It Doesn’t Seem Fair

What if you were in an accident resulting in very serious injury and you have over $100,000.00 in medical bills? Let’s just say you were shopping in a grocery store and walking through the vegetable aisle. You slipped on a puddle of unidentified liquid that had leaked onto the tile floor.

After hip surgery and a prolonged hospital stay, you’ve ended up with a broken hip and an empty pocketbook. In North Carolina, it would be very difficult for you to collect for your injuries. Your next question should be, “Why not?” I slipped and fell through no fault of my own and now I can’t recover for my hip surgery? That doesn’t seem fair.

Here’s the answer in a nutshell. North Carolina isn’t a comparative negligence state. We adhere to the principle of contributory negligence to determine liability. A plaintiff, who is found to be negligent, is considered to be contributing to the harm they have suffered. A negligent plaintiff in North Carolina can’t collect anything.

I already know your next question, “How can that be? I slipped on something in the Piggly Wiggly and now I have to pay over $100,000 in medical bills for my broken hip. It doesn’t make sense.”

Simply put, the plaintiff (the injured party) would be guilty of negligence for not looking where they were going. You were looking at the cucumbers and tomatoes, instead of looking where you were walking. As the injured party, you would be barred from any recovery because you are deemed to be at fault through your own negligence.  It hardly seems like justice, does it?

North Carolina is one of 4 states that still adhere to this archaic form of determining negligence. Other states use comparative negligence in determining the recovery for an injured plaintiff. Comparative negligence is a fairer form of deciding harm. In North Carolina, if you are even 1% at fault for your injuries, you recover nothing. Other states judge the plaintiff based on the percentage they contribute to their harm.

Until our General Assembly decides to change this archaic form of determining negligence, North Carolina will be one of 4 states that hurt the plaintiff and create obstacles prohibiting their recovery. Contributory negligence, it doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Call 866-299-1769 or use the Free Case Evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.
  • North Carolina’s Rural Roads Some Of The Most Dangerous In The U.S.

    North Carolina’s Rural Roads Some Of The Most Dangerous In The U.S.

    According to research from National Association of Counties (NACO), North Carolina has more than 70,000 miles in rural roads. This may conjure up picturesque images of peaceful pastures and living life at a slower pace. While that may certainly be …Read More »
  • Hurt In An Accident: How To Prove Fault

    Hurt In An Accident: How To Prove Fault

    Imagine driving down Market Street thinking about all the things left to do in the day: picking up the kids, going to the grocery store, dropping off a package at the post office. You enter an intersection and the next …Read More »
  • Car Accident in Leased Vehicle: What To Do

    Car Accident in Leased Vehicle: What To Do

    There is nothing worse for a driver than being in a severe automobile accident. It’s not just the potential injuries, the hassle of dealing with the insurance companies, or, heaven forbid, trying to navigate a settlement in court. It’s the …Read More »
  • Car Accident Caused By Cell Phone in North Carolina

    Car Accident Caused By Cell Phone in North Carolina

    One of the most commonly asked questions here at Mike Lewis Attorneys is what the rules are concerning driving and cell phone usage. It’s hard to keep track when the rules change constantly, and no two states have the same …Read More »
Call Us Toll Free 866-299-1769