Asheville’s eclectic charms have allowed it to maintain a consistent position at the top of lifestyle lists in recent years. Our city is frequently named one of the best places to visit or live in travel, food, and other publications. Western North Carolina’s rapid population growth is evidence of this interest in our area. But the rise in tourism and new residents has also correlated to an alarmingly high number of Driving While Intoxicated arrests.
Car accidents can be confusing and challenging to sort out, but getting in a car accident involving a driver for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft (either as a passenger, or driver of another vehicle) can add additional confusion to the situation. The good news is that your task immediately after the accident is the same: If you are able, document the accident with photos (of the vehicle damage, any injuries, and the surrounding roadway/intersection), talk to and get contact info for witnesses, and obtain the medical care you need, making sure to follow your MD’s orders throughout your treatment. It is always wise to speak with an Asheville Personal Injury Attorney, to help determine the best course of action, and to ensure that you’re treated fairly by an insurance company.
In 2015, North Carolina reported approximately 251,638 traffic crashes were reported, of which almost 124,000 people were injured. This was an increase of 11.1% from the previous year, according to the North Carolina 2015 Traffic Crash Facts, put out by the NCDOT.
Delayed Onset of Symptoms
Drivers and passengers often display obvious signs of injury after severe automobile accidents, but sometimes individuals involved in traffic crashes do not exhibit these symptoms until hours or days later. If you have been involved in a major or minor traffic crash, you should be aware that an injury could have occurred for which you are not yet symptomatic. It is common that an accident victim thinks they are uninjured at the time of the crash, only to find out later that they have suffered significant injuries with a delayed onset of symptoms. It is important that you let EMS evaluate you after a crash and go to the ER if you’re having any symptoms within the first couple days, because if you do not, an insurance adjuster can use your lack of treatment to attempt to prove that you were not actually injured, and are faking your injuries to get money. Having a record of medical treatments dating back to the crash is the best way to prove your injuries are real and legitimate.
After a severe accident and disabling injury, you will likely have medical bills that need to be paid, as well as damage to your vehicle for which you’ll be seeking compensation for. If you were employed at the time of the accident, you can also make a lost wage claim to get compensated for the work you missed, due to your inability to perform your normal job. It is not uncommon for someone to miss a day or even a week of work following an accident, but what if its several weeks, or more? Some individuals will have sick pay or vacation days to draw from, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help make sure that those responsible for your crash are held accountable.
Necessary Lost Wage Documentation
In order for you to get paid for lost wages as part of your insurance claim, you will need to provide several pieces of documentation to the insurance company. First, you will need a note from your treating physician that outlines your inability to work for a set date range. It is important that the note lists specific dates or durations of time, so that the insurance company knows exactly how much time was missed, and that the absences were substantiated by the physician who treated you. In addition to your doctor’s note, you’ll need a note from your employer stating how much time you missed as a result of the accident, and your rate of pay. This is important because the insurance company will need to verify your wages so that they can correctly calculate how much money you are owed. Thirdly, in many cases, a client is required to provide recent pay stubs or tax records, as another way of verifying that you earn what you say you earn. Typically, the 4 most recent pay stubs are sufficient, but check with your attorney, or the insurance adjuster you’re dealing with to make sure you’re submitting the proper supporting documents.
The Nature of Your Injuries
In order to claim lost wages for your injuries, you must have sustained injuries that your medical provider agrees limits your ability to perform your job. This means that there must be medical documentation that you were unable to perform the daily tasks associated with your job. Jobs that requires manual labor can be a little more straightforward when it comes to proving a loss of earning. If you work in a warehouse, or on a production line for example, and your doctor says you are unable to lift more than 10 lbs., stand for more than 1 hour, or walk more than 30 yards, this clearly demonstrates your inability to perform your job. If, however you have a desk job, and suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury symptoms, it can be more difficult to prove that your injuries prohibit you from working. At the end of the day, it is your physician’s notes that will make the case.
Loss of Earning Potential
This refers to your ability to earn wages in the future. If you were injured in a severe accident and experience a decrease in your ability to earn wages as a result, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for your diminished capacity to earn in the future. For example, if you are a 40-year-old construction worker, your lawyer (with the assistance of an economic expert witness) can help build a case for the future financial effects of your injuries that take into account your salary, raises or salary increases applicable to your industry, your work life expectancy (to help calculate retirement age for your job) and other relevant factors to get the insurance company to compensate you partially or fully for lost earning potential.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident, it is vitally important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer, so that you can get a clear sense of how strong your case is, and what it is worth. Only then will you have the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interest. We offer free, no pressure consultations and would be happy to sit down with you and see how we can help. Call or Email today
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In 2015, the NCDOT reported that 251,638 traffic accidents occurred in North Carolina, of which 123,589 people were injured. This is an 11% increase from the previous year.
In some accidents, injuries sustained by drivers and passengers are obvious, and their symptoms are evident right away. However, in some cases, notably sprains and strains of the neck and back (classified as soft tissue injuries), symptoms and issues can arise over hours or even days, and may not be evident at the accident scene.