In February 2016, a woman from Chapel Hill was driving home from work on Highway 54 when another driver lost control of his vehicle and collided head-on with the defendant's vehicle at a speed of 45-miles per hour. Recently, the two drivers were able to settle the case for $825,000.
The lawsuit was brought under the theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when someone has a duty to others, fails in that duty, and through this failure, causes harm to others. While driving a vehicle, every driver has the obvious duty to not harm others with their vehicle. Drivers fulfill this duty by following the rules of the road, being attentive, and driving appropriately for the conditions.
In the case above, a settlement was reached before the case went to trial. If the parties had not settled and the case had gone to trial, a guilty verdict would have meant that the defendant failed in his duty and, because of his failure, he lost control of his vehicle. His failure to maintain control of his vehicle allegedly caused the head-on collision that resulted in the plaintiff's injuries.
This case was a little unusual because the defendant had a rare muscular nervous disorder and the defendant claimed this caused the accident. However, a neurologist testifying as an expert witness was able to show that the defendant was well aware of his medical condition before the accident. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was negligent because he didn't take measures to prevent his medical condition from interfering with his driving. In a further twist, the defendant's father was a medical doctor. Because the father also knew of his son's medical condition, he was named as a co-defendant in the suit under the theory of negligent entrustment.
The plaintiff involved in this settlement suffered injuries that included a fractured leg and a crushed ankle. She was out of work for several months. By suing the at-fault driver for his negligence, a vehicle accident victim can potentially receive monetary compensation. That won't erase the emotional and physical trauma that was suffered but it can help the victim recover. In a typical car accident negligence case, the plaintiff/victim will seek compensation for quantifiable expenses such as property damage, medical expenses, lost income, future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses. A plaintiff may also seek compensation for injuries that are harder to quantify, such as pain and suffering.
Experienced North Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Coping with the physical and emotional toll of an accident is difficult. You may want to move on and feel you don't have the time or energy to worry about a lawsuit. However, if the accident could have been prevented if the at-fault driver had been driving safely, you deserve compensation to help you move on. Let us handle the legal obligations for you. Contact Caulder & Valentine today for a consultation.