Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You Get Compensation for Your Losses

Car accidents are a major cause of serious injuries and deaths, leaving survivors emotionally traumatized and dealing with devasting physical, mental, and financial effects. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a crash, you may be facing long-term pain and suffering and mounting medical, hospital, and rehabilitation bills, at a time when you are unable to work. It is a difficult time for you and your family, and it’s hard to know where to turn.

Fortunately, there is help available to get your life back on track again from a Charlotte car accident lawyer at the Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or fault, we can take the burden off you. We’ll help you get compensation through an insurance settlement or a lawsuit that goes to trial.

A successful recovery in your car accident case can alleviate your financial problems and allow you to concentrate on your health and rebuilding your life. Our Charlotte car accident lawyers offer a free consultation. Let’s discuss the circumstances of your case to determine the best way to proceed. Call us today at (704) 377-3770 to get started.


Car Crash

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How Our Car Accident Lawyer in Charlotte Works for You


North Carolina laws regarding car accidents, insurance, and liability are complicated, and making mistakes or overlooking damages can be costly. Insurance companies are out for profit and have high-powered lawyers on staff who will try to get you to accept the lowest amount possible. When you have an attorney advocate for you, insurance companies are more likely to negotiate in good faith. They want to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial.

When you hire our Sumwalt Anderson car accident lawyers, you have an experienced legal team on your side to fight for justice and the settlement you deserve. We can help by:

  • Evaluating your losses and the circumstances of your car accident case to determine what a fair settlement amount would be
  • Making sure you get appropriate medical care and that all injuries are documented and bills are accounted for
  • Investigating the accident scene and gathering evidence such as photos and videos from traffic cameras and police and medical reports to show the defendants were at fault
  • Interviewing witnesses, police officers, and first responders
  • Filing all paperwork in accordance with deadlines, court requirements and North Carolina legal requirements
  • Hiring experts to reconstruct the crash scene and to testify as to what happened and who was at fault
  • Hiring experts to testify on the extent of your injuries, the suffering you are undergoing, and the care you may need in the future
  • Negotiating with insurance companies and their attorneys for a fair settlement
  • Building your car accident case and taking it to trial to advocate for you in front of a jury if necessary

Our car accident lawyers will do everything possible to work for your best interests, proceeding with due diligence and confidentiality and avoiding conflict of interest.

If the accident has resulted in the death of a loved one, we can file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. A wrongful death case is like a personal injury case where the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate files for damages, as the deceased can no longer do so. According to North Carolina Statutes section 28A-18-2, a wrongful death is one caused “by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.”

Damages Our Charlotte Car Accident Attorney Can Win for You

Damages are a term that refers to the injuries and losses you incurred in an accident and also to the award that compensates for them. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may receive a damage award through a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company.

North Carolina requires the following insurance coverage to legally operate a motor vehicle:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage of a minimum of $25,000.

North Carolina law (G.S. 20-279.21) also requires insurance coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists, as well as minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. If the at-fault party has no insurance, you would file your claim for damages with your own insurance company.

In a serious auto accident with major injuries, such as a brain injury or spinal cord injury, insurance may not be enough to cover your losses, and it may be necessary to file a lawsuit for damages that go beyond insurance.

In a successful lawsuit, our Sumwalt Anderson car accident lawyers can win a damage award that compensates you for both your economic damages, which have a specific monetary value, and your less tangible noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may be available as well.


Economic damages, also called special damages, are to cover your monetary costs, including:

  • Medical, rehabilitation, and continuing care bills
  • Lost wages and lost future wages, if you are unable to work
  • Property damage and other monetary losses.


Non-economic damages, also called general damages, are more subjective and without a specific dollar value, so they are often subject to negotiation. They can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and mental stress and anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium and negative impacts on personal relationships
  • Scarring
  • Permanent injury and loss of limbs.

While economic damages pay your bills, non-economic damages benefit you directly to compensate for the negative effects of the accident. The amounts received for non-economic damages are usually higher than payments for economic losses. While no amount of money can make up for extreme suffering, the compensation will help you and your family lead a better life without the burden of financial worries.


In some rare situations, North Carolina law allows punitive damages above and beyond compensatory damages. Punitive damages are for the purpose of punishing egregiously wrongful acts and serving to deter such acts from happening again. The most common situation in which punitive damages are awarded are accidents in which the at-fault party was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. punitive damages cannot exceed the greater of three times compensatory damages or $250,000. Since pain and suffering can be compensated in North Carolina, you should keep a journal and take relevant photographs and videos to document how the injuries have negatively impacted your life.


If you are filing a case for wrongful death of a loved one, you may recover damages that include:

  • Reimbursement for expenses for care, treatment and hospitalization due to the injuries before the individual died
  • Compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses
  • The present and expected monetary value of the deceased person, including net income, services, protection, care and assistance, society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice
  • Punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death through malice or willful or wanton conduct
  • Other damages a jury might find.

Amounts of Damage Awards Car Accident Lawyers Can Win


When you contact our Charlotte car accident lawyers, we will evaluate your individual situation and have an idea what your case may be worth. Factors to be considered include:

  • Your age, health and physical condition before the accident
  • The type, extent and effects on your life of your injuries and whether they will be permanent and require continuing care
  • Whether you will be able to work in the future and what your earning capacity would have been if the accident had not occurred
  • The costs of your bills and treatment and necessary modifications to your home and vehicle
  • The amount of property damage and lost wages
  • The circumstances of the accident and available proof of liability and damages
  • The availability of insurance and assets of the defendants
  • The sympathy of the individual judge and jury involved
  • The skill of your lawyer and ability to negotiate a settlement or litigate your case.

Our car accident attorneys will discuss these factors and how they affect your case. We will then have a better idea of what range of settlement offers it would make sense to accept, as well as whether you should consider taking the case to trial.

How Car Accident Attorneys in Charlotte Can Prove Negligence

To win your case, our Sumwalt Anderson car accident attorneys must prove that another party — the defendant in the case — was negligent or at fault for causing the injuries you received. There are certain legal elements that must be proved, as follows:

  • Duty: The defendant owed you a reasonable duty of care not to cause harm. In car accident cases, drivers have a duty to be careful and follow the rules of the road to avoid injuring others.
  • Breach: The defendant breached this duty by actions or failure to act. This breach could be by doing something they should not have done, such as running a red light, or by failing to do something, such as failing to turn on lights when driving at night.
  • Cause: The defendant’s breach caused your injuries. For example, because the defendant ran a red light and crashed into your car, you were left with brain and spinal cord injuries.
  • Damage: You suffered damages as a result of the car accident, including property losses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You must be able to show proof of the damages you suffered, so it is important to save documents such as your medical and therapy bills, past pay stubs to prove wage loss, and receipts for all care and expenses pertaining to your injury and property damage.

Our Attorneys Deal With North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence Laws


Unlike most other states, North Carolina operates under the contributory negligence doctrine.  This means that if you are even one percent responsible for the car accident, you will not be eligible to recover compensation for damages. Our attorneys will fight to show that you are not responsible and the defendant was completely at fault.

Fortunately, there are some situations where the other driver is almost always at fault. These include:

  • Rear-end collisions, where someone hits you from behind. Drivers are required to drive at a distance and speed where they can stop their vehicle safely in an emergency.
  • Left-turn accidents, where you were going straight and the other driver made a left turn in front of you. Drivers making a left turn must wait until they can safely complete the turn before moving in front of oncoming traffic.
  • The driver who hit you was found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The driver violated right-of-way rules, including a pedestrian’s right of way.
  • The driver was driving on the wrong side of the road.

In other situations, when fault is not immediately obvious, we will gather evidence and use the help of experts to reconstruct the accident to determine that the other party was at fault.

FAQS About Car Accidents

The following are answers to some questions our clients often ask our car accident attorneys:

During our representation of those who suffer brain injuries in an accident, our Charlotte personal injury lawyer fields a few common questions, including the following.

  • Is North Carolina an at-fault state?

    North Carolina is a “fault state,” which means the party found to be at fault in an accident is responsible for paying for any property damage and personal injuries. The at-fault party’s car accident liability insurance may cover this, or you may go beyond insurance and go after the party’s assets.

  • Is there a time limit for filing a lawsuit?

    North Carolina has a statute of limitations, which is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. This is generally a three-year period following the date of the accident or from the date you became aware of or should have become aware that there were grounds for a lawsuit. If you do not file on time, the courts will probably refuse to hear your case.

  • Does the statute of limitations apply to insurance claims?

    No, the statute of limitations applies only to lawsuits. However, filing an insurance claim before your eligibility to file a lawsuit runs out is advantageous as it allows our attorneys plenty of time to build your case should negotiations with insurance fail.

  • Should I accept a quick settlement from the insurance company?

    Insurance companies will often make a low offer in return for settling the claim quickly. This is usually less than your case is worth, and once you sign a release, you will not be able to receive anything additional if your injuries get worse in the future. Our attorneys will calculate all damages and evaluate all offers to see if they are fair and negotiate further if they are not.

Some Car Accident Injuries Result in Workers’ Comp Claims

When people think about injuries on the jobsite, they may pay close attention to falls or accidents involving large machinery. Any such injury related to one of these situations could result in long-term health issues. However, a potential job-related injury that happens with more frequency and that deserves more attention relates to a car accident.

When you are driving a car for work, even if you are driving a personal car, you have the right to seek a workers’ compensation claim after an injury accident. Car accidents can result in extremely serious injuries, leaving victims unable to return to work in the near future. As long as you are performing work-related duties at the time of the car accident, you may be able to receive money for your injuries and lost work time through workers’ comp.

Our Team Understands the Challenging Circumstances in Job-Related Car Crashes

One thing to note about car accident cases involving work is that it doesn’t matter if you or someone else caused the vehicle accident. Even in an accident that was your fault, you still could potentially receive reimbursement through workers’ compensation should you end up with medical bills or missed time at work.

A challenging aspect of filing a workers’ comp case after a car accident is that your employer may balk at the idea that you were performing work-related duties at the time of the crash. The employer may try to claim you were running personal errands or were driving the company car without permission from your boss. Our workers’ compensation lawyer at Sumwalt Anderson knows how insurers try to treat victims in accidents like this. When you choose to hire us, we will stand up for your rights and bring the facts to the insurer, seeking the best possible outcome.

Client Testimonial

”Mr. Rick Anderson and staff, particularly Melissa, were professional and welcoming. Mr. Anderson prepared us for each phase of the case. He spoke directly to my daughter and I and made us feel comfortable with the questioning process. He was a true advocate for our situation and went out of his way to ensure that we were well taken-care of. He respected us for what we knew and educated us on the information needed to progress through the challenging court system. I would utilize the services of Sumwalt Anderson again and highly recommend them to anyone injured in an accident.” – JoAndrea Costner (Google Review)

Attorney Richard Anderson

Richard “Rick” Anderson is a native Charlottean. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 and his Juris Doctorate law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1993. Rick focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, medical negligence, and catastrophic personal injury cases. You will find Rick to be an honest and dedicated advocate ready to fight for his clients. When he accepts your case, Rick makes a personal commitment to you and uses his 27 years of knowledge and experience to advance your lawsuit to achieve a successful outcome. [ Attorney Bio ]

millionRecovered on behalf of a gentleman (plaintiff/client) who was working as a vinyl window installer on a metal ladder when the ladder struck a live electrical wire. Learn more.
millionRecovered negotiated on the behalf of our client who was rendered a paraplegic due to a spinal fracture after falling from a roof in the course and scope of his employment as a construction worker. Learn more.
millionRecovered for a construction worker from Texas who suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury following a fall from a roof while working on a job site in Charlotte, NC. Learn more.
millionRecovered on behalf of our client who sustained a spinal cord injury in the course and scope of his employment as a production worker in a manufacturing plant. Learn more.
millionRecovered on behalf of the gentlemen (plaintiff/client) who sustained an injury when he slipped and fell on an icy ramp during his employment. Learn more.
millionRecovered on behalf of a client who was injured in the course and scope of her employment as a nurse when attacked by a patient. Learn more.

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    Call Our Car Accident Attorneys in Charlotte for Help


    At Sumwalt Anderson, we know North Carolina law, the judges, and the system, and have the resources necessary to achieve successful outcomes for our clients. We handle all the paperwork, processes, and legal hurdles required with a car accident claim, so you can concentrate on your recovery. Our legal team prepares diligently for mediation and litigation, and we have a well-deserved reputation of not settling claims until our clients are paid everything they are entitled to.

    We strive to provide superior representation tailored to the specific needs of each client, and we always treat our clients, adversaries, and professional peers with dignity and respect. We will be there to answer your questions and concerns at all times.

    We offer a free consultation, and you do not have to pay anything unless and until we win your case. Call us today at (704) 377-3770 so we can get started working for justice and the settlement you deserve while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found.