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Get To Know North Carolina’s Personal Injury Laws

Personal Injury

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the fault of another person, it is likely that there are some questions about your next steps.  However, the laws per state vary, and in this article, we will focus on North Carolina’s Personal Injury Laws.

North Carolina’s Personal Injury Laws in a Nutshell

In North Carolina, a personal injury case is a civil action brought by an injured party against the responsible party. The responsible party might be an individual, business, government agency or department, or any other legal entity that causes injury to another person through carelessness or inadvertence. A personal injury can occur in many ways: through negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts. The injured party may seek monetary damages like medical bills and lost wages in a personal injury case.

Getting a case evaluation from an experienced personal injury attorney is your best bet if you’re wondering if you can be compensated for an injury you sustained. 

Get To Know North Carolina's Personal Injury Laws

North Carolina Personal Injury Law – What Can It Be Used For?

People are often injured due to another person’s negligence or carelessness. If you have been hurt, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. When someone is driving an automobile and hits your vehicle or runs into you on foot, this is known as a car accident. Injuries from car accidents include whiplash, broken limbs or back injuries.

In North Carolina, if your automobile is badly damaged because of a collision with another vehicle, the other driver could be liable for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle. This damage is separate and in addition to any physical injuries you sustain in the accident.

If your injuries are serious, you could be facing medical expenses for treatment of your injuries, lost wages from time off work, and other losses. An experienced North Carolina car accident attorney,including us, will investigate your case and help determine who is liable for your damages. We can then negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company of the person who caused the accident.

 

How Can I Seek Compensation For Personal Injuries?

North Carolina residents are entitled to bring lawsuits against parties they feel are responsible for causing them harm. This is the concept of tort law, where claims are brought when an individual’s personal rights have been violated by the negligent or intentional acts of another. 

There are many different forms of personal injuries that can be brought before a court in North Carolina, One of the most common is wrongful death, which is an area of personal injury law that addresses claims brought on behalf of a decedent.

If an individual dies due to the negligent or intentional act of another, his or her family may be entitled to seek compensation for damages through a wrongful death claim. This can include medical expenses, funeral costs, and punitive damages in certain circumstances.

Personal injury claims (or lawsuits, if needed) aim at determining a fair financial settlement for the damages you have suffered. Call us today at  1-800-319-9000 for further guidance. 

 

The Most Common Causes Of Personal Injury In North Carolina
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Common types of personal injury cases include:

Medical Malpractice

You may be able to file a claim for medical malpractice when health care professionals make mistakes or are just plain reckless. You can hold them liable for the damage they cause by obtaining the help of a personal injury attorney.

Automobile Accident

One of the most common causes of personal injury in North Carolina is an automobile accident. This can be due to a variety of factors such as careless driving, speeding, and lack of safety precautions like seat belts and child restraints.

Car accidents are extremely common in North Carolina. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 108 people die each day in car accidents across the country. Most of these fatalities occur on interstates and involve an automobile colliding with another vehicle, often at high speeds. Car accident cases usually require extensive investigation into any causes that contributed to the wreck.

When involved in an auto accident, contact the police and contact a North Carolina personal injury lawyer at  1-800-319-9000.

Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina

Motorcycle accidents in North Carolina are common. Because motorcycles are more difficult to see than cars, they are often involved in crashes with larger, more visible vehicles. In addition, bikers do not have the same protections as car drivers and passengers when they are in an accident.

This makes motorcycle accidents potentially devastating events for bikers, their passengers, and the drivers of other vehicles involved.

Slip & Fall Cases

There are nearly one million people that suffer severe injuries due to slip and fall accidents each year. Some of these cases can be prevented by taking precautions like properly lighting walkways, cleaning up spills, using warning signs, or installing handrails.

Defective Products

Another common cause of personal injury is defective products. When a product has an unexpected defect that causes harm like a power tool with an electrical shock hazard, the manufacturer can be held liable for damages. The plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer and that the product was unreasonably dangerous.

Dog Bites

Liability for dog bites can depend on a number of factors such as whether the owner has taken steps to train and restrain their pet, if they were aware of any aggressive behavior by the dog or if there is proof that they were negligent. In the case of a dog attack, contact the police and contact a North Carolina personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

 

How long will it take to settle my NC Personal Injury Case?

The answer to this question depends on the severity of your injuries, how much money is at stake in the lawsuit, and other factors. The average settlement time for a North Carolina personal injury claim is about two years. However, some cases can be settled within weeks or months. In any event, our firm has been awarded with a $1.5 million settlement

 We are familiar with all aspects of these cases and can provide you with an accurate estimate of what you might expect from them. Our experience allows us to give you a realistic idea of when you should expect to receive a settlement offer.

 

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in North Carolina?

  • The statutes of limitations for personal injury claims are strict. If you wait too long, then your claim may be barred forever. Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers know the deadlines and will make sure that you do not miss a beat when it comes to filing a claim.
  • You Need An Advocate On Your Side. You have been injured and may be feeling down about your situation because of the trauma that you have been through. Take heart,  you will have an advocate on your side who is going to fight for maximum compensation for the pain you are experiencing. Your injury lawyer is going to advocate using every resource to seek justice for you.
  • The Claim Has To Accurately Capture The Type Of Amounts Lost.  A claim is merely an accounting of an injury suffered. You should only be filing a claim if you are sure that you have been caused a monetary loss as defined by the relevant statute. The amount lost must be supported by thorough financial records and financial statements.

What Does a North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Do?

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Along with the detailed road map you will receive from your attorney, you will also receive plenty of advice. Some of this advice will be tailored to your particular case.

For example, you may get information to assist you in understanding the law and the ins and outs of the legal process.

While some of the information you receive may seem generic or general, remember that each case will be uniquely different. Personal injury lawyers spend years studying and interpreting the laws to create a helpful and effective strategy for any case.

You may find out about a potential lawsuit in just the first conversation with your attorney. This may include what you need to provide to prove your claim. After all, the biggest detractor in any personal injury lawsuit is usually the lack of proof. In a call or meeting with our attorney, you may have the chance to explain these matters more clearly.

A personal injury attorney will fight for you and your case in order to make sure the settlement and award are equitable and fair for all parties.

It’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer because not only will you have an expert on your side, but they will also ensure that you do not end up settling for less than you deserve.

 

Exactly What Does Contributory Negligence Mean In North Carolina?

North Carolina uses a doctrine called “Contributory Negligence” which means that if someone is even 1% at fault, they can be denied any compensation for their injuries. This is because North Carolina does not allow for comparative negligence.

This is why it is very important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to navigate these tricky legal waters. That’s where our personal injury attorney in North Carolina can help you.

 

What Is The Value Of My North Carolina Personal Injury Claim?

The amount of money you receive in a personal injury claim depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, how long it takes to heal, and what type of damages you are seeking.

If you have suffered permanent disability as a result of an injury, such as paralysis, amputation, or brain damage, the amount of money you may be entitled to could be much higher.

The first step in recovering any monetary damages is filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for causing your injuries. Once you file suit, you must prove negligence on their part by showing they had a duty to protect you from a particular risk of harm, failed to perform that duty, and caused you damages as a direct result of their failure. This process is called proving liability.

 

 

Want To Speak To An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer In North Carolina?

 

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, it may be time to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about the options available to you.

Our team of highly skilled legal professionals are dedicated to helping clients who have suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s carelessness. 

We believe that everyone deserves access to justice, which is why we work tirelessly to ensure that every client receives fair treatment and compensation for their losses. To learn more about how we can assist you, call us today at 1-800-319-9000.

10 Mistakes in Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer You Should Avoid

Personal Injury

Personal injury law is an area of the law that deals with injuries sustained by people due to negligence. This includes accidents caused by car crashes, slip and falls, and other types of personal injuries.

Personal injury claims can be complicated because they involve many different parties. There are insurance companies involved, doctors, lawyers, and more.

As a result, choosing a personal injury attorney can be difficult. You may not know where to start looking and you may make mistakes along the way. This article will discuss some mistakes in choosing a personal injury lawyer you should avoid.

 

1. Not Hiring A Lawyer In The First Place

Many people think that if their injuries are minor, then they don’t need a lawyer. However, this is not always true. You could still make costly mistakes involving your medical bills and other expenses if you don’t hire a lawyer.

If your injuries are severe or you have lost income as a result of the accident, it is best to consult a lawyer.

 

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

2. Not Doing Your Homework First

This is probably the biggest mistake people make when hiring a personal injury lawyer. There are plenty of bad lawyers out there, but there are also plenty of good ones too. So how do you know which is which?

The answer is simple: ask around. Ask friends, family members, colleagues, and anyone else you know. They may have had experience with a particular lawyer, and can tell you whether they were satisfied with the results. Look at reviews online and discover the basic steps of a personal injury case for added insight.

Just do not forget to investigate his or her background thoroughly. You need to make sure that they have no prior criminal convictions. In addition, you should look into their disciplinary records. This will give you a good idea of how honest and trustworthy they are.

 

3. Hiring The First Person Who Offers You Money

It sounds like common sense but many people hire the first person who offers them money. It is not wise to choose someone based solely on monetary incentives, especially when they are just promised. Some unscrupulous lawyers will take advantage of injured victims and charge them exorbitant rates. Others will simply disappear after taking your money.

To help prevent mistakes in choosing a personal injury lawyer, you should always look for a reputable personal injury lawyer who has a proven track record. Do not hesitate to ask for references from previous clients. Also, try to find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. This way, you know he or she has extensive knowledge about the field and will not be simply using you.

 

4. Focusing On The Wrong Things

When you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, you want to focus on finding someone who knows what they are doing. But you shouldn’t just settle for any lawyer. You should ensure that they are qualified and experienced enough to handle your case.

For example, you should look for a lawyer who has handled similar cases before. This will allow him or her to understand what you are going through and advise you accordingly.

 

5. Not Knowing What To Expect When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

It is important to understand what to expect from a personal injury lawyer before hiring him or her. Some lawyers charge hourly rates while others bill their clients per case. Some lawyers only accept certain types of cases while others specialize in specific areas such as car accidents.

Before you make any decisions, you should research all these aspects so that you don’t end up with a bad experience.

 

6. Paying Them Up Front

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If you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, do not hand over your entire life savings right away. Instead, there are many attorneys that will charge you a percentage of your final settlement.  If you do not receive payment for your injuries, you may only be required to pay minimal expenses the attorney incurred while working on your case, such as fees for obtaining medical records.

 

7. Not Expanding Your Options

Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes. For example, some involve car accidents while others concern slip-and-fall incidents. If you are unsure what type of accident you are dealing with, it is important to consult with a professional immediately.

You should also always have a plan B when choosing a personal injury lawyer. This means that you should have another option in mind if your first choice turns out to be unsuitable.

Additionally, you should also consider carefully all options before even deciding whether or not to sue. For example, you may want to try mediation instead of going through litigation. Mediation involves two sides talking to each other. Both sides agree to settle out of court.

 

8. Not knowing what to ask

You should know exactly what questions to ask a potential attorney. Here are some things you should ask:

How much does the lawyer charge?

What types of cases does the lawyer handle?

Have you handled a case like this in the past?

Can I talk to the attorney if I have questions during the process?

 

You should not be afraid to ask these questions. In fact, you should find out everything you need to know about a particular lawyer before making any decision.

 

9. Failing to Discuss a Timeline

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When you choose a personal injury lawyer, you should immediately discuss a timeline for your case.  An attorney that tells you they can quickly put cash in your hand, is probably being untruthful.  You want a lawyer that will be honest with you, and set appropriate expectations for your case.  While they may not be able to give you an exact timeline, they will be able to estimate a range, so you are aware of the time needed to appropriately handle your case upfront.

 

10. Going To An Unlicensed Attorney

Unfortunately, there are unlicensed attorneys out there who claim to be able to help you. However, these individuals lack the necessary qualifications to represent you in court.

It is illegal for anyone other than a licensed attorney to practice law in most states. Therefore, you should avoid hiring an unlicensed individual. The consequences could be severe.

 

It’s important to know that choosing a personal injury lawyer is a big decision.

The right lawyer can make all the difference between getting a fair settlement and having to go through the entire process again. Make sure you do your research and pick someone who has experience handling similar cases before you hire them.

Do not rush the process. Call Oxner + Permar, pllc at 1.800.319.9000 to speak confidentially with a personal injury attorney today.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Personal Injury

Even the most experienced drivers can find car accidents to be stressful and hard to understand situations. From medical issues to insurance fees, there are countless questions that are put in your hands when you’re the victim of a car accident. Here at Oxner + Permar, PLLC our attorneys have been working for decades to make sure that accident victims like you keep their rights protected and get compensated fairly, even if it all can seem a bit overwhelming.

Here are a few helpful tips on what you can do if you’re a victim of a car accident.
1. Be informed: One of the most important things to do right after a car accident is to make sure you know as much as you can about the incident. Don’t just leave it up to your memory. At the scene of the accident have someone else, preferably a bystander, take pictures of what happened. This should include the scene and any cars involved. Also get the phone numbers of any witnesses, as they might be able to help support you. A few days after the car accident, you should get a copy of the police officer’s report, which should be made available online. It will have any statements you, the other person, or bystanders made. It will also have photos of where each vehicle was.
2. Document injuries: If you go to the hospital, don’t be afraid to ask your doctors questions and tell them everywhere that you hurt. You want them to understand the full situation. Unfortunately, the other driver’s insurance company won’t cover any medical costs until your case is settled, so you should make sure to use health insurance if you have it. Health insurance will let you get the medical attention you need while keeping any bill collectors off your back as much as possible.
3. Be ready for a phone call: Within the next day or two after a car accident, you might get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance adjuster. They will usually ask questions about how and why the accident happened and will want to know if you were injured or any damages to your vehicle. However, the insurance adjuster could be using questions designed to figure out whether you did anything to cause the accident. Any of what you say to the adjuster could be used against you in a case, so it could be a good decision to not tell the adjuster anything more than the basics. We recommend telling them that you were injured if this is a case, you need a rental vehicle, and/or you need repairs done on your car. Once you speak with an attorney, they can advise you on how to work with the adjuster best.
4. Call your insurance company: Check in with your insurance company to see if you have coverage on your policy towards “Medical Payments.” This could cover thousands of dollars towards your medical bills, to help you pay for the deductibles and co-pays that might come after an accident.

If you’re in the unfortunate situation where this does happen to you, reach out to Oxner + Permar, PLLC for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Who Is At Fault When A Self-Driving Car Causes A Wreck?

Personal Injury

We are living in a time where technology is advancing quickly and in ways our great grandparents probably would not have predicted. As impressive as self-driving cars are, there are also questions about how safe they are.

 

 

When two cars collide under normal circumstances, North Carolina law holds the at-fault party responsible for all damages and losses that he or she caused. But in the age of self-driving cars, the question of responsibility must be determined. In general, liability depends on one or more of these options:

 

Human Error

Human error is still the first place an injured victim should look. Even the best technology cannot protect the public from negligent human operators, if the human driver has ultimate control of the vehicle. If a driver fails to remain alert while at the wheel or misuses the technology, then the driver may be responsible for a crash.

 

Vehicle Malfunction

Sometimes technology simply fails. If a driverless vehicle is being operated properly and as designed but somehow fails, then the manufacturer may be the appropriate party to hold responsible for any injuries that the faulty machine caused.

 

Lax Government Oversight

A government regulatory agency that permits self-driving vehicles to be tested on public roads may potentially be responsible for allowing experimental vehicle testing on public roadways if the testing exposes the public to unreasonable risk of harm.

 

Improper Design or Manufacturing

In some cases, the design of the vehicle is defective and it must be considered whether this is something that the manufacturer should have recognized.

 

Self-driving vehicles raise new questions of liability. If you have been injured by a self-driving car and have questions give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation!

I Fell On Someone Else’s Property, Who Is Responsible for My Medical Bills?

Personal Injury

A common question I get when someone has a slip and fall accident at a store or someone else’s property is who is responsible for their injuries and medical bills. Many people believe that if they fall or are hurt on other another’s property the owner of the property is responsible for any injuries or medical bills. This is a misconception and these cases are typically very tough to win in North Carolina.

 

 

The law is clear that owners of real property are not responsible for the safety of visitors. Rather, owners of real property only have a duty to ensure the property is reasonably safe and to tell visitors if there are any “latent defects” in the property, or defects that could not be found upon reasonable inspection. What that means is if a person steps in a hole that is “open and obvious” or slips in a pool of water that one can see if keeping a reasonable lookout, the property owner is not responsible.

 

For example, if you were walking through a parking lot after a snowstorm and fell because it is slick, this would not be the fault of the property owner because they have no duty to warn that the snow makes the parking lot slick. However, if a person is walking down the stairs from his apartment and the stairs collapse because, unknown to him, the stairs are in need of repair, the property owner is probably responsible for any injuries.

 

As if the law of liability was not tough enough, North Carolina is also one of five jurisdictions in the United States that still follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence means that the person who slips and falls, regardless of fault by the property owner, was not using due care, or not keeping a reasonable lookout. So, let’s go back to the stairs. If the stairs are in need of repair, but it is obvious the stairs are not safe, a person might be blocked by his own contributory negligence by using the stairs and be at fault.

 

The laws can be confusing. If you have been injured on someone else’s property and have questions concerning who’s at fault, give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.