The Defendant’s Case: Contributory Negligence and Assumption of Risk
An experienced personal injury lawyer can better explain to you the strength of your case, but if you have filed or want to file a personal injury claim, then you need to be aware how the defendant might combat your lawsuit. There are number of ways that a defendant can do this, and a couple of these tactics involve pointing the finger at you. In North Carolina especially, there is the high likelihood that a defendant will try to say that you are least in part responsible for the injuries you sustained.
If they can prove this, then your case could be over. This is because of “contributory negligence”. North Carolina is one of the few states where contributory negligence operates in personal injury cases. Usually, this means that if you are only 5 percent at fault, and the defendant is 95 percent to blame for the injurious accident, you cannot collect damages at all. If you want to file in this state, you need an outstanding personal injury attorney on your side. It is also imperative that you NEVER admit fault; even an apology can be misconstrued.
Even if the defendant cannot say that you are at all liable for the accident, then they might still say that you knowingly assumed risk because of what you were doing. So if someone suffered a concussion playing football, or if a fan was hit by a foul ball at a baseball game, then the defendant could say that you were harmed by something you knew could happen to you. Hits and foul balls are an integral part of the activity you participated in.
If you were playing basketball and were hurt by the backboard falling down on you, however, a defendant cannot say that you knowingly ran this risk of injury. Breaking backboards are not a risk that anyone knowingly assumes when they play basketball.
If you have any questions about filing a personal injury claim, contact the Whitley Law Firm. You can find the experience and dedication you deserve when you work with one of our Raleigh personal injury attorneys. Get started on your case today with a free case evaluation.