What You Need to Know About North Carolina Personal Injury

Personal injury claims can be challenging to navigate. Here’s everything you need to know about North Carolina personal injury.

Personal injury is a type of civil claim. In North Carolina, individuals can file personal injury claims if another party hurts them in certain ways. Courts may award plaintiffs monetary damages for their suffering.

What constitutes a personal injury claim in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a personal injury claim is when an individual files a complaint and says that they suffered an injury at the fault of another party. Personal injury cases determine whether or not an accused party is at fault for an individual’s injuries.

What are common types of personal injury cases in North Carolina?

Common types of personal injury cases in North Carolina include:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Automobile accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Product liability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Dog bites

What is workers’ compensation in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance most employers must have. Employees who suffer a personal injury while working should report the injury to their employer immediately to receive compensation.

How do I prove medical malpractice caused a personal injury in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, individuals must present an expert witness in court to prove medical malpractice. Expert witnesses must be medical experts who provide a sworn statement to the court. This witness must review a plaintiff’s medical records and testify to any medical malpractice they observed.

Related: Health Care Rights for North Carolina Employees

Can negligence count as a personal injury claim in North Carolina?

Individuals may claim their personal injury resulted from a party’s negligence. In a case of negligence, the accused party allegedly failed to exercise their duty of care and caused an injury. In negligence cases, North Carolina courts use the contributory negligence rule, which dictates that a plaintiff may not recover damages if they were also negligent when causing the harm.

Can a liable party in a personal injury case go to jail in North Carolina?

Personal injury is a civil complaint, not a crime. North Carolina courts will never sentence a party to jail for being liable for personal injury. Liable parties may only face monetary damages.

How do I file a personal injury complaint lawsuit in North Carolina?

Individuals wishing to file a personal injury complaint in North Carolina should write out the allegations of their claim. In their complaint, individuals should include their injuries, how they sustained their injuries, the legal basis for their complaint, and the amount of compensation they seek.

After writing a complaint, individuals may file it in a North Carolina civil court. Plaintiffs should consult with an attorney to determine which court jurisdiction they should file their complaint in.

What is the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in North Carolina?

A statute of limitations is the timeframe in which an individual may file a claim. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years. There are no exceptions to this statute of limitations, so individuals must file promptly after suffering a personal injury.

Does North Carolina recognize partial fault?

North Carolina does recognize partial fault in personal injury claims that do not include negligence. If a North Carolina court finds a plaintiff is at partial fault for their injury, they may subtract from their total damages.

Courts in North Carolina determine how much to subtract from damages by following a modified comparative negligence rule. If a court finds an individual 10% at fault for their injury, the court will subtract 10% of their total damages in North Carolina.

Does North Carolina follow the “one bite” rule?

The “one bite” rule releases dog owners from liability if their dog bites another person for the first time. North Carolina does not follow this rule. Instead, North Carolina law follows strict liability. Strict liability holds dog owners responsible for their dog’s bites, regardless of past behavior.

Related: Bodily Injury vs Personal Injury: The Difference

Do I have a personal injury case in North Carolina even if I don’t feel hurt?

Individuals may be able to file a personal injury complaint, even if they do not feel physically hurt. Injuries that cause long-term damage may qualify for a personal injury complaint in North Carolina. Plaintiffs may also file a personal injury complaint in North Carolina if their injury caused them financial loss, regardless of physical pain.

Do all personal injury cases in North Carolina go to trial?

Most personal injury cases in North Carolina do not go to trial. Instead, parties often settle their concerns outside of court. If a plaintiff and defendant cannot agree on a settlement, the plaintiff may choose to pursue a lawsuit and go to trial.

How long does a personal injury settlement take in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, personal injury settlements can take years. Negotiations between parties can take time, and individuals may need to resolve legal issues as time goes on. If parties spend less time negotiating, they can settle personal injury settlements quickly, although this often means collecting less money in damages.

What is a contingency fee?

A contingency fee is a payment form where a client pays an attorney using a percentage of the damages they receive upon settling or winning a case. In North Carolina, many lawyers ask for payment through a contingency fee. In this case, an attorney makes no money from a case if they do not settle or win the lawsuit.

What are the types of damages for personal injury cases in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, there are two primary types of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages serve to compensate a wronged party. Punitive damages serve to punish a liable party.

There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover specific costs like medical care or lost income. Non-economic damages cover losses without specific financial costs like emotional damage.

Does North Carolina have financial caps for personal injury damages?

North Carolina does have financial caps for personal injury damages. Caps are a limit on the amount of damages an individual can win. In all types of personal injury cases, North Carolina courts cap punitive damages at three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $250,000. In medical malpractice cases, North Carolina courts cap non-economic damages at $500,000.

Is there a minimum personal injury settlement amount in North Carolina?

There is no minimum personal injury settlement amount in North Carolina. Parties negotiate a settlement amount, but there is no guarantee that an injured party will recover damages.

What evidence do I need for a personal injury claim in North Carolina?

To establish a personal injury claim, plaintiffs should collect evidence of their injury and the costs their injury caused. This evidence may include medical bills, proof of sick leave at work, or images of injuries.

Plaintiffs must also prove that the alleged party is responsible for their personal injury. In negligence cases, this includes proof that a defendant failed to act in accordance with their specific duties.

Can I still file a personal injury claim in North Carolina if my insurance covers medical costs?

Individuals may file personal injury claims even if their insurance covers medical costs in North Carolina. In North Carolina, individuals may still request compensatory or punitive damages from a defendant, regardless of their insurance coverage.

Do I need an attorney to file a personal injury complaint in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, courts do not require individuals to have an attorney while filing a personal injury complaint. However, an attorney can help in the claim process. Experienced lawyers can file complaints for clients and advocate for them during settlements or trials.

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