We get this type of question a lot. To be clear, the insurance adjuster doesn’t get to legally decide if you contributed to the accident or not. However, the insurance adjuster does get to decide whether the insurance company is choosing to accept or reject responsibility. If you disagree with an insurance adjuster’s determination of fault, or with the amount of an insurance adjuster’s settlement offer, you should consult with an attorney about filing a lawsuit. If you file a lawsuit, you will be removing your legal case from the hands of an insurance company or insurance adjuster, and placing your case in the hands of a judge and jury. Ultimately, it will be that judge and jury who make a final determination on fault or value.
The legal term for the adjuster denying your based on the allegation that you contributed to the accident is called the doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, a person is completely barred from receiving compensation for an accident or injury if the person is found to have contributed to his or her injuries. Unfortunately, in North Carolina, this can sometimes have pretty harsh consequences, especially where a person suffers catastrophic injuries and only made a minor contribution to the accident.
If you have an injury case where the insurance adjuster is denying your claim, please feel free to contact Kreger Brodish to schedule a consultation to discuss whether we can do anything to help you overcome the denial.