Articles Tagged with car accident lawyer

Younger drivers often get a bad reputation on the roads. As it turns out, the newest drivers aren’t necessarily even the worst. It’s the cohort just a few years older that reportedly has the worst driving habits.driver

That’s according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which revealed 88 percent of young millennials (between the ages of 19 and 24) had engaged in at least one risky behavior at one point in the last 30 days.

These are dangerous behaviors, and include red-light running, texting while driving and speeding – all of which exponentially increases the odds of a crash. Continue reading

Drivers in the U.S. logged 3.2 trillion miles last year – a record that rounds out the fifth straight year in mileage increases nationally. That’s according to the Federal Highway Administration, which underscored the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, reaffirming the need for updates and investment in infrastructure. highway

This coincides with rising car accident rates across the country. Early estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on 2015 total crashes reveal 6.3 million police-reported accidents that year, resulting in 35,100 deaths and 2.45 million injuries. That is one fatality every 15 minutes, or a total of 96 daily. While the highest-severity crashes declined about 17 percent from 2006 to 2015, there was a seven percent hike in the number of fatal crashes from 2014 to 2015. There was also a four percent uptick in the number of non-fatal injury crashes and a 3.7 percent increase in the number of property damage-only crashes that same year. The overall number of police-reported crashes climbed by nearly four percent. The federal agency notes this is a statistically significant increase.

The estimated economic cost (including lost productivity, medical costs, emergency services, insurance administration costs, congestion costs, legal expenses, and societal harm) of car accidents as of 2010 was $836 billion. This is astronomical. Individuals and families directly affected by these losses absorb the brunt of this burden.

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When you file a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit against someone, the defendant could request an “independent medical examination.” This is not necessarily “independent,” since the physician or expert would be someone commissioned by the defense, but it will serve as a “second opinion” to the plaintiff’s stance on injury causation and scope. The right of a defendant to request an independent medical exam is well established in North Carolina law.gavel

However, the question of whether a defendant can compel a plaintiff to undergo an independent vocational exam may not be entirely settled. It’s not in California, where an appeals court ruled the issue is best left to the legislature.

A vocational exam is when a person trained and experienced in employment matters holds a personal interview with someone regarding their employment history, education, skills, training, and income. With that information, the vocational expert will issue a report speculating on the person’s income capabilities.

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More must be done to protect motorists on North Carolina and South Carolina roads. When it comes to highway safety laws, the annual report by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety asserts that both states are lagging when it comes to seat belt laws, child restraint restrictions, preventative DUI statutes, and graduated drivers’ license laws.car accident

In 2015, there were 1,379 people killed on North Carolina roads, which cost taxpayers nearly $8 billion in economic costs. In South Carolina, there were 977 people killed, costing $4 billion in economic costs. These do not include the societal impact, which nationally amounts to approximately $836 billion annually. That amounts to a “crash tax” of $784 per year for each man, woman, and child in this country.

Nationally, there were 2.45 million people injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2015.

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A number of car accident lawsuits and personal injury cases involve parties who know one another. They may be friends, neighbors, or even family members. While plaintiffs may initially be reluctant to file a case against a loved one, these matters are often not about collecting directly from the defendant but instead from the defendant’s insurer. Often, it’s essential and the only way to get medical bills and lost wages covered. curb

A recent case before the Alabama Supreme Court involved two individuals who had been friends and neighbors for approximately 20 years prior to the incident in question. Every month – sometimes a couple times a month – the two women would shop together and share rides to help ease the burdens of gas prices and wear-and-tear on their vehicles, and to keep each other company. They typically alternated as to whose vehicle they would use.

On one morning in August 2013, the defendant called the plaintiff to ask if she could accompany her to the store. The defendant was taking her elderly aunt with her that day to buy medication and other merchandise in preparation for her aunt’s upcoming move out of state. The defendant explained the elderly aunt was “very old” and moved slowly, and the plaintiff said she would appreciate the extra help. The defendant also suffered from a number of health problems that impeded her mobility, but she was able to walk without assistance.

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An investigation by federal auto safety regulators has reportedly found there were no defects in an Autopilot-enabled vehicle that was involved in a fatal car accident last spring.car crash

According to The New York Times, auto safety regulators have determined the car manufacturer does not need to issue a recall of the model, which was in computer-assisted mode at the time of the collision.

The announcement was viewed as a significant victory for the manufacturer, although it’s not necessarily the last word on whether the vehicles may be defective. Certainly, it could be a setback for any individuals who may have pending litigation, but expert witnesses could potentially come to different conclusions about whether the vehicle was safe and whether a defect existed. It’s also possible that even if there was no defect in design, there may have been a defect in manufacturing, which could have affected solely the vehicle involved or a small number of vehicles produced at the same time.

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A six-year-old boy was killed in a Charlotte car accident recently, and police have charged the driver of the vehicle in which he was riding with involuntary manslaughter.seat belt

According to The Charlotte Observer, the boy died at a local hospital after being rushed there when the vehicle in which he was riding, driven by a 28-year-old family friend, blew through a red light and slammed into a pickup truck. The driver of that truck did not have a drivers’ license, and worse, the child was not properly secured by a child restraint seat or a seat belt. That’s according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. In fact, detectives on the scene didn’t locate a child seat anywhere in the vehicle.

Authorities had initially identified the driver as the child’s stepfather, but in fact the two were not related. The driver was originally charged with operating without a driver’s license, running a red light, reckless driving, and misdemeanor child abuse. The charge of involuntary manslaughter was later added after the boy died. Although alcohol and speed were not contributing factors, there is no question that this tragedy could have been prevented at a number of turns.

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Stressed about that upcoming meeting, an irritating co-worker or your boss breathing down your neck? All of these can contribute to the chances you’ll be involved in a car accident – if you don’t manage that stress.cars

That’s according to a new study published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. Study authors note that while there are a great number of crashes that occur during work commutes (particularly during the rush hours in the morning and evening), there hasn’t been much by way of studies on employee behavior while commuting by motor vehicle. Researchers say understanding these antecedents (or what is happening just prior) to the crash are important to understanding how we can curb them. Even those studies that do exist are mostly looking at demographic variables (e.g., are they truck drivers or office workers? Are they under 21 or elderly?) and physical work-related stressors. But of course, those aren’t the only factors.

This study focused on the data that’s missing from previous research by analyzing the connection between work-related psychological stressors and unsafe commuting behavior. Researches analyzed crash data involving 216 workers in a large manufacturing plant at two separate points in time. What they discovered was that “abusive supervision” – i.e., a difficult boss – and “work-family conflict” – were both positively correlated with unsafe behavior while commuting to and front work.  Continue reading

Uninsured motorists are a serious problem in North Carolina. The Insurance Research Council reports approximately 14 percent of those on the roads in this state (and 11 percent in South Carolina) drive without the state-mandated insurance. An even larger percentage only drive with the state-mandated minimum coverage, which often does not cover the full extent of injuries and losses sustained in serious car accidents.driver

Now, the Federal Insurance Office, a branch of the U.S. Department of Treasury, has released a report showing millions of Americans live in areas where insurance is unaffordable. Whether insurance is affordable or not is measured by whether the cost of insurance exceeds 2 percent of household income. Congress has already recognized that minorities and low-and-moderate income people and communities are at higher risk of financial instability, and yet are often deprived of affordable, accessible consumer products. The affordability of insurance is directly related to how many people actually buy it and are covered – and that has a direct impact on all of us.

In North Carolina, state officials require $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person and $60,000 worth of bodily injury liability per accident, plus $25,000 in property damage liability. As most car accident lawyers know, this will not go far in the event of a serious crash. That’s why it’s imperative for drivers to carry uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. This too is required by the state (with the same minimum limits), but even this is often not enough. Continue reading

The increase in traffic deaths between 2014 and 2015 was notable. Now, we have learned this trend has continued, with an 8 percent uptick in roadway fatalities in the first nine months of 2016. There were nearly 28,000 motor vehicle deaths reported in the first three quarters of last year, compared with the 25,800 reported during the same time frame a year earlier. driver

Some have opined that an increase in travel is a major culprit, citing lower gas prices and the improving economy. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there was only a 3 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled during this time frame, compared to an 8 percent increase in crash deaths. So while it may account for some of the problem, the problem can’t be pinned entirely on more travel.

Analysts say some of the problem undoubtedly stems from driver distraction, primarily involving our collective pre-occupation with our smartphones. Another element to consider is the ever-expanding legalization of marijuana. Although the medical benefits may be up for debate, there is no question that it can cognitively impair users, which can be deadly behind the wheel.  Continue reading

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