Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer
Expert Advocacy from Auto Accident Attorneys
You need to protect yourself if you’ve been injured in a crash. The most important thing you must do is make contact with a knowledgeable car accident attorney who can advocate for you. Why? First, the other driver’s insurance company will act antagonistically. And second, despite outward appearances, your own insurance company’s primary goal is to protect their own interests rather than yours.
To get compensation that covers your injuries and losses, you’ll need the representation of a highly qualified auto accident attorney. Joel Rhine and his team at Rhine Law Firm, P.C. have 30 years of experience standing up to insurance companies. We’ve won millions of dollars for clients from our Auto Accident Law Firm office. We have the resources to fight for fair compensation – and we won’t be intimidated.
Navigate This Page
- Experience Handling All Motor Vehicle Accidents
- North Carolina is an “at-fault” state
- Proving Fault in Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
- What to Do after a Car Accident
- How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement
- Dealing with Auto Insurance Adjusters
- Liability Insurance Requirements
- Common Car Accident Injuries
Experience Handling All Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Rhine Law Firm, P.C., represents those injured in car wrecks, from rear-end collisions to multi-vehicle highway accidents. Making a claim while recovering from a serious injury can be challenging to do on your own. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of people at this difficult time.
Our car accident lawyers have won the trust and respect of clients throughout the state who needed a tough advocate. We have helped countless injury victims navigate the legal process after being involved in life-altering motor vehicle collisions.
Some of the typical claims we handle include:
- Unlicensed and uninsured or underinsured drivers
- Failure of a car, truck, or motorcycle driver to yield
- Speeding by a truck, car, or motorcycle
- Inadequate or improper vehicle maintenance
- Hit and run accidents
- Drunk, impaired, or tired drivers
- Teenage drivers
- Recreational vehicles
- Collisions with bicyclists
- Distracted driving, including texting or talking on a mobile device
- Defective guardrails
- Ride-share accidents, such as those involving Uber or Lyft
- Truck underride accidents, which often result in catastrophic injuries or death
- Semi-truck accidentscaused by professional driver fatigue, negligence, overloaded trailers, or mechanical failures
- Construction zone accidents
- Dangerous lane changing, passing, merging, or turning
- Fatal accidents
North Carolina is an “At-Fault” State for Car and Vehicle Accidents
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, North Carolina is an “at-fault” state. This allows you to seek money damages from the at-fault or negligent party if you were hurt in a collision. Your personal injury lawyer is best equipped to determine who may be liable and the best strategy moving forward. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, legal compensation may be sought from the defendant’s insurance company or from your own insurance carrier.
Proving Fault in Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Your attorney will conduct a detailed investigation into the circumstances of your wreck to determine all liable parties, and to gather evidence. Time is of the essence when collecting evidence, as it can be lost or destroyed.
Evidence used to support your injury claim may include:
- Official police/crash report
- Witness testimony
- Photos and video from the scene
- Cell phone records that demonstrate distracted driving
- Surveillance footage from a traffic or dash cam
- Expert testimony submitted by medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, and life care planners
You have the right to recover compensation if it can be proven that your accident was caused by a distracted, intoxicated, fatigued, or otherwise negligent motorist.
Time Limits for Filing an Injury Claim
A statute of limitations governs all civil injury claims resulting from car accidents. If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party, you must do so within three years of the collision. Once the statute expires, you can no longer seek legal reparations through the courts.
There are some exceptions to North Carolina’s statute of limitations. Contact our law office to discuss your case and applicable deadlines.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Your actions after a car accident can protect your ability to make an injury claim against an at-fault party. Here’s what to do:
- Pull the vehicle over to a safe place
- Call 911. This is a legal obligation in any crash that causes personal injury, death, or property damage in North Carolina. It is also a crucial record of the collision for your case
- Check yourself and others for injuries and call an ambulance if needed
- Complete the accident information form and diagram provided by the police
- Once the police report is completed, take a photo of it
- Take pictures or video of damage to all vehicles and the accident scene. Be sure to capture skid marks, traffic signs, or other details that help depict what happened
- Provide your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number to the police and all parties involved in the accident
- Request the same information from the other motorists
- Be honest with the police, but do not admit fault
- Collect contact information from any people who witnessed the crash
- Seek medical attention and tell the physician you were in an auto accident. You need to be checked for internal or latent injuries; take photographs of all visible injuries
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Notify the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier about the accident
- Do not discuss your injuries, sign anything, or provide a recorded statement to adjusters without consulting a car accident lawyer
- Do not post anything on social media – about the accident or anything else – until you have spoken to an attorney
- Keep records of all out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the collision
How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement
There is no average settlement figure or special calculator to assess these amounts. Every case is unique and dependent on various factors, including the severity of injuries, long-term prognosis, and insurance policy limits.
We work diligently to achieve favorable outcomes that help our clients get back on their feet and are reimbursed for all economic and non-economic damages. A car accident settlement generally factors in compensation for losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income if your injury prevents you from working
- Lost earning capacity if you are unable to work and support your loved ones
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering which encompasses anxiety, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, and general physical discomfort
Our auto attorneys will comb through your medical records to paint a thorough picture of how your car accident injuries have affected your daily life. While it’s hard to put a price on your emotional pain and suffering, we’ll leave no stone unturned to fight for the damages you rightfully deserve.
We also strive to negotiate a settlement that makes you as whole as possible. When clients can no longer play with their children or enjoy their favorite hobbies, these hardships are accounted for. Unlike some states, North Carolina does not cap pain and suffering damages in personal injury claims relating to car accidents.
Dealing with Insurance Adjusters after an Accident
If you carry collision coverage, you can file a claim for vehicle damage with your insurance company. You will have to pay the deductible, but if you were not at fault, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company. Once the repayment is obtained, your deductible will be refunded.
In addition, after an accident with a negligent motorist, your attorney will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Most insurance carriers will assign adjusters to handle property damage and bodily injury claims. Your lawyer will handle all communications with the bodily injury adjuster. Once they send a letter of representation to the adjuster, they should not attempt to contact you further.
It’s important to note that the at-fault driver’s insurance company has one goal: to protect its bottom line. In other words, they want to limit their financial exposure and resolve your claim with the lowest payout possible. Therefore, be wary of adjusters who request a recorded statement about your version of the accident. Instead, always consult with your lawyer because anything you say can be used to undermine the value of your claim.
An insurance adjuster’s assessment of an injury claim will factor in:
- The significance of vehicle damage and whether airbags were deployed
- Results of medical examinations
- If emergency medical services were necessary
- The limits of liability under the insurance policy
If the accident renders your vehicle inoperable, the at-fault driver’s insurance must compensate you accordingly. This includes a reasonable sum for a rental car–typically you can get about two weeks.
Rental Car Coverage and Loss of Use
Generally, if the at-fault driver renders your vehicle inoperable, that person’s insurance must compensate you for the loss of use of your vehicle. They may provide you with a rental, but they are permitted to pay you a reasonable rental rate for a reasonable time for the loss of use of your vehicle, even if you do not actually get a rental. If your vehicle is not totaled and is able to be repaired, they will owe you for loss of use for the reasonable repair time. If your vehicle is safely drivable, you will be expected to drive it while parts are being delivered to the repair shop, etc., and will be compensated or provided a rental car for the time when the car must be in the shop.
If your vehicle is totaled, you should be provided a rental or otherwise compensated if a substitute vehicle is not immediately available. You may recover for loss of use for the time it takes to reasonably acquire a substitute (usually this means buying a new car). The law does not define how long this is, but typically you can get about two weeks of rental time, depending on the circumstances. Again, you do not have to actually rent a vehicle to receive compensation for loss of use of your vehicle.
When to Settle a Claim
If you incur very minor injuries that do not require medical attention, it is probably not worthwhile to pursue the matter further with an attorney. Your best course of action is to focus on having your car repaired. In accidents resulting in moderate or severe injuries, you should always consult with an attorney.
If you were at fault and caused the wreck, you do not have a claim against the other driver’s insurance company for injuries or vehicle damage. If you carry collision coverage on your insurance policy, you can file a claim on your own insurance to repair your vehicle. If the other driver is injured and ends up filing a lawsuit against you, your insurance company is usually required to provide a lawyer to represent you. Our attorneys do not represent drivers who caused the wreck.
Can I File A Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?
Most insurance companies include in their settlement offers that no additional compensation beyond the settlement amount will be awarded to the injury victim, even if injuries become more serious in the weeks after you sustain them. If you have been offered a settlement, or if you have signed one, call the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. today to talk about your case.
North Carolina Auto Liability Insurance Requirements
The state requires all motorists to maintain auto liability insurance coverage. The minimum requirements are $30,000 per person for bodily injury, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. In addition, uninsured motorist coverage is required, and many drivers opt to purchase underinsured motorist coverage as well,
“Joel Rhine and his staff did everything possible to help us in a very dark period of our lives.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better firm to handle my injury claim. If you do not have confidence with your attorney, you need to contact Rhine Law Firm immediately.”
“Rhine Law Firm went out of their way to make sure that my mother-in-law obtains everything she is entitled to in an injury case.”
“It was a long, arduous process and we cannot thank Joel and the rest of the team at Rhine Law Firm enough.”
“Joel will make sure you are well taken care of. He will fight for you and what you deserve and go to all measures to make sure you get it.”
Common Injuries in Auto Accident Claims
The blunt force trauma of an auto accident can result in severe injuries – from skull fractures and broken bones to deep abrasions and herniated discs. Concussions, internal bleeding, and injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons are less obvious but no less serious.
Further, even if you have no outward symptoms of injury or trauma, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Whiplash, traumatic brain injury, and soft tissue injuries may not immediately hurt but can quickly worsen and have long-term repercussions if left untreated.
Our legal team is well-versed in the physical, emotional, and financial toll placed on accident victims who suffer:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Burns and lacerations
- Bone fractures
- Loss of limb
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Accidents Caused by Defective Auto Parts
Some vehicle accidents can be traced back to defective and malfunctioning auto parts. In these cases, the manufacturer of the faulty component may be held liable for any damages. Claimants have won compensation for car accident claims resulting from defective tires, airbags, brakes, and other faulty auto parts.
From our office in Wilmington, we represent clients throughout North Carolina and the nation. If you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury or life changing event and is seeking legal counsel please call today for a free consultation or reach us through the contact form below.
Office Address in Wilmington, North Carolina
1612 Military Cutoff Road,
Wilmington, NC 28403
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1612 Military Cutoff Road,
Wilmington, NC 28403
Free Consult with Our Auto Accident Lawyers
No one expects to be hurt in a car accident, but it can happen to anyone. When the reckless or negligent behavior of another causes you harm, the law affords remedies. The lasting effects of a catastrophic injury or wrongful death require justice. Our goal is to provide aggressive, results-focused advocacy so that you can focus on your health and recovery. For high-caliber legal representation after an auto accident in North Carolina, contact the Rhine Law Firm, P.C.
We are leaders in N.C. auto accident litigation and can help you hold negligent drivers and their insurance companies financially responsible for your losses–both past and future. Reach out today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.
We are proud to serve the people of North Carolina.
Although our primary office location is in Wilmington, North Carolina we represent clients nationally and across the state of North Carolina. Some of the many areas we serve are listed below.
Any injury resulting from a car wreck is unexpected and inconvenient, to say the least. However, the lasting effects of a catastrophic injury or wrongful death require justice.
Our firm can help you hold negligent or careless drivers and their insurance companies financially responsible for your medical expenses, rehabilitative costs, income loss, home modifications (if necessary) and most importantly, the pain and suffering you have endured.
Contact our Firm
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