After being hurt in an accident, clients typically have to deal with a lot of unexpected expenses such as high medical bills, medications, and medical equipment – all while missing work. Because of this, one of the first questions we get asked is, “How much is my case worth?”.
The legal team at Burton Law Firm gets it, and we can help. We put together these FAQs to give you a better idea as to how the value of each case is determined, where the financial recovery comes from, and when you can expect to be paid the money you deserve. If you have any questions along the way, give us a call. The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Burton Law Firm are happy to talk with you, answer your questions, and provide you with a FREE consultation!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
#1 – I was injured. What kind of damages can I claim as part of my case?
In North Carolina, the law allows people to claim certain items as part of their damages when they are injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence. The type and amount of damages will vary from case to case, but some commonly seen elements of compensatory damages include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of life
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of present or future earning capacity
- Permanent injuries and/or permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Prescriptions and medical equipment
- Funeral expenses
- And more
Compensatory damages are intended to help “compensate” you for your injuries and to restore you to your pre-accident capacity. In rare circumstances, a personal injury or wrongful death plaintiff may have a claim for punitive damages, which are intended to punish and deter the at-fault party from engaging in the wrongful conduct that produced an injury.
The personal injury lawyers at Burton Law Firm are familiar with the laws surrounding punitive damages in North Carolina and are happy to talk with you about your potential entitlement to compensatory and/or punitive damages during a FREE case consultation.
#2 – I haven’t been able to work since the accident, and I’m already receiving bills from the hospital. When will I get money to be able to pay those bills?
When someone is injured, the money to pay for your damages typically comes from an insurance company (auto insurance, liability insurance, etc.). Unfortunately, insurance companies do not usually “pay as you go”, meaning they will not pay for your damages along the way as you incur bills; rather, they want to wait until you are ready to settle your entire claim before they pay you. If you need a lot of medical treatment, have permanent injuries, or have to file a lawsuit, this could mean waiting a while before you receive any money for your damages. In the meantime, we tell our clients to make sure they file their health insurance (private plans, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) with their doctors. We also help our clients look for other ways to pay bills in the meantime, such as medical payments coverage, commonly referred to as Medpay. Medpay is a type of insurance coverage many people have on their own auto insurance policy. Usually, it’s an amount like $500, $1,000, or $2,000. This money can be helpful when it comes to paying for bills, prescriptions, medical equipment, etc. At Burton Law Firm, we’ll walk you through all of this, talk with you about any Medpay coverage, and help you look through any insurance policies to find all insurance coverage available to you.
#3 – My medical bills are over $50,000. Will I be able to recover enough money to pay all of those bills?
There are several factors that can affect the amount of money available to pay you for your damages. For example, in North Carolina, drivers are required to have an auto insurance policy with limits of at least $30,000 per person and an aggregate of $60,000 per accident, when more than one claimant has been injured. That may sound like a lot of money, but if that driver injures someone in a wreck and causes them to have over $50,000 in medical bills, the $30,000 is probably not going to be enough to fully cover those bills. That’s where we come in. At Burton Law Firm, we help you look for and find ways to get paid what you deserve. Perhaps the driver that caused the wreck has another auto policy or is listed as a driver on someone else’s policy. Maybe you have underinsured motorist coverage on your own insurance that is meant for this exact situation. Or maybe the at-fault driver was on the job when the wreck happened.
The personal injury lawyers at Burton Law Firm have the experience needed to help you maximize your recovery. We’ll work hard to find all available sources of recovery so you can focus on yourself and your loved ones during this difficult time. We’ll be there with you every step of the way and will fight to protect your rights and your future.
#4 – But really…how much is my case worth?
At Burton Law Firm, we’ll make sure to consider all of your damages when we’re putting together your claim. This means we take into account things like:
- What your life was like before the accident vs. after
- How your injuries have changed your day-to-day life (Can you still pick up your kids or grandkids? Are you still able to do yardwork, or did you have to hire someone?)
- Whether you had to have any modifications done to your home such as a wheelchair ramp, accessible shower, widened doorways, etc.
- The total of your medical bills and how much you had to pay out of pocket for things like co-pays and deductibles
- How much you’ve had to pay for medications and medical equipment
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Whether your injuries are permanent and if you have scarring
- Whether your injuries kept you from working and, if so, how much money you lost due to being unable to work
- Whether your injuries will affect the type of work you can do in the future, how much money you’ll earn in the future, and whether you will need future surgery or medical treatment
- And more
Each of these items has a value. For some things, like medical bills or prescription medications, it’s easier to come up with an exact number. For other things, it’s based on what a jury might give you. Because of this, it’s important to hire experienced personal injury lawyers like those at Burton Law Firm. Our attorneys know how to accurately value a case. We track jury verdicts across North Carolina and understand how juries are responding to personal injury cases like yours.
At Burton Law Firm, you are our priority, and we’re focused on helping you recover what you deserve for everything you’ve been through. If you have questions, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions, talk with you about your case, and discuss your legal rights and options.