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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Contributory Negligence Rule Can Help Defendants in North Carolina

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 North Carolina 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 Charlotte NC 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.


Reference:
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Statutes/StatutesTOC.pl

Monday, November 13, 2017

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. Charlotte's Law Offices of William H. Harding provides some information on what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

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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.

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.

Phoning lawyer, calling an attorney, If you have a phone you have a lawyer

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.


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.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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

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 or accident attorney in Charlotte 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 The Law Offices of William H. Harding, 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 injury attorney Charlotte has to offer.

Friday, September 15, 2017

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 a Charlotte personal injury attorney following an auto accident as it will provide you with the following advantages.

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 Charlotte 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 in Charlotte 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.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Important Factors That Could Affect Your Settlement

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 from The Law Office of William H. Harding in Charlotte


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 Charlotte injury lawyer 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  NC personal injury attorneys  will get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Public Attorney Versus Private Attorney

The decision to hire an attorney is an important one that could significantly impact the outcome of your claim or case. Before agreeing to terms, it is important to know the difference between public and private accident attorneys.

Public Attorneys

Public attorneys are court-appointed, which means there was no actual hiring done by the client. Public attorneys are not paid by clients, but are instead employees of the government. They are also paid much less than private attorneys, so the quality of work they produce may dim in comparison. There are also the heavy caseloads burdening public attorneys. They must take on multiple clients, which really makes it difficult to devote much time to each client.

Experience is often lacking among public attorneys. Many criminal defense lawyers start out as public defenders for the purpose of gaining experience. That means that a public attorney could be dealing with certain charges for the very first time. And in many instances, public attorneys are just trying to bring an end to a case so they can move onto the next one.

Private Attorneys

A private attorney is paid by you which means you receive much more time and effort. Clients are not just a number, but a priority. That allows private attorneys to put together a more comprehensive strategy that usually comes with a lot more vigor.

A private attorney also specializes in certain areas of the law. For example, if you are hurt in a car accident, you will want to seek out an auto accident attorney who has handled those types of cases in the past. This will enable the personal injury attorney to know a lot more about the process in addition to having a familiarity with the local court system, prosecutors and judges.

A private attorney is able to give you more face time and is not overwhelmed by droves of cases all at once. Public attorneys meet with their clients briefly, so it is impossible to get a grasp of every detail. A private attorney takes the time to examine each detail within your case, which makes for a more thorough plan of action.

In Charlotte The Law Offices of William H. Harding devotes time, energy and attention to each client. Whether you are looking for an injury attorney or a criminal defense lawyer, the Law Offices of William H. Harding is the top choice in all of Charlotte, NC.


Friday, June 16, 2017

What to Do After a Car Accident

Auto accidents are a part of everyday life and will affect pretty much everyone at one time or another. Here is a list of the things from The Law Office of William H. Harding in Charlotte you should do after being involved in an auto accident.


Make Sure Everyone Is Safe

The first priority in any auto accident is to ensure that everyone is safe. That includes you, your passengers, the other driver(s) and any passengers. Also, get out of harm’s way and prevent any further injuries. This includes getting clear of the vehicles if there is the chance of a fuel leak.


Call 911

It does not take a horrific accident to notify the authorities. Any trusted injury attorney will tell you it is important to have the local police document the accident. Never take the word of another driver, who could wind up claiming the accident never occurred. This is also the first step towards obtaining an accident report. 


Make a Record of All the Details

This starts right after the accident by taking pictures and getting any kind of statements from witnesses. You could easily record their statements on your phone and obtain contact information. Also, make an immediate note of everything that happened and you could even make an audio recording right there on the scene. Remember, no detail is unimportant. 

Seek Medical Attention

Just because you experience no immediate pain doesn’t mean you should not seek out medical attention. Not all car crash injuries provide immediate pain. The pain might not come until the next day. Injuries such as whiplash, nerve damage and spinal cord issues can worsen over time. That could lead to compensation in the future, but it is important to identify these problems right away. 


Obtain a Police Report

This is a crucial element in any auto accident claim. Having police document the accident is very important and you should get your hands on that report as soon as possible. Ask the officer on the scene how and when you can retrieve your police report. 


Contact an Attorney

There are a lot of finer points involved in an auto accident and it’s best to have an auto accident attorney lead you through the process. After you leave the scene of an accident, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney so that you may start using the best possible strategy


Do Not Speak To Insurance Companies

It is the job of insurance companies to settle as quickly and for as little money as possible. You are not required to say anything to them right away. Consult with your attorney before even considering having a conversation with an insurance company representative. 

The Law Offices of William H. Harding can start you down the right path following any kind of auto accident. For an experienced auto accident lawyer Charlotte, NC has to offer, contact the Law Offices of William H. Harding today and let the professionals steer you to compensation. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why Giving a Statement to the Insurance Company After an Accident Can Harm Your Case


Following any type of auto accident, it usually doesn’t take long for an insurance company to get involved. However, insurance companies are not going to be on the side of those who are injured. Their main job is trying to pay out as little as possible. That being said, there are many reasons not to give a statement to an insurance company following an accident.

In the event that an insurance adjuster demands that you give a statement, immediately decline and contact a Charlotte accident attorney. In accidents where you are a victim, you are usually dealing with another insurance company. They do not have your best interest in mind.

Obtaining a recorded statement will let the insurance company know exactly how to prepare a defense. It will also enable them to come up with a strategy that could offer a settlement lower than what you deserve. Giving a recorded statement is basically like showing your hand before you have to.

It is also important to note that not all injuries do not surface right after an accident. If you give a recorded statement and claim no neck pain, but then you start to experience neck pain two days later, your statement will make it appear as though you are lying. That could be extremely damaging to your case.

A statement given to an insurance company or adjuster is not made while under oath. Nevertheless, the insurance company can use that statement against you. Also, remember that whoever is taking your statement has done this before. As you speak, that person will be immediately looking for ways to twist your words to use them against you. Regular people are not accustomed to the intricacies within these kinds of statements.

When you are involved in an accident in which both parties have the same insurance company, you should still be wary. The insurance company may attempt to underestimate the value and basically turn against you.

Insurance companies are also looking to settle as quickly as possible, but you don’t have to submit to their pressure. Personal injury cases can be very detailed so your best move is to plead the fifth when asked for a statement and consult a personal injury lawyer.

If you are injured in a Charlotte auto accident, visit WilliamHHarding.com. It helps to have someone on your side, who will give you the chance to get what you rightfully deserve. The Law Offices of William H. Harding will see you through the entire personal injury process and make sure insurance companies do not take advantage of your claim.