Slip and Fall Injury Blog

Posts containing useful information about slip and fall accidents for anyone considering a North Carolina personal injury lawyer.

Physical Therapy After A Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident, you may be referred by your doctor for physical therapy. Often, injuries from a car accident don’t manifest until several days or even weeks after the accident. While you may not have broken bones or need surgery, often the injuries require ongoing treatment to heal.

Whiplash From Your Car Accident

The most common injury from a car accident is whiplash. If you need additional treatment beyond your emergency room visit, quite often it will be physical therapy sessions. Rebuilding strength and increasing mobility is the general goal and your therapist will work with you to achieve this.

Other Injuries Requiring Physical Therapy

If you do need surgery after your car accident, it is not uncommon to have a course of physical therapy in order to regain strength and use of the injured area. While neck and back injuries are more common with car accidents, slip and fall victims often need therapy for knee, hip, and shoulder injuries.

Types Of Physical Therapy

There are numerous strategies your therapist may employ when treating you. Everything from manual therapy—including massage—to electric stimulation, may be employed in the healing process. Exercise in the form of both hydrotherapy and unassisted exercise under the care of a therapist helps re-train muscles and build endurance.

It is also not uncommon to employ heat/ice therapy for inflammation, swelling, and pain. The most common advice for a soft tissue injury is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. While this is true, heat and ice are often overlooked as an important part of the therapy process.

The Value Of Physical Therapy In A Car Accident Settlement

If your physical therapy was received at the direction or referral of your doctor, the value assigned to it will be greater than if you were treated without a referral. This is due to the belief that the injury (and required treatment) is better substantiated when documented by a doctor.

Insurance adjusters are trained to minimize the value of your claim. Our office will fight to make sure you are treated fairly when considering any settlement amount, and when negotiating the value of your claim as it relates to each aspect of treatment you received as a result of the accident.

Paying For Physical Therapy

If you have health insurance it may cover some or all of your physical therapy costs. If you have been in a car accident, many physical therapy offices will work with our office to allow you to receive the treatment you need, while waiting for your claim to settle in order to be paid for their services. If you have questions about paying for physical therapy we can help.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident, we recommend speaking with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Phone consultations are free and you deserve to understand your rights. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a phone call. We know you have options. We hope you Call Layton Law.

What Do Personal Injury Law Firms Charge?

There is no set rate for personal injury law firms.  However, you will find that most personal injury law firms charge a contingency fee.  Most personal injury law firms also charge roughly the same percentage.

What Does Contingency Fee Mean?

When a lawyer or law firm works on a contingency fee, it means the payment to the lawyer is ‘contingent upon the law firm successfully recovering for you financially. If the law firm is unable to recover for you, there are no charges.

A contingency fee is a good solution to attorney fees for a few reasons. First, most clients cannot afford to hire a lawyer to pursue a personal injury. If lawyers charged by the hour for this work, most legitimate personal injuries would never be pursued. If this were the case, a lot of bad behavior by drivers (car accidents) and corporations (slip and falls) would go unchecked. The contingency fee allows injured individuals instant access to the protections of the legal system.

The second reason a contingency fee is a good solution is it keeps lawyers and law firms objective and honest about the cases they take. If the law firm analyzes your case and does not think they will be able to recover anything for you, you can trust their opinion. If the law firm were charging you hourly, it may be difficult to decide whether your lawyer actually believed in your case—in that instance they would be getting paid, win or lose.

The typical contingency percentage is one-third or 33%. This fee is only paid to the law firm if the firm recovers for you. If you’re a history buff, you can read about the History of The Contingency Fee.

How Are Out Of Pocket Expenses Paid?

If there are out-of-pocket expenses related to your case, our firm will not bill you for those expenses unless we successfully reach a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. In other words, if we are not able to get you a result, there is no fee even for out-of-pocket expenses. In any case, we do our best to minimize out-of-pocket expenses throughout the duration of the representation.

Speak To A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer today, we are here to help. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a phone consultation. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

 

Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, this article will help you understand a few factors to consider, together with the typical lawyer-client relationship involved between the personal injury lawyer and the injured client. If you would like to speak to an injury lawyer, call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call today.

The Contingency Fee

You will find that most personal injury law firms—including ours—work on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that the law firm only gets paid if they successfully reach a settlement or court award for you. If the firm does reach a successful outcome for you, the payment is typically based on a percentage of that settlement or court award.

The contingency fee is unique in that it allows individuals access to legal representation at no up-front cost. Without the contingency fee, individuals deserving of legal representation would not be able to afford that protection. It is our opinion that personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency basis are playing an important role in keeping auto insurance companies and premises liability carriers (Think: Grocery Store Slip And Falls) in check. Individuals injured by the negligence of others not only deserve representation, but they need it, to be sure they are treated fairly.

Why We Like The Contingency Fee

There are many cases or claims that personal injury lawyers take on, which do not pan out. This means the firm works tirelessly in hopes of achieving a good result for the client, and in the end, loses the case. The downside of course is that neither the injured client nor the law firm receives any compensation.

That being said, we actually like the contingency fee for a few additional reasons. Often, during the course of the representation, the client will need to rely on the advice of the lawyer. It could be that the lawyer is advising the client that the offer received it the best offer we are going to receive. It could also be that the lawyer feels the offer is low and a lawsuit should be filed. In any case, the client finds themselves at a crossroads—whether to accept the offer or not. Because the law firm is getting paid a percentage of whatever they recover for the injured client, we believe the client can trust their lawyer during these critical conversations. The decision is always the client’s in the end, but the lawyer is the trusted advisor.

The Personal Injury Process

We have written about the process of a personal injury claim in the past (How Long Will My Personal Injury Settlement Take?). It is important to establish expectations at the outset with clients. Often, the process is long and drawn out. First, the client must finish treatment. This could mean surgery and recovery time for physical rehab. Second, the law firm must gather medical records and medical billing. Providers are slow to respond and process these requests and it requires diligence on behalf of the law firm—and the delay often frustrates clients. Third, the law firm must put together a demand package for submission to the insurance company in hopes of negotiating a settlement. Many times, after all of these efforts, the lawyer and client do not receive a settlement offer and must consider filing a lawsuit. If so, the timeline starts over again. Finally, once an agreement is reached, medical billing and medical liens can often be negotiated by the law firm to benefit the client’s bottom line from the settlement.

Choose Your Personal Injury Lawyer Carefully

Care should of course be taken when hiring a personal injury lawyer. You will work hand in hand with your lawyer for quite a long time. Frustrations can grow if phone calls are not returned, or if progress is not being made on the file. We are sensitive to this, of course. While you should not expect to be able to speak with your lawyer every day, it is important to establish that there will be regular updates to keep the client informed.

Most personal injury law firms operate as a “team” in the office. Each attorney has one or two paralegals assisting with processing the file, gathering information, and keeping the client informed. Our firm is no different. This means you have numerous individuals you can contact for an update at any time.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been in a car accident, a slip and fall, or have been injured in some other way, we would lHiringove to hear from you. The call is free, and the consultation is designed to help you understand your options. Plus, you get a chance to speak with the lawyer who you may be working with if you decide to move forward with our firm. Call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

Can I Sue A Homeowner’s Insurance Company?

The liability of a homeowner for injuries or “Can I sue a homeowner’s insurance company” is a topic which clients often reach out to our office about. Does the property owner have homeowner’s insurance? What can I do if the homeowner refuses to go through their insurer? Can I even sue a homeowner if I’m injured on their property? These are a few routinely asked questions. Every personal injury case is different, and liability is often determined by the severity and origin of the injuries which were incurred on the property.

Yes, you can sue a homeowner’s insurance company. A more important question is whether you can establish liability or negligence of the homeowner and win the lawsuit.

Statistically speaking, according to The Insurance Information Institute, roughly 1 in 900 policies experience a claim for bodily injury as a result of something the homeowner did or failed to do.

Is the Homeowner Liable?

Liability is situational and arguably is the key factor when debating the legitimacy of any personal injury claim. In order for the property owner to be liable for your injuries, and your claim to be considered legitimate, there are a few requirements relating to both the severity and origin of your injuries that must be met.

  • Where did the injury occur?
    • Your injury must have occurred within the property belonging to the homeowner. The homeowner is generally responsible for the safety of others on his/her property.
  • Were you on the property legally?
    • Trespassing typically negates any homeowner’s liability, unless the homeowner grossly overlooks and actively ignores a serious hazard on their property, and/or expects trespassers. Otherwise, to be liable during trespassing, the property owner must have acted aggressively towards you in an unreasonable manner.
  • Was the homeowner negligent?
    • The injuries must have been caused by the property owner’s own negligence. If any of your actions specifically caused your injuries, the homeowner is not likely to be held accountable for them.
    • If there is a hazard overlooked by the homeowner, which caused your injuries, you may be able to establish negligence and therefore liable for damages.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Often, the first determination to be made when pursuing a personal injury claim against a homeowner is whether or not they have insurance on the property. Typically if a property owner has a mortgage, they have homeowner’s insurance, because mortgage companies require it. However, if the homeowner owns the property free and clear, with no mortgage, there is a possibility they do not carry the homeowner’s insurance.

The primary way to discover whether or not the property owner has homeowner’s insurance is to ask them. If the homeowner refuses to tell you this information, but you suspect they may have insurance because you know they have a mortgage, the only way to obtain that information is by suing the property owner, and demanding that information through the court’s discovery process.

What happens after I make my claim?

Prior to suing the homeowner’s insurance company, you’ll make a claim. First, if you are injured on someone else’s property due to the homeowner’s negligence, inform the homeowner’s insurer as quickly as possible. The insurance company’s suspicion of illegitimacy will rise as time passes.

A claim is not a lawsuit against someone’s homeowner’s insurance company. A claim is just that– a claim for damages, in hopes of being paid for your injuries. After a personal injury claim is made against the property owner, an insurance adjuster from the homeowner’s insurance company will typically contact both the insured (homeowner) and the claimant (you) in order to gain perspective regarding the injury and facts surrounding it. The adjuster may ask for a recorded statement about what occurred on the property which caused your injuries. Do not give them a recorded or written statement without first consulting with your lawyer.

If the adjuster is going to honor the claim, they will ask for medical records, bills, and proof of lost wages. After your treatment is finished, will try to settle the claim with you. If a settlement cannot be reached, the filing of a lawsuit is necessary in order to receive proper compensation for your injuries.

When To Speak With A Lawyer

It’s important to speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later, if you may have a personal injury claim. Every communication you engage in with the homeowner’s insurance company can potentially be damaging to your case. We can help you get an answer to the question “Can I sue a homeowner’s insurance company?”

If you would like to speak with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer about an incident regarding an injury at a homeowner’s property, or homeowner’s insurance questions, please call us at 704.749.7747. You can also click HERE to request a consultation. We know you have choices. We hope you choose Layton Law.

 

What Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

The same way that every human being is unique, so is every personal injury claim. This means that the value of your personal injury claim will depend upon all the specific circumstances surrounding your claim and how it has affected your life. When you call a personal injury lawyer and ask them “What is my personal injury claim worth?” the answer should be “It depends.”

What Does It Depend On?

The primary driving force of the value of your personal injury claim is how it has affected your life. However, in order to establish how an injury or event has affected your life, you will need to establish proof. This is the world in which personal injury lawyers and personal injury insurance adjusters live. A simple example is two individuals who have both experienced tremendous anxiety and stress due to a car accident. Suppose that one of the individuals sought therapy to try to mange her PTSD from the accident, and the other individual ‘toughed it out’ on her own without therapy. While both clients have experienced anxiety, stress and PTSD from the accident, the individual who sought therapy has evidence of her anxiety. As a result, it will be easier to establish the value of the stress and anxiety when calculating a settlement figure or persuading a jury box.

What About Medical Bills?

Medical bills and medical records are a key part of establishing the value of your claim. Again, bills and records help to establish proof of how the accident affected your life. We are more easily persuaded that someone has been through pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, if we can see they received extensive medical treatment, surgeries, and physical therapy to heal from the accident. Compare this to an individual who was injured in a car accident and was treated once at an emergency room fourteen days after the accident. You get the picture.

Do My Lost Wages Count?

When determining “What is my personal injury claim worth?” your lost wages are a critical component. If you are a W2 employee or have a supervisor of any sort, we will work with you to have the supervisor sign off on a lost wages affidavit to establish the time and wages you lost. Even if you used Paid Time Off, you have lost paid hours as a result of the accident and deserve to be compensated for it.

How Will I Know When I Get A Fair Offer?

This is a fair question. We find that in the end, most of our clients simply wish the accident had never happened. There is no amount of money that can compensate them for the loss of enjoyment of life and the traumatic nature of catastrophic injuries. We help our clients to decide about a proposed settlement by seeking to understand what is important to them. Some clients have a strong desire for justice—sometimes that requires that we file a lawsuit. Other clients are simply ready to move forward with life and decide that the insurance company is making a fair offer. The decision is always yours, and we are here to maximize the offer to you, then help you decide if you want to accept it.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Want to speak with someone today to get an answer to the question “What is my personal injury claim worth?” The consultation is free. Our job is to help you understand your rights and explain whether we think we can assist you with your claim. Our goal is to help you achieve the best outcome possible. You can reach us at 704.749.7747, or click HERE to request a call from a lawyer today.

Will I Win My Personal Injury Claim?

Will I win my personal injury claim? – A great question. First, let’s take a step back and recognize that one client or lawyer may define winning differently than another client or lawyer. Our goal is to get the best result possible for you. If it’s a settlement offer, we negotiate to the highest offer and help you decide whether to accept that offer. If it’s a trial result, our goal is to convince a jury that the other party is responsible and that you deserve to be compensated fairly for your damages.

We work on contingency, which means we don’t get paid if you don’t get paid. As a result, we believe clients can feel comfortable that if we are willing to work on their case without guarantee of payment, that means we believe in the claim or case.

Getting A Fair Result In Personal Injury Is Tough

We work every day to help clients receive fair treatment from at-fault parties. If you’ve negotiated with an insurance company before, you know that they are not generous. Because North Carolina is a Contributory Negligence state, insurance adjusters commonly argue your case has a low value and that you would most likely lose in court.

If insurance companies aren’t arguing that you were partially at fault, they will often look for gaps in your treatment, or a failure to complete treatment, or a prior injury. Each of these will be used to convince you that your case is worth less than you think it is.

Personal Injury Attorneys Protect You

It is our firm belief that a personal injury attorney will not only help you achieve the best result but will help protect your rights along the journey. Whether you choose to work with our law firm or another personal injury law firm, you should strongly consider hiring legal counsel to help you with your car accident claim or slip and fall claim.

In addition to persuading insurance companies and opposing counsel that your case deserves fair compensation, your personal injury attorney will work to negotiate your medical billing and address any health insurance liens resulting from your accident. A failure to address these when negotiating a claim on your own often means you are pursued by medical creditors or lienholders after settlement—a horrible result.

Winning your personal injury claim is a combination of achieving the best offer possible, combined with making sure you are not left to deal with your medical bills after settlement. Federal and State law provides a set of rules by which all settlements should abide. Your personal injury lawyer will be familiar with these laws and apply them to your settlement. In many cases, you can limit the medical bills which are paid out of your settlement or negotiate the medical bills down so that your settlement is not used to simply pay your medical bills, leaving nothing for you.

Determining Your Case Value

While every case is different, we will discuss the value of your case with you once we have enough information about your injuries, lost wages, and medical treatment. Because there are numerous components to a personal injury claim, our team will work with you to uncover the true nature of your losses, to build value in your case.

Once our firm has gathered all billing, records, and other items related to your case, we will work with you to set an amount to demand from the insurance company for settlement. Presenting your claim to the insurance company is done through a demand package which the law firm builds throughout the representation. We will review the demand package with you before submission to the insurance company, and use the contents of the demand package to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other side.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’d like to speak with someone today, the consultation is free. Our job is to help you understand your rights and explain whether we think we can assist you with your claim. Our goal is to help you achieve the best outcome possible. You can reach us at 704.749.7747, or click HERE to request a call from a lawyer today.

How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Pain And Suffering

Clients often wonder how insurance companies calculate pain and suffering. Technically, if you take any settlement and subtract out the medical billing and the lost wages, you are left with what might be referred to as pain and suffering. Essentially, this is anything above and beyond actual expenses. Logic would tell you that is what is being offered to compensate you for your suffering.

Pain And Suffering Isn’t That Simple

Truthfully, your Average Personal Injury Settlement doesn’t really work that way. Two different personal injury attorneys may end up with two different results for the same client. This tells us that pain and suffering are a component of each settlement, but in the end, the skill set of your personal injury attorney will determine whether your pain and suffering is maximized in your settlement or jury verdict.

Your damages can be broken into a few categories:

Current Damages – Current medical expenses, Lost wages, and General damages. These include of course your doctor visits and prescriptions, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc.

Future Damages – Future medical expenses, Future lost wages, and Future general damages. While these are not always certain, a doctor’s opinion can be attained in most cases, to try to prove the likelihood of the need for future treatment.

Rehabilitation Damages – If your recovery will involve or require training or re-directing of a career or vocation, you may have rehab damages.

Punitive Damages – Lastly, though uncommon in North Carolina, punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party. These go above and beyond your pain and suffering and usually are a dollar amount chosen which represents the desire to “send a message” to the at-fault party that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. A classic example is an award given in the McDonalds hot coffee case. The amount of the award was very high, presumably to send the message to corporations that they need to be more careful with hot coffee.

Forget Pain And Suffering And Focus On Value

If you could listen in on your personal injury attorney’s conversations with the insurance adjuster or opposing counsel, you would find the attorney rarely mentions the phrase pain and suffering. There’s a reason—both sides can strongly disagree about a dollar amount which is fair. Instead, the attorney works to build your case based on facts and categories of damages such as those mentioned above. Rather than argue about what you’ve been through, your attorney will argue what it’s going to take to get you back to where you were before the accident.

There are of course accidents that involve a terrible amount of pain and suffering, and in those cases, they play a larger role. For instance, if a claimant witnessed the loss of a loved one, or the experience itself was horrific. A vehicle that rolls over three times on the highway involves more pain and suffering than a fender bender on a city street, even if the injuries are the same.

You Need Someone Who Enjoys Arguing

It sounds funny to say, but it is our opinion that you need a personal injury lawyer who actually enjoys arguing. Not in the sense that it makes their day to argue with someone. Instead, you need someone who is interested in building an argument for you. A personal injury attorney and law firm that looks at your case with fresh eyes and can tell the story of your case in a convincing manner will help to maximize the value of your case. In the end, that means a better result for you.

Our clients love that we take a genuine interest in defending their right to be fairly compensated. While none of our Reviews specifically indicate that we love to argue, we find that a client feels satisfied when they know their lawyer went the distance for them– this includes standing our ground against opposing counsel in a personal injury matter.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

 

Estimated Personal Injury Settlements

Personal injury attorneys learn very quickly the pitfalls of discussing estimated personal injury settlements with their clients. The value of your personal injury claim is dependent upon numerous factors. As a result, two cases with the exact same injuries may have very different results in terms of a personal injury settlement. Below are some common factors which affect your personal injury settlement.

The Facts – As you might imagine, depending upon the facts, two cases with the same injuries may have dramatically different results in terms of what they may settle for, or what a jury awards. For example, an individual who is rear-ended in a car accident and suffers a concussion has a different case than an individual who has a grocery store slip and fall and suffers a concussion. Strong facts which clearly establish liability or fault will boost the value of your personal injury claim. Weaker facts, for instance where each driver claims the accident was not their fault, may lead to complications unless evidence can be obtained firmly establishing the fault of the other driver. If your claim involves wrongful death, pedestrians, or passengers, the outcome will differ as well.

Contributory Negligence – You can’t discuss estimated personal injury settlements in North Carolina without discussing Contributory Negligence. We’ve written extensively about Contributory Negligence in our blog because it affects many North Carolina personal injury claims. Generally speaking, Contributory Negligence is an affirmative defense. It is a rule in North Carolina which says that if a jury determines the plaintiff is 1% or more at fault, the jury is instructed to give the plaintiff nothing. This is an outdated rule and one your personal injury attorney must wrestle with in order to prove your case. While most claims do not go to court, insurance adjusters commonly introduce Contributory Negligence into the settlement conversation, to remind the plaintiff that there is a very serious risk in litigating a personal injury claim in North Carolina if it’s possible the jury determines the plaintiff was even 1% at fault.

Pre-Existing Injuries – While you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries, you will find the insurance company for the at-fault party will diligently research whether you had a pre-existing condition before this accident. Even a note in your prior medical records indicating a simple complaint regarding back pain will be used to demonstrate you had existing back pain prior to this accident. The two sides will end up arguing over the extent to which this accident worsened the back pain, and assign a value to that.

Rule 414 – Rule 414 is a rule of evidence that personal injury plaintiff’s attorneys are familiar with. The rule says that the only evidence of medical billing which can be introduced into evidence in court, is medical billing that has actually been paid, and medical billing which is still owed or outstanding. In short, if you have $100,000 of medical treatment, and Medicaid pays $5,000 to the hospital unless there is a remaining balance, your attorney will only be able to enter $5,000 into evidence at trial as medical billing. Because juries use medical billing dollar totals to help them calculate what they believe is a fair settlement, you can see how this tends to under-emphasize the extent of your injuries at trial. Your lawyer will also need to determine whether you have any Medical Liens as a result of your claim and negotiate them as part of the settlement. Once again, two clients who have the same exact injuries but different insurance coverage may see very different jury results in their personal injury verdicts.

Standard of Care – Generally, a claim of negligence requires you to show that a standard of care was owed to you by another person and was not fulfilled. This is called a Breach of Duty, in the personal injury world. In many slip and fall claims, obstacles arise in proving that the standard of care was breached. For instance, you may be able to prove that there was water on the floor of the grocery store and that you slipped in that water. However, if the store can prove that another customer spilled that water on the floor three minutes before you slipped in it, they will prevail on their argument that the store did not breach its duty to you—there wasn’t enough time for the store to discover and fix the dangerous condition. While there is no set rule for the amount of time a hazard must exist, slip and fall cases routinely turn on who created the hazard (another shopper or an employee), whether the store knew or should have known about the hazard, and how much time passed since the hazard was created.

Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering is essentially what you endure as a direct result of the accident. When reviewing your settlement, the amount attributable to pain and suffering is anything above and beyond payment for medical bills and lost wages. Your lawyer will submit a demand package as part of the personal injury settlement process. That demand package will outline your pain and suffering and you will have a chance to review it prior to its submission.

Lost Wages – Lost wages are part of your claim. They will need to be verified by your employer. Your attorney will provide you with a form for your employer to complete, indicating your rate of pay, dates missed, and total lost wages. If you are self-employed, you will need to provide copies of tax returns from prior years and other evidence that your lawyer will use to construct a lost wages claim for submission.

The Reputation Of The Personal Injury Lawyer – If your personal injury attorney has a reputation of following through on claims, thoroughly investigating claims, and negotiating claims in good faith, we believe that you are able to maximize your settlement offer in your personal injury claim. If your attorney has a reputation of threatening to file a lawsuit but never follows through on that threat, you can imagine the insurance company may not take that lawyer’s claims as seriously as they will a claim from another law firm. One way to check the reputation of your lawyer is to look at their Google Reviews. We are proud of our history with clients and thankful that they choose to leave reviews about their experience.

Hiring a personal injury attorney is key in successfully negotiating your claim. The attorney is not simply arguing over dollars and cents; instead, the attorney is building your case using all of the above factors. By persuading the insurance adjuster that the lawyer will succeed with their case, you are more likely to maximize the settlement offer from the insurance company. Estimating personal injury settlements prior to having all the facts, medical records, and billing in hand is a bad idea for both you and your personal injury attorney. This process will require some patience, but hopefully, your patience will pay off with a fair settlement or jury verdict.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article about estimated personal injury settlements was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

What Does A Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

The good news for personal injury victims is that a car accident lawyer does not cost anything upfront. If you work with The Layton Law Firm, PLLC for your car accident, you will not receive a bill from us. In fact, we don’t get paid anything unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. This is known as a contingency fee, and it means that the lawyer’s fee is “contingent” upon getting you a result in your case. Even then, our fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the total settlement or verdict.

Why Doesn’t A Car Accident Lawyer Cost Anything Up Front?

If car accidents and slip and fall victims had to pay a lawyer upfront, most people would not get the representation they deserve. As a result, bad drivers and corporations would get away with bad behavior because people couldn’t afford to pay a lawyer to help them defend their rights. The contingency fee solves this problem.

Why You Can Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer

One thing we love about the contingency fee is that you can trust your lawyer. If your lawyer thinks your case is a bad case, they won’t take it. And you won’t end up paying a lawyer by the hour to work on a bad case. If your lawyer has faith in your case—enough faith to take it on a contingency basis—then you know the lawyer believes in your case and is going to work hard to get you the best result. Finally, when it comes to deciding whether to accept a settlement offer, we believe you can trust your lawyer. After all, the lawyer is getting paid a percentage of the settlement. If the lawyer thinks the case is worth more, they will advise you not to settle. The contingency agreement keeps the lawyer and the client on the same ‘team’ even through tough decisions that often come up during personal injury cases.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Wants To Get You As Much As Possible

Because your personal injury lawyer is getting paid a percentage of the settlement, they have the incentive to do everything possible to maximize your settlement for you. It’s important to know that your lawyer and their staff are putting in extensive time and effort to build your case. They do all of this without knowing what the outcome will be. Again, because they believe in your case, you can have faith that they are doing everything possible to make sure you are treated fairly in the end. If they don’t get a result, the answer to the question “What does a car accident lawyer cost?” is “Nothing.”

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Will A Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Case?

A pre-existing injury will affect your personal injury claim because your attorney will need to establish the difference between your physical and mental condition at the time of the car accident, and after the car accident. In other words, the at-fault party is only responsible for the damage they cause as a direct result of the accident.

Most commonly, pre-existing injuries are back or neck injuries, shoulder injuries, and knee injuries. As you might imagine, it’s easy to distinguish a pre-existing shoulder injury from a head injury that stemmed from the accident. In that case, the at-fault party would not be responsible for the shoulder injury because it is not related to the accident. A much more difficult situation to sort through is one where a client has a pre-existing back injury, and the most recent car accident worsens that back injury. The at-fault party only wants to pay for the additional damage which was caused by the car accident.

Medical Records Prior To The Accident

One way to prove that the injuries you are experiencing are a direct result of the accident is to prove you did not have those conditions prior to the accident. Quite often, insurance adjusters will ask you to provide a few years of prior medical records. If you were treated for back pain the year prior to the car accident, you can count on the insurance adjuster arguing that the car accident only aggravated the back injury, but did not cause it. As a result, the adjuster will lower the value of your claim, affecting the settlement value of your case.

Treatment After The Accident

The insurance adjuster will also carefully review your medical records after the accident. For this reason, if possible, you should treat with the same physicians or team of health professionals after the accident, that you treated with before the accident. Those professionals are in the best position to make a statement as to your injuries prior to the accident, versus after the accident.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Theory

There is an eggshell plaintiff theory in North Carolina. While this is not a statute, it is a result of common law or case law over the years. The general rule that comes from the eggshell plaintiff theory essentially states that just because an injured party was prone to a particular injury does not mean they should not be compensated for it. For example, assume a particular individual has a condition that makes them more susceptible to suffer PTSD from a traumatic event. If the accident causes them PTSD, the at-fault party is still responsible for that. This is true even if most other individuals would not have had PTSD from the event. The at-fault party is not responsible for the underlying susceptibility to PTSD, but they are responsible for the PTSD which was caused by the accident.

Before And After

Your personal injury lawyer will address any pre-existing injury concerns by demonstrating to the adjuster the difference between your life before the accident and after the accident. While medical records and medical billing help to establish this, the attorney can also gather additional evidence to support this. Your inability to participate in activities such as horseback riding or running, or your inability to interact with your grandchildren in the same manner after the accident as before the accident, all count toward the value of your car accident or slip and fall claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.