Personal injury lawyers are instrumental in helping victims of accidents or injuries secure the compensation they deserve. However, several myths and misconceptions, particularly in North Carolina, can deter people from seeking assistance. Let’s debunk these myths from a legal standpoint.
Myth 1: Personal Injury Victims Don’t Need an Attorney to File an Insurance Claim
While victims can file an insurance claim independently, having a personal injury lawyer can significantly increase the chances of a successful claim. Lawyers have the expertise to navigate the complex legal system and negotiate with insurance companies, which can be challenging for individuals without legal training.
Myth 2: Personal Injury Attorneys Are Too Expensive
Many believe that hiring a personal injury lawyer is costly. However, most personal injury lawyers in North Carolina work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win the case or secure a settlement for their client.
Myth 3: Personal Injury Cases Are Not Worth It for Minor Injuries
Even minor injuries can lead to significant medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Therefore, no matter how minor the injury may seem, it’s worth consulting with a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights and potential compensation.
Myth 4: Big Cases Need Big Firms
When someone finds themselves in need of a personal injury lawyer, they think that a big law firm will be more likely to set aside a team of lawyers to fight their case, whereas a smaller firm would not. This is far from correct as the important thing to look for in a firm when hiring a personal injury lawyer is credentials and experience.
Misconception: Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Take Too Long
Some believe that hiring a lawyer will prolong the process. However, a personal injury lawyer can actually expedite the process by efficiently handling all the paperwork, negotiations, and legal proceedings.
Misconception: I Need to Settle My Case Before Receiving Medical Treatment
You do not have to wait for an injury settlement before receiving medical treatment. In fact, delaying medical treatment can harm your case as it could be argued that your injuries are not serious.
Misconception: If I’m Even 1% at Fault, I Can’t Recover Damages
North Carolina follows the doctrine of “contributory negligence,” which means that if you’re even 1% at fault, you may not be able to recover damages. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as the “Last Clear Chance Doctrine.” Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer to understand your options.
Misconception: Personal Injury Lawsuits Only Pay for Physical Injuries
Contrary to this common misconception, personal injury lawsuits can cover many damages beyond just physical injuries. This includes economic damages such as medical expenses, loss of income, and property damages, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Lastly, punitive damages are also recoverable and will be awarded if the defendant’s conduct is grossly negligent or intentional. Punitive damages are seen as a punishment for the defendant.
North Carolina Personal Injury Laws
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives an injured person three years to go to civil court and file a lawsuit, usually starting from the date of the underlying accident.
If the person injured in the accident is legally considered to be under a disability at the time of the incident – meaning they were a minor (under 18 years old), or were deemed “insane” or “incompetent” as per North Carolina law – then the three-year timeframe for filing the personal injury lawsuit likely won’t commence until the legal disability is removed.
Remember, every personal injury case is unique, and the laws can be complex. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence. We can provide accurate information and guide you through the legal process by contacting us at 828 348 7979.