The Immediate Help and Representation You Need After an Accident
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, we can supply the immediate help you need. In addition to providing aggressive legal representation, we know our clients have other concerns as well.
Based in Wilmington and serving all of southeastern North Carolina, our team of lawyers is committed to ensuring our clients receive the quality care they need. When clients contact our firm, we listen to their needs, examine all the details of the case, consider all the factors, and do everything we can to achieve maximum results.
Moreover, when you contact David & Associates after an accident, we can provide rental car assistance, help you receive medical attention, and help you with your damaged vehicles — all free and all provided on the same day you reach out to us.
Don’t Let a Mistake Jeopardize Your Claim
Filing an injury claim after a motor vehicle accident is a complex process. There are a number of mistakes and missteps individuals can make that will sabotage their chances of success. These potential mistakes, however, aren’t obvious. Rather, they are the result of an unfair system, one where insurance companies get to make the rules and injury victims must comply with them — even if they don’t know what those rules are in the first place.
With more than 120 years of combined legal experience, the lawyers at David & Associates have seen many individuals falter in their efforts to obtain compensation after a serious injury. This is unfair — it is, simply put, not right — and we have dedicated our practice to helping injury victims receive the funds, and the justice, that they are owed.
How Insurance Companies Strive to Minimize Payouts
The insurance industry exists to provide financial aid to individuals when they most need it — when they’ve been injured, suffer an illness, or their home has been damaged or destroyed. Yet insurance companies are profit-driven and, as such, have an interest in paying out as little as possible. Indeed, especially in injury matters, they are creative in their efforts to under-compensate claimants.
We can help fight back. Our team understands how to assess your personal injury claim to derive its true value, and work had to maximize the compensation you’ll receive. With headquarters in Wilmington, we have offices throughout southeastern North Carolina. We have the resources to provide meaningful and effective legal help.
Cases We Handle
- Bike Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Car Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Job injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Truck Accidents
- Slip and Fall
- Recreational Vehicle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
What Are the Most Common Mistakes?
Among the many missteps petitioners can make, the following are a few of the most common:
- Admitting fault: As a matter of politeness or neighborliness, many individuals feel compelled to take on partial blame for a car wreck. Yet there is no faster way to undermine your injury claim. North Carolina is one of a few states with laws regarding contributory negligence, which dictate that drivers who are even 1 percent at-fault are prohibited from receiving compensation.
- Failing to involve the police or other authorities: After an accident, it is common for the parties involved to attempt to solve matters on their own. Involving the police will, it’s assumed, only make matters more complicated. Yet for injured individuals, obtaining
a police report is crucial. A police report will serve as objective evidence concerning the causes of the accident and the extent of any damage suffered on the scene.
- Failing to see a doctor and continue treatment: Just like a police report, a physician’s opinion is central to any successful personal injury claim. Likewise, it is important to follow all of a doctor’s directives during your recovery. If you neglect any aspect of a prescribed regimen — if you, in short, try to ‘walk off’ your injury — insurers can point to this as evidence that the injuries you sustained are not serious.
- Settling early: Especially in cases where a serious injury has occurred, insurers are quick to offer a settlement. Do not accept it until you have consulted with an attorney. Initial offers are, as a rule, insufficient — insurers have a stake in paying as little as possible. It is essential to speak with someone familiar with the industry, to ensure you receive compensation to cover your medical bills and related expenses both in the present and the future.
The Tactics Insurers Use to Underpay Claims
Insurers employ a range of tactics to underpay claims.
Below are a few to be aware of if you are seeking to file a personal injury claim:
- Offering insufficient settlements: Insurers may appear helpful. Especially in serious injury matters, they will seem attentive to your needs and responsive to your inquiries. In many cases, they will offer you a lump settlement to cover your medical expenses. It is important not to accept such deals without consulting with a knowledgeable attorney. Frequently, insurers will initially offer
far less than is needed to address your ongoing medical care. Individuals often find that, long after their insurance funds have run out, they continue to require care that they can no longer afford.
- Monitoring your social media profiles: We are well into the 21st century, and corporations are as adept as anyone else at using technology. Insurers routinely keep tabs on claimants via social media — Facebook, Instagram, etc. — looking out for pictures and videos that might indicate an individual isn’t as injured as he or she claims to be. It is important, if you are in the midst of the claims process, to be careful what you post online.
- Engaging in surveillance: In some situations, insurers will hire private detectives to follow claimants. These investigators — typically engaged only in cases of catastrophic injury — will tail individuals for a prolonged duration, recording any activity that might cast doubt on the extent of one’s injuries.
- Claiming contributory negligence: North Carolina is one of a few ‘contributory negligence’ states. What this means is that if a victim is found to be even 1 percent responsible for an accident in which they were injured, they will not be able to receive compensation. Insurers are creative in their efforts
to pin blame on victims.
It’s Important to Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
After a serious injury, recovering your health — to the extent possible — should be prioritized. Of course, this may entail significant medical costs and it is important that the party responsible for your injuries pays them. To this end, filing a personal injury claim is a potent means for you to use the legal system and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Yet filing a successful claim is not easy. Insurance companies — the institutions that ultimately pay one’s medical expenses — are aggressive in their efforts to reduce or dismiss claims. We are here to help you avoid mistakes that could jeopardize compensation.
Following Your Doctor’s Advice
Above all other considerations it is imperative to follow any regimens and treatments your doctor prescribes you. This may prove frustrating. It is likely difficult, for example, to take time out of your workday
to attend physical therapy sessions, or to visit a physician for a follow-up appointment. You may see no reason to continue receiving — and paying for — care if you are no longer in pain.
Nevertheless, it is unwise to veer from the course your doctor sets out for you. This is because insurers monitor your medical records closely. If they notice a lapse in treatment, they will use this information to
demonstrate that your injuries are not severe and, as such, do not merit substantial compensation. Indeed, insurers are experts in gathering evidence to support their attempts to underpay claims. Your medical progress is the first thing they examine.
Don’t give them material to work with.
Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions
A serious injury can disrupt every part of your life. It is easy to understand why you have questions. Here are answers to some of the most common we hear.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is a civil action brought by someone who is injured against the party or parties responsible for those injuries. Personal injury claims are often resolved through negotiated settlements, but they sometimes proceed to litigation when the responsible parties or their insurers refuse to offer fair compensation for the injured person’s losses.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in North Carolina?
Typically, injury victims have three years to file a lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you wait until the statute of limitations expires to file your claim, you may permanently lose the ability to recover your losses. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, which is why you should always discuss your options with an attorney.
What types of damages can I recover?
North Carolina law allows injury victims to recover compensation in the form of economic, non-economic and punitive damages.
Economic (“compensatory”) damages are awarded to cover any financial losses you may endure because of your injuries. Broadly speaking, these are limited to the financial expenses you’ve already suffered and any financial expenses you may reasonably anticipate in the future – so long as they are directly related to the accident and your injuries. This can include things like medical bills, rehabilitative care and lost wages. It can also include things like the cost of certain necessary home alterations (like wheelchair ramps) and future lost wages due to your reduced earnings capacity.
Non-economic damages related to your injuries may be harder to quantify, but they’re just as real as your economic losses. You can ask for compensation for the pain and suffering you endured in the accident and during the healing process, your emotional or psychological distress as a result, a reduced quality of life and the loss of companionship.
Finally, punitive damages are sometimes possible when the party or parties that caused you injuries acted maliciously, intentionally, recklessly or their actions were so outrageous that they cannot be classified as merely “negligent.” Punitive damages are intended solely to punish a defendant for their behavior in a way that serves as a warning to others.
Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury claim?
Yes. While you can technically represent yourself, that is a very bad idea. It takes an experienced attorney to understand the legal issues that may be in play, recognize the true value of a claim and force the insurance companies to negotiate fairly. Having an attorney protect your interests increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the accident?
North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that has a strict contributory negligence rule. If you are found to be even the slightest bit responsible for your own injuries, you are barred from recovering any compensation. This makes it particularly important to have a capable attorney in your corner to aggressively protect your interests.
How is fault determined in a personal injury case?
In essence, you have to show that the other party acted unreasonably under the circumstances that led to the accident. Typically this is done through the use of evidence like police reports, cellphone records, dash cameras, traffic cameras, witness testimony and expert witnesses.
Can I file a personal injury claim if I am not hurt?
You may still file a claim for property damage. For example, you may have suffered significant financial losses in a car wreck if your vehicle and other personal possessions were damaged or destroyed. You may also still have a claim for non-economic damages if you have emotional or psychological trauma related to the accident.
What should I do immediately after an accident?
Seek immediate medical attention, even if you are not sure you are injured. This protects your health and creates documentation that will connect your injuries to the accident, which can be invaluable. You should also contact the authorities and anybody else who may be appropriate (like a store manager) to file a report.
As soon as practical, seek dependable legal guidance. That is the best possible way to get specific answers to all your questions.
Helping You Assemble the Strongest Possible Claim
Our firm also recommends keeping a diary, to document your progress and doctor’s visits, and any other events that may be pertinent to your case. After an injury, it’s critical to take action. For dependable and effective legal counsel, reach out to our Wilmington personal injury lawyers.