Call Now For A Free Case Evaluation (336) 999-0944

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Northstate Auto Law.

Understanding The Impact Of Liability

Understanding The Impact Of Liability Lawyer, Wilkesboro CityIn some ways, determining liability in the personal injury recovery process in North Carolina is more complex than other states. This is because it is one of three states in the U.S. that recognizes a very archaic law called contributory negligence

Contributory negligence declares that partial at-fault drivers cannot collect from the other party. In other words, if the other party is responsible for 99% of the fault and you are only 1% to blame, you cannot collect from the other party. However, that law has some limitations in that it places certain burdens on parties to act reasonably. As such, there are some exceptions. Nevertheless, these kinds of things really demand direct counsel with an attorney because contributory negligence is so foreign a concept to most people.

Talking To People At The Scene Of The Crash

How you handle this critical point in time can have massive consequences for how liability is determined during the personal injury recovery process. So be prepared and act wisely…

There is not necessarily any issue with talking to the other party at the scene of an accident – at least when it comes to being kind and checking to see if they are okay. However, people often end up getting in trouble when they share things or provide information related to how the crash occurred. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to make a statement that can later harm you, especially since you are still likely collecting your thoughts and not thinking straight due to the shock of what you experienced.

When the law enforcement officer gets there, they will ask for your driver’s license and proof of insurance, then for your recollection of what happened in the crash. Legally, you are under no obligation to speak with law enforcement. You are not required to share anything with them besides your license and registration.

However, if you sincerely believe the other party is at fault, sharing the specifics of what happened in the crash with the officer will benefit you. Still, you must weigh this against some factors, such as the fact that, ultimately, the police officer is there to conduct a criminal investigation. By speaking with the officer, you risk potentially implicating yourself in a traffic violation.

So, you should usually share with the officer what happened, but there is a limit. You must be careful and remember: you do have to provide law enforcement with certain information, however, anything you say could implicate you in a criminal violation of the traffic law. Aside from providing your license and registration, you are not required to explain anything further. If you think you may have been partially at fault for the accident, remember that you do not have to provide that information, and so you should probably not.

Contacting Your Own Insurance Company

The decision to contact your insurance carrier depends heavily on the facts of your specific case. If the crash you were involved in was straightforward, such as a rearing collision, there typically would not be a need to notify your own insurance company. However, suppose your case involves multiple vehicles or severe injuries. In that case, contacting your insurance company and informing them of what happened is worthwhile.

Before reporting it to your insurance company, think through how complicated the case will end up being because once you report a claim to your insurance company, you are contractually obligated to be completely forthright with it. You must provide them with precise information concerning what happened, who was involved, and things of that nature. Failure to do so could be deemed a breach of the contract, which could put your coverage –and your case – in jeopardy.

For more information on Liability In Personal Injury Recovery Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (336) 999-0944 today.

Rodney Caudill, Esq.

Call Now For A Free Case Evaluation
(336) 999-0944

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