What Types of Personal Injury Cases in North Carolina Involve Contributory Negligence?
Defendants may raise contributory negligence in the context of the following:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, or other auto accidents, including those involving pedestrians and bicyclists
- Boat or flying accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice, e.g., where a patient doesn't follow a doctor's post-operative instructions
- Dog bites, e.g., where a plaintiff provoked a dog
- Wrongful death, including workplace accidents
- Product liability, e.g., where the plaintiff used the product in a way not intended by the manufacturer
- Premises liability, including slip and fall accidents
Who Determines Contributory Negligence in North Carolina
Who is at fault in a personal injury case – including the issue of contributory negligence – is a finding of fact, not law. In most personal injury cases, if the matter goes to trial, the jury acts as the fact finder.
In a case where contributory negligence is raised, the jury hears the evidence from both sides to decide whether the plaintiff contributed in any way to their injuries.
In some cases, the judge will hear the evidence and decide whether contributory negligence applies. This is particularly true in bench trials as opposed to jury trials.
How Is Contributory Negligence in North Carolina Used as a Defense in a Personal Injury Claim
Insurance companies often act on behalf of parties in personal injury cases. The nature of their business model means that insurers have a commercial interest in reducing the payouts they make.
Where the defense of contributory negligence is available, defendant insurers commonly raise it to try and defeat a personal injury claim. This can cause significant financial stress to a plaintiff who sustained extensive or serious injuries.
How Can a Plaintiff Protect Themselves against a Contributory Negligence Defense in North Carolina?
If you're the plaintiff in a personal injury claim where the defendant alleges contributory negligence, you should speak to us immediately. There is an exception to contributory negligence called the last clear chance doctrine.
Posch Law Firm has extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and can review your matter to assess the strength of the contributory negligence claim free of charge. We can also advise you on how to best proceed to ensure you have the best chance of receiving adequate compensation for your injuries.
Contact Posch Law Firm in North Carolina Today
If you or a loved one has suffered harm in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You must act fast, especially if you live in a jurisdiction that adheres to the contributory negligence rule. Contact Posch Law Firm at (910) 817-6284 or by filling out our online form. Our personal injury lawyer in North Carolina will schedule a Free Consultation to review your case.
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