Frequently Asked Questions

Answers from Our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

The North Carolina attorneys at Twiggs, Strickland & Rabenau answer some of the most common questions about accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. Keep in mind that these answers are for general information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for legal advice. We hope you find the answers to these questions helpful.

For a personalized consultation to discuss your situation, contact our North Carolina personal injury lawyers at (919) 701-8132.


How do I file a personal injury claim in North Carolina?

Your first step should be to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer. Once you have filed a formal claim, the insurance company for the negligent party generally offers a settlement. This offer will undoubtedly be less than the damages you claimed. Our attorneys advise you, based on the facts of your case and your likelihood of success in court, whether you should take the offer or take the case to trial. If you and the insurance company cannot agree, then your case must be resolved in court. At trial, both sides have an opportunity to offer evidence and testimony. At the end of the trial, our attorneys make a compelling argument to the judge and jury that you should be fully compensated for your losses.

What is a typical settlement amount?

If a case is resolved by settlement, the amount is based on the facts of the case, the law applicable to those facts, and the negotiating skills of your attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets all of your information to determine the appropriate value for your claim.

Factors that are taken into account include:

  • Past medical bill amount
  • Future medical bills
  • Past and future loss of income
  • Your age and state of health at the time of injury
  • Any permanent limitations caused by the injury
  • Impact on future earning capacity
  • Activities you can no longer do
  • Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
  • Prognosis for further problems
  • Strength of lay witness testimony
  • County in which your case is pending

The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injuries. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you need a skilled trial lawyer who can effectively present your case to a jury at trial.

How much is my case worth?

Many factors determine how much compensation you may receive, including the severity of your injuries, your age and past medical history, the law applicable to your case, the county in which your case will be tried, the quality of your witnesses, the negotiation and trial skills of your attorney, and the amount of insurance coverage or the amount of assets that the responsible person has to pay your claim.

Can the insurance company refuse to pay medical bills if my car was not damaged?

While the insurance company might try to draw a direct correlation between damage done to your car and the severity of your personal injury, it is possible that the body sustains damage even if the car did not. The reverse may also be true, a car might experience major impact but the people might only suffer minor cuts and bruises.

How is the amount of damages determined in wrongful death cases?

The value of each wrongful death case is based on the particular facts of each case.

Factors that determine the amount of recoverable damages in a wrongful death case are:

  • Expenses for care, treatment, and hospitalization
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Reasonable funeral expenses
  • The present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered

This includes compensation for the loss of the reasonably expected:

  • Net income
  • Services, protection, care, and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory
  • Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice
  • Punitive damages pursuant to Chapter 1D of the General Statutes, and punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death through malice or willful or wanton conduct, as defined in G.S. 1D-5

Estimates of future earnings usually require testimony from an expert witness.