Dedicated Attorneys Representing North Carolina and South Carolina Accident Victims
The Tatum Law Firm is comprised of personal injury lawyers who have extensive experience representing victims throughout the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. We understand that the aftermath of a car crash or a slip and fall can be a difficult time for you and your family. Victims often suffer serious and long-term physical and financial consequences from the accident. Our attorneys can help hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions and help seek the compensation you deserve to move on with your life.
Personal injury refers to harm caused to an individual’s body, mind, or emotional state. The most common types of personal injury cases are automobile accidents, slip and fall cases, assault claims, and product defect accidents. For example, the Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2012 the leading cause of nonfatal injury in the United States was an unintentional fall. Personal injury can also encompass medical and dental accidents.
Liability for a Personal Injury
Typically, an injured person can file a lawsuit when his or her injuries have been caused by the negligence of another person or entity. This is defined as the failure to use the same level of care that a reasonable person would have used in similar circumstances. The main factor to consider when assessing whether an individual’s conduct lacks reasonable care is whether that person’s conduct could result in foreseeable harm to another.
For example, it is foreseeable that someone who is drinking and driving may pose harm to other drivers on the road. Therefore, if a drunk car driver causes an accident and injures another person, that driver’s actions likely will be considered negligent. To succeed on a negligence claim, the victim must be able to demonstrate four elements:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty to exercise reasonable care;
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care by acting carelessly or recklessly;
- The breach caused the accident; and
- The victim was injured and suffered damages as a result.
Pursuing Compensation for Accident Victims
A successful negligence claim allows an injured person to recover damages. The victim’s recovery will depend on the nature and extent of his or her injuries. Typically, the more serious the injury, the higher the settlement or award will be because treating that serious injury is more expensive, and serious injuries usually cause greater pain. Damages can be itemized to include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage associated with the accident. More subjective damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
Payments can be obtained either through a settlement agreement or a judgment from a trial. The payment structure can vary depending on the specific case. Some victims receive a lump sum, while others receive payments over a certain period of time.
In the United States, each state has its own rule regarding the time limit in which a lawsuit can be filed. For example, in North Carolina an accident victim must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years from the date of the injury. Since these rules differ from state to state, it is important to consult an attorney to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
Explore Your Options with a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer
At the Tatum Law Firm, we take pride in helping our clients pursue the maximum allowable compensation and benefits to which they are entitled. We have helped countless accident victims recover fair settlements and awards. Our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys serve clients throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. We offer a free initial consultation in which we determine your legal options and the best course of action for your specific situation. For further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 704-307-4350 or contact us online to start discussing your case.