What Do I Need to Know About Personal Injury Claims?

Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “Why should I hire an attorney to represent me in a personal injury claim instead of handling the claim on my own?”


Accidents can happen anywhere such as while driving, while at work, while at the store, or just while walking down the street. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year about 35 million people visit emergency rooms because of injuries sustained in accidents. If you suffer an injury that was caused by someone’s negligence, you may be owed money to pay for your expenses.



Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?


A personal injury claim only applies when someone gets hurt due to someone else’s negligence. Some of the most common personal injury claims are due to auto accidents, slip and falls, medical mistakes, dog bites, and assault, among others. In North Carolina, if the injured person was partly negligent in the accident, they cannot collect damages. It is usually a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your injuries and determine the best course of action.


How Do I Prove a Personal Injury Claim?


In order to win a personal injury claim you must prove negligence occurred. Negligence is the failure to use proper care in a situation. The person must do something, or fail to do something, that an average person in the same situation would do to prevent harm. Some examples of negligence include speeding in a vehicle or not taking adequate care of a floor. To prove negligence you must show that the person had a duty of care, breached the duty of care, and that breach of duty caused actual damages.


What are Damages?


Damages are injuries and expenses that you suffered due to negligence. Damages include economic and non-economic expenses associated with the injury. Economic costs are those that you can quantify with an actual bill. Non-economic expenses are those that are less quantifiable. Some examples of damages are medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others. Damages may be compensatory or punitive.


Do I Have to Go to Court?


The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to obtain compensation for injuries caused by negligence. Attorneys will work to negotiate your claim with the negligent party. In many instances, personal injury claims are settled before going to court. A settlement means that the negligent party agrees to pay a specific amount to the victim and in return, the injured party ends the case. In some cases, a settlement cannot be reached and the matter must then be resolved in court. An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate on your behalf to get the best compensation for your claim.


How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?


Personal injury claims can take some time to resolve, depending on their complexity. Some claims are less complicated than others and therefore, the resolution may be easier. When the injuries are more severe it can mean that there is more evidence to gather. When a claim is large, it could take longer to settle in some instances. The length of time it takes to resolve is secondary to making sure that the details of the case are properly researched so there is negotiation for adequate settlement.


Is There a Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim?


The law limits the time to file a personal injury claim. Generally, in North Carolina you must bring a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the occurrence. While that may seem like a long time, it may take some time to gather evidence before filing the claim. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you begin the process the more likely it will be that you can still find the evidence you need to obtain the maximum compensation.


If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you may be due compensation for your injuries. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today at (704) 370-2828 for an initial consultation.






The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.







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