Intersection Accident Lawyer in Buncombe County
Intersection collisions usually are not “accidents.” People accidentally drop dishes as they clear the table. Instead, deliberate driver error causes about 98 percent of the vehicle collisions in North Carolina. We all make mistakes, and we should all accept the consequences of those mistakes.
When we drop a dish, we should clean up the mess and replace the dish. When we cause car crashes, we should clean up the mess (pay compensation for medical bills and other economic losses) and replace those losses (pay compensation for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses).
In a perfect world, people would readily face the music after they cause a car accident. But we do not live in a perfect world. Frequently, a tough Asheville intersection accident lawyer such as Lakota Denton must force these tortfeasors (negligent drivers) to do the right thing.
When you partner with us, our team quickly gets down to business. We thoroughly evaluate your case and explain your legal options to you. Then, we collect evidence that supports your claims and refutes insurance company defenses. Finally, we never stop fighting for you when an Asheville intersection accident case goes to court.
Why Choose Us
As recently as 2013, when Lakota opened his own law firm, only a handful of trial lawyers actively practiced in Buncombe County and nearby jurisdictions. Today, hundreds of lawyers have offices in this area. So, if you or a loved one was hurt or killed in an accident, you have lots of choices. But not all Asheville intersection accident lawyers were created equally. Only a few have the correct combination of:
- Accessibility: Many lawyers have offices in the Asheville area, but very few of them have roots in this community. When you partner with them, a lawyer in a faraway office usually handles most of the work in your case. But when you partner with Asheville intersection accident lawyer Lakota Denton, he assumes primary responsibility for everything done in your case. The buck stops with Lakota, and he’s always available to meet with you, in person or virtually.
- Dedication: Full-service law firms are great, but many times the attorneys in these offices are a jack of all trades and a master of none. The road to maximum compensation in a personal injury case is often long, winding, and bumpy. Attorneys who lack dedication to personal injury law often pull off to the side of the road and accept any deal the insurance company offers.
- Experience: We do things differently in Buncombe County, and many special rules are informal and unwritten. Only an experienced, local attorney like Lakota Denton can effectively steer your case though the system. Furthermore, you can count on Lakota’s solid legal advice. Whatever issue arises in your case, there’s a good chance our team has encountered that issue before.
Our results speak for themselves. Lakota has a well-earned reputation for effective problem-solving and strong client advocacy. A sharp legal mind and a tenacious attitude can accomplish almost anything in a courtroom.
Let’s not forget negotiation skills. Most personal injury cases settle out of court. Only the best Asheville intersection accident lawyers know when to stand firm and when to compromise. So, our clients receive maximum compensation, and their settlements aren’t held up in court.
Many Asheville intersections were designed and built in the 1990s, when the town was a sleepy village in an isolated valley. Today, it’s the largest city in a sprawling metropolitan area with almost half a million people.
That background sets the stage for driver negligence issues. Many intersections simply weren’t designed to handle today’s traffic volume nor the bigger, heavier, and faster motor vehicles that dominate the streets today.
Pedestrians are especially at risk in such an environment. Seat belts, airbags, and other advanced safety systems protect vehicle occupants during collisions. But pedestrians are completely exposed to onrushing vehicles.
Basically the same liability principles apply in all personal injury cases. An Asheville intersection accident lawyer normally turns to the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule.
Negligence is essentially a lack of care. An ordinary negligence case in North Carolina has four basic elements:
- Duty: Generally, noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must be mentally, physically, and otherwise at their best before they get behind the wheel. Then, they must obey the rules of the road and always drive defensively.
- Breach: Impaired driving, like driving while fatigued or intoxicated, and aggressive driving, like speeding and turning unsafely, cause most intersection collisions. These behaviors also clearly violate (breach) the duty of care. Not every driving mistake is a breach of duty. There’s a difference between speeding 5 mph over the limit and going 20 mph over the limit.
- Cause: North Carolina law requires victim/plaintiffs to prove factual and legal cause. Rain, snow, and other bad weather contributes to car crashes, but driver negligence causes them. Legal cause is foreseeability (possibility). If Sam collided with a fire truck in an intersection and someone dies in a fire because the truck was delayed, that injury was not foreseeable to Sam.
- Damages: Usually, to obtain compensation, the victim must sustain property damage, personal injury, or other tangible damage. The worse the damage, the more compensation an Asheville intersection accident lawyer can obtain in court.
These points of law vary, such as the duty of care. We mentioned fire trucks above. Even if the fire truck is operating in emergency mode (lights and siren on), fire truck drivers must stop, or at least slow down, at intersections and ensure they are clear before they pass through them.
Negligence per se is a violation of a safety law. Tortfeasors who drive drunk, speed, or break another safety law could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
Comparative fault might be the most common insurance company defense in an intersection collision claim. Legally, comparative fault shifts blame for a crash from the tortfeasor to the victim. Practically, this defense often involves the classic “who had the light” question.
A green, yellow, or red light is only part of the equation. As mentioned, all drivers have a duty of care at all times, regardless of a traffic light’s color.
If both drivers were partially at fault, jurors must divide responsibility on a percentage basis. North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state. Victims who were partially responsible for wrecks are ineligible for compensation. So, an Asheville intersection accident lawyer must clearly establish that the tortfeasor was at fault.
Advanced defenses, like sudden emergency and last clear chance, sometimes come up in intersection crash cases. But these defenses rarely hold up in court.
The sudden emergency defense often arises in jaywalking pedestrian accident claims. But jaywalking pedestrians are everyday hazards, not sudden emergencies, like hood fly-ups, lightning strikes, or other unanticipated emergencies.
Rear-end wrecks sometimes involve the last clear chance defense. Legally, the responsible party is the driver who had the last clear chance to avoid the wreck. However, there’s a significant difference between the last clear chance and any possible chance.
Intersection wrecks are extremely complex. Lakota Denton makes them as simple as possible by answering all your questions.
If a delivery truck hit me, can I sue the company?
Generally, yes, because of the respondeat superior doctrine. Under this legal rule, employers are financially responsible for the car wrecks their employees cause, if that employee was working within the course and scope of employment.
Because delivery trucks are so big and so fast, these collisions often cause catastrophic injuries. Individual drivers often don’t have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate these victims. Therefore, vicarious liability theories are very important in these cases.
Respondent superior applies to most other commercial vehicle wrecks, like taxi and Uber crashes. Other vicarious liability theories include dram shop alcohol provider liability and negligent entrustment owner liability.
Why does my lawyer want to settle my case?
Out-of-court settlement are good for victims. Trials are costly, risky, and time consuming. Settlements mean lower litigation costs, which means more money in a victim’s pocket. Additionally, there’s simply no way to tell how a judge or jury will decide the facts.
Out-of-court settlements give victims much more control over the outcome. Finally, since these settlements end cases earlier, victims move on with their lives earlier.
How much compensation can I expect from an intersection accident case?
Each intersection accident case is different. While compensation is never promised, motor vehicle accident victims should never settle for less than they deserve. The best way to maximize your Asheville intersection accident settlement is to secure the dedicated representation of attorney Lakota Denton.
Reach Out to a Diligent Buncombe County Lawyer
Injury victims should never have to settle for less, especially after an intersection accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Lakota Denton, P.A., Trial Attorney, usually makes the difference. Contact us today by going online or calling 828-333-5996. Virtual, after hours, home, and hospital visits are available.