Topic: Bicycle Accidents

Your North Carolina Injury is Not the End of the World (Probably)–or At Least You Won’t Feel This Unhappy Forever

May 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re deeply depressed by your recent North Carolina injury. Whether some idiot in a truck bashed your car by blowing through a stop sign, or a doctor misread your chart and gave you a medication that made you literally sick to your stomach, you are in pain. You are angry; you are confused; and you are deeply dismayed by your situation and the prospects for your future.

Obviously, what’s done is done. You can’t go back in time and undo the North Carolina truck accident or reverse the doctor’s negligent decisions. And you may indeed have a long road to hoe. You might never regain function of your leg. You might need to be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. You might never be able to work as you once did. The brain damage caused by the accident may permanently limit your ability to be productive to two to three hours a day.

When you sit there and contemplate these scenarios–particularly the worst case scenarios–you can easily spiral into depression and apathy. This is really unfortunate. When you are depressed and/or apathetic, you may fail to take important kinds of action–such as contacting a reputable North Carolina mass tort law firm ASAP–because you feel too hopeless to persevere.

This is a shame, because science shows that our emotional immune systems are remarkably resilient.

Even IF a worst case scenarios plays out for you–e.g. you’re permanently hobbled by the accident or no longer able to work in a career that you love–these setbacks will not doom you to a lifetime of depression and unhappiness. Or at least they don’t necessarily mark you with that destiny.

That may sound very counterintuitive. But if you look at the research, those statements bare out.

Lottery winners notoriously experience euphoria for the first weeks or months after they win. But they ultimately wind up just as happy–and just as sad!–as they were before the pay day.

Likewise, people injured so severely that they are left as quadriplegics suffer extreme depression in the first few weeks and months. But they ultimately rebound to feel just as happy as they did before the devastating event.

This isn’t to say that you don’t have problems — that you shouldn’t feel depressed or anything. Rather, you should appreciate that your current emotional state is probably temporary.

Even more importantly, you need to avoid getting trapped by your emotions into “doing nothing” and/or into making impulsive and not-strategic actions that can have negative long-term implications for your finances and healthcare options.

To that end, consider connecting with the DeMayo Law team now at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation, so that we can put you on a more strategic path with respect to your case.

North Carolina Class Action News: Legal Fight Over High Sugar, High Caffeine Energy Drinks — A Portent of A Larger Battle To Come?

May 23, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Are we witnessing the beginnings of a major mass tort battle in North Carolina (and well beyond?)

Perhaps so. And big beverage companies may be on the receiving end.

Last year, for instance, a woman in Australia allegedly died from over consuming Coca-Cola. According to the Chicago Sun Times, a Maryland teenager died after drinking two large Monster Energy drinks in a single 24-hour period. These drinks contain a lot of caffeine and also a lot of sugar. While testifying before Chicago City Council, Edward Burke discussed a federal report “that showed the number of annual hospital visits tied to highly caffeinated energy drinks doubled between 2007 and 2011 — to 21,000.”

According to the President of Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Howard Axe, “super caffeinated energy drinks,” such as Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Rockstar, pose serious health risks, “including possible fatalities to adults and children, particularly those with preexisting conditions.”

The legal brouhaha in Chicago is focused on the adverse health effects of over consuming caffeine. Another, potentially more fraught and momentous debate has to do with the adverse effects of the overconsumption of liquid sucrose. As most famously articulated by pediatric obesity specialist, Dr. Robert Lustig, calories from liquid sucrose may have especially adverse effect on the liver because of the way the fructose component of sucrose gets metabolized by that organ. Lustig builds the case — at least in the doses that modern North Carolinians consume sugar — that “calorie is not a calorie.” The consumption of sugary liquid beverages, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and even many fruit juices, may be doing tremendous harm to our population and precipitating problems like metabolic disease, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.

So far, obviously, we have yet to see a major class action or mass tort lawsuit against beverage companies. But some health advocates are suggesting that we may be witnessing at least the beginnings of such machinations — they compare our current era to the era a few years before Big Tobacco was held to legal account for advertising and selling dangerous products.

If you have recently been harmed by a product or service, you are probably far less interested in the legal battle over energy drinks than you are with your own wellbeing, financially, medically, and otherwise.

 The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo proudly represents victims and their families in serious North Carolina personal injury matters. Please get in touch with us today by calling (877) 529-1222, so we can provide you a free consultation and help you get educated and informed about your options.

Our Illogical Reactions to Superstitions: Really Important to Understand, If You Want to Fight Your North Carolina Class Action Optimally…

May 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether your son broke his ribs in an SUV rollover, your husband tore his ACL on an amusement park ride, or you suffered a devastating home fire when your space heater malfunctioned, you understand you have the potential to take some kind of legal action and perhaps to participate in a North Carolina class action or mass tort lawsuit.

But you are confused about what to do next. Should you connect with a legal team like DeMayo Law or “deal with the situation yourself” — i.e. work directly with an insurance company?

Everyone has different needs and sensitivities and comforts. But it’s important to be rational rather than impulsive when you make a big decision like this.

We often play to our superstitions rather than to logical common sense.

Consider the diverse nature of our strange beliefs. Whether you are afraid of the number 13; you bet your wedding date when you play the lottery; or you worry about a black cat crossing your path or something along those lines, part of you recognizes that you’re being ridiculous with the superstitions.

You understand that that you are using “magical thinking” and not logic. But even when you “call out” your superstitions — call your own bluff — you may not be able to overpower your subconscious resistance. You may not, for instance, ever feel comfortable sleeping on the 13th floor of a hotel. If you’re Russian, you may refuse to shake someone’s hand when they reach through a doorway to you.

Depending on how deeply you hold strange beliefs, they can really hamper your life.

The point is that wrestling with such strange beliefs–even when you make those beliefs conscious and you appreciate that they’re clearly irrational–is more challenging than meets the eye.

As much as we should “trust our guts” in certain situations, we also need to learn how and when to challenge our intuitions in order to achieve best results.

To that end, if you have reservations about connecting with an attorney–or if you have some strange belief about why you are not someone who “does” lawsuits, reflect on that received wisdom. Are those concepts actually serving you right now?

Consider, for instance, the worst thing that could happen, if you got a consultation with attorney, versus the best thing that could happen if you did. That the more that you can shine rational light on your fears, the more you can move beyond them and make more compelling and useful decisions.

Class Action Lawsuits “Brewing” For Budweiser

May 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser Beer, is facing a pretty serious class action lawsuit that alleges that the brewer watered down its products prior to bottling.

Thus far, plaintiffs in Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Jersey, Colorado, Ohio, and California have all filed suit against the beer manufacturer based on whistleblowing testimony from former high placed employees in the business–at 13 separate breweries.

Will a North Carolina class action against Budweiser be next?

Anheuser-Busch has fought back vigorously against the bad press–the company recently took out full page ads in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and eight other major newspapers touting the fact that the company provided 71 million cans of drinking water to the American Red Cross and other disaster organizations. The cheeky headline read “they must have tested one of these.”

But a lead attorney in the case, Josh Boxer, shrugged off the newspaper ad blitz as a “classic non-denial…(the) alcohol readings, taken six times a second as the finished product is bottled, will confirm the allegations made by the growing number of former employees who keep coming forward to tell us the truth.”

In court, Anheuser-Busch will need to produce data on its internal and alcohol testing procedures. Ten different products are tangled up in the legal matter, including well-known brands like Budweiser, Michelob, and Bud Ice as well as more “exotic” brands, like Hurricane High Gravity Lager and Bud Light Lime.

Do you have a potential Charlotte class action lawsuit?

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you understand and defend your rights to get compensation. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to file a personal injury suit or a mass tort action. Our team can help you strategize and determine the most effective, accurate course forward. Call us now for a free consultation, and get clarity on what you need to do.

The End of the Beginning of Your Quest for Justice After a North Carolina Injury

May 10, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

In the hours and days since your North Carolina injury–or your family member’s injury- you have been in a mad scramble to get medical care and make sense of your options.

What steps should you be taking (or not taking) to manage the medical crisis, collect evidence, and deal with the urgent logistics in your life? Who is going to take care of the kids while you’re hurt? Who’s going to handle the big work project that you had to drop to deal with the catastrophe? How will you pay the mortgage now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars out of pocket on ambulance and hospital services?

After you wrangle these urgent details, you then need to scramble to recalibrate everything in your life. You will also need to find a way to deal with the tremendous challenges of finding appropriate representation:

  • Do you have a case or not?
  • If so, what should you do first?
  • Whom can you trust?
  • How can you evaluate different law firms against one another?
  • How can you work effectively with a law firm to make sure that you get clear answers and good communication throughout the process?

All of these urgent questions might be on your mind. And they all need to be addressed.

The several lining–if there is one–is that, once you do get all of these things taken care of, assuming you have done everything effectively, you should enjoy renewed peace of mind.

The great gift that a solid North Carolina mass tort law firm can provide is the gift of clarity.

Even though your life may feel like it’s in a million pieces right now–if you know exactly what’s going to happen next and what to expect; and if you have trusted people working on your behalf–much of the stress and agitation will lift.

Obviously, even a superb law firm is not going to magically make your injury go away or eliminate the anger and frustration you feel about what happened. But you should feel a sense of relief and security that you are moving in the right direction.

And when people feel like their lives are moving in a positive direction, they often see passed their immediate limitations and handle the process with more grace and patience.

Connect with the DeMayo Law team right now for strategic, insightful assistance with your Charlotte personal injury matter.

Deadline for North Carolina and South Carolina High School Students to Enter the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is February 27, 2012

January 4, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

High school seniors in South Carolina and North Carolina that want to be considered for a $2,500 college scholarship have until February 27 to submit their application to The Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program.

Our North Carolina personal injury law firm has been proud to help students make their dream of higher education a reality since 2003.

Last year, a record number of creative and intelligent young applicants sent their impressive presentations and applications to us. It is clear that there are many young people out there that are just as passionate as we are about the need to stop teens from driving drunk.

Participants must fill out an application form, as well as turn in a presentation that encourages other teenagers to refrain from drinking while driving. Letters of recommendation, your high school transcript, a list of your volunteer activities, and details of any school and community involvement are also required. 15 scholarship recipients will receive $2,500 from our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm.

The Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is open to seniors studying in the North Carolina counties of Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union, Catawba, Cleveland, Cabarrus, Rowan, Lincoln, Stanly, Caldwell, Alexander, Iredell, Robeson, Burke, Richmond, Scotland, Cumberland, and Anson, as well as the South Carolina counties of Chesterfield, Lancaster, York, Dillon, and Marlboro.

Visit The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo online for more information and/or download an application.  You can also “Like” us on Facebook. For more information, contact Kristine Woolley at kwoolley@demayolaw.com or you can call her at (704) 343-4644.

Teenagers and Drunk Driving

With traffic crashes continuing to be the leading cause of deaths among young drivers in the 15-20 age group, it is imperative that teenagers continue be made aware of how dangerous it is to drive while intoxicated. Not only is it illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol, but also drinking dramatically increases the chances of a South Carolina/North Carolina car crash. Combine inebriation with driver inexperience, youth, speeding, failure to wear seat belts, loud music, other teens in the car, drug use, and cell phone use or text messaging while driving, and you have a deadly combination.

Our North Carolina personal injury law firm supports young people in empowering themselves and their fellow teens to drive sober. Our hope is that together, we can educate teens while saving lives.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo represents victims of South Carolina/North Carolina truck accident, car crashes, bus collisions, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. We help our clients and their families recover personal injury and wrongful death compensation from all liable parties.

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact our North Carolina injury law firm today.

“Like” The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo on Facebook

Download a Scholarship Application

 

More Blog Posts: 

High School Seniors Start Sending Applications to Qualify for the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 26, 2011

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm Awards 10 College Scholarships to Students for Essays on Underage Drinking and Driving, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 9, 2011

North Carolina Truck Accidents are 23 Times More Likely to Happen When a Trucker is Texting, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 11, 2009

 

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

December 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

After spending a decade recommending that limits be placed on who can use a cell phone while operating a vehicle, now, the National Transportation Safety Board is now calling for a full ban on all cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. Only passengers would retain their right to talk on a phone or text message – unless it is an emergency situation, in which case a driver can call or text for help.

Currently, in North Carolina there is a statewide ban on texting while driving. Unlike a number of states, which have banned drivers from using hand-held cell phones, NC allows most drivers the use of both. The state has, however, prohibited drivers under 18 and school bus drivers from using cell phones. That said, even with such restrictions, this doesn’t mean that motorists are abiding by the laws. Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm are aware of the impact that distracted driving can have on a motorist’s ability to drive safely. We represent victims and their families who suffered injury or experienced a death because a driver or another party was negligent and caused a North Carolina car accident.

Unfortunately, even though there is growing awareness of the dangers of texting and other distracted driving behaviors, many people can’t seem to stop. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued its findings based on a national survey it conducted. Over 6,000 drivers participated.

Per the survey:

  • At any moment in 2010, nearly 1 out of every 100 drivers was either emailing, texting, on the Internet, or using a hand-held device for other purposes while rating. This rate of activity is about 50% over from the year before.
  • Most surveyed said they wouldn’t hesitate to answer an incoming call while driving.
  • Almost 2 out of 10 drivers admitted to sending emails or texting while driving.
  • Drivers in the 21-24 age group were more likely to text and drive.
  • Over half of respondents said making a call while driving doesn’t impact the way they drive.
  • About a quarter of those surveyed had the same opinion regarding how texting or sending emails affected their driving abilities.
  • 90% said they don’t like it when they are riding in car operated by a driver that is texting.
  • Bad weather was the situation during which most respondents would hesitate to talk on a cell phone or text/e-mail while driving.
  • Bumper-to-bumper traffic and rapidly moving traffic were two situations that might compel some driver to stop texting/e-mailing/talking on the phone.

Driver electronic device use in 2010, NHTSA, December 2011 (PDF)

NTSB: Ban all driver use of cell phones, CBS, December 13, 2011

More drivers texting but few think it’s dangerous, survey says, Denver Post/AP, December 9, 2011


More Blog Posts:

Enter Our Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm’s Drunk Driving Awareness Campaign This Holiday Season and Give Yourself the Chance to Win a Flip Camera, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2011

North Carolina Personal Injury: The Dangers of Road Rage, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December

Prevent North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crashes This Holiday Season by Practicing Safe Driving

November 25, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Once more, millions of Americans are hitting the road this holiday season to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. According to AAA, about 42.5 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles over this four-day weekend alone.

With more vehicles comes the likelihood of traffic, congestion, and short tempers, as motorists that are in a hurry attempt to get to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible. Unfortunately, these conditions can also increase the likelihood of a North Carolina car accident happening. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we wish you all a safe Thanksgiving.

You may not be able to control the behavior of others on the road, but you can take deliberate preventive action, including:

• Check your car before you go. Are tires properly inflated? Are auto fluids at the proper level? Are your brakes in proper working condition?
• Bring emergency supplies, including a first-aid kit and basic auto repair tools.
• Try not to overload your vehicle with too many people or too much cargo.
• Make sure you never run out of gas.
• Make sure that kids are properly restrained, whether with a seat belt, child safety seat, or booster chair.
• Don’t have more people in the vehicle than there are seat belts. Make sure everyone is buckled up.
• If you are traveling with pets, make sure that they are properly secured so that they don’t pose a distraction
• Obey all traffic rules
• Don’t speed
• Have patience with road conditions, traffic, and with other drivers
• Avoid talking on a cell phone or texting
• If you can, travel before or after the hours when traffic is heaviest
• Don’t drink too much alcohol before getting behind the steering wheel
• Remember that eating a lot can put one in a food coma. If you feel too drowsy to drive after eating, then wait until you are feeling more awake, let someone else drive, or spend the night where you are and wait until the next day.

Dealing with the aftermath of a Lumberton, North Carolina car crash is the last task you likely want to attend to on Thanksgiving Day. That said, the sooner you start exploring your legal options, the better. Should you decide to hire a Monroe, North Carolina personal injury law firm, your lawyer can start preparing your case while the evidence and witness accounts are still fresh. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, there may be a lot to consider in terms of hospital bills, lost wages, property damage, and other costs. Retaining a Hickory, North Carolina traffic collision law firm allows you to let them worry about these details while you and your family get on with the recovery process.

North Carolina Bicycle Accident Prevention 101: Why Are You REALLY Not Wearing Your Bike Helmet?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 18, 2011

How Much Does Chronic Stress Contribute to North Carolina Car Accidents?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 11, 2011

High School Seniors Start Sending Applications to Qualify for the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 26, 2011

Woman Injured In Raleigh, North Carolina Bicycle Accident Dies

May 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Nancy Leady, 60, died last week after her bicycle was struck by a 21-year-old North Carolina State student. Brian Reid had been celebrating his 21st birthday when the tragic accident happened. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to control speed, and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Because a bicyclist does not have any protection, except for a helmet, from the impact of colliding with a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus, many bicyclists are prone to serious injuries when they are involved in a traffic accident. Serious bicycle injuries can include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, severed limbs, and death.

In Raleigh, Monroe, Hickory, Charlotte, or anywhere else in North Carolina or South Carolina, one of our bicycle accident lawyers can explore your legal options with you.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 622 bicyclists died in traffic accidents in 2003.
• 46,000 others were injured that same year.
• The average age of bicyclists killed in 2003 was 35.
• Over 30% of bicyclist deaths involved alcohol (whether the pedalcyclist or motorist).

In preparation for National Bicycle Safety Month in May, the N.C. Department of Transportation offers the following reminders to motorists about keeping bicyclists safe:

• Keep a lookout for oncoming bicyclists when turning left and wait for them to clear the intersection before completing your turn.
• After passing a bicyclist on your right, take care not to cut them off by immediately turning right in front of them.
• Slow down when passing a bicyclist to make sure the rider is aware of your presence and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the bicyclist.
• Stay alert for bicyclists who suddenly swerve or turn in front of you.
• Yield to bicyclists, when appropriate, as you would for other motor vehicles.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles says that 114 bicyclists died and almost 2400 others were injured in traffic accidents in North Carolina from 2001 to 2005.

Bicyclist dies after struck by vehicle, News14.com, April 24, 2008

May is National Bicycle Safety Month, NCDOT.org

Related Web Resource:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

North Carolina Child Death Fatality Rate was Lowest Ever in 2008

September 16, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Good news for children 17 years of age and under in North Carolina. The death rate in the state for minors hit its lowest level yet in 2008, dropping 5% from the year before to 71 fatalities for every one hundred children.

According to the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, 1,573 minors died in 2008. That’s a definite drop from the 1,649 North Carolina child deaths in 2007.

There are 2.2 million people younger than 18 who are residents of North Carolina. Task force members attribute the decline to better child safety laws and greater spending on the issue of child safety. Other figures revealed by the task force include:

• 39% increase (compared to 2008) in sudden infant death syndrome.
• A 13% decline in the number of motor vehicle-related child deaths (better quality child safety seats and higher gas prices are credited for the decline)
• A 29% drop in fire-related fatalities
• 3 bicycle fatalities
• 18 poisoning deaths
• 58 children were murdered

There is nothing more devastating to a parent than to have a child die in an accident—especially in an accident that was caused by someone’s carelessness or negligence during a Charlotte car accident, a Hickory truck crash, a Raleigh bicycle collision, an apartment fire because a hazardous condition in the building that created a North Carolina premises liability, or another type of personal injury accident.

Fortunately, you can hold the responsible party liable by filing a North Carolina wrongful death claim. If your child was fortunate to survive the injury accident, you can also claim damages with your North Carolina injuries to minors lawsuit.This allows a parent or guardian to obtain personal injury recovery on the young victim’s behalf. This can be very important—especially if your child will have to undergo costly medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover or live for the rest of his or her life with a permanent injury.

NC rate of child deaths falls to lowest level, Charlotte Observer/AP, September 14, 2009

Related Web Resources:
County Level Child Death Data, NCChild.org (PDF)

NC Department of Health and Human Services

NASCAR Driver Jeremy Mayfield Files North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against His Stepmother

September 8, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, Jeremy Mayfield, the suspended NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, is suing Lisa Mayfield, his stepmother, over his father’s wrongful death. Terry Mayfield passed away on September 5, 2007. Police and the medical examiner say that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

His son, however, disagrees. Jeremy Mayfield’s Rowan County, North Carolina wrongful death complaint contends that Lisa Mayfield’s “intentional acts” caused his father’s death.

Jeremy Mayfield says his father confronted his wife about an affair he believed she was having and asked her to leave. Several days after Terry Mayfield died, Jeremy contends that the Lisa’s lover ended his relationship with his girlfriend and went to live with Lisa. Jeremy’s North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit also accuses his stepmother of spending a loan that was supposed to go toward constructing a barn.

Lisa Mayfield maintains that she had nothing to do with her husband’s death. In July, she filed her civil lawsuit alleging defamation against Jeremy in Iredell County civil court.

Wrongful Death
Even if the person or party that you believe is responsible for your loved one’s death is not charged in criminal court, you may be able to file a North Carolina wrongful death case for your loss and associated damages.

Suing someone for wrongful death won’t bring the deceased back, but it can give you some peace to know that the liable party was held accountable for their actions.

Some grounds for filing a Wrongful Death Complaint if your family member dies as a result:

• Medical malpractice
• Premises liability
• Products liability
• Nursing home abuse
• Nursing home neglect
• Car accidents
• Truck crashes
• Pedestrian accidents
• Motorcycle collisions
• Bicycle accidents
• Bus crashes
• Train accidents
• Murder

Jeremy Mayfield Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Stepmother, Sporting News, September 8, 2009

Suspended driver sued by stepmother, ESPN, July 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo

Police called to Jeremy Mayfield’s house, Al.com, August 16, 2009

Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Teen’s Drowning Accident in Drainage Ditch Can Continue, Says Judge

August 18, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

An appellate court judge in Fayetteville says that the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of 17-year-old Jesse Marquil King can go forward. King drowned in August 2005 after he fell into a flooded ditch during a rainstorm. The ditch’s pipe dragged the teenager under the water. His family is suing the city of Fayetteville for his drowning death and is accusing the city of negligent maintenance of the drain system.

In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel agreed that North Carolina law doesn’t provide immunity against the state when it comes to operating storm drains. This ruling upholds a trial judge’s decision and allows the Fayetteville wrongful death lawsuit to move forward.

Premises Liability Lawsuits
Property owners and managers are supposed to make sure that there is no condition on the premise that could lead to personal injury or wrongful death. Inadequate maintenance, when a landowner neglects to maintain a premise or something on the property that could cause injury, is one reason for filing a North Carolina premises liability civil complaint for damages if someone gets hurt.

Storm drains are supposed to help drain water or melting snow off the streets so that the streets don’t flood. Unfortunately, storm drain accidents are not uncommon, especially if the grate has some defect that allows a person or a bicycle to fall into it. Fall accidents can lead to broken bones, dislocated body parts, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries. In King’s case, falling into a storm drain caused him to drown.

Government and safety officials can be held liable if there is an unsafe condition on a road that causes an injury or death to happen.

Ruling allows wrongful death suit against Fayetteville to proceed, FayObserver.com, August 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Read the Court’s Opinion (PDF)

Premises Liability Overview, Justia

North Carolina Lawmakers Considers Adding “Comparative Fault” to State’s Personal Injury Laws

July 13, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new North Carolina bill has made its way to the state’s Senate. The legislation, which passed 72-43 in the House, would ask juries and judges to determine how much a North Carolina personal injury should be award based on the premise of “comparative fault.” A plaintiff would then be able to receive damages based on how much percentage of fault was allotted to the defendant and the plaintiff.

For example, if a negligent motorist was 80% responsible for causing a North Carolina bicycle accident, then the injured rider would be entitled to recover 80% of the amount awarded by a jury. If, however, a judge or jury found the plaintiff to be over 50% at fault for causing the North Carolina personal injury accident, he or she would recover nothing.

Under current North Carolina tort law, a person suing for personal injury cannot recover anything if the injured person played any role in causing the injury accident. This can be very frustrating for personal injury victims and family members whose loved ones have died because other parties were negligent.

For example, the Winston-Salem Journal told the story of a woman whose son was killed in a North Carolina car accident. Jackson Vogel, who was an Appalachian State college student at the time, died when the car he was a passenger in flipped over. The driver of the car was his roommate, who was later convicted of DWI and involuntary manslaughter. However, the defendant was able to successfully defend himself in the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit by arguing that Vogel, who had been drinking that night, was partially negligent for making the choice to get into the car.

In another tragic North Carolina traffic accident case, Stephen Gates died in October 2003 when he was struck by an SUV while fixing a flat tire. The vehicle dragged him and left him by the side of the road. However, because of where he chose to change his flat tire, the 27-year-old could be considered at least partially at fault for the pedestrian accident—enough so that the insurance company denied the family’s claim for damages.

Injury bill gets to N.C. Senate, Journal Now, July 13, 2009

N.C. reviews its negligence standard, News-Record.com, May 24, 2009

Related Web Resource:
North Carolina House Bill 813 (PDF)

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Winston-Salem Traffic Accident that Killed 7-Year-Old Bicyclist is Settled with Two of the Defendants

December 1, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, two of the four defendants named in the wrongful death lawsuit involving 7-year-old Joshua Beckles-Palomares have reached settlement agreements with the boy’s parents. Joshua died in a Winston-Salem motor vehicle accident on May 20, 2006 while riding his bicycle.

The defendants in the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit are the city of Winston-Salem, driver Michael Logan Jr., homeowner Norman Moore, and Flow Cos. The accident happened at the intersection of Freeman and Wells when Logan, driving on the wrong side of Wells street, hit Joshua. The boy was dragged under Logan’s vehicle and he later died. Logan later pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, felony death by motor vehicle, and involuntary manslaughter. Joshua’s parents are accusing all the defendants of negligence leading to the boy bicyclist’s death.

The family’s lawsuit contends that the city owed a duty of care to make sure that there was nothing at the intersection that might prevent drivers and pedestrians from being able to clearly see the roads. Homeowner Moore was accused of failing to trim the bushes next to his property that blocked Joshua’s view, and one of Flow’s dealerships was accused of also making it harder for motorists to see the road because it illegally parking its cars on Wells Street. Last month, Moore and Flow Cos. reached confidential settlement agreements with Joshua’s family.

Also last month, a judge refused a request by the city of Winston-Salem to rule in its favor without a trial. The city has argued that it did not know there was a problem at the intersection of Wells and Freeman and therefore could not have prevented Joshua’s bicycle death.

A Few 2007 NHTSA Pedalcyclist Facts:

• 698 pedalcyclists died in the United States.
• 44,000 others were injured.
• 15% of all pedalcyclists killed were children younger than 16.
• 18 pedalcyclists were killed in North Carolina.
• 20 others were killed in South Carolina.

Two defendants settle with family in lawsuit over boy’s bicycle death, Journalnow.com, November 27, 2008

Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, 2007 Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA

Related Web Resources:

Separate pain, but common purpose, for mom, officer, Journalnow.com, May 18, 2008

Second Annual Bike Safety Day, RideofSilence.org

Pitt County Grand Jury Indicts North Carolina Two Drivers Involved in Separate Deadly Car Accidents

April 17, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Pitt County, North Carolina, a grand jury this week indicted two men involved in separate deadly motor vehicle accidents that took place earlier this year.

Pablo Delacruz, was speeding in his Chevrolet Camaro on March 22 when he hit Harold Mills, a 75-year-old man on a bicycle. Mills was declared dead soon after he arrived at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Delacruz had fled the accident scene but was tracked down by police after a witness wrote down his car’s license plate number.

DelaCruz was indicted for felony hit and run that caused personal injury and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

In the second fatal car accident, Danny Ellis Vick was driving his BMW headed north on NC 43 in Falkland Township on January 23 when he hit a car driven by 33-year-old Frankie Peaden after crossing the center line and hitting Peaden’s 1995 Toyota in a head-on collision. The North Carolina Highway Patrol says that Vick was driving under the influence of drugs.

At the time of the car accident, Vick was on parole after serving time in prison for robbery-related convictions. He was indicted this week on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and felony death by motor vehicle.

If someone you love was killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s negligence, not only can the responsible party be charged and convicted for committing a crime, but the driver may also be held liable in civil court.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, our North Carolina wrongful death law firm has helped many families recover damages from the responsible party for their loved ones’ deaths. We have successfully represented the surviving family members of people killed in truck accidents, train accidents, car accidents, bus crashes, and motorcycle collisions. We also have represented mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, and wives of people that died because of a defective product, a work-related accident, a premises liability-related crime, or any other injury accident caused by the negligence of someone else.

Two drivers from fatal wrecks indicted, The Daily Reflector, April 17, 2008

Hearing set for man in fatal wreck, The Daily Southerner, January 30, 2008

Greenville Police Investigating Hit and Run, WNCT.com, March 22, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Head-On Collisions

Things You May Not Know About Hit and Run Accidents, Deadly Roads

North Carolina Bicyclist and Brain Injury Awareness Advocate Dies After Accident With Van During Charity Bike Ride

October 22, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Lee Anne Barry, the founder and executive director of the BIG Ride, a non-profit bike tour that travels around the country to promote brain injury awareness, died from motor vehicle-related injuries on Sunday, at Carolinas Medical Center. Barry, a North Carolina resident, was riding her bike during the cross-country charity bike ride she had organized when she was involved in an accident with a van on US 521, close to Lancaster County yesterday afternoon. Thomas Hoskins, a Columbia, South Carolina resident and also a cyclist, died at the accident scene.

If someone you love was a cyclist who was killed in a motor vehicle crash because of the negligence of a motorist or another party in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer right away.

Barry had been a strong advocate of brain injury awareness, ever since she was struck by a car when she was five. She spent months in a coma before having to relearn how to talk and walk. She had brain surgery at age 15, which allowed her to get back most of her physical agility and strength.

Unfortunately, a bicycle accident can lead to catastrophic injuries for the cyclist, who doesn’t have much protection against the force of impact when struck by a car, bus, or truck or being thrown onto the road.

Common scenarios that can lead to personal injury accidents involving cyclists and motorists:

• Bicyclist does not yield the right-of-way
• Motor vehicle driver does not yield the right-of-way
• Bicyclist merges or turns into the path of the motor vehicle
• Motorist merges or turns into the bath of the cyclists
• Motor vehicle driver tries to overtake a bike

Every year, over 1000 bicyclists in North Carolina are involved in motor vehicle crashes, with 30 of these cyclists dying from their injuries; 160 others suffer from serious injuries. South Carolina ranks as one of the “Top 10” US states with the highest number of per capita deaths of bicyclists and pedestrians. 16 people were killed in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents in South Carolina in 2005.

Two die in charity bike ride accident, Charlotte Observer, October 22, 2007
North Carolina Bicycle Crash Data, Pedbikeinfo.org
Bicycling Crashes : Crash Types, Bicyclinginfo.org
The Need for Bike and Pedestrian Facilities, SCDOT

Related Web Resources:

The B.I.G. Ride

North Carolina Cyclist Dies After His Bicycle is Struck in Collision with Pickup Truck

August 13, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Michael Davis, Jr., a Roxboro resident, died from his injuries, after his bicycle was hit by a pickup truck on Durham Road. Davis was going southbound on U.S. 501 on his bike when he was hit from the back by Lee Wayne Lunsford of Timberlake.

He was declared dead at Person Memorial Hospital in Roxboro.

Bicycle accidents can lead to serious if not fatal personal injuries. Bicycle riders have no protection (except their helmets) when they are in accidents involving other motor vehicles. Scratches, bruises, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, road burns, and disfigurements are just some of the injuries that can occur in a bike crash.

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute offers the following statistics:

• Some 85 million people ride bicycles in the US.
• 784 cyclists died in 2005 in the United States.
• More than 90% of these deaths involved motor vehicles.
• Approximately 540,000 bicyclists are treated in U.S. emergency rooms because of injuries.
• About 27,000 bicyclists are hurt enough that they are hospitalized.

Common accident scenarios involving a bicyclist and the driver of a motor vehicle include:

• A motor vehicle driver overtaking a bicycle.
• A motor vehicle driver merging (or turning) into the bicyclist’s path (or vice versa).
• The motor vehicle driver/bicyclist not yielding the right-of-way.

A person who is injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver or because a stoplight was defective or there was dangerous debris on the road might be eligible for personal injury compensation.

Roxboro man struck, killed while riding bike on 501 S., Roxboro-Courier.com, July 25, 2007

Bicycling Crashes: Crash Types, Bicycling Info.org

Helmet-Related Statistic, Helmets.org

Related Web Resources:

Bicycle Laws of North Carolina, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation

Bicycle Safety Facts and Statistics, Federal Highway Administration

 
 

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