Can the Other Driver File a Counter-Claim Against You in North Carolina?

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident lawsuit, then you know they are no fun. While you do want to be compensated for your injuries, you don’t exactly enjoy spending hours of your time fighting to get the money you deserve. This can be especially frustrating if you think – or know- the other driver was at fault. It can be exhausting to find out that the defendant’s insurance company is refusing to pay your claim. It can also be scary.

When you get into a car wreck in North Carolina, chances are, you’ll suffer some sort of injuries. Maybe these injuries are minor and you end up out of work for a few days. But, in other cases, your injuries can be quite severe. You may need to get surgery or undergo long-term physical therapy. Not only are these things painful, but they’re also very expensive. And, who is going to pay for your lost wages? Your job isn’t going to pay you out of the kindness of their heart. While they may be empathetic toward you because of your accident, they aren’t going to give you extra vacation time to deal with your medical treatment.

The problem is, just as you have a right to sue the other driver, they also have a right to sue you. Very few people ever think they’re to blame when it comes to any sort of accident. The other driver may truly think that you caused the crash, and file a counter-claim against you. This means you could find yourself in a situation where you and the other driver are suing each other. The good news is that your Charlotte automobile wreck lawyer knows how to handle this sort of situation.

What Exactly is a Counter-Claim?

There are always at least two parties to a lawsuit. There’s the plaintiff and the defendant. Sure, there can be more than one plaintiff or more than one defendant. But there are always at least one of each. The plaintiff is the party who is complaining that they’ve been injured. The defendant is the one accused of causing their injuries.

In some cases, however, the defendant may file something called a counter-claim. This happens when the other believes that you caused the accident. They feel that they were the victim, not you. When they find out that you’ve filed a car accident lawsuit, they file one of their own. In addition to responding to your complaint, they file one of their own.

In cases like this, the court is going to look to see who was truly at fault. In North Carolina, they follow the contributory negligence rule. This means that, if you’re found to be even partly at fault, your claim will be barred. When the defendant files a counter-claim, they’re asserting that you were to blame. So, we have a situation where both parties insist that other is at fault. Unless the court finds that one of you was wholly at fault, there’s a good chance that both of your claims will be dismissed. This is why your North Carolina accident lawyer will work hard to settle your claim rather than go to trial.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Right Away

When it comes to filing suit for your car accident, the first party to file suit wins. Well, they don’t necessarily win their lawsuit. However, they do win the first battle. If you don’t sue first, there’s a good chance the other driver will sue you. While there is always the chance that the defendant will file a counter-claim against you, it’s better to be the plaintiff than the defendant.

You don’t want to take any chances. This is why you should call an experienced automobile wreck law firm in North Carolina right away. While they aren’t going to run down to the courthouse right away, they will establish themselves as the complaining party. They can reach out to the defendant’s lawyer and see what their position is. They’ll also talk to the insurance adjuster and find out if they’re going to pay your claim.

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. You can sit down with someone who knows how to handle a car accident case. They’ll answer any questions you might have. They’ll also give you an idea of how strong your claim is. Finally, they’ll deal with any counter-claims that may be filed by the other driver. The consultation is absolutely free and you pay nothing until you win or settle your case.