Contributory negligence means that an injured party cannot claim damages if he or she is deemed to have contributed to the sustained injury or damage to property in any way. North Carolina (along with the states of Alabama, Maryland, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia) recognizes this rule. For injury victims filing a claim, contributory negligence is the least favorable outcome.
To determine negligence, NC follows the common care standard, which basically says that every person is responsible for exercising a reasonable amount of care to protect himself and others from injury or damage. A person’s failure to use a minimum amount of reasonable care could may amount to negligence.
What contributory negligence can mean for your case
The issue of contributory negligence can become a major issue in an injury case because it has the capacity to reduce your compensation by the proportion of your fault or you could be deprived from recovering any amount completely. For this reason, it’s important to always have an attorney by your side who truly understands the circumstances and has experience working with cases of negligence.