Personal Injury Lawyer Durham, NC
Most accidents that result in someone being injured or killed do not happen by chance. Most accidents happen because someone was at fault. You may be a careful driver, but you could be injured or killed when the driver behind you decides to read a text message and crashes into you at a red light.
According to government statistics, 24.5 million trips to hospital emergency departments and 39.5 million visits to doctors' offices can be attributed to injuries suffered by people as a result of accidents each year in the United States. Accidents also claim the lives of at least 173,000 people annually.
When injuries or death caused by the fault of another party strikes you or a loved one, you want an outstanding Durham personal injury lawyer at the Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, aggressively fighting to recover the compensation you need and deserve. We are committed to helping you get your life back in order after being turned upside down by someone's reckless, careless and negligent behavior.
Making others pay when they cause harm takes a compassionate personal injury lawyer in Durham NC with the experience and skills both in and out of the courtroom. We investigate the accident to gather the evidence needed to build a strong case against the at-fault party and take action to make that party pay for the damages they caused.
How does a Durham injury lawyer prove negligence?
One of the first things the personal injury lawyer Durham representing you must do is take a close look at the circumstances that caused you to be injured. Generally, unless the conduct of the other party was intentional, as may occur with injuries caused by an assault, your lawyer must prove negligence.
The evidence obtained by your lawyer must prove the following to establish that another party was negligent:
- Presence of a duty of care: A claim for damages based on negligent conduct must show that the at-fault party had a legal obligation to act reasonably under the circumstances that existed to avoid causing harm to you. Use of the word "you" can refer to a group of people of which you were a member. For example, a motorist owes a duty of care to operate a vehicle to avoid causing harm to others using the road.
- Breach of the duty by the at-fault party: Proving the existence of a legal duty of care is only one element to proving negligence. Your lawyer must then prove that the activities of the defendant, which is the party being sued for damages, breached the duty of care. Failing to act may be as much of a breach of the duty of care as actions themselves. For example, a physician may be liable for harming a patient by prescribing the wrong medication, but the failure of the physician to prescribe a medication that could have saved a person's life would also be a breach of the duty of care owed to the patient.
- Breach of the duty of care caused harm: The evidence must prove that the harm caused to the plaintiff was a result of the defendant's actions or failure to act. For example, a motorist suffers injuries when he fails to stop in time to avoid crashing into the rear of another vehicle that was stopped at a red light. Police discover that the driver of the stopped vehicle was intoxicated. Unless it can be proven that the intoxication of the driver somehow caused the accident, the injured driver may not be able to prove negligence.
- Proof of damages suffered by the plaintiff: The final element to proving negligence is that the plaintiff must prove damages. You cannot recover compensation from another party unless you can prove that you suffered losses. Examples of damages include medical expenses, lost wages, scarring and disfigurement, and other types of damages.
Protect your rights with a careful analysis of your claim by a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Durham at the Clauson Law Firm. We give you an honest assessment of the claim during a free, no-obligation consultation and claim review.
Durham personal injury lawyers handling all types of accidents
Personal injury claims arise in so many different ways, so you want to be certain the lawyer handling it for you has experience with your type of case. Instead of searching the internet for "a personal injury lawyer near me," call Clauson Law to speak with a personal injury lawyer with hands-on experience handling your type of case, including:
Our accomplished team of seasoned personal injury lawyers have a proven record of success holding parties who cause harm to our clients responsible for their conduct.
Recovering compensation for all types of injuries
Equally as important as retaining a lawyer with experience in all types of personal injury cases is having one who knows how to gather and present evidence of injuries to maximize the amount of compensation that you receive through settlement or as awarded by a jury after a trial. Some of the many types of injuries our personal injury law firm has successfully recovered damages for on behalf of our clients includes:
- Traumatic brain injury and concussions.
- Head injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Lacerations, contusions and abrasions.
- Broken bones.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Internal injuries.
- Loss of limbs and other amputations.
- Wrongful death.
Because of our extensive experience with different types of injuries, a Clauson Law personal injury lawyer Durham understands how some types of injuries may cause damages in the future. We anticipate future medical needs and the disabling nature of certain injuries that may affect your future earning capacity.
What damages may you claim in a Durham personal injury lawsuit?
The purpose of damages recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit is to help you get back to where you were before being harmed by another party. Damages generally fall into one of three categories:
Economic and non-economic damages are referred to as compensatory damages because their purpose is to pay you for losses caused by the behavior of an at-fault party.
Economic damages can be readily calculated from bills, invoices, and receipts and include the following:
- Expenses related to doctors, hospitals, physical therapy, occupational therapy, diagnostic testing, prescription medications, mental health counseling, and other medical care required to treat the physical and mental injuries that you suffered.
- Cost of future medical treatment your doctors anticipate you will require.
- Lost wages from being unable to work due to your injuries.
- Income that you may lose in the future from being unable to work or due to having a diminished earning capacity caused by your injuries.
The cost of childcare, housekeeping services, and other services that you require to help with day-to-day things that you cannot do for yourself because of the injuries you suffered. Damage to personal or real property caused in the accident may be recoverable as economic damages.
The harm done to you that does not have a specific and readily determinable monetary value is referred to as non-economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages include the following:
- Physical and emotional pain and distress, which may include anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping in addition to physical pain.
- Loss of companionship generally refers to the companionship, love, and affection of a loved one as a result of injuries or death caused by an accident.
- Diminished enjoyment or quality of life, which includes the inability to engage in the types of activities that you enjoyed doing before being injured.
The difficulty with non-economic damages is that they do not have a specific monetary value and cannot be proven with a bill, statement, or invoice as can be done with economic damages. Instead, your personal injury lawyer Durham NC relies on years of experience to determine the evidence that will prove most persuasive to a jury or during negotiations to maximize the amount of non-economic damages.
Punitive damages do not compensate you for losses caused by the negligence of another party as do economic and non-economic damages. Instead, the purpose of awarding punitive damages is to punish the defendant for extreme behavior that shocks the conscience, such as a surgeon who causes the death of a patient by performing surgery while impaired by drugs or alcohol. A secondary purpose of punitive damages is to send a message to prevent others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
The benefit of representation by a personal injury lawyer in Durham NC
When you retain the services of a Durham injury lawyer at Clauson Law, you have the benefit of knowing you have a trusted advocate looking out for your best interests and aggressively fighting to make the at-fault parties pay you the damages you are entitled to receive. Some of the other benefits include:
- A thorough investigation of the claim: We focus on anticipating defenses that may be raised by the insurance company and lawyers for the defendant. North Carolina allows a defendant to avoid paying damages when a plaintiff is as little as 1% at fault in causing the accident or the injuries, which is called contributory negligence. Our team of personal injury professionals works hard to build a strong case based on evidence proving the fault of the defense as the cause of the accident and your injuries.
- An honest assessment of your claim: We start out by giving you an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your claim and its anticipated value, so you know what you may expect to recover in compensation. It is part of our policy of keeping you informed about your case and being available to answer your questions.
- Skilled legal professionals looking out for you: While you focus on getting medical care and rest, we handle the correspondence and calls with the insurance companies and defense lawyers. We engage in settlement discussions and make a point of talking to you about offers made on behalf of the other parties.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit: A common tactic used by insurance companies is to delay settlement negotiations in the hope of putting financial pressure on an injured person who cannot work because of an accident. To eliminate this tactic, we file a personal injury lawsuit against the parties responsible for causing your injuries. This forces the defense to move the case along under a timetable established by law and enforced by court orders when necessary.
Having a gifted Durham personal injury lawyer handling your case need not be a financial burden to you. The Clauson Law Firm represents clients in personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not owe us a legal fee unless we recover compensation for you through settlement or an award after trial.
How soon should you contact a Durham personal injury lawyer?
The best time to contact the Clauson personal injury law firm to talk to a lawyer about your claim for damages is now. The passage of time increases the likelihood that witnesses will be unable to accurately recall what they saw and heard. It also gives the insurance company for the party that harmed you an opportunity to minimize the severity of your injuries because you did not promptly claim damages.
Immediately contacting a personal injury lawyer in Durham NC ensures that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations. Personal injury claims generally must be filed within three years from the date on which you were injured. Waiting too long may result in the loss of the right to be compensated.
A personal injury lawyer Durham knows the state laws and the fact that time limits for certain types of cases may be less than three years. For example, if your claim for damages is against someone who caused the wrongful death of a loved one, the statute of limitations is only two years in North Carolina.
Speak with a Clauson Law personal injury lawyer today
When you suffer a loss as a result of the negligence or wrongful conduct of another party, you need knowledgeable and skilled legal representation from an experienced Durham personal injury lawyer. Contacting the Clauson Law Firm, PLLC puts you in touch with an experienced lawyer capable of providing you with an honest assessment of your personal injury case during a free, no-obligation consultation.
Durham Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ's
The company insuring the party whose negligence or intentional conduct caused you to be injured employs investigators, claims adjusters, and defense lawyers to prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve. A skilled Durham personal injury lawyer aggressively fighting on your behalf levels the playing field to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Hiring a lawyer gives you someone with extensive knowledge of personal injury law combined with outstanding negotiating ability and superior courtroom and trial skills working to make the at-fault party pay for injuring you. Instead of being stressed and concerned about your case, you can focus on getting the rest and medical care you need knowing your claim is in good hands.
Some of the kinds of cases a personal injury lawyer Durham, NC, may handle include the following:
- Premises Liability: A property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect visitors who lawfully enter the property from being harmed. For example, if you trip and fall on a broken sidewalk while visiting your neighbor's home, you may have a claim for damages based on the failure of the neighbor to warn you of the known hazard.
- Medical malpractice: When a physician or other health care professional is negligent or careless in providing services to a person and causes personal injuries, the victim may bring a personal injury claim for medical malpractice to recover damages. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers may be held liable when their actions cause personal injuries.
- Intentional conduct: Assault, battery and other conduct that are intentional and usually result in criminal charges may also give rise to a personal injury case against the responsible party seeking compensation on behalf of the victim.
- Dog bites: North Carolina law permits someone attacked by a dog to sue the owner for personal injuries under limited situations, including when the owner is aware of the dog having a propensity bite.
- Defective products: Someone injured by a defective product may have a claim for personal injuries against its manufacturer in addition to others involved in making, distributing, or selling a product. Product liability is a kind of personal injury case based on negligence in the design, manufacturing, or marketing of a product that results in injury to its user.
- Accidents: A large number of cases handled by personal injury lawyers arise from accidents caused by negligence. Examples include collisions involving cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles.
- Wrongful death: A wrongful death claim may be brought on behalf of the estate of a person killed through the careless, negligent, or intentional conduct of another party.
Some of the different types of cases handled by a personal injury attorney include the following:
- Slip-and-fall accidents.
- Collisions involving cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles.
- Public transportation accidents, including trains and buses.
- School bus accidents.
- Medical malpractice for negligent care and treatment and misdiagnosis.
- Dog bites.
- claims for failure of property owners to provide adequate security.
- Assaults and other intentional conduct.
The best way to learn whether or not you have a personal injury case is by arranging a consultation with a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation and case review.
The statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing personal injury cases. North Carolina has different deadlines depending on the type of personal injury case. For instance, you have three years to file a lawsuit for injuries caused in a car crash, but a lawsuit for wrongful death on behalf of someone killed in a car crash is two years from the date of death.
One of the benefits of having a personal injury lawyer handling your claim is the protection it gives you against missing the statute of limitations. A lawyer knows the laws and ensures that your personal injury case is filed on time to avoid losing the right to sue by missing the deadline.
A personal injury lawyer NC gets great satisfaction from helping people who suffer serious and frequently life-threatening injuries obtain justice and compensation by holding the parties who are at fault accountable for their actions.
Personal injury lawyers know how much cases are worth, so you will not be tricked by an insurance company into settling for less than you deserve. A Personal injury attorney in Durham, NC, knows how to identify and use evidence needed to present a strong, winnable claim for damages against the party whose fault led to you being injured.