Laws governing trucking accidents can often be complicated and sometimes unfair – and that’s even more true in North Carolina.
What happens in North Carolina if you’ve been in a trucking accident and you are partially at fault?
North Carolina is a “contributory negligence” state, one of only four states and the District of Columbia to follow such a rule. This is an extreme law that prohibits you from recovering any damages if you are even 1 percent at fault for the accident.
For example: Let’s say you are driving and someone takes a left turn right in front of you, forcing a crash. It would seem that the driver who took a left turn was to blame, right? But if you were found to be going over the speed limit, or texting while driving, you would share in the fault. Therefore, you would not be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
This law doesn’t only apply to judges and juries. It also applies to insurance adjusters. Without an experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf, the insurance adjuster will do everything he or she can to place a portion of the blame on you and deny your claim.
What makes matters even more convoluted is that there is no specific set of guidelines for assigning fault, so it’s up to you or your attorney to negotiate with a claims handler or persuade judge or jury.
There are a few exceptions to the contributory negligence rule, but they’re not easy to explain. These include:
- When minor children are involved
- When the trucker had the “Last Clear Chance” to avoid the wreck
- Gross negligence (DUI, extreme recklessness, etc)
When it comes to trucking accidents, there’s usually even more at stake. Why? Because the injuries are often more severe and the damage is often more extensive. Often, when you’re involved in an accident with a semi, you’re dealing with a large trucking company and an even bigger insurance company. This is why it is even more crucial to convince a judge, jury or insurance adjuster that you were not at fault.
Without an attorney, it will be very hard for someone involved in a trucking accident to understand the intricacies of the case. Robert Armstrong has more than 30 years of experience handling only personal injury cases. He is uniquely suited to handle your case. If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, contact the office of Robert Armstrong today.