While some motorcycle injuries are apparent right away, others present themselves days or weeks later. Victims of accidents that happen at a slower speed or who suffer injuries that on the surface seem minor might not seek necessary medical attention. However, you can suffer from hidden injuries after a motorcycle accident, leading you to seek a North Carolina motorcycle accident attorney later.

The challenge with any form of an auto accident is that you can’t assume you have no injuries until a doctor completes a full evaluation. Failing to seek medical care could mean that your injuries have time to worsen, possibly causing long-term damage.

Here’s a look at some of the hidden injuries you can sustain after a motorcycle accident in North Carolina.

Internal bleeding from a motorcycle accident

While on your body’s exterior it might look like everything is just fine, you might be suffering from internal bleeding from the physical trauma of the car accident. And the signs and symptoms of internal bleeding might not present themselves until many hours even a few days after your accident.

If you experience these symptoms, visit the emergency room immediately if you’ve recently been involved in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Pain in the chest
  • Blood in your urine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness or passing out
  • Low blood pressure
  • Numbness
  • Visual problems
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting

All these symptoms could be a sign of internal bleeding, which could have lasting impacts on your health. See a medical professional immediately.

Concussion or other brain injuries

When mild brain trauma goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can cause severe and long-lasting effects. Sadly, because the symptoms of a concussion or brain injury can be minor, brain injuries can go unnoticed for a great deal of time, wreaking havoc on the body.

To prevent serious, long-term injury, seek medical attention if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of a brain injury after a motorcycle accident.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Feeling dazed or confused
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Depression or anxiety

Many of these symptoms are common ailments that you might have experienced due to other causes. And if you haven’t suffered severe trauma recently many of these symptoms are not cause for alarm. However, after a motorcycle accident, these symptoms are worrisome and you should see a doctor immediately.

Spinal injuries

Injuries to your spine can start with mild pain or discomfort. However, they can lead to conditions as severe as paralysis. Watch out for these signs that you might have suffered a spinal injury following a motorcycle accident.

  • Incontinence
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pressure in your back, neck or head
  • Weakness
  • Loss of use of any body part
  • Numbness
  • A tingling sensation in your fingers, toes, hands or feet

Some medical professionals miss spinal injuries at first because they can be difficult to diagnose. So even if you got checked out after a motorcycle accident and were given a clean bill of health, you should seek further medical attention if you’re suffering from these symptoms.

Soft tissue damage

Damage to your body’s soft tissue can sneak up on you after a traumatic injury. But then with time, the symptoms can worsen and make it apparent that you need to see a doctor. Here are some signs to look out for.

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Instability of a joint in the body
  • Muscle spasms or cramping
  • Not being able to put weight on the joint
  • Lack of normal range of motion
  • A lump or knot where the injury took place
  • Exterior bruising that could point to interior bruising

Treating soft tissue injuries can be as simple as applying ice and taking pain relievers, but sometimes it needs more medical intervention, such as physical therapy or surgery. That’s why it’s important to have soft tissue injuries evaluated quickly to be sure you’re receiving the right treatment for what ails you.

No matter what hidden injuries you’ve suffered after a motorcycle accident, you have a right to having your bills paid. Robert Louis Armstrong Personal Injury Lawyer will fight for your rights to ensure you don’t experience financial hardships following a motorcycle accident in North Carolina. Contact us to learn more. 

Trucking accidents are almost always serious crashes. They’re bigger, heavier and cause more damage and more severe injuries than accidents involving smaller vehicles. If you were in an accident involving a commercial truck — like an 18-wheeler, box truck, or dump truck — and walked away without serious injury, consider yourself very lucky. 

Sometimes, trucking accidents have victims beyond those were directly involved with the crash. For the people who have lost a loved one in a trucking accident that was caused by the truck driver, you might be wondering what to do next. Your life is changed forever, and no amount of money can bring your loved one back. 

But a fair payment can help to bring closure and financial soundness at a time when nothing seems to make sense. 

Wrongful death lawsuits

Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by anyone who’s in charge of the estate of the person who died. These typically include: 

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Significant other
  • Sibling
  • Parents

Wrongful death laws in North Carolina 

North Carolina is one of many states that follow the Lord Campbell’s Act. If that sounds outdated, it’s because it is. Lord Campbell’s Act — a law enacted in Britain in the 1800s — states that only a designated beneficiary can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there are no survivors that qualify under the law, then the right to sue is carried on to the next round of survivors. If there are no rightful survivors, no wrongful death suit can be filed. 

Who can you sue in a wrongful death case for a trucking accident? 

When it comes to negligence, there could be several parties to blame for causing a crash that took the life of your loved one. These defendants could include: 

  • The truck driver
  • The company for which the truck driver works or worked
  • The company that was shipping the cargo being carried
  • The truck maker or manufacturer of faulty truck parts that could have caused the crash. 

What kind of compensation can you seek in a wrongful death suit? 

There are three types of damages you can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit: 

  • Economic: This covers all the expenses you incurred from the death, like a funeral/burial, or lost wages that your loved one brought in before their death. It could also include benefits you lost as a result of the death, like health insurance or inheritance. 
  • Non-economic: Also known as pain and suffering
  • Punitive: This is essentially to punish the party responsible for your loved one’s death. 

If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident and think you may have the case for a wrongful death lawsuit, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today. 

Why should I hire an attorney following a hurricane?

You should not attempt navigate this complex legal and bureaucratic maze alone.  The aftermath of a hurricane is a trying period of time in which you need all the help you can get.  This is not a time to worry about your hurricane insurance or flood insurance claim.  Let your attorney handle your hurricane claim and you can focus on rebuilding your life.  It is in your hurricane lawyer’s interest to fiercely advocate on your behalf to obtain a favorable recovery.

What does proof of loss mean?

In some cases, insurance claim adjusters will request that you complete a proof of loss form in order for your insurance claim to be processed.  It is best to think of proof of loss as a legal concept.  This means the insured party must provide evidence to the insurance provider so they understand the extent of the damage, the property lost, the cost of repairs and other damage related to the hurricane.  You will likely have to use the insurance provider’s forms to properly document all loses.  Keep in mind such forms are designed to limit the amount of the flood or wind damage.  It will help to have a proven attorney on your side to correctly fill out all forms so your claim is not jeopardized. 

Our legal team is well aware of the fact that courts view proof of loss as flexible.  There might be quite the burden of proof required to show the loss actually occurred.  Our attorneys are here to meet this standard of proof, expedite your claim and ultimately obtain the compensation you deserve.

Does the adjuster have the ultimate say regarding the amount of money I can obtain for my insurance claim?

It is a common misconception that adjusters have the final say over the amount for damages.  As the property owner, you have the legal right to provide evidence or a form of proof of loss to support your hurricane insurance claim.  The insurance company is burdened with proving the damage in question is not covered by the policy.  The insurance provider can also attempt to show the value of the alleged loss is less than the claim.

How do I maximize the amount I receive for my personal property loss as detailed in my hurricane insurance claim?

It is incredibly frustrating when the insurance provider tries to low-ball you following a devastating event and subsequent claim.  You deserve fair compensation for your lost property.  In most cases, it takes the skill and strategy of an attorney to prove the loss, provide adequate documentation and spearhead the push toward justice.  It certainly helps to document each loss with photographs, receipts and any other means of displaying the original condition or value. 

What are the most common problems people have with insurance companies after hurricanes?

Insurance providers are bombarded with phone calls and claims following hurricanes.  It is time-consuming and tedious to complete the claims process in the days following this unfortunate event.  Even if you get to the point where the insurance company is willing to provide an estimate for repair or replacement, it will likely be much lower than anticipated.  In some cases, the insurance provider’s customer service goes on the offensive, making the claimant feel guilty or uncomfortable.  It is better to lean on your attorney until this ordeal reaches a conclusion.

Why do insurance adjusters often mislead claimants following hurricanes and other storms?

Insurance companies are in business to make money.  The aim of an insurance company’s workforce is to close as many claims as possible without spending an abundance of time on the phone trying to solve customer problems.  These representatives will bend the agreement’s language and attempt to manipulate customers who are not represented by an attorney.  In some cases, all it takes is the “Esq.” at the end of an attorney’s signature to convince an adjuster to green-light a favorable payout.

If you were in an accident and it wasn’t your fault, how do you prove that someone else was to blame? You need evidence to prove that you’re telling the truth, and witnesses are an extremely valuable tool in helping you and your lawyer build your case.

Can you still prove your case without a witness? Certainly. But it’s a little harder to do, and there are steps you need to take immediately after the crash to help yourself obtain evidence.

What do you do when you have witnesses?

If someone at the scene saw what happened, that’s great news! It’s a much easier case to prove if you have a witness on your side. What’s even better is if the witness happened to get pictures or video of the crash.

Here’s what you should do at the scene if you are not seriously injured and are able to do so:

  • Make sure you ask any and all witnesses to recall every single detail about what they saw.
  • Record all of their statements
  • Get their names and contact information so they can be contacted later about the case.

What do you do when there are no witnesses to the accident?

If no one was around and no one saw the accident, you should take the following steps immediately after the crash, provided you are not seriously injured and are able to do so:

  • Get out your camera phone, and start taking pictures of everything. Is there broken glass? Snap a picture. Tire marks on the road? Snap a picture. Anything and everything that might help your case, snap a picture.
  • If you are injured and stuck in one place, then record yourself and describe your injuries, recount what happened, and talk about the pain and what you’re feeling at the scene.

It may seem like an odd place and time to be snapping pictures and recording yourself, but the more evidence, pictures and recordings you have, the better the chances of you getting the amount of money you deserve when you pursue your claim.

Plus, it will help you to keep your story consistent as time goes by.

What’s the most important thing you can do after an accident?

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, the most important thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.b

Anytime you have been in an accident that involves injuries, the police will be called to the scene.

Although there might be citations issued at the scene, after police conclude their investigation of the crash and what caused it, there will also be a police report about the accident.

When are police officers dispatched to the scene of a crash?

In some states, police officers are always dispatched to an accident, even if no one is injured. In other cities and states, however, the following circumstances will bring a police officer to the scene:

  • Passengers, drivers and/or bystanders were injured.
  • The crash is obstructing the flow of traffic.
  • The driver or drivers are suspected of driving while intoxicated.
  • The people involved in the crash are fighting or causing a disruption at the scene.

The first thing you should do if you’re injured in a car accident is call 911. The 911 operator will assess whether paramedics and/or police need to be called.

If you’re injured in a car accident, call 911. The dispatcher will ask you questions about the type and extent of your injuries. If she decides the injuries require paramedics, she will dispatch them to the scene, along with the police.

What kind of information will officers gather at the scene of a crash?

Some of the information officers will want to know for their report includes:

  • The date, time and place of the crash
  • Statements from witnesses, drivers and passengers
  • The insurance information and personal information of drivers and passengers
  • A written narrative from the investigating officer saying what happened and what caused the accident
  • Other factors that might have contributed to the crash, such as weather conditions or road hazards
  • Detailed descriptions of any property damage that might have happened as a result of the crash — these could also include photos.
  • Descriptions of the vehicles involved — i.e. year, make, model and color

Typically, police reports are finished within five business days after the crash. You can usually get a copy for a nominal fee.

How does the police report factor into your claim?

Although insurance company claims adjusters will conduct their own investigations — and sometimes they will challenge the findings of the police report — in most cases, the police report is the key document in deciding which party is at fault.

Here’s why:

  • The police officer was at the scene. The insurance adjuster was not.
  • Officers are trained to analyze the crash and all the factors that caused it, particularly which driver was at fault.
  • Police officers generally have more credibility than claims adjusters.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.

Personal injury cases can take anywhere from months to years to come to an end. Of course, all of this depends on the complexities of your case, the severity of the injuries, and many, many other factors.

Generally speaking, any personal injury case can be settled sooner than later — but you will have to be willing to take a lower payment for your suffering. The question you will have to ask yourself is: How much money are you willing to give up to get a check faster?

Why do personal injury cases take so long?

Personal injury cases can move at a snail’s pace for several reasons, the main ones being:

  • There are questions about facts and/or legalities of your case – What kind of issues? It could be that it is increasingly difficult to prove which party is liable for the damages, which means that insurance companies are going to hold off on offering a decent settlement amount for as long as possible. If there are legal problems – i.e. the defense is arguing that you are not entitled to go after damages – then once again, the insurance company will not make a decent offer until a judge or jury has weighed in. In some cases, there can be conflicting reports about the actual damages, such as whether the accident was the cause of the injury. This is another instance when insurance companies will be hesitant to offer a fair amount.
  • The amount of money in question is a very large sum of cash – No matter how obvious the negligence is, if the settlement amount is extremely big, no insurance company will cut such a large check without first exploring every single avenue for paying you less. If they cannot find a legitimate reason to pay you less money, sometimes the insurance company will delay the case repeatedly, just to wear the plaintiff down in an effort to get you to accept less money. This is why it’s so important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney.
  • Your status has not reached “maximum medical improvement” – Maximum medical improvement is when a doctor determines that a person’s medical condition cannot improve anymore than it already has, or the injured person has reached a plateau in the process.

If any of the above factors are at play, you’re just going to have to be patient and wait for things to be resolved. If not, you will be forced to settle for “pennies on the dollar.”

Don’t let the complexities of your personal injury case get in the way of getting the amount of money you deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.

 

If you’ve been in a car accident and were not seriously injured, or the damages to your vehicle weren’t very severe, you might start thinking about whether you can handle the insurance claim yourself, or if you need to hire a lawyer.

While it’s true that some car accidents are minor enough to not need a lawyer, you should think long and hard before you decide to go at it alone.

What are the dangers of representing yourself in a car accident claim?

Here are just a few of the downsides to settling a personal injury/car accident claim yourself:

  • You have to learn A LOT about the legal and insurance fields: Do you know all the terminology associated with insurance claims? If you don’t, then you’ll have to learn, and quickly. Do you know the ins and outs of medical billing, medical costs and how to factor in any future injuries that may arise? Do you know all of the regulations associated with medical liens? If not, then you probably want to consult with an attorney. And what if you learn everything there is to know about insurance companies, and then they still won’t pay you the amount you deserve? If that happens, you will have to file a lawsuit, and are you prepared to do that without a lawyer? Disputed liability is something that happens all the time in car accident claims, especially when the victim doesn’t have an experienced legal advocate working on their behalf.
  • Paying out of pocket for expenses related to your case: Typically, personal injury attorneys cover the everyday expenses of your claim, from copies to police reports and lots of other small hidden costs, then subtract that amount from your overall settlement amount after the case is closed. These costs can all add up very fast, and if you are handling the case yourself, you will be responsible for those upfront expenses.
  • Less money: Attorneys have years of experience in analyzing the particulars of a personal injury case, and they know when and where to look for more money. They are also expert negotiators who know when it’s best to settle and when it’s best to battle it out in court. Often, you will get much less money when you represent yourself.

 

While it’s true that some cases are more complicated than others and some require less work than others, the money you save by not hiring an experienced personal injury attorney could end up costing you more in the long run.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.

 

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, people often assume that it’s almost always the  driver’s fault because of the old maxim, “The pedestrian has the right of way.” That’s not always correct, by the way, and there are several situations in which the pedestrian can be at fault — either totally at fault or partially at fault.

Of course, if you are a pedestrian and you’re hit by a vehicle and the accident wasn’t your fault at all, you will likely be able to recover damages for any injuries you might have sustained.

What are some common scenarios in which a pedestrian can be liable?

Have you ever heard the ice cream truck coming down the street and ran toward it without looking both ways? What if there was a vehicle coming and you didn’t see it? That’s just one instance in which you, the pedestrian, could be at fault for a pedestrian accident if that vehicle were to hit you.

Here are some more:

  • Ignoring the crosswalk traffic signal, as in crossing the street while the crosswalk signal says “Do Not “Walk” or has a large hand signaling for you to stop.
  • Walking in the street while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  • Jaywalking – the act of crossing in the middle of a street without going to a crosswalk.
  • Walking along interstates, overpasses or other major roadways where pedestrians are not allowed.

In all of the above situations, there’s a good chance that the driver also shares some of the blame because he or she was traveling too fast, was not paying attention, or didn’t stop in time because of some other circumstance.

What if the pedestrian and the driver share fault?

In most states, if the driver and the pedestrian are both to blame for the accident, then an insurance company, or a judge or jury, will determine the percentage of fault for each person involved and base recovery of damages on that percentage.

North Carolina, unfortunately, is not most states. North Carolina is one of only four states and the District of Columbia to follow the contributory negligence rule, which means that even if the pedestrian is only 1 percent at fault for the accident, he or she is not legally able to recover a penny from the other person’s insurance company. Essentially, it’s an “all or none” regulation.

In sum, pedestrian accidents are not all black and white, and the cases can get very complicated very quickly. That’s why it’s so important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney like Robert Armstrong. Contact his office today for help.

 

If you’ve been injured in an accident and the other driver was at fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything it can to give you as little money as possible. Unfortunately, that’s just the way insurance companies work.

Here are some common reasons why insurance companies could try to deny your claims:

  • The insurance company places you at fault for the accident – Even if you know you weren’t at fault, if there is no citation from police, then proving liability is made more difficult. If it’s your word against the other driver, then the insurance company will most likely deny your claim and maintain that you were the one to blame for the crash.
  • The accident was not serious enough for bodily injury – Often, an insurance company will deny a claim because the insurance company alleges that the impact and the speed factors in the crash were too low for you to claim that you were hurt. In other words, they think you are exaggerating or lying about the extent of your injuries, particularly if your injury is a sprained neck or whiplash. When this happens, a special team of investigators is called in to try to find evidence that proves you have been dishonest so the insurance company can deny your claim. That’s why it’s so important for you to keep impeccable medical records and transcripts of conversations with doctors.
  • The person who caused the crash was not a permitted driver on the insurance policy – Most insurance companies make drivers list on their policies the names of people who are authorized to drive the car. If someone who is not on the approved list of drivers causes a crash while driving, then the insurance company can try to deny the claim because the driver — even though he or she caused the accident — was not covered under the insurance policy.
  • The person injured waited to seek medical treatment – It’s always a good idea to see a doctor after a car accident, and it’s best if you do it as soon as possible if you sustained an injury in the accident – no matter how minor it may seem at the time. If you wait months to see a doctor, the insurance company will try to attack your credibility and deny your claim based on the fact that you waited too long. In other words, the insurance company will, again, accuse you of lying.

There are many other reasons why insurance companies will deny your personal injury claims, which is why it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney like Robert Armstrong to stop the insurance companies from wrongfully denying your claim.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.

 

 

 

Car accident cases are almost always complicated in some way, but when there are multiple cars involved — or multiple parties involved in the claims process — it gets even more convoluted.

This is especially true in North Carolina, which is one of only four states and the District of Columbia that follows the pure contributory negligence rule. Alabama, Maryland and Virginia are the other three.

What is the contributory negligence rule?

  • In North Carolina, if a judge determines that you are at fault in any manner — even if you are just 1 percent at fault for the car accident — you cannot recover a penny in damages from the other party, even if the other party is 99 percent at fault.
  • In most states, the comparative negligence rule is followed, which allots percentages of fault to each party and determines the amount of the damages based on the percentage of fault.

If there are multiple cars or multiple defendants involved in the case, the chance that there are multiple people at fault increases. If you are determined to have no fault, then you will be able to seek damages from all the parties that were determined to be at fault.

What is vicarious liability?

One thing you might encounter if you’re involved in a car accident case with multiple defendants is vicarious liability. What’s that?

  • Vicarious liability is when one person, business or entity assumes liability for the actions of someone else. For example, in a car accident involving a company vehicle, if the person driving the company vehicle is at fault, the company would assume liability for the crash. Often, though, an experienced personal injury attorney will go after both the driver and the company.

 

What happens when multiple people are at fault?

When multiple people caused the accident, then if you are 0 percent at fault, your personal injury attorney can go after all of the other people who caused the accident.

But there are also downsides to having multiple defendants:

  • Multiple defendants often means multiple defense lawyers, which always makes things more complicated.
  • If there are multiple defense lawyers, there are multiple angles by which they will try to discredit you and give you less than you deserve — or nothing at all.

If you have been involved in an accident and there are multiple defendants involved, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury law firm like Robert Armstrong’s office, immediately.

Cases involving multiple defendants take a lot more time, preparation and expertise, and without that expertise, you could be missing out on the money you are owed.

Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help.