Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Does North Carolina‚Äôs contributory negligence rule apply to children?

    Answering this question requires knowing the age of your child and the details of your potential personal injury case. If he or she is younger than 8 years old, no court in North Carolina will consider your child legally responsible for causing an injuries.

    Children between the ages of 8 and 15 years may be found liable for causing their own injuries in certain cases, but not in others. A court will look at all the circumstances and, when possible and appropriate, speak to the child before making the determination.

    A finding of contributory negligence on behalf of an older child will invalidate insurance claims. Partnering with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help a family counter arguments from the defendant in an injury case that a child contributed to causing the accident.

    EJL

  • I was hit and injured by a car in a parking lot. Can I file a claim against the business?

    Probably not unless you can prove that the business owner or the company that owns the lot that serves the business clearly violated state laws and city ordinances regarding the design and maintenance of the lot. A business or lot owner cannot be held responsible for the actions of a negligent, reckless or inattentive driver, but an injured pedestrian might have a claim against a business or lot owner that allowed the condition of the pavement to deteriorate to the point that the lot was not safe for anyone.

    Clearly unsafe parking lots would be those that lack required lighting, those covered with uncleared snow and ice, and those without marked crosswalks. A lot with massive potholes could also be considered unsafe enough to make a business or lot owner subject to what Virginia personal injury lawyers like my colleagues and I call a premises liability lawsuit.

    EJL

  • Does a pedestrian always have right of way in a parking lot?

    Not always.

    Drivers must watch for and yield to pedestrians in parking lots, but the laws of Virginia only guarantee right of way to pedestrians who are in crosswalks or at parking lot entrances.

    A driver who hits a pedestrian while pulling out of a parking space may still be held responsible for acting negligently and settling insurance claims, but the victim should partner with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer to ensure that fault is assigned correctly.

    EJL

  • A driver hit my 5-year-old daughter in a parking lot. Can I file an insurance claim?

    The answer to this question is definitely yes if your daughter suffered injuries severe enough to require emergency medical treatment or hospitalization.

    The severity of the injury would be the primary consideration in this instance because concepts like right of way and contributory negligence do not apply to children younger than 8 years old. It would not matter, for instance, if your daughter ran ahead of you and failed to see a car that was backing out of a parking spot.

    But please do be aware that insurance claims must have merit. A mild bruise or simple scare will not result in a settlement.

    EJL

  • How can a bicycle accident attorney reduce my stress level?

     
    He can reduce your stress by handling the preparation of the injury claim for you. He will call all of your doctors and collect all medical records and bills. Your attorney also will collect all accident reports and statements from witnesses. He also will gather all information about your lost work time and lost wages. 

  • How can a personal injury attorney get me more compensation in a bicycle accident claim?

     
     
    An experienced attorney will have dealt with many similar cases before. Handling dozens or more of these cases creates a familiarity and comfort that you cannot have as a first timer. Your attorney also knows how insurance claims work, what they look for in a claim and how to position the claim for a future trial. 

  • Can I handle my bicycle accident claim myself?

     
    Some injured parties think they can just as easily talk to an insurance adjuster as an attorney, and save themselves the cost of the attorney's fee. But there are many areas where a skilled attorney can save you time and possibly get you higher compensation. 

  • How can a pool injury lawsuit be successful?

     
     
    A successful lawsuit for a pool-related injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, involves your attorney doing deep research on the local ordinances and what they require of pool owners. Also, there should be an investigation of activities of every party who could have kept the child from falling in the pool

  • What are some of the common problems with backyard pools that can cause injury?

    Many pool owners lack proper fencing or a pool cover. If the pool is not in use and a child falls in unsupervised, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

  • Can I sue if my child falls in a neighbor's pool and suffers a brain injury?

    It is well known that children are drawn to pools in their community. If there is a pool next door to you, the poolowner must take certain steps to limit access to the pool when there is no one supervising.