Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer
When you or someone you love is injured due to another person’s actions or negligence, you have a legal right to compensation. At Auger & Auger, our Charlotte personal injury lawyers, support staff, and team of experts are all part of the mission “to provide exceptional personal and caring representation to our clients while aggressively pursuing their claim against the party responsible and winning the highest settlement possible.” Please also see A&A Promise to our Clients.
Why Choose Auger & Auger’s Team of Experienced Attorneys?
At Auger & Auger, while some law firms have a diverse offering of practice areas, we only focus on personal injury, and every case is handled with extreme detail. You aren’t just a client to us. You place your trust and confidence in us, which is a great honor. We know who we work for, and our focus is and will always be client service. We promise to keep you informed on the latest updates on your case and return every phone call. We encourage our clients to reach out to us when they have questions. We promise to treat your case the same way we would want our case to be handled. Aggressive representation and exceptional client service are what you’ll get from our Charlotte Law firm.
While some Charlotte personal injury lawyers will compromise with insurance companies to settle quickly, we don’t. We work against these insurance companies to ensure you get the total compensation you deserve. These companies are in the business of making money, first and foremost. We know how insurance companies work, because one of our partners used to represent them before becoming a personal injury law. We are very proud of having the knowledge and experience to fight against the big insurance companies.
We look forward to educating our clients about their cases. Trust us to get you the compensation you deserve. If we don’t, you don’t pay. That’s our Zero Fee Guarantee.
Injury Case Specifics to Know When Speaking to a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney
First, it is helpful to document anything you can with regards to your injuries, how they happened, and who was responsible. That can vary depending on the kind of injury you had and how long ago it was. For example, if your car accident was two weeks ago, it’s too late to go back and take pictures of the scene now. However, you can get a copy of the accident report from the local law enforcement agency that responded to the scene. If your car has not been repaired yet, you can take pictures of the damage. Additionally, you can gather copies of your medical bills from your injuries and make a list of anyone you know who was present at the accident or might have witnessed it. Your Charlotte personal injury attorney will likely ask you about these things and let you know if there are other kinds of documentation they need.
When you meet with your attorney for a free consultation, they will ask about the details of your injury and how it happened. They may also ask questions to help determine who the liable party or parties are. Sometimes clients think they know who is responsible for their injury, and often they’re right. But there are some situations where it is helpful to know if other third parties may have contributed to the injury.
After learning more about the situation, your lawyer will have a better idea of whether you have a strong case or not. This judgment is not based on you but on the facts of the case and the evidence available to back it up. Your attorney may believe you, but they have to think about what they could convince an insurance company representative of or prove in court. It’s unfortunate, but there simply isn’t enough evidence to support a client’s claim in some cases. We don’t take these cases because it isn’t in the client’s best interest to spend a lot of time pursuing a claim without sufficient evidence. If we see any alternative ways of recovering at least some of your losses, such as through your insurance coverage, we will suggest these, as we want to help in any way possible.
In other situations, we may send one of our investigators to look for further evidence. They may do things like canvas the area of your accident, looking for witnesses the police didn’t have a chance to talk to.
Once your attorney has a good idea about liability, they will discuss your damages. Damages are the losses you suffered as a result of your injury. These can be economic, such as medical bills, repair bills, the income you lost while unable to work due to your injuries, etc. There are also non-economic damages, like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will review all these losses to ensure nothing is missed. Often people think they know what their damages are, but there may be things they haven’t considered, like future medical bills or other accommodations needed to help them with an injury.
Charlotte Personal Injury Practice Areas
We represent clients all over Charlotte who have suffered an injury in many different kinds of circumstances, including:
- Car Accidents
- Golf Cart Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Workers’ Compensation
- Wrongful Death
- Construction Accidents
- Daycare Accidents
- Dangerous Drugs
- Defective Medical Devices
- Dog Bites
- ATV Accidents
- Aviation Accidents
- Moped and Scooter Accidents
- Premises Liability Claims
- Other personal injury cases
By: Sephora Bloomfield
I was very Satisfied with their service. They made sure I was satisfied with my case. I would definitely use them again. They also keep you in the know about every detail of your case.
How Do I Know If Someone Else’s Negligence Led To My Injuries?
This can be a complicated question to answer because it may vary depending on the injury and how it happened. Sometimes the responsibility for the injury isn’t clear until we investigate further. In general, if another party was acting in a way that the average, reasonable person would consider dangerous or reckless, and those actions led to your injury, you may be able to make a case that they were negligent. But again, it depends on how much evidence is available to support these assertions. If you’re not sure, it’s best to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer so they can evaluate your case and make recommendations.
In the meantime, here are some examples of situations where one party’s negligence may lead to another person’s injury:
- Bob thinks he can run a red light because no one is coming, but he fails to notice a motorcycle approaching from the right. They collide in the intersection, and the motorcyclist suffers several injuries. Bob may have been negligent because he didn’t stop at the red light, even though he didn’t believe anyone was coming or that anyone would be hurt.
- A grocery store shopper drops a carton of soymilk in the produce section, and it spills all over the floor. The shopper tells John, the manager, who promises to take care of it. On his way to the back to grab a mop and a wet floor sign, he gets distracted by another customer issue and forgets about the spill in the produce section. A little while later, a customer slips on the mess, falls, and hurts his back. The store may have been negligent because John didn’t ask another employee to stay near the mess and warn customers until he returned with the wet floor sign and mop.
- A daycare center is short-staffed and doesn’t have the number of teachers required by law for the number of students in each age group. One of the teachers, Bill, ends up alone with more students than he can reasonably supervise on the playground. A child throws a tantrum, and Bill attempts to calm him down. While he is occupied with the upset child, another toddler tries to climb the jungle gym, falls, and is hurt. The daycare may have been negligent for not having sufficient help.
- Dan and Amy own a boat and invite some friends to spend the Fourth of July weekend on the water with them. Several of their friends are also experienced boaters, and they all take turns driving the boat. Late in the day, their friend Greg is behind the wheel when he runs into a water skier, injuring her. It turns out that Greg had been drinking beer throughout the day and was over the legal limit when the accident happened. Greg could be charged with a misdemeanor, but as the boat’s owners, Dan and Amy may have been negligent for not keeping better track of who was driving the boat.
- A car company starts receiving reports that their airbags fail in certain collisions. They do not recall the affected lot but bury the reports since this particular failure only happens occasionally and will cost a lot of money to fix. Across the country, dozens more people are injured, and several die. The car company may be negligent for failing to act when they became aware of the issue.
- Claire goes to see her friend Jane, who wants to show off the garden she’s been working on. While observing Jane’s prize-winning rose bushes, Claire trips on a loose brick in the walkway that Jane had been meaning to fix. Claire falls and breaks her arm. In this case, Jane might be negligent because she knew about the loose brick, hadn’t repaired it yet, and failed to warn Claire to watch her step around it.
Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
How Long Will It Take To Resolve My Case?
It’s hard to say without knowing the specifics of your case. Even then, your attorney will have a better idea after collecting all your medical records and other documents and then making an effort to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurer. In a few straightforward cases where there is extensive evidence that the other party was at fault, we may be able to achieve a settlement within several months. But most cases take longer than that, and some may take 1-2 years or more to resolve, depending on complexity and other factors.
What If I Think The Accident Was Sort Of My Fault, and Maybe We Should Just Split The Costs?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in North Carolina due to contributory negligence statutes. Under these laws, one party can only collect compensation from another if that second party is 100% at fault. If both parties were partially to blame, no one can collect anything and everyone just pays their own bills. This can end up being unfair in some situations. Imagine, for example, if an accident was only 5 percent your fault and 95 percent the other party’s fault. Now let’s say that you have $20,000 in medical bills and $2,000 in car repair costs, while they just have to pay a few hundred for car repairs. The other party would not be legally obligated to split anything with you, even though they were primarily responsible for the accident!
Situations like this are why we caution people never to admit fault in an accident. For one thing, many accident victims think they contributed fault when they didn’t. Even if you made a mistake, it might not have had anything to do with the accident.
Then there’s the insurance adjuster for the other party’s insurance company. They’ll take any excuse to blame you for the accident so they don’t have to pay anything. Remember, they only have to convince a jury that you were one percent at fault to get off the hook. Don’t help them deprive you of the money you deserve! If you have questions about the other party’s liability in your accident, discuss them with your attorney, not the insurance company.
Will I Have To Get On The Stand and Testify?
It’s possible but unlikely. Movies and TV shows often portray personal injury cases playing out in a courtroom, but in real life, most of these cases are settled out of court. We always try to work things out with the insurance company or other liable parties if at all possible. We know that you’ve had enough difficulties with your injuries and don’t want to put you through a stressful and time-consuming trial if there are other ways to secure the compensation you need. However, there are some situations where the other party won’t agree to an appropriate amount of compensation. Here are a few ways this might happen:
- The defendant and their attorney believe they will win at trial and have no reason to pay you anything.
- If your case is unusual or they have not settled another like it before, the insurance company may be afraid of “setting a precedent” by paying your claim or by paying what they think is “too much.”
- If you have a high amount of damages, you may be asking for a fair amount of money for your injuries, but the insurance company may decide they can’t pay that much without a fight in court.
- Liability may not be very clear, and the other party may insist on going to court to contest their liability.
If you do go to trial, taking the stand may be very helpful to your case. In some circumstances, you may be the only witness who can explain what happened. Telling your story to the jury yourself may also help them to see you as a real person who was injured by the defendant’s negligence. If you decide to do it, your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will make sure you have time to prepare, and they will go over what questions the defendant’s attorney is likely to ask you.
What if I Can’t Afford an Attorney? Can I Just File a Claim With the Insurance Company Myself?
You can, but people who file their own claims tend to have smaller recoveries than those represented by attorneys. One Nolo survey found that 91 percent of accident victims with a lawyer received a payout from the insurance company, while only 51 percent of those who didn’t have a lawyer received a payout. Additionally, of those who received payouts, those with a lawyer received around $77,600 on average, while respondents without an attorney collected about $17,600 on average. Now, those are averages, and your case may be worth much more or less depending on the exact situation, but the point is that you’ll probably receive more compensation with an experienced lawyer representing you.
As for affording an attorney, there’s no need to worry. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis – you don’t have to pay us anything upfront. Once your case is settled, we’ll take our agreed-upon fee from your settlement. At Auger & Auger, we also have a Zero-Fee Guarantee, where you don’t have to pay anything if we don’t win your case. Your initial consultation is also completely free, so there is no risk in contacting us to learn your legal options after an injury.
Is It True the Insurance Company Only Has to Pay to Their Policy Limit, Even if My Bills Are More Than That?
Yes. Most insurance policies have limits. For example, in North Carolina, the minimum requirement for car insurance is $30,000 in bodily injury liability and $25,000 in property damage. It is possible the person who hit you carried a higher amount of insurance, but if not, you may only be able to collect $30,000 for your medical costs and $25,000 for damage to your car from their policy.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stuck paying the rest of your bills yourself. When we recognize that a client’s damages will significantly exceed the other party’s insurance coverage, we will look at all other available options for recovery. These may include:
- Making a claim on your own insurance policy. It doesn’t matter if the accident wasn’t your fault. North Carolina also requires uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the same minimum amounts, and this will kick in where the other driver’s insurance policy limit has cut you off. So as long as you have car insurance, you should have at least that much additional coverage after the at-fault driver’s insurance pays to the policy limit.
- Suing the responsible party directly. Whether or not this is a good option depends on the other party’s financial situation. If they can’t afford to pay a judgment against them, it isn’t worth your time and stress to pursue one.
- Suing other liable third parties or making a claim with their insurers. Sometimes, more than one party could be liable for your injuries. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver while driving a delivery van for your employer, you may be able to file a worker’s comp claim. Or, if you were not working at the time, but a faulty seatbelt caused you to be thrown out of the car and suffer more severe injuries, you might have a claim against the car manufacturer or seatbelt manufacturer.
- We’ve mostly talked about car accidents here, but there can be multiple options in other types of personal injury cases as well. For example, if you slip and fall in a local store, you could make a claim on the store’s liability insurance (usually much higher than $30,000). But if you had very severe and expensive injuries not covered by that policy, you could also sue the store directly. Or, if you slipped because a third party had used too much wax when buffing the floor and left it slippery, in some cases, you might have a claim against the floor cleaning company/their insurance policy.
Call a Charlotte NC Personal Injury Attorney Today
We know choosing an attorney can be difficult after you’ve been injured. That’s why we offer free consultations. If you don’t think we’re the right fit for you, there’s absolutely no obligation to hire us to represent you. Call the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Auger & Auger today or contact us online to discuss the details of your case and to learn more about how we can help you.