North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog

Police officers are generally entitled to speed through traffic, pass red lights and violate other traffic rules when responding to an emergency. However, that doesn’t mean officers are allowed to drive recklessly. policecar

If a person is injured when an officer fails to use sirens or warning lights or otherwise operated a vehicle with disregard for the safety and well-being of others, that individual may recover damages for his or her injuries.

Recently in Illinois, the mother of a 25-year-old man is suing a police officer, the police department and the city in which the officer is employed following a fatal accident that claimed the young man’s life. Continue reading

Under South Carolina’s collateral source rule (discussed in depth here by the American Bar Association), compensation received by an injured party from a source wholly independent of the wrongdoer won’t reduce the amount owed by the wrongdoer.payment

The only requirement for qualification as a collateral source is that the source of the compensation be entirely independent of the wrongdoer. This means:

  • Wrongdoer has not contributed to the payment;
  • Payments were not made on behalf of the wrongdoer.

So if a plaintiff’s access to health care insurance for coverage of medical bills doesn’t reduce a defendant’s liability for the cost of those injuries. Plaintiff’s typically cannot obtain double recovery, however, so in that instance, the insurer would be entitled to collect the excess judgment. Continue reading

For many years, the classic rule was that spouses were not allowed to sue one another. This was known as “interspousal immunity.” This immunity would prohibit married couples from prevailing in a civil cause of action for damages against each other. motorcycle4

However, most states have abolished this principle because it was largely founded on the idea that a woman’s legal identity became one with her husband’s upon marriage – and people can’t sue themselves. But this thinking is no longer prevalent, and almost all states have abolished interspousal immunity.

Usually, in cases where spouses sue one another, it typically has to do with insurance claims. That is, a husband may be covered by one policy and the wife another. If one of them is negligent in causing a crash that injures the other, it may be necessary for the injured to file a lawsuit against the other in order to ensure medical bills are paid and other costs are covered. Continue reading

There is always potential for danger anytime you venture out onto the road in a vehicle. But the risks are exacerbated around the Thanksgiving holiday, which this year is expected to spur 65 million people to travel some distance to be with family and loved ones. traffic4

Of those, 25 million are expected to fly, while 40 million will take to the roads.

This year, the National Safety Council’s annual estimate on the number of traffic deaths over the 4.25-day weekend is 433. An estimated 52,300 will be seriously injured as a result of crashes. These figures are both significantly higher than in years past. The six-year average for 2008 through 2013 is 407. This factors in all road-related fatalities between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Continue reading

In a split-second with a 17-year-old behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle, three families were torn apart.steeringwheel1

The driver lost control of the SUV and struck a tree. A 14-year-old female passenger was killed. A 17-year-old male passenger sustained severe injuries. And the driver was left in a coma, suffering a traumatic brain injury. Doctors initially believed he wouldn’t live, but he did. However, the injuries he suffered were so severe, the criminal court ultimately dismissed the reckless driving, death by motor vehicle and failure to maintain lane control charges against him. Even years later, his neurological injuries were such that he was unable to stand trial. In fact, his condition continued to deteriorate while the case was pending.

Now, the North Carolina Court of Opinions has issued its opinion in NCFBMIC v. Jarvis et al., in which a guardian ad litem on behalf of the driver as well as the male passenger and his mother, were involved in a dispute with an insurance company over four separate insurance policies. The court ultimately found claimants were not entitled to collect on three of those policies because the driver wasn’t listed as a resident of any insured’s household and the vehicle he was driving was only listed on one of those four policies. Continue reading

The South Carolina Supreme Court has granted another opportunity for plaintiff in Stephens v. CSX Transportation to pursue damages on behalf of his minor granddaughter following a horrific car-versus-train accident. train

Defendants in the case, CSX Transportation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation, had prevailed at trial. But the problem, as identified by the state high court, was the trial judge gave an erroneous charge to jurors that may have prejudiced the plaintiff. The appeals court, which affirmed trial verdict, erred in restricting its analysis of that case to only jury charge issues that were related to the breach of duty of reasonable care.

Specifically, on the initial question of negligence, the judge gave a misleading charge to jurors, particularly as it pertained to a section wherein the train engineer admitted to failure to timely sound his horn, in accordance with state law. There was also an erroneous charge as it related to a driver’s duty to stop at railroad crossings. The judge cited the wrong statute – pertaining to drivers’ duty to stop at intersecting highways, than at railroads. The South Carolina Supreme Court noted the statutes cited were irrelevant and also conflict with  SC Code 56-5-2715, which requires drivers to stop within 50 feet – but not less than 15 feet – of the nearest rail of the railroad. Continue reading

Many auto manufacturers tout the use of hands-free technology as a “safer” way for drivers to engage in electronic functions behind the wheel. traffic2

But the reality is, there is no safe way to drive when you aren’t 100 percent focused on the road. Time and again, researchers have concluded that humans are unable to divide their attention among multiple high-level functions (i.e., texting and driving) and do both well. We’re simply no good at that kind of multitasking, no matter how much we tell ourselves otherwise.

Now, a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that hands-free technologies – the kind that help us dial a phone number or switch the music selection or check or location without needing to physically turn the dial or type the characters – is dangerously distracting for drivers. Worse, these potentially unsafe distractions can command our attention for as long as 27 seconds after it’s over. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from WSMV, a 71-year-old man allegedly crashed into a horse and another vehicle. Authorities say the man was driving eastbound down a local highway, and he did not notice a horse was standing in the middle of his travel lane. At this point, driver crashed into the horse and lost control of his vehicle. His vehicle spun across the roadway after hitting the horse.

horse-1563686.jpgAfter he lost control, the car spiraled across the centerline of the non-divided highway, and he collided with another car traveling in the westbound lane. When police arrived at the scene of the somewhat strange car accident, they found driver trapped in his vehicle. They were able to pull him out of his car and provided immediate medical attention. He was then taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for injuries sustained during his motor vehicle accident.
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There are few things more devastating to a family than the loss of multiple family members in a single car accident. ABC News is reporting that a 33-year-old man, his wife, and their children, as well as a niece, were driving near Fayetteville one Friday, when they were involved in a serious single-vehicle accident.

755533_suv.jpgAuthorities said the family’s SUV veered off the left side of the road and hit a tree. The driver and his wife were killed in the accident, as were the couple’s 13-year-old son and two-year-old son. The couple’s other two children in the vehicle, as well as their niece, who was also riding with them, were all injured in this horrific North Carolina car crash. Family members said at the time of the accident, the family was going to North Carolina, so their children could meet their grandfather for the first time.
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A recent fatal car accident, which occurred in the Los Angeles area, has garnered a great deal of media attention as a result of the unusual manner in which victim was killed. According to a recent report from KTLA, a 20-year-old man was involved in the fatal car crash.

car-crash-163024-m.jpgAuthorities have said the car crash victim was allegedly driving his Ford Fiesta in the right shoulder of the roadway at high speeds as he was trying to pass vehicles, when he lost control of his car. After losing control, driver allegedly ran back onto the active roadway and hit a full-sized pickup truck from behind. After the impact, authorities believe the Fiesta veered back to the right-hand shoulder and rolled over multiple times. As the vehicle was tumbling over, it was also going up an embankment at the edge of the shoulder. At this point, victim was ejected from his vehicle and thrown into the air approximately 20 feet. He then collided with a large green exit ramp sign above the highway.
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