If you’ve been in an accident, you may be wondering what to do next.
A good first step is to seek legal help.
There are many different types of accidents that can happen in North Carolina – car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more.
And each type of accident has its own set of unique challenges.
That’s why it’s so important to have a lawyer on your side who knows how to handle your particular type of accident case.
A lawyer can assist you with making a claim against the party at fault, negotiating with insurance companies, and recovering damages.
In this blog post, we will discuss how a lawyer can help if you’ve been in an accident in North Carolina.
Making Personal Injury Claims – Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
If you’ve been in an accident, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer.
The answer is: it depends.
If the car accident was minor and there was no property damage or personal injury, you may not need a lawyer.
But if the accident was serious, or if you were injured, we think it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to help with your claim.
What Do Lawyers Do?
A lawyer can help by investigating the accident, talking to witnesses, and collecting evidence such as medical records and accident reports.
They can also help you file a personal injury claim and negotiate with the insurance company on the behalf of accident victims.
And if necessary, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf to get the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries.
So if you’ve been in an accident and are not sure what to do, we encourage you to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.
We’d love to help you!
Our law firm and personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so you can get advice on your case without commitment or cost.
Call NOW to schedule a time to meet with an attorney.
Don’t Want to Deal With an Insurance Adjuster?
If you’ve been in a car accident, your lawyer takes on the responsibility of dealing with the other driver’s insurance company.
This can be a tricky process because insurance companies are usually more interested in protecting their bottom line than they are in giving you the full compensation you deserve.
But a car accident attorney with substantial experience with personal injury cases will know how to navigate the insurance claim process and work towards the goal of recovering fair compensation possible under North Carolina law.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us today for a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
We’ll review the facts of your case and let you know what we think your best options are for moving forward.
There’s no obligation to hire us, and there’s never a fee unless we recover damages for you.
Call now to get started on your case.
The consultation is free, and you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
Don’t wait to get the help you need – call today!
Who is the Negligent Driver?
At-fault drivers in car accidents can be held liable for the damages they cause.
But, what if the driver who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance? Does that affect your personal injury claim?
In that case, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. Your personal injury lawyer may refer to that as “UM insurance.”
Who Is Responsible?
When it comes to car accidents, there are many different factors that can contribute to who is ultimately found at fault.
For example, if one driver ran a red light and collided with another car that was lawfully driving through the intersection, then that driver would ordinarily be found at fault for the accident.
But, there are some exceptions to this rule. In North Carolina, insurance companies regularly deny claims alleging Contributory Negligence.
What is Contributory Negligence?
In North Carolina, the law requires that people who are injured in an accident must show that the other person was negligent.
However, if the injured person is even slightly at fault for the accident, they may not be able to recover any damages.
This is because of a legal doctrine known as contributory negligence.
Examples of Contributory Negligence
Let’s say you were walking across a street and were hit by a car. The driver of the car was clearly at fault for the accident.
However, if it can be shown that you were not paying attention to your surroundings and walked into traffic without looking, you may be considered contributorily negligent.
As a result, you would not be able to recover any damages from the driver of the car
There are many other examples of how contributory negligence can come into play in car accidents.
That’s why it’s smart to consult with a personal injury lawyer after an accident, so they can help you determine who is ultimately at fault and what your next steps should be and deal with the insurance company.
Why Did the Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
If you’ve been in an accident, you may be wondering why the insurance company denied your claim.
There are several reasons why this could happen. The most common reason is that the insurance company does not believe that you were truly injured in the accident.
They may also deny your claim if they believe that your injuries were not caused by the other driver’s negligence. That can happen even if the other driver fully admits to causing the accident!
Another reason why the insurance company may deny your claim is if they believe that you were at fault for the accident.
Does Contributory Negligence Bar Recovery in NC?
Under the North Carolina contributory negligence laws if you were even partially at fault for the accident, you may not be able to recover damages from the other driver.
When Is the Best Time to Seek Compensation?
The best time to seek compensation is as soon as possible after the accident.
This is because, in North Carolina, there is a three-year statute of limitations for many personal injury claims. If you do not file your claim within three years of the date of the accident, you will be barred from doing so.
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Lawyer?
You should not wait until the last minute to hire a car accident attorney.
EACH CASE IS DIFFERENT. CONSULT WITH LEGAL COUNSEL TO DISCUSS THE SPECIFIC STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS THAT MAY APPLY TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE.
We firmly believe the sooner you establish an attorney-client relationship and have legal representation, the better.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
What are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
What are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify and may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
Damages Cap in North Carolina
In North Carolina, there is a cap on non-economic damages in most personal injury cases.
This means that regardless of the extent of your injuries or the impact the accident has had on your life, you will only be able to recover up to a certain amount in non-economic damages.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you understand what types of damages you may be entitled to and fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Damages for a personal injury case can include things such as:
- Lost Wages / Lost Income
- Medical Bills
- Future Medical Costs
- Physical Therapy
- Emergency Room and Hospital Bills
- Surgery and Physical Therapy
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance?
If the other driver responsible doesn’t have enough insurance, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance company under your underinsured motorist coverage.
Car accident lawyers may refer to that as UIM coverage on your policy.
You should talk to a lawyer to find out if this is an option in your case.
Motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving UM and UIM coverage issues in North Carolina tend to be pretty complicated may involve dealing with more than one insurance adjuster.
What if the Other Driver Was Completely at Fault?
If the other driver was completely at fault, you may be able to recover damages from that driver by making a car accident claim.
Will a Lawsuit Be Required?
A personal injury lawsuit is not required in every instance.
A personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether filing a lawsuit is right for you.
Should You Give a Written or Recorded Statement?
No. You should not give a written or recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company without consulting with your own lawyer first.
Similarly, if the car accident claim involves UM or UIM coverage issues under your own insurance policy, we think it best to first consult with an attorney.
Who Does the Insurance Adjuster Represent?
Insurance companies and their insurance adjusters do not represent you.
They are looking out for their best interests, not yours.
If they can settle the claim for less than it is worth that is profitable for them. Denying a completely valid claim is even more of a financial windfall for insurance companies.
Speaking to an adjuster without legal counsel may affect your injury claim’s value.
Your lawyer will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you don’t have to.
Shelby Car Accident Lawyer – Ralph Meekins
Ralph is a car accident lawyer who has been helping people in Shelby, North Carolina for more than 35 years.
If you’ve been in an accident, he’d like to help you too.
You should focus on getting better and putting your life back together.
Ralph Meekins has experience dealing with all types of accidents, including car wrecks, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and Workers’ Compensation Claims in Shelby NC in Cleveland County.
A native North Carolinian and a fourth-generation lawyer, Ralph W. Meekins literally had the desire to help those who are not able to help themselves as well as to be a practical life adviser to people in his blood.