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Shapiro & Appleton

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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  • Will my personal injury case go to trial?

    It depends on the facts of your particular personal injury case. Believe it or not, around five percent of personal injury cases go to trial. This means that the majority – a whopping 95 percent – are settled outside of court.

    Most cases are settled outside of court because it’s easier and quicker. Victims in personal injury cases already have enough to worry about. Their main focus is on recovering from their injuries, and they prefer to get their legal issues over with quickly instead of having them drag out.

    However, victims who were seriously injured and now face lifelong injuries cannot settle their cases quickly. It’s important for the discovery process to take place so that the extent of the injuries can be determined. This is helpful for the defendant, who may want to offer a settlement to the victim, but not without understanding the full value of the injuries sustained. In many cases, victims find out that their injuries are more severe than they originally thought, which means they can sue for more money and possibly receive higher award amounts.

    If your case is unusual in nature or involves large amounts of money, then you’ll likely have to attend a trial and battle it out against the other party in court. However, most run of the mill injury cases tend to stay out of the courtroom.

  • Is it possible to sue entities other than individuals and companies?

    Yes, you can sue any entity that has caused your injuries. This includes cities, counties and government agencies, as well as their employees.

    It’s important to know, however, that these types of claims are a bit more complex since the claims process is different. The statute of limitations is often shorter, so you must act quickly. You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an injury claim involving a government agency. Once you miss the deadline, you’ll lose out on compensation forever. 

  • How do I know that the settlement will be satisfactory to me for my personal injury case if you are my attorney?

    In North Carolina, Virginia and most other states, an attorney, whether in a personal injury case or any other type of civil case, does not have the authority to act on a settlement offer or accept a settlement offer without the client's express approval so there will no settlement without your approval.  As a matter of fact, if any settlement offer is made, attorneys must convey it to a client, and the get the client's permission before responding with a different settlement demand in response.  And it is basic law that an attorney cannot accept a settlement from an insurance company or their lawyer without the client's permission.  

  • In personal injury law, what is a contingency fee agreement?

    The "contingency" is that the case must be successfully resolved, and the client is in charge of whether to accept a settlement offer or to go to trial and obtain a verdict.  Unless the contingency of a recovery occurs, a client does not owe a legal fee or attorney's fee.  This essentially helps level the playing field between individuals and large corporations or insurance companies.  

  • Am I required to pay case expenses at the beginning or during the case?

    No, our North Carolina personal injury law firm always advances the case expenses (medical record fees, filing fees, expert witness fees if any) on behalf of our clients, and the client is not asked to reimburse the law firm until settlement where the case expenses are repaid from the client's share of the recovery.  This is a big advantage for our clients because some law firms do ask clients to contribute toward case expenses at the beginning or during the case.  

  • What is the North Carolina personal injury statute of limitations?

    The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in North Carolina is 3 years. (NC Gen. Stat. § 1-52). For claims involving personal injuries of all types, injured parties must bring a civil lawsuit within 3 years of sustaining their injuries. If claims are not brought within their statute of limitations period they will be time barred by the court. If you have questions about your personal injury claim within this time frame contact our firm. 

  • What’s the difference between a personal injury claim and a class action claim?

    A class action claim is when a group of people file a complaint against a defendant, or group of defendants, for a similar grievance. A personal injury claim is smaller and usually only involves one or two plaintiffs taking action against a defendant, or defendants. The rules governing how each type of action is filed vary greatly as well.
     
    For example, in order for a group to file a class action suit, the group must share similar circumstances, injuries and damages against the defendant(s). There are other important requirements depending on the size of the class. In some circumstances, federal law applies under the Class Action Fainess Act. In contrast, a typical personal injury claim usually involves only state law.

  • What is the statute of limitations in North Carolina?

    The statute of limitations depends on the type of legal action you plan to take. In North Carolina, if you are seeking to file a personal injury claim, the statute of limitations is 3 years. A products liability claim may afford a 12-year statute of limitations, depending on the circumstances of your situation. A wrongful death claim only affords a 2-year statute of limitations.
     
    A statute of imitations is a law setting forth the maximum time you have to file a legal claim with a court against an at-fault party. after you are injured. In North Carolina, the amount of time you have to file your personal injury claim is limited. In some cases, when you become aware of your injuries, the statute of limitations begins. In other cases it begins at the time of the accident. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you cannot file a lawsuit. 
     
     

  • Do I really need to hire a lawyer to settle my case?

    It depends on the facts of your potential case. To be honest, some people may not need a lawyer. If you or your loved one was hurt, but the injury wasn't catastrophic, you're able to return to work and there's no permanent affect from the accident, then you could probably deal with the insurance adjuster on your own. Our firm focuses on catastrophic, life-altering physical injuries where someone likely suffered extensive damages. This is because an insurance adjuster is more likely to drag their feet and attempt to minimize the exposure of the insurance company to a large claim. This is the situation where an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney is most useful to you and your loved ones.

  • How much does it cost to talk to an attorney at your firm?

    Absolutely nothing. You do not need to pay a big retainer or an hourly fee to speak with one of our attorneys about your potential case. Our firm provides no-cost, confidential consultations. Another distinguishing aspect to our consultations is that you'll speak to an actual lawyer. At some firms, you'll only get to talk to a Legal Assistant and never actually communicate with a lawyer. Our firm does it different. When you call our office or fill out a quick contact form, an actual attorney will respond within hours.

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