Have you been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault? The Bishop Law Firm can help. Filing a claim with the help of an experienced Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer is your best chance to seek compensation for medical bills and other expenses.
The Bishop Law Firm takes pride in protecting the rights of car accident victims in the Raleigh area and understands how difficult the car accident claims process can be for those injured through no fault of their own.
Call us today for a free case review, (919) 615-3095 or start online now.
Raleigh Car Accident Law
In North Carolina, if you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, you can recover the costs of your missed time from work, medical expenses, and be compensated for your pain and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded in few cases.
NC is a contributory negligence state, meaning if the injured person is even 1% at fault, they can not recover on a personal injury case (but see Last Clear Chance Doctrine).
For car accident cases, the officer can issue a citation to the at-fault party, but not always. In some types of car accidents it can be difficult to determine who is actually at fault.
Read: NC Personal Injury – Ten Bars to Recovery & NC Car Accidents and Sudden Emergency
Reasons To File a Car Accident Injury Claim
Do you have serious injuries that were caused by the auto accident? If you do not have injuries, then you do not have a Personal Injury case.
If you do have injuries, you need to get medical care as soon as possible, continue to receive treatment, and document all the medical bills you are incurring.
Do not delay getting medical treatment for your car accident injuries! The longer you wait to receive medical treatment the more difficult it will be to prove that your injury came from the car accident.
Speaking to an experienced Raleigh car accident attorney about filing a car accident claim is the first step to getting justice. The Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers at The Bishop Law Firm can help you through the process of filing a claim so you get the compensation you deserve.
In order for you to recover from NC Personal Injury Litigation, you must file your case in court before the statute of limitations runs out.
According to N.C.G.S.§1-52 (16), the general rule for filing a negligence action or personal injury case in North Carolina is three (3) years from the date of the accident. That means that if a victim was injured on February 1, 2018, that person has until February 1, 2021 to file a lawsuit for their personal injury claim.
It does not matter if the person is still receiving medical treatment for their accident-related injuries or are currently in negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
This is an extremely important deadline that many North Carolina accident victims are not aware of.
Serious Car Accident Injuries:
Unfortunately, under the wrong circumstances, even a relatively minor accident can result in serious injuries. Traumatic Brain Injury, broken bones, spinal injuries and even wrongful death can result from car accidents.
*If you were injured in a car accident while working you may also have a Raleigh Workers’ compensation case. Workers’ compensation would not apply if you are on your way to work or your way home.*
Medical Bills After NC Car Accident
Medical bills after a NC Car Accident can be handled in a few different ways. Many of our clients file claims with their own health insurance initially. If you do not have health insurance, watch our video above for ways that you can seek medical treatment.
Next, you should file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance carrier. Personal Injury claims and Property Damage claims are usually handled by different adjusters. The personal injury adjuster may want you to do a recorded statement or ask you for a list of your medical providers so they can obtain your medical records/bills. A personal injury claim can take substantial time.
If your auto insurance has medical payments coverage (Med-Pay) you may be able to recover some of your medical expense that way. Lastly, you can enter into a payment arrangement with the medical provider if you do not have health insurance.
If the driver that caused the car accident does not have car insurance, your last resort is to file a claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is required in NC while underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is required when policy limits are greater than the NC minimum ($30,000 Bodily Injury for each person, $60,000 total Bodily Injury for all persons in an accident and $25,000 for Property Damage).
Read: NC Car Accidents and Insurance Policy Limits & NC Personal Injury Medical Bills More Than Settlement?
Do you have lost wages due to your car crash injuries?
If your doctor has taken you out of work because of your injuries, save all of your pay stubs and ask your employer to provide you with a copy of your timesheets to preserve evidence of your lost wages.
In order to seek recovery for a lost wage claim, an injured accident victim has to have documentation of the actual days he or she has missed from work due to their injuries.
Lost wage documentation must be verified by the injured accident victim’s employer. The employer should provide payroll records stating how many days the accident victim missed work and the injured accident victim’s rate of pay.
The next step is to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. They send you a big check covering everything, and you are done…….if only!
What is pain & suffering and how is it calculated?
In NC, pain and suffering covers the physical pain and mental suffering that a victim has to endure due to the injury they have sustained. If you break your leg, you will experience not only physical pain but also mental and emotional distress. Unfortunately, injuries can leave us with scars that affect our self-esteem.
You could develop depression, vehophobia, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder after your injury. This is what pain and suffering damages attempt to compensate you for. Since all of us have different pain tolerance levels and mental dispositions, how do you determine the damages in individual cases?
Some personal injury lawyers use medical bills as part of an equation to arrive at a suitable amount for pain & suffering. The equation is medical expenses + lost wages and accident related expenses x a multiplier (usually 1.5 – 5).
For example, Minnie Mouse has $15,000 in medical bills and $5,000 in lost wages which results in losses of $20,000. You then multiply $20,000 X 3 which would result in a request of $60,000 for pain and suffering. The multiplier increases from 1.5 to 5 based on the severity, longevity, treatment and residuals of the injury, among other issues.
Read: Ten Ways to Maximize Recovery in NC Personal Injury Cases & Ways to Prove Pain and Suffering Damages
Do You Need a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer?
Was the car accident in Raleigh your fault? If you received a citation (ticket) for the accident, it is likely that law enforcement determined you to be at some level of fault for the collision. In North Carolina, if you have been determined to be at fault in any way for the accident, you cannot be compensated due to contributory negligence.
Read: Distracted Driving in NC Car Accidents
If you are looking for your Raleigh car accident report, you can try the Raleigh Police Department’s website, the Wake County Sheriff’s office, or the NC State Highway Patrol.
Rear-end collisions, multi-car accidents, and fatal crashes can be complicated, to say the least. It can be difficult to determine who is actually at fault in some car accident cases.
The insurance adjuster may deny that their insured is at fault. A Raleigh personal injury law attorney can help to determine if you have an injury claim and give you legal advice about recovering your losses from the car accident.
Read NC Rear-End Collision Injuries
Hiring an Experienced Raleigh Car Accident Attorney
Dealing with the insurance company is not simple, straightforward, or quick. It is common knowledge that the insurance company wants to pay as little as possible, preferably nothing, and will employ various tactics to delay, frustrate, and minimize your claim.
The choice to hire Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers to help with your claim can set the tone for how the insurance company treats you. Without the proper inspiration from an attorney, your claim may gather dust on an adjuster’s desk or get lost in the shuffle.
Also read What does a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer do?
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters can use an injured person’s financial hardship against them and force them to take little to nothing for their car accident case. Even worse, some insurance adjusters will hold onto claims until the statute of limitations runs out, leaving the injured with no way to recover for their losses.
Simply put, a car accident lawyer that handles personal injury cases can make sure your claim goes as smoothly as possible and help you decide if you should take the insurance companies’ offer or pursue litigation.
Our Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer handles all types of motor vehicle accidents including but not limited to the following:
- Car – On any given day on I-40, 440 or 540 in Raleigh, you will see auto accidents. We all hope that no one get’s injured in a car accident, but if they do, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help a victim recover compensation.
- Truck (18-wheeler accidents) – Commercial Drivers can become lackadaisical about the cars around them in traffic due to the size of their vehicle. This can result in car wrecks that cause devastating injury.
- Motorcycle – Motorcycles offer wonderful views and fresh air in abundance, but very little protection against someone else’s negligence behind the wheel.
- Pedestrian – Pedestrians never win when they are involved in a automobile accident. Even a low speed impact can cause broken bones for car accident victims.
- Wrongful Death – Distracted and Drunk Drivers can cause the death of a loved one. If this has happened to your family, Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers can help.
- and more…
Frequently asked questions
- How much are car accident lawyer attorney fees? Our contingent fee law firm charges 33.33% for representing car accident victims. This means that we are paid solely off how much money we recover for our clients. If we do not recover for our clients, we do not get paid.
- What is a good settlement offer for a car accident? This is a great question with a complicated answer. A “good” settlement will include reimbursement of all of the victim’s medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering. The “best” settlement will include the same as a “good” settlement with the addition of estimated future expenses. Also read How to Calculate a Car Accident Settlement in North Carolina
- How do you choose a car crash lawyer? We would love to tell you that it’s all about experience or diplomas on the wall, but the real answer is passion. You should choose a car accident lawyer that is passionate about what they do. To quote our mentor, “if you love doing it, you just do it better.”
- How do you negotiate a higher settlement in a car accident? In our experience, negotiating with an insurance adjuster is only going to get you so much money as they just don’t have enough authority before litigation. Also, rushing or hinting to the adjuster that you need money will only bring down the value of your claim.
- What if you can’t afford a lawyer for a personal injury case? The Bishop Law Firm is a contingent fee law firm which means that we get paid out of your settlement, so there are no retainer fees or upfront costs. If you decide not to hire a Raleigh Car Accident lawyer because you don’t want to pay a lawyer, you will have to deal with the insurance company alone.
- How do you calculate settlement amount? Our firm uses all medical expenses + lost wages + pain & suffering + any additional accident related expenses to calculate a settlement.
- How much can you get out of pain and suffering? The Bishop Law Firm calculates pain & suffering based on medical expenses, type of injuries and surrounding circumstances of the accident. You should also read Pain & Suffering in NC Personal Injury cases.
- How do insurance adjusters decide on a settlement? Most insurance companies have software that the adjuster uses to calculate settlement amounts. The software eliminates much of the adjuster’s ability to rely on their own experience in settling a claim. The software (Colossus is an example) assigns value to a claim based on type of accident, types of injuries and other factors.
- Why do insurance adjusters deny claims? Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. This means that they want to make money collecting premiums and do not want to pay out money on claims. If an insurance adjuster can find a reason to deny your claim, they will. The insurance adjuster’s reasoning may be flawed, but they continue to deny the claim in the hope that the victim will just go away.
- What should you not say to an adjuster? Never tell the adjuster that you need money fast. Never lie to the adjuster. Never be rude to the adjuster or threaten them. Also, once you have a lawyer, do not communicate with the adjuster unless your lawyer tells you it is ok to do so.
Find a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer Near You
Our experienced team at The Bishop Law Firm can help if you need an Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer. Our focus is to protect and maximize car accident victims legal rights to fair compensation, and we don’t get paid unless you win. Can the at-fault driver’s insurance company say the same?
Contact us today for more information or start your free case review right now.
North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
Wake County Car Accident Lawyer