Can you sue a drunk driver in North Carolina?
A 20-year-old man is facing a DUI charge after a recent fatal car accident in Wilmington out by ILM. Police are also charging him with felony death by motor vehicle. More charges are pending, according to the Wilmington StarNews.
The wreck happened in mid-July on Gordon Road near Kerr Avenue by Wilmington International Airport. Leading up to the crash, 20-year-old Ernest Eddins III, of Castle Hayne, allegedly attempted to pass a Mazda SUV heading in the same direction in a no-passing zone, according to local media reports. Eddins’ Toyota Tacoma then allegedly struck an oncoming Subaru SUV head-on.
A female passenger in the Subaru died at the scene of the crash. Four passengers, including three children, were also transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. A blood alcohol content (BAC) test was done on Eddins, but the results have not been released.
While the number of DUI crashes has declined significantly over the last several decades, it remains a leading cause of car accidents. About 30 percent of the state’s fatal crashes involve someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and it isn't always easy for crash victims to file a claim for damages in North Carolina.
Just because a driver was under the influence of alcohol does not mean that they are automatically at fault in an accident—at least not in the eyes of an insurance adjuster.
After an accident with a drunk or impaired driver, it is important that you protect your interests immediately. Do not talk to an insurance adjuster before consulting with an attorney.
North Carolina puts a serious burden on accident victims seeking recovery. This is one of the few states in the nation that follows the “1 percent” contributory negligence rule. This means that if you are found to have contributed to the accident’s cause — even by a tiny percent — you cannot file a claim for injury, property, or other damages from the crash.
This shouldn’t be an issue in a situation where a drunk driver hits you. North Carolina recognizes three scenarios in which the “1 percent rule” does not apply, and one of those is DUI. Don’t expect an insurance adjuster to point this out, however.
In this situation, the insurance adjuster is working strictly on the side of the drunk driver to protect the insurance company's bottom line. Adjusters are well-trained in how to trick you into saying something that they can twist around to justify rejecting or reducing your claim.
When you need someone to fight for you, get Flexner
A car accident lawyer can help if you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, but you need to hire the right attorney for the job. Law firms that are most qualified to fight for North Carolina DUI victims typically have:
- Years of experience fighting on behalf of DUI accident victims
- A history of successful case results
- A reputation for being responsive and honest with clients
- Excellent client reviews
- Deep knowledge of the law and how it might apply to your specific case
Our law firm has more than 35 years of experience fighting for clients in Brunswick, New Hanover, Columbus, and Bladen counties. Attorney Richard Flexner is known throughout southeast North Carolina as a lawyer with integrity and an aggressive approach to seeking justice. Take control of your accident and let us fight for the compensation you're entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation.