North Carolina Car Accident Laws

If you’ve been in a car wreck in North Carolina, you may wonder if you have grounds to file a lawsuit for compensation from the other driver. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and explain your options, including what NC car accident laws apply in your case. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about car accident laws in the Tar Heel State.

Is North Carolina a No-fault State?

In a “No-fault” state, both parties file claims with their respective insurance companies, regardless of who is to blame for the accident. However, North Carolina is an “at-fault” state. This means the injured person has the right to seek compensation from the party that caused the accident.

Usually, this is the other driver, although other parties could be held responsible for the collision, such as:

  • The other driver’s employer
  • The municipality is responsible for maintaining safe roadways
  • The car’s manufacturer if a defect caused the crash
  • A repair shop that performed faulty repairs, rendering your vehicle unsafe

A car accident lawyer can investigate your situation to determine all potentially liable parties.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for North Carolina Car Accidents?

North Carolina’s statute of limitations allows the injured party three years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you miss this deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case regardless of its merits, and you will lose your right to pursue compensation through the courts.

How Does Contributory Negligence Affect Car Accident Cases?

A person is liable for the harm that results from a car accident if they were at fault for the crash. It is possible for more than one person to be at fault. However, North Carolina’s contributory negligence doctrine prohibits an injured party from recovering compensation if they were partly to blame for the accident.

So, if a judge determines that you were even 1 percent responsible for the accident, you cannot receive compensation from another party. This strict doctrine makes it even more critical to hire an attorney who can navigate North Carolina’s complex car accident laws.

North Carolina Car Accident Reporting Laws

North Carolina law requires all car accidents to be reported if:

  • There is more than $1,000 in property damage
  • At least one person was injured
  • Someone was killed

You may file a police report yourself after the accident. If you called the police after the wreck, then the responding officer will complete an official police accident report, including the date, time, road conditions, and parties involved. Many jurisdictions’ accident reports also contain an “officer narrative,” where the responding officer can write their impressions of the crash’s cause and which party was responsible.

North Carolina Insurance Requirements

North Carolina law requires vehicles registered in North Carolina to have the following minimum insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 in property damage
  • $30,000 in bodily injury per person per accident
  • $60,000 in bodily injury total per accident

You’re also required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Failure to maintain adequate coverage can result in fines of up to $150.

Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today

If you need help understanding your legal options or want help pursuing compensation after an accident, contact our car accident lawyer for a free consultation. We know the law, and we can help you seek the justice you deserve.