Car Accident Lawyers in Raleigh, N.C. Representing Clients in Auto Accident Claims
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you may feel overwhelmed by the process involved in filing a car accident claim. In addition, the thought of having to deal with the insurance company can be almost too much to bear if you have suffered severe injuries due to the collision. Car accident injuries can range anywhere from minor scrapes and bruises to catastrophic injuries depending on the severity of the crash.
Brent Adams & Associates of Raleigh, N.C., can provide you with the legal representation you need after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Our car accident lawyers have extensive experience in handling various types of accidents, including:
- Hit and run
- Rear-end collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on collisions
- T bone accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Fatal accidents
- Defective vehicles
If you have been involved in a car wreck, you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. We can help you obtain a financial recovery related to lost income, pain, suffering, and emotional trauma.
Contact our law offices and ask to schedule a free case evaluation with a legal team member who can explain your legal options.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover After Being Injured in a Car Accident?
If you are a car accident victim, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages related to your injuries and property damage. Damages are awarded based on the unique circumstances that surround your case.
Economic damages, also called special damages, are based on a specific monetary value. Economic damages are meant to reimburse individuals for the out-of-pocket expenses they have paid or may have to pay due to being involved in a car accident case.
Some of the most commonly awarded economic damages include:
- Past and future lost wages are meant to reimburse for the money that you have been unable to earn due to being involved in an accident.
- Loss of earning capacity if you are unable to return to the same type of work you enjoyed before your accident.
- Past and future medical bills that you have incurred due to being injured.
- Property damages are meant to help you repair or replace your vehicle.
It should also be understood that individuals who have suffered a personal injury due to a car accident may also be entitled to recover economic damages related to their ongoing medical care. These costs can include medical expenses related to physical therapy, rehabilitation, or any other medical treatment they may need.
Non-economic damages are also referred to as general damages. They differ from economic damages as they are not attached to a set monetary amount but are more subjective in nature. Some of the most common damages that are awarded as a result of a car accident include:
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain endured as a result of being injured
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you cannot participate in the same activities you enjoyed prior to the accident.
- The mental anguish that often comes from having to deal with emotional issues related to being involved in an accident.
- Loss of consortium refers to the loss of companionship, sexual relations, or comfort due to a car accident.
Because non-economic damages do not have a fixed value attached to them, your car accident attorney can advise you on what amount is appropriate for your case.
Although the most commonly awarded damages in car accident cases are economic and non-economic, there are certain instances in which individuals involved in a car accident may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages can be levied against a negligent driver to punish them for wrongdoing or to warn others not to repeat the same behavior.
North Carolina law dictates that punitive damages be awarded in cases of willful and wanton conduct. Some examples of willful and wanton conduct can include:
- A driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing an accident.
- A driver operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is likely to result in others being injured, such as driving at excessive speeds or disregarding traffic laws.
The number of punitive damages a plaintiff may recover in North Carolina is limited by law. However, the total damages shall not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater.
A skilled car accident attorney can review your case and determine if it is appropriate to ask for punitive damages.
Can Your Law Firm Help Me File a Claim With the Other Party’s Insurance Company?
North Carolina is a no-fault state when it comes to car accident claims. No fault means that you can file a lawsuit if you have been injured in an accident and can prove it was due to driver negligence. For example, if a driver is texting on their cell phone and causes an accident, they can be held liable even in minor accidents.
Unlike many other states, PIP coverage is unavailable in North Carolina, so an individual involved in car accidents cannot make a PIP claim. In most cases, the injury victim can file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance provider or any other liable parties to pursue compensation. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, a car accident attorney may still be able to assist you with your case.
It is vital that you have a knowledgeable car accident lawyer assisting you after being involved in a car crash. The other party’s insurer often tries to undervalue or deny your claim. Insurance companies consider their financial bottom line before the needs of those filing a claim. Therefore, they often resort to deceitful tactics to avoid large payouts, such as asking claimants to give a recorded statement detailing the accident. The insurance adjuster may then attempt to use your own statement against you to try and assign a degree of blame to you instead of the at-fault driver.
Brent Adams & Associates is familiar with insurance companies’ strategies to avoid paying claimants the car accident settlement they deserve. However, our highly trained and experienced legal professionals are fearless in standing up to the insurance companies to protect the rights of injured motorists.
What is Contributory Negligence in North Carolina?
North Carolina still follows pure contributory negligence laws. This means that you are ineligible to recover any damages if you have been involved in an accident and deemed to be even one percent at fault for the collision.
However, even if it has been determined that you share a degree of fault for a car accident, this does not mean that you have no other legal options. North Carolina also has what is known as “ameliorating doctrines” that can assist you in being able to potentially recover financial compensation. For example, if you can successfully prove that the at-fault driver had a “last clear chance” to avoid the accident, you may still be able to seek compensation.
Nevertheless, it needs to be stated that contributory negligence does not excuse the at-fault driver if they acted in a way that is considered grossly negligent. Gross negligence is considered to be conducted in which the driver who caused the accident showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others or was done with malicious intent. In addition, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered gross negligence under North Carolina law.
Insurance companies will frequently try to deny claims because they believe the claimant shares a degree of fault for the accident. For this reason, it is imperative that you hire a qualified car accident attorney to represent you and protect your legal rights.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer to Represent Me?
If you have been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, one of the best steps you can take to protect yourself is to hire an experienced Raleigh injury lawyer to represent you. Many individuals feel they can handle dealing with the insurance company independently. However, many people quickly find out that they need a legal professional with experience handling car accident cases.
One of the most important reasons to hire a car accident attorney is that they have an in-depth understanding of the law and how to best approach your case. In addition, a knowledgeable attorney can advise you on handling your legal claim and ease your mind about the future of dealing with your accident.
Another practical reason to have a car accident lawyer representing you is that they have the experience and resources to help you file an insurance claim. In many cases, an insurance company will only accept a claim if the paperwork is completed, not filled out correctly, or turned in on time. A knowledgeable attorney can assist you with completing the paperwork correctly and ensuring that it is returned promptly.
In addition, a car accident attorney can assist you if the insurance company denies your claim or offers you an initial settlement lower than your claim. When an insurance company knows you have a car accident lawyer assisting you with your claim, they are often open to negotiating a more significant settlement than if you did not have legal representation.
If an insurance company is unwilling to negotiate, it may become necessary to begin litigation proceedings to try and recover the financial compensation you deserve. If your case ends up in court, you will want an experienced car accident attorney fighting to get maximum compensation for your injuries.
Finally, one of the most important aspects of any car accident case involves the number of damages you may be able to recover in a settlement. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may have a wide variety of damages, including hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, you may have been transporting passengers in the car who also may be eligible to collect compensation.
A qualified attorney can review your case, determine the monetary amount you need to pay your expenses, and give you peace of mind for the future. Contact Brent Adams & Associates of Raleigh, N.C., by calling 919-726-3705 and asking to schedule a free consultation with a legal team member who will gladly answer your questions and determine the best course of legal action for your case.