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Auto Accident

Auto Accident

In North Carolina the number of reportable accidents increased by 2.8 percent in 2017. Along with reportable accidents, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes also increased, by 1 percent. In 2017, there was 43,598 car crashes in Charlotte, NC. Examples of factors which contribute to the cause of accidents include: alcohol, lane departure, speed, and distracted driving. You can learn more about North Carolina auto accidents here. The stress and trauma that comes with being involved in a car accident are enough to consume one person. That’s why The Law Offices of Attorney Timothy J. Pavone is here to help you handle all the legal matters which come with an accident.

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We will handle yours and the other parties’ insurance companies.

Medical bills, damages to your vehicle, and missing work can accumulate into a large cost for you and your family. It is important that you are getting the most out of your entitled compensation. Having an experienced professional handle your accident ensures that you are aware of all your options, and that you are receiving the appropriate response and care from the insurance company. Should your accident require you to take further legal action, The Law Offices of Attorney Timothy J. Pavone will help you identify this need, and handle the case for you.

North Carolina Statute 1-52 sets a statute of limitations on how long one has to file a lawsuit to recover personal injury or property damage. A lawsuit must be filed within 3 years after the injury or damage occurred. Car accidents fall under this 3 year category because you are either recovering damages from your injuries, property damage of your car, or both in the lawsuit. The 3 year timeframe begins the day of the accident. The statute of limitations does not apply to insurance claims. Insurance companies typically take claims anywhere from a few days after the accident to at most a few weeks after, depending on the company.

Crash Facts > Click here

Examples of factors which contribute to the cause of accidents include: alcohol, lane departure, speed, and distracted driving. North Carolina is one of a minority of states that practices contributory negligence. Contributory negligence requires that individuals seeking personal injury recovery in a lawsuit be at 0 percent fault. In other words, if an individual is at fault in the accident, even 1 percent, they are completely ineligible of recovery in the lawsuit. Both Cause in Fact and Proximate Cause must be present to establish that a party is at fault for the accident.

Cause in Fact

Sometimes also referred to as factual cause or but for cause, refers to the idea that the plaintiff (the injured individual) would not have sustained the injuries without the defendant’s negligence.


Proximate Cause

This refers to whether the defendant’s actions were tied to the plaintiff’s injuries foreseeably.


Last Clear Chance Doctrine

This doctrine allows the plaintiff to still recover damages if it can be proven that the defendant had a clear opportunity to avoid the accident. It is up to the plaintiff to prove this through showing that the defendant was aware of or could have rationally determined that the plaintiff was endangered. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant had the capability and time to reasonably avoid harm to the plaintiff. The last aspect the plaintiff needs to effectively utilize the last clear chance doctrine is that the defendant negligently did not use the capability and time available to avoid injury to the plaintiff.


Proximate Cause Doctrine

If the plaintiff’s negligence is found to have occurred in an unforeseeable or bizarre way, the extent or type of harm was not reasonably foreseeable, and the plaintiff was not in the group of foreseeably injured people. If these aspects are met at a level the court finds appropriate, then contributory negligence will not bar the plaintiff from recovering damages.


Gross Negligence Doctrine

Even if the plaintiff contributed negligence, she can still recover damages if the defendant’s negligence is found to be willful or wanton. Meaning, the defendant deliberately caused harm or was apathetic to any possible injury to others.  


Police Report

In the event of a motor vehicle accident, North Carolina law requires you to contact the police. When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they complete a crash report. The report entails the officer’s assessment of the causes, damages, and overall situation of the accident. You are permitted a copy of the report. You can obtain the copy through mailing a “Crash Report Request Form (TR-67A)” to the DMV headquarters in Raleigh, NC. More information on the report and how to obtain it is located here. At first glance, decoding a crash report can seem daunting. However, with this guide you will find that it is a lot simpler and more informative than originally assumed. A crash report can inform you of various aspects of the accident. The crash report includes the following:
      • Locality (Urban, rural, mixed);
      • Development Type;
      • Road Conditions;
      • Weather Conditions;
      • Day v. Night;
      • Contributing Circumstances;
      • Crash Levels;
      • Information on each driver;
      • Information on each passenger;
      • Damaged areas of the vehicles; and more.
As a driver involved in the accident, it is pertinent to obtain a copy of the report and review it. Reviewing the report will ensure you are aware of all the facts and circumstance the officer recorded. Those that the officer recorded will be hard to dispute. However, if there is anything not mentioned in the report that occurred, and caused or contributed to the accident or your injuries, you should bring it to your attorney’s attention. Overall, the crash report is an essential tool in your case when involved in an accident.

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