North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog

A charter bus accident resulted in nine deaths and 44 injuries after the casino-bound driver lost control of a rain-slicked highway in Texas. The bus flipped, ejecting numerous passengers onto the pavement. Seven were declared dead at the scene. An eighth died later that day at the hospital. The ninth, an 83-year-old man, died of his injuries more than a week later.bus6

The crash, one of the deadliest in the Lone Star State’s history, occurred just before 11:30 a.m., some 50 miles outside of Laredo. The group was reportedly just 15 miles away from their destination.

Authorities have not said if weather was a definite factor in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was launching an investigation outside the one being conducted by state troopers. All investigators could say at this point was that the driver lost control. A spokesperson with NTSB told NBC News that the bus did have an anti-lock brake system, but it wasn’t active because the system wasn’t mandated at the time the bus was manufactured. It’s unclear whether that may have made a difference in this case.  Continue reading

Drivers who exchange texts and e-mails behind the wheel can be held civilly liable and criminally responsible for the car accidents and injuries they cause. We all know that already.

But what about the person on the other end of that communication?phone

Courts in several jurisdictions have held that third parties can be liable for injuries caused by that communication – when that third party knew or had reason to know the person with whom they were communicating was driving. It’s a major legal shift, and it’s a sign that society takes seriously the enormous damage that distracted driving can cause and the society responsibility to prevent it.  Continue reading

An East Carolina University student from Lexington was killed in a two-car accident in Greenville recently. caraccident2

The 20-year-old was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle traveling north on Charles Boulevard when that vehicle crossed over the center line and struck a large Chevrolet truck. The driver of that vehicle, also 20, was the young man’s girlfriend, and also a student at ECU. She is reportedly in fair condition. The occupants of the truck, a couple in their 60s, were also transported to a local hospital, though they have since been released.

As of this writing, no charges have been filed. The decedent was a senior who was studying business. He was remembered by family members in a recent interview with the Davidson County Dispatch as a bright young man who loved playing basketball and was loyal to his friends.

The crash occurred around 2 p.m. Pictures of the car accident reveal first responders arrived to a gruesome scene. The Nissan Altima driven by the young woman was crushed.  Continue reading

A $20 million car accident lawsuit has been filed against a cable company and its driver, who allegedly drove the bucket truck while intoxicated, according to Virginia State Police. caraccident6

The collision reportedly happened one afternoon last month, when the bucket truck, traveling north, reportedly careened into the southbound lane, and into a Ford Ranger, driven by a 20-year-old man. Inside that Ford truck was also an 18-year-old female passenger. Both young adults suffered critical injuries and had to be flown by helicopter to a nearby trauma center. The 18-year-old has since been upgraded to good condition, but the driver remains in critical condition, and has not yet awoken from an accident-induced coma.

Martinsville Bulletin reported that the 54-year-old driver of the bucket truck was charged with his second intoxicated while driving offense, second refusal to take a breath or blood test and reckless driving/ failure to maintain control. The crash occurred in Martinsville, VA, about one hour north of Greensboro via US Highway 220. Continue reading

A truck driver traveling on I-77 in North Carolina reportedly dozed off at the wheel around 2 a.m., overturning his rig and causing some 50,000 pounds of potatoes to splatter across the roadway. The truck reportedly crashed against the guardrail with such heavy force that the engine went flying out of the rig. The crash occurred in Charlotte.  potatoes

Cue the mashed potato jokes. Or the one about the “flash spudding.” And don’t forget the Twitter hashtag, #mashdestruction.

But the truth of the matter is, trucking accidents caused by lack of sleep are no laughing matter. It’s a serious issue, although it usually only makes headlines when it results in a crash that’s noteworthy or tragic. It’s also a surprisingly common one. A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed some 88 percent of responding police officers had at least once pulled over a driver they thought was drunk, but who in fact turned out to be fatigued. Another 97 percent of police felt that drowsy driving was a huge problem for commercial drivers.  Continue reading

Two road workers suffered serious injuries after they were struck along Interstate-440 on a recent Tuesday afternoon by a motorist who slammed into the back of their North Carolina Department of Transportation truck, parked on the highway shoulder. constructionzone

Investigators in Raleigh say the Toyota passenger car that struck the pair was traveling 59 mph, which is 1 mph below the speed limit. One of the workers, age 44, was hit and pinned between the car and the NC DOT truck. Meanwhile, another worker, age 46, was tossed over a nearby guardrail. According to WNCN, CBS North Carolina, a 911 caller reported to emergency dispatchers that it appeared one of the workers had lost a leg, which was lying underneath the car. The man who was pinned in between the two vehicles was treated and released, but the other man was fighting for his life, in critical condition.

The driver of that passenger car, a 44-year-old woman from Morrisville, was treated by at a local hospital and then taken immediately thereafter to jail, where she was charged with violation of the state’s “move over” law. Her arrest warrant notes that while she was unable to safely change lanes to give the road workers more room without interfering with other traffic, she also failed to reduce her speed.  Continue reading

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently weighed in on the issue of underinsured motorist coverage with regard auto insurer responsibilities in extending underinsured motorist coverage to potential customers. computermouse1

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) offers additional coverage to those injured by the actions of a driver who lacked enough insurance to adequately cover the full cost of compensation following a car accident. It is not required for drivers to carry UIM coverage in South Carolina (though it’s a very smart idea), but it is required for auto insurance companies to offer it motorists. And the language and means used to extend that offer was what was at issue in the recent case of Traynum v. Scavens and Progressive. The question before the state high court was whether the insurance company offered adequate information to a driver who rejected underinsured motorist coverage.

Plaintiff argued the auto insurance company failed to extend a meaningful offer of UIM coverage via its website. The state supreme court, however, disagreed.  Continue reading

Teenagers, both due to inexperience and a propensity for impulsivity, are at high risk of involvement in a car accident.drivefastsaab

Most teen drivers are on their parents’ auto insurance plan, and many drive vehicles owned by their parents. This puts parents in a situation where they can be held both directly and vicariously liable.

As the owner of a vehicle, one can be held vicariously liable for injury caused by use of that vehicle, which is deemed a dangerous instrumentality. Parents could also be deemed vicariously liable for the actions of their teens in some situation. Additionally, a parent may be found directly liable for negligent entrustment of that vehicle. Continue reading

A man who suffered permanent and severe brain damage in a car accident is suing both the alleged at-fault driver and social media platform Snapchat. Plaintiff alleges defendant driver was using a filter on Snapchat that tracks how fast users are traveling. iphone3

The teen girl was reportedly operating her Mercedes at 107 mph. The 18-year-old reportedly wanted to share how fast she could drive on the social media platform. The feature reportedly offers a filter that records speed and overlays it on a picture.

The car of plaintiff, an Uber driver, was reportedly struck by defendant’s vehicle.  As a result of the impact, plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in permanent damage. He spent five weeks in the intensive care unit and now needs assistance in order to walk. He is also no longer able to work. He lost 50 pounds and is no longer able to care for himself.  Continue reading

Drivers who cause harm to others by recklessly and irresponsibly getting behind the wheel intoxicated can be held liable for damages they inflict. But often, the damage they do is so extensive, the driver’s own insurance or assets will not be enough to fully compensate the victims. In these situations, injured parties can seek reprieve through dram shop laws.beerinapub

Technically, South Carolina doesn’t have an actual statute, but case law has allowed victims of drunk drivers to hold bars and other establishments liable when they negligently serve alcohol to patrons who are either underage or visibly intoxicated. In North Carolina, North Carolina General Statute section 18B-121 allows injured persons to hold vendors liable for service of alcohol if vendor serves a minor who becomes drunk and drives. Another statute, N.G.L. s.18B-305, makes it illegal to knowingly sell alcohol to an intoxicated person. This too may be grounds for legal action if that intoxicated person later gets into a car and hurts someone.

But what if the person hurt or killed is the drunk driver? Can a drunk driver or his estate sue a bar for negligent service of alcohol after that drunk driving accident? Continue reading

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