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.
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 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.
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 lawyer 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 lawyer will go over 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.
We represent clients all over Charlotte who have suffered an injury in many different kinds of circumstances, including:
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.
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 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:
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:
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 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:
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.