Determining Fault in a North Carolina Car Accident

Attorney Brian Davis | 888-592-5071 | Free Consult

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How do the authorities determine who is at fault for a North Carolina car accident?

Brian Davis is an injury attorney with Davis Law Group, P.A. in Asheville, North Carolina. In this Quick Question, he explains that North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state, which can affect a car accident claim.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-592-5071 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.

North Caroline is a pure contributory negligence state.

Pure contributory negligence refers to the legal doctrine in some states where an injured party decided to be even 1% at fault for the accident is not eligible to receive compensation for their damages.

For example, someone injured in a trucking accident may have a claim against the truck driver and trucking company, but if the trucking company’s insurance and legal teams can prove that the injured person is even partially at fault for the accident, then the company will not be required to pay any of the injured party’s damages.

There are many issues with this practice, but one primary issue is that it isn’t difficult to prove that the injured party also shares fault. Anything the injured party says at the scene of the accident, over the phone, or to anyone involved in the incident can be twisted around to use against them in court, freeing the truck driver and company from liability.

It is vital to refrain from discussing your case with anyone, including insurance companies.

Davis presses the advice to avoid giving any kind of statement regarding the accident, and to avoid recorded statements at all costs. Even something as simple as a phone conversation could be used against you in court to dismiss your right to compensation.

Something as simple as a blanket apology or acknowledgment that there was something you could have done differently at the scene could be taken as an admission of fault in pure contributory negligence states, and it could disqualify you from receiving the compensation you deserve for your damages. The best way to protect yourself in this situation is to allow an attorney to communicate with any insurance companies or interested parties on your behalf. All you have to do is take down the contact information of the adjuster you’re speaking with and let them know that your attorney will be in touch.

To learn more, contact Brian Davis directly by calling 888-592-5071 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Video Transcript:

Leslie Rhode:

I'm Leslie Rhode with a Quick Question from AskTheLawyers.com.
How does accident fault work in North Carolina? We ask attorney Brian Davis.

Brian Davis:

Accident fault is kind of tricky in North Carolina, and the reason for that is, we are what is called a pure contributory negligence state.

So what does that mean?

Well, in a truck wreck case, the injured person has a claim against the truck driver and the truck company for negligence. In other words, they were not acting reasonably under the circumstances. But in North Carolina, the insurance carriers who ensure the driver and the company like to flip that around and point the finger back at the injured person and they say, "Yeah, we were probably not as careful as we should have been, but you injured person, you didn't do everything you should have done either," and in North Carolina, if they can show that the injured person was even one-tenth of 1% at fault, just a tiny, tiny bit, then they won't pay and they don't have to pay in North Carolina. So it's super important in North Carolina that people who've been involved in these crashes not give statements, recorded statements. Videotape statements, even just talking on the phone to an insurance carrier or an investigator following one of these crashes, because they will literally use your own words against you.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

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