Aggressive driving is among the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines it as when an individual commits multiple moving traffic offenses that endanger other people and property.
Speeding, hard braking, sudden acceleration, tailgating, and weaving through traffic are examples of reckless behaviors that can harm fellow road users. If you were among those hurt by an aggressive driver, you could seek compensation for your injuries. A Raleigh aggressive driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you navigate the claims process. Reach out at (800) 598-7557 to speak with a member of our legal team.
North Carolina Is an At-Fault State
When hurt in an aggressive driving accident, you may claim compensation from an insurance company. North Carolina follows the traditional fault system for car accidents, which means that the at-fault driver is responsible for all the resulting damages, including your injuries and destroyed property. You have options for recovery:
- File a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer
- File an injury lawsuit against the liable party
When you pursue an insurance claim, you can recover a payout from the aggressive driver’s insurance carrier. Insurance companies want to minimize their losses. That is why they will only pay damages within policy limits, often lesser. If you believe that you deserve more, your legal recourse is to sue the at-fault driver. It might help you to hire an aggressive driving accident lawyer to know if you have a strong case.
For a free legal consultation with a aggressive driving accidents lawyer serving Raleigh, call (800) 598-7557
Proving Civil Liability in an Aggressive Driving Accident
In North Carolina, aggressive driving is a criminal offense. Under North Carolina General Statutes (GS) §20-141.6, those convicted face misdemeanor charges and hefty punishments, including fines and jail time. Moreover, reckless drivers also have civil liability, especially if their actions caused injuries or harmed others. Their victims have the right to seek relief.
Establishing liability in such incidents is less complicated, but you still have to prove it. In most car accidents, negligence is a common legal theory used to hold a party responsible for what you have suffered. To make your legal claim actionable, you have to demonstrate the at-fault driver’s clear-cut liability.
Someone aggressive behind the wheel is negligent—it means that their behavior and actions fell below the standard of what a prudent person would do in a similar situation. Drivers have to exercise reasonable care on the road, and it includes obeying traffic rules. If they acted otherwise, such as speeding, beating the red light, or tailgating, there is an increased risk of harming other drivers and road users. Moreover, they are liable for all accident-related injuries.
In proving their fault, you must have substantial evidence. Police reports may reference the at-fault driver’s traffic offense or inadvertent admission of their reckless conduct. Witness statements, expert testimonies on accident reconstruction, videos, and photos are useful in assigning blame to the other motorist.
Determining who is at fault for the incident might prove difficult, so it might help you to work with a personal injury attorney. A Raleigh aggressive driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can build your case. Get in touch with a member of our team today to schedule an appointment.
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Understanding Contributory Negligence
Liability in an aggressive driving incident determines who will pay for the damages, such as medical treatment costs, lost earnings, vehicle repairs or replacement, and other out of pocket expenses. If you can prove that the accident was entirely the other party’s fault, you can seek compensation for losses. However, it will differ if you were partly to blame.
A shared fault is a scenario where multiple parties have caused a car accident. In North Carolina, they follow the rule of contributory negligence. It bars financial recovery if you are partially responsible for the incident, even if your degree of fault is relatively minimal. Compared to comparative negligence, it is a harsher principle and considered antiquated. That is why insurance companies and liable parties will raise this issue during settlement negotiations and in court, should your case go to trial.
Insurance adjusters will try to pin some of the blame on you to bar recovery. If it looks like you may have also been negligent, expect the liable party to have the upper hand during negotiations. Retaining an aggressive driving accident lawyer might help you disprove the claims that you were partially at fault for the accident in order to get a better settlement offer.
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Statute of Limitations in North Carolina
Pursuing an injury claim because of an aggressive driving incident is subject to time limits. Every state follows a different statute of limitations, depending on the circumstance. These state-imposed deadlines restrict a victim’s right to legal action, such as filing a negligence lawsuit against liable parties.
In North Carolina, those injured or with damaged properties have three years to seek compensation for their losses, according to North Carolina GS §1-52. While this rule pertains to personal injury, it also covers aggressive driving accidents where resulting damages include bodily harm and destroyed possessions.
Remember that the statute of limitations does not apply to car insurance claims. Where possible, you have to file the claim, with either your or at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, in a matter of days or weeks. The insurer may deny yours if you submit beyond their set deadline.
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Why Seek Legal Assistance
North Carolina’s contributory negligence doctrine makes it a little more challenging to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. A Raleigh aggressive driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you establish the other party’s clear-cut liability through careful investigation, data gathering, and research. With substantial evidence, they can build a strong case for your claim, which may be impossible with self-representation.
They will protect your legal rights and ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. Moreover, you no longer have to worry about attorney’s fees. They often work on a contingency fee basis, and they only get paid based on your recovered amount.
To get started, call (800) 598-7557 or complete a free case evaluation form online.
Call or text (800) 598-7557 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form