North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog

Toyota and other car makers have come under fire in recent years for flawed design, defective manufacturing and negligent recall procedures that put millions on the road at risk. drive7

However, as a recent case out of Connecticut revealed, liability is not always clear-cut and those pursuing litigation against an auto manufacturer for product liability leading to a traffic accident can be an uphill battle.

The case of Foster v. Foster v. Toyota Motor Sales, and it pits wife against husband who in turn seeks accountability from the auto manufacturer. Of course, we should be clear here that in cases like this, where spouses, relatives or friends pursue action against one another, the goal is generally not to collect from that individual but rather from the auto insurance company. This situation was complicated by the fact that a third-party – the auto manufacturer – was involved.

And let’s also preface this by saying that this unintended acceleration issue with Toyota is by no means isolated. In fact, the car manufacturer in 2014 agreed to pay $1.2 billion for hiding the deadly unintended acceleration issue from 4.2 million consumers. That settlement was reached in a deferred prosecution agreement in which the company admitted it mislead consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements regarding the two safety issues. As the FBI assistant director said at the time, the company “put sales over  safety and profit over principle.”  Continue reading

A 17-year-old girl from Northeast Ohio was killed in March while returning home from a day spent with her family. She had texted her mother to tell her she was broke down on the side of the road after her vehicle had overheated. That’s when a 63-year-old man allegedly slammed into the back of her vehicle on the interstate.highwayexposure

At the hospital, she was pronounced dead. She was a National Honors Society student with a 3.7-GPA who played three instruments and volunteered on projects to help those less fortunate.

Meanwhile, the man who is accused of drunkenly driving a car and causing the fatal crash, was charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He had reportedly been at a bar that night to watch a family member’s band play. He was served alcohol. When his blood was later tested by law enforcement, it was 0.204 percent – more than double the legal limit of 0.08.  Continue reading

Three teenagers were killed in Ridgeland and a fourth was critically injured when the vehicle in which they were traveling ran off an exit ramp on Interstate 95 and rolled over numerous times. The vehicle reportedly entered the exit ramp traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph.teen1

It occurred at the start of what is now widely known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” which starts Memorial Day and stretches through Labor Day. Officials coined this phrase after noting the extremely high number of motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers once school lets out and more teens are on the road.

In fact, if the last five years are any indication, we can expect at least 1,000 people to die in crashes involving teenage drivers during this three-month window. In fact, crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 19 spike substantially during this time frame, with the average number of deaths 16 percent higher than during other times of the year.  Continue reading

A 1-year-old girl was killed in a car accident in Lincolnton near Charlotte when her 21-year-old father slowed down his sport utility vehicle to yield for a funeral procession. Unfortunately, a 38-year-old driver behind the family car did not reduce his speed. Witnesses said they heard no screeching brakes and there was no indication the rear driver even attempted to slow down. floweratgrave

The baby girl was severely injured as a result of the impact and was not responsive when emergency crews arrived. She was transported by county EMS to the CHS-Lincoln emergency room and then flown by helicopter to the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. That’s where she was pronounced dead.

Although the investigation into the crash is ongoing, our Charlotte car accident attorneys know that when a vehicle hits another from the rear, it creates a rebuttable presumption that the rear driver is at-fault. Drivers can overcome this presumption based on the circumstances (i.e., if there was a sudden stop), but generally, it is assumed the person in the rear was negligent for following too closely.  Continue reading

A jury in Asheville recently convicted a man of a 2014 fatal pedestrian accident that killed a 66-year-old woman on Kimberly Avenue in North Asheville. sneakers

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, defendant was driving 65 mph in a 25 mph zone when he lost control of his vehicle and jumped a curb, striking the victim who was on the sidewalk, walking home following an afternoon at a local bird sanctuary. Jurors sentenced defendant to 13 to 25 months in prison.

Now, as we know from recent figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that was just one of just 172 fatal pedestrian accidents in North Carolina that year. While pedestrian accident deaths in North Carolina have stayed largely the same, they are inching upward in South Carolina.  Continue reading

A driver who allegedly thought nothing of typing out text messages while simultaneously operating a 4,800-pound vehicle is the reported cause of a fatal crash that killed a 53-year-old mother and seriously injured her husband and 16-year-old daughter. qwertykeyboard

The accused texting driver, 42, was arrested after police say his GMC Envoy rear-ended the victims’ Pontiac van while traveling westbound on U.S. 64. He is charged with texting while driving and failure to wear a seat belt. Authorities say additional charges – potentially vehicular manslaughter – could follow.

“We know that this is against the law,” the woman’s husband told a local news station shortly after his release from the hospital. “Yet we still have people out there that do those same things every day.”  Continue reading

Suing the government for car accident injuries stemming from failure to address a dangerous intersection can be a challenge. In many cases, the government is going to assert sovereign immunity, likely on the grounds that the decision to fix a problematic intersection was discretionary rather than ministerial. intersection2

Governments often have the upper hand with that defense. But not all prevail, and that’s why it’s worth exploring.

A number of recent cases underscore why dangerous intersection lawsuits can prove worthwhile for injured care accident victims in South Carolina. Continue reading

Crash test dummies have long ridden in the driver’s seat or shotgun. Now, they could be taking a back seat.caraccident4

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced it intends to begin using crash test dummies in the back seat of vehicles to test safety for rear passengers as part of its 5-Star Rating System.

Many people erroneously assume that rating extends to all occupants of the vehicle. But in fact, crash test dummies have thus far only been seated in front. That has led to substantial safety improvements for those who sit in front. But backseat passengers – often children and, increasingly, Uber and Lyft customers – have gotten the short end of the safety stick.  Continue reading

Hundreds of mourners gathered recently to honor the lives of a beloved Anderson pastor and his wife, who died 12 days apart following a motorcycle accident in Greenville during a, “Look Twice, Save a Life” motorcycle safety event last month.motorcycle5

May was motorcycle awareness month nationally, and it was off to a rocky start in the Carolinas, where numerous motorcycle crashes have been reported in both states the last several weeks. Summertime in particular is perilous for riders and operators, partially because of increased traffic congestion and also because drivers simply don’t see them.

Summer is also peak travel season for motorcyclists, and most are anxious to make the most of each mile. By far, the majority of motorcycle accidents occur in June, July and August. The top five days of the year with the highest number of motorcycle accidents nationally: All Saturdays, all in the summer. In fact, according to ClaimsJournal.com, there are 78 percent more motorcycle accident claims filed in July than in any other month. Continue reading

Recently, the Associated Press updated its Style Guide – which is followed by news outlets across the country – announced a new policy whereby it will refer to automobile collisions in which negligence has been alleged or established as “crashes” instead of “accidents.” dictionary

The updated 2016 AP Style Guide does indicate that both “accident” and “crash” are technically acceptable terms for most wrecks. However, in cases where negligence is claimed or proven, the term “accident” should be sidestepped because it could be read as a way of indicating the accused isn’t really responsible. In those scenarios, the new guide notes, the terms “crash” or “collision” or other similar term is preferable.

Does it really matter what we call it, though? According to a number of sources quoted in a recent analysis by The New York Times: Yes. Continue reading

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