If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, you may be dealing with medical bills, prescription expenses, lost wages, and more. You may be wondering how the personal injury claim process works, how to file a claim, how to get compensated for your injuries and damages, and who will be responsible for any bills and expenses you have incurred. We put together this post to hopefully help answer some of these questions. If you have additional questions after reading this post, we also provide free consultations, so feel free to give us a call!
If you were not at fault for the car wreck, you may be able to recover or be compensated for your expenses, losses, and damages such as:
- Medical bills from doctors and hospitals for medical treatment related to the wreck
- Prescription expenses for medications related to injuries sustained in the wreck
- The cost of your medical equipment (such as a cane, bandages, or a walker) that you had to purchase because of injuries from the wreck
- Modifications needed to your home (such as a wheelchair ramp) due to injuries from the wreck
- Lost wages from your job if you are unable to work for a period of time following the wreck
- Pain and suffering
- And more
The party responsible for paying your medical bills and other damages can vary depending on the facts specific to your case. Here are some scenarios we often see:
We often see auto accidents where the at-fault vehicle was driven and owned by the same person. If that person had auto insurance on the vehicle that was in effect at that time, then that auto insurance policy will likely be responsible for some or all of your medical bills and damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can look at the facts specific to your case, including the total of your bills and damages, and can talk with you about your rights and options.
AT-FAULT VEHICLE DRIVEN BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE OWNER
Sometimes, the at-fault vehicle was driven by someone who was not the owner of the vehicle. For example, the vehicle owner may be a family member, friend, or employer of the vehicle driver. When this happens, the insurance policy for the car is usually the first policy that is “on the hook” to compensate you for your medical bills and damages. Sometimes, the driver has his or her own auto insurance policy, too. If your damages are greater than the amount of insurance available on the vehicle owner’s insurance policy, you may also need to make a claim on the vehicle driver’s insurance policy. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to look for additional insurance policies to help make sure you have the best chance at being fully compensated for all the damages you have incurred because of the wreck.
Sometimes, the vehicle that caused the wreck is not covered by an auto insurance policy at all. This can happen when the vehicle owner fails to purchase an auto insurance policy or forgets to make payments toward the policy. If there was no auto insurance policy in effect for the at-fault vehicle on the date of the wreck, the vehicle may be referred to as “uninsured”. If this happens to you, you may need to look at other ways of being compensated for your medical bills and damages sustained in the wreck. One of the options might be to file a claim on your own auto insurance policy under your “Uninsured Motorist Coverage”. You may not even realize you have that coverage, but in North Carolina, if you purchase an auto insurance policy, Uninsured Motorist Coverage comes standard with the policy. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help you examine the facts of your case and look through the terms of your auto insurance policy.
Sometimes, we have clients whose injuries and medical bills are extensive. If you were in a wreck that caused significant injuries that resulted in hospitalization, surgery, broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, a lengthy hospital stay, permanent injury, etc., you may have medical bills that add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more. In North Carolina, auto insurance policies must have at least $30,000 in coverage per person per accident; however, if you have suffered injuries like those listed above, that may not be enough. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you look for other insurance coverage. For example, you may have additional coverage on your own auto insurance policy called “Underinsured Motorist Coverage”, or “UIM”. UIM can help pay for your medical bills, expenses, and damages if the at-fault vehicle owner and driver don’t have enough insurance coverage.
Every case is different. At Burton Law Firm, we get that. We know that no two personal injury cases are the same. When you work with us, we look at the facts specific to your case, and we fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve for what you’ve been through. We walk with our clients throughout the entire process, and we’re focused on protecting your rights and securing your future. If you have questions about your auto case, insurance coverage, or other questions, give us a call at (833) 623-0042. We provide free consultations, and we’ll do our best to answer all your questions.