1. Insurance companies’ goalsare to pay out the least amount to claimants. They have lawyers, accountants, claims adjusters, marketing firms and other specialists working for them so why not hire a specialist that represents your best interests.
  2. Insurance companies’ claims adjusters are professional negotiators that want what is best for the insurance company and they might even try to discourage you from using a lawyer.
  3. Protect Your Best Interests
    1. Never give an oral statement to the other sides insurance company.
    2. Claims adjusters know that if they can keep a claimant negotiating with the adjuster then there is a high probability of a successful settlement in favor of the insurance company.
    3. Studies have shown that experienced lawyers can negotiated settlements that are more than what individual claimants can negotiate for themselves.
    4. North Carolinahas statutes of limitations that require a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death to be filed within a certain period of time from the time of the injury. You need a competent attorney to evaluate your case in order to determine when your case needs to be filed.
    5. Preserve the Evidence.
      1. Take pictures of the accident location IMMEDIATELY after a crash from every conceivable angle and location.
      2. Measure and photograph any skid marks. They disappear within 48 hours so move quickly to record them.
      3. Take distant and close up photographs of scenes and objects from every point on the compass. When in doubt, take another set.You cannot take too many photographs of the aftermath of a collision, explosion, fire or other loss.
    6. Create a Record
      1. Keep physical documents and paper reports.
      2. Report physical injuries to doctors, emergency rooms and obtain appropriate medical treatment.
        1. Do not substitute your judgment for that of an experienced medical professional.
        2. Do not hesitate to “get checked out” when you feel “O.K., but shaken up.”
        3. Identify specific complaints. If something does not feel “right” it should be documented in your medical file and provided to your physician in order to allow the doctor to render an informed medical opinion.
      3. Lastly, keep receipts of everything and maintain a calendar of post-accident events that will help you recall later the days you could not work, were unable to enjoy your leisure time.