Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car accident in North Carolina then you should look no further than Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys. We know the playbook employed by insurance companies and their defense teams and we are perfectly suited to help you counter these. We may be able to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve, so please do not hesitate to contact our team of car accident lawyers in Wilmington and the surrounding North Carolina area. Call us now!
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Driving is a convenience many of us can’t imagine living without. It makes the world a smaller place and it allows us to complete tasks sooner.
No matter how safe you try to be when you’re on the road, there’s no accounting for other driver’s behavior. Speeding, driving intoxicated, and disobeying stop signs are just some of the activities that make accidents more likely to happen.
If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior on the road, you deserve compensation. Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are a team of Wilmington, North Carolina attorneys that will provide the representation you need. As former insurance defense lawyers, we know how the other side operates and have the experience it takes to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What are Common Causes of Car Accidents?
There are many reasons car accidents happen. Here are a few of the most common:
With people glued to their devices, there has been a considerable rise in distracted driving. But technology isn’t the only thing that takes our minds off the road. Scenery, eating in the car, applying makeup, or even being caught up in our thoughts while driving increases the chances of an accident.
Driving While Intoxicated
Despite years of campaigns raising awareness on the dangers of driving while intoxicated, many people get into their cars drunk or high. Prescription medications can also impair judgment.
In today’s busy world, it seems like everyone is in a rush. But if your speeding causes an accident, it will take more time out of your life than those few minutes saved by driving faster.
Disobeying Traffic Signs and Lights
Traffic signs are there for a reason. When someone passes a stop sign or light, other drivers can not predict their actions making for a dangerous situation.
if roads are slick or visibility is poor, drivers must be extra careful to avoid an accident.
Drivers are not always to blame for accidents. If an equipment failure causes a collision, the manufacturer or mechanic may be liable for damages.
Debris in the Road
Debris can cause drivers to stop short making for a dangerous situation on the road. If the debris is caused by nearby construction, the contractor or the city may be responsible for the accident.
What are Common Types of Car Accidents?
Several types of car accidents can occur on the road including the following:
Rear-end accidents occur when the driver behind another car is tailgating, speeding, or driving distracted.
Sideswipe accidents happen when one driver tries to get over and does not see the car in the lane next to them.
T-bone accidents usually happen because one car is trying to turn while another car is going straight in front of them. Either driver could be to blame in a T-bone accident depending on who had the right of way.
A head-on collision is the most dangerous type of car accident but fortunately it doesn’t occur very often. It typically happens because one car enters a one-way street or freeway from the wrong direction. It can also occur if a driver jumps a median on a freeway.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
Car accident injuries can be minor or severe. Here are the more serious types of injuries that may be sustained:
Head injuries can range in severity from concussions to Traumatic Brain Injuries. They can cause ongoing cognitive issues.
Broken bones are usually not serious but, in some instances, they may require surgery and lead to chronic pain.
If an extremity becomes seriously injured, an amputation may be required.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause nerve damage and even paralysis.
Joint injuries can considerably limit the range of motion.
Whiplash is a common car accident injury. It occurs when the impact of the crash causes the head to move back and forth rapidly.
Burns can occur if the car catches fire.
Internal bleeding and internal organ damage is quite serious and can even be fatal.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Emotional pain and suffering is considered a personal injury and it often occurs in victims of car crashes. In some cases, PTSD may cause the victim to never want to get in a car again.
If the victim dies from their injuries, the claim is considered a wrongful death. Families of the deceased may seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional suffering.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident Occurs?
There are steps you can take after a car accident occurs that will help you build a strong case. The recommended actions are as follows:
Use your phone to take pictures of the accident making sure to get all damages and injuries. Move around to capture the scene from various angles.
Call the Police
It’s always advisable to call the police after an accident occurs. They will create a report that can serve as a strong piece of evidence in your case.
Get Contact Info from Witnesses
If any witnesses saw the accident occur, be sure to get their contact information. They may be able to testify on your behalf.
Collect Information from Involved Parties
Get the license plate numbers and insurance information for all drivers involved in the accident.
Seek Medical Help
It’s important to get medical help immediately after an accident, even if you don’t think you are badly injured. Injuries may get worse over time. If you hold off on getting help, it will be difficult to prove your injuries were caused by the accident. If you see a doctor immediately, he or she will create a medical record that ties your injuries to the crash.
Never Admit Fault
When talking to insurance companies, other parties involved and the police, be careful what you say. Never admit you are at fault and never say you aren’t hurt. It’s best to talk to a lawyer before discussing the accident with anyone other than close friends and relatives.
Should I Just Go Through Insurance?
After an accident occurs, many drivers are tempted to forgo a lawyer and go through insurance to settle their claims. They think this will be a money and time-saving option.
Insurance companies are notorious for giving lowball offers. The amount they offer may seem like a lot of money at first, but when you apply it to your damages and expenses, you will find there’s barely enough to go around.
As former insurance defense attorneys, we understand how insurance companies operate. Insurance companies want to save money and not pay full value on claims. We understand how they value certain accidents, and because of this insight, we will help maximize your settlement or your verdict.
Insurance companies are also known for taking words out of context. They will ask for a statement and turn your words around to make it seem like the accident was your fault.
Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys understand how to handle insurance companies that do this, and this is primarily because of their experience as previous insurance defense lawyers.
Furthermore, we also work under a simple rule. If there is no recovery, then there is no fee. This means they won’t see a dime unless they can help you win your case.
What Kind of Damages Can I Collect in a Car Accident?
The compensation you are due to collect after a car accident varies depending on your personal situation and the extent of your damages. Here are some of the things that may need to be considered:
Loss of Wages
Loss of wages refers to any time taken off work to recover as well as future earning potential. You may be compensated if you need to leave work on a temporary or permanent basis. You may also receive compensation for any discrepancy in wages if your injuries leave you unable to perform the duties of your current job and you are forced to take a lower-paying position.
Medical expenses include expenses incurred for care needed immediately after the accident as well as ongoing expenses to cover things like in-home nursing, prosthetics, wheelchair ramp installation, medications, etc.
Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering
Car accident injuries can greatly reduce the quality of life. At-fault parties may be required to compensate you for physical and emotional pain and suffering. Although it is difficult to put a monetary value on these intangible elements, your lawyer will use their experience and the unique factors of your case to come up with a fair number.
Property damage refers to any damage done to your car. A property owner may also sue if the accident ended up causing damage to the premises.
Punitive damages may be awarded if the driver’s actions in causing the accident were considered excessively reckless. They are commonly applied in drunk driving accidents. They are put in place to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
If the victim ends up dying from their car accident injuries, the family may sue at-fault parties for damages. This includes funeral and burial expenses, loss of earning potential due to the decedent no longer being able to contribute to the family financially, and emotional suffering.
Minimum coverage requirements in the state of North Carolina are as follows:
$30,000 per person for injury or death
$60,000 total for everyone involved in the wreck
$25,000 for property damage
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim in North Carolina?
Every legal claim is subject to a statute of limitations. This means that the plaintiff has a certain amount of time to file a claim if he or she is seeking compensation.
In the state of North Carolina, the statute of limitations on a car accident claim is three years. In most cases, the clock starts ticking on the date the accident occurs, but this can be extended in certain circumstances. Be sure to consult with a lawyer about the specifics of your case well before the statute of limitations would run.
Three years may seem like a long time, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be to remember important details of the case. That’s why it’s best to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
North Carolina is a Contributory Negligence State
North Carolina’s status as a contributory negligence state means that you may not be compensated if the jury finds that you are to blame for the accident in any way, shape, or form.
Most states are comparative negligence states. This means that if a person is found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident, they will still be owed compensation. However, the compensation they receive will be reduced by the amount they are at fault.
So if total damages equal $100,000 and they are found 30% at fault, they may collect up to $70,000, the total damages minus 30%.
Unfortunately, things don’t work like that in North Carolina. If you are partly at fault for a North Carolina accident, you may be barred from getting any amount of compensation. That’s why it’s so important to have a good lawyer on your side. Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys have the experience to help fend off the insurance companies’ allegation of contributory negligence. This is because we have experience as previous defense lawyers and understand the tactics used by insurance companies.
Why Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys Can Help With Your Wilmington, North Carolina Car Accident Claim
Car accident cases can be complicated. It is difficult to determine at-fault parties and build a strong case. You need a reliable lawyer on your side.
Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are a team of North Carolina attorneys who have previously worked as insurance defense lawyers. Due to this unique experience, we understand how to plan against the tactics employed by insurance companies and insurance defense lawyers. We are known for our respectful and caring attitude, our responsiveness, and our winning results. We will stop at nothing to get you the best outcome possible.
Car accident injuries can greatly reduce the quality of life. Don’t let negligent drivers get away with it. Call Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We will get you the closure you need to move forward.