Retaining an attorney is critical to obtaining fair compensation from the insurance company. These companies evaluate personal injury claims based upon what they believe you would recover from a jury. If you are not represented by an attorney familiar with the North Carolina law, the chance of a jury holding the negligent driver liable is significantly lessened. Personal injury cases, including car accident claims, involve consideration of two primary issues – liability and damages.
Liability is the portion of the case pertaining to who was at-fault. In many cases, this will be obvious. For example, if you are waiting at a stop sign and rear-ended by a teenage driver texting on the phone, liability will likely not be contested. However, not all cases are so simple, especially because of North Carolina’s irrational “contributory negligence” rule. This rule says that even if the defendant is 99% at-fault, if you are 1% at-fault, then you are not entitled to recover. Defense attorneys regularly try to argue contributory negligence even when there’s little to no evidence that the plaintiff did anything wrong. Juries can sometimes be misled by even the most outrageous of defense attorneys arguments.
The next issue in any personal injury negligence case is “damages.” Essentially, this is the question of how much compensation a plaintiff is entitled to. The total value of the case or any verdict is based upon different “elements” of recovery. In North Carolina, the most common elements are (1) medical and pharmaceutical expenses (2) lost wages and/or diminished earning capacity and (3) physical and mental pain and suffering. Punitive damages are available in circumstances involving willful and wanton negligence (for example, when an accident is caused by a drunk driver). Compensation may also be available for scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, and other elements.
If you have been in an accident in Oxford or anywhere in the Granville County area, the law firm of Maginnis Law can help you in negotiating with the insurance company and properly presenting all damages to which you are entitled. We will also help ensure that you make a claim under all applicable insurance policies. Our firm offers free consultations and will come to meet with you if you’re unable to travel due to serious injuries. Additionally, all automobile accident cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only recover attorneys’ fees if we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
For assistance with your Oxford car accident claim, call attorney Shawn Howard at 919.480.8526 or Edward Maginnis at 919.526.0450. You may also send a confidential email inquiry regarding the facts of your case using our contact page.