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Let a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer Fight for All the Compensation You Deserve

If you have been in a car accident, you know how traumatic the experience can be. In a split second, your world is forever changed, especially if you sustained serious injuries or if a loved one was killed. While a Martin & Jones Raleigh car accident lawyer will be able to answer all the questions you have regarding your legal rights considering the car wreck in which you were involved, the following provides a summary of information to help you better understand the process of pursuing a personal injury case after a car collision in North Carolina. 

Car Accident Statistics for Raleigh, North Carolina

As one of North Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas, it should come as no surprise that there are thousands of motor vehicle accidents in Raleigh every year. However, a closer look at the annual statistics compiled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) illuminates the hazards that motorists face every day. The DOT recently released the following statistics for the year 2020:  

  • There were 13,481 total crashes 
  • 5,570 of those accidents resulted in injuries
  • 40 of those accidents resulted in fatalities
  • 446 accidents were alcohol-related
  • Of those alcohol-related accidents, 293 accidents resulted in injuries and 3 resulted in fatalities

According to DOT statistics, Raleigh currently ranks 10th in the state in the number of accidents among cities with populations greater than 100,000. Since 2018, there have been 73,047 accidents resulting in more than 13,000 injuries and 104 fatalities. 

These statistics highlight just how common car accidents are and the chances that they can result in injury or even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident, a Raleigh car accident lawyer may be able to help you get the maximum compensation you need to rebuild your life.

Possible Damages for North Carolina Car Accident Victims

If you were injured in a collision, a Raleigh car accident lawyer can help you recover the following types of damages: 

  • Current and future medical bills and expenses 
  • Loss of current income and future lost wages
  • Your physical pain and emotional suffering
  • An amount for permanent impairments diagnosed by a doctor

If you are a surviving family member of someone killed in a car crash, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit with a personal injury lawyer and seek compensation for any damages the victim suffered prior to their death as well as compensation for:

  • Your own emotional suffering, mental anguish, and grief
  • The financial support you have lost
  • The emotional support you have lost
  • The loss of your loved one’s companionship 
  • Any expenses incurred due to the car wreck, such as medical  and funeral expenses
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Understanding Fault in North Carolina Car Accidents: Contributory Negligence

In order to recover for damages following a car accident in North Carolina, you must show that the other party was responsible for the car accident and your injuries. Under the state’s contributory negligence law, oftentimes insurance company lawyers seek to blame the injured party for some small part of causing the wreck.

There are legal responses that can refute allegations of contributory negligence, and if the defendant was grossly negligent or had the last chance to avoid injuring the plaintiff, the plaintiff may still prevail. An experienced car accident lawyer can present your injury claim giving you the best chance of winning.

Why You Need a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights 

Because of the extremely harsh and strict contributory negligence rule, it is strongly advised that you never speak directly with an insurance representative or any of the parties who could potentially be held responsible for the accident.  

It is imperative that you defer all communications about the accident to an experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer who knows how to handle inquiries from insurance companies and others. In fact, you are well-advised to avoid these mistakes including discussing the accident with anyone, instead referring them to your attorney. 

How Your Accident Attorney Will Help You Build a Strong Case

Along with making sure you do not inadvertently accept any potential wrongdoing, your Raleigh car accident lawyer will know how to present the strongest case possible to protect your chances of maximum recovery. You can be sure that as soon as the accident happens, the other side will be investigating the case in order to prepare a strong defense. It is, therefore, imperative that you have a lawyer on your side undertaking an equally thorough and exhaustive investigation.

In many cases your Raleigh car wreck attorney’s investigation will reveal that the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence, driving while distracted, or engaging in some other behavior that supports a conclusion of negligent or intentionally harmful behavior. Your attorney will also, when relevant, make inquiries about potentially defective automobile parts or roadway hazards that could uncover other parties who were at fault in causing the accident. For instance, if the brakes in a car involved in the crash malfunctioned, you may be able to hold the brake manufacturer or the mechanic who installed them liable. Similarly, if the accident occurred because of a construction contractor’s failure to properly warn motorists that they were entering a construction zone, the contractor or property owner could be held responsible for the accident. A skilled Raleigh car accident lawyer will know how to uncover these important facts to make the best possible case for recovery.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accident in North Carolina

The laws governing when you are required to file a case in North Carolina for damages in a personal injury matter vary according to the nature of the case. These filing deadlines are called statutes of limitations, and if you miss them, you are barred from seeking justice against the at-fault parties. 

Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a car crash case in North Carolina varies. However, if the accident resulted in fatalities, the statute of limitations requires that the wrongful death lawsuit be filed varies, and overall you have a limited time to file.  Adding even more potential confusion is that there are additional rules if the victims are minors or if a government entity is being sued. Because the rules can be confusing — and there is no margin for error — it is best to consult with a Raleigh car accident attorney as soon as possible so you don’t miss the deadline for filing your lawsuit.

Our Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer Handles All Types of Cases

Every car accident case has its own unique facts and circumstances. As a result, you need an auto accident attorney with extensive experience handling all types of car accident claims to get fair compensation for your injuries and other losses. From comparatively minor accidents to those that involve severe, life-changing injuries and even death, a Raleigh car accident lawyer from Martin & Jones has the knowledge and experience you need to handle your case successfully. 

Multi-Vehicle Accidents in North Carolina

Multi-vehicle accidents can be highly complex. Here are some of the factors that make these cases challenging: 

  • There may be multiple people injured, giving rise to numerous competing claims. 
  • There may be more than one driver responsible for the accident. 
  • There may be conflicting legal and factual issues between various parties. 
  • There is a greater likelihood that one of the drivers may be uninsured or underinsured.
  • There may be insufficient insurance coverage to pay all claims. 
  • There is a greater likelihood that disputes between insurance companies will delay the resolution of the case. 

Determining who is at fault in the accident is the initial challenge and critical to the success of your claim. Our Raleigh auto accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident, review the facts, and gather the evidence you need to build your case. From there, we can help you navigate the claim process, or if necessary, pursue your case in court so that you can get the compensation you need to rebuild your life. 

Drunk Driver Accidents

Drunk driving accidents also present unique challenges. Although driving while intoxicated is clearly negligent, actually proving that the driver was intoxicated can be challenging. The situation can get muddled if the other driver is charged with DUI/DWI and the case is later dismissed, or the driver pleads to a lesser charge. An experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer will know how to obtain the evidence you need to prove that the other driver’s intoxication led to the accident. 

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may also learn that the driver had prior DUI/DWI charges on their driving record. This is unfortunately quite common, and as a result, drunk drivers are often driving without insurance. This can make it difficult to recover the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and replace your lost income. You can improve your chances of getting the compensation you need by working with a Raleigh car accident attorney. 

Finally, it’s important to understand that you have a civil claim against the other driver even if they are being prosecuted for DUI/DWI. Still, if they are convicted, you are not likely to receive the compensation you need from the criminal prosecution. Your legal rights exist independently of their drunk driving charges, and you do not need to wait for the drunk driving case to finish before pursuing a claim for compensation. 

Distracted Driving Accidents in North Carolina Can Be Life-Changing

Even though we are more aware of the dangers of distracted driving, accidents caused by distracted driving continue to be a problem. In recent years, we have focused our attention on the use of phones and other electronic devices while driving. While smartphones may certainly be responsible for any accidents, they aren’t the only source of distraction for drivers. In short, anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or keeps them from concentrating on driving is a distraction that can cause an accident. Common examples of distracted driving that can lead to an accident include the following: 

  • Eating or drinking 
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Conversing with passengers
  • Helping or disciplining young children
  • Watching the scenery

The bottom line is that distracted driving is negligent driving. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, a Raleigh car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Accidents Caused by Driving While Drowsy

Drowsy driving is another common cause of car accidents. Driving while sleepy is particularly common among those who drive long hours for their job, but it can happen to anyone. Driving while drowsy affects a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely in the following ways:

  • Slower reflexes
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Impaired judgment and poor decision making

Continuing to drive while falling asleep behind the wheel is negligence. A Raleigh car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove that the other driver should not have been on the road. An accident attorney can be beneficial if you have been injured in a crash caused by a commercial driver, as they may be subject to regulations governing how long they can stay behind the wheel. 

Other Types of Accidents Our Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer Handles

The previously listed types of car accidents often involve complicated legal issues that require knowledge and experience in successfully pursuing a claim. While the following accidents may be less complex, they can still present complicated factual issues, and of course, result in serious injuries: 

  • Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle collides with the vehicle in front of it. 
  • Sideswipe accidents happen when two vehicles traveling side-by-side in the same direction collide. These often occur due to unsafe lane changes. 
  • Side-impact collisions (“T-bone” accidents) where one vehicle crashes into another at a perpendicular angle. These often occur in intersections. 
  • Head-on collisions that are due to multiple forces that occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. 
  • Rollover accidents that are caused in almost any scenario but often result in very serious injuries.  
  • Single-car accidents that are caused by unsafe road conditions or other factors that cause you to lose control of the vehicle. 

No matter what type of accident you have been in, the unique facts and circumstances could make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. A skilled Raleigh car accident lawyer will identify the pertinent facts and gather the evidence you need to build a strong case. 

You Have Questions About Your Accident Claim? We Have Answers

Who do I have a claim against if I was injured as a passenger? 

The answer to this question will depend on who was at fault in causing the accident. In other words, the driver whose negligence caused the accident would be liable for your injuries and other losses. That means that you could have a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were riding in or against the driver of the other vehicle. In some cases, you may have a claim against both drivers. 

Of course, it may be uncomfortable to pursue a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were riding in if they are a friend or a member of your family. In those situations, it is important to remember that your claim is likely covered by their insurance. An experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer will be able to help you get the compensation you need while remaining sensitive to issues such as these. 

Should I accept the settlement offer the insurance company has offered me? 

It is fairly common for insurance companies to make a settlement offer shortly after your accident. As attractive as the offer may be, it is important to recognize that these offers often present two potential issues:  

  1. You may not yet know the full extent of your injuries and other losses and therefore do not yet know the total value of your claim; and
  2. Once you accept the offer, you release the insurance company from any further liability, meaning that you cannot seek additional compensation, even if you later discover that your injuries are worse than originally thought.

The truth is that these offers are usually low dollar settlements. The insurance company is hoping to settle your claim for far less than it may be worth. As a result, we strongly recommend that you at least consult with a North Carolina car accident lawyer before accepting the offer. They can evaluate your offer and help you make an informed decision. 

Is the other driver liable when the accident was caused by hazardous road conditions due to inclement weather?

The short answer to this question is “yes.” Many drivers who cause accidents in bad weather assume that the rain, ice, poor visibility, or other weather conditions relieves them of any potential legal liability. While this is true in rare cases, the reality is that in most cases the other driver was driving too fast for conditions or otherwise failed to drive safely. A Raleigh car accident lawyer can review the facts involved in your accident and determine whether the other driver should be held accountable for your injuries. 

I was injured in a multi-vehicle accident and don’t know who caused the accident. What should I do?

The best thing you can do is contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer. Multi-vehicle accidents are extraordinarily complex, and the people involved may have contradictory accounts of what happened. Your lawyer can help you sort out who and what caused the accident so that you can bring your claim against the appropriate party. In fact, you may have to pursue a claim against more than one driver. Lastly, you may be seeking compensation from a limited pool of funds along with several other people. A Raleigh car accident lawyer can navigate these difficulties and be a powerful advocate for your rights.  

Will I have to go to court for my car accident claim?

The vast majority of car accident cases are settled without ever going to trial. Instead, the injured driver is able to settle their claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. That said, if you are unable to reach a settlement, your only option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you want to recover compensation for your accident injuries and other losses. 

Do I need an accident lawyer if I don’t plan to go to court?

Many people assume that you only need a lawyer if you are going to file a lawsuit. An experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer can help with all aspects of your case including coordinating your medical treatment, getting your car repaired, and halting the collection process if you are unable to work. Perhaps most importantly, however, a knowledgeable North Carolina car accident lawyer will know how to navigate the insurance claim process. As a result, you can focus on your recovery and have peace of mind that you will get a fair settlement.  

Contact a Martin & Jones to speak with a Wilmington, Durham or Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, the North Carolina accident lawyers at Martin & Jones are ready to help. Please contact our offices right away for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can be reached online or by phone at 1-800-662-1234. We serve clients throughout North Carolina from our offices in Raleigh, Durham, and Wilmington

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.