Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Wilmington NC: What is Contributory Negligence?

In many accident cases, liability can often be unclear. When two parties are involved, there is always the chance that the victim of the accident can be held partly to blame. When this is the case, it is called contributory negligence.

At Bain & Rodzik, our motorcycle accident attorney in Wilmington NC finds that contributory negligence is commonly associated with motorcycle-related accidents. When this standard comes into play, it can have a major impact on the amount one can collect in damages.

What is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence is a legal standard that only six states recognize, one of which being North Carolina. It is a defense to a claim based on negligence in which the plaintiff may have contributed to the harm they suffered.

Here is an example of contributory negligence: A motorcycle rider carelessly drives his bike through a red light because he is anticipating it turning green and gets hit broadside by an automobile that was running its light as it was turning red. In this case, the driver of the automobile is negligent, but at the same time, had the motorcyclist patiently waited until the light had turned green, he would have avoided being hit in the first place. Therefore, he shares a portion of the blame for the accident.

What Happens if Contributory Negligence is Proven?

In North Carolina, no damages are awarded to a victim if they were in any way negligent. Even if the victim is considered one percent negligent, they will not be awarded a single dollar in damages.

Is Contributory Negligence the Same as Comparative Negligence?

No. In comparative negligence, a victim can still collect damages even if they are proven partly to blame for their injuries. But, the amount of the victim's damages is reduced by the percentage of their fault. For instance, if a jury ruled that the motorcyclist in the above scenario was 25% responsible for his own injury, then his damages would be reduced by 25%.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Wilmington NC Today

Motorcycle accidents are never cut and dry and in many cases, defense attorneys try to enforce contributory negligence. Only a skilled attorney has the experience to battle back against these claims and prove the defendant was solely to blame. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another's careless negligence, contact Bain & Rodzik's motorcycle accident attorney in Wilmington NC today. We will fight strongly for your rights and do everything in our power to make sure that your case doesn't fall under the contributory negligence guidelines.

Call the Law Firm of Bain & Rodzik today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation. There is absolutely no obligation in calling us and you pay absolutely nothing unless we win your case.