Can an Insurance Company Deny Treatment Recommended by a Doctor_ - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

Who pays my medical bills after an auto accident?

When buying an auto policy, you may find yourself being offered Medical Payments coverage. Medical Payments coverage can pay your medical bills whether or not you were at fault for the accident. If you were not at fault for the accident, these funds can help keep your medical bills out of collections until you receive your recovery. You may also be able to collect a lump sum recovery to pay for your medical bills and other damages.

Can my auto insurance carrier refuse to pay my medical bills?

Auto insurance carriers may refuse to pay your medical bills by asserting that they are not reasonable or necessary. Your carrier may send your medical records to an outside party for review. Medical Doctors and others specialists will review the treatment you have had to date. Based on their recommendation, they may deem the medical treatment as not reasonable or necessary and refuse to pay the related bills. Issues with this process arise immediately; it is readily apparent that the outside parties are working for your insurance carrier, not you. They are neither impartial nor unbiased. More often than not they declare that your treatment isn’t covered under your policy, right when you need medical care the most.  

I wasn’t at fault for my auto accident. Can the insurance carrier deny my medical bills?

There are many reasons that either the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier or your own carrier may refuse to pay your medical bills.

  • The auto policy has lapsed.
  • You are partially at fault for the accident (Not applicable for Medical Payments coverage).
  • The policy was canceled because the applicant gave false information to the insurance carrier.
  • The medical treatment was not reasonable or necessary.
  • Prior or new medical conditions that have similar symptoms to your current injury.
  • Pre-existing injuries that were only aggravated by the accident.
  • There isn’t enough objective evidence in your medical records to support that your injury is real.  
  • The insurance carrier doesn’t believe you sustained the injury in the accident due to the time between the accident and when you first sought treatment.

Although a few of the above issues are clear-cut, such as a lapsed policy, most  are not. Proving to an insurance carrier that your medical treatment is necessary as a direct result from injuries you sustained in the accident can be difficult. The insurance carriers will work to find reasons to deny your claim or pay as little on your claim as possible. You need an attorney working for you to help you assemble the evidence you need to document that your injury is related, real, and deserves compensation.

The auto insurance carrier has denied my medical bills. What do I do?   

Whether it is your own insurance carrier or the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver, you will have to file a lawsuit. Insurance claims for medical bills are routinely denied by the insurance carrier. Hiring an attorney early on in the process will ensure that you have all the evidence you need to prove the insurance carrier should pay. If it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, you will be ready.

While you can file a lawsuit on your own, it is not recommended. The rules of the Court can be complex. You will not only need the knowledge of an attorney but also their experience to avoid common mistakes. Most attorneys in North Carolina, and in particular the Wilmington area, will provide you with a free consultation. You can discuss your case with a professional to discover the ways in which an attorney can help you obtain payment for your medical bills. If you were not at fault, it is likely they can discuss obtaining a lump sum settlement on your behalf.     

While it is commonplace for an auto insurance carrier to deny your claim, it does not mean it is the end of your claim. Talk to an attorney today about getting the compensation that is due you, and get back on the road to recovery.

How Can I Make the Person Who Injured Me in a Car Accident Pay_ - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

North Carolina is an at-fault insurance state, meaning that the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages that result because of a car accident. His or her insurance company usually pays for these damages. To make the other party pay, you will have to provide evidence that he or she was at fault.

Contributory Negligence

It is important to understand that North Carolina uses a strict contributory negligence scheme. In most states if a driver is partially at fault, he or she can still recover for the damages he or she sustained. His or her degree of fault reduces the damages award. For example, if the driver is 40 percent at fault and sustained damages of $100,000, he or she can still recover an award for $60,000. In North Carolina, if a driver is in any way at fault – even just 1 percent – he or she cannot recover any damages. This means that you must prove the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident.

A Wilmington NC personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence caused the accident.

Evidence to Establish Your Claim

You will need to prove the following four elements of your claim: 1) duty; 2) breach of duty; 3) causation; and 4) damages. The following types of evidence can help you establish these elements:

  • Police report – After an accident, it is important that you contact the authorities and make an accident report. A law enforcement officer will arrive at the scene, conduct a preliminary investigation and may give a citation to the party who violated traffic laws.
  • Medical records – Medical records can show that you were physically injured in the accident. Collect emergency or hospital admission records, X-rays and other imaging scans, prescriptions, doctors’ notes, clinical summaries and other medical records.
  • Photos – Photos can help establish how the accident happened. Take pictures of the accident scene, including skid marks on the roadway, damage to your vehicle, damage to the other vehicle and the location of the accident. You can also use photos to establish some of your damages, such as your injuries and the damage to your property.
  • Employment records – If the accident caused you to miss work, employment records can show how much income and benefits you lost. Collect check stubs, tax returns and other payroll information. You might also want to ask your employer to write a note that indicates how many days you missed from work because of the accident.
  • Witness testimony – Objective witnesses can explain what they saw. This can help establish that the driver ran a red light, was weaving around traffic or speeding. If possible, try to get contact information for any witnesses immediately after your accident. Your Wilmington NC personal injury lawyer can contact these witnesses and determine if they may be able to help your case.
  • Video footage – Surveillance from local businesses or traffic cams may also show how the accident happened.
  • Statutory references – Because you will have to prove that the other driver was negligent, you will have to pinpoint exactly what he or she did wrong. You can then compare that act with North Carolina laws. For example, the driver could have been impaired or distracted. He or she may have sped, failed to yield, ran a red light or followed too closely.
  • Personal testimony – You may also be expected to testify about how the accident was caused and the extent of your damages. You are the best person to explain the pain and suffering you suffered as a result of the accident.

Robert Armstrong can help you gather this information to help prove your claim and seek maximum compensation against an at-fault party.

How to Maximize Your Insurance Recovery After Hurricane Florence - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

If you have suffered any sort of loss as a result of hurricane Florence or another storm, the steps you take following this unfortunate event will dictate whether you are compensated.  You should document and report your hurricane loss to the insurance company as quickly as possible.  Here is exactly what you should do to maximize your insurance recovery.

Locate Your Insurance Policy

Once you are safe and sound, the first step following the hurricane, storm or other event is to locate your insurance policy.  Review the language of your specific insurance policy to determine exactly what is covered.  This document will also explain your obligations and rights.  As you review your insurance policy, jot down any deadlines of importance such as when the last possible date is to give notice, file the sworn proof of loss or even file a lawsuit if you are in disagreement with the insurer’s coverage determination.  You will likely find this matter complicated to the point that the assistance of an attorney is necessary to have any chance of emerging with ample compensation.

Be Proactive

The most important thing you can do is be proactive.  Gather as much information as possible, act quickly, provide your attorney with enough time to advocate on your behalf and you will likely emerge with the compensation you need.  So do not wait for the insurance company to ask for information about the loss.  Be proactive by providing the supporting documentation right away.  Just be sure to verify your loss amount prior to proceeding.  Don’t rush through the valuation process due to a fear of an approaching deadline.  If your claim value is off, it could come back to haunt you down the line.

Document Every Aspect of the Claim

Document your claim’s details from beginning to end.  This way, if the insurance company’s representative misplaces something or makes a mistake, you will have a written record of the discussion and facts to back up your statements.  You can facilitate the processing of your claim by giving the insurance company supporting documentation right away.  Of critical importance is the documentation of your losses.  The entire loss must be evaluated before any cleanup attempt is made.  Property damage along with property that is unusable in the days after the storm should be included in your insurance claim.  Write down every action you take, track your expenses for everything related to the claim and save all of the related receipts.

Mitigate Expenses

Some insurance companies mandate the policyholder protect the property against additional loss.  You should take every step possible to mitigate subsequent damage.  Most of these expenses will likely be covered by the policy as long as they are related to the storm and you keep the receipts.  Take a close look at your policy to determine if such mitigation expenses will be fully reimbursed.

Go the Extra Step by Documenting the Damage With Photos

Do not perform any repair work until you have fully documented the damage.  It is not enough to call the insurance company and describe the damage.  Nor will a written description suffice.  Take photographs of the damage from several different angles.  Keep the receipts from all related equipment, emergency repair bills and other subsequent costs.  The policy might cover more than you initially assume yet the burden of proof is on you to show the extent to which your property is damaged.

Lean on the Experts

The most important thing you can do to maximize your compensation following hurricane Florence or any other storm is to ask for help from those with experience in handling flood insurance claims.  Our legal team is here to expedite your claim, go head-to-head with the insurance company or opposing counsel and ultimately maximize your compensation following this unfortunate event.  Let us handle the legal challenges following the storm so you can do your best to return your life to normal.  Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

What's the Difference Between Flood Insurance and Hurricane Insurance_ - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

Now that hurricane Florence has passed through the Carolinas, plenty of people are wondering about their insurance and how they will go about rebuilding.  Even if you have insurance, it might not cover the damage stemming from the most recent hurricane, flooding or another storm down the line.  There is a difference between flood insurance and hurricane insurance.  Plenty of homeowners in the Carolinas have both forms of insurance. Even those who do not live in flood-prone areas should have flood insurance.  The question most homeowners have is whether hurricane insurance is also necessary in addition to flood insurance.

Hurricane Insurance

Hurricane insurance is available for damage stemming from hurricanes as opposed to strictly flooding, fire or another specific form of damage.  If the damage to the property was caused by the hurricane, it will be covered.  The main difference between flood insurance and hurricane insurance is hurricane insurance extends beyond damage caused by water.  Hurricane insurance also includes wind damage.  Flood insurance typically covers water damage to the first floor yet hurricane insurance is applicable to the entirety of the home.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is comparably limited in scope.  This form of insurance covers losses caused by rising water as well as storm surge.  The federal government underwrites flood coverage with its National Flood Insurance Program.  However, private companies can also sell this important form of insurance.  In some cases, it is difficult to determine if a flood or hurricane caused the damage.  If it is challenging to determine the cause of the damage, it might be necessary for an engineer to perform an on-site analysis to gauge whether a hurricane’s winds or flooding are the true cause of the damage.

Two primary types of flood insurance exist: one for personal property and the other for buildings.  Policies applicable to buildings cover damaged caused to the structure, foundation, exterior and semi-permanent indoor items.  Examples include carpet, paneling, appliances and heating/cooling systems.  Personal property flood insurance is applicable to portable items.  Examples include furniture, electronics and clothing.  Even portable appliances and sundries such as pieces of art are covered. 

Flood Insurance and Hurricanes

It is important to note flood insurance is not applicable to all the losses that might have been caused by a hurricane.  Even if you lose a high-value item stemming from a hurricane in which flooding occurred at your property, there is no guarantee your flood insurance will cover the item in question.  Furthermore, insurance does not cover your yard or the structures in the yard such as swimming pools, fences and decks.  Nor do flood insurance policies provide compensation for living expenses.

It is also important to note flood insurance has nuanced requirements for eligibility.  Furthermore, many such policies have multiple exclusions.  As an example, furniture or other property within an area such as a crawl space, a basement or a walkout style basement will not be covered.  This includes sound systems, TVs, carpet, window treatments, bookcases, etc.  If you are considering flood insurance, you should know the federal version is capped at a quarter-million dollars per building and $100,000 for contents.  However, it is possible to purchase a policy with a lower limit.  Separate deductibles are issued for dwelling and contents. 

Don’t Learn the Hard Way

Too many homeowners learn the hard way that their flood insurance or hurricane insurance is not applicable following a devastating event.  Every property owner should be aware that flood and hurricane insurance are completely distinct from one another.  If you live in an area with even a remote chance of flooding or potential damage from a hurricane, you should explore all of your insurance options in-depth to make a truly informed decision.  Our legal team is here to help you with all the subtleties of hurricane and flood insurance including claims and settlement discussions.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How to File a Hurricane Insurance Claim in North Carolina After Hurricane Florence - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

If you have suffered any type of loss resulting from hurricane Florence, do not assume you are powerless.  Your best course of action is to meet with an attorney and file a hurricane insurance claim.  The manner in which you file your claim and the time at which it is submitted both matter a great deal.  Let’s take a look at a few tips that will ameliorate the claim process.

Get off to a Quick Start

Time is of the essence following a hurricane of this magnitude.  The insurance company will be inundated with phone calls from property owners looking to file claims.  Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the hurricane so you can get the ball rolling on your claim.  Insurance companies typically handle claim filers in a first come, first serve manner so don’t delay.

Document Every Aspect of the Claim

Take pictures of all the damage.  Write down all the information the insurance company representative provides during each conversation.  Be sure to record your claim number in a second space just in case you lose the first copy. Write down detailed notes during each interaction with the insurance company.  Be sure to ask for the customer service representative’s name each time you speak with the company about your claim.

If you have had any repairs performed following the storm, keep your receipts.  It also makes sense to keep receipts for living expenses accrued as a result of the storm, be it a stay in a hotel, meals, the costs of evacuation, etc. 

Be Careful When Interacting With Adjusters

The insurance company will likely send an adjuster to your property.  When this person arrives, ask him or her if they are employed by the insurance company or if they are an independent adjuster.  Independent adjusters must be authorized to make decisions and payments pertaining to claims on behalf of the insurance provider. 

Process Your Claim Through a Trusted Channel

There are plenty of opportunists going door-to-door following Hurricane Florence and other nasty storms.  These manipulators will knock on doors, claim to be an insurance adjuster or a contractor.  Do not trust these people.  True professionals are unlikely to go from one door to the next in the aftermath of a hurricane or other storm.

Detail all Damage In-depth

Though it is depressing to document all of the damage to your property following a massive hurricane, it must be done.  The more thoroughly you document the damage, the better your chances are of recovering ample compensation.  It is not enough to simply describe the damage to an insurance adjuster in a conversation conducted over the phone.  You should take pictures of the damage, send those pictures to the insurance company and do everything else in your power to prove the extent of the damage stemming from the hurricane.

Collecting detailed information about your property loss will also facilitate the completion of the proof of loss form.  This form allows you to describe the property or items damaged in the storm, the date of their purchase and the cost for repair or replacement. Our legal team is here to help you complete this form, comply with all legal requirements and obtain as much compensation as possible.

How to Proceed if You do not Have Insurance

If you have minimal or no insurance, do not assume you are out of luck following hurricane damage.  If you have home insurance but do not have flood insurance, call the insurance provider.  Certain homeowner policies that do not provide compensation for damage resulting from flooding might cover damage caused by water and/or wind.  Auto insurance will likely cover damage to your vehicle caused by downed trees.  Finally, those who have absolutely no insurance at all should contact local nonprofit groups or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website for more information about aid.

Contact Robert Armstrong Law to discuss your claim.

What if minimum insurance coverage doesn't cover medical bills in North Carolina - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

You were in an accident in Wilmington, NC where you sustained injuries. You’ve been dealing with the pain of your injuries and coordinating your doctor’s appointments against work and life obligations. Now insurance companies are telling you they aren’t going to cover all of your medical expenses because of minimum state limits. Why is this happening and what do you do?


North Carolina’s Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Every state has its own laws regarding what kind of insurance coverage a driver must have to be compliant with the law. If you are living and driving in North Carolina, it is important to be familiar with what these requirements are – whether you are buying you or your teenager’s first insurance policy, shopping around for a new insurance company for better rates, or have just been in an accident.


North Carolina Car Insurance Requirements & Personal Injury Coverage:

Every North Carolina driver is required by state law to have liability insurance. Liability Insurance protects you in accidents where you are at fault by covering costs for injuries and damages. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) details that every insurance policy’s liability insurance must have at the minimum the following coverage:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury liability, per person per accident
  • $60,000 of bodily injury liability total per accident

Now, these are the bare minimum requirements and it is always important to consider whether you might want to pay a little bit more to increase your coverage. Paying a bit more to increase these limits can allow you to access policies that have a combination of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages.


What is Uninsured or UnderInsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

In North Carolina all drivers must have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist who was at fault and you have a North Carolina insurance policy, your UM coverage can help cover medical bills and property damage.


Uninsured Motorist (UM) / Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

If you are paying a little extra to have higher limits and better coverage, your insurance company’s policies at these higher rates are required to provide combined Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorists (UIM) coverages. Having Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage can make a world of difference.

Here’s how:

If you are in an accident with an at-fault underinsured driver whose policy coverage isn’t actually going to cover all of your own medical bills, your combined UM/UIM coverage may be able to help you cover the remaining costs. For a small amount of extra money per year, it can make a huge difference in your protection.


Check out the North Carolina Department of Insurance Consumer Guide for further review of state requirements and limits.


What is the very best way to try to get my medical bills taken care of after an accident?

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, the most important thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help handle your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help. We have extensive experience untangling insurance policies, maximizing benefits, and advocating for our clients’ physical, emotional, and financial needs. We want to meet you and we want to help.

Continuing to protect yourself from insurance companies after a car accident - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

You’re home now and you’ve done everything right. You stayed at the scene, collected all the information, and didn’t admit fault. You filed a police report. You took pictures of the damages. You’re about to notify the at fault party’s insurance company and let them take over. After all, it’s over now and they’ve got this, right?


As insurance companies get more and more involved in your case, it is  more important than ever that you stay vigilant in the protection of your rights.


STAY VIGILANT in Protecting Yourself From Insurance Companies

  1. Notify Your Insurance Company

Provide the information you have diligently collected up to this point about the vehicles and people involved, witnesses, police reports, and photos of the damages. Provide the police report if you can or direct the insurance company to what department has the police report. Give them as much information as you can to support them in doing the right thing. It is important to think carefully about how you communicate with your insurance company. Check out a few do’s and don’ts to help you prepare.

     2. Keep Track of any Medical Treatment or Expenses

If you need medical attention after an accident, keep track of dates, times, and copies of all medical reports and bills. Additionally, strive to keep a journal or otherwise document how your injuries are impacting your daily life. Detail is important, including dates/times, missed workdays, impact on personal activities and engagement in life. This kind of documentation can support claims for pain and suffering compensation.

     3. Get a Property Damage Evaluation

The insurance company will refer you to repair shops in the area to get a damage estimate. However, insurance companies often have a dual relationship with their referral repair shops where they either own or partner with them for referrals. This means that the repair shop has a vested interested in saving the insurance company money wherever they can, even if it means cutting corners on your repairs.

Robert Armstrong recommends seeking out at least two estimates from independent repair shops who do not have a dual relationship with your insurance company. You are more likely to get a straight, unbiased estimate about what is truly needed for your car to run safely again. Having two or more reports to compare against can help you get the best idea of a fair and accurate estimate.

If you are having difficulty identifying where to get an estimate and/or running into roadblocks from insurance companies with your estimates, Robert Armstrong has extensive experience running point in these situations. We can take the fight off your shoulders.

    4. Know Who you are Talking To

It is common for the other driver’s’ insurance company to call to speak with you, ask how you are doing, try to obtain a recorded statement from you, and even offer you early compensation if they believe their driver was at fault and their company could be liable for damages. Be polite and cordial, but very cautious about what you tell insurance adjusters. NEVER agree to give them a RECORDED statement. This is one of the most common ways for you to lose your rights without even realizing it. Do not talk to a representative from another insurance company without the knowledge and/or presence of your insurance company or most ideally – an attorney. 

    5. Early Settlement Offers

Insurance companies may start contacting you with early settlement offers after an accident. They might call it a “settlement offer”, but may be expressing concern about your well being and offering money. This is one of the most effective ways for insurance companies to trick you into giving over your rights, before you even realize what has happened. An early settlement can mean that you have relinquished any further rights to compensation, before the extent of your injuries, medical needs, or vehicle damages are even fully understood. You do not want to give up your rights before you have all of the information you need. Never sign or agree to anything unless you can see it in writing and ideally without an attorney to help you review it.

What is the very best way to protect yourself after an accident from insurance companies?

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, the most important thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.

How to not get tricked by insurance companies immediately after an accident - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

You were just in an accident. You are still at the scene and your head is spinning with all of the instructions you have ever been told about what to do next. Luckily, you pay diligently for your car insurance. Plus, some other insurance company has a really caring advertising campaign about how “you are in good hands”, or something similar.

We see it time and time again at Robert Armstrong Law. Unfortunately, all insurance companies tend to have the same priorities after a car accident: protecting their own interests. Robert Armstrong wants you to know what actions to take to keep yourself safe, your rights intact, and to protect you from insurance companies taking advantage.

Start Protecting Yourself Immediately After a Car Accident

  1. Stay at the Scene and check on all drivers and passengers for safety.

Leaving the scene and/or failing to check on the other people involved can open you up to perhaps baseless allegations from insurance companies and lawyers. You could be accused of a hit-and-run.

     2. Exchange information with the other driver and DO NOT APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT FAULT.

Obtain information: names, numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, make/model of vehicles, and basic insurance information. If you do not have any information about the other vehicle or driver, ask the law enforcement officer for the other drivers information.  If there are witnesses, request to obtain their name and numbers as well as witnesses can make a big difference in your case.

Never apologize or admit to wrongdoing. It is tempting to apologize for everyone’s stress and worry and/or to reflect on what you could have done to prevent this. Apologizing can make you vulnerable to insurance companies claiming that you have admitted fault.

      3. Call Medical Professionals and Police As Needed

If anyone is in need of medical attention call 911 immediately. If anyone is injured and/or there is significant property damage that you even think might lead to an insurance claim, call the police to have them file a police report. Ask for their name and badge information. Insurance companies have a more difficult time wiggling out of their responsibilities when a police report is telling them what happened.

      4. Take Pictures

Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and if possible the other vehicle as soon as possible. Ideally, your photos will have a time stamp and will be from the actual scene. If the cars need to be moved to protect against further accidents, that should be the priority, but only move after you have been instructed to do so by the law enforcement officer. If possible try to get pictures from the accident itself. At minimum, try to provide pictures either from the scene and/or of the damages to your vehicle after to your insurance company as soon as possible so that no one can cast doubt on whether the damage to your vehicle was really from the accident.

What next? Insurance Companies are about to get a lot more involved in your case. It is about to be more important than ever that you continue to protect your rights throughout the claims process.

What is the very best way to protect yourself after an accident from insurance companies?

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, the most important thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.

Do your personal injury medical records have red flag- - Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

Unfortunately, when it comes to personal injury claims against insurance companies, insurance companies will always try to offer you less money than you deserve to compensate you for injuries you sustained in a car accident. That’s just the way the insurance business works.

An experienced personal injury attorney like Robert Armstrong will work tirelessly to make the insurance companies pay what they owe, but often there are “red flags”  that insurance companies look for in your medical records as a way to justify paying you less money.

What are some of the red flags that insurance companies will identify?

There are several factors that come into play when insurance companies examine your medical records. Red flags include:

  • Degenerative changes – Degenerative means that your symptoms are chronic and that your condition continues to deteriorate or is irreversible. If your symptoms are degenerative, it will usually show up on tests like MRIs and X-rays. Typically, degenerative conditions are caused simply by the aging process, but degenerative changes could start to appear in your body as early as your 20s, so degenerative characteristics could realistically show up on almost anyone’s imaging tests. Insurance adjusters are quick to point out soft tissue injuries and claim that they are degenerative changes and not the direct result of a car accident. With the help of a good lawyer and the honest testimony of a medical professional, it could be proven that you weren’t having any discomfort or symptoms before the crash, even if there are degenerative signs that show up on your MRI or X-ray.
  • Pre-existing conditions – If you broke your arm in a car accident, and it just so happens that you broke the same arm in a skateboarding accident two years ago, an insurance adjuster could try to link your current pain and aftermath of the injury to your last painful injury. The same could hold true for prior car accidents, slip-and-falls, or any other pre-existing injury. That’s why it’s so important to have the testimony of a doctor or other medical professional.
  • Treatment gaps – If your doctor recommends that you go to physical therapy once a week, and records show that you consistently miss appointments and aren’t following your doctor’s orders, it could be a big red flag for the insurance adjuster. It’s common for crash victims to try to heal on their own without having the inconvenience of seeking medical treatment, but it’s important you don’t do that. Remember that an insurance company will do everything in its power to try to prove that you haven’t been completely honest and forthcoming about your injuries. Don’t give them any leeway.

There are many other red flags that could show up on your medical records, but with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney you can still get the settlement you deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.

Essential Motorcycle Insurance Coverage to Purchase In North Carolina Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

If you own a motorcycle in North Carolina, you must have it insured, according to state law.

The minimum coverage you can have on your motorcycle in North Carolina is liability.

What are the mandatory motorcycle insurance coverage requirements in North Carolina?

Here are the mandatory insurance requirements for motorcycles in North Carolina:

  • $30,000 for bodily injuries or death to one person in a single accident.
  • $60,000 for bodily injuries or deaths to more than one person in a single accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage occurring in a single accident.

When you’re shopping for motorcycle insurance, remember that these requirements are the minimum coverage by law. You can add more coverage if you believe you need it.

What are the optional coverage options for motorcycles?

Aside from liability insurance, most insurance companies that write motorcycle policies will offer other types of optional coverage that will give you added protections for damages and injuries you might incur if you are ever in a motorcycle accident. These include:

  • Collision – This will cover damage to your motorcycle if you are in an accident and it is your fault. For damages to your motorcycle after and accident.
  • Comprehensive – This is for any damages to your motorcycle that could happen that are not related to an accident.
  • Medical payments – If you are ever in a motorcycle accident and it is your fault, this type of coverage will help to pay your medical bills if you’re injured. Please note that Medical payments is not an option in North Carolina for motorcycles.
  • Towing and labor – If your motorcycle breaks down on the side of the highway, this type of coverage will make sure you get roadside assistance.
  • UM/UIM – Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage to protect you in the event that the other vehicle that caused the wreck either has NO insurance (UM) or is Underinsured (UIM). In that case you can make a claim on your own policy to get the compensation that you deserve. This is perhaps THE MOST IMPORTANT COVERAGE that a rider can buy. It will protect you!

Even though the state keeps track of whether you have insurance through insurance companies that notify the DMV if there’s a lapse in coverage, you are still required by law to show proof of insurance if asked by law enforcement. All you have to do is keep your current insurance card on you at all times.

What are the penalties if you fail to maintain proper insurance for your motorcycle?

Now that you know what kind of insurance coverage you need, what can happen to  you if you fail to keep proper insurance on your motorcycle?

Well, that depends:

  • First, your insurance company will let the DMV know that you don’t have current insurance.
  • Once that happens, a Form FS 6-7 notice will be sent to you.
  • If you did, in fact, have a lapse in your insurance coverage, you must show proof of your current coverage, pay the fine implemented by the DMV and mail it back to the department within a certain number of days of the date listed on the form.
  • If you fail to do the above, your license plates will likely be suspended for a month.
  • If that happens, you’ll have to wait the 30 days, then go to the DMV and clear things up, while likely paying a heftier fine.

If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.