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Is North Carolina a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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In no-fault states, those involved in a car accident will typically end up having to turn to their own insurance policy to collect compensation for their injuries. However, when someone can be found to be at fault for the accident, in states that allow the fault to be determined, the victims of a car accident can turn to someone like a Charlotte car accident lawyer to seek restitution for the costs associated with the accident and their injuries.

Is North Carolina a No-Fault State?

North Carolina is not a no-fault state. This means that instead of having to turn to their own insurance to cover medical expenses and other costs from an accident, those who have been injured because of someone else’s fault will have the opportunity to file a claim against them under personal injury law. In many cases, it may not be necessary to do so, as a settlement could be reached out of court. However, there is an option if a fair settlement can’t be reached and it becomes necessary.

Is North Carolina a no-fault state for auto accidents?

Who Could Be at Fault for a Car Accident in North Carolina?

Generally, the party at fault for the accident is the party that made some kind of error, mistake, or possibly ill-intentioned decision that led directly to the accident. It may also be the case that more than one party committed an act of negligence that led to an accident. One of the important tasks that a Charlotte car accident lawyer will perform is investigating an accident to determine who is liable. Some of the potentially liable parties include:

  • Other Drivers. Most accidents are a result of something that a driver did incorrectly. Violations such as reckless driving, distracted driving, speeding, or failing to adhere to other traffic laws can cause accidents. Sometimes, the driver at fault may not even be directly involved in the collision but could have triggered an accident by causing other drivers to need to take evasive action due to their reckless driving.
  • A Driver’s Employer. If a driver is engaged in commercial activity, such as a truck accident, it’s possible that the driver’s employer may be at fault, particularly if their policies created extra pressure for deliveries to be done by a certain time, leading to dangerous driving.
  • When an issue with road maintenance, poor signage, or broken traffic lights causes an accident, it may be the government responsible for that upkeep that is at fault.
  • A Parts Manufacturer or Installer. When a defective or malfunctioning part is to blame for an accident, it could be the manufacturer or installer of the part who is liable.


Q: How Is Fault Proven in a North Carolina Car Accident?

A: To be able to collect restitution for injuries, a car accident lawyer will need to show who was at fault for the accident that caused the injuries. It’s the fault that leads to the liability. Demonstrating this will typically require showing the three components of negligence:

  • Duty of Care. The defendant has a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect others from being harmed by their actions.
  • Breach of Duty. When the duty of care has not been met, the defendant is said to have committed a breach of duty.
  • Cause of Injuries. The breach must be shown to be the direct cause of the injuries suffered.

Q: What Is Compensated in a Car Accident?

A: The compensation for a car accident will cover those costs, which can be shown to be a direct result of the accident and injuries from the accident. Generally, this will result in being paid in two forms of damages:

  • Economic Damages. Medical bills, lost wages, and property damages are the kinds of costs that have a clear financial component and are compensated through economic damages.
  • Non-economic Damages. Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and other psychological costs that lack a clear financial element are compensated through non-economic damages.

Q: What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

A: Following a car accident, it’s important that you make sure you get treatment for your injuries and also have professional documentation of those injuries from a doctor or other medical professional. Additionally, it can be important to document the scene of the accident with photos and videos as much as possible. You should also be careful what you say about the accident, as you don’t want to mistakenly say something that could be misconstrued as taking the blame.

Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident, as they can go over your options and help you with the next steps.

Q: Is it Better to Settle a Claim or Go to Court?

A: Generally, taking a claim to court is the way you may receive a maximum possible payout. However, it also carries a greater risk of you coming away with nothing or much less than you hoped, as it’s hard to know for certain what a court will end up ruling. A settlement, on the other hand, avoids that risk as you are sure to receive whatever amount is agreed upon. A settlement also has the potential advantage of being quicker, as a trial could take months or even years to reach a resolution.

A Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Prove Fault

North Carolina being a no-fault state means that people who are the victims of car accidents caused by someone else’s negligence have the opportunity to collect compensation for the injuries that they’ve suffered. One of the key elements of this process is understanding who’s at fault and being able to prove their liability. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can often be crucial to establishing liability in a car accident claim.

At Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, we have experience investigating these accidents, identifying who’s at fault, and seeking compensation for our clients. Whether through a settlement or in court, we’re prepared to represent our clients and do what we can to see that they get fair compensation. If you’re ready to have a talented, dedicated team take a look at your car accident, contact us today.