Articles Posted in North Carolina Car Accident

Crashes involving workers on the job are fairly common, given that so many people drive as part of their employment. People injured in such crashes need to seek immediate legal counsel because there may be multiple avenues of financial recovery, and a careful legal strategy is crucial.van

In one recent case before the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District, a plaintiff was left empty-handed after a lengthy legal battle that involved both litigation and arbitration.

Here, the at-fault driver was operating a work van owned by her employer, which she used for both business and personal purposes. The trial court found that the employer wasn’t vicariously liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because the defendant was not acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the crash. The plaintiff then went through the arbitration process with the defendant driver and was awarded $500,000. However, when the plaintiff sought payment of this amount from the defendant’s personal auto insurer, the insurer refused. The plaintiff then filed another lawsuit, this one against the insurer, alleging breach of contract and bad faith. However, since the insured/driver was allowed to use the van for both personal and business purposes, the court ruled her personal use of the van wasn’t a departure from the customary use of the vehicle, and therefore her personal insurer didn’t have to pay.

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A “devastating” North Carolina car accident killed five people – including two teenagers and a 33-year-old mother of three.caraccident6

Although residents near the Fayetteville intersection wonder why authorities didn’t take action sooner to address long-standing issues with problematic traffic, authorities have arrested a 22-year-old man. He faces five felony counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, DUI, reckless driving to endanger the public, driving left of the center line and operating a vehicle with unsafe tires.

The alleged at-fault driver, who was operating a 2000 Ford Mustang at the time of the collision, had five passengers in his vehicle, four of whom were killed. Those included: A 15-year-old girl, a 17-year-old girl, a 24-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman. They had been coming from a pool party, and thus were all wearing bathing suits. Because none of them had identification on them, it made it difficult for authorities to identify them.  Continue reading

Impaired driving involves more than just alcohol. It can and increasingly does involve drugs – including illegal substances like cocaine and heroin, newly-legal substances like marijuana (depending on your state), prescription medications and even over-the-counter drugs like cold medicine. Any substance that negatively impacts a person’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle can be cited as a legal impairment to that driver.
It’s becoming an increasing phenomenon, according to a new analysis of the issue by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which just released a 51-page report.

It’s an issue to which North Carolina is not immune. Consider the recent case of the Wake County paramedic who was recently charged with driving while impaired by prescription drugs. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, the 26-year-old off-duty paramedic had taken prescription Xanax and Ambien (a sleep aid) before getting behind the wheel of his vehicle to go to work. It was shortly before 7:30 a.m. when his vehicle drifted across the road and ran head-on into another vehicle, carrying a father, pregnant mother and two children, ages 2 and 3. Amazingly, none of those in that vehicle were badly hurt.
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In car accident litigation, it is common that both sides seek testimony from independent expert witnesses to verify various positions.
For example, a medical doctor could be called to dispute the causation or nature of injuries. Or an accident reconstruction expert could be asked to testify as to the cause of the crash or certain aspects of it that may be in dispute.

It’s reasonable that these witnesses are compensated for their time and travel. However, the auto insurance industry has come under fire in the past for “hiring” certain expert witnesses on a regular basis to testify on their behalf. When a witness routinely testifies for one side or another and/or receives a substantial portion of their annual income from this type of work, that may be an indicator of bias. In other words, the witness is only lending his or her professional opinion to the favor of the defense because he or she is paid well and often to do so.
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A rear-end car accident is one in which one vehicle strikes another from behind. In most of these cases, it’s presumed the driver who is tailing is to blame/liable because of the “assured clear distance ahead” rule. This generally requires drivers to maintain a safe distance between her vehicle and the one ahead of her.
Drivers have to operate their vehicles with the presumption that the vehicle ahead of them may brake suddenly. If that happens and the tailing driver doesn’t have enough time to stop and causes a crash, that’s considered a violation of the assured clear distance rule.

However, this rule is not absolute. Not all rear-end accidents are the fault of the passenger who strikes from behind. However, proving this fact requires that a driver show there was either some sudden or unlawful intrusion into her rightful lane of travel or that the lead driver accidentally put their car in reverse.
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When a tragic motorcycle accident claimed the life of the operator’s wife, who was a passenger on the bike, her daughter sued a grading business nearby for failing to place advance warning signs of danger.
The firm was contracted with the property owner to routinely haul debris from the site to a nearby landfill using a 73,000 pound piece of equipment known as a “pan.” In order to get from one site to another, it had to cross a public road. The pan operator was reportedly moving at an unbroken rate of 30 mph while 20 feet away from the intersection the motorcyclist was approaching.

In the seconds before the crash, the wife had tapped her husband on the shoulder to alert him to a possible hazard. The dust kicked up by the pan was thick, and it was traveling at a fairly fast pace toward the intersection.
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Most car accidents are treated as strictly civil matters. If there was no indication of intoxication or recklessness on behalf of an alleged at-fault driver, authorities will typically issue one or more citations for moving violations to the driver, but they will not file criminal charges in connection with an accident.

This is true even in the case of an accident that results in a loss of life. However, in the case of serious reckless driving allegations or suspicion of drunk driving, authorities may charge alleged at-fault driver with crimes in addition to issuing civil infractions for moving violations.

pickup.jpgAccording to a recent news report from WXII 12, an 18-year-old defendant has just pleaded to guilty to criminal charges in connection with a serious North Carolina motor vehicle accident that resulted in one death and six injuries.

Prosecutors say defendant entered a plea of guilty in a Brunswick County court on charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle, failing to comply with license restrictions, and driving left of center. The alleged accident occurred in September of last year.
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Accidents involving large tractor-trailers are among the most serious auto accidents due to the size and weight of modern trucks. According to a recent news article from WRAL, prosecutors have charged a truck driver with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Thumbnail image for semitruck2.jpgAuthorities say alleged at-fault driver was traveling in his truck eastbound on U.S. Highway 158 in North Carolina around 10 a.m. when he ran a red light and hit a vehicle traveling southbound. Troopers further say, after crashing into the car, the truck collided with a second vehicle, which was traveling in a northbound direction. The truck hit the car and pushed it quite some distance down the road before it finally came to a stop entirely on top of the car, crushing it.

The only two occupants of the second car were a mother and daughter who were killed in the tragic North Carolina truck accident. The driver of the first vehicle the truck allegedly collided with was injured in the crash, but his injuries are not believed to be serious in nature. The driver of the truck was released on a $10,000 secured bond.
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According to a recent news article from WXII 12, one person was injured in a four-vehicle motor vehicle accident, which occurred just before 8 a.m. on Interstate 40 in Winston-Salem.

unusual-dumper-217365-m.jpgAuthorities say the accident occurred on the westbound off-ramp of Interstate 40 leading to State Highway 52 North. While authorities are still trying to determine the exact cause, when first responders arrived at the scene they found a dump truck and car that had driven up an embankment and two other vehicles on the roadway with damage from the crash.

Witnesses say the off-ramp was closed for several hours, and there were extensive delays on the highway. They saw a crash victim being loaded onto an ambulance from a stretcher, but the extent of victim’s injury are not fully known. There was at least one other victim taken to a local hospital.
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When someone is injured in an auto accident, it often will cost them more than the expenses totaled on medical bills. There is the time they lose at work (if they are even able to return), and the repairs that must be made to the vehicle.
But beyond that, a car accident can leave a person with lasting physical and emotional damage that adversely impacts almost every corner of their life – from their physical activities to their personal relationships to their overall daily mood. If someone is suffering from chronic pain, they aren’t apt to engage in activities they once loved.

Collectively, these are referred to in civil law as “non-economic damages.” That is, they are those losses that can’t be tabulated in exact terms on an itemized billing spreadsheet. Nonetheless, injured persons deserve to be compensated for them.
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