June 17, 2014

Jackson v. Wis. County Mut. Ins. Corp. - Deputy Denied Employer's Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Law enforcement officers have some of the toughest and most dangerous occupations. When injuries occur in the course of that work, financial compensation may be available to cover those injuries in a myriad of means.
However, in one case out of Wisconsin, Jackson v. Wis. County Mut. Ins. Corp., a deputy was denied underinsured motorist coverage through her employer's insurer for injuries sustained to her foot when a driver ran it over after she gave him directions. She was helping to guide him back into traffic when the accident occurred.

Asheville car accident attorneys recognize that typically workers' compensation serves as a sole remedy for compensation in most states, though laws can vary from place-to-place. That means if you choose to pursue workers' compensation, you will not be able to pursue any other kind of action against your employer. However, you might still be able to file a third-party lawsuit. (In this case, for example, it would mean legal action against the driver of the car.)

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June 15, 2014

Robinson v. Erie Ins. Exch. - Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Property Damage Denied

Uninsured motorist coverage was designed for the narrow purpose of ensuring individuals who incur serious injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident can have those costs covered.
Our Spartanburg car accident attorneys recognize that property damage resulting from crashes can be an enormous drain on one's finances as well, particularly when the other party lacked insurance and yours isn't cooperating. However, uninsured motorist coverage is not the way to collect those damages, as the recent case of Robinson v. Erie Ins. Exch. highlighted.

Still, there are other ways to recover property damages, given that South Carolina is an at-fault car insurance state. Minimum liability requirements in this state require any policy have at least $25,000 to cover any damage to a vehicle sustained in a crash. If the damages exceed that amount, you could file a claim with your own carrier, who could in turn seek reimbursement from the driver's insurer. Alternatively, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court or file a third-party insurance claim.

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June 14, 2014

MV Transp., Inc. v. Allgeier: Punitive Damages in Bus Accidents

Our Spartanburg car accident lawyers understand that seeking punitive damages can lead to extensive litigation. In MV Transp., Inc. v. Richard G. Allgeier (Executor of the Estate of Barbara Allgeier, Diseased), the Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled that punitive damages should be considered in a case involving a bus driver with a history of alcohol abuse.

street-scene-through-rain-glass.jpgIn South Carolina, the award of punitive damages is addressed in Section 15-32-200 of the Code of Laws.

In MV Transp. Inc., Barbara Allgeier was a frequent rider on a Metropolitan Transit Authority of River City ("TARC") paratransit bus service. The paratransit bus service is operated by MV Transportation, Inc. ("MV"). A paratransit bus is a bus that is equipped to safely transport passengers in wheelchairs. The bus involved in this case was the TARC 3.

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June 13, 2014

Tanker Truck Driver Dies After Clipping Pickup on Highway

After more than two decades of error-free service, a 68-year-old driver of a tanker truck died recently when his tanker truck clipped the back of a parked pickup on the highway, according to the Fayetteville Observer.

For about 25 years he drove N.C. 87, the highway between Fayetteville and South Carolina twice a day, five days a week and had never had an accident that he reported to his employer.

Just before dawn, the driver had loaded his truck with 7,800 gallons of diesel fuel in Fayetteville and was headed to South Carolina. Our truck accident lawyers in Rock Hill, S.C. know there are many reasons for trucking accident. Including unsafe drivers and unsafe loads. In this case, fault may also lie with owner of the abandoned vehicle. However, there was a disable 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck parked to the left. State troopers said about 18 inches of the truck protruded into the road. The truck driver clipped the truck then, according to the police, hit the brakes. This caused the 7,800 gallons of fuel to slosh forward, knocking the truck off balance. It jackknifed, rolled and eventually stopped, upside-down, in the median. Though the fuel spilled, there was no fire. He only had about 60 more miles to go.

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June 9, 2014

Ever See A DUI Checkpoint During Daytime?

Chances are, you haven't. When you think about the time of day people are most likely to drink and drive, it's no surprise more accidents occur at night than during the daytime. What is surprising is just how much more: Of all the drivers involved in fatal car accidents in 2012, the rate of alcohol impairment was nearly four times higher at night than during the day.

That statistic is from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), which reports that in 2012, 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes - 31 percent of all motor vehicle traffic deaths in the United States.

A recent DUI checkpoint conducted by several Charlotte-area police departments and county ABC officers netted 104 charges in a four-hour period that began at 11 p.m. on a Saturday and ended at 3 a.m. Sunday. About 20 percent of those charges were alcohol-related.

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June 6, 2014

Kahihu v. Brunson - NC Car Accident Victim Loses Appeal of Directed Verdict for Insurer

A North Carolina car accident victim who sustained serious injuries and property damage in a serious collision will be allowed to move forward with a claim against the at-fault driver. However, he won't be allowed to continue pursue uninsured motorist benefits, after the state appellate court upheld the trial court's earlier directed verdict.
In Kahihu v. Brunson, the issues that gave rise to the decision were basically technicalities, but they had to do with two primary issues:

  • That the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient service of process to the defendant;

  • That the trial court erred in lumping the insurance company in with the at-fault driver when issuing a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff.

Asheville car accident attorneys recognize that in so many personal injury cases, how and when a case is presented and filed matter. Because tort law in this state is complex, injured parties take a big risk by trying to save a few bucks hiring a law firm with less experience. A single oversight or missed deadline could derail the entire case.

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June 4, 2014

NC Appeals Court Weighs Liability for Injuries "Arising Out Of" Vehicle Use

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that a business auto insurance carrier must indemnify its client in connection with injury that reportedly "arose out of" vehicle use, even when the injuries didn't directly involve the vehicle.
Greensboro car accident lawyers understand the case harkens back to the 1986 state supreme court decision in State Capital Insurance Co. v. Nationwide Insurance Co., in which the court determined that the test for whether an auto insurance policy provides accident coverage is not whether the vehicle was the proximate cause of the accident, but rather whether there is a causal connection between the vehicle and the accident.

Previous case law determinations have held that liability "arising out of ownership, maintenance or use" is not subject to any narrow interpretation. Rather, the courts have held, the imitations are broad, general and comprehensive, as the intention has always been to effect broad coverage.

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June 2, 2014

Davis v. Urquiza - Timely, Proper Filing of Uninsured Motorist Claim Critical

One of the first things to do following a motor vehicle accident, aside from contacting police and seeking medical attention, is to explore what options might be available for compensation. parkthecar.jpg

As a "fault" car insurance state, North Carolina adheres to the philosophy that the at-fault party and/or his insurer will ultimately be responsible for paying the damages. Injured parties might initially file a claim with their own insurer, but that insurer will then seek reimbursement from the other party's insurance.

The process can become a bit more complicated when the at-fault party has no insurance. In these cases, injured drivers may seek compensation from the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in their own policies, assuming they have paid for them. (North Carolina requires all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, while underinsured motorist coverage may only be required if you carry minimum coverage on your base policy.)

Charlotte car accident lawyers recognize that when claims aren't made in a timely or proper manner, injured drivers and passengers may lose out on the opportunity to collect compensation. This was the unfortunate outcome for the plaintiffs in Davis v. Urquiza, a matter recently before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

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May 31, 2014

"Operation Slow Down" In Effect in North Carolina

A 20-year-old driver was recently traveling at nearly 100 miles-per-hour as he attempted to negotiate a slight turn in Wendell. Authorities say he was simply going too fast, and lost control of the vehicle, dropping off two embankments, crossing a driveway and then striking a tree in mid-air. He and his 47-year-old passenger were killed.
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One trooper was quoted as saying that the curve should not have been an issue for someone traveling at the speed limit.

The fact is, speed kills. The National Safety Council estimates that at least one out of every three deadly wrecks is caused by excessive speed. It's for this reason, Asheville car accident lawyers have learned, that the North Carolina Highway Patrol has launched a new campaign called, "Operation Slow Down."

Troopers will be out in full force on interstates and major four-lane roads, zeroing in on those areas that have statistically been noted as the most dangerous for crashes in each county.

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May 29, 2014

Dram Shop Verdict in Favor of Plaintiff Overturned on Technicality

An off-duty police officer gets into his vehicle after hours of drinking at a local strip club following his shift. He travels at speeds of up to 120 miles-per-hour. He slams into another vehicle, driven by a minister on his way home from church.
This tragic case unfolded in Alabama. The family endured the loss of a man they cherished, a lengthy criminal trial for the former officer and then two more civil trials in which they alleged negligence by the driver and also the club that served him alcohol when he was clearly already drunk. The officer was convicted, sentenced to 13 years, and they won both civil cases, ultimately receiving a verdict for damages totaling $40 million - $37 million of that to be paid by the strip club.

But now, our Asheville drunk driving injury lawyers understand the family has been dealt another significant blow, after the state supreme court overturned the $37 million dram shop verdict in Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush on a technicality.

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May 27, 2014

Pregnancy Increases Crash Risk, Study Indicates

Pregnant women in their second trimester may be more than 40 percent more likely to crash than they were before or after their pregnancy, according to results of a team's Canadian study.
While this first-of-its-kind study doesn't explain reasons for this uptick, some posit that it could be so-called "pregnancy brain," a foggy mental state many women report. Others say it could simply be that pregnant women are more likely to seek medical treatment when they have suffered any kind of injury following a crash.

This, at least, is good news, as our Spartanburg car accident lawyers know that both mother and child could be at risk for serious injury even as a result of a relatively minor impact.

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May 25, 2014

Pralle v. Milwicz - Proving Injuries Are Accident-Related

Successful car accident injury lawsuits are those that not only prove negligence, but also prove that the negligence was a proximate cause of injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
In some cases, this is relatively straightforward, as there may be little dispute among physicians or other experts that the crash caused the victim's injuries. In other situations, however, this becomes a critical issue upon which the plaintiff's claim could hinge. Having an experienced Charlotte accident lawyer can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.

This was at issue in Pralle v. Milwicz, where the Alaska Supreme Court recently granted review.

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May 22, 2014

How Surveillance Cameras Can Help in Accident Cases

When a motor vehicle collision occurs, the laws require the drivers responsible for serious injuries to pay for damages and losses to victims. This means that it is necessary to determine who was responsible for causing the accident and resulting harm. In many collision cases, this comes down to whose version of events is more realistic, since drivers involved in the crash can tell different stories. Witness statements and police reports can shed light on what happened, but these are sometimes unreliable. dresden-cotta-nightshot-1205858-m.jpg

Fortunately, there are now more surveillance cameras in more locations that can provide a true and accurate account of how motor vehicle accidents happen. A car accident lawyer in Spartanburg can help victims involved in collisions. In some cases it's possible to obtain video footage from nearby cameras in order to help make the strongest possible claim.

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May 20, 2014

The Lasting Impact of a Motor Vehicle Collision

Often, the accidents that get the most press are the ones that turn out to be deadly. A fatal car accident is devastating and leaves behind grieving loved ones who will feel the impact for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, even crashes that are not fatal can be life-changing for victims. Those who are involved in a car crash may experience lingering after-effects of the collision for months or even years, even if their physical injuries eventually heal. people-walking-in-the-streets-1427382-m.jpg

Because a motor vehicle collision can have a profound impact on your emotions, it is important to have a full understanding of how the crash will affect you before you settle your case. You should be entitled to payment of compensation not only for medical bills, lost income and physical pain but also for emotional distress. A Spartanburg, SC car accident lawyer can help you to get the money you deserve.

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May 18, 2014

Spring Motorcycle Safety in North Carolina

In North Carolina, there were 72 motorcyclists killed in the first six months of 2013, down from 84 deaths during the same period of 2012. This means 14 percent fewer motorcycle riders lost their lives last year than the year prior.

At the end of the first nine months of 2013, a total of 131 North Carolina motorcyclists had died compared with 139 in 2012. This was a six percent decline in the fatality rate. motorcycles-at-the-beach---brazil-501506-m.jpg

While it is good news that the number of deadly motorcycle collisions decreased, North Carolina's decline in deaths was smaller than the national reduction. Furthermore, 2013 is only the second year since 1997 that the number of deadly accidents has decreased nationwide. This means that there are still record-high number of motorcyclists being killed in the United States. Victims of motorcycle accidents or surviving family members of those lost in deadly crashes should consult with a Greensboro motorcycle accident attorney for help making an injury claim.

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