March 5, 2014

Collision Prevention Should be Focus of Carolina Law Enforcement

The task of protecting public safety is a difficult one, and we know well that law enforcement officials throughout North and South Carolina take this duty very seriously.
It's in that spirit we would suggest our men and women in blue take a page out of the playbook of officers in New York City, who have announced a shift in their focus: From crime to traffic safety.

Our Asheville injury lawyers recognize that this doesn't mean that preventing or solving crimes is unimportant. On the contrary. But in terms of the sheer number of those victimized, consider that the number of murders nationally in 2010 was less than half that of those killed in traffic crashes (nearly 13,000 compared to nearly 33,000).

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March 3, 2014

In-Vehicle Infotainment & Risk of Distracted Driving Collisions in the Carolinas

A South Carolina woman was recently killed in a wreck on I-16 in Georgia when a teen behind the wheel of a Jeep reportedly drifted into her lane. Although investigators are still exploring the cause of the accident, it's suspected that distracted driving may be to blame.
Meanwhile, as if we don't have enough distractions in our vehicles, including cell phones, music systems and children, our Spartanburg car accident lawyers note the the in-vehicle infotainment industry is set to expand in 2014 - much to the chagrin of leaders with the National Safety Council.

The infotainment industry was estimated to be around $35 billion in 2012 - and it's growing. If you aren't familiar, in-vehicle infotainment is comprised of technological devices installed directly into automobiles that provides audio and/or visual entertainment, as well as navigation systems, video games and internet search functions. All of this might be great, were it not for the fact that the average user is supposed to be safely operating a two-ton motor vehicle at the same time.

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March 1, 2014

Vassallo v. Majeski: Accidents Involving Emergency Vehicles

We all respect that public safety workers in the course of their duties must sometimes bend the rules of the road - or break them altogether - when lives are at stake.
In fact, North Carolina's Emergency Vehicle Law specifically permits emergency drivers to proceed through red lights and stop signs, exceed the maximum limits of speed and disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions. However, those privileges are only allowed when there is an emergency and when responders exercise due care.

Charlotte car accident injury lawyers know that "due care" means if an emergency vehicle driver wishes to travel through a stop light, he or she must first slow down as necessary for safe operation. It means lights and sirens must be flashing in order to adequately warn drivers who may be approaching. It means only speeding to the extent that life or property are not endangered.

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February 26, 2014

Greensboro Driver Fatigue Blamed in Fatal Bus Crash

The Virginia Court of Appeals has upheld a conviction of a Greenboro, North Carolina bus driver who reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel, killing four and injuring the other 53 passengers on board.
Our Greensboro bus accident lawyers know that while drowsy driving isn't a crime for regularly-licensed drivers in either North Carolina or Virginia, commercial drivers are held to a higher federal standard for hours of service and adequate rest.

This case, Kin Yiu Cheung v. Commonwealth of Virginia, is a prime example of why adherence to these rules so important.

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February 24, 2014

Winter Storms and Pile-Ups Go Hand-in-Hand on the Highways

Highway pile-ups have become a daily occurrence over the last several months, with severe winter weather causing ice-slicked roads and low-visibility snow squalls.
In fact, a recent report by USA Today indicated that between Dec. 1, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2013, there had been at least one highway pile-up per day somewhere in the country. In all of last year, there were nearly 110, with the majority of those triggered by inclement weather, mostly snow or ice, but also rain, fog and dust storms.

With North Carolina experiencing record-breaking winter conditions this year, our Asheville car accident lawyers urge motorists to exercise extreme caution, particularly as conditions can change rather rapidly and officials may not be adequately prepared to clear the roads.

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February 22, 2014

When Medical Emergencies Cause South Carolina Crashes

Some of the more complicated car accident liability cases are those in which the crash was caused by an individual who suffered a medical condition.
Our Rock Hill car accident attorneys are tending to see these kinds of cases more frequently, as the population overall ages and become at higher risk for sudden medical emergencies behind the wheel, such as strokes, heart attacks or aneurysms.

In South Carolina, such incidents constitute a "sudden emergency," which can be the basis for a valid defense in a negligence case. However, even in situations where a driver has legitimately suffered some type of medical condition that preceded the crash, that doesn't necessarily mean the plaintiff is without remedy.

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February 21, 2014

Dangerous Vehicles, Defective Parts, Can Cause Charlotte Crashes

Motor vehicle crash injuries in Charlotte are most often predicated by the actions of careless or reckless drivers who fail to follow the laws of the road.
However, there are cases in which defective vehicles or defective vehicle parts can be the cause of a personal injury action in North Carolina. Some of those in recent years that have resulted in litigation include:

  • Sport utility vehicles that have a propensity to roll over;

  • Cars that are sold with tires that are prone to blowout;

  • Motorcycles that, when driven at high speeds, "wobble";

  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that are likely to roll over.

A defective product claim is what was made following a crash in the case of Brown v. Michelin North America, Inc., recently reviewed by the Alabama Supreme Court.

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February 20, 2014

Carolina Car Accidents & High Risk to Children

Less than two months ago, on Christmas Day, a 1-year-old girl was killed in Anson County in a wreck on Highway 74, when a vehicle crossed the center line, injuring several people and resulting in the baby's death just a few hours later.
The crash remains under investigation, but here's what we do know: Far too many children are seriously hurt or killed in Charlotte car accidents every year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study revealing that while motor vehicle deaths among children under the age of 12 fell by 43 percent over the last 10 years, there were still 9,000 children in that age cohort killed during the same time frame.

A large majority of these deaths were preventable.

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February 16, 2014

Bussman v. Safeco Ins. Co. - UIM Benefits Offset by Workers' Compensation

In the recent case of Bussman v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., the injured party sought underinsured motorist benefits from her employer's insurance company, following a crash that happened while she was working.
But conflict arose partially because the insurance company challenged its total liability, arguing it should be offset by worker's compensation benefits per state law.

In South Carolina, underinsured motorist benefits have been offset by workers' compensation benefits since 1994, per South Carolina Code 38-77-220, which addresses additional liability automobile insurance policy need not cover. However, our Anderson injury lawyers know it wasn't until the 2010 South Carolina Supreme Court decision in Sweester v. South Carolina Department of Insurance Reserve Fund that the high court actually addressed the issue head-on.

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February 14, 2014

Uninsured Motorist Coverage - Fighting Your Own Insurance Carrier

Uninsured motorist coverage is now required for all drivers in North Carolina.
These benefits will ensure that if you are involved in a Charlotte traffic collision with someone without adequate insurance - or worse, no insurance - that you will still be able to successfully seek compensation.

However, you should anticipate that the insurance company will not simply roll over amount (particularly if you're asking for more than the $25,000 minimum coverage limit for property damage or $30,000 for injuries per person). Despite the fact that medical care has never been more expensive, these firms remain committed to reducing their liability in any way possible.

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February 11, 2014

Carolina Trucking Accidents: Is Restart Period for Professional Drivers Long Enough?

A recent study highlighted some easy and somewhat obvious ways to make professional drivers safer, the question is why did it take so long?


Our Charlotte car accident attorneys are always glad to see an improvement in safety but question why truck drivers do not already have more stringent regulations to follow when it comes to safety.

The third-party study revealed that a recent limit on how much a driver could drive, and how much rest they were required to take, is having verifiable effects on safety.

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February 8, 2014

Dealing with Hospital Liens and Medical Bills an Important Task for Experienced Injury Attorney

There is a lot involved in a personal injury case. Of course handling any legal matter can be complex but some areas can be overlooked, even by those with some experience.


Our Greensboro car accident attorneys know that personal injury litigation can have some hidden complexities.

A recent case involving a hospital and a large insurance company. The case proceeded as many car accident litigation cases.

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February 6, 2014

Side-Airbags Coming to Baby Seats in the Carolinas

Believe it or not, your child's car seat likely isn't tested for overall safety. It's not tested to calculate safety in the event of a side-impact accident. But that could all change if officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have their way.
According to the Los Angeles Times, car seats could soon be required to be tested in side-impact accidents under new proposed regulations. Under this new proposal, officials are looking to upgrade the standards for the child car seats used for children who weigh under 40 pounds. With this new standard, officials believe that they can help to save young lives and help to prevent injuries.

Our Greensboro child injury lawyers understand that car seats, and the proper use of them, are vital in keeping children safe in our vehicles. Under the proposal, officials are calling on a new test to simulate a "t-bone" accident. In this scenario, the front of a vehicle traveling at 30 mph would hit the side of another vehicle traveling at 15 mph, as this is the most common scenario on U.S. roadways accounting for about 90 percent of side-impact crashes.

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February 3, 2014

NC Car Accident Study: Post-Crash Neck Pain is Common

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine recently concluded the first large study evaluating the musculoskeletal pain outcomes following motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
What they've found is that while a great number of people experience some type of neck pain in the immediate aftermath of a crash, few seek treatment and even fewer file a personal injury lawsuit to protect their rights.

Our Asheville car accident attorneys find this deeply troubling because the long-term effects of these kinds of injuries can impact a person's ability to work, engage in recreation and generally live a life free of pain. The worst part is, many people don't realize the full impact of the injury until hours or days later. A mild neck ache in the aftermath of a crash evolves into a sharp, stabbing pain that keeps the victim awake at night and makes it difficult to enjoy activities they once loved.

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February 1, 2014

Residents Injured in Collision with DPS Vehicle

Two people were injured and taken to a local hospital after being involved in an accident with a Cayce Department of Public Safety (DPS) vehicle. According to WISTV, the accident happened just after 8:00 p.m. when a DPS vehicle slammed into a minivan near Interstate 26. To people from the minivan were hospitalized as a result of the collision.
Currently, officials with the highway patrol are investigating. Details have no yet been released.

Our Rock Hill car accident lawyers understand that government vehicles involved in accidents are typically better protected from liability in these cases. Governmental immunity may permit government agencies or employees to escape liability for certain actions or omissions, even where a private person or entity would be held liable for damages. The federal government and most states provide limited waivers of sovereign immunity that allow them to be sued for personal injury accidents caused by a government employee, for accidents involving government-owned vehicles or for accidents caused by dangerous highway conditions.

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