If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, you are probably dealing with serious physical and emotional trauma. The aftermath of an accident can be more complicated than the accident itself. Car crashes can lead to long-lasting emotional, physical, and financial consequences. If you’ve been injured due to the carelessness of someone else, we can help. At the Tatum Law Firm, we are committed to seeking just compensation for the harm that our clients have suffered. North Carolina and South Carolina car accident lawyer Brian Steed Tatum represents clients and their families throughout both states.
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 767 traffic fatalities in South Carolina in 2013. Approximately 335 of these deaths were connected to alcohol. In North Carolina, there were 1,260 traffic fatalities in 2013, of which 353 involved alcohol. The NHTSA reports that there are many causes of car accidents, including aggressive driving, impaired driving, and distracted driving.
An injured party has legal options after a car accident. The accident victim can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party under the theory of negligence. These claims arise when someone’s careless behavior violates the duty to act reasonably to prevent foreseeable harm to other people, such as other motorists using the roads. For a victim to win on a negligence claim, he or she must prove the following four elements:
Using reasonable care means doing what a reasonably prudent or practical person would do in similar circumstances. For example, a driver who causes an accident by driving under the influence did not use reasonable care because an ordinary driver would not take such a risk that endangers others on the road. That driver thus might be held liable in a negligence lawsuit.
If the victim can prove these four elements, he or she may be entitled to compensation from the defendant. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, vehicle repair costs, and more. The extent of damages will depend largely on the nature and circumstances of the case. Monetary awards can be given to the plaintiff in a lump sum or distributed in equal payments over time. A capable injury attorney will discuss these options with the victim as the case progresses.
There is a time limit for filing a car accident lawsuit, which varies from state to state. For example, in North Carolina, the limit is three years from the date of the accident for both personal injury and property damage claims. If you don’t file within the applicable time limit, the court probably will refuse to hear your case. This is why it is crucial to enlist a skilled attorney before pursuing legal action.
At the Tatum Law Firm, we know that dealing with an accident can be difficult, which is why we are dedicated to compassionately helping our clients. We will investigate your case, talk to the adverse parties, and come up with a plan to pursue a satisfactory resolution. Experience with North Carolina and South Carolina personal injury law can make all the difference. Car crash attorney Brian Steed Tatum will fight aggressively for your rights in negotiating a settlement or, if necessary, in the courtroom. For further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 704-307-4350 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.