Nearly all personal injury cases involve an act of negligence. North Carolina law defines negligence as an action or inaction by one party that leads to the harm of another party.
The law further states that to prove that negligence occurred, the injured party must show the following four factors:
- It must be shown that the responsible party had a duty to perform an act or not perform an act
- The responsible party did not meet that duty
- Failing to meet that duty was the proximate cause of the injuries received by the victim
- The injury victim incurred damages
Definition of Duty – personal injury law in NC
A duty, under this area of law, is an action or inaction by another person that would prevent an accident from occurring. Nearly every situation in daily life can create a duty to another person. Professionals have specific duties to their clients as well.
An example would be the duties created when a person starts their car and leaves their driveway. That person has the duty to:
• Obey all traffic laws for their safety and that of others
• Carry the proper vehicle insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
Other examples of duty include:
• A dog owner has the duty to keep their dog on a leash when it is out in public
• A business owner has the duty to keep the entrance to their business safe when the weather conditions cause floors to be wet or icy
• A medical professional has the duty not to harm their patients with their treatment methods
• Pedestrians have the duty to cross the street safely and not walk out in front of vehicles
Your personal injury lawyer will explain in clear terms the duty that the responsible party had and how they were negligent in their actions.
Defining Proximate Cause
When a person performs or fails to perform a certain action, they should be able to foresee that another person(s) could be injured by that action or inaction. This is proximate cause. An action or inaction that could result in the injury of another person.
The type of injury does not have to be defined clearly to be considered in proximate cause. All you need to do is prove that an action or inaction could lead to an injury. For example, if a person runs a red light instead of stopping, they should assume that there is a possibility they will hit another car and that the car accident could injure the people in the other vehicle.
North Carolina is one of the few remaining states that still abides by Contributory Negligence laws. This means that if the injured party contributed in any way to the accident or event that led to their injury, they do not have the right to seek compensation for their losses.
Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after any type of accident resulting in an injury or damage to property and allow them to use their resources to determine fault. Your attorney will have access to all the reports, eye witness statements and the services of accident reconstruction specialist to help determine who was at fault and whether or not there’s an issue of contributory negligence.
Since negligence laws are very complex in North Carolina, it is always in your best interest to work with an attorney when you need to file a claim for compensation. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will help you realize the best possible outcome for your case.
For more information, contact Kellum Law Firm today – 12 locations around North Carolina places us on your doorstep for fast, professional help.