Simply being injured by another, unfortunately, is not enough to have a NC Personal Injury claim. While this flies in the face of common sense, there are several bars to recovery for the injured in our state.
The Bishop Law Firm represents personal injury clients in NC. Our firm handles car accidents, slip & fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bite, wrongful death and more. We also offer free case reviews by phone at (919) 615-3095.
NC Personal Injury Law
Anyone who is injured through no fault of their own may have a NC Personal Injury case. An injured party can receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering and in few instances, punitive damages. However, NC is a contributory negligence state (one of the last few remaining).
NC Personal Injury – Ten Bars to Recovery
Even if you are injured by someone else, you still may not be able to recover your losses in a NC Personal Injury cases if:
- You are contributorily negligent. In NC, a victim must not be at fault (not even 1%) in order to recover on a personal injury claim. Even if the other party was mostly at fault, that still prevents recovery for a victim. This results in unfair outcomes for personal injury victims, but it is the law in our state.
- You let the statute of limitations run out. Most NC Personal Injury claims have a three year statute of limitations. If you let three years pass after your accident, you will not be able to attain compensation for your injury.
- You have no actual injury or no actual losses to recover. Personal Injury requires “bodily injury” for you to recover your medical expenses and lost wages. Property damage alone does not qualify. If you were involved in an accident and you have not received medical treatment or missed any time from work, there is nothing to recover against the at-fault party.
- The at-fault party does not have car insurance at the time of the accident. You can attempt to attach to the at-fault party’s personal assets, but the likelihood of them having assets (and no car insurance) is slim. However, NC does require uninsured motorist coverage, so you may be able to attain some recovery from your own insurance company.
- The owner of the animal that harmed you is a renter, without renter’s insurance or assets. In addition, some insurance companies refuse to insure home owners for certain types of animals. The animal that attacked you may be on the uninsurable list. If the homeowner’s insurance will not pay the claim, the home owner may not have money or assets that you can attach to.
- The at-fault party is deceased and no estate was created for you to bring suit against.
- The responsible party can not be found or the responsible party is immune to personal injury lawsuits (governmental immunity).
- You were trespassing or committing a crime at the time of your injury.
- The matter is actually a landlord-tenant issue and not a personal injury claim. If you are injured on property that you are renting, even after informing your landlord of the issue, you would likely have a landlord-tenant issue and not a personal injury case.
- You were injured at work. In NC, if you are injured at work, you would need to file for NC Workers’ Compensation benefits. You would not have a personal injury claim unless a 3rd party injured you while you were working. Simply put, you cannot have a personal injury claim against your employer.
While it may seem ridiculous that you can be harmed by another and still be unable to receive fair compensation for your losses, it is unfortunately the case in NC.
The Bishop Law Firm represents injured clients in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Fayetteville, Smithfield, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, Louisburg and other areas in North Carolina. Our firm does not get paid unless you win and we offer free case reviews, (919) 615-3095. We wish you a speedy recovery!