Can I recover anything if I was partially responsible for an auto accident?

The general rule in North Carolina is that you cannot recover if your own negligence contributed to a crash. But there are exceptions to this rule.

This rule is known as “contributory negligence.” In our state, if you are even 1 percent at fault for an accident, you could be barred from recovering anything.

One exception to this rule is the “last chance doctrine.” Basically, even if you were at fault, if the other party still had the last chance to avoid the accident, you may still be able to recover damages.

Another exception applies when the other driver’s actions were “willful and wanton.” Aggressive Driving  might be example of this kind of case.

Finally, a child under age 7 could not be barred from recovering under the doctrine of contributory negligence. For instance, even if a child ran out into a street and was hit by a negligent driver, a recovery would still be possible. A child age 7-14 could be considered to be capable of contributory negligence depending on the child’s maturity.