Auto accidents tend to leave everyone involved extremely shaken up at best. At worst, they can involve devastating injuries and a lifetime of trauma and grief. The aftermath of a Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accident is chaotic and confusing. It leaves you with more questions than answers, and you may not know where to turn. You know that you are owed fair compensation for your damages, but you may not know how to go about ensuring that fair compensation is what you get. You may not realize that the auto insurance company is not on your side, that gathering evidence could make your case, or that you can seek compensation for much more than your medical bills and property damage.
Chances are that you will walk away from a Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accident with a lot of questions and concerns. Today, we’ll try to resolve some of the most frequently asked questions that the auto accident attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates are used to answering. For questions that you don’t see here or that are more specific to your unique situation, give us a call for a free consultation.
Beyond answering your most important questions, we will help you to confront the tremendous stress of filling out paperwork, evaluating evidence, investigating the claim, engaging expert witnesses, and ensuring that you don’t miss any important steps or deadlines.
Can You Settle Your Charlotte, North Carolina, Auto Insurance Claim Without a Lawyer?
It is entirely possible to settle a Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accident claim without hiring an attorney to help. In most cases, it is a good idea to at least seek legal advice with a free consultation before trying to go it alone. If your claim is not worth very much because your injuries were minor or if you were not injured and had very little property damage, then you can probably handle things without an attorney. Yet, the best way to make sure that your claim isn’t worth more than you think it is, more than what the insurance company is offering, is to contact an attorney to discuss the details of the case.
When you get a free consultation with a Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accident attorney, you will be under no obligation to hire that attorney. In fact, you can seek multiple free consultations from different lawyers to get different opinions and an idea of your options. This can help you ensure that you have a good rapport with an attorney you can trust. During the free consultations, you can find out about the legal fees that are charged by the attorney, whether or not they work on a contingency fee plan, what approximate value they might place on your claim, and how they intend to pursue fair compensation. You can also find out if the attorney has worked on similar cases in the past and whether those claims were successful. When you work with a lawyer, you should feel confident that he or she is focused on your best interests, has the experience that you need, and is prepared to fight for your rights.
Do You Have to Report All Charlotte, North Carolina Auto Accidents to the Police?
Most Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accidents will have to be reported to the police, even when they are fairly minor. If there are any injuries or deaths at all, you must report the incident. This is even true of minor injuries. If there are not any injuries, but there are damages that amount to more than $1,000 in value, then you must report the incident. If you have any doubts at all, then you should report it. There are many cases where people are injured in an auto accident, but don’t think that the injuries are severe, so they fail to report it. This can make it very challenging to prove that those injuries were caused by the accident or that they were as severe as you may claim at a later date. Whiplash injuries are notorious for this situation because the damage is often not obvious from the start. Auto accident victims may return home, get some rest, and wake up in tremendous pain. The same thing can happen when property damage is perceived as minor, but turns out to be more problematic.
How Much Time Do You Have to File an Auto Accident Claim in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Thinking that you have plenty of time to file your auto accident claim is another common mistake. It is natural to want to focus on your recovery and your losses after a serious auto accident occurs, but you must get started on your claim as quickly as possible. You want to have plenty of time to negotiate an auto accident claim settlement before the statute of limitations runs out on your claim. The statute of limitations is the timeframe in which you are allowed litigate a personal injury claim, and it is three years from the date of the incident in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Will the Auto Insurance Claims Adjuster Help You to Reach a Fair Settlement Agreement?
An auto insurance claims adjuster will probably contact you soon after the auto accident. This is because both drivers are required to report an auto accident to their own insurance policy. Then, the claims adjusters for the insurance company start making calls to investigate the incident, get statements, and resolve any claims via quick settlement. Yet, their goal is not to make sure that your expenses and damages are fairly compensated. Rather, it is to get you to settle for less than what your claim is truly worth. They have a lot of success with this because they know that getting you to settle quickly is in their best interests to save money for the company. They also know that you’re under a lot of financial stress, and you will perceive a relatively low settlement agreement as being of higher value than it actually is. If you know this ahead of time, you can avoid being taken advantage of by the auto insurance company by telling them that you are not prepared to give a statement and talking to an attorney.
What Are Your Auto Accident Injuries and Damages Actually Worth?
It can be very difficult to accurately calculate the value of your auto accident injuries and damages without thoroughly investigating the accident, the injuries, the medical expenses, and how you life has been affected by the incident. Contact the determined Charlotte NC auto accident attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates to learn more about your claim and your options.