North Carolina is one of the four (Alabama, Maryland and Virginia) remaining contributory negligence states. This means that the victim must not be at fault in order to recover for their car accident injuries (NC is a no-fault state).
Contributory negligence often results in unfair outcomes for victims but is the law in our state. One exception to contributory negligence is the “last clear change doctrine”. The last clear chance doctrine can help victims if the at-fault party had the last opportunity to change course and avoid the injury.
If you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, you can recover the costs of your missed time from work, medical expenses, and be compensated for your pain and suffering. Future medical expenses and lost wages should also be included if warranted.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for egregiously wrongful acts. Drunk drivers who harm others while behind the wheel may be liable for punitive damages. However, simply causing an accident due to distracted driving may not rise to the level of “egregiously wrongful.”
How long after a car accident can you sue in North Carolina? NC has a three year statute… Read More