Do you need a Durham Car Accident Lawyer? If so, The Bishop Law Firm can help with your case! Read on for more information.
If you have been involved in a Durham Car Accident, you are not alone. According to the NC Department of Motor Vehicles, from 2019-2021, there were 73 fatalities and 6,961 injuries in Durham, NC. That averages to almost 9 Durham auto accident injuries a day. Unfortunately, distracted and impaired drivers contribute substantially to these numbers.
Was the Durham Car Accident your fault?
The first question that needs to be answered regarding your Durham car accident was whether the accident was your fault? NC is a contributory negligence state which means that if you are even 1% at fault for your injury you can not recover (generally).
If you received a citation (ticket) for the accident that means that the accident was determined to be your fault. In North Carolina, if you receive a ticket you are not allowed to file suit against the other party. Assuming that the other party was the at- fault driver, we will proceed.
NC Personal Injury Law
In order for a Durham Car Accident Attorney to help, you must have sustained a bodily injury for which you seek medical treatment. Without medical records there is no way to prove that you were actually harmed in the car accident.
If you are have suffered a bodily injury in a car accident through no fault of your own, you can recover for the costs of your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain & suffering (non-economic damages), etc. Punitive damages are rarely awarded but may be available if the at fault driver was willful or malicious.
The first step is to finish all medical treatment, gather bills and other evidence, and send a demand to the at fault driver’s insurance company. If the other driver’s insurance company will not compensate you for your damages, you will have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In North Carolina Personal Injury Litigation, you must file your case in court before the statute of limitations runs out.
If the at fault party does not have insurance or if their auto insurance policy limits are not enough to cover your auto accident expenses, you can file a claim with your own auto insurance policy for UM (Uninsured Motorist) or UIM (Underinsured Motorist) coverage.
If you are injured in a car accident while working, you may also have a NC Workers’ Compensation case. Property damage (damage to your vehicle from the accident) is not covered under a personal injury claim and clients usually have a separate adjuster for their auto repair insurance claim.
If someone you care for has passed away due to the negligence of the at fault driver, the case would would be classified as a Wrongful Death.
The Car Accident Scene
Hopefully, you have never been in an car accident before so we should discuss what happened at the scene. At the scene of the accident, the police officer took statements, you were given witness contact information, you obtained the at-fault party’s insurance information and you took photos of your vehicle before you went to the emergency room or other medical facility. If you were unable to take photos of your vehicle right after the accident, now is the time to do so!
What medical treatment is needed?
An injury victim should immediately go to the hospital after an automobile accident and follow all medical advice. If you continue to have pain, ongoing medical treatment documents the health issues you continue to have from the accident.
The longer you wait to receive medical treatment for your injury, the more difficult it will be to prove that the car accident caused your injury.
Most emergency rooms offer x-rays as a quick way to rule out broken bones in a car accident victim. However, there are many injuries that x-rays do not show. Common car accident injuries like bruises should be examined to rule out clotting. If you are having continued pain after your initial emergency room visit, seek medical attention.
When more serious injuries have been ruled out, physical therapy or chiropractic treatment can be done to ease car accident injury symptoms. But, before seeking chiropractic or manual therapy, make sure that your type of injury will benefit from adjustment.
If you are instructed to use a brace, a cane, cast, etc. after your auto accident, you should take photos of your injury at every step of your healing journey. These visual images help quantify an injury victim’s pain & suffering.
Our Firm has written several posts on common car accident injuries. Even if your car accident injury is not listed below, we still can help!
Lost Wages and Expenses
If you are missing work, you need to document the days that you are missing and what the lost wages for those days would have been. Some days you miss may be paid as overtime days so that needs to be accounted for.
You need to make your employer aware that you are missing days from work due to the car wreck as they will be asked later to verify your days missed.
In addition, you may accumulate expenses for medical equipment (bandages, crutches…) as well as mileage to/from your doctor visits. All accident-related expenses should be factored in before settling your auto accident claim.
Do you need a Durham Car Accident Lawyer?
Receiving compensation for your personal injury should be as simple as filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, dealing with the insurance company is not always simple. Car accident victims can have a hard time dealing with the car insurance company while trying to recover from significant injuries.
Some adjusters will sit on a claim until the statute of limitations has run, while others will try to settle the moment the claim touches their desk – before the car accident victim has received all necessary medical care to avoid having to pay for more medical expenses. Please note that all your expenses should be accounted for before you settle your auto accident claim.
A Durham Car Accident Lawyer can help your case move though the claim stage without gathering dust on an adjuster’s desk.
Should you settle for what the adjuster is offering or go to trial? Will going to trial result in higher compensation or just higher cost? Legal advice from an experienced Durham car accident lawyer can help you answer these tough questions and avoid pitfalls with your auto accident injury case.
If you are having a difficult time with the insurance company or if you want advice on obtaining all compensation you are entitled to under North Carolina law, you should call Durham Car Accident Lawyers. You should not have to pay twice for someone else’s negligence.
The Bishop Law Firm helps Durham Car Accident victims (car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident and pedestrian accident) and we do not get paid unless you win! Call us today at (919) 615-3095 for a free case evaluation or start your free case review now!
Also read NC Car Accident Lawyer