It is difficult but not impossible to determine fault after a multi-vehicle accident. North Carolina is an at-fault state that holds negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Accordingly, there is a multi-step process that auto insurance companies use to find responsible drivers.
Multiple drivers may be blamed
North Carolina law may assign varying percentages of blame to multiple drivers in one accident. First, an insurance adjuster is hired to review the details of an accident, which include police reports, witness statements from multiple drivers and bystanders, and photos of the damages. The final decision for who is at fault depends on the state’s law of negligence.
Determining contributory negligence
North Carolina uses the rule of contributory negligence to determine responsibility for car accidents. If the defendant accuses another driver of contributing to the crash, he or she may be admitting partial fault. An example is when a driver crashes into the rear end of another vehicle. The driver may blame the person in front for instigating the crash by braking too suddenly instead of slowing down gradually. Another example is a person who contributes to his or his injuries and medical bills by not wearing a seat belt during an accident. In this state, a driver who is partially responsible for an accident will not be compensated.
Before seeking compensation
Deciding who is to blame for a multi-vehicle accident depends on North Carolina’s laws about car accidents and negligence. It also depends on the terms in your auto insurance policy. Before you seek compensation for your vehicular damages and medical bills, it’s important to first review the state’s rules on determining fault for a multi-vehicle accident.