Road Blocks to Recovery

Sometimes there are roadblocks to recovering compensation for serious injuries.

Some of the obstacles encountered often include the following:

  • Denial of liability. In North Carolina, the defendant can prove that your actions contributed to causing an accident. Generally, this proof can bar your recovery. North Carolina operates on pure contributory negligence law, which means that if you are even only 1% at fault, you cannot recover any damages. The exception is when the defendant’s negligence was gross, willful or wanton. The case of Brewer v. Harris established a precedent that plaintiffs can recover damages under these circumstances.
  • Denied coverage. It is important to report your accident as soon as possible to your insurance company. Often, people fail to perform this important step. Your insurance company is obligated to defend you in claims, but if you failed to report the accident, insurance policies typically have terms that absolve the company of the obligation.
  • Hit-and-run accidents. In a hit-and-run accident, there is no other party to sue for damages. Unless you carry collision insurance or uninsured motorist coverage, you have no way to recover damages.


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