Average Personal Injury Settlement in North Carolina
If someone has injured you in an accident, then filing a claim for compensation is the next reasonable step. Under our state law, someone who negligently injures you must pay compensation for your injuries. For example, someone who pulls out of their driveway without checking their mirrors is to blame if they strike a pedestrian and send them to the hospital.
At our firm, we receive many questions, one of which is, “What is the average personal injury settlement in North Carolina?” We’re not sure anyone has kept information on every personal injury settlement in the state, so we can’t rattle off a number. Instead, it’s best to meet with an attorney to take a close look at the details of your claim.
Compensation after an Accident
The best way to determine how much your claim might be worth is to look at the following:
- How much money have you spent on medical bills to treat your injuries caused by the accident? Medical bills include prescription drugs, assistive devices (like crutches), and physical therapy. You can usually receive 100% of this amount.
- How much work did you need to miss because of your injuries? Many clients receive this amount in compensation. So if they missed a month to recuperate, they can receive a month’s wages.
- How much will it cost to repair or replace your property? If you were in a car accident, for example, your car might need $10,000 of repairs. Or it could be totaled, in which case you will need to replace it.
You might also qualify for compensation for certain non-economic losses. These are intangible reductions in the quality of life and can include things like physical pain, mental anguish, and other negative emotions. An attorney can help you analyze how much these non-economic losses might be.
Limitations on Settlements
After an attorney helps you calculate your losses, you need to take a close look at some factors that can work against you receiving full value for your injuries.
For example, you might be relying on the defendant’s insurer to pay compensation. If you were in a car accident, then the driver might only carry the minimum insurance, which currently is:
- $30,000 per person in bodily injury liability, up to $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
Even if your medical bills and lost wages total $50,000, you might not recover compensation beyond the policy limit.
Another limitation is your own contributory negligence. North Carolina allows defendants to use contributory negligence as a defense. This means if your own carelessness contributed to the accident you can be barred completely from receiving any compensation. Contributory negligence is as severe as it sounds, so go over the details of your accident closely with your lawyer.
There are certain steps you can take to maximize the amount you take home in a settlement. Some of the tips we give to our clients include the following:
- Never admit fault for an accident.
- Fully document the accident as best as you can. If you are in a car wreck, take pictures of all vehicles involved and get the names of witnesses who can testify.
- Hold onto all receipts and medical bills. These can show your financial losses.
- Follow your doctor’s orders for rehabbing an injury. You don’t want to let the defense argue you are contributing to your own pain and suffering.
- Meet with an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer is the only one who has your back and can handle communications with insurance adjusters.
Contact Dawson & Albritton today. We are North Carolina personal injury lawyers with decades of experience. Please call to schedule your free consultation.