Monday, September 24, 2018

What is Contributory Negligence and how does it affect my auto accident claim in North Carolina.

Contributory Negligence is when a plaintiff or claimant have, through their own negligence, contributed to the harm they suffered. When someone runs a red light and causes an accident, it should not be hard to determine who was at-fault, right? Not necessarily. North Carolina is a Contributory Negligence State. This means that if the insurance company can prove that you contributed to the accident in any way by not exercising reasonable car under the circumstance, your claim against the at-fault party’s insurance may be denied. So, in the scenario above where another car runs a red light, if it can be proven that you were speeding or were looking at your cell phone while going through the intersection, the at-fault insurance can claim that you contributed. Even in this example, where it is clearly the other driver’s fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to deny your claim. This is why it is so important to not give any statement to the insurance company before speaking to an experienced attorney who can advise you.

For more information, call Hemmings and Stevens today. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Car Accident Deaths in North Carolina

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents kill more than 35,000 people in the U.S. every year. That's nearly 100 people every day.

The leading causes of fatal car accidents are:

  • Drunk driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted drivers
  • Weather
  • Inexperienced or elderly drivers
  • Car manufacturing defects
  • Street and highway construction or defects
Of those, Distracted Driving is on the rise with the advent of cell phones and smart phones and their near constant use while driving. 

If a loved one died in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident in North Carolina due to someone else's negligence, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

Under North Carolina's Wrongful Death Act, a family may recover damages that include medical care and treatment, reasonable funeral expenses, lost income, and other damages from the loved one not here any more. 

If a loved one has died in an auto accident, it's important to speak to an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney right away. There may be evidence that needs to be protected that may be lost or destroyed if too much time goes by, including cell phone records, black boxes from the car, camera footage, etc. Additionally, most of this evidence will not be turned over unless there's an attorney involved. We are licensed state wide and represent clients all over North Carolina, including Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington and beyond. Please call today for a confidential free consultation with an experienced North Carolina auto accident attorney today. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Importance of Medical Payments (“Med Pay”) coverage for North Carolina Drivers

      What is Med-Pay coverage? 
      
North Carolina drivers involved in auto accidents often overlook a source of money available to them through their own insurance. Unbeknownst to many drivers, their policies include medical payments “Med Pay” coverage which covers any medical expenses related to an accident up to the amount of coverage. Med Pay coverage can be anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000!



      When can I collect?

Receiving your Med Pay coverage is usually very easy. All you need to do is contact your insurance company and file a claim by submitting your medical bills along with a copy of the accident report. At Hemmings & Stevens, we file these claims for you for no additional charge.

      Why is Med Pay so important in North Carolina?

a. North Carolina follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which bars recovery by a plaintiff if he or she is partially at-fault. Consequently, many claims are denied when the at-fault driver can point to anything you did to contribute to the accident. However, Med Pay is available regardless of fault. So, even if your claim against an at-fault driver is denied, you still have insurance to cover your medical costs.

b. Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts liability, a bodily injury claim may take a while to resolve. Typically, bodily injury claims do not settle until all medical treatment is completed. Even then, it may take months for the at-fault insurance company to compensate you fairly. If you have Med Pay coverage, you can have your bills paid much faster.

c. It’s CHEAP!!! Most drivers don’t realize they even have Med Pay coverage because it’s so inexpensive that they don't notice they're even paying for it. So, they simply overlook it. At Hemmings & Stevens, we will review all your coverages and obtain everything you’re entitled to. Additionally, we encourage all of our clients to INCREASE their Med Pay coverage going forward.

Call Hemmings & Stevens today for more information. 

What is a Reservation of Rights Letter?

A reservation of rights is a way in which an insurer agrees to defend an insured against the claim or suit while also retaining its ab...