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The Catastrophic Injury Blog

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FREQUENTLY ASKED PERSONAL INJURY QUESTIONS

Does it matter whether I am at fault or not in causing the accident?

Yes. North Carolina is one of the few states in the country that continues to follow the "Contributory Negligence" doctrine of liability. This harsh law means that even if the cause of the accident is in a very small part your responsibility, you may not be able to recover any damages against someone who is almost totally responsible for the wreck. The law has been used for years by insurance companies to successfully lower the value of claims in North Carolina. It is extremely doubtful that the General Assembly will change this very unfair and unreasonable law in the near future. For this reason, you should not give any statements to insurance companies, adjusters, or other third parties until you have had a chance to...

How much money should I receive for my injuries?

You should recover past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, scarring, pain and suffering and any other loss you have endured as a result of the accident. The value of your claim depends on many different factors. For severe injuries, your spouse may be able to claim loss of consortium or companionship. If the cause of the wreck was related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, further punitive or punishment damages might be appropriate. The value of an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the jury verdicts and the range of settlements in a particular area is critical to making sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.

How long do I have to bring my claim?

North Carolina law generally gives you three (3) years to file a lawsuit for personal injury. Wrongful death claims usually have a two (2) year time limit. North Carolina law only applies if the accident happened in North Carolina.

If I employ a lawyer, do I have to go to court?

No. Most lawyers will try and settle the case before filing a lawsuit and going to court. While the time between filing a lawsuit and the time of getting a jury trial vary form count to county, a safe estimate of the time it takes to get a case resolved in court is usually around twelve (12) months. New alternative dispute resolutions methods are growing in usage and popularity. Mediation and/or arbitration may be a way to get an independent judge to evaluate the claim and help resolve the differences in the evaluation of the claim. Even after a lawsuit has been filed, settlements of lawsuits can occur at any time. Lawsuits can be settled while the jury is still deciding the case or even...

How can I pay my bills while I am out of work?

You should consider all possible sources of insurance such as health and disability. Depending on your condition, you may become eligible for Med Pay, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Worker's Compensation (if wreck occurred while on the job). Ask your agent and lawyer for more details. It is unethical for lawyers to lend you money while your case is pending. However, lawyers can often help you handle the financial crunch by promising the health care providers to pay their fees out of the settlement or jury verdict.

How do I handle myself at the scene?

You must stop and help anyone who is injured at the scene. Take precautions to make sure other cars are warned of the wreck. North Carolina Law requires you to call the most convenient law enforcement. Get the officer involved as soon as possible so this trained professional can objectively prepare critical reports and make important observations. You are only required under North Carolina law to disclose your name, address, registration number and driver's license. While you do not have to give a full statement to the officer, you should give a brief statement of what happened. You should not make any other detailed comments to anyone until you have consulted your lawyer. Photograph your car and your injuries as soon as possible. DO NOT SIGN...

CATASTROPHIC INJURY VIDEO LIBRARY

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found.
Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Short Personal Injury Overview

Personal Injury Overview

Personal Injury Detailed Overview

Personal Injury Detailed Overview

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases