In 2020, there were over 27,000 auto accidents in Charlotte, beating Raleigh by over 11,000 accidents and making it the city with the most accidents in North Carolina. If you were one of the many people involved in a car accident this year, you might wonder when, or if, you should hire a lawyer.
While we can’t decide for you whether or not to seek legal counsel, we can give you some advice on when it may be beneficial to do so. If you were in a car accident and suffered any injuries, no matter how minor, you should always consult with a lawyer. Even if your injuries healed quickly and you didn’t miss any time from work, you may be unaware of the long-term effects of those injuries.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we will be able to assess your situation and determine whether or not you have a case that we can help you with. If we take on your case, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. If you were in a car accident and are unsure what to do next, give us a call for a free consultation. Our Charlotte car accident lawyers would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Charlotte
Many different factors can contribute to a car accident. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Charlotte include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving
- Weather conditions
If you were involved in an accident caused by any of the above factors, you should consider hiring a lawyer.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Charlotte
After you have sought medical attention, there are a few other things you should do if you were involved in a car accident in Charlotte. These include:
- Call the police
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver
- Take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to the cars involved
- Get the contact information of any witnesses
- Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company
If you follow these steps, you will be better positioned to hire a lawyer and receive the most compensation for your injuries.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Here are a few circumstances when it is time to hire a car accident lawyer. These include:
The Insurance Company Isn’t Working With You
If you have been in a car accident, you will likely communicate with the other driver’s insurance company and your own. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always easy to work with. If you are having trouble getting the compensation you deserve, it may be time to hire a lawyer.
North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations
In North Carolina, you generally have three years to settle your claim or file a personal injury lawsuit to preserve the statute of limitations.
If you do not do this within the time allowed by law, you will likely be barred from recovery.
You’ve Suffered Injuries or Property Damage
You may be entitled to compensation if you were involved in a car accident and suffered injuries or property damage. The amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend, in part, on the severity of your injuries and the amount of damage to your property.
If you were in an accident with no injuries or property damage, it is unlikely that you will need to hire a lawyer. However, if you were in an accident that caused any injury, no matter how severe or property damage, it is important to speak with one of our car accident attorneys to discuss your legal options and see if we can help.
It’s Not Clear Who Is Responsible For the Accident
Most car accident claims are cut and dry, meaning, it is clear who is responsible for the accident and who should be held liable. However, there are some accidents where it is not clear who is at fault. If you were in an accident and it is unclear who caused it, you may want to hire a lawyer to help investigate the accident and determine liability, particularly if you sustained serious injuries.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you were involved in a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries or property damage. However, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to negotiate with, and the process of filing a claim can be confusing. A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve.
What Is Considered Negligence in a Charlotte Auto Accident?
To win a Charlotte car accident case, your lawyer must first prove that the other driver was negligent. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care. This means that the other driver did not do something that a reasonably careful person would have done in the same or similar situation. There are four elements of negligence:
- Duty – The first element of negligence is duty. The law requires all drivers to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner.
- Breach of Duty – The second element of negligence is a breach of duty. This occurs when a driver fails to meet the standard of care required by law.
- Causation – The third element of negligence is causation. This means that the breach of duty was the cause of your injuries.
- Damages – The fourth and final element of negligence is damages. This means that you must have suffered some type of injury or property damage as a result of the accident.
A personal injury attorney can help you assess whether these elements apply to your case. If all four parts of negligence are present, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or property damage.
How to Prove Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
There are many ways to prove negligence in a car accident claim. Some common ways to prove negligence include:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs or videos of the accident scene
- The police report
- Accident reconstruction experts
You might be entitled to compensation if you were involved in a car accident. Contact a car accident lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
Contributory Negligence in Charlotte, North Carolina
In some states, you can recover compensation if you are less than 50% responsible for an accident. This is called comparative negligence. Unfortunately, this is not the case in North Carolina. North Carolina is one of very few states that follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that even if you are as little as 1% responsible for an accident, you are not entitled to recover damages from the driver who was 99% at fault.
One recurring instance where contributory negligence is at play is at an intersection. For example, even if you have the right of way, if you should have seen and recognized danger, but did not take any evasive action, you may be held partially responsible for the accident. Despite the fact you were not entirely at fault, you still wouldn’t be able to recover compensation for the damages caused by the accident under North Carolina law.
What a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Can Do For You
A car accident lawyer can:
- Investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claim
- Speak with witnesses and get their statements
- Review your medical records and connect you with doctors
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- File a lawsuit on your behalf
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Damages You Can Recover in Your Personal Injury Claim
After a car accident, some of the damages you may be able to recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
If you were involved in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
Determining the Value of Your Charlotte Car Accident Claim
The value of your car accident claim will depend on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The amount of medical bills you have incurred
- The amount of lost wages you have suffered
- The impact the accident has had on your life.
A car accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
Yes. As long as you’ve suffered some injury or property damage, you may be entitled to compensation. Even if you were involved in a minor car accident, you should still contact a lawyer to see if help is available.
What If the Other Driver Was at Fault but Had No Insurance?
If the other driver was at fault but has no insurance, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages. You may be able to file a claim against your own insurance company pursuant to your uninsured motorist coverage, which is required in North Carolina.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer In Charlotte?
Most lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis, which means they do not take a fee unless and until you win your case. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you will not have to pay anything upfront. The typical contingency fee is 33.33% of the total settlement, but this can vary depending on the lawyer and the case.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today For Assistance With Your Case
Charlotte is the largest North Carolina city, known as Queen City. The city is home to many Fortune 500 companies and is a major financial center. Charlotte is also a popular tourist destination, with over 20 million visitors annually.
With so many people in Charlotte, car accidents are inevitable. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer today for assistance with your case.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our team of personal injury attorneys has been fighting for the rights of car accident victims in Charlotte and its surrounding areas since 2005. Contact our team today for a free consultation.