North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog

The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an inquiry into the death of a 40-year-old Ohio man in Florida killed in a crash with a semi-truck while his Tesla was in “auto-pilot” mode.driving

The accident occurred while the vehicle was in self-driving mode, which is a technology that is still in the “testing phase.” The fatal collision has raised questions about whether the autopilot function has created a false sense of security for drivers and whether the proto-type was released too soon.

Auto manufacturer Tesla, however, insists the technology is safe and the problem is that drivers aren’t using it properly. Drivers need to be able to take over the wheel at a moment’s notice, executives said, but the vehicle is capable of handling itself for a full three minutes. But the manufacturer’s own words – “Autopilot Technology Package” – suggests the vehicle can be handled on its own without human intervention.  Continue reading

If your auto accident claim is wrongfully denied, you have the legal right to sue the insurance company for compensation. Most of these claims are going to fall into one of two categories:

  • Breach of contract;
  • Breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (often simply called “bad faith”). drivein

In a breach of contract lawsuit against an auto insurer, you are alleging the insurance company has not kept its end of the deal. You allege you incurred some expense that was supposed to be covered by your insurance company, and yet the company refused to pay it.  Continue reading

Most people understand that if they are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, they can file an injury lawsuit against that negligent driver. However, options for damages may not end there. In some cases, there may be grounds for a “dram shop” lawsuit, which seeks accountability from the person or establishment who served alcohol to the driver. beers

It won’t apply in every case. For example, North Carolina’s dram shop law, codified in N.C.G.S. 18B-121, only allows for liability when a vendor negligently serves alcohol to a minor who then causes an accident while under the influence of the alcohol served or sold.

South Carolina doesn’t have a dram shop statute, but case law does allow action to be taken against those who serve alcohol either to someone under 21 or to someone the server knew or should have known was already intoxicated.  Continue reading

Jurors awarded an eight-figure verdict against Papa John’s pizza chain in a car accident injury lawsuit in which the victim suffered traumatic brain injury.gavel21

What’s interesting about this case is that the $11 million judgment was handed down despite the fact evidence showed only $225,000 in past medical expenses. So how was this possible? Plaintiff attorneys relied heavily on expert witness testimony from a neurologist who opined about the devastating effect of the traumatic brain injury on the victim’s quality of life and future prognosis.

According to Courtroom View Network (CVN), a delivery driver for the pizza chain caused the wreck on rainy evening that caused plaintiff to suffer brain damage that resulted in her being frequently confused and prone to serious memory loss, depression, anxiety and other health ailments. Continue reading

A man in Spartanburg has been criminally charged in connection with a fatal car accident that killed an Asheville man in June. The 32-year-old defendant is charged with felony DUI involving death and two counts of felony DUI causing injury. According to police quoted in the Asheville Citizen Times, the suspect was traveling 70 mph in a 35 mph and was under the influence of alcohol. The 57-year-old victim died at the scene.drivein

Sadly, this is a reality that far too many Americans know – and it’s getting worse.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports traffic deaths in 2015 spiked by almost 8 percent over 2014 totals. While it’s true that car accident deaths overall have gone down dramatically in the last 30 years, any uptick should trigger concern and, where possible, action. Continue reading

It’s hard to believe it was once perfectly legal for rental car companies to rent out defective vehicles that had been recalled without making the proper repairs or warning customers. Even harder to believe is the fact that the law has only just changed.key

Effective June 1, 2016, a new law prohibits rental car companies from failing to fix recalled vehicles before renting them out to unsuspecting consumers.

For years, safety advocates had been trying to pass this measure, and it was finally approved last year as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015. The law is applicable to any rental car company with a fleet of more than 35 vehicles. Additionally, the measure empowered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate reported violations and to punish those companies that fail to comply. Continue reading

A school teacher was killed in March when her minivan was crushed by a dump truck that struck from behind on U.S. 1 in Raleigh as she was stopped for traffic. trucksontheroad1

Now, authorities say that North Carolina truck accident may well have been precipitated by the fact that the truck itself lacked properly working brakes, among other problems. The driver has been charged with two misdemeanors – death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed.

Investigators say the dump truck in question was pulling a load of logs and pulling a trailer with a nearly 10,000-pound Bobcat loader.  Continue reading

Can persons injured in a car accident on a public road sue private property owners? suv1

It depends on whether some condition of the property or action by the owner created a hazard in the road or established a duty of care by the owner to the injured person. It can be a thorny legal question, which is why it is best handled by an experienced injury lawyer.

In the recent case of Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church, an appeals court in California ruled a claim should be allowed to proceed, even though it is against a private property owner and the person injured was struck on a public street.  Continue reading

Star Trek fans were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin, who was reportedly killed when his Jeep sport utility vehicle, manufactured by Fiat Chrysler (FCAM), rolled down his driveway and pinned him to a brick post in front of his home in Los Angeles. suvinterior

The investigation is still ongoing, but as CNN Money reports, the company filed a notice of recall with federal safety regulators in April pertaining to the 2015 Grand Cherokee – along with 1.1 million cars and sport utility vehicles – for reported gear selector problems. These issues had reportedly been cited in more than 100 car accidents in which there was confusion as to whether the vehicle was in park.

Car owners themselves had not received official notice of the recall, though the company did issue a warning about the issue in May. Drivers were instructed to make absolutely certain the vehicle was in park and that the parking brake was engaged before exiting. The actual recall notice was halted because the company didn’t immediately have the replacement parts to to start initiating free repairs of the vehicles.  Continue reading

A horrific hit-and-run bicycle accident in Michigan has victims, loved ones and bicycle safety advocates reeling – and wondering what can be done to prevent more similar accidents in the future. bicycle6

Reports are the driver, later identified as a 50-year-old man from Battle Creek, was driving erratically when he nearly clipped a pedestrian and then plowed into nine bicyclists recently, killing five and injuring four. He has been charged with four counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment and five counts of second-degree murder. He faces life in prison if convicted. Officials suspect – though have not confirmed – that he may have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Authorities have said they do not believe the incident was premeditated.

This senseless and almost certainly unavoidable accident has highlighted once again the peril so many pedalcyclists face every time they take to the roads.  Continue reading

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