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Northstate Auto Law.

How To Handle Contact With The At-Fault Party’s Insurance

How To Handle Contact With The At-Fault Party’s Insurance Lawyer, Wilkesboro CityWhen navigating conversations with the at-fault party’s insurance, you should know that they will likely initiate correspondence with you – and when they do, they will seek to understand what happened in the crash. In doing so, they will most likely request you give a recorded statement. But beware, this is their opportunity to get you on record saying what happened in the crash.

Giving a statement is generally okay in straightforward cases. This is not so when there are many complications or disputes surrounding what happened. In this type of situation, giving a statement should be viewed essentially as providing the other side with information to justify not paying your claim. If you find yourself in this situation, it is wise to seek legal counsel to best navigate it.

The Typical Timeframe For Personal Injury Claims Decisions

In North Carolina, there are three components to decisions regarding personal injury claims. Insurance companies first determine whether or not they have coverage. In other words, they determine if they have an insurance policy that covers the damages caused by the at-fault party. Once this determination is made, the matter proceeds to a liability decision. This is the determination regarding the at-fault party’s legal liability for the damage. This decision usually comes within 30 days at the latest. Last is the decision to pay damages. This is based solely on the facts and evidence submitted to the insurance company to evaluate and decide what amount of money they are willing to payout.

How Insurance Companies Limit Or Deny Settlements

The primary tactic insurance companies use to limit or deny personal injury settlements is by arguing contributory negligence. This is when the at-fault’s insurance company claims the other party was 1% at fault. Under North Carolina law, it can then be argued that they do not owe anything.

Another common way insurance companies limit or deny claims is by asserting the damage done to the vehicle does not justify the injury claim. Alternatively, insurance companies may outrightly claim that the person injured in the collision did not get injured – but instead suffered an injury before or after that caused the pain that is the basis of their claim.

Lastly, insurance companies claim that the individual failed to mitigate damages. This occurs when you do not follow the doctor’s instructions. They then argue that their client should not be held liable for paying damages when you did not follow the doctor’s orders.

A Word Of Caution On Accepting Settlements Early

If an insurance company offers a settlement soon after the case begins, it does not do so because it thinks the case is worth what it offers. Instead, this is usually an indication that the adjuster assesses the case to be worth more and wants to avoid paying the full amount later. As such, you should be extremely cautious about accepting a settlement offer early in the case, especially in North Carolina. In North Carolina, once you accept a settlement offer, your case is over, no matter what happens in the future.

For example, if the insurance company mails you a check for $1,500, and you take it only to find out six months later that you must have surgery, you have absolutely no recourse to have the insurance company compensate you for the cost of the surgery. Before engaging in contact with the at-fault party’s insurance at this point in the process, it is best to consult an attorney to weigh the many trajectories your decision could set your case on.

For more information on How To Handle Contact With The At-Fault Party’s Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (336) 999-0944 today.

Rodney Caudill, Esq.

Call Now For A Free Case Evaluation
(336) 999-0944

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