What is Contributory Negligence?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: How does the law of contributory negligence play a role in my case?


Vehicle accidents happen quite often. Although most accidents are minor, some crashes are severe and result in serious injuries. The person responsible for the accident should pay for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An accident can cause you and your family a lot of strife and you certainly do not want to pay high medical bills when the person who caused your injuries is not held responsible. A qualified attorney will help you with the process of obtaining money from the negligent party.


Car-accident-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-car-accident-attorney-300x217What is Negligence?


Negligence is the failure to act with ordinary care in a manner that is not in accordance with how a prudent person would act under the same circumstances. It may also be the failure to act when action should have been taken. Negligence occurs when someone does something they knew, or should have known, could cause harm or injuries to another. Some common actions that might be considered negligent include speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, driving while distracted, and improper lane changes or turns, to name just a few. The driver does not need to receive a ticket in order for the insurance company to find that negligence occurred.


Contributory Negligence in North Carolina


North Carolina uses strict contributory negligence to assign responsibility in accidents. Contributory negligence means that each party in an accident is ascribed a portion of negligence for the crash. In North Carolina, a driver who is partially responsible for an accident cannot collect damages. Therefore, it is extremely important to seek legal assistance after an accident. The other party’s insurance company may try to say that something you did contributed to the crash and will not pay your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney will work on your behalf to prove that the other driver was fully responsible for what happened.


What to Do After an Accident


If you were seriously injured in an accident, the negligent party should pay for your medical bills and other expenses. Following a crash, make sure to call the police and file an immediate report. Do not make any statements or take responsibility for the accident. The insurance company can use statements you make against you later. Take photos of the accident if it is safe to do so. Go to the hospital or visit the doctor quickly after the accident. The longer you wait the more difficult it will be to prove your injuries occurred during the crash. Contact an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will help guide the compensation recovery process while you focus on physical and emotional healing.


A serious injury can be a traumatic experience. Severe injuries often require extensive medical treatment and physical rehab which is likely very expensive. You should not have to pay for medical and other costs that were caused by a negligent driver. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. 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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