I was hurt in a Wilmington car crash a few weeks ago. The insurance claims adjuster says I don’t need to hire a North Carolina auto accident lawyer because the police report found the other driver to be at fault. Is that okay?

No, it is not okay. It’s the exact opposite of okay.

We’ve warned you before about listening to insurance adjusters. To summarize yet again: the insurance adjuster is not your buddy. He doesn’t work for you, he works for the insurance company—and that means his pay is linked to the company’s profits. The company maximizes profits by collecting insurance premiums, not by paying generous settlements. It’s more likely than not that the adjuster gets an annual bonuses based on the amount of money he saves getting accident victims in North Carolina to agree to small settlements.

An even briefer summary: You’re being played.

What’s a police report for?

It’s best to think of a police report as a rough draft at explaining what occurred during a North Carolina traffic accident. Often, this “first draft” is the only explanation the local police or sheriff’s office needs for its records. The report will describe the sequence of the accident as the investigating officer understands it. That reconstruction isn’t necessarily complete or correct.

A police report may say, for instance, that vehicle A collided with vehicle B. That may be enough for the investigating officer to conclude that the driver of vehicle A was at fault. A thorough investigation might refine this conclusion, by finding that:

  • The driver of vehicle A lost control of his car due to a sudden crumbling of the pavement that a recent road crew had improperly repaired.
  • Vehicle A’s power steering system failed at a crucial time, causing the collision, because a mechanic had installed defective replacement parts.
  • Vehicle A is part of the corporate fleet belonging to the driver’s employer, and the driver was operating the vehicle as part of his work duties—even though he was never adequately trained for manual transmission cars.

Because each of these disclosures changes who may be legally liable for injuries caused by the accident, it’s important that you don’t stop at the police report. Only a Wilmington auto accident lawyer who will investigate beyond the police report can get the answers you need about who is really to blame for your injuries.

Seeking a fair recovery for your losses

The Speaks Law Firm publishes a free guidebook, The North Carolina Auto Injury Book, that explains why the services of an attorney are vital in the investigation of your accident. You can’t trust that the police report got every detail right, and you can’t trust that the insurance adjuster is giving you an unbiased summary of the police report. Hiring a lawyer to make an independent investigation will best protect your interests. You can then make a reasoned decision about pursuing a recovery.

For more information about the biggest mistakes people make in auto injury cases that cost them thousands and the most effective ways to avoid these mistakes please call (877) 593-4233 to request a free copy of my book, The North Carolina Auto Injury Book, 20 Secrets to Maximize your Claim or to speak with an experienced professional about your case.



R. Clarke Speaks
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Trial Lawyer and Founder of Speaks Law Firm, P.C.