Protecting the Rights of Injured Clients

Durham Car Accident Attorneys

Filing a Car Accident Claim in Durham County, NC

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you are likely dealing with costly medical bills and vehicle repairs, as well as significant physical pain, emotional distress, and financial hardship. You could even be forced to take weeks or months off work to heal, making the recovery process that much harder. 

At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we understand just how difficult it can be to get back on your feet after a serious car accident. That is why our attorneys provide aggressive legal representation to victims and their loved ones. If you were injured, and you believe someone else was to blame, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages—and our firm can help. 

We are here to guide you through the legal process. To date, we have recovered more than $40 million in compensation for our clients; reach out to us today to learn how our Durham car accident lawyers can help you seek the fair compensation you are owed. 

You can reach us online or by phone at (919) 891-8361. Your initial consultation is free, and we only collect legal fees if/when we win your case. 

Common Types of Car Accidents

A car accident refers to an event involving a collision between vehicles, causing damage to property, injury, or sometimes even fatalities. These accidents can occur due to various reasons, including human error, environmental factors, or mechanical failures.

Here are some common types of car accidents:

  • Rear-end Collision: This occurs when one vehicle hits another from behind. It often happens due to sudden braking or tailgating.
  • Head-on Collision: This involves two vehicles colliding front-to-front, usually at high speeds. These accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Side-impact Collision (T-Bone): This occurs when the front of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. Intersections are common locations for side-impact collisions.
  • Rollover: A rollover accident happens when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof. Factors like high speed, sharp turns, or certain vehicle designs can contribute to rollovers.
  • Single-Vehicle Accident: This involves only one vehicle and may occur due to various reasons, such as losing control, hitting an obstacle, or running off the road.
  • Multi-Vehicle Pileup: Also known as a chain reaction accident, this involves multiple vehicles colliding in a series of impacts. These accidents often occur on highways and can involve numerous cars.
  • Sideswipe: This occurs when the sides of two parallel-moving vehicles make contact. It can happen during lane changes or when one vehicle drifts into another's lane.
  • Hit-and-Run: This occurs when a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene without providing their information or offering assistance. It could involve hitting a vehicle, pedestrian, or property.
  • Vehicle-Pedestrian Collision: This happens when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian. It can occur at intersections, crosswalks, or due to jaywalking.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents? 

Automobile accidents often lead to an array of serious, life-changing injuries. In fact, motor vehicle accidents of all types—including car crashes, motorcycle wrecks, and large truck collisions—are among the leading causes of catastrophic injury and death in the United States. 

Some of the most common types of injuries arising from car accidents include: 

  • Broken bones/fractures
  • Head and neck injuries 
  • Whiplash 
  • Slipped or herniated discs 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Paralysis 
  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Back, neck, and shoulder injuries 
  • Facial injuries 
  • Organ damage 
  • Sprains and strains 
  • Muscle tears 
  • Soft tissue injuries 
  • Internal bleeding 
  • Coma 

These and other car accident injuries have devastating impacts on the lives of victims and their loved ones. In many cases, victims are unable to return to their once-normal daily activities, including working and caring for themselves. As a result, they and their loved ones frequently face immense physical, financial, and psychological challenges in the wake of the accident. 

Depending on the cause of the crash, someone else may be legally responsible for the accident victim’s damages, including both financial and intangible losses they have endured as a result of the accident and/or their injuries. We encourage you to reach out to our team if you believe this might be your situation. At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we can review the details of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the extent of their impact on your life. Then, we can create a solid, evidence-based claim aimed at securing maximum compensation for you.

Common Causes of Car Accidents 

Because North Carolina follows a traditional fault-based system when it comes to car insurance and accident claims, you must prove that someone else was to blame for the accident that caused your injuries to have a personal injury claim. In most cases, determining fault begins with identifying the cause of the crash. 

Some of the most common causes of car accidents include: 

  • Speeding 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Drunk driving 
  • Reckless or aggressive driving 
  • Traffic violations 
  • General negligence 
  • Inexperience 
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Inclement weather 
  • Road rage 

Whether a driver failed to properly yield the right of way or ran a red light because they were distracted by their cellphone, they could be liable for your accident-related damages if they were at fault. 

Determining Fault for a Car Accident in NC

North Carolina follows a fault-based system for car accidents. This means that the person responsible for causing the accident is typically held liable for damages. Drivers who are at fault or partially at fault may be responsible for covering the costs related to the accident.

Here are the primary elements you must prove to succeed in a car accident claim in North Carolina:

  1. Duty of Care: You must show that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care. In car accident cases, this generally means all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles responsibly and follow traffic laws to ensure the safety of others on the road.
  2. Breach of Duty: You need to establish that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. This could involve various actions, such as speeding, running a red light, texting while driving, or any other behavior that violates traffic laws or disregards the safety of others.
  3. Causation: It's crucial to prove that the breach of duty directly caused the accident and resulting injuries or damages. This involves demonstrating a clear link between the negligent actions of the at-fault party and the harm suffered by you.
  4. Damages: You must provide evidence of the damages incurred due to the accident. These damages can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident.

Determining who is at fault for a car accident is especially important in North Carolina, one of the few states to still follow the rule of contributory negligence. Under this rule, an injured party cannot file a personal injury claim if they are found to be in any way at fault for the incident that caused their injury. Even if the insurance adjuster finds you just one percent to blame, you are prohibited from recovering compensation for your damages. 

At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we carefully investigate auto accidents to determine who was at fault and, therefore, who is liable for your damages. Our Durham car accident attorneys often work with accident reconstruction experts to determine exactly what happened and whether the other party involved acted negligently, recklessly, or wrongfully in any way. If we discover that they did, in fact, fail to uphold the implied duty of care all motorists owe to others on the road, leading to the crash that caused your injuries and resulting damages, we can begin building your case. 

We use evidence from our investigation, along with various documents and records, to prove liability, as well as the extent, nature, and severity of your damages. This allows us to develop powerful cases for our clients. In every instance, we seek to maximize settlements and, whenever necessary, we are fully prepared to take cases to court. 

Don't Accept the Insurance Company's First Settlement Offer

Accepting an insurance company's initial settlement offer after a car accident might seem tempting, but it's often advisable to proceed cautiously. Here are common reasons why you might hesitate to accept the first settlement offer:

  • Low Initial Offer: Insurance companies often make low initial settlement offers. They aim to resolve the claim quickly and for as little money as possible. The initial offer may not cover the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Incomplete Understanding of Damages: Immediately after an accident, you might not fully understand the long-term impact of your injuries. Accepting the initial offer could leave you without enough compensation to cover ongoing medical treatments or future expenses related to your injuries.
  • Pressure to Settle Quickly: Insurance companies might pressure you to settle fast. They may try to push for a quick resolution before you've had a chance to assess the full extent of your injuries or consult with a legal professional.
  • Unaccounted Future Damages: Some injuries may lead to complications or require future medical care. Accepting the initial offer without accounting for potential long-term consequences could leave you financially vulnerable.
  • No Room for Negotiation: Accepting the first offer often closes the door to further negotiations. If you find out later that your damages are more severe than initially thought, you won't have the opportunity to request additional compensation.
  • Legal and Procedural Complexity: Understanding the legal aspects and complexities of a car accident claim might be challenging. Seeking legal advice before accepting any settlement offer can help ensure you're aware of your rights and the true value of your claim.
  • Policy Limitations: Insurance policies might have limitations or exclusions that the initial settlement offer might not consider. Consulting a legal professional can help ensure you're not settling for less than what your policy entitles you to receive.
  • Potential Precedent Setting: Accepting a low initial offer might set a precedent. If future expenses or complications arise, the insurance company might refer to your acceptance as an indicator that your damages were not as significant as claimed.

In essence, it's essential to take your time, gather all necessary information, understand the full extent of your injuries, and seek advice from a qualified attorney before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company after a car accident. This approach can help ensure that you receive fair compensation that adequately covers your current and future damages.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case 

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be incredibly difficult. In addition to seeking medical attention for your injuries, getting your car repaired (if possible), and taking time off work to heal, you are likely also dealing with considerable physical pain and emotional distress. At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we believe that you shouldn’t have to also deal with fighting with the insurance company for a fair settlement. 

Unfortunately, most insurance companies make it extremely difficult to get a just settlement after an accident. Rather than fairly compensating you for your damages, they are invested in limiting payouts to save themselves money. As a result, they might offer you a lowball settlement—or even deny your claim altogether. The insurance adjuster could do this by arguing that you were partly at fault and are, therefore, not eligible for compensation under the state’s contributory negligence rule. Or they could claim that only some of your damages are covered. 

At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we are not only aware of the tactics insurance companies use to devalue and deny car accident claims; we also know how to fight back. Our experienced trial attorneys have helped numerous people file car accident claims and successfully recover the full, fair amount they were owed. We have what it takes to advocate for you. 

For a free consultation, call (919) 891-8361 or contact us online. Hablamos español. 

Nuestros Resultados

Ayuda Legal Con Experiencia De Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC Desde 1999
  • Over $40,000,000 Recovered We have won over 40 million dollars for our clients since 2012 and counting.
  • Over 7000 Cases Handled We have represented thousands of personal injury clients since 1999.
  • “Llegué a Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC después de un accidente automovilístico. El Sr. Padilla trabajó muy duro en mi caso. Su principal preocupación es el bienestar de sus clientes. Fue cariñoso, profesional,” - Toni B.
  • “Muy contenta y genial con los resultados. Gracias por ayudar a la comunidad hispana muy feliz con los resultados bendiciones. Andrea y Stefani hicieron un gran trabajo.” - Jazmin B.

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