Is North Carolina a No Fault State for Auto Accidents?
North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that use contributory negligence to assign fault in car accident cases.
As such, they are not a “no fault” state but is actually an “at fault” state. This is when it comes to paying damages for a car accident claim.
Due to North Carolina’s extremely strict driving laws, it is critical that you secure the services of an experienced car accident attorney if you suffer injuries on the road in a crash.
Learn more about the wide range of legal services the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Dawson & Albritton, P.A. provide for their clients in the Greenville area. Call or contact the office today to schedule a free consultation of your case.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is a system of assigning fault in an accident that causes one or more people personal injury. Under North Carolina law, the court assigns a degree of fault to every party involved in a car accident. If you are even one percent at fault for the crash, you might get bared from recovering compensation for your injuries.
This requires you as a driver to always obey the rules of the road. Also, to hire an extremely experienced attorney to represent your case. Drivers at fault will try and find any angle to prove you were slightly at fault for the accident. This allows them to avoid paying any damages for your injuries.
One common example of contributory negligence is if a driver is operating a vehicle five miles over the speed limit and is hit by another car making a left turn into their lanes of traffic. Because the first driver was slightly speeding, that person could be found slightly at fault and prevented from recovering any compensation for the damage caused by the accident.
Another common occurrence is if one driver fails to use a turn signal and is hit by a drunk driver on the road. If the drunk driver can prove that the lack of turn signal contributed to even a single percent of the accident, the injured driver could be barred from recovering compensation for their claims.
North Carolina as an At Fault State
One of the most common questions our offices receives is whether North Carolina is a no fault state? Unlike other states that operate under a no fault system, North Carolina is an at fault system when it comes to paying car accident claims. This means drivers responsible for a car accident must pay damages to any other driver, passenger, or property owner with injuries as a result of the crash.
This applies to economic damages caused by the accident as well as noneconomic damages. Economic damages include payment for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and the loss of future income and benefits.
Noneconomic damages include compensation for harm like pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, disability, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Compensation for injuries from an accident in an at fault system can come to you in a couple of different ways. An injured driver can file a claim with their own insurance company for damages. They will then pay the claim and go after the at fault party’s insurance company for restitution.
An injured person can also file a claim with the at fault driver’s insurer for compensation. Also, they can skip straight to filing a lawsuit for damages. An experienced car accident attorney can review your case. They will advise you on the best way forward to collect compensation for your claims.
Talk to Our Office Today
Call the office or contact us today at Dawson & Albritton, P.A. in Greenville if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in North Carolina. Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable car accident attorneys. They will review the facts of your case and learn more about your legal options.