North Carolina Personal Injury Laws

North Carolina personal injury law attempts to cover all types of injuries one can suffer. Some of the most common areas are automobile accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, and product liability, among others. Whether or not you are entitled to compensation may depend on the type of accident that caused the injury.

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if another's negligence caused your injury. Any personal injury case depends on liability, damages, and whether or not you can collect from the negligent party or parties. Even if you were partially at fault for your injuries, you may be entitled to recover a portion of your damages.

North Carolina Car Accidents

North Carolina operates on a "fault" system, which determines liability based on a showing that one party was at fault because of negligence, which caused the accident. North Carolina negligence laws follow the doctrine of contributory negligence, which bars recovery by the plaintiff if he or she is partially at fault.

If you file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, your attorney will need to prove that the other party was negligent and that the other party's negligence caused injuries that resulted in compensable damages. 

If you are in an automobile accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault, the uninsured motorist provisions of your own policy will apply if you purchased such coverage. This coverage would also apply if you were hit by a "hit and run" driver. This insurance acts just like the insurance the uninsured driver should have had. Underinsured motorist coverage picks up where the liability coverage of the other driver leaves off. If your personal injuries exceed the amount of the other driver's liability insurance, your underinsured motorist insurance covers the excess damages under current law.

North Carolina Premises Liability Laws

If you were injured at someone else's home or a commercial establishment, the person or entity responsible for the premises may be found liable. This can cover a variety of situations including slip and falls, dog bites, assaults, among others. The person liable for your damages is the party in control of the property. That party is responsible for the care, maintenance and inspection of the property. For example, an owner may not be the responsible party if he or she has leased the property to another party who actually has control over the premises. The responsible party must pay for damages if the injured party proves that:

  • the condition of the property was dangerous;
  • the owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition; and
  • the owner had a reasonable opportunity to correct or warn of the condition, which was not reasonably open and obvious to the injured party at the time of the accident.

In general, it is the duty of an owner to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of the premises. He must warn a visitor of any dangerous conditions that are known, or should be known to him, if the conditions are not likely to be perceived by the visitor and to repair the conditions within a reasonable time frame. Factors used to determine whether the owner exercised reasonable care in maintaining the property includes:

  • the foreseeability of harm to others;
  • the magnitude of the risks of injury to others if the property is kept in its current condition;
  • the benefit to an individual or to society of maintaining the property in its current condition; and
  • the cost and inconvenience of providing adequate protection.

North Carolina Product Liability Laws

Product liability deals with recoveries for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of a product. Product liability cases may involve dangerous toys, automobile design, seat belt failures, improperly designed household products, industrial machinery, products causing explosions or burns, aviation products, medical devices, prescription or over the counter drugs, among others. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture for that product, from the manufacturer, to the designer to the retail store. When a company designs and manufactures a product, they have a responsibility to ensure that anyone exercising reasonable care within the expected parameters of usage expected for the product will not be injured. An action can be based on negligence, breach of implied or express warranty, or strict liability.

Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

As you can see, a personal injury attorney may be critical to your claim. If you've been injured by the careless actions of another person, you should consider hiring a local attorney as soon as possible after the incident. It's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Fortunately, you can contact an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney here to evaluate your claim.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

Additional Personal Injury Articles

Search LawInfo's Personal Injury Resources

Lead Counsel Rated Law Firm

Click Here to Learn More