Motor vehicle accidents are commonplace on North Carolina roads. Suffering an injury of any variation in an accident entitles you to recover damages; however, contributory negligence laws may prevent you from getting as much as you need.

Our attorneys at Nielsen Legal understand the devastating physical and financial consequences an accident may cause. We believe it is important that you know what role contributory negligence may play in a personal injury lawsuit.

Contributory negligence defined

When vehicles collide, one driver may carry the brunt of the responsibility. Perhaps the accident was a result of running a red light or excessive speed. Insurance adjusters set out to assess fault and find who is ultimately responsible, but their investigation may come up with an assignment of negligence to both parties involved. This contributory negligence comes into play when an investigation reveals that the impacted vehicle was also somewhat at fault.

The effect of shared responsibility

What happens if both parties are found to have contributed in some way to the accident? The insurance adjuster splits the percentage between the drivers. This split determines how much the impacted vehicle gets in any settlement. For example, if the driver who ran the stop sign winds up with 70% of the blame, and the other gets 30%, then the at-fault insurance company will pay for 70% of the repairs or medical treatment.

The reality of the process is that one driver is rarely found to carry all the fault. This practice reduces the amount of money the innocent driver receives, which may not quite add up to what the driver needs.

For more information on this and other elements of accident claims, please refer to our website for further insight.