Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 2.35 million people in the United States are injured or disabled each year due to car accidents. These high numbers are troubling, especially for the people who are suffering due to an accident.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you have a number of options for next steps. One of the most effective ways to get the help you need and heal quickly is by hiring a personal injury lawyer, such as those at Mulligan Epstein Attorneys, and filing a personal injury claim. It is important to know that North Carolina is an “fault” car insurance state. This means that the person who was legally at fault for the accident bears the liability, usually through their insurance carrier, for damages and injuries caused by the crash.
If you’re involved in a car accident in the state of North Carolina and you are not at fault, there are different ways to seek compensation for damages or injuries you may have incurred.
1. File a claim with your own car insurance carrier.
This option, also known as a first-party claim, may be necessary if you are injured and the at-fault driver is uninsured. If you file a first-party claim, you will be required to have a conversation with a claims adjuster and you will likely need to give the adjuster access to your medical records and medical history. Please be aware that any statements you make to an adjuster can, and often are, used against you to defeat your claim. Be very cautious in speaking with adjusters because your words matter. If you feel confused or unsure of the process at any point, don’t be afraid get the help of a personal injury lawyer.
2. Pursue a third-party car insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Generally, you can file your claim directly through the at-fault driver’s insurer. But again, please be aware that any statements you make to an insurance adjuster can, and often are, used against you to defeat your claim. Be very cautious in speaking with adjusters because your words matter. A third-party claim is an adversarial process because the insurance company’s duties and loyalty are owed to the other driver, not to you. An attorney can guide you through this process, which includes setting up the claim, providing information on the collision and injuries, and providing medical bills and medical records in support of your claim.
3. File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you have pursued a claim under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy but did not end up with the outcome you wanted, a lawsuit against the other driver may be your last option. In North Carolina, you are required to sue the other driver, not the driver’s insurance company. Once you file a lawsuit against the other driver, his or her insurance company must defend the case and will be responsible to any recovery made at trial or through settlement. It should be noted that lawsuits almost always require the assistance of an experienced attorney, such as those at Mulligan Epstein.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need to file a personal injury claim, we invite you to contact Mulligan Epstein Attorneys. Our lawyers will help you through the process and fight for your rights every step of the way.