April 23, 2014

Fewer Carolina Trucking Accidents with Electronic Monitoring of HOS


Driving while fatigued may be as impairing as driving while drunk. Drowsy driving is always dangerous, but especially when the fatigued driver is a commercial trucker who operates a vehicle that may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. military-truck-1060979-m.jpg

Unfortunately, truck driver fatigue is a major problem and may only be getting worse. Business Week reports that there is a significant shortage in qualified truckers and thus trucking carriers may pressure drivers to work for long hours to get the loads delivered where they need to go.

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April 21, 2014

Changing In-Vehicle Displays to Prevent Distracted Driving


Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April reminds motorists that distracted driving can be deadly. Drivers face an ever-increasing number of distractions in their vehicles. USA Today reported an increase in drivers manipulating handheld devices from .9 percent in 2010 to 1.3 percent in 2011. Cars are also frequently equipped with standard features like GPS or in-dash navigation and control systems, which drivers may focus on instead of the road. gps-directions-1-1198030-m.jpg

Despite the best efforts of safety advocates, thousands of people keep dying each year because of distracted drivers and many more are seriously injured. In 2011 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,328 fatalities and another 421,000 injuries caused by distracted drivers.

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April 17, 2014

Rock Hill Accident Lawyers Review Vicarious Liability of Vehicle Owners


While most Rock Hill car accident lawsuits are going to involve negligence claims against the drivers involved, there are some situations in which third parties may be deemed liable simply by their association with the driver.
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This is a principle known as vicarious liability (or more formally, respondeat superior). This differs slightly under South Carolina law from issues like negligent entrustment, negligent hiring or negligent supervision (which can be applied to parents, employers, etc.) in that it doesn't require the plaintiff show any tortious action on the part of the defendant.

For example, in order to prove negligent entrustment of a vehicle in South Carolina, it has to be proven that the accused left a dangerous article (i.e., a vehicle) with a person whom he or she knew was likely to use it in an unreasonably risky manner. More specifically in the case of Jackson v. Price (Ct. App. 1986), South Carolina defined limited the definition to cases where the owner of a vehicle knew or should have known the driver to whom the vehicle was being entrusted abused substances or was likely to drive while intoxicated.

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April 14, 2014

Defective Vehicles, Parts, Pose Danger to South Carolina Motorists


Auto giant General Motors was aware that an ignition switch problem would turn off the vehicle and disable the airbags in the event of a crash. For years the company knew this, records show, and yet it took them a decade to issue a recall for 2.6 million cars.
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In the meantime, reports are that 13 people were killed as a result of this defect. One of those was a 16-year-old girl from Conway. Our Rock Hill car accident attorneys understand that the girl died in 2005 - four years after the vehicle defect was known - when she crashed into a tree and her airbags failed to deploy. She was her mother's only child.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is murder," the mother told a group of reporters, speaking out in advance of Congressional testimony offered by GM CEO Mary Barra. The primary focus was how her firm handled knowledge of potential dangers to consumers and the public in general. The overall consensus? Not well.

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April 12, 2014

Asheville Car Accident Lawyers Highlight April as Distracted Driving Month


The phone vibrates. You glance at the glowing screen on the seat next to you. You pick up to quickly take a closer look.
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In those few seconds, your life is forever changed.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and our Asheville car accident lawyers believe it's an important time to underscore the danger that occurs every single time you take your eyes off the road.

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April 8, 2014

NHTSA to Mandate Backup Cameras on All Vehicles


While a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that there has been a substantial decline in the number of child pedestrian fatalities nationwide since 1975, our Charlotte car accident attorneys know there is one type of crash that remains of particular concern to parents and traffic safety advocates. That is back-over accidents, in which drivers pulling out of driveways, parking spots and other areas strike children who are behind the vehicle. suburbanstreet.jpg

These crashes disproportionately impact children, primarily because they aren't tall enough for the driver to see them standing near the rear of the vehicle and also because children don't recognize the dangers. Driver inattention is also often blamed. Motor vehicle operators simply back out without taking a few seconds to look behind them and make sure the path is clear.

It's for this reason that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association has announced its intention to mandate that all vehicles manufactured as of May 1, 2018 be equipped with backup cameras, also referred to as "rear-view visibility systems."

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April 6, 2014

Isabella v. Koubek - Workers' Compensation and Car Accident Injuries


Anderson car accident lawsuits can be complicated when any of the involved motorists were working at the time of the wreck. curvesahead.jpg

Workers' compensation laws can bar injured parties from pursuing some types of negligence claims, and defendants in some cases can be prohibited from filing third-party contribution claims of vicarious negligence against vehicle owners where the at-fault driver is protected by workers' compensation laws. Seeking counsel from a law firm that handles both car accident injury and workers' compensation claims can help you to maximize your opportunity for complete compensation.

The recent case of Isabella v. Koubek, reviewed by the New York Court of Appeals, illustrates how complicated these matters can become.

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April 3, 2014

Pedestrian Accidents Increase in North Carolina: Report


Authorities in Fayetteville are investigating the sudden death of an elderly pedestrian and the serious injury to his wife as they attempted to cross the street after sharing a meal at a local restaurant. pedestrianpictogram.jpg

The pair, visiting from Pennsylvania, were trying to cross a four-lane road while returning to a nearby hotel where they were staying. City officials have called that stretch of road one of the deadliest for pedestrians, with many travelers attempting to cross on foot back-and-forth between nearby hotels and restaurants located off the highway. A crosswalk was installed, yet the road is poorly lit and the speed limit remains 55 miles-per-hour.

Charlotte car accident attorneys understand that a recent report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association indicates that while pedestrian accidents saw an overall downward shift nationally for the first time in years, it increased yet again in North Carolina.

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April 1, 2014

Understanding Your South Carolina Auto Insurance Rights


Recently in Nevada, two injured drivers took on a large insurance firm in Wingco v. Gov't Employees Ins. Co., attempting to assert class action status for the fact that the company refused to pay medical benefits and lacked a written rejection of that refusal from the insureds.
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At the argument's core was the allegation that the insurance company had violated state law, committed a breach of contract and engaged in unfair claims practices. However, the Nevada Supreme Court held that while the insurer was required to offer medical coverage in a minimal amount of $1,000, insureds had the option of rejecting this coverage. Further, the company wasn't required to keep written records proving rejection of the coverage; that stipulation was only intended for underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage in that state.

As Greenville car accident attorneys, we frequently meet people who are seeking to file a claim for non-payment from an insurance company, and they may lack standing because of the fine print on the policy.

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March 30, 2014

Worst Insurance Companies Rated by American Association for Justice


No matter how much you pay in monthly or quarterly premiums to your car insurance company, the firm is never going to be eager to pay you for a claim - even when the facts of the case appear fairly straightforward.
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Greenville car accident attorneys have taken on some of the biggest car insurance companies, where systematic claim denials have become richly rewarded.

Recently, the American Association for Justice released a report listing the 10 "worst" insurance companies. Citing nearly 200 references to back these claims, the organization culled through thousands of court documents, state insurance department complaints and investigations, news accounts, depositions and testimony from former insurance adjusters and agents and records from the FBI and SEC.

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March 29, 2014

Spate of Bus Accidents a Reminder of Injury Risks


A number of commercial bus accidents recently is a reminder that as spring arrives it's important for bus travelers to research carriers before booking a trip. greenbus.jpg

Many professional drivers and carriers that are involved in crashes have a lengthy record for violations ranging from too many hours of service to failure to properly maintain vehicles.

Asheville bus accident lawyers recall just a few years ago, a city bus driver lost consciousness behind the wheel, crashed into parked cars, and ruptured a gas line before seriously injuring a pedestrian.

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March 25, 2014

Pursuing Civil Lawsuit Amid Criminal Prosecution


In a handful of Greensboro car accident injury lawsuits, there are situations in which a defendant is facing both criminal prosecution brought by authorities, as well as the civil action brought by the plaintiff.
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Often, the goals of the two cases are very similar, but they are designed to serve inherently different purposes. The criminal case punishes the offender, and the civil case compensates the victims.

It's for this reason that even when the at-fault driver is facing criminal action, victims should still explore a civil case, even if a prosecutor has stressed to you that part of his or her goal is restitution. While it's true that you don't have to pay a prosecutor to help fight for you to recover damages, remember again that this is not their primary function, and there may be instances (i.e., a plea deal) when that aspect of the case may be compromised for some other element.

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March 23, 2014

Compulsory Medical Exam Following a Charlotte Car Accident


If a person is seriously injured in a Charlotte car accident, the person's insurer - or the insurer of the at-fault driver - may wish to verify the extent of your injuries through the use of a compulsory medical examination before agreeing to a settlement.
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It's also sometimes referred to as an "independent medical examination," though make no mistake - there is nothing "independent" about it. The reality is that the doctors who contract with the insurance companies to provide these services are paid handsomely - and they don't want to lose those contracts.

This is not to say necessarily that the doctor will be dishonest. However, he or she is watching you very closely, and will be viewing your stated injuries with skepticism and in a light most favorable to the insurer. These doctors, paid by the insurer, will conduct a physical examination, review medical records, review deposition testimony and then write a report on their findings.

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March 20, 2014

Insurance Company Fights UIM Claim on Grounds of Mutual Mistake


In any car accident case, the contents of all insurance policies held by involved parties become of critical importance, read line-by-line very carefully by our Rock Hill car accident lawyers. trucks.jpg

Minor clauses contained in the small print could impact the outcome of an entire case. Still, we've known auto insurance companies to vigorously battle claims no matter what the policy indicated.

In the recent case of Nichols v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., reviewed by the Kentucky Supreme Court, an insurance company attempted to argue that it shouldn't have to pay underinsured motorist benefits because, while it was in the policy, it wasn't supposed to have been!

The legal doctrine the firm applied is called "mutual mistake," which is that both the company and the consumer had agreed to different terms than what was in the contract, and it was not intended for those underinsured motorist benefits to be included. It was an interesting approach - and it almost worked.

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March 18, 2014

NC Traffic Accidents Claim More Lives than Homicide


After a long-winter, North Carolina commuters, students, and local travelers will be exploring more weather-friendly means of transportation, including motorcycling, bicycling and walking. More traffic sharing the roads is going to the likelihood of accidents, injuries and fatalities. As spring draws near, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should pledge to stay safe. Residents and tourists could also benefit from a new trend in law enforcement that focuses on traffic safety, rather than the threat of violent crimes.

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Given the rates of violent crimes versus injuries and accidents caused by traffic related incidences, it makes sense to dedicated resources and local law enforcement efforts to prevent traffic collisions. Automobile and traffic accidents continue to be the number one cause of preventable death in North and South Carolina. Our Asheville car accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent injuries and fatalities. We are also committed to representing individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by traffic accidents, including car accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

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