It is common for a North Carolina car accident victim to question whether to file a lawsuit to seek damages. A number of victims believe that a lawsuit could be time-consuming and risky. This can lead victims to accept unreasonably low settlement offers from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or simply give up.
There are many reasons why an injury victim might be reluctant to bring a car accident lawsuit. One reason may be because the victim believes he or she does not have a good case. Perhaps there were no witnesses to the car accident and, despite the other driver being clearly at fault, the other driver lies and claims the victim was to blame. Or perhaps the victim rear-ended another car, and conventional wisdom says that a driver who rear-ends another car is always found at fault.
It is important for injury victims to have the circumstances of their accident evaluated by an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney before concluding they have no case. In a number of situations, a car accident attorney can prove fault despite seemingly unfavorable facts through the use of expert witnesses and other evidence.
You may have a valid and successful car accident lawsuit even if:
- You were involved in a rear-end collision. Determining fault in a rear-end collision is not always as simple as saying that the driver who rear-ended the other car is at fault. The presumption of fault may be rebutted. For example, the driver in the lead car may have acted negligently by suddenly changing lanes and jamming on the brakes for no reason. Maybe the lead car did not have working brake lights. Even if you were the driver who was rear-ended, the at-fault driver may attempt to minimize your injuries. Our firm was able to obtain a $100,000 settlement on behalf of a client who was an airline pilot and who was rear-ended by another driver. The at-fault driver’s insurance company initially tried to downplay the extent of our client’s injuries, but we were able to demonstrate through medical and other evidence that the serious injuries our client suffered prevented him from flying for significant periods of time.
- The at-fault driver ran a red light. Running a red light – whether intentionally or unintentionally – is one of the more common causes of car accidents, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Sometimes the at-fault driver who ran the red light honestly believes and affirms that he or she had a green light. This can cause you to doubt your own memory and make you wonder if your own negligence played a role in the crash. A resourceful attorney may be able to locate evidence and testimony that can show who actually ran the red light. For example, we were able to settle a car accident claim for nearly $400,000 where our client, a 74-year-old male, was struck by a truck that ran a red light. Our client was trapped inside his car for nearly two hours while rescue crews worked to extract him.
- The at-fault driver lies about what happened. When it is your word against the other driver’s word, it may lead you to conclude that you do not have a case. Before you give up, speak with a personal injury law firm that has professional relationships with accident reconstruction experts. These experts can look at the position of the vehicles after the collision, the debris field, and other facts about your accident and render a reliable opinion about how your car crash occurred.
- The other driver was drunk. Alcohol or other drugs can significantly impair a driver’s ability to operate a car safely. The driver’s senses are dulled and his or her judgment is impaired, meaning that he or she is likely to take unnecessary risks when driving and is unable to react to hazards or obstructions as quickly as a sober driver. Drunk or impaired drivers frequently commit other traffic infractions that place motorists at risk, such as crossing the centerline and striking oncoming traffic head-on, leaving lanes of travel and side-swiping other cars, and similar careless and reckless behaviors. In drunk driving cases, injured motorists may believe they do not have a case because it would be too challenging to prove that the at-fault driver was intoxicated. In such cases, a car accident lawyer can assist you.
- The other driver was speeding. It is not uncommon for a car accident to happen in which both the at-fault driver and the victim were speeding. This can lead the victim to conclude that, because he or she was also doing something “wrong” at the time of the crash, he or she would not be entitled to any compensation due to contributory negligence rules. However, reconstruction experts and engineers may analyze these types of cases and render an opinion as to how much of a role – if any – your own speeding played in causing the accident and your injuries.
Where to Turn for Help with Your Car Accident Case
Before concluding that you do not have grounds for a successful lawsuit, contact the North Carolina car accident legal team at Riddle & Brantley, LLP. Our firm has a successful record of helping crash victims recover compensation where the at-fault driver has denied responsibility, where there may have been no witnesses to the accident, or where fault may not be readily apparent.
Our firm has the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case so that you can make an informed decision regarding whether to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. Contact our offices today by telephone or by completing our online form.