Car Accident

Car accident injury?

Tell them you mean business with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer.

Car accident injury?

Tell them you mean business with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer.

AUTO ACCIDENTS OVERVIEW
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This page refers to Car Accident law in North Carolina.

Since laws differ between states, if you are located in South Carolina, please click here.

Experienced North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

When you’ve been hurt in an accident, you don’t need more questions. You need answers. Experience. Compassion. Someone who knows what to do next, and who can take the pressure off you as you try to get your life back in order.

We have attorneys on our team who have consistently won accolades for their work, including one who has been named among the Best Lawyers in America©3 every year since 2008. Two have been recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine3 every year since 2006. Another helped write a part of the North Carolina Personal Injury Liens Manual. Many have spoken at seminars for legal and advocacy organizations, and two are admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Above and beyond all of the accolades, though, our entire team of seasoned personal injury attorneys cares. To them, personal injury is personal. And they’re all backed by a driven, skillful staff that, to a person, wants to help you.

Get More Info: Meet Our Car Accident Attorneys

Best Lawyers - Firm Logo 2022
Super Lawyers Logo 2021

*For information regarding the standards for inclusion for awards listed, visit: bestlawyers.com and superlawyers.com.

What Do You Need to Know if You Are Injured in a Car Accident in North Carolina?

When you’re injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, a lot goes through your mind. “I need a car accident lawyer,” isn’t likely at the top of the list. Medical bills, missing work, family, car repairs, and the like probably are. But what you don’t know may add insult to your injury.

Our experienced team of North Carolina car accident attorneys put this information together to give you knowledge and confidence about a process we know inside and out. You need to understand what’s going to happen, car accidents laws in North Carolina, and what your options are when it comes to seeking compensation for the harm that’s been done to you.

What kind of car accident were you involved in? What injuries did you suffer? And, what’s most important now, what comes next?

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Injured in an Auto Accident: What Are the Odds?

Whatever you might call them – car crashes, wrecks, or accidents – there are millions of them across the country every year. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), there were 317,771 car accidents in North Carolina in 2019. In those wrecks, 125,146 involved injuries and 1,469 fatalities were sustained.

There were 10.49 million residents of North Carolina in 2019, so the odds of being injured in an accident may seem quite low, at just 1.19%. You had around a 1 in 100 chance of being injured in an accident. Doesn’t seem too likely, right? Well, the odds of being struck by lightning are about 1 in 700,000 according to National Geographic.  That’s highly unlikely, yet people often correlate the two. Wrong place, wrong time, they say. The truth is, it’s very likely that you or someone you know has or will be injured in a car wreck.

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Types of Accidents and Collisions: How Were You Injured?

Here are some common types of car accidents we see:

Certain types of accidents often result in specific types of injuries. When you’ve dealt with as many car wreck cases as we have and seen as many injuries as we’ve seen, patterns develop. Understanding the incident itself helps our North Carolina car accident attorneys build your case and justify the compensation you may receive.

Rear-End Crashes

It’s almost always a surprise when you’re hit by another vehicle, but this one can literally sneak up behind you. You don’t even necessarily have to be at a stop sign or traffic light. You could be moving when you’re struck violently from behind by another driver.

The most common injuries we see from rear-end collisions are whiplash injuries and back injuries, though any type of injury is possible.

Common injuries affecting the driver and passengers in rear-end car collisions.

Speeding Crashes

These can happen in a number of ways. When someone is driving irresponsibly and speeding, they can sideswipe you on the highway, T-bone you at an intersection, rear-end you, or hit your head-on. As such, the risk of injury in an accident due to a speeding driver is quite high.

Speeding is a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities, according to the NHTSA. One of the most deadly crashes is the head-on collision. When speeding is involved, the risk of a fatal injury is very high.

Common injuries in head-on, t-bone, and side swipe car collisions.

Hit and Run Crashes

It is against North Carolina law to leave the scene of an accident in which you are involved. Sadly, it does happen. Most of these occur when the other car is empty – in parking lots or along streets. However, some drivers cause accidents and choose to try and run from the consequences.

The most vulnerable victims to hit and run drivers are pedestrians and cyclists. Some 65% of all hit and run fatalities involve pedestrians or cyclists according to a study by AAA.

Texting and driving leads to 1.6 million accidents and 330,000 injuries per year.

gold person walk signIn 2017, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the US – about one person every 88 minutes. About 137,000 more were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to car crashes. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed than passenger vehicle occupants.

Gold bicycle traffic sign.


In 2018, 854 cyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles, a 7% increase from the previous year. People more than 20 years old made up 76% of those fatalities. Of all fatalities, 54% occurred between 3 pm and midnight.

Crashes Due to Fatigued Driving

Driving when you’re tired or sleepy is dangerous – about 20% of all fatal accidents are believed to be due to a driver falling asleep at the wheel. Sometimes, driver fatigue is difficult to prove. Experienced North Carolina auto accident lawyers know what questions to ask and how to gather evidence that may strengthen your claim.

Just like speeding or distracted driving, getting behind the wheel when you’re sleepy or fatigued is negligent. These tragic crashes are entirely avoidable, but they happen all too often.

We recovered $2.1M for a client in Hoke County, NC, who was hit head-on1. The other driver passed away in the accident, but it is possible that he fell asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, we will never know for sure.

Litigation attorney Hoyt Tessener discussing a recent auto accident case.

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Car Accident Injuries: Where Does It Hurt?

The injuries you sustain as a result of someone else’s recklessness or negligence can be far worse than you originally believe. Back, neck, and joint pain may not be apparent immediately. Concussions can be difficult to detect. The adrenaline of being involved in a traffic accident sometimes masks the symptoms of damage to the body. Of course, there are obviously serious injuries sustained as well, including fractures, cuts, abrasions, and possibly burns.

Here are some of the injuries we see most often in auto accident claims:

Four common injuries in car accidents, shown on a human skeleton figure.

  • Head Injuries including concussions, skull fractures, eye injuries and broken noses
  • Back injuries, herniated disks, and especially damage to the lumbar spine
  • Whiplash injuries and damage to the neck from seemingly little impact
  • Broken bones and fractures all over the body, depending on the circumstances of the crash

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If it hurts after you were hit, and it didn’t before, that’s an injury and you may be entitled to compensation for it.

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What to Do After a Car Accident – Dos and Don’ts

For what to do at the scene of the accident, you can read our step-by-step guide that includes the Five Biggest Mistakes people make after a car accident. There’s a lot to remember but it’s all important, especially if you end up needing to build a case for compensation. There are some things to reiterate:

DON’T: “Tough it out.” The longer you wait to obtain treatment, the harder it will be to get compensation if you really need it down the road. The insurance company will argue that, if you didn’t seek treatment, you weren’t really injured.

DON’T: Talk to the insurance adjuster much, if at all. They’re trained to ask leading questions, get you on record, and may use what you say to try to minimize the amount they pay.

DON’T: Be fooled into not considering an attorney. You may or may not decide to hire one, but you should come to that conclusion independently. It is highly likely that the adjuster or insurance company will tell you that you don’t need an attorney, or that an attorney will reduce the amount you stand to gain. What you should remember is that insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They do that by limiting their payouts. They are not working in your best interests!

DON’T: Be frightened by the cost of a lawyer. Many, if not most, work on what is called a contingency fee. That is, there is no out-of-pocket cost to you, and the lawyer only gets paid if they get compensation for you, of which they take a percentage.2

DO: Seek medical attention for your injuries. A thorough examination should be requested and you should tell your doctor about anything that feels out of the ordinary. Document any doctor visits or treatments.

DO: Understand the insurance company is going to call you. They’re going to ask you questions and, some may try to get you to settle for as little as possible.

DO: Consider hiring an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney. We know exactly how the insurance companies work – some of our employees were once adjusters. Offload this task and the stress that goes with it and let us handle it.

DO: Your research! There are a lot of skilled lawyers out there, and we hope that you’ll consider us.

DO: Call us for a free case evaluation. The HurtLine is always open at 1-866-900-7078.

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When Should I Get an Attorney After My Car Accident Injury?

The short answer is to contact an experienced North Carolina auto accident lawyer immediately. Here are some other related questions we often hear, along with their answers.

How long do I have to claim for a car accident injury?

The statute of limitations on a personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina is three years – but you shouldn’t wait that long. As long as you’re within the allowed timeframe, you can file a claim.

Should I sue for my car accident injury?

Depending on the severity of your injury and the behavior of the insurance company, you may not need to file suit at all. For minor injuries, the other person’s insurance may be sufficient to cover the damage done to you. Our team works hard to try to collect all of the medical records, bills, and other data to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim with the adjuster. We know where you’re most likely to find the compensation you may deserve, and we pursue your claim accordingly. When liability is contested or when the insurance company is not offering fair compensation, we may file suit on your behalf.

Will my car accident injury case go to court?

Maybe. There are many misconceptions about car accident injury lawsuits in general. Some believe every case goes to court. The vast majority of cases, through skillful investigation and negotiation, are resolved before heading to court, and there are many steps at which this resolution can occur. Some clients cannot wait on the long process of a full trial, and we pride ourselves on trying to get our clients as much as possible as quickly as possible. The bills are piling up, after all.

Do I have to settle my car accident injury claim?

Some people believe the opposite, and think every claim settles before ever going to court. This may be statistically closer to the truth, but some cases do eventually head to court.  You always want to know your attorney is willing to go to court for you. Not only do you have peace of mind, but when the other party in your case knows that your attorney is willing and able to try the case in court, it sends a clear message: You mean business.

What does a car accident lawyer do for me?

A variety of different factors come into play when you make a claim in North Carolina. Who are you claiming against? For what, specifically? Our team does a lot of investigation and evidence gathering in our effort to try to secure a fair settlement for you – or, if that fails, we may file suit on your behalf. In personal injury law, as the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on you. This is why an experienced attorney is vital. We can give you a real, objective viewpoint and pursue evidence you may not have thought of, such as black boxes for commercial trucking accidents or looking for specific terms in the police reports of motorcycle accidents.

Those are just a few reasons why you should hire an attorney.

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How Much Could I Expect From My Car Accident Claim?

It’s impossible to put a number on your claim, as each case is unique, and the amount will depend on factors specific to your injury, the at-fault party’s insurance coverage, and other variables. You may be entitled to compensation for the following things:

  • Medical Bills: Even if you have insurance, the deductible may be quite large. There are other tertiary costs as well, such as co-pays, medication, and things health insurance may not cover. That should not come out of your pocket.
  • Lost Wages: If your injury prevents you from going to work, you’ve still got bills to pay. Compensation can include wages lost due to injury.
  • Diminished Value: To add insult to your injury, if you were a driver, your car is damaged. As a repaired vehicle is often worth less when you go to sell it, some vehicles may suffer from diminished value. This is also something you may receive compensation for, but this kind of claim has its own steps to follow.
  • Pain and Suffering: The sleepless nights. Inability to ever really get comfortable. The pain from your injuries can affect every aspect of your life. And the pain is just the start. The knock-on effects of lost sleep, fatigue, stress, and other factors you must suffer should also be considered. You may be able to seek compensation for this misery, often called “pain and suffering.”
  • Punitive Damages: In rare cases, you might be awarded punitive damages. Under North Carolina law, punitive damages can only be awarded if you prove another was liable for your injury, and one of the following factors was present: 1) Fraud, 2) Malice, 3) Willful or wanton conduct. This is rare, and difficult to prove. Consult your car accident lawyer in North Carolina to find out if this is a possibility in your particular case.
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What if the Person Who Injured Me Is a Family Member or Friend?

It’s worth noting that the compensation you receive, if your claim is successful, often comes from the other party’s insurance company. In some cases, the party who injures you may be familiar – a friend or family member. That causes injured people to hesitate, often to their cost.

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How Might An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Shoulder the Burden of a Claim?

When you’re injured in an accident through no fault of your own, life gets more complicated instantly. Not only are you in pain, but it affects your work and your family. Everything is affected. One way to remove a lot of the stress involved is to hire an attorney. Let us handle your case so you can focus on getting better.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078, use the chat window, or just contact us online for a free case evaluation. We’re ready to listen, explain your rights, and discuss what your case could be. Tell them you mean business.

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3 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com, www.superlawyers.com.

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