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How to Prove Negligence in a Charlotte Car Accident

charlotte car accident

A Charlotte car accident can result in injuries ranging from minor to critical. If you have suffered significant injuries in a crash, you can expect to spend thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars on treatment and recovery. The good news is that North Carolina laws allow you to recover full compensatory damages to cover these costs. A qualified Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you in filing a damages claim and recovering an amount that is proportional to your losses.

A vital part of any personal injury claim is to show that the other party was negligent. It is only when negligence is proven that the other party can be held liable for damages. Here’s a look at how negligence is established in a car crash claim.

Four Elements of Negligence

Proving negligence typically consists of proving four distinct elements. These include:

  • Duty of Care
  • Breach of Duty of Care
  • Injury Caused by the Breach
  • Damages Caused by the Injury

Here is a more detailed look at each of these elements.

Duty of Care:

A driver operating a vehicle on the road owes a duty of care to other drivers and persons on the road. This duty typically comprises observing traffic rules and signs, driving with reasonable care, and preventing harm to any other persons. Stopping at a red light, giving a signal when taking a turn, yielding the right-of-way, slowing down at a traffic jam, and driving while sober are all a part of a driver’s duty of care.

Breach of Duty of Care:

When a driver fails to observe his or her duty of care towards other drivers and persons, this constitutes a breach. A driver running a red light is an example of such a breach. Similarly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tailgating, road rash, speeding, and reckless lane changes are other examples of breach of duty.

Injury Caused by the Breach:

In a car crash claim, showing that another driver had breached the duty is not enough to win damages. You must also show that the breach directly caused your injuries and related losses. For instance, if a driver ran a red light and hit your car in an intersection as a result, there is a direct connection between the breach and your losses.

Damages:

Finally, an injury must be significant enough to warrant damages from the liable party. For instance, if you had a minor scratch from the crash, you don’t have any notable damages. So the final element of negligence is not satisfied. This final element is satisfied only when you have suffered sufficient damages in the accident.

Contributory Negligence in North Carolina

Unlike many other states, North Carolina has a pure contributory negligence rule in place. As per this rule, you can’t recover any compensation if you are even 1% at fault in an accident. This is precisely why it is critically important to do your homework when proving the negligence of an at-fault driver.

If the other driver can demonstrate that you were even a tiny bit at fault in causing the accident, you won’t receive any damages. As car crash claims are filed with insurance companies, insurers do their best and use any and all tactics to turn down your claim. This is why it is critically important to gather the relevant evidence to back up your damages claim.

Gathering Evidence to Establish Fault

You will need to gather relevant evidence and present it as a part of your claim. Evidence that can be used to substantiate your claim includes police reports, photos and videos from the crash scene, witness statements, and more. The more evidence you have, the more you are likely to win compensatory damages in your car crash claim.

On your own, gathering evidence, filing the claim, and countering the unfair objections of the insurer can be a daunting task. This is where a lawyer can help and guide you.

How Can a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Proving negligence in a Charlotte car accident can be complicated. This is particularly so because if the other party can show even a minor fault on your part, your claim will fail. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, our lawyers can help you bring together the relevant evidence and seek maximum compensation for your crash-related losses. We also negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to counter any unfair objections. Reach out to us today to discuss your Charlotte crash claim with our lawyers.