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When you are seriously injured, everything from paying the bills to following your day-to-day routine can become a challenge. When your life is changed in an instant through no fault of your own, no amount of compensation can take away what happened. But it can take a lot of the pressure off as you focus on recovery.

You have a lot of choices when selecting a Durham personal injury lawyer. However, with our firm, you have the Whitley Advantage.

If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another, you don’t have to handle this alone. Our team will be your guides, legal advocates, friends, and counselors in your fight for justice.

With Whitley Law Firm, you will have our experience, knowledge, and reassurance at your disposal through every stage of the legal process. We will fight for more than financial recovery. By treating you the way you deserve to be treated, we will fight for your peace of mind.

Durham Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury Claims in Durham, NC: What You Need to Know

We Handle All Kinds of Durham Personal Injury Claims

Accidents happen all the time. Not every accident merits a legal case, however. If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to pursue your personal and financial losses.

If you were involved in an accident in Durham, North Carolina, our personal injury lawyers can help you fight for compensation if you or a loved one suffered severe injuries due to:

When looking for a personal injury attorney in Durham, it is important to find someone who has experience representing seriously injured people in a wide range of personal injury cases.

Our attorneys have represented North Carolina residents for nearly 50 years. We believe strongly that we can help you figure out your next steps. If we’re right for you, we’ll fight wholeheartedly for financial recovery.

What Types of Damages Could You Recover in a Durham Injury Case?

Personal injury victims could recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include expenses or monetary losses, such as the cost of medical treatment or lost wages. Non-economic damages do not have a standard value and can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, or mental anguish.

Our Durham personal injury lawyers can help you understand the types and amounts of compensation you can recover. These may include the financial or personal cost of:

  • Medical bills, such as hospital stays, prescription medications, copays, emergency care, and emergency transportation
  • Loss of physical independence
  • Loss of mobility
  • Lost wages
  • Mental anguish
  • Property damage
  • Physical pain
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

It’s hard to assign a dollar amount to personal losses. We know that money doesn’t make up for what you’ve been through, but we will do our best to calculate and pursue an amount that helps you recover and move forward.

How Long Do I Have to File My Injury Case in North Carolina?

Most personal injury cases fall under North Carolina G.S. § 1-52(16), which allows injured people three years to sue the at-fault party. If you fail to file within this time, you may be unable to recover compensation. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, though, so it is important to contact a lawyer who can help you take action before any time limits have elapsed.

Contributory Negligence Laws for Personal Injury Cases in North Carolina

North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. Contributory negligence means that the person pursuing compensation for their injuries can not have contributed to their accident or injuries in any way. If they did contribute, even one percent of fault, they cannot recover compensation.

This law is why legal representation is so important if you’re considering filing a personal injury claim in Durham, NC.

Access legal representation through contingency payment

Why Choose Whitley Law Firm for Your Personal Injury Case?

Since 1974, we have built a network of professionals who truly care for our severely injured clients. Not only do we have more than 80 years of combined experience in personal injury law, but we also cultivate relationships with people in our community.

Our clients are our family and are treated as such. This means compassionate advice and quality representation. Most importantly, this means protection and support when you need it most.

Here are some of the ways our personal injury lawyers in Durham, NC, promise to meet your needs:

  • Bilingual support for our Spanish-speaking clients
  • Your attorney’s email address and phone number
  • Returned calls and emails within 24 hours
  • Legal advice and guidance

We Have the Necessary Experience to Prove Your Case

Personal injury cases can be complex, especially for those who have never handled one. Our team has eight decades of experience fighting on behalf of seriously injured individuals. One of the most difficult parts of an injury case is proving negligence. Not for us.

Proving negligence requires that we establish several elements. Here’s an example of what we need to demonstrate in a slip and fall case:

  • Your landlord owed you a duty of care. This means they were legally required to keep their premises safe and hazard-free.
  • Your landlord failed to uphold their duty of care by allowing a dangerous hole to go unrepaired at the entryway of their property. They knew about the hole, didn’t post warnings, and you fell as a result of this hazard.
  • Because of your fall, you suffered injuries. These injuries have cost you personally and financially.

We Know What Evidence Your Case Needs to Succeed

The evidence we gather will depend on your accident and the kind of case we are building. No matter what, you don’t have to worry about evidence collection. We will use our time and resources for this task. Once we find what we need, we will use it to support your case.

Here are some examples of the evidence our Durham personal injury lawyers may gather:

Evidence of Negligence

Evidence that may prove the at-fault party caused your accident could include:

  • Accident and police reports
  • Accident reconstruction data
  • Expert testimony
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Video or photo evidence
  • Background checks (if applicable)

Evidence of Your Damages

We also gather evidence to estimate how much you deserve from the at-fault party. This evidence might include:

  • Medical bills
  • Your doctor’s testimony
  • Property repair or replacement estimates
  • A letter from your employer demonstrating your missed time from work
  • Previous wages
  • Journal entries/personal testimony

Whatever we can find to show your pain and loss, we will use it to strengthen your case. We want your final compensation to lessen the impact of your suffering for years to come.

We Offer Legal Help at No Upfront Cost

After a serious accident, it’s understandable to feel concerned about the cost of a lawyer. However, with our firm, this is not a concern.

You can speak with our team to assess your legal options for free. During your free consultation, we can guide your next steps and ease your worries. We’d be happy just to listen if that’s what you need.

Once you hire a Durham personal injury attorney from our firm, cost is still not an issue. We operate on a contingency-fee basis. This payment arrangement allows us to represent you and put the full force of our team behind you for no upfront costs or fees.

We take a percentage of your final settlement or award only after we resolve your case. We’d be happy to give you more information about this fee during our discussion.

Personal Injury Attorney Discuss About Your Injury Claim

Durham Personal Injury Claim FAQs

What percentage do most personal injury lawyers take?

There is no single standard percentage that personal injury lawyers take from settlements or awards. However, here are some general guidelines on contingency fee rates:

  • Typical Range – Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they take an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or award if they win or settle the case. The typical range for these fees is between 33% to 40% of the client’s total recovery.
  • Standard Rate – While it varies by region and complexity, many plaintiff’s lawyers will take right around 33% as their standard contingency fee rate. So for example, if they win a $100,000 settlement, they would take $33,000.
  • Expenses – In addition to contingency fees, clients are responsible for reimbursing case expenses like court filing fees, expert witness fees, investigation costs, etc.

During your initial consultation, a member of our team will go over our contingency fee arrangement with you, making sure you understand the details so you will know what to expect.

What if the insurance company or defense lawyer blames me for my own injuries?

Unlike most other states, North Carolina adheres to a rigid contributory negligence rule for determining fault and compensation in personal injury lawsuits. The general principle is that if an injured plaintiff contributed in any way to their own injuries through their own negligence, they may be completely barred from recovering damages from the defendant.

There are certain legal exceptions to this rule. For example, a plaintiff may still recover compensation despite some contributory negligence if the defendant’s conduct is found to be grossly negligent, reckless, or intentional. Additionally, if the defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the accident but failed to do so, the plaintiff’s compensation may be allowed.

Still, North Carolina’s adherence to pure contributory negligence stands in stark contrast to most states, which use principles of comparative negligence. In North Carolina, even one percent of fault by the plaintiff can defeat your claim for compensation. This highlights the importance of experienced legal counsel when pursuing injury claims in the state.

What happens if my claim doesn’t settle out of court?

If a personal injury claim does not settle out of court, the next step is typically litigation and going to trial. Here’s an overview of what can happen:

  • Lawsuit Filed – If negotiations fail to produce a settlement, the plaintiff’s attorney will file a lawsuit against the defendant (usually through the civil court system). This outlines the allegations, legal claims, and relief or damages being sought.
  • Discovery – The discovery phase allows each side to request or compel documents, tangible items, interrogatories, depositions, and other information to build their case and understand the opposition’s position. This can take months.
  • Motions – Pre-trial motions may be filed on procedural matters, excluding certain pieces of evidence, summary judgment requests, and other matters leading up to trial. The judge rules on the motions.
  • Trial – If a pre-trial resolution still isn’t reached, the court will schedule a trial date. This is a comprehensive legal proceeding where both sides present evidence, testimony, arguments, and witnesses to make their case before a judge and/or jury.
  • Verdict – Based on the evidence and arguments presented at trial, the judge or jury will make a final verdict on the matter. In personal injury, they determine if the defendant is liable and the amount of damages owed to the plaintiff, if any.
  • Appeal – The losing party can appeal the verdict by filing the appropriate legal motions with the court system’s appellate division. This starts a lengthy appeals process.

So if a satisfactory settlement is not reached beforehand, the plaintiff must be prepared to invest significant time and resources towards litigation. An experienced personal injury attorney in Durham can advise on the likelihood of settlement versus trial.

Don’t Lose Hope, Our Durham Personal Injury Lawyers Will Fight for You

If you’re worried that you may have contributed to your accident, don’t fret. Get our personal injury attorneys in Durham involved in your case as soon as possible after the accident. We can help you prevent costly mistakes that could jeopardize your case.

We can also build a strong case against the true at-fault party. With the strength of the evidence we collect, we will protect your right to compensation from an unfair assignment of fault.

Steps to Take After an Accident to Protect Yourself and Your Case

Your first consideration after an accident should be your health. Get medical attention right away. If you don’t accept emergency care at the scene of the accident, see your physician as soon as possible.

Aside from getting treatment for your injuries, you may want to consider taking these steps:

  • Call the police. The officer who arrives at the scene will write a report that will serve as useful evidence for your case. They may also assist you with gathering evidence.
  • Gather evidence. Take photos of the hazard, your injuries, and the surrounding area. Videos would also be helpful. If there were any eyewitnesses, get their contact information.
  • Don’t give an official statement without an attorney’s advice. Be mindful of what you say after an accident. Simply apologizing, which is a natural response after an accident, could allow the insurer to claim that you share fault for your injuries.
  • Get medical care. Getting care at the scene or going to the emergency room or your regular doctor after an accident is incredibly important. It allows you to receive the treatment you need and also ties your injuries to the accident.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice exactly. Once you’ve been assessed and treated, don’t take any liberties with your health. Follow your physician’s orders. This is best for your long-term medical improvement and your case.
  • Speak with a lawyer. You don’t need to handle this process alone. Our team is standing by, ready to help you.

We want to help you avoid costly mistakes that could alter the course of your case. If you’re unsure about what to do, call us from the accident scene.

What Does the Whitley Advantage Mean for You?

We use the “Whitley Advantage” to describe the benefits our clients enjoy compared to what they may experience with a Durham personal injury lawyer from another firm.

We are:

  • A family
  • Locally owned and operated
  • Familiar with the people in our community
  • Committed to hands-on, service-based care
  • Always honest
  • Committed to you, your family, and your case

We value what you value. We know our community inside and out. At the end of the day, this amounts to a better quality of care. As we build your case and fight for a positive resolution, you’ll become like one of our own. That’s a valuable asset, especially when you’re struggling through the hardest times of your life.

How Our Team Handles Personal Injury Cases From Start to Finish

You’ve got a lot on your plate. You deserve to rest, recover, and let your legal team take the lead. From the moment we take your case, we handle filing, fighting, and resolving your case with the court or insurer.

Here’s what our personal injury attorneys in Durham will do for you when we handle your case:

  • We investigate the cause of your accident.
  • We gather evidence to prove that the person who caused your accident was negligent.
  • We communicate with the at-fault party, their insurance company, and their legal counsel on your behalf.
  • We provide ongoing support and answers to your questions. You are never left in the dark about the progress of your case.
  • We calculate an estimate that accounts for your financial and personal losses.
  • We pursue the cost of your losses from the at-fault party.
  • If the at-fault party refuses to make a fair offer, we will negotiate for a more appropriate amount or take them to court.
  • We prepare your case to be filed as a lawsuit from the beginning, so we don’t risk missing the statute of limitations (your case’s filing deadline).
  • We arrange for medical treatment with healthcare professionals that we trust.

If this is your first time filing a claim or lawsuit, you may feel intimidated and overwhelmed. We are here to share that you have options. If you become our client, we are here to take any legal worries off your plate.

Get Compassionate Legal Support From a Durham Personal Injury Lawyer

If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, our team is available to answer your questions and assess your next steps. We hope you’ll allow our personal injury attorneys in Durham, NC, to offer our advice and assistance during this free call.

If you were injured through an act of negligence in North Carolina, we are ready to fight for you. Call our offices today to see how we can help: (919) 739-4448.

Client Review

By: Sheryl S.

Title: I appreciate The Whitley Law Firm

Whitley Law firm represented my son in a case. Ben Whitley was the attorney and Jocelyn was the case manager. A lawsuit is a very difficult battle for anyone, but especially for a teenager. Jocelyn was the prime contact and was very pleasant to deal with. Ben was kind and really tried for the best outcome for my son. I appreciate Whitley Law Firm for representing my son and working so hard for him. Would use them again without hesitation.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars