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Please call our head office at 877-890-0851, or simply ask Mike and Lea in the “Free Case Review” form and we’ll be happy to help answer your inquiry.

I slipped and fell during a recent ice storm and injured my knee. I was walking to my mailbox early that morning in the apartment complex where I live, when I slipped on ice on the common sidewalk area. I tore my meniscus and will need knee surgery. I called my apartment manager to report the incident and find out if they would help pay for my surgery. They said they have no liability. Is that true?

Attorney Mike Lewis, founding partner of Lewis & Keller

Mike Lewis, Founding Partner At Lewis & Keller

I’m so sorry to hear about your injury. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to recover in North Carolina. First, the property owner has no duty to warn of open and obvious dangers. And even worse, we are one of only 4 states that still have Contributory Negligence. If you knew there was ice around the mailbox because of the recent ice storm and did not take proper care for your own safety, you would be considered negligent. Even if you are 1% at fault, you probably would not recover anything in North Carolina because of this harsh law.

I was in an accident recently that totaled my car. A woman was driving in the opposite direction and lost control of her car. She crossed the center line and hit me head on. I had CT scans and numerous X-rays. I was released from the hospital with a serious concussion. She was 100% at fault. Her insurance company called and said there will be little payout. It has cost me time off work, hospital bills and lost money on my car. How can this happen?

Attorney Lea Keller

Lea Keller, Managing Partner At Lewis & Keller

I am sorry to hear about your crash and resulting injury. When an insurance company evaluates a claim, they often look at the injury suffered and the care required to address that injury. Unfortunately, if the only treatment is an initial ER visit, insurance companies tend to deem the injury minimal and only pay slightly over the ER bill to settle the claim. You should know that you are entitled to payment for your medical bills, your missed time from work (as long as a doctor has written you out), and then something on top of those expenses for pain and suffering. The pain and suffering number is very subjective and is typically somewhat minimal when only one ER visit is involved. As with your vehicle, the insurance company should be handling the damage to your vehicle completely separately from your injury portion of the claim. I hope this helps you understand the process a little bit better, but feel free to contact our office if you have further questions or concerns.

I was in an auto accident 6 months ago. The defendant’s insurance company is telling me that the driver that hit me head-on has minimal insurance coverage. I will have to pay a lot out of my pocket. Doesn’t the other driver have a responsibility to carry higher coverage?

Attorney Mike Lewis, founding partner of Lewis & Keller

Mike Lewis, Founding Partner At Lewis & Keller

I am sorry to hear about your accident. The simple answer to your question is, “No.” Many times drivers carry only a minimum coverage insurance policy. North Carolina law allows drivers to purchase this type of minimum coverage. To protect yourself in the future, you may want to look into medical payments coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. These types of policies will protect you when the defendant carries only the minimum coverage. Your medical bills would be covered by this type of policy, even if the defendant has no coverage. Please call our office to answer any questions you might have.

My husband recently became very sick after eating some milk he used on his cereal. He had just opened the carton and noticed nothing unusual, but within minutes after tasting it, he began to have a burning sensation in his mouth. Does he have a claim?

Attorney Mike Lewis, founding partner of Lewis & Keller

Mike Lewis, Founding Partner At Lewis & Keller

While the milk is the likely cause of his problems, North Carolina requires proof of fault in order to recover. He would need to have the milk tested as soon as possible in order to determine what toxic substances it might contain. He would then need a physician to review the information and state whether or not the toxic substance in the milk was a cause of his illness. Only then would he have a chance to recover money damages.

I currently cannot work my job. In fact, I am out on long-term disability. Therefore, I will be disabled under the Social Security Disability regulations, correct?

Attorney W. Tyler Craft, Lewis & Keller

W. Tyler Craft, Attorney At Lewis & Keller

While it is true that being out on long-term disability from your job may suggest that you cannot do that job, there are more stages of consideration to your case. The final stage of your case is to determine if there is any job that someone with your medical limitations, age, education and work experience can perform. Therefore, to be disabled under the program, you must not be able to do any job at all, including your last job.

What single piece of advice would most benefit my disability case?

Attorney W. Tyler Craft, Lewis & Keller

W. Tyler Craft, Attorney At Lewis & Keller

When you decide to apply for disability, think of your new “job” as taking good care of yourself. Focus your time and energy on obtaining quality, regular medical treatment. Establishing a solid relationship with a competent doctor goes a long way in a disability case. Don’t go to the emergency room unless it is truly an emergency or you have no other choice. If at all possible, find a good primary care doctor who can refer you to appropriate specialists. If you have behavioral or mental issues, it is crucial that you regularly treat with a therapist and/or psychiatrist. By helping yourself, you will also help your case.

I need a lawyer to help with my disability, but I can’t afford to pay an Attorney. What should I do?

Attorney W. Tyler Craft, Lewis & Keller

W. Tyler Craft, Attorney At Lewis & Keller

You should call us as soon as possible. By law, an Attorney cannot charge you a fee for disability representation up front. Some firms may charge a small initial fee for expenses. However, at our firm you will owe us nothing up front. We only get paid if we win your case. This amount is set by federal regulation. Should we be successful, we will also bill for the costs advanced in winning your case.

What type of auto insurance should I get?

Attorney Mike Lewis, founding partner of Lewis & Keller

Mike Lewis, Founding Partner At Lewis & Keller

Liability auto insurance is designed to protect you. Your liability coverage will cover you for bodily injury and property damage if you or the driver of your car are at fault. It will cover any one in your family using your vehicle with your permission. Let’s say you have a split limits policy of 100/300/50. Exactly what this means is  your policy would pay up to $100,000 to any one person that is injured, up to $300,000 for all persons combined injured in one single accident. Using this example, there would be a limit of $50,000 in property damage liability for each accident.

Now, to understand more about the different types of policies, let’s look at the additional kinds of insurance that are available. Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle caused by another car, or even an object like a tree. This coverage pays the lesser of the average cost of repair to your vehicle no matter who’s at fault.

There’s one other area of insurance called comprehensive that covers losses caused by a break in, hitting a deer, flood, theft, fire, storm, etc. This type of insurance protects you regardless of who is at fault.

Medical payments, coverage is extra coverage that pays for medical and funeral expenses due to an auto accident, no matter who is at fault.

Our last area of coverage is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage, as the name implies, covers you or your family should you be hit by a driver who is at-fault and carries no insurance coverage. The same applies if the at-fault motorist does not carry enough coverage to cover your actual losses. This type of coverage does not include  property damage protection, but will cover the difference between the other driver’s liability limits and your underinsured motorist policy limits.

I hope this helps. If you can afford the extra costs, I would certainly suggest that you buy the extra coverage these policies provide. Thanks for contacting us with your question.

Winston-Salem Office

285 Executive Park Boulevard
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103

Phone: 336-765-7777
Fax: 336-659-1750

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204 Muirs Chapel Road Suite 100,
Greensboro, North Carolina 27410

Phone: 336-851-1000
Fax: 336-659-1750

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