If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you’re probably looking for a way to find accountability and to recover the compensation that you need to spur your recovery forward. A personal injury lawsuit is certainly a great way to do so, but the process isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Sure, you might face challenges proving a defendant’s liability or the full extent of your damages, but another area of a personal injury case that often proves problematic for victims is contributory negligence.
What is contributory negligence?
Any time a personal injury claim heads to court, the judge or jury is going to be tasked to allocating fault. This means that they’re not simply going to find whether the defendant is responsible for your accident. Instead, they’re going to find how much at the defendant is, and then consider whether you or someone else was also at fault. Those who are partially to blame for the accident are deemed to be contributorily negligent.
Why does contributory negligence matter?
Contributory negligence matters a great deal because under North Carolina law a plaintiff can be barred from recovering compensation if he or she is found to be even partially at fault. Such a denial can be devastating to your financial wellbeing and your physical and emotional recovery. That’s why it’s pivotal that you consider your actions at the time of your accident and think about how the defense may try to portray them as contributorily negligent.
Be prepared to play offense and defense
With contributory negligence in mind, you have to be aggressive in your personal injury case not only to impose liability, but also to protect your own driving actions. This means that you should take a holistic approach to your case analysis with proper attention being given to how contributory negligence may come up in your case.