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What is a Personal Injury and How do You Know if You Need an Attorney?

In the blink of an eye, your life could be changed forever due to the negligence of another person. If you or your loved one has suffered injuries resulting from another person’s negligence, it is important that you understand your rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and damages such as lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

What is a Personal Injury?

A personal injury refers to the damages, losses, or wrongs that an individual suffers due to the negligent actions of another. This negligence could be from direct conduct or omission of actions. Personal injuries can happen at work, in your car, due to a defective product, a medical mistake, faulty repair, motor vehicle accident, or multiple other scenarios. Personal injury laws were created to protect and/or compensate people for physical, psychological, and monetary damages and cover many different areas and situations including workers’ compensation, wrongful death, birth injuries, catastrophic injuries, and malpractice.

Types of Personal Injuries

While it is difficult to discuss all the types of personal injuries that can occur, some of the most common types include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Auto Collisions and Commercial Trucking Accidents: Our team of legal experts will seek full compensation for damages and injuries that you sustained in a motor vehicle accident. These types of accidents may include rear-end collisions, head-on accidents, intersection accidents, driving left of center accidents, stop sign and red-light collisions, accidents resulting from talking or texting while driving, accidents involving speeding, and collisions caused by drunk driving.
  • Premises Liability: Property owners are required by law to maintain safe premises for the people who are on their property. This includes protecting them from conditions that may be unsafe and providing warning about any hazards. A common type of premises liability lawsuit is a slip and fall accident. This can be caused by slippery floors, cracked flooring or sidewalks, hazardous stairs, and missing handrails. Other types of premises liability could be falling ceilings, icy or snowy sidewalks, trip hazards, and falling objects. Sometimes injuries are a result of inadequate security. If the security of a facility is not reasonably adequate, the landowner may be liable for resulting injuries.
  • Dog Bites and Other Animal Attacks: If a person who was bitten by a dog can prove that the dog is considered dangerous under North Carolina law, and the dog injured the person or damaged the person’s property, the dog’s owner may be liable for the damages or injuries.
  • Dangerous Products: This type of personal injury is referred to as product liability. The law holds manufacturers, retailers, and distributors responsible for injuries caused by faulty or dangerous products. Companies have a responsibility not to sell dangerous products to the public, and when they do, and the product injures someone, they may be held liable for the damages. Product liability cases may stem from products such as industrial machinery and equipment, car parts including seatbelts, dangerous toys and sporting equipment, medical devices, and household products.
  • Wrongful Death: Common law says that a deceased person cannot pursue a lawsuit against another person, however, in some states, including North Carolina, there are statutes that allow certain family members to file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of the deceased person. These lawsuits allow the family members to pursue compensation if their loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases may include medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or neglect, vehicle accidents, and work-related incidents, just to name a few.

How do You Know if You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or your loved one has suffered because of someone else’s negligence, it can be difficult to determine what kind of compensation you deserve and what laws apply to your specific situation. As a general rule, it is always best to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney if you have any questions or doubt about your case. These four signs can help you decide if you need to hire a personal injury attorney.

  • You Suffered Permanently Disabling or Long-Term Injuries: If you or your loved one will require long-term care or be left with permanent disabilities, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately. Only an experienced attorney will be able to calculate what your injuries are worth and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
  • You Suffered Severe Injuries: The amount of compensation a person receives is largely based on how severe the injuries are. This is based on the amount of medical bills incurred, the type of injuries sustained, and the length of recovery time. Often the policy limits of a person’s insurance only go so high, but he or she may be eligible for more compensation. A personal injury attorney can be sure that you receive the full compensation to which you are entitled.
  • Liability is Not Clear or There are Multiple Parties Involved: If you were involved in an accident involving multiple parties, you will likely need an attorney. Insurance companies are sometimes complicated, especially when multiple parties are involved. You could be blamed for a portion of the accident, which will decrease your compensation. An attorney can help protect you against these types of counterclaims.
  • The Insurance Company is Refusing to Pay: Although we like to think that insurance companies are on our side, they often refuse to make a settlement offer at all or offer a settlement that is not fair. If you are not able to secure a fair settlement on your own, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth?

While everyone would like to know exactly what their case is worth, there is no definite answer. The value of each personal injury case is based on the situation and parties involved in each particular case. An experienced personal injury attorney will likely be able to review your case and give you an estimate of the compensation for which you are eligible, but no compensation is ever fully guaranteed. What we can guarantee is that our legal team will seek every possible source of compensation for your damages.

Are You Ready to Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorneys at the Law Offices of D. Hardison Wood understand the tactics that insurance companies use. We will search for ways to protect your rights and get you the full compensation to which you are entitled under the laws of North Carolina. We will work diligently to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions while giving you the time to focus on your recovery. Contact us today for a consultation at our Cary, North Carolina office.


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