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Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyer

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Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyer

Fayetteville Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries happen in life, and a fair number of those injuries occur because of the recklessness, negligence, or even malice of others. Those injuries come at a tremendous cost that leaves people in financial, emotional, and psychological turmoil. Whether it’s a car accident, construction injury, slip and fall, or other form of injury, according to the law, those at fault in these kinds of situations are responsible for compensating the victim. This is usually a process handled by their insurance company. However, those institutions, not wanting to take such a tremendous hit to their bottom line, are loath to pay out what they should. There is, though, the legal process of filing a claim against them as a last resort. At Christina Rivenbark & Associates, we can help our clients in Fayetteville, NC win those claims.

Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyer

Proving Personal Injury

The key to winning a personal liability claim is showing where fault lies. Before the subject of damage can even be considered, the plaintiff in a personal injury claim must first show that the defendant was the one truly at fault for the injury. To prove this, the plaintiff’s team must show that the three components of fault apply to the defendant. These three components are:

  • Duty to Care – The first thing that must be demonstrated is that the defendant had a duty to care. This means that, given the circumstances surrounding the injury, the plaintiff has reason to expect that there were others who could be impacted by their actions and that it was their duty to act in a way that took those people into consideration. This means taking reasonable steps to protect others from the risks associated with the defendant’s action.
  • Breach of Duty – The second thing that needs to be shown is that the defendant failed to live up to the standards of care that were reasonable in that situation. The standard, or duty, that an individual has in these situations is generally based on the idea of a reasonably careful person. If the defendant failed to behave as a reasonably careful person would have, given the same circumstances, then they can be said to have breached their duty.
  • Causation – Lastly, the plaintiff must demonstrate a causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s injuries. There may be circumstances where an individual has acted in a way that can be considered a breach of duty, but that breach wasn’t the direct cause of an injury. For instance, someone may have failed to take care of the ice on their sidewalk. That doesn’t make them at fault if you slip on ice in the street. It must be shown that the accident wouldn’t have occurred if it weren’t for the actions or inactions of the defendant.

Working with a personal injury attorney is critical to ensuring that a strong case for fault is put forth. It’s our job to investigate your case and use evidence to make an argument on your behalf, demonstrating the fault of the defendant. Our experience is invaluable to this process.

Damages

If fault has been established, then damages can be awarded. However, not just anything will be awarded. There is a need for the plaintiff to demonstrate a connection between the claimed damages and the injury. Damages will only be awarded for those things which are directly caused by the injury. The damages, though, can cover a broad spectrum of potential costs and are typically broken down into three categories:

  • Economic Damages – These are the damages that are meant to cover the quantifiable costs associated with the injury. Things that have a bill are compensated for in this category. This includes medical bills and property damage. This also includes things that can be calculated or even estimated calculations, like lost wages, lost future earning capacity, and future medical expenses.
  • Non-Economic Damages – These address costs from the injury that aren’t really quantifiable because they aren’t bought or sold. In reality, money doesn’t solve these issues. Instead, the damages paid out here might be thought of more as something that can be used to ease the burden of life in other areas so that the person can try to heal from these costs as much as possible. Non-economic damages can include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, and anxiety or depression, so long as they can be shown to be a direct result of the injury.
  • Punitive Damages – These damages aren’t awarded in every case. However, there are some cases where the judge may believe that the defendant acted maliciously and egregiously. They may believe that there was an intent to cause fear or harm on the part of the defendant. In these cases, punitive damages may be awarded. They are meant to serve as a kind of punishment for the defendant and a deterrent to prevent others from acting similarly.

Fayetteville Personal Injury FAQs

Q: What If Someone Is Killed in an Accident?

A: If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident that was someone else’s fault, it’s possible that you may have a wrongful death claim. While money can never solve the problem or make up for having lost someone, it does address the fact that there is a significant financial cost associated with someone’s death in addition to the emotional and psychological pain that comes with the situation. Although it can feel almost crass to think of money in these circumstances, it’s important to remember that your loved one would want you to be taken care of. A wrongful death claim may do just that, as it covers almost everything that a standard personal injury case would, but it also includes damages to cover things like funeral costs and other expenses that are incurred as a result of the death.

Q: How Long Do I Have to Bring a Personal Injury Claim?

A: The amount of time that you have before you can no longer bring a personal injury claim is set by what is known as the statute of limitations. While it can vary in some cases, the general statute of limitations for personal injury is three years. This clock starts from when the injury occurred. Once three years have passed from the day the injury happened, a claim can no longer be brought, except in very rare, limited exceptions.

Q: What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured?

A: If you’ve been injured, how you handle the situation will have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case. There are some basic principles to remember. One of these is that it is essential that you get a thorough medical examination as soon as you can. Any delay in getting a medical examination can lead to a challenge to your claim on the grounds that it must not have been that serious or that the injury occurred at a later time. It’s also critical that you document everything you can. From pictures at the scene of an accident to the diagnosis and medical bill from the injuries, there are many bits of information that can be valuable to your case, so it’s critical that you keep track of them. Lastly, you want to speak with a lawyer, like those at Christina Rivenbark & Associates, as soon as you can. We can help you with things like dealing with insurance companies that are seeking to get you to say something that would make it easy for them to deny your claim. If your claim needs to go to court, then we are ready to make the case on your behalf.

Q: Is There a Cap on the Damages That Can Be Awarded in a Personal Injury Claim?

A: Generally, there are no caps on any kind of personal injury claim, with the exception of medical malpractice. There is an inflation-adjusted cap on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice claims. These caps began at $500,000 and have been adjusted for inflation each year since they were instituted.

It’s Our Job to Help You Seek What You’re Owed

Often, the costs that come with a personal injury are not small. There are medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more costs that the injured and their families suffer. Of course, if the injury is not the fault of the injured, then it is someone else’s responsibility to pay. This usually means that their insurance company is the one required to make the payment. However, that insurance company is a business beholden to shareholders, which means that they will try to maximize their profits. Any payment made to you does the exact opposite. Getting what you’re owed can often require the help of a lawyer with the negotiation skills or courtroom prowess to push them in the right direction. At Christina Rivenbark & Associates, we have that kind of ability and are ready to seek what our clients deserve. Contact us today so that we can hear about your case and give you an idea of where you stand.

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