If you’ve been in a car crash, you may be able to recover compensation for damages arising out of that crash. But, that is not a guarantee. If you’ve been involved in a car crash, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected – whether it’s your right to be compensated or your right to defend a lawsuit filed against you. In the meantime, here are three major things to know about how car crash damages work in North Carolina.
There are multiple types of damages available. If you are entitled to damages, you may be entitled to multiple types of them. The first one that comes to most people’s mind is the damage to their vehicle – personal property damage. You may also be entitled to injury-related economic damages such as medical expenses, so make sure you keep track of those medical bills, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses (prescriptions, medical aids, etc.). North Carolina law also allows for potential recovery of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering damages. In certain types of cases, you may be entitled to loss of consortium – this is money to compensate you for losses suffered if your spouse is injured. Not all of the damages described will be available in all cases, but an experienced attorney will know which ones apply in your case.
You have a duty to mitigate your damages. Even though the damages are not your fault because you did not cause the crash, you still have a duty to minimize the effect of the crash. This could include seeking other employment if you are no longer able to work in your previous profession, completing treatment recommended by doctors, and taking other steps to reduce the damages.
If you were at fault at all, you may not be able to recover. North Carolina has a law called the contributory negligence rule. Under this, if someone is found to be partially at fault, they cannot recover any amount of damages from the other party. This means that if the other party can prove that you were even 1% at fault, even though the other person was 99% at fault, you still cannot recover any damages regardless of the injuries sustained. This is why it is extremely important to consult with an attorney who understands North Carolina law.
If you’ve been in a car crash, contact us today for a consultation. The longer you wait, the more you are risking your chance of recovering damages to compensate you for your injuries.