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When is the Best Time to Settle My Case - Wayne Hardee Law

When someone’s negligence leads to injury of a third party, the third party will almost surely be advised to pursue compensation through legal means. Of course, it depends on the severity of the injury, but even minor accidents require a thorough checkup to ensure bodily health. Whether you are the negligent party, the injured party, or the insurance company who finances the negligent party, there are really only two outcomes in a case such as this: settlement or trial.

You may be eager to accept whatever settlement is proposed, receive your money, and put the incident behind you once and for all. In some cases, this may be your best option. But how do you know for sure you’re getting everything you deserve? How do you know when to take a settlement out of court and when to take the case to trial?

First, it’s important to remember that when taking a case to trial, you are not always guaranteed to emerge victorious. You may see this as yet another point in favor of a quick settlement, but what if the settlement (typically arranged and proposed by the insurance company of the defendant) is not enough to cover damages suffered in the accident? Personal injury includes not only physical suffering, but mental and emotional as well. It’s crucial that you recognize the scope of your injuries and begin this process with the expectation of full compensation.

It’s critical to hire an attorney to guide you through the process. Depending on your unique situation, they can help you make the best decision when it comes to trial versus settlement. An attorney can tell you if the settlement is a low-ball offer and, perhaps more importantly, if it will cover all necessary expenses. This would be the primary reason for taking a case to trial. Otherwise, a settlement is a great way to avoid the often lengthy court proceedings and all the stress and anxiety that comes with it.

Ultimately, the most important thing is that you receive the compensation you are due. If you feel like a settlement is fair, then accept it by all means. But do seek the opinion of a personal injury attorney before making any final decisions. If you’re looking for a reliable law firm, we here at Wayne Hardee Law would be more than happy to represent you. Our team of lawyers will stand by you and help you make an informed decision as you seek compensation for injury. Contact us today, or visit our website for more information!


Safe Winter Travel Tips - Wayne Hardee Law

This is one of the most highly travelled times of the year. With the celebration of holidays such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years, we are annually drawn from wherever we are to congregate with family and friends. While it’s a wonderful sentiment, depending on where you live, it can be quite inconvenient at times. Snow and ice cover the roads, traffic is bumper to bumper, and even occasional power outages wreak havoc on traffic signals and streetlights.

Winter travel can be tough. But if you know what to watch out for ahead of time, you can do your best to avoid it. Here are some things you can do to stay safe when it comes to winter travel.

  • Avoid driving at night. Wintry roads are already treacherous during the day, but they can be downright deadly with the decreased visibility of nightfall. Plan your trip accordingly, and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, fully accounting for the possibility of any unexpected stops.
  • Check the weather before leaving. Flights, trains, and other means of transportation can be cancelled or rescheduled, but you and your passengers only have one life to live. Your safety must take priority. If the weather forecast is calling for icy precipitation of any kind, don’t take any unnecessary risks. Wait it out and leave after the storm has passed.
  • If you must drive through the rain and snow, or you find yourself caught in the middle of a sudden storm, practice careful driving techniques. Drive well below the speed limit and turn your hazard lights on for increased visibility to those around you. If driving is too dangerous and visibility is low, pull to the side of the road and wait it out.
  • Pack your car with any supplies you may need in case of emergency. Food, water, blankets, a first aid kit, and other tools, including a pocket knife, matches, flashlight, map, and compass. The likelihood that you’ll need all these supplies is slim, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Traveling in the winter may be difficult, but the extra precautions will be worth it in the end. By saving your life and the lives of your passengers, you’re ensuring that the holiday season remains a joyful time for everyone. Stay safe out there, and enjoy the time spent with your friends, families, and neighbors as people brave the weather to come together.


Auto Insurance Laws in NC - Wayne Hardee Law

Auto insurance is a good thing to have. Of all the times and places you might need coverage, it’s best to have it while on the road. Vehicular accidents are fairly common, and you want to avoid having to pay for all the damage and repairs.

Unfortunately, the claims process can be a stressful and slightly confusing process, especially for new customers: contacting an agent, determining eligibility, documenting evidence, filling out forms, etc. The list goes on. There are so many things to keep track of already. To make things even more complicated, some states have slightly different laws pertaining to auto insurance and the claims process. If you live in North Carolina, you’re in luck! Below is a list containing some insurance laws specific to our state.

  • NC is a fault state. If and when a person is in an automobile accident, the driver at fault for the accident is held responsible and will not be allowed to collect any insurance money. This is specific to North Carolina, as some states require that insurance companies pay the victims, regardless of fault. If you ever find yourself in an automobile accident in NC, be careful not to immediately take the blame for the incident.
  • Coverage extends outside NC, but not out of the US. If you are a resident of North Carolina, the broadening clause dictates that your auto insurance coverage will extend to the other states. If you get into an accident outside your home state, the same insurance guidelines will apply there as they would in NC. This includes the “no-fault” states, where drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP). In these cases, your coverage will automatically broaden to include PIP.
  • Household drivers affect insurance premiums. If you are the policyholder, your family’s driving record (or that of anyone who uses your car) will affect your insurance premiums. Be sure that the people you lend your car to are safe and trustworthy.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage is required by law in NC. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is meant to protect you against uninsured drivers. This may be bundled with automobile liability insurance, which must also be maintained. Coverage must meet a minimum requirement of $30,000 bodily injury per person and a $60,000 total cost for all injuries to all victims.

Regardless of where you live, insurance may save you quite a bit of money some day. Be sure to keep these specifics in mind the next time you find yourself in an automobile accident. Wayne Hardee Law specializes in insurance cases. If you need representation or find yourself in a tough legal spot, contact us today!


Navigating the Insurance Claims Process - Wayne Hardee Law

If there’s one thing we can predict about the future, it’s that the future is unpredictable. That’s why we have insurance. Life insurance, health insurance, auto insurance, and home insurance are just a few of the many kinds that cover the many areas of our lives. It’s always nice to know that, should something go terribly wrong, insurance will help mitigate the cost of damages and repairs.

But let’s say that something does go wrong, or perhaps you have a bill that insurance will help cover. Now it’s time to file a claim. Navigating the claims process can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. This article will walk you through the basic steps and any pitfalls that you may encounter during the process.

First, contact your insurance agent immediately. They will be your primary guide and support through the process, and they will tell you what to expect as you move forward. It’s important to do this right away, as some insurance coverage comes with a time limit. It may not be possible to claim your insurance money after a certain period of time has elapsed. The quicker you get it done, the more likely you will be to get your claim approved.

Second, be sure to fill out any paperwork and provide the necessary details. If something was lost or damaged, provide an image and a description. If there was an accident, describe the events leading up to the event and take photos of the scene. Keep careful notes and record everything you remember before the details slip your mind. You can never be too prepared when filing an insurance claim.

Third, an insurance adjuster will come to inspect your claim and analyze the damage. Depending on the extent of the damage, you will be entitled to a different amount of money. The insurance company will often reimburse the actual cash value and then pay for any sustained damage or repairs.

Finally, based on the inspection and recommendation of the insurance adjuster, you will receive your money. This is typically split into multiple payments or dispensed directly to the contractors who will do the repairs. That way, insurance companies can be sure you are spending it on its intended purpose.

Insurance claims can be a hassle, and no one wants to be in a position where they need coverage. But now you have a better idea of what to expect should the situation arise. Contact your insurance agency immediately and follow the instructions of your representative. They will help you through the process and further explain anything that doesn’t make sense.


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