What Should I Do After A Hit-and-Run Crash?
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, it can be a scary and frustrating experience. It may feel like a hopeless situation to be in but there are still steps you need to take to protect yourself. If you find yourself in this situation the first thing you should do is call the police. The police may be able to find the driver. At the very least they will be able to provide you with an accident report showing the crash was the result of a hit-and-run—you will need this official documentation for your insurance claim. After you call the police you will also need to:
- Get medical attention. You are going to have to prove that you got injured in the crash. Simply saying you were hurt will not be good enough for the insurance company.
- Call your insurance company. You need to tell them you got into an accident, the accident was a hit-and-run, and that you intend to make a claim on your policy.
- Review your insurance policy. Find out what the claims process is and find out what the maximum policy coverage is for uninsured motorist claims because they will not pay more than the maximum limit.
- Proceed with an uninsured motorist claim. Your insurance company takes the place of the other driver whose insurance should actually be paying.
As terrible as a hit-and-run crash can be, there are steps you can and should take that could possibly lead to the arrest of the driver, or at the very least help you have a better outcome.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run and have any questions, don’t hesitate to give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.
What Can I Share On Social Media During My Case?
Social media is a great way to connect with our family and friends, and keep in touch with those we care about. But unfortunately we live in the digital age where the pictures and messages we post online can be used against us by defense attorneys.
We often post pictures, videos, or statuses without thinking how it could be interpreted by others. Something as simple as walking our dog, grocery shopping, or holding a baby could be taken out of context and used against you.
Because of the nature of social media, defense attorneys and insurance companies have started investigating and auditing social media accounts. As a result, it is very important to not post pictures or comments about your incident on social media or any online website. This type of information can and will be used against you during your case.
This may not seem fair or ethical since it is your personal information, but because you freely shared it online anyone has access to it. Defense attorneys are looking for any information they can find out about you, even if your profile is set to private. Because of this, I always advise my clients to deactivate all of their accounts while their case is open.
Be careful with your social media accounts and don’t volunteer information that could compromise your case. If you have any questions about your case, contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.
What Should I Say to the Insurance Adjuster After My Accident?
I speak with clients all the time who have received calls from the insurance adjuster after their accident. They have already given a recorded statement about their accident and injuries before they have called us. These recorded statements are hazardous because the adjuster, who has done these interviews hundreds of times knows just what questions to ask, is always looking for a reason to deny coverage or get you to agree to something that may not be true, or to something that is even damaging to your case.
What you say in an unguarded moment may literally turn a good case into a denial. My message to anyone who has been injured by the negligence of another is to consult a lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster. We know what questions are going to be asked and can prepare you for these conversations and help you avoid saying anything that could potentially undermine your claim.
Regardless of what kind of injury you have sustained, I recommend declining to speak with the adjuster until you have spoken with an attorney who has helped you go over the questions that will be asked.
Don’t risk your claim being denied because of what you said in a vulnerable moment. If you have been injured in an accident give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation before you speak with an adjuster.
What Is Considered Contributory Negligence?
North Carolina is one of the few states in the US that still uses contributory negligence as a way of deciding whether or not an injured party can earn a settlement. The court will look at whether or not your negligence caused your accident. If your negligence contributed to your accident in any way, you could lose your settlement.
Let’s say you’ve been injured in a car accident. Any observer of this accident would agree that it was the other person’s fault. However, what was less easy to observe was the fact that you were speeding. When this case goes to court, they will look at whether or not your speeding caused your accident in any way.
The court determines that if you hadn’t been speeding, there’s a possibility the crash wouldn’t have occurred. Because of this, the court will be unable to award you any money in your settlement. This is because your speeding is considered contributory negligence.
However, if the court had determined that the crash would have happened regardless of whether or not you were speeding, then it would not be considered contributory negligence. In this case, the court would be able to grant you a settlement if they saw fit.
Usually a defense attorney will do everything in their power to show your contributory negligence, which is why it’s always a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side when dealing with a personal injury case.
If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact Oxner + Permar. We can help you stand up for your rights and get you the benefits you deserve.
Can My Employer or the Adjuster Talk to My Doctor Behind My Back?
When it comes to our health, we want to be able to trust our doctors. Especially when dealing with a workers’ compensation case. You want to make sure your doctor truly has your best interests at heart. So is it legal for your employer talk to your doctor behind your back? Doesn’t that seem like a breach of trust?
It’s an unfortunate truth, but yes, it is legal. And they do — all the time. It wasn’t always allowed, but very often it happened anyway. However, successful lobbying with Governor McCrory lead to a huge change in the law. Thanks to these new laws, employers can talk to your doctor, and are not required to tell you that the conversation occurred or what they talked about.
Under the old laws, the adjuster or employer had to not only submit their inquiries in writing, but also had to share a copy with you before they sent it to your doctor. This would give you a chance to look it over and ask any questions you might have. You could even ask for something to be added — which seems like a very fair arrangement. They could communicate with your doctor, and you still knew what was going on.
So why did insurance adjusters and employers want this changed? Well, based on the fact that they lobbied the government to change the law, it doesn’t seem like a huge leap to infer that they had a motive. And that motive seems to be their desire to communicate with your doctor without you knowing.
The system isn’t always fair to you, so make sure that you have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. If you’ve been injured at work, contact an attorney who will fight for you and defend your benefits.