by

blasting area

When a person is hurt because of the conduct of others, the extent to which he or she may pursue monetary compensation from the responsible party (or parties) depends, at least in part, on the nature of the relationship between the plaintiff and the would-be defendant(s).

There are some defendants, including a plaintiff’s employer, against which liability may be limited. In a recent case, an injured man advanced a “novel argument” (as the Court of Appeals of North Carolina put it) as to why his case should be excepted from this general rule.

Continue reading

by

Calendar

Under North Carolina law, the limitations period for a personal injury claim is generally three years. In most cases, this means that a party who fails to file a formal complaint in court within three years of an accident is without a remedy.

However, there is an exception in some cases. Known as the “relation back” rule, a claim asserted in an amended pleading may be deemed to have been filed within the statute of limitations if the original pleading gave notice of the transaction or occurrence at issue.

Continue reading

by

repair shop

Most lawsuits pertaining to automobile accidents deal with the issues of liability, damages, and insurance coverage. Usually, the property damage portion of a car wreck case is resolved prior to trial. This is not always the case, however.

Recently, a North Carolina appeals court heard a case in which a jury awarded a man several hundred thousand dollars as a result of alleged misconduct in the repair of his vehicle following a motor vehicle collision.

Continue reading

by
Posted in:
Updated:

by

timing device

The expression “time is of the essence” is extremely important in the law. For example, a failure to file a claim within the period allotted by law is usually fatal to a would-be plaintiff’s legal rights.

Although the more typical situation resulting in the dismissal of an untimely complaint involves an injured person who did not make a claim within the statute of limitations, the issue can also arise in actions filed by insurance companies seeking to assert their rights under a policy of insurance.

Continue reading

by

tomato plantUnder North Carolina law, those who own places of business owe certain duties to customers and others who come into a store or restaurant to shop or do business. This includes “a duty of reasonable care to all lawful visitors.” However, this duty does not go so far as to make the business owner the insurer of the customer, and a person seeking to recover damages following a fall or another accident must prove all four elements of negligence in order to prevail in his or her case.

These elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. A failure to prove one or more of these elements is fatal to a plaintiff’s personal injury case.

Continue reading

by

scales

In many cases, an automobile accident is obviously caused by a single defendant. In some cases, however, it is arguable that multiple defendants or even the plaintiff contributed to the cause of a crash. The issue of the effect a plaintiff’s own contributory negligence has on a case is a matter of state law. In some states, called “pure comparative fault” states, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to him or her, but recovery can still be had in the amount of the defendant’s percentage of negligence.

Other states allow the plaintiff to recover only if he or she was less than a certain percentage (typically 49-50%) at fault. To explain, if a plaintiff is found 50% at fault in such a state, he or she can recover the 50% of the damages attributable to the defendant. A third rule, called “contributory negligence,” applies in North Carolina and a few other states. Under this harsh rule, if a plaintiff is found to be negligent at all, he or she receives nothing.

Continue reading

by

hospital roomIn some lawsuits arising from personal injury or wrongful death, there is only a single issue. Often, however, there are multiple claims for relief.

Depending upon the facts of the case, some of those claims may be stronger than others, and some may, in the end, turn out not to be viable.

Continue reading

by

tree in yardIn order to be successful in a personal injury lawsuit, those who are injured due to others’ negligence must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that this duty was breached, and that the plaintiff was hurt as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. If the plaintiff does not prove that there was a link of causation between the defendant’s actions (or inactions) and the harm that the plaintiff suffered, he or she cannot recover money damages.

Recently, a defendant in a negligence case removed to federal court asked the court to grant summary judgment in its favor on the basis that the plaintiff had failed to provide certain documentation pertaining to the issue of causation.

Continue reading

by

justice

The American judicial system is based on the premise that legal disputes should be settled by an unbiased finder of fact – sometimes referred to as “a jury of one’s peers.” In criminal cases, evidence that might otherwise be deemed relevant is sometimes excluded because the court decides that such evidence is unduly prejudicial or inflammatory. In other words, the court believes that admitting a certain piece of evidence could unfairly sway the case, usually against the defendant (but not always so).

The same is true in civil cases. Evidence that would otherwise be admissible may be excluded if the court believes that it would taint the fairness of the proceedings.

Continue reading

by

winston truck wreckWhile details have not yet been published, a single vehicle roll-over accident involving a tractor trailer left all lanes closed on Highway 52 in Winston Salem today. The incident occurred at the exit of a cloverleaf entrance onto U.S. 52 South at Business 40 in the center of downtown Winston Salem. According to the N.C.D.O.T., the single vehicle truck wreck occurred at 10:16 a.m. and, considering the location, it appears that the truck driver was exceeding a safe speed as he continued the tight right turn as he exited Business 40 onto U.S. 52 South.

Tractor trailers are top-heavy and extremely unsteady in tight turns. While it is not clear whether the truck was loaded, a loaded trailer (especially if the load-weight is not balanced inside the trailer) adds to the unsteady nature of a tractor trailer rig in a turn. Apparently the driver involved continued through the full circle of the cloverleaf interchange at an unsafe speed, causing the truck to lift all right wheels and ultimately turn over.

Lanes were ultimately cleared and traffic was flowing on both southbound lanes of U.S. 52 shortly after 1 p.m.

 

Contact Information