When you read news reports – or even investigative reports – about auto accidents in North Carolina, the facts and explanations appear to tie events together with a neat bow.
But are the stories we tell ourselves about our accidents destructive?
Human beings are storytellers by nature. When a major event happens – any kind of catastrophe, including injury car accidents in North Carolina – our brains immediately try to make sense of what happened and put the situation into a specific, concrete context.
This can be a huge problem, as we are going to discuss.
For instance, consider the case of a 67-year-old woman who loses control of her Acura 3.2 TLS on Interstate 95 southbound and sideswipes a delivery truck, precipitating a multi-car collision that shuts down the highway for an hour and a half.
What caused her accident?
Your first thought might be to analyze the carelessness or negligence of the driver of the Acura – or, perhaps, to consider what might have gone wrong with her car. That makes sense, and your hunch may even be correct. For instance, maybe the woman was on an exotic diabetes medication that made her groggy and confused; and the medication side effects made her unable to gauge her turning distance safely.
Often, however, our simplistic “just so” stories are missing pieces.
For instance, one might ask: WHY did the multi-car collision “domino effect” happen? Perhaps that domino effect had little to do with the accident itself and more to do with the design and engineering of the road. Thus, if you or someone who got caught up in that multi-car “pig pile,” not only might you blame the woman — or even the doctor who prescribed her diabetes medication — but you also might pin at least part of the blame on the municipal agency responsible for engineering the highway along that section.
The point is that there is often a lot more to accidents than meets the eye.
Moreover, our “gut instincts” about what happened — who is to blame, who should be held responsible, etc. — can be off the mark, possibly far off the mark. To exhume the “objective truth” of what happened, you need to launch a thorough investigation, ideally with the help of an experienced North Carolina auto accident law firm.
Finding out the truth about the accident may be difficult, but it’s possible to resolve your situation, obtain justice, and get compensation.
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