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Posts Tagged ‘insurance claim’

How to Get Your Lost Wages Covered After an Accident.     

 

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.

asheville personal injury lawyer

 

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.  

Asheville Car Accident Lawyer

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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What Documents Do I Need to Build a Case for My Insurance Claim?

They key to making sure you’re properly compensated for an accident claim with an auto insurance is being organized, and having all of the necessary documentation in its place. In order to demonstrate to an insurance adjuster that your accident happened, and that your injuries are legitimate, you will need to provide certain pieces of information and documentation.  Without some of this information, and insurance company can and will poke holes in your claim and find ways to diminish the value of, or deny your claim altogether.   The following are some of the documents you will want to have on hand to submit along with your claim:

 

Accident Report

Make sure you get a copy of your North Carolina Accident report that was generated either by local police or state highway patrol.  The Asheville Police Dept. offers an online crash report request form that you can use to get a copy digitally, or you can request a copy by mail from the NCDMV. That route is quite a bit slower, so plan ahead accordingly.  Don’t have an accident report because the police were not contacted about the accident? Click here for information on how to proceed in that case.   

asheville personal injury lawyer

Medical Records

You’ll need to request copied from all of your medical providers who treated you after the crash, including the ambulance service, emergency room/hospital network, physical therapist, chiropractor, any specialists you saw, and family physicians. It is also helpful to get records from before the crash from your primary care doctor to prove that none of these symptoms or injuries existed before the crash.  If you had chronic back pain (for example) before the accident in which you had acute back injuries, it’s not the end of the world.  This will be seen as an exacerbation of a previous injury or ailment, which still is valued by an insurance company.  Having these documents ready and organized shows the insurer: that you actually received the treatments you say you did, that you’re actively trying to get well, and that you mean business when it comes to making your case.  Most health providers will supply you with a record request form, but you’re welcome to download and use our Sample Letter to Request Medical Records.  

 

Lost Wages

Lost wages require some specific documentation to get properly compensated.  Beyond your employer saying that you missed work, you need a note from a treating physician stating that you are “unable to work” due to injuries sustained in the accident for a specific date range or amount of time from when the letter was written.  Once you have this note from your doctor, you can request from your employer a letter that states: your job title, your pay rate, how many hours a week you work, how much time you missed from your job (including sick and vacation days used), and the total amount of income lost as a result of your accident.    Download our Sample Wage Verification Form if your employer cannot provide one.

 

Policy Information

You will want to know the coverage limits of your auto insurance policy, so that you’re prepared to negotiate within the boundaries of the coverage you’ve contracted for. The minimum coverage requirements in North Carolina are $30,000 Bodily Injury for each person, $60,000 total Bodily Injury for all persons in an accident and $25,000 for Property Damage.  We recommend significantly better coverage to make sure you’re protected, click here for more info

 

Record Written and Verbal Communication

We always recommend communicating in writing, either by mail or email, so there is incontrovertible proof of what was said by whom, and when.  Save every email and letter you receive in the event that there is a dispute about communications.  If you do communicate by phone, we highly recommend recording those calls for the same reasons.  There are a variety of apps designed for this purpose for your smartphone as well as hardware devices you can use for your land line.  However, email communication ensures a transparent and accurate record of what was said by whom.

asheville car accident claim

Obtain Witness Statements

Witness statements are invaluable in the effort to prove your case, in the event of a discrepancy about the event you’re claiming occurred, and occurred in the manner you’re saying it did.   Make sure to get written statements from anyone who witnessed your accident.  Get them as soon as possible, to ensure that its fresh in their memory, and before they move/change their phone number or email.  They can be as simple as a first person account of what they saw.  Be sure to get their contact info so you can get in touch with them later, just in case.

 

Photos of the Accident, Injuries and Property Damage

Photographing the accident scene, your injuries and your vehicle damage is tremendously helpful in demonstrating the severity of your case.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and photos are a whole lot more compelling than a list of injuries and damage.   In addition to photos of your damaged vehicle, take pictures of the roadway or intersection, to help show what happened.  If your accident happened near or in front of a gas station or convenience store, there might be security camera footage that shows the accident, which will be very helpful to obtain, as well.   You will want to request this ASAP, as security camera footage is frequently purged to maximize hard drive storage, so if you go back 3 weeks later (or even 1 week in some cases), footage of your accident may be gone.     

 

When to Hire an Attorney

While in some cases, it may be in your best interest to settle your accident claim without a lawyer, like for example, if you have less than $1000 in medical bills, minor injuries and when fault is undisputed.  However, an experienced personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and resources to handle your claim, communicate and negotiate with an adjuster, and help you get the compensation you deserve.  In addition to being your strong advocate, they also handle all of the records requests, investigation, and organization tasks associated with a successful claim outcome.  Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and will speak with you about your accident. 

 

Contact Us

If you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help decide how best to proceed with your car accident claim, call or email today.  We’d be happy to help you figure out your options so you can make a plan going forward that is in your best interest. 

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What Happens If the At-Fault Driver Wasn’t Ticketed Following Your Car Crash?

If you’ve been in a car accident in Asheville, you probably don’t think much about the law enforcement officers who respond to the scene. However, your personal injury case may hinge on one key issue that directly relates to which agency dispatches officers to your accident, which is: you may find yourself in a situation where the at-fault driver received no ticket after your accident.

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Asheville personal injury lawyer

How to settle your personal injury claim without getting taken advantage of.

As an Asheville personal injury laywer, I deal with insurance companies all day, every day. I know which companies are reasonable and easy to deal with, and which ones are a nightmare and should be avoided at all costs. Insurance companies will assign an adjuster to your claim if you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence. Insurance adjusters are not inherently bad people, but the fact remains that their employers are concerned about one thing: profit. So no, Nationwide is not “on your side”, and you are not “in good hands” with Allstate. As a result, your insurance adjuster cannot be trusted to look out for you, if you’ve been injured as a result of a car crash or accident. Here some ways to avoid getting taken advantage of by an adjuster.

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