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Passenger Accident Claims And Insurance

If you are a passenger in a car accident, you will potentially have numerous options available to compensate you for your personal injury claim. Except for in limited circumstances, passengers are not at fault for car accidents. This means liability (who is at fault) will not be contested. Instead, your claim will be fought over the injuries and which insurance company should pay for those injuries.

Pursuing Your Passenger Accident Claim

Working with a personal injury law firm will protect your rights as you attempt to recover from your injuries from a car accident. The personal injury lawyer will also help you sort through the liability associated with the accident. The first thing the lawyer will ask for is a copy of the police report from the accident.  Typically, the police report will contain statements from both drivers, together with a diagram of the accident. There are numerous sections of the police report where the attending officer makes notes which help tell the story of the accident. These notes contain everything from the estimated speed of the vehicles upon impact, to the road conditions. Lastly, the police report will also make note of any citations given to either driver, which can dramatically help or affect your case depending upon the citation.

If you do not have a police report from the accident, we can assist you with obtaining one at no cost. Just click HERE to request one.

Starting Your Personal Injury Passenger Accident Claim

Assuming the police report indicates the other driver is at fault, the most logical entity to pursue is the insurance company for the other driver. In North Carolina, there are insurance minimums that each driver must carry. The minimums in North Carolina are $30,000 for one person for bodily injury (“Personal Injury”) and $60,000 for injuries to two or more people in a single accident. Additionally, each driver must have $25,000 in property damage coverage; however, if you are a passenger the property damage aspect will most likely not affect you.

If you are a passenger, this means that the driver of your vehicle may also be injured. You can see how, depending upon the severity of the injury, the injuries for all individuals in your vehicle may exceed the amount of insurance the at-fault driver carries. If this is the case, you can also pursue an Underinsured Motorist Claim by starting a second claim with the insurance of the driver of your vehicle.

Your personal injury attorney will advise you as to the specifics of this claim, and you must be careful not to settle for less than the full policy amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy if you intend to pursue an Underinsured Motorist Claim. Lastly, the underinsured motorist limits must exceed the limits of the policy of the at-fault driver. If your claim comes to this crossroads, your personal injury attorney’s skill set in navigating underinsured motorist coverage will help you tremendously.

What If Your Driver Is At Fault?

If the driver of your vehicle is at fault, this will not prevent you from recovering from your injuries. Provided you did not contribute to the accident, your lawyer can start a claim with the insurance company for your driver. The minimums mentioned above will still be in effect.

Recovering With Medical Payments Coverage In Passenger Accident Claims

Your personal injury lawyer can also pursue a medical payments claim for you. If you or the driver of your vehicle have medical payments coverage on your auto policies, you can submit medical bills from the accident. You will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary medical expenses which stem from the accident. While these amounts are typically $1,000-$5,000 they can make all the difference in settling a personal injury claim. This is particularly true of a smaller claim.

If you are able to recover medical payments coverage, your lawyer should be able to successfully argue for you that your medical payments coverage is not subject to the Medical Liens in personal injury created by N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which helps you to retain more of your settlement funds.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today About Passenger Accident Claims

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 “Passenger Accident Claims And Insurance” 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 Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?

In determining what personal injury lawyers charge, you have to look to the specific engagement letter or contract for each personal injury lawyer or law firm. Most personal injury lawyers charge a fee known as a Contingency Fee. This means that the lawyer or law firm only gets paid if they are able to reach a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. Then, the lawyer will be paid in accordance with the contract you signed with them.

What Is The Contingency Fee?

For most personal injury law firms, the contingency fee is one third of the gross settlement proceeds. So, one question is what do personal injury lawyers charge if you win your case? The answer depends on how much you won. For instance, if you reach a settlement for $30,000, the personal injury lawyer’s fee will be $10,000. In addition to the one third, the lawyer’s contract will typically call for the law firm to be reimbursed for any out of pocket expenses. Provided the claim was settled prior to being filed as a lawsuit, those expenses are usually minimal and amount to small fees paid to third parties to obtain medical records and medical bills.

Is A Contingency Fee Good For The Client?

We like a contingency fee for several reasons. First, it gives the client access to legal representation without having to write a check to a lawyer. Second, if the lawyer is only going to get paid if they are able to successfully settle your case, it’s safe to assume the lawyer believes in your case. In other words, if the lawyer is willing to represent you without payment up front, they believe they will ultimately be able to recover something for you. For the client, this takes the pain and mystery out of paying a lawyer by the hour for a case you may never win.

Additionally, at some point during negotiations, your personal injury lawyer will probably tell you when they believe you should accept the current settlement offer, or reject the offer and file a lawsuit. Once again, because the lawyer only gets paid if you get paid, you can trust the lawyer’s judgment. A lawyer working and getting paid by the hour could potentially continue working on your case even though they did not feel you would prevail. We believe this instills inherent trust the lawyer client relationship as we move forward with each case.

Why Are Lawyers Willing To Work For A Contingency Fee?

Lawyers know that most people do not have money set aside to pay for a lawyer to fight for them in a personal injury case. This doesn’t mean the injured party doesn’t deserve representation. The contingency fee was most likely conceived of to help address this catch-22 situation. What do personal injury lawyers charge if you lose? Well, usually nothing. That is the risk the lawyer takes when deciding whether to represent a client in a personal injury claim. There will be plenty of cases where the law firm works diligently and is unable to recover anything for the client. Fortunately, those cases which do work out for both the client and the lawyer tend to balance out the equation.

Who Gets The Remainder Of The Settlement?

Your personal injury lawyer’s fee is subtracted from the gross settlement. Then, any negotiated medical bills and medical liens are deducted. The remainder is yours. Your personal injury lawyer will discuss all of the numbers with you before agreeing to a settlement. This way, you can be sure of exactly how much you will receive from the settlement, before agreeing to settle the case.

Speak With A Charlotte 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.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Personal injury settlements are paid out in accordance with the North Carolina statutory requirements regarding personal injury liens, together with the Federal rules surrounding ERISA and Medicare liens. Our goal is to put as much money in our client’s pockets as possible. In doing so, we have to abide by the rules which govern your personal injury settlement proceeds.

Personal Injury Settlement Checks

Once we reach a settlement with your approval, the insurance company will issue a check made out to you and The Layton Law Firm, PLLC. This check will be deposited into our trust account. The funds will remain in our trust account until they clear, and until you sign a personal injury settlement statement. By signing the settlement statement, you are indicating that you are in agreement with the proposed distribution of funds. This allows your personal injury attorney to disburse the funds with confidence.

Personal Injury Settlement Statements

When you settle your personal injury claim, you will sign off on a personal injury settlement statement. This statement will show all incoming funds related to your injury as credits, with corresponding debits shown as items going to third parties including your attorney fee, health insurance lien payments, medical provider lien payments, and any other items which need to be paid as part of the settlement. The bottom figure will of course be a line item showing you how much you are receiving as part of the settlement.

Limits On Payments To Lien Holders

Fortunately, there is a limit on the amount of your personal injury settlement that needs to be paid out to lien holders and other medical providers. The statutory language in N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50 dictates whether or not a medical provider has a lien. It also limits those providers with liens to a certain percentage of your settlement. Your personal injury attorney will apply this rule of law to the facts of your particular personal injury settlement, and disburse accordingly.

It is important to understand that you will have a choice when reaching a settlement. You can decide whether to pay the statutory minimum to lien holders under N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which may leave some billing left over for you to address after settlement. In the alternative, you can work with your personal injury lawyer to negotiate the billing and reach a final settlement on those bills. Our office will make sure you understand the options and work with you to make a choice that is best suited to you.

Receiving Your Personal Injury Settlement Check

Once you sign off on your personal injury settlement statement, your attorney can issue a check to you on the same day. Because you must sign off on the statement in person, most checks are delivered simultaneously. The funds should clear your account as soon as they are deposited, as NC attorney trust account funds are considered to be certified funds and treated as such by banking institutions. If you need your funds wired directly into your account, we can assist with wiring the funds. This will save you a trip to the bank and in special situations makes sense to do.

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 “How are personal injury settlements paid out?” 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 Sue Someone For Damaging My Property?

Whether you can sue someone for damaging your property depends upon the circumstances. In North Carolina, If the property damage is to a vehicle– from a Car Accident— there are well established processes for starting a property damage claim and recovering damages. If you were injured in an auto accident, you may have both a property damage claim and a personal injury claim.

In most cases, even if you can sue someone for damaging your property, you will be able to get the dispute settled at the claims level which does not require filing a lawsuit. This saves money for both sides and relieves the courts of the burden of officiating over the property damage claim.

How Much Is My Property Damage Claim Worth?

The value of your property damage claim can be established by several components and approaches to damages. If the vehicle is determined to be totaled, the value will be whatever the car was worth at the time of the accident. There are standard formulas for determining the value, and the NADA Blue Book Value is often used as a benchmark. This value takes into account the make, model, mileage, and wear and tear on a vehicle at the time of the accident.

If your car is not totaled in the accident, you will either strive to have your car repaired at the expense of the other driver’s insurance company, or receive a check for an amount representing the cost of the repair. Then, you can choose whether to have the repair done, and where to have the repair work done.

You may also be entitled to the loss of use of the vehicle in the interim. Your actual out of pocket expenses will be your best source of evidence of these damages and would include rental vehicle costs, Uber or Lyft costs, or the cost of other forms of public transportation incurred when you were without a vehicle.

Your recovery may also include a component for sentimental value. While most vehicles will not fall into this category, there are exceptions. If your grandfather lovingly restored the vehicle and gave it to you as a graduation present, your argument for sentimental value increases.

Will I Pay A Deductible?

If someone damages your property, you should not have to pay a deductible. That expense should be taken on by the other driver’s insurance company; however, if the accident was your fault and you engage your own insurance company to fix the car, then yes, you will pay your contracted deductible.

Pursuing The Personal Injury Claim

Property damage claims are fairly straight-forward, once you are able to establish a claim with the insurance company. Our office assists with property damage claims but we generally do not charge clients to do so. In most cases, we represent the individual in their personal injury claim. If your vehicle was damaged in a car accident, and if you sustained bodily injury from that accident, we can help with the personal injury claim. The aspects of a personal injury claim are quite different from those involved in a property damage claim, and the expertise of a personal injury law firm can make all the difference in the outcome. This is true especially if the claim needs to be escalated and filed as a lawsuit.

Statute Of Limitations On Both Claims

You generally have three years from the date of the accident to make a property damage claim and a personal injury claim. By the three year mark, you will need to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit to keep your legal action alive. Missing the statute of limitations is just one of the pitfalls of handling the personal injury claim on your own. There are also personal injury medical bills and medical liens which must be addressed in a North Carolina personal injury claim. Your North Carolina personal injury lawyer will address these for you as part of the legal representation.

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 addressing “Can I Sue Someone For Damaging My Property?” 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.

 

 

 

Does A Personal Injury Settlement Include Medical Bills?

Your personal injury settlement will include payment of your medical bills. Medical bills are often a challenging aspect of a personal injury settlement in North Carolina. The reason for this is that there are no rules automatically reducing medical billing in a personal injury settlement. As a result, your personal injury attorney must be familiar with the medical lien laws of North Carolina when settling your claim. Lastly, your Charlotte personal injury attorney may negotiate your medical bills for you as part of your personal injury settlement.

What Are North Carolina Medical Liens In Personal Injury?

If you are injured and receive treatment in North Carolina, the treating physician or facility can place a lien against any personal injury settlement you receive. The underlying theory is that if you were treated for the injury and receive money for the injury, you should have to pay your medical bills related to that injury.

There are some limitations on personal injury medical liens in North Carolina. Per N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, any provider of medical services is limited in the amount of lien they can claim, as follows:

Under Section 44-49, a lien is created provided that the provider does not charge for medical records and medical billing, and provided that written notice of the lien is given to the attorney.

Under Section 44-50, the liens in total are limited to one-half of the settlement, after subtracting attorney fees and costs. Generally, because attorney fees are usually one-third of the settlement, this means that the amount of your settlement that has to go to the lien holders is one-third of your settlement.

For example, assume your settlement is $12,000. Your attorney fee would be $4,000 (1/3). This leaves $8,000 remaining. The lien statute states that no more than one-half of the remainder shall be made to pay to liens. This means $4,000 must go to your lien holders, and the remaining $4,000 is yours.

What If Medical Bills Exceed The Lien Amount?

Your medical provider does not have to accept the pro-rata lien payment under 44-49 / 44-50 as the final settlement of the lien. They may bill you for the remainder. However, your Charlotte personal injury lawyer may be able to negotiate the medical bills in total for you, prior to accepting the settlement. In many cases, the lien holder will accept their pro-rata share as full and final settlement.

Speak With A Charlotte 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 addressing “Does A Personal Injury Settlement Include Medical Bills?” 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.

 

 

Should I Give The Personal Injury Adjuster A Statement?

No, you should not give your personal injury adjuster a statement regarding your car accident, slip and fall injury, or any other injury. No matter how kind the adjuster may appear, you can trust that your statement(s) will be used against you at a later date. Adjusters work for the insurance company. While they may be assisting you with reaching a personal injury settlement, their loyalty is always to the insurance company.

The Adjuster Is Probably Recording Your Statement

North Carolina is a One Party Consent state, under N.C.G.S. Ann 15A-287.  This means that phone conversations can be recorded by one of the parties to those conversations. Effectively, this means that the adjuster does not have to ask your permission or even tell you the call is being recorded. It also means the recorded call could become evidence at trial.

Inconsistencies In Your Statement Will Be Used Against You

While you may tell the truth when giving your personal injury statement, you are only human. First, if the adjuster has multiple conversations with you, they may record all of them. Second, you may explain the facts in a slightly different manner to the adjuster on different calls. Lastly, these differences in the versions of your story could be used to establish your inconsistency, or your inability to accurately remember what happened. This is specifically true of a slip and fall accident. At least in a motor vehicle accident, there is a police report to help memorialize the facts. If you’ve been in an accident we can provide you with a free copy of your police report,

Refusal To Give A Statement Will Not Hurt Your Case

As a general rule, we advise adjusters that it is our policy that our clients not give a statement. Much the same way the insurance company does not have to provide us with a copy of the store video for a slip and fall, we retain the right to refuse to give a recorded statement. Additionally, if a lawsuit is filed, both sides will be given a chance to take depositions during the Discovery phase of the lawsuit, governed by N.C.G.S. 15A-902. A deposition is the equivalent of a recorded statement given by our client, or anyone else. That is also when any existing video of an accident or slip and fall would be turned over for review.

The Pitfalls Of Settling A Claim Without A Personal Injury Lawyer

This article is just one example of how having legal representation can dramatically change the results of your personal injury claim or personal injury settlement. Whether it’s guidance regarding a personal injury statement to an adjuster, or assistance with negotiating medical liens in personal injury, your personal injury attorney will fight to protect you. Having your legal rights protected has to be a top priority when dealing with a large corporate insurance company.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been injured and would like to speak with a lawyer today, call us at 704.749.7747. Press the “New Client” option when prompted, and you will be connected immediately with a lawyer. You can also request a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out shortly to discuss your case with you. Even if you’ve already given a personal injury statement, we can help.

Further Reading

If you’d like to read more articles, check out our Personal Injury Blog or our Bankruptcy Blog. Thank you for stopping by the website. We hope it has been helpful.

You Need A Lawyer For Your Car Accident

After years of experience, it is our opinion you need a personal injury lawyer for your car accident. Personal injury law in North Carolina is not friendly to the injured party. Often, insurance adjusters will attempt to lower the value of your claim by arguing over your medical bills. Additionally, they will claim Contributory Negligence, which can be a complete barrier to recovering anything for your injuries. Your Charlotte, NC personal injury lawyer can help change this result.

What A Lawyer For Your Car Accident Does

Your personal injury claim will take some time to complete. The timeline for a personal injury claim differs depending upon the specifics, but your lawyer will need to:

Start a personal injury claim

Start a Medical Payments claim

Gather medical records and medical bills

Propose a theory of liability

Negotiate a settlement amount

Negotiate your medical liens and billing

Properly disburse your personal injury proceeds

File a lawsuit if an agreement can’t be reached

In the event you can’t reach a settlement agreement, your personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit and begin the process of Discovery. This entails taking depositions, making written requests for information from the other side, and preparing for trial.

Is A Personal Injury Attorney Worth It?

The good news is your personal injury lawyer for your car accident doesn’t get paid unless they reach a settlement or jury verdict for you. Our experience has shown us that even after your attorney fee, you will do better with a personal injury lawyer than without one. Additionally, your injury lawyer protects you by reviewing all paperwork prior to signing, and defends any claims against you by the other driver.

Are Personal Injury Consultations Free?

Yes, your personal injury consultation is free. These can be done over the phone or in person. At your personal injury consultation, you will gain a better understanding of the value of your case, and what the next steps are to getting your case settled. The consultation is free and answering questions is part of the job.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation, call 704.749.7747 or request a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out to you.

Medical Bills In Personal Injury Settlements

If there are medical bills in your personal injury settlement, they will need to be addressed as part of the settlement. Your personal injury lawyer will assist with this. Generally, there are two types of medical bills in personal injury settlements. First, there are those bills that are liens. Second, there are those bills that are not liens. The two are treated differently for purposes of whether they must be paid out of your personal injury settlement.

Liens In Personal Injury Settlements

Certain medical providers will claim a lien against your personal injury settlement. The claimant does so by citing the language in NCGS 44-49 and NCGS 44-50. This statute allows the medical provider to claim a lien against your settlement or jury verdict. However, there are limits—the statute limits all lien holders to one-half of the settlement after attorney fees and expenses have been deducted.

Your personal injury lawyer should discover the liens against your personal injury settlement when requesting medical records and medical bills related to your claim. Keep in mind, if you were treated at a facility and did not tell your personal injury lawyer about it, it would be difficult for them to discover the lien.

The personal injury attorney will keep track of all liens claimed against settlement. Upon disbursing the settlement proceeds, the liens will be paid. Remember, the lien holders are limited to roughly one-third of your settlement. The amount they receive will differ depending upon how much your personal injury settlement is worth. Your attorney will calculate the appropriate payments for each lien holder. While the lien holders may still pursue you for the balance of the lien, our firm typically requests the lien holder accept the pro-rata share as full and final payment of the lien.

Bills Which Are Not Liens

There will be other medical providers who will have an outstanding bill related to the injury. However, they may choose not to claim a lien. Or, they may simply fail to claim a lien against your settlement. This gives you the option of having your attorney pay them from the settlement, or paying them yourself, outside of the settlement.

Medicare, Medicaid, ERISA Liens

Healthcare providers like Medicare, Medicaid, and ERISA health plans, are entitled to be reimbursed if they pay for treatment related to your personal injury claim. Medicare applies what they call a “Procurement Formula” to the settlement amount. Your attorney can estimate what this amount will be prior to reaching a settlement. Medicaid is generally limited to roughly one-third of the settlement. ERISA health plans, unfortunately, are entitled to be reimbursed for their entire lien out of your settlement proceeds. Your personal injury lawyer can usually successfully negotiate the lien prior to reaching a settlement.

Personal Injury Lawyers And Medical Liens

Your personal injury lawyer will make a dramatic difference for you as it relates to any liens against your settlement proceeds. The law firm will negotiate the liens, and present your case to the medical providers in such a way that entices them to take a reduced rate. Most of this negotiating is done before you reach an actual settlement. That is when your leverage is highest against medical providers and lien holders.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have a personal injury claim and you would like to speak with a lawyer, call us. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or request a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will call you today to discuss your case.

 

When you are rear-ended by a company vehicle, it’s important to understand your rights. Your claim for damages can often be dramatically different when you’re rear-ended by a company vehicle. The reason for this is the potential for punitive damages, which increase the value of your personal injury case. Punitive damages are codified by the NC General Statutes in N.C.G.S. sec. 1D.

As a Charlotte personal injury law firm, our firm has experience representing individuals who have been in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Sometimes those clients are pedestrians who have been struck by a work vehicle. Other times, our client was rear-ended by a company vehicle while driving their own personal vehicle.

How Your Case Is Different When A Commercial Vehicle Is Involved

In a typical car accident, both drivers are operating their personal vehicles. Ideally, both drivers are insured at the time of the accident. The at-fault party can expect to pay damages to the other driver if they were injured in the accident. In these cases, each driver should carry the NC state minimum insurance requirements. In the event the injuries exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver, our firm can typically recover additional funds from our client’s insurance company under the Underinsured Motorist coverage on our client’s policy.

In the commercial setting, if someone is rear-ended by a company vehicle, a few things are different. First, the insurance limits covering the company driver will typically be much higher than those carried by most private motorists. Second, as a personal injury law firm, we will investigate the facts surrounding the accident to determine if the company itself is at fault. For example:

Did the company driver have a prior history of accidents?

Did a failure to maintain the company vehicle contribute to the accident?

Does the company have a history of negligent retention of employees?

In the corporate setting, when you are rear-ended by a company vehicle, your case may be a good case for additional damages. Juries are often asked to consider punitive damages in these cases. This changes the nature of the jury’s deliberation. Usually, a jury is awarding the injured party an amount of money meant to compensate the injured party for their loss. When punitive damages are considered by a jury, the jury is considering an amount that will discourage the at-fault company and all other companies from engaging in similar behavior. This is why a failure to maintain a vehicle or knowledge surrounding an employee’s prior driving record is relevant.

Negotiating A Claim When Rear-Ended By A Company Vehicle

The available insurance coverage and the public policy to prevent companies from knowingly engaging in negligent behavior change the negotiation. Your personal injury lawyer will present your case to the insurance adjuster or their attorney in a manner that reflects this. By citing recent case law which supports the damages requested, your lawyer can build the value of your case so that you are adequately compensated.

Ultimately, your personal injury settlement should reflect all circumstances surrounding your accident. Our staff will walk you through the demand package we are submitting to the insurance company to be sure you understand the process as we request a settlement from the insurance adjuster.

Investigating The At-Fault Company

Another distinguishing factor in rear-end collisions involving commercial vehicles is the tendency for the personal injury law firm to employ an investigator to research the company’s history. This investigation will include uncovering past accidents, corporate policies, and finally whether the company complies with state and federal regulations. In cases like these, quite often the case is as much about your injury as it is about the company’s failure to abide by the rules for doing business in the state. If a failure to follow those rules contributed to the accident, it becomes a key factor in achieving full value for your claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Most of our clients have never sued another individual. Most of our clients have never been seriously injured in a car accident before. We understand this is all new territory to you, and your primary focus is on recovery from your injuries. In our opinion, it makes sense to partner with a personal injury law firm to be sure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly.

If you’d like to speak with us about your accident, call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out to discuss your case today.

When someone is involved in a pedestrian personal injury involving an automobile, the results are often heartbreaking. The Layton Law Firm began its reputation for representing pedestrians by successfully represented a 17-year-old boy who was seriously injured by a driver while crossing a busy Charlotte street at night. After fighting a denied claim and ultimately prevailing against the insurance company for the child and his family, we made it a priority to fight hard for injured pedestrians.

We currently represent numerous pedestrians in personal injury and wrongful death actions. We take each law firm client’s injuries seriously, but injuries to children and pedestrians are specifically important to us because of the extreme nature of the injuries and the age of the individuals involved. As a result, children and pedestrian injuries have become a passion of ours. Unfortunately, winning a pedestrian claim can be an uphill battle requiring persistence, creativity, and diligent pursuit of recovery.

Don’t Pedestrians Always Have The Right Of Way?

This is the question always asked when there is a pedestrian injury. As a Charlotte pedestrian personal injury lawyer, unfortunately, I find myself quite often answering “Not always”. While pedestrians often start with a presumption of the right of way, they can easily forfeit it by being too far outside a crosswalk, crossing the road at a non-designated spot, or being inebriated. In fact, there are some instances where a pedestrian actually must yield to the motorist.

How Do I Preserve The Pedestrian Right Of Way?

There are a few guidelines that will help preserve your right of way as a pedestrian. Always strive to:

  • Walk with the cross-walk signals
  • Stay inside specifically marked cross-walk pathways
  • If a sidewalk exists, use the sidewalk (and not the roadway)
  • Electric wheelchair users: follow the rules for pedestrians, NOT for vehicles

Do Drivers Have Responsibilities To Pedestrians In NC?

Yes, there are. Even in a situation where a pedestrian may have yielded the right of way, the operator of a motor vehicle must still exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian in the roadway. The doctrine of Last Clear Chance can also be applied, and your Charlotte Pedestrian Personal Injury Lawyer will discuss it with you. Essentially, it says that even if a pedestrian has forfeited the right of way, if the operator of the vehicle has the last clear chance to avoid an accident, he or she must avoid the accident. This doctrine applies in other personal injury situations as well, such as automobile accidents between the operators of two vehicles.

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

A Charlotte personal injury lawyer will help to make sure you are treated fairly. Insurance companies often deny pedestrian claims based on contributory negligence, or some other factor. An aggressive legal strategy can often overcome this denial and help achieve a fair result. It is our opinion that pedestrians make good plaintiffs.

When an insurance denial is met with a threat of a lawsuit, quite often we are able to reach a settlement before entering the courtroom. In most cases, an insurance company does not want to appear in court against a pedestrian, because it shows an unwillingness to settle the case or to be reasonable in accepting liability for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Pedestrian injuries also often lead to large medical bills. Your personal injury lawyer will not only work to secure a fair offer for you but can also negotiate some of your medical billing. The end result is you end up with more money in your pocket. The ability to negotiate these bills stems from the attorney’s understanding of N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which is a limiting factor when it comes to liens resulting from medical treatment related to the injury.

You deserve to have someone fight for your rights. Insurance companies are focused on the bottom line. We focus on the client.

Speak With A Charlotte Pedestrian Lawyer Today

If you were a pedestrian, and were hit by the driver of an automobile or motorcycle, please call us at 704.749.7747. Or, if you’d like us to call you, just click HERE to request a call online. An attorney will be happy to discuss your rights and provide you guidance, at no charge. There’s no obligation to hire us but we hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

If you need a free copy of your accident report, we’re happy to obtain that for you as well– just click HERE to request one and simply let us know the date of your accident, the location, and your full name.