As NC Senate Candidate Urges Tort Reform, A 1978 Lawsuit Resurfaces

Advocates for tort reform often argue for caps on damages and other ways to reduce recovery for victims. A North Carolina politician is under scrutiny for advocating tort reform, even though he recovered from a significant settlement after an accident left him partially disabled as a teenager. The case is a reminder that personal injury lawsuits may seem unnecessary–until you become the victim.


According to a recent analysis in the Daily Beast, the North Carolina GOP Senate nominee has been pushing for tort reform. Now his personal history seems to conflict with his political ideology, as he sued after an auto accident that left him with 35% partial disability.

In 1978, the politician was involved in a car accident in Nashville, Tennessee with another young driver. The 17-year-old driver was struck by a 16-year-old female driver who only had her license for 2 months. She wrongly believed she had the right of way to make a left turn on a green light, turning right in front of him and causing the accident. Court documents indicated that the GOP Senate candidate had 35% permanent partial disability, requiring surgery on his hand and physical therapy to restore a full range of motion in his back. Despite the prognosis, he was able to make a full recovery.

At the time, he feared that he would not make a full recovery and decided to pursue a personal injury claim to compensate for his losses. The 1978 lawsuit wasn’t just about physical injuries but attempted to compensate him for other losses, including the inability to pursue an Air Force scholarship to pay for college. His lawyer wrote at the time that his injuries prevented him from going to college because he wouldn’t have funds without the scholarship. Though he later said he wasn’t “wired for college” he did graduate in his 30s from a long-distance program through the University of Maryland.

Our Raleigh car accident attorneys understand that many victims may be reluctant to pursue a claim. Despite political arguments against personal injury claims, victims and their loved ones should remember that the civil system is designed to help victims protect their rights after an injury or wrongful death.

The GOP Senate candidate has vowed to “crack down” on “frivolous lawsuits” through tort reform. He has often been forced to play down his own lawsuit in order to realign with his political views. The GOP Senate candidate has been pushing for tort reform and a bill that would cap non-economic damage in medical malpractice claims. The Senate candidate has also sought to repeal a contributory negligence law that prevents victims who are held 1% responsible from recovering in a lawsuit.

Though political positions do not always jive with personal history, this case is a reminder that anyone can become a victim. Anyone who has suffered in an accident may feel helpless in moving forward. Filing a lawsuit can help you to recover compensation you deserve for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses. The idea of “frivolous lawsuits” is often a judgment imposed by a disinterested third-party. As the GOP candidate knows, victims who have truly suffered deserve the right to fairly recover for their losses after an accident.

If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Woman Killed in South Carolina Pedestrian Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 21, 2013

Spate of Fatal Pedestrian Crashes Reported in North Carolina
, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 3, 2013

Contact Information