NC Personal Injury Attorneys Setting the Standard


Paul D. Coates

Partner (Member)

Paul Coates has 33 years of experience practicing civil litigation, primarily personal injury, products liability, wrongful death, insurance matters, and commercial litigation. For many of those years he also practiced insurance defense, although his practice has now developed into one representing mainly injured claimants. He practices in both State and Federal courts and is admitted to the U. S. Supreme Court Bar. He has extensive jury verdict experience. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer at seminars for lawyers and insurance adjusters, and was the Editor of the North Carolina Insurance Law Quarterly. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Practice Areas:

Insurance Coverage
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Personal Injury
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Litigation
Wrongful Death
Products Liability
Disability Claims

Bar Admissions:

North Carolina
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina


University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC, 1981 – J.D.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 1978 – B.S. (Magna Cum Laude)

Published Works:

The Carvel Touch, For the Defense (DRI publication), 1993
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Consideration of Multiple Policies, The Adjusters Report, Fall 1989

Sample Reported Cases:

Hunter v. Guardian Life Insurance Co., 162 N.C. App. 477, 593 S.E.2d 595 (2004)
North Carolina Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Allen, 146 N.C. App. 539, 553 S.E.2d 420 (2001)
Allstate Ins. Co. v. McCrae, 325 N.C. 411, 384 S.E.2d 1 (1989)
North Carolina Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hilliard, 90 N.C. App. 507, 369 S.E.2d 386 (1988)
North Carolina Baptist Hospitals, Inc. v. Mitchell, 88 N.C. App. 263, 362 S.E.2d 841 (1987)

Membership in Law-Related Organizations:

Greensboro Bar Association
North Carolina Bar Association
North Carolina State Bar
American Bar Association
American Association for Justice (AAJ)
North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ)
National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP)


AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell
North Carolina Super Lawyer®, 2008–2016
Best Lawyers in America®, 2008-2013

Legal Decisions of Interest

  • A recent opinion out of the Texas Supreme Court has recently been the subject of a lot of commentary around the insurance coverage and construction world. The case is Ewing Construction Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co., and it came before the Texas Supreme Court on certification of questions from the Fifth Circuit (Ewing Constr. Co. […]In cases involving construction defect claims (and potentially other types of claims), the insurance policy that is implicated is a very important issue.  The issue of whose policy and/or which policy is “on the risk” for a particular claim is most often referred to as “trigger of coverage”.  Some states’ laws allow all policies in […]
  • In connection with a discovery dispute between the parties, the Court of Appeals held that a blanket general objection asserted by the defendants based on “the attorney/client privilege, the work product doctrine, or any other applicable privilege or doctrine” was inadequate to effect the intended purpose of the objection. The Court noted that even though […]In a lawsuit involving a mobile home park tenant assaulted by another tenant, the Court of Appeals stated that although North Carolina law has recognized a landowner’s duty to exercise reasonable care to protect tenants from foreseeable third-party criminal acts, such a duty did not include a duty to evict a tenant, and although other […]
  • In a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the parents of a deceased child alleging that defendant doctors were negligent in failing to discover lacerations to the child’s liver at the hospital following a car accident, the Court of Appeals agreed that the parents’ expert witness’ testimony was not improperly speculative, even though the expert used […]The North Carolina Supreme Court “adopted” the reasoning of the dissenting Court of Appeals judge and hence held that the age of a lawful visitor injured on property naturally occurring (a creek), in and of itself, did not impose a higher standard of care on the property owner, because such a heightened level of care […]
  • In a product liability action involving a self-propelled wheelchair that caught fire, resulting in the house to catch on fire and burning Plaintiff’s decedent, the Court of Appeals held that the defense of “insulating negligence” (by which a defendant is insulated from liability by an independent act of another) does not apply where it is […]The Court of Appeals, asserting that it was following established law, declined to allow damages for the loss of a pet dog based upon a strong emotional bond the owners had with the dog, and instead damages were generally limited to the cost of “replacing” the dog, since the Court viewed the dog as merely […]
  • Although Plaintiff filed the Complaint without it being signed and ordinarily that would result in the action being deemed not to have been properly instituted, Plaintiff’s prompt remedial measures of filing an amended, signed Complaint corrected the deficiency, and the amended Complaint related back to the commencement of the action for purposes of timeliness. Estate […]

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Office Location

3203 Brassfield Road Greensboro, NC 27410
NC Personal Injury Lawyers