Durham Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, you may find yourself feeling shaken and shocked. You may have been fine and completely healthy one day, and almost entirely disabled the next. It can happen in an instant, and when it does, it’s unsettling and overwhelming to say the least. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be feeling all of these things – and all of these feelings are understandable. What you shouldn’t be feeling, however, is that you are alone, or without options in this situation. In fact, quite the contrary is true.
File a Car Accident Claim in durham
If you are the victim of a car accident for which you were not at fault, you may be entitled to damages, and you should make every effort to obtain them if so. Last year alone in the state of North Carolina, there were almost 320,000 car accidents. They happen daily, and in many (though certainly not all) cases, they are entirely the fault of one driver. Often, people are unfamiliar with the process of filing a claim, or simply don’t understand their rights under the law, and as a result, they forego compensation that they would legally be entitled to.
Don’t let this become your situation. Instead, make sure you talk to an attorney about your accident, and your potential for recovering compensation as soon as possible. If you’ve never met with an attorney or filed a car accident claim before, it is only understandable that prior to your initial consultation, you’ll want to feel prepared and know what to expect.
Car Accident Lawyer - How may we help you?
The initial consultation is a client’s first meeting with an attorney for two primary purposes: discussing the potential merits of a case, and getting to know the attorney and the services that he or she may be able to offer. It is a chance for both parties to get to know each other and essentially, to see if they would be a good fit to move forward with the case together. Depending upon the attorney and your personal schedule and needs, the consultation might take place in person, or it could take place over the phone. Many attorneys are flexible in this regard. The most important thing is that you make time to talk together.
At the consultation, the attorney typically wants to learn the history of the client’s accident, as well as a little bit about the client personally. The attorney may ask about how the accident occurred, the nature and extent of the injuries it caused, and the medical treatment that has been provided. The attorney may also want to know a bit about the client’s medical history, and whether or not he or she has any other pre-existing conditions that were affected by the accident or that impact his or her condition.
Beyond the attorney learning about the client however, the initial consultation is also a good time for the client to learn about the attorney. This is the time that a client should ask the attorney about his or her fee structure, strategy for practicing cases, success rate, and experience level. It’s also a good time simply to get to know each other and get a feel for whether or not your personalities might work well together.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents In Durham?
Based on the most currently available data published by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Durham drivers were involved in 7,073 accidents causing 29 deaths and 2,902 injuries with a crash occurring about every 36 minutes. According to the data, the following four types of driver behavior stand out as the most common car accident causes:
Lane departure: A lane departure crash occurs when a car leaves its lane of travel by crossing an edge line or the centerline of a road. Departure may be caused by driver inattention or distraction, alcohol or drug impairment, or a driver becoming drowsy or falling asleep. These types of accidents can be particularly deadly because they occur at high speeds and may involve a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle.
Distracted driving: Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes or attention away from the task of driving can cause a crash. Talking or texting on a phone, eating or drinking, and conversations with passengers are only some examples of distracting activities.
Speeding: Driving at speeds higher than posted limits or at speeds unsafe for road or weather conditions increases the time it takes to stop a car in an emergency.
Driving while impaired: Alcohol and drug impairment affect a driver’s judgment, coordination, and vision to increase the likelihood of crashing.
These causes of car accidents are the four most common based on accident data for only one year, but reckless driving, failing to obey stop signs and other traffic control devices, and other violations of North Carolina traffic laws also increase the chance of being involved in a car accident and needing the services of a car accident lawyer in Durham.
How Many Car Accident Cases In Durham 2021 & 2022?
According to state officials, 2021 set a record for the number of fatal car crashes throughout the state of North Carolina, including Durham. Statewide data shows that 1,755 people lost their lives in car accidents in the state. The county of Durham, with an estimated population of 326,126 had 10,889 total collisions in 2021 that resulted in 23 fatalities and 3,685 injuries.
Early statewide data for 2022 shows that 524 people have died and another 32,931 have been injured in 92,690 reported crashes on North Carolina roadways. Drivers in Durham, so far this year, have been involved in 3,385 accidents that resulted in eight fatalities and 1,122 injuries.
Investigators for the state found the following driver behaviors to be the most frequent cause of last year’s record-high number of fatalities:
- Distracted driving.
- Driving while impaired.
- Failure to wear seatbelts.
Speeding, which accounted for 424 deaths, and impaired driving, which was a factor in 34% of fatal car accidents in 2021, along the other driver behaviors can be easily avoided. Driving at speeds appropriate for the road and weather conditions, wearing a seatbelt, avoiding the cellphone and other distractions while driving, and getting a ride home instead of driving after drinking saves lives.
If you are injured or a loved one killed in a Durham car accident, you may have the right to recover compensation from the negligent person who was at fault. Find out if you have a car accident case by contacting the Clauson Law Firm, PLLC.
What To Do After A Car Accident In Durham?
Regardless of how carefully you drive, it may not be enough to keep you from becoming the victim of someone else’s negligent or reckless driving. Knowing what to do after a car accident in Durham can preserve your right to recover damages against the person that caused it and the injuries and property damage it caused.
If you are involved in a car crash, here is what you should do:
- Stop and do not attempt to leave the scene:Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and could lead to your arrest even when an accident is not your fault.
- Check yourself for injuries:If you have an injury, any unnecessary movement could make it worse. Check yourself to make sure you have not been injured before moving around or attempting to get out of your car. Do not assume that you have not been injured by how you feel. Some types of injuries, particularly head injuries and concussions, may not show symptoms immediately after an accident.
- Call 911:Report the accident and any injuries by calling 911. If you have been injured, wait for emergency medical personnel to examine you before moving around unnecessarily.
- Get medical treatment:Allow paramedics at the scene to examine you to determine the nature and extent of your injuries. Let them take you to the hospital if they recommend it. If not, arrange to be examined by a doctor as soon after the accident as possible. Do not
- Document the scene: Take pictures of the accident scene and get the names of witnesses.
Contact a Durham car accident lawyer as soon after an accident as possible to learn about your right to recover compensation from the party who was at fault.
What Is The Most Common Injury In A Car Accident?
Car accidents, even minor ones, may cause serious injuries. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell from outward appearances whether you suffered an injury. For example, a serious traumatic brain injury can be caused by the movement of the brain within the skull without any visible sign of an injury because of the tremendous amount of force generated by a car crashing at high speeds.
The following are some of the most common types of injuries caused by car accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries:Concussions and other injuries to the brain have the potential to be permanent and cause severe cognitive and physical disabilities.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder:Although PTSD is usually associated with members of the military and combat situations, serious car accidents have the potential to cause severe emotional and mental disorders, including sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression and other conditions requiring therapy and medication.
- Fractures:The force of a crash causes your body to move and come in contact with hard surfaces that may cause bones to break. Though rarely life-threatening, fractures may require multiple surgeries to properly repair them.
- Bruising and lacerations:Bruises are quite common in a car accident. Airbags are notorious for causing facial and upper-body injuries. Broken glass may cause lacerations requiring scar revision surgery.
- Neck and back injuries:Whiplash is one of the most common injuries associated with the force of a car crash and its impact on the body. A whiplash is an injury to the neck that may cause severe pain and restricted range of motion for days or, in extreme cases, weeks or months after an accident. Other injuries to the neck and back include disc herniation, nerve damage, and bone fractures.
If you have been injured in a Durham, N.C., collision, contact a car accident lawyer at the Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, to learn about recovering damages from the person responsible for causing you to be injured.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer in Durham
In addition to asking questions and getting to know each other, your attorney might also want you to bring certain documents to the initial consultation. These can be anything from medical records showing your diagnosis and the treatment you have received, to police reports documenting the accident, to pay stubs showing your salary, or insurance policies. The attorney might want to review these documents to get a more comprehensive idea about your potential claim and the best way to move forward.
Durham Car Accident Attorney FAQ's
Yes, especially if the car accident resulted in any injury or if you required medical treatment.
A qualified car accident lawyer knows precisely how to exercise your right to receive full compensation for any damages you suffered, including lost wages, bills you incur for medical tests and treatment, or for rehabilitative therapy you need to help you recover.
Insurance companies want to keep as much money for their shareholders as they can. Your injuries may continue to interfere with your normal life well into the future. Only a professional car accident attorney will overcome the insurance company’s resistance to paying you fully for “all” your injuries, past, present, and future.
Contacting a car accident lawyer immediately after a car accident will strengthen your injury claim. Early cooperation with an experienced car accident attorney means the lawyer can begin to gather important information and collect evidence-revealing photographs before the accident scene or the surrounding conditions change.
Delaying contact with a car accident lawyer lets valuable evidence slip away. The more time that passes before you contact a lawyer means witnesses may be difficult to identify and to interview. Memories tend to become cloudier over time and key facts about how the accident happened may be forgotten.
Yes. When you suffer injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need a car accident attorney to hold the responsible parties financially accountable.
Remember, North Carolina is a “contributory negligence” state. Even if the accident was not your fault, the other driver’s insurance company can try to blame you by saying your own negligence contributed somewhat to the accident. If they succeed, our state law may deny you compensation. The Clauson Law Firm is an expert at protecting you from any unjust claim of mutual fault.
Accidents that are not your fault inflict injuries on you and your family. The driver who caused the accident may only be one of the parties who can be required to pay for your damages. An experienced Durham car accident lawyer will make sure that a timely claim is brought against everyone who the law says is responsible.
Every case presents different circumstances and people with different lives. As one of the best qualified Durham car accident attorneys, Clauson Law will assess your case by considering the severity and duration of your injuries, calculating your lost wages, and whether your long-term earning capacity was damaged. We look at any hospital or medical bills that were generated and what the future expense will probably be. And we demand full compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering, your anxiety, sleep disturbance, and any emotional trauma your experience inflicted into your life.
A reasonable settlement is one that fully and fairly compensates you for all of the damage you suffered.
Call the police immediately to ensure an official police report gets generated. Try to remain calm and look for any witnesses. If someone stops to help you, get their name so your car accident lawyer can interview them. Make sure you seek immediate medical attention to get checked for injuries you don’t recognize, like a concussion or broken ribs.
At your first opportunity after contacting the police and medical personnel, if you search Google for “car accident attorney near me” in Durham, contact The Clauson Law Firm to protect your rights.