Frequently Asked Questions

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  • If I file a lawsuit against a landowner in response to a slip and fall injury, what will landowner potentially argue against my claim?

    The most common argument used by property owners in a slip and fall injury case is that even though you were injured on their property, they should not be held responsible.

    If the hazardous condition was temporary such as an accumulation of water after an ice storm, owners usually argue that the conditions occurred so soon before the slip and fall incident that they could not have prevented it.

    They can also argue that a dangerous condition was so open and obvious that you should have seen it and, therefore, they are not at fault.

    You should also expect the land owner, or the owner's attorney, to argue that you fell because of carelessness, inattentiveness, or even being intoxicated at the time of the injury.

    These arguments are why you need an experienced injury lawyer who can represent you and challenge any erroneous accusations made by the land owner or their attorney.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.


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  • What should I not do after I've suffered a slip and fall injury?

    Be very cautious if you're asked to sign any statement from the property owner or ownership entity regarding the incident. If there are any errors or inaccuracies, you may be accused of claiming an incomplete or misleading representation of the slip and fall. If you do provide a statment, get a copy for your records and provide it to your attorney.

    Choose your words carefully. Statements such as, "I'm just clumsy. It was probably my fault" would hurt your slip and fall claim, even if it turns out that others were at fault.

    If the landowner has insurance, a claims adjuster will probably call you to take a statement over the phone. Before providing a statement to an adjuster, or a statement to the land owner, you should speak with an injury lawyer to discuss your situation.

     

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.


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  • What happens if I injured myself on my friend's property?

    If your friend is owns a home, they probably have some type of homeowners insurance in order to protect themselves in case someone gets injured on the property.

    If your friend is a renter, they may have renters insurance, or some type of "umbrella coverage," for the same protection. "Umbrella coverage" is an extension of an individual's home or auto insurance. In addition, if your friend is a renter, the land owner probably has insurance coverage for claims arising from injuries on the property.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • What can I do if I get into an argument with my medical doctor/provider?

    We hate to see this as personal injury lawyers because doctors, physical therapists, and all medical providers are trained to record any notes that relate to your medical care. "I told Dr. Smith he did not know what he was doing" and I switched doctors, a client might tell us before we could explain that every word of this was not only recorded in the office notes, but may be recorded in a way that is stilted against you as the injured patient.

    You should not tell your medical provider they simply "don't get it" because it will come back to haunt you, even if you think that you're right. Instead, you should see another provider if you must, but as lawyers, we counsel our client about switching medical doctors/providers too often or for no good reason.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • What should I say when I visit a medical doctor/provider?

    When you go to a physical therapist, stay on topic. This should be essentially talk about your care or how you were doing. Do not cozy up to the therapist and confide with them about your brother in law who was just released from the state penitentiary, or about anything that could somehow be used against you by an insurance lawyer months later.

    We do explain to every injury client that if the case gets into court, the insurance lawyer's basic strategy is to subpoena every medical record after the date of the accident, even going back for a number of years before the accident to study whether you had any condition that they can argue makes your claim less valuable. Some clients think they can hide a damaging medical record or opinion, but finding all relevant medical records is fairly easy for an insurance lawyer by simply going to a health insurance provider and getting a list of all expenses paid by that provider. They can also they simply look for cross-references between records.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • Should I send written statements to my medical doctor/provider?

    No. We've had clients fax a hand written long note to the doctor explaining that the doctor not understand how the pain of this client was significant, or why the doctor got it wrong in sending the client back to work when they were still hurt, and guess what? Once the doctor/medical provider puts that written fax or letter in your patient chart, it will find its way to the insurance defense attorney months later if the case goes to court. We have even had the injured person's wife or husband hand right the nasty note that finds its way into the file. What makes your case good or bad? Not doing faxes or hand written notes to your medical provider telling them how they don't understand your medical condition.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • What if I have long gaps in between medical care?

    This situation is if you are treated by certain doctors on a regular basis for several weeks or months, and then stop going to any of those medical providers for three months, and start back up.

    Lawyers and insurance adjusters called this a gap in treatment. Is there a good reason? When there is a good reason we, as injury lawyers, can deal with this and it's not a case killer, but an unusual lack of medical care and then a resumption of the care needs to have a rational reason or the insurance adjuster will try to claim that none of the care after the long gap is really related to the car accident injury.

    The insurance adjusters try to scour the medical records and other records to try to claim that some part of the medical care has nothing to do with the car accident case even without a major gap in care.
     

     


     

     

  • Should someone take photos and get phone numbers at the scene of the accident?

    Yes. You or your passengers are likely going to have a cell phone with a digital camera built-in. Whomever is not seriously injured needs to take pictures of the damage to the car that caused the wreck, and some pictures of your car. Disappearing witnesses are a huge problem in car accident injury cases. Police officers do a good job of responding to the crash, but if they know that the at fault driver has given a statement they are generally not concerned about locating other witnesses that may support the magnitude of the car crash or the issues of who was at fault. If you are able to get around, try to get a phone number of any witness who is milling about the scene. Once they get in that car and leave, you are likely never going to find their phone number. If you have no access to a pen simply call your own cell phone and leave yourself a voice message with their phone number or license plate number or both.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • Do I have a case if a ticket or citation was not issued by a police officer?

    Yes. There is no requirement that a ticket or citation be issued in any car accident personal injury case. Under the civil justice system, the injured person typically just needs to prove by the greater majority ("greater weight") of the evidence that the other party was the cause of the accident and injuries.

    Even more significantly, most states do not even allow into evidence in a personal injury case whether the police officer issued a ticket or citation to the responsible driver that caused the crash. In some states, the only exception to introducing evidence of a traffic/criminal ticket issued to the responsible driver is if that driver actually pleads guilty or mails in the ticket accepting responsibility-then that evidence is admissible.

    Sometimes a police officer just doesn't feel comfortable saying which driver is at fault, but once we interview a client and investigate the crash, we often become highly convinced that our client is free of fault and have accepted many injury cases over many years where no ticket was issued.


    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.


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  • Does minor car damage mean no serious injuries?

    Imagine there are two different car drivers driving the same make/model car that received virtually the same exact car bumper damage in a rear end collision, in two different cities at two different times and both are rear ended by the same exact make/model SUV going the same speed. One driver is on the East Coast and one is on the West Coast. Could the East Coast driver be permanently injured and the West Coast driver suffer no personal injury? Of course.

    Imagine the East Coast driver is a 58-year-old who had two prior neck surgeries, and is still in physical therapy months after the second neck surgery. However, the West Coast driver is a 19-year-old who has never had a prior neck problem. The 19-year-old from the West Coast might get out of the car, have no injury noticeable at the scene, in the days after or ever. The 58-year-old East Coast driver feels an immediate onset of neck pain, leaves the scene with the rescue squad to receive emergency care, and then begins a more aggressive merry-go-round of medical visits, further physical therapy and possibly a third neck surgery, likely due to the existence of the pre-existing neck condition.

    The legal phrase is that this person is an "egg shell skull" victim, meaning that this person might not have had a skull or body part in a regular condition but is still as delicate as a skull made of an egg shell. Under nearly all situations, the law states a responsible driver takes the injured victim as they are even if the responsible driver has no awareness that the person in the car that they smash has an egg shell skull, or some significant pre-existing conditions that make them more susceptible to personal injuries. Doctors know that someone who had a previous surgery on a body part develops scar tissue and is more susceptible to re-injury.

    The point here is that minor car property damage may indicate something significant or it may not, especially if the person who was rear-ended has some special physical condition or medical condition that makes them more susceptible to injury.

    Here's the bottom line: the insurance companies love to deny claims or pay pennies on the dollar for minor damage car accident cases as an excuse not to pay what can be a significant and valid injury claim backed up by several medical Doctors opinions. People that suffer new personal injuries, but have a pre-existing condition are wise to hire an experienced personal injury attorney like those working for Shapiro & Appleton. Insurance adjusters love to deny any compensation to a consumer for an obvious permanent injury, because permanent injuries are not tied directly to an economic loss formula, plus our clients often do not know what type of medical opinion to get from their treating doctor in order to outline the permanent nature of their injuries.


    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.


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