Asheville Personal Injury Attorney
Our personal injury practice focuses on helping persons who have sustained life-altering, catastrophic injuries.
However, on a more limited basis, we also help those who have simply sustained more moderate injuries causing temporary hardship, including considerable medical expenses and lost wages.
We have successfully helped persons who have sustained serious bodily injuries caused by the negligence of another person or corporation.
Generally speaking, negligence is the failure to use the reasonable care of an ordinarily prudent person, but in specific contexts, such as professional malpractice, negligence typically is based either upon violations of applicable standards of professional care or the failure by a professional to use his or her best judgment. Furthermore, such negligence could constitute the wrongful act or failure to act giving rise to claims for wrongful death. [See our website section on Wrongful Death Claims.]
However, and most important, those injured in North Carolina must be aware of a legal doctrine that can completely bar a recovery from even persons or corporations who are found to be negligent. The doctrine is referred to as contributory negligence.
In essence, there is no basic difference between negligence on the part of the person or corporation alleged to be responsible causing injury, and any negligence found to have occurred by the injured person, which is simply referred to as contributory negligence. Accordingly, the injured person also is required to use the reasonable care of an ordinarily prudent person, and the failure to do so constitutes contributory negligence. Ultimately, if such contributory negligence was also a cause of the incident giving rise to the injuries, then by law such contribution would be a complete bar to any recovery. In reality, a jury is permitted to find that an injured person was contributorily negligent regardless of the relative, apparent degree of contribution. Accordingly, a technical 1% finding of contributory negligence could be a complete bar to any recovery for the injured party.
Although the doctrine of contributory negligence is often viewed as being too harsh and inequitable, it is alive and well in North Carolina and a few other states. There are exceptions or counter-defenses to the doctrine, including the potential gross negligence of the alleged responsible party and the doctrine of last clear chance. However, such legal theories are often difficult to apply, and a proper analysis requires a thorough, detailed understanding of the facts and circumstances giving rise to the subject injuries.
Compensation for the effects of personal injuries is legally referred to as damages. When properly and sufficiently proven, such damages may include compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses incurred to diagnose and treat injuries;
- Lost wages or earnings loss;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scars or disfigurement;
- Partial or full loss of use of a body part; and
- Permanent injury.
The above information is neither intended to be formal legal advice nor a substitute for legal consultation with a qualified attorney, but rather such is provided to offer a general understanding of the applicable law.
We encourage you to contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your particular matter. We understand the difficulties, tough decisions, and potential hardship you and your family may be facing, and we are here to help.JAY KERR LAW