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

A Must-Read If You Want to Avoid Insurance Mistakes After an Accident

Who wouldn’t trust khaki-wearing Jake-from-State-Farm to be there for us, even at 3 in the morning? And good ol’ Flo from Progressive. You can trust her too – she’s like your quirky bestie. You can tell her anything.  AllState deep-voice guy? He’s not going to let anyone or anything mess with you. You’re in good hands.

Or are you?

Based on our experience? Not necessarily. There’s a reason why insurance companies spend so much money every year on “trust us” advertising.

Free Book on Avoiding Common Insurance Company Pitfalls

When you’re in an accident and you make a claim, why wouldn’t you think twice about giving one of these or any insurance company a recorded statement over the phone?

Why wouldn’t they believe you when you explain that you swerved into oncoming traffic because of a deer, and the car wreck was unavoidable and not your fault. And why wouldn’t they want to pay for all your medical bills caused by the accident, and time off work, or give you what your totaled car may really be worth?

Why would your insurance company try to low-ball you?

Because most insurance companies operate for profit. Theirs. And based on our years of experience of recovering more than $700 million in total* for over 30,000 clients they can’t be trusted to put your financial interests ahead of theirs.

Why do you think their ads emphasize the trust factor?

While many insurance company ads are admittedly enjoyable, dealing with insurance companies when you’ve been injured in a car crash – not so much.

That is why we developed a FREE 40-page Personal Injury Guide (How to take control of your personal injury claim, before it controls you). It’s a booklet we believe will help you try to avoid common pitfalls the insurance companies don’t want you to know about.

“No one should go through the personal injury process alone. If we can’t help, maybe this booklet will.”— Attorney and Shareholder, Michael Jordan

How to Deal With Your Insurance Company After a Car Wreck

Our book outlines some of the most common traps people fall into when trying to handle claims on their own, such as giving a recorded statement over the phone, not getting proper medical care for injuries, not pursuing all available coverage, even signing the wrong documents, and many other little-known traps the unwary can fall into.

The information highlighting common pitfalls, however, is just the beginning, covering just one chapter in our comprehensive guide. We know that when some people are injured in an accident, they may prefer to deal with the insurance company themselves instead of hiring a lawyer. We get it. Not every situation warrants legal help.

How to Understand Your Rights and Potential Barriers

That is why we created this easy-to-read guide. We wanted to help you try to understand your rights, the legal process, and potential barriers you may face after an injury in North Carolina. In the words of the guide’s author, attorney and shareholder Michael Jordan, “No one should go through the personal injury process alone. If we can’t help, maybe this booklet will.”

From the basics of the first things you should do after an injury, to dealing with specific injury types, to DWI victims’ rights, and even premises liability, we’ve tried to make this guide a key go-to resource for many different types of situations general and specific.

We’re Just As Available As Jake – (And We Won’t Raise Your Rates)

There’s a reason you’re reading this. If you have been injured, and if you find yourself falling into some of these common pitfalls the guide warns you about, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

We’re available at 3 in the morning too, just like Jake-from-State-Farm.

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

 

St. Pat’s Day Parades, Plus Sober Ride Services

If you live near Charlotte or Pinehurst, here are links to the info you need on for St. Patrick's Day Parades in those areas.

North Carolina St. Patrick's Day Parades

Uptown Charlotte
Saturday, March 18 at 10 a.m.

The Village of Pinehurst
Saturday, March 18 at 11 a.m.

St. Patrick's Day Among Deadliest for Alcohol-Related Crashes

While St. Patrick's Day parades have offered fun and entertainment for all ages in year's past, it's a day of binge drinking for many. According to Wallethub, 75% of fatal drunk driving car crashes on St. Patrick's Day involve a driver who has consumed more than 2X the legal alcohol limit. The legal limit in NC is 0.08.

St. Patrick's Day is among the deadliest for alcohol-related crashes.

A National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that alcohol-related crashes claimed a life every 51 minutes on St. Patrick's Day in 2010, accounting for 32% of all fatalities that occurred that day.

NC Sober Ride Services Take You and Your Car Home

We don't want to rain on anyone's St. Patrick's Day parade. We just want you to be safe getting to and from them (or any other event).

If you plan to drink, don't drive. If you plan to drive, don't drink. Designate a driver.

There are many services across North Carolina that offer designated rides home, and their rates are comparable to taxis, even cheaper in some cases. Whatever the cost, it's cheaper than a DWI or worse - hospital bills and a lawsuit.

Click here for a list of North Carolina's sober ride services in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, and Fayetteville and their surrounding communities and towns.

These services take you and your car home.

There's also Uber and Lyft in addition to local taxi services. Not only can they take you home, but you could take them to the parade and avoid any parking issues - or having to deal with other drivers who may have had one too many Guinness.

Get FREE Advice From NC Car Wreck Attorneys

Whatever you do and no matter where you are in North Carolina during St. Patrick's Day, we hope this information is helpful in your efforts to safely celebrate it. If you or someone you love was injured in a car wreck, whether or not it involved a drunk driver, 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.

* Insurance Research Council 1999

NC Social Security Disability Hearing Wait Times Almost 2 Years! We May be Able to Help.

How many times have you heard from your children, "That's not fair!" Too many to count? We can laugh it off when they're young, and older brother gets to play football with the neighborhood kids while the little tykes are told to stay on the sidelines until they're old enough to play.

But the reality is sometimes life is not fair. We see it every day fighting for our Social Security Disability clients. And it's no laughing matter.

Many of our clients have been sidelined for life as they were going about their daily routines. One client was stopped in traffic on his way home from work and got rear-ended by a driver going above the speed limit. His injuries were so devastating he vomits three or four times a week. He has headaches so severe they wake him up several times a night, and he has photosensitivity to the point where he can no longer go outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Another client was injured on the job just by walking up a flight of stairs.

One client simply sat down at church when a bolt came lose on the chair and she fell to the floor causing her permanent and total disability.

Some of our clients have fought for our country and returned home physically or mentally unable to exercise their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness - a right promised to all U.S. citizens in the Declaration of Independence. Sadly, these veterans are among the more than one million people on the Social Security Disability wait list whose delay in having their cases heard can be more than two years in many parts of the country!

Now that's not fair!

Social Security Disability Wait Times in North Carolina

While Social Security Disability is available to help our citizens who have been sidelined by catastrophe, getting it can be very difficult for a number of reasons. One is the long wait time. According to the Social Security Administration, the wait times in North Carolina are currently:

  • Charlotte - 21 months
  • Fayetteville - 20 months
  • Greensboro - 21 months
  • Raleigh - 19 months

Some are forced to wait so long they have died before their hearing date because some are simply unable to pay for medication they need to live. We have seen this happen.

When they finally get a hearing many are denied benefits. More than two-thirds are denied the first time and 88% the second time. Of those who are accepted, it can take several more months in many cases to begin receiving payments and back benefits.

Sadly, some are denied because they attempted to navigate this overwhelmingly large bureaucratic aircraft carrier by themselves.

James Scott Farrin Social Security Disability Team of "Insiders"

These are the circumstances that motivate our Social Security Disability team to come to work every day. We know what you're up against because most of us have worked on the other side.

All but one of our paralegals has worked for the Social Security Administration as a
Disability Determination Services examiner, where initial applications are
accepted or denied.

This inside experience is helpful in knowing how the system works, including:

  • What they look for to accept a claim
  • The importance of filing the correct forms, filling them out correctly, and meeting demanding and unwavering deadlines
  • What medical records you need to produce - and which ones not to produce

Just the paperwork alone can be overwhelming for one person.

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 keep the process moving. 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 your information will not be sent back because of a technicality, for example.

Of all the attorneys licensed in NC, fewer than 1%* are board certified specialists in Social Security Disability law. I am one of them. I also chair the N.C. State Bar's Social Security Disability Law Specialty Committee and I lead the committee charged with writing and grading examinations for attorneys who wish to specialize in Social Security Disability law.

Capped Fees for Social Security Disability Clients

Some people may mistakenly think they cannot afford us to help them through this daunting process. If you are one of them, you are mistaken! This is one area where the federal government is your friend. Not only do we work on a contingency basis, like all Social Security Disability lawyers, the federal government has capped legal fees in order to help keep costs low for you.

The contingency fee for Social Security Disability clients is limited
to 25% of back-due benefits, or $6,000, whichever is less.

NC Social Security Disability Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation

If you need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, or if you have applied and were denied, click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. Our attorneys and team of former "insiders" will fight to try to improve your chances of getting the benefits you may deserve.

(We think that's a fair offer.)

* Percentage from the NC State Bar as of December 2016

Answers to 10 Commonly-Asked Workers’ Comp Questions

We get so many calls from injured workers who have questions about what to do in certain workers' comp situations. Some questions we hear consistently. We sat down with workers' compensation attorney Jacob Goad to address 10 of the most common questions we hear.

(Incidentally, before Jacob became an attorney, he worked as a workers' comp paralegal for many years, so he has a uniquely rounded perspective). Here, Jacob shares some good news about your rights under North Carolina's workers' comp law.

1.  My employer is treating me differently now that I filed for workers' comp - can they do that?

They shouldn't be, but we see it all the time.

We recently represented a client* who injured his leg driving a delivery truck. The workers' comp doctors insisted the injury only needed a brief stint of physical therapy and the employee could go back to work soon. Yet physical therapy wasn't working. The employee went to another doctor for a second opinion, and that doctor took images that proved the employee would need much more time off work to heal. That extra time off did not go over well with the employee's manager. When he showed up for work after healing, his manager fired him. That's when he called us.

2.  I filed for workers' comp and got fired - what can I do?

When some employers notice an employee files a workers' comp claim they might try to terminate the employee because of the injury. That's against the law in North Carolina.

An employer cannot fire you simply because you filed a workers' comp claim. If they do, they could be violating the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, (REDA). REDA is one of a number of laws enacted after the 1991 Imperial Foods Inc. fire in which more than 70 employees were killed or injured in a chicken processing plant that had previously been cited for numerous safety violations.

REDA protects employees who have been hurt on the job and are entitled to workers' comp benefits. It also protects them from being mistreated at work for filing a claim.

Yet people still get fired when they come back after an injury. Let me explain why.

In certain cases, if an employee files a claim, they might as well have a proverbial bull's-eye on their back. The reason is employers and insurance companies know that if the employee is terminated for non-workers' comp issues, the amount they'll have to pay may be significantly reduced. In other words, it can often be cheaper to fire an employee than to pay them workers' comp benefits. That is why some employers may try to get the employee back to work right away, and then look for any technicality to get rid them.

This is often done under guise of rehabilitation. Get the worker as good as possible to get them back to work as quickly as possible, and then fire them so you don't have to possibly deal with a more substantial workers' comp settlement. Return-to-work issues happen in our cases fairly regularly. We often encourage employees to return to work if it is advisable to do so and when their doctor tells them to. But some employers in North Carolina are particularly aggressive with return to work issues, and if employees don't have good legal counsel we've seen them get pushed around. That's when employees could use a lawyer with resolve and passion to help the injured.

3.  Do I have a better case if I am terminated after a workers' comp claim?

Not necessarily. If the employer has solid documentation of why you were terminated, then it may impact your potential compensation because it could mean the insurance company doesn't have to pay your future out-of-work benefits or as much out-of-work benefits.

On the other hand, if the employer fires you for no good reason after you've returned to work under workers' comp simply because they don't want to deal with your ongoing disability, then that does likely help your case. We've seen this happen a lot.

4. What protection is available to keep me from losing my job if I file for workers' comp?

Primarily the REDA, as I mentioned earlier. It is a safety net for employees who have been injured in the workplace when they are entitled to workers' comp benefits. And again, REDA is also supposed to help protect you from being harassed or mistreated at work because of your injury.

5.  Will it hurt my workers' comp case if I go back to work?

It depends on your circumstances. You should always discuss this with your workers' compensation attorney first.

In many cases, if you go back to work you may be forfeiting your right to continue receiving workers' compensation checks.

However, if recommended by your attorney, it may be advisable to return to work if your employer is willing to accommodate work restrictions, and you want to stay with that employer for a long time or permanently. In those cases where there is a good relationship and there is no permanent medical restrictions, it could be in your best interest to go back to work and continue working with your employer, and be compensated for your permanent partial impairment rating (PPI) rating. We see a lot of claims go that route.  As a matter of fact, the majority of claims filed through the workers' comp system resolve this way. Additionally, we have knowledge and experience working with many employers throughout the state; so again, it may potentially benefit you to consult with us about your claim.

6.  What if I can't do the same job?

Often injuries prevent an employee from continuing to do the same work they were doing before their accident. That's where the rub often is. A lot of employers have policies in place where if the employee can't come back full duty, they can't accommodate them permanently. The employee would then be entitled to future out-of-work compensation until they or the insurance company find more suitable work for them.

This would come through vocational rehabilitation or possibly even a self-guided job search. For example, a Spanish-speaking laborer might be assigned to ESL classes to be able to acquire marketable skills in a non heavy-duty job. If somebody can't go back to their regular job, the insurance company assumes a major responsibility to try to get that person gainful employment.

Otherwise, the insurance company may be on the hook for future time out of work. That is why they will generally work very hard to help them find some work somewhere. Under the new workers' comp law, an employee could potentially get up to 500 weeks of benefits if they are out of work and are unable to find suitable employment.

7.  Will I lose my health insurance, if I lose my job?

A lot of times, yes. If you file for workers' comp and you're out of work completely, you're probably going to lose your employer-provided health insurance. Of course, there are exceptions. Some companies have a specific policy in place that says they, as a company, have decided that despite the workers' comp claim, they're going to continue to provide health insurance.

But if a corporation has no such policy in place, the employee could lose their health insurance. Workers' comp will pay for the work-related injury, but no other unrelated health issues.

8.  Do I have to go back to work if I'm able to?

If you are able, yes.

For example, let's say an injury is healing well, the employee wants to go back to work and the employer agrees. The doctor will give the employee a Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) rating. A PPI rating allows an employee to receive compensation for a determined period of time for that injured body part, even if they continue to work. That allows them to go back to work and everyone can live happily ever after.

But sometimes, in the employer's eyes, it may not be about what you want. It might be about their bottom line. If the employer doesn't want you back after you filed a workers' comp claim, you may need a workers' comp attorney to help guide you through this process because the employer may very well want your resignation - or may simply fire you for trumped up allegations. Sadly, as you can imagine after almost 20 years representing injured workers, our firm has handled these situations many times. It's our daily mission as advocates for injured workers.

9.  When should I contact a workers' comp lawyer?

Whether or not you'll need a workers' comp lawyer depends on the nature of your injury. But it's almost always wise to contact one early - especially if your injury is serious.

At our firm, these initial case evaluations are free. One of our attorney's will review your claim and let you know if we think we can help you or not.

And if you hire an attorney who works on a contingency basis, like we do, you only pay an attorney's fee for the compensation we may be able to obtain for you.

10.  What will a workers' comp lawyer do for me?

First, as your advocate, we try to see to it that you're getting the medical care you may need to heal properly. And we can consider whether it is advisable to try to obtain a second opinion if you don't feel you are getting proper care or if a more neutral medical opinion is needed.

Second, we can try to help you protect your job while you are recovering. And if you are unable to return to work, we will help inform you of your options and the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Third, we help determine what other benefits you may be entitled to. Determining workers' comp benefits is a complex system involving complex math and all kinds of variables. A lot of people don't even know what benefits they may be entitled to, and if they did most would probably not understand how those benefits are calculated and determined.

For example, let's say an employee developed CRPS following the injury to an upper or lower extremity. CRPS is complex regional pain syndrome and it can develop after an injury, surgery, and other situations. It is a major medical condition and is painful and can be difficult to live with. It can also require long-term medication treatment, and that treatment can be expensive.

Now let's look at occupational disease claims like carpal tunnel or de quervain's, for example, repetitive motion injuries. We see this a lot with factory workers, food industry workers, or fabricators here in North Carolina. Those things can be difficult to deal with because it can be a chronic condition. Depending on who the employer is, if you have to go out for surgery, an employer who takes and aggressive position might not want you back. And they might not to want to pay you for future medical expenses for a chronic condition. We've seen this happen too.

Complex conditions, such as CRPS, carpal tunnel, and others abound. It is prudent to have someone on your side who knows what workers' comp insurance calculations involve, including familiarity with these and other medical conditions and knowing how to project future medical costs so that you may not be burdened with these medical expenses after your settlement.

Bottom line? You don't know what you don't know.

For these reasons and dozens of others, we urge anyone who has suffered a workplace injury to contact an experienced workers' comp lawyer as soon as possible. Right away even. If you need a lawyer, the earlier we can advocate for you, the better we can help you deal with your medical issues, your employer, and workers' comp insurance benefits.

END OF Q&A WITH ATTORNEY JACOB GOAD

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From Our NC Workers Comp Lawyers

If you've been injured at work, don't be afraid to file for workers' comp. It's your right under North Carolina law. Just as importantly, don't think you will necessarily get the medical and future benefits with your workers' comp insurance company just because you were injured on the job. There's too much at stake. Your health, your job, and possibly, future benefits.

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

P.S. Don't feel like you can't afford to hire a qualified workers' comp attorney. 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.

* Client identity has been removed or changed to protect privacy

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

201 McCullough Drive, Suite 220
Charlotte, NC 28262
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