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FAQ for Personal Injury & Workers's Compensation In NC

Frequently Asked Questions

Dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys in North Carolina


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Our skilled Raleigh + Durham Personal Injury attorneys at Hyland + Padilla, PLLC have taken the time to answer some questions we are regularly asked. We understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with these situations, and want to do everything we can to mitigate your trauma. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

How Long Can I Wait To File A Lawsuit After An Accident?

No two cases are quite the same and should be evaluated individually. For example, in workers compensation cases, the employee is required to serve a copy of a Form 18 on the employer and insurance carrier within 30 days from the date of the accident. It is vital to your case that you get in contact with a lawyer as soon as possible and ensure that you do not miss any deadlines.

How Much Does Your Firm Charge For A Consultation?

There is no charge for our initial consultation. It is free. When you call one of our offices, located in Raleigh + Durham, no cost will be incurred at the initial consultation. If you decide to retain our firm for representation, a contract of representation will be signed that will outline the terms of representation.

How Much Am I Entitled To Win for My Case?

Again, this must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For example, a workers compensation case is evaluated differently than an automobile accident case or a medical malpractice case. There are many factors that determine the value of a case such as medical expenses, length of medical treatment, to name a few. To properly evaluate your case, you should speak to an attorney experienced in the specific area of law that involves your case.

Do I Decide Whether I Settle My Case Or Not?

Definitely. We are your counselors and serve to help you make an informed decision, but the fact remains that it is your life and you have final say in how we proceed. You will not be pressured to make a particular decision if you do not feel it is right for you.

What Is The Average Duration Of A Case From Start To Finish?

This will depend on several factors. For example, the length of time that you are in medical treatment is a factor. Whether the case is in litigation or not is a factor. We make every effort to resolve your case as quickly as possible.

What Is The Likelihood Of My Case Going To Trial?

Most cases settle without going to trial or going to a hearing. We will thoroughly advise you on the risks and benefits of going to trial if the case cannot be settled.

Will You Inform Me About My Case's Progress?

Yes. We will periodically check in with you to see how you are doing when you are in medical treatment. We will also ask you to keep us updated on the status of your medical treatment. If your case is in litigation, you will receive updates as new developments arise in your case. We give each of our clients information at our initial meeting that explains in detail how your case is handled from the beginning to the end. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

What Are My Options If You Elect To Pass On My Case?

If we do not believe your case can prevail, we may choose not to move forward with it. If this is the case, we will always be open with you. If we cannot assist you, we may suggest you speak to another lawyer for an additional opinion.

How Do I Know if I Have A Case?

In North Carolina, if you have been injured by the negligence of another, you may have legal claims for damages you sustain. We offer an initial attorney consultation, at no cost to you, to help you determine if you have a case or if you should hire an attorney. Our attorneys will be able to advise you after the consultation what your next step should be.

How Will I Pay for Your Services?

We handle cases on a contingency basis. That means that you pay our attorney's fees only if there is a recovery in your favor. The attorney's fee will be a percentage, from 25% to 33 1/3%, that will come from the insurance settlement.

Who Will Work On My Case?

Once you have hired us, there will be a team working on your case. Each client may have an attorney, paralegal, and legal assistant working for him or her. You will always be able to meet with and speak to your attorney when your attorney is available. If your attorney is not immediately available, the paralegal or legal assistant can often answer any question you may have. Our attorneys are often in meetings, depositions, on the phone, or in court. Nonetheless, our attorneys will take your calls when available and return your calls when not.

Can You Settle My Case Without Me Knowing?

Attorneys can only act with the client's permission. The attorneys at Hyland + Padilla, PLLC will not settle your case unless you decide to settle your case after being fully informed about all the options you may have.

What Is A Deposition?

If we file a lawsuit for you, the defense attorney for the insurance company may take your deposition as part of the litigation process. You would give your deposition under oath in front of a certified court reporter. You will be asked a wide range questions regarding your claim by the defense attorney. Your attorney will be present with you during the entire proceeding to make sure that any questions asked are proper.

Should I Speak With The Insurance Company?

It may hurt your case if you speak to the insurance company before hiring an attorney. Many times information provided by the injured victim will be used to minimize or deny your injury claim. After you hire an attorney, you might only talk to the insurance company about things which will not affect your injury case, such as property damage repair or getting a rental car. It is important to at least consult with an attorney if you have any questions before you speak with the insurance company. Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interest. Be wary about being asked to give a statement without legal representation. Also, the insurance company is not allowed to advise you about whether you need an attorney.

How Can You Represent Me If I Am from Out Of State?

North Carolina law may apply to your case in several ways. For example, if the accident you were in occurred in North Carolina while you were visiting the State. We have also worked successfully with out of state clients and their local attorneys.

How Long Will It Take To Settle My Case?

You will have an experienced team working on your case; a team that knows what needs to be done and how to do it as quickly as possible. Of course, it will depend on your case's unique circumstances. Most importantly, your case will not be settled until you have stopped treating and are ready to settle. In all matters, the legal assistants and attorneys will regularly inform you of progress toward settlement. You should also know that cases do not always settle. If the insurance company refuses to fairly compensate you, we may have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits can take from one to three years to resolve.

Do I Have To File A Lawsuit?

You will decide, based on information and advice from your attorney, whether to file a lawsuit. In North Carolina, when you are injured by the negligence of another, you have three years from the date of accident to either resolve your claims or file suit. Failure to file suit before the three years expires will generally prevent you from pursuing your claims. Most cases resolve without a lawsuit being filed.