When you first learn to drive in North Carolina, your “education” may come not only from formal driver’s education classes but also from anecdotes and bits of wisdom shared by friends and family members. Some of these stories and bits of advice can be helpful; others are incorrect, however, and can lead drivers to make errs in judgment that can either lead to car crashes or jeopardize the legal rights of an injured motorist. Some of the more prevalent myths and inaccurate advice regarding car accidents include some of the following.
A Pedestrian Always Has the Right of Way
While pedestrians may suffer serious injuries in a car collision, this does not necessarily mean that pedestrians always have the right of way or that pedestrians can never act negligently and thereby contribute to their own injuries. A pedestrian who behaves in a careless manner (i.e., he or she fails to look both ways before crossing the street or is walking along a dark street while wearing dark clothing) and suffers an injury may find his or her recovery limited in proportion to his or her degree of fault.
In a Rear-End Collision, Fault Is Always Clear
While many rear-end collisions are the result of a trailing vehicle carelessly running into the rear-end of a vehicle in front of him or her, this does not mean the trailing vehicle’s driver is always to blame. The driver of the leading car (the car that got rear-ended) may have unreasonably and unexpectedly applied his or her brakes or made an abrupt turn without signaling. While this would not completely absolve the driver of the trailing car of responsibility for causing the crash, it may limit the amount of damages the driver of the trailing vehicle must pay to the injured driver of the leading vehicle.
The At-Fault Driver Must Pay for My Medical Bills and Other Expenses
While this is true, this does not mean the injured motorist or passenger has no responsibility following a crash. An injured motorist who does not seek prompt medical treatment for his or her injuries, who abuses prescribed medications, and/or who fails to follow his or her doctors’ instructions and directions may be considered negligent and partly responsible for contributing to his or her own injuries. He or she may find it difficult to obtain full compensation for all of his or her losses.
Seek Representation from a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
These “myths” show that there is no such thing as a “clear-cut” personal injury or car crash case. Instead, your ability to recover compensation will depend on your ability to highlight the other party’s negligence while minimizing your own.
Contact the dedicated North Carolina car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for help in preparing and presenting your case for compensation. Our firm has a solid track record of obtaining financial compensation for our clients for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and more. Our experienced attorneys will help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible given the facts and circumstances of your case
It is critical to remember that North Carolina has placed a statute of limitation on how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.