Personal Injury Lawyers in Charlotte, Helping You Secure the Compensation You Deserve
A serious injury can happen in the blink of an eye. People are often going about their days normally when an unexpected event changes everything. Anything from reckless behavior to medical malpractice can result in life-altering injuries, and for many people, things are simply never the same. If you or a loved one have found yourselves in such a situation, you’re likely wondering what your next step should be. While many injury victims are entitled to financial compensation, North Carolina law creates various hurdles for receiving it. This is why you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Charlotte today.
At Harman Law, we’re dedicated to helping our clients recover compensation. North Carolina emergency rooms typically serve between 3.5-4.5 million patients every year, and many of these individuals need treatment due to the negligence or recklessness of other parties. After suffering an injury in such an event, it’s important to seek out an experienced personal injury attorney to assist in your case. Medical bills and other expenses can pile up quickly — particularly at a time when you may be unable to work — so don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Do You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim?
After someone is injured in an accident or due to another party’s reckless actions, their first question often focuses on whether they have a valid claim. After all, it’s possible for a person to suffer harm without anyone being at fault. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear who is to blame for an incident. Before taking the time to seek compensation, it’s important to understand whether you have a valid personal injury claim. Luckily, the basics of this area of law are fairly straightforward. If you suffer an injury in North Carolina, there are three things you should consider:
- Duty of care: Was your injury caused by someone who had a duty of care to prevent it? This isn’t a tall hurdle to clear. For instance, every driver on the road has a duty of care to follow the law and avoid injuring other drivers.
- Violation of duty: Did someone violate their duty of care? For instance, did a driver run a red light? Did a store owner fail to maintain a safe property? Was a product manufacturer negligent by creating an unsafe product?
- Cause of injury: Did the person’s violation of duty lead to damages? For instance, did a driver who ran a red light collide with another vehicle and cause serious harm to its passengers? The negligent or reckless acts of the defendant must cause some type of harm.
Successful personal injury cases always have these three elements. One important thing to remember is that the harm caused by a negligent party doesn’t necessarily have to be financial. While many lawsuits do focus on losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, it’s also possible to recover compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional distress. It’s also important to remember that not all cases are as clear-cut as they may seem. If you’ve been hurt in a serious accident or due to someone’s reckless actions, contact an attorney for more information. You may have a valid claim without even realizing it.
What Compensation Are You Entitled To?
People are frequently surprised when Charlotte personal injury lawyers inform them they may be able to recover damages that exceed their financial losses. The justice system realizes that not all major losses are visible from your account balance. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. For instance, you might be able to recover attorneys’ fees to reimburse you for any costs related to legal representation. Since Harman Law works on a contingency fee basis, though, you’ll have no out-of-pocket costs even if the courts don’t award attorneys’ fees.
The major types of compensation you may be entitled to are compensatory damages and punitive damages. Recognizing the differences between these can help you better understand your personal injury lawsuit and what you may be entitled to.
Compensatory Damages in North Carolina
Compensatory damages are those meant to reimburse accident victims for their losses. Such losses can be economic or non-economic. For instance, there are typically significant financial losses in wrongful death claims. Lost wages, medical bills, and funeral expenses are common. Of course, the victim likely also suffered significant pain and suffering. Their family is probably experiencing emotional distress as well. All these things may be compensable under the law. An experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney can help you better understand what compensatory damages you may be entitled to.
If you’re able to recover damages in a personal injury case, it’s typically because the courts decided that the defendant was negligent or reckless in some way. When this happens, victims are often entitled to compensation for both financial and non-financial losses. However, there are some times when the courts may not think this is enough. If a defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, illegal, malicious, or wanton, the courts may award additional punitive damages meant to punish the at-fault party. North Carolina law typically caps these damages at $250,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages.
What Are the Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
Serious accidents can happen in just about every area of life, and this is also true of malicious and reckless behavior. Many people don’t realize just how expansive the area of personal injury law really is. Some things seem fairly obvious — such as the automobile accidents featured at the top of the following list — but others may not be as apparent. If you find yourself injured or facing financial losses linked to any of these issues, it may be wise to reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Charlotte for a free consultation today:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability incidents (i.e., hurt on someone’s property)
- Rideshare accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Truck accidents
- On-the-job injuries
- Bus accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Any wrongful death claim
- Brain or spine injuries
This list probably looks fairly extensive on the surface, but in reality, it’s nowhere near exhaustive. As discussed earlier, you likely have a valid negligence claim whenever someone violates a duty of care and you suffer losses because of it. The specifics of every case will obviously differ, but the important thing to remember is that you have legal options. And since you can get a free consultation at Harman Law and hire an attorney on a contingency-fee basis (meaning you don’t pay a dime if we don’t win your case), you have nothing to lose by seeking experienced legal representation in Charlotte.
Can You Recover Compensation if You’re Partially At Fault?
Every personal injury attorney at Harman Law has been asked by clients whether they can recover compensation if they’re partially at fault. In many states, even being somewhat at fault for an accident does not bar an individual from recovering damages. In fact, this is the case in the majority of states. Unfortunately, North Carolina is not one of those states. We practice a legal doctrine known as pure contributory negligence. This means that if an individual was even 1% at fault for their own injury, they are barred from recovering any damages. Unfortunately, this can make insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits difficult to navigate in our state.
The important thing to remember is that you should never assume that you’re not entitled to financial recovery. Personal injury cases can be quite complex, and the at-fault parties may not always be obvious at first. And if you’re depending on the insurance company to be upfront about whether you’re entitled to compensation, you’re likely in for a rude awakening. In fact, you should avoid talking to insurance adjusters until after you’ve spoken with personal injury attorneys. It only takes one misspoken word or the wrong piece of information to completely derail a case and leave you on the hook for medical expenses and more.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Case?
Victims of motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and all other personal injury cases have one thing in common: they’re facing a deadline. North Carolina requires injury victims to file a lawsuit within a certain amount of time if they hope to recover financial compensation. This is known as a statute of limitations. While it’s meant to ensure everyone gets a fair chance in court, it can sometimes hinder a personal injury victim’s ability to recover just compensation.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is three years. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, certain medical conditions could put the deadline on hold. This is also true if the at-fault party has left the state and cannot be served court documents. Regardless of your situation, it’s important not to procrastinate. Even though three years might seem like a significant duration, your team of personal injury lawyers will have an easier task of proving your case if a long stint of time has not elapsed already.
Do You Really Need a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney?
One of the most common questions we hear during our free consultations is, “Do I actually need an experienced attorney for my case?” Honestly, this is a completely logical question. That’s particularly the case if you believe your case is so clear-cut that no court would ever side with the defendant. In fact, maybe the insurance company has already willingly offered to provide compensation for your physical injuries and property damage. And since North Carolina doesn’t require you to hire an attorney to seek compensation from a responsible party, couldn’t you just handle all this on your own?
Unfortunately, it’s rare that such a decision will result in the best possible outcome. As we already mentioned, a single misstep during a conversation with an insurance adjuster could eliminate your ability to recover any compensation at all. And even if this doesn’t happen, adjusters will try to offer as little as possible. Additionally, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with a personal injury claim while experiencing physical pain and other losses. If we were to break down the biggest benefit of seeking the help of a personal injury attorney in Charlotte, though, it would be the amount of compensation you’re likely to recover.
No matter how many law offices you visit after your injury, none of them can guarantee a specific outcome to your case. However, statistics show that accident victims with personal injury lawyers on their side recover higher compensation on average. While this may seem unfair, the simple fact is that an experienced lawyer knows how the law works. They know what must be proven in court and how to navigate a complex legal system. More importantly, they typically have handled many similar cases and know what an injury is worth. That’s why you should reach out to an attorney immediately after you seek medical attention.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Charlotte Today
Injured victims often feel like they have an uphill battle ahead of them, and in many ways, they absolutely do. It’s easy to become overwhelmed while trying to heal from serious injuries and worrying about the complexities of North Carolina personal injury law at the same time. Add in an insurance company that’s trying to avoid paying fair compensation — and antiquated state laws that make this more likely — and many personal injury victims feel absolutely lost. Fortunately, having a legal professional on your side can reduce the burden on your shoulders while giving you a better chance of successfully navigating the legal system.
At Harman Law, we’ve spent years serving North Carolina residents and helping them get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one were injured due to another person’s negligence or reckless behavior, you may have a valid claim for monetary compensation. Our personal injury lawyers in Charlotte are ready to review your case and help you better understand your rights and how to move forward. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a free consultation. Dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury is no easy feat, so simplify things for yourself by relying on the combined legal experience in our law firm.