In North Carolina in 2010 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 213,553 crashes were reported. These auto accidents resulted in the deaths of 1,224 people, including 29 in Davidson County and 60 in Guilford County. Another 69,138 were injured in these crashes1. If you have been injured in a vehicle accident (car, truck or motorcycle) in North Carolina through no fault of your own, you are entitled to complete compensation for medical treatment and bills, emotional suffering, lost wages, lost earning potential, and disfigurement. If your injury is one that is provable as permanent you can collect for future pain and suffering, medical bills, lost earnings and other documented expenses to be incurred. Clearly the quicker you speak to an auto accident attorney, the better off you are.
Do I have an auto accident case?
If you are involved in an auto accident that results in a serious injury or permanent disability, you may have a case and should talk to an accident and injury attorney about the specifics of your situation before you sign any documents or waivers! We have seen many cases where an injured person has accepted a settlement offer from the insurance company only to end up having additional medical expenses and lost wages at a later date. Once you accept the settlement, you cannot go back and ask for more money; you end up paying for these additional accident-related expenses out of your own pocket. You do not want to be in this position. Most auto accident attorneys offer free initial consultations. It cannot hurt to speak with an attorney and get his or her legal counsel on your case.
Do I need an auto accident attorney?
If your accident involved only property damage or minor injury, you probably don’t need an attorney. If, however, you have more serious injuries that result in large medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injury, disfigurement or disability, you should consult with an auto accident attorney.
In personal injury cases, North Carolina follows the rule of Contributory Negligence. This means that if you are even 1% at fault for your injury, you cannot collect from the other party (or their insurance company). As you might guess, this frequently leads to disputes about fault in the accident and may require additional investigation to prove fault. An injury attorney will be able to work through these issues on your behalf.
When a car and a truck collide, the car almost always “loses.” In accidents involving a truck or commercial vehicle, the chances that the accident will be fatal increase. Injuries sustained may also be more severe. If you were involved in a car vs. truck accident resulting in serious injury, you should speak to a truck accident attorney.
Motorcyclists do not have the same protection as those in enclosed vehicles, so when accidents happen, motorcyclists are at higher risk of injury or death. In North Carolina in 2010, there were 3,879 crashes involving motorcycles. Approximately 4.5% of those crashes were fatal (compared to .37% for passenger cars and 1.5% for semi-trucks) and 82% involved injury (vs. 34% for all accidents). If you have been seriously injured or a loved one died in a motorcycle crash as the result of another’s negligence, you should seek legal counsel.
There are insurance companies who seek to get your agreement to a settlement, even a future one, which could prevent you from receiving just compensation. Brinkley Walser provides free consultations for injury victims and urges all victims to seek advice before signing any documents or waivers. Not everyone needs an attorney but everyone should seek legal advice from experienced accident attorneys. Contact Brinkley Walser today to schedule your free consultation.