Auto Accidents FAQ
1. What is the cap on punitive damages in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, most punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000 whichever is greater.
2. How long do most cases last?
The time it takes to resolve a case depends on many factors; the most important are what happened in the wreck and what were the resulting injuries.
- Cases involving soft tissue injuries that get better with treatment from an orthopedic or chiropractic doctor and physical therapy can typically be negotiated and settled without filing a lawsuit and generally last six to nine months.
- Cases involving more substantial injuries, such as broken bones or surgical procedures, typically last nine to 15 months.
- Cases that involve more substantial and permanent, life-long injuries can last one to three years, depending on the circumstances. If we file a lawsuit instead of settling out of court, it may take an additional 16 to 24 months or longer before the case is resolved
3. Is the insurance company’s offer “fair”?
The answer really depends on whether you feel that the amount of money offered by the insurance company is enough to avoid the considerable hassle of going forward with litigation. Many people ask friends or family members who have had car wrecks how much they settled their cases for. In our experience, this is can be misleading because no two cases are the same.
At HensonFuerst, when we have a “final” offer from the insurance company, we meet with you and explain all of your legal options. Typically, that means you can accept the final offer or reject the offer and file a lawsuit. It’s our job to explain the risks and benefits of each option so you can make the decision that best fits your personal situation.
4. How does a lawyer negotiate my case?
Generally, before we file a lawsuit on your behalf, our North Carolina auto accident attorneys will attempt to negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement. In the majority of cases we handle, we do not begin negotiating your case until you have healed. This way, we are aware of all of the damages and losses related to your injuries and how those damages will affect your quality of life.
5. Why should I hire a lawyer?
Our North Carolina auto accident lawyers recommend that you seek the help of a lawyer if:
- your claim involves large injuries,
- you had (or continue to have) substantial medical treatment (treatment that extends beyond more than a few visits to a doctor),
- and/or you have suffered permanent injury that resulted in scarring, the need for surgery, or a permanent disability.
Without the help of an experienced North Carolina auto accident attorney, you may not get the maximum value for your claim.