We see news about auto accidents all the time. However, no one really expects to be involved in a serious car accident themselves. Tragically, even the most careful motorists can find themselves injured in a crash due to the recklessness or negligence of other drivers, construction debris, dangerous weather conditions, or any number of other causes.
The aftermath of a crash is often very confusing and stressful. You are hurt, in pain from the injuries, and without income due to missed work. This is just one of the gazillion reasons it can be to your advantage to pursue compensation – a trusted Gastonia car accident lawyer could help you do just that and more!
The car accident attorneys at 1Charlotte Law Firm are experienced in obtaining fair compensation for auto accident victims. We understand the many difficulties that sufferers and their loved ones have to overcome and are willing and able to be your voice.
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How Much Does A Gastonia Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Often, car accident victims and their loved ones are concerned about the cost of professional legal representation. This is 100% understandable, particularly when you’re dealing with costly medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses or expenses that car accident victims commonly incur.
Fortunately, auto accident lawyers, including those at 1Charlotte Law Firm, work on a contingency fee. When you reach out to our legal professionals, we will evaluate your case in a free no-risk/no-obligation consultation. If you have a case and choose to proceed, our law firm will represent you without charging any upfront fees and only get paid after successfully obtaining compensation on your behalf.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
The first few seconds following a car crash – minor or serious – can feel like an eternity. Many clients we have helped have confessed they felt overwhelmed and lost in the few moments. That is why our team helped create this list of steps to take after a car crash in Gastonia, NC. Doing so can go a long way in helping your claim later:
First, before doing anything, take in how your body physically feels, check yourself for injuries, and call 911. Emergency responders will offer emergency treatment. Police officers can help block off traffic so the crash scene is safe and also talk to witnesses about the events leading to the accident. The police will also write a report, which will prove crucial later when you lodge a claim.
Check On Others (Do Not Leave!)
If possible (i.e. you’re not incapacitated), check to see how your passengers are doing. Help where you can and make injured persons comfortable before emergency responders arrive at the scene.
Next, exchange info with the person or persons involved in the crash. Get their information: names, driver’s license number, vehicle registration no., insurance info, address, phone no., and then wait by your vehicle.
Record The Scene
You should only attempt this if you are able and it is safe to do so, as the priority is your safety. Use your phone to take pictures of potential evidence, including:
- Damage to your car
- The other vehicle and the roadway
- Other property damage
- Your injuries
- Injured passengers in your vehicle
NOTE: DO NOT post any of these photos or anything to do with your crash online!
Never Admit Fault
Do not discuss fault or liability with anyone at the scene of the crash. When exchanging info, avoid being aggressive or apologetic; simply get the info you need without admitting fault in any way.
Seek Medical Attention
Visit the nearest ER or make an appointment with your doctor within 48 hours of the crash. You should get checked and your injuries documented so that insurance companies and the at-fault party have no reason to question your injuries.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
There are many nuances to car accidents cases in North Carolina; you want to cover your bases from the get-go; a car accident lawyer can make that happen. Contact a Gastonia car accident lawyer to learn more.
When Should I Get A Lawyer For My Auto Accident?
Right away! No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, even when insurance companies aren’t contesting liability and are offering to write you a check, it’s always best to have a lawyer in your corner.
Often, victims make the mistaken impression that their cases are straightforward, and there’s no reason to talk to an attorney. As an auto accident victim, it’s crucial to keep in mind that insurers are not on your side. On the other hand, your lawyer will have your back from start to finish fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
The attorneys at 1Charlotte Law Firm routinely represent clients who have suffered all kinds of injuries because of a car accident. We can assist you in a variety of ways after your car accident, including:
Preparing A Case And Filing A Lawsuit
We will review any existing evidence regarding your case and attempt to collect more. Our investigation may include:
- Contacting witnesses
- Reviewing the police accident report
- Collect medical records related to your injuries
- Work with forensic experts and expert witnesses to get more details about the accident and your injuries
Insurance companies are notorious for taking an unreasonable amount of time to make settlement offers. And even when they make you an offer, it’s often next to nothing. You can rely on our Gastonia car accident lawyers to handle all correspondence with insurers after lodging your claim. When it comes to negotiating your settlement, we will fight for nothing less than fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Trial Preparation And Representation
Our reputable auto accident lawyers are not afraid to battle any party or insurance company, both in and out of North Carolina courtrooms. From the onset, every car accident case we take on is diligently prepared as if we are going to trial.
How Much Can I Expect To Receive For My Damages?
Many variables come into play when determining the value of your damages. However, the biggest variable in the value of a car accident case in North Carolina is the injuries suffered.
Other variables that may be considered when determining the value of your case include:
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Attorney experience
- Evidence showing fault
- Insurance coverage
Every auto accident case will be unique, so it’s necessary to have an attorney look at the facts of your case to determine how much you can expect to receive for damages.
What Type Of Damages Are Recoverable For An Auto Accident In North Carolina?
Under North Carolina’s injury tort law, a negligent party who causes an accident (in this case, your car accident) can be held liable for harm and damages caused and the victims are entitled to recover damages for the following:
- Economic Compensatory Damages: Have a dollar value. E.g., medical expenses, property damage, and lost income.
- Non-Economic Compensatory Damages: Don’t have a dollar value. E.g., Emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical pain and suffering.
- Punitive: Auto accident victims in North Carolina can recover punitive damages, but these are capped at either 3x the compensatory damages (economic and non-economic) or at $250,000 – whichever is higher.
How Is Fault Determined In North Carolina?
As with other types of cases involving injury resulting from negligence, figuring out fault or liability is one of the most crucial elements in obtaining compensation. Fault issues in North Carolina are complex, but an experienced lawyer is familiar with all laws regarding fault in North Carolina. Some of these laws include:
North Carolina’s “Pure” Contributory Negligence Law
States that any person/party deemed to share any fault or responsibility in an accident that resulted in injuries or damages – even if only 1% – cannot recover compensation.
North Carolina’s At-Fault Insurance Law & Negligence Law
Simply put, these laws state that any person/party that causes an accident that causes harm, injury or damages, is liable for said damages and injuries. As a result, a victim in a negligence claim must seek compensation from the at-fault person/party and prove that the four elements of negligence:
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim In North Carolina?
It would be best if you spoke to an attorney about your car accident claim as soon as possible after the crash because strict time limits apply for filing a claim.
North Carolina’s statute of limitations dictates that claimants have three years from the car accident date to file their claim for both property damage and personal injuries.
What Can I Do If an Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
Insurance companies and their adjusters cite many justifications for denying claims or offering unfair or low-ball settlement offers.
Regardless of the reasons for denial, if an insurance company denies your claim, talk to our Gastonia car accident lawyers. Our law firm is all about the “little guy”, and we don’t blink when going against these companies. We are more than willing and able to fight in the trenches against insurers without relenting; we are the law firm for lodging your insurance dispute.
Do I Have A Case?
It is an important question. If you’re hurt and are struggling, you could be worried that you don’t have a case. Don’t fret; if another party was responsible for the accident, you might have a case even if you think you shared responsibility. However, you need an experienced attorney to evaluate the facts and exhaust every possible means to determine if you have a case.
Schedule A Free Consultation With A Gastonia Car Accident Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident is hard; retaining a caring, dedicated, and experienced Gastonia car accident lawyer need not be. Our Gastonia injury firm creates options and a future for car accident victims throughout North Carolina. Please call 704.706.2689 to schedule your free initial consultation.