Auto accidents can leave you shaken, injured and with a host of things to deal with over a short period of time. You will need to deal not only with the damage to your vehicle but also with your injuries as well as the insurance company and the other driver involved in the accident. When you have been in a vehicle accident, it is common to receive a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster to get the details of the accident. While this may seem like a simple, cut and dried situation, not seeking advice from a lawyer could damage your case.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. Contributory negligence laws state that if a victim is at fault or partially responsible for the accident that resulted in injury, he or she will not be entitled to any compensation. In North Carolina, if an accident is determined to be even as little as 5 percent your fault, you will still be unable to claim compensation from the other driver or his or her insurance company. This can leave you with a significant cost for medical bills, time off work and other expenses related to your accident injuries.
What Happens When You Talk To The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Adjuster?
Very soon after the accident is reported, you will receive a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance company requesting details and your version of the accident. These statements are often recorded, and it is important to remember that everything that is said on these calls can be used as evidence of your possible negligence. Some questions may be direct attempts to assign fault to you so that it will not be required to pay out any claims. The adjuster may ask such questions like:
- Were you driving over the speed limit?
- Although you had the right of way, did you check the intersection before crossing?
- Were you distracted for any reason while driving?
In answering these questions, any admission that you did not follow proper procedure or all posted laws could result in you being judged to be a percentage at fault.
Why Is Attorney Advice Important When Dealing With An Accident?
After an accident, you may be injured and stressed and may not know the best way to answer these questions. The insurance company can use any statements you make against you to avoid paying your claim. Additionally, the adjuster may ask questions about your health or injuries to try and have a recorded statement that you are clear of injuries even though injuries such as whiplash and back injuries can take longer to show up. Such simple statements as “I feel OK” or “I am feeling better” can be construed as you have suffered no injuries from the accident and are therefore not entitled to medical compensation. So before you answer the insurance adjuster’s call, you should meet with an attorney who will help you deal with the insurance company and its adjusters.
Talk To An Experienced Lawyer Today
If you were a victim of an accident, contact attorney Brian Davis at 888-773-8388 for a free case evaluation to find out if you have a case for compensation. From our office in Asheville, we represent clients throughout western North Carolina.