The questions on this page were answered by our team of lawyers. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car wrecks, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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How should I choose a North Carolina car accident attorney?
When you are considering retaining the services of a North Carolina car accident attorney, there are certain factors you should look for, including:
- Make sure the law firm focuses only on personal injury cases. This helps ensures that the attorney you retain will have extensive legal experience and knowledge in the most current aspects of personal injury law.
- Make sure the attorney you retain has a good reputation with both other clients and other attorneys.
- Make sure the attorney you retain keeps you regularly updated and shows they are dedicated to your case.
- Make sure you are comfortable with the attorney you retain.
What are some of the issues a North Carolina car accident attorney can address?
Your car accident attorney can handle all the documents that need to be filed and processed in your case, making sure that any statute of limitations deadline is met. He will also handle all communication with the insurance company’s adjusters and attorneys. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident, including working with any accident reconstruction experts, if necessary.
A car accident attorney can also determine the exact amount of damages you may be entitled to. If you have suffered long-term or permanent disabilities from the accident, your attorney will also work with experts to determine what your future financial losses will be in order to make sure you receive compensation.
Once your attorney has prepared your case, he will then proceed with negotiations with the insurance company to try to settle the case and avoid litigation. If necessary, however, your car accident attorney will argue your case to a jury to get you the best possible award amount under the circumstances of your case.
When should I hire a North Carolina car accident attorney?
Whenever you have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by another party – even if you think you have only suffered a minor injury – you should always consult with a North Carolina car accident attorney.
The attorney you meet with can evaluate your case and explain to you what your legal options are against the other party.
Dealing with the injuries and recover from car accident injuries can be stressful, especially if the injuries are serious enough to cause you to miss work and suffer a loss of income. A Carolinas car accident attorney can deal with the other driver’s insurance company – whether those contacts are with the adjuster during settlement negotiations or with their attorneys should the case proceed from a car accident claim to a car accident lawsuit. This allows you to focus entirely on your recovery.
What types of damages can I be compensated for in a personal injury case?
In a personal injury case, the damages you suffer will depend on the nature of the accident and the extent of your injuries. When determining the value of your case, your personal injury lawyer will look at all of the damages that apply to your case.
There are several types of damages. Special compensatory damages are damages that can be calculated. These damages have actual dollar amounts attached to them and include loss of earnings, medical bills, property damage and expenses caused by the accident.
General compensatory damages are non-monetary damages. These tend to be emotional in nature and include mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
If the accident has caused a loved one to die, the surviving family members can receive wrongful death damages. These include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial and emotional support and mental anguish.
Punitive damages may be pursued, but are quite rare since there needs to be evidence of reckless and wanton conduct by the defendant. Nevertheless, these damages are sometimes awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior was so egregious (e.g., driving while heavily intoxicated) that the court wants to affirmatively punish the at-fault party.
What is uninsured/underinsured auto insurance coverage?
Underinsured/uninsured auto coverage is, essentially, a saety net for drivers. It is coverage on your policy which directly benefits you if you are involved in a car accident that is not your fault and the negligent driver who hit you does not have auto insurance or does not have enough insurance. In this situation, you can file a claim on your own auto insurance policy for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What should I bring to my meeting with an Outer Banks personal injury lawyer?
Bring all documents and records related to the accident and your injury. This includes medical bills, medical records, police reports, letters from your auto insurance company, any doctor notes about missing time from work, wage statements, a copy of the declarations page from your auto insurance policy, your driver's license, etc. During the consultation, we will make copies of all of your documents so that you can retain a copy for your records. Our legal team will also provide you with checklists for any other information that we may need from you.
I suffered injuries as the passenger in a car accident can I file a claim?
Yes. Passengers involved in car accidents can recover from the at-fault driver. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case that may be the driver of the vehicle you were in or the driver of another vehicle. Some injured parties do not understand that even when they are passengers they have the standing, of the right to sue, the driver of the vehicle and the driver of another vehicle for their injuries. At times friends are reluctant to sue each other however personal injury liability is a matter of law, not friendship. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a law firm with experience in these sensitive matters to help you recover the damages you deserve.
The insurance company has asked me to sign paperwork that gives them access to my medical records so that they can make me a settlement offer. Do I have to do this?
No. This is a common request by the insurance company, and it is overly broad. You do not have to allow them to get every medical record you’ve ever had before you can discuss settlement with them. If you have any questions about what is relevant and what isn’t, you should consult with an attorney.
I was involved in an accident and my car was totaled. How do I know if the insurance company is offering me a fair settlement for my damaged vehicle?
Though our North Carolina law firm exclusively handles injury law and not property damage law, this is a very common question. Usually, the insurance company will offer you the NADA value for your vehicle based on the year, make and mileage at the time of the accident. Often this amount is less than what you feel you deserve for your property damage, but the NADA value is more often than not the basis for their offer.
I missed work because of my injuries from my car accident. Can I recover for that lost time?
Yes, you can make a claim for your lost wages. If you have been the victim of a car accident that was not your fault, you should get a note or other written documentation from your doctor showing the reason for your work restriction, and get something signed by your employer detailing the days of work that you missed and your current wage or rate of pay. These things will be very helpful for your recovery in your claim for lost wages.