When you get hurt in an accident, one of the only things that you might be worried about is how you are going to heal up quickly so that you can pay the bills you have because of the accident. In some cases, you might opt to explore the possibility of seeking compensation for the injuries. This might be possible through a personal injury claim that is filed against the person or party that caused the accident. Personal injury claims in North Carolina have to be made in accordance with state laws.
You have a time limit
In North Carolina, you have three years to file your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations, and once it expires there is nothing you can do to seek compensation. Typically, you can’t just decide the day before the time limit expires that you are going to go file your claim. Instead, you should leave plenty of time to investigate the accident and put together your case in a thoughtful manner.
There is another benefit to starting the process early. You will be able to speak to witnesses while the memories are still fresh. The longer you wait, the more some minute details might change in a person’s mind. The same is true about evidence. Starting the process early means that you are able to review evidence while it is still new. There isn’t a chance for time to alter the evidence if you review it right away. This is important if you need pictures of the accident scene or something similar because the markings and other points related to the accident might change over time as the area is subjected to normal use.
You can seek compensation for different damages
When you seek compensation, you will have to note what the compensation is for. This is done by notating different damage types and placing the monetary amount with each type. In some cases, such as missed wages, medical bills, and other actual costs, determining the amount you have spent is fairly easy. You can just tally up receipts and bills.
In other cases, you might be a bit more challenged to come up with the monetary amount. This could be the case if you are trying to determine future medical bills or the damages you have incurred because of emotional trauma. In these cases, it is necessary to have some sort of formula or method that you can use to show how you arrived at the stated amount.
You must prove liability
North Carolina uses a doctrine known as contributory negligence as the basis for determining when compensation is appropriate in personal injury cases. This means that you can’t seek compensation for injuries if you had any fault in the accident. You have to build your case so that it shows you were simply an innocent party in the accident. The other side of the case is likely going to try to find ways to show that your actions did play at least a small part in the accident so that they can cite contributory negligence as the basis for a jury to decline to give you an award for your injuries.