Insurance companies review claims for personal injury and can often deny valid claims. The advice of a skilled North Carolina car accident attorney can reduce confusion and concerns. [Read Has My Insurance Company Acted In Bad Faith?]
The topics listed below describe common situations in which your claim can be denied.
1. You Caused Some Part of the Injury.
North Carolina law denies recovery for injured persons if their actions played any part in causing the harm. Called contributory negligence, this harsh rule can prevent injured persons from getting money damages. Insurers look for any facts that can support contributory negligence, and injured persons may not be aware of this strict rule when communicating with insurance adjusters.
Claims denied for contributory negligence can benefit from the advice of a skilled injury lawyer. A careful examination of the facts can help determine grounds for liability.
2. You Filed Too Late.
The law of North Carolina limits the time for filing a claim for personal injury. The North Carolina Statute of Limitations applies a three-year limit on filing a claim for personal injury. In wrongful death cases, the limit might be shorter than injury cases; survivors must file a wrongful death suit within two years of the death.
Insurers can cause lengthy delays in processing a claim. An injured person should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If too much time passes, the courts may not be able to enforce your claim.
3. No One Was at Fault.
North Carolina is an at-fault jurisdiction and car accident victims must show that the other party was responsible for the collision. Fault can be negligence or other failures to perform in accordance with the rules of the road. Injured persons must show that the injury was caused by the other person’s fault or negligence.
North Carolina law recognizes a defense to responsibility for unexpected emergencies. Drivers that cause injuries may avoid liability if they show that an emergency occurred beyond their control, which caused the collision. Called the sudden emergency doctrine, injured persons can lose the right to collect damages from a party in sudden emergency situations.
It is important to gather all information at the scene of a collision including witnesses. An experienced attorney can help identify ways to get compensation for an injury.
4. There Was No Injury
Before a person can get money damages, North Carolina accident law requires proof of facts that cause an injury. It is vital to document the injuries that result from a collision. Medical examination helps record signs of injury and support the claim for money damages.
Some events cause physical injury and leave little or no visible damage to vehicles or other property. Insurers can decide that the evidence and statements mean there was too little contact or no physical contact.
The amount of contact is not the deciding factor, and injuries can occur without property damage or with slight impact. If injured, you should get medical care as soon as possible. The physical damage to vehicles or property does not always reflect the injuries. Records of medical examinations and medical care help to support claims of injury and damages for losses.
In car accidents, injured persons should carefully collect evidence of the impact or collision. Cellphone photos can help support the claims of damages by showing evidence of physical damage. Physical pain and discomfort are signs of injury and medical examination and treatment support claims of injury.
5. There Was No Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies will deny claims when they do not provide insurance coverage. The vehicle in a collision might have no insurance, expired insurance, or not have an insured driver. North Carolina law requires insurance for all vehicles registered in the state.
• Vehicle operated after expiration of insurance
• Vehicle operated by an excluded driver
• Vehicle operated by an uninsured driver
An experienced attorney can advise on the use of alternative methods to gain recovery in cases involving questions about insurance coverage.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle collision, get legal advice right away. A skilled and experienced car accident attorney can help overcome wrongful insurance denials and get a full, fair, and just recovery for your injuries. [Read What To Do If You Are Involved In A Car Accident?]