Aug 15, 2023 | Car Accidents
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a car accident, it’s natural to wonder how you will recover from the incident and how long it may take to secure compensation from the at-fault driver. Ultimately, every car accident case is entirely unique, and every victim will face different challenges as they seek compensation for their damages. One of the most important decisions you make when it comes to recovering as fully as possible, as quickly as possible, is the attorney you choose to represent you in your recovery efforts.
North Carolina is a fault state when it comes to resolving car accidents, meaning the driver at fault for the accident is liable for the resulting damages. Proving fault will be an essential first step in your recovery efforts, and these are likely to begin with an automobile insurance claim against the at-fault driver. The state’s fault rule requires that every driver have automobile insurance with bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Once you prove fault for your accident, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
A good attorney can streamline the insurance claim filing process and resolve any disputes raised against your claim. Under state law, the insurance company must deliver a ruling on your claim within a specific timeframe, but most claimants receive their payouts within a few weeks. If you cannot fully recover all your damages through automobile insurance alone, you will need to file a personal injury suit against the driver who caused your damages.
Filing a personal injury claim requires meeting the statute of limitations, which is typically three years from the date the accident occurred. Once you file your claim with the court, the defendant has the opportunity to respond, and at this point, your case can go in two possible directions. Either the defendant accepts liability for the accident and agrees to settlement negotiations, or they can deny liability and demand a trial.
Most of the personal injury cases filed each year end in settlement negotiations. Private settlement allows the parties involved in the case to have more influence over the final outcome while saving time and money they would otherwise spend in litigation. The time your case could take to settle depends on the quality of your legal representation and the extent of the damages you are seeking from the defendant. Most cases settle within a few weeks, whereas litigation can take months to conclude.
An experienced car accident attorney is an invaluable asset in your recovery efforts, whether you expect to fully recover from automobile insurance alone or you are preparing for a more comprehensive personal injury claim. Helton, Cody & Associates regularly help clients in Burke, Catawba, and Caldwell counties with their car accident claims, and we can leverage this experience for you. We know how local automobile insurance carriers handle claims and the various challenges you could encounter in a personal injury suit, so you can rely on our team to help streamline your recovery as much as possible.
A: According to the most recently available data, the average settlement amount for car accident cases filed in the state is about $20,000. The settlement accounts for the total damages suffered by the plaintiff, and their recovery may entail a combination of an automobile insurance claim payout along with a personal injury case award. The exact value of your car accident case hinges on the extent and severity of the damages you suffered.
A: Every automobile insurance company in the state is legally required to investigate every claim received. They must also deliver a decision to a claimant within 30 days after receiving all necessary proof of loss forms. An insurance company may contact a claimant for additional information and request specific documentation. Having an attorney help file your claim reduces the chances of encountering any issues with the claim review process.
A: If you are found to bear any partial liability for your recent car accident, you cannot claim compensation from the other driver. Under the contributory fault rule, a plaintiff loses the right to claim compensation for an injury if they share even a slight fault for causing the injury. This would mean you are responsible for your own damages.
A: If you cannot fully recover your damages through automobile insurance, you will need to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident. If the defendant is clearly to blame and you have a good car accident attorney on your side, it’s possible to settle a straightforward case within a few weeks, but if litigation is necessary, it can take much longer to conclude. Your attorney can provide an estimate of how long it may take for you to receive your compensation.
A: Drivers in the state are required to have automobile insurance that meets basic coverage requirements, but a minimum-coverage policy may not fully cover all the damages you suffered from your recent accident. The remainder must be sought through a personal injury claim. North Carolina’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to claim compensation for medical expenses, lost income, lost future earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.
The right legal team can provide comprehensive legal support when you need it most after a serious car accident. The team at Helton, Cody & Associates has successfully represented car accident victims in Burke, Catawba, and Caldwell counties, and we are fully prepared to address the unique issues you face in your impending case. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with our firm and learn how we can help you recover.