How Do I File Personal Injury Lawsuit For a Car Accident in Charlotte, North Carolina?
A car accident that results in injury can be a very stressful incident. Lots of medical bills and car repairs pile up. You might be unable to work and therefore suffer lost wages. If you were in a Charlotte car accident where another driver was at fault, you might deserve compensation.
First, It is important to report a Charlotte car accident to local police. If you are in a car accident inside the city limits of Charlotte that resulted in injury or death or where there is at least $1000 in property damage, then North Carolina law requires that you report the incident to the Charlotte Police Department. They will then file a report with the state department of motor vehicles. Many people may also seek damages in a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Filing a Charlotte Car Accident Complaint
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit following a Charlotte car wreck, the first step is to submit a formal legal complaint with the Mecklenburg County Courts. The complaint is an important first step—it formally announces your intention to seek damages. There are strict legal standards of form and content when filing a complaint in a personal injury lawsuit.
The complaint must have separate, numbered paragraphs detailing each allegation and identifying injuries you have sustained. It also states the legal basis for your complaint and the amount of damages you seek. A skilled Charlotte car accident attorney can help you draft and file the document. Your attorney will also serve the complaint to the other driver using a process server or law enforcement officer. The defendant has 20 days to respond.
There is a three-year statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits in North Carolina. That means you have three years from the date of the Charlotte car accident to file personal injury and property damage claims. Talk to your lawyer early to make sure you have enough time to file a lawsuit if the need arises.
How the Discovery Process Work in a Lawsuit
After you have filed a complaint, and the defendant has responded, you will both participate in the process of discovery. During this time, your attorney will request documents and information from the defendant by submitting written questions called interrogatories. The defendant’s lawyer will also ask for information and documents from you. A deposition is another way to collect information. Either party can schedule a deposition to compel others to testify at a pre-arranged time and place. People recorded such testimony for its potential use in court.
Both parties’ and their attorneys will participate in pretrial discussions and consider the possibility of reaching a settlement. Most cases never make it to trial. Trials are when a judge or jury hears evidence and decides the case. Preparation and arguments at trial can be expensive and time-consuming. So, most people decide to reach a settlement.
Charlotte Car Accident Settlements
For civil cases, North Carolina requires mandatory settlement conferences with a neutral mediator. Most Charlotte car accident cases never go to trial. Nearly all parties choose to settle damage claims in pretrial settlement conferences. Many times, the parties involved would rather know the outcome by taking a predetermined payment than risk losing at trial. Taking a settlement saves on legal fees and stress. The parties negotiate appropriate compensation and sign written agreements before dropping the pending lawsuit. Even if you don’t reach a settlement during the moderated meetings, your lawyer is likely to keep to option of settlement open.
Amount of Damages in Settlement for Charlotte Car Wreck
Since the pain, suffering, and losses incurred following a car incident may differ significantly, a specialized attorney will help establishing the right settlement for your case. When figuring out a fair settlement, your lawyer will consider economic factors such as medical payments, car repairs, lost salary, and insurance coverage. They also take into account how much liability each party bears. Non-economic factors such as pain and suffering also play a role in determining the damages in a suit.
Medical cost, property damage, or lost wages are pretty simple to calculate. Showing clear, documented evidence such as hospital bills, a quote for an auto shop, or pay stubs can prove true economic costs.
By comparison, evaluating damages from pain and suffering is difficult because it is highly subjective and there is often very little external evidence. An experienced Charlotte car accident attorney can guide you through the process of assessing what amount of money would be appropriate compensation for the level pain and suffering you experienced. Two victims may describe similar injuries very differently. Because a persons pain is subjective, it makes establishing standards for pain and suffering damages very difficult. In practice, courts consider the following factors when determining the amount of compensation for pain and suffering.
- How sever is the injury
- Where on the body were you injured
- Any scarring or disfigurement
- Recovery time
- Long-lasting consequences
- State damages caps
Do I Need an Attorney for a Lawsuit
Technically an individual can represent themselves in the North Carolina Court System. Still, proceeding sans lawyer is not recommended. The complex legal system has a multitude of time limits and rules that you need to follow in order to succeed in winning your Charlotte car accident case.
It is in your best interest to hire an attorney if you can. A skilled lawyer knows how to navigate the legal system with substantive considerations for your lawsuit. He or she will do much of the work of the lawsuit for you. Remember, most attorneys won’t charge fees until you have won your case. You can schedule a free meeting to discuss your options.
Choosing A Charlotte Car Accident Attorney
Ted. A Greve & Associates has a Charlotte car accident attorneys and personal injury legal team with more than 20 years of experience in representing the people of Charlotte. We work with victims and represent clients through the entire compensation process. You only pay our fees after we have settled your case. When you need a Charlotte car accident attorney, contact us at 800-375-9190 for a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your options.