A personal injury blog containing useful information for anyone in Charlotte looking for information about personal injury or looking for a Charlotte personal injury attorney.

How Much Is My Car Accident Worth?

If you’re wondering “How much is my car accident worth?” the answer is… it depends. Yes, it’s a typical personal injury lawyer answer. But there’s a good reason for it. There are many factors which combine to both increase and decrease the value of your car accident.

For a free case evaluation, call us at 704.749.7747, or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out shortly. The evaluation is free and we’re here to help.

Factors Which Increase The Value Of Your Car Accident Claim

Severity of Injuries—if you have severe injuries, your case is generally worth more. The theory is that juries assign value to a case based in large part on the medical treatment involved with the case. You can imagine a jury considering a case with $1,000.00 of medical treatment (an ER visit and a follow-up), vs. a case with $45,000.00 of medical billing (a broken bone, surgery, and physical therapy).

Consistent Treatment—It’s not enough to have injuries from a car accident. You also have to seek treatment very soon after the accident and follow through with that treatment. The reason is two-fold. First, seeking treatment soon after the accident shows that the accident caused the injury. Second, completing your treatment demonstrates how the injury affected you and also serves to increase your medical billing. Besides, you deserve to be treated and brought back to full health.

Lost Wages—If the accident gives rise to missed hours at work, your personal injury lawyer will include your lost wages in the demand package sent to the insurance adjuster. Your employer will have to sign an affidavit establishing your rate of pay and the amount of work you missed. This Lost Wages Affidavit goes a long way toward increasing the value of your claim. If you take paid time off or (“PTO”) instead of missing work, your injury attorney will calculate that into the figures as well.

Special Damages—Some accidents give rise to what are known as Special Damages. These are losses in addition to the more typical losses described above. For instance, a senior in high school who is the victim of a car accident misses her last year of Track and Field. Or, a car accident on the way to the prom causes the victim to miss the prom. Missed graduations, birthday parties, and vacations can all be included in special damages and presented to the insurance adjuster.

Working With A Personal Injury Attorney—In our experience, working with a personal injury attorney is typically going to increase the value of your case. There are multiple reasons for this. First, the attorney understands how to establish the value of your case or claim. Second, the attorney can defend your case against an insurance adjuster who is arguing a lower value of the case. Third, an attorney means the threat of a lawsuit. Insurance companies are interested in avoiding lawsuits especially if their driver was at fault in the car accident. The cost of the avoided lawsuit can help to increase the value of your claim. Lastly, your personal injury attorney will typically be able to negotiate some of your medical billing for you. While this may not increase the settlement value, it should help to put more of the settlement in your pocket.

Factors Which Decrease The Value Of Your Car Accident Claim

A History Of Claims—If you have a history of personal injury claims, it will be used against you. Insurance companies share information with one another. Even if you have legitimate injuries from this car accident, the fact that you have 4 prior claims will be used to insinuate that your claim may be fraudulent.

Contributing Factors—If the police report from the car accident states that you contributed in some way to the car accident, you may be barred from recovery due to North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence rule. The essence of this rule is that if you are found to be 1% responsible for the accident, a jury will be instructed to award you nothing. Personal injury attorneys encounter this defense every day, and can typically negotiate a successful settlement despite it. However, it must be taken into account.

Gaps In Treatment—If you fail to seek treatment soon after the accident, or if there are large gaps in between treatment, the insurance adjuster will argue that your injury was not severe. In the alternative, the adjuster may argue that you were possibly injured in some other manner and are blaming the accident for your injury. This generally results in a discounted settlement as it relates to paying your medical bills. It’s important to see your doctor as instructed. If your doctor can’t help with spinal or soft tissue injuries, consider treating with a Charlotte Chiropractor.

Statements Made To Insurance Companies—It’s OK to give a statement to an insurance company after the car accident. However, it’s important to be very careful when discussing the facts of the car accident. You can trust that the conversation will be recorded (NC is a “One Party” state). Additionally, the insurance company does not need to tell you they are recording the conversation. If you say anything which can be used against you, we can guarantee it will be.

Settling Your Claim Without An Attorney—There are certainly some claims which do not warrant the use of a personal injury attorney. When we speak with clients about those claims, we try to give them guidance and assistance to enable them to settle the case on their own. The large majority of car accident claims are well worthy of working with a personal injury lawyer. Your rights will be protected, your attorney will help to maximize the value of your claim, and you can let someone else do the work and the worrying for you.

Further Reading

We hope this article helped answer the question “How much is my car accident worth?” You can get more questions answered by reading over 100 articles we have written in our Personal Injury Blog on this site. We have articles covering everything from Medical Payments Coverage to determining a Fair Settlement amount.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a car accident and you’re wondering “How much is my car accident worth?”, get a case evaluation today by calling 704.749.7747 or clicking for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out to you. There’s no obligation to hire us, and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Protect Yourself From Scary Personal Injury Insurance Adjusters

Happy Halloween! Remember, in the personal injury world, it’s SCARY out there. Personal injury adjusters are not your friend. They are looking for ways to deny or de-value your car accident or slip and fall claim. The following tips can help you protect yourself in a personal injury claim and make sure you get treated fairly by the personal injury adjuster. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, you can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly. The call is free and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Seek Treatment Quickly

One thing that scares us is clients who fail to seek treatment, or fail to finish treatment. If you don’t seek treatment soon after your car accident or slip and fall, the assumption is you were not hurt. If you don’t have health insurance, we know the cost makes it difficult to seek treatment. There are several hospitals and Charlotte Chiropractors who will treat you on a lien basis. This means, they will treat you without cost and wait for your personal injury settlement to finalize before they get paid. Additionally, you may have Medical Payments coverage and your personal injury attorney can help you claim it. Lastly, your personal injury attorney can typically negotiate some of your medical bills when settling your claim. This puts more money in your pocket. By seeking treatment early, you:

Establish your injury

Increase the value of your claim

Make a clear connection between the accident and your injury

Finish Your Treatment

Even though you may feel better, it’s important to follow your doctor’s direction. This means completing treatment including follow-up appointments. This insures you are brought back to full health, and also demonstrates the treatment was necessary. When a personal injury client stops treatment halfway through, the insurance adjuster will use that fact to claim the injury was not severe. Or, that the treatment was for the sole purpose of creating  a personal injury claim.

Tell Your Personal Injury Attorney The Truth

Your personal injury attorney is your best ally in a personal injury claim. Anything you tell the attorney is protected under attorney-client privilege. By arming your personal injury attorney with the facts—both good and bad—your attorney can strategize how best to support your personal injury claim with applicable law.

Here are some examples of ‘bad facts’ which can be often be overcome by your personal injury attorney. Again, what’s most important is making sure your personal injury attorney knows all the facts:

Whether you were taking medication at the time of the accident

Whether you had any alcohol the day of the accident

Prior or pre-existing injuries which may be discovered later

Whether you have filed previous personal injury claims

Keep Good Notes

One thing we encourage clients to do when they’ve been in a car accident or a slip and fall accident, is to keep notes about the accident. This should include what you remember about the facts leading up to the accident. It should also include the injuries and pain you’re feeling following the accident. These notes can be brought to the doctor’s office so that you don’t forget to mention them. Your injuries are typically documented by your medical records. If you don’t tell the doctor about the full extent of your injuries, the personal injury insurance adjuster will attempt to discount them. Again, the assumption is if you were really hurting, you would have told your doctor.

Further Reading

Supporting Your Personal Injury Claim

Don’t Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Without An Attorney

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

We firmly believe you’re better off with a personal injury attorney than without. Our experience has been that clients receive more fair treatment from insurance companies when working with an attorney. We can help you navigate working with a personal injury insurance adjuster. We’re happy to discuss your accident at no cost. There’s no pressure to hire us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly. The call is free and we’re here to help. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Does Bankruptcy Include Car Loans

How Much Do You Get For Pain And Suffering?

If you’re wondering how much do you get for pain and suffering in a personal injury settlement, you’re not alone. This is one of the most important concerns of all new personal injury clients. While pain and suffering can be difficult to estimate in a personal injury claim, There is a rather basic way to determine what you received for pain and suffering. This article will help to try to answer the question “How much do you get for pain and suffering?” If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about pain and suffering, you can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly.

What Is Pain And Suffering Worth?

Placing a value on pain and suffering is challenging. Most clients agree that there is no amount of money which would make them happy with the accident. In other words, what they really wish is that the car accident never happened. That being the case, the second best option is to receive an amount of money which you feel fairly compensates you for what you’ve been through. Unfortunately, at the time of settlement, most clients are still hurting from their car accident, or concerned about lingering pain and suffering they might experience after settlement.

For lack of a better way to calculate pain and suffering, in most cases your pain and suffering will be some multiplier of the cost of your medical treatment. Your personal injury attorney will argue the total value of your treatment should be used in that equation, and the insurance adjuster will argue the actual end cost of the treatment should be used. This often results in very different proposed settlement amounts. Below, is an example:

Example 1:

Original Medical Bills: $100,000
Payments By Health Insurance: $8,000
Adjustments (write-offs): $92,000
End Balance: $0

In the above example, your personal injury attorney will argue that the medical billing being considered should be the $100,000, because this is the amount of the bill. The insurance adjuster will argue the $8,000 paid by health insurance is that amount that should be used. Their explanation will be that the medical treatment, in the end, only cost $8,000. If the parties are multiplying the medical billing by 2, you can see that the end numbers will come out very differently.

How Will I Know What I Received For Pain And Suffering?

In the end, the amount of money remaining after all medical bills are paid, and after lost wages are reimbursed, represents your pain and suffering. Simply put, this is the amount of money above and beyond expenses, which you are receiving from the settlement. One thing you will notice in the demand package your personal injury attorney sends out, is that typically we do not ask for a specific amount for pain and suffering. Using our example above, whatever amount we ask for above and beyond your medical bills and lost wages usually represents our theory surrounding the value of the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. If you have Medical Payments coverage on your own policy, this could also dramatically changes things in your favor.

What About Future Pain And Suffering?

Once you reach a settlement with an insurance company, that settlement is final. Therefore, you and your personal injury attorney should take into account the lingering effects of the car accident or slip and fall, when settling on your demand request. But don’t worry, your personal injury attorney will walk you through this step by step, and explain each part of the process along the way.

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have questions remaining about “How much do you get for pain and suffering?” you should speak with a personal injury lawyer today. The call is free and you deserve answers. We would love to hear from you. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Car Accident

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical Payments coverage is coverage you may have on your own auto insurance policy. If you have Medical Payments coverage, it will cover some or all of your medical bills incurred as the result of a car accident. This is true whether the accident was your fault or not. Medical Payments coverage can make all the difference for you as an injured party. First, you may not have health insurance, or may have a high deductible; if so, Medical Payments coverage will pay for bills which your health insurance may not cover. Second, the Medical Payments coverage can supplement any health insurance you do have, and can help you recover co-pays and out of pocket expenses. Lastly, even if the accident is not your fault, you may not be able to recover from the at-fault driver. In that case, the Medical Payments coverage will help absorb some of the financial impact of the accident.

The Reasonableness Factor

The language of your auto insurance policy will govern what your Medical Payments coverage will pay. It’s not always as easy as simply submitting your bills to your insurance carrier. Insurance companies often limit their responsibility to reimburse only those medical treatment expenses they deem to be “Reasonable”. Our experience with handling Medical Payments claims has revealed that insurance companies will often exclude the following from reimbursement:

  • Experimental treatments which are not designed to serve a medical purpose;
  • Acupuncture
  • Purchases of equipment which not primarily designed to serve a medical purpose, such as a home gym for rehabilitation

In addition to the treatment being reasonable, the cost of the treatment must also be reasonable. It is not unusual to receive a response from an insurance carrier indicating they will cover a percentage of a chiropractor’s fees, and a refusal to reimburse for the remainder. Quite often, the insurance company will “red line” the chiropractor’s treatment notes, indicating what the insurance carrier believe to be unreasonable treatment. Similarly, they may red line the chiropractor’s bill in an effort to indicate what they believe to be excessive treatment. If you have questions about chiropractic treatment, our article on Charlotte Chiropractors may help answer those questions.

Fortunately for the injured party, there is a presumption of reasonableness in North Carolina, established in N.C.G.S. Sec. 8-58.1. While an insurance company can rebut this presumption, your personal injury lawyer should be able to persuade them that making full payment on the Medical Payments reimbursement submission is preferable to facing a lawsuit over Medical Payments coverage.

Your Responsibilities

Your insurance policy typically requires some responsibilities or duties which you must uphold. You will be asked to cooperate with any investigation into the claim. You will also be asked to assist the insurer should they request medical records to substantiate the Medical Payments request. You may also be asked to sign a HIPAA release in the event your insurance provider wants to obtain medical records and billing on their own.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were in a car accident, or if you were injured by a vehicle as a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, you may be entitled to Medical Payments coverage. We recommend you consult with a personal injury lawyer today. You’ll get your questions answered and we’re happy to help. We can be reached at 704.749.7747 or you can click to request a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION, and we will reach out to you shortly. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

 

court approved child settlement

Child Personal Injury Settlements In North Carolina

If a child is injured in a car accident or slip and fall in North Carolina, they are commonly entitled to the same rights as adults. One major difference in the outcome of a personal injury claim for a child or minor, is the distribution of funds to the child.

Child Settlements Without Court Approval

In small child personal injury settlements, often the settlement can be reached without court approval. Truthfully, this is a question of risk tolerance for both the insurance company and the personal injury law firm. The fear is that if a child settlement is reached without court approval, the child may later claim they were not treated fairly by the settlement. In most cases, insurance companies feel they bear most of this risk. As such, the insurance company will typically decide whether they are comfortable settling without court approval. A settlement of $5,000.00 or more by the insurance companies we work with regularly, typically requires court approval.

In child settlements without court approval, the funds are delivered to a parent or guardian, with the assumption the parent or guardian will use the funds in the best interest of the child. While this saves time and cost as compared to a child personal injury settlement requiring court approval, it is not always possible when the settlement amount is higher.

Child Personal Injury Settlements With Court Approval

In those cases where the insurance company requires it, or the attorney feels it is advisable, a settlement can be reached by the parties and then be submitted for court approval. In doing so, the personal injury lawyer appoints a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the child in court. Typically, this is one of the parents. A lawsuit is then filed in the name of the Guardian Ad Litem, for the benefit of the child. The primary purpose for the lawsuit is to gain access to the court system so that the settlement can be stamped as approved by the court.

If the parties are agreeable, the personal injury attorney will submit medical bills and records, together with all fees. The parties will communicate to the judge that they are in agreement. The judge will review the records and approve the settlement as proposed, or recommend changes.

Disbursement Of Funds In Child Settlements

The court will generally hold the proceeds from a child personal injury settlement, to be later distributed to the child upon reaching the age of majority (18 years old). While there is a small fee for the court to do so, the interest on the money usually covers that fee. If funds need to be disbursed from the settlement to cover ongoing medical costs, a provision for doing so may be built into the court approved settlement.

Further Reading

Do I Have A Personal Injury Claim

Child Injury Lawyer In Charlotte, NC

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If your child was injured in an accident and you’d like to speak with a lawyer, we’re here to help. We advise clients every day about their rights in personal injury matters. We’re happy to hear your story and help you understand your options. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CONSULTATION and we’ll call you shortly. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Before clients decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, they want to know “What does a personal injury lawyer cost?” The answer to this question can often mean the difference between hiring a personal injury lawyer or attempting to settle a claim on your own without a personal injury lawyer.

Every Personal Injury Law Firm Is Different

It’s crucial for you to know that every personal injury lawyer charges clients differently. That being said, you will commonly find that a personal injury lawyer will only cost you something if they are able to get a settlement or a jury verdict for you. However, even then, whether a lawyer or law firm charges a percentage (and what percentage) can make all the difference. The answer to the question “What does a personal injury lawyer cost?” will be found in each personal injury lawyer’s Engagement Letter. The Engagement Letter is where you will find not only what the lawyer is committing to do for you, but also what their fees are for that work. Lastly, it should be very clear in the Engagement Letter whether you owe the personal injury lawyer if they fail to obtain a settlement or jury verdict for you.

Simply Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer About Their Fees

Every lawyer should feel comfortable discussing fees with you. Additionally, a lawyer should be able to give you a clear answer when it comes to questions about fees. If you can’t get a clear answer, it’s probably a good sign you should speak with another personal injury lawyer. If your lawyer is paid a percentage of your total settlement or jury verdict, you’ll want to know what percentage. You’ll also want to know if you owe them anything if they are unable to get a settlement or jury verdict for you. An example might be where a personal injury lawyer is only owed a percentage if they are able to obtain a settlement for you. However, if they fail to obtain a settlement or jury verdict for you, the Engagement Letter may state that you must reimburse the attorney for any out of pocket expenses. Lastly, out of pocket expenses can be substantial if the lawyer paid for an expert to give an opinion about your accident, or paid a medical doctor for their opinion in a deposition about your injuries. All of these aspects will help you determine “How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?”

When Does My Personal Injury Lawyer Get Paid?

Your personal injury lawyer most often will get paid the same time you get paid. In the case of a settlement, the insurance company will send a check. The attorney will deposit the funds into their trust account. Then, a settlement statement will be drafted. It will show where every penny is going. Lastly, it will include the attorney’s fee in the list of payments.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you call our firm and ask “How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?” we can only answer for our firm. That being said, we would be happy to discuss our fees with you, and help to provide you some guidance. If you’ve been injured in a car accident or slip and fall, we can help you understand your rights. The call is free and we’re here to help. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CONSULTATION by sending us a quick request.

Loans Against Personal Injury Claims

We talk with injured individuals every day who ask about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you’re injured in an automobile accident and the other driver does not have insurance, you may think you can’t be compensated for your injuries. Generally, this is not true. This holds true for as well for individuals insured as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle accident victims.

In North Carolina, motorists are required to carry minimum insurance coverage. That coverage requires $30,000 for bodily injury, $60,000 for total bodily injury for all persons in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Lastly, they are also required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is exactly what it sounds like. If someone without insurance injures you in an auto accident, your Uninsured Motorist Coverage will pay for your property damage and bodily injury. Placing a claim with your insurance company in this manner will not affect your insurance rates. If you’re hit by a hit and run driver, you should also be able to access your Uninsured Motorist Coverage—be ready though, your insurance company will want to know plenty of details about the accident and the hit and run driver, before they will provide coverage. The reason is that insurance companies are fearful that drivers make up hit and run stories as a way to create fraudulent claims.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist Coverage plays a different role than Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If your injuries cost more than the coverage the other driver has, you can access your Underinsured Motorist Coverage. However, there’s a catch—your Underinsured Motorist Coverage must be more than the coverage the driver who hit you. Essentially, your policy will get a ‘credit’ for whatever has been paid. Take for example, a situation where the at-fault driver has a policy of $30,000 and you have a policy of $50,000. If you reach a settlement for $30,000 with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you potentially have access to an additional $20,000 from your carrier ($50,000-$30,000).

Stacking Your Coverage

North Carolina has an anti-stacking statute. In states that allow stacking, the purchased coverage can be multiplied by the number of vehicles in the insurance plan. In an insurance plan that has $30,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage, if there are 3 vehicles in the plan, you would have access to $90,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage. North Carolina does not allow this mechanism for determining the amount of Underinsured Motorist Coverage available to you.

Separate Insurance Policies

If you have two separate insurance policies in your household, you may have the ability to ‘stack’ your Underinsured Motorist Coverage and your Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Where your damages exceed the coverage of the at-fault party, you can access one or both of your auto insurance plans in order to be fairly compensated for your injuries and lost wages.

Call A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

As you can see, insurance issues are complex. Having a law firm with the experience to understand the coverage available to you and your family is critical. If you would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about a car accident, call us today at 704.749.7747. Or, click here for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we’ll reach out to you quickly. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Charlotte Chiropractor and auto accidents

As a personal injury law firm, we routinely are involved with settling personal injury claims involving a Charlotte Chiropractor. Quite often, an injured client has pain which can’t be addressed by a medical doctor. Often, the client is referred to a Chiropractor or physical therapist for treatment. Whether to be treated by a Charlotte Chiropractor is your choice. Ultimately, the goal is to restore you to good health, and quite often a Chiropractor can help. Below are some symptoms which a Chiropractor might be able to help you with, where your primary care physician may not be able to assist.

Headaches After A Car Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident, the impact from the accident can easily lead to concussions or head pain. While headaches may be a sign of a concussion, more often they are simply a side-effect of your body experiencing the impact of the accident. Misalignment of the neck or spine from the car accident can leave you with chronic headaches. A Charlotte Chiropractor can present you with a plan for treatment which ultimately re-aligns the neck and spine, improves blood flow and oxygen to the head, and decreases headaches. If you have Medical Payments coverage on your auto policy, you may be able to pay for your treatment by accessing that coverage.

Limited Range Of Motion

So many car accident clients and slip and fall clients feel OK the day of the accident. Perhaps adrenaline prevents them from feeling pain, or a desire to simply be OK fuels the message to the brain that there is no injury. A few days after their accident, they are hit with the reality that they are injured and need treatment. Quite often, a limited range of motion is one of the obvious signs that things are not right. While a primary care physician can provide medicine to manage pain, and x-rays and MRIs can confirm or dispel injuries, a Charlotte Chiropractor can offer treatment to restore your range of motion. Realigning bones and joints relieves pain and restores range of motion.

Chiropractic Treatment After A Car Accident

Generally, seeking Chiropractic treatment after a car accident or slip and fall injury is a smart idea. The injuries we sustain in an impactful accident are not always obvious to us, and receiving treatment early can make the difference between a full recovery and something less than a full recovery. Most Chiropractic treatment is of a non-invasive nature, and reduces your pain without the need for drugs. In many instances, your Chiropractic treatment can be paid for from your personal injury claim—this is something you can discuss with your Chiropractor at your initial consultation. In addition to a successful treatment plan, your Chiropractor will provide detailed notes and records surrounding your treatment, which will help your personal injury attorney build your case for economic recovery. Quite often, the quality of the Chiropractor’s records and notes makes all the difference for you.

Speak With An Attorney Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you deserve to understand your rights. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, please call 704.749.7747 or click here for a FREE CONSULTATION. We do not have any affiliation with Chiropractor’s offices, but we can certainly recommend one if you do not have a Chiropractor in the Charlotte area with which you are familiar. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Cities across the country, including Charlotte, NC, are struggling with how to deal with the growing use of electric scooters. Quite often, new technology means new laws and new city ordinances. There is much unsettled law around electric scooters at the moment. As the claims for damages increase throughout the state of North Carolina, we will gain a better understanding of where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to electric scooters.

Scooters Are Treated Like Bicycles

In a recent article published in the Charlotte Observer (Electric Scooters May Be Cool, But…), Charlotte City Council member Tariq Bokhari indicated that for now, scooter users are treated like cyclists. This means that scooters are permitted to be used on the road and on sidewalks. It also means that if the user is over 16 years of age, they can choose not to wear a helmet.

This also means that when it comes to registering scooters, it’s unnecessary. Compare this to golf carts and mopeds, which must be inspected and registered before hitting the roads in Charlotte, NC. Mopeds even require a vehicle inspection and insurance to operate. Scooters do not.

Scooters Are Making Headlines

A recent CNN article Doctor: Do Something About The Dangers of e-Scooters, appeared online. The article gave rise to many questions surrounding the injuries resulting from the use of electric scooters, and indicated emergency rooms are seeing an increase in scooter injuries.

Scooter Related Personal Injury Claims

Electric scooters are giving rise to more accidents on the roadways. This is partly because drivers are not aware that an individual is operating a scooter. Specifically, a scooter operator may look like a pedestrian; however, with the ability to accelerate quickly, the car and electric scooter may collide in a situation where a pedestrian and car would not. For instance, when an electric scooter operator accelerates off of a street corner after waiting for a light to turn or an opportunity to cross the road.

Where the accident is the fault of the vehicle driver, the electric scooter operator will have a personal injury claim against the vehicle driver. However, where the electric scooter operator is to blame, there may not be insurance available. Most insurance companies are taking a hard stance against insuring electric scooter operators. Your vehicle insurance won’t cover your use of an electric scooter. Without the purchase of a policy or coverage specific to electric scooter use, you may not have any insurance available to pay someone you harm.

Looking to the electric scooter company for insurance coverage does not lead to good results. When you pay for and operate an electric scooter, you typically release the scooter company from all harm, and assume the risk of operating the scooter—it’s all in the fine print.

Here’s how many cities have reacted to the use of electric scooters:

Washington, D.C. – Issued a cease and desist letter and told electric scoote companies they are not welcome in the city

Nashville, TN—Seized scooters which were blocking a right of way

San Diego, CA—Ticketed electric scooter operators who were not wearing a helmet

Speak With An Electric Scooter Attorney

Speak With An Attorney

While it’s an odd thing to type, understanding “Scooter Law” is the obligation of personal injury attorneys. If you’ve been injured in a scooter related accident, speak with an attorney by calling 704.749.7747 or clicking here for a FREE CONSULTATION. We’re happy to discuss your claim and help you understand your options.

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents are the cause of completely unnecessary injuries in North Carolina every year. Our firm takes a strong stance when it comes to drunk driving and the injuries caused by it. We’re eager to hear about your case and help you decide whether to pursue legal action against any drunk driver who hit you. Trying to decide? Read our reviews.

Punitive Damages In Drunk Driving Accidents

If you were injured by a drunk driver in North Carolina, your case may be one which entitles you to punitive damages. Punitive damages are distinguishable from compensatory damages in that their intent is to deter the driver and other drivers from the same behavior in the future. Put simply, this means your case or claim will be worth more than a claim based solely on compensatory damages. Compensatory damages will assist with medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Repeat Drunk Drivers

Many people injured in drunk driving accidents find the person who hit them either carries the NC minimum state limits for insurance coverage, or has no insurance at all. In that case, obtaining any compensation for your injuries will be made more difficult. Your case may become an Under insured or Uninsured motorist claim. If so, you will certainly need the assistance of a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to make sure you’re accessing every insurance policy available. Often, insurance coverage for family members living in the same household comes into play, and your lawyer will uncover and pursue those policies.

Under insured Motorist Claims

North Carolina state law requires drivers have $30,000 for bodily injury coverage ($60,000 for total bodily injury to cover all individuals in an accident). Additionally, there is a requirement for $25,000 for property damage liability as well as uninsured motorist coverage. A driver is defined as under insured if the driver’s liability limits are less than YOUR under insured motorist limits, and also less than the amount required to cover the losses of the people to whom the under insured driver caused injury. In other words, once you exhaust the at-fault driver’s insurance cap, you can then proceed with an under insured motorist claim against your own policy. You do so by accessing the under insured motorist coverage you held at the time of the accident.

Punitive Damages And Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In drunk driving accidents, punitive damages are generally not allowed to be pursued against uninsured motorist coverage. The theory is that there is no deterrent if the insurance company paying the punitive damages was not associated with the at-fault driver. Your personal injury attorney can explain this more clearly in a full discussion about insurance coverage.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a drunk driving accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer today. The call is free and you deserve to know your rights. Phone consultations and in-person consultations are free. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call. You’ll receive a call from a knowledgeable attorney who can help you sort through your options. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.