When people get hurt or sick, they tend to chalk it up to clumsiness, bad luck, or just an overall unfortunate situation. It’s not fun or easy having to pay for medical bills or miss time at work, but there’s nothing that can be done about it.
Except that isn’t always true.
Sometimes another person or organization is responsible for harming you because they acted in a negligent manner. And when this is the case, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against them in court and receive compensation for what you have had to endure.
In other words, when another party fails to exercise a respectable degree of care and you suffer due to their wrong actions, there is a legal way to get them to pay for the harm they’ve caused you.
But how do personal injury laws work in North Carolina? What do you need to do? What kind of injuries or accidents qualify? How do you get started?
At The Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett, we’ve been helping people just like you to get the compensation they need to recover and get back to their normal lives for years. That means we have an in-depth understanding of the injury laws of our state.
In this post, we’d like to share some of that knowledge with you to provide you with a general overview of how personal injury cases work in North Carolina.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries can encompass all kinds of harm, including both mental and physical injuries, as well as illnesses. Broken bones. Severe stress. Pulled muscles. Loss of cognitive functioning. Norovirus. These are just a few examples of the types of harm that may qualify as a personal injury lawsuit worth pursuing.
As many different types of harm as there are, there are just as many ways that these types of injuries can occur, including:
- Automobile accidents
- Boating accidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Railroad accidents
- Sexual abuse
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trucking accidents
What You Need to Prove
To collect compensation from a personal injury claim in North Carolina, state law requires you to prove several things:
- That you actually were harmed in the incident in question
- That another party acted in an irresponsible manner
- That your injury was a direct result of this irresponsible behavior
- That you were not responsible – even a little bit – for your injuries
For example, a driver who is stopped at a red light may be eligible for compensation if they incur injuries from another driver who rear ends them because he is fiddling with his stereo.
However, if the driver was not harmed in the accident, he or she is not entitled to compensation. Additionally, if the injured person is also found to be negligent, then he or she may not be able to receive any compensation. This is referred to as contributory negligence.
What Kinds of Compensation You Can Receive
If another party is determined to be at fault for your injuries, they may be required to compensate you for:
- Lost wages due to time off of work
- Medical bills related to your injuries
- Any emotional distress that stems from the accident
- A loss in your ability to earn wages in the future
They may also be required to replace or repair any property that was destroyed during the accident, as well as covering any other costs that you may have incurred due to the accident or your injuries.
What You Need to Know about Filing a Claim
The time following an accident or injury can be stressful. You may be worried about your health, your finances, and your future in general.
And if you wish to file a claim, there is a lot to keep track of. You need to know the different options you have regarding where to file your claim, as well as which location is most likely to lead to success. You also need to understand which court jurisdiction you are required to file in, which is dependent on the amount you are seeking in damages. And you need to be aware of North Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. You have 3 years to file – but cases involving medical malpractice differ, as do product liability cases.
No one should have to face this alone. If you are dealing with a personal injury case, having a trusted personal injury lawyer by your side can take the legal burden off your shoulders at a time when you need help the most.
About the Author:
Attorney Mike Schlosser represents victims of personal injury, those charged with a crime, as well as those facing traffic charges. A former Guilford County, North Carolina District Attorney, Schlosser has been in private practice at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett since 1983 and has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar since 1973.