Charlotte is one of North Carolina’s top cities for car accidents resulting in injury. The state has the sixth-highest cost in the country for car accident fatalities and ranks highest in the Southeast. Nearly $1.5 billion in damages are caused in North Carolina each year due to car accident fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The experienced Charlotte car accident lawyers at Auger & Auger are very aware of the frustration that follows a car wreck. “We know what our clients are going through and how hard it is to deal with the auto insurance companies. Not only are they dealing with lost income, medical costs, and injuries, but they are further insulted by the low-ball settlement offers and the ‘deny, delay, defend’ tactics of the insurance company,” attorney Herb Auger said.
As soon as you get into a car accident, your first priority is to make sure everyone involved is safe. Contact the police to dispatch an ambulance (if needed) and to document the accident in a police report. While you’re waiting for authorities to arrive, gather information and evidence about the scene of the accident, including weather conditions, traffic signals and signs, vehicle damage, bodily injuries, and more. Take ample photos and videos for visual evidence. If anyone witnessed the accident, gather their statements and contact information to use as additional testimony for your case.
You need a car accident attorney in Charlotte who knows what you’re going through and has the expertise to get you the settlement you deserve. Call Auger & Auger today at (704) 751-1475 to learn more about our legal services.
Insurance agents aren’t always on your side, and they’ll try to get you to settle for as little money as possible. Before calling your insurance company, contact an experienced car accident attorney in Charlotte to determine how much you should receive for your injuries and damages.
Need help today? Contact the Charlotte car accident lawyers of Auger & Auger Law Firm today at (704) 751-1475 for your free consultation.
When it comes to auto accidents, North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if you are found to be partially at fault for an accident (even if you are only 1% negligent and the other driver is 99% negligent), you are barred from recovery. There are a few exceptions to the defense of contributory negligence. For instance NC law presumes minor children under the age of 7 are incapable of contributory negligence. Additionally, situations involving the last clear chance doctrine and cases where gross negligence is present may trump contributory negligence. North Carolina is one of four states that still follows this archaic rule. Because of contributory negligence, it can be difficult for victims of car wrecks in Charlotte to claim damages, making it even more important to consult a local car accident lawyer after your wreck.
If you do decide to file a lawsuit against the other driver for damages under $25,000, you’ll need to file your case with the Mecklenburg District Court:
Phone: (704) 686-0400
Address: 832 East Fourth St., Charlotte, NC 28202
If you’re claiming damages above $25,000, you’ll need to file your case with the Superior Court at the same location. For damages less than $25,000, civil cases in Mecklenburg County are subject to court-ordered, non-binding arbitration.
Auger & Auger, your dedicated Charlotte car accident lawyer, has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for clients since opening their Charlotte office in 1994. It is critically important that you consult with an experienced Charlotte car accident attorney shortly after your auto accident. Speaking to the insurance company before speaking to an attorney can jeopardize your case.
When you call our firm for your free consultation, you will speak with an experienced member of our car accident team. We will listen to your case, answer your questions and give you advice on your rights under NC law and information on how you may be able to proceed. If we can help you, we will not charge a legal fee unless and until we obtain a settlement on your behalf.
It is critical that accident victims have an accurate estimate of all of their damages, past and future. Many accident victims will accept unfair settlement offers from insurance companies because they do not know that they have additional losses that could be covered. They may also fail to account for losses they will encounter in the future, such as the diminished resale value of a vehicle that has been repaired after a major crash.
Knowing about the types of damages available after a car accident in North Carolina is crucial to recovering all of your financial losses. You should also get the compensation you deserve for the non-financial impacts of your accident, such as the pain and suffering you felt while you recovered.
A car accident lawyer in Charlotte can use their familiarity with past cases similar to yours along with the input of medical and economic experts to provide an accurate, full accounting of all possible damages.
The following are the most common types of damages awarded after a Charlotte car accident lawyer successfully represents a case:
All necessary costs relevant to treating your injury, as well as the costs of future treatment. Many injuries require long-term follow-up care and rehabilitation. Some accident victims may never fully recover, adding to the costs of future treatments and making future medical interventions likely. A complete car accident injury claim must account for all of these probable expenses.
The income you missed out on while recovering from your injuries counts as a financial loss that is directly attributable to your accident. Wages are repaid according to the language of the liability insurance policy, so some accident victims may only be able to recover partial lost wages through the insurance system.
Damage to your vehicle and personal effects can be accounted for and recovered through a property damage claim. Please note that a property damage claim is its own claim and does not fall under the bodily injury claim.
Your out-of-pocket expenses can be reimbursed if they are directly related to necessary costs of medical treatment or if they occurred as a direct result of the accident. Prescription costs, medical devices, and even hospital parking deck fees could all be assessed under this category.
The physical pain and discomfort you feel as a result of your injuries can be assigned a dollar value in many cases. Accident victims must be diligent about reporting their full symptoms and can record how their injuries have affected their life to prove that they have pain and suffering damages in some cases.
A mental form of pain and suffering, mental anguish refers to the stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, and other negative emotions experienced as a result of a car accident. Some victims may be traumatized after a severe accident, resulting in extended mental anguish and a possible need for psychological counseling. To prove these damages the injured person would need to have professional medical care to document and treat such injuries.
Similar to the concept of lost wages, a “loss of enjoyment of life” claim places a dollar value on the difference between the enjoyment someone would have experienced had they not been injured in a car accident. This type of claim can be difficult to prove without extensive evidence and consistent documentation of how the victim missed out on typical activities and events that brought them joy.
These damages represent just some of the common losses experienced as a result of a car accident. Certain cases may have other forms of compensation available depending on their circumstances. For example, you may be awarded punitive damages if your case proceeds to a court trial and the judge or jury determines that the negligent act was so egregious that the defendant must pay additional damages as a form of punishment.
The key to having a successful car accident case that progresses smoothly is understanding how insurers think and operate.
Attorney Arlene Auger was a former insurance carrier attorney representing some of the heavyweights in the industry. Her work in the insurance industry has given our firm experience in helping our clients obtain the compensation that they are entitled to. Through her guidance, a client can benefit from a personal injury attorney in Charlotte who knows the exact types of evidence and arguments insurers look for when weighing the strength of a claim.
Auger & Auger has a reputation for fighting hard on behalf of our clients. “We know how to maximize the value of each client’s case and resolve it in the shortest amount of time possible,” asserts Arlene Auger.
We provide you with a Charlotte car accident attorney who cares about your case and wants you to avoid common pitfalls associated not knowing how this process works.
Filing a third-party liability claim with an insurer may seem like a simple process, but it really is not. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible on claims in order to make a larger profit. To accomplish this goal, they often offer accident victims low settlement amounts that fail to account for all of their full losses, past and future.
In some cases, an insurer will attempt to reduce a claim or completely deny it using common arguments. They may allege that the accident victim received medical services that were not “necessary” in an attempt to pay for just the services they wish. They may even suggest that their policyholder was not at fault, giving them grounds to fight a claim in court.
Because of these tactics, accident victims should be cautious when dealing with insurers. They may not want to accept the first settlement offer they receive unless they have had all of their damages tabulated by an experienced legal professional. They should definitely be wary of discussing their injuries, pain, and healing process with insurers since such details can be used to allege that they are not hurt.
Appointing a Charlotte car accident lawyer to represent you gives you an ally who knows how to handle insurers. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and advise you in all matters relating to insurers.
One of the most effective methods insurers use to deny claims is to insist to accident victims that they should make a recorded statement. Once a victim makes this statement, the insurer can use any inconsistencies or contradictions in the accident narrative to dispute the claim’s grounds.
For example, the victim could say “I could barely walk after the accident,” and insurers can counter by saying their insured saw the victim walking just fine at the accident scene. Or, they could use statements made by the victim to allege they were partially at fault, making all damages unrecoverable according to North Carolina’s contributory negligence doctrine.
Again, having a personal injury attorney serve as your counsel and legal representative can prevent such tactics from being used effectively. Your lawyer acts as your advisor, and they can even speak to insurers for you in many instances to avoid you getting caught in a legal trap.
Every case is different, and our representation is tailored to the individual needs of each client, as well as the obstacles presented in each case. While car accident circumstances may differ, some of the most frequent causes of car accidents in Charlotte are caused by:
Car accident injuries are incredibly common in Charlotte and in North Carolina as a whole. A study by the NC Department of Transportation found that crashes in 2017 caused a total of 127,964 injuries and 1,396 deaths.
The tremendous physical impact of car accidents can cause a number of serious injuries. Some injuries may require months for the victim to fully recover, while others can result in permanent effects, such as reduced use of an appendage, or even premature death.
The following are some of the most likely injuries that can occur after a car accident in Charlotte:
Your back and chest are exposed to major forces during car accidents. Impacts can transfer energy to vehicle seats and cause back injuries, including spinal fractures, herniated discs, and damages nerves. Passengers’ chests are exposed to deploying airbags and debris, often resulting in painful broken ribs, cuts, and bruises.
Since the average adult human head weighs more than 10 pounds, necks have a large amount of weight supported upon them. In an accident, collision forces can cause the neck to move in a “whiplash” motion, causing soft tissue damage, painful muscle soreness, and symptoms like blurred vision or headaches.
The CDC notes that motor vehicle collisions are the second-highest cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Commonly called a concussion, a TBI can lead to delayed symptoms and debilitating conditions if left untreated.
Small bones in the forearm, wrists, ankles, and chest are all vulnerable during a crash. In older adults or those with compromised bone structures, clavicles, hips, and femurs may also fracture. Major breaks can require extensive hospitalization or surgery, with risks of secondary infection and other complications.
Internal bleeding can be common for a number of reasons after a severe car crash. Debris may puncture or cut into vital organs, requiring emergency surgery. Some organs may also become “perforated,” creating small holes that leak blood and other bodily fluids, creating very serious internal injuries. Subtle side effects may not be noticed until the condition progresses, which is why a full medical evaluation is always necessary.
Seemingly minor accident injuries are not always insignificant. Cuts may require stitches and run the risk of infections or permanent nerve damage. Scrapes can be large abrasions that require skin grafts, similar to a bad burn. Bruises could be caused by external trauma to the skin or internal injuries. Having all of these injuries evaluated and treated is important to ensure they are not serious and to document their economic cost as car accident damages.
Even if you are feeling fine after a car accident, it’s imperative you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only will it ensure you get the best care for immediate and delayed injuries, but it can also help your case.
Ignoring medical symptoms can only make them worse. Insurers may even allege that you were already hurt before the accident – or if you do not get medical care within a reasonable amount of time after your accident, they may also claim that you were injured after the accident. Make sure that you follow up with a doctor as soon as you can if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident.
The Charlotte auto accident attorneys at Auger & Auger have been successfully helping members of the Charlotte community involved in car accidents for 20 years. We have three offices serving Charlotte and surrounding areas to better serve our clients. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you. We also offer remote video conferencing meetings (Skype) with our attorneys. We can also send and exchange signed documents via your cell phone, tablet or computer. We know how difficult it is in the weeks following the accident and want to do everything we can to relieve the stress that our clients are going through during this time period.
When you call or email the Charlotte car accident lawyers at Auger & Auger, your case will be evaluated by one of our lawyers. Appointments can be scheduled for evenings or even weekends, and if you are unable to come to one of our conveniently located offices, we can meet you at your doctor’s office, your job, or your home.
By: Courtney Neishell
I was in a car accident after moving to the Charlotte area, with all that comes with moving and then the stress of an accident, everyone who I met and worked with made this process so easy! I was super happy with my outcome! I would recommend this firm to anyone!