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How contributory negligence factors into your car accident case

In the blink of an eye, a negligent driver can slam into your vehicle, leaving you or a loved one seriously injured. You may wind up with a permanent disability that completely reshapes your life, or you may be fortunate enough to survive with only moderate injuries. In both cases, though, the physical, emotional, and financial toll can be significant.

Many car accident victims who find themselves in this position don't know where to turn for relief, oftentimes because they are simply trying to focus on recovering their health. Yet, these individuals should know that legal action might be warranted in these circumstances. If successful on a personal injury claim, then a car accident victim may be able to recover compensation for his or her damages.

However, winning a lawsuit based on a car accident isn't just about presenting evidence about mistakes made by the other party. This is because North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that still operates under contributory negligence laws. Under contributory negligence, a plaintiff is barred from recovering compensation from a defendant if the plaintiff contributed to the accident in any way. Even if the plaintiff is only found to be 1% at fault for the wreck, then the law requires the claim to be denied.

This may seem unfair to car accident victims, but it is the reality of our legal system. Instead of being deterred from action, though, car accident victims should think about strategically developing their claim to attempt to eliminate any possibility that they can be found at fault for the accident in question. Strong legal arguments that draw the existence of contributory negligence into question do not only lead to successful litigation, but they can spur settlement negotiations.

So, even though most people think of pursuing a lawsuit as being an offensive endeavor, there is a bit of defense that must be played, too. With a robust legal strategy, though, car accident victims may be able to find success on their claim, which is why many North Carolinians choose to seek out help from an experienced attorney.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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  • National Association of distinguished counsel | Nation's Top one percent 2017 | NADC
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  • Nations's Premier | Top Ten Attorney Personal Injury | NAOPIA
  • 2014 | Litigator Awards | Ranked Top 1% of Lawyers
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The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A.
1130 Kildaire Farm Road
Suite 230
Cary, NC 27511

Toll Free: 877-320-1851
Phone: 919-899-9852
Fax: 919-833-3371
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