At Kellum Law Firm, we recognize that dealing with the resultant injuries and property damage of a car accident can be an overwhelming experience, especially when considering the prospect of legal action. Whether you’re contending with injuries, grappling with vehicle damage, wrestling with insurance company representatives, or seeking rightful compensation from other drivers, our goal is to provide you with clear and useful answers to common concerns. We have many clients in North Carolina who’ve been involved in car accidents and have come to us for legal support.

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Whether you’re just beginning the application process, facing the frustrations of a denied claim, or simply trying to understand your entitlements, the following FAQs should help. As always, nothing on this page should be construed as specific legal advice, and we recommend that you always consult with an experienced car accident attorney if you’ve been involved in an auto-related accident.

Car accident claims FAQ North Carolina auto accident claims attorneys

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents and Legal Claims

Q: What should I do immediately following a car accident?

A: Ensure safety first by moving to a secure location if possible. Call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention for any injuries. Exchange information with the other driver, including contact and insurance details, and take photos of the scene and vehicles.

Q: How do I know if I have a valid legal claim after a car accident?

A: A valid claim typically involves proving that the other driver was at fault due to negligence or wrongdoing and that this fault caused your injuries or property damage. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you assess the validity of your claim.

Q: Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?

A: Be cautious. While you may need to report the accident, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer before giving a detailed statement or accepting any settlement, as insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts.

Q: What types of compensation can I receive from a car accident claim?

A: Compensation may cover medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages if egregious negligence was involved.

car accidents caused by cruise control

Q: How long do I have to file a legal claim after a car accident in North Carolina?

A: (N.C. General Statutes section 1-52). The North Carolina statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives an injured person three years to go to civil court and file a lawsuit, and this usually commences from the date of the accident. There are exceptions to this which are beyond the scope of this article, but it’s important to file suit within 3 years assuming that’s your chosen path.

Q: Can I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault in the accident?

A: North Carolina follows a strict contributory negligence rule, which means if you are found to be even slightly at fault, you may not be able to recover compensation through a lawsuit. There are few exceptions to this law, but it’s worth having a discussion with an experienced North Carolina licensed Auto Accident Attorney to gain the benefit of an expert opinion.

Q: How is fault determined in a car accident?

A: Fault is determined based on evidence such as police reports, witness statements, traffic laws, and sometimes accident reconstruction experts to prove negligence.

Q: Do I need a lawyer to file a car accident claim?

A: While not required, having an experienced auto accident lawyer can significantly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation, especially in complex cases or when dealing with stubborn insurance companies.

Q: How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?

A: The duration varies widely depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of injuries, and the willingness of the insurance company to settle. Cases can take anywhere from a few months to several years.

North Carolina auto accident claims attorneys

Q: What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

A: You may need to file a claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage if you have it. Your auto accident attorney can also explore other avenues for compensation.

Q: Can I claim for emotional distress after a car accident?

A: Yes, non-economic damages such as emotional distress, pain, and suffering can be part of your compensation, especially in severe accidents.

Q: What evidence is crucial for my car accident claim?

A: Important evidence includes the police report, medical records related to the accident, photographs of the scene and damages, witness statements, and any available video footage.

Q: How does the claims process work?

A: The process typically begins with investigating the accident, gathering evidence, filing a claim with the insurance company, and negotiating a settlement. If a fair settlement isn’t reached, the case may go to trial. This is something your auto accident attorney will discuss with you, ultimateley it’s your call whether the case should go to trial if you cannot agree an out of court settlement.

Q: What should I do if my insurance claim is denied?

A: Review the reason for denial. You can appeal the decision with the help of your attorney, who can provide additional evidence or argue on your behalf.

personal injury from car accident

Q: How are car accident settlements calculated?

A: Settlements are calculated based on factors such as medical expenses, loss of income, future costs related to the injury, and pain and suffering. Each case is unique, and calculations vary.

Q: Can I claim for future medical expenses?

A: Yes, if it’s likely that you will incur additional medical expenses related to your accident injuries in the future, you can include these in your claim.

Q: What happens if the person at fault for the accident dies before the claim is resolved?

A: The claim can typically be pursued against the deceased person’s estate, though the process may vary and could be more complex.

Q: Is there a minimum injury threshold for filing a car accident lawsuit?

A: No, North Carolina does not have a specific injury threshold for filing a lawsuit. However, the severity of the injury can impact the value of your claim.

Q: What is the role of a car accident reconstruction expert?

A: An accident reconstruction expert analyzes the accident to determine how it occurred, helping to establish fault, especially in complex or disputed cases.

Q: Can I still file a claim if the car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition?

A: Yes, you can claim compensation for the exacerbation of pre-existing conditions, though proving the accident’s impact on your condition is crucial.

Our goal here is to shed light on the often-complicated aspects of car accident claims and legal proceedings. At Kellum Law Firm, we understand the stress and uncertainty that follow a car accident, and we’re here to provide the support and expertise you need. Should you have further questions or require personalized assistance with your car accident claim in North Carolina, our team is ready to help. Let us guide you through the legal process to ensure you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. Call us today on 1-800-ACCIDENT.

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