What does a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer do?

By Kimberly BishopSeptember 19, 2023

The car accident attorneys at The Bishop Law Firm represent injured victims in motor vehicle accidents. We do not get paid unless we win. We also offer free car accident case reviews. Start your free case review online now or give us a call at (919) 615-3095.

Raleigh Car Accident Statistics

If you have been injured in a Raleigh car crash, you are not alone. According to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, in 2022, there were 15,905 crashes in Raleigh, NC with 62 fatalities and 6,247 injuries.

Alcohol was a factor in 467 crashes and 301 car crash injuries. Pedestrians were involved in 194 crashes while there were 38 accidents that involved bicycles.

These numbers equate to 17 auto accident injuries a day in Raleigh with more than one death a week from car accidents.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Raleigh, you need to know the law and what an experienced car accident lawyer can do for you.

Also read Raleigh Car Accident Statistics & Twenty Tips to Avoid Raleigh Car Accidents

Raleigh Car Accident Laws

North Carolina Drivers Have a Duty

NC Personal Injury Lawyers

North Carolina drivers owe a duty to other drivers and pedestrians to operate their vehicle in a reasonable manner in order to avoid injuring others. A reasonable manner would be to follow traffic laws and drive safely.

If a driver breaches this duty (negligence) and causes a car accident in which a victim is injured, the injured party can have a claim against the at-fault driver and their auto insurance if they did not cause the accident in any way.

Also view: Do I have a NC car accident injury case?

Contributory Negligence

North Carolina is one of the four (Alabama, Maryland and Virginia) remaining contributory negligence states. This means that the car accident victim must not be at fault in order to recover for their car accident injuries.

For example, if a car accident occurs because the at-fault party ran a light and the victim ran a red light as well, the victim may not be able to recover their losses due to their contributory negligence.

Contributory negligence often results in unfair outcomes for victims but is the law in our state. One exception to contributory negligence is the “last clear chance doctrine”. The last clear chance doctrine can help victims if the at-fault party had the last opportunity to change course and avoid the injury.

Also read What not to do after a Raleigh Car Accident.

What can a Car Accident Victim Recover?

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity in NC Car Accident Cases

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. Future medical expenses and lost wages should also be included if warranted.

Pain and Suffering attempts to compensate car accident victims for 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.

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for egregiously wrongful acts. Drunk drivers who harm others while behind the wheel may be liable for punitive damages. However, simply causing an accident due to distracted driving may not rise to the level of “egregiously wrongful.”

Also read Raleigh Car Accident Injuries

North Carolina Statute of Limitations

How long after a car accident can you sue in North Carolina? NC has a three year statute of limitations from the date of injury. If your loved one was killed in the car accident, you have two years from the date of death to bring suit.

Who determines fault in North Carolina Car Accidents?

After a car wreck, the police officer will usually cite the at-fault party and put a description of the accident on the bottom of the 2nd page of the accident report.

As a matter of course, it is difficult to get accident reports corrected. In some cases, no one receives a ticket, but it is still clear who is at fault. In other unfortunate cases, it’s difficult to tell who is at fault and this usually results in arbitration for property damage claims and litigation for those who seek compensation for injuries sustained.

Also read Raleigh Car Accident Reports & Twenty Steps to Take After Raleigh Car Accident

If you were injured while at work in a motor vehicle accident, you could have an NC Workers’ Compensation case as well as a car accident claim.

What does a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer do?

Car Accident Injury Lawyer Raleigh NC

If you are wondering what a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer can do for your injury claim or if you even need to hire a car accident lawyer, we are here to give you some food for thought.

The main thrust of what a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer does is to increase the value of your claim. While an attorney can sometimes get substantial increases in value, other times only modest increases in value are made and even then only through long fought litigation.

Either way, the attorney will do all that they can to get you the most money in pocket because Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers are contingent fee lawyers. Which means that their attorney fee is based off how much they recover for you.

Increase Value

Simply hiring a car accident attorney can increase the value of your claim as hiring an attorney increases the chances of the case being litigated. Litigation is expensive and most insurers want to avoid it. In order to avoid litigation expenses, an insurer may offer more money.

While attempting to increase the value of your claim, a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer will:

Deal with Insurance Company - A car accident lawyer can help you deal with the adjuster and opposing counsel (if you file litigation).

Dealing with an insurance company can be tricky. You need to give them enough information to allow them to pay your claim but not so much information that you give them ammunition against you.

In addition, the insurance adjuster will need evidence to pay your claim. Before evidence is given to the adjuster, the injured party needs to know what that evidence contains so they can address any issues that later arise.

Dealing with opposing counsel is definitely a task for your Raleigh Auto Accident Lawyer.

Gather Necessary Evidence

A car accident lawyer can also gather all the evidence you need to demonstrate your serious injuries and their consequences to the insurance adjuster or jury.

Medical records and bills (depending on the health care facility) can require specific releases to attain records and requests for billing may go to totally separate entities, but you must have the cost of all your damages in order to get fair compensation.

Liens must be repaid in North Carolina. Simply saying that you did not know about them will not work. A Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer can find out if the provider has the right to have a lien, if they have perfected that lien and make sure that all charges on the lien are related to your accident.

Necessary evidence in a car accident case varies from case to case. The at-fault party's driving history, news articles about the accident in question, evidence of criminal charges brought against the at-fault party, photos of everything, accident reconstruction, cost of future medical treatment for serious injuries and wage loss as well as maps of the location of the accident are just a few things a victim may need to get maximum compensation.

Investigate Your Claim and the Parties Involved

A Raleigh Car Accident attorney will review your accident to determine how the at-fault party's negligence caused your injury. The accident needs to be investigated step by step to ensure that causation can be demonstrated to an insurance adjuster or jury.

Unfortunately, there are drivers on the road who simply should not be there. They may have been told not to drive by their doctor or may even have lost their license previously due to a DUI. They may be a fugitive from justice and the car they were in was stolen.

Your attorney can help you get the intel on the at-fault party. If the at-fault party has a history of the type of behavior that led to your accident and it rises above ordinary negligence, you may have a claim for punitive damages but you will not know this until you research the parties involved in the case.

Negotiating on your behalf with insurance company

At our firm, we send a demand to the insurance adjuster to request a fair settlement. The demand contains information that insurance adjusters can use to complete a review of your claim in insurance software (namely, Colossus).

After giving the adjuster time to review, we begin to negotiate with the insurance adjuster on the car accident claim.

Negotiation is not for the faint of heart. After a while, most people become aggravated with the dialogue between the parties and wish the process would move faster.

This desire to move quickly should not be indulged. Any indication to the at-fault party's insurance adjuster that you "just want this to be over" or you "need cash now" is going to reduce your settlement amount.

Paced and diligent negotiation with evidence supporting your requested amount will likely result in a higher settlement. A Raleigh Car Accident Attorney can help with that.

Negotiate with your lienholders/medical providers 

In a Raleigh Car Accident injury case, you have to negotiate with the at-fault party's insurance company and you may also have to negotiate with your own insurance/medical providers/lien holders.

These negotiations are critical to the amount of money a victim will obtain in pocket. As we have discussed before, even a failed negotiation to get your billed reduced is better than no negotiation at all.

A Raleigh Car Accident lawyer can reach out to everyone that you owe because of your injury and attempt to get your bills reduced pro-rata to get you more money in pocket.

Raleigh Car Accident Cases We Handle

NC Car Accident Lawyer

Raleigh car accidents can occur in a multitude of ways with varying severity. Our firm can help if you need a:

  1. Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer 
  2. Raleigh Truck Accident Lawyer
  3. Raleigh Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
  4. Raleigh Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
  5. Raleigh Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  6. Raleigh Wrongful Death Lawyer 

Common Raleigh Car Accident Injuries

Unfortunately, under the wrong circumstances, even a minor car accident can result in serious car accident injuries. Traumatic Brain Injury, broken bones, spinal injuries and even wrongful death can result from car accidents.

Do you need Raleigh Car Accident Lawyers?

If you have been injured in the Raleigh Car Accident through no fault of your own, you should obtain legal representation.

As discussed above, a car accident lawyer can help add value to your claim by investigating and gathering evidence, as well as negotiating on your behalf with the insurance company.

In addition, even with the best car accident lawyer, some insurance companies will not make a fair offer unless litigation is pursued.

Litigation is definitely a chore that an attorney should help you with.

A car accident lawyer can foresee and tackle the legal issues that you may not be aware of at the time of your claim. The attorney you hire after a car accident, truck accident, or other motor vehicle wreck will set the tone for how you are treated by the at-fault party’s insurance company.

The car accident attorneys at The Bishop Law Firm can help if you have been injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own. We offer free car accident case reviews and no fee unless you win. Call us now 919-615-3095 or start your free case review online.

Also read: North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

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