NC Personal Injury: How to File a Personal Injury Claim
If you have sustained injuries in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Dawson & Albritton, P.A. have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you recover.
We are dedicated to providing representation to injured victims throughout North Carolina, and we are ready to do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more about filing a personal injury claim in North Carolina and to see how we can help you.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
Personal injury cases come in many forms: car accidents, defective products, slip-and-fall cases, and more. No matter the situation, dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be time-consuming and stressful.
However, there are certain things you should do after an accident to protect your rights and maximize your claim:
- Take photographs of the accident scene and any resulting damage;
- Gather contact information for any witnesses;
- Seek medical attention as soon as practicable to assess your injuries;
- Monitor your injuries and changes in how you feel in the coming days and weeks; and
- Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
While it may feel overwhelming to handle the personal injury claims process, the steps above can make a complicated process more manageable. In fact, they can greatly improve your chances of success on a personal injury claim.
What Damages Can I Recover?
A core part of a personal injury case is damages. Thus, it is important to understand what types of damages exist and what damages you may be able to recover.
In North Carolina, there are three general types of damages for which you can recover: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are those that typically compensate you for any monetary losses you suffer due to an accident. In general, they are also those that are objectively verifiable and easy to calculate. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
Though economic damages may be easier to calculate than other types of damages, you should still speak with a personal injury attorney to ensure you are not missing out on any other potential recovery.
In contrast, non-economic damages are more subjective and less easy to calculate. These compensate an individual for the experience they have suffered. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of activities; and
- Loss of consortium.
While non-economic damages are often difficult to calculate, they can also be some of the most substantial damages that may exist in a personal injury case. Thus, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney who understands what damages exist and what you may be entitled to.
Lastly, North Carolina also allows for punitive damages under certain circumstances. Whereas economic and non-economic damages compensate a personal injury victim for their losses, punitive damages have a different purpose. Primarily, punitive damages are designed to punish an at-fault party for egregiously wrongful acts and prevent similar acts from occurring in the future.
Because the nature of punitive damages is to punish rather than compensate, they are not always permitted. In North Carolina, punitive damages are only awarded if the defendant is found liable for compensatory damages and an aggravating factor is present. These aggravating factors for punitive damages are:
- Malice, and
- Willful or wanton conduct.
While punitive damages are less common, depending on the facts of your personal injury case, a personal injury attorney can help determine if these are available to you.
Act Now—The Statute of Limitations in North Carolina Is Three Years
It is important to know what the statute of limitations is in a personal injury case. A statute of limitations is the legal term used to describe the length of time in which a plaintiff may file a claim. If you fail to file your claim within this period, you may lose your right to pursue a claim altogether.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years. This means that it is crucial for you to file your claim within three years from the date of the injury. Failure to do so could result in dismissal of your case.
Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have sustained injuries in a personal injury accident, we want to help. Even if your damages appear to be minor, it is always a good idea to at least contact an attorney to go over your case and discuss your rights.
At Dawson & Albritton, P.A., we have the knowledge, experience, and determination it takes to successfully handle a personal injury case. We have a proven record of success, winning millions of dollars in settlements for past clients. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you with yours.