Motor Vehicle Crashes
A car crash happens in an instant and can forever change a person’s life. In 2009 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that one person died in a motor vehicle crash every 16 minutes. Injuries both minor and severe from car crashes occur with even more disturbing frequency. Compounding this for car crash victims is the sad fact that insurance companies often only have their best interests at heart.
North Carolina’s roads see all manner of car accidents ranging in cause and severity. Some common types of motor vehicle crashes include:
- Rear-end accidents
- Accidents due to fatigue
- Accidents due to speeding
- Distracted accidents (one common example of this is an accident from texting while driving)
- NC highway accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Accidents from driving while impaired (DWI)
- Faulty brakes and other car defects
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist
Common injuries that can result from such motor vehicle crashes are:
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Whiplash/neck and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Wrongful death
Like with all personal injury claims, it is up to the plaintiff (the injured party or their estate) to prove that the other party caused the accident by acting negligently—such as not yielding the right way or running a red light—and that the plaintiff’s injury was a direct result of those actions.
North Carolina is one of only two states that still use contributory negligence, which means that if the insurance company can prove that you contributed to the accident by not acting with reasonable care under the circumstances, you can be completely barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries. This is in contrast to other states that use comparative negligence and apportion damages relative to the defendant’s percentage of fault.
Either side in a personal injury case can bring medical experts and other expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists. However, not all so-called “experts” are true scientific experts in their field. It is important to have the representation of an aggressive personal injury attorney to counter the other side’s witnesses with their own and reveal weaknesses to the defendant’s strategies.Damages
In one of the above unfortunate events, the at-fault party may be liable for the victim’s injuries in the form of exorbitant medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The injury the victim suffered, as well as they monetary reward they collect from the defendant, are referred to as “damages.”
In addition, many insurance companies contain what is called Medical Payments Coverage, or MedPay. This can be used to pay for medical bills up to the policyholder’s coverage limits, regardless of who is found to be at fault. Interactions with MedPay and the other insurance companies involved can be a complicated process, making it important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.Attorney’s Fees
The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC operate on a contingency fee basis in car crash cases, which means that if you do not recover any money from your personal injury claim, there is no attorney’s fee. If you do recover money damages, your attorney’s fee will be based on a flat percentage of the gross amount of recovery even if the fees and costs associated with your case exceed that amount. This setup allows our attorneys to bear the burden of investigating and pursuing our clients’ claims so that our clients can focus on their healing and well-being without worrying about incurring further expenses they might not be able to pay.
A car wreck caused by another person’s negligence can have a devastating impact on the victim’s life. A staggering range of physical and emotional injury can result that will have long-lasting negative effects on that person for years to come. Negotiating between two insurance companies—yours and the other party’s—can be an overwhelming and exhausting process, particularly when you are dealing with physical and emotional injuries of your own during that time.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to consult with a skilled local personal injury attorney with experience in car crash personal injury settlement and litigation. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, one of our named partners began his career in insurance defense and brings this additional insight to our personal injury cases protecting the rights of injured individuals. Our personal injury attorneys stand at the ready to step in and deal with the insurance companies and the negligent party so that you do not have to. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for an initial consultation with one of our car crash personal injury attorneys.