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Is Your Insurance Company Spying on You? (Most likely, YES!)

Will the insurance company watch me if I have a workers’ compensation claim?

Based on my experience, and depending on your injury, yes they very well might. Some insurance companies will do anything they can to pay you as little as possible. Private investigators are still used in many instances, but with social media, it’s now easier to get information to use against you – even seemingly harmless information.

I had a client1 who was seen in a social media photo walking around and drinking with some friends while he had a denied claim for lower leg injury. One of the recipients copied on the picture was his boss. The boss claimed my client was seen walking in such a way that seemed to indicate he was not as injured as he claimed, so he reported this information to the insurance adjuster. That information, in part, led to the denied claim.

Why would my insurance company watch me?

The short answer is the insurance company is often skeptical of your injury and the extent of your disability and is likely to pour money and resources into efforts to determine if you are as injured as you claim.

For example, let’s take a situation where the insurance company has accepted your claim and is providing medical treatment and wages while you are out of work and treating for your injury. The doctor has you under restrictions of no lifting/pushing/pulling greater than 25 pounds and only occasional bending. Even when you are injured, it is still necessary to maintain some degree of a normal life. Usual activities for many of us include grocery shopping, picking up and dropping off kids, basic yard work, and household chores.

Many insurance companies in my estimation typically take the stance that you aren’t as injured as you have reported to the doctor and that they may be able to prove that by hiring an investigator to follow you and observe and record your activities. The investigator may follow you to the grocery store, park, church, restaurant, or simply park outside your home or neighborhood. They may observe and record you carrying a bag of groceries or a carton of milk, pushing a trashcan to the curb, or even bending over to put a leash on your dog to walk around the block. While these activities are not inconsistent with the restrictions your doctor has prescribed, video surveillance or still shots can oftentimes be misleading and taken out of context to give the appearance that you are performing physical activities in excess of your restrictions.

What the insurance company hopes to do with surveillance they have gathered is to provide it to your treating physician in an effort to get the doctor to release you. They may also use surveillance as a way to try and push you toward settlement.

Is it legal for a private investigator to follow me?

Yes, it is generally legal for a private investigator to follow you. Sometimes it’s business as usual in certain cases, as long as there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. That means that most evidence gathered in a public setting is considered to be legally obtained.  For example, they may observe you working in your yard or standing on your front porch as you are likely within public view under these circumstances.

Today more and more information is now obtained through social media.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Our attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin have seen an increase in electronic surveillance of social media sites by the insurance companies. We have seen some insurance companies use this information to try and embarrass our clients and diminish their potential for compensation.

The emergence of social media sites was just what the doctor ordered for insurance snoops. And snoop they will. They can use against you anything related to your incident that they are able to find online.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat.  Any site where you share information with others can be a treasure chest of information for the insurance company. Many use sophisticated software to troll for something  – anything – they can potentially use against you now or in the future. Just like some may use other means as illustrated in Insurance Companies Behaving Badly. (Some are even starting to use the information to potentially affect premiums clients pay.)

If you have been injured in any way, even if you don’t think you will file a claim, here are some helpful social media guidelines to try to keep the insurance companies out of your personal life.

While we strongly urge you NOT post anything about your injury on any social
media site, if you must post, follow these Dos and Don’ts.

DO

Set the Highest Privacy Settings. This means making sure that only friends can see your information, and not friends of friends or the general public.

Know Who Has Tagged You. You need to monitor your posts as well as posts from friends and others you may not know well who have tagged you. Be especially diligent about allowing what is portrayed about you on others’ sites. This is easily trackable.

Be Careful Who Your “Friends” Are. Accept friend requests only from people you actually know. Remove people you have as “friends” currently who are only acquaintances or people you don’t know or barely know.

Make Yourself Invisible. Remove yourself from Facebook search results by selecting “friends only” under search visibility in your profile settings.

Remove yourself from Google by going to your Internet Privacy Settings and unchecking the box for Public Search Listing.

Turn off Your Geolocation. All social media sites have a geolocation feature. Geolocation shows anyone where you are and what places you frequent. Unless you want the insurance company to know you were at the local pub the night of your accident, turn this off. Even if you were drinking ginger ale all night and were the designated driver, they may try to say you were drunk. Go to the section of all your social media sites or click on the location button before posting.

Be Extra Cautious. Assume anything and everything you write on your social media pages, including status updates, check-ins, messages, and wall postings will at some point be seen by the insurance company.

DON’T

Email, Post, Share, or Tweet Any Information About Your Case. Do not send emails to anyone except your lawyer or others at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin regarding your claim and its progress, or your health. Don’t share anything with anyone concerning your accident. Don’t even share information about how you feel as it relates to your accident. “Not to worry, I’m fine” may be a comforting post for friends and loved ones, but to an insurance company it means you are not injured. And they may try to use that post against you.

Join Web Chat Groups. You do not own the information you post online, and it is highly searchable. Do not post on message boards, participate in or comment on blogs, go into chat rooms about insurance or claims related issues. Do not create your own website or start your own blog about your experience.

Law Offices of James Scott Farrin Recovered Over $100 Million2 in 2016

We at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin work with you as part of your legal team in your fight against the insurance companies.

That involves engaging you as a partner in our collective efforts to try to win this fight – a fight we have fought for over 3,000 clients for whom we recovered over $100 million2 total in 2016 alone. Since 1997, we’ve recovered over $700 million2 gross for over 30,000 clients. And these numbers don’t include the $1.25 billion2 we helped recover against the U.S. government for 18,400 claimants in a historic class action case.

We’ve done this because we have lots of quality professionals. Over 40 attorneys, roughly 200 staff, and seven attorneys who are North Carolina board certified specialists in workers’ compensation law (a distinction less than 4% of NC licensed attorneys can claim3).

North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys Evaluate Your Claim FREE

Always continue to follow the restrictions prescribed by your doctor at all times and in all settings – for your recovery first and foremost. But also, it is prudent to assume the insurance company is watching when you have a workers’ compensation claim.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident don’t post, tweet,
or share anything about the injury.

Call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click here to contact us. Just like social media, we’re available 24/7.

 

1Client identity has been removed or changed to protect privacy.

2Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin led a team of firms to recover $1.25 billion for African-American farmers from the U. S. government for discrimination.

3Figures from N.C. State Bar through December 2016.

 

Drowsy Driving as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Driving drowsy might not seem like a big deal. There are no laws against it in North Carolina, and besides most of us have done it at one time or another.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of Americans say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, have fallen asleep at the wheel. And these aren’t just exhausted working parents or single moms. Truck drivers. Business travelers. People with sleep disorders. Young people under 24.

Drowsy drivers are dangerous drivers. As dangerous as drunk drivers, often causing serious or fatal car accidents, according to AAA.

According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study drowsy driving is implicated in 100,000 car crashes per year, which leave 71,000 people injured and 1,500 dead says the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Drowsy Driving Causes 1 In 5 Fatal Car Accidents

A recent AAA Foundation  study found that one in five fatal auto accidents involve drowsy drivers.

The same study noted that missing as little as one to two hours of sleep doubles
the risk of being involved in a car accident.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that being awake for 18 hours is the same as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% – the limit for which you can get a DWI.

That is why many states have legislation on the books that make or will make “driving while drowsy” against the law. Currently North Carolina is not one of them.

How Little Sleep is Too Little Sleep?

Here is how much your risk factors increases the less sleep you get during a 24-hour period:

  • 6 to 7 hours sleep – 1.3 times greater risk of accident
  • 5 to 6 hours sleep – almost twice the risk
  • 4 to 5 hours of sleep – 4.3 times greater risk
  • Less than 4 hours sleep – 11.5 times greater risk

New AAA research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a
crash risk comparable to a drunk driver.

Warning Signs You are Too Tired to Drive

There are many indications that you might be drowsy or in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. Here, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is how to tell if you are too tired to drive and need to stop in a safe place and rest.

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming or having wandering or disconnected thoughts
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven or missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
  • Feeling restless and irritable

Drowsy Driving Risk Factors

  • Sleep-deprivation or fatigue (6 hours of sleep or less triples your risk)
  • Suffering from sleep loss (insomnia), poor quality sleep, or a sleep debt
  • Driving long distances without proper rest breaks
  • Driving through the night, mid-afternoon or when you would normally be asleep
  • Taking sedating medications (antidepressants, cold tablets, antihistamines)
  • Working more than 60 hours a week (increases your risk by 40%)
  • Working more than one job and your main job involves shift work
  • Drinking even small amounts of alcohol
  • Driving alone or on a long, rural, dark or boring road

Warning Signs Another Driver is Too Tired to Drive

  • Vehicle randomly drifting between lanes
  • Car traveling at erratic speeds
  • Vehicle hitting rumble strip on side of road

What to do if You’re Too Tired

If you feel tired while driving, take the following steps to try to avoid causing an asleep at the wheel accident with another vehicle:

  • If possible, stop driving altogether and go to sleep in a safe place
  • Otherwise, take a 15- to 20-minute nap at a lighted, designated rest stop
  • Have a caffeinated drink in combination with a nap (caffine can take up to 30 minutes to kick in)

Adequate Sleep and Planning

Plan ahead before taking a long trip. Here are four simple steps to take to try to ensure you are well rested before you hit the road.

  1. Get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night if you are an adult, and 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours if you are a teenager.
  2. Bring someone along. They can share the driving, help keep you awake, and help you notice when you’re tired.
  3. Every couple of hours or 100 miles or so stop and rest. Get out of the car and stretch.
  4. It goes without saying, don’t drink alcohol in any amount, as it increases the effects of fatigue. And avoid taking medications that may impair your driving.

If You Are Involved in a Drowsy Driving Accident

If you are involved in a car crash caused by a driver who appeared to be asleep at the wheel before the crash, don’t wreck twice. Take the following steps to try to protect yourself:

  • Call the police and ask them to respond to the crash site.
  • Tell the investigating police officer you suspect the other driver was asleep.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene. Make sure to take photos of skid marks (or lack of skid marks) caused by the other vehicle. Lack of skid marks are often telltale signs of drowsy driving.
  • Talk to witnesses. If someone saw the crash, get their full name, address, email address, phone number and ask them to talk to the police at the scene as well.
  • Seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel fine. Sometimes you won’t feel the effects of injuries until the next day – or even longer.

NC Car Crash Lawyers Offer FREE Confidential Evaluation

If you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of you own, contact one of our experienced car wreck lawyers.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal
injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss
than they would have on their own*.

For nearly 20 years, car accident victims in North Carolina have trusted the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin to handle their cases. Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

 

* Insurance Research Council 1999

Do I Need to Hire an NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

You’ve been hurt on the job. You need medical treatment. Maybe you’re out of work or working under restrictions imposed by your doctor as a result. Maybe your employer is paying you less while you’re working light duty. Your injury may mean you’re struggling physically, emotionally, and financially. And the insurance company – who may be more concerned with their profits than your well-being – is calling the shots.

This is an unfortunate but typical predicament and is among the many reasons the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has grown to become one of the largest personal injury firms in North Carolina. People need us to help try to keep them from potentially being sidelined by the insurance company that may be looking out for themselves, not injured workers.

Why Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?

Admittedly, sometimes in minor cases, you may not need a workers’ compensation lawyer. But many times in more complicated cases, where healing time may be longer, or your employer is pressuring you to come back to work before you’ve healed, or threatening to fire you if you don’t get back to work or you want a second opinion from another doctor, you very well may need a workers’ compensation lawyer to go to bat for you. The laws are just too complicated and nuanced, and the insurance companies, for the most part, know they have the upper hand because they know the laws better than injured workers. When you’re hurt on the job, employers and adjusters (the insurance company reps assigned to work on your case) may tell you that you don’t need to hire a lawyer. They may try to make you feel like they’re on your side and will look out for your best interests. But beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. There’s one thing they’re generally looking out for: Their own corporate coffers. Every dollar an insurance company spends on you is a dollar they don’t get to keep for themselves – or pass along to their shareholders. Do you really think when given the chance to pay you more or keep it for themselves, they will readily pay you more?

Experience tells me no. Not without a fight.

You vs. the Workers’ Comp Insurance Adjuster

The adjuster on your case may work on hundreds of cases with a goal of paying injured workers like you as little as possible. They know North Carolina workers’ compensation laws inside and out, and they know how to use and interpret these laws to their advantage. They also have access to corporate lawyers that they won’t hesitate to call upon to try to deny your right to benefits. For example, injured workers often call us after their employer and employer’s insurance company (with the help of their lawyers) order them to return to work. The insurance company and its lawyers may leave the impression that if you don’t return right away, your workers’ compensation checks will be cut off automatically. But this isn’t true, and the law doesn’t allow the insurance company to cut off your checks just because they want to. Of course, there’s no way for most people to know that unless there’s someone like us to tell them.

The bottom line? If you try to go head-to-head by yourself against an insurance company and their well-trained adjusters and experienced lawyers, you may end up potentially receiving less than you are entitled to under the law. That’s great for the insurance company, but bad for you and your family.

Even the Playing Field

There is a way to even the playing field. Hire an experienced North Carolina workers’ comp lawyer.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin work tirelessly to try to push insurance companies to meet their obligations to injured workers just like you. Like the adjuster assigned to your case, we spend all day every day on workers’ compensation cases. But unlike your adjuster, our goal – actually our passion – is to try to maximize your benefits, including wage benefits, medical treatment, and other payments and services you may be entitled to under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Many of these benefits your adjuster may never even tell you about.

Why the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin?

First, our firm was named one of the “Best Law Firms” for workers’ compensation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® for the greater Raleigh area1 in 2017. That doesn’t happen by accident. So who’s on this team?

  • Former defense attorneys and paralegals for insurance companies who have worked inside the insurance companies, so they know what you’re up against.
  • More than half our workers’ comp attorneys are NC Board Certified Specialists in Workers' Compensation law. This is a NC State Bar certification denoting a high level of proficiency in a particular practice area, and less than 4% of licensed NC attorneys can make that claim2.
  • We have two former North Carolina Industrial Commissioners. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is the impartial agency that administers and enforces workers' compensation laws.
  • We have a former North Carolina State Senator who was elected to serve four terms. He also helped write some of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
  • Many of our attorneys have been acknowledged by colleagues and peers. They are often asked to speak at seminars for other workers’ compensation attorneys. Others are accomplished authors of scholarly articles and two have received coveted awards for workers’ compensation, including Best Lawyers “Best Lawyer3” and NC Super Lawyers Magazine’s “Rising Star4.” One was named NC Super Lawyers Magazine’s “Super Lawyer5” three times and Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year6” for Raleigh twice.
  • Our attorneys are givers and champions of the underdog. Many of them join our side because they are advocates for those without a voice. And that is often the injured worker. Of our 13 workers’ comp attorneys, 12 are members of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of legal representation in our state. Many are active members in their communities – from teaching at local colleges, to counseling the Hispanic/Latino community.

Contact James Scott Farrin Soon After Your Work Injury

It’s never too early to contact us after being hurt. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin as soon as possible after your injury so we can try to answer questions about your situation. Any delay in contacting us could give your adjuster a chance to deny you benefits. After you explain the details of your injury and case to us, we can let you know if the time is right for us to partner with you to fight the insurance company. If it is, then we can get to work for you right away.

NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation

Of course, you don’t have to contact a lawyer, but based on our team’s 150 years of combined experience, it is almost always a good idea to speak with us about your circumstances. Our confidential case evaluations are free, and you may learn that you’re entitled to more than the insurance company is letting on.

If you’ve been injured in a work accident or know someone who has, contact us today or call 1-866-900-7078 to learn how utilizing a workers’ compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin could potentially benefit you.

 

1 Visit www.usnews.com for more information about criteria for inclusion.

2 Figures from the N.C. State Bar as of December 2016.

3,6 For more information regarding the standards for inclusion, visit www.bestlawyers.com.

 4,5 For more information regarding the standards for inclusion, visit www.superlawyers.com.

 

Which NC Workers’ Comp Attorney Should You Choose? (5 Reasons to Consider Us)

In our business, it’s not always about just lawyering. It’s about helping people as much as we can in any way we can.

Work injuries have a terrible way of impacting important areas of your life – your health, your job, your finances, and your family.

We know. We work with injured workers every day and we see their struggles. That’s why we put compassion over case numbers. The firm began that way, and even though we’ve grown to nearly 200 staff including roughly 40 attorneys, that needle hasn’t budged.

  1. Compassion That’s Real

We had one client that was out of work and getting workers’ comp checks. As is often the case in workers’ compensation cases, she started to have financial troubles because she was only receiving the statutorily mandated 66% percent of her average weekly wage. She had to give up her car, and she was about to lose her home to foreclosure. She wasn’t doing well, and her efforts to avoid a crisis weren’t working. She tried to refinance her home on her own, but she needed help. The firm worked with her mortgage company, and she was able to keep her home. Crisis averted. With her settlement money1, she bought a car to replace the one she lost.

Next, her injury had to be addressed. While working on her case she was referred to get a medical evaluation, but her insurance company denied that visit. It was obvious to us she needed the evaluation. The firm decided to set up an appointment for her to visit a doctor, and we got a treatment plan accepted by the insurance company1. Things began to turn around.

When you’ve been injured on the job, you shouldn’t also have to worry about whether the insurance company is going to treat you fairly. That's why our firm was founded – to assertively advance the cases of clients in the face of adversity.

  1. Formidable Size, Personable Attention

Fighting for justice is not just our job – it’s our passion. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us motived day in and day out.

We believe this is among the reasons we’re now one of the largest personal injury law firms in North Carolina. More than 30,000 people just like you have turned to us when faced with injustice, whether workers’ compensation, car accidents, personal injury, Social Security Disability, or eminent domain.

While we have been known to be a formidable force to reckon with in courtrooms and mediation, we maintain a personal and personable one-on-one relationship with each individual client. Why? Because our clients like it that way. And so do we.

One of the best compliments we can get from our clients is when they refer family and friends to us.

We handled a case for a client who fell and suffered significant and permanent injuries. When we settled her case1, she was overwhelmed by how we took care of her. She told us she considered us family. Clients often tell us they feel as though they are part of the James Scott Farrin family.

And we oftentimes get referrals based on this “family style” atmosphere. Referrals are a big part of our business coming from clients, friends, and family members. And we have some stellar results to show for the good work we do. We’ve recovered over:

  • $700 million total for over 30,000 clients since 19971
  • $100 million total for over 3,000 clients in 2016 alone1

These figures don’t include $1.25 billion1,2 we helped 18,400 farmers recover against the U.S. government in a historic class action case.

  1. Peer and Client Recognitions that Set Us Apart

When you choose us, you are choosing a recognized Tier 1-ranked U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” 20173 firm – the highest ranking possible.

Some of our workers’ comp lawyers have won awards and achieved peer- and client-reviewed designations for 2017, including Best Lawyers in America, “Best Lawyers”4 and “Lawyer of the Year”5; and Super Lawyers Magazine “Super Lawyers.”6

More than half the attorneys in our workers’ comp department are North Carolina board certified in workers’ comp. Board certification is the highest level of specialization available in NC, and only a very small percentage of NC attorneys can make that claim. Out of the more than 28,000 attorneys licensed in North Carolina only 140 attorneys are NC board certified in workers’ compensation law – that’s less than 1%7.

One of our workers’ comp attorneys is a former North Carolina state senator and former Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Others used to work for workers’ compensation defense firms for the insurance companies, and several of our paralegals and other administrative staff have worked for insurance companies, themselves.

  1. Workers’ Comp Advocates On and Off the Job

Advocating through various professional and community service organizations is something important to us. From teaching at local colleges to counseling the Spanish-speaking community, we’re always looking to partner with others to improve our communities.

The vast majority of our workers’ comp attorneys are members of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of legal representation in our state. And we’re proud of that because it’s an important way that we show that we care for those living in our communities.

  1. Empathy Is in Our Cultural DNA

While we could go on discussing the many achievements, accolades, and designations of our attorneys and staff, and highlighting all their credentials, what I really think sets our firm apart is: we just hire good people.

I’ll never forget something Jim Farrin, our president and firm founder, said when I was hired. “We don’t hire jerks.”

Of course, we make conscientious decisions about who we hire based on professional abilities. But we also value the ability to empathize with people, address a client’s dire predicament, and try to get fair and just results for them.

Empathy at this firm is not icing on the cake. It’s in the batter – in our cultural DNA.

The firm goes to great lengths to try to make the lives of our clients better. Going through a major injury is a big deal. We look at clients’ circumstances as if it were happening to our brother, sister, or any family member. What would we do for our loved one if they were injured? I could tell you countless stories about times we’ve sent flowers to our clients who might have lost a loved one or who’ve celebrated a marriage or a new child, but it goes back to one quality – empathy.

We also take care of each other.

The young daughter of one of our employees was living in South America with her grandparents. The employee is the breadwinner for her family in South America, and she would regularly send money to them. Meanwhile, she was trying to save enough money hoping to be able to afford the expense of bringing her daughter to the United States to live with her. As you can imagine, she missed her daughter terribly. Without this employee’s knowledge, firm employees got together and raised the money to bring her daughter from South America to the United States to finally be reunited with her mother.

They just wanted to do that. That’s the kind of people we are here at James Scott Farrin – real human beings who care.

Questions to Ask Any Workers’ Comp Attorney

Whichever firm you choose, just make sure it is the right fit for you, personally, and for your workers’ comp circumstances. Here is a list of questions we have put together to ask potential attorneys when selecting a workers’ comp attorney.

NC Workers’ Comp Attorneys Offer FREE Case Evaluation

We hope this information has been helpful in determining what we believe sets us apart. Feel free to contact us about your situation, or call us at 1-866-900-7078. We’ll do our best to try to determine if we can help you.

 

1 Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.

2 Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin led a team of firms to recover $1.25 billion for African-American farmers from the U. S. government for discrimination.

3 Designation was for Workers Compensation practice in the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area. For more information regarding Best Law Firms standards for inclusion, visit www.usnews.com.

4, 5 For more information regarding standards for inclusion for “Best Lawyer” and “Lawyer of the Year,” visit www.bestlawyers.com.

6 For more information regarding standards for inclusion for “Super Lawyer,” visit www.superlawyers.com.

7 Figures by the NC State Bar December 2016.

Client identities have been removed or changed to protect their privacy.

 

Can I Get Paid for Pain and Suffering in NC if I’m Injured at Work?

I’ve represented a lot of injured workers in my 10+ years as a North Carolina worker’s compensation lawyer. One of the top three questions I am asked when speaking with a new client is whether they are entitled to receive benefits for pain and suffering associated with their injury.

The simple answer is, like most states, North Carolina worker’s compensation laws do not provide pain and suffering benefits for injured workers.

But I advise them to take heart. All is not lost.

There are other benefits available under the North Carolina worker’s compensation legal system that provide for losses injured workers suffer. It’s a matter of semantics. While these benefits are not specifically earmarked as “pain and suffering,” clients can potentially receive compensation for things other than their injuries.

But before we get into what pain and suffering is, let’s talk about what you can get paid for.

The benefits available under North Carolina Worker’s Compensation laws are intended to cover medical expenses to treat injuries from work accidents and wages lost as a result of the work injury. In the worker’s comp world, we generally call these benefits “medical compensation” and “indemnity compensation.”

Getting Paid for Medical Compensation

Medical compensation is intended to cover all the medical benefits that are reasonable and necessary and related to a workers’ compensation injury. If your employer or their insurance company agree that they are responsible for your injury, then they are responsible for paying the medical bills.

These medical benefits cover your expenses fully (nothing out of your pocket) and there are no co-pays or deductibles as with private health insurance. They will even reimburse you for gas money to and from your appointments (but don’t expect them to necessarily tell you that up front).

Additionally, medical compensation can cover future medical expenses associated with the injury once you have healed from the original injury. However, there are lots of twists and turns associated with what employers could be responsible for paying.

What is Indemnity Compensation?

Indemnity means payment from loss of wages, for example, as a result of your injury. Once you have healed, if your injury is permanent, there is a benefit available for that permanent injury. The types of benefits you might be entitled to in indemnity compensation can be highly variable depending on the type of injury, how long it prevents you from working, and whether the injury is permanent in nature.

We urge anyone who is having indemnity compensation issues with their workers’ comp insurance company to contact one of our worker’s comp attorneys.

What Does Pain and Suffering Mean?

Pain and suffering is a physical or mental pain or discomfort stemming from your injuries. It could be that you can’t sleep at night because your slipped disc keeps you up from pain. This could cause you to trudge through your days, tired, short-tempered, less cognitively alert. You may have stopped your morning workout routine due to the injury and lack of sleep. Maybe your marriage is suffering as a result, and your family life, too. Anything that has decreased your enjoyment of life as you knew it before the accident can qualify as pain and suffering. Maybe you’ve had to stop volunteering or taking classes because you’re in pain, tired all the time, and can’t focus.

But, you reason, this is not the real you. You only became this tired, grouchy, depressed, constantly-in-pain person as a direct result of the accident you suffered at work. You should be compensated for this very real quality-of- life loss.

Good point. But here’s the trade-off as the workers’ comp system sees it.

Why Can’t I Get Paid for Pain and Suffering?

Workers’ comp was designed to resolve claims between injured workers and their employers quickly and efficiently.

Employees don’t have to prove their employers were at fault, so that makes it easier for them to obtain workers' compensation benefits. That’s good news for the employee.

On the other hand, the trade-off is that employer compensation is usually limited to payments for medical bills and wage loss – not such nebulous things as pain and suffering, which could open a can of worms and leave a lot of room for interpretation and “he said she said.”

However, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you classify your issues
to pursue potential payment from legally defined and acceptable options.

For example, if your injuries have developed into a mental or emotional disorder, you might be able to recover for this through worker’s comp. If, for example, you were diagnosed with depression as a result of dealing with all the issues mentioned in the scenario above, you may be able to receive benefits. However, these are potentially considered separate grounds for filing worker’s comp claims and recovering benefits. We urge anyone who finds themselves in this scenario to contact a worker’s comp lawyer.

There are other avenues to pursue compensation for your injuries, too. Avenues you should explore with us (or any knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney):

  • Defective products. If there’s evidence that a defective product caused your injury, we could sue for products liability against the manufacturer of the product. Were you driving a vehicle with a Takata airbag, for example?
  • Toxic substances. Sometimes injured workers can be compensated by bringing a tort lawsuit against the manufacturer of the toxin. Think asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
  • Was your employer’s conduct intentional and substantially certain to cause serious injury or death of an employee? If we can prove that, we can file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
  • You could also bring a personal injury lawsuit against a third party if, for example, you were making a work delivery and were hit by another vehicle.
  • If your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance, you could potentially sue your employer for that. With very few exceptions, The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires that all businesses that employ three or more employees carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Are you beginning to see why we urge injured workers to contact an experienced North Carolina worker’s compensation lawyer? There are so many nuances in workers’ compensation law – too many for the average person to know and understand.

An NC Board Certified Worker’s Compensation attorney can try to make sure that you receive all the workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to. Out of the 28,000 lawyers licensed in North Carolina, only 140 claim that designation in worker’s compensation law*. And we have seven of them who practice right here at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From NC Workers Comp Lawyers

If you are injured in a work accident, we strongly urge you to contact a worker’s compensation attorney to determine whether you have received all the benefits you may deserve. Your health, your job, and possibly, future benefits could be at stake.

Click here or call us at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

P.S. If you think you can’t afford to hire a qualified workers' comp attorney consider this. At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we work on a contingency basis, so you don't owe us an attorney's fee if we don't get you compensation for your claim.

 

*Figures provided by the N.C. State Bar as of December, 2016.

10 Safety Tips for Driving Near Big-Rigs (Some May Surprise You)

A colleague was having dinner with a truck driver recently who shared an alarming story. He recounted the time he had driven more than 18 hours in order to make a deadline. He was so tired that he began to hallucinate while driving on the highway! The truck driver thought that was funny. My colleague did not.

It’s clear the truck driver has never been in a North Carolina courtroom representing an extended family whose lives changed in an instant when some of the family members were killed as a fatigued big-rig driver slammed into their vehicle.

I have a great deal of respect for most truck drivers. Having handled my share of big-rig cases, I can tell you from experience that fatigued drivers are almost always an issue. A big one.

Fatigued Truckers a Major Factor in Accidents

A U.S. Department of Transportation study states that 41% of serious tractor-trailer crashes in the country were caused by fatigued truck drivers, as reported by WNCN.com.

You might remember the two 18-wheeler crashes near the Triangle almost back to back last fall. A tractor-trailer flipped over on I-85 near Hillsboro spewing a load of bananas across the highway. Driver fatigue was the cause. A bridge on I-95 near Smithfield was closed for two weeks when a tractor-trailer rammed into the bridge’s support columns ripping the truck apart and throwing frozen chickens all over the highway. Fatigue, again a factor.

To compound the issue, a U.S. Department of Transportation article suggests that among the most dangerous elemHow ents of fatigue is its ability to sneak up on any driver, not just truck drivers. They evaluated research that showed that truck drivers (like any driver) often can’t assess their own fatigue levels accurately and are unaware of their failing performance behind the wheel, such as drifting between lanes. A driver who drifts off to sleep for just three seconds traveling 65 miles an hour will travel the length of a football field.

Many truckers, themselves, are frustrated by the fatigue issue, blaming it on an industry where 60- to 80-hour workweeks are the norm and even expected. One trucker cited rules written by “a pencil pushing college graduate [who has] never even been in a truck” and trucking industry lobbyists for refusing to adequately address the issues of driver fatigue.

I encourage you to read the USDOT blog Why We Care About Truck Driver Fatigue. Judging from some of the truckers’ comments in response to that blog, it seems they are fed up too.

So what can we do to help ourselves try to stay safe around big rigs?

“One of the hardest parts of being a professional driver, is trying to guess what the guy in the car is going to do next,” offers truck driver and author of a safety article on smart-trucking.com. Here, excerpted from that article, is some simple common sense safety advice on how to share the road more safely with tractor-trailers.

How to Drive Near 18-Wheelers

  1. Do not travel close to a big rig if at all possible. They require a lot of time and distance to stop safely simply due to their size and weight.
  2. Stay out of blind spots. Truckers have a lot of them. Directly in front of the truck (because of the long hood). Directly behind the truck. And especially on the right side of the truck. Truck drivers can see you best when you’re on the driver’s side of the truck.
  3. Do not pass a truck on the right side if possible. The driver is not expecting this. And try not to drive along the right side of the truck because of the large blind spot.
  4. Don’t travel too closely behind a truck. The driver cannot see cars that are directly behind them. You’ve probably seen cars “drafting” behind trucks. Never do this. Ever. If the truck stops, you’re probably going right underneath that truck in what is known as an underride. Underrides often lead to decapitation.
  5. Do not pass a truck, pull directly in front of it, and then immediately slow down. It is difficult for the trucker to see cars over its long hood. This could result in what is known as an override. An override occurs when the truck is unable to slow down fast enough and it is forced on top of the car in front.
  6. Stay away from trucks when they are turning, especially when they are making a right turn. As the trailer follows the truck around a corner, the trailer closes in and will crush anything that gets in the way. There’s a great deal of weight and momentum, which could cause the trailer to track over anything in its path.
  7. If it’s necessary to pass a tractor trailer, pass on the left. Pass the rig quickly, maintaining a consistent speed, and move away from it. The closer you are to the truck, the more potential there is for risk.
  8. In general, try to avoid driving close to large tractor trailers period.
  9. Avoid making sudden moves in the vicinity of trucks. Move slowly and be predictable with your actions. If you need to change lanes or turn, signal well in advance. Change lanes or make your turn when you are away from the truck, where the driver can see you, and clearly see what your intentions are. Signal well in advance of a move, so the truck driver isn’t trying to guess what your next move is.
  10. I would add to this writer/trucker’s list to be courteous. Having represented many individuals involved in trucking accidents, I have met many truck drivers who are diligent and hard-working people working in an industry that can be very hard on you physically and mentally. These are service industry workers who ship fresh produce from farm to table. They are the mail carriers and gas carriers and carriers of merchandise. They work long hours and are away from their families, sometimes for long periods.

NC Truck Accident Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluation

Studies have shown that, on average, accident victims who hired
a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times more* compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.

If you were injured in a big-rig accident or know someone who was, contact us immediately or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation by an experienced trucking accident lawyer.

 

* Insurance Research Council 1999

How to Stay Safe on NC’s Roads Memorial Day Weekend

 

 

 

Here at James Scott Farrin we are proud to have among us many U.S. military veterans who have bravely fought for our freedoms. We are honored they chose our firm as a career step after serving in the U.S. armed forces.

—James S. Farrin, Founder and President, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

 

 

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Pools open. Neighborhood barbecues.  Parades that honor our nation’s military veterans. And it’s a welcomed long weekend.

Last year, spurred largely by cheaper gas prices, AAA estimated that more than 38 million hit the highways Memorial Day weekend – the highest number since 2005.  The downside?

Memorial Day is considered one of the most dangerous weekends to be on the
roads* and marks the beginning of what AAA has coined the “100 deadliest days for teens.

44% of Memorial Day Traffic Fatalities Involve Booze

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 13% more people die during a typical Memorial Day weekend than on a non-holiday weekend. You can probably guess what they report is a contributing factor.

Booze contributes to 44% of Memorial Day traffic fatalities.

That’s a substantial factor you want to keep out of your travel equation. Even if you are driving stone cold sober, obviously many others are not.

Here are some safety tips from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to help you travel NC’s roads more safely over Memorial Day weekend:

  • Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible.
  • Stay alert, especially in construction zones. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones.
  • Be patient and obey the posted speed limit.
  • Use alternative routes when possible to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available online and over the phone by dialing 511.
  • Don’t drive if you are drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks.
  • Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Give yourself a buffer by not following other cars too closely.

If you do enjoy an adult beverage or two, there are many driving services today
across North Carolina that take you and your car home.
Click here for contact information.

“100 Deadliest Days” Begins Memorial Day

According to AAA, the 100 days between Memorial Day through Labor Day are the “100 deadliest days” for teens. That’s partly because teens are out of school and more of them are behind the wheel. The other reason is that many are driving distracted. Texting, talking, or generally not paying attention. And they’re inexperienced.

Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains, “Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver.” Research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers.

You Can Help Curb Distracted Driving

Cars.com reports that half of all teen drivers will be involved in a crash before graduating from high school.

Distracted driving among teens is your problem. It’s my problem. It’s everyone’s problem. Here are some things each of us can do to help try to encourage teens to break this deadly habit.

  • Practice what you preach. Don't drive distracted yourself.
  • Start discussions early on, well before teens reach driving age.
  • Take advantage of some of the latest apps (some are free) and tech gadgets that can help make it easier for teens (and all of us) to avoid using phones while behind the wheel.
  • Visit the org (End Distracted Driving), a non-profit organization started by the father of a 21-year-old daughter who was killed by a distracted driver. And print and display their YES! I WILL family pledge and safe driving agreement.
  • Visit aaa.com/NCfor safety resources for your teen drivers.

Get a FREE Evaluation From NC Car Wreck Attorneys

If you or someone you care about was injured in a car wreck during Memorial Day or any other day, contact an experienced car wreck lawyer.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal
injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss
than they would have on their own**.

Contact us now for a free case evaluation to see if we can help or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

 

* According to Yahoo, other deadly days to drive are Black Friday, NFL game days, the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day.

** Insurance Research Council 1999

 

Scam Targeting Your Social Security Benefits. What You Should Know.

Have you received a suspicious call from someone stating that they are an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigator? Don’t buy it.

The Social Security Administration and the Office of the Inspector General have received numerous calls from people who have reported receiving such calls.

These are very likely scammers and should be reported immediately.

Reports say the caller will identify himself or herself as an “officer with the Inspector General of Social Security and that your Social Security account, Social Security number, and/or your benefits are being suspended. The caller instructs the person to call a non-SSA number to resolve the issue. When you call the number, the person answering claims there’s a warrant for your arrest. This person then tries to strong-arm the caller to purchase iTunes or other gift cards or prepaid banking cards, for hundreds of dollars, and to provide the card information to him or her to resolve the warrant.

Here is what the OIG advises:

  • Avoid calling any number provided by a suspicious source, as the unknown source might pressure you to provide your personal information, or to make a payment or purchase for fictitious reasons.
  • Avoid making payments over the phone or purchasing gift cards or bank cards to resolve government or business matters.

If you get a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the OIG, report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

For that matter, any suspicious communication — a phone call, email, letter, or text – claiming to be from the SSA or the OIG, contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to verify whether it is a legitimate call.

Why File a Lawsuit After My Car Wreck? Can’t I Negotiate on My Own?

For the vast majority of our car accident clients, the last thing they dreamed they’d ever do is file a lawsuit because they were injured. But sometimes, when you are injured your world can spiral downward fast.

You may have to take off work for medical appointments. You may have had to go to the hospital and get X-rays or surgery. That’s expensive. You might have to miss work for an extended period of time. You may not even be able to go back to your regular job. But you still need to put food on the table, pay the light bill, and pay your mortgage or rent.

Are You in Good Hands Negotiating on Your Own?

You assume you are in good hands with your insurance company. After all, they’re on your side, so you see no problem trying to negotiate on your own. Unfortunately, you may not be in such good hands. Here are the depths some insurance companies have stooped to with our clients, based on actual accounts.

Sometimes insurance companies try to delay liability decisions.

Our firm represented a client who suffered a significant fracture in an accident and was out of work for a long time. She went through surgery, treatment and physical therapy and had very good coverage of $250,000 liability. Our hope was that once she was done treating and we sent the demand letter to the insurance company, it wouldn’t be any problem getting her full benefits. But as often happens with these companies, weeks went by and we heard nothing. Finally the insurance adjuster said he could not make an offer because her injuries were prior to the accident. The adjuster demanded we prove her injuries were accident-related, even though the doctor indicated in her notes that the injury was caused from the accident. We went into litigation with our client. She was angry with the insurance company because she had to wait so long, but she was not going to settle for just anything.

Sometimes insurance companies have wrongfully denied claims.

We had a client who was hit by a truck while she was riding a bike. Despite overwhelming evidence that their insured was guilty, the insurance company denied liability. It was our belief that one of the reasons the insurance company maintained their denial was because they were counting on a jury to penalize our client because she didn’t speak English. We hired an accident reconstructionist who concluded that the truck driver was at fault in the accident*.

We’ve seen some insurance companies try to trap claimants into a quick low-ball settlement.

When a colleague called to make initial contact with a new client, he said his insurance company sent him a check and that he cashed it that morning – not knowing any better. It was money in the mail and he didn’t think twice about it – so he took it to the bank. What people don’t realize is that once you cash that check, you’ve settled. The insurance company didn’t give him a chance, but what’s worse is the check was only for $500. Unfortunately we’ve seen this happen a lot.

Sadly, the injured person is often caught in the middle with little experience or knowledge of how to try to get the compensation they may deserve.

I can tell you from experience, the insurance company is almost never going to
give you what your case may be worth if you are negotiating on your own.

That is why we urge people who have been injured in a car crash through no fault of their own to call us and tell us about their situation. The case evaluation is free. Should you decide to retain us to represent you, in most cases, you will not go to trial. However, it is best to be prepared to go to court if that is what it takes to try to get the insurance company to compensate you fairly.

Claims Process from Beginning to End

Here is a brief step-by-step overview of what happens after you call our offices and we take your case. Most of the time it is not necessary to go to court. But sometimes, if the insurance companies aren’t willing to pay what we think your claim is worth after good faith negotiations, we will go to court. And they know that.

Negotiating Your Claim

The at-fault insurance company will contact us to offer a settlement amount. As you might imagine, it is rarely what the client really needs, so we negotiate for the payment we believe your case is worth.

If negotiations fail and the parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, the next option may be to file a civil lawsuit in court. Filing a lawsuit and preparing a case for trial is a methodical step-by-step process and must be done in precise order. Just because you file a lawsuit, however, does not necessarily mean you will go to court.

Filing a Lawsuit in North Carolina

The first step is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You, the injured person filing suit, are the plaintiff and the at-fault driver is the defendant (the person being sued). Once the lawsuit is filed, the suit must be served on the defendant. The defendant then has a certain amount of time to answer the lawsuit and the allegations in it.

Discovery

After the defendant files an answer, both parties exchange what is known as discovery. Discovery occurs before trial, and it is the time for both sides to obtain information from each other. This includes interrogatories (a list of written questions) and requests for documents. There can be many sets of discovery back and forth between both sides, and sometimes this can go on for several months. The purpose is to get all the information needed to support your case and for the defendant to get information to defend himself.

Depositions

Once written discovery is completed depositions come next. The deposition does not happen in a courtroom or in front of a judge. Rather, these are typically taken in an office setting. In an effort to prepare for trial, the defense attorney will ask you questions about the case, about medical treatment, bills, lost wages, and other things related to your claim. Your attorney is with you during the deposition and will have a chance to object to questions they feel are unnecessary. Deposition testimony is given in front of a court reporter, who prepares a transcript of everything said. Depositions work both ways, meaning your attorney will also ask questions and “depose” the defendant. Any witnesses are deposed in the same manner.

Mediation

Your case will be filed in either District or Superior Court. In Superior Court, once discovery is complete, the parties are required to attend mediation. A mediation is a settlement conference which usually takes place in an office setting, not in court.

A neutral third party (who is also an attorney) tries to bring both sides to an agreeable solution. This person is called a mediator. During mediation, both parties begin in the same room and present their side of the case. The mediator then explains his role – to try to bring both parties to a satisfactory resolution. After both sides have been presented, the parties go to separate rooms. The mediator goes back-and-forth from room to room to discuss and negotiate the other party’s position, including offers and counteroffers. Many cases resolve in mediation.

If your case is filed in District Court the pretrial process tends to be a bit less complex. Some counties require that District Court cases go before an arbitrator. The arbitrator conducts a short hearing and then decides the case. The arbitrator’s decision is not binding and either party may appeal the decision and ask for a jury trial.

Jury Trial

When the case does not settle at mediation or is appealed from an arbitration hearing, the last step is a jury trial. The court will set the trial date and both sides must be ready by that time.

We advise clients never to go into litigation under the assumption that their case will settle and bring them more money. Litigation is a rigorous process and we urge clients to assume that the case will go to trial and that they should be committed to the process.

By the same token, we will willingly go to trial to fight for what we believe our clients potentially deserve.

In fact, many of our clients have come to know us as their champions. Our lawyers have more than 450 years of combined legal experience. Many of our attorneys have at least 20 years’ experience, and some were formerly defense attorneys for the insurance industry – so they’ve seen the law from both sides.

Free Case Evaluation from North Carolina Auto Wreck Law Firm

If you have been injured in a car wreck, you will need compensation to help pay for your injuries. Filing a lawsuit does not mean you will necessarily have to go to court. Most cases can be resolved before it gets to that point.

Call us at 1-866-900-7078 for a FREE case review, or click here to contact us right away.

 

* Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results. These are specific examples of experiences we have had with some insurance companies, adjusters, clients, or others. These stories do not necessarily represent any industry or employer as a whole. These descriptions of events are based upon the recollections of individual staff members. Client identities have been removed or changed to protect their privacy.

 

5 Things Your Insurance Adjuster Doesn’t Want You to Know (But We Do!)

People who have been injured will often come to us after they have tried to deal with the insurance companies themselves.

They may be frustrated with the lack of timely response from insurance adjusters. Some tell us the insurance company will not offer them enough to cover their medical expenses and other damages. Sometimes people are simply overwhelmed by the amount of phone calls, paperwork, follow-up, and excessive bureaucracy just to try to get the insurance company to cover damages. We know how they feel. We have dozens of people here who play paper chase with the insurance companies all day every day.

Here are some statements we often hear from people who call us for help. These are people who have never dealt with insurance adjusters and claims-filing entities. We work with these types every day. (Some of us used to work on the other side!) Here is what you need to know about your “friendly” insurance adjuster. And your “good neighbor” insurance company.

  1. The insurance adjuster handling my case seems very nice and is even willing to settle as soon as possible. But the settlement amount is so low. 

    The adjuster is not your friend and neither is the insurance company. Most insurance companies are in business to make money. The less money the adjuster offers you to pay your damages, the more money insurance companies keep for themselves. Fact is, it is part of an insurance adjuster’s job description to offer you as little as possible. Adjusters may seem pleasant and sympathetic to your circumstances. Perhaps they are. But the bottom line is you are not signing their paychecks.Adjusters go through intensive training programs to learn the art of negotiation. They can get very detailed, even covering the psychological aspects of negotiating in many instances.Insurance companies have auditing systems that show how much their adjusters paid out to claimants, based on the medical reports and what they can mitigate in their claimants’ files. Sometimes the adjuster’s pay can be tied to whether or not they meet the criteria the company has devised as “best practices” for payouts.

  2. My adjuster said a lawyer won’t do anything more for me other than drag my case on and on. 

    Insurance companies do not want you to hire a lawyer. If you hire a lawyer, they know they may potentially have to pay you more money. They know we know what you need to know. They will call us ambulance chasers, sharks, greedy, and all kinds of names to try to prevent you from getting legal advice. And they certainly don’t want to go to court to try your case in front of a jury. The one thing insurance companies do not like is uncertainty. And juries are by their very nature an uncertainty. We will go to court in a heartbeat if we think it will help you get the compensation you may deserve. That is something the insurance companies don’t want to hear.

  3. My pre-existing shoulder condition prohibits them from paying me the full extent of my shoulder, neck, and back injuries. 

    Ah! The pre-existing condition. That’s an oldie goldie. We know better than to fall for that one. Some of our employees used to be insurance adjusters. Here’s what one of them had to say about this tactic:“As a former insurance adjuster, our job was to gather the evidence and point out all the potential negatives to try to reduce the payout. If a claimant had a prior neck problem, and the wreck caused an injury to their neck, we would argue that they may have caused aggravation to the neck so we would not offer 100%. Same with degenerative issues. We would focus on that to reduce payout.”The reality is many times pre-existing conditions are not an issue. But if the pre-existing condition becomes a real issue, we simply consult with our Johns Hopkins-trained registered nurse Attorney Naa Atsoi Adu-Antoh. She leads our firm’s medical review team – a team we believe is fundamentally important in our efforts to analyze clients’ medical issues as they relate to their legal cases.

  4. My adjuster told me that after I pay an attorney’s fee, I would probably get less than their offer. 

    An insurance adjuster might try to get you to buy into all kinds of assumptions. They are highly trained professional negotiators. They might challenge you to take them to court. “You just wait and see,” they might say, pretending like they welcome the chance. They might play the “take it or leave it” or “that’s my final offer” card. They might try to confuse you with all kinds of data and analyses and algorithms their statisticians have determined are “reasonable and fair” based on your medical bills and circumstances. They are banking on the fact that you won’t understand any of this. The list of deny and delay tactics is long. Yet it is effective in many instances! Not with us. We don’t scare. (And we understand their algorithms.) If it’s in your best interest, we don’t back down.

  5. Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own1.

  6. The insurance company said to go ahead and take them to court. Facts are facts, and in my case, the facts are against me. 

    Court is expensive. That is among the main reasons insurance companies typically want to settle your case quickly. Yet they may not let on that they would rather settle than go to court in most cases. Even so, they may still discount the amount they potentially owe you for damages. They are assuming that you probably have no idea what you are potentially owed. They may try to make you believe they can only compensate you for medical expenses. Not other damages like mileage to and from your medical appointments, lost time from work, prescriptions, and loss of the use of your vehicle. And sometimes pain and suffering. You won’t hear those options voluntarily from the adjuster. But you will from us. And then some.

Insurance Companies Keep Millions by Limiting Payouts

The bottom line is this. Many insurance companies are all about their bottom line. They hold millions, and in some cases billions of dollars in reserves and earn interest and dividends on these assets. Many also have shareholders to answer to – large major shareholders like investment banks and mutual fund firms. Shareholders like to keep investing in profitable companies.

Sadly, it boils down to this. The insurance company is taking care of the shareholder and investor. The adjuster is taking care of the insurance company who gives them a consistent paycheck. Who is taking care of you?

You need to take care of you. We can help. Make sure you take care of your interests by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to deal with these issues.

Why Choose James Scott Farrin for NC Personal Injury, Workers’ Comp or Social Security Disability Claims?

It starts with great people. We have nearly 40 accomplished attorneys, many of whom have won awards for their service and advocacy inside and outside the courtroom, including Best Lawyers “Best Lawyers in America” 20172 and “Lawyer of the Year” 20173; “Super Lawyer” 20164 by North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, and Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite 2015”5.

They’ve authored books, spoken at seminars for other attorneys, and some are sought by the media for their legal expertise. One is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. All are advocates dedicated to fighting tooth and nail for each and every client.

We’ve gone to great lengths to help make sure we know how the “other side” operates by hiring attorneys who’ve represented insurance companies and large major corporations.

We also think it’s important that we have attorneys who are bilingual (as are many of our paralegals and staff).

Experienced NC Accident Attorneys Evaluate Your Case FREE

If you’re getting the run-around from your insurance adjuster or feel your best interests are not being considered, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

 

1  Insurance Research Council 1999

2, 3 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com

4 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com

5 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.businessnc.com

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078