Personal injuries caused by negligence-based accidents can leave victims physically hurt, emotionally traumatized, unable to return to work, and strained by spiraling medical expenses. For some, these injuries can be life-changing, leaving them permanently disabled. In the worst cases, these accidents take the lives of their victims, leaving grieving family members to face the loss and devastation of wrongful deaths.
When you have been injured by someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness, you may be entitled to compensation under the personal injury laws of North Carolina. Your claim should be pursued by experienced, qualified personal injury lawyers who will seek to recover the highest level of compensation possible for your injuries.
Goldsboro Personal Injury Lawyers
Hold Negligent Parties Accountable – Seek Compensation
At Strickland Agner Pittman, we have the skill and successful track record to represent your interests and fight for your rightful compensation against the insurance companies and the parties responsible for your injuries. Our capable team understands the challenges you face in the wake of a personal injury and are here to be your guide and your advocate in the claims process. At our firm, you can expect to be treated like family – with the respect, compassion, and support you deserve at this critical time.
Personal Injury Claims We Handle in North Carolina
Our firm handles personal claims stemming from all types of accidents and incidents including the following:
- Car accidents. Millions of auto accidents occur in the United States every year. They range from drunk driving accidents to rear-end collisions, hit and run accidents, texting while driving crashes, and more, resulting in claims filed against insurance companies and in court. In some cases, victims may need to collect from their own insurance companies through their uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage.
- Pedestrian accidents. With no form of bodily protection, pedestrians struck by motorists can suffer serious and even catastrophic injuries. Our firm fights for maximum compensation to ensure you have the financial resources you need to recover as much as possible.
- Truck accidents. Claims arising from commercial truck accidents are extremely complex. They can involve multiple sources of fault, violations of federal trucking regulations, and trucking company legal teams. You will need tenacious and capable representation to ensure the best possible result.
- Motorcycle accidents. Like pedestrians, motorcyclists can suffer multiple and serious injuries that can be life-threatening. Our team works vigorously to help you secure optimum results against insurers and negligent parties.
- Slip and falls. Slip and fall accidents are extremely common and can be caused by property safety hazards. Liability may fall upon negligent property owners, managers, and other parties.
- Dog bites. Pet owners may be held responsible for dog attacks when they have been negligent. You may have the right to file a claim to recover damages for your injuries and losses.
- Wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongdoing of another, the personal representative of your family member’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim seeking certain damages.
- Medical malpractice. When medical practitioners are negligent or make mistakes, the injuries they cause may be grounds for a lawsuit. These can stem from such negligence as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, emergency room errors, medication errors, and more.
- Construction accidents. Construction sites are notorious for being dangerous environments in which to work. Where third-party negligence has resulted in injuries, you may have grounds for a claim.
- Assault and battery injuries. When a criminal act such as assault or battery results in the personal injury of another, the victim may also pursue a civil claim for damages. Even though a criminal case may be filed against the defendant, a civil case is the only way to pursue compensation.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
Broadly speaking, a personal injury claim may be filed if you suffered harm in an accident that was the fault of another party. If you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you might be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against the person or persons responsible. This case will be separate from any related criminal trial the other party may face, like driving while intoxicated (DWI).
In North Carolina, to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit, you typically need to establish several key elements:
- Duty of Care: You must demonstrate that the defendant (the person or entity you're suing) owed you a duty of care. For instance, a driver owes a duty of care to others on the road to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: You need to show that the defendant breached that duty of care. This means they failed to fulfill their obligation—for example, by driving recklessly or negligently.
- Causation: You must prove that the defendant's breach of duty directly caused your injuries. It's not enough to show they were negligent; you have to establish that their negligence led to your specific injuries.
- Damages: You have to demonstrate the damages or losses you suffered as a result of the defendant's actions. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.
North Carolina Personal Injury Laws
North Carolina follows the contributory negligence rule. If the injured party is found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, they may be barred from recovering any damages. This strict rule can make it challenging to recover compensation if the defendant argues that your actions contributed to the accident.
The state applies strict liability in product liability cases. If a defective product causes injury, the injured party doesn't necessarily need to prove negligence but must show that the product was defective and caused harm while being used as intended.
In cases of wrongful death caused by someone else's negligence or wrongful act, certain family members may be entitled to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of financial support or companionship.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim?
The effects of a serious injury accident can linger for years after the accident occurred, but there is a limit to how long victims have to seek compensation from the party responsible. Each state has laws establishing this length of time, known as a statute of limitations. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years.
That is not to say that personal injury victims should wait an entire three years before bringing a claim, though. In fact, if you have suffered a personal injury, time is of the essence. The three-year clock starts ticking as soon as the accident has occurred, and your attorney will need time to gather all the evidence and build a strong case.
Moreover, a number of other factors can make a case more difficult to win as time goes on, even within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is not a suggestion: It is a cutoff point. Regardless of how long you have, it will help your case to get started as soon after your accident as possible. The primary reason for this is that it is much easier for your attorney to gather evidence for a personal injury case soon after the injury occurred.
In the first days and weeks after an accident, it is easier to track down witnesses and gather details such as road conditions or what the scene of the accident looked like. Furthermore, it is easier for you to remember the details of the accident accurately. These factors can make it easier for your attorney to build a strong claim for compensation if you act quickly. So do not hesitate to schedule a free legal consultation right away.
An experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you get started as quickly as possible to protect your right to compensation. Contact the Goldsboro personal injury lawyers of Strickland, Agner & Associates today to schedule a free consultation about your case.
What are the Damages I Can Recover?
In North Carolina, a wrongful death lawsuit allows certain family members or the estate of the deceased person to seek compensation for various damages resulting from the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party. Potential damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can include:
Economic Damages: These are quantifiable financial losses incurred due to the death and may include:
- Medical expenses related to the deceased person's final injury or illness.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of income and financial support that the deceased would have provided to their family members.
- Loss of the deceased person's services, like household chores or caregiving.
Non-Economic Damages: These damages are more subjective and might include:
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their death.
- Loss of companionship, guidance, or consortium suffered by the surviving spouse, children, or other family members.
- Emotional distress or mental anguish experienced by the surviving family members due to the loss of their loved one.
In certain cases where the responsible party's actions were particularly reckless, malicious, or intentional, the court might award punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
No two personal injury cases are the same, and the timeline for each can vary drastically. While it is not uncommon for some cases to be settled six months, others may drag on for years. Even in the longest of cases, however, a successful settlement can make the entire process worth it for the victim.
Many factors influence the length of the claims process, including:
- The nature and extent of injuries you suffered
- The strength of the evidence that supports your claim
- The amount of money involved in the case
- The other party’s lawyers and their approach to the case
- Whether the other party offers an attractive settlement, or the case goes to trial
These, along with other factors, can influence how long your case will take. An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your timeline depending on the specifics of your case, but it is always possible that unforeseen circumstances will make it take more or less time than expected. Regardless, your case will almost certainly go more quickly if you contact an attorney and get started as soon as possible.
Get Help from a Goldsboro Personal Injury Lawyer
When you’ve suffered a personal injury, the physical and emotional recovery can consume your life. While it is important to focus on getting better, it is unfortunately too easy to lose track of time and let a potentially significant settlement slip away. Don’t let this happen to you. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your case is handled properly right from the start, and make sure that your rights and interests are protected from day one.
Here are some advantages of working with our firm:
- Legal Expertise: We have extensive knowledge and experience in handling personal injury cases. We understand the complexities of North Carolina's laws and can navigate them effectively to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We conduct thorough investigations into your case, gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses, and working with experts if necessary. This helps us build a solid foundation for your claim.
- Case Preparation and Strategy: Our team is skilled in preparing cases for negotiation or trial. We develop comprehensive strategies tailored to the specifics of your situation, aiming to maximize your compensation.
- Negotiation Skills: We're adept at negotiating with insurance companies and other parties involved. Our goal is to achieve a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries and losses without the need for a lengthy trial.
- Courtroom Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court, we're ready to represent you in trial. We advocate vigorously for your rights, presenting your case convincingly to a judge and jury.
- Handling Legal Processes and Paperwork: Dealing with legal procedures and paperwork can be overwhelming. We take care of these tasks for you, ensuring that all documents are filed correctly and within the required deadlines.
- Maximizing Compensation: Our aim is to maximize the compensation you receive. This includes damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you've incurred due to the injury.
- Peace of Mind: Engaging our services allows you to focus on your recovery while we handle the legal aspects of your case. You can have peace of mind knowing that a dedicated team is working tirelessly on your behalf.
- Contingency Fee Basis: We often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us if we secure compensation for you. This arrangement allows access to quality legal representation without upfront costs.
- Personal Support: Beyond legal guidance, we offer personal support and understanding throughout the process. We're here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide support during a challenging time.
If you have been injured in an accident in North Carolina, Strickland Agner Pittman is here to help. Our experienced Goldsboro personal injury attorneys have the know-how to handle your case effectively and efficiently. Don’t delay: Call us today at (919) 893-0090 for more information on how we can help protect YOU from THEM and increase your chances of winning the compensation you deserve.
At Strickland Agner Pittman, we have fielded many questions posed to us by our clients. In the area of personal injury law, recurring themes and common questions arise that we hear frequently. Contact us today at (919) 893-0090 to learn more.
Contact Strickland Agner Pittman today to schedule a free consultation, get answers to your individual questions and get legal advice about your potential personal injury claim in North Carolina. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and recover the maximum amount of money that you deserve for your injuries. Remember that you do not pay us any attorney’s fee unless we recover financial compensation for you.
Why Should I Choose Strickland Agner Pittman Over Another Law Firm?You should choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. When you choose our law firm, you will be talking directly to the attorney handling your case who will be intimately involved in all its aspects from start to finish. You will not be handed off to a “case manager.” You will not be treated as just another accident case. We will give you a candid analysis of your situation and, if the insurance company is not offering a fair settlement, we will take your case to trial. Remember, the ultimate decision-maker in your case will be a jury. We prepare every case as if we were going to trial.
An Insurance Company Is Offering Me a Settlement. Why Not Accept It Now?
If you have been contacted by an insurance company shortly after you were injured, the insurance company is trying to lowball you by paying you less than what your claim may be worth. They hope that you will accept a quick settlement without fully investigating or considering the facts of the case or your medical situation. Often, what may appear to be a moderate injury could, after a fuller review of the case and further medical treatment, turn out to be a significant and permanent injury. You owe it to yourself to make sure that you settle your case knowing all critical factors.
How Do I Know if I Need a Lawyer?
If you are asking this question, you need a lawyer. We will be happy to discuss your case with you and we will not charge for the initial consultation. It never hurts to talk to a lawyer to determine your true rights.
Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
Your case will go to trial only if the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer that covers your losses. Many times a case does not need to proceed to a trial due to the nature of the case and willingness on the part of the liable parties to be reasonable and submit fair settlement offers.
When an offer of settlement is received, you and your attorney will sit down and calculate the cost and potential benefit of going to trial and the likelihood of success. An experienced attorney will be able to determine that with you. We can help you decide whether to go to trial or accept the offer.
Should I Talk with the Insurance Company That Keeps Calling Me?
You should never speak with an investigator from an insurance company without your lawyer’s advice. You do not have to answer questions during a telephone or in-person meeting with your insurance company or anyone else without consulting with a Goldsboro personal injury lawyer at our firm.
Always consult with an attorney first. Depending on the nature of the interview with the insurance company, have an attorney present with you before answering any questions. This is vital because answering a question in the wrong way can do irreparable harm to your case, potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
Should I Sign a Release?
If you are involved in a personal injury claim, it is advisable to seek an attorney’s review before you sign any release or other documents. Signing a release without proper advice could cost you thousands later in unforeseen costs or medical expenses. You should never sign a release without reading it, understanding it, and having an experienced personal injury lawyer review it with you.
The insurance companies or other liable parties in your case may approach you to settle your case under the guise of a speedy resolution. They may tempt you into signing a release by use of guilt or other underhanded tactics. This is because it’s the insurance adjuster’s job to keep the company’s payout as low as possible. That’s why you need an experienced attorney who will look out for your best interests, not those of the insurance company.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
In personal injury lawsuits, attorneys customarily charge what is known as a “contingency fee.” A contingency fee is a percentage of the total amount we recover for our client. If we can recover financial compensation for you, the attorney’s fee will equal a percentage that we both agree on when you hire us. This will be discussed during your consultation.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
This is another important factor you may be considering when deciding whether to bring a personal injury lawsuit. It is not always possible to predict exactly how long it will take for your case to go from filing to final judgment or settlement. It depends on many factors and the facts of your particular situation. During a consultation with one of our Goldsboro injury attorneys, we may be able to estimate how long your case will take if nothing out of the ordinary crops up during the process.
How Much Could I Recover on My Personal Injury Claim?
This is a top concern as you struggle with the decision of whether to hire an attorney while you balance your bills and provide for your family during your physical recovery. A straight answer depends on a review of the facts in your case and the nature of your injuries and the chances for recovery. We can sometimes provide a general estimate of a case’s value but we must consider many factors when evaluating any personal injury claim. We may be able to provide an estimate of what types of damages you may be entitled to recover after discussing all of the facets of your case.