Car Accident Lawyer in Asheville, NC
Auto Accident Attorneys in Asheville, NC
Car accidents happen in Asheville and all over western North Carolina every day. Some of these accidents are serious and leave victims with severe injuries.
Car accident injuries are not only painful and debilitating, but they’re also very costly to treat. Accident victims are left to pay for these expenses, and often at a time when their injuries leave them unable to work.
These are just two of the many ways an accident turns the victim’s life upside down, but there is help. When car crash victims suffer severe injuries and other losses, they can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. That compensation can help pay for the cost of treatment, make up lost income, cover property damage, and help the accident victim better deal with their injuries.
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash that was someone else’s fault, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer in Asheville, NC, who can help you pursue the total compensation you may be entitled to.
How Our Asheville Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You
Insurance companies are known for offering accident victims lowball settlements that don’t fully cover the cost of their injuries and losses. Insurance companies want to avoid paying for claims to keep more profits.
When an attorney represents accident victims, the attorney can deal with the insurance company on behalf of the injured person. An attorney knows how to hold an insurance company accountable for providing a full and fair settlement and won’t fall for any of these companies tactics.
Our lawyers are prepared to thoroughly investigate the actual cause of the crash and calculate the full extent of your losses. They will base this amount on how much time you missed from work, the amount of medical expenses you’ve incurred, and how much pain and suffering you’ve endured due to the accident, among other factors. They’ll also provide your case with evidence and legal reasoning that backs up these compensation claims.
Our lawyers in Asheville do all the legwork involved in a claim so you can focus on your recovery. This may include filing a claim, ensuring all the critical deadlines are met, consulting with experts, negotiating with insurers, and much more.
Types of Compensation in a Car Accident Claim
Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages asked for in a car accident claim. As the name implies, these damages are meant to compensate you for any losses incurred due to the crash. This can include compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including emergency transportation, surgery, rehabilitation, therapy, and more
- Lost income, including wages, salaries, bonuses, and benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity, if the injuries make it difficult or impossible to earn the same income as before the accident
- Property damage, including the cost to repair or replace your car
- Permanent injury and loss of limbs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If the case does not settle and goes to court, a judge or jury will determine how much compensation you deserve. Your attorney can provide evidence about the expenses you’ve already incurred and those you’ll face in the future.
What You Need To Know About Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Car Accident
You should always report the accident to your insurance company immediately. If someone else was at fault for the accident, you may have to deal with the other driver’s insurance company. This is much more challenging than it sounds.
The insurance company is not on your side. They are not looking out for your best interests. Instead, they are looking to maximize their profits as much as possible. To do that, they want to pay as little as they can on your claim – and ideally, nothing if they can get away with it. Don’t let them.
Here are some things to remember when dealing with the insurance company.
An insurance adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely contact you after the accident. Some don’t even wait until you get home from the hospital. They want to talk to you as soon as possible when you aren’t even aware of the full extent of your injuries. They may try to pressure you into signing a release and possibly even accepting an offer that will not begin to cover the total cost of your injuries.
The insurance company may trick you into accepting fault for the accident. This can give them a reason to deny your claim or offer a meager settlement. The insurance company will hold anything you say against you, and they’ll take your words out of context and twist them for their purposes.
To hold your statements against you in the future, the insurance company may also ask you for a recorded message. Never provide this to any insurance company. You are not obligated to, and it can only hurt your case.
The insurance company may also ask you to sign a release for your medical records. You should never sign these releases. When the insurance company has access to your medical records, they’ll comb through them to find anything that may indicate you suffered from specific injuries or conditions before the accident. They’ll use this information to claim your damages aren’t due to the accident.
Speaking to any insurance company after an accident can easily ruin your case if you don’t understand your rights and what you are legally obligated to provide. This is one of the main reasons it’s so important to speak to an Asheville car accident lawyer before speaking to any insurance adjuster or representative.
Understanding Fault Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina is an at-fault, or tort, auto insurance state. This means injured people will have to go through the at-fault party’s insurance company to claim compensation for injuries in a crash. This differs from other no-fault states, meaning each injured party goes through their insurance for payment.
This seems straightforward but becomes complicated, particularly when more than two vehicles are involved. Each of the liable drivers’ insurance companies is responsible for compensating for the portion of the accident the driver was responsible for.
Injured parties must establish fault, collect evidence to prove it, and then determine the extent of responsibility each party is responsible for.
Contributory negligence is another complicated aspect of establishing fault in a North Carolina car accident. Under the state’s contributory negligence laws, when an accident victim is even 1% at fault for the accident, they are barred from receiving any compensation for their injuries.
What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Car Accident in Asheville, NC
The moments immediately after a car accident are scary and confusing. Accident victims are dealing with injuries. Considering the chaos that ensues after a car accident, drivers must know the right steps to take.
The first step is to stop and report the accident if there are injuries or property damage. This is the law in North Carolina, and failing to do so could hurt your case later. North Carolina law also requires you to provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured, such as calling for medical help. If possible, move all vehicles out of the way of traffic so they don’t block the road and cause a secondary accident.
If you need emergency medical assistance, do not refuse it. Now is not the time to act tough.
If you can remain on the scene, the next step is to exchange information with the other drivers. You should exchange your names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Consider using your phone to take pictures of their documents. While collecting information, also get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
While waiting for the police, take as many pictures as possible. Be sure to take photos of any injuries, damage to any vehicle, and any other essential elements of the accident scene. Make sure you take pictures of anything that could indicate how the accident happened, such as skid marks on the road.
Once the police have arrived and taken your statement, you’ve collected all the information you need, and you’ve taken pictures, you must seek medical treatment. This step is necessary in emergencies even before the other steps are completed. Seeking medical attention is essential not only for your health but for your accident claim, too.
Once your injuries have been treated and stabilized, contact our car accident lawyers in Asheville as soon as possible.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in NC
A statute of limitations is the deadline to file a car accident claim. When claims are filed after this time, accident victims are almost always barred from pursuing compensation.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits is three years from the accident date.
It is critical to start a car accident claim as soon as possible, even though it may seem like you have a long time. Evidence can go missing, witnesses can disappear, or their memories can fade, and other critical information can be harder to get. The sooner your lawyer starts on your case, the better.
Common Car Accident Injuries You Need a Lawyer For
A person can sustain almost any type of injury when they are involved in a car crash. Some injuries seen after auto accidents are more common than others. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, internal bleeding, skull fractures, and lacerations
- Neck and back injuries, including whiplash, herniated discs, spinal cord damage, sprains, and strains
- Burn injuries that require skin grafts and result in scarring
- Soft tissue injuries occur when muscles, tendons, and ligaments are stretched or torn
- Spinal cord injuries, including herniated discs and paralysis
- Broken bones
These injuries are often debilitating and can keep a person from working for months, or even years, after the accident. Some accident victims, unfortunately, never fully recover from their injuries.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Asheville
Driver negligence is the most common cause of car accidents in Asheville. Negligence takes many forms. Some of the most common causes of car accidents due to negligence include:
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Poor road conditions
These are just a few of the most common causes of car accidents in North Carolina.
Talk To Our Asheville Auto Accident Attorneys Now
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, don’t take chances with your injury claim. Trust the experienced car accident lawyers in Asheville.
At The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC, we’re passionate about seeking the total amount of compensation accident victims deserve. In car accident cases, it seems everyone is working against you. We’ll not only work with you, but we’ll fight for you and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the entire process.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. The consultation is free and comes with no obligations.