Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accident Attorneys in Jacksonville, NC
The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has reported on a total of 34,439 deadly traffic collisions across the country for 2016. In North Carolina, 1,441 individuals were killed in fatal crashes for the same year, while 130,137 have sustained crash-related injuries. Car accidents may result in severe physical impairments, amputations, serious emotional pain and suffering, and even death. If you have been injured in a car accident in Jacksonville, you should waste no time. You need to consult with one of the skilled car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, at the soonest time possible. In most states across the country, motor vehicle drivers are mandated by state laws to secure at least a minimum amount of liability insurance for physical injuries and property damage. This means that you have the right to be compensated by the liable driver’s insurance carrier for your injuries and other losses. When filing for accident compensation in North Carolina, the immediate counsel of car accident attorneys is crucial to prevent any needless complication and unnecessary delays.
Car Accident Statistics and the Need for Car Accident Attorneys in Jacksonville NC
The 2016 North Carolina Traffic Crash Facts by the DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) showed motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and children to be among those involved in vehicular crashes. A total of 267,494 traffic crashes were reported for the year, showing an increase of 6.3% from the 251,638 crashes reported for 2015. The same report also illustrated that as many as 151 motorcyclists, 15 pedal-cyclists, and 198 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions in 2016. Moreover, 31% of young children who were killed in crashes have not been secured by a vehicle seat belt. The year also recorded a total of 2,537 crashes in the city of Jacksonville. These collisions resulted in two fatalities and 593 reports of injuries.
The most common contributing circumstance to deadly crashes in North Carolina in 2016 were speeding, centerline crossing, reckless driving, distracted driving, and alcohol use. Distracted driving, failure to yield, and speeding were also some of the reasons for crash-related injuries.
The injuries sustained in a vehicular crash may be as simple as a bruise and scratches to as serious as an open-head injury and bone fractures. These injuries may force you to rest for an extended period of time and acquire long-term medication and treatment. To help you deal with the costs of treatment and your lost income, you may file for a compensation claim against the insurance carrier of the negligent party. The help of dependable car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, will allow you to file the claim as early as possible so you may be compensated for all your losses without further delay.
Common Causes of Car Accidents and How Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
The occurrence of injurious and fatal traffic crashes can be traced to a number of reasons. In accidents, at least one individual will have been negligent or inattentive while navigating a vehicle. Some of the more common causes of car accidents in North Carolina are the following:
- According to the NHTSA, speeding has been responsible for 10,111 deaths across the country in 2016. A motor vehicle driver that exceeds speed limits is endangering not only himself but other motorists, even pedestrians, as well. It can be difficult for another vehicle or a pedestrian to evade a speeding motorist on a public road or sidewalk. Speeding can lead to collisions that endanger the lives of individuals and result in serious injuries such as bone fractures, spinal problems, or even internal bleeding.
- Improper lane changes. Improper lane changes accounted for a total of 12,438 crashes in the state of North Carolina in 2016. A vehicle is susceptible to a collision with another vehicle which has merged into a lane without prior signal or reducing speed. Any driver who commits this can be liable for injuries sustained by other drivers or passengers in an accident.
Car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, can determine the extent of the at-fault driver’s negligence and help establish their full liability for compensation claims.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a type of negligent behavior where a driver allows his or her attention to be diverted into doing some other activity while driving. Some of these distracting behaviors include texting while driving, reading from a handheld device while driving, or watching a film while navigating a vehicle.
Since there are strict laws against driving and texting in most states, your car accident attorney may hold a distracted or inattentive driver responsible for your sustained injuries.
- Reckless driving. Also known as aggressive driving, reckless driving contributes not only to fatal crashes across the country but also to instances of road rage. Some driver behaviors that fall under the category of reckless driving are tailgating, failure to yield to the right of way, illegal driving on sidewalks, failure to signal, and racing.
When confronting a reckless driver for your accident-related injuries, it is important to establish his or her full responsibility for the collision. The counsel of car accident attorneys will be most valuable at this point.
- Alcohol use. According to an NHTSA report, one person was killed every 50 minutes in 2016 due to drunk driving. Drunk driving has also resulted in a total of $44B in losses and damages for the year 2010. Most states across the country consider it unlawful for a motor vehicle driver with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher to operate a vehicle. Thus, a drunk driver can be held liable for your injuries or for the wrongful death of a spouse or family member.
- Faulty equipment. Some accidents are also traced to defective motor parts, where tires erupt, brakes malfunction, and airbags release without warning. When these happen, drivers, passengers, cyclists, and even pedestrians are often placed at risk. In North Carolina, defective equipment has been responsible for as many as 3,138 traffic crashes in 2016. Of this number, a total of thirty crashes have led to the death of at least one person.
Your lawyer may hold several parties responsible in a car accident that has been traced to the malfunctioning of one or several motor parts. The driver’s employer, the maintenance company of the vehicle, or the vehicle parts manufacturer may be held liable for the crash and, subsequently, your injuries. However, it is crucial for the defective part or parts to be established as the primary cause for the collision. It is possible, after all, for a car accident to have been brought about by not just one, but a combination of factors.
Given the varied nature and causes of fatal traffic crashes, anyone can be susceptible to accident-related injuries. If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident in North Carolina, you need to talk to a lawyer after seeking immediate medical help. Car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, will be knowledgeable about existing state laws and will help determine fault in an injurious vehicular collision.
Which Types of Compensation Can I Obtain with the Help of Car Accident Lawyers?
When you work with car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, you may increase your chances of getting full compensation not only for your injuries but also for your subjective losses. Car accident attorneys have the necessary background and experience in determining the maximum compensation amount entitled to you. In cases where an at-fault party may also accuse you of shared negligence, it is important for you to rely on sufficient legal representation and counsel. The types of compensation which you may be able to claim are the following:
- Economic compensation. This type of compensation is usually based on financial losses incurred due to the accident, such as hospital expenses, loss of wages, loss of future wages, and possible long-term medical care. For car accident lawyers to begin facilitating these claims, you may be required to present sufficient documentary evidence such as medical receipts and work records.
- Non-economic compensation. After an accident, it is fairly common for the injured party to suffer emotionally as well. If your injuries are so severe that they have also subjected you to extreme pain and mental suffering, you may compel the liable party to compensate you for these subjective damages.
These types of damages, which are subjective in nature, can be difficult to quantify. It will be helpful if your car accident lawyer in Jacksonville, NC, has sufficient knowledge in the evaluation and calculation of non-economic damages. Additionally, there may be a limit as to the amount you can claim for non-financial losses. It is crucial for your car accident attorney to be familiar with these compensation caps as well.
- Punitive damages. Some car accident injuries are the result of gross negligence or malicious action. If you have sustained severe injuries due to the extreme negligence of an individual, you have the right to pursue punitive action in court and to claim for damages for your physical and emotional suffering.
- Wrongful death compensation. If you have lost a spouse or a child due to someone’s negligence, you may file for a civil wrongful death case. It is possible for you to file for a criminal case along with a civil case for damages in connection with a fatal car accident. A car accident attorney will need to prove that the grossly negligent acts of the at-fault driver have primarily contributed to the decedent’s injuries and suffering.
Your ability to obtain compensation, however, can be significantly limited or negated by your contributory negligence in the accident. Depending on operative laws and guidelines in the state, any liability for the accident may bar you from receiving compensation. Negligence laws tend to vary across states, making it essential for one of the car accident attorneys you retain to revisit state laws and evaluate the possibility or improbability of shared negligence on your part.
Car Accident Settlements vs. Lawsuits: Which Option Is Better?
Some compensation claims are easily concluded through an out-of-court settlement. Others may require litigation or a court trial that could span long months or years. Whether you plan to choose a settlement or a court action, your car accident attorney should be able to explain the pros and cons of both options in detail. One of the biggest advantages of a settlement is that the terms can be agreed upon by both parties outside of court. With a settlement, you need not engage in courtroom sessions, often considered to be stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. In most cases, moreover, you will be able to receive the compensation proceeds almost immediately after you have settled with the liable party and the concerned insurance carrier.
However, you should be cautious with car accident lawyers who are too eager to accept a settlement. It is possible for these lawyers to simply want an easy way out of the case. Although a settlement will be convenient, it may not always offer you the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive. In an attempt to lower your compensation proceeds, for instance, the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver will try to establish your own fault in the collision. This possibility of shared liability has strong implications on your chances to be granted full compensation, whether through a settlement or by the courts.
With the contributory negligence law, unfortunately, even the slightest liability for the crash will disallow you from recovering damages. Thus, establishing negligence on the individual who is truly at-fault is one of the greatest responsibilities of car accident attorneys in North Carolina. This will require strong evidence, solid arguments, and ample resources. In the event, however, that the settlement fails to yield beneficial results, your car accident attorney should be ready for court litigation. Lawsuits typically demand long hours, prolonged court sessions, and further negotiations. Also, there may be no assurances of a positive outcome at the end of a trial. You may also have to wait for a longer period before you can receive compensation for your damages. An upside to a court battle, however, is that it can provide you with full and fair compensation, especially if the previous settlement negotiations have proved unsatisfactory. The court may also award punitive damages to you or your family, once the malicious intent and gross negligence of the at-fault party is sufficiently proven.
When choosing among car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, you will have to pick someone who has the ability to negotiate a fair settlement and the commitment to argue for your case in a state court, when needed.
Qualities to Look for in Car Accident Attorneys in Jacksonville NC
Although many car accident lawyers are experienced legal professionals in their own right, experience, and legal know-how are not enough qualities to determine a truly dependable legal counsel. The following qualities are some of the most important when it comes to hiring an attorney for your car accident case:
- Motivation to help. Car accident cases can leave you with physical and emotional scars that take a long time to heal. Perhaps the reckless behavior of an at-fault driver has affected your mobility or speech ability. Or, you may have lost a spouse due to the gross negligence of a motor vehicle driver. In these most difficult times, you need a car wreck lawyer who has the innate willingness to help, over and beyond simply making a business.
- Willingness to go to trial. Although a settlement can be convenient for both parties, it may not necessarily be the best option for some car accident cases. A reliable attorney should have the prudence to accept a settlement only when it truly benefits his or her client. Otherwise, the lawyer should be willing to go to court and to fight for the compensation terms which the client truly deserves.
- Access to resources. Dependable car accident lawyers need to have the right connections and resources, especially where strong and solid evidence is needed. In the case of some vehicular accidents, it will be necessary to reconstruct the scene of the collision as a way to determine the negligent party. Or, it may be necessary to obtain the testimony of medical professionals as a way to ascertain the extent and severity of the client’s injuries.
- Responsiveness and attention to detail. Finally, it is important for car accident lawyers to respond to client queries. This is one of the means by which a lawyer can show his or her commitment to the case. Some lawyers may take the liberty to decide things on their own, without consulting the clients or their families first. Or, they may easily dismiss new evidence as something insubstantial and, as a result, jeopardize the positive outcome of the case. For a lawyer to provide the best legal representation to any client, s/he must attend to the case carefully and judiciously.
Need Help on Your Accident Compensation Claim? Talk to Us at the Carolina Law Group
Dealing with injuries or the wrongful death of a family member following a car accident can be traumatic and life-changing. At this point, you will need sufficient legal representation so you can work on the necessary compensation claims for your recovery. If you have been hurt in a car accident in North Carolina, get in touch with us at the Carolina Law Group to talk with a car accident attorney. Our car accident attorneys in Jacksonville, NC, are prepared to evaluate the facts of your case and to offer valuable legal advice. Message us today so we can make a head start on your compensation claim in North Carolina.