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William David Owens

William Owens’s Answers

53 total


  • Can I recoup loss of car and medical bill?

    Driver turned left in front of me at stoplight intersection. I say light was yellow when I entered the intersection. He says light was red and he was in the intersection. No witness stopped . His ins. is denying claim stating ours is a 1% fault...

    William’s Answer

    Under North Carolina law, if you are found to have contributed to your own injuries/damages in any way whatsoever, you are barred from recovering from the other driver by what is called your “contributory negligence”. If the insurance company denies the claim, your only choices are: 1) walk away or 2) file a lawsuit and go to Court to prove your claim. From the facts you’ve described, it sounds as though the other driver should have yielded. That would get you over the first of two hurdles; his negligence. The second hurdle is your alleged contributory negligence. The issue becomes whether or not you (or a reasonable person in your shoes) should have been able to avoid the collision. (did you have an opportunity to observe him and apply brakes, etc, etc.?) If you have previously given a recorded statement to the insurance company, that statement will likely be used against you in the litigation of your claim. This is one of the reasons I typically advise people NOT to give a recorded statement unless and until you have had a free consultation with an experienced attorney in your area. Either way, I’d suggest reaching out now for a consultation with someone in your area. Good luck!

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  • My daughter was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver.The car was registered to one female but owned by another female.

    The driver was the boyfriend of the first female.Who is liable if car was uninsured.

    William’s Answer

    I certainly hope your daughter was not injured. If she was indeed injured, and if the driver who caused the injuries was impaired by alcohol or drugs, you should NOT attempt to handle the matter on your own. Under those circumstances, she would very likely entitled to recover “punitive damages” on top of the typical “compensatory damages” (i.e. medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.). It may not be fair, but the insurance company’s only real motivation to pay the full value of the claim is to avoid litigation. Without an attorney, your daughter cannot litigate the matter in Court. Without that pending litigation threat, the insurance company is not likely to pay the full value of the claim. I would strongly suggest that you/she not take further action until you sit down for a free face to face consultation with an experienced attorney in your area…preferably someone who has actual trial experience involving wreck cases with DWI/punitive damages.

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  • What is the process for settlements from insurance companies where their client is at fault?

    I was involved in a car accident in Dec. where a drunk driver pulled directly out in front of me and an impact was inevitable. I received treatment from a chiropractor, GP, and medical massage practitioner. When finished, his insurance offered me ...

    William’s Answer

    If the driver who caused your injuries was impaired by alcohol or drugs, you should NOT attempt to handle the matter on your own. Under these circumstances, you are very likely entitled to recover “punitive damages” on top of the typical “compensatory damages” (i.e. medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.). It may not be fair, but the insurance company’s only real motivation to pay the full value of your claim is to avoid litigation. Without an attorney, you cannot litigate the matter in Court. Without that pending litigation threat, the insurance company is not likely to pay the full value of the claim. I would strongly suggest that you not take further action until you sit down for a face to face consultation with an experienced attorney in your area…preferably someone who has actual trial experience involving wreck cases with DWI/punitive damages.

    Let me also add this: On an almost daily basis, I find myself telling a potential client something along the lines of: “Just because you have been in a wreck, does not necessarily mean that you need an attorney to represent you….in some circumstances, after a diligent consultation with a qualified attorney, you may learn that you are best suited to just handle the matter on your own.” However, a case involving an “at fault” driver who was DWI is a BIG EXCEPTION to this rule. If the "at fault" driver in your case was drunk (or otherwise impaired), you need an attorney. Period.

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  • Involved in a head on motorcycle accident. Am I entitled to money above property damage and medical bills? Haven't settled.

    I was driving my motorcycle when a car turned in-front of me. We hit head on in my lane. It was his fault and his insurance has accepted liability. I am still in pain in my ankles and a private area. Am I entitled to more than just reimbursement f...

    William’s Answer

    I echo the other comments, in that you really need to sit down with a qualified injury attorney before taking further action. Good luck with your claim. You may also want to check out the responses to the previous motorcycle specific avvo.com question.
    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/i-was-involved-in-a-mva-on-11-28-2012--a-car-made--1580033.html#answer_3437309

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  • How do I Calculate the Diminished value of my Car after accident? I live in North Carolina

    I live in New Carolina, and I recently was in a minor car accident in which the other driver is 100% at fault. I brought my car brand new (2013) last July.. How do I calculate the Diminished value on my car? So I can make sure the claims adjuster ...

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The language below is a portion of the Pattern Jury Instructions that Judge would read to the jury in a trial of a case involving a Diminished Value Claim:

    N.C.P.I. MV 106.62 Property Damages - Diminution in Market Value:
    "The plaintiff's actual property damages are equal to the difference between the fair market value of the property immediately before it was damaged and its fair market value immediately after it was damaged. The fair market value of any property is the amount which would be agreed upon as a fair price by an owner who wishes to sell, but is not compelled to do so, and a buyer who wishes to buy, but is not compelled to do so."

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  • I was hit in an auto accident by company owned vehicle.

    I was hit by a rent A Center truck attempting to merge into traffic from a resting position in the median. The driver of the company vehicle was given a citation for reckless driving and hundred percent at fault. I was also in my company vehicle g...

    William’s Answer

    Short Answer: Lots of folks, including but NOT limited to 1) Rent-A-Center, 2) Rent-A-Center's driver, 3) your employer's worker's compensation carrier. Claims involving commercial insurance carriers can get quite complicated. Claims involving commercial insurance carriers and the interplay with worker's compensation claims (including N.C.G.S. 97-10.2(j)) are even more complicated. If you were injured, BEFORE you do anything else, I would strongly suggest sitting down with an experienced injury attorney in your area for a FREE consultation. You're going to get a mailbox full of solicitations from attorneys/firms. Do your homework (online) and sit down with someone face to face to determine your best plan of attack.

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  • I WRECKED IN SNOWSTORM I HIT A BANK ,WILL MY INS COMPANY PAY FOR MED BILLS?

    No other car involved

    William’s Answer

    Pull a copy of your policy (or policies if applicable) and check your declarations page to see if you have "Medical Payments" coverage a.k.a. "Medpay". The company will pay your medical bills up to the amount of coverage you have. Medpay is an optional coverage that is not included on every policy in NC. It is often sold in increments of $500, $1K, or $5K.

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  • Question, if a motorist drives his vehicle on my property and destroys a brick wall, leave his tire prints in my yard,

    from the back of curb to the corner of my house and destroys my yardlights and hit my vehicles am I entitled to some type of compensation

    William’s Answer

    Yes, the standard auto policy contains liability coverage for property damage. In most car wreck cases, this coverage would be invoked to make repairs to damaged vehicles; however, it is also broad enough to cover damage to other personal property, such as "fixtures" on your property (like a brick wall), or even your house, or utility poles, guardrails, etc, etc, etc. Simply call the driver's insurance company and make a claim. You'll need to get estimates for repairs and provide the documentation.

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  • I was involved in a mva on 11/28/2012. A car made a left turn in front of my motorcycle. What can I expect in a settlement?

    Injuries include: 5 broken ribs, broke scapula, Punctured lung,pneumothorax, bruised liver, fractured hip and thumb. I also had minor abrasions to both knees. I was transported by ambulance and spent 11 days in the hospital. I went through a ser...

    William’s Answer

    I echo those statements by McCabe and Barrington above. You have a significant case, but your chances of maxing out the full UIM policies increase significantly with experienced counsel. I’m not sure on which side of the Harnett/Cumberland County line you are located, but I’ve tried multiple cases in both counties, and though it is not fair, I can tell you there will be a certain “motorcycle bias” that works against you with a jury. You need someone who is experienced in “taking the sting out” of that bias. Fortunately, given the UIM coverage available, you can most likely resolve your case by way of binding arbitration (before a panel of 3 attorneys), as opposed to a jury trial before 12 jurors.

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  • What are the North Carolina laws concerning stacking insurance policies.

    I was injured in an accident with an uninsured driver; I was a passenger with a friend. I got a lawyer and have already settled with my friends insurance. I remembered from a previous accident that if the uninsured driver lived with someone else t...

    William’s Answer

    The stacking of uninsured motorist (UM) polices in North Carolina is controlled by N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-279, the applicable caselaw interpreting the statute, and the language of the individual policies themselves. Practically speaking, stacking issues are controlled by the facts of the collision themselves, as well as a determination as to who is deemed “an insured” on the various policies. Either way, it can get quite confusing and is something that should be handled and addressed by your attorney. I would strongly advise against attempting to tackle a stacking issue without the benefit of representation and/or at least consultation with an experienced UM/PI Attorney in your area. I state this for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that settling one claim without properly notifying and/or coordinating the claims on the other policies may prejudice your right to fully recover on the “excess” UM policies. If you have an attorney, I recommend scheduling a face-to-face meeting with him/her to get full understanding of the legal and factual issues involved.
    William Owens
    Owens & Miller, PLLC
    4030 Wake Forest Road, Suite 101
    Raleigh, NC 27609
    Phone no: (919) 719-2750
    Fax no: (919) 516-0063
    www.owensmiller.com

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