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Common Defenses in North Carolina Car Accident Cases

December 29, 2020

If you have been hurt in a car accident in Raleigh or elsewhere in North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation. However, no matter how obvious you think the other driver’s negligence may have been, you have to prove that the other driver negligently caused the accident to pursue a compensation claim successfully. As surprising as this may be, it can be even more surprising when the other driver challenges your claim. A Raleigh car accident lawyer can help you prove your case and overcome defenses that the other driver or their insurance may raise that could end your claim.

Insurance Company May Claim that Your Negligence Contributed to the Accident

One of the most common defenses that many drivers face is referred to as “contributory negligence.” The other driver argues that while they may have been negligent your own negligence also caused the accident. You are also likely to encounter this defense if you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, or other motorcyclist and are injured by another driver.

The defense is particularly problematic in North Carolina because it is one of the few states that still follow the “pure” contributory negligence rule. In North Carolina, you may be barred from receiving compensation for a motor vehicle accident if your own negligence contributed to causing the accident and your injuries. For example, you may not be able to receive compensation if you were texting even though the other driver ran a red light. Unless, of course, the other device is found to be grossly, willfully, or wantonly negligent.

The Accident Didn’t Cause Your Injuries Defense

This is a common defense in cases where you may have pre-existing injuries or chronic health issues. That said, it’s rare for the other driver to argue that your pre-existing injuries should bar you from receiving any compensation. Instead, it’s usually raised by the insurance company as a means to pay as little on your claim as possible. For example, they may attempt to claim that the accident only aggravated a pre-existing injury, and you are therefore entitled to only a fraction of the compensation that your claim may be worth.

That said, it is so important to at least speak with an experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer before giving a statement to the insurance company, or allowing the insurance company to obtain your medical records or settling your claim. Our attorneys can help you build the strongest possible case and deal with any objections the insurance company may raise.

You Received Unnecessary or Unreasonable Medical Care

Insurance companies may use this defense in an effort to reduce your claim. When presented with your medical bills, the insurance company may claim that you were “overtreated” for your injuries, leading to unnecessary expenses that they should not be obligated to cover. This often requires expert reports or testimony from a doctor, but the insurance company may argue this at the settlement stage in an attempt to pressure you to accept less for your claim than it is actually worth. Even if you don’t plan to go to court, a Raleigh car accident lawyer can help you respond to these defenses to ensure that you get a fair settlement for your claim.

Contact a Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer at Martin & Jones

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, trucking accident, or motorcycle accident, you need someone on your side to help you get fair compensation for your injuries. The car accident lawyers at Martin & Jones have decades of experience helping injured people across the state of North Carolina get fair compensation. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 800-622-1234 to discuss your case and how we can help.

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.