pain and suffering Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

When you’re in a serious car accident, the likelihood that you will experience some form of pain and suffering is high. We’ve all heard of pain and suffering, but how do those words play into a personal injury lawsuit?

What is pain and suffering?

Typically, there are two types:

  • Physical pain and suffering – that’s the actual physical pain that comes with injuries sustained in the accident. Physical pain and suffering is not just the pain you experienced during the crash and after the crash. It also takes into account pain and suffering that you are likely to experience in the future because of the accident.
  • Mental pain and suffering – This is more of a “byproduct” of the physical injuries. When you’ve been injured in an accident, you might experience a lot of crippling emotions – anguish, sadness, loss of joy, fear, anger, etc. – all of which can have a negative impact on you and your life. Just like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering not only calculates the mental anguish you felt right after the accident, but also the mental pain and suffering you are likely to experience down the road.

How is pain and suffering factored into your personal injury case?

An insurance company, a judge or a jury is going to look a wide range of things when determining pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit.

Here are some of the factors they will consider:

  • Consistency – Does your story stay the same every time you tell it? Are you consistent when you describe your pain?
  • Credibility – Do you have a criminal record? Is there evidence that you have lied at any point during the personal injury case?
  • Likeability – The bad part about this factor is that it’s subjective, but it’s still very important when determining how much money you will receive for pain and suffering. If you don’t consider yourself a “people” person, make sure your highly experienced personal injury attorney spends ample time prepping you for trial or depositions. You should be able to speak openly and clearly about your injuries and the aftermath. This is why it is vitally important for your lawyer to get to know you.
  • Doctor support – Does your doctor’s diagnosis consistent with your claims? Because the award must be based on the severity of the injury, you’ve got to have supporting documents and testimony from health care professionals.

How is pain and suffering calculated?

Although there’s no set in stone law on how to calculate the amount of money a person should receive in a personal injury case, insurance companies sometimes rely on two methods:

  • Multiplier – This means the award is determined by multiplying the actual damages, like medical bills and lost employment wages, by a set number. That number is usually between 1 and 5.
  • Per diem – Insurance companies have also been known to use the per diem method in which they pick a daily amount (like $150, for example) and pay you that amount every day from the day of the accident until you have reached “maximum recovery.”

Regardless of how an insurance company values your claim, it may not be the value that you agree with. That is why it is so important to have a conversation with your lawyer about how the injury has affected you at home, work and the things that you enjoy doing in life. You are not stuck with any amount that an insurance company is willing to offer. That is why our Court system is there.

There’s a lot of information out there on pain and suffering, but no amount of research can make up for having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Robert Armstrong today.

 

truck accident cases more complicated than cars robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

Accidents involving large trucks are far more dangerous than smaller vehicle accidents for one obvious reason – the sheer size of the truck means injuries are often severe or even fatal.

There are other differences between cars and truck accidents, namely:

  • Maneuverability – It’s just so big. That’s why it can’t swerve as quickly to miss a deer on the highway, and it needs more than twice the distance of a car to complete a turn. And when it does turn abruptly, it runs the risk of “jackknifing” into a V shape.
  • Stopping distance – It’s pretty simple, according to physics: the bigger the vehicle, the more difficult it is to stop it once it’s moving. If another car or truck stops suddenly in front of a big rig, the chances it will be able to stop in time to avoid a crash are greatly diminished. Experts say while it takes a car just more than 300 feet to stop when it’s traveling 65 miles per hour, a large truck can take over 520 feet to come to a stop.

Because there are so many additional responsibilities involved in driving a big rig, it’s important that truck drivers are highly trained and adhere to federal truck driving regulations, including the number of hours they drive consecutively, the number of hours they work in a week, and many, many more.

In 2014, 97 percent of the 3,600 deaths from truck accidents were passengers in a car.

What are some safety tips for dealing with big trucks?

Here are a few ways you can stay safe around semis:

  • Don’t cut off trucks.
  • Make sure they have lots of room to stop.
  • Always pass on the left side of a truck instead of the right side. The blind side on the right is much bigger.
  • Try to stay out of their blind spots.

What are the rules for truck drivers in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, truck drivers must adhere to both Federal and State guidelines designed to combat driver fatigue, since driver fatigue is often the cause for such serious or deadly crashes involving large trucks.

Truckers in North Carolina also are responsible for the following crucial things:

  • Regular truck maintenance
  • Keeping detailed record logs, which include noting the number of hours they are driving and the number of hours they are resting.

However, not all truck drivers follow the strict laws that govern the trucking industry, and trucking companies are often multi-million dollar companies with huge liabilities.

When you’re involved in an accident with a semi, it’s important that you hire a personal injury attorney with experience in 18-wheeler accidents. Contact Robert Armstrong today.

 

types of compensation in auto accident case Robert armstrong personal injury attorney north carolina

When you’re in an automobile accident, whether it’s a fender-bender or a serious crash with injuries, determining who caused the accident (fault) and how much compensation you deserve (damages) is no small feat.

In North Carolina, the laws can be tricky to navigate. It’s important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

What are the laws regarding damages in North Carolina?

There are basically two types of compensation when it comes to automobile accidents

  • Economic – the actual costs you incurred because of the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages
  • Non-economic – emotional pain, distress, suffering, etc.

In many states, there are limits to the amount of non-economic damages  you can receive from an automobile accident. In North Carolina, however, there are only caps in place for medical malpractice suits and punitive damages. For medical malpractice suits, damages are capped at $500,000. For punitive damages, the maximum award is $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages. However, if the wreck was caused by someone driving while impaired, then there is NO cap.

It’s important to note that state laws can change at any time. That’s why you need to consult with an attorney before you proceed.

What is contributory negligence in North Carolina?

If you are indeed receiving monetary damages from an automobile accident, there are three standards used in the judicial world to judge your conduct and calculate how much money you will receive:

  • Contributory negligence (Strictly followed in North Carolina with significant exceptions that still allow for recovery)
  • Pure comparative negligence (followed in States like New York)
  • Modified comparative negligence (followed in States like New Jersey)

In North Carolina, contributory negligence rule is used in civil cases. What does that mean? It means that if you were partially at fault in the automobile accident – no matter how little at fault you were – you cannot legally receive any damages. There are exceptions to this rule. If the defendant had the “Last Clear Chance” to avoid causing the wreck then you can recover. You may also recover where the defendant’s conduct was intentional or wanton and willful or where you were faced with a “Sudden Emergency”.

Even if a jury or judge decides that you were only 3 percent at fault and the other driver was 97 percent at fault, you will not be eligible for damages, even if you suffer serious injuries or experience other negative fallout from the crash.

North Carolina is one of only four states left in the United States – along with the District of Columbia – that follow the contributory negligence standard.

How long do you have to file a personal injury claim in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, there is a three-year time limit to file a claim after an automobile accident. If you file a claim after that window, your case will likely be dismissed. However, if a death were involved then your time limit may be shortened to a two year limit from the time of death (not to go beyond 3 years from the date of the wreck). Similarly there are exceptions for infants (anyone below the age of majority in NC, which is 18 Yrs old) and incompetents.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident, contact the offices of Robert Armstrong today.

 

robert-armstrong-personal-injury-attorney-north-carolina

Do I need a personal injury attorney? The answer to this question is absolutely, unequivocally yes! Years ago, insurance companies used to handle claims very differently than they do now. A person’s insurance company has a contract with said person. A contract that basically says that the insurance company will defend and indemnify that person against all claims for negligence; even if they caused the wreck!

Whose side do you think that they are on? Who do you think they are looking out for? I can assure you that it is not you! Their only concern is to protect their insured. They are also in the business of saving money – if they can get out cheaply, they absolutely will. It’s their bread and butter, and is what they do best. So how can a person compete against an agency that is actively trying to denounce their claim?

You hire someone who can go toe-to-toe with these companies to be your champion. A really good personal injury lawyer that knows how to:

  • Handle all facets of the case
  • Deal with these corporate giants
  • Protect their client’s interests
  • Get you the compensation you deserve

There are many varieties of lawyer; traffic ticket, criminal, real estate, business, etc. And while some lawyers may dabble in multiple areas – it is vital that you go to someone who specializes in personal injury law. Additionally, you want a lawyer that will be there for you for small and large issues – someone that is going to answer when you call, respond to your texts or emails, and meet you whenever and wherever you need them to. You need a lawyer that will treat you with respect whether your claim is worth $3,000 or $3,000,000.

You may be asking yourself, “That sounds great, but how do I pay for all of this on top of my medical bills?” Short answer? You don’t have to! Most decent personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. You don’t pay your lawyer out of your own pocket! The lawyer is paid a percentage of your recovery (typically around 33%). If there is no recovery, you don’t owe your lawyer any fees. You and your lawyer succeed or fail, together.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a lawyer that will be honest about the merits of your case, in order to avoid creating false hope.You also want a lawyer that will not sell you short, but knows the value of the case to you, and will give you sound advice about the merits of settling your claim vs filing your claim in Court and trying your case to a jury of your peers. Your lawyer should be looking out for you and giving you wise, sound advice so that you can make an informed decision about how you want your case handled.

Call 910-256-1233 for a free personal injury case consultation.