North Carolina Supreme Court Discusses Liability in Intersection Collision Accident Case

One of the most challenging aspects of a motor vehicle accident is figuring out who is responsible for the damages. In some situations, there may only be two parties involved and liability is clearer. But in others, there could be several potential defendants that owe the injured party compensation. If you were hurt in a car accident, contact Maurer Law as soon as possible. Our seasoned Raleigh car accident lawyers can help you make sure that you hold everyone responsible for the injuries and damages that you have suffered.

In a recent case, the North Carolina Supreme Court considered whether the Court of Appeal correctly affirmed the lower court’s denial of a plaintiff’s claim for damages in a negligence case arising from a car accident. The plaintiff’s son was driving a car that his mother owned at the time of the crash. The defendant was driving a van. The two vehicles collided in an intersection.

The plaintiff filed an action against the defendant based on negligence and seeking damages. To prove that a defendant drove a vehicle negligently, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to use ordinary care and skill when driving the vehicle and that the plaintiff suffered injuries as a direct and foreseeable result. Examples of negligent driving include not yielding the right of way or engaging in distracted driving habits behind the wheel. In response to the complaint, the defendant filed an answer naming the son as a third-party defendant.

During the trial, the son testified that he entered the intersection to make a left-hand turn but stopped to make sure the way was clear. The light changed from green to red and he was still in the middle of the intersection. The son proceeded to turn to complete the left turn at which point his vehicle collided with the defendant’s van. There was inconsistent information in the defendant’s testimony about the color of the light when he entered the intersection. During discovery, the defendant indicated that the light had turned yellow before he entered the intersection but at trial, he testified that it was green.

The jury returned a verdict that found both the son and the defendant negligent and denied compensation to the plaintiff. Plaintiff and the son filed appeals. The appellate court concluded that there was enough evidence to find both the son and the defendant negligent and the parties appealed again. The North Carolina Supreme Court concluded there was enough evidence for the jury to conclude that the son acted negligently regarding when he chose to enter the intersection and in whether he failed to notice the van approaching. Ultimately, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the jury’s verdict.

If you were injured in a car accident, contact Maurer Law to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Raleigh car accident lawyer. We know just how overwhelming and confusing it can be to understand your rights after a collision. We will handle all aspects of your case, including obtaining evidence and negotiating with insurance companies. To schedule your free consult, call the office today at 1-888-258-1087 or contact us online to get started.

Contact Information