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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March 14, 2014

Springtime Brings Increased Outdoor Activity and Accidents for Seniors


As the weather warms up there will be increased outdoor activity, which is sure to include bicycling and other cycling activities. And, with individuals venturing out there will be an increase in bicycle accidents.

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Our Spartanburg car accident attorneys know that bicyclists and other cyclists on the road can create a dangerous environment for themselves as well as the other drivers.

Nationwide, 618 bicyclists were killed and about 52,000 individuals were injured as the result of motor vehicle accidents. Bicyclists are most often involved in accidents in bicyclists urban settings (about 70% of the time).

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March 13, 2014

Carolina Injury Claims Often Fought by Auto Insurance Companies


When you obtain insurance, it is supposed to protect you in times of need. Unfortunately these are shrewd businesses and often aninsurance company refuses to pay a claim even when they are obligated to do so.

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Our Asheville car accident attorneys know that getting an insurance company to pay a proper claim can be extremely difficult.

The fact is insurance companies hold trillions of dollars in assets and the industry as a whole enjoys more $30 billion a year in profits. The CEOs of these giant insurance companies are paid more than those in any other industry on average.

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March 11, 2014

Carolina Traffic Collisions Most Often Caused by Careless, Distracted Drivers


Distracted Driving in Charlotte and throughout the United States is a serious problem but the tragic truth is the problem could be even worse than expected.

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Our Charlotte car accident attorneys know that texting and driving could be an even bigger problem than the general public realizes because there are really no consistent methods to track which accidents are caused by distracted driving.

Experts say that its difficult to see which accidents are really caused by texting and driving because often times an accident that involves texting will be labeled as "careless driving." This terminology is ambiguous and leads to a lower number of texting and driving incidents being accurately reported.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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