Charlotte Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Getting into a car crash can be scary and leave you wondering what your options are, especially if another person’s negligence has caused your injuries. At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, you can count on having an experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer by your side. We will work to secure compensation for all of your crash-related expenses.
Types Of Vehicle Collisions We Help Clients With In Charlotte
The qualified Charlotte motor vehicle accident attorneys at Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC have extensive experience handling a wide variety of types of collisions. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Passenger car accidents: Accidents between passenger cars are still the most common type of vehicle collisions that occur in and around the Charlotte area. This includes accidents involving sedans, pickup trucks, SUVs, etc.
- Commercial truck accidents: Accidents involving commercial trucks, including tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, tanker trucks, garbage trucks, and more, often result in severe injuries for those involved.
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents: Bicyclists and pedestrians are among the most vulnerable group of people that use the roadways. Pedestrians and bicyclists have very little protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them, and they often sustain severe injuries when a collision occurs.
- Motorcycle accidents: Unfortunately, vehicle drivers often fail to pay much attention to motorcyclists, and this can lead to collisions that cause severe injuries for riders.
- Uber and Lyft accidents: Both Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular rideshare services in and around the Charlotte area. However, rideshare drivers are just as likely to be involved in accidents as anybody else.
- Roadway defect accidents: Municipalities, state agencies, and construction companies all play a role in ensuring roadway safety. However, there are times when agencies or companies cause roadway defects that become dangerous for drivers.
- Drunk and distracted driving collisions: Alcohol-impaired drivers and distracted drivers are dangers on the roadway. Accidents involving impaired or distracted drivers can be challenging, and victims deserve compensation.
The Reality In North Carolina
If we look at the latest full year of data from the NC Department of Transportation, we see that there were more than 285,000 motor vehicle crashes reported. Out of those, there were:
- 1,470 fatalities
- 125,232 injuries
While many crash injuries are minor, we know that it is not uncommon for us to see the following:
- Spinal cord injuries (with possible paralysis)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage/internal bleeding
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or amputations
Each of these injuries requires immediate and often extensive medical care. Many crash victims need multiple surgeries and extended rehabilitation in order to make a full recovery. The medical costs can become tremendous.
What people do not often consider are the other hidden costs of a vehicle crash. In an effort to push for a quick settlement, insurance companies rarely offer compensation for the following:
- Lost income and benefits of a crash victim or a family caregiver
- Any necessary home or vehicle accommodations
- In-home care or therapy if a person is disabled
- Incalculable emotional and psychological damages
What Causes These Crashes
Many fatal and injury-causing crashes are the result of negligent drivers. Some of the top contributing factors in NC are:
- Excessive driving speed/failure to reduce speed
- Disregard of traffic signals/road markings
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Inattention or distracted drivers
- Crossing centerline/going the wrong way
- Alcohol or drug use
We want to make note of the dangers of impaired driving. For the latest reporting year, alcohol-impaired drivers were responsible for more than 23% of all traffic fatalities. Still, speeding causes more crashes and accounts for more than 25% of all fatal crashes.
In the immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident, it is vital that you seek medical treatment, even if you think your injuries are only minor. The full extent of many injuries often does not manifest until hours or days later. By seeing a doctor, you are establishing a connection between your injuries and the crash.
What Steps Should You Take After A Vehicle Collision Occurs?
If you or somebody you love has been involved in a vehicle accident in or around the Charlotte area, there are various steps that you can take immediately following the collision and in the days and weeks afterward to help ensure you have the best chance of recovering compensation. We understand that these steps may not all be able to be taken at once, and maybe not even in this order.
Right after a collision occurs, we recommend that those involved do the following:
- Dial 911: The police need to respond to just about every accident that occurs in the state of North Carolina. Law enforcement officials need to come to conduct a preliminary investigation and fill out an accident report to be used by those involved and the insurance carriers.
- Seek medical care: It is absolutely critical that any person involved in a vehicle accident seek medical care as soon as possible. By doing so, victims will establish a direct link between the accident and their injuries, something insurance carriers will look for.
- Gather evidence: If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, we always recommend that accident victims gather as much evidence as possible. This can include using a cell phone or another type of camera to take photographs of everything at the scene, including vehicle damage, causes of the crash, debris, injuries, traffic and weather conditions, and more. Additionally, the names and contact information of any witnesses should be gathered.
In the days and weeks that follow a collision, there are other steps that drivers can take to help ensure their insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit will be successful. This includes:
- Contact an attorney: When you contact a Charlotte motor vehicle accident lawyer, you will be gaining an advocate with the resources necessary to handle every aspect of your case. An attorney will take over all communication with other parties involved, including the insurance carriers. An attorney will also use their resources to gather additional evidence to help prove liability, including video surveillance from nearby buildings, information from law enforcement officials, and more.
- Continue all medical care: It is crucial for any accident victim to continue all medical care until their doctor says they have reached maximum medical improvement.
Time Limit To File A Charlotte Accident Claim
Any person involved in a vehicle accident in North Carolina needs to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file these claims. First, we want to point out that there is no specific law put into place about how quickly your claim needs to be reported to insurance carriers. However, each individual insurance carrier will have reporting requirements that should be followed in order for your claim to be processed properly.
Additionally, if a crash victim needs to file a personal injury lawsuit, they need to be aware that the North Carolina personal injury statute of limitations is three (3) years from the date an injury occurs. This means that a crash victim has a three-year window within which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver. If the car wreck results in a fatality, then the deceased victim’s family would have a Wrongful Death lawsuit. This carries a different statute of limitations which is two (2) years from the date of death. Failing to file a lawsuit within either of these applicable timeframes will result in the victim – or the victim’s family in the event of a Wrongful Death — being unable to recover compensation. A Charlotte car accident lawyer will help make sure you get your claim filed on time.
What Type Of Compensation Is Available In These Cases?
There may be various types of compensation available in the aftermath of a Charlotte vehicle accident. At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, our goal is to help clients recover full compensation for their losses, including coverage of their economic expenses as well as their non-economic losses. This can include the following:
- Coverage of all accident-related medical bills
- Compensation for physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Coverage of prescription medications or medical devices
- Lost income if a victim is unable to work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of quality of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent driver
The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding each particular motor vehicle accident in Charlotte. Some of the factors that can affect the total compensation include how severe the injuries are, whether or not a victim can work while they recover, how long it takes the crash victim to recover, the level of the victim’s pain and suffering, and whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident.