Category: Personal Injury Law

What is contributory negligence and how does it affect my case?

Contributory Negligence in North Carolina Many car accident victims become confused when they learn about the concept of contributory negligence in North Carolina. They usually discover that their car accident claim is barred when the at-fault insurance company denies their claim on the basis of contributory negligence. In North Carolina, people who allege negligence cannot file suit if they were even partially responsible for their damages. Many common-sense beliefs about car accidents and liability do not apply in North Carolina because of the state’s contributory negligence doctrine. One common situation is when a victim is injured when they are rear-ended at a stoplight. The victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the cras[...]

What are punitive damages and how do they affect my car accident case?

Can I receive punitive damages for my car accident case? Punitive damages get a lot of media attention, especially when a jury awards a plaintiff a multimillion dollar verdict. The headlines that these verdicts create lead many auto accident victims to wonder if they could receive punitive damages for car accident cases. Punitive Damages Definition There are two types of damages that a plaintiff might receive from a jury: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are based on the actual damage the injured person experienced, like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded specifically to punish a defendant for egregious actions. Punitive damages go above and beyond the plaintiff’s actual d[...]

Why Lawyers Turn Down Personal Injury Cases

5 Reasons Lawyers Might Not Want Your Case Many injured people find themselves asking, "Why won't a lawyer take my case?" You may have spoken to several different attorneys, none of whom was willing to take your case. What's worse, they may have given you only a vague answer when you asked why they wouldn't represent you. There are many different factors that could make a “good” car accident case; however, most “bad” car accident cases have the same few factors in common. Here are a few circumstances that could lead to lawyers turning down your personal injury case. You waited too long to seek medical treatment A lot of people walk away from car accidents feeling mostly fine, experiencing discomfort or mild pain at worst. These[...]

Car Accident Insurance Coverage

What Insurance Coverage You'll Need After an Accident Many people don’t start asking questions about their car accident insurance coverage until they’ve been in an accident. This is when it’s most important that you have the coverage you need – but if you don’t have good coverage, then it’s too late to change it. Here are some coverage options you’ll probably need if you’ve been in an accident. Some types of coverage are required by North Carolina state law, while others are merely a very good idea. You may want to familiarize yourself with some common legal terminology, to get the most out of this article.  Liability Coverage Liability coverage, required in North Carolina, is the basic type of coverage that pays out for[...]

The First Steps to Take After a Car Accident

What to Do and Why After a Car Accident The stressful nature of automobile collisions makes it difficult for many people to think clearly about the next steps to take after a car accident. However, the unfortunate reality of these situations is that everything you do can complicate your car accident claim later. Here’s what to do in the first moments, hours, and days after a car accident.  Call the Police Immediately North Carolina law states that you must notify the police of car accidents that: cause injury cause more than $1,000 in property damage involve an impaired driver involve someone driving without a license or with a revoked license, or involve an uninsured driver If any one of these circumstances describes [...]

Small Claims Auto Accident 101: Writing a Demand Letter

This is part one of a two-part series on what to expect when you’re handling a small claims auto accident case. The first post covers the first steps in dealing with your small claims case, from collecting evidence at the scene of the accident to documenting your injuries and treatment. This post will cover writing your demand letter and negotiating with the insurance adjuster. How to Negotiate a Small Claims Auto Accident Without an Attorney After your doctors have determined you have fully recovered from your accident, you will have to write a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You should have all of your medical bills and records from the dates of treatment related to your injury. This will allow you to make [...]

Small Claims Auto Accident 101: First Steps

This is part one of a two-part series on what to expect when you’re handling a small claims auto accident case. The first post covers the first steps in dealing with your case, from collecting evidence at the scene of the accident to documenting your injuries and treatment. The second post will cover writing your demand letter and negotiating with the insurance adjuster. How to Handle a Small Claims Car Accident Occasionally, potential clients come in to my Asheville personal injury law firm asking for advice on a car accident claim that they could easily handle on their own. It often surprises people when I recommend dealing with small claims auto accident cases without an attorney. This is usually a complex process, but it can be done[...]

How to Pay Medical Bills After a Car Accident

What to Do About North Carolina Car Accident Medical Bills Asheville residents who have been involved in car accidents are faced with many problems once they’ve been discharged from the hospital. The question that plagues everyone is about how to pay medical bills after a car accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will not pay for any of your treatment costs until there is a settlement agreement, which could leave you on the hook for your bills – for now. Ideally, you will obtain a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to compensate for all your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses you had to pay because of your accident. However, you generally won’t be able to reach a settlement until you h[...]

8 Ways to Maximize Your Personal Injury Settlement

If you've been in a car accident, you'll eventually start thinking about how to maximize your personal injury settlement in order to cover your bills. There are a few tried-and-true tactics that lawyers recommend when settling or litigating car accident claims. Here are 8 tips on getting the most money from your car accident claim. 1. Follow Up with Medical Treatment Immediately In order to have a high-value car accident case, you must lay the foundation for your claim. Even though you might feel fine at the scene of the accident, it’s crucial to get care as soon as possible. If you do not seek treatment within 72 hours of your accident, the insurance adjuster will most likely deny your claim outright. It’s always a good idea to al[...]

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable Income

What Makes Personal Injury Settlements Taxable? The vague feelings of dread that accompany tax season might be especially intense if you’re wondering if your personal injury settlement is taxable. Federal tax laws specifically address what circumstances make personal injury settlements taxable. The good news is that you may not have to pay taxes on a personal injury settlement. However, the bad news is that there are a few circumstances where the IRS may be entitled to some of what you receive from the insurance company. The IRS website has more information on personal injury settlements and federal taxes. Most Personal Injury Settlements Are Not Taxable Settlements arising from physical injury are generally not taxed. Settlemen[...]