August 13, 2014

Correa v. Estate of Hascall - Car Accident Lawsuit Against Estate of Deceased

Those who have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina have only a short amount of time in which to file a lawsuit. The rules vary from state-to-state, and here, an injured party has 3 years from the time of the incident to file. If the claim is for wrongful death, that window of time is shortened to just two years.
And then, occasionally, there are circumstances under which claims must be filed even sooner. A recent example of this was indicated in the case of Correa v. Estate of Hascall before the Nebraska Supreme Court.

The case illustrates why it is critical to consult with an experienced Greensboro car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a wreck. Usually, the earlier a plaintiff can file, the better.

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August 11, 2014

Floyd-Tunnell v. Shelter Mut. Ins. Co. - Battling Partial Exclusions in Auto Insurance

Auto insurance companies are notorious in their efforts to mitigate liability however they can, and one of the most common ways they do this is through the use of partial exclusions.
These sorts of exclusions can allow the insurer to slide out of responsibility to pay when, for example, a person who is not a member of the household is driving or when the vehicle is not specifically listed on the insured's policy. Arguing against these sorts of partial exclusions can be difficult when they're written into the contract.

However, our Spartanburg car accident lawyers know that exceptions can be made when policies are written in a way that is unclear or ambiguous.

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August 6, 2014

Harris v. FedEx National - Truck Accident Lawsuit Weighed by 8th Circuit

When suing a tractor-trailer company in connection with an accident resulting in injury or death, plaintiffs must take into account a myriad of employment factors, as many shipping firms hire subcontractors and independent contractors to complete these deliveries.
Rock Hill truck accident lawyers understand that the detail and scope of these agreements could affect which parties are eligible for accountability. Legally, employers (and their insurers) can be held accountable when their workers act negligently in the course of their job, or by virtue of the fact that the company itself negligently hired or trained the worker.

As the recent case of Harris, et al. v. FedEx National LTL, Inc. shows, however, answering the question of who is an employee and who is not is sometimes not always as straightforward as we might hope.

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August 4, 2014

Force v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co. - Determining Who Can Sue in Wrongful Death Action

In wrongful death actions resulting from car accidents in South Carolina, there is a select group of individuals who have the right to sue and collect damages as a result of a person's death.
South Carolina law requires wrongful death lawsuits to be filed by the executor or administrator of the deceased person's estate. This can be someone the decedent previously named in a will, or it could be someone designated by the court. The wrongful death claim is then pursued on behalf of the deceased person's surviving family members, including a surviving spouse, children, parents or other heirs.

Our Greenville wrongful death attorneys recognize there is typically a hierarchy established in these claims. For example, a surviving spouse will have a greater stake to the claim than adult children. Likewise, minor children will have a greater stake than the decedent's surviving parents.

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August 2, 2014

Carter v. Progressive Mountain Ins. - Exhausting Limits of Liability

In order to collect uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in North Carolina, the injured party must exhaust all other limits of liability.
Car accident attorneys in Asheville recognize this means the injured person seeking to tap into their own UIM coverage need to first fully pursue all potential claims against third parties and their insurers.

So for example, let's say you are injured in crash caused by a drunk driver who carried a $25,000 liability limit. Your medical bills and other losses relating to the crash exceed that amount, and you carry an underinsured motorist coverage policy. In order to collect on your UIM policy, you must first secure a judgment for the $25,000 from the at-fault driver's insurer. Then, whatever the difference between that $25,000 and the amount of your expenses should be paid by your own insurer per the terms of the policy.

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July 28, 2014

Valedez v. Watkins Motor Lines - Crash Report Conclusions Improperly Admitted

A man seriously injured in a semi-truck crash will have a second chance to try his case, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled conclusions of fault by the investigating officer were improperly admitted by the defense.
In Valedez v. Watkins Motor Lines, et al., the trial court ruled because the investigating officer was unavailable to offer testimony in the case, his conclusions of fault, noted in the crash report, were inadmissible per hearsay rules.

Our Charlotte truck accident lawyers understand the issue was the roundabout way the defense attorney introduced those conclusions in court, despite the order and over the repeated objections of the plaintiff's counsel.

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July 25, 2014

Passengers Injured in a Car Driven by a Negligent Driver

According to a recent article in the Citizen-Times, an Asheville woman was killed in an alcohol-related car accident. It has been reported that an SUV driving in excess of the posted speed limit drove into the median and rolled over.

bar.jpgA female occupant of the car was pronounced dead on the scene, while the male occupant was taken to the hospital. His condition has not been reported. Police have not stated which occupant of the car was the driver and which person was the passenger.

Our Asheville car accident lawyers understand that it can be an uncomfortable situation when a friend or family member who is driving a vehicle injures a passenger by operating the vehicle in a negligent manner. There is a often a question of who is going to pay for medical bills and compensate the injured person for any pain and suffering, loss of wages, cost of future of future treatment, and other special damages. The entire extent of the damage caused by the accident may not become apparent much later. Injuries caused in the crash may even affect your ability to work years later.

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July 23, 2014

Carolina Car Accidents and Defective Auto Parts

Our Winston-Salem car accident lawyers understand that a vehicle crash caused by a defectively manufactured part can involve a lot of discovery. In North Carolina, Chapter 99B of the General Statutes controls much of the procedure in these types of cases.

car-interior.jpgAutomotive News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting an investigation into a potentially deadly manufacturing defect on more than 500,000 Ford sedans.

The cars in question are Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Mercury Marauder vehicles manufactured between 2004 and 2007. According to reports made to NHTSA, a heat shield can become corroded over time by road salt that eventually causes the part to become dislodged. When it becomes dislodged from the underside of the vehicle, it can obstruct the steering shaft, causing the steering wheel to lock while the car is in motion. On one occasion, this locked steering wheel caused a car to roll over. On that occasion, the driver experienced back and neck injuries after the vehicle rolled.

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July 20, 2014

Importance of Car Accident Investigation in Carolinas

Our Spartanburg car crash lawyers understand that working with private investigators can have a major effect on the amount of recovery for an injured client.

crashed-car-921217-m.jpgAccording to a recent report on Fox Carolina, police and firefighters responded to a car that was on fire after a crash. Emergency calls came in just after six in the morning in front of a middle school in Greer, South Carolina.

Police and bystanders were able to pull the driver free, but the passenger in the front seat was trapped in the burning car. By the time emergency personnel were able to put out the fire, two of the passengers had died and a third was flown by medevac helicopter to a burn center in Augusta.

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July 16, 2014

What to Do When an Insurance Company Calls You after a North Carolina Car Accident

According to a recent report from The Piedmont News Station, a Winston-Salem car crash left one car dangling from a bridge. Police report that two cars collided with each other on Spruce Street.

Fortunately for those involved, the car did not fall onto the roadway below, and the occupants of the cars only suffered what have been described as minor injuries.

highway-clover-leaf-782572-m.jpgOne of the issues commonly faced by our Winston-Salem car accident lawyers is when a potential client has already made a recorded statement to the insurance company. There is a federal law that prohibits personal injury lawyers from contacting accident victims for three weeks following an accident, unless the lawyer already had a relationship with the person. There is not, however, any restriction on the at-fault driver's insurance company contacting the victim immediately after the accident in order to settle any future claims for embarrassingly small amounts of money.

It is not uncommon for an insurance company to ask you to settle a potentially serious case for less than three hundred dollars. In exchange for this money, you must sign a waiver releasing the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company from any and all liability.

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July 14, 2014

Reis v. Volvo Cars of N. Am.: Car Accidents Caused by Mechanical Problems

Our North Carolina car accident lawyers understand that some car accident cases involve mechanical problems with the vehicle itself in addition to negligence by a driver.

shifter-454052-m.jpgIn Reis v. Volvo Cars of North America, a buyer of a 1987 Volvo station wagon (bought in 2002) was showing his friend the car, according to court papers. He had the hood up, and they were looking at the engine. The car owner asked his friend if he would like to see the engine running. The car, which was a stick shift, jumped forward when it was started, and the owner's friend was pinned against the wall. The friend lost one of his legs.

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July 12, 2014

Cannizzaro v. Marinyak: On Alcohol-Related Car Accidents

Our North Carolina car accident lawyers understand that alcohol-related car accidents can result in complex litigation.

Carcrash.jpgIn Janine Cannizzaro v. Stephan Marinyak Et. Al, the at-fault driver was attempting to pass the victim's vehicle when he allegedly collided with her, causing significant personal injury. According to court documents, the accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and loss of a leg.

The state police conducted an investigation of the car accident and determined that the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. It was alleged by police that the at-fault driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .19, which is more than two times the legal limit.

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July 10, 2014

Colvin v. Giguere: Workers' Compensation as a Bar to Car Accident Lawsuits

Our Winston-Salem car accident attorneys often hear from potential clients who were injured in a car accident while on the job. It is not always clear whether a plaintiff can recover in a negligence action if they are also eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The North Carolina Industrial Commission provides some guidance on this issue.

van.jpgIn Dana D. Colvin and Shaw Colvin v. Joseph Giguere, the Supreme Court of the State of Utah ruled on this particular issue. Kelly Colvin and Joseph Giguere were both employed by Advanced Millwork Installation ("Advanced") in Lehi, Utah. Advanced, a custom millwork company, sent Colvin and another employee to Maryland and Virginia to complete custom cabinet installations. Colvin was driving a van owned by the company's owner. The van had a company logo painted on it, Advance paid the insurance, and Advance listed the van on its company taxes. Colvin was the only driver listed on the van's insurance policy, and Advance allowed him to use the van for business and also personal use.

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July 8, 2014

Pouzanova v. Morton: Punitive Damages in Car Accident Cases

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys understand that punitive damages are only appropriate in certain circumstances.

In Ekaterina V. Pouzanova v. Kuuipo T. Morton, decided by the Supreme Court of the State of Alaska, Ekaterina V. Pouzanova ran a stop sign and was hit on the side (T-bone collision) in a car driven by Kuuipo Morton. Morton went to the emergency room after the car accident and suffered from lower-back pain and a possible compression fracture.

car-crash-m.jpgPrior to trial, Morton asserted damages for pain and suffering but also damages for lost earnings and medical expenses. She also claimed punitive damages under a theory that Pouzanova was not only negligent, but also reckless.

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July 3, 2014

Insurance Carriers Push to Raise Rates in North Carolina

After emergency medical needs are taken care of, your first question after an accident may involve insurance coverage. Do I contact my insurance company or the company of another driver? How much will my insurance cover? Who will pay my medical bills? Insurance plays a significant role in car accident claim resolutions. Now out-of-state insurance companies are pushing for legislation to put an end to low-cost car insurance coverage. North Carolina drivers may not realize they have a bargain, but the state has the lowest car insurance rates in the region, sixth-lowest in the country. Due to potential shifts in the law, drivers and voters in the state should understand how laws and policies shape their premiums.


Big insurance companies, including State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, and Geico must tailor their insurance plans to meet the demands and competition of each region. The insurance companies are now pushing for higher insurance rates in North Carolina--but will it make coverage any better after an accident? Our Asheville car accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers and victims who have suffered in a car wreck. We will take a comprehensive approach to uncover the facts about your case, identify responsible parties, and pursue compensation on your behalf.

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