If you or a loved one has recently suffered a personal injury, you have rights to assert. The Law Office of Jackson Pitts can carefully advise you on your options and advocate for you throughout the legal process. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of each client that seeks our assistance.
Personal injury lawsuits usually file under negligence. This could mean that people and businesses are held financially responsible for harm that results in careless behavior. Victims may receive compensation for medical costs, property damage, future treatment expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other forms of injuries. In a personal injury claim, the fault often is determined by the circumstances of the case. However, injured parties represented by an attorney should expect their attorney to investigate the incident and discover all potential at-fault parties and make a final liability determination.
Complicated issues can arise in these cases that make it critical to enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer. Additionally, rules like the statute of limitations restrict the time within which a victim may be able to bring a claim. It’s essential that you understand this law because if you fail to get your lawsuit filed before the three-year window closes, the North Carolina courts will potentially refuse to hear your case in the future, and your right to compensation could be lost. To access the full scope of reimbursement, contact The Law Office of Jackson Pitts.
By Michael Hurley - not a lawyer, the contents of this information do not constitute legal advice, please consult a legal representative.
Not necessarily. Filing a lawsuit does not guarantee you to compensation. For example, if Adam files a lawsuit against Bob even though Bob did nothing at all to hurt Adam, then Adam does not get to receive “compensation” simply because he filed a lawsuit. The Plaintiff must prove that a legal reason exists for receiving compensation.
Personal injury victims can receive compensation for their injuries in one of two ways:
filing a lawsuit
negotiating an insurance settlement.
Many victims can work with an attorney to negotiate an insurance settlement rather than filing a lawsuit. In many cases, insurance settlements may be preferable because they can be resolved more quickly than by going to court.
This is not generally true for two reasons. First, while some attorneys charge a fee for consultation services, some personal injury attorneys, such as the Law Office of Jackson Pitts, provide free consultations to accident injury victims. Second, personal injury attorneys do not necessarily cost a lot of money to hire. This is because many personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that any fees are taken out of the final verdict or settlement rather than being paid upfront.
If the first part of the statement were always true, then this would not be a myth. However, what many people believe are “minor injuries” are not necessarily minor. In many cases, minor injuries can become worse over time. Additionally, some injuries lie dormant and do not even present themselves until months after an injury occurs. If you have been injured, seek medical attention immediately so that you can understand the extent of your injuries and the likelihood that “minor injuries” will become worse over time.
Simply because two lawyers both graduated from law school does not mean that their skill sets are identical. Just as in other fields, there are different types of legal specialties. For example, in the medical field, no patient wants their stomach to be operated on by a brain surgeon or vice versa. The same is true in law. While you may have a family lawyer that you trust, that family lawyer is not necessarily the proper specialty to litigate your personal injury claim. If you know and trust a lawyer who does not practice personal injury law, do not ask that lawyer to take your injury case. Instead, you should ask that lawyer for a referral to a personal injury lawyer he/she knows can do the job right.
Yes, you do, but even if you do not need to, you should. On the one hand, you may either not realize that you have a case or you have a better case than you thought. On the other hand, you may think you have a case, but the matter is not worth pursuing. Either way, it is important to seek out a legal opinion so that you at least have additional information about your situation. In fact, many consultations with personal injuries are free. For example, the Law Office of Jackson Pitts provides free, no-strings-attached consultation services for its personal injury clients.
This is partially true. As a general rule, an employer can fire an employee for just about any reason. This is the rule known as “at-will” employment. Your employment is not protected in every single circumstance. For example, if you and your employer get into a car accident on your day off and you sue your employer, your employer can legally fire you.
Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed in the law. Even successful claims will occasionally not result in a full recovery. This is particularly true in cases where an injured party attempts to negotiate with an insurance company without attorney representation. Generally, hiring a personal injury lawyer can increase your chances of receiving full compensation from the at-fault party.
Just like the principle of double jeopardy prevents a criminal from being tried in court twice for committing the same crime, the legal rule of res judicata prevents personal injury victims from trying to seek compensation for their injuries more than once.
Not necessarily. Not every injury can result in a personal injury lawsuit, and in some cases, not all losses may be compensated by going to court. This occurs most commonly where a jury does not believe the injury victim or a judge dismisses a claim early for failing to conform to legal technicalities.
Most people misunderstand the term “frivolous lawsuit.” A frivolous lawsuit is a legal term with a specific definition. Frivolous lawsuits are legal claims without any basis in either law or fact. As a matter of law, a personal injury claim is absolutely a valid legal claim and is by definition not frivolous. The facts will differ from case to case, however, and in some cases, bringing a lawsuit may be frivolous. For example, if Adam sues Bob for personal injury after a car accident, but Adam was actually in a car accident with Steve, not Bob, then Adam has probably filed a frivolous lawsuit. Outside of these types of outlandish scenarios, however, most personal injury lawsuits are not frivolous.
Unfortunately, the law places deadlines on the filing of personal injury lawsuits. All states have a law known as the “statute of limitations” which limits how long people can wait before filing a lawsuit. North Carolina’s statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. Regardless of the time limit applicable, you should begin strategizing with a personal injury attorney immediately to give both you and your attorney plenty of time to plan out the best way to file a claim.
Generally, this is not the case. While we would love to tell you that hiring an attorney is like winning the lottery, it is important to be realistic about what a personal injury lawsuit is and what it is not. Large multi-million dollar verdicts do happen but they are not typical in most cases. What a personal injury claim will do is help you receive compensation for your injury in the form of reimbursement of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Definitely not true. In fact, this myth puts the cart before the horse. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party is suing for damages. As part of this damages award, the injured party can seek compensation for any unpaid or outstanding medical bills that resulted from treating the injury.
The truth of this myth will vary from lawsuit to lawsuit. It is true that some lawsuits drag on for years; however, this long timeline is only typical for extremely complex personal injury lawsuits such as medical malpractice or class action claims. Most car accident claims or other personal injury claims are resolved within one to three years. For more in-depth information, you can read our “How long does my personal injury lawsuit take?” article.
Generally, this is not true. Your insurance company will normally cover the cost of medical bills. Depending on the type of insurance policy and its limits, your insurance company may cover the cost of property damage minus the deductible amount. In any case where you are injured, however, you must seek recovery from the at-fault individual’s insurance company for pain and suffering and similar damages, which will require you to hire an attorney.
This myth is half-true. Your insurance contract specifies the extent to which your insurance company must protect you. Generally, this protection is limited to instances where you are being sued by someone else. If you are injured and have to file a lawsuit, however, your insurance company is under no obligation to either fight for your rights or hire an attorney for you. In fact, insurance companies generally tend to prey on injury victims who are not represented by an attorney and offer minimal compensation wherever possible.
Many people have various beliefs on the morality of the legal system, and if you have a genuine moral problem with filing a lawsuit, we cannot force you to change your mind. However, most who hold this belief are unfamiliar with the morality underpinning the personal injury recovery system. Personal injury law was actually established for moral reasons. The purpose of personal injury law is primarily to ensure justice for the victim of an injury, not to punish or get money out of a defendant for no reason at all. If you still have moral concerns about filing a lawsuit, it will be better to address those concerns with your attorney and explain that you want to play fair and not use the law as a weapon.
This myth flies in the face of legal ethics. Attorneys do not view client information as a commodity that can be bought or sold. In fact, the opposite is true. The Rules of Professional Responsibility for lawyers ban attorneys from sharing ANY client info including personal or financial information with third parties. If an attorney shares or sells your personal, private information with others, the attorney can (and should) lose his or her bar license.