How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
Posted by Tatum & Atkinson on February 25, 2022
It’s not always clear when you can pursue a NC personal injury claim. Just because you were injured in a car accident or other incident doesn’t mean you automatically have the proper grounds. If you’re wondering whether you actually have a case, the best thing you can do is to talk to an attorney, well versed in personal injury law.
If you contact Tatum & Atkins, PLLC, you can speak to a qualified personal injury attorney for free who can help you evaluate whether you have a valid personal injury claim, give you an idea of case value and timeline and much more. Call us today!
Elements of a North Carolina Personal Injury Case
In order to meet the requirements needed for a personal injury case, you will have to show the defendant was negligent. See below for a breakdown of what is necessary to form a personal injury case.
- Duty of reasonable care: For a negligence claim to succeed, you have to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For instance, a truck driver owes a duty of reasonable care to others that they encounter on the road, including other drivers and pedestrians.
- The other party violated their responsibility with negligence/carelessness: Using the above scenario, the truck driver drove when they were drowsy, drunk, or distracted. This would indicate behavior that is considered a violation or breach of their duty of reasonable care; this means that the violator failed to perform at a level of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances.
- Your injury resulted in harm (damages) due to the other party’s breach: The main objective of a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for damages. Therefore, there has to be injury based on harm as a direct result of the other party’s breach of reasonable care.
- You’re eligible to recover damages: The primary purpose of a personal injury claim is to recover damages. You can receive compensatory damages (both economic and non-economic losses) and punitive damages, which act as a way to punish the defendant and to discourage the bad behavior. If there were no injuries or losses, then you don’t have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
- The accident/event was within the past three years: Barring a few exceptions, the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is within three years of your injury or the incident.
- You didn’t make mistakes that would hurt your case: While you may meet all the requirements of a personal injury claim, your actions can jeopardize this. For example, if you delay getting medical treatment, make online/social media posts about your accident or event, your injuries or discount your doctor’s orders.
Injuries that May Produce Personal Injury Compensation
As stated in the requirements for a personal injury action, the accident or event that caused your injuries must have been due to another party’s negligence. Examples include the following:
- A motorcycle accident caused by a distracted driver
- A pedestrian accident caused by drunk driving
- An accident that involved a semi-truck driver who was fatigued
- A person dies after being physically assaulted because of deficient security
Think You Have a PI Case? Contact a Lawyer and Find Out
This list is clearly not exhaustive and every case is unique. The best way to truly know if you have a personal injury case is to review the facts with a knowledgeable lawyer but don’t delay—evidence is best fresh and you do not want to miss the statute of limitations! When you want the best you want to contact us at Tatum & Atkins for a free consultation with our firm partners. We are ready to get started today and take all our cases on a contingency fee basis meaning you pay us nothing unless we win. Your case can be worth a lot of money but you need to call now!