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Holland Poole Holland & Sanderson PA
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Policy Limits
If you have been involved in a major accident and the insurance company for the driver who was at fault offers you their policy limits, do you even need a lawyer? Certainly! In major accidents, one of the most important jobs your lawyer does is identifying ALL the insurance that applies. There could be other applicable liability policies and/or one or more underinsured policies that also provide coverage. If you sign a release in full, it may prohibit you from seeking any additional coverage that applies. If you have serious injuries, you should NEVER sign a release without first consulting a lawyer.

MED PAY
Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage is insurance that covers you for medical expenses from a car accident regardless of who is at fault in the accident. You are generally covered under the policy for the car you were in at the time of the accident and by your personal policy regardless of whether you were in your car in the accident. If you are covered under more than one policy then the coverage can be "stacked" if your medical bills are more than the coverage under the primary policy. If someone else is at fault in the accident this coverage is in addition to any liability coverage you may be entitled to as a result of your injuries

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Full and Final

Many people who are injured in an accident that is not their fault are confused as to why the insurance company for the driver who was at fault, is not paying their medical bills as they come due. This is not the way the process typically works. Generally, the insurance company will negotiate a full and final settlement only. This means that when they pay, they do it only once and it ends the case forever. Because your settlement will be “full and final,” your lawyer will wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement to try to settle so that he will know the total amount of your medical bills and whether your doctor thinks you will need additional treatment in the future.

Dealing With Adjusters
If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault, you will likely be contacted by an adjuster for the insurance company of the person who caused the wreck. When this happens you should always keep in mind that the adjuster is a professional negotiator, who is paid by the insurance company to attempt to resolve the matter in the most favorable way possible for the insurance company. It is the adjuster's job to find ways to pay you as little money... as possible.
Unfortunately many people take the position on accident cases that they will try to handle it themselves until they get to things they can't do or don't understand. I say unfortunately because the old saying, "You don't know what you don't know" applies to this situation. Many people handling their own case make mistakes without realizing it. Sometimes these mistakes can be fatal to your case.
A personal injury case is an adversarial situation between you and the insurance company each step of the way. Do NOT expect the insurance company for the person who caused your injuries to help you or even point out your mistakes!

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment To Be Announced This Week

Social Security will announce on Thursday its cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2016 on Thursday. It is anticipated that there will be no COLA this year. COLA is tied to the Consumer Price Index and rises with inflation. Since gas prices have gone down rather dramatically in the past year, there has been no inflation. No inflation means no COLA for those receiving Social Security Disability and Retirement. So those receiving Social Security will likely not receive an increase in their checks for 2016.
If your doctor says you can't work, but Social Security turns you down for benefits call us for a free consultation about your disability case.

Workers' Rights
Workers' Compensation laws are designed to handle claims from employees who are injured by accident on the job. An injured worker need not establish fault or negligence on the part of the employer in order to collect benefits. Because Workers' Comp laws impose liability on employers without negligence, it is the exclusive remedy by the employee against the employer and benefits do not cover all the things a typical personal injury case would. If a third par...ty, other than the employer, is responsible for the accident that caused a worker's injury, the worker may have a claim against that party in addition to the Workers' Comp case against the employer.
You are entitled to three categories of benefits in a Workers' Compensation case: 1. Medical expenses related to the accident. 2. 2/3 of your lost wages. 3. Compensation for any permanent disability.

Social Security Disability
If your doctor tells you that you are totally disabled from working and your condition is expected to last for more than a year, you should immediately apply for Social Security Disability.
 
How do you start? You can do the initial application at the Social Security office or online at Social Security's website.
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Do you need a lawyer? No, not for the initial application. If your initial application is turned down, you might want to consider getting a lawyer at that point and you should certainly get a lawyer if it is necessary for you to go to a hearing.

Full and Final
Many people are confused when they are injured in a car wreck that is someone else's fault as to why that person's car insurance isn't paying for... the medical bills as they are incurred. The reason is in most of these cases settlements are "Full and Final", meaning the insurance company pays all it is going to pay at one time and gets you to sign a release saying you can't get anything else. What does this mean for your case? It means that in most cases your attorney will wait until you have completed all your medical treatment or have at least reached maximum medical improvement before attempting to settle your case. Your attorney will want to know what your total medical bills are or in cases where treatment is expected to be lifetime, an estimate on those costs so that he or she can make sure your case is properly evaluated and you are treated fairly.

Workers' Compensation Ratings
If you are involved in a serious injury on the job, you will likely receive a permanent partial disability rating to one or more p...arts of your body when you have reached maximum medical improvement. In North Carolina, there is a chart that allows you or your attorney to determine the value of that rating for Workers' Compensation purposes. This takes into account the part of the body injured, the percentage rating and your average weekly wage prior to your injury. The rating, however, is not the sole method for determining the value of your permanent injury for Workers' Compensation purposes and in many cases is not the best method for the client. Other methods take into account whether or not you are able to work and if so whether you have suffered a reduction in your wages. It is up to you and NOT the insurance company to determine the best method for you financially. For this reason, it is always best to consult an attorney before attempting to settle your Workers' Compensation case.
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