Injury Claims and Recovery Explained by a Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer
Coping with serious injuries or the death of a loved one because of the negligent acts of another can be the most difficult times of our lives. Not only are you experiencing physical and emotional pain, but you are probably worried about financial matters such as medical bills and your lost wages and income due to the loss of your ability to earn a living. In times like this, you need someone by your side every step of the way to help you understand what your legal rights are for pursuing a claim, how the personal injury litigation process works, and whether you should hire a Raleigh personal injury lawyer to represent you.
At Martin & Jones, we understand what you are going through because we work with people in your situation every day, and we’ve been helping people and their families for nearly 40 years. While it is impossible to know exactly what you can expect in your unique circumstances without talking with you one-on-one, our personal injury attorneys have put together the following overview of how personal injury claims generally work in North Carolina in order to answer some of your most pressing questions. Of course, you can call us anytime for a more detailed, no cost, no obligation consultation.
What Types of Situations Can Give Rise to Personal Injury Claims in North Carolina?
Under personal injury law — also called tort law — a legal action can be brought by a Raleigh personal injury lawyer on behalf of an injured person (called the plaintiff) who is seeking damages for losses he or she suffered following the negligent or intentional act of another (the defendant). Situations that give rise to personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina are:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle, Scooter and Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip or Trip & Fall Accidents
- Industrial Accidents, including Fires and Explosions
- Construction Site Accidents, including Falls and Electrocutions
- Vicious Animal Attacks
Injuries caused by healthcare providers and certain accidents and injuries that occur on the job, while also technically considered personal injury matters, are governed, in part, under additional laws and procedures, and we can explain to you those differences. Bringing medical malpractice claims and workers’ compensation claims requires separate considerations, and we discuss them in detail elsewhere on our website.
What Will I Have to Prove in Order to Hold the Defendant Responsible for My Injuries?
Regardless of how you were injured, laws regarding negligence and recovery of damages will apply. In order to succeed in a personal injury claim, you and your Raleigh personal injury lawyer will need to prove that:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant,
- The defendant breached this duty of care,
- Your injuries were the result of this breach of duty, and
- You suffered damages as a result
What If I Am Blamed by the Defendant for My Own Injuries?
Under North Carolina’s contributory negligence law, if you contributed to your own injuries, you may lose your right to recover compensation for your losses. There are legal exceptions to this general rule, for instance if the defendant was grossly negligent or had the last chance to avoid the injuries. North Carolina is one of the only states that still follows this strict contributory negligence standard when deciding personal injury claims.
Do I Really Need a Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer?
This is a question some folks ask only after they have given a statement that damages their claim or worse. There is nothing that prevents you from dealing with the insurance companies on your own, but there are plenty of practical reasons to work with an attorney who knows the law and will prevent you from falling into the traps that skilled insurance investigators sometimes seek to use.
We Maintain Relationships with Insurance Adjusters
Your personal injury claim will be reviewed by an insurance adjuster, and your Raleigh personal injury lawyer will regularly communicate with him or her in attempts to negotiate a favorable settlement. We leverage our positive relationships with insurance adjusters and our reputation for not recommending unfair settlements to help move your case along and ensure fair compensation. However, when insurance companies do not offer fair compensation, we will explain and recommend filing a lawsuit. We will of course always follow our injured client’s instructions on settlement.
It Costs You Nothing to Work With a Martin & Jones Attorney Unless and Until You Recover
You are already burdened with out of pocket costs like medical bills and lost wages, and you likely have a long road of physical and emotional recovery ahead of you. The bills will continue to pile up. Trying to figure out the complicated personal injury claims process on your own can worsen the burden. A consultation with an experienced accident attorney does not add to your financial burdens because it costs you nothing. And if you do decide to work with a Martin & Jones Raleigh personal injury lawyer, you will not incur any fees or costs unless or until your case is either settled to your satisfaction or you recover in court.
The Right Raleigh Personal Injury Attorney Will Not Settle For Less Than Your Case is Worth
Establishing the defendant’s fault is just one aspect of bringing a successful personal injury case. Being able to prove the amount of damages — past, present, and future — that you are entitled to recover requires professional skill, knowledge and sometimes liability and damages expert witnesses.
A seasoned trial lawyer knows how to present evidence of loss through solid investigation and expert analysis and testimony. Your attorney will also know whether, along with compensatory damages, you could be entitled to punitive damages, which could be as much as $250,000, or three times your actual damages. Further, when you work with Martin & Jones, you work with a firm that has a proven track record of success. The other side is well aware of our decades long reputation for fighting for our clients. They know that we will not back down if the case doesn’t settle for a fair amount.
We are ready, willing, and able to proceed to mediation and/or trial if that is the best course of action in your case. Having a Raleigh personal injury lawyer from Martin & Jones by your side can be a game changer when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
As a general rule, and there are many exceptions, under North Carolina’s statute of limitations you have three years to file a lawsuit for damages following an accident, but there are numerous exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the accident resulted in fatalities, you may only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Also, if the injury was caused by a defective product, such as a car or piece of equipment, the statute of repose may greatly reduce the amount of time you have to bring a legal claim. There are different rules if the victims are minors or if there is a government entity involved in the case.
Contact a Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer at Martin & Jones Today
Even though you think you might have years to file your lawsuit, this does not mean you should delay in contacting a Raleigh personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation. The insurance company representatives are usually building its case and it is in your best interest to speak with a personal injury litigation lawyer and begin the investigation process into your claim as soon as possible. Do not allow evidence to disappear. Memories of police and witnesses fade over time. Evidence can be lost or altered over time. You are invited to reach out to us online or by phone at 1-800-662-1234.