Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries in North Carolina
What Is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a broad term that includes a wide range of potential damages. It includes brain injuries, birth injuries, wrongful deaths, cancer, broken bones, internal injuries, etc. These types of injuries can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, truck accidents, defective products, and many more potential causes.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, individuals have three years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim in civil court. If you file the claim beyond this date, the court is likely to refuse to hear the case.
Is North Carolina a Shared Fault State?
In some instances, individuals can be held responsible for the injuries inflicted upon them — for example, a jaywalker injured in a motor vehicle accident. North Carolina courts follow a modified comparative negligence rule that can assign fault to multiple parties. If the individual is found to be 50% or more responsible for the accident, they are unable to recover compensation. If they are less than 50% responsible, their final award is reduced by the percentage of fault determined by the court.
What Is a Contingent Fee Arrangement?
Contingent fees are arrangements made between plaintiffs and the law firm that represents them in their claim. In most contingency fee arrangements, the law firm will pay for all expenses in the pursuit of the claim. These include filing and investigation costs, payment for expert witnesses and accident reconstructions, etc. The law firm will then recover their costs by taking a percentage of the final damage award. If the plaintiff loses the case, then the plaintiff is not required to reimburse the law firm for these expenses.
What Should Injured Parties Do Following an Accident?
Prompt medical care is essential following an injury-causing accident. Delaying treatment can exacerbate injuries and prolong the recovery period. Moreover, prompt treatment establishes a direct connection between the accident and the injury. This documentation is essential in the pursuit of a personal injury claim.
How Does a Plaintiff Know If They Have a Valid Claim?
Every case is different, and there will always be factors that influence the validity of the claim and the ability of plaintiffs to pursue compensation for their injuries. Meeting with a North Carolina personal injury attorney is the only way to know whether the claim is actionable. During the consultation, the attorney will go over the facts of the case with you and explain relevant statutes and case law. Thus, you must provide a full and truthful account during the consultation.
What Should Individuals Do If Contacted by the Insurance Adjuster or Other Party’s Attorney?
Individuals are under no obligation to speak with the insurance adjuster or the other party’s attorney. When this happens, individuals have the right to request the insurance adjuster or attorney to contact their attorney. In fact, speaking with the insurance adjuster or opposing counsel can negatively impact the plaintiff’s ability to pursue the claim.
Individuals who suffer a personal injury in North Carolina can pursue compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, loss of consortium, wrongful death, diminished quality of life, property damage, etc. The team at Smith Giles, PLLC can help you understand your rights and help you recover the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
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Contact Smith Giles, PLLC at 336-222-7735 for more information about the legal services we offer or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case in North Carolina.