How to Tell if A Personal Injury Is Serious Enough for An NC Lawsuit
Aug. 16, 2022
Our team gets this question all the time! Unfortunately, not every injury warrants a lawsuit – even if the other party involved in the accident was clearly at-fault.
For severe injuries, a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to restore significant losses. But sometimes, the amount of damages you’ll actually recover may not be worth the time and money it takes to bring your case to court.
Common “Serious” Personal Injuries
In our experience, we’ve found that certain types of injuries are more likely to withstand in NC courts and result in greater damages recovered by our clients:
Exceptional scarring and/or disfigurement
All of these injuries share a few things in common…they carry exceptionally high medical costs, come with a relatively high risk of death, and most are permanent or life-altering.
The greater impact the injury has on your life, the more serious your injury will probably be viewed in a courtroom.
NOTE: If we do not list your injury above, that DOES NOT mean your injury is not serious enough for a lawsuit. An experienced North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney can help you determine whether your injury is truly serious and suggest what next steps to take.
What We Determine in Our Initial Consultation.
When you first bring your case to the Robert Louis Armstrong team, we will assess three things:
What exactly happened
How much your injury has cost you
Whether your case meets all the legal requirements of a North Carolina personal injury
How do we calculate the cost of your personal injury?
We use the equation below:
Cost of your injury = economic damages + non-economic damages
Your economic damages are the physical costs we can actually attribute dollar amounts to – like medical bills, added living expenses, and lost wages.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages are less tangible, including factors like pain and suffering, loss of certain capabilities, and mental anguish. When assigning this value, we strive to answer the question: How has your quality of life changed because of the accident?
If the sum of your economic and non-economic damages is high enough, your personal injury is likely serious enough to warrant a civil lawsuit.
What Do I Need to Prove a Personal Injury in North Carolina?
To recover personal injury damages in North Carolina, you need to prove four things:
The opposing party had a legal duty for your safety.
The other party’s negligence caused the accident (they were at-fault).
The accident was a proximate cause of your injury.
And the specific damages you’re requesting stem from the accident and your injuries.
Let’s unpack that a bit.
The legal term “duty” refers to a person’s responsibility to treat others with care (watchfulness, caution, and attention) that a reasonable person would use in the same situation.
So, to prove the at-fault party broke their “duty,” we first need to establish that they had to avoid acting in a way that put you at risk of injury. Such obligations include driving safely and keeping their property hazard-free.
Then, if the negligent party failed to satisfy that obligation (and you were hurt because of it), you have the foundation for a strong personal injury case.
REMEMBER: North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state. That means you cannot recover personal injury damages if you contributed to your injury in ANY way.
Robert Armstrong | North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Have you or a loved one been injured because of an accident? It’s crucial for you to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you determine the true value of your case.
Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for a FREE consultation!