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Why Your Car Accident May (or May Not) Turn Into a Car Accident Lawsuit

Dan Brian   |  April 28, 2016   |  

When people are involved in car accidents, there are usually a million questions rushing through their heads afterward: How badly am I injured? How badly is the other driver injured? How will I pay my medical bills? How will I get my car fixed? How long will I be out of work? Will I have to sue the other driver? What if the other driver sues me?

At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, our attorneys answer these questions from concerned clients on a daily basis. One of the most important pieces of information we share with our clients is that whether your case turns into a lawsuit or not, you need an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney on your side if you want to pursue full and fair compensation.

The fact of the matter is that insurance companies have lawyers working on your case from the very start, and their goal is to pay you as little as possible (preferably nothing at all). Because our firm is totally focused on helping those who have been hurt in accidents, our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about how insurance companies operate, and we are always prepared for a case to progress beyond settlement negotiations and into a lawsuit.

Why Would My Car Accident Case Turn into a Lawsuit?

There are several reasons why your car accident case might turn into a lawsuit. But it basically boils down to this: If an insurance company refuses to offer you maximum compensation for your injuries, our committed car accident attorneys will pursue justice for you in a court of law. Here are some of the common reasons why North Carolina car accident cases turn into lawsuits:

    • You have been seriously injured, and the insurance company does not want to fully compensate you. The more serious the injury, the more expensive the medical bills, the longer you are out of work, the more you and your family suffer. All of those things add up to more money the insurance company should be paying you, and the more money that’s involved in a car accident case, the harder the insurance company will fight to keep it. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, we believe those who have suffered catastrophic injuries in car accidents deserve extremely aggressive representation to make sure the insurance companies don’t take advantage of their vulnerability.
    • Who’s at fault for the accident is being disputed. North Carolina has extremely strict rules for determining when a car accident victim is eligible for compensation. The state’s “pure contributory negligence” laws mandate that in order for the victim to receive compensation, the victim must not have shared any of the fault for the accident. That means insurance companies will be trying hard to point out anything you did that may have contributed to the accident. And as your attorneys, we will be fighting fiercely to protect your right to compensation, including taking your battle to court if necessary.
    • The other party needs to be punished for willful or wanton conduct. In some cases, such as drunk driving accidents, the at-fault party could be held accountable for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages such as medical bills, property damage,lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for intentional disregard for the safety of others, and our lawyers will discuss with you whether your case should involve demands for punitive damages.

Why Wouldn’t My Car Accident Case Turn into a Lawsuit?

Not all car accident claims warrant a lawsuit. When our attorneys evaluate your case, we will discuss the specific details and work with you to map out the best route for pursuing maximum compensation.

Here are a few examples of car accident cases that may not result in a lawsuit:

    • You were the victim of a hit-and- run, and there is no information about the other driver. We encourage you to report a hit-and- run accident to law enforcement as soon as possible so authorities can begin looking for the other driver. However, we have handled plenty of cases where the driver was never found. Although you can’t file a lawsuit against a driver you can’t identify, you may still be able to pursue compensation for a hit-and- run accident. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, our skilled attorneys will negotiate with your insurance company to determine the maximum compensation you may be entitled to receive through the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto insurance policy. Even though these benefits come from “your” insurance company, negotiations can be complicated, so having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference in a hit-and- run case.
    • It was an accident with very minor injuries and little property damage. With minor accidents, most insurance companies will end up settling rather than go to court. However, just because your accident was not a catastrophic one, that does not mean you cannot pursue full and fair compensation. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, our attorneys will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you aren’t pressured into taking a settlement offer that is less than you deserve.
    • No one was injured in the accident, and the at-fault driver’s insurance company covered the damages to your car. For those fortunate enough to survive a car accident completely unscathed, recovering compensation for the damage to your vehicle will not likely result in a lawsuit. However, even if you feel fine right after an accident, you should still go to the doctor to get checked out. Over the years, we have represented many clients who suffered internal injuries or other problems that were not apparent immediately after the accident.
    • There is not enough evidence to support a lawsuit. One of the things that we encourage car accident victims to do is to take note of any evidence they can collect from the scene. This includes information about eyewitnesses and the other driver, as well as photos from the scene. Our attorneys also conduct their own thorough investigation of your accident to collect every bit of evidence available. However, the reality is that we will always do what is in your best interest. If there is just not enough evidence to make a strong case in court, we will be upfront with you and discuss your best options for pursuing compensation.

Let Us Help You After a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident in Raleigh, Goldsboro or anywhere else in North Carolina and need help deciding how to proceed with your claim, contact the knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP. Over the years, we have won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we want to help you successfully resolve your claim, whether that means taking your case to court or negotiating a full and fair settlement with the insurance company.