Your attorney should have consulted with you about the amount of your claim before presenting it to the insurance company. What if he/she failed to make demand for enough money? You should demand to know or find a new attorney right away.
Many times some source of insurance may be overlooked. You should consult an attorney about fling suit and conduct discovery. There may be uninsured motorist coverage or possibly an umbrella policy you are not aware of at this time but may be discovered in filing the case.
Union county is where the clerk has your case file. If you want it moved to a different county you will need to file a motion to change the venue. Until it is changed you will need to file motions in Union.
The best way to compel the attendance of a witness who has relevant information to your case is to issue a subpoena to appear at the hearing. There is a procedure for taking a deposition through written questions, however, most attorneys do not use this procedure because it is quite cumbersome. When you issue questions and serve them on the other party, then that party also is allowed to issue written questions to the witness. The other party may also interpose objections to the questions you...
It is difficult to recover on claims where there is a gap in treatment. However, I would take this case on a contingent fee and find a doctor who will work on a lien. Your belief that you would get better, your use of over the counter medicines, and no history of similar injuries before the wreck will help you prevail.
North Carolina is a contributory negligence state which means any negligence on your part would bar your claim. You should have determined the cap was loose to protect yourself from injury. The McDonald's coffee case would never have resulted in a valid claim in North Carolina.
If there is a prior pending action in NJ, then you can file a motion in NC to stay the action until the NJ action has been heard by the court and a judgment entered. You can read about this in my book, "Kelso, North Carolina Family Law Practice, 2008."