4022 Shipyard Blvd. | Wilmington, NC 28403


Personal Injury

Why Should I hire Chris Vonderau as my Personal Injury Lawyer?

Chris Vonderau will personally evaluate your case, and fight for your best interests. Call Chris today at (910) 202-3110 or contact us with an email.


Insurance companies are Big Business. Their goal is to pay out the least amount possible on each and every claim. They have lawyers, accountants, claims adjusters, marketing firms and a whole host of specialists whose collective goal is to pay you the least possible.

By hiring a lawyer, you greatly increase your chances of the best possible recovery.

Understanding Insurance Company Claims Procedures

Insurance companies' claims adjusters are professional negotiators, with extensive experience in intimidation, "hassling," and using every psychological technique to maneuver a claimant into settling for the lowest possible dollar, including discouraging people from using the professional services of a lawyer.

Never violate this basic rule: never give an oral statement to the other sides insurance company. If you do, you will regret it. Claims adjusters are hired because they "sound good" over the telephone and they are extremely well trained by company lawyers to ask questions in a manner designed to hurt you and help them. You cannot beat an expert at their game. Do not try it.

Claims adjusters know that if they can keep a claimant negotiating with the adjuster then there is a high probability of a successful settlement in favor of the insurance company. Anyone who negotiates directly with a carrier, by definition, cannot file a lawsuit and is therefore not to be feared. While this sounds like an ad for lawyers, the truth is that studies have shown that experienced lawyers can negotiated settlements that are multiples of what individual claimants can negotiate for themselves.

To successfully negotiate a claim with an insurance company the basic rules of negotiation MUST be followed.

The Time Bomb: Deadlines on Filing Suit

North Carolina, as every other State, has statutes of limitations that require a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death to be filed within a certain period of time from the time of the injury. You need a competent attorney to evaluate your case in order to determine when your case needs to be filed.

Preserving the Evidence

Take two rolls of film of the accident location IMMEDIATELY after a crash from every conceivable angle and location. Lay a yardstick next to skid marks so someone can readily compute actual distances based on the photograph. Look for IMPENDING SKIDS. Tires just don¹t begin skidding. As a braked tire begins to skid it first leaves faint marks on the roadway known as impending skids. Measure and photograph these marks. They disappear within 48 hours so move quickly to record them. An impending skid and a skid mark when taken together gives a very accurate report of the actual speed of a car before a brake application.

Take distant and close up photographs of scenes and objects from every point on the compass. When in doubt, take another set.

You cannot take too many photographs of the aftermath of a collision, explosion, fire or other loss.

Make a Record

The corollary to preserving evidence is to also document damages. Report physical injuries to doctors, emergency rooms and obtain appropriate medical treatment. Appropriate treatment is that care recommended by a doctor. Do not substitute your judgment for that of an experienced medical professional. If you do, it will be used against you whether you over-treat or under-treat.

Do not hesitate to "get checked out" when you feel "O.K., but shaken up." Many times the onset of physical complaints begins 12 to 24 hours later. Maybe you did walk away from being rear-ended by a truck and only feel "shaken up." But tomorrow morning when you get out of bed it may be different. See a doctor following the collision will insure a preliminary diagnosis and perhaps minimize the discomfort and future treatment you may need later.

When reporting to doctors, take extra care to identify specific complaints. If something does not feel "right" it should be documented in your medical file and provided to your physician in order to allow the doctor to render an informed medical opinion. Even though you feel it is "no big thing" now, several weeks from now when the minor crick in your back blows out and becomes a fully ruptured disk requiring major surgery it will have been far better to have the initial medical entry in order to allow an orthopedic surgeon to opine that the onset of the fracture to the outer wall of the disk was the initial insult, not bending over at toilet three weeks later, as the defense will argue to the jury.

Lastly, keep receipts of everything and maintain a calendar of post-accident events that will help you recall later the days you could not work, were unable to enjoy your leisure time or spent Saturday at the physical therapist.

No matter whether it is a personal injury claim or any action in which you are the plaintiff, keep a fully detailed record of the harm you suffered.

Call Attorney Chris Vonderau today at (910) 202-3110 or contact us with an email.

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