Herbert Auger, veteran personal injury attorney, notes that North Carolina is one of just four states to deny any monetary award if injured party is even slightly to blame for accident
Charlotte, N.C. (Lexis Nexis) July 23, 2009 -- The North Carolina State Senate needs to take prompt action and pass H813, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Blust (R-Greensboro) that would change the state's negligence standards in tort lawsuits, according to highly regarded Charlotte attorney Herbert Auger.
North Carolina is one of four states in the nation that applies a "contributory negligence" standard to cases where people are accidentally harmed. Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine stating that if a plaintiff in a civil case involving negligence was also negligent in any way, they cannot receive any compensation from the defendant, even if they were found to be only 1% responsible. This doctrine originated in England and is regarded as English "common law" - but due to the harsh ramifications of this doctrine, it was abandoned in England in 1945 when they adopted a statute similar to the bill now in the hands of the North Carolina Senate.
"I have personally met with a number of North Carolina citizens who were victims of accidents caused by someone else's negligence, but they were unable to pursue claims due to this unjust law here in our state," said Auger, founding partner of Auger & Auger, a leading personal injury law firm based in Charlotte.. "Why North Carolina would follow an outdated and unfair rule of law that originated was subsequently abolished in England over 50 years ago, is shocking. This doctrine is essentially a denial of access to justice for these folks."
Bills to change the state's negligence standards have been pushed and failed since the mid-1980s, but a bill sponsored by Rep. Blust passed the House in May. The bill is now under consideration by the Senate.
Supporters of H813 - the "Uniform Apportionment of Tort Responsibility" Act - argue that North Carolina should switch to a system in which fault is apportioned out to each party in a negligence case. So in the case of a $100,000 settlement, an injured party who was found to be 10 percent responsible for her accident would only be paid $90,000. Under the present law as it exists in North Carolina, this injured plaintiff would receive nothing.
Auger & Auger's practice is focused on personal injury litigation and the firm has more than 19 years of experience in this niche. The firm's lawyers meet with each client and carefully explain the steps they need to protect themselves and any loved ones who have personal injuries. Auger & Auger offers free initial consultations in Charlotte, so clients can ask all the questions they have and get the help they need.
For more information, please visit www.augerlaw.com or call 704.315.2589.
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