Our firm has handled significant personal injury claims since its inception. Our civil attorneys currently represent numerous individuals who were killed or badly injured as a result of the negligent conduct of others, resulting in substantial monetary recoveries. Many involve fatal tractor- trailer, motorcycle, automobile, and deaths from tankers that are transporting hazardous chemicals.
Our firm routinely works with insurance companies and adjusters to timely settle automobile accident cases where fault is admitted. However, in many cases, amicable settlements cannot be reached, and our firm is required to file and litigate the matters in court. Some of the cases we have been involved in litigating recently include:
- The death of an innocent driver taking his wife to the doctor who died when a tractor trailer pulled from the highway directly into his path in the non-passing lane of I-85. The investigating officer cited our client to be at fault. We were able to prove the investigating officer’s report was inaccurate, and that our client was unable to avoid the collision. Sadly, the wife who survived is totally disabled from her injuries.
- The death of a young worker at a convenience store who was tragically killed when he was struck while walking across the parking lot by an out of state trucker. We filed this case and secured significant recovery for the young man’s family.
- The severe injury of a young man driving a truck who was broadsided in a severe collision, and remained a coma for weeks.
- The death of a young truck driver who picked up grain at the Wilmington Port and died upon unloading it from respiratory distress. He was not warned or properly advised of the potential toxicity of the grain he was transporting. The case is still in litigation against defendant, Smithfield Foods, that was directly involved in the purchase and distribution of the grain, and who failed to warn the driver and others of the potential hazards of its’ product.
- The death of a motorcycle driver, a business owner and popular community figure, who was originally cited as responsible for the accident that took his life. Our firm was able to overcome the investigating officer’s failure to property assign fault to the responsible party, and achieve recovery for this family.
No one ever chooses to be the victim of someone else’s negligence. No one chooses to rack up medical bills, lose wages, or experience pain and limitations. But you can choose to ensure that you collect what you deserve from the negligent party. Wallace & Graham has an experienced intake department, medical department, investigative paralegal staff, and attorneys who have excelled in handling catastrophic cases. Our experienced staff work daily with insurance companies, Medicare, and other medical providers to help our clients recover fair compensation.
In addition to the benefit of our experience and tenacity, when you retain Wallace & Graham you will also receive individual attention from a compassionate North Carolina injury lawyer and professional legal staff who will stand beside you every step of the way. Call us today at 800.849.5291 for a free consultation or email us.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
Generally, in order to be entitled to a recovery against another, you must have 1) suffered an injury to your person or property, and 2) your injury must have resulted from someone else's negligence, recklessness, or an intentional act.
Unfortunately, North Carolina is one of only a few states left in the country that permits the person that harmed you to claim a defense called “contributory negligence.” Under contributory negligence case law, if the insurance company can show that you were at fault, even in the slightest degree (even just 1% at fault), this could potentially prevent any recovery. Our firm has worked tirelessly for years trying to persuade our legislators to change this unfair law. If you have a significant injury, our firm recommends that you immediately contact our firm and we will advise you on your options.
An insurance adjuster has offered me a settlement. How do I know if it’s fair?
Many wonder if it is worth it to hire an attorney. In many cases, the insurance adjuster seems friendly and willing to help, and some want to avoid the stigma or headache of hiring an attorney. It is important to remember that insurance adjusters’ job is to save their company money by paying out the minimal amount on every claim.
Studies show that statistically, claimants increase the settlement value of their claim significantly when they hire qualified attorneys.
Just like any other professional whom you may hire for services, an attorney does receive payment for their work; however, your attorney will only be paid if your case is won or settled by receiving a designated percentage of the award or settlement.
Why would I need a lawyer to represent me?
In almost all cases involving serious injury or death, our firm would recommend that a lawyer be retained. These claims often involve complicated issues concerning liability, damages, liens, and future care. In certain cases, trusts, annuities, or other alternatives should be investigated. Our firm has a medical department of very experienced staff and attorneys who have for decades negotiated with insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and medical providers to reduce liens and to insure that a settlement does not affect other benefits our clients may be currently receiving or entitled to in the future. And of course, our experience of having resolved hundreds if not thousands of personal injury claims over the years, guides us in our recommendations of what is a fair and just recovery.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
This is an impossible question to answer without more details about the individual claim. In North Carolina, if we are not able to settle the claim prior to the statute of limitations running, the claim must be filed in court within three years of when the accident occurs or two years if there is a wrongful death claim. The average time it takes to settle the claim depends on many factors including the seriousness of the injuries, the duration of medical treatment, the future medical costs to be incurred, the timely response of providers and others to provide needed medical, wage and other information, and the cooperation of the insurance carriers. The most disturbing delays that our firm encounters come from the failure of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as insurance carriers and health care providers to provide our medical department with the detailed information we need to resolve liens despite our consistent efforts to obtain this information.
How much will you charge to represent me?
Wallace & Graham works on a “contingency-fee” basis, meaning our firm gets paid a percentage of any total settlement obtained or verdict awarded in your case. The percentage of attorney fee differs depending on the type and nature of the case and other factors. The fee percentage is typically 33 1/3 percent. We do not recover costs or fees if we are unable to obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Each State has “statute of limitation” laws which place limits on how long one can wait to file a personal injury lawsuit. Each type of lawsuit (wrongful death, personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, etc.) has different statute of limitations that applies. These SOLs can range from 1 years to 10 years, depending on various state laws and the type of claim. Generally, in North Carolina, personal injury actions must be brought within three (3) years of the date when the bodily harm was or should have been apparent. A North Carolina wrongful death action must be brought within two years of the date of death. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn how long you have to file your claim. If a claim is not timely filed, you may be denied any recovery.
I was in a car accident. What should I do?
The facts of each case are different; however, generally, there are many things that you should do, and time is of the essence. You should:
- Report the accident to the highway patrol or local police immediately;
- Do not speak with an insurance adjuster or investigator, unless your attorney is present;
- Do your own investigation!
- Take photographs of the automobiles involved
- Take photographs of the scene
- Take photographs of the roadway involved in the collision
- Take photographs of your injuries
- Record your recollection of the circumstances of the injury, including weather conditions, estimated speed of travel, witnesses to the collision, any and all potentially relevant details in your memory;
- Record any statements of the individual who harmed you, or any witnesses to the collision
- Start a journal that addresses any pain, thoughts, feelings, stresses related to the injury
- If you were injured, seek prompt medical treatment for any injuries;
- Ask for the police report for your accident;
- Advise your employer, especially if the car accident was related to your employment;
- Seek legal counsel to determine whom you may have a right of legal action against, and to determine if the circumstances of your injury may result in recovery, compensation, or the need for an attorney.