Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: How does the law of contributory negligence play a role in my case?
North Carolina is one of few states that still follow the contributory negligence rule when awarding compensation in personal injury cases. Most other states have adopted the comparative negligence doctrine, which allows injured victims to recover damages even if they were partially at fault for their injury.
In North Carolina, however, you are barred from seeking any compensation if you bear even the slightest share of liability. However, the Victims’ Fair Treatment Act, new legislation introduced in North Carolina, could put an end to the state’s contributory negligence rule once and for all.
If you have been injured in North Carolina and are worried that you will not be able to recover damages because you were partially at fault for the accident, contact a Charlotte personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
North Carolina Could Put an End to the Contributory Negligence Rule
Currently, injured victims in North Carolina cannot recover damages after an accident when they are deemed even 1% responsible for their injuries. This is known as the contributory negligence rule.
However, North Carolina legislators introduced a bill that could level the playing field for injured victims who cannot seek compensation due to being partially at fault for their own injuries.
Senate Bill 477, which was introduced in April 2021, seeks to allow injured victims in personal injury cases to recover damages even if their own negligence contributed to the accident.
How Would the Victims’ Fair Treatment Act Work?
Here is what you need to know about the Victims’ Fair Treatment Act.
- The victim would be able to recover damages even if they were partially at fault. If the Victims’ Fair Treatment Act is signed into law, victims in personal injury cases would no longer be barred from recovering damages if they were in any way negligent in their accident.
- The victim’s compensation would be reduced according to their degree of fault. Under the Act, the injured victim would be entitled to compensation even if they were partially at fault, but their compensation would be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
- The victim would be barred from recovering damages if their fault is greater than the defendant’s. Plaintiffs would be able to recover damages as long as their own degree of negligence does not exceed the other at-fault party’s percentage of fault (or the combined percentage of fault of multiple liable parties).
Speak With a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney
Here at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have witnessed firsthand how many injured North Carolinians were not able to seek any compensation for their injuries due to the outdated contributory negligence rule.
Nonetheless, our personal injury attorneys have been able to help many injured victims across North Carolina to get the compensation to which they are entitled.
If you have been injured and the insurance company refuses to pay because it claims that you contributed to your injury, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss your options. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our lawyers to help you get compensation for your claim. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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