Of all the strange laws on the books, contributory negligence is certainly one of the most unfair. It represents the idea that if you are at fault even slightly for your own injury, you may not recover anything at all for your injuries and damages. However, North Carolina’s courts have developed the doctrine of Last Clear Chance as a way to defeat contributory negligence.
Last Clear Chance is exactly what it sounds like: even if both parties contributed to an injury, the last one who clearly had the time and ability to avoid the injury, is the one responsible. The courts developed this theory to try and avoid some of the most unfair results in cases where contributory negligence happened, but the defendant was really the one at fault.
Last Clear Chance, like contributory negligence, is controlled by the specific facts of your case. It doesn’t apply in every case. However, many insurance adjusters and attorneys that don’t try cases in North Carolina don’t fully understand either theory. The lawyers at Miller Law Group try cases to juries, and understand how these theories work. Stacy Miller and Sean Cole have both tried multiple cases where these theories were used. Sean Cole has even helped improve some of the law of Last Clear Chance by taking cases involving it to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, including one case involving a pedestrian which was worth well over $100,000.00.
Last Clear Chance does not just apply to automobile wrecks, but to many kinds of injury claims. If you’ve been told that your claim is barred by contributory negligence, contact Miller Law Group so we can review the facts and see if we can help. Last Clear Chance doesn’t apply in every case, but if it applies,.