount and applies it to the length of time from the date of the accident until the last date of treatment for the injured party. The concept is to compensate the injured party for the number of days it took for them to return to full health.

Insurance Company Pain And Suffering Calculations

Often, you will find that insurance companies try to ignore the attorney calculations altogether. Instead, they rely on advanced software designed for their industry. That software takes into account your injuries, medical treatment, lost wages, and many other factors. Importantly, the software will also take into account past jury verdicts in your area. The idea is to offer a settlement reflective of what a jury might give you. The insurance company will want to lower that number however, because by settling with you, they are reducing the risk for you that a jury would give you less.

The Importance Of Working With A Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury cases get complicated very quickly. It’s easy to compromise your rights by giving a recorded statement to the insurance company, or signing a release. A personal injury attorney will not only protect you from these pitfalls, but also help to maximize the value of your claim. You will typically find that the attorney’s fee is far outweighed by the end settlement amount, and by the peace of mind that you are being protected along the long path to recovery.

If you want to know “How is pain and suffering calculated?” or if you have questions about working with a personal injury lawyer for your car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.