Personal Injury FAQs

Personal injury cases can be extremely uncomfortable and stressful to deal with, and we know that. Founding attorney Hank Doyle has been providing individuals, families, and small businesses with expert personal injury representation for over 20 years. Below are several frequently asked questions that will hopefully clear up any question you may have.

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What is a personal injury case?

A personal injury case is a legal dispute that comes about when an individual suffers trauma from an accident or injury and another individual is legally responsible for said trauma. Through civil court proceedings, personal injury claims can become officially formalized. These proceedings must seek to find others legally at fault for a scenario at hand through a court judgment or resolve said scenario through an informal settlement before a lawsuit is officially filed.

What is a formal lawsuit?

A formal lawsuit begins by a private individual filing a civil complaint against another individual, corporation, government agency, non-profit, or business. Litigation of a formal lawsuit typically involves discovery, trial, and post-trial.

What is an informal lawsuit?

The majority of disputes are resolved through informal early settlements, typically among anyone involved in said dispute, their insurers, and any legal professional representing one of the two parties. Settlements generally come about in the form of negotiation and are accompanied by a formally-written agreement acknowledging that each party is willing to forgo any further action.

What is pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering is a legal term referring to a host of injuries that a plaintiff may suffer from an accident of some kind. This type of suffering includes physical pain along with mental and emotional pain as well. A few examples of mental injuries would include anxiety, grief, insomnia, fear, and depression.

What steps do I need to take after an auto accident?

Automobile accidents are terrifying and often leave those involved in an uncomfortable, and we know that. If by chance you experience an auto accident, we recommend you take the following steps:

  • Emphasize and find safety: Be sure to get to a safe place far away from where the accident occurred and far away from the road in general. It is common for drivers to become distracted and caught off guard when driving by a fresh car crash, leaving them more likely to crash themselves. After an auto accident, chances are the last thing you’d want to experience is another time of collision! That said, it’s imperative that you get yourself and others to safety as quickly as possible.
  • Reach out for assistance: We highly recommend you call both 911 and an experienced attorney immediately following an auto accident in order to avoid any potential roadblocks from a legal and/or compensation standpoint. Medical help is always recommended, as it is sometimes difficult to determine if you’ve experienced an injury or not.
  • Deal with the damaged vehicles: If your vehicle is severely damaged and unable to be driven, we recommend calling a tow truck as soon as possible. Towing your damaged vehicle will not only initiate the process of getting you back on the road but also enable insurance estimators to thoroughly examine your vehicle and provide you with an inspection report. What is an inspection report? An inspection report is a report breaking down the damage inflicted on a vehicle that was involved in an accident. These reports are often used in personal injury claims, so be sure to get one if you plan to file a claim!

I have just been in an accident. The other driver’s insurance company wants me to give a recorded statement. Should I do this?

No.  Never give the other insurance company a statement.  Talk with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can after the accident.

I was just in an accident. I don’t think I am really hurt, just a bit sore. I don’t want the hassle of going to the hospital right now.  Can I still make a claim?

Not seeking immediate medical evaluation and treatment will often sabotage any claim you may have.  It is vital to get checked out by a doctor.  If you aren’t hurt, then you are lucky and haven’t lost anything.  If you have an injury that isn’t obvious at first but is serious and manifests over time, not having medical treatment and documentation severely weakens your claim later.

If I am in a car accident, does that mean I am entitled to compensation?

Possibly.  To recover for your injuries in a car accident, it has to have been caused by the negligence of the other driver. You cannot be at fault in any way. Once that is established and you have a compensable injury, you potentially have a valid case.

I have been in a car accident caused by another person. I went to the hospital and am now incurring medical bills.  Will the other driver’s insurance pay these bills or am I responsible?

Generally speaking, the other driver’s insurance is not going to pay your medical providers directly. Your medical insurance will pay your bills as they come due. Once you obtain compensation from the other driver’s insurance carrier, you may have to reimburse your medical insurance carrier. This is known as subrogation. Check out our blog post to learn more about what to do if a driver has little or no insurance.

If you incur medical bills and have no medical insurance or pay them out of pocket, you will be compensated when you make a successful claim against the other driver.

How is it determined who is at fault in a car accident?

Usually, after the accident, law enforcement arrives at the scene in a fairly quickly. The investigating officer will write up an accident report including the result of his findings as to what happened and what caused the accident. Often the accident report will make it clear who is at fault.  Sometimes it won’t, and the question of liability is unclear.  There can be conflicting statements from the drivers and witnesses. The assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is vital. Effectively marshaling the evidence and arguing your claim can mean the difference between winning a personal injury case and losing one.

How do I know if I have a valid personal injury case?

accident liability attorney in CaryPersonal injury cases are when a person has suffered physical injury as the result of an accident or event that was caused by the negligent carelessness or intentional actions of another person. A successful claim will have a legal basis that puts a responsibility on the at-fault party.  There has to be a direct causal link between the responsible parties’ actions and your injury.  Your injury has to be compensable, with documentation, medical and otherwise, that can be used to place a monetary value on your case. Check out our blog article titled Car Accidents: Determining Liability in Auto Accident Injuries to learn more.

How is it determined who is at fault in a car accident?

Usually, after the accident, law enforcement arrives at the scene in a fairly quickly. The investigating officer will write up an accident report including the result of his findings as to what happened and what caused the accident. Often the accident report will make it clear who is at fault.  Sometimes it won’t, and the question of liability is unclear.  There can be conflicting statements from the drivers and witnesses. The assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is vital. Effectively marshaling the evidence and arguing your claim can mean the difference between winning a personal injury case and losing one.

If I have a valid personal injury case, what kind of compensation can I get?

There are several types of damages in these cases.  First, is the loss you incurred for medical expenses.  Your medical bills are part of your claim.  Also included are lost wages.  If you missed work due to your injuries, you are entitled to recover these wages.   You can recover damages for pain and suffering.  The injuries the other driver caused you resulted in physical pain and you are entitled to recover money in compensation.

Sometimes people are injured so seriously that they will never completely recover. They have permanent disability and limitations.  People in these situations are entitled to be compensated financially for the effect these permanent injuries will have over the course of their lives.

What does a personal injury attorney do to win my case?

An experienced personal injury attorney will take on the burden of gathering the evidence and putting together your claim.  You should be focused on your recovery and getting back to your job and regular lifestyle. Once the evidence is gathered, your attorney will make a formal demand for the insurance company.  If a settlement can be reached, your attorney will collect the funds, pay any outstanding medical bills and then disburse the proceeds to you.  If no settlement is reached, your attorney files a lawsuit against the other driver and seeks to prove your case in court so that a jury will award a judgment in your favor as explained here.

How will my personal injury lawyer be paid?

At The Doyle Law Offices, P.A., we do not charge a consultation fees for personal injury cases.  If we take your case, our fee is on a contingency.    The attorney fee is a percentage of any recovery or verdict we obtain for you.  If we do not get money for you, there is no attorney fee.

As a result of the injuries, I sustained in the accident or due to other circumstances it is not convenient for me to come into an attorney’s office to talk about my case. Can you come to me?

Yes.  We are happy to meet you at the hospital, your home or anywhere that is easiest for you.

Contact Your Cary Personal Injury Attorney Today

The Doyle Law Offices, P.A. is committed to representing the rights of injured clients. We have been representing clients in Raleigh, Cary and across North Carolina faced with this situation for nearly 20 years. We know how to fight for your rights to obtain the maximum compensation that you deserve.

The Doyle Law Offices LogoContact us today by calling (919) 228-4487 or by filling out the form below to schedule a case evaluation today if you or a loved one has a personal injury case on their hands.

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