Why Is Negligence So Hard To Prove?


To successfully recover compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, it will be crucial to prove that someone else was negligent and caused the accident.

A person who injures others due to negligence or an intentional act can be held accountable. A wrongful act that leads to severe injuries is generally handled in civil courts, where the plaintiff (the person who files a lawsuit) must prove the defendant (the person being sued) was negligent.

According to Section 1-139 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a personal injury case. The plaintiff must show the defendant is liable beyond a preponderance of the evidence.

Proving negligence is not always easy. It usually requires help from an attorney with extensive experience handling injury claims. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., to help you if you’ve been injured. We offer free consultations.

What Is Negligence in North Carolina?

To demonstrate someone was negligent under North Carolina law, a plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the plaintiff from being injured in an accident.

Negligence generally involves someone’s actions, such as when a drunk driver hurts someone else in a crash after choosing to drink alcohol. However, there are also cases when failing to act in some way can be considered negligent, like when a contractor fails to properly inspect a building and the structure collapses.

How to Prove Someone Was Negligent

It’s important to have as much evidence as possible to support your case.

Some of the types of evidence that are commonly used in North Carolina include:

  • Police accident reports— Police reports can provide important information, though the report’s conclusions are not always admissible in court.
  • Photos from the accident scene— By closely examining pictures from the scene of an accident, trained investigators can find clues that may demonstrate a defendant’s negligence.
  • Eyewitness accounts— In some cases, someone may have directly witnessed the at-fault party being negligent, such as when someone sees a drunk driver weaving through traffic.
  • Medical records — A defendant’s medical history may show whether they were impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications at the time of the accident, which may have contributed to their negligent behavior.
  • Expert testimony — Testimony from medical experts or other professionals can help flesh out the nuances of a defendant’s actions to show how they were negligent.

How Could North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence Rule Affect Your Case?

North Carolina personal injury cases are challenging because of the state’s contributory negligence rule. The law states that if a plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the accident to any degree, the plaintiff could be barred from recovering compensation. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the plaintiff’s role was. The rule gives defendants an advantage in litigation.

How Our NC Attorneys Can Help Prove Negligence in Your Case

Because of North Carolina’s contributory negligence rule and the general challenge of proving negligence, it’s crucial to get help from a lawyer if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence. The North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., have decades of experience we can draw on to help build a strong case for you. We know what evidence to look for, and we can call on renowned experts to support your case.

For specific answers to your questions about North Carolina’s negligence laws, contact the skilled and compassionate team at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., today for a consultation with one of our attorneys.

A lifelong resident of Shelby, North Carolina, David Teddy was raised with a strong desire to help the people of the community he grew up in. It was this desire to help others along with his appreciation of the art of debate that first spurred his drive to practice law.

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