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How Do I Know If I Have a Viable North Carolina Personal Injury Claim?

March 7, 2024

At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A., we understand the confusion regarding when an accident with injuries meets the qualifying factors to partner with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to pursue the negligent party for damages.

Here, we explore what separates a viable personal injury claim from one that an attorney may not choose to represent (and why).

Personal Injury Claim in NC

Examining Legal Liability, Evidence, Causation & Damages in North Carolina Personal Injury Claims

The first legal element necessary to satisfy a viable North Carolina personal injury claim is a legal basis for holding the defendant liable for your injuries. This could involve proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, a driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely and follow traffic laws to prevent accidents.

The second legal element involves showing that the defendant breached or violated the duty of care. This means the defendant failed to exercise the level of care a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. Using the same example, if that driver ran a red light, drove impaired, was speeding, or was distracted and crashed into your vehicle, they breached their duty of care for your (and everyone else on the road’s) safety, forming the basis of your claim.

The third legal element is causation. There must be a clear link between the defendant’s negligent actions and your injuries. In other words, the negligent driver’s actions must have directly caused or significantly contributed to your injuries.

Finally, the fourth legal element requires proving you suffered actual damages due to the defendant’s breach of duty. Damages may include various losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. They must be quantifiable and compensable.

How Can North Carolina Injury Victims Prove the Four Legal Elements Required for a Viable Personal Injury Claim?

Every personal injury case is unique, and the viability of your claim will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your injury. That said, the key to a viable North Carolina personal injury claim is generally evidence. It supports the assertion that the injury was caused by another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct.

This means proving, through supporting evidence, that you were injured in the crash. This may include suffering orthopedic injuries, whiplash or other soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, or spinal cord injuries.

Supporting evidence of personal injury claims may include, but is not limited to:

  • The negligent driver’s contact information, vehicle details, and insurance coverage.

If it was a hit-and-run accident or the driver was uninsured, it would result in pursuing your insurance coverage for damages. A viable personal injury claim considers the available insurance coverage and explores all avenues for seeking compensation.

  • Witness statements.
  • Photographs or videos of the incident.
  • Police reports.
  • Medical documentation and records.
  • Medical bills and out-of-pocket expense receipts
  • Employment records and lost wage statements.
  • Any other relevant documentation that substantiates the damages claimed.

If you are unsure whether you have a viable North Carolina personal injury claim, contact our experienced Charlotte attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

What are the Most Common Reasons a North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Will Not Take My Case?

Generally speaking, there could be several reasons why a personal injury attorney may decline to take on your claim.

They include:

  • Lack of Merit

If the attorney believes your claim lacks merit or insufficient evidence to support it, they may hesitate to take on the case. Attorneys typically assess the strength of a claim based on the essential factors mentioned: liability, causation, damages, and the likelihood of success if your claim were to go to court.

  • Limited Potential Recovery

If the potential compensation in your case is minimal or unlikely to cover the litigation costs and legal representation, an attorney may be reluctant to take on the case.

Most personal injury attorneys, including Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. If the potential recovery is low, it may not justify the attorney’s time and resources.

  • Statute of Limitations

There’s a statute of limitations in North Carolina for filing a personal injury claim. Typically, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

This is not an exhaustive list, as all personal injury claims and the attorneys who represent them are unique.

If you were injured in an accident caused by negligence in North Carolina, our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt want to hear your story during a free consultation by calling (704)-377-3737 or contacting us online.

We provide unique legal services tailored to each client’s needs and do not get paid unless you do.

Your Injury, Our Fight. How can we help you take a stand?

Because every case is different, the description of awards and issues previously managed by our law firm does not guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases.