Posts

Who Pays For Physical Therapy After A Car Accident?

You didn’t ask to be in a car accident. Now you’re dealing with the aftermath—arguing with the insurance company, missing work due to injuries and doctor’s appointments, and possibly facing the inability to afford treatment. We help clients with these concerns every day in our practice, and we can help you as well.

If your car accident or slip and fall required a surgery, most likely you will need some form of physical therapy after a car accident and surgery. If you do not have health insurance, or if you have a high deductible, you may not be able to afford physical therapy. This conundrum presents numerous problems. First, your full recovery depends upon physical therapy. You won’t fully heal from the surgery without it. Second, if you have a personal injury claim, you deserve to not only be treated but also to have that treatment paid for by whoever caused the injury.

Physical Therapy On A Lien Basis

In North Carolina, there is a lien statute which relates to medical treatment provided in conjunction with a personal injury. While the language of the statute requires legal interpretation, it generally boils down to the fact that your medical providers (including your health insurance company) can place a lien against your injury proceeds. Your lawyer has an ethical obligation to obtain lien amounts and address them in your settlement. The upside of this rule is that quite often, you can find a physical therapist to treat you on a “lien basis”. This means the therapist will treat you and simply agree that they will wait to get paid until you reach a settlement.

You’ll Need An Attorney Letter Of Protection

If you find a physical therapist or chiropractor willing to work on a lien basis, they will most likely want to see a copy of your police report, and receive a letter from your personal injury lawyer indicating the lawyer represents you, and that the lawyer is protecting their lien in the personal injury settlement. This letter can be quickly drafted and faxed or emailed to the medical provider, so that treatment can begin or continue.

When Do You Pay For The Physical Therapy After A Car Accident?

Once you reach a settlement, your attorney will work with the physical therapist to negotiate their bill, if possible. The lien statute referenced above (NCGS 44-49 and 44-50) place limitations on the amount you must pay the medical provider from your settlement proceeds, and this will be a necessary component of the negotiation. Your personal injury lawyer will handle this for you and communicate with you regarding where every dollar of your settlement will go.

How Much Of My Settlement Will I Receive?

The answer to this depends of course on a few factors. First, how high your outstanding medical bills and liens are. Second, how much you receive at settlement. Lastly, the application of the NC lien statute to the settlement proceeds and liens will largely determine the amount which will go back to you from your settlement proceeds. Your attorney will address each of these concerns with you as your case progresses and you will have ultimate authority to settle the claim or refuse the offer of settlement. It’s your attorney’s job to help you understand how each decision affects you.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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 settlement, after subtracting attorney fees and costs. Generally, because attorney fees are usually one third of 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 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 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.

 

 

Contusions From Car Accidents

Our clients’ medical records often reflect contusions from car accidents. Often, insurance adjusters seek to minimize the impact of contusions when it comes to settlement offers. Working with a personal injury lawyer will help to make sure you are treated fairly when you reach a personal injury settlement.

What Is A Contusion?

A contusion is a condition where a capillary or blood vessel is leaking into the surrounding area. While it can be painful and take time to heal, put more simply, a contusion is a medical term for a bruise.

Soft Tissue Contusions From Car Accidents

The most common type of contusion is a a soft tissue contusion. Muscle contusions are bruised muscles or tendons. These can result from impact with your dashboard or steering wheel in a car accident. You will have some or all of the following symptoms:

Discoloration

Swelling

Stiffness

Soreness

While you should seek medical attention for your injuries, there is not much a physician can do to treat a contusion. They will recommend Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation or “RICE”. They will also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce the pain and inflammation. Lastly, they may recommend a brace or wrap to keep the area in place while it heals.

Bone Contusions From Car Accidents

A second type of contusion is a bone contusion. While the end result is similar to a soft tissue contusion, bone contusions are less common. They also take more time to heal. Whereas a muscle contusion may take a few days to a few weeks, a bone contusion can take a few months to heal.

How Do I Know If I Have A Broken Bone?

Quite often, doctors will take x-rays or an MRI to confirm that your condition is in fact a contusion and not a broken or fractured bone. This is simply a process of elimination. While an x-ray won’t show a bone bruise, it can help to eliminate a fracture as the culprit.

What Is A Contusion Worth In Personal Injury?

Your personal injury claim is made up of numerous elements. While a contusion alone is not a high value personal injury, you deserve to be treated fairly by the insurance company for the at fault driver. A personal injury lawyer can help to build your case from many aspects—lost wages, pain and suffering, and special damages.

Contusions from car accidents help to tell the story of the accident. A contusion on your head or face shows you made contact with your vehicle upon impact. While the injury alone may not give rise to a large personal injury settlement, it helps to establish the violent nature of the car accident.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident and would like advice, we’re here to help. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

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 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 which 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 situation 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 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 you 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.

Tow Truck Near Me Now

If you’re looking for a “Tow truck near me now,” we have a few links to reputable tow truck companies in the Charlotte, NC area in this article. Chances are, you may also need a personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been in a car accident and you’re still on the scene, here are a few tips:

  • Take Photographs – First, take photographs of the damage to the vehicle that hit you. Once they are gone, so is your chance to capture their damage. Second, take photographs of the damage to your vehicle. The photos of both vehicles will help to prove that the other party was at fault. Lastly, take photos of the area. If possible, walk about 50 feet away from the accident (in a safe area) and photograph the area where the accident happened. This helps provide perspective for your personal injury lawyer or insurance adjuster.
  • Request A Police Report—You should call the police, and when they arrive on the scene, make sure to tell them you would like a police report created. You won’t be given a police report on the spot, but you should be provided with a driver exchange form. Your police report will arrive about 5 days later in the mail. Once a police report is generated, we will be happy to provide it to you free of charge– just call us. Or, you can get one HERE.
  • Double-Check The Facts With The Officer—Officers are human beings. They get things wrong. Make sure you clearly tell the officer what happened . Then, have the officer repeat it back to you. Listen for any facts which might invite someone to decide the accident was your fault or both drivers’ fault. Correct the officer if they get the story wrong.
  • Seek Medical Attention Quickly—First, it’s important for you to make sure you’re OK. Adrenaline from the accident may convince you you’re not injured. Or, perhaps you’re trying to ‘tough it out.’ This is no time for that. Second, make sure to tell the ambulance driver and/or ER doctor that you were in a vehicle accident. This will be entered into the medical record and establish the purpose of your visit.
  • Continue Your Medical Treatment—You should continue your medical treatment for several reasons. First, you’re following a doctor’s orders, in an attempt to get healthy again. Second, any interruption in your medical treatment will be used against you if you file a personal injury claim later. Lastly, any gaps in medical treatment may be used to demonstrate that you were not injured, or did not need the treatment you received after the gap.
  • Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer—Whether you hire a lawyer on the spot or not, it’s a great idea to call a personal injury lawyer to get advice. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 and select the option for new client—your call will be received by a lawyer and you’ll get help right away.

Tow Truck Companies In Charlotte

Rather than google “Tow truck near me now” and end up with a random company, here are a few we recommend. If you need a tow truck company in Charlotte, these may be helpful. We see their names on police reports every day in our office, and we know they are reliable:

Hunter Wrecker 704.375.9357 (http://hunterwrecker.com/contact/)

Dellinger Auto and Wrecker 704.588.3875 (http://dellingerwrecker.com/contact/)

Independence Towing  980.277.3070 (https://www.charlotteautotowingnow.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInJ7I2c-Y4AIVC9bACh1INwEBEAAYASAAEgKPhPD_BwE)

Speak With An Attorney Today

If you’ve been in a car accident, you deserve to know your rights. Call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a free case evaluation and we will reach out today. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

How Much Does An MRI Cost?

According to data released from NerdWallet Health, an MRI costs on average about $2,611.00. Your insurance may pay for some or all of that expense. Any way you look at it though, it’s an expensive procedure. Additionally, you’ll receive a separate charge from the Radiologist to read the MRI. If your physician requests contrast dyes in conjunction with the MRI, the price goes up further.

Is An MRI Important For My Personal Injury Case?

If your doctor recommends one, you should have one done. In any case, an MRI can reveal injuries which an X-ray will not reveal. An MRI of the brain and spinal cord can reveal brain tumors, MS, stroke, and problems with your eyes and ears. An MRI of the bones and joints reveals herniated discs, fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, and arthritis.

Put quite simply, the value of your car accident or slip and fall increases if your injuries increase. In other words, the purpose of a personal injury lawsuit or settlement is to make you whole again. As a result, the primary thing you must prove to the insurance adjuster or to the jury, is that you have suffered an injury which has left you in a worse state than you were in prior to the accident. An MRI, together with a doctor’s medical notes, becomes evidence of those injuries sustained in a car accident or slip and fall accident.

Today you may be wondering how much it will cost, but if your doctor recommends an MRI and you forego getting one, you may find out that your personal injury claim is worth less than full value. Your medical bills are typically paid through your personal injury settlement, especially if they are filed as a personal injury settlement lien.

Next Steps For Car Accident Or Slip And Fall Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. The primary reason of course is to be sure of what treatment you might need—allowing injuries to go untreated can exacerbate them and make them worse. Second, if you do have a personal injury claim, a delay in treatment will serve to lower the value of your personal injury claim or personal injury case.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Need help or advice? That’s why we’re here. Call us today to speak with an attorney. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out to you today. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

If you’ve been in a Charlotte car accident with a drunk driver, you should strongly consider hiring a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to assist you. This article addresses some unique concerns to a Charlotte car accident involving a drunk driver. We hope it’s helpful to you.

Drunk Driving Statistics

In 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35,092 people were killed as a result of driving accidents. Drunk driving was involved in 10,265 of those accidents. That is roughly 29% of all traffic fatalities. The desire to limit these unnecessary fatalities allows punitive damages in many drunk driving accidents.

Punitive Damages In Drunk Driving Accidents

If you were injured or if a family member was killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are distinguishable from compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to make the victim whole again. They often include repayment for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and permanent disability. Punitive damages are meant to punish or deter the at-fault party and others. By allowing a jury to award punitive damages, the court send a message to all future offenders. The hope is that the threat of a large verdict against you will prevent you from driving drunk.

The aggravating factor in a drunk driving accident is willful and wanton conduct. This aggravating factor, codified in North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 1D. Willful and wanton conduct is defined as “the conscious and intentional disregard of and indifference to the rights and safety of others, which the defendant knows or should know is reasonably likely to result in injury, damage, or other harm. Willful or wanton conduct means more than gross negligence.” When a victim is able to establish this requirement they are able to recover punitive damages in a North Carolina drunk driving accident.

Attorney Fees In Drunk Driving Accidents

Like all other personal injury claims our firm handles, our firm is paid on a contingent fee basis. This means that unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you, you do not owe us anything. In a situation of a Charlotte car accident with a drunk driver, that fee structure remains the same.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Today

The consultation is free. Call 704.749.7747 to speak with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer in our office today. We consider it part of our job to provide answers even if you don’t choose to hire us. You’re entitled to understand your rights. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.