What Makes a Driver “At-Fault” in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, if your actions contributed even one percent to the overall occurrence of an accident, you’re at fault.
The State is one of the most severe and unforgiving when it comes to a fault in traffic accidents.
North Carolina enforces a “shared fault” or “contributory negligence” rule, which means that no one can claim monetary damages for the accident if more than one party is at fault.
How Is Accident Fault Determined In North Carolina?
North Carolina’s contributory negligence law binds judges and juries when deciding who committed any fault in an accident and how much money a wronged party should receive.
When determining who is at fault in the traffic accident, the court will evaluate if the driver broke any road rules. So, for example, if Driver A merges lanes and hits Driver B if Driver B was speeding at the time of the accident, they share fault for the accident.
The court does not assign percentages to a fault, but you can think of it as even if you’re only 1 percent at fault for the accident, you still will not recover any damages. This harsh law applies even if you or anyone else in the car suffered personal injuries.
If the court assigns any liability to you, this will affect your ability to recover damages with your car insurance company, as well.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been In A Car Accident In North Carolina?
If you’ve been in a traffic accident while driving in North Carolina, contact the Hyland & Padilla legal offices right away. Even if you feel the assignment of fault is clear cut, any slight disagreements over fault could result in your case ending up in court.
We offer free consultations to help you evaluate your case and what the proper next steps should be. We can analyze the evidence for you to work to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident, collecting witness statements and police reports.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may be able to collect monetary rewards for medical expenses, physical pain and mental suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages.
If you’ve been in an accident, schedule your consultation right away, as North Carolina enforces a statute of limitations of three years for personal injury lawsuits related to auto accidents and two years when death resulted from the traffic accident.