North Carolina operates on the principle contributory negligence. What does that mean?
Contributory negligence maintains that if a person contributes to their own injuries in any way, they are not entitled to any compensation. Simply stated, contributory negligence is a common law defense that is used when people file personal injury claims based on negligence. This defense asserts that when plaintiffs have been injured due to their own negligence, they are responsible for any damages they may have incurred.
This means that if victims are even minutely responsible for causing an accident, they cannot obtain monetary compensation for their injuries, property damage, trauma, pain or suffering. In other words, if you are injured in an auto accident in which another party is 99% responsible for your injuries, and you are 1% at fault, you are still not entitled to any compensation because you contributed to your auto accident injuries.
How to Respond in a Contributory Negligence Situation
Many believe that this system is outdated and unfair for the victims of another’s wrongdoing, but unfortunately, this is the way that personal injury cases will continue to be represented in the state. For this reason, if you have been injured by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, it is imperative that you keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost, you should refrain from speaking to anyone about the circumstances of the accident in which you were injured, including the other party and their insurance company. Instead, you should consult with an experienced lawyer immediately. In doing so, you may be better equipped to handle inquisitions from an insurance adjuster—which may directly contribute to the success of your case.
Secondly, it is crucial that you discuss everything with your attorney. Leaving something out may jeopardize your case in the future, so you should not hesitate to be honest with your lawyer about the circumstances that have caused the accident—even if you are unsure of whether or not your actions have contributed to your own injuries
How Our Firm Can Help
North Carolina is one of those few states that still adhere to contributory negligence. Often times, insurance companies will attempt to have you admit that the incident was partly your fault. An experienced Raleigh personal injury attorney from the Whitley Law Firm can assist you in your claim process and ensure that the right parties are held responsible.
Any admission of fault can severely affect any compensation received from being injured in an auto accident or in any situation related to personal injury law. Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult, and a Raleigh personal injury attorney can be a very helpful guide. For many people, the thought of hiring an injury lawyer gives the impression of large legal bills. However, the Whitley Law Firm offers a free consultation, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not take a fee unless we receive money on your behalf for your accident.
To better serve you, we have offices located in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. Contact us today to file a claim for compensation in your personal injury case.