Learn About Car Accident Laws in North Carolina
Car accidents can be unnerving, especially if you’re involved in one. However, knowing the laws that are associated with car accidents in your state is a one way to relieve some of stress you feel. If you are involved in a car accident in North Carolina, knowing some laws and statutes will help you know exactly what to do following the accident.
Statute of Limitations
If you plan on filing a civil lawsuit or insurance claim as a result of your accident, you must be aware of the statute of limitations for such an action. The state of North Carolina allows three years from the time of your accident to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in the crash or damage done to your vehicle. If you wait even one day beyond the three-year limit, it is unlikely that the court will hear your case.
As with most states, North Carolina requires all drivers to carry valid and current insurance coverage for motor vehicles. The minimum amount of insurance for drivers in North Carolina is $25,000 for injury or death to a single person, $60,000 for total damages stemming from the accident, and $25,000 for vehicle or property damage caused by the accident. The state also requires drivers to carry uninsured driver’s insurance and underinsured driver’s insurance in some cases.
Comparative fault for an accident occurs when it is determined that more than one party is responsible for a traffic accident. North Carolina has a strict rule known as “contributory negligence” that states any driver who is found to be at fault for any part of an accident cannot receive compensation for damages.
In some exceptions to this rule, a person who sustained damage from an accident can receive a portion of the loss that is comparative to the level of culpability he or she holds. For example, if $10,000 worth of damage was sustained, but you were found to be 10% at fault, you might only be rewarded 90% of the value, which is $9,000. However, in these instances, you may not be more than 49% at fault to receive compensation for your loss.
Caps on Damages
North Carolina also has laws in place that set limits on how much money can be awarded for injuries that were sustained in a car accident. The ceiling for punitive damages derived from any injury, including those sustained in car accidents, is $250,000.
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. If you get into a car accident in North Carolina, keep these laws in mind. If you have any questions regarding these laws or need further information, please Contact Clauson Law. We are here to help you.