Personal Injury FAQs
If I’ve been hurt in an accident, what are the first steps I should take?
Insurance companies are prepared to handle each individual claim they receive by having trained adjustors ready to respond. Because of this, you need a law firm that understands the law in North Carolina just as well.
Frequently, an adjustor will call the individual hurt in an accident and request a recorded statement. This is something you should never do. Because the adjustor and insurance company knows the ends and outs of the law, they can use the recorded statement to get you to answer a question that could very well jeopardize your case at a later date.
It is beneficial to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you have someone dealing with the insurance company and representing your interests. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with these insurance companies and can provide you with knowledgeable legal advice.
How do I know if I need an attorney?
Depending on the nature of your injury, you may not need the services of an attorney. We understand that and therefore offer people a free consultation to discuss their injury.
However, if you have suffered a serious injury that may result in a permanent injury, you should contact an attorney. The consequences of permanent injury, such as a herniated disc in your back can affect your life permanently in a very negative way. The injury may affect your future and your ability to work and care for yourself and your family. Our team is always standing by to meet with you and provide advice on whether you need an attorney.
What should I do if the other party’s insurance company contacts me?
You should be hesitant in discussing your case with the insurance company. Under no circumstances should you do a recorded statement for the insurance adjustor. To protect yourself, consider contacting an attorney about your case. The more knowledge you have about your legal situation the more likely you are to make an informed decision. Our firm offers free consultations to discuss your legal needs.
What damages does the State of North Carolina allow me to recover for my personal injuries?
The law of North Carolina allows money damages for the following categories:
1. Medical bills – past and future
2. Lost wages – past and future
3. Pain and suffering for my personal injuries
4. Permanent injury for my personal injuries
5. Any scarring that I may have as a result of my injuries
Medical bills and lost wages are something that can be measured and documented. However, there is no formula in North Carolina to measure pain and suffering or permanent injury. This is a matter for a jury to determine, or if your case is settled, something that the insurance company and you agree upon.
Should I use my health insurance to pay the medical bills that I incur as a result of my personal injuries?
Yes, because doing this works to your benefit. This is an example of one of the many topics that we will discuss with you during your first meeting with us.
If I pursue a personal injury claim, how long can I anticipate it will take to settle?
There are no specific timelines that can be placed on a personal injury claim. The biggest factor in determining the outcome of your claim is your medical treatment. Your case should not be settled completely until your medical treatment is concluded, and it can be determined what amount of permanent injury you have sustained as a result of the personal injury.
It some situations, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit, which could last a year or more. Whether or not a lawsuit has to be filed relates primarily to the position of the insurance company. Some companies work diligently to settle cases and others rely much more upon litigation to settle differences. As trial attorneys, we have many years of experience dealing with the actions of insurance companies.
What do I need to bring with me on my first visit to my lawyer’s office?
In preparation for your first visit to your lawyer’s office, you should bring any medical bills and records that you may have related to your injury. Also, if you have a copy of the accident report, this would be helpful to bring.
You should bring the “declaration page” of your personal auto policy. Very often, there are benefits off your own policy that we may use in terms of recovery that will not affect the costs of your personal auto insurance. Of course, our attorneys will explain this in more detail during your first meeting in the office.
Does seeking a legal opinion about my accident cost me money?
No. We do not charge clients for an initial consultation concerning the merits of their case. Both you and the attorney will use the initial consultation to determine the merits of your case and the likelihood of success.
Because of our experience, it is likely that we will quickly know whether or not we can be successful in representing you. Attorneys in North Carolina handle personal injury cases on a contingent basis once it is determined that your case has merit. In other words, you do not have to pay any money up front and the attorney does not recover any legal fee unless we win your case.