Auto Insurance Laws in NC - Greenville Attorney

Auto insurance is a good thing to have. Of all the times and places you might need coverage, it’s best to have it while on the road. Vehicular accidents are fairly common, and you want to avoid having to pay for all the damage and repairs.

Unfortunately, the claims process can be a stressful and slightly confusing process, especially for new customers: contacting an agent, determining eligibility, documenting evidence, filling out forms, etc. The list goes on. There are so many things to keep track of already. To make things even more complicated, some states have slightly different laws pertaining to auto insurance and the claims process. If you live in North Carolina, you’re in luck! Below is a list containing some insurance laws specific to our state.

  • NC is a fault state. If and when a person is in an automobile accident, the driver at fault for the accident is held responsible and will not be allowed to collect any insurance money. This is specific to North Carolina, as some states require that insurance companies pay the victims, regardless of fault. If you ever find yourself in an automobile accident in NC, be careful not to immediately take the blame for the incident.
  • Coverage extends outside NC, but not out of the US. If you are a resident of North Carolina, the broadening clause dictates that your auto insurance coverage will extend to the other states. If you get into an accident outside your home state, the same insurance guidelines will apply there as they would in NC. This includes the “no-fault” states, where drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP). In these cases, your coverage will automatically broaden to include PIP.
  • Household drivers affect insurance premiums. If you are the policyholder, your family’s driving record (or that of anyone who uses your car) will affect your insurance premiums. Be sure that the people you lend your car to are safe and trustworthy.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage is required by law in NC. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is meant to protect you against uninsured drivers. This may be bundled with automobile liability insurance, which must also be maintained. Coverage must meet a minimum requirement of $30,000 bodily injury per person and a $60,000 total cost for all injuries to all victims.

Regardless of where you live, insurance may save you quite a bit of money some day. Be sure to keep these specifics in mind the next time you find yourself in an automobile accident. Wayne Hardee Law specializes in insurance cases. If you need representation or find yourself in a tough legal spot, contact us today!


Navigating the Insurance Claims Process - Greenville Attorney

If there’s one thing we can predict about the future, it’s that the future is unpredictable. That’s why we have insurance. Life insurance, health insurance, auto insurance, and home insurance are just a few of the many kinds that cover the many areas of our lives. It’s always nice to know that, should something go terribly wrong, insurance will help mitigate the cost of damages and repairs.

But let’s say that something does go wrong, or perhaps you have a bill that insurance will help cover. Now it’s time to file a claim. Navigating the claims process can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. This article will walk you through the basic steps and any pitfalls that you may encounter during the process.

First, contact your insurance agent immediately. They will be your primary guide and support through the process, and they will tell you what to expect as you move forward. It’s important to do this right away, as some insurance coverage comes with a time limit. It may not be possible to claim your insurance money after a certain period of time has elapsed. The quicker you get it done, the more likely you will be to get your claim approved.

Second, be sure to fill out any paperwork and provide the necessary details. If something was lost or damaged, provide an image and a description. If there was an accident, describe the events leading up to the event and take photos of the scene. Keep careful notes and record everything you remember before the details slip your mind. You can never be too prepared when filing an insurance claim.

Third, an insurance adjuster will come to inspect your claim and analyze the damage. Depending on the extent of the damage, you will be entitled to a different amount of money. The insurance company will often reimburse the actual cash value and then pay for any sustained damage or repairs.

Finally, based on the inspection and recommendation of the insurance adjuster, you will receive your money. This is typically split into multiple payments or dispensed directly to the contractors who will do the repairs. That way, insurance companies can be sure you are spending it on its intended purpose.

Insurance claims can be a hassle, and no one wants to be in a position where they need coverage. But now you have a better idea of what to expect should the situation arise. Contact your insurance agency immediately and follow the instructions of your representative. They will help you through the process and further explain anything that doesn’t make sense.


Navigating Auto Accidents & Insurance - Greenville Attorney

Automobile accidents are stressful. Your car is probably damaged, you or the other driver may be hurt, and it’s likely that you’re trying to navigate this emotionally-charged event with traffic continuing to flow all around. On top of all that, you need to exchange information with all other parties involved and record important data for your insurance claim.

First thing to remember after an automobile accident: do NOT place blame. This goes for everyone involved, including yourself. If the accident was your fault, your instinct may be to apologize and take responsibility. But evidence shows that it’s better to remain quiet and let the investigation run its course. In many states, it’s the at-fault driver’s insurance company that pays. So ultimately, everything will work out. But being quick to admit fault will surely boost your insurance premiums, and it will be more difficult to gain compensation for your own damages.

After the initial shock has worn off, it’s important to call the police and report the accident. Then, meet with the other driver(s) and exchange information. This includes insurance provider and contact information, in case one party needs to reach the other in the near future. You’ll also need this information when filing your insurance claim.

Now you can begin recording your own observations while you wait for the police to arrive. Use your phone to capture pictures of the scene from different angles, taking care to include your car and any other cars involved. Record any facts that you can remember while the details of the accident are still fresh in your mind: for example, the date and time of the accident, the weather, the speed you were going, any witnesses to the event, etc. Be sure to record information on site as well, including vehicle make and model, driver’s name and age, location, and the name and badge number of the police officer who arrives on the scene.

After everything has been cleared and you’re safely home, it’s time to start thinking about filing an insurance claim. Simply call your insurance provider and state your intentions. A representative should guide you through the process, asking for any details that you recorded at the scene. Generally speaking, you should be prepared to provide the following information:

      Your insurance policy number

      The date, time, and location of the accident

      A description of the accident and any damage sustained

      Insurance and contact information of the other parties

      The responding police department and identifying information of any officers involved

The representative will instruct you in any further actions that must be taken.

In the end, the most important thing you can do after an automobile accident is to keep a level head. Don’t panic and don’t start pointing fingers. Record observations and evidence, gather information, and know what your next steps are.

Safety Ratings - Greenville Attorney

 

When shopping for a new car, one of the first things many people look at is the safety ratings of the vehicles in question. Whether the car is only for one person or for a whole family, making sure that those who are going to be in it are safe is one of the most important parts of the transaction. You never want to get a car that has been shown to be unsafe, so the amount of thought that goes into this choice is often very high. Unfortunately, car accidents do still happen, and these safety ratings are often put to the test.

Car accidents are always scary. While we may feel safer because of things like seat belts and air bags, it's still a frightening time when you're dealing with the outcome of a crash, let alone in the moment. Having the safest car in the world won't make you feel like you're at a day spa as you get into a crash. While you may be safer in some vehicles than others, that isn't the only concern with an accident. You also need to worry about injuries and long term issues that stem from them. These are the kinds of things that are often addressed in lawsuits after a crash occurs.

The fact of the matter is that safety ratings will only do so much. While it is important to do your best to get a safe vehicle that fits your needs, it won't make you impervious to harm. Being careful on the road is still your best option to get from place to place safely, but we know that sometimes you don't have the option to react in time. We know, too, that sometimes the only thing you can do is get a good lawyer to help you after you have been hit.

If you were in a car accident, one of the best things you can do is call Wayne Hardee Law. Wayne is a lawyer with decades of experience practicing right here in Greenville. We have a track record for defending those that have been hurt in accidents, and we will fight for those that deserve compensation. Choosing your lawyer is an important decision, so don't go into it without doing your research. Make sure that you find someone you can trust to handle your case. Give us a call, and see how much of a difference he can make in your case! 

Statute of Limitations - Automobile Accidents

When it comes to car accidents, there are any number of things that can go wrong. Even the smallest tap in the wrong spot can cause an injury that sidelines a person for years. You just never know how bad a crash is going to be until you are looked at by a medical professional. Most of the time, people are lucky and can walk away with minor injuries. However, even those best case scenarios often come with costly medical bills and most Americans simply don't have the savings to bounce back from that. This is why when your crash was caused by someone else's negligence, it is important to know what options you have.

While no one really ever wants to be involved in a lawsuit, sometimes there is no other option. When you have a lot of medical bills from treatments after a car accident, it can be hard to see what other options you have. Even if the accident wasn't your fault, you still need to be able to provide for yourself and your family. That can be difficult enough to do under the best of circumstances, but if you were hurt and can't work you may not have an alternative.

The biggest issue with accidents like these is that complications don't always show up right away. You can't file a lawsuit if you don't develop a medical issue immediately. This is where something called the discovery rule comes into play. The statute of limitations for personal injury of three years won't begin until an injury is noticed, meaning that if you had a car wreck, but didn't realize you were injured until days later (which happens often), your three year span will begin when “bodily harm becomes apparent or ought to have become apparent”. This is one of the reasons you have a bit of time to file. Regardless of whether or not you or a loved one was injured, though, it's still a good idea to speak to an attorney following an accident. Just because you weren't hurt doesn't mean you won't need recompense for other damages.

If you do decide that a lawsuit is needed, give Wayne Hardee Law a call. He has decades of experience with this type of fight, and will do everything he can to get you the compensation you deserve, both for the damage done to your vehicle and your self. Make sure that you have a strong legal team on your side, so you can focus on your recovery and get back to your life before the crash. Give us a call today, and see how much of a difference we can make in your case!

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