Rear-end car accidents and auto accident settlements are determined differently depending on the state. The rule of vehicular control applies in each case across the nation, but state law can impact how the case finally plays out during claim negotiations or even in a courtroom. In states where pure comparative negligence is used, everyone who is even 99% at fault for causing an accident still gets some amount of compensation for their accident injuries and property damage. And in cases where multiple drivers have some degree of fault, they pay in accordance with their assigned comparative negligence percentage. The problem for North Carolina drivers is that the state uses an antiquated contributory negligence law that allows negligent parties to avoid paying any damages unless they are totally at fault, which can be difficult to prove even in a rear-end accident.
Fault Can Be Contested
The short answer to whether or not fault can be contested is an absolute yes. In fact, it is the central issue in all North Carolina accident cases, including rear-end collisions. There are many situations where a vehicle is struck from behind when there are no negligent actions by the driver of the tailing vehicle. The concept that all drivers who strike a vehicle in the rear are at fault is a fallacy that many people believe, but each accident is unique in some aspect.
The driver in the front could actually be totally at fault for the collision in some situations that may even include intentional acts to cause the incident.
Quick Braking Rear-end Accidents
Many rear-end collisions occur when a frontal vehicle stops suddenly on the road for no apparent reason or even to avoid colliding with another vehicle. In turn, when the following vehicle is in close proximity, an accident happens from the rear instead of by a frontal collision. Sometimes this chain reaction can even result in a multiple vehicle accident. Additionally, some of these types of incidents are not accidents at all but are purposed acts by a frontal driver based on the concept that the rear driver is almost always found at fault. These cases are actually fraudulent in some instances, and an experienced auto accident attorney could be able to prove this fact in a court of law when sufficient evidence is present such as the prior driving and insurance claim history of the driver in the front vehicle.
Multiple Vehicle Accidents
The general rule in a multiple vehicle accident when there is a chain reaction from the rear is that the following drivers are typically liable for the injuries and damage to the passengers in the vehicle in front of them. This is consistent with the law of forward vehicular control, but North Carolina accident doctrine also allows for an exemption in cases of a “last clear chance” when negligent drivers can prove that they were in a dangerous situation and could not avoid a collision and the opposing driver had a clear opportunity to avoid a collision and did not do so. These are the kind of details in an auto accident case that requires comprehensive representation from a car accident attorney who understands the state’s unique accident laws and how to protect their client even in some cases of personal negligence.
Contact Our North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm
Drivers in North Carolina who are involved in a car accident should not accept the idea that a lawyer cannot help their case in accidents where they were seemingly at fault. These determinations are not automatic even with the state contributory negligence law, and specific extenuating factors can be brought out in court in certain situations. Always consult with an attorney before going to court. Anyone who has a pending auto accident claim should contact our law firm and let us conduct a full evaluation of your auto accident case. Our firm provides free initial consultations so you may sit down and discuss your case with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys without any obligation to retain our services. At your consultation, we’ll go over the details of your case with you and present you with options for moving forward with a claim. The first step is to schedule an appointment at this link, or call us anytime 24/7 at 1-800-ACCIDENT.