Legal Advocacy for the Injured
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Filing an insurance claim is an important step in receiving full and fair compensation after an “accident.” Making the carrier aware of your injury and damages does not necessarily protect a valid claim or your legal rights.
“There’s a difference between filing a claim, where you ask for reimbursement for your injuries and losses, and filing a lawsuit. There are important Statutes of Limitation in North Carolina that can adversely affect your ability to recover any amount.”
– Danny Glover, Outer Banks Lawyer
While providing proper, timely notice of your injuries to the insurance carrier is a good idea, after a car accident the most important thing to focus on is your health. Put simply, seek appropriate medical care first. Worry about the insurance claim later.
Thereafter, if you have questions about your options or want help filing a claim, feel free to give our law office call. We help people throughout northeastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks OBX.
We’re more than willing to explain how the legal system works, how claims are handled, and advise you about any relevant Statute of Limitation in NC.
No. Recorded statements are not required under the NC accident laws. Furthermore, giving a formal oral statement to your own insurance company may not be required.
Unfortunately, insurance companies deny valid claims on a daily basis. It pays to do so. Every penny they save in not properly compensating you for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, damages to your car, etc., is pure profit.
If the insurance company can find a way to shift the blame, deny liability, or allege contributory negligence against you, that’s even more profitable. It’s a 0 to 100 relationship.
You get zero. They profit 100%. If insurance companies always did the right thing, there wouldn’t be a need for Plaintiff’s lawyers. We’d be out of business.
“Lawyers who handle motorcycle accident cases, semi-truck wrecks, car accidents, those types of things, must be very careful in case selection. We only collect legal fees if we’re successful.”
– Danny Glover, OBX Attorney
As such, we think it’s a really bad idea to start talking to an experienced adjuster without the benefit of legal counsel. They know what they’re doing. What may seem like an innocent question can serve an ulterior, nefarious purpose.
You need to know, going in, the insurance company is not looking out for your best interests. They’re looking for a way to deny your claim. They’re looking to muddy the water. They’re looking for ways to avoid responsibility.
The conversation may start simply enough, “We just need this to process your claim.” They want as much personal materials as they can get. They may even ask for a Medical Authorization and Release.
All that is really needed to make a claim is your name and the name of the person who caused the accident, their “insured.” You’re not required to give the insurance adjuster your date of birth or social security number.
If you sign a Medical Release, you’re giving the insurance company full access to your medical records, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with the wreck. DON’T DO THAT.
You’re similarly not required to discuss your personal medical information, prior treatments, or much of anything about your private life. You also don’t have to tell the insurance company where you work, whether you’re married, or if you have children.
You may be starting to see what’s happening here. They’re collecting information for their benefit, not yours. You don’t have to talk about prior traffic tickets or arrests for criminal charges.
To make the point, insurance companies are provided a tremendous amount of information in a standard document, common in many if not most accident cases: The Accident Report.
They probably already have your full name, permanent address, contact information, and insurance information. It is all on the accident report.
Indeed, if they have a copy of the accident report, they already know what happened. The police officer, assuming an accident report is filed, draws a picture, determines who caused the wreck, and submits detailed documentation as to the liability.
As such, why would the insurance company want a recorded statement? They don’t need it to process your claim.
They want to ask what happened to see if there is anything that could possibly be taken as contributory negligence.
IMPORTANT INFO: If you are even 1% responsible for your own injuries, you get nothing. That’s contributory negligence in North Carolina.
We recommend you speak to legal counsel before you do anything. Focus on getting well. Then give Danny Glover a ring or email him at: Danny@DannyGloverLawFirm.com