Frequently Asked Questions About North Carolina Personal Injury Law
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Can I change attorneys if I am not happy with the job they are doing?
One of the most important factors to the success of a personal injury case is that the client and attorney are able to work together. A client that is unhappy with the way their attorney is handling – or not handling – their case has the legal right to terminate that relationship. Many of the clients come to Shapiro & Appleton for help when they realize that the attorney they hired lacks the skill, experience, and expertise to successfully represent them.
How do I know what type of attorney I should hire?
It is critical to the success of your personal injury case to hire an attorney who specializes in injury law. Just like doctors who have specialties (i.e. neurologists, orthopedists, etc.) or trade workers who have specialties (i.e. finish carpenters, electricians, plumbers), there are also attorneys who specialize in one area of the law. For example, there are attorneys who only handle family law cases or criminal cases. This usually means that these attorneys have extensive experience in these types of cases, compared to a general practitioner has just enough experience in several areas of law to get by.
At our firm, we have more than three decades representing personal injury victims. It is the only type of law we practice.
How will I pay legal fees for my personal injury case?
If our law firm takes your personal injury case, we will charge you on a contingency basis. Contingency basis means that if we are unable to recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered because of your injuries, we do not charge you legal fees. We only get paid if we are able to recover damages for you. Litigation costs associated with your case are separate from attorney fees. These costs may include filing fees, expert witness fees, accident reconstruction fees, and more. In many cases, our firm will pay these expenses and then be reimbursed from the final award or settlement you receive. We can discuss these details during your free and confidential case evaluation.
What are the consequences for not disclosing prior injuries?
Failure to disclose a prior injury can greatly jeopardize a victim’s case. Not only can it result in the court dismissing a claim, but a victim could also face possible court sanctions because of this omission.
Is it important to disclose prior injuries?
When a victim has been injured in an accident, it is critical they be completely honest with their personal injury attorney about any medical conditions they may have had prior to the incident. This is particularly vital if the prior condition is in the same area as the new injury. It is better for an injury case to disclose the prior injury and work with their doctor to show how the incident aggravated the prior condition than not to disclose the condition.
What is the eggshell doctrine?
In a legal case, the eggshell doctrine means “taking the victim as you find them.” This means if a victim had a prior injury or medical condition prior to the accident, the at-fault party may still be liable for any losses the victim has suffered and that their medical history cannot be used against them.
How will my attorney prove loss of future income?
It is more difficult than proving lost income in the past, of course. You may have some amount of recovery that could allow you to go back to work in a different occupation or part time. So, the job of your lawyer is to prove loss of future earning power if you had not been injured and had been able to keep working in your current job until you retired.
How can I win a future income recovery under North Carolina personal injury law?Your personal injury attorney in North Carolina has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that your serious injuries mean you should receive future income recovery. If both sides of the case are able to settle before the lawsuit begins, the lost future income will be part of your final settlement.