Durham, NC asked in Car Accidents for North Carolina

Q: Failure to yield right of way while making a left turn to a car engaged in an unlawful maneuver. Is this negligence?

My husband was hit by a car passing to the right of cars stopped at an intersection on a one lane road as he was making a left turn. He was found to be partially negligent. Does the right of way rule apply to a car engaged in making an unlawful maneuver?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bill Powers
Bill Powers
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: That's a bit complicated. More info into the specifics would be helpful and the best way to do that is a formal consultation with Durham County lawyer.

North Carolina is one of the few remaining states in the entire country that still has CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE. Indeed, there are several different protections against negligence claims that are for the benefit of insurance companies.

In a contributory negligence state, the plaintiff is barred from recovering if he or she acted negligently and contributed to the accident at all. A plaintiff can be barred from recovering for being 1% or more at fault for an accident.

Historically, contributory negligence was the rule in all states, leading to harsh results.

Many states developed and adopted comparative negligence laws. Today, the jurisdictions that still use contributory negligence are Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

In a state that follows contributory negligence, fault can be a very challenging issue in a lawsuit.

For example, if a plaintiff is speeding in her car and another car cuts her off, she will not be able to recover if the jury determines she is even 1% at fault for speeding.

Frankly, it's complicated.

Best bet: Call a PI lawyer in Durham and see if they'd be interested in giving a free case evaluation. (PI stands for Personal Injury).

Sorry y'all are going through this tough time.

All the best to you and your husband!

Bill Powers

Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: Call a member of the NC Assn for Justice for the County where the wreck happened--they give free consults.

A lot depends on where your husband was in the intersection when this other person jackrabbits around the other cars, who was where, what other vehicles. The fact someone was doing a no-no doesn't mean that other drivers don't have a duty to avoid that which can be avoided. Also depends heavily on what other drivers/witnesses say--witnesses who were not involved in this.

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