Legally reviewed by:
King Law
January 10, 2024

If you have been injured in a car accident, slipped on the floor of a grocery store, or tripped on a poorly maintained stairway, you may be considering seeking monetary compensation to make up for your injuries and lost time. However, the negligence of other people is not the only factor in determining your legal rights.

Say, for example, that one of your headlights was out when you got in the accident, or that you were texting when you slipped, or that you were running late and ran up the stairway taking two steps at a time. Although those may seem like minor details in a case where someone else was more to blame, they may prevent you from receiving compensation due to a quirk of North Carolina law.

Negligence, in legal terms, means that someone has failed to fulfill their basic duty not to place others in danger. In North Carolina, contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that can affect personal injury cases. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if a person is found to have contributed in any way, even minimally, to their injuries, they may be barred from recovering any compensation from other parties involved in the accident or incident.

In other words, North Carolina follows a strict contributory negligence rule, which means that if a plaintiff is found to be even 1% at fault for the accident or their injuries, they can be completely barred from recovering any damages. This is different from comparative negligence rules followed in many other states, where a plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced by their percentage of fault but not eliminated. The doctrine of comparative negligence varies in each state that uses it, but at a minimum, it ensures that people can recover damages from accidents that were at least mostly not their fault.

The doctrine of contributory negligence in North Carolina places a high burden on the plaintiff to prove that they were not at fault and did not contribute in any way to the accident or their injuries. It is essential to establish that the defendant was solely responsible for the incident and that the plaintiff’s actions or negligence played no role.

You have the right to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other damages resulting from injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. Because of the doctrine of contributory negligence, it is particularly important to consult with a qualified attorney referring to the most up-to-date statutes and legal resources to get accurate and current information regarding personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina. A personal injury attorney can present your case in the best light possible to minimize the chances of you being unfairly blamed for contributing to your injury.

Our personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the process and pursue the compensation you deserve. Set up a consultation with a North Carolina personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to schedule a case evaluation.

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
Carolina Attorneys
January 10, 2024

This blog post has been reviewed and verified by legal experts at King Law. Our team is dedicated to providing premium legal services with compassion, innovation, trust, and advocacy. Serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, we offer flexible meeting options and strive to exceed client expectations with high-quality legal representation and exceptional client relationships.

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