Why Giving a Statement to the Insurance Company after an Accident Can Harm Your Case

Following any type of auto accident, it usually doesn’t take long for an insurance company to get involved. However, insurance companies are not going to be on the side of those who are injured. Their main job is trying to pay out as little as possible. That being said, there are many reasons not to give a statement to an insurance company following an accident.

In the event that an insurance adjuster demands that you give a statement, immediately decline and contact a lawyer. In accidents where you are a victim, you are usually dealing with another insurance company. They do not have your best interest in mind.

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Obtaining a recorded statement will let the insurance company know exactly how to prepare a defense. It will also enable them to come up with a strategy that could offer a settlement lower than what you deserve. Giving a recorded statement is basically like showing your hand before you have to.

It is also important to note that not all injuries do not surface right after an accident. If you give a recorded statement and claim no neck pain, but then you start to experience neck pain two days later, your statement will make it appear as though you are lying. That could be extremely damaging to your case.

A statement given to an insurance company or adjuster is not made while under oath. Nevertheless, the insurance company can use that statement against you. Also, remember that whoever is taking your statement has done this before. As you speak, that person will be immediately looking for ways to twist your words to use them against you. Regular people are not accustomed to the intricacies within these kinds of statements.

When you are involved in an accident in which both parties have the same insurance company, you should still be wary. The insurance company may attempt to underestimate the value and basically turn against you.

Insurance companies are also looking to settle as quickly as possible, but you don’t have to submit to their pressure. Personal injury cases can be very detailed so your best move is to plead the fifth when asked for a statement and consult a lawyer.

If you are injured in a Charlotte auto accident, contact the Law Offices of William H. Harding. It helps to have someone on your side, who will give you the chance to get what you rightfully deserve. The Law Offices of William H. Harding will see you through the entire personal injury process and make sure insurance companies do not take advantage of your claim.

What to Expect From a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injuries are common in many auto accidents. These accidents often lead to lawsuits that include several steps that every victim should know. This could make for a lengthy process, so it is important to know what to expect with your personal injury lawsuit.

The first thing to know is that an insurance company will always look to settle for as little as possible. Don’t be swayed by their promises as many carriers will look to settle outside of the courtroom for much less than you deserve.

A way to keep a case out of court is by going through mediation. This is where a mediator or arbitrator will intervene and attempt to resolve the matter. It is not an actual courtroom battle, but that does not mean you should not have a personal injury attorney right there with you.

So what goes into determining how much of a payout you will receive for your personal injuries?

neck and hand injuries

Actually, there are quite a few factors. There are the obvious factors, such as medical bills and the cost of any physical therapy. Lost wages can also factor in should your injuries force you out of work. A reduced earning potential could also be a result of your injury and that could also lead to financial hardship. Then, there is always pain and suffering to consider. Your injury lawyer will be your biggest advocate and ensure all damages, physical and emotional, are taken into account.

When a settlement is finally agreed upon, it is important to note that a victim is not always going to get all of that money. There are taxes to be paid on some of the settlement. You will not be responsible to pay taxes on your medical bills as it isn’t considered to be taxable income. However, pain and suffering falls under punitive damages, which are indeed taxable.

It is also important to note that not all personal injury cases deal with insurance companies. Some cases deal with individuals, which could make the reality of collecting your settlement a lot more difficult.

Just because you win a judgment against an individual, it does not mean you are guaranteed to see all that money. If an individual has limited assets, there is not much that can be done in a way of mandating compensation. If you are going to pursue a personal injury claim against an individual, make sure the individual has enough assets to make it worth your time and effort.

When you are injured in an accident and need to file a personal injury lawsuit, contact the Law Office of William H. Harding. With a vast amount of experience in personal injury law, you can finally have the advantage you need to get the settlement you deserve.

The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Attorney for Your DUI

roadside DUI check arrest DUI charges can happen to just about anyone. However, when someone is arrested and learns that criminal charges are being filed, it often leads to a larger sense of worry. Hiring a criminal law attorney can immediately ease those concerns and provide you a sense of hope.

The main reason to have a DUI lawyer in your corner is that there is always the chance your charges could be dismissed. A DUI charge does not mean you are instantly convicted. A good criminal lawyer can discover if there were any missteps made by law enforcement during the arrest. For example, the reason for the actual traffic stop needs to be justified by the officer.

There is also the area of field sobriety tests to consider. The arresting officer will need to document which field sobriety tests were performed and what compelled him to charge you with DUI. A lot of these tests can be questioned and there may be quite a bit of wiggle room around their authenticity.

Even if you failed a breathalyzer test, that could also come into question. An officer has to be certified to use a breathalyzer and the device needs to be calibrated correctly. The timing of the breathalyzer is another area that could be questioned. Alcohol does not immediately enter your bloodstream. So if you had one drink and were pulled over and then the officer waited to administer a breathalyzer, you could have been legally sober when you were actually pulled over.

Also, your Miranda rights should always be read upon an arrest and if they were not, that gives you a distinct advantage in beating your DUI charges.

These are just a few of the many topics a criminal defense attorney will look into in great detail. And even if this evidence does not get your charges thrown out completely, it could allow you to plead guilty to lesser charges. That could mean no criminal charges and much less in fines and driver’s license suspension times.

It also helps to have an attorney familiar with the local court system. Certain judges and prosecutors have certain tendencies and knowing those tendencies will provide you with one more advantage. Remember that every advantage helps when facing DUI charges and going through the process without an experienced criminal defense attorney puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

If you are facing DUI charges or other criminal charges, it is important to give yourself as many advantages as you can. The Law Offices of William H. Harding can be your advantage while relying on a wealth of experience when it comes to criminal defense cases.

Why You Should Not Take the Law into Your Own Hands

 

Law in Two Hand Holding Virtual Hologr

Every facet of the legal system has a specific protocol that needs to be followed. Deviating from that protocol could severely affect your case, whether it be a family law or criminal law matter. Here is a closer look at why you should contact an attorney instead of taking the law into your own hands.

Knowledge

A criminal defense attorney or family law attorney knows the law better than you. That is a fact that can keep you from incriminating yourself or damaging your case. Attorneys undergo years of schooling to attain a broad knowledge base, which includes procedures on how to handle every kind of case.

Protection

Without a lawyer, you may be hurting your case more than you realize. An attorney is there for your protection. Think of an attorney as a type of shield. However, that shield also protects clients from themselves as their own actions or words could be very dangerous.

Consultation

Most attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation before you are required to hire them. This consultation will introduce you to the specifics of your predicament. This initial consultation could open up a client’s eyes to a whole new world of information.

Access

In criminal cases, attorneys often call on professionals as expert witnesses. Criminal defense lawyers have access to these professionals and know the direction to take in order to secure them as a witness. Without an attorney, this could be an arduous task.

Restraint

Once you hire an attorney, they act on your behalf in a court of law. That means you do not need to do anything you might think will help the situation. Most times, any action winds up doing more harm than good. Hiring an attorney will provide a type of restraint that keeps you neutralized.

Paperwork

Staring down all the paperwork involved in a court case can be daunting. Attorneys are trained to handle this and know exactly what needs to be filed and when it needs to be done. An oversight on your part in this area could result in severe consequences.

Don’t try to take on criminal charges or a personal injury lawsuit without an attorney by your side. The Law Offices of William H. Harding is there for clients facing all types of charges. William H. Harding is ready to take the law in our hands so that you will receive the most favorable outcome possible.

 

How to Choose a Criminal Attorney in Charlotte

woman search online for a lawyer in Charlotte NC

Choosing a criminal defense attorney is something that should not be taken lightly. Every person facing criminal charges should take careful consideration when selecting their defense attorney. Here are some important things to look for when choosing a criminal defense attorney in Charlotte, NC.

Experience

It helps to have an attorney who has been in a courtroom many times before. You want to make sure your lawyer has been through several cases and is familiar with the most effective ways of reducing your charges or getting them thrown out altogether.

Location

Another helpful tip is to have a defense lawyer on your side with familiarity of the local court system. Knowing the lay of the land and being familiar with prosecutors and judges could provide you with a distinct advantage.

Price

When it comes to criminal charges, paying for quality could play a big part in your future. Don’t always look for the cheapest attorney in town as your future and freedom are too important to trust to just any attorney.

Track Record

Most people do not want to take a chance on a lawyer who hasn’t notched many wins. Look into your prospective lawyer’s track record and don’t be afraid to ask about their past wins and losses.

Rapport

The only way to get a true gauge on a lawyer is to set up a face-to-face meeting. During that meeting, keep an eye on the lawyer’s passion, attentiveness and concern. You should not only feel comfortable with your lawyer, but also feel confident that you have made the right choice.

Reputation

It won’t be too hard to learn a little more about your prospective criminal lawyer. Ask around and see what people are saying. Online reviews can be helpful as are any references from past clients.

Specialization

Not all criminal lawyers have extensive experience in every area of criminal law. If you are facing DUI charges, you probably don’t want an attorney who spends most of his time dealing with assault cases. Make sure your attorney specializes in the area in which you are facing charges.

When it comes time to find the best criminal attorney Charlotte has to offer, contact the Law Offices of William H. Harding. With extensive experience practicing criminal law in the Charlotte area, the Law Offices of William H. Harding can give you the advantage you deserve.

Top 10 Things People Do To Hurt Their Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Case

If you have suffered a personal injury at the expense of someone else, there are certain things that should be done right away. There are also certain things to avoid and here is a look at the top 10 things people should not do in their personal injury case.

Don’t contact a lawyer

There are so many specifics in a personal injury case that victims can do more harm to their own case than they realize. Without a personal injury attorney advising you, there is a strong likelihood someone you could doom your own case right away.

Speak to insurance company

The insurance company can use anything you say against you. Insurance companies specialize in finding ways to get out of paying personal injury victims. By speaking directly to them, you are playing right into their hands and could be baited into destroying your entire case.

Don’t seek medical attention

After suffering a personal injury, there is a need to officially document your injuries. That can’t happen if you do not see a doctor right after your accident.

Downplay the severity of injuries

There is no reason to make anyone think any of your injuries are minor. By doing so, you provide insurance companies with leverage and also minimize your chances of receiving adequate compensation.

Use words like sore

People can get sore from doing minor tasks and chores around the house. Use of that term will indicate you have no real injury with any medical validity. Stay away from using the word sore altogether.

Don’t accurately describe the pain

In order to be compensated, there needs to be a detailed explanation of the injuries suffered. That cannot occur without being descriptive when describing your pain. Don’t leave anything out.

Don’t record the details that led to the accident

A record of the event that lacks details severely hurts a personal injury lawsuit. Be sure to write down everything that happened and even take pictures or video if possible. Remember that no detail is unimportant.

Don’t contact the police

Even if the accident is minor, the police must be notified. This will provide the victim with an accident report, which is an essential document in this process.

Leave the scene of the accident

This could all but doom your personal injury case. Leaving the scene of accident negates a victim from fulfilling so many important parts of the overall process.

Don’t follow through on treatment

Injuries require treatment and by blowing off any rehab or therapy, you are essentially saying you don’t need it. And if there is no injury, there will be no money coming your way.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding can provide you with an experienced personal injury or accident attorney in Charlotte, NC. After suffering a personal injury, make sure you immediately contact The Law Offices of William H. Harding and we will work on getting the compensation you deserve.

Why Accepting a Settlement or Plea Agreement Might Not Be the Best Option

legalWhen it comes to a lawsuit or criminal charges, settlements can mean money for a client or a less severe sentence for defendants who are facing charges. While that may seem like ample reasoning to accept a settlement, it is not always a good idea to accept a settlement or plea agreement right away. This is especially true if you do not have a lawyer. Here is a look at why that is the case.

Settlements

It is the job of insurance companies to settle their lawsuits and claims for as little as possible. That means their initial offer is almost guaranteed to be well below what you rightfully deserve. There is often a negotiation process that goes back and forth, which means the quicker you are inclined to settle, the less money you are likely to receive.

It is a known fact that a personal injury lawyer will represent clients for extensive stretches of time. Insurance companies will attempt to draw things out as a ploy to make victims weary from the process. That could enable them to give in and accept a settlement. However, sticking it out could mean a much more lucrative payout. Keep in mind that patience can pay off. And when an insurance company is offering a certain amount of money, it’s not likely that you will receive any less taking the matter to court.

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Plea Agreements

When facing criminal charges, it is natural to be worried about the future. But it is also important to understand the prosecution’s school of thought. The prosecution’s main job is to get a conviction. By making a plea agreement, you are actually giving the prosecution a victory and basically doing their job for them.

It is also important to note that most courts are overrun with criminal cases, which makes many prosecutors eager to run through their caseload. But when one of those cases goes to trial, there is a lot of uncertainty involved for the prosecution. Material witnesses can become less dependable over long spans of time and there may be insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Time can benefit those facing criminal charges, which makes plea agreements a much less appealing option.

When the time comes to call a Charlotte accident attorney or criminal defense attorney, contact The Law Offices of William H. Harding. Charlotte lawyer William H. Harding is ready to stand by you, whether you are facing criminal charges or in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit.

What You Should Look For When Hiring an Attorney to Represent You

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Choosing an attorney should not be a decision that is taken lightly, especially since you are actually putting your future in the hands of someone else. To help with that selection process, there are certain criteria everyone should consider when looking for legal representation.

Experience
The importance of experience in an attorney cannot be overstated. This is extremely valuable in cases that wind up in litigation as you want a lawyer who has been there before. Experienced attorneys know what tactics to use and when to use them. There is also a lot of negotiation that goes back in forth in personal injury cases, so it is important to have the patience to know when to wait things out and when to have the decisiveness to settle. That all comes with experience. Lawyers who are experienced in local court systems also bring an added advantage, being so familiar with the lay of the land.

Skill/Specialization
When you find yourself arrested for a crime, such as a DUI, you want a criminal attorney who specializes in representing clients who face DUI charges. That kind of specialization allows clients to have the highest chance of success. Once you find a lawyer, who specializes in your type of case, then it’s time to examine their skills. Communication skills are essential in a good lawyer as you want to hire an attorney who can explain every detail of your case so that you full comprehend the entirety of your situation.

Availability
It is important to be able to get in touch with your lawyer when the situation calls for it. Hiring a lawyer, who is overloaded with clients, means that you probably will be limited when it comes to any one-on-one attention. Make sure that your lawyer is accessible and capable of answering your questions when it’s necessary. Many criminal cases and personal injury cases can introduce people to quite a bit of worry. Hiring a lawyer who is rarely available will only add to that worry.

Personal Touch
Adding a personal touch means taking a heightened interest in every client. That means adding a little more care and attention to every case. Lawyers who add that personal touch become invested in their clients. While many lawyers have developed a bit of a callous reputation, those who provide a personal touch manage to make a lasting impression by showing more attentiveness and dedication.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding is ready to provide you with an injury attorney or criminal defense lawyer, who can meet all your legal needs. Our team will go that extra mile to provide you with a top-quality accident attorney.

Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

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For those of you planning to file a personal injury lawsuit or make an injury-related insurance claim, chances are your own injury and recovery is your sole concern. However, it can be helpful to take a look at a variety of personal injury cases and examine the unique factors that can influence each one.

Sometimes called ‘tort law,’ personal Injury law permits the injured plaintiff to receive compensation in the event that they are harmed as a result of another person(s)’ intentional actions or negligence. This means that there are countless ways for personal injuries to occur. In fact, the CDC last reported over 32,000,000 injuries in 2015 but, not all of these qualify under personal injury law. Below, we explore the most common types of personal injury cases within the United States.

Motor Vehicle Crash Cases
It has been estimated that each year over 32,000 people are killed and another 2,000,000 injured due to automobile accidents. For 2015, North Carolina only reported more than 265,000 traffic accidents resulting in 130,137 injured people. In addition, for age groups 10 to 65+, “Motor Vehicle Occupant” is listed as the 4th to 5th leading cause of nonfatal injuries treated in hospital emergency departments.

It goes without saying that personal injuries cases involving auto accidents and vehicle collisions are the most common type in the US. Most vehicle accidents happen because the driver(s) fail to follow the rules of the road. Broken road rules often include not wearing a seat belt, improperly buckle child seat or belt, driving while drunk or intoxicated, speeding, and distracted driving (using a device or texting).

When a car accident claim has been made, the driver who is found guilty will be responsible for reimbursing the damages that were caused as a result of the car accident typically through their insurance. Sometimes, however, there may be exceptions in states enforcing no-fault laws, where the driver(s) will be responsible for collecting from their own insurers unless the cases meets the set threshold. North Carolina and West Virginia do not have no-fault auto insurance laws.
Before pursuing a lawsuit for motor vehicle crash injuries, we recommend consulting with an experienced auto accident lawyer near you.

Slip and Fall Cases
Unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury and “slip and falls” are the second most common type of personal injury case. By rule of law, property owners (and, in a few cases, renters) are legally obliged to keep their property safe and hazard-free, so that visitors do not become injured easily. That being said, not every injury occurring on the property will cause the landowner to be liable. Other slip and fall case involve an employee being injured on-the-job. In these cases, the employers might be sued for inadequate safety equipment, lack of safety protocol, hazardous work environment, or a number of other negligences.

Medical Malpractice Cases
While the law cannot and does not expect them to be flawless, doctors and medical professionals can be held responsible if the kind of care they provide falls below the accepted standards. In such cases a viable medical malpractice claim may be made. Not only are medical malpractice claims one of the most common, they are also some of the most complicated cases.

There is no need to take on such a challenge only, especially if you are still recovery from injury. Find a medical malpractice lawyer to come sit with you and discuss your options.

Defective Products Cases
When any consumer product (be it a medicinal product, a vehicle, a piece of machinery, or a food item) is designed or produced in a way that renders it unsafe and happens to injured an individual, the injured party can bring a claim of “products liability” against the manufacturer of the goods. The latter may be held responsible for reimbursing both physical and financial damages.

Injuries happen for many reasons but, when an injury is due to the actions of another person, you may be able to sue them under personal injury law. If you have read this article and believe you or someone you know might be the victim of a personal injury accident in Charlotte NC, contact our law firm. The Law Offices of William H. Harding will provide a free personal injury consultation in which a licensed lawyer will review a potential case and explain all available options.

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-vehicle-safety/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_nonfatal_injury_2015_1050w760h.gif
https://connect.ncdot.gov/business/DMV/DMV%20Documents/2016%20Crash%20Facts.pdf

Why You Should Always Seek Medical Treatment After an Accident

There are essential steps to take after a car accident and one of them is to seek out immediate medical treatment. Here’s a look at the top reasons why this step should not be overlooked.

Woman Feeling Neck Ache After Bad Cars Pile Up

Identify Injuries
Being involved in a car accident does not always show immediate signs of injury. Even minor collisions can cause injuries that take time to surface. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, but the pain is not immediate. Whiplash can be very serious, leading to slipped discs and potential nerve damage. Many times, all the adrenaline of the moment will make some injuries seem more minor than they actually are. Then, when that adrenaline finally wears off, the pain sets in and you finally realize you’ve been injured.

Proof of Pain and Suffering
It’s easy for anyone to claim some type of injury that resulted from a car accident. However, in order to get compensated for that injury, there needs to be proof. Pain and suffering is something that needs to be identified and not just assumed. Pain and suffering can also linger long after an accident, so getting started on identifying the source of that pain and suffering right away is essential.

Better Safe than Sorry
There is nothing that can trump having good health. Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, some of which can severely impact an individual’s quality of life. Attending to an injury right away could prevent it from developing into a major injury in the future. That could make your life a whole lot easier. And if there is ever a need to file a lawsuit, having documentation of an injury is always a necessity.

Help Your Case
In any personal injury lawsuit, the more proof you can provide, the better your chances are of receiving a lucrative settlement. There is no telling what kind of health and medical issues will result from your auto accident. Starting out with a visit to your doctor is the first brick that goes into building your case. Failing to put that brick in place could topple your entire case.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding is ready to help your lawsuit by providing you with an experienced personal injury lawyer, who will focus on every single detail of your case. If you are involved in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of William H. Harding right away and we will advise you on the appropriate course of action to take.

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