Filing a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina
Helpful Information from Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
Finding a local attorney to handle your North Carolina personal injury claim is important. You may have certain qualities you are looking for in your legal representation. At Lanier Law Group, we understand that this is an important decision that can be difficult to make. Because we offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case, you have the opportunity to talk to one of our professionals about your concerns completely risk-free. We will answer your questions and offer you information about our particular firm to make sure we make you feel at ease. This can help you make the right choice about your counsel.
Read on to learn more about filing your personal injury claim and how we can help, or call us at (855) 757-4204 to request your free initial consultation today.
When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Determining whether to involve a lawyer is an important issue to address in the wake of any accident or injury. This is a not decision you should make lightly. Our law firm offers a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced accident lawyer, offering you the opportunity to learn more about what we can do to help you. We can provide you with information and guidance that applies to your unique situation to help you make the right choice about your personal injury claim, as well as whether you should involve a lawyer at this point.
You may have the right to seek financial compensation under North Carolina personal injury law, but without a legal professional to properly handle your case and protect your rights, you may not recover the full compensation to which you are entitled. Your ability to recover money through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can make all the difference in rebuilding your life after an accident. It can help cover medical expenses, future medical care, lost wages, and even non-economic damages, such as emotional trauma.
Determining If You Have a Case
If you were recently injured in an accident, you may wonder if you even have grounds for a personal injury case. In North Carolina, the victim of a physical or emotional injury may file a personal injury lawsuit against whatever individual or entity was responsible for these injuries. However, this must be connected to negligence, intentional wrongdoing, or strict liability. To determine if you have a case, a personal injury lawyer will need to discuss the matter with you and conduct an initial review of the situation.
There are three primary grounds for a personal injury claim in North Carolina:
- Negligence: Any action or inaction that constitutes a failure to provide reasonable care or caution and causes injury to another person is considered negligence.
- Intentional wrongdoing: This involves purposeful conduct by a person that causes another person to suffer an injury.
- Strict liability: This refers to a situation in which a person or entity will be held accountable for another's injuries regardless of specific intent or negligence, as in the case of a workers’ compensation claim filed after a workplace accident or injury.
When we review your case, our North Carolina personal injury lawyers will look to these three factors to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. We often work with accident reconstruction professionals and expert witnesses in medicine and economics to determine the value of our clients' cases and prove the other party's responsibility.
What Do You Need to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim?
To bring a claim for negligence, a plaintiff needs to prove three elements.
First, they must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. This may sound complicated, but it’s actually a rather simple standard. We all owe each other the duty to not cause harm. For instance, if I am in the park through a ball for my dog, I owe a duty of care not to hit someone with the ball. When you are driving down the road, you owe a duty to other motorists to not collide with their vehicles. Often the duty of care is to avoid doing something, but sometimes someone owes a duty to perform an action, such as shoveling his or her sidewalk.
Once you establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care, you must show that they breached this duty. To return to the earlier examples, this can be quite simple. If I hit someone with a ball in the park and cause him or her injury, it is clear that I breached my duty to avoid hitting a person. If you crash into someone with your car, you have breached your duty. However, there may be mitigating evidence that would suggest that the breach was in fact not the defendant’s fault. For instance, if a car pulled out in front of you and you collided into them, you could likely introduce evidence to negate your responsibility. Proving breach turns on an examination of the individual facts of the case.
Finally, a plaintiff must show that he or she was injured as a result of the breach. This is often a sticking point with litigants who fail to recognize that breach on its own is not enough to bring about liability. Just because someone failed to shovel their walk does not mean they are liable. This failure must cause an injury.
Types of Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
The financial compensation awarded in a personal injury lawsuit will be based upon a number of different factors.
Below are some the types of compensation that may be involved in your case (depending on the particular situation):
- Money for medical bills, supplies, and all medical-related expenses associated with the injury
- Compensation for future or continued medical care, as needed
- Money for any lost wages the injured party experienced from missed work
- If the injury was disabling, money for a loss of potential earnings
- Compensation for physical and occupational rehabilitation, if necessary
- Compensation for non-economic damages, such as disfigurement, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering
- For a wrongful death case, money for burial and funeral expenses, lost income the deceased would have contributed, loss of companionship, etc.
The value of a personal injury claim may vary drastically, depending on the unique factors involved in the case. The extent of injury is a primary factor in determining the value of a claim, as is the impact this injury may have on the victim's life. A personal injury attorney at our firm can evaluate exactly what your case is worth by working with medical, psychological, and economic professionals who can testify about the various financial, emotional, and physical impacts of your injury.
Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Claims
If you are interested in learning more about your case, your right to financial compensation, and what a personal injury lawyer can do to help, we recommend that you contact our firm and schedule an appointment at one of our multiple office locations. We offer a free case review to look over your unique case and determine what we can do to help. However, we have also included some frequently asked questions (FAQs) below for your convenience.
What is a personal injury?
A personal injury may be defined as a physical or psychological injury that a person sustains due to someone else's conduct. This conduct may be intentional or unintentional, but most often stems from negligence or carelessness.
What are some types of cases you can handle?
Our firm handles all types of accident and injury claims throughout North Carolina, including those that involve auto accidents, work accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, serious accidents and injuries, sexual abuse, nursing home negligence, construction accidents, defective products, slip and fall accidents, and more.
What can an attorney do to help me?
An attorney can help by handling your insurance claim and filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or entity that caused your injuries. By properly handling these actions while also defending your rights, an attorney can seek the full financial compensation to which you may be entitled by law.
What will my case be worth?
All personal injury claims are different. It is therefore impossible to say what the exact value of your case may be without a complete evaluation of the injuries you sustained, medical bills involved, lost wages, and more.
What will it cost to work with your firm?
There are no out-of-pocket expenses when you work with an injury attorney at our law offices. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge any legal fees unless we win your case. Your initial consultation is also free!
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