North Carolina personal injury claims are stressful, complicated, and overwhelming. This can be doubly true for anyone who has never been embroiled in a personal injury lawsuit before. While your case is ongoing, you will most likely come across lots of legal jargon with which you are unfamiliar. To ensure you understand what is going on throughout the legal process, it can be helpful to learn some of the terminologies that will be used during your claim.
What can I do to have a better understanding of my North Carolina personal injury lawsuit?
If you were injured in a North Carolina personal injury accident, the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you prepare your claim and gather evidence that proves the other party’s liability. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
In the meantime, here are a few terms you should familiarize yourself with if you plan on pursuing a North Carolina personal injury claim:
Terms You Need to Know for Your North Carolina Personal Injury Claim
We have compiled a short list of words and phrases you will come across when we prosecute your North Carolina wrongful death or personal injury case:
- Liability: Liability is the legal responsibility for an accident or injury. In a North Carolina personal injury claim, you have to show that the defendant (the person being sued) is liable for your damages.
- Negligence: Negligence is the cornerstone of every personal injury case. In order to establish liability in your personal injury claim, you have to prove that the defendant acted negligently. In other words, they failed to exhibit the same degree of vigilance and care that a reasonable person would have shown under the same or similar circumstances.
- Damages: In a North Carolina personal injury claim, the word damages refers to the financial compensation you are pursuing for your injuries. This can include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
- Statute of Limitations: The filing of any type of personal injury suit has a deadline associated with it. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations lapses, you will most likely be prohibited from recovering compensation. The statute varies from state to state, so it is essential that you speak with a lawyer to find out how long you have to file your claim.
- Pure Contributory Negligence: Pure contributory negligence is a defense to a tort claim. The laws of pure contributory negligence state that if you contributed to your accident or injuries in any way, shape, or form, you may not collect any damages whatsoever. Only Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Washington DC follow the pure contributory negligence doctrine.
- Settlement: An overwhelming majority of North Carolina lawsuits are reconciled through settlement negotiations, instead of going through the time and expense of a trial. If a settlement has been reached, it means that all involved parties have agreed to a mutually acceptable solution, normally in the form of money.
- Mediation: If the involved parties are not able to come to a settlement agreement on their own, they can opt to engage in mediation. Mediation is an alternative method of resolving a claim. In mediation, an impartial third party will help streamline negotiations in hopes of reaching a settlement.
- Discovery: The process of discovery refers to the collection of evidence and information in a personal injury case. Discovery could include interrogatories, which are written questions answered under oath, depositions, which are oral questions answered under oath, and requests for the production of documents.
- Expert Witness: In many personal injury cases, it becomes necessary to call on the testimony of an expert witness regarding the cause of an injury or the severity of the damages. An expert witness can be an accident reconstruction expert, a medical expert, or some other type of specialist.
- Contingency Fee: Almost all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning whether or not they get paid is contingent on them winning your case. If they achieve a successful outcome, the attorney’s fee will be a previously agreed-upon percentage of your overall compensation.
- Pre-trial Conference: A pre-trial conference is a meeting between the judge and all parties involved in the case. A pre-trial conference is held before the trial begins and is intended to give everyone one last opportunity to try to come to a settlement agreement before the trial commences.
- Motion: A motion is an appeal to the court to rule on a specific issue within the case. For instance, a motion to dismiss is a plea to have a case thrown out.
- Verdict: A verdict is a decision made at the end of a trial. The verdict will either be in favor of the defendant or in favor of the plaintiff (the person who filed the lawsuit).
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
It is important to remember that every case is unique, and the exact regulations and laws that apply are based on the circumstances of the incident. If you were injured in a North Carolina accident, it is crucial to speak with an experienced lawyer who can explain your legal options to you and help you pursue the financial compensation you are entitled to.
If you were injured in an accident and need help securing full financial compensation, it is in your best interests to talk to a skilled North Carolina car accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774. We can give you the advice and direction you need to see a successful outcome to your North Carolina personal injury claim.