Carolina Accident Lawyers

Personal Injury FAQ

Personal Injury FAQ

An Experienced North and South Carolina Attorney Helping You Understand the Personal Injury Process

A magnifying glass over the text 'Frequently Asked Questions"At Bice Law, we know that after an accidental injury, you likely have many questions about your rights and how to exercise those rights. The following are some personal injury questions we frequently hear, and please do not hesitate to contact us for more in-depth information regarding your specific situation.

When can I hold someone else responsible for the costs of my personal injury?

Personal injury law gives accident victims the right to seek compensation from parties that acted in a negligent manner to cause their injuries. Negligence means that another party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty, leading to your injuries. A common example of a negligent party is a distracted or drunk driver. Drivers have a duty to operate their cars in a reasonably safe way to prevent accidents. When a driver is texting or is intoxicated, they are failing to meet this duty and should be held liable for any injuries they cause.

Do all personal injury cases arise from car accidents?

While car accidents are a common cause of personal injury actions, they are definitely not the only type of incident that can result in an injury claim. Other common incidents include:

Each type of case will have unique legal issues, so you want the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience handling cases involving your type of accident.

Is my injury too minor or too serious for a claim?

Accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from a scratch or bruise to paralyzing spinal cord injuries. In order to seek compensation, you must have damages, which often include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from your injury. If you did not need medical attention or did not miss any work due to your injuries, you likely do not have a valid claim.

However, even seemingly minor injuries can result in surprisingly costly medical bills. If you slipped and fell at the grocery store and suffered a sprained wrist, you may visit the emergency room or urgent care, have an appointment with an orthopedist, and may require a course of physical therapy before you can fully use your wrist without pain again. All of these expenses can add up quickly, especially if you have to miss work to attend doctor or physical therapy appointments.

At Bice Law, we handle cases involving many types of injuries, including:

No matter how minor or severe your injury seems, you may have important legal rights, and you shouldn’t wait to discuss your injuries with a dedicated personal injury lawyer.

Will my personal injury case go to trial?

When you see depictions of personal injury cases on television or in movies, you may regularly see a victim in a neck brace on the witness stand, testifying at a jury trial. In reality, a very small percentage of personal injury cases make it to the trial stage. Instead, an experienced attorney can reach a settlement with an insurance company or during the pretrial stages of litigation. Many personal injury cases don’t even require a lawsuit filing, as the right attorney can often negotiate for proper payment directly with the insurance company.

What should I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?

Whether you got hit by another driver or were injured in a store or another business, your case will likely begin with an insurance claim. Often, the negligent party’s insurance company will contact you before you have a chance to even file a claim. The insurance adjuster will try to ask you many questions to get you talking, hoping that you say anything that may allow them to limit or eliminate liability for your claim. Often, people don’t realize they are saying something that could hurt their case until it is too late.

The best thing to do is to give the insurer minimal information and never agree to make an extended recorded statement regarding the accident or your injuries. Instead, call a personal injury lawyer with experience handling insurance claims. We know the adjuster is not on your side, and we work to maximize the settlement offer in each insurance claim. Insurance companies regularly offer notoriously low amounts to unrepresented accident victims, and you should never accept an offer before a personal injury lawyer reviews it.

What else can I do to protect my rights after a personal injury?

There are many steps you can take to help protect your rights and improve the outcome of your case, including:

  • After a traffic accident, call 911 so that medical personnel and police respond to the scene. EMTs can conduct an initial medical evaluation and police can issue citations or make arrests if another driver broke the law.
  • Seek medical attention for any injuries right away, whether you need an ambulance ride or take yourself to the emergency room. Waiting too long can cast doubt on whether the accident was the true cause of your injuries.
  • Follow all treatment orders of doctors, including taking medications, attending follow-up appointments, and attending physical therapy.
  • Keep a journal or notes regarding how much pain you feel each day.
  • Limit your communications with insurance adjusters, as discussed above.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It is never too early to discuss a possible claim.

Why should I have an attorney?

Attorneys are trained legal professionals who can explain the laws to you; help you evaluate your options; negotiate or mediate conflicts with other people; prepare letters, court forms, or other legal documents for you; and represent you in court. We offer a free initial consultation in order to understand your particular matter and to help you make an informed decision.

What are the differences between civil and criminal cases?

There are several notable differences between civil and criminal cases. In a criminal case trial, the state, through a prosecutor, commences a lawsuit against a person who has committed a crime as defined by the legal system. Criminal cases are handled in criminal courts. A civil case is commenced by an individual who has been aggrieved or injured, and is handled in civil court. Unlike the criminal trial in which the focus is processing the accused, a civil case focuses on the damage done to the victim and on compensating him or her for physical, emotional, and financial losses. An individual can go to jail only in a criminal case, while in civil cases the remedy is often financial.

In a civil action, an injured party may obtain compensation for medical expenses, counseling, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

What documents should I bring to my consultation?

It is important to bring as much information as possible. Try to write down everything that happened, so you don’t forget any important details.  Bring any documents related to your injury, such as accident reports, medical reports, signed contracts, photographs, or any other materials regarding the matter.

What happens at my first meeting with the attorney?

You will tell the attorney everything that happened regarding your personal injury claim and provide any documents you might have. At the end of the discussion and meeting, the attorney should be able to let you know whether you have a valid legal claim or not.

What types of outcomes can I expect if the attorney accepts my case and it is filed in a court of law?

The case might settle or go to court for trial and verdict either by a jury of your peers or a judge. This process can take months or years, depending on your particular matter. If the case settles, then you will not have to go to trial and will receive compensation for your personal injury claim according to the terms of your settlement. If the case goes to trial, you might win at trial or lose. The decision to go to trial or to settle will be made together by you and your attorney.

If you understand the differences between civil and criminal cases, and you think you may have a civil case that could result in compensation for a personal injury claim, the personal injury attorneys serving both North and South Carolina from Bice Law offer a free consultation in order to understand your particular matter and evaluate it.

Consult With a Skilled North Carolina and South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer for Free Today

After an injury, it is natural to have many questions, and Bice Law can provide answers. If you sustained injuries in South Carolina, call 803-639-8777 or in North Carolina, call 704-243-8778. You can also contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.