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When someone is involved in a pedestrian personal injury involving an automobile, the results are often heartbreaking. The Layton Law Firm began its reputation for representing pedestrians by successfully represented a 17-year-old boy who was seriously injured by a driver, while crossing a busy Charlotte street at night. After fighting a denied claim and ultimately prevailing against the insurance company for the child and his family, we made it a priority to fight hard for injured pedestrians.

We currently represent numerous pedestrians in personal injury and wrongful death actions. We take each law firm client’s injuries seriously, but injuries to children and pedestrians are specifically important to us because of the extreme nature of the injuries and the age of the individuals involved. As a result, children and pedestrian injuries have become a passion of ours. Unfortunately, winning a pedestrian claim can be an uphill battle requiring persistence, creativity, and diligent pursuit of recovery.

Don’t Pedestrians Always Have The Right Of Way?

This is the question always asked when there is a pedestrian injury. As a Charlotte pedestrian personal injury lawyer, unfortunately I find myself quite often answering “Not always”. While pedestrians often start with a presumption of right of way, they can easily forfeit it by being too far outside a crosswalk, crossing the road at a non-designated spot, or being inebriated. In fact, there are some instances where a pedestrian actually must yield to the motorist.

How Do I Preserve The Pedestrian Right Of Way?

There are a few guidelines which will help preserve your right of way as a pedestrian. Always strive to:

  • Walk with the cross-walk signals
  • Stay inside specifically marked cross-walk pathways
  • If a sidewalk exists, use the sidewalk (and not the roadway)
  • Electric wheelchair users: follow the rules for pedestrians, NOT for vehicles

Do Drivers Have Responsibilities To Pedestrians In NC?

Yes, there are. Even in a situation where a pedestrian may have yielded the right of way, the operator of a motor vehicle must still exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian in the roadway. The doctrine of Last Clear Chance can also be applied, and your Charlotte Pedestrian Personal Injury Lawyer will discuss it with you. Essentially, it says that even if a pedestrian has forfeited the right of way, if the operator of the vehicle has the last clear chance to avoid an accident, he or she must avoid the accident. This doctrine applies in other personal injury situation as well, such as automobile accidents between the operators of two vehicles.

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

A Charlotte personal injury lawyer will help to make sure you are treated fairly. Insurance companies often deny pedestrian claims based on contributory negligence, or some other factor. An aggressive legal strategy can often overcome this denial and help achieve a fair result. It is our opinion that pedestrians make good plaintiffs.

When an insurance denial is met with a threat of a lawsuit, quite often we are able to reach settlement before entering the courtroom. In most cases, an insurance company does not want to appear in court against a pedestrian, because it shows an unwillingness to settle the case or to be reasonable in accepting liability for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Pedestrian injuries also often lead to large medical bills. Your personal injury lawyer will not only work to secure a fair offer for you, but can also negotiate some of your medical billing. The end result is you end up with more money in your pocket. The ability to negotiate these bills stems from the attorney’s understanding of N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which is a limiting factor when it comes to liens resulting from medical treatment related to the injury.

You deserve to have someone fight for your rights. Insurance companies are focused on the bottom line. We focus on the client.

Speak With A Charlotte Pedestrian Lawyer Today

If you were a pedestrian, and you were hit by the driver of an automobile or motorcycle, please call us at 704.749.7747. Or, if you’d like us to call you, just click HERE to request a call online. An attorney will be happy to discuss your rights and provide you guidance, at no charge. There’s no obligation to hire us but we hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

If you need a free copy of your accident report, we’re happy to obtain that for you as well– just click HERE to request one and simply let us know the date of your accident, the location, and your full name.

medical bills in personal injury settlement

Car accidents and slip and fall accidents can turn your life upside down in an instant. Some injured individuals assume they automatically have a personal injury claim against the driver who hit them. Some injured individuals think the grocery store where they slipped and fell should always compensate them. Whether you have a personal injury claim or not depends on the facts.

Did The Other Party Owe You A Duty?

In order for someone to be responsible for your injury they must first owe you a duty. Typically, that duty is one of Reasonable Care in the situation. A grocery store owes its customers a safe environment, free from hazards. Another driver owes the drivers around them. Namely, the duty to avoid causing injury to others.

Did The Other Party Breach Their Duty?

Once it is determined a duty was owed, you must next establish that duty was breached. In a grocery store slip and fall, an example would be if a store left standing water on the floor for an hour while shoppers were using the store. Or, if a grocery store was on notice that a cooler was leaking and failed to fix that cooler. If the water from the cooler leaked onto the floor, the duty was breached.

If another driver drives excessively fast, or leads police on a high speed chase and causes an injury to you, there is a good argument that driver has breached their duty to you. Generally, in North Carolina, if you rear-end another driver, you will be judged to have breached your duty to them. Therefore, a failure to leave enough stopping distance is a breach of duty.

Did The Other Party’s Actions Cause Your Injury?

Many times, when negotiating a personal injury claim, insurance companies want to argue over pre-existing injuries. If you fall in the grocery store and require surgery, the store wants to know if you already needed the surgery, prior to the date of the fall. If your primary complaint is back and neck problems, the store will want to know if you have a history of neck and back problems. Essentially, the at fault party is only responsible for the injury they caused—not for any injury you already had, or for any injury another party caused.

Do You Have Damages?

There are many times where a duty is owed, the duty is breached, but there are no damages. For instance, if someone is rear-ended by a vehicle traveling at 5mph. While technically speaking there was an accident, you would have a difficult time proving a bodily injury came about as a direct result of the injury.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an auto accident, or a grocery store flip and fall, you may have a personal injury claim. Call us today at 704.749.7747 to discuss your personal injury claim. We’re here to help you understand the options and you don’t owe us anything unless we reach a settlement for you. Or, if you’d like to schedule a free consultation by email, click HERE and we’ll reach out to you to set up a time to talk. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Chiropractor After Car Accident

If you speak with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer about your personal injury claim, one topic that comes up frequently is health insurance. There are a few roles health insurance plays in your personal injury claim. This article explains a few of them. If you have any further questions, pick up the phone and call us—we’re here to help.

ERISA LIENS

This Applies If: you have medical bills which are paid by or through an employee benefit plan which is provided by your employer, or by a health insurance policy.

The Result: The health insurance company or employee benefit plan that paid for treatment related to your personal injury claim is entitled to seek reimbursement out of the personal injury recovery, if you settle the case or get a jury verdict.

Can It Be Negotiated: Typically, yes. The insurance company will of course want to know the settlement amount, and the negotiation will be based in part off of that as a starting number.

MEDICARE LIENS

This Applies If: you’re a Medicare recipient and Medicare paid for any treatment related to your personal injury claim.

The Result: Your personal injury lawyer must obtain a Conditional Payment Letter from Medicare detailing the treatment provided and the amount Medicare seeks as a lien.

Can It Be Negotiated: The attorney can attempt to negotiate Medicare liens in a personal injury claim but Medicare only agrees in extreme hardship cases.

MEDICAID LIENS

This Applies If: You are a Medicaid recipient and Medicaid paid for health services rendered for injuries related to the accident.

The Result: Your personal injury lawyer must obtain a Conditional Payment Letter from Medicaid detailing the treatment provided and the amount claimed as lien against personal injury claim proceeds.

Can It Be Negotiated: Generally not negotiated, but as compared to Medicare, Medicaid is only entitled to a pro-rata share of settlement proceeds. Your personal injury lawyer can tell you more about this percentage and how it works for practical purposes.

SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY

While there are some simple personal injury claims which can be resolved without an attorney, and without the fear of compromising your rights, generally the best course of action is to speak with a personal injury lawyer. The phone call is free and we’re happy to help. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. You can also request a call HERE. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Personal Injury clients often ask what has to be proven in order to recover successfully in a personal injury lawsuit. While it is worth noting that many cases settle without ever having to prove these four elements, here they are:

Duty

Breach

Causation

Damages

If the plaintiff can’t establish all four of the elements in the typical personal injury lawsuit, and prove negligence, there is a chance they will recover nothing at all. When you look closely at the four elements required to recover on a claim, it makes sense that all four must be met.

The first question is whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. The typical duty of care is that one individual or company act toward others and the public with attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. So it’s a question of whether the defendant’s behavior was reasonable, given the circumstances.

After establishing a duty existed, then it’s a question of whether that duty has been breached. Did the defendant act reasonably, as it relates to his or her interaction with the plaintiff? There are times where a plaintiff is injured, yet the person they are suing acted reasonably. It makes sense in those cases to bar a recovery from that particular defendant.

If you establish duty and a breach of duty, then you ask whether the defendant’s behavior was the cause of the harm the plaintiff experienced. Even if the defendant breached their duty, if that breach was not the direct cause of the plaintiff’s harm, then the defendant isn’t responsible for it.

Lastly, are there damages? Oddly, this comes up more often than you’d think in a personal injury claim. A plaintiff has to actually show that the behavior of the defendant caused damages. The plaintiff must be able to quantify those damages in order to make a demand of the defendant in the case for reimbursement or compensation.

Call An Attorney

If you have any questions about a personal injury claim, or if you’d like an attorney to analyze your personal injury, please call 704.749.7747. The consultation is free.