For anyone who has been in a car accident, you know how traumatic the experience can be. Your world can be forever changed in a split second, especially if you sustain serious injuries or if a loved one dies in an accident. When an accident is caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence, the injured victims deserve compensation for their injuries and a Wilmington car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
At Ted A. Greve & Associates, we are always ready to fight for the rights of car accident victims. We have over 30 years of legal experience in personal injury law, and we work hard to hold negligent drivers and other parties accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Wilmington or other areas in North Carolina, get in touch with one of our Wilmington personal injury attorneys today at (800) 693-7833. We have helped countless North Carolina residents successfully recover compensation for their injuries. We offer all our clients a free initial consultation, where we will discuss the details surrounding your case and your options for recovering compensation.
Car Accident Statistics for North Carolina
North Carolina is a state with an estimated 7.5 million drivers, making it the 8th largest driving population in the country as of 2018. The odds of being involved in a crash as a licensed driver in 2018 stood at 1 in about 26, or 3.7%.
According to the N.C. Department of Transportation data from 2018:
- 125,454 people were injured in car crashes, representing a 2% decrease from 2017
- 80,653 crashes resulted in injuries on NC road
- Alcohol was a key factor in a total of 7,602 accidents, representing 6.1% of all injury accidents
- Lane departure was noted as a factor in 30,137 injury accidents, which is a hefty 24% of all injury accidents
- Speed was noted as a factor in 10,188 injury accidents or 8.1% of all injury accidents
- An estimated 24,178 total injury accidents were caused by distracted driving, accounting for 19.3% of all accidents that resulted in injuries
In 2019, the average cost of a non-fatal injury accident was $168,000. Fatal and or severe injury accidents cost an average of $3,123,000, based on NCDOT Crash Costs data.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
After having been in an accident, the last thing you want is to worry about car accident lawyer costs and legal fees. Many lawyers and law firms understand this (including us), and that’s why car accident cases are usually handled on what’s called a contingency fee arrangement.
This simply means that you don’t need to pay anything upfront to your Wilmington car accident lawyer in order to access legal services. With the contingency fee arrangement, you don’t pay your lawyer until they recover compensation for you. This way, you can be sure that they have your best interest at heart and that they will do everything they can to recover compensation.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Wilmington?
After an auto accident, panic is often the first emotion people feel, but, you need to attempt to remain calm as much as possible. Listed below are the 7 steps you should take following a car accident, no matter how insignificant or serious the accident is.
Contact the Authorities
You can easily get the help you need by dialing 911. If you or someone on the scene is hurt, request medical attention. A police officer will come to the scene and make a report, which is important for your case.
Check on Others
It’s always wise to check on the other involved parties to make sure they are okay. If someone is unconscious, move them away from immediate danger, but if they are badly hurt, avoid moving them until the paramedics arrive.
Exchange Contact Information
Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the parties involved. Don’t forget to also note down their license plate numbers and insurance information. If there are any witnesses, get their names and phone numbers too.
Record the Scene
You will probably have your smartphone on the scene. Use it to take photos and videos of the scene, making sure you capture the injuries sustained, damage to the vehicles, the road conditions, any obstacles, and any other factors that might have contributed to the accident.
Never Admit Fault
Avoid arguing or admitting fault to the other driver at all costs. It won’t help the situation, and anything you say to them can be used against you later in court and implicate you. On the same note, avoid posting anything about the collision on social media as it might hurt your case later.
Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Even if your injuries don’t appear serious, let your physician be the judge of how severe your injuries are. Some injuries might not show up immediately after the accident, and failing to get checked could risk further complications.
Call a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer at Ted A. Greve & Associates!
Get in touch with a Wilmington lawyer that specializes in auto accident cases. You want to get a good lawyer who can adequately protect your rights and ensure that all the evidence related to your case is preserved. Your attorney will provide you with legal advice and guidance throughout the entire process of seeking compensation.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Based on the information provided by the Insurance Information Institute, the average car accident personal injury claim was settled for about $18,417 in 2019. The average settlement for property damage in car accidents stood at $4,525 the same year.
It’s worth noting that the amount of compensation you will receive will largely depend on the negotiations between the victim’s attorney and the perpetrator’s insurance company and any other parties who may have been named liable in the claim.
To calculate the appropriate settlement amount for your case, your lawyer will carefully collect all the facts surrounding your case, including your expenses and other relevant losses. Although past verdicts and outcomes aren’t a guarantee of the results we can obtain in your case, you should know that we have secured significant settlements for our clients, ranging from $100,000 to $3 million.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for my Auto Accident?
Car accidents happen nearly every minute all around the country. Fortunately, most of them are the fender bender kinds of accidents, which are usually settled out of court and between the insurance companies. However, every now and then, major accidents occur, where someone is seriously injured, loses their life, or causes major damage to the vehicles. For these cases, hiring a car accident attorney is critical.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident in North Carolina, you want to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to file your claim, the harder it becomes for you to recover full compensation for your damages.
Why Do I Need a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer?
You do not have to hire an attorney to handle your car accident case in Wilmington, NC. However, in most cases, it will be in your best interests. Choosing to work with a lawyer is beneficial for many reasons.
Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your case. Your lawyer will also evaluate all of the available evidence supporting your case and then prepare a strong case for you. The preparation stage is critical as it ensures that there are no unexpected surprises from the side of the defendant in their attempt to deny or devalue your claim.
It’s the work of your lawyer to conduct thorough negotiations with the defendant’s insurance companies. Our lawyers have extensive experience with negotiations and will make sure the insurance company reaches an acceptable settlement amount. If they don’t, your lawyer will proceed to file a lawsuit against the insurer and ensure you get a favorable outcome.
Most car accident cases are resolved with a settlement. However, if the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, we are prepared to take your case to court. Our lawyers how to present the evidence and testimony that will prove your case and injuries. Our team is skilled in the courtroom, and they know when and how to act in your best interests.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
Each car accident is unique, meaning there will always be a certain set of circumstances that surround each case. To calculate how much you could receive for your damages, the nature and severity of the resulting damages and injuries, and any damage to your property will be taken into account. Be sure to get in touch with an experienced Wilmington car accident attorney today to learn more about how much you should expect to receive in damages for your case.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
There are three categories of damages that you may be able to claim after a car accident in Wilmington, NC.
These are damages that can be objectively and independently verified using estimates, invoices, projections, and other financial statements. In car accident cases, economic damages typically include medical expenses, loss of income, lost benefits, lost earning capacity, and property damage.
These are damages that are hard to quantify and estimate financially. They include things like emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, stress and anxiety, and loss of consortium. Since these losses usually don’t have financial statements to prove their worth, the courts have to do their best to quantify the amount of compensation the victim should be awarded as a result of non-economic losses.
Punitive and Exemplary Charges
In certain cases, the court may choose to have the defendant pay punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages. These are awarded in cases where the court finds the defendant engaged in grossly negligent or reckless conduct, or otherwise displayed a great disregard for human life. These damages are intended to serve as additional punishment and as a deterrent for the defendant and the members of the public from engaging in similar acts.
How is Fault Determined?
Proving fault in North Carolina is vital because it’s a contributory negligence state. In many other states, you might be able to recover some damages following a car accident, even if you were partially to blame for the crash.
But in North Carolina, you will be completely barred from obtaining compensation if you were even slightly responsible for the accident. This means that if you made one small mistake, such as not using a turn signal or being a few miles per hour over the speed limit, you could be completely barred from obtaining compensation.
For this reason, you will need to demonstrate without a reasonable doubt that the other driver was at fault in the car accident case. Moreover, you will need to defend yourself against all the claims that may be thrown at you alleging you contributed to the accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Under the law, you have a limited window of time after the accident occurs to file a lawsuit. This time window is called the statute of limitations. In North Carolina, you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, including car accident claims. Failure to file your lawsuit before these time periods, the court will most likely dismiss your lawsuit permanently.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
Your lawyer will be responsible for reviewing your case and negotiating with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement. If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, then the case will simply proceed to court.
It’s worth noting that insurance companies typically prefer settling their cases out of court whenever possible. In many cases, juries are sympathetic to the victims that are seriously injured in car accidents, and the outcome might not be necessarily favorable to the insurance company.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Wilmington car accident, be sure to get in touch with the car accident lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates for a free case assessment.
Types of Auto Accidents Handled by Ted A. Greve & Associates
Our Wilmington car accident lawyers handle all types of auto accident cases, including:
What Can I Do If Insurance Denies My Claim?
In case your claim is denied, you can appeal the denial, ideally with an attorney who can help you file for a hearing. The following are some of the steps to follow when you request a hearing:
All cases are typically referred to mediation before the date of hearing is scheduled. Mediation is an informal meeting between the opposing entities with a neutral third party trying to help them reach a unanimous settlement.
The opposing parties must present evidence to prove the initial denial wasn’t correct, including witness testimonies, vacation expert testimony, medical records, etc. by post-hearing depositions. When the hearing is over and the evidence is received, the judge will give a written Opinion and Award. In case the first judge denies the claim, you can file another appeal to the Full Commission for a new decision.
The Full Commission usually doesn’t take new evidence by reviewing the available evidence along with the decision of the first judge and then makes their own Opinion and Award. Any party can appeal the decision of the Full Commission to the Court of Appeals.
Do I Have a Case?
It’s normal to wonder if you have a case when you’re dealing with car crash cases. To be certain, you should consider consulting an experienced car accident lawyer to help you establish whether you really have a case. Keep in mind that the more time you take before you contact a lawyer, the harder it becomes when it comes to collecting the necessary evidence needed to build a solid case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
The state of North Carolina requires that all drivers should carry insurance. The coverage must be at least $30,000 for body injuries per person, along with $60,000 for body injuries per accident. Coverage for property damage should at least be $25,000.
In cases where you are uninsured and the other driver was at fault, you are allowed to file a claim against the driver who caused the accident. You should aim at filing the claim with the insurance company of the responsible party as soon as possible after the crash.
In situations where you want to file a civil lawsuit, you are only allowed three years from the time of the accident. You should be mindful of the time and how you could be hurting your chances of getting full compensation by not meeting the deadline. An auto accident attorney can help make sure that you meet all the deadlines and guide you on your best course of action depending on your situation.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report in Wilmington, NC?
While at the scene of the car crash, the attending officer will provide you with the number of the police report they filed. The number should be listed on the exchange card. Most car crash reports are usually completed and available 3 to 4 days following the accident.
You can obtain your copy online through the city’s reports page or at the Division of Motor Vehicles for a nominal fee. You can ask for your report using the number provided, or by simply giving out the date of the accident, the names of the drivers, and/or the location of the accident. You should get a copy of the accident report as soon as possible. It comes with valuable information that could help you deal better with the other driver and their insurance company.
Contact a Wilmington, NC Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a North Carolina car accident, you deserve to be compensated for the injuries and damages you sustained. Don’t wait for another day – it’s time you got the at-fault party to pay up your damages.
Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates law today at (800) 693-7833 to schedule your free consultation with our Wilmington car accident lawyers. Our consultation comes with no obligations, and we will discuss your case in length and explore what compensation you might be eligible for based on your accident.