A personal injury blog containing useful information for anyone in Charlotte looking for information about personal injury or looking for a Charlotte personal injury attorney.

How Do I Find A Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?

Finding a personal injury lawyer near you should be easy. Google will usually show search results which are relevant to your search for a personal injury lawyer, both by content and geographic location. Keep in mind, most personal injury law firms have the ability for you to sign up by internet, email, or mailing you a packet. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, simply request a phone consultation HERE and we will reach out immediately.

If you are in an accident in North Carolina, The Layton Law Firm can help you. Our office is in SouthPark in Charlotte, NC; however, we handle Car Accident cases, Truck Accident cases, Slip and Fall cases, Pedestrian Cases, and Wrongful Death cases across the state of North Carolina. If your accident was in South Carolina, we can work with you to start your case with one of the South Carolina litigation law firms we routinely work with.

Determining Whether You Have A Personal Injury Claim Or Case

A phone consultation with a personal injury lawyer should provide you with enough information to decide if you have a valid personal injury claim. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that the law firm only gets paid if they are able to obtain you a settlement or jury verdict. Our firm routinely works on contingency with clients. We believe this serves the client well. First, the client does not have to pay out of pocket for legal protection and can find representation immediately. Second, if your personal injury lawyer is interested in your case and is agreeable to working on a contingency basis, it’s a good sign that the lawyer believes you have a valid case—they wouldn’t work for ‘free’ if they thought they were not going to eventually get a result for you.

Deciding On A Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s important to choose a lawyer who you believe is capable of handling your case, and who will be good to work with. Our office routinely receives phone calls from clients who are working with other personal injury lawyer and can’t get a phone call returned, or feel like their case hasn’t been touched in months. When you choose to work with The Layton Law Firm, we make sure to communicate regularly with you. We provide you updates as the case or claim progresses, and we involve you in the critical steps in the settlement process. You’ll never feel neglected or ‘out of the loop’ as it relates to your case.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’re asking “How do I find a personal injury lawyer near me?” the answer is easy—you’ve found one. We can help you with your case and we would love to hear from you. 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.

 

Free Consultation Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer

If you need a consultation with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer, you are a few minutes away from speaking with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer. The Layton Law Firm, PLLC has built its reputation on responsiveness to clients, which includes providing consultations quickly. Consultations can be done over the phone or in person. Ready to talk to a lawyer NOW? Chris Layton is the founding law partner and handles all personal injury consultations. To get started, call 704.749.7747 or fill out a quick form and we will call within an hour: CONSULTATION FORM.

What Can I Expect From My Free Personal Injury Consultation?

If you’re in a car accident or the victim of a slip and fall, we know you need advice. We’re happy to help you understand your options whether you decide to use our firm or not. During your free personal injury consultation we will discuss:

Speak With A Lawyer—The most important aspect of your free consultation is that you actually get to SPEAK WITH A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY. Many firms have you spend time with a staff member to determine if your case is worth taking. When you call our office for a consultation you will be connected DIRECTLY to a personal injury lawyer and you’ll get a chance to ask questions.

The Facts Of Your Case—Tell us what happened and let us assess liability for you. If you have a police report (request a police report HERE)we’re happy to review that with you as well. If the consultation is over the phone you can either email or fax the report and the lawyer will review it with you.

Your Injuries—You’ll get a chance to tell us the injuries you sustained from the accident, and describe the medical treatment you’ve received thus far. We will ask a few questions about your treatment status and the timeliness of your treatment, which will help us assess your case. We can also discuss how Medical Liens and Medical Billing are addressed in personal injury settlements.

The Likelihood Of A Financial Recovery—If you are in a car accident, slip and fall, or other personal injury matter, you will quickly find out that you must first prove you are entitled to compensation. While it will be difficult to assess the value of your personal injury claim, the lawyer will be able to assess the likelihood of getting the at fault party to accept liability, and explain the theory of liability based on the facts of the accident.

Discuss How Personal Injury Claims Work

For most of our clients, it is their first personal injury claim. As a result, we make sure to answer questions about the timeline of a personal injury claim. The timeline changes depending upon the length of your treatment, and whether a lawsuit must be filed, but the conversation will help set your expectations about how much time it will take to resolve your claim.

You Can Decide If You Like Us

Most importantly, you should work with a personal injury lawyer and law firm that you like. The free consultation with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer gives you a chance to do just that. You should feel cared for, and that the lawyer is interested in your claim. We hope you will choose to work with us but we know that’s a personal choice, and we hope the phone call or in person meeting helps you decide.

Discuss The Personal Injury Fee Arrangement

Most of our personal injury work is done on a contingency basis. This means we don’t get paid unless you get paid. If we reach a settlement for you, our standard fee is one third of the settlement amount. You will find this is pretty standard in North Carolina. We like this arrangement because it allows individuals to get legal protection without writing a check. We also believe you can trust your personal injury lawyer when they tell you that the insurance company’s offer is a fair offer, or that the lawyer thinks you should file a lawsuit. When the lawyer is getting paid a percentage of the amount recovered, it means you’re both fighting for the same thing.

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.

 

Can I File A NC Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you’ve been injured on the job, you can file a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation claim. Whether your claim will be successful will depend upon the facts of your case and how well your Workers’ Compensation attorney constructs the arguments in favor of a recovery.

Procedure Steps For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim

Step 1 – Report the injury. You should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. This should be done in writing, to establish evidence that you provided your employer with notice of the claim. The employer can be unfairly prejudiced if they are not given an opportunity to evaluate the claim in a timely manner. Additionally, in an accepted Workers’ Comp claim, the employer has the right to direct where you receive treatment.

Step 2 – Complete Form 18. Form 18 is the Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative or Dependent for NC Workers’ Compensation Benefits. The form can be found online for download. A Workers’ Compensation attorney with a North Carolina Industrial Commission ID and login can submit the form for you electronically. This form should be filed with the Industrial Commission, provided to the employer, and finally a copy should be kept by the employee for their records. Ideally, the form is filed within 30 days of the injury, and certainly within two years of the date of the injury.

Step 3 – Await your employer’s response. If you need medical attention in the meantime, you should pursue it. However, within 14 days of submitting the form, your employer should respond either denying the claim, accepting the claim, or requesting an extension from the Industrial Commission. If your claim is denied, it doesn’t mean you can’t still fight for a Workers’ Compensation award. It just means your employer has spoken as to their belief that the injury should not be covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Consult With A NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ Compensation differs from personal injury in a few ways. Specifically, when you have a denied claim, it’s important to seek counsel from an attorney familiar with Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina. The denial of your claim means you will need to seek medical treatment on your own and pursue your employer for reimbursement after the fact. While you may ultimately have to request a hearing with the Industrial Commission in hopes that they decide the claim should have been covered by the employer, there are many additional steps along the way.

Your Workers’ Compensation attorney will keep track of your recovery progress with you, and when treatment is complete, he or she will submit a demand package to the employer. Even though the claim is denied, this package will present the facts of your injury together with the medical treatment and billing, in hopes the employer will reconsider. At this time, your Workers’ Compensation attorney will most likely be dealing with opposing counsel representing the employer.

The two parties can enter into mediation together, in hopes of resolving the claim. Mediation is usually conducted prior to requesting a hearing on the matter. Quite often the parties are able to reach an agreement—even on a denied claim—through the mediation process. If mediation fails, requesting a hearing is the next step in the process. While the ultimate goal of mediation is to reach an agreement, the parties are forced to mediate prior to the hearing for the purpose of saving the time and efforts of the Industrial Commission. Each matter that settles at mediation is one less case for the commission to facilitate.

The Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement

If you’re able to reach an agreement, it will be memorialized in a document known as a Clincher. This 10 page document is drafted by defense counsel and edited and approved by your attorney. It details the facts leading up to the injury, together with the details of the injury suffered, and all medical bills associated with the injury. The Clincher is accompanied by a Release—a document where you are settling the matter once and for all in exchange for the settlement.

Lastly, your settlement agreement will detail your responsibility with regard to your medical bills, and address for the commission how your are proposing to address Medical Liens in  your Workers’ Compensation settlement.

Workers’ Compensation Attorney Fees

Whereas personal injury attorney fees are generally one third of your settlement (and slightly more if a lawsuit needs to be filed), Workers’ Compensation attorney fees for the plaintiff are capped at 25%. The paperwork your Workers’ Comp attorney provides you will clearly spell out the attorney-client fee agreement. One important note is that much like personal injury, if your Workers’ Compensation lawyer doesn’t recover anything for you, you should not owe them anything.

Speak With A Workers’ Compensation 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 North Carolina Workers’ Compensation claims 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.

 

 

 

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 is 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 for the need of 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 the 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 which 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.

 

Neck Pain From A Car Accident

If you have neck pain from a car accident, you should seek medical attention quickly. Quite often, we don’t feel the pain from a car accident until several days later. This is partly due to the adrenaline or endorphins which mask the pain; however, after a day or two we realize we have been injured. Treating neck pain from a car accident not only helps to ensure your health, it also protects any legal rights you may have against the driver who hit you.

Treating Early Protects Your Rights

If you wait to treat your car accident injuries for any length of time after the car accident, you open yourself up to objections by the other driver’s insurance company. For instance, suppose you are in a car accident on January 1st. On January 3rd you start to feel aches and pains. You’re busy with work and keep thinking it will go away. You take ibuprofen a few times a day and you’re getting by, until you realize you need to get help. You wait until January 30th to get treated.

If you pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who hit you, you will face scrutiny from the insurance adjuster on two levels. First, the adjuster will claim that there is a chance you injured yourself between January 1st and January 30th, which had nothing to do with the accident. They will object to paying for the treatment on the “gap in treatment”. Second, the adjuster will argue that even if the pain was related to the January 1st accident, you must not have been in that much pain if you waited 30 days to get treated—this means you can expect a low settlement offer. You can read more on our blog about The Value Of Your Personal Injury Claim.

Car accidents and the mechanics of a personal injury claim are unique in this manner. By seeking treatment early, you take care of yourself and you preserve your rights.

Paying For The Expense Of Treatment

Your health insurance should cover any emergency room treatment or hospital treatment you require, minus your co-pay. However, insurance won’t always cover chiropractic treatment, which is the most common treatment for neck pain from a car accident. Fortunately, most chiropractors in Charlotte and the surrounding area will treat on a “Lien Status”. This means the chiropractor will treat you at no cost, and wait to get paid from your car accident settlement. You can read more on our blog about Medical Liens In Personal Injury.

If your chiropractor is going to treat you on Lien Status, they will probably want an opinion from your personal injury attorney that the accident was not your fault. They may also ask for a copy of the police report. They are only doing so to protect themselves. If the accident was your fault, there won’t be a personal injury settlement and the chiropractor won’t get paid. This doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment from the chiropractor—in fact, if you’re injured, you absolutely should get treated. It does mean, however, that you will bear the expense of the treatment.

Start By Choosing A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are having neck pain from a car accident, start by calling a personal injury lawyer. The Layton Law Firm can help examine the details and facts from your accident, and make an assessment as to whether the accident was your fault. This will give you some confidence that whatever treatment you incur may be paid by your car accident settlement, should you be able to reach one. You can read more on our blog about Medical Bills In Personal Injury.

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 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 which 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 which 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 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 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 it’s 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 up front. 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 accident and slip and fall victims had to pay a lawyer up front, 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 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.

Airbag Burns And Other Injuries

While they may save your life, airbags can cause airbag burns and other severe injuries, when deployed. Car accidents can be life changing, we are here to help you through every step of the process. This includes discussing airbag injuries, what makes an airbag deploy (or why your airbags didn’t deploy), and how this will affect your case.

What Makes an Airbag Deploy?

Modern vehicles are fitted with crash and pressure senses to determine if a crash has occurred. When a collision occurs, and it is detected by the sensors, the corresponding airbags are triggered and released. Airbags are designed by the manufacturer to deploy as quickly as possible, in order to stop a sudden impact on the human body from occurring. Airbags are fitted into the sides of a car and positioned in front of the upper body and head of any passenger or driver. While they are meant to prevent harm, certain aspects of airbags are dangerous and can cause serious injury, hence the precautions taken so that they only deploy during a collision.

Three Common Injuries Caused by Airbags

Abrasions

Abrasions to the upper body are quite common in airbag Injuries. This includes abrasions to the head, chest, arms, and neck, often manifesting as airbag burns. The chemicals released upon airbag deployment consist of various high temperature gases. They create and release sodium hydroxide, a highly irritant substance to human skin. This substance, when mixed with  other chemicals, can cause serious skin injuries. Some of these injuries include: chemical and thermal burns, traumatic lesions, and irritant dermatitis. Non-skin injuries resulting from the release of these chemicals consist of possible ocular damage, bone fractures, and damage to the ear and ear area.

Conducive/Concussive Damage

The sudden release and immediate impact of the upper body on an airbag following a vehicular collision can cause serious contusions and possible concussive side effects. These contusions, or extreme bruising, can affect the face, neck, shoulders, arms, and chest and side area. These contusions can be extremely dangerous and painful, affecting a wide area very quickly, combined with possible seat belt damage, yielding similar results.

This sudden impact can also have concussive results. A concussion is a serious injury. Diagnosing a concussion can be difficult but by seeking medical attention immediately after the accident, you can identify the signs of a concussion and take measures to treat it.

Broken Bones and Scarring

There are fourteen bones in the human face. The direct impact of an airbag applies enough pressure to seriously damage or even break any bone with which it makes contact. Cartilage damage can leave permanent scarring in the nose and ears and lead to breathing problems and difficulties later in life. Your personal injury settlement should reflect a doctor’s opinion as to whether you will have permanent damage from airbag injuries, including scarring such as that detailed above. These injuries are not just temporary, they can prevent work and severely interfere with your day to day life.

Airbag Malfunction

In certain instances, airbags have been known to spontaneously deploy. This is a serious danger to every driver and passenger as it can cause damage to the driver from the airbag deployment, as well as cause a car wreck if the driver is unable to properly operate the vehicle with the airbag deployed. There have also been cases in which a collision occurs and the airbags malfunction, and fail to deploy. If you were in an accident and your airbags failed to deploy, and if that failure caused you injuries, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of the vehicle or airbags.

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.

 

Hit And Run Accident Lawyer

If you were the victim of a hit and run accident, we’re here to fight for you. You may think the only option is to either put a claim in with your insurance company or pay for your damages yourself. In fact, after a hit and run accident, North Carolina drivers have the option of accessing the Uninsured Motorist Coverage on their own policy. An experienced hit and run accident lawyer will help prove your case to the insurance adjuster and obtain best results for you in this difficult fact pattern.

Establishing Liability After A Hit And Run Accident

Insurance adjusters see a lot of insurance fraud. Every day, someone claims to have a slip and fall claim, or claims to be the victim of a hit and run. Before an insurance company will pay for damages to your property or pay for your personal injury, you must prove their obligation to do so. In a hit and run scenario, the only proof you have is the damage to your vehicle. Even with that, you have the burden to prove to the insurance adjuster that another driver caused that damage and that the incident was the other driver’s fault. You may have a police report, but again, that report will only contain your statement to the officer that another vehicle hit you. It is not strong evidence.

The Layton Law Firm will examine your fact pattern, photographs of the damage to your vehicle, and other pertinent information to help establish fault. In some cases, there is footage of the incident available through a request with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. This requires a hearing to obtain the footage but it can often make all the difference in whether you recover anything for your injuries from the hit and run accident.

Accessing Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If your personal injury lawyer can establish that another party was responsible for your damages and injury, and fled the scene, the lawyer will be able to successfully trigger a claim under the uninsured motorist provision of your policy. A claim placed under this designation should not have any negative consequences upon your insurance rates, and allows you access to the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Fighting Your Own Insurance Company

For a time, while your underinsured motorist claim is active, you and your insurance company will be adversaries. For this reason, it’s extremely important to have a personal injury lawyer represent you. Most clients we speak with who have tried to make an underinsured motorist claim for a hit and run have been denied by their insurance company. We are usually able to reverse that decision.

Addressing Personal Injury Liens

Your personal injury attorney will also make sure that the medical providers who have liens against your injury settlement pursuant to N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50 are addressed as part of the settlement. Individuals who settle their own claims without addressing these liens may find out after the fact that they owe most of the settlement to third parties—this entirely undoes the benefits of having negotiated your own settlement.

Speak With A Hit And Run Accident 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 which 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 which 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 horse back 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.