If you’ve been injured in Taylorsville, NC because of someone else’s negligence, mistake, or ill intent, you are likely looking for some kind of help. The pain, injuries, emotions, and bills can be a tremendous burden for someone to deal with. Fortunately, the law does allow for victims to seek restitution in civil court. Working with the right Taylorsville personal injury lawyer can be critical to the outcome of your claim.
These cases can often be complex and require a firm knowledge of the law involved. At the Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, we aggressively pursue what our clients are legally owed.
The central component of a personal injury case is proving fault on the part of the defendant. This process connects their actions, or inaction in some cases, directly to the injuries that you sustained. It’s only in the presence of this dynamic that a person has a right to collect compensation from the party that has caused the injuries.
To prove fault or negligence, your lawyer will rely heavily on their investigation of your case. They’ll call on any evidence they can, use eye-witness testimony if possible, and may even make use of expert witnesses in some circumstances. Proving negligence in most personal injury cases will require proving that the situation involved three elements.
The first element of demonstrating negligence is proving that in the situation in which the injury occurred, the defendant had a duty of care. This is a legal term that means they were responsible for behaving in a manner that was careful not to put those around them at any unnecessary risk.
For instance, if an employee has mopped the floor in a store, the store has a duty to take reasonable measures to warn customers that it could be slippery. Similarly, drivers on the road have a duty to handle their vehicles in a way that follows the rules of the road, isn’t reckless, and exercises reasonable caution to avoid car accidents.
How a duty of care will be proved may differ depending upon the situation. In more familiar circumstances, it’s possible that a duty of care will be more generally understood by the court.
However, more nuanced situations or those requiring specific knowledge could require expert witnesses or peers of the defendant to explain what the expectation in a given circumstance should have been. For instance, a medical malpractice claim, which is a form of personal injury claim, would likely require a medical professional of the same role to describe what their peer’s duty would have been.
Once a duty to care has been shown, the next element is proving that there was a breach of that duty. This means showing that the defendant failed to fully fulfill everything that would be reasonably expected of them with regard to their duty to care.
This means proving two things. The first is proving what the defendant did or didn’t do in the given situation. Because a duty to care could require a proactive role by the defendant, the breach could be either an action that they took or inaction when they should have acted. Once the defendant’s behavior is proven, it will need to be explained to the court how that behavior failed to meet their duty of care.
The final element of demonstrating that negligence occurred is showing that the breach of duty was connected to the injury that was suffered on the part of the plaintiff. These injuries are usually the result of some kind of accident or other incident, so it will first need to be shown that the breach led to the accident. This might seem surprising, but there are times when a breach is not the cause of the accident.
For instance, imagine that someone is walking in front of a house with a sidewalk crack that hasn’t been repaired. If that person is run over by a cyclist at the other end of the sidewalk on the property, the property owner may be negligent in not repairing the sidewalk, but that had no part to play in the accident.
Once the accident has been tied to the breach, then the injuries must be tied to the accident. There are times when this can be challenged as well. For instance, particularly in the case of something like cardiac arrest or another acute internal medical occurrence, something like a pre-existing condition could be argued. The defendant may also challenge something like the severity of the injuries or whether or not the injuries occurred after the incident in question.
Proving each of these elements and defending against challenges is critical to the success of your case. Working with a diligent, thorough legal team, as you’ll find at the Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, can dramatically increase your odds of a successful case.
The compensation for injuries that are awarded in a personal injury claim is known as damages. These things cover costs that are directly related to the injury, so they must be shown to have that connection. Connecting the costs with the injury completes the connection all the way to the breach and demonstrates liability. The damages awarded will fall into one of the three categories.
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to realize that how you handle the situation can have a significant impact on your case. Some of the most important things to do following an injury are:
A: The statute of limitations determines how long after an incident a case may be filed. In general, for personal injury claims in North Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years. There are, though, some exceptions and variations to that rule, depending on the type of personal injury, who the claim is being filed against, when the injury was discovered, and if the injured person was a minor at the time.
A Taylorsville personal injury lawyer can help you understand what limitations apply to your case, but the ideal practice is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury, as the more time they have, the better prepared your case will be.
A: In most states, if the plaintiff is partially at fault in a personal injury case, their damage award is reduced proportionate to the blame that they share. Unfortunately, this is not the case in North Carolina. Only a handful of states, including North Carolina, operate under the doctrine of pure contributory negligence.
This means that if the plaintiff is found to have any fault for the injury, they will lose all possibility of collecting damages. Therefore, it’s important to work with a personal injury lawyer who can demonstrate the defendant’s negligence while defending against blame or fault levied against you.
A: When you hire a Taylorsville personal injury lawyer, you want to know you’re making the right choice. No matter who you hire, though, no lawyer can guarantee the outcome of a case. What you want to do is be sure that you feel confident that the lawyer you hired will do everything they can on your behalf and represent you well. Some of the traits that can be most helpful in a personal injury lawyer include:
A: Every personal injury case is unique, so there’s no way to offer a blanket answer, and your lawyer can describe the pros and cons of settling in your case. However, there are some significant advantages to settling, even if it means taking a little less than you could theoretically receive in court.
Typically, it will mean receiving your funds much sooner than in the case of a court battle. Importantly, it also means not exposing yourself to the risk of the case not going your way or the defendant being able to prove liability on your part, which would prevent you from collecting any damages.
We understand the stress of an injury because of someone else’s mistakes. Through no fault of your own, you may be dealing with rehabilitating an injury or even adjusting to a permanent one, along with pain and suffering, mental anguish, a pile of bills, and more. You deserve compensation for those things you’ve suffered, but a fight with an insurance company that’s busy protecting their profits can often sound intimidating.
We help people take on those insurance companies or whoever else we need to for them to seek what they deserve. You don’t need to face that challenge alone. We thoroughly investigate our client’s cases, negotiate on their behalf, and, if all else fails, are prepared to take their case to court and represent their interests.
We try to make the burden on our clients as minimal as possible, as we understand that you may be going through a challenging time. If you think you may have a personal injury claim for us to evaluate, contact us today.