North Carolina Traffic Injuries: The Rights of Injured Passengers
If you were hurt while riding as a passenger when a North Carolina vehicle accident occurred, there are two important barriers to your recovery. And, oddly enough, both of those barriers are largely due to your own attitudes, as we have learned through years of working with New Hanover County traffic accident victims.
- First, you probably have the attitude that your injuries don’t matter as much as those of the vehicle driver's. This is simply not true. Everyone who has been injured through the neglectful behavior of another person deserves appropriate compensation for what they have suffered. It doesn’t matter whether you were a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, or anyone else hurt by a North Carolina traffic crash. The person responsible ought to see that you are put right—restored, as much as possible, to the condition before you were hurt.
- Second, you feel a natural reluctance to seek money from your friend who was driving that day, if she was partly or fully responsible for the accident. This, too, is an attitude you should revise. You need to realize that compensation for your injuries will most likely come from your friend’s insurance (or, possibly, your own insurance), rather than from her pocketbook. She won’t feel a financial pinch because you get compensation. The question then becomes, Do you think that your friend would want you to suffer needlessly? Obviously not, and that’s why you should pursue the recovery you need.
What you are due
It was not your fault that the accident occurred. It may be your fault if you fail to demand the compensation you deserve from the insurance companies. You may deserve a financial settlement for the following things:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Long-term physical or occupational therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Lost long-term earnings potential
- Damage to your property
Insurance companies aren’t likely to shovel money at you just because you have a legitimate claim. They profit by pinching every penny. If you find that the insurance company is delaying the settlement you deserve or failing to take you seriously, then the time has come to hire legal representation to demand the compensation you want.
The clock is ticking
Legally, you need to contact an attorney before the statute of limitations expires and your claim would no longer be valid in court. People who have been injured in North Carolina traffic accidents generally have three years to file a lawsuit. However, hiring a Wilmington personal injury lawyer earlier in the process may be desirable. You would be giving your attorney plenty of time to investigate your accident, preserve evidence, and interview witnesses when their memories are still fresh.
The personal injury attorneys at Speaks Law Firm have much experience with injury claims from motorcycle, truck, and car accidents in southeastern North Carolina. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling 910-341-7570 locally or 877-593-4233 toll-free. If you call today, we would also like to send you a FREE copy of our law firm book, The North Carolina Auto Injury Book, as our way of introducing our legal team.
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