As Charlotte car accident lawyers, we often have potential clients ask if North Carolina is a no-fault state. This article provides an answer to that. Car accidents are common in North Carolina and often have major consequences for everyone involved. As a result, victims can seek compensation for the injuries and other losses.
Some laws affect what happens after an accident. Two of them include the no-fault law and the at-fault law. We’ll take a closer look at the terms no-fault and at-fault to point out the differences while showing where North Carolina falls under.
No-Fault vs. At-Fault States
In auto insurance, no-fault means that an injured driver’s insurance will pay for their losses regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In some states, purchasing no-fault is compulsory, while it is optional in others. There are 12 no-fault states in the United States, including Hawaii, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Utah, and Pennsylvania.
Going by the definition above, at-fault means that someone gets to shoulder all or some of the blame for an accident. This is the most common option for states in the U.S.
Is North Carolina a No-Fault State?
North Carolina, like most states in the country, is not a no-fault state. Instead, fault is assigned and the guilty party has to pay for the damages caused to the victim. However, North Carolina uses what is called comparative fault in assigning blame.
This means that if there is an accident, an investigation is conducted to determine the level of fault assigned to each party. Therefore, if one party is responsible for most of the fault, the victim can recover compensation from them.
What to Do After an Accident
Getting compensation for an accident will depend on your ability to prove that the defendant is at fault. Consequently, you may need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to give yourself a better chance of success. However, before you hire a lawyer, there are a few things you can do to aid your case.
Your priority immediately after an accident should be to get yourself examined by a doctor. This is important because it helps to treat any injuries you may have sustained in the accident and reveal hidden injuries. In addition, a medical examination and possible treatment provide proof of your injury and can be used when trying to claim damages.
Another thing you should do is to gather evidence. Take pictures using your phone from all angles to show which driver was at fault for the accident. Speak to the other driver and try to get their contact. If they do not provide it, get details of their car, specifically the plate number, as you can use it to track them down.
Eyewitnesses can also be valuable. Speak to as many people as possible to see if they will be willing to testify in court. Ensure that they saw the accident exactly as it happened. Another piece of evidence that you need to get is a police report. Usually, the police investigate the accident scene.
When they arrive, they will examine the evidence at the crash scene to determine which driver was at fault. This will be valuable in trial or settlement proceedings. However, if the police do not come, you can call them yourself.
Finally, speak to a personal injury lawyer. Despite your best efforts, you may forget to include some evidence that could be helpful. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer knows what is needed to win a case and will be able to obtain it.
Talk to Personal Injury Lawyers in Charlotte
Getting injured can be an exasperating experience. Overnight, a lot about your life changes. Some people lose their jobs or find that they cannot carry out their duties as usual. Depending on the severity of the injury, you could spend a significant amount of money on medical costs in addition to potentially lost wages and emotional distress.
Fortunately, the law provides an avenue for you to receive damages for your injuries in a no-fault state. Therefore, if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Ted A. Greve and Associates have represented several clients, winning healthy settlements for our clients.
We’ll develop an adequate legal strategy to enable you to win your case and you don’t have to pay unless we get you a favorable settlement. So give us a call today and get a free consultation with one of our lawyers.