North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
Many people are able to walk away from an accident without serious injuries or lasting damage. But others aren’t so lucky. When the worst happens, you have allies at Stewart Law Offices.
Whether you suffered harm in a workplace accident, motor vehicle crash, medical malpractice event, slip-and-fall accident or any other type of incident, talking to a North Carolina personal injury attorney can prepare you to discover if you have rights to compensation for your losses.
Compensation can provide essential funds to accident victims as they recover from their injuries. It can cover medical bills, replace lost wages and provide money for damages such as lost earning capacity, pain and suffering and more.
But obtaining the compensation that you are owed isn’t always simple, even in claims where the accident was obviously someone else’s fault. Many insurance companies are penny pinchers. Their adjusters are trained to withhold every dollar they can rather than give deserving victims a fair payout.
That’s where Stewart Law Offices comes in.
Our experienced NC personal injury attorneys understand the hardships that victims and their families face in the aftermath of an accident. We’re here to listen to your story and discuss your legal options for compensation. Should you decide to take legal action, our knowledgeable attorneys will be with you every step of the way.
Our legal team knows that budgets can be tight after an accident. That’s why we offer free consultations to all potential clients.
In addition, we accept cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you don’t pay any upfront expenses, and we only get paid our legal fee if we obtain a verdict, settlement or award on your behalf.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to arrange your free consultation.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit in North Carolina?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by another party, it’s possible that you have a valid personal injury claim. North Carolina law allows victims to pursue compensation if they can prove that the at-fault party was negligent and that their recklessness directly resulted in your injuries and any subsequent damages.
A personal injury claim is not the same thing as a lawsuit. In fact, most personal injury claims don’t turn into lawsuits. Instead, they are resolved through settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If a satisfactory settlement offer cannot be agreed upon, it’s then possible to file a lawsuit to demand full and fair compensation.
At Stewart Law Offices, our attorneys make every effort to obtain a settlement that reflects the true value of our clients’ claims. However, if the liable party refuses to settle, our cases are always prepared as if they are going to trial. We’ll be ready to file a civil complaint if that’s what you choose to do.
What Are NC Personal Injury Settlements?
A settlement is a compromise between the party who is responsible for the accident and the injured individual. In exchange for a guaranteed sum of money, the injured person agrees to take no further legal action against the defendant.
Settlements are the preferred way to resolve most personal injury claims. Here’s why:
- You are definitely getting paid. Accepting a settlement means that you will receive compensation for your losses no matter what. By contrast, going to trial could mean that you receive nothing at all.
- Settlements avoid drawn-out legal proceedings. Trials take preparation, and court calendars are busy. You’re much more likely to resolve your case faster by reaching a settlement agreement.
- Settlements are private, but trials are public. Court proceedings are public record. That means that anyone who wants to read the details surrounding your personal injury case and medical records will be able to do so. That can be very stressful for many accident victims.
- Appeals can take years. If a judge or jury does not rule in your favor, you do have a right to appeal your case. But that takes even more preparation and can delay your necessary payout indefinitely.
- Settlements are cheaper. The longer it takes to resolve a case, the greater the litigation costs. All fees that are paid upfront are then reduced from the total award or settlement, so more will end up in your pocket if you can come to an early resolution.
With all of that being said, there are some circumstances in which our attorneys may advise you that trial is your best option. But given that trials are risky, we won’t come to that suggestion quickly.
Instead, we will thoroughly review the evidence in your case and weigh the risks and benefits. Most importantly, we will then come to you with our honest advice.
You should know that your case is always in your hands. Just because we recommend (or don’t recommend) a trial doesn’t mean that you have to accept our suggestions. We’re here to advise you of your legal options so you can make an informed decision moving forward.
Common Types of Accidents in North Carolina
Our North Carolina personal injury attorneys have handled a wide variety of accident claims stemming from incidents such as:
- Workplace accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall
- Dog bites
- Boating accidents
- Catastrophic injuries (e.g., traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury)
- Dangerous and defective products
- Birth injuries
These are just some of the most frequent kinds of accidents that cause severe or catastrophic injuries. But accidents come in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation
Approximately 700,000 personal injury claims are filed in the U.S. every year. Although states differ slightly in the types of damages an accident victim may collect (and how much they can receive), the overarching point of personal injury compensation is to make the victim “whole” again.
In North Carolina, accident victims can obtain compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.)
- Home renovations to accommodate the new disability (e.g., make it wheelchair accessible, etc.)
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering ($500,000 cap in medical malpractice cases)
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages (to punish the at-fault party for particularly outrageous conduct)
Aside from the cap on pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases, there are no limits on the other types of damages in North Carolina personal injury claims. How much you will be able to recover will depend on the circumstances of your case.
Keep in mind that no amount or outcome can be promised, as many factors may come into play as your case proceeds.
North Carolina Personal Injury Laws
Whether it’s an insurance settlement or a lawsuit, some fundamental North Carolina laws may come into play when you’re involved in a personal injury case.
- Statute of limitations: You have three years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina. Failure to file by that deadline could result in your claim being dismissed entirely, and you will be barred from compensation forever.
- Contributory negligence rule: Determining who is at fault can make or break your personal injury case. Some states allow victims to recover compensation even if they are partly at fault for the accident that injured them. Not so in North Carolina — if you are found even 1 percent liable for the incident, you cannot be awarded any compensation for your losses.
Because so much is riding on who is at fault in a personal injury case, it’s critical to speak with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company. Your lawyer knows what kind of evidence is necessary to fight back against unfair claims of fault, which could severely jeopardize the amount of compensation you can receive.
How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer in North Carolina
Finding the right personal injury attorney is a very individualized decision. Every lawyer has a different personality and approach to his or her clients. You need the one that appeals to you.
Consider these factors when choosing your NC personal injury attorney:
- Experience: How long has he/she been practicing? Where did he/she attend law school?
- Practice area: Lawyers can focus in a wide range of practice areas, such as personal injury law or business law. You want one who focuses primarily (if not entirely) on personal injury matters.
- Demeanor: Some people rub you the wrong way. Were you comfortable in your free consultation, or did the attorney make you feel nervous or shy?
- No promises:An attorney should never promise you he/she will win your case. If they guarantee an outcome, go shopping for a new lawyer.
- Recommendations: Do you know anyone who has worked with the attorney before? Personal reviews from friends and colleagues can make a big difference when it comes to picking the best attorney for you.
How Can Stewart Law Offices Help Me?
At Stewart Law Offices, we treat clients like family. That was our law firm’s founding principle and we hold true to it today. So what does that mean for you?
- Customized legal services: Even cases with similar facts are different. Your claim will be uniquely crafted to reflect your needs.
- Compassionate yet fierce legal representation: Our attorneys are sympathetic advocates yet warriors for your right to maximum compensation.
- Independent and thorough investigation: We will work to obtain the evidence we need to build a personal injury claim that stands up against challenges from insurance companies and other lawyers.
- Open communication: Our legal team is available to you by e-mail and phone. We’ll respond to your inquiries and keep you updated on the status if your case at all times.
At Stewart Law Offices, we are dedicated to easing the stress that our clients are facing and making a difference in their lives. We strive to provide the highest quality representation in the most caring setting possible.
Contact an Experienced North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was recently involved in an accident that led to a personal injury, contact a North Carolina personal injury lawyer at Stewart Law Offices today. For decades, our lawyers have been representing clients throughout the Carolinas. We can help you, too.