Side Impact Accidents
Side impact crashes, also called T-bone accidents, can take place in various traffic situations and may result in serious injuries for drivers and passengers. These are particularly dangerous accidents because it there is less structural protection on the side of most vehicles, and because this is the area where occupants are seated. At Nagle & Associates, Raleigh car accident lawyer Carl Nagle and the rest of our team understand the catastrophic consequences of these types of crashes for victims and their families. We can establish the defendant’s fault for the accident and navigate insurance claims or pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Attorney Carl Nagle formerly worked as an insurance defense attorney and insurance claims adjuster, and his understanding of defense tactics strengthens the firm’s ability to anticipate and overcome potential challenges to a victim’s recovery.
Throughout North Carolina, injured individuals have relied on the compassionate and tenacious legal representation provided by Nagle & Associates. We have helped residents of cities such as Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem pursue compensation following a devastating crash. By proving the full impact of their present and future injuries, we have successfully collected over $290 million in compensation on behalf of motor vehicle accident victims throughout NC.Assert Your Rights after a Side Impact Accident
In certain situations, demonstrating fault for a side impact collision may be obvious, based on how the crash took place. To prove fault in a side impact accident, typically the victim tries to show that the defendant driver failed to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. This is the basis of a negligence claim, which essentially contends that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, this duty was breached, and the breach directly caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
At issue in some side impact collision cases, however, is the defendant’s allegation that the plaintiff was partly responsible for the accident. North Carolina applies a pure contributory negligence rule. This doctrine is a complete defense to a personal injury claim. For example, if the plaintiff was driving through an intersection while texting on their cell phone, they may be considered negligent by the judge or jury. If the defendant ran a red light and collided with the plaintiff, the plaintiff probably would be deemed partially at fault for the accident, even though the defendant in fact crashed into the plaintiff. Despite the defendant’s fault, a plaintiff usually will be completely barred from receiving compensation if they were responsible for the accident to even the slightest extent.
A N.C. Supreme Court decision from 1953 is often relied on by insurance companies to support denial of victims’ claims arising from side impact collisions. In Garner vs. Pittman, 237 N.C. 328, the court held that even if a driver has the legal right of way to enter an intersection or roadway, that they must first check to see if any traffic is coming. Insurance adjusters often use this case and similar court decisions to deny claims where drivers enter an intersection under a green light if they admit that they had a clear opportunity to see the driver who ran the red signal approaching. Remember, only 1% fault bars all claims for property damage and personal injury in North Carolina. Thus, victims should always avoid providing written or recorded statements to insurance adjusters following any collision.
Nevertheless, a plaintiff who is found to be partly at fault for an accident might still be able to recover compensation if they can show the defendant had the last opportunity to avoid the collision. This doctrine, called Last Clear Chance, holds that the individual who had the last opportunity to avoid the collision is liable. If this was the defendant, the plaintiff may recover the full extent of damages, often including medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and emotional pain and suffering.Contact a Compassionate Car Accident Lawyer in the Raleigh Area
If you or a loved one was hurt in a side impact collision or another type of motor vehicle accident, experienced Raleigh car accident attorney Carl Nagle can review your case and help you seek compensation from insurance companies and responsible parties. Since our firm solely practices in the area of serious motor vehicle collisions, we understand the importance of efficient and effective legal representation. We charge nothing up front to begin representation, we are paid only if and when we collect money for you, and we can even meet with you at yourh home if this helps to get your case moving forward. We have helped victims and their families in Raleigh, Wilmington, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Hickory, Greensboro, Charlotte, and other cities throughout Wake, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Durham, New Hanover, Catawba, and Cumberland Counties. At Nagle & Associates, we offer a reduced legal fee so that our clients and their families can walk away with the greatest possible compensation. Contact our office today to learn more about our discounted legal fees and to benefit from a free consultation by telephone with an experienced personal injury attorney. We can be reached through our online form or by calling (800) 411-1583.