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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Overwhelmed by the Choices of Personal Injury Attorneys?

Use Our Checklist to Help You Decide

You've decided you need to hire an attorney to handle your personal injury case. But now you need to narrow down your options.

With so many law firms and attorneys to choose from, how do you zero in on the one who's best suited to represent you?

We have a tool that may be able to help you decide. Our Personal Injury Attorney checklist  outlines specific questions you should consider asking before deciding which attorney to hire.

First, we suggest narrowing down your initial choices to a few. Once that's decided, contact each one by phone to set up about 15 minutes to ask the 16 important questions on this checklist. Most will offer these answers free.

You can print this list or read it directly from our website. You may have more questions of your own, but we believe these questions are a good starting point that can help you decide which attorney or law firm will be best for you.

And remember to read "between the lines." Listen for answers, of course, but also listen for a genuine concern for your issues and willingness to represent you.

Click here for your Personal Injury Attorney checklist.

Insurance Policy Limits Only Covered Part of My Damages. Now What?

What happens when a stubborn millionaire gets behind the wheel while drunk or texts while driving and hits you, but only has minimal insurance coverage that doesn't even cover all your medical bills?

We don't think that's right and the courts don't either. That's why, in situations like these, your attorney can sue the other driver and go after "recreational assets," like large savings accounts, extra cars, fancy boats, or vacation homes.

Basically the court says if the at-fault driver has the extra money to own these things, they can pay for the damages they've caused you.

But because the courts also don't want everyone to go "lawsuit crazy," the process can be long and arduous, and we don't recommend trying it without an experienced North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer.

Suing for Damages Above Insurance Limits

Before your attorney can sue the at-fault driver for their assets, you must first go through litigation and a trial. If you win, and the jury awards a verdict in your favor, the insurance company will have to pay. However, the insurance company can only pay what it is under contract to pay (the policy limits), no more.

If a jury agrees that you should be awarded more than the insurance company's policy limits can pay, that award is known as an "excess verdict."

The excess verdict is what is owed to you above the limits the insurance company is contracted to pay.

Let's say, for example, the at-fault driver has a $100,000 policy limit contracted with their insurance company, but your damages total $170,000. The insurance can only pay up to $100,000. That additional $70,000 would fall under the "excess verdict" the jury awarded.

It is only with an excess verdict that you can sue for personal property to help bridge the gap between what the jury awarded you, and what the insurance company paid.

Fortunately, most people buy insurance policies with limits high enough to protect their personal assets. However, in the event of a serious injury, an attorney may seek an excess judgment if there isn't enough insurance available to cover current and future medical bills. This is particularly true if the at-fault party has significant assets that could be used to satisfy the judgment.

What Properties and Assets Can be Seized?

That being said, even if you are awarded an excess verdict, the at-fault driver has legal rights to protect certain property by claiming exemptions. Moreover, do not be deceived into thinking that just because you sue someone for their property, you will get paid right away. That would be too easy!

Exempt property must fall under certain legal definitions. It includes things like the primary home the at-fault driver owns and lives in, as well as their primary vehicle.

For other non-essential property, like a vacation home, the judgment must be filed in every county where the defendant owns real property. And because the at-fault driver cannot be forced to sell their real estate to pay you right away, that judgment must be renewed every 10 years.

The judgement gives you a lien on the property, and when it is voluntarily sold, then the judgment is paid. It is also worth noting that the judgment does not have priority. It is paid after other lienholders, such as the mortgage company.

If there are other assets that are easier to sell, like trucks, cars, or boats, then the local sheriff can execute the judgment and seize those assets. But you won't get the full amount of the proceeds. The sheriff is entitled to a percentage of what is made on the sale of those assets.

While each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits, you can undoubtedly begin to see why it can be prudent to work with a legal team experienced in personal injury litigation.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times1 more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.

Why Work With the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin?

While each case is different, having a lawyer who thoroughly understands and has experience dealing with North Carolina personal injury law can potentially go a long way toward your financial recovery efforts. So why choose us?

  • We are one of the largest personal injury law firms in our part of the country.
  • We have recovered over $600 million2 gross for more than 30,000 clients since 1997.
  • We have more than 150 staff members, including over 35 attorneys.
  • Several of our lawyers have achieved peer- and client-reviewed designations including Best Lawyers Best Lawyers in America 20173 and Lawyer of the Year 20174; and Super Lawyers Rising Star 20165 and Super Lawyer 20166.

But don't just take our word for it. Check out some of the things clients have to say about us.

Get FREE Case Evaluations From North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If your car wreck damages exceed the at-fault driver's insurance limits, we strongly urge you to contact us right now or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE over the phone or online - 24/7.

 

Insurance Research Council 1999

Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel Magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice." For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the Lawyer of the Year, making this accolade particularly significant. Lawyers being honored as "Lawyer of the Year" are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com

To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. Rising Stars undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. While up to 5% of the lawyers in any state are named "Super Lawyers," by Super Lawyers magazine, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com

Super Lawyers undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com

 

5 Ways to Help Strengthen and Maybe Hasten Your Social Security Disability Case

According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 67% of those who file for their initial Social Security Disability cases end in denial. And 88% of those filing a second time are denied! The third time is not a charm for applicants either, with a 37% denial rate.

What gives?

Clearly, the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a struggle for many. Although Social Security Disability benefits can often be worth the effort, the system can be a complex web of government rules, regulations, and procedures, and understandably, wrought with confusion for those unfamiliar it.

And the wait times can be long too. Currently in Raleigh, for example, the average wait time for a Social Security Disability hearing is 19 months, according to the Social Security Administration's Hearing Office.

But don't despair.

We Can Help - NC Board Certified Expertise in Social Security Disability Law

Our NC Social Security Disability attorneys are familiar with the system. Very familiar. One of our attorneys, Rick Fleming, is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability law. Out of the 28,000 North Carolina-licensed lawyers, only 51 in the entire state can make that claim1. Not only is he certified, he's actually the vice chair of the N.C. State Bar's Social Security Disability Law Specialty Committee (the entity that certifies attorneys).

And many of our staff members have more than ten years of Social Security Disability experience, including experience with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Disability Determination Services division. They understand what you're up against.

Although the denial rate is high for Social Security Disability cases and the wait time can be long, there are ways our Social Security Disability lawyers can try to improve your chances for approval.

5 Ways a NC Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help

 

  1. Wade through the bureaucracy. Our attorneys can help handle the mountains of paperwork, and help ensure rules, timelines, and methods are followed, and deadlines met.
  2. Offer you piece of mind - and time to heal. We can focus on the legal aspects of your situation, which gives you more time and opportunity to focus on healing.
  3. Direct examiners to the most important information. We can help examiners focus on the important issues by highlighting the most critical aspects of your case. Sometimes we've found this can increase the chance of more expedient success.Although many people believe they've given accurate information, often clients forget about some past medical experiences. Or think they're unrelated. In Social Security Disability cases, everything counts and our attorneys are skilled at helping you try to file the most compelling claim possible.
  4. Go to court prepared! We know the drill. It's a process we've repeated over many years and we've continually honed our process to try to achieve maximum results. We know how to handle the medical records, question witnesses, and interpret the rules and regulations that govern both a court of law and the various Social Security programs.
  1. Increase your chance for a successful outcome. All of the above can increase your chances for success.
    Consider a client of ours who, at first, had been seeking Social Security Disability on his own. After initially being denied, we helped him appeal that decision by presenting additional information about his medical condition before the Social Security Disability Administration. Subsequently, our client's case was approved2.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation by North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers

You don't need to stumble through this process alone. We encourage you to contact us.

If you think you can't afford to hire us to fight for you, think again! We work on a contingency basis, which means if we don't recover for you, you don't pay us one penny in attorney's fees. So don't hesitate to ask for assistance when it comes to getting the help you need.

If you're having problems applying for Social Security Disability, or just can't seem to get approved, click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. Our skilled team will work tirelessly to review and try to improve your chances to finally get you the benefits you may deserve.

1 Figures provided by NC State Bar December 31, 2015

2Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Social Security Disability Cases Take Too Long

How We Can Help

I love my job as a Social Security Disability attorney. I really do.

It's rewarding to know I'm trying to help someone achieve a financial lifeline. Especially when I read articles like the one published June 10, 2016 in the The Washington Post. It confirmed something our staff instinctively knew: hearing wait times are taking longer and longer.

The article claims, "The average wait for a hearing [for Social Security Disability] rose from 360 to 540 days between 2011 and 2016.  And the number of applicants awaiting a hearing has risen to over 1 million, an all-time high."

Those are national numbers. In North Carolina, wait times are even longer. In Charlotte and Greensboro the average wait times are 21 months, and in Raleigh it's 19 months.

Why so long and how can you potentially hasten your decision?

Fewer Social Security Disability Reviewers Take on More Case Loads

The article explains that these extended wait times are a result of Social Security Administration budget cuts, which forced a hiring freeze in 2011.

You don't need to tell us that fewer reviewers are taking on more Social Security Disability cases. Our growing caseload speaks volumes.

Consequences of Delayed Social Security Disability Benefits

The ripple effects these cuts can have on human lives are shameful and shocking. Here is an actual example of what happened to a client who waited patiently while fewer workers took on more cases.

Our client had multiple and obvious disabilities. Even so, the client had to wait over a year to reach the stage to just request a hearing. Unfortunately, a couple of months after our client's hearing request was finally approved, she passed away due to untreated medical conditions. The client's ailments were treatable, but were not given medical attention because she could not afford treatment.

I often ask myself, if our client had received the benefits she so clearly needed, would that client be here today? Troubling as this was, we were able to pass the case on to our client's spouse, as is customary, in hope that the spouse could receive the benefits the family needed. Several months later, the spouse died too.

Without a steady stream of income, many of our clients may not be able to pay for essentials like food, shelter, and medical treatment. In these instances, Social Security Disability benefits are not only a financial lifeline, they can be a literal lifeline. As we witnessed firsthand in this case, without treatments and regular medical assistance, the lifespan of these cases have a huge impact on those who desperately depend on their Social Security Disability payments.

We cannot change the bureaucracy of the Social Security Administration. That is why we believe it is more important now than ever to hire an experienced attorney who will try to do everything in their power to help move you through the process as quickly as possible, so you may be able to start receiving the benefits you may need.

Having a lawyer, especially one who focuses in Social Security Disability, can make it a lot easier to move a case through the system. Our lawyers, and the whole team in fact, know what's important to include in an application, and often what can be left out.

-Social Security Disability paralegal Andrea Davis, 17 years of Social Security Disability Experience



Just the paperwork alone can be overwhelming for one person. We have an entire team of experienced people dedicated to that effort. Not only can we help you complete it correctly, process it on time, and in the manner in which Social Security Disability requires, but we can also follow up in a timely manner and try to prod the administration along. We can also help you obtain your medical records so that when your case goes to hearing, we know we've tried to do everything possible to make sure the i's were dotted and t's crossed.

Get Your FREE Case Evaluation From a NC Social Security Disability Lawyer

Our Social Security Disability lawyers and paralegals know how to navigate this complex (and quite frankly, slow) system. Just because the government doesn't necessarily give your case the attention it may deserve in a timely manner, it does not mean we won't.

You are our #1 priority and we are always available to answer your questions 24/7/365. Click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

P.S. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay any attorney's fee unless we win your case for you. Further, the federal government caps the fees lawyers receive from Social Security Disability cases. Read about Social Security Disability contingency fees here.

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