Please note that the information provided on our website, including this and any blog posts or articles, is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be offered as legal advice – it should never be considered a substitute for seeking appropriate legal counsel from an experienced and licensed North Carolina attorney.
[Our answers here are short and in summary form. Where we have more detailed responses in other articles, links to those articles are provided.]
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers Relating To Personal Injury Claims and Cases – Part Two.
8 – How do I prove fault in a personal injury case?
In order to prove fault in a personal injury case, you will need to establish several factors, including – was the other party negligent or reckless in their actions and did their actions cause or contribute to your injuries.
To do this, you will need to gather evidence that supports your claim. This evidence may include:
A – Eyewitness testimony: If there were any witnesses to the accident, their testimony can be valuable in establishing fault. [More Information – Importance of eye witness testimony in car accidents]
B – Accident scene evidence: Photographs of the accident scene, skid marks, and any damage to the vehicles involved can help reconstruct the accident and establish fault.
C – Police reports: If the police were called to the scene of the accident, their report can provide valuable information about the circumstances surrounding the accident. [More Information – Obtaining a copy of your police accident report]
D – Medical records: Your medical records can provide evidence of the injuries you sustained and help establish the cause of those injuries.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather and evaluate this evidence, build a strong case, and advocate for your best interests. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
[More Information – Proving fault in injury and accident cases]
9 – What is the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in my state?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally three years from the date of the injury. This means that you have three years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit in civil court.
However, there may be some exceptions to this general rule depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if your case involves medical malpractice, you may have a shorter deadline to file a lawsuit.
It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you understand the deadlines that apply to your case and to begin the legal process. Waiting too long to take action can jeopardize your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.
10 – Do I need to go to court for my personal injury case?
Whether or not you need to go to court to settle your personal injury case depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or the other party’s attorney without going to court. This can be a faster and less expensive way to resolve your case and it’s generally the preferred path for most cases and clients.
However, if the insurance company or the other party’s attorney is unwilling to offer a fair settlement or if there are disputes about liability or damages, it may be necessary to go to court to resolve your case. In that situation, an experienced personal injury lawyer can represent you in court and advocate for your best interests.
The percentage of personal injury cases that are settled out of court in the US can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of case, the specific circumstances of the case, and the preferences of the parties involved. However, it is generally estimated that around 95% to 96% of personal injury cases are settled out of court in the US*, according to data from the US Department of Justice. This means that only a small percentage of personal injury cases actually go to trial.
11 – Can I still file a personal injury claim if I was partially at fault?
North Carolina follows a “contributory negligence” rule, which means that if you were even 1% at fault for the accident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a viable claim.
It’s important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and determine the best course of action. Dealing with an issue involving liability issues is not something most people are equipped to deal with properly, without help from a legal professional.
12 – What types of medical evidence do I need to support my personal injury claim?
In order to support your personal injury claim, it’s important to have medical evidence that documents your injuries and the extent of your damages. Some types of medical evidence that may be helpful in a personal injury case include:
A – Medical records – These can include hospital records, physician notes, and diagnostic test results that document the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of your injuries.
B – Medical bills – These can include bills for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and other medical treatments that you received as a result of your injuries.
C – Expert opinions – If your injuries are complex or require specialized medical knowledge, it may be helpful to have an expert witness provide an opinion about your injuries and the extent of your damages.
D – Photographs and videos – Visual evidence such as photographs and videos of your injuries and the accident scene can help to document the extent of your injuries and the impact that they have had on your life.
E – Witness statements – Statements from witnesses who saw the accident or who have observed the impact of your injuries on your daily life can be helpful in establishing the severity of your damages.
13 – What should I do if the insurance company denies my claim?
If the insurance company denies your claim, there are several steps you can take to challenge their decision:
Review the denial letter: Carefully review the denial letter from the insurance company and make note of the reasons for the denial. This can help you understand the insurance company’s position and identify any potential issues with your claim.
Gather additional evidence: If there are gaps in your evidence or if the insurance company has raised questions about your claim, you may need to gather additional evidence to support your claim. This can include medical records, witness statements, and other evidence that documents the extent of your damages.
Consult with an attorney: If you are having difficulty getting the insurance company to pay your claim, it is going to be helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney can review your case, help you identify potential legal issues, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
File a complaint: If negotiations with the insurance company are not successful, you may need to file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Insurance. This can trigger an investigation and potentially lead to a resolution of your claim.
It’s important to act quickly if your claim has been denied, as there are strict deadlines for filing complaints and taking legal action.
14 – How do I find a good personal injury lawyer?
Finding a good personal injury lawyer can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to help ensure that you find the right attorney for your case:
A – Ask for referrals: Ask friends, family members, or colleagues if they have any recommendations for a good personal injury lawyer. Referrals can be a great starting point for finding an attorney who has a track record of success and who comes highly recommended by others.
B – Do your research: Once you have a list of potential attorneys, do some research to learn more about their experience, qualifications, and track record of success. You can search for information online, read reviews from past clients, and check with the North Carolina State Bar to ensure that the attorney is licensed and in good standing.
C – Schedule a consultation: Once you have narrowed down your list of potential attorneys, schedule a consultation with each one. This will give you the opportunity to meet with the attorney in person, discuss your case, and get a sense of their communication style, experience, and approach to handling personal injury cases.
D – Ask questions: During the consultation, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the attorney’s experience, track record of success, and approach to handling personal injury cases. You should also ask about fees, costs, and other expenses associated with your case.
E – Trust your instincts: Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a personal injury lawyer is finding an attorney who you feel comfortable with and who you believe has your best interests in mind.
We hope that this information is helpful in your search for a personal injury lawyer. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.
15 – Will my personal injury case go to trial?
Whether or not your personal injury case goes to trial depends on a variety of factors, including the strength of your evidence, the extent of your damages, and the willingness of the other party to negotiate a settlement.
In many cases, personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement negotiation process, which can save both parties time, money, and stress. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, your case may need to go to trial.
If your case does go to trial, it will be heard by a judge or jury, who will decide the outcome of your case based on the evidence presented. This can be a lengthy and complex process, but it can also be an opportunity to present a strong case and obtain a favorable outcome.
Ultimately, whether or not your case goes to trial will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. We can help you assess your options, weigh the pros and cons of each approach, and determine the best course of action to help you achieve your legal goals.
16 – Can I settle my personal injury case without a lawyer?
While it is possible to settle a personal injury case without a lawyer, we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before attempting to negotiate a settlement on your own.
There are several reasons why it can be challenging to settle a personal injury case without a lawyer. For one, insurance companies are often more willing to negotiate with an experienced attorney who understands the legal system and knows how to present a strong case.
Additionally, personal injury cases can be complex, involving multiple parties, complex medical issues, and a variety of legal issues. Without an attorney, it can be difficult to navigate these complexities and ensure that your legal rights are fully protected.
Finally, an attorney can help you assess the true value of your case and negotiate a settlement that fully compensates you for your damages. This can be particularly important if you have suffered significant injuries or if your case involves a substantial amount of money.
We understand that hiring an attorney can be expensive, but many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only pay if you win your case. This can make it more affordable to hire an attorney and can help ensure that you have the best possible chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
[More Information – When To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney]
17 – What should I expect during the personal injury claims process?
The personal injury claims process can be complex and can vary depending on the specifics of your case. However, in general, there are several key steps that you can expect to go through during the claims process.
A – Initial Consultation: You will typically begin the process by meeting with a personal injury attorney for an initial consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss the details of your case, your injuries, and your legal options.
B – Investigation: If you decide to move forward with a personal injury claim, your attorney will conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing medical records.
C – Demand Letter: Once your attorney has gathered all the necessary information, they will typically prepare a demand letter that outlines the details of your case and the compensation that you are seeking.
D – Negotiation: After the insurance company receives your demand letter, they will typically respond with a counteroffer. Your attorney will then negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to try to reach a settlement that is fair and reasonable.
E – Settlement or Litigation: If a settlement can be reached, the case will be resolved without going to trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, your case may need to go to trial. In this case, your attorney will represent you in court and present your case to a judge or jury.
Throughout the process, it is important to keep in mind that every case is unique and there may be unexpected challenges or opportunities that arise. Your attorney will be there to guide you through the process and help you navigate any issues that may arise.