A Team Of Car Accident Attorneys Fighting For You
When you hire a personal injury firm, it is important to know ahead of time who will be working on your case. Some law firms feature their most prestigious attorneys in advertisements, but your case may be handed to a junior associate or have most of the work completed by a paralegal. That’s not how we do things at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP.
Charles Hardee, Handling Attorney
Charles Hardee, Handling Attorney
Kyle Blodgett and Brack Massey, Handling Attorneys
Car Accident (Neck Injury)
Brack Massey and Charles Hardee, Handling Attorneys
Charles Hardee, Handling Attorney
Our attorneys have nearly six decades of combined experience, and we apply all that experience on behalf of each client. Our firm takes a team approach to cases, which means that you’ll have three highly experienced attorneys working together on your behalf. This collaboration allows us to strategize the legal approach that will maximize both our chances of success and your level of compensation.
Comprehensive And Zealous Representation For All Types Of Car Accident Victims
While our personal injury practice is diverse, we are especially experienced in motor vehicle accident litigation. You can rest easy knowing that we have helped many other clients facing challenges similar to yours.
Most car accidents are preventable and can be attributed to driver negligence. Since 1981, our firm has been helping car accident victims claim the compensation they deserve for injuries related to:
Texting While Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States with approximately 10% of those accidents being fatal. Texting while driving is just one of many distractions affecting drivers when they get behind the wheel of their car. It is also one of the most dangerous, accounting for roughly 25% of all automobile accidents.
Texting and driving puts the driver, passengers, pedestrians and other drivers at risk every time they pick up their cellphone – and it is illegal. The decision to read or send a text while driving can result in an accident that causes injury or even death.
It becomes unsettling when you realize just how many drivers are distracted while driving all around you. Some people may say, “I never use my cellphone while driving!” But there are other distractions that they may not consider dangerous.
Distracted driving is not limited to just taking your eyes off the road; you could also be preoccupied with something or taking your hands off the steering wheel. A North Carolina driver could be distracted by any of the following actions:
- Programming or reading a device such as a GPS
- Using apps on a smartphone
- Watching a video on a phone, tablet or laptop
- Adjusting the radio or using an MP3 player
- Putting on makeup or brushing their hair
- Eating or drinking
- Conversations with passengers
- Talking to or disciplining children in the car
- “Rubbernecking” to look at another accident
- Reading a map or looking for directions
It is important to take the proper steps to report an accident, no matter what the cause of it is. You need to make sure you are documenting the incident and seeking any medical attention you may need.
Sadly, even drivers who have been charged with a DUI or have a DUI conviction will drive drunk time and time again. They do not learn from a first offense. At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, it is our goal to help ensure justice is served to an at-fault drunk driver who causes serious injury or death.
Our attorneys help injured parties obtain the damages they deserve. If you were the unfortunate victim of a drunk driving case, you may be entitled to compensatory damages, including medical costs, lost wages, permanent injuries and any pain or suffering you’ve experienced as a result of the intoxicated driver’s actions.
Ridesharing Accidents (Uber/Lyft)
The ridesharing industry has exploded over the last 10 years with the launch of companies and their apps, such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. However, since this industry is still relatively new, there are a lot of unanswered questions about who is responsible if you are injured in an accident while using a rideshare driver. Insurance companies are playing catch up to ensure their policies involve some kind of ridesharing agreement for coverage and options.
A few bills have been signed into law that have regulated the way app-based companies like Uber and Lyft operate and are insured. Commercial vehicles must be covered through strict policies governed by their state, while Uber and Lyft were not subject to the same requirement. This was circumvented because their business model claimed they were just an app that helped people find other people who were willing to give them a ride.
Due to mounting pressure and numerous accidents across the United States, Uber and Lyft adopted insurance coverage for drivers that kicks in when they have accepted and picked up a passenger. As you can see, this is very complex, which is why you should call an accident attorney if you are involved in a collision involving Uber or Lyft.
Common Injuries Suffered In Car Accidents
Some of the most common car wreck injuries our clients have experienced include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damage to the neck and spine
- Paralysis (paraplegia and quadriplegia)
- Nerve damage
Every car accident is unique, as are the bodies of vehicle occupants. It is impossible to predict the nature and severity of injuries that any one person will experience in a crash. That’s why it is critical for victims to seek medical treatment and diagnosis, and to create medical records in the process. Once we collect these and other documents, we can help you assess the full costs of your auto accident and seek full and fair compensation.
Traffic Accident Statistics And Related Information
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation and other informational sources, driving has become more dangerous in recent years. In 2020, the number of car accident fatalities statewide increased by 9% from the previous year. In 2021, traffic deaths rose another 5% and reached a level not seen since 2007. Major causes and contributing factors to these fatal car wrecks were speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving.
Each year in North Carolina, people are injured in auto accidents, but the dangers are not distributed equally. According to one study, the most dangerous road anywhere in the United States is Interstate 95, which runs through North Carolina. When it comes to cities, it should be no surprise that cities with larger populations also tend to have the highest number of car accidents. These include:
Because our practice is statewide, our attorneys are ready to advocate for you no matter where your accident occurred.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Questions
On this page, we have taken a moment to answer some of our previous clients’ most frequently asked questions. We hope these answers will be able to help you set on the right track following your crash.
How long does it take to receive a car accident settlement?
This question has no simple answer. Generally, a few months. Complex cases can take much longer, though. Once we have calculated the full extent of your damages and have a detailed picture of what you have gone through, we can give you an accurate idea of what to expect.
If my car accident happened a while ago, do I still have a case?
Many injuries do not appear for a few days – or even weeks – after a motor vehicle crash. This is perfectly normal and it does not mean that you have lost your chance to recover compensation. However, you should act quickly. North Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
What if I was partially at fault for the car accident?
North Carolina follows contributory negligence laws. That means that in our state, plaintiffs may not recover damages if they contributed fault to an accident.
Under this doctrine, you are ineligible to collect damages if you are even 1% at fault for the crash. When you file a claim against your own policy, your insurer essentially becomes the defendant in the case. As such, the company can (and likely will) try to claim contributory negligence as a way to avoid paying the claim. This is one reason why it is critical to avoid saying anything that admits or implies fault when you are at the accident scene.
What are some mistakes that I should avoid?
Some of the most common mistakes that we see include:
- Talking to an insurance company representative
- Failing to hire an attorney
- Not seeing a doctor
- Not filing a claim with your insurer
These errors can reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
What can I expect if the driver who hit me has the minimum insurance required by North Carolina law?
Like nearly every other state, North Carolina has laws setting the minimum level of auto insurance coverage that drivers must carry. Currently, insurance plans must include:
- Bodily injury liability coverage of at least $30,000 per person or $60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage of at least $25,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage of at least $30,000 per person or $60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage of at least $25,000
These numbers are important to know because you may be involved in an accident with a driver whose insurance policy only meets state minimum requirements. If your accident was particularly serious, your medical bills and property damage could exceed these coverage limits, making it more difficult to receive the full compensation you need.
When you hire us, we will examine all aspects of your case to determine if additional sources of compensation may be available.
What happens if I’m hit by an underinsured/uninsured driver?
Despite laws requiring every vehicle owner to carry insurance, many North Carolina drivers are uninsured. In other cases, they may have insurance but not enough to fully cover the costs of a serious accident they caused. What are the rights and legal options of car accident victims in these types of cases?
North Carolina law mandates that uninsured/underinsured coverage be included under minimum policy coverage requirements for all insurance plans. If you were hit by someone without insurance, your policy would cover at least:
- $30,000 in bodily injury costs for you or someone else on your policy, or up to $60,000 to cover two or more people
- Up to $25,000 in property damage to the insured vehicle if struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver
This same coverage would apply if you were struck in a hit-and-run accident and the at-fault driver could not be found. Even though you have the coverage noted above, you’ll still need to file a claim with your insurer.
Do I really need to hire a car accident lawyer?
You have every right to handle your insurance claim or injury lawsuit on your own. However, you are up against the powerful attorneys of the insurance company. With your own representation, you have a team that can advocate for your rights, explain the steps, and negotiate or litigate a fair settlement or award.
How much do injury attorneys charge for car accident cases?
Most attorneys, including ours, handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t have to pay attorney fees upfront, and you only pay if they obtain compensation for you.
We charge a set percentage of your recovery. We disclose that percentage upfront to provide complete transparency about the fee arrangement.
What is the statute of limitations for car accidents in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases – including car accidents – is three years from the date of the accident. For fatal accident cases, any wrongful death claims must be filed within two years after the date of the death.
Don’t wait until the deadline to start exploring your legal options. It takes time to investigate and prepare a car accident claim. Additionally, you shouldn’t have to wait years to get the compensation you deserve. The sooner you reach out to our firm, the sooner we can help you get started pursuing financial recovery.
What are the differences between regular and commercial car accidents?
In accidents involving commercial vehicles, you’re dealing with a different set of insurance coverages. Insurance issues can be trickier to navigate.
Additionally, you may have claims against not only the driver, but also their employer. The law generally holds employers accountable for the actions of their employees.
Because there may be more parties involved, and more complicated insurance issues, commercial car accident cases require careful consideration. It’s all the more critical to work with a lawyer who knows how to handle these complex cases.
How will I afford a car accident attorney?
We understand that money is probably very tight right now, considering your medical bills and other expenses. That is why we provide free initial consultations. We will evaluate your case for no cost at all. Then, we can discuss the financial options.
Taking Legal Action Is Affordable And Low-Risk
Our firm takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t owe any legal fees until and unless we help you recover money in a settlement or jury trial. Even then, our fees are a predetermined portion of what we help you recover. Therefore, hiring a personal injury attorney comes with almost no financial risk for you. With virtually nothing to lose, why not explore your legal options?
Contact Us For A Free Discussion About Your Car Accident Case
Hardee, Massey & Blodgett has been serving the needs of injury victims in North Carolina since 1981. To discuss your options during a free initial consultation, call us in Greenville at 252-787-4627, or fill out our online contact form.