A sudden, disabling injury suffered in an accident causes nothing but pain — physical, emotional, and financial. A fatal injury that claims a loved one’s life can devastate a family for years. When this happens, a Statesville personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim for compensation from the liable party to hold them accountable for your suffering.
If someone else’s negligence caused the accident that changed your life or ended the life of someone close to you, you can fight back against the injustices of medical and funeral bills, lost income and future earnings capacity, motor vehicle replacement costs, and the pain and suffering of recovery.
In Statesville, Iredell County, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina, Michael D. Cleaves, a compassionate personal injury lawyer and founder of The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, will fight alongside you.
A personal injury lawyer helps you seek restitution after an injury caused by the negligence of others. We often begin with a thorough investigation of the situation surrounding your injuries.
Your Statesville personal injury attorney needs to understand exactly where there is potential liability, which could even be spread across several parties. We also need to gather evidence that can help us make a case that will hold up in court.
In most cases, it will be the liable party’s insurance company who is responsible for paying restitution. It’s likely that there may be an attempt to settle the claim without going to court so that both parties can avoid the expense and time of going to court.
A lawyer can act as your representative in these negotiations. That can often be helpful because it can lead to a more serious offer from the insurance companies in Statesville, NC. They know that a lawyer understands what constitutes a reasonable offer, and having an attorney also carries an implicit possibility of the case going to court, which can lead to a more substantial offer.
However, there are times when a settlement can’t be reached. If that’s the case, we are ready to argue the defendant’s liability in court to fight for the compensation that you deserve.
The process of proving liability is critical to the success of a personal injury claim. This is done by demonstrating negligence on the part of the defendant. To prove negligence, your Statesville personal injury lawyer needs:
The process of proving negligence can vary slightly depending upon the kind of personal injury claim. However, there is a general pattern that involves proving three elements:
The first element that needs to be shown in a personal injury claim is that the defendant had a duty to care in the situation where the injury occurred. This concept is based on the premise that we have a responsibility to ensure that our actions don’t put others at any kind of unnecessary and excess risk. We have an imperative to take reasonable precautions to keep from harming those around us.
The first thing your lawyer must show is that, in the given situation, this kind of duty existed because the defendant could have reasonably foreseen the possible risk to others.
To commit a breach of duty is to not live up to or fulfill one’s duty to care in a particular situation. This means that your lawyer must show that something about the actions or inactions of the defendant created a situation where others, and more specifically the plaintiff, were put at unnecessary risk, danger, or some other possibility of harm. This will often require proving two things:
The more specialized and unfamiliar the circumstances in which the injury occurred, the more challenging it can be to prove this element. In those circumstances, it may be necessary to bring in an expert witness to explain what should have been done and how the defendant’s actions fell short.
Lastly, there must be a clear, direct connection from the breach to the injury that you suffered. In many personal injury cases, because the injury is the result of an accident, it is usually necessary to prove that the breach led to the accident and that the accident led to the injuries.
This kind of connection may be often assumed, though there are some situations where multiple breaches occurred and some were not causal. Therefore, that connection must be established.
There have also been situations where people have chosen to exaggerate their injuries. In other cases, they have tried to claim that either pre-existing conditions or ones sustained after the accident came from the accident. To avoid these problems, your lawyer must be able to prove the extent of the injuries that you suffered and their connection to the accident.
The compensation in a personal injury claim will cover only those costs that are a direct result of the injuries that were suffered. Your Statesville personal injury lawyer is responsible for demonstrating this connection between the injury and the costs for which you’re seeking compensation.
Documentation, such as medical bills, doctor’s notes, bills for property damage, and anything else that connects the injury with the costs of dealing with it, can be critical to proving the restitution that you deserve. The compensation in these cases is awarded in the form of damages, which come in three categories:
These damages will compensate you for those things which are easily calculated, as they have a clear financial component. This includes medical bills, the cost to repair or replace damaged property, and lost wages.
Economic damages are not limited to prior costs, either. If there is a more serious injury that will require ongoing care or limit your ability to return to work at the same level as prior to the injury, those future medical costs and lost earning capacity are also addressed through economic damages.
There are some costs resulting from a personal injury that can’t really be addressed by money and lack a clear financial component. They are psychological and emotional costs like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, or other less tangible costs.
These are given a financial value and compensated. The money won’t, of course, fix things, but it may help create fewer concerns in other aspects of life, leaving room to better manage these issues.
A third category of damages is only occasionally awarded in a personal injury claim. These damages are meant to punish behavior on the part of the defendant. Therefore, they are only awarded for behavior that is malicious or otherwise egregious.
Mr. Cleaves is an attorney with 20 years of experience handling personal injury claims of all kinds, such as accidents involving workplace injuries, cars, trucks or commercial vehicles, motorcycle crashes, bicycles, or pedestrians.
Unfortunately, many of these mishaps can cause catastrophic injury to the brain and spinal cord, resulting in:
Victims of these accidents are desperate for help — and Michael D. Cleaves provides it. His valuable assistance includes in-depth accident investigation, negotiations with insurers, and aggressive litigation in court when the situation calls for it.
For the comfort and convenience of our clients, these quality legal services are delivered strictly on a contingency fee basis — meaning that no attorney fee is owed unless we win your case.
Does the extent of your injuries prevent you from traveling to us for your free initial consultation? Michael D. Cleaves will come to your home or hospital room to meet with you. Simply call us toll-free: 704-871-0425. We can also be reached by email message.