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FAQ

Click on one of the case descriptions below to see answers to frequently asked questions:

Car and Motorcycle Accidents

I have been in a car or motorcycle accident and was not at fault. Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. No matter what type of accident you have been in – whether with a car, motorcycle, truck or tractor trailer, you deserve to be treated fairly. You also deserve the maximum recovery possible.

Is there a time limit on auto accident and motorcycle accident damages or injury claims?
Yes. Your accident claim is governed by the Statute of Limitations in the state of North Carolina.

Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement after an accident?
No. Anything you say to the insurance company or anyone else with regard to your accident can be used against you in a legal case or claim.

Should I sign a HIPPA authorization to allow the insurance company to collect my medical records following a car, truck, motorcycle or tractor trailer accident?
No. The insurance company will use a medical release to search your medical history in an effort to deny your claim.

Should I discuss the injuries that resulted from the an accident with the insurance company?
No. You are not a doctor or expert on your injuries. Anything you say to the insurance company can be used against you to deny your accident claim.

Should I use my health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident?
Yes. Insurance should keep your bills out of collections before your claim is settled.

Can I be compensated more for damages resulting from a tractor trailer, motorcycle or auto accident if the at-fault driver was drinking while driving?
Probably. You may be entitled to punitive damages if the at-fault driver was intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or another substance.

When do I get compensated or paid for damages?
The at-fault insurance company will make one lump sum payment at the end of your auto accident case. We don’t get paid until you do.

Will my insurance premiums go up if I use my medical payment coverage on my auto policy?
No. A med-pay claim is not a fault based claim and will not increase your insurance rates. Please contact your insurance agent for more information.

Can I claim extra damages for permanent injuries resulting from an accident in which I was not at fault?
Yes. Permanent injuries allow you to make a claim for future pain, medical expenses, and other costs.

Does the insurance company have lawyers working for them?
Yes. The insurance company has MANY lawyers working for them. The insurance company’s wants to pay you as little as possible for your claim. That’s why you need a competent personal injury attorney who specializes in auto, truck, motorcycle and tractor trailer accidents to represent you.

Can the insurance company represent me?
No. This is a conflict of interest. You want to recover for all damages possible. The insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible.

Should I meet with the insurance adjuster if they call me following a motorcycle, truck or car accident?
No. Anything you say will be held against you. The adjuster will try to get you to accept a small check to settle your claim before you can speak with an attorney who specializes in Car, Truck, Tractor Trailer and Motorcycle accident claims to see what your claim may be worth.

Should I sign a release from the insurance company?
No. Once you sign a bodily injury release, your claim for injuries resulting from the accident is finished. No additional bills or damages will be considered.

After an accident, when should I call a lawyer?
Do not wait to call an attorney. Witnesses and evidence related to the car accident can disappear. A personal injury attorney who is experienced with car, truck, motorcycle and tractor trailer accidents can protect your rights.

Will attorneys from Bradley Law Group come to me?
Our attorneys will come to your home, hospital or office anywhere in North Carolina to discuss your case.


Workers Compensation

Is my employer required to have workers compensation insurance?
North Carolina law requires all employers with three (3) or more employees to have workers compensation insurance.

Is my injury covered by workers compensation?
North Carolina law holds that your injury will be covered by workers compensation if you were injured in the “course and scope” of your employment. If you were on the job when you were hurt, you should be eligible for workers compensation benefits.

Who is my employer’s workers compensation insurance company?
You can contact the North Carolina Industrial Commission at (919)807-2506 to get the name of your employer’s workers compensation insurance company.

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers compensation claim?
No. The law says that your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers compensation claim.

When should I seek medical attention for my injuries?
You should seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Be certain to tell the doctor that you were injured on the job so that your case will be billed as a workers compensation case and submitted to the workers compensation insurance company.

When and how should I report my injury to my employer?
Immediately. You should report your injury to your supervisor or boss. Your employer may give you forms to fill out concerning the facts of your accident and injury. You should complete these forms and return them to your employer without delay. Regardless of what forms your employer gives you, you are still required by law to complete certain forms for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Every injured worker is required to complete and file a Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Failure to do this can result in a denial of your workers compensation benefits. We strongly suggest that you allow your attorney to complete your Form 18 as this is an official legal document that can be used against you later in your case if it is not completed correctly.

What benefits can I receive from workers compensation?
Workers compensation benefits include:

  • Medical treatment for your injuries.
  • Weekly compensation checks while you are out of work on account of your injury. (These weekly checks are called Total Temporary Disability or “TTD” checks. They should be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wage.)
  • Compensation for any permanent impairment or disability.
  • Possible lump sum cash settlement at the end of your case.

Does workers compensation pay for my pain and suffering?
No. Workers compensation does not pay for pain and suffering. This is different than most injury claims. However, unlike most types of injury claims, you do not have to prove that your injury was someone else’s fault in order to qualify for workers compensation coverage. You can still qualify for workers compensation even if you were at fault for causing your injury.

Why do I need a lawyer to handle my workers compensation claim?
Workers Compensation is a statutory system created to protect injured workers. The injured worker has legal responsibilities that he or she must meet in order to qualify for and not lose benefits. Workers compensation is loaded with very specific rules that must be followed. You will be held to these rules even if you try to represent yourself. The workers compensation insurance company will have lawyers working to protect THEIR interests. You should too. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the reels of red tape and handle all of the hassles so you can focus on your recovery. The lawyers at Bradley Law Group recover all available compensation for their clients.

Does the workers compensation insurance company get to pick my doctors?
In most instances, the insurance company gets to pick your doctors. Your lawyer can file a Motion to switch your treating physician in certain instances. Your lawyer can also request second opinions from independent doctors when your primary treating physician’s treatment or advice doesn’t seem to be working well. It is important to understand that you cannot just pick which doctors you want to go to and expect the workers compensation company to pay your medical bills. You should discuss any change in doctors with your attorney BEFORE you attempt to make a switch.

How much is my case worth?
The value of your case will be determined by a number of things including your injury, treatment, level of disability and future medical care. Your attorney will be able to discuss probable case values once you have completed your treatment or reached maximum medical improvement. Beware of any law firm that will claim to know what your case is worth right after you have been injured.

* Disclaimer: Every case is different and must be evaluated separately. No results are guaranteed.
For membership qualifications of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, visit www.milliondollaradvocates.com.
R. Bradley Van Laningham is included in the 2013 edition of a publication titled America’s Best Lawyers. For membership qualifications visit www.bestlawyers.com.
R. Bradley Van Laningham was honored by Business Leader Magazine in 2011 as a Top 50 Catalyst Entrepreneur. Got to www.businessleader.com for selection criteria.
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