Turn signals are mandatory safety items, and use of turn signals is mandated by North Carolina traffic laws. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to take the simple step of engaging their signal to communicate their intention to change direction or switch lanes. Simple failure to use a turn signal before merging or turning supports a civil action and claim for money damages against the driver who failed to follow this traffic law. Thus, if you suffered injury or losses because a driver turned or merged without first engaging their turn signal, you can collect full payment for car damage, property loss, medical expenses, lost income and additional compensation for physical pain and emotional suffering. Our law firm only handles vehicle accident matters. With seven offices and a statewide trial-law presence, Raleigh car accident lawyer Carl Nagle has advocated on behalf of injured individuals throughout North Carolina, including in Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. He is exclusively dedicated to seeking compensation for victims of motor vehicle collisions. Before focusing on victim advocacy, Mr. Nagle worked as an insurance claims adjuster and an insurance defense attorney. This work experience revealed to him the tactics employed by insurance companies as they often seek to minimize the value of claims. Now, the team at Nagle & Associates uses our own strategies to protect the rights of victims during settlement negotiations and trial proceedings.
Hold a Careless Driver Accountable for Injuries Caused by a Failure to Use Turn Signals
North Carolina law requires that drivers use a signal when their movement may affect a pedestrian or another vehicle. The statute ensures that vehicles may safely complete their movements and avoid potential collisions. Turn signals allow other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to anticipate movements and to safely maneuver or slow their speed.
In most personal injury lawsuits following a motor vehicle collision, the victim must establish the defendant’s negligence in order to recover compensation. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. However, North Carolina’s laws on signaling provide that violating the turn signal statute is not negligence per se. This means that a plaintiff cannot establish liability automatically based on the defendant’s violation of a statute. In a failure to signal accident case, an injured individual still needs to prove the four elements of negligence: a duty of care, a breach of this duty, causation leading to the accident, and damages.
Drivers have a duty to signal in a manner that is visible and that allows other drivers to adapt to the situation. In other words, a driver may be held liable for failing to signal in a timely manner, such as signaling for a turn as a vehicle is entering an intersection. When a signal comes too late to give the driver of the following vehicle sufficient warning, and it results in a crash, the driver of the leading vehicle may be held liable if failing to signal caused the accident.
Proving fault in a motor vehicle accident case requires overcoming any potential defenses by the other party. These include the defense of contributory negligence, which is set forth by a defendant who claims that the plaintiff contributed to the accident and partly caused their own injuries. Since North Carolina is among a handful of states that maintain a “pure” contributory negligence law, victims who are deemed partly at fault will not be able to recover any compensation. This makes it important to enlist a car crash attorney who will be vigilant about rebutting any assertions that the victim acted negligently.
Retain a Raleigh Lawyer for Your Car Accident Claim
The team at Nagle & Associates is committed to helping victims and their families following motor vehicle collisions. We have offices throughout the state, and we can even come and meet with you at your home or workplace if this helps to get your case started. There are no up-front costs to hire our legal team, and we are paid only if and when we collect money for you. Many of our cases settle without court involvement, but should the other side fail to offer an acceptable settlement, Raleigh car accident attorney Carl Nagle is prepared to aggressively take your case to a jury trial. Since our goal is to maximize compensation on your behalf, we charge a lower percentage of a settlement or jury award than most personal injury law firms. In other words, our clients take home a greater share of their compensation. Nagle & Associates can help victims in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Wilmington, Charlotte, Greensboro, Hickory, and other areas of Forsyth, Wake, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Brunswick, Durham, Cumberland, and Catawba Counties. You can explore your options through a free case evaluation, and we are happy to meet you at your home if visiting one of our offices is impractical. Call (800) 411-1583 or complete our online form to schedule a phone or in-person consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.