A car accident can give you headaches, literally and figuratively. From calling your insurance to getting your car repaired, a wreck is never convenient or easy. It is even worse if you have an injury causing pain or watch a loved one suffer from injuries related to the accident. A car accident settlement can bring you much-needed financial relief for the problems you face after an accident.
Statistics in North Carolina
People struggle to pay attention while driving. Many factors contribute to injuries and fatalities in car accidents, including:
- Driving without seatbelts
- Drunk or high driving
- Using phones while driving
- Distracted driving in general
In North Carolina, the number of people who died in fatal wrecks went up almost 200 between 2019 and 2020.
- 1373 people in 2019
- 1506 people in 2020
If you are one of the ones struck by a severe car accident’s financial and psychological crisis, you will likely look to your insurance for help. Still, it may not be enough, especially if you or your loved ones suffer injuries.
When Auto Insurance Is Not Enough
Insurance can cover a majority of your costs for car repair or even replace your car if needed. It can also pay for lost wages, medical bills, and the costs of renting a car if you are found not at fault. However, if you shoulder some of the fault in the accident or if the claims adjuster decides that you are at-fault, you may not receive the money you need to recover from the accident.
Filing a Suit
If you are not receiving the money you need for your bills, it makes sense to consult an attorney. An experienced attorney can help you recoup your expenses for the accident. Whether you have injuries or not, you can dispute the claims made by others and continue fighting for your rights.
You might think that filing a lawsuit would involve a courtroom, but in North Carolina, most cases do not go to court. Instead, the involved parties work with a mediator to “settle” the issue.
What is a Car Accident Settlement?
A car accident settlement exists to prevent both parties’ costs if the case went to court. No one wants the stress of a court battle or the risk of losing in court. Often, the party who wins a suit has their attorney and court fees paid by the losing party.
When someone settles with you, it generally means that they are concerned that they could lose in a court battle. Because of this, they are willing to pay you to sign an agreement to drop your suit.
Car Settlement Amounts
Your average car accident settlement could run $20,000. However, you may receive compensation between $10,000 and $30,000. The payment range is much higher for severe injuries or death payouts.
There are several factors attorneys and the parties they represent will look at to determine the appropriate amount of settlement in your case. Some factors to look at include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical or psychological trauma (pain and suffering)
- Cost of repairing or replacing your car
- Your auto insurance coverage limits
North Carolina At-Fault Laws
In North Carolina, they will also consider your fault status for the accident. Our state is an at-fault state. Therefore, it does matter what percentage of fault you contributed to the accident. For example, if you did not look both ways before crossing a street in a crosswalk and a driver hit you, you carry some of the blame for not performing your due diligence and looking both ways.
Suppose the police and claims adjusters for insurance, the other driver, and a witness all agree that you are 85% at fault in a t-bone accident because you were talking on the phone and went through a yellow light. In that case, you don’t have much chance of winning a settlement from the other party.
However, if you were paying close attention and went through a green light doing less than the speed limit, your fault would be more comparative to 0%. All involved would likely recognize that you could win a significant award in court. There is an incentive for the other driver to reach a settlement agreement in a case like that. They would not want to face you in court.
If you have been in a car crash and have not received compensation for your injuries, contact us at Hogan, Edwards, and Blue. We specialize in traffic cases and personal injury and serve a large area of North Carolina. Our experience in and out of the courtroom gives you an edge to get the settlement you deserve for your injuries, pain, and suffering. So give us a call or contact us online to get started and move forward in your life.