Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer

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Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer

Raleigh Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, you’re likely seeking a way to acquire the compensation you’re entitled to. A Raleigh personal injury lawyer can assist you in filing a claim as well as help you through every step of the process.

The qualified legal team at the Tatum Law Firm is committed to providing our clients with the utmost care for their cases. We work diligently to recover the damages that they’ve incurred as a result of an unnecessary accident.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

You may have been injured in an accident in Raleigh that was beyond your control. It wasn’t simply bad luck; instead, it was avoidable, occurring only because of someone else’s negligence. In this situation, you likely have a right to pursue compensation.

Filing an injury claim means that you are legally stating that damages were inflicted upon you by the liable party and, furthermore, that you deserve financial recompense for your losses. Often, money isn’t enough to right all the wrongs you’ve incurred, but it is meant to help in alleviating some of the expenses and anguish that you suffered.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

It is the job of the injured party’s attorney to gather evidence, prepare a convincing argument, represent their case on their behalf, and fight for their legal rights in all the proceedings of the personal injury claim. The main objective of a personal injury lawyer is to effectively prove that the at-fault party acted in a negligent manner, and this negligence resulted in their client’s damages and losses.

Negligence implies a degree of carelessness toward others that makes a person or entity responsible for any injuries that were caused by their behavior. To prove negligence, an injury lawyer must establish that the liable party owed a duty to the victim to carry out or avoid certain actions that are likely to impact their safety. For example, a store owner is responsible for keeping walking paths free of debris, and drivers have a duty to other motorists to adhere to the established traffic laws.

An injury attorney must then sufficiently prove that the at-fault party breached or failed to meet the duty of care that they owed to the injured person. Furthermore, they must show that this breach directly led to the victim’s physical harm and losses.

For example, it can be proven in a medical malpractice case that the doctor failed to provide proper care to their patient if the treatment was not in accordance with widely accepted medical practice. However, to prove negligence, it must be established that it was the doctor’s breach of duty that directly led to the victim’s worsening condition/injuries. It must be shown that the patient’s afflictions would not have persisted or progressed, regardless of the type of treatment or other circumstances.

What Evidence Is Used to Establish Negligence?

There are several forms of evidence that your injury attorney may choose to use in support of your case when presenting their argument to the court. Every case will be different in the amount and strength of the available evidence; do your part by preserving as much proof as you can.

This includes:

  • Taking photos or videos of the accident scene and damages
  • Acquiring contact info of any eyewitnesses to your accident
  • Collecting all documentation of your injuries and medical treatment

Your lawyer can likely acquire additional evidence that you would not otherwise have access to, such as:

  • Security/traffic camera footage
  • Police reports
  • Maintenance and inspection records
  • Expert witnesses who can share their specialized knowledge when relevant

Types of Accidents in Personal Injury Law

There are several types of personal injuries that warrant you taking legal action against the negligent party to seek compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the details of your situation and let you know the strength of your claim. Here are just some examples of the different types of claims in personal injury law:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. These include collisions involving motorcycles, cars, trucks, bicyclists, pedestrians, and rideshare services.
  • Animal attacks. Claims for animal attacks usually involve dog bites.
  • Premises liability. Slip and falls, and other injuries can occur due to the negligent actions or inaction of property owners.
  • Workplace injuries. These include construction accidents or other occupational hazards.
  • Medical malpractice. A medical professional can cause severe injuries or death if they are negligent. Such actions or inaction can involve surgical errors, inaccurate prescription or medication dosage, misdiagnosis, etc.
  • Wrongful death. If a victim dies during the accident, doesn’t survive their injuries, or passes away before their injury claim has been settled, their family can file for wrongful death.
  • Product liability. This refers to defective products, whether in their design or during their manufacture. These include products that lacked a sufficient warning label or medications that were not tested enough before being made accessible to consumers.

Common Physical Injuries Seen in Negligent Accidents

Physical injuries can vary quite a bit in personal injury cases, including in the degree of severity and the location of bodily harm. Even if you sustained minor injuries, you can still pursue compensation for your hospital bills and property damage. Examples include sprains, pulled muscles, mild concussions, and bruises.

Sometimes, an injury isn’t apparent right after an accident, such as brain damage, so it’s always important to be seen by a medical professional soon after the incident. If you cannot, seek medical care as soon as you notice potential symptoms of harm. Some accidents are so severe that the individual incurs injuries with long-term effects or even permanent harm. It is also possible to seek a settlement in instances of wrongful death, wherein the family pursues the victim’s claim.

Examples of moderate/serious injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Fractured or shattered bones
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Severe harm to muscles, joints, or ligaments
  • Permanent scarring from burns or lacerations
  • Diminished or loss of sight/hearing
  • Amputation/loss of body part
  • Diminished or loss of function of a body part,
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Partial or full paralysis
  • Newly acquired health conditions, such as seizures

What Compensation Can I Recover From an Injury Claim in NC?

Compensation for damages from a personal injury will include economic damages as well as non-economic damages. Sometimes, punitive damages are additionally awarded to the victim as a means to further punish the liable party and deter them from future malicious or extremely negligent misconduct.

Economic damages include:

  • Lost wages from time spent away from work
  • Any diminished capacity in the individual’s ability to work
  • Expenses incurred to repair or replace damaged personal property

A key component of economic damages is any past and future medical care that’s required for the victim to make a full recovery, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Medication
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Costs of other treatment related to the injuries caused by the accident

Economic damages are typically easy to establish in a personal injury claim by providing bills and other documentation. Non-economic damages, however, can be more challenging to supply evidence that also speaks to the degree of severity.

Non-economic losses are the victim’s physical pain, emotional and psychological suffering, permanent bodily disfigurement, and/or new conditions, e.g., epilepsy. Assigning a dollar amount that is equivalent to these losses is difficult since they are unique to the individual’s experience. Therefore, non-economic damages are often determined by the court after considering several factors.

How Are Emotional Damages Proven in North Carolina?

It’s difficult to “prove” pain and suffering damages. The victim’s attorney can provide as much compelling evidence as is available when presenting their argument. They can use this to establish the extent of the emotional distress, anguish, and bodily discomfort that has been suffered by the injured individual.

Some relevant evidence may include medical records outlining the following:

  • The victim’s physical disfigurements and psychological harm
  • The care and treatment that they have already received and will require to fully recover or reach as close to maximum functioning as possible
  • Necessary ongoing care
  • Evidence that speaks to their difficulty in completing daily tasks (e.g., hygienic activities, moving from one place to another) and hobbies by themselves

After the plaintiff’s legal team has presented all their evidence, the court will determine how much the victim is to be awarded in compensation. The judge or jury will consider

  • The evidence presented
  • Witness testimonies
  • The victim’s age
  • How long it’s expected for them to fully recover
  • Long-term/permanent impacts on their life
  • The experiences of other victims with similar afflictions
  • Restrictions in enjoying life
  • Their overall well-being

Pure Contributory Negligence in NC Injury Law

North Carolina law follows the doctrine of pure contributory negligence for personal injury cases. By this statute, if the injured person is determined to have been even one percent responsible for the accident that caused their bodily harm, they do not have the ability to recover damages. North Carolina is one of the few states to subscribe to this principle for instances of shared fault.

For example, if the victim is proven by the accused party’s legal representation to have been partially liable for the car crash that brought them harm, they can no longer receive any recompense. They will not even simply receive a reduced compensation payout, as is the case in other states through comparative negligence. This is why it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience litigating these types of cases, as they very well may need to argue against you being liable.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in NC

It’s crucial to begin the first steps of pursuing a personal injury claim as soon as you’re able. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in North Carolina is three years. This may seem like plenty of time, but waiting too long to file a claim poses the risk of you running out of time to fully carry out the case. If the statute of limitations passes, it’s very easy for the defendant’s attorney to argue that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that the deadline has passed.

The sooner you consult with an injury lawyer and begin your claim, the more time there is to collect evidence and build a strong claim. You never know exactly how the process will go, and it’s not uncommon for there to be court delays and other holdups that could extend the time needed to move your case along.

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs

Q: How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out in NC?

A: In North Carolina injury law, settlements are typically provided in one of two ways. The first is through a lump-sum payment, which consists of receiving all your compensation in a single installment.

The other type is getting your compensation through a structured settlement, meaning that you will receive regular payment installments over time. There are benefits to both types of payment structures, so it’s important to carefully consider which to use; your injury attorney can discuss the benefits of both as well.

Q: What Is the Compensation for Personal Injury?

A: Compensation for a personal injury case is most often a payment awarded to the victim as a means of helping “right” the wrongs they endured. This settlement payout includes economic damages, such as medical bills and lost income, along with non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, disfigurement, long-term or permanent disabilities, etc.

Q: Is Emotional Distress a Personal Injury in North Carolina?

A: North Carolina law does not recognize emotional distress alone as an injury, but it is considered to be among the various potentially concurrent damages within all forms of personal injury. Injured individuals are legally allowed to pursue compensation for emotional damages, including mental anguish, psychological trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life, among others.

Q: What Are Some Examples of Personal Injuries?

A: Some common examples of personal injuries are traffic accidents, such as car crashes or motorcycle collisions, and slip and falls, which are a form of premises liability. Other examples of personal injury accidents that you may experience include:

  • Workplace accidents
  • Dog bite injuries
  • Defective products (products liability)
  • Nursing home abuse/neglect
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death

Allow a Seasoned North Carolina Injury Lawyer to Represent Your Claim

At the Tatum Law Firm, our team is professional, experienced, and dedicated to representing our clients with legal counsel of the highest quality. By reaching out to us, you’ll get an honest assessment of your case. We aim to settle the claim out of court but if litigation is necessary, we are just as ready to fight for your rights. Contact us today.

Practice Areas

Legal Malpractice

Legal Malpractice

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain

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