“Can I Still Sue if I Was Partially at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?”
“Can I still sue if I was partially at fault in a motorcycle accident?”
This is the question many of our clients ask us when they’ve been deemed partially at fault for a motorcycle accident. The short answer is yes — an injured party can still recover damages, even if they were found partially at fault for the accident. However, it can get a little tricky given the ways the law works in North Carolina.
In this article, we’ll discuss how insurance companies and defense attorneys attempt to bar recovery based on contributory negligence. Additionally, we will explain the tactics that experienced personal injury attorneys can use to overcome this defense.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident — even if you’ve been found partially at fault — call our experienced North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.
There are no upfront costs and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
Call 1-800-525-7111 today to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. We would love to see if we can help you and your loved ones.
What to Do If You’ve Been Found Partially at Fault for Your Motorcycle Accident
The injuries sustained after a motorcycle accident can be life-changing. In many instances, you are not only suffering from debilitating injuries, but also having to worry about expensive medical bills and lost income.
These matters become even more complicated if you were deemed partially at fault for the collision.
Under North Carolina law, insurance companies often use the “contributory negligence” defense to bar recovery. Contributory negligence provides that if an injured party’s actions contributed to the accident in any way then they cannot recover compensation. Furthermore, contributory negligence does not consider the severity of the injury or the amount of fault attributed to each party. In other words, it does not matter if you were even 1% responsible for causing the accident — under North Carolina law, you can be barred from recovering compensation.
That said, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help overcome the contributory negligence defense and get you the compensation you deserve.
Exceptions to Contributory Negligence
Although contributory negligence can bar recovery, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney still may be able to help you obtain justice. North Carolina law provides for exceptions to contributory negligence that still allow plaintiffs to recover compensation.
Our attorneys understand the complexities of overcoming contributory negligence defenses.
Since 1985, we’ve recovered compensation for many of these clients even though they were found partially at fault.
Contributory negligence is an extremely complicated legal doctrine, which is why it is so important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. It is also important to note that even though the defendant may argue you are contributorily negligent, that does not necessarily mean that you are. This is yet another reason why you should speak with an attorney about your accident.
We may be able to help prove that you were in fact not even partially at fault. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, but believe you could be partially at fault, contact us today by calling 1-800-525-7111. We may be able to help you.
One of the exceptions to a contributory negligence defense is gross negligence. In North Carolina, “gross negligence” occurs when a party consciously or deliberately disregards reasonable care. Essentially, a defendant is grossly negligent when they act in a manner that ignores the safety of themselves and others.
For example, in a DWI case, the defendant will likely be seen as grossly negligent. Therefore, it is unlikely that defense can successfully use contributory negligence in these types of cases.
Last Clear Chance
Under the “last clear chance” doctrine, a partially at-fault plaintiff can still recover compensation if he or she proves that the defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the accident but failed to do so.
If your attorney proves that last clear chance applies, then the defense will not be able bar your recovery.
The last clear chance doctrine is extremely complicated, which is why it is important to have an experienced trial attorney on your side. Attorneys Kurt Dixon and Gene Riddle recently obtained a $1,625,000 settlement using the last clear chance doctrine. In this case, a young woman crossed a busy highway. She was hit by a car and sustained injuries requiring lifetime care. At first, the defense argued that our client was contributorily negligent. However, our attorneys successfully argued the defendant had the “last clear chance” to avoid the accident, and we successfully recovered compensation for our client.
The Bottom Line
Yes, you can still sue or file a claim for compensation if you’ve been found partially at fault in a motorcycle accident… but in North Carolina, you’ll need to overcome the contributory negligence defense.
For a FREE consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer experienced handling cases in which the client was found partially at fault, please call 1-800-525-7111.
Have You Been Injured and Found Partially at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
The insurance company may try to prevent recovery of compensation under the law of contributory negligence. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley today to review your legal options. We may be able to help you.
Please call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation and case review.
Just because you’ve been determined partially at-fault does not necessarily mean you cannot receive compensation. We believe Justice Counts and would love to help you if we can.
Call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and convenience form below for a free consultation.
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.