Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys serves Wilmington, NC, and the surrounding areas. Our lawyers want you to know your rights and are taking new personal injury cases now. We can represent you during the claims process after an accident and fight for what you rightfully deserve.
What Is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is almost exactly how the term sounds — it is an injury to your person. Most often, a personal injury means that you have suffered physically. However, a personal injury can also include damage to your reputation and emotions.
In many cases, there is a combination of a physical injury and other effects. The physical pain that you feel will take away from your quality of life. You may also lose out on things that you enjoyed before the accident. In your case, the personal injury is a combination of all the harm that you have suffered.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
Traumatic brain injuries
A jolt to the head can cause brain damage that causes you to lose certain functions.
Severe damage to an extremity, such as an arm or leg, may require it to be amputated
You may suffer burns from fire, extreme heat, or chemicals that could cause permanent and severe damage to your skin
Internal organ damage
Internal injuries are very dangerous because you may not realize that you are injured at first.
The sudden transfer of force to your body can cause your head to snap forward while the rest of your body remains still.
The force of your accident could cause a fracture or complete break of the bone.
Spinal cord injury
Sudden trauma to your head or neck can injure your spinal cord and can cause partial or complete paralysis.
You could suffer a soft tissue injury that could limit motion and require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
The physical trauma of an accident could lead to facial fractures or permanent disfigurement.
Severe emotional distress
There are some cases when emotional distress is its own separate lawsuit, even without a physical injury.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
There are nearly 300,000 car accidents on North Carolina roads each year. Our Wilmington auto accident attorneys can determine if you may be entitled to financial compensation when another driver’s negligence was the cause of your injuries.
Large tractor-trailers can cause serious injuries when they are in accidents. With the help of our truck accident lawyers, you may be able to sue the trucking company when the driver who they employ was to blame for the crash.
Motorcycle injury cases tend to be more serious than those suffered in other types of motor vehicle accidents because there is less to protect you from impact. You can file a claim against the driver who was to blame for the accident.
Every year in North Carolina, there are roughly 1,000 bicyclists who are involved in crashes with motor vehicles. Drivers are not focused on bicyclist safety, and our bicycle accident attorneys can hold them responsible when they have been negligent.
When you are on the property of another, they have an obligation to make reasonable efforts to keep you safe. Common premises liability cases include slip and falls, negligent security, swimming pool accidents, patio collapses, and fires.
Vacation rental accidents
If you have been injured in an Airbnb or Vrbo, you can take legal action against the host. Rental companies provide insurance coverage, and the host may be personally liable for any uncovered damages.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that cover medical expenses and part of your lost wages. Our workers’ comp attorneys can help negotiate a settlement or appeal a denial of your workers’ comp claim.
A wrongful death case is your family’s own personal injury lawsuit when someone else was to blame for the tragic loss of your loved one. Your family could be paid for the losses you endure when you have suddenly lost a loved one.
When the doctor makes an error, either during prenatal care or the delivery process, they could be responsible in a medical malpractice case. Our birth injury attorneys can investigate if the doctors did not act as a reasonable physician would have under the circumstances.
Compensation Available for Suffering a Personal Injury
Once you are able to prove that someone else was negligent, they have the legal obligation to pay you for all of your damages. Your harm is not just financial in nature. Personal injury damages are for harm to your entire person and not just your bank account.
You may receive in a personal injury case:
- Economic damages that represent your actual past and future financial costs, including medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages that compensate you for the discomfort relating to the injury and how it will continue to impact your life.
Perhaps the most critical part of your pre-claim work is figuring out how much you are due in a settlement or jury award. The insurance company certainly has this information, and they may try to use it to save money at your expense.
What to Do After Being Injured
If you are physically able to, you should take as many pictures as you can of the scene of the accident. This may be your only chance to show what the scene of the accident looked like before it is clear.
Get witness information
Testimony from an objective third party may be the most effective way of proving your car accident case. You should get their contact information at the scene of the accident.
Get contact information
You should obtain contact and insurance information from the other driver, as well as the name and information of any other passengers.
Call the police
You need the accident report that the police officer writes when they come to the scene of the accident. You are legally obligated to report certain accidents to the police.
Seek medical care
Preferably, you should seek medical care at the scene of the accident if you feel the slightest bit injured. You should also get checked out by a doctor in the days after the accident and closely follow all of their recommendations.
Don’t talk to anyone
You should say as little as you can about the accident to anyone, including posting on social media. Your words could be used against you by the insurance company, which is looking for a reason to avoid paying you.
Why Not Go Through Insurance?
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in a personal injury case is blindly trusting the insurance company. They do not want to fully pay you because they have both eyes on their own balance sheet. Anything that they pay you comes straight from their profits.
The insurance company has an entire list of tricks that they use on unsuspecting claimants. The end result is that people end up signing away their legal rights, often for pennies on the dollar.
Our personal injury attorneys know exactly what insurance companies are capable of because we have seen things from their side. You need an attorney in the process to represent you. Otherwise, you could end up with the short end of the stick.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Personal Injury Case?
As the claimant or plaintiff, you have the obligation to meet your burden of proof in a personal injury case. You must show that your version of the facts was more likely than not to have occurred.
Generally, there are four things that you must show to prove negligence:
- The other party owed you a duty of care
- They failed to uphold their duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
- You suffered an injury
- You would not have been injured had it not been for the actions of the other party
Your attorney would gather evidence that proves what happened, including witness testimony and documentary proof.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
In North Carolina, your legal rights have a risk of running out. Once a certain amount of time passes, you lose the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries. This is known as the statute of limitations.
Under North Carolina law, you have three years from the time that you were injured (or should have known that you were injured) to file a personal injury action. You no longer have a case if you miss this deadline by even a day.
In reality, you should begin the legal process as soon as possible after your injury, since it becomes harder to prove a personal injury case the more time passes.
Why Choose Horton & Mendez for Your Personal Injury Case?
If you have suffered a personal injury, you need strong legal representation as you seek full financial compensation for your injuries. The insurance company will not simply give you the money that you deserve. They will make you fight for it.
Insurance companies have spent years wielding their tactics against unsuspecting claimants who trusted their insurer to do the right thing. They have an entire playbook of their own. But so do we.
You need an attorney who knows exactly how the insurance company operates to maximize your personal injury recovery. The Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys know what insurance companies are capable of because we have handled their cases from the other side.
We will approach your case in an attentive and compassionate manner. We do our best to understand what you are going through, while we fight fiercely for your legal rights. Our injury lawyers handle all the details of your legal case while keeping you informed of what’s next so you can make the best decisions.
Reach out to our law offices today at 910-405-7751.