What Happened:

An SUV was driving late at night in Eden, North Carolina on Bethlehem Church Road, when it flew off the left side of the road, overcorrected to the right, flew off the road again and smashed into a ditch, tree and fence.

The driver and two passengers were injured and taken to the hospital. Another passenger was not wearing a seat belt and was killed. North Carolina State Police believe that alcohol and reckless driving were involved in the accident. Charges are still pending the conclusion of the investigation.


North Carolina Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

The loss of life in this accident is tragic, especially considering that fact that alcohol and reckless driving appear to have been contributing factors. The injured parties and their families should consult with a North Carolina personal injury attorney soon. While it is likely that all of those injured or killed were friends with the driver, that person still can be held liable in a personal injury claim. It is worth noting that the suit would most likely involve the automobile insurance policy of the driver, which would help to avoid any awkward situations involving a lawsuit between friends.


Passengers generally may still make a negligence claim against the negligent driver of an automobile in a one car accident, and these situations even can involve family members or those that are related parties. However, where a driver drives drunk, for example, it must be shown that the passengers were not aware of driver’s condition and thereby contributed to their own demise.  

To make matters more difficult, both North Carolina and Virginia follow contributory negligence law. In these states, if an injured party contributes to causing their injury by their own contributory fault, they are barred from recovery in the personal injury action. Presently, there are only four jurisdictions in the entire United States that  follow this archaic rule but North Carolina remains one of those.


Helpful Info:

Our personal injury lawyer team has assembled this helpful information about wrongful death lawsuits in North Carolina.

Have Questions?

Common questions about wrongful death car accidents in North Carolina.

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