Charlotte Personal Injury Blog

Blog posts containing useful information for anyone in Charlotte looking for information about personal injury or looking for a North Carolina personal injury lawyer.

If you are trying to decide on a Charlotte personal injury lawyer, there are a few things to consider. Most all Charlotte personal injury lawyer contracts will cover the same provisions in terms of a contingency fee paid to the lawyer. This is the classic “We don’t get paid if you don’t get paid.”

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Reviews

In addition to making sure the personal injury attorney’s fees are fair, you may want to look at Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews online. Google and Yahoo are the most respected review sites and you can typically find personal injury attorney reviews for attorneys in your area. Finding an attorney whose personality is compatible with yours is important. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the lawyer and the lawyer’s office communicates with their clients regularly about the personal injury case. Don’t be afraid to ask them how often you’ll hear from them.

Establishing A Timeframe

A Charlotte personal injury attorney should be able to give you a general timeline for how long it will take to reach certain milestones in your personal injury case. Typically, the law firm makes sure you’re following physician’s directives, communicates regularly with your physicians, and makes routine requests for updated information from the doctor treating your injury. Once you’ve completed treatment, the personal injury attorney can begin to put together a claim on your behalf.

Your Personal Injury Claim

Your personal injury claim will consist of a number of components, from loss of enjoyment of life, to medical bills. One important aspect of maximizing your outcome in a personal injury lawsuit is negotiating with doctors to lower their bills. Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will do this on your behalf, typically once you get close to settlement with the insurance company.

Will Your Personal Injury Lawyer Go To Trial?

Most cases do not go to trial; however, it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney whose firm is willing to try cases. This gives the law firm greater negotiating power with insurance companies, and gives you the confidence you need to know that the firm can litigate if necessary. Any personal injury law firm will need to study the facts, the physician’s findings and other relevant information prior to committing to taking a case to trial for you.

If you have any questions about personal injury or are interested in speaking with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer, please call me at 704.749.7747. You can also fill out a short questionnaire here and we will call you today. We’re here to help.

Auto Accidents And Fault        

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in North Carolina, it makes sense to talk to a personal injury attorney about it. While North Carolina can be a rather difficult state to recover as a personal injury plaintiff, if you have an experienced lawyer and law firm, you can achieve a good, fair result.

Contributory Negligence In North Carolina

Every state’s rules for recovery in a negligence case are different. North Carolina follows the common law rule of contributory negligence. This means that if a plaintiff is even 1% responsible or at fault, they are barred from recovery. A simple example in an auto accident would be you were rear-ended but you had come to a sudden stop at a green light for some reason.

Practical Application of Contributory Negligence In North Carolina

While the 1% rule is an obstacle for plaintiffs in auto accidents in North Carolina, it is not insurmountable. First, the rule anticipates a jury finding the plaintiff 1% at fault. Juries are unpredictable and as a result, most personal injury claims never make it to a jury.

While the defendant’s attorney will almost always raise the contributory negligence in North Carolina as part of their defense, the net result is typically that it’s being used to lower the number in a dollar negotiation with the plaintiff’s attorney. Most defendants are not prepared to test the theory with a jury, and negotiations resume.

Don’t Let Contributory Negligence Deter You

Even if you believe you may have been at fault in some way, don’t let that deter you from reaching out to a personal injury attorney. It may be that your behavior doesn’t amount to fault, and the attorney will be able to tell you that. Additionally, experienced personal injury attorneys take cases in North Carolina every day where the plaintiff contributed in some small way to a much larger injury sustained at the hands of the defendant’s negligence.

If you have questions or would like to speak with a personal injury attorney in Charlotte, please call me at 704.749.7747.

In many personal injury cases, there are damages to property. Clients commonly ask whether the law firm will be paid out of the proceeds for property damages in personal injury claims.

You Have A Choice

While the standard personal injury agreement between the client and the personal injury attorney dictates that the law firm receives roughly 1/3 of the settlement, there is an exception for property damages in personal injury. You can often negotiate the property damage element of your personal injury claim on your own and avoid any attorney’s fees.

If the attorney does handle a standard property damages claim, it does not typically make sense to pay the firm 1/3 of the recovered amount—you’re left with less than what you deserve. We typically offer to handle property damages in personal injury for a flat rate, if the client desires.

Automobile Damage

The most common example is regarding property damages in personal injury is damage to an automobile. In that case, the bluebook value is commonly known or discoverable and the client can feel confident they are getting an appropriate settlement for the vehicle without the help (and fees) of the attorney or law firm. Additionally, when there is an established value like Bluebook, there is not much negotiating the law firm can do on your behalf to dramatically increase what the insurance company is offering.

Other Property Damages In Personal Injury

Alternatively, if the property that was damaged was intangible (reputation, loss of business) or not as easily defined as a bluebook value (an antique, a collectible), you may consider having the law firm handle the property damages in personal injury on your behalf.

The law firm will only suggest handling property damages in personal injury if it is going to make sense to you, in the long run. Some clients simply feel more comfortable paying a flat rate to have the peace of mind that a lawyer assisted in handling the claim. This is important for a few reasons: 1) knowing the full value was recovered, and 2) insuring that the client doesn’t unknowingly and mistakenly settle any additional rights for bodily injury when negotiating the property damage claim.

Call An Attorney

If you have any questions about property damages in personal injury, please call for a free consultation. Most consultations can be done over the phone and you deserve answers. 704.749.7747.

While your attorney will do the work putting together your demand, it’s important to have a cursory understanding of damages in a personal injury case. Depending on the type of behavior that led to the injury, the damage claim will differ slightly.

Compensatory Damages

Generally speaking, your attorney will work together with your physician in an attempt to quantify what are known as compensatory damages in a personal injury case. Essentially, the theory behind compensatory damages is you’re asking for an amount which is meant to make you whole again. Not only will your demand include a demand for medical bills and treatment associated with those bills, but any other amounts designed to reflect what you’ve been through as a result of the accident.

Additionally, your damages claim will reflect your physician’s opinion as to whether you will reach full recovery. Quite often this aspect of the claim is known as loss of enjoyment of life. If you’re not the same and never going to be the same as you were prior to the accident, your attorney will put a dollar amount on that.

Punitive Damages

Many clients and lawyers are intrigued by large settlements in personal injury cases. Quite often, those large settlements have a Punitive Damages element to the claim being made. That is, if the behavior of the defendant rises to the level of intentional or if the defendant is held to a higher standard of care than other defendants, a punitive damage claim is intended to deter the defendant from engaging in the behavior in the future.

Discuss It With Your Lawyer

Negligent acts give rise to compensatory damages when the plaintiff has been harmed. If the behavior can be shown to rise above negligence, punitive damages can often be assessed in addition to compensatory damages. Call a personal injury attorney today to discuss your case to make sure you’re protected, and to get a better understanding of the process. I can be reached at 704.749.7747.

My work as a bankruptcy lawyer in Charlotte, NC has led me to many personal injury cases. Oftentimes, it is a personal injury sustained through a car accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice which is the root cause for financial trouble. Regardless, when you’re unable to work due to the negligence of another person or company, you deserve to be compensated.

Knowledge Is Power

When you have a bankruptcy attorney examine your personal injury case, you get the benefit of not only someone to competently represent you in your demand for compensation, but also someone who understands your options for debt forgiveness and debt negotiation. After all, what is your personal injury award really worth to you if all of it goes to the costs associated with the accident and medical treatment?

Negotiating Your Claim Aggressively

By negotiating aggressively with all parties involved, you can insure that you’re receiving as much compensation as possible from the party at fault. You can also be assured that you’re successfully negotiating down the cost of the treatment you received in order to establish your damages. This ultimately means more money for you.

Find The Right Fit

It’s important to find a personal injury attorney who suits your needs—competent, caring, attentive. I would be happy to speak with you about your accident and do my best to provide guidance. If I’m not the right attorney for your case, I’ll help you find one through the many great Charlotte attorneys I have come to know through my 15 years of practicing law.

Call me today to discuss your accident. There’s no charge and I’m happy to help. 704.749.7747.

If you have an ongoing personal injury lawsuit, or a potential personal injury lawsuit, you must disclose it when filing your bankruptcy. This does not mean you will lose the personal injury awards in bankruptcy. If your injury occurs after filing your bankruptcy, generally the lawsuit and any award you may receive from it are exempted from the bankruptcy estate and the proceeds are yours to keep.

Compensation and Filing of Bankruptcy

Compensation Received Prior To Filing—If you’ve received compensation for your personal injury prior to filing your bankruptcy, your compensation is part of the bankruptcy estate and must be disclosed. Your bankruptcy attorney may be able to exempt or protect some or all of the compensation.

Compensation Received After Filing—You must disclose the existence of the personal injury claim or potential claim when filing your bankruptcy. Depending upon the facts, likelihood of recovery, and ability to value the claim, the Trustee will then make a determination as to whether to pursue the claim on your behalf, work with your existing personal injury attorney, or abandon the claim from the estate altogether.

Disclosure Is Key

In any case, if your injury took place prior to the filing of the bankruptcy, you must either disclose the compensation you have received, or in the alternative, disclose the potential for compensation. This puts the Trustee on notice and keeps you in compliance with the federal rules of bankruptcy. You’ll work with your bankruptcy attorney when filing your petition, and when preparing to discuss the claim with the Trustee.

If you have any questions about bankruptcy or personal injury awards in bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 704.749.7747.

If you’re in a car accident in North Carolina involving death, injury or property damage, the law requires that you stop your vehicle and remain at the scene of the accident until authorized to leave the scene by a law enforcement officer. An exception to this is leaving the scene to obtain medical help or assistance.

The health of the individuals at the scene is of primary concern. Offer assistance or call for emergency help for the injured.

Notify the police department or highway patrol that there has been an accident. Where a car accident in North Carolina results in personal injury, death or property damage, this is the law.

Obtain the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident. It is advisable to have them write down a statement indicating what they saw and have them sign that statement at the scene, if possible.

You’re required by law to provide your name, address, vehicle registration number and license number to the person struck in the accident, or occupants of the other vehicle. Conversely, you should obtain this information from the other driver. It is reasonable to ask the other driver to show you their drivers license.

When the officer arrives, cooperate with the officer and do not leave the scene until the officer authorizes your departure. The officer may ask you to make a statement about the accident—you’re entitled to seek counsel from a lawyer before doing so.

Complete an accident form. If you have blank paper, make notes of pertinent information: Draw the position of the vehicles, walk off distances of skid marks if any, and any other distances which might help to complete the picture. If you have a camera or phone, take photos of the vehicles from numerous angles, including some ‘establishing’ photos from further away to show the vehicles in relation to the road.

See a physician. You can go to the emergency room or your family doctor but it is important to remember that only a doctor can properly assist you in determining whether you’ve been injured. Additionally, some injuries do not appear at the time of the accident. A follow-up visit to your doctor within ten days of the accident is advisable as well.

Do not pay or exchange money with anyone. Do not promise to make a payment or accept the promise of a payment. You don’t want to do anything to compromise your rights. Instead, notify your insurance company of the accident.

Seek the assistance of a lawyer. Most lawyers will be happy to speak with you about the situation and help provide guidance. At that time, you can decide whether it would be best to go forward with an attorney or work with the insurance company yourself to reach a resolution.

If you have any questions please call my office at 704.749.7747. I’m here to help.

If you have personal injury resulting from a car accident or the negligence of another person or product, you may have a valid legal claim or the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. After allowing an attorney to assist you in understanding what your rights are, and what you might recover, you can make an informed decision as to whether to move forward.

Determining If You Have A Case

Generally, if you have emotional or physical injury resulting from the act of another—or a company’s product—and if you did nothing to contribute to that injury, you have the basis for a lawsuit. Whether you can expect compensation for the injury depends somewhat upon the evidence we can gather to support the claim. Typically, this means our firm communicates with the doctors or physicians who have treated you in an attempt to assess your health condition, and then negotiating with insurance companies for a fair result.

Determining Fault

North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. Practically speaking, this means that so long as you did not fail to exercise the care of an ordinarily prudent person in an attempt to avoid the injury, it’s not your fault. Your personal injury attorney will ask specific questions in a free consultation to help determine if this is the case—all you have to do is give an honest account of what happened.

Statute of Limitations

Generally speaking, actions for personal injury must be brought within three years of the occurrence. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 1-52(5). There are some exceptions and nuances to this rule, depending upon when you discovered the injury, which is sometimes after the event that caused it.

By speaking with a North Carolina personal injury attorney, you’ll be able to quickly determine whether you have a case and if there’s still time to pursue it.

Get Your Questions Answered

Answering questions is part of my job. I’m happy to receive calls from individuals who are simply trying to determine what to do next. Sometimes that’s a lawsuit, other times it’s just gaining peace of mind about the options. I’d be happy to discuss your situation over the telephone or in person in my SouthPark office. Call 704.749.7747 today to speak with me about your situation. The call is free and I’m happy to help.

If you’ve been harmed in an accident or in any other way, your choice for a personal injury attorney is critical. None of my clients make a living suing people. They have all found themselves in a situation where they have been harmed, and they need help.

It’s Your Choice

If you or a family member has been injured by the negligence of another, whether by car accident, on the job, or on the premises of a business, you need help. It’s critical you choose a personal injury attorney who communicates regularly, understands your situation, and never loses sight of the desire to help generate the best result for you.

You Deserve An Invested Attorney

The Layton Law Firm, PLLC manages personal injury claims from start to finish. The client is always kept informed and has a say in the final outcome. And the law firm is invested in your case—after all, if you don’t recover something in the lawsuit, we don’t get paid.

You Deserve To Recover

Many times, I find myself having to convince clients that they deserve as much as we are attempting to recover. While emotional recovery is critical, economic recovery provides emotional stability and the ability to continue your life with fewer interruptions.

Whether motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, or medical malpractice, our job is to position you to recover what you deserve. The law governs some aspect of this, but your attorney and the law firm representing you play an important role in the result.

Call Today – We’re Here

If you’d like to speak to an attorney about your situation, we’re here to talk. The phone call is free. Tell us what happened, and we’ll tell you what we can do for you. 704.749.7747.