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North Carolina Bodily Injury Claim

Nobody wants to get severely injured in an accident, but it happens every day. Accidents happen all the time – a collision on the road, someone slips and falls on someone else’s property, a worker gets hurt on the job, or a million other scenarios.

While these accidents typically happen in just an instant, their effects are often catastrophic and long-lasting. Personal injury victims are frequently left unable to work and face a mountain of bills related to their accident – not to mention physical pain and emotional trauma.

Personal injury victims need to understand that there is legal help available in North Carolina. When the accident was the fault of someone else, accident victims can pursue the compensation they need.

If you’ve been hurt and it wasn’t your fault, contact the Asheville personal injury lawyers at The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC now for a free consultation.

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Common Types of Accident Claims We Handle...

There are a number of different types of personal injury cases. Some of the most common types we see are:

Although these are some of the most common types of personal injury cases we handle, any time you have been hurt by someone else’s negligent actions, you could have a valid personal injury claim.

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Ruth will take the time to make sure that you understand every step of the process and she will work hard to make sure you get what you deserve. I would recommend her to anyone in need of a personal injury, disability, workers comp, etc. attorney. She truly cares for her clients and goes above and beyond for them... — Former Client

Common Types of Serious Injury Claims

Catastrophic injuries are those that occur suddenly and that render an individual incapable of performing normal functions, such as going to work or doing daily tasks around the house.

Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Traumatic orthopedic injuries
  • Accidental amputation
  • Eye injuries
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Severe burns
  • Back injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Neurological disorders

These are not only some of the most debilitating types of injuries, they also have long-lasting effects. Often accident victims never fully recover after sustaining a catastrophic injury.

How Our North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help with Your Case

Accident victims who wish to file a personal injury claim after an accident are much more likely to receive fair compensation when they have legal representation. While the law does not require you to hire an attorney to represent you, there are many things an attorney can do for you that are extremely difficult to do on your own. Examples include:

  • Explain applicable laws and procedural rules as they pertain to your case
  • Advise on ways to protect your rights after an accident
  • Fully investigate the true cause of your personal injuries
  • Calculate the full extent of your losses
  • Consult with experts to build a stronger case
  • File an insurance claim or a lawsuit on your behalf
  • Speak to the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf
  • Negotiate with the at-fault party and insurance company for a fair settlement
  • Take the case to trial if necessary
  • Collect and present evidence to back up your claims
  • Refute arguments raised by the defense
  • Act as an advocate when taking on big insurance companies and liable parties
  • Help you seek the full amount of compensation you deserve

Not only does an attorney know the process of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, but they also have access to resources that accident victims do not, and these can help build a case.

Types of Compensation You Could Recover in a Personal Injury Claim

If your personal injury claim is successful, you will receive compensation that is meant to restore you, as best as possible, to the way you were before the accident. Seeking fair compensation after an accident is extremely difficult if you’re unfamiliar with evaluating accident injuries and claims.

In North Carolina, there are two main types of compensation. These are known as special damages, which have a monetary value, and personal damages, which do not have a dollar amount attached to them.

Special damages include items such as medical expenses, lost income, and any out-of-pocket expenses, including gas money to get to and from doctor’s appointments for your injuries. These are very easy to calculate and easily proven if you keep copies of your bills and receipts.

Personal damages include items such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium, or loss of services by a spouse. These damages are subjective and do not come with a receipt that specifies a dollar figure. An attorney can help quantify the amount of personal damages you are owed, and help prove you sustained those losses.

NC Statute of Limitations on Injury Claims

North Carolina places a deadline known as a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This is the time limit you have for filing your claim. Claims that are filed once the statute of limitations expires are almost certain to be thrown out of court, barring you from pursuing any compensation.

In North Carolina, most personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of three years from the date of the accident. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, this time limit can vary.

The statute also states that the clock may not start ticking on that three-year time limit until the injured party discovers their injuries. For example, if a surgeon left a sponge in a patient after surgery, they may not realize it right away. If they found out a year later when the sponge caused medical problems, the statute of limitations would begin on the day the injury was discovered – or reasonably should have been discovered – not the date of the accident.

There are also some narrow exceptions to the statute of limitations. One of these is when the plaintiff is a minor, in which case the statute of limitations would begin on the minor’s 18th birthday. People with a legal disability, such as being considered incompetent, may also have the statute of limitations tolled until the legal disability is lifted.

In any event, it is always best to speak to an attorney as soon as possible when you believe you may have a personal injury claim.

Steps to Protect Your Rights After an Accident

In North Carolina, it’s especially important that you take the proper steps after an accident to protect your rights. The defense may argue aggressively that you were partly to blame for the accident. If they prove that you were even 1 percent at fault, you are barred from receiving any compensation under the strict legal concept of contributory negligence.

In order to help prove you did not contribute to the accident, and someone else is at fault, you need to take the following steps:

  • Your health is the most important thing, and it should be your first priority after an accident. It is of the utmost importance that you seek medical attention after any accident, even if you don’t initially think you’re that hurt. Serious injuries sometimes take days or weeks to start showing symptoms. A doctor will perform a full examination to determine the extent of injury and treat any injuries before they become worse.

Seeking medical attention will also help protect your rights after an accident in North Carolina. Seeing a doctor, and following their full recommended treatment plan, is one of the best ways to protect your rights after an accident.

  • Take as many pictures as you can of the scene of the accident. Take pictures of what caused your accident, such as a spill on the ground or another vehicle. Take pictures of the setting, whether it was at an intersection, in a doctor’s office, or at a restaurant.

When taking these pictures, make sure you also capture anything that contributed to the accident, such as a mop bucket left on the floor or a traffic signal, for example. Also take pictures of any resulting injuries. All of this is important evidence, and it will disappear quickly.

  • Witness statements are also important pieces of evidence, so make sure you collect contact information from anyone who saw what happened. Accidents happen very quickly and often, even those involved don’t fully understand how they occurred. Witness statements can help fill in the blanks, and back up the statements you make in your accident claim.
  • Someone else is likely going to be involved in any accident. If this is another driver, exchange insurance and contact information but try to say as little as possible about the accident. If the accident happened in a store, you’ll want to speak to the owner, manager, or supervisor. You want to tell them an accident occurred, but don’t provide any additional details.

Wherever the accident happens, it’s important you never apologize or accept blame. The liable party or the insurance company will surely use this against you in your case.

  • If your personal injury case involves a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, you need to call the police right away. In North Carolina, you are required to report any accident that results in injury, death, or property damage. Failing to call the police is considered a violation of the law, and can hurt an accident claim.

In addition, calling the police to the scene allows you to give a statement directly. You can also ask to see a copy of the officer’s notes and let them know if any of the information is incorrect. This is much easier to change at the scene of the accident than it is once the police report is filed.

Talk to an Asheville Personal Injury Lawyer Now

If you’ve been hurt in an accident and are now struggling to cope with your injuries, don’t feel like you have to handle the legal matters on your own. Speak to a skilled personal injury attorney in Asheville who can help.

Call The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC and let us review the facts of your case. If someone else was at fault for your accident, we’ll work to hold them accountable and help you seek the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and advice about your best legal options.

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