Charlotte Car Accident Attorney
Representing Car Accident Lawsuits in North Carolina & Texas
Car accidents, whether relatively minor or incredibly severe, often have catastrophic consequences. At Payne Law Firm, we provide serious representation for the seriously injured. Our Charlotte car accident lawyer has successfully represented automobile accident victims in complex personal injury claims, recovering significant settlements and verdicts for his clients. In every instance, our goal is to maximize our clients’ recoveries, providing them with the financial resources they need to heal and move forward with their lives.
We represent victims involved in the following types of car accidents (and more):
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Rear-End Accidents
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Reckless Driving Accidents
- Speeding Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
What Injuries Can You Get from a Car Crash?
All car accidents, whether serious or minor, have the potential to cause injuries. Some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents include:
- Spinal injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Soft tissue injuries (muscles, ligaments, tendons)
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic amputation
- Lacerations or scrapes
No matter how minor you think your injuries may be, you should always seek medical attention after a crash. Be sure to keep a record of any treatment you receive, as well as the costs.
North Carolina Car Accident Laws:
How long do I have to file a car accident claim in North Carolina?
The North Carolina statute of limitations requires accident victims to file a claim against the responsible party within 3 years of the date of their accident. (You can read more about the statute of limitations in North Carolina General Statutes section 1-52). This does not mean that you should wait until 2 years have passed to file your claim- the sooner you file the better because this will allow you to gather evidence supporting your claim while it's still fresh.
How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company?
While some insurance companies give an exact timeframe in their policies about how quickly you need to notify them of an accident, other companies just require drivers to report their accidents "promptly." In general, you should try to report your accident to your insurance company within 30 days (unless otherwise noted on your policy).
How to File a Car Accident Claim in North Carolina
The first step in filing a car accident claim is determining whether you have grounds to bring a civil case against a negligent person or party.
You may have grounds to file a car accident claim if you can prove the following elements:
- You suffered injuries in an accident
- The accident was caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct
- As a result of your injuries, you sustained measurable damages
For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, you likely have grounds to file a lawsuit and seek compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance provider. This is because driving while under the influence of alcohol is not only against the law, but it is also extremely negligent. A drunk driver has breached the duty of reasonable care he or she owes to other drivers and, therefore, can be held legally liable for any damages he or she causes.
Note that filing a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance provider is different than filing a car accident lawsuit. Typically, when a claim cannot be resolved via a settlement, that is when the injured person can file a lawsuit. In North Carolina, you have three years from the date of an accident resulting in injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit and two years from the date of an accident resulting in death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Is It Worth It to Sue After a Car Accident?
It's not always necessary to file a lawsuit after a car accident. In fact, if you're able to come to a favorable resolution with the insurance company without going to court, you should always take this approach. However, there are some situations in which it may be harder to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company and this includes:
- Accidents where you or a passenger suffered serious injuries
- Accidents where the other driver is denying responsibility or is blaming you for the crash
- Accidents where you were forced to miss work or lost income while recovering from your injuries
- Accidents that have resulted in the death or long-term disability of a loved one
In any of the above situations, hiring a lawyer will most likely be the right more for you because it will force the insurance company to take your case seriously and will help ensure you receive fair compensation rather than getting low-balled by the insurance company.
How Much Can I Get for Pain & Suffering from a Car Accident?
The biggest factor in determining how much compensation you can receive for your pain and suffering is how severe your injuries were. For example, someone who sustained minor injuries may receive a significantly lower settlement than someone who sustained life-changing injuries such as a TBI or a spinal injury. In general, the average car accident victim may recover around $15,000 or less for pain and suffering, while a victim who sustained a severe injury may receive compensation in the hundred-thousands for their pain and suffering. To get a better idea of what your case may be worth, you should speak with our auto accident lawyer today.
What If I Was Partly at Fault for the Accident?
Unfortunately, North Carolina is one of the few states to follow the very strict rule of contributory negligence. Unlike rules of comparative negligence, the rule of contributory negligence bars any individual from receiving compensation if they are even slightly to blame for the accident. This means that you must prove the other person or party was completely at fault for the crash if you wish to recover financial compensation for your damages.
Unsurprisingly, many insurance adjusters attempt to use this rule to their advantage. They will likely try to assert that you were partially (or fully) at fault, thereby eliminating your right to recover. Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that you refrain from speaking to anyone from the other person’s insurance company without first talking to a lawyer. Insurance adjusters often utilize various tactics to get injured victims to unknowingly admit fault or downplay their injuries, both of which can seriously hurt their claim. Remember, the insurance company is not on your side. You should not speak to them in any capacity nor provide any written statements or sign anything without contacting a car accident attorney in Charlotte first.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident Lawsuit?
It's true, hiring a lawyer can be intimidating and expensive. You may be tempted to try and handle your car accident claim on your own, but you may want to avoid this for several reasons:
- The personal injury lawsuit process can be drawn out and complex, if you attempt to go it alone without the proper experience or understanding of how things work, you may lose your case and be stuck without compensation for your injuries.
- Insurance companies tend to take victim's claims more seriously when they are represented by a car accident lawyer. This is because it shows you're serious about pursuing fair compensation and you can't just be brushed aside.
- The last thing you want to do is underestimate the value of your claim. If you settle for less than you are owed, you may find yourself unable to pay for all of your medical expenses. Our accident lawyer can help you determine a fair settlement amount and ensure you actually receive it in full.
At the end of the day, by hiring a car accident attorney to represent you, you can help protect your own interests and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
“Payne Law Firm was invaluable in helping my family navigate the most difficult situation we had ever experienced. Mr. Payne and his entire staff were professional, responsive, and empathetic throughout the entire process.” - Fatimar J.
“My experience with "Payne Law Firm" was extraordinary! They were efficient, professional, and persistent. I have and will continue to recommend “Payne Law Firm” because you are treated like family!” - Sheori S.
“My experience at Payne Law Firm was very pleasant. I had no worries at all. He was there for everything I needed help with.” - Gloria J.
“I have used Payne Law Firm services on several different occasions and have always been pleased with the outcomes.” - Leonard J.
“Payne Law Firm calmed my fears and assisted with easing my pain, by always being available to answer my questions, calming my fears, explaining the law to me in layman’s terms, while offering comfort and support.” - Joyre T.
After a car accident, you need someone who can take on the insurance company on your behalf, working to protect your rights while you focus on healing. At Payne Law Firm, we provide aggressive, proven representation to every client who walks through our doors.
When you need someone to protect your rights against the insurance company, turn to our experienced and award-winning car accident lawyer in Charlotte, NC. We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees, so you owe nothing unless we recover compensation for you.
Client-FocusedWe will help you every step of the way, providing answers to your questions and continuing to update you on the status of your case.
A History of SuccessWe have helped over a thousand injured individuals and families get the compensation they deserved.
Battle-TestedWe not only understand the complexities of insurance companies but know how to fight them.
Full TransparencyOur team knows the importance of your case and is committed to doing what is best for you.