How Does North Carolina’s Fault Law Work?

Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are a source of stress no matter how big or small they are. Any collision can cause problems financially or physically. Even the most minor crash may cause enough damage to give you a serious headache.

When you get in an accident, the first thing you want to know is how the process will work. Will you get compensation if the other driver is found to be negligent? How much will it cost you in the meantime? Most states are either at-fault or no-fault when it comes to determining who has to pay up after an accident. North Carolina, however, is one of only three states in the country that has a strict contributory negligence law that governs who is responsible for what when an accident occurs. Take a look at some of the things you need to be aware of when it comes to being in a car crash in North Carolina.

North Carolina Looks for Contributory Negligence

When two vehicles collide, one is usually the responsible party. Perhaps they ran through a stop sign, turned sharply in front of oncoming traffic or changed lanes when there wasn’t room to do so. The at-fault party is typically the person who caused the accident through a misstep. In North Carolina, insurance companies look for contributory negligence when reconstructing an accident scene. This means they look for what both drivers did wrong. In the example where a driver runs a stop sign and hits another, while the person who ran the stop sign is clearly the cause of the accident, if the person they hit made one infraction, like didn’t turn the blinker on, the insurance company may assign a percentage of the fault.

If a Driver Contributed to the Crash, They Don’t Get Cash

Insurance companies want to find fault for both parties in an accident. Why? If contributory negligence is found, no matter how minor, the insurance company doesn’t have to pay a dime. Sticking with the stop sign example above, this means that since the vehicle that was struck was assigned a share of the negligence, they don’t get paid anything for the damage the other car caused by running the stop sign. This includes any medical issues that resulted. The only people who seem to win in contributory negligence cases are the insurance companies.

If you find yourself in a crash on North Carolina roadways, know that there is a chance you may not get compensation for your damage or injuries. It is a good idea to hire a car accident lawyer in Wytheville, VA immediately to help guide you through the process and give you your best chance at fighting against the insurance companies.

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into personal injury claims and car accidents.

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