What Is Considered a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil action that may be filed against an individual who has caused harm to another person through negligence. 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 their injuries and any subsequent damages.
Types of personal injury cases in North Carolina include:
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 because:
- 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 records. 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.
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’s 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.