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How Can the Contributory Negligence Law Affect a Personal Injury Case?

 Posted on November 19, 2020 in Personal Injury

Wake County personal injury attorney

If you were hurt in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another incident caused by the negligent actions of another party, you may be interested in filing a personal injury claim. An injury claim may allow you to recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages caused by the accident. North Carolina personal injury lawsuits are subject to the state’s laws regarding “contributory negligence.” It is important to learn about how this law may affect your eligibility for damages.

Shared Liability for an Injury-Causing Accident

Many different elements can cause a person to be injured in an accident. Sometimes, the injured person’s own actions caused or contributed to the severity of his or her injuries. Personal injury claims involving shared fault are handled differently depending on the applicable state laws. North Carolina is one of the few states that follow a legal doctrine called “contributory negligence.” This means that you are not entitled to any damages if your injuries were caused by your own negligence. Even if your actions were only 1 percent the cause of the accident, you are typically barred from recovering compensation. However, your negligent actions must have contributed to your injuries in order for this negligence to prevent you from collecting damages. If you acted recklessly but this behavior did not cause or worsen the injury-causing accident, your negligence does not prevent you from recovering damages.

Reasonable Person Standard

When determining whether or not a claimant acted negligently, courts use a theoretical standard often referred to as the “reasonable person” standard. This means that the claimant’s actions are compared to what the average person probably would have done in the same circumstances. If you bring a personal injury claim after being injured, the defense may try to argue that your actions contributed to your accident in order to evade liability for your injuries. This is one reason that hiring an experienced, skillful personal injury attorney is so important in North Carolina. Your attorney may be able to present arguments and evidence that demonstrates the defendant’s negligence and your own blamelessness.

Contact a Raleigh, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

The talented and compassionate Wake County personal injury attorneys at the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC understand how North Carolina’s laws regarding negligence and fault can impact your claim. Our team can build a strong case and advocate on your behalf throughout the personal injury claim process. Call us today at 1-844-YO-PELEO or 844-967-3536 to schedule your free consultation. Hablamos Español.


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