Personal Injury Video Transcription

Transcription

Keith Whited: When someone is physically hurt, it is satisfying personally to be able to help people who are hurting, to offer aid to them and comfort to them. It’s not aid like nursing aid, but money provides comfort for those who have been hurt. It’s personally rewarding for myself and the other lawyers here to provide that kind of care.

The other reason is that it’s really meticulous work. It has to do with medical records and causation. There are two sides to every personal injury case. It’s not just how it happened, but what happened. How were you injured? In North Carolina, there’s a link between the event and the damage, and if the damage is not linked to the event, then you could lose your case. That lends itself to what we believe we’re good at around here.

Personal injury area law is another broad area of law, and the question is: “Is there someone else responsible for it?” Personal injury includes workplace injuries, and the North Carolina Industrial Commission is the forum where those disputes are held. But it also includes people falling in the grocery store, motor vehicle accidents, or medical malpractice. Some medical care provider had failed to meet their standard of care for someone, and someone is harmed. Those particular cases are very difficult in North Carolina. You have to have an expert say that there’s been a lack of meeting the standard of care before you even bring those kinds of cases. They are both time consuming and expensive cases.

The word personal injury is a broad, broad term that really talks about: “Is there a recovery? Is there someone responsible for my physical harm?”

Insurance companies, one of the popular things they do is use the good spirit of hard-working people—being self-sufficient and self-reliant and trying to look after themselves and not go to the doctor—against them when they make these claims. If you believe you’re hurt, you should seek medical care.

In lots and lots of cases, people try to do this themselves first. That’s generally not very wise, and that’s because insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. They don’t work for the person who’s calling to make the claim. They’re looking for every flaw in the case. When you give a recorded statement after a car wreck, for instance, they’re going to ask you questions to get you to say things that ruins your case. In North Carolina, there’s only 2 states left in the United States that has to contribute to a negligence bar. If you’re a driver in a motor vehicle accident, and you are 1% at fault for the wreck, you cannot recover, even though the other guy’s 99% at fault. So the adjuster calls you on the telephone and says, “We’d like to take your recorded statement.” What they say in that recorded statement will haunt them, because your failure to pay attention will be a bar to your recovery.

Almost all personal injury cases start with a claim to an insurance carrier. Over 95% of all cases have an insurance carrier involved in it—a home owner’s insurance carrier, a car insurance carrier, a worker’s compensation insurance carrier, a medical liability professional insurance carrier. You should really call the Whited DelForge & Henkle, PLLC, or some other competent personal injury lawyer. Before you sign any document, make any statement, you need legal advice first. The insurance company already has legal advice. They have a building full of lawyers and trained adjusters. So you need your advice before you make any statement, before you sign any document. You need help to do that.

We have a policy here that all our initial consultations about a personal injury work is free. In North Carolina, clients get to choose how they want to pay their lawyer. They can pay by the hour. They can pay on a contingency fee, so that the client is not charged by the hour. Because legal work is expensive, and everybody recognizes that. The courthouse is an expensive place to have a fight. But the Supreme Court of North Carolina has approved contingency fees, so that people of modest means will be able to have good legal care.

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