An auto accident is the last thing you want to happen when you’re out on the road. But sometimes, it’s unavoidable — especially when someone else hits you. In such cases, you might think you’ll be able to receive damages since you weren’t the one who caused the crash. But is that truly the case?
Unfortunately, you might have trouble getting money after a North Carolina auto accident. The fault rules for the state are quite unforgiving. And sometimes, this means that you won’t have the right to sue, even when the other driver is almost entirely at fault.
Pure Contributory Negligence
North Carolina is just one of five states that use a pure contributory negligence standard to determine fault. This standard means you can only get compensation from the other driver if you have no responsibility for the crash. If you were even 1% responsible, the courts and the other insurance company would deny you money.
Different Than No-Fault
While this may sound like a no-fault system, North Carolina has an at-fault system. In a no-fault system, you must get compensation from your insurance policy first. You may sue the other driver afterward but only in limited circumstances.
However, when you get into a North Carolina auto accident, you may immediately sue the other driver. But because of contributory negligence rules, you might be denied by the court based on your responsibility.
This often forces you to file a claim with your insurance policy after getting into a North Carolina auto accident. Your insurance company might try to get money from the other driver’s insurance. But it will only do so if it can prove you weren’t responsible in any way.
Who Decides Fault?
Unfortunately, when you file an insurance claim, the insurance company determines the fault. And if you are trying to claim against the other driver’s insurance policy, their insurer will usually try to pin some of the blame on you. They only need to prove that you were slightly at fault, which makes it easy for them to have your claim denied.
However, you don’t have to accept this decision. Instead, you can hire a North Carolina auto accident lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer will investigate your North Carolina auto accident to collect evidence of fault. And unlike the insurance company, they are looking for evidence that supports your claim.
Of course, this scenario assumes you don’t sue the other driver. When you do so, the court determines fault. North Carolina Personal injury lawyers for both parties will present evidence, which the court will weigh against North Carolina driving laws.
If the court decides the other driver is 100% at fault, it will award you damages. Because the laws in North Carolina are so strict, lawyers will typically be very cautious about bringing a North Carolina auto accident case to trial.
Contact The Joel Bieber Firm After a North Carolina Auto Accident
Just because getting money after an accident in North Carolina is tricky doesn’t mean you don’t deserve that compensation. Contact The Joel Bieber Firm today, and we’ll determine your legal options.