According to a recent report from The Piedmont News Station, a Winston-Salem car crash left one car dangling from a bridge. Police report that two cars collided with each other on Spruce Street.
Fortunately for those involved, the car did not fall onto the roadway below, and the occupants of the cars only suffered what have been described as minor injuries.
One of the issues commonly faced by our Winston-Salem car accident lawyers is when a potential client has already made a recorded statement to the insurance company. There is a federal law that prohibits personal injury lawyers from contacting accident victims for three weeks following an accident, unless the lawyer already had a relationship with the person. There is not, however, any restriction on the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacting the victim immediately after the accident in order to settle any future claims for embarrassingly small amounts of money.
It is not uncommon for an insurance company to ask you to settle a potentially serious case for less than three hundred dollars. In exchange for this money, you must sign a waiver releasing the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company from any and all liability.
Even if they do not get you to settle your claim for a small payment, they will try to get you to make a recorded statement that may be used against you later during depositions or a civil trial.
If you are in an accident in North Carolina, you should get the names of any witnesses, take photographs of the accident scene if it is safe to do so, call the police, and have a vehicle crash report taken, and seek immediate medical help when necessary. If someone from the other driver’s insurance company calls you–and they will–tell them you will call them back. Do not make any statements or agree to any settlements on that phone call.
You should contact a lawyer who regularly represents people in car accident cases in North Carolina, and let him do the talking for you. The person calling you from the insurance company is not on your side. He or she is likely a claims adjuster assigned to accidents where there victim is not represented by an attorney. If you get you own attorney, the case will be transferred to another claims adjuster trained to speak with attorneys.
It should be noted that none of this changes if both you and the at-fault driver have the same insurance company. For example, if you have Allstate, and a driver who also has Allstate hits you, a claims adjuster will contact you and treat you like any other victim, and not one of their own customers.
You may be wondering how your own insurance company will try to make sure they pay you the least amount possible. The answer is that they shield themselves by requiring that the claims adjuster on the other driver’s side does not speak, allegedly representing your best interests. It is basically safe to assume that the person who calls you is more concerned about that insurance company’s bottom line than your well-being.
Contact the Carolina car accident lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Car dangles off bridge after colliding with another vehicle in Winston-Salem, June 16, 2014, The Piedmont News
More Blog Entries:
Chaotic Crash Scenes and Accidental Death in North Carolina, September 18, 2013, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog