Lawsuit Info Center / Car Accident Settlement Guide / North Carolina Car Accident Settlement
North Carolina Car Accident Settlement
North Carolina Auto Accident Settlements
North Carolina is one of the most dangerous states in the country for car accidents. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they were over 250,000 car accidents in North Carolina, resulting in over 10,000 injuries and 1,000 deaths in 2022 alone. If you have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
After a car accident in the Tarheel State, you may want to file a North Carolina car accident settlement, or maybe even a lawsuit to obtain compensation if you suffered injuries and damages. Several North Carolina auto accident laws can affect your claim, as well as the legal obligations you have for reporting the accident.
- How Much Is Your Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
- How Much Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?
In this article, we will discuss the factors that affect car accident settlements in North Carolina and some tips for getting the most out of your claim. We will also provide a guide to the North Carolina car accident settlement process so that you can understand what to expect.
Reporting a North Carolina Car Accident
You need to know what to do after a car accident in North Carolina. Many communities in the state do not send the police to investigate minor auto accidents with no injuries. So it’s essential to know the car accident reporting requirements in North Carolina.
The driver of a vehicle that was in a North Carolina auto accident must report it to the police if someone died, including a driver, passenger, or pedestrian. You also must report the accident if there was $500 or more in property damage.
If you do not report the accident to the police or state highway patrol, you can lose your license for up to a year.
Because law enforcement does not respond to minor accidents in some North Carolina cities, it is wise to exchange contact details with the other drivers at the accident scene. You should get their names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance policy information. Also note the makes, models, and license numbers of the vehicles involved.
If you hit a vacant vehicle, you must report the crash to the owner. You need to do it orally or in writing within 48 hours. In most cases, you can fulfill your legal obligations by leaving a note on the windshield with your contact information.
Auto Accident Settlement Process in North Carolina
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to settle a car accident claim in North Carolina:
- File a claim:
The first step is to file a claim for your North Carolina car accident settlement. You can do this by contacting the insurance company and providing them with the following information:
- Your name, address, and phone number
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The names and contact information of any witnesses
- A description of the damage to your car
- A copy of your police report
- Any medical bills you’ve received
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
Once you’ve filed a claim, the insurance company will likely contact you to negotiate a car accident settlement. The insurance company will likely offer you a lower amount than you’re asking for. It’s important to be prepared to negotiate. You can use the following tips to negotiate a fair settlement:
- Be prepared. Do your research and know the value of your claim.
- Be calm and professional. Don’t get angry or emotional.
- Be willing to walk away. If you’re not happy with the insurance company’s offer, be prepared to walk away and file a lawsuit.
- File a lawsuit if you can’t reach a settlement.
If you can’t reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit. Filing a car accident lawsuit can be a complicated process, so it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
While you don’t need to hire an attorney for steps 2 or 3, it’s usually advisable, especially in a lawsuit where you’ll need to argue your case in front of a judge or jury.
To recap: North Carolina is an at-fault insurance state. Some state laws require you to have no-fault insurance. This means the injured driver files a claim on their own auto insurance policy for injuries and damages.
But in North Carolina, the injured party must file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This means the at-fault driver’s policy pays for your damages.
You have three ways to obtain compensation after a North Carolina car accident:
- File an auto insurance claim with your own insurance company: Call your auto insurance company after the crash. If you file the claim, your insurance company will file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance company.
- File an auto insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company: You can file a claim on the other driver’s policy. You call the driver’s insurer and give them his or her policy number. Then, follow up with a letter that you are filing a claim.
- File a lawsuit: This is the last resort if you are not getting anywhere with the insurance company. The insurance company may not want to settle if there are liability questions.
What is the Average Car Accident Settlement for a North Carolina Car Accident Settlement?
The average car accident settlement in North Carolina is $20,000. This number can vary depending on the severity of the injuries, the fault of the other driver, and other factors. However, it is important to note that no two cases are exactly alike, so it is impossible to say for sure how much money you will receive in a settlement.
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
North Carolina Car Accident Settlement Examples
Here are some examples of North Carolina car accident settlements:
- A woman was injured in a car accident when another driver ran a red light. She suffered a broken leg and had to have surgery. She also missed several weeks of work. She was awarded $100,000 in her broken leg car accident settlement.
- A man was injured in a car accident when another driver rear-ended him. He suffered a concussion and grade 3 whiplash injury from the car accident. He also had to have his car repaired. He was awarded $50,000 in his whiplash car accident settlement.
- A family was injured in a car accident when another driver crossed the center line and hit their car head-on. The parents suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and head injuries. Their children were also injured. The family was awarded $2 million in their head on collision car accident settlement.
These are just a few examples of North Carolina car accident settlements. The amount of money you can receive in a car accident settlement will vary depending on the specific facts of your case. However, if you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. It is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in North Carolina?
In general, however, it can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle a car accident claim in North Carolina. If the injuries are minor and the other driver is clearly at fault, it may be possible to settle the claim within a few months. However, if the injuries are serious or there is any dispute about who is at fault, it may take longer to reach a settlement.
Here are some of the factors that can affect the time it takes to settle a car accident claim in North Carolina:
- The severity of the injuries: The more severe the injuries, the longer it may take to settle the claim. This is because the insurance companies will need to have more time to assess the full extent of the injuries and the cost of treatment.
- The fault of the other driver: If the other driver is clearly at fault for the accident, it may be easier to settle the claim. This is because the insurance companies will be more likely to accept liability and pay out a settlement. However, if there is any dispute about who is at fault, it may take longer to reach a settlement.
- The willingness of the insurance companies to cooperate: The insurance companies involved in the claim may also affect the time it takes to settle. If the insurance companies are cooperative and willing to negotiate, it may be possible to reach a settlement more quickly. However, if the insurance companies are difficult to deal with or unwilling to negotiate, it may take longer to reach a settlement.
How Can I Maximize My Car Accident Settlement in North Carolina?
There are some things that you can do to maximize your car accident settlement in North Carolina. These include:
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. This is the most important thing that you can do after a car accident. The sooner you get the medical attention you need, the sooner you can start the healing process and the better your chances of getting a full recovery. If you have any injuries, be sure to see a doctor right away.
- Take pictures of the damage to your car and your injuries. This will help you document the extent of the accident and your injuries. If possible, get someone else to take the pictures for you so that you don’t have to move around and risk further injury.
- Get witness statements. If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information. This will be helpful if you need to prove that the other driver was at fault.
- Keep all of your medical records. This includes all of your doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and bills. This documentation will show the extent of your injuries and the cost of your treatment.
- Contact an experienced injury attorney. An experienced injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not try to handle your case on your own. The insurance companies have teams of lawyers who are experts at minimizing payouts. You need an experienced lawyer on your side to level the playing field.
- Do not talk to the insurance company without first speaking to an attorney. The insurance company is not on your side. They are only interested in protecting their own interests. Do not talk to the insurance company without first speaking to an attorney. Anything you say to the insurance company can and will be used against you.
- Be patient. It can take time to settle a car accident claim. Do not expect to get a large settlement overnight. Be patient and let your attorney work on your case.
Following these tips can increase your chances of getting a fair settlement for your car accident.
Car Insurance Laws in North Carolina
In North Carolina, it is required by law to have auto insurance. The minimum coverage requirements are:
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability
If you are involved in an accident, the insurance company will pay for the damages up to the limits of your policy. If the damages exceed the limits of your policy, you may be responsible for the remaining amount.
North Carolina Driving and Car Accident Laws
- Drivers must be at least 16 years old to drive a car
- Drivers must have a valid driver’s license. Your driver’s license must be valid and in your possession when you are driving. If your license is expired or suspended, you could be fined, have your car impounded, and even have your license revoked.
- Drivers must obey all traffic laws, including speed limits, stop signs, and traffic lights. This law is in place to keep everyone safe on the road. If you are caught breaking a traffic law, you could be fined, have your points increased, and even have your license suspended or revoked.
- Drivers must wear their seatbelts at all times. Seatbelts are one of the most effective ways to prevent serious injuries or death in a car accident. If you are caught driving without a seatbelt, you could be fined.
- Drivers must not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that can have devastating consequences. If you are caught driving under the influence, you could be arrested, fined, have your license suspended or revoked, and even be sentenced to jail time. Likewise, car accident settlements involving drunk drivers are often larger due to the reckless nature of driving under the influence.
- Drivers must not text or talk on their cell phones while driving. Texting and talking on your cell phone while driving is a dangerous distraction that can lead to accidents. If you are caught texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, you could be fined.
- Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians and other vehicles. Pedestrians and other vehicles have the right of way in certain situations. It is important to be aware of these situations and to yield the right of way when necessary.
- Drivers must be responsible for their actions on the road. When you drive, you are responsible for your own actions and the actions of your passengers. This means that you should be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react in case of an emergency.
North Carolina is a fault-based insurance state. This means that the driver who is at fault for an accident is responsible for paying for the damages. If you are involved in an accident, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will then investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. If you are found to be at fault, you will be responsible for paying for the damages to the other driver’s car and for their medical expenses.
Comparative Negligence in North Carolina Car Accidents
North Carolina is one of the few states that has a contributory negligence rule. This means that if you are at fault in any way for a car accident, you cannot file a claim for compensation. Many say this is an unfair and extreme law.
Understanding this law is critical because it binds juries and judges in car accident cases. It also places certain requirements on insurance adjusters as they evaluate your case. If you share blame for the accident, you will have difficulty negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.
Note that there is no empirical way to determine fault. Therefore, the assignment of blame comes down to how well you and your attorney negotiate with the adjuster or persuade a judge or jury.
Let’s look at an example. Say you are in a car crash where the other driver makes a left turn in front of you. But the police report states you were going 10 MPH over the limit. The jury finds you are 10% at fault for the crash. Under the contributory negligence law, you cannot recover anything for your injuries and property damage.
This seems to be a harsh and antiquated law, but you will not recover anything in North Carolina unless the other driver is 100% liable.
There are a few exceptions to the contributory negligence rule. For example, if the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be able to recover damages even if you were also at fault.
Last Clear Chance Doctrine
There are a few exceptions to North Carolina’s contributory negligence law. The last clear chance rule is a complex exception that you can try if you can show that the defendant had a clear chance to avoid the accident. Elements of this rule include:
The injured party was negligent, but could not escape the dangerous situation created by their negligence
The defendant knew or should have known about the injured party’s dangerous situation
The defendant had the means and time to avoid hurting the other person
The defendant was negligent in failing to avoid hurting the other person
Let’s consider an example of a person who was negligent by running a red light. If the car stalled in the middle of the intersection, the driver no longer can prevent an accident. If a driver entering the intersection should have seen the obstruction and braked before hitting it, the oncoming driver had the last clear chance to prevent the crash.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long after an accident you can file a lawsuit. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for car accidents is three years. This means you have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within three years, you may be barred from recovering damages.
Dram Shop Law in North Carolina
Dram shop laws in North Carolina hold people liable for injuries caused by serving alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. This includes businesses such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, as well as private individuals who serve alcohol to guests at their homes.
North Carolina Auto Accident Settlement Taxes
In North Carolina, settlement proceeds from a personal injury lawsuit are generally not taxable. This is because the settlement is intended to compensate the injured party for their losses, which are not considered income. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the settlement includes compensation for lost wages, that portion of the settlement may be taxable. Additionally, if the settlement includes punitive damages, those damages are also taxable.
Here is a list of what is and is not taxable in a North Carolina settlement:
- Lost wages
- Punitive damages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Here are some additional things to keep in mind about car accident settlement taxes in North Carolina:
- You may have to pay taxes on your car accident settlement if you have already deducted the expenses that are being reimbursed. For example, if you have already deducted your medical expenses on your taxes, you may have to pay taxes on any portion of your settlement that is used to reimburse those expenses.
- You may also have to pay taxes on your settlement if you receive it in a lump sum. If you receive your settlement over time, you may be able to spread the payments out over multiple years, which could reduce your tax liability.
If you are unsure whether you have to pay taxes on your settlement, you should consult with a tax advisor.
Can I Sue In North Carolina If The Other Driver Caused the Accident?
Yes. North Carolina allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit if the other driver caused the accident. But most car accident cases can settle between the insurance companies. Your auto accident attorney will need to contact the other driver’s insurance company. They may negotiate an accident settlement that pays for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost ability to earn a living
- Pain and suffering
Remember that you must prove that the other driver is liable for the accident to recover compensation.
Should I File a Car Insurance Claim?
If you are hurt in a serious North Carolina car accident, you should always report the incident to your insurance company. Also, you must file a police report if you are in an accident with injuries and/or death. You also must file a report if the accident has damages above $500.
While you should always file a car accident claim for severe accidents, there are situations where you might not. For instance, if you are in a single-car crash and you have no injuries, you do not need to file a claim.
North Carolina Accident Resources
No matter how well prepared you are, getting in a car accident is always a stressful situation. The resources below can help you to get through this time so you know what to do to get compensation for your injuries.
- What is your personal injury claim worth? Our Free Car Accident Settlement Calculator can help you to determine what you may get in terms of compensation in a claim or lawsuit.
- If you were in a car accident in Raleigh, you can search for a copy of the accident report on their police department site.
- If you are in an accident in the state and need a copy of the accident report, you may find it with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
- You are required to report any car accident that causes death or serious injury, or property damage of at least $1000.
Getting in an auto accident can be a scary prospect. Getting a fair car accident settlement in North Carolina can be equally tricky and scary, but with the knowledge of North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws and general tips on how to negotiate your car accident settlement, you should be well equipped to get the compensation you deserve.
- What’s my car accident settlement worth?
- Find out in less than 60 Seconds!
You are required to have at least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person and $60,000 per accident. You also must have at least $25,000 coverage for property damage.
In North Carolina, the insurance follows the car. This means if someone borrows your car and injures someone, the injured party will pursue you for damages because you insure the vehicle.
No. North Carolina is a fault state. This means if you are injured in a car accident, you can file a claim against the driver that caused the accident.
You must file a personal injury claim from a car accident within three years of the accident date.
The insurance company is required to acknowledge the receipt of a car accident claim within 10 days, and also must mail payment for a claim within the same timeframe. But in between receipt of the claim and payout of the final settlement, there is a lot of back and forth negotiation around what is a fair car accident settlement amount, given the circumstances of your North Carolina auto accident.
Your adjuster is obligated to act in good faith on your behalf but only within the bounds of North Carolina state law. They have a job to do – namely to settle your claim as fast as possible while also minimizing their company’s financial liability and exposure.
Once all the facts are agreed upon, the adjuster will usually send you a letter with an offer to settle the claim. If you disagree with the offer or if no offer is made within 30 days, you have the option to file a car accident lawsuit against the at fault driver and his/her insurance company in court.
Whiplash Injury Settlement Story
Whiplash Injury Settlement Story Case Facts This is the story of my car accident, injuries, and the process of negotiating a whiplash injury settlement. The accident happened on a Friday night at approximately 11:00 PM. I was driving home from work on Highway 101,...
T Bone Car Accident Settlement Story
Accident Facts I was injured in a T-Bone car accident a few weeks ago in Sacramento, California. The accident happened on a clear day at 3:00 PM. I was driving home from work in my car (a 2019 Toyota Camry) down a Folsom Boulevard when the other driver driving a 2020...
Pickup Truck Accident Settlement Story
Pickup Truck Accident Facts It had been a typical day on the road. It was March of 2023 and I was driving my pickup truck, a 2020 Ford F150, down State Road 262 in Fremont, California. But everything changed instantly when another driver in a Toyota Tacoma ran a red...
What is a typical Allstate Settlement for a Rear-End Accident?
Overview Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents, typically caused when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. These types of accidents can be especially dangerous due to the suddenness and potential for serious injuries....
Average Settlement for Chronic Pain After a Car Accident
If you've been in a car accident, you may be experiencing chronic pain. This pain can be caused by a number of factors, including injuries to your muscles, bones, and nerves. Chronic pain can make it difficult to function at work, at home, and in your social life....
Pinched Nerve Car Accident Settlement: What You Need to Know
No one plans on getting into a car accident, but unfortunately, they do happen. And while the physical damage of a car accident can be easy to see at first glance, the unseen injuries often cause the most long-term harm. One such injury is a pinched nerve—an injury...
Can a Good Headrest Prevent Whiplash in a Car Accident?
Headrests are often overlooked as a safety feature in cars, but they can provide a significant level of protection against whiplash injuries in a car accident. Installing a suitable headrest in your vehicle can help reduce the risk of serious injury. Research has...
Above Average Car Accident Settlements
What Percentage of Car Accidents Settle for More Than the Victim’s Actual Damages? Car accidents are, unfortunately, a part of life. In the United States, a crash occurs every 6 minutes. Many of these accidents result in injuries and death. In 2020, 4.8 million people...
The Dangers of Accepting a Low Car Accident Insurance Settlement – And Why Insurers Make Them
It can be hard to deal with the aftermath of a car accident, and sometimes dealing with the insurance adjusters can seem like a friend who’s there to help guide you through a tough time. However, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are for profit...