Up & Coming Weekly

February 18, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 32

8 UCW FEBRUARY 19-25, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Been in a car wreck? What are your rights? by REBECCA BRITTON In my last article for Up & Com- ing Weekly in the Jan. 8 issue, I wrote about auto insurance cover- age and what I would recommend you have to protect yourself in case you are in a car wreck. I explained the difference between liability, uninsured and underinsured cov- erages. Beyond having adequate auto insurance coverage to protect yourself, the next step is knowing your rights following a car wreck that wasn't your fault. So back to my prior example of the wreck on the way to the gro- cery store when the other driver ran a red light and hit you. You are recovering from your injuries, and an insurance adjuster calls or comes by your hospital room or your home and wants to talk to you. You're on pain medication and the adjuster is asking you details about the wreck. They want to make a recorded statement. They want you to sign a paper to let them get your medical records. They tell you they can get this thing settled up quickly for you. They may even venture to tell you that you probably don't need a lawyer. Most of us would wonder at this point whether or not we have to talk to this insurance adjuster. No, you do not. Many of us would start to worry if we have some pressing time deadline and whether or not we have to talk to them right away. No, you do not. Maybe some of us would also question if we have to sign that medical authorization that the adjuster sent us or handed us along with a pen so they can get our medical records. No, you do not. Then there are those of us who would ask ourselves if we should contact a lawyer. Absolutely. Why? Because a lawyer can explain what your rights are, how all of this in- surance works and what the insur- ance company is obligated to do. A lawyer can guide you through the complexity of the mess you're in and potentially fight for you for the best outcome possible under the circumstances of your case. That insurance adjuster for that guy/gal who hit you has no obligation to you and their main priority is to pay the least amount of money possible on your claim and get it closed. Your lawyer's obligation — and priority — is you. If you have been in a car wreck that was not your fault, think about getting a consultation with a personal injury lawyer so you will know your rights and have your questions answered. At least then you should have enough informa- tion to safely determine if you can handle the claim on your own or if you need the help of a lawyer to work through it. When you have been in a car wreck, it can turn life upside-down as you try to recover physically and economically. Making quick deci- sions, without all of the necessary information and some solid legal guidance, could result in much greater costs, which you may not realize until it is too late. LEGALLY SPEAKING REBECCA BRITTON, Cofound- er of Britton Law.. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. If you have been in a car wreck that was not your fault, think about getting a consultation with a personal injury lawyer so you will know your rights and have your questions answered

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