Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

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For those of you planning to file a personal injury lawsuit or make an injury-related insurance claim, chances are your own injury and recovery is your sole concern. However, it can be helpful to take a look at a variety of personal injury cases and examine the unique factors that can influence each one.

Sometimes called ‘tort law,’ personal Injury law permits the injured plaintiff to receive compensation in the event that they are harmed as a result of another person(s)’ intentional actions or negligence. This means that there are countless ways for personal injuries to occur. In fact, the CDC last reported over 32,000,000 injuries in 2015 but, not all of these qualify under personal injury law. Below, we explore the most common types of personal injury cases within the United States.

Motor Vehicle Crash Cases
It has been estimated that each year over 32,000 people are killed and another 2,000,000 injured due to automobile accidents. For 2015, North Carolina only reported more than 265,000 traffic accidents resulting in 130,137 injured people. In addition, for age groups 10 to 65+, “Motor Vehicle Occupant” is listed as the 4th to 5th leading cause of nonfatal injuries treated in hospital emergency departments.

It goes without saying that personal injuries cases involving auto accidents and vehicle collisions are the most common type in the US. Most vehicle accidents happen because the driver(s) fail to follow the rules of the road. Broken road rules often include not wearing a seat belt, improperly buckle child seat or belt, driving while drunk or intoxicated, speeding, and distracted driving (using a device or texting).

When a car accident claim has been made, the driver who is found guilty will be responsible for reimbursing the damages that were caused as a result of the car accident typically through their insurance. Sometimes, however, there may be exceptions in states enforcing no-fault laws, where the driver(s) will be responsible for collecting from their own insurers unless the cases meets the set threshold. North Carolina and West Virginia do not have no-fault auto insurance laws.
Before pursuing a lawsuit for motor vehicle crash injuries, we recommend consulting with an experienced auto accident lawyer near you.

Slip and Fall Cases
Unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury and “slip and falls” are the second most common type of personal injury case. By rule of law, property owners (and, in a few cases, renters) are legally obliged to keep their property safe and hazard-free, so that visitors do not become injured easily. That being said, not every injury occurring on the property will cause the landowner to be liable. Other slip and fall case involve an employee being injured on-the-job. In these cases, the employers might be sued for inadequate safety equipment, lack of safety protocol, hazardous work environment, or a number of other negligences.

Medical Malpractice Cases
While the law cannot and does not expect them to be flawless, doctors and medical professionals can be held responsible if the kind of care they provide falls below the accepted standards. In such cases a viable medical malpractice claim may be made. Not only are medical malpractice claims one of the most common, they are also some of the most complicated cases.

There is no need to take on such a challenge only, especially if you are still recovery from injury. Find a medical malpractice lawyer to come sit with you and discuss your options.

Defective Products Cases
When any consumer product (be it a medicinal product, a vehicle, a piece of machinery, or a food item) is designed or produced in a way that renders it unsafe and happens to injured an individual, the injured party can bring a claim of “products liability” against the manufacturer of the goods. The latter may be held responsible for reimbursing both physical and financial damages.

Injuries happen for many reasons but, when an injury is due to the actions of another person, you may be able to sue them under personal injury law. If you have read this article and believe you or someone you know might be the victim of a personal injury accident in Charlotte NC, contact our law firm. The Law Offices of William H. Harding will provide a free personal injury consultation in which a licensed lawyer will review a potential case and explain all available options.

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-vehicle-safety/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_nonfatal_injury_2015_1050w760h.gif
https://connect.ncdot.gov/business/DMV/DMV%20Documents/2016%20Crash%20Facts.pdf

Why You Should Always Seek Medical Treatment After an Accident

There are essential steps to take after a car accident and one of them is to seek out immediate medical treatment. Here’s a look at the top reasons why this step should not be overlooked.

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Identify Injuries
Being involved in a car accident does not always show immediate signs of injury. Even minor collisions can cause injuries that take time to surface. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, but the pain is not immediate. Whiplash can be very serious, leading to slipped discs and potential nerve damage. Many times, all the adrenaline of the moment will make some injuries seem more minor than they actually are. Then, when that adrenaline finally wears off, the pain sets in and you finally realize you’ve been injured.

Proof of Pain and Suffering
It’s easy for anyone to claim some type of injury that resulted from a car accident. However, in order to get compensated for that injury, there needs to be proof. Pain and suffering is something that needs to be identified and not just assumed. Pain and suffering can also linger long after an accident, so getting started on identifying the source of that pain and suffering right away is essential.

Better Safe than Sorry
There is nothing that can trump having good health. Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, some of which can severely impact an individual’s quality of life. Attending to an injury right away could prevent it from developing into a major injury in the future. That could make your life a whole lot easier. And if there is ever a need to file a lawsuit, having documentation of an injury is always a necessity.

Help Your Case
In any personal injury lawsuit, the more proof you can provide, the better your chances are of receiving a lucrative settlement. There is no telling what kind of health and medical issues will result from your auto accident. Starting out with a visit to your doctor is the first brick that goes into building your case. Failing to put that brick in place could topple your entire case.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding is ready to help your lawsuit by providing you with an experienced personal injury lawyer, who will focus on every single detail of your case. If you are involved in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of William H. Harding right away and we will advise you on the appropriate course of action to take.

Top 10 Things People Do To Hurt Their Criminal Case

When anyone is arrested, fear is a natural reaction. However, the next course of action is often very telling as to how the charges will unfold. Here is a look at 10 things people should refrain from doing in the midst of their criminal case.

Criminal Law justice scale judgement

Don’t contact an attorney
The criminal process has a specific procedure and a criminal defense attorney will advise you on the proper course of action to take. Acting on your own is a bona fide way towards incriminating yourself and damaging your own case.

Speak to an officer without an attorney present
Anything you say after an arrest will be used against you. No good can come from talking to an officer without a lawyer present. It is your right to have legal counsel, so make use of it.

Become hostile and uncooperative
No matter how frustrating your case may be, hostility will never help. It will tarnish your standing in the eyes of the court. It is better to stay silent and trust your criminal attorney.

Confess
It is the job of the prosecution to prove your guilt. Don’t do their job for them by confessing to anything. No matter what you are told by arresting officers, stay silent and wait for your lawyer before saying anything.

Retain a public defender
Public defenders have a backlog of clients, so the individual attention you’ll receive will be very limited. Make sure you retain a criminal defense attorney that will give you the time you deserve.

Discuss your case on social media
What you say on social media can provide a permanent piece of evidence that can be used against you. Even if you delete the post, there is always the chance that someone snapped a picture of it.

Be untruthful with your lawyer
Withholding facts or bending the truth to your lawyer will not help in any way. Your lawyer has an obligation to represent you, so be sure to reveal all the facts of your case.

Fail a drug test
There is always a chance a judge will require those on criminal charges to take a random drug test. Failing that test will significantly hamper your credibility.

Contacting witnesses
If you are charged with a crime, do not contact a complaining witness, even if it is just to extend an apology. Any contact could be viewed in a very negative light by a judge.

Allowing police to search your home
In order for police to search through any of your possessions, they must obtain a warrant. Don’t oblige unless you receive that warrant. A simple request from an officer is not enough.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding is ready to represent you no matter what kind of criminal charges you are facing. Also an experienced accident attorney, The Law Offices of William H. Harding will see to it that you have the best chance for success in your criminal case. There’s no reason to hurt your case by not legal representation. If you have a phone, you have a lawyer –William H. Harding.

The Difference Between a Good and Great Attorney

There is a lot that goes into the making of a good attorney, but why should anyone settle for a good lawyer when they can have a great one? Here are some of the things that separate a good attorney from a great attorney in Charlotte.

Calls
Good lawyers get back to you promptly and are pretty much readily available. However, great attorneys make your phone ring. There is an added peace of mind when your lawyer is calling you and it’s not always the other way around.

Value
Lawyer fees are not always cheap and a good lawyer will work for clients efficiently. They will do what is required of them. Great lawyers come up with ways to add value to their already efficient service. Clients then actually receive more than they paid for with a great lawyer.

Knowledge
A good lawyer will be well-versed in the specifics of the law, but great lawyers take that knowledge and bring it to life. That means understanding how to use that knowledge to bring success to each individual client.

Professionalism
Good lawyers will treat their clients with a high level of professionalism, but great lawyers that that to another level. That professionalism extends to identifying the specific needs and styles of each client. That allows a great lawyer to cater directly to each and every client.

Delivery
A good lawyer will work hard to deliver any promises that are made to clients. However, great lawyers do exactly what they say will do. Great lawyers deliver on their word while good lawyers merely attempt to deliver on their promises.

Comfortability
A good attorney proves to be comfortable in most settings, whereas a great lawyer is always confident. However, that confidence should not be confused with arrogance. And it is that confidence that allows great lawyers to become a presence in a roomful of people and not just someone who is in attendance.

Investment
Good lawyers care about their clients while great lawyers invest loyalty in their clients. This makes great lawyers more than just capable. They actually own their clients’ problems and do whatever is in their power to solve those problems.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding is committed to providing every client with great legal service. If you are seeking out a criminal defense attorney or personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, contact The Law Offices of William H. Harding today.

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Why Giving a Statement Can Hurt Your Criminal or Civil Case

Whenever you encounter any trouble with the law, remember that your words can come back to haunt you. No matter how much you might want to plead your case, always try to remember the value of silence. Here’s a look at how providing a statement devoid of legal counsel can hurt a criminal and civil case.

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False Confession
It may seem a little unbelievable that someone would confess to a crime that they didn’t commit, but police use scare tactics and intimidation to coerce false confessions out of innocent people. Some interrogations last for hours as investigators take advantage of a person’s duress, exhaustion, fear, and ignorance of the law in order to get a confession. If you are truly innocent, wait for a lawyer and let your criminal defense lawyer proceed accordingly. Also, keep in mind that police interrogators are permitted to use deceit in their questioning.

Self-Incrimination
You may be totally innocent of a crime, but any small detail can be used against you in court. In the event that someone’s house was robbed and you mention to interrogators that you did not like the victim, you immediately incriminate yourself and become a suspect. Minor statements like that can make you look guilty even when you are innocent. Refrain from making any statements and you will not have the chance to incriminate yourself.

Contributory Negligence
Statements do not have to be in the written form to hold up in court. Oral statements can also be used against you. Even if you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case, you could admit to some minor infraction on your part and that could keep you from getting any compensation. In civil cases where contributory negligence is proven, plaintiffs receive nothing in the state of North Carolina.

Lessens Chance of Recovery
When dealing with an auto accident, don’t feel as though you need to give a statement to insurance companies. These companies are looking for ways to get out of paying you and they know how to manipulate victims. It is always wise to consult an auto accident attorney first. A failure to do so automatically gives insurance companies the upper hand, while lessening your chances of recovery.

It helps to have an attorney speak for you and make sure there is no chance you will inadvertently damage your own case. William H. Harding is ready to stand by your side in both criminal and civil cases. The Law Offices of William H. Harding can walk you through the legal process from start to finish.

Contributory Negligence Rule Can Help Defendants in North Carolina

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The specifics of contributory negligence laws differ from state to state when it comes to personal injury cases. North Carolina is one of the states that still enforces contributory negligence to the exact doctrine. If contributory negligence is proven in a personal injury lawsuit, then the plaintiff is unable to recover any compensation at all.

Contributory negligence occurs when a plaintiff is at some kind of fault for his/her personal injuries. For example, someone might be driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit and is struck by another driver who ran a stop sign. The accident would appear to be the fault of the driver who ran the stop sign, but the other driver’s injuries may be intensified by the act of speeding. Therefore, the driver who ran the stop sign could claim contributory negligence on the other driver’s part.

In some states, the use of this tactic could greatly reduce the compensation that would be paid out by the driver who ran the stop sign. This would be on the basis that the other driver’s injuries could have been lesser if he/she was not speeding. However, according to NC Attorney William H. Harding, North Carolina has an all or nothing stance on contributory negligence. In North Carolina, if a plaintiff is proven to be at fault in some way, then the plaintiff is exempt from recovering any damages. The defendant will have to pay nothing in compensation.

Plaintiffs accused of contributory negligence sometimes make the plea that they were in danger and their actions were unavoidable. It is then ultimately up to the court to decide whether the plaintiff was displaying prudent behavior. But if the plaintiff was not behaving in a prudent manner, then the plaintiff will have to pay all medical expenses that were a result of their personal injuries.

Many other states have adopted a different stance on this issue which actually shares the fault among plaintiff and defendant. Those states award plaintiffs partial compensation under the doctrine of comparative negligence in which plaintiff and defendant share expenses. Nevertheless, North Carolina defendants who can prove contributory negligence will not have to pay out any personal injury compensation. Comparative negligence is not recognized in North Carolina.

If you are facing charges and are in need of an accident attorney in Charlotte or the surrounding area, contact The Law Offices of William H. Harding. With years of experience as a Charlotte injury attorney, William H. Harding will provide you with a top notch criminal defense services.

What to Do When You Are Pulled Over By a Police Officer

Mostly all of us are going to get pulled over by a police officer while driving at one time or another. When that does happen, here are some simple steps to follow to ensure your safety is maintained and your rights are protected.

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Remain Calm
Take a deep breath and relax. Any nervousness or anxiety could arouse suspicion and compel the officer to make the stop more difficult than it needs to be. Even if you are guilty of an offense, getting worked up is not going to help the matter.

Comply With Officer’s Request
On many occasions, officers let drivers go with a simple warning, presuming they are cooperative. Sometimes, compliance can be the difference between a warning and a ticket. You can even take the imitative by turning off your engine, lowering the volume of your radio and rolling down your window. Most times, officers are looking for some simple answers. Extending them some courtesy could enable you to receive some courtesy in return.

Do Not Reach For ID or Registration without Being Asked For It
Officers are taught to be suspicious. Any sudden movements on your part, such as reaching into your glove compartment, could make an officer fear the worst. Remember, plenty of officers have been killed during routine traffic stops. If an officer senses danger, the first act is usually to reach for his/her gun. That is the last predicament you want to be in during a traffic stop.

Do Not Be Hostile or Aggressive
Hostility and aggressiveness can only lead to trouble. They can lead to more citations and moving violations. Keep in mind that a good amount of officers do not issue tickets for every single offense during a traffic stop. Some even let you off with a warning.

If You Feel You Were Illegally Stopped Contact a Lawyer
Just because you get pulled over does not mean the officer is always right. There have been plenty of documented traffic stops that were completely unwarranted. Illegal searches also happen frequently as there are only certain situations that give officers the right to search your vehicle. If you feel as though your rights have been violated, contact an attorney immediately.

Thankfully, The Law Offices of William H. Harding is here to help motorists whose rights have been violated. If you find yourself in need of a criminal defense attorney, choose a Charlotte lawyer who will fight for you. The Law Offices of William H. Harding also specializes in auto accidents, wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits with a 96% success rate.

Why it’s Important to Know Your Rights after an Arrest

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When you are arrested, you have certain rights and it is important to know all of them so that you can exercise those rights appropriately. Using those rights could make a world of difference in how your case plays out. Here’s a look at how to utilize your rights.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Sometimes less is better and this is a prime situation where that applies. You should know that you are not going to talk your way out of an arrest, so don’t even bother trying. Furthermore, what you say could be used against you. Why give an arresting officer any more leverage than he already has? It’s best to remain silent and contact a criminal defense attorney who can do your talking for you.

Invoke Your Right to Contact an Attorney
This is part of your Miranda rights, but don’t wait for an officer to read those rights to you. Officers will not usually ask if you want an attorney, so it is up to you to invoke that right. You have the right to contact an attorney, but you need to express that. This is an unequivocal right and more courts are making it mandatory that this right is granted in a timely fashion.

Don’t Talk To Anyone
The time for talking will come, just be patient. The arresting officer and other members of law enforcement do not care about your predicament. Pleading your case to them is a waste of time and it could also cause you to say something incriminating. After invoking your right to contact an attorney, do not say anything to anyone. Remember, it’s your right to stay silent. Use it.

Officers Will Try To Elicit a Confession Out Of You
Officers use a whole bunch of different tactics to get you to say what they want to hear. Some will try to befriend you and nicely coax out a confession while others will attempt to scare you with promises of jail time if you do not confess. Keep in mind that their job is made easier when you confess and that is their only concern. You are not obligated to tell them anything. Disregard their attempts and wait for your lawyer.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding has years of experience handling all kinds of criminal defense cases in Charlotte. If you have been arrested and are in need of representation, contact The Law Offices of William H. Harding for the top criminal attorney Charlotte has to offer.
“If you have a phone, you have a lawyer”

Why You Should Speak With an Attorney After a Car Accident

Auto accidents can quickly develop into a legal battle in which insurance companies will use all their power to provide you with as small of a payout as possible. That is why it is important to speak with an attorney following an auto accident as it will provide you with the following advantages.

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Levels the Playing Field
Insurance companies will approach you like they are concerned about your best interests, but that is not at all the case. Following an accident, insurance companies are going to try to fast talk you into making a quick deal that seems good for you. Furthermore, the statements you make to insurance companies could be used against you. Saying the wrong things could actually give them sufficient reason to deny your claim. Hiring an auto accident attorney will level the playing field and take away any advantages the insurance company may have previously had over you.

More Financial Compensation
When someone is at fault in an accident, their insurance company is responsible to compensate you. They might offer to cover your medical expenses and it may seem like a good deal. But there is also the potential for you to receive compensation for any lost wages, future medical costs in addition to your pain and suffering. Hiring an auto accident attorney can get you substantially more in financial compensation.

Keeps You From Damaging Your Case
A car accident lawyer will advise you on what to say and, more importantly, what not to say. What might seem like an innocuous statement could actually wind up hurting your case. Speaking with an attorney will allow you to avoid making mistakes which could be costly. Remember that insurance companies train their adjusters to minimize payouts as much as possible, so they which angles to play.

Someone On Your Side
Car accidents can be traumatic events and leave you with a lot of stress afterwards. But you don’t have to go through this process alone. Having an attorney on your side will allow all your questions answered. You also won’t be forced to navigate through the legal process alone. And keep in mind that your accident attorney gets paid when you reach a settlement, so the two of you are in it together.

The Law Offices of William H. Harding can provide you with a personal injury lawyer that will see your case through to the end. Lean on years of experience and get the most out of your accident with the help of an injury attorney at the Law Offices of William H. Harding.

Important Factors That Could Affect Your Settlement

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When you are looking to make a settlement because of a personal injury, there are do’s and don’ts associated with the process. Here’s a look at some very important factors that could affect your final settlement.

Not Hiring an Attorney
If you are injured in an accident, it is highly unlikely that you will receive as much in compensation as you would with a personal injury lawyer working by your side. Insurance companies can outmaneuver ordinary people who are not well-versed in the finer points of the settlement process. Without an attorney helping you along the way, insurance companies will surely take advantage of you in some form or another. Not paying for an attorney now could cost you a lot of money in the long run.

Seeking Medical Treatment
Following an accident, seeking out medical treatment could make a huge difference in how much compensation you receive. It’s advisable to have a doctor conduct complete examinations and don’t hesitate to reveal even the most minimal pains and aches. If there is even the slightest symptom, go see a doctor about it and keep a record of it. Doctors may discover some injuries you were not privy to beforehand. Also, be sure to inform your injury attorney of every medical appointment you attend.

Going to Every Doctor’s Appointment
Keeping up with every doctor’s appointment and therapy session are like bricks that help build a solid case. On the other hand, missing those appointments will weaken the whole foundation of your case as opposing attorneys will use those absences against you. Be sure to make it to every doctor’s appointment and rehab session. They will all pay off in the end.

Using the Right Terminology
Many people get sore doing normal everyday activities. So, if you make the claim that you are sore, it is not direct enough. Describe your pain in its entirety and try to pinpoint the exact condition you are suffering from. The use of detailed descriptions of your pain will show that you have a genuine medical condition and are not just claiming to be hurt.

Residents of the Charlotte area can turn to The Law Offices of William H. Harding to help them receive the best possible settlements in their individual cases. With years of experience, The Law Offices of William H. Harding and their personal injury attorneys will get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.

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