It happens. . .a lot. Despite clear liability, insurance adjustors in North Carolina regularly deny valid claims.
There’s a reason for that: The NC insurance laws make it worthwhile to deny claims.
Insurance companies make money at the expense of others. They profit by paying less than they should. It’s extremely profitable to settle for less than what an insurance claim is worth. The highest profit margin involves denying the claim entirely.
Denying valid insurance claims is why accident lawyers have a job. If insurance companies paid like they should, we’d be out of business – Danny Glover, OBX Lawyer
The process of settling up for truck accidents, motorcycle wrecks, and even a simple car wreck in the Outer Banks is likely more complicated than you might realize. In part that’s because of things like contributory negligence laws and legal defenses such as last clear chance.
Denial of Benefits – Denial of Insurance Claims in NC
Make no mistake, the insurance lobby in North Carolina is powerful. For years they have attacked the jury system, making sure North Carolina is one of the very few states in the nation that still acknowledges contributory negligence rather than comparative negligence like South Carolina.
Plaintiffs lawyers aren’t allowed to mention the existence of car insurance during a trial. Even if the tort feasor (the person who caused the accident) was negligent, they still may allege you had the “last clear chance” to avoid the accident, once again shifting the burden from themselves.
Despite all the marketing you see on TV, insurance companies aren’t there to help you. They collect premiums and do everything they can to avoid paying claims. Mind you, that’s entirely legal. They are given tremendous protections under the insurance laws in North Carolina.
That doesn’t mean it’s right. Hard working folks in North Carolina want what is right, what is fair. Our clients are regularly shocked when we tell them how things are under the law – Danny Glover, Outer Banks Attorney
That doesn’t mean you don’t have legal rights. There may be legal options available. Even if the insurance adjuster has denied your valid claim for damages and injuries, we may be able to help.
Frankly, that’s one reason we have a system of justice in our country and North Carolina. The Founders of the United States understood how easy it is for powerful interests to take advantage of average people.
And that great equalizer is fundamental to our country as a whole. The last, best protection available against monied interests is the right to a Jury Trial.
When all else fails, we tell big insurance companies, “We’ll see you in court” and we mean it.
What is Contributory Negligence?
It sounds simple enough, maybe even a bit innocuous. Does it make sense that if you contributed 1% to your damages, you get nothing? That’s right, nothing. That’s contributory negligence in North Carolina.
Even if you did everything right, given the power of what happens under the law, it isn’t very hard to see why insurance adjusters might find a way to deny your claim.
It’s one reason why they want to get a recorded statement as soon as possible. It’s easy to twist your words. They’ll ask questions like:
- Were you speeding?
- Did you see the other vehicle?
- Were you 100% paying attention?
- Could you have slowed down a little bit?
- What other accidents have you been in?
- Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
- Had you been drinking, at all?
- Were you distracted, at all?
- Were there any kids in the car?
- Were you talking on your cell phone?
- Were you changing the station on your radio?
- Were you eating or had you just been through a drive-through?
All those questions are intended to catch you up, to somehow show you weren’t paying attention. Even if their “insured” caused the wreck, if the insurance comes up with something, almost anything to show you contributed to the accident or could have somehow anticipated the negligence of the at-fault party, you get nothing.
That’s contributory negligence. That’s why insurance companies deny claims. They pay nothing. You get zero.
Outer Banks Accident Lawyer – Danny Glover
Before you give up, it makes sense to talk to an accident attorney. It doesn’t cost anything to call our office, ask questions, and to see what we can do to help.
You may reach Danny Glover directly at Danny@DannyGloverLawFirm.com
Danny has more than 2 decades of experience helping people with motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, and personal injury claims in northeastern North Carolina.