For many North Carolinians, driving is a regular part of their daily routine, helping them get to and from work, church, and social functions; shuttle their children between school and activities; and run errands. American motorists are spending more and more time on the road, and North Carolina residents are no exception. Unfortunately, the more time motorists spend behind the wheel, the greater their chances of being involved in an auto accident.
After a car crash, accident victims may find themselves seriously injured, facing a long road to recovery, and inundated with unexpected medical bills—all while being unable to work due to their injuries. This can be a difficult and stressful situation, leading many auto accident victims to wonder if they'll be able to provide for themselves and their families.
If you're suffering physically and financially after being injured in a car accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you need to know.
Important Auto Accident Statistics
- Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that the average U.S. motorist travels nearly 11,000 miles—and for more than 290 hours—each year.
- An estimated 4.6 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2016, according to the National Security Council (NSC).
- NSC statistics show as many as 40,000 people died in auto accidents in 2016, which represents a 6% increase from the previous year and a 14% jump since 2014.
- In North Carolina, nearly 267,500 motor vehicle crashes were reported to law enforcement in 2016, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
- More than 130,000 people were injured in North Carolina auto accidents in 2016.
- NCDOT research shows that auto accident fatalities rose 4.4 % in 2016 to 1,441 deaths.
Common Types of Car Crashes in North Carolina
Our firm handles personal injury cases involving many different types of auto accidents, including:
- DUI accidents
- Distracted driving crashes
- Drowsy driving accidents
- Drugged driving wrecks
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone or side-impact crashes
- Single-vehicle wrecks
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on collisions
Damages Available for North Carolina Auto Accident Victims
Victims injured in auto accidents caused by someone else's negligence shouldn't have to bear the financial burden for those injuries. Fortunately, North Carolina's personal injury laws allow accident victims in this position to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Property repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Reduced quality or enjoyment of life
- And more.
In cases where the at-fault party's conduct is deemed particularly heinous, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages. Though they're not often awarded, punitive damages may be applicable in instances where the person who caused the accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Resolving Auto Accident Cases: Settling Versus Going to Trial
The legal system can be confusing for car accident victims. Some may be hesitant to take legal action because they're nervous about going to court and participating in an intimidating and unfamiliar process. The truth is that, while the vast majority of personal injury auto accident cases are settled without ever reaching a courtroom, there are certain instances where taking a case all the way to trial is the right thing to do for the client. That's why it's important for victims to find an attorney who's just as adept in the courtroom as they are at negotiating settlements.
Do You Need an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney?
Not everyone who was involved in an auto accident needs an attorney. However, if you're unsure of your rights, or if your injuries were serious, kept you out of work for an extended period, or left you permanently disabled, you can benefit from a free initial consultation with one of the knowledgeable auto accident attorneys with the Law Offices of Shane Smith. Contact us today, and we'll be in touch within 24 hours to schedule your consultation appointment.