GREENSBORO, NC -- 2WTK has a team of Call For Action volunteers that work with viewers to resolve consumer complaints. But some issues need a lawyer.
David Daggett of Daggett Shuler Law joined us give his expertise on two viewer issues.
Scenario #1: The viewer swears he only takes his car to one oil change chain for oil changes. On one trip they tell him he has an oversized pin in his oil pan. Oil has been leaking and caused engine damage. They say they are not at fault - they did not put in the oversized pin. It seems it's his word against theirs.
"Ah, the old "He said, She said" situation, " says David. "These scenarios are extremely difficult unless there is some form of independent evidence that helps prove the case. If there is independent evidence that allows you to prove fault, then the car owner would have a claim against the oil change station for the damage to their engine. Remember also that the man may have possible warranty or insurance coverage to cover the damages."
Scenario #2: The viewer takes his car to an automatic car wash. We're not sure why but he says they put a piece of tape on his bumper. After the car goes through the car wash, he takes the tape off and it pulls paint off with it. He wants the car wash to pay to repaint his bumper. They deny putting the tape on his bumper. So it seems again it's his word against theirs. Plus they have signs saying not responsible for damage.
"Again, this is a scenario of one person's word against another. These cases make the claim very difficult to be successful. If there is independent evidence to show or prove that the car wash or one of its employees was at fault for the damage to the bumper, then the claim could be successful. Please remember that if the damages are under $10,000 it can go to North Carolina small claims court, which is a bit like the People's Court and does not require an attorney."
Auto Accidents and Personal Injury:
Misconception: if you're hurt in an accident, the insurance company will cover all treatment that you receive.
Truth is the insurance company will evaluate whether the treatment is reasonable, necessary and related. Treatment is particularly scrutinized when there's lower property damage to the vehicle or when significant delays or gaps in treatment occur. When you're hurt in an accident, it's important to obtain prompt and consistent medical treatment.
Misconception: if you are hurt in an accident, incur medical bills, and have health insurance, your health insurance plan shouldn't pay for your medical treatment
Truth is due to a change in the law in 2011, it is actually important to use your health insurance to cover your medical bills as the liable party is only responsible for the amount necessary to pay or satisfy your medical bills. When you have health insurance, the amount necessary to pay your medical bills could be determined to be the amount that your health insurance did or should pay plus the amount that you pay or owe.
Misconception: if the officer finds in your favor, you claim will automatically be covered by the other person's carrier
Truth is insurance company will conduct its own investigation into the accident to determine fault. They will generally reach the same conclusion as the officer, but not always. It is important to get eyewitness contact information independent of the officer, if possible
Misconception: if you slip and fall or are otherwise hurt on someone's property, the property owner will automatically be responsible for your damages
Truth: prop owner only responsible if negligent and claimant is not contribute to the negligence. Important to get eyewitness contact information
Misconception: If you're in an at fault accident, your insurance will pay all your damages
Truth: vehicles covered by collision; Medical bills covered by Medical Payments
Social Security and Disability:
1) You have to be out of work for 12 months before you can file an application for social security disability benefits. Should file as soon as stop working if you believe your will not be able to return to work in 12 months.
2) Social Security Disability is only for people who are totally and permanently disabled. Many claimants receive disability benefits for several years while they are recovering from injuries or illnesses and then they return to work.
3) If a person is out of work and then returns to work they do not have a social security disability claim. As long as a person is disabled for at least 12 continuous months the person can receive disability benefits for the time they were disabled even if they have gone back to work. This is called a closed period of disability.
4) If a person is unable to do the jobs they have done in the past then they are disabled. A person has to be unable to perform their past relevant work as well as any other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy to be considered disabled.
5) If my doctor says I am disabled then the Social Security Administration will automatically award disability benefits. A treating physician's opinion is only one piece of evidence that the Social Security Administration considers and the ultimate decision as to whether a claimant is disabled rests with the Social Security Administration.