Topic: Car Accidents

What Will the “World’s Most Detailed Brain Scans” Mean for North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment?

July 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina traumatic brain injury victims (and their families) often feel frustrated because they lack comprehensive information about prognoses.

TBI is a very, very complicated and poorly understood catalogue of conditions. Although most people talk about traumatic brain injury as a “single thing” — it’s more likely that there are many different types of TBI, even if commonalities exist among these different “species” of disorder.

Fortunately, scientists are making headway in terms of understanding how the brain works — particularly, our imaging capabilities are getting better and better.

BBC News recently reported that scientists connected with the Human Connectome Project are publishing “the most detailed brain scans the world has ever seen.” So far, the researchers have published the scans of more than five-dozen adults, and they hope to scan 1,200 brains and include DNA and behavioral traits in the data. They are making the
info available to neuroscientists for free.

Professor David Van Essen told the BBC “we are very optimistic that as the community delves… into these data sets, they will reveal new insights into the brain circuits of healthy adults.” The volunteers engaged in many tasks during the scans, including gambling, doing math, manipulating their bodies, etc. Professor Van Essen hopes that this analysis will “uncover which neural pathways are important in determining human behaviors.”

With these better scanning methods, researchers may better understand the neural circuits that relate to various activities and emotional states. By understanding how normal brains work — and what they look like when they are working normally — researchers will also be able to help people who struggle with cognitive dysfunctions, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury.

For instance, researchers might be able to look at a brain scan of your friend or loved one who suffered a concussion in North Carolina (or some other kind of TBI) and compare that brain map to the map of a cognitively normal person to determine what therapies might be appropriate, what drugs might be appropriate, what kind of training might be most useful, and so forth.

We are a long way away from serious practical applications of this kind of scanning technology, but we are headed in the right direction. Don’t let this discourage you. Recovering from serious brain injury is a long term proposition, after all. After all, your goal is long term health and wellbeing — optimized based on your accident history and other factors.

The sooner that you can begin to understand not only the injury itself but also your legal options, the more at ease you will feel about your long term situation. Get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today to go over your options and to protect your rights. Call us now at (877) 529-1222 for insight and a free case consultation.

Talk About Traumatic Brain Injury! Skull from 1200s Changes Scientists Thinking About Medieval Medicine…

June 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

When most people think about traumatic brain injury research, they fail to recognize that researchers themselves often understand very little about the history of TBI science.

Myths abound both at the level of subtle detail and at the level of large scale treatment.

For instance, many people believe that football related concussions definitively cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — and, indeed, this blog has published many articles suggesting that that link could be vigorous. But, to date, there has never been a thorough, double-blind, well controlled study to prove that thesis.

Scientific discoveries have a fascinating way of changing our perspective on TBI. Consider, for instance, the recent discovery of a mummy head specimen from the 1200s. Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist at University Hospital of France, says that researchers found a specimen dating back to the early 1200s — a man’s head that was preserved using surprisingly advanced preparation. According to Charlier, the preparer used cinnabar mercury, lime, and bee’s wax to preserve the veins and arteries in the head. The specimen will soon be on display at the Parisian Museum of the History of Medicine.

Here’s what’s really interesting! It’s a revelation that a “Dark Ages” physician would be able to preserve such a specimen in such exquisite detail, given our stereotypical beliefs about what the Dark Ages were like. It turns out that many of our beliefs about what happened during the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Advent of the Renaissance were misguided.

According to an article on Life Science about this phenomenon — “grotesque mummy head reveals advanced medieval science” from March 5th — “science had already been advancing swiftly starting way back in the 13th Century.” Copernicus, for instance — the guy who popularized the revolutionary idea that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice-versa — “took some of his thinking on the motion of the earth from Jean Buridan, a French priest who lived between about 1358 … but Copernicus credited the ancient Roman poet Virgil as his inspiration.”

Why is this all important?

It’s important to consider the historical context of traumatic brain injury science, because as someone who is recovering from an injury, you may be currently laboring under false beliefs about what you need to do — or what you should be doing — to manage the injury and its aftermath, particularly as it relates to compensation and liability.

The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo is ready to help you understand the dynamics of your case, so that you feel more empowered and less unsteady about how to proceed. Call us today at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation about your Charlotte TBI matter.

53 Members of Congress Want to Investigate Whether IED Blast Induced Traumatic Brain Injuries May Be Sparking Suicide Epidemic in the Armed Forces

June 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Improvised explosive devices, also known as IEDs, were used against American service personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq in the wars over the past decade. New evidence suggests that these hidden bombs not only caused traumatic brain injury but also increased the likelihood of suicidal behavior.

Recently, 53 members of the US Congress sent a letter to Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, asking Congress to figure out what to do about the rash of suicides, possibly induced by IED traumatic brain injuries. Per the letter: “Evidence suggests that blast injuries, including but not limited to those causing damage to vision or hearing, can have a severe psychological impact…that can play a major contributing role in suicides.”

The prevailing theory is that the psychological trauma of combat causes mental distress that can lead to suicide. The alternative view that the bipartisan members of Congress want to investigate is that the IED explosions, in and of themselves, change the structure of the brain and make people more prone to suicide.

In other words, it’s not psychological stress. It’s a neurological problem–a physical, biochemical problem. According to the spokesman for the Blinded Veterans Association, Thomas Zampieri, “I’ve talked to a lot of neurologists, military neurosurgeons and trauma surgeons who have all started to ponder if the IEDs that have caused the TBIs are the real
cause of the suicides, versus the traditional approach that suicides are all caused by the psychological stresses of combat.”

According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, more than 266,000 troops suffered brain injuries in combat between 2000 and 2012–coincidental with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as special military operations around the world and training exercises.

If you or someone you love was hurt in combat or in training, and you want answers about what legal actions you can take regarding your traumatic brain injury case, please get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today for thorough, strategic assistance.

Scary New Research about Traumatic Brain Injury in Colleague Football Players: Even If You Don’t Get Concussed, You Can Still Sustain Serious Damage

June 20, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

New research produced by the Cleveland Clinic suggests that traumatic brain injury in college athletes may lead to a pathological process–long term harm–even when players don’t suffer diagnosable concussions.

The researchers looked at data collected from 67 collegiate players who played during the 2011 season. No player experienced a diagnosable concussion. However, 40 of the 67 players who got hit hard had high levels of an antibody that is associated with traumatic brain injury. The researchers sent these athletes to University of Rochester Medical Center for brain scans, where scientists analyzed them using a double blind analysis. Shockingly, abnormalities correlated with perturbed brain health were found in the brain scans of these non-concussed players.

According to the CDC, nearly half of all high school football players get concussed every season. College football players suffer similar rates of concussion.

This new research is quite alarming.

The implications are both shocking and potentially game changing. What if further research does bear out that the act of playing “regular” football is somehow fundamentally dangerous? How should we reform our institutions? Can the game itself be saved? Or will we just have to accept that student athletes will suffer some brain damage for the sake of
sport they love?

While much of our attention has been on the NFL–and for good reason, given the flood of new data we have on chronic traumatic encephalopathy–only 1,700 people play professional football.

Meanwhile, over 20,000 men play college football, and many more play high school football. If these players are suffering brain injury–or at least the beginnings of brain injury–without even getting concussed… that suggests that football may be more dangerous than even many alarmists have been suggesting.

The NCAA’s Chief Medical Officer, Bryan Hainline, issued a statement affirming the League’s commitment to the health and well being of student athletes: “we are actively collaborating with members, institutions and research facilities to improve with the health and safety of student athletes.”

If you or your child got “his bell rung” at a football game in Raleigh, Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you want answers. How can you afford to pay your medical bills? What should you do next in terms of bringing legal action–or at least researching legal action?

Our Charlotte traumatic brain injury law firm can help you answer those questions in a systematic, compassionate and confidential way. Call our offices now to get genuinely compassionate and thorough help with your situation.

Putting the Pieces of Your Traumatic Brain Injury Together: When You Can’t Remember What Happened

June 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s a very common problem with North Carolina traumatic brain injury cases.

A person gets hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, workplace disaster, or a fight. But because of the brain injury, the person can’t recall the events that led to the injury in an accurate, linear, and coherent way.

So what you do?

The solution must be concocted on a case-by-case basis. Certain strategies might be useful in some cases but not others. For instance, let’s say that you got hurt at a Charlotte construction site, when a coworker switched off a piece of machinery while you were riveting. The jolt from that action set you tumbling off your platform to the ground. In that case, perhaps video footage recorded the fall, or other tracking devices might have gleaned evidence that can be used forensically to piece together the situation. Or maybe a coworker or other witness saw you fall.

What about situations in which the injured person gets hurt, and no one sees what happened?

This happens a lot with car accident cases. For instance, a person might drive solo on a wind-y Raleigh street during the middle of the winter, slip on a patch of black ice, and hit a tree. The driver might get a serious brain injury and be unable to remember why he slipped. In this kind of case, indirect forensic techniques could help to discern the cause of the accident.

For instance, maybe the tire patterns on the road could offer clues about why the car slipped on ice. Or maybe a detailed examination can reveal that the braking system failed.

The point is that, as a victim or friend/family member of a TBI victim, you don’t really need to worry about the details of the forensics as much as you do need to worry about obtaining effective legal counsel as early as you can in the process, so that that counsel can begin an immediate investigation and assemble the proper forensics.

To that end, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today, so we can help you get a handle on your situation and build an effective case going forward.

How Much Will You Need to Be Involved with Your North Carolina Mass Tort Lawsuit?

June 9, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You are on offense. As someone who was injured (or whose loved one was injured), you are seriously considering filing a North Carolina class action or mass tort lawsuit — or an independent personal injury action.
On the other hand, you’re dubious. The thought of getting wrapped up in some complex legal action fills you with dread, because you don’t want to get roped into being a “lead plaintiff.” You want to forget about the traumatic experience — not have to relive it for months or years.

So how much, exactly, will you have to be involved in your legal fight?
The answer depends.

Obviously, if you choose to be a lead plaintiff — and if you’re pursuing a massive case against a huge company that could settle for tens of millions of dollars — then you obviously need to be pretty involved. However, the process is less involved and less confusing than you believe.
Assuming you pick a North Carolina class action law firm that’s a good fit for your needs — that shares your values and vision, and that has the experience and resources to argue effectively on your behalf — you won’t have to do much at all. That’s one of the beautiful things about finding good legal representation: When you’re well represented, you won’t have nagging questions distracting you from your day-to-day business and from the important work of recovery. You can focus all your attention on getting better, on fixing your financial problems, and on healing yourself psychologically.
While you ultimately need to “do more work” as a plaintiff in a class action or personal injury lawsuit than would if you “did nothing” about your case, the peace of mind that you’ll get will undoubtedly cancel out the extra work that you need to do.
For instance, if you don’t do anything, you might waste hours or even days’ worth of your time ruminating about aspects of your case or aspects of how to handle an insurance company.
That’s time you will never get back — time that you could spend relaxing or being productive.
Also — it should go without saying — but if you WIN your case, you should get well compensated for your injuries and damages. You will receive nothing, if you do nothing.
In summary: If you’ve been hesitant about connecting with an attorney, that hesitancy makes all the sense in the world. However, you might find it worthy to examine what’s at to the root of that hesitancy. Are you just scared about the time commitment? Because if so, that fear really doesn’t make objective sense. If not, probe deeper to understand what’s really going on — why, fundamentally, are you resistant to getting the help that you really need?

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.

Fatal Union County, North Carolina Car Crash Involving Hit-and-Run Motorist Leaves Unanswered Questions

April 10, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

NC Highway Patrol Troopers have found the silver Lexus SUV that they believe was involved in Saturday’s deadly Union County pedestrian accident that claimed the life of 22-year-old Joshua Mitchell Crowley. They say that a relative of the alleged driver provided them with the tip that led to the vehicle, which is damaged on its right-front side.

Crowley had been walking home from a party when he was fatally hit by a silver motor vehicle. The driver did not stay at the Union County traffic accident site. As of now, people cannot tell whether this was a case of homicide or hit-and-run.

There had been a fight at the party that Crowley attended and troopers have not confirmed whether Crowley or the alleged driver was involved in that dispute.  Crowley may have been drinking at the party. He had walked 1.8 miles when the deadly Union County, North Carolina pedestrian accident happened. According to witnesses, after the collision, the driver of the Lexus briefly stopped to check the front of the vehicle before leaving the scene.

Hit-And-Run Accidents

For a driver to leave an injured pedestrian or motorist at a crash site after being involved in a deadly collision is a crime. It can also lead to more serious injuries or a fatality that could have been prevented if only the authorities and emergency workers had been notified right away that someone was hurt.

Providing someone who is hurt in a North Carolina car crash can be critical to saving his/her life. Unfortunately, there are drivers who choose not to stay at a collision site or get help because they are scared of getting in trouble.  Among the more common reasons that drivers hit and run:

  • Drunk driving
  • He/she is at fault
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving a stolen vehicle
  • Wanted for other crimes
  • Driving without insurance
  • Denial
  • Panic
  • Intentional infliction of physical harm

Our Union County, North Carolina personal injury law firm want you to know that even if you or your loved one was involved in a hit-and-run crash this doesn’t mean the driver won’t be found or that you can’t obtain coverage or compensation for the harm you or your relative suffered. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there are legal remedies available to them. Also, lot of car accident victims worry that working with a North Carolina car accident lawyers will be too expensive. What they don’t realize is that their initial consultation is free, and legal fees are only paid if there is financial recovery with payment coming from the compensation.

Patrol: SUV found that hit, killed Union County man, Charlotte Observer, April 9, 2012

Why drivers hit and run, Deadly Roads

 

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Motorcycle Accident on Charlotte Motor Speedway Kills 2, Injures 1, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 4, 2012

Should we wear helmets while we drive? And other intriguing North Carolina car accident prevention questions, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2012

North Carolina Drowning Accident Claims the Life of 12-Year-Old Boy at Wastewater Treatment Plant,  North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident Claims the Life of Man Who Was Pushed Into the Street During Bar Brawl

March 5, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 26-year-old man was killed on Saturday after he was injured in a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident that police believe occurred after he was pushed onto the street during a bar fight. The victim’s name is Robert Edward Kingston III.

23-year-old Kenan Wells Gay has been charged with murder in connection with Kingston’s death. According to witnesses, Kingston sustained fatal injuries after a disagreement he was involved in at Ed’s Tavern spilled outside and he was pushed in front of an oncoming BMW. The driver of the vehicle will not face criminal charges over Kingston’s death.

Depending on the specifics of what happened, Kingston’s family could have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case against any persons that may have played a role in causing the deadly accident. If inadequate security or negligence on the bar’s part allowed for the brawl to happen, the establishment could also find itself the target of a civil claim. Property owners can be held liable if there was an unsafe or dangerous condition or situation on their grounds that could/should have been avoided or remedied yet wasn’t.  Even if no one intended for Kingston to die, any reckless or careless acts on anyone’s part that contributed to his passing may be reason enough to pursue Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death damages.

In North Carolina, family members of someone that died due to another’s negligence may be eligible to compensation if, had the victim lived, he/she would have been entitled an action for personal injury damages. Damages for the wrongful death may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral costs, lost wages, loss of protection, assistance, services, care, companionship, society, guidance, or comfort, and possibly even punitive damages if willful/wanton behavior or malice was involved. Loved ones have two years from the date of death to file their claim.

Figuring out the value of one’s North Carolina wrongful death claim can be challenging. By working with a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm, you increase your chances of getting the maximum recovery possible.  Your legal team can also protect your rights and advocate for your best interests. You definitely do not want to settle with the other parties involvunless you’ve first explored your legal options.

Unfortunately, many insurers will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible, which is why it is better that you have a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death lawyer dealing with them for you. While a statute of limitations of two years may seem like a long time, there is a lot that your legal representation will have to do to prepare your case to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP and ask for your free case evaluation. The sooner you get started, the better.

Police: Man pushed in front of car outside Dilworth bar, Charlotte Observer, March 5, 2012

Former UNC football player accused of murder after bar fight, WCNC, March 4, 2012

More Blog Posts: 

Fatal North Carolina Truck Accident Brings Traffic to a Standstill, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, February 13, 2012

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2012

Drunk driving a factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-year-old Raleigh Student, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2012

Preventing North Carolina Injuries to Kids: NHTSA Introduces ’10-Year-Old Child’ Crash Test Dummy

February 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In an effort to increase child safety for kids weighing over 65 pounds, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is introducing a new crash test dummy for booster and child safety seats for bigger kids. The “10-Year-old Child” dummy will help provide information related to injury risk involving chest acceleration, knee excursion, and head excursion.

Also, the NHTSA has issued a final rule that now officially revises current federal child safety seat standard to include boosters and car seats for kids weighing 66-80 pounds.  This standard will assess whether higher-weight restraint systems are able to manage crash energy, as well determine if a seat’s structure will stay intact when the dummy is used during testing. Car seat and booster seat makers will have two years to certify that their child car safety devices for higher-weight kids fulfill the latest requirements.

The final rule and new testing requirements are the latest in the government’s efforts to promote car safety for children. Last year, NHTSA urged caregivers and parents to keep kids in harnessed car seats for as long as they can and ensure that weight and height requirements were met and maxed out before deciding that a child no longer needed a booster or car seat. The federal safety agency’s child seat guidance also urged that kids be made to use booster seats until they grew to a size large enough that a seat belt was sufficient to keep them properly secured—especially during a car crash.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers represent families whose kids were injured in catastrophic car crashes. Although in many cases the negligent driver or the maker of a defective vehicle will likely be the negligent party, sometimes, a child involved in an auto collision does sustain serious injuries because a car seat was defective or failed. In these instances, the victim’s family may have grounds for a North Carolina products liability case against the child safety seat manufacturer.

Just this January, Britax Child Safety, Inc. recalled about 14,220 Chaperone Infant Car Seats because the chair’s harness adjuster had a defective. If the adjuster were to come off the seat, it could render the safety harness straps that secure a baby useless.  At the time that the recall was announced, NHTSA said it didn’t know of any injuries or deaths related to the car seat defect.

It is important that you buy a child safety seat that is the right size for your child (according to age, height, or weight). The car seat must also be a good fit with the vehicle it will be used in, and it must be properly installed.

Our Lumberton, North Carolina child injury attorneys know how devastating it can be to realize that your child was hurt because of someone else’s negligence or due to a situation that was out of your control but could have been prevented.

To schedule your free case evaluation with our Monroe, North Carolina products liability law firm, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP today.

NHTSA Unveils New ’10-Year-Old Child’ Crash Test Dummy, NHTSA, February 21, 2012

Read NHTSA’s Final Rule

Recall: Britax child safety seat—Harness straps will not properly restrain a child, Consumer Reports, January 27, 2012

 

More Blog Posts:

Will New Car Seat Guidelines Decrease the Number of North Carolina Child Injuries that Occur During Traffic Crashes?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

Keeping Your Child Safe During North Carolina Car Crashes, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2009

Motor Vehicle Accidents Continue to Be the #1 Killer of Children, Says World Health Organization, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Where Charlotte, North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened Has No Sidewalk

February 23, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Brothers Kadrien Brewton, 5, and Jeremy Brewton, 1, died yesterday when a Sears delivery truck struck them. The Charlotte, North Carolina truck accident happened in the morning as they were walking with their dad, Jeremy Brewton, to day care. Jeremy and their baby sister, who was in a stroller, did not sustain injuries.

Police have charged truck driver Jerome Brewton with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Neighbors have said that the area of West Tyvola Road where the deadly collision happened is in desperate need of speed bumps or a sidewalk, which doesn’t exist for about a tenth of a mile stretch despite the fact that pedestrians often walk there and two school bus stops are located nearby.

According to the CharlotteObserver.com, a city transportation department spokesperson has confirmed that West Tyvola from West Boulevard to Old Steele Creek Road needs a sidewalk. Previous to yesterday’s crash, two North Carolina pedestrian accidents have taken place on that area of road in the last 15 years.

Depending on who caused the deadly Charlotte, NC truck collision, the children’s families may have grounds for a North Carolina wrongful death case against the truck driver, Sears, and/or the city. The employer of a truck driver that accidentally kills someone in a crash while on the job can be held liable, as can other related parties, such as the contractor that rented the truck or the manufacturer of a truck that was defective. A government entity also can be held responsible for failing to make a road safe enough by not putting into place an appropriate speed limit, speed bumps, sidewalks, a traffic sign, traffic lights, a pedestrian lane, or other necessary elements.

The siblings are not the only ones to lose their lives in a North Carolina traffic crash this week.  Last night, two people died when a sport utility vehicle that was involved in a police chase struck the vehicle that they were riding. The victims are former Belmont Mayor Kevin Loftin, 56, and his friend Donna Jean Deitz, 60. They were pronounced dead at the crash site. Two other people who were riding a PT Cruiser that was also hit sustained minor injuries.

The Gaston car accident occurred at around 10:15pm. The SUV’s driver, Lester Saunders Norman, Jr., was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.  Police say that they started chasing Norman when he failed to stop at a DWI checkpoint. He was reportedly driving at a speed of around 75 mph when the North Carolina auto collision happened. Norman was operating without a license.

Following the crash, police say that Norman attempted to flee the accident site but was soon apprehended. He is charged with reckless driving while intoxicated, felony death by vehicle, failure to stop at a red light, speeding, assault with a deadly weapon on government officials, driving with a revoked license, and resisting a public officer.

In this type of situation, the victims’ families may be able to pursue a claim not just against a negligent driver but also against police if they could/should have been able to prevent the pursuit from turning deadly.

Every Charlotte, North Carolina car accident is different. The only way to find out if you have a case is to speak with an experienced motor vehicle crash law firm right away. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we represent clients in Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union, Catawba, Cabarrus, Lincoln, Cleveland, Caldwell, Rowan, Iredell, Stanley, Burke, Alexander, Robeson, Richmond, Scotland, Cumberland, and Anson, North Carolina. We also represent clients in Lancaster, Marlboro, Chesterfield, York, and Dillon, South Carolina.

Belmont Mourns friends struck by fleeing driver, Charlotte Observer, February 23, 2012

Father talks about wreck that killed sons, Gaston Gazette, February 23, 2012

More Blog Posts:

Fatal North Carolina Truck Accident Brings Traffic to a Standstill, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 13, 2012

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2011

Drunk driving a Factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-Year-Old Raleigh Student, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2012

Drunk Driving a Factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-Year-old Raleigh Student

January 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to toxicology results, alcohol was involved in the deadly North Carolina motor vehicle crash that claimed the life of 17-year-old Elizabeth Molloy on January 7. The Medical Examiner’s Office says that she died from blunt-force trauma to the head, which she sustained when the Jeep she was riding drove off the road and into a tree. The vehicle was reportedly moving at 75 mph in a 30 mph zone when the deadly collision happened.

Per the report, Molloy’s boyfriend Garrett Prince who was driving the Jeep, had a BAC of .29%. Molloy’s BAC was .12%. In North Carolina, the legal driving limit is .08% before someone is considered impaired.

Prince, 16, has been charged with DWI, felony death by motor vehicle, having an open container of liquor, provisional DWI, speeding and possession of marijuana, and careless and reckless driving. Also facing criminal charges 18-year-old Hannah R. Smith, who hosted the underage drinking party, 21-year-old Anthony Du Juan Geter, who bought the alcohol for the teenagers, 17-year-old Samantha M. McKinney, and a 15-year-old.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is hazardous regardless of your age. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP, we are especially passionate about impressing upon teenagers the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Even though it’s illegal for them, alcohol use continues to be popular among minors. According to Students Against Destructive Decisions, by high school graduation, 72% of kids will have consumed alcohol. 37% will have done so by the eighth grade.

With motor vehicle crashes continuing to be the number one case of deaths for 15 to 20-year-olds, it is important that teenagers take drunk driving seriously and not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Alcohol by itself can slow reflexes, blur vision, impair judgment, and handicap a person’s abilities to make wise decisions. Couple that with a teenager who may be going through a rebellious phase, has an inflated sense of invincibility (that can come with being young,) or needs to look cool in front of his/her peers and the combination can prove deadly.

This is one of the reasons why our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm offers the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. Not only do we want to help 15 high school seniors make their dream of a college education come true, but also we want to help spread the word among teens about why they shouldn’t drink and drive. The deadline to be considered for one of the $2,500 scholarship awards is February 27, 2012. Click on the link below to find out more.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers represent victims and families that have lost loved ones in traffic crashes because of drunk drivers or other negligent motorists. Contact The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo LLP today.

Millbrook students legally drunk at time of fatal crash, Charlotte Observer, January 31, 2012

Teen driver charged with DWI in fatal Raleigh wreck, WRAL, January 7, 2012

Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program 

More Blog Posts:

Deadline for North Carolina and South Carolina High School Students to Enter the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is February 27, 2012, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 16, 2011

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

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

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

December 12, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

This holiday season, our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would like to invite you to join us in keeping the number of drunk driving accidents down. Please don’t drink and drive.

To spread the word to your friends and family, we’ve created a powerful new video called “There are no extra lives when you drink and drive.” Please forward this to those you know and post it on your Facebook page, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Let’s make a difference in our community. Participants can join our Flip Camera Giveaway by signing up on our Facebook page. The sweepstakes ends on January 2, 2012. You must be a US resident and at least 18-years of age.

According to national statistics, one out of three people will at some point in their lives end up involved in an alcohol-related collision. It doesn’t help that there are about two million drivers with at least three or more prior drunk driving offenses sharing the roads with our children.

Although drunk driving is a known killer every day of the year, the holidays are an especially dangerous time with so many people out celebrating and drinking. Here are some ways that you can keep yourself and others safe:

  • Don’t drive when you are drunk
  • Assign someone the role of designated driver
  • If you see that someone is too drunk to drive, take the car keys
  • If you are hosting an event, provide non-alcoholic drinks and don’t let anyone get into a vehicle unless you are sure the driver is sober
  • If you spot someone on the road that you think may be a drunk driver, immediately report him or her.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also beginning its nationwide crackdown on drunk driving for this season. Thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the US are taking part in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

Last week, the NHTSA issued its 2010 Fatality Analysis Reporting System figures. According to FARS, nationally there was a decline in both the total number of motor vehicle crash fatalities and alcohol-related deaths. 32,885 people died in US traffic accidents in 2010, which is down 2.9% from the 33,883 motor vehicle crash deaths in 2009. There were US 10,228 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2010, down 4.95% from the 10,759 fatalities in 2009. There was, however, a slight rise in the total number of North Carolina motor vehicle crash deaths with 1,319 traffic fatalities last year‚Äîthat’s 6 more traffic deaths than in 2009.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm represents clients and their families involved in collisions that were caused by drunk and drugged drivers. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP today.

“Like” our Facebook page to enter our Flip Cam Giveaway

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Crackdown on Drunk Driving, NHTSA, December 13, 2011

1,433 People Died in 1,324 North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2008, Says FARS

December 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 37,261 US traffic deaths in 2008. 1,433 of those fatalities occurred during the 1,324 North Carolina motor vehicle accidents that happened last year. Nationally, there were:

• 50,430 motor vehicle crashes
• 25,428 motor vehicle occupant deaths
• 714 bicyclist deaths
• 1,045 child traffic fatalities (under age 13)
• 4,054 teen traffic deaths
• 4,268 of the fatalities were older seniors (ages 70 and over)
• 4.008 large truck deaths
• 5,091 motorcyclist deaths
• 4,378 pedestrian deaths

Motor vehicle accidents continue to be a leading cause of fatalities in the US. The injuries and deaths that are a result of auto collisions can take huge physical, emotional, mental, and psychological tolls on traffic crash victims and their families. This is one reason that you should contact an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina injury law firm as soon as possible.

As our North Carolina motor vehicle crash lawyers reported previously, the number of traffic deaths declined between 2008 and 2007, when there were 1,705 traffic deaths in the state. Yet we cannot ignore the fact that lives are still being lost in motor vehicle collisions due to defective auto parts, defective roadways, and negligent drivers.

In addition to the hazards posed by drivers who drive drunk, speed, or fall asleep while operating their motor vehicles, modern technology now has presented us with the additional dangers of talking on the cell phone, text messaging, updating one’s Facebook status, or Twittering while driving. These activities may seem harmless are enough, but they really aren’t when coupled with operating a motor vehicle.

No two North Carolina traffic crashes are alike, which is why you should speak with a Charlotte motor vehicle crash lawyer who is experienced in dealing with your type of motor vehicle accident. The sooner you start exploring your legal options, the easier it will be to focus on physical recovery while your Hickory, North Carolina injury lawyer begins the claims process for you.

Fatality Facts, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart

November 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last Tuesday, 6-year-old boy from Duplin County was killed in a horrific North Carolina car accident on NC-111 in Chinquapin. The AP reports that the fatal North Carolina car accident occurred around 4 PM. According to the news report: “authorities’ said the boy was riding beside his older brother, who was driving a four-wheeler…the boy apparently didn’t see the oncoming vehicle and pulled out into the road.”

According to a local station, WITN, the 6-year-old, who attended Chinquapin Elementary School, was hit by the secretary of his school.

This horrendous tragedy strikes an emotional chord in anyone who has cared for young children. In many ways, this is every parent’s worst fear come true, and we can only hope that the family of the boy receives compassion, empathetic attention, and good healing.

Can the North Carolina car accident prevention community draw any lessons from this sad case?

Without probing into the details of what happened, it’s difficult to extrapolate. However, the report does highlight, once again, how tragedies can happen even under close adult scrutiny. Young children are constantly testing the limits of their physical environment, and they may not be fully aware of the risks inherent in their activities until too late.

While caretakers can (and probably should) do more to monitor children’s behavior and erect safe, protective areas for kids to play (without serious consequences), there are only so many strategies and tactics you can deploy to protect yourself against the chaos of life.

All that said, if you or someone your care about has been hurt in a North Carolina car accident, you may be able to avail yourself of powerful resources to get compensation for injuries, medical care, and more. A respectable and experienced North Carolina car crash law firm can help you understand your rights and what to do next.

More Web Resources:

6-year-old boy dies in a go-kart crash

Go-kart tragedy in Chinquapin

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

Worker Killed in Charlotte, North Carolina Construction Fall Accident

October 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A worker who plunged three stories off a roof has died from his Charlotte, North Carolina construction accident injuries. The Mecklenburg County fall accident occurred at the Pike Energy Solutions building on October 26.

At around 8am, the worker and a garbage shoot that was located on the roof both fell off the top of the building. The worker, who ended up in an industrial sized dumpster, was pronounced dead at the Charlotte, North Carolina fall accident site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the deadly incident.

Unfortunately, falls are one of the more common causes of construction accident fatalities. Statistics show that 30% of construction deaths a year are a result of falls from roofs, scaffolds, cranes, through elevator shafts, holes in the floor, and because of falling objects.

Construction crews and their companies should make sure that safe working conditions are implemented at all times—especially when the work is being done off the ground and at elevated heights. Are harnesses required? Should there be barricades put up? Is the area safe enough to have people working there? Are safety equipment and tools free from any defects that could cause them to fail?

Fall accidents can lead to serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, blunt trauma injuries, and even death. While you cannot sue your employer for your Charlotte, North Carolina construction accident injury, many construction jobs usually have other parties involved in the project. Negligence on the part of these third parties could allow you to seek North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death damages, as well as obtain North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we represent clients injured in all kinds of North Carolina construction accidents, including trench collapses, electrical accidents, welding accidents, construction blasts, machinery accidents, scaffolding accidents, motor vehicle crashes, accidents involving falling objects, crush injury accidents, fires, gas explosions, construction equipment accidents, ladder falls, conveyor accidents, forklift accidents, bulldozer accidents, boiler room accidents, elevator accidents, building collapses, and other types of construction accidents.

2010 Workplace Fall Accident Facts (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• 635 worker fall accidents
• Since 2007, deadly falls in the private construction industry have gone down by 42%

Unfortunately, for many construction workers involved in serious accidents, their careers are over and their source of livelihood gone.

You want to work with a North Carolina construction accident company that understands the nature of these types of injuries and how they can happen. There are usually numerous parties involved in working a construction job, and determining who is liable can be a daunting job unless you know what to do.

Man dies after 3-story fall into construction bin in north Charlotte, WSOCTV, October 26, 2011

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2010, Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 25, 2010

Worker Killed in 3-Story Fall at Charlotte Construction Site, Justice News Flash, October 26, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Charlotte Construction Worker’s Death is Third Work Accident Involving Wachovia Project in a Month, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2008

North Carolina Worker Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries After Fall At Charlotte Construction Site, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2008

Deadly New York Crane Accident Highlights Safety Issues As Multiple Cranes Operate in Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 19, 2008

High School Seniors Start Sending Applications to Qualify for the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program

October 26, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm plays an active role in helping decrease the number of drunk driving accidents that happen every year. Part of our efforts comes to fruition with the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. Every year, we award $2,500 college scholarships to a number of high school seniors.

Recipients are selected from a pool of participants from the North Carolina counties of Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Gaston, Anson, Catawba, Richmond, Union, Scotland, Cabarrus, Robeson, Cleveland, Burke, Lincoln, Alexander, Rowan, Iredell, Stanly, and Caldwell and the South Carolina Counties of Lancaster, York, Marlboro, Chesterfield, and Dillon. In addition to a scholarship application, candidates must submit a presentation encouraging fellow teens to not drink and drive. Sat or ACT scores, high school transcript, letters of recommendation, community/school involvement, and volunteer activities will also be considered. Please click here for more information about the program and how to apply. The contact person for the 2012 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program is Kristine Woolley. Communications Director. You can reach her at kwoolley@demayolaw.com. Or (704) 343-4644.

Teens and Drunk Driving
Our Charlotte, North Carolina car crash lawyers believe that it is important to keep reminding teenagers that not only is underage drinking a bad idea, but also so is drunk driving.

Some reasons why teenagers drink and drive:
• Risk-taking
• The desire to experience the effects of alcohol
• Peer pressure
• The need to fit in
• False sense of immortality

Not only is drunk driving potentially fatal, but also alcohol consumption at a young age can impact memory, long-term thinking, and cause liver problems, and hormonal issues. Also, alcohol may impair judgment, the ability to gauge distances, slows reaction time, blurs vision, and can cause a person to engage in high-risk activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, eight teens are killed in motor crashes daily. Drunk driving is one of the behaviors that cause serious injuries and death to teens and others. Also, a drunken driver is subject to criminal charges especially if serious injury or death resulted. Help us make a difference in spreading the word about the dangers of drunk driving.

Find out about the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program.

Fill out an application


Related Web Resources:

Teen Drivers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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

Underage Drinking, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm Announces the 2011 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program Winners, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 25, 2011

North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm and Former Winston-Salem TV Anchor Join Forces to Combat Drunk Driving Among Teen Drivers, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 22, 2010

NHTSA Ranks North Carolina and South Carolina as Two US States With Greatest Increase In DUI Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 2, 2008

For Many North Carolina Car Accident Victims, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Can Create Havoc

October 21, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Of the more than 2 million people injured in US auto crashes each year that are lucky enough to survive, a number of them may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—up to 40% even, estimates the US Department of Transportation. This is no surprise, consider that traffic collisions are among the leading causes of PTST. You may be able to obtain North Carolina car accident compensation for this and any other debilitating injuries that were caused by another party’s negligence.

Remember, physical injuries are not the only type of injuries that can occur during a motor vehicle crash. There is also pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional trauma. While invisible, psychological and emotional injuries can also take a toll, severely impairing a victim while negatively impacting his/her life.

PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder can arise after someone has suffered a life-threatening or frightening experience. This may cause severe anxiety and emotional/mental paralysis in the person. Signs of possible PTSD:

• Flashbacks of the incident
• Reliving the accident as if it were happening again now
• An irrational fear that the same accident will happen to the victim again
• Physical symptoms arising when the person is reminded what happened. Symptoms may include rapid breathing, nausea, elevated heart rate, and sweating
• Anger issues
• Sleep difficulties
• Nightmares
• Disinterest in former passions, hobbies, and activities
• The need to be constantly vigilant
• Depression
• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Emotional numbness
• Problems concentrating
• Suicidal thoughts
• Eating disorders
• A higher risk of developing physical health issues, such as diabetes, heart problems, and sexual dysfunction

PTSD can happen not just to the person that actually experienced the catastrophic incident but also to those that witnessed it or were there afterwards to help out, such as police and rescue workers. Family and close of those that were in the accident can also develop PTSD.

This condition can affect not just the victim’s personal well-being, but also his/her career and relationships. People suffering from PTSD are more likely to miss work and not do as good of a job as those without PTSD. Problems concentrating and sleep difficulties can also make it hard for the person to be productive or meet goals. The impact of all the symptoms listed above can also affect how the person relates to people and deals with life. This can place at toll on marriages, family life, and relationships.

You want to work with a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm that understands the nature of PTSD and how to prove that you developed your condition because you were involved in an accident that occurred as a result of someone else’ negligence. Remember, PTSD can occur following any type of traumatic incident. This means that if you were sexually assaulted, abused at a nursing home, the victim of a violent crime, or survived a fall at a construction site, you may have developed PTSD as a response to what happened.

The Effect of PTSD on a Person’s Life, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2011

Talking to Your Friends and Colleagues about a Traumatic North Carolina Car Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 19, 2011

Are Gruesome Reports About North Carolina Car Accidents Rendering Us Insensitive to Dangers of the Road?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2011

 

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash

October 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A year after a drunk driver killed Mandie Kirkconnell in an Asheville car crash, her estate is suing four bars for her North Carolina wrongful death. Kirkconnell suffered fatal injuries on October 2, 2010 when her vehicle was hit by a car driven by Jennifer Kessler, whose BAC at the time was .262%. That’s more than three times above the .08% legal limit. The 26-year-old later pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, felony death by vehicle, and reckless driving to endanger.

The defendants in this North Carolina wrongful death complaint are The Orange Peel, Highland Brewing Co., Temptations Red Room, and Sazerac. Per the civil lawsuit, employees at Highland Brewing, where Kessler first stopped, either should have known or already knew that she was drunk when they served her drinks. She drank more alcohol at the other three bars.

There is a North Carolina statute that bars establishments with Alcoholic Beverage Control permits from knowingly giving or selling alcohol to anyone who is ‘intoxicated.” Also, when third party ended up getting hurt or dying in a drunk driving accident because an establishments sold alcohol to minors or an already intoxicated persons, the state allows for the latter to be held liable through North Carolina personal injury and wrongful death complaints. Recovery is limited to $500,000.

Drunk Driving
According to a paper recently published by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers, even though drunk driving appears to have gone down 30% in the last five years, about 4 million Americans still acknowledge to having at least once driven while under the influence of alcohol. This has led to 112 million alcohol impaired driving-related incidents and thousands of deaths. That’s still 1/3rd of all driving deaths.

Telephone survey data was used by the CDC used telephone survey data to put together its drunk driving figures for 2010. Among its latest statistics:

• 81% of drunk driving incidents involved men.
• 85% of those involved in impaired driving incidents have engaged in binge drinking.
• People who didn’t consistently use seat belts were four times more likely to drive drunk.

The CDC researchers’ report can be found in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Drunk driving can cause devastating injuries for those involved. It makes no sense for lives to be lost and families destroyed because someone decided to get into a car and drive. You may have a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident case against a drunk driver or the party/parties that served the motorist alcohol or allowed him/her to drive while intoxicated.

Medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and funeral and cremation expenses can take a financial toll on the lives of victims and loved ones. There is no reason why you have to foot these burdens alone. Making the responsible parties pay is also a way to hold them accountable for their actions.

Lawsuit seeks damages in fatal drunk driving crash in Asheville, Citizen Times, October 13, 2011

Drunk driving down, still a factor in a third of crash deaths, Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2011


Related Web Resources:

Social Host Liability, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC

More Blog Posts:
Horrific DUI North Carolina School Bus Accident Raises Troubling Questions, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 27, 2011

DWI Driver Seriously Hurts Eight People in North Carolina Auto Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 12, 2011

Former News Anchor Tolly Carr Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Family of Man Killed in Drunk Driving Accident, North Carolina Injury Lawyers Blog, November 24, 2008

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accidents: What You Should Know About Working with a Claims Adjuster

September 29, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you were involved in a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation from any liable parties. You should speak with a North Carolina injury lawyer right away to find out whether you have grounds for a case.

What you shouldn’t do is talk to the other party’s claims adjuster about the accident or your injuries. The job of a claims adjuster is to investigate claims, negotiate settlements, and decide how much a claimant should get. They are tasked with resolving cases as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

While they do perform a necessary function in the North Carolina car accident claim process, giving them too much information could hurt your case more than help it. For example, a recent MSN.com article cautions that some claims adjusters will:

• Try to get you to agree to a settlement right away.
• Get you to a compromise that might not be in your best interests.
Convince you to go to a repair shop that is “preferred.”
• Try to get you to accept less than fair placement value for a totaled car.

The MSN.com article goes on to talk about what you should to prevent these outcomes from happening:

• Make sure that all written statements go through your Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer.
• Be careful about what you say to a claims adjuster—less is more.
• Try not to apologize for what happened—even if it is the polite thing to do—because you’re “sorry” may be construed as an admission of guilt.
• Don’t joke about the situation.
• Don’t say anything that might later damage your credibility.
• Be wary of questions trying to get you to admit that you were at fault.
• Even if the North Carolina motor vehicle crash may have been your fault, don’t say anything to incriminate yourself. Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
• Make sure to report any injuries, aches or pains.

Remember, the Charlotte, North Carolina car accident law firm that you hire is there to make sure you receive the maximum recovery possible for your injuries and the damage to your property. Your legal team is also here to protect your rights. If you settle right away, your North Carolina personal injury lawyer won’t be able to get you a bigger sum that might actually be owed to you.

Investigating the extent of property damage and the severity of a victim’s injuries can take time. While it may initially seem like a relief to have a settlement in your hands, this could prove problematic. Your best bet is to let your lawyer handle all interactions with the other party and the people they’ve brought on to counter/minimize your claim.

Secrets of car insurance adjusters, MSN, September 27, 2011

Car accidents and Negligence, Nolo


More Blog Posts:

HB 542 Could Cost North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crash Victims Who Have Medical Insurance, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2011

Visualizing Auto Safety: A Powerful Way to Avoid North Carolina Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2011

What Really Caused Your North Carolina Car Accident?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 2, 2011

 

HB 542 Could Cost North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crash Victims Who Have Medical Insurance

September 24, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Beginning October 1, 2011, HB 542, a new law passed by the state’s General Assembly could reduce the amount of financial recovery a North Carolina car accident victim stands to receive. The HB 542, which allows for smaller claims for auto crash injuries, would be reduced by a victim’s medical coverage.

For example, a negligent driver and his/her car insurance company can lower the value of your North Carolina car accident compensation by only letting you claim the same amount of accident-related medical expenses that your health insurer agreed to cover. This lowers your recoverable damages, while reducing the amount that you are able to repay your insurer and your own recovery, including pain and suffering and lost wages, as well as your legal fees.

Because admission of evidence representing total medical costs is prevented under the new law, a jury won’t have this information. This means that starting next month, any settlement or damages awards have to be based on the lower figure—how much your medical insurer agreed to cover—which will result in lower recovery and verdict amounts.

While supporters of this “billed vs. paid” law” say HB 542 prevents “phantom damages” that bring up the size of recovery awards, if the person injured in a North Carolina car crash has health insurance coverage, he/she could end up losing out. Meantime, auto insurers stand to gain financially from these reductions.

Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Michael DeMayo, wants to remind everyone that this law goes against the collateral-source rule that most US states follow. This rule says that the wrongdoer shouldn’t be able to benefit from an innocent citizen’s contract that the latter paid for to benefit him/her. This is why most states allow complete recover of the amounts were actually billed—not just paid—and introduction of evidence of only what the insurer paid hasn’t been allowed. Attorney DeMayo points out that while those who don’t have health insurance won’t lose anything from HB 542, it will be those who pay for health coverage each month or receive it as part of their employee benefits that will suffer.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP represents North Carolina car accident victims in a number of North Carolina counties, including Cabarrus, Union, Catawba, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Caldwell, Rowan, Lincoln, Cleveland, Robeson, Burke, Alexander, Iredell, Anson, Richmond, Scotland, and Cumberland, and South Carolina Counties, including Dillon, Marlboro, Lancaster, York, and Chesterfield. We have seen the damages that can be incurred, the bills that can accrue, and the toll that becoming the victim of a traffic crash can take on the victim and his/her family.

Tort Reform’s Defective Fix, Charlotte Business Journal, August 26, 2011 (PDF)

HB 542, North Carolina General Assembly


More Blog Posts:

Republicans Propose Bill Protecting Drug Makers from North Carolina Products Liability Lawsuits, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 29, 2011

Beyond “Just So Story” Theories: A Unified Solution to End (or Reduce) North Carolina Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 5, 2011

Join the Fight Against Texting While Driving: Enter Our Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm’s Sweepstakes on Facebook to Win a Flip Camera and Watch Our Distracted Driving Video, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 19, 2011

Join the Fight Against Texting While Driving: Enter Our Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm’s Sweepstakes on Facebook to Win a Flip Camera and Watch Our Distracted Driving Video

September 19, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to some studies, texting while operating a motor vehicle is eight times more dangerous than driving while drunk. Yet, for many people, knowing this information isn’t enough to stop them from reading, composing, or sending a text while driving. Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would like to invite you and your friends to join us in the fight against distracted driving. Please watch our Distracted Driving is Like Driving Blind video on YouTube and enter our Distracted Driving Awareness Sweepstakes on Facebook. The deadline to participate is October 10, 2011.

Texting While Driving
In North Carolina, it is actually illegal for all motorists to text while driving. Unfortunately, this texting ban isn’t enough to ensure that people won’t engage in this type of distracted driving behavior. Here are a couple of reasons why:

• Not everyone understands that texting, which poses no physical danger when done while not operating a vehicle, is dangerous when driving. It takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic North Carolina car crash to happen. Usually, to text the driver has to have his/her eyes off the road for at least that long and one, even both of his/her driver’s hands will be off the steering wheel to hold and work the phone/PDA device. This can make it hard for a motorist to stay in control of a vehicle to avoid an accident.

• In this multitasking society, it can be hard to stop what has now become a bad, even compulsive habit of constantly checking and responding to text messages and emails.

According to Internet & American Life Project from the Pew Research Center, adults are just as likely as teens to text when driving. In the report, issued last year, 47% of adults reported sending or receiving a text from a mobile phone while behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle. If adult drivers can’t restrain themselves from texting, how can we expect our teen drivers to stop? Please stop distracted driving by pledging to limit your texting when operating a motor vehicle.

We are familiar with the devastating consequences that can result because someone was texting or talking on the phone while driving. Please do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm to ask for your free case evaluation.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP
Over the years, the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has fought hard for our clients to make sure they received the damages they were owed by all liable parties. We also have been fierce advocates of combating drunk driving with our Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive community service program and the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program for college kids. Our Charlotte, North Carolina injury law firm is committed to helping stop the growing epidemic known as distracted driving. Won’t you join us in saving more lives?

Adults as likely to text while driving as teens, study says, CNN, June 18, 2010

Cell Phone and Texting Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association, September 2011


More Blog Posts:

Turn Down the Music! (and Avoid North Carolina Car Accidents), North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2011

16-Year-Old Driver Involved in Fatal North Carolina Car Accident is Charged with Texting While Driving, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2011

Lawmakers Deliberate Whether to Step Up the Fight Against North Carolina Distracted Driving Crashes with a Ban on Handheld Cell Devices, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2011

North Carolina 15-Passenger Van Accident on I-95 Sends Several People to Hospitals

September 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Several people were injured on Monday in a North Carolina 15-passenger van crash close to I-95 in Wilson County. The single-vehicle crash resulted in the van flipping over and landing upside down in a field. The Wilson County Highway Patrol says the vehicle was transporting migrant workers.

According to one witness, people were crawling out of the vehicle while others were pulled out. There was a lot of screaming by the victims, who didn’t appear to speak English. Several of the 15-passenger van victims were sent to the hospital.

15-Passenger Van Accidents
Unfortunately, 15-passenger vans are among the vehicles most at risk of rolling over during a North Carolina motor vehicle accident. This information is now common knowledge, yet many schools, groups, day care centers, camps, athletic programs, recreational centers, shuttle services, churches, hotels, and organizations continue to use 15-passenger vans for transportation. If you or someone you love was hurt in a 15-passenger van crash, do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina 15-passenger van law firm to request your free case evaluation.

The problem with 15-passenger vans is that they are designed in a way that when they are actually loaded to capacity cargo and passengers their rollover risk triples. Yet approximately 500,000 15-passenger vans continue to transport millions of people every year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, although 15-passenger vans have a lower death rate than other vehicles, it has a higher occupant fatality rate. Also, not just anyone can operate a 15-passenger van. Federal standards require that 15-passenger van drivers have a commercial driver’s license.

Because 15-passenger vans are bigger than most other autos, the driver must know how to navigate corners and turns, as well as how to safely back up. It doesn’t help that the van’s high gravity center causes the vehicle to become less stable the more weight is added to it. Too quick of a turn or lane change made or a tire blowout can cause the driver to lose control of the van, which could roll over to result in serious injuries, including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.

Many people seem to forget that riding a 15-passenger van is not like riding a bus and seat belts must be used as protection in the event of a deadly crash. Yet the driver or those supervising the van or trip don’t always enforce this.

You may have reason to pursue a North Carolina personal injury case against a negligent driver of van operator or another party. You may have reason to file a North Carolina products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the 15-passenger van or the manufacturer of one of the vehicle’s defective/malfunctioning parts.

Several people injured in van crash, ABC11, September 5, 2011

Multiple People Hurt In Crash In Wilson, WITN, September 6, 2011


Related Web Resources:

Q&A: 15-passenger vans, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Analysis of Crashes Involving 15-Passenger Vans, NHTSA (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Prevent North Carolina 15-Passenger Van Crashes by Not Overloading Vehicle, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 22, 2010

Tractor-Trailer Crash Involving 15-Passenger Van Kills 11 People, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2010

Minivan Tire Blowout Kills Six People and Injures 9 in Rollover Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 2, 2009

Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm to Provide Free Speakers Bureau Service to Talk about the Legal Issues Affecting You

September 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

For nearly two decades the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has been an active member of the community and every year, our Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers give back by participating in and offering a number of public service programs. This year we are unveiling our Speakers Bureau, a public service program that allows us to meet with you and answer your questions about specific legal issues that may be impacting you. This service is free.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we know that the legal process can sometimes seem overwhelming and confusing. This is why we want to answer your questions and explain your legal rights. Our North Carolina injury lawyers are available to speak to your group or organization in Charlotte, Hickory, or Monroe about a number of topics, including (but not limited to):

General Interest:
• What to do if you get hurt in a car crash
• Pursing law as a career
• Choosing the best auto insurance for you

Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Crashes:
• What to do if you’ve been in a traffic crash
• Drinking and driving
• How to deal with insurance companies
• Understanding your auto/motorcycle insurance policy
• Traumatic brain injury and whiplash
• Dangerous roads

Caregiver and Family Support:
• How to handle insurers
• When you should speak with a lawyer
• Lost wages and medical bills

Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation:
• Who is eligible to receive benefits
• What you should do if you get hurt on the job
• What to do if your request for Social Security Disability is denied

How to Request Our Speaker’s Bureau:
To request a speaker from our law firm, fill out our Speakers Bureau Form. We will send you an e-mail notification confirming the receipt of your request. Please give us at least four weeks notice from when you would like us to speak. Speakers are available on a first come, first serve basis. Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers will make every effort to ensure that our presentation for you is informative and interesting. Professional groups, service organizations, volunteer groups, church groups, injury and illness support groups, educational groups, caregiver support groups, schools and educational groups, social clubs, and community associations are just some of the groups that could benefit from our Speakers Bureau program.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is located in Charlotte, Hickory, Monroe, and Lumberton, North Carolina, and we represent clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Other community services we offer include the Arrive Alive; Don’t Drink and Drive program and the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. We also remain actively involved in raising money and awareness for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving program and services, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina Thanksgiving food drive, and the Angel Tree Toy Drive.

For more information, visit our Web site or contact our Community Relations Director Kristine Woolley at kwoolley@demayolaw.com or call (704) 343-4644.

Read More About:
Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive

Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program

Heatwave Prompts NHTSA to Warn About North Carolina Child Deaths in Hot Cars

August 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland is in Raleigh today to host a public meeting on hyperthermia. The session comes in the wake of one of the worst heat waves in North Carolina’s recorded history.

Hyperthermia continues to be the number one case of non-crash auto deaths for kids under age 4. According to the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences, 22 child deaths (under age 14) from hyperthermia have already occurred in the US this year. Last year, there were 49 child fatalities from hyperthermia.

It is important that parents and guardians are aware of the dangers of hyperthermia so that they don’t leave children in the car unattended for long—especially in extremely hot weather. Kids can overheat to death when left inside a motor vehicle. The temperature in an enclosed vehicle can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. One need only look at the death of 2-year-old Haile Brockington who was left in a day care van for several hours last year. Her family would go on to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the day care center and the van’s driver.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm represent the families of children injured or killed in car accidents that were caused by other parties’ negligence. One area that we haven’t spoken about in the past is non-crash injuries, which involves accidents with motor vehicles where a collision isn’t necessarily involved.

Hyperthermia is just one cause of non-collision vehicle deaths to children. Other common non-crash accidents:

• A power window can trap a kid’s head, feet, fingers, neck, or feet, resulting in asphyxiation and other injuries. This is why it is so important that the power switches are locked (or don’t malfunction) to prevent such injuries.

• Vehicle rollaway involves an unattended auto with the key in the ignition potentially shifting out of park and causing the vehicle to roll away. This could cause injury to a child left in the vehicle or one standing outside in its path.

• Backover crashes involve autos being backed out of a parking lot or driveway with the driver failing to realize that there is someone behind the vehicle.

• Fall accidents while getting into our auto of a vehicle.

• Injuries caused by a car door.

• Getting cut by the license plate, bumper, or another part of an auto.

• Carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sometimes, the negligent party is another motorist, the manufacturer of a defective auto part, or the person in charge of supervising a child at the time that the accident occurred.

We know how devastating it can be to have your son or daughter get hurt—especially because another party was reckless or careless. Our Lumberton car accident lawyers would like to offer you a free evaluation of your North Carolina injuries to a minor case.

Nation’s Highway Safety Chief Discusses Ways to Prevent North Carolina Child Fatalities in Hot Cars, NHTSA, August 23, 2011

Traffic Safety, NHTSA (PDF)

Haile Brockington’s family files wrongful death lawsuit, WPTV, August 13, 2010


More Blog Posts:

Adoptive Dad of Murdered 4-Year-Old is Not Allowed to Receive North Carolina Wrongful Death Damages, Says Jury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2011

Will New Car Seat Guidelines Decrease the Number of North Carolina Child Injuries in Traffic Crashes?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

Mint Hill Dog Attack Injures Grandmother and Six-Year-Old Boy, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2010

Forsythe County, North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Resident Who Drowned in Puddle in 2009 is Identified by Police

June 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Mamie Louise Holder Shelton, a 92-year-old North Carolina nursing home resident, is the name of the woman who drowned in a puddle after wandering 200 feet from Bradford Village of Kernersville – East LLC 413 on November 12, 2009. She was discovered lying face down in water about 2 inches deep. Police say that abrasions on Shelton’s knees and hands are consistent with a North Carolina fall accident and they do not suspect foul play.

Shelton, who was legally blind, suffered from coronary artery disease and dementia. She needed a wheelchair and a walker to properly get around. The nursing home patient appears to have walked out of a facility door between 2 and 4am. No one noticed because the door’s alarm had been turned off. According to nursing home staff, alarms at Bradford Village often were deactivated so that workers could go on smoking breaks.

Following the North Carolina nursing home death, the assisted living facility fired five workers. The N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation imposed a $20,000 fine over the incident. Meantime, state regulators found that the Forsythe County assisted living facility had violated codes related to personal care, supervision, physical environment, and resident rights. They also said that the nursing home did not make sure that proper measures were executed to stop patients at risk of wandering from leaving the facility without supervision.

Our North Carolina nursing home negligence lawyers know how to prove that an assisted living facility’s negligence resulted in abuse or neglect. Many patients who suffer from dementia are a wandering/elopement risk. It is important to gather evidence showing that a patient could/should have been prevented from walking out of the nursing home without supervision.

Wandering accident can lead to fatal falls, motor vehicle accident injuries, hypothermia, and other life-threatening conditions or incidents. It doesn’t help that it may be awhile before facility workers notice and/or find a missing assisted living facility patient.

Nursing home patient who drowned in puddle identified, 2journalnow, June 2, 2011

N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation

More Blog Posts:
Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2010, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

Forsyth County-Owned Assisted Living Facility Accused of North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 31, 2011

North Carolina Injury Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Pittsboro Retirement Center for Assault that Left Elderly Resident with Brain Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 5, 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

Davidson County, North Carolina Wrongful Death: Mom of Teenager Struck by Paving Stone Files Lawsuit

April 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Lisa Hill Chisom, the mom of a high school student who died from injuries she sustained when someone threw a paving stone through the windshield of the car she was in is suing a number people for North Carolina wrongful death. Shelby Chisom died last August. The 17-year-old was returning from a party when the incident happened. The stone lacerated her liver and Shelby died from her injuries.

Michael John Craver, who threw the stone, recently pleaded guilty second-degree murder. According to Chisom’s Davidson County, North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit, Michael threw the 25-pound paving stone after his cousin Ethan Craver told him to “take care of” that car.

Ethan Craver, Tyler Lawrence Price, Alyssa Christine Everhart, Krista Leigh Cummings, and a woman named Jordan Pierce allegedly had gotten into an altercation with Shelby, whom Price accused of stealing her boyfriend. All of them were attending the same party.

Tensions then carried over onto the road when someone in the car Everhart was driving threw a bottle of beer at the vehicle Hince was driving and that Shelby was riding. Hince then began following the other car at a fast speed. Ethan Craver, who was in the other car, then directed Michael to take action.

Chisom contends that Ethan knew of Michael’s history of violence and bullying and should have realized that when drunk, the latter would act with “reckless disregard.” She is seeking compensatory damages from Michael Craver, Ethan Craver, Price, Hince, Cummings, Everhart, Katherine C. Pritchard, and her son John Tyler Pritchard. She also wants punitive damages from Katherine Pritchard, both Cravers, and Hince. The Pritchards’ residence is where the party took place.

Chisom contends that Katherine Pritchard and her older son John Pritchard knew there would be minors drinking at the party that was held at their home and even bought alcohol. About 30-50 people attended the event where they were allegedly allowed to burn lawn furniture and use drugs.

North Carolina Wrongful Death
Losing someone you love is very difficult. It can be just as devastating to know that your loved one died because of other people’s reckless actions. You may be able to obtain Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death damages from the responsible parties.

Mother of teen killed by paving stone files wrongful death lawsuit, Winston-Salem Journal, April 18, 2011

Mother of Teen Killed by Paving Stone Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit, MyFox8, April 20, 2011

Related Web Resource:
Wrongful Death Claims, Nolo

More Blog Posts:
$14.9M North Carolina Wrongful Death Judgment Awarded to Jimmy Blevins’ Family, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 14, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2010

Deceased Man’s Estate Files Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Shopping Mall and Nightclub, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 30, 2009

Will New Car Seat Guidelines Decrease the Number of North Carolina Child Injuries that Occur During Traffic Crashes?

April 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has updated its child safety seat guidelines. The revisions are based on the latest child restrain technologies and medical and scientific research. Our Charlotte, North Carolina child injury lawyers hope that these modifications will help decrease the number of injuries to minors during traffic crashes.

While the old guidelines were categorized by type of child seat, the new guidelines are categorized according to age. NHTSA is advising that a child should use the restraint system designated for each age until he/she outgrows the weight or height limit for that seat that the manufacturer has set.

Our Monroe, North Carolina personal injury law firm is familiar with the different type of child seat defects that can cause serious injury during a car crash, including weakened shells, flammable materials, handle defects, harness issues. That said, even if a child safety seat is free from defects, it is still important that your child that is using the car seat appropriate for his/her age and that it is properly assembled and used correctly. Families whose children are injured because of child safety seat failure may have grounds for a North Carolina products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

NHTSA’s Latest Car Seat Recommendations:

Newborn to 12 Months: Your baby should use a rear-facing car seat appropriate to his/her age, height, and weight.

Ages 1 to 3: NHTSA recommends keeping your child’s car seat rear-facing for as long as possible until he/she exceeds the seat manufacturer’s height or weight limits.

Ages 4 to 7: A forward-facing car seat with a harness is recommended until he/she outgrows the manufacturer limits.

Ages 8 to 12: Your child should use a booster seat until he she is grown enough to use a seat belt and have it fall over the upper thighs. The shoulder belt should be snug across the chest and shoulders. It is always safer for your son/daughter to ride the back seat.

Car crashes continue to be the number one cause of child fatalities. Child restraint systems saved nearly 9,000 lives between 1975 and 2008.

Child Safety-Seat Recommendations Revamped, ABC News, March 21, 2011

Child Safety Seat Recommendations, NHTSA

Related Web Resources:
Recommendations on Child Safety Seats, American Academy of Pediatrics

SeatCheck.org

More Blog Posts:
Keeping Your Child Safe During North Carolina Car Crashes, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2010

North Carolina Child Death Fatality Rate was Lowest Ever in 2008, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2009

Motor Vehicle Accidents Continue to be the #1 Killer of Children, Says World Health Organization, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2008

More Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed in Alleged Sex Assaults Involving Police Officer Marcus Jackson

March 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Another two woman are suing Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Marcus Jackson for North Carolina personal injury. Jackson, now an ex-cop, is already sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting six women while on the job.

In these latest Charlotte-Mecklenburg personal injury complaints, the plaintiffs contend that Jackson stopped their car on the evening of December 28, 2009. They say that he made them get out of the vehicle and proceeded to sexually assaulted them away from the police camera’s view.

One of the women says Jackson told her that he needed to search her because he smelled “weed. ” However, she says that instead of patting down her pockets, Jackson grabbed her breasts. The other woman claims that when it was her turn, Jackson placed his hands on breasts and down her pants. Both plaintiffs say they experienced emotional distress.

Also defendants of this North Carolina sex assault case are the city of Charlotte and Police Chief Rodney Monroe. Already, the city has spent over $617,000 to settle four Charlotte, North Carolina injury claims over Jackson’s actions.

The two plaintiffs are accusing Monroe of negligently retaining and supervising Jackson. Prior to his hiring by police, one of Jackson’s ex-girlfriends had taken out domestic violence protective order against him. Monroe has since admitted that the police missed certain information that would have prevented them from hiring Jackson.

North Carolina Police Brutality
A cop who sexually assaults someone while on the job is committing North Carolina police brutality. Police officers are not immune from the law and sexual assault committed by anyone is a crime. When a cop assaults someone under the guise of doing the job, he/she is abusing the authority given to a law enforcement officer and violating the victim’s civil rights.

2 women sue former officer, city in alleged sexual assaults, Charlotte Observer, March 7, 2011

Lawsuits say CMPD chief intervened twice to help Marcus Jackson, WBTV, February 23, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

More Blog Posts:
Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Case Over Sex Assault by CMPD Cop is settled for $350,000, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 7, 2011

City of Charlotte Settles North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuits Alleging Police Sexual Harassment by former CMPD Cop, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2011

Couple Suing City of Charlotte Claims Officer Marcus Jackson Sexually Violated Them During Traffic Stop, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2010

 

North Carolina Injuries and Deaths on the Job May Be Grounds for Both Third Party Lawsuits and Workers’ Compensation Claims

January 14, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

WRAL is reporting that according to the state Department of Labor, 48 people were killed in North Carolina work accidents in 2009. Most common causes of worker fatalities that year included an object or vehicle crushing or striking a worker, fall accidents, and electrocution accidents.

15 of the workers who died were in construction. The manufacturing and service industries saw six worker deaths each. Mecklenburg County had the most worker fatalities at seven deaths. Eight other counties, including Pitt and Nash counties, each experienced two worker deaths.

While even one worker fatality is one death too many, officials are reporting that North Carolina worker illness and injury rate is at an all-time low. They also are wondering whether concerns about the economy and job security may have distracted some workers and played a factor in some of the work-related deaths.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm want to remind you that if you were injured or your loved one was killed on the job, not only is it important that you file your North Carolina workers’ compensation case, but also, you should explore whether you have grounds for a third party North Carolina wrongful death case or personal injury lawsuit with individuals or entities that aren’t your employer but whose negligence contributed to causing your work accident or illness. Unfortunately, many workers and their families don’t realize that they also may have grounds for a civil case. Possible third party lawsuits may involve products liability, motor vehicle crashes, truck accidents, slip and fall, premises liability, violent crimes, inadequate security, premises liability, or other grounds for a case.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death law firm handles both North Carolina workers’ compensation and related third party cases.

NC workplace fatalities spike in 2010, WRAL, January 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Industrial Commission

North Carolina Department of Labor

Workers’ Compensation, Nolo

Big Rig Trucker Involved in North Carolina Truck Accident that Killed Three on Interstate 40 Was Drunk, Say Investigators

January 10, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A deadly North Carolina tractor-trailer crash on I-40 on June 30 that claimed the lives of three people has landed the trucker in a lot of trouble. Police have charged Ronald Eugene Graybeal with two counts of felony death by vehicle, one count misdemeanor death by vehicle, DWI, and drug possession.

The Durham, North Carolina big rig crash happened at around 4pm just west of the US 15-501 exit when Graybeal crashed into three autos that were in slow traffic. All three drivers—Burlington resident Gary Dwayne Smith, Mebane resident Barbara Boda Caldwell, and Kannapolis local John Paul Llanio died from their injuries. A box truck driver, Greensboro native Reginald Keith Thompson, was also hurt when Graybeal’s vehicle struck him, but fortunately his injuries are non-life-threatening.

The charges against Graybeal are very serious and could land him in jail for a very long time if he is convicted. He and the trucking company he works for could also find themselves the defendant of North Carolina wrongful death cases if the family members of the three people that died decide to sue them. Any civil charges would be separate from the criminal ones and it will be up to the plaintiffs and their North Carolina semi-truck crash lawyers to prove liability.

The North Carolina truck crash is also raising questions from drivers who worry that this section of I-40, which is near the Durham-Orange County, is currently a higher risk crash zone. One of the lanes has been closed, causing the highway to go from three lanes to two close to the US Highway 15/501 (where the accident happened). Because of this, some motorists say that when traffic slows suddenly there isn’t enough of a warning to ensure that everyone has time to react safely to the sudden traffic jams that can arise.

The DOT is looking into whether better warning signs should be added or a revised speed limit put into effect. If there is evidence that the stretch of road where the Durham tractor-trailer collision happened could have and should have been made safer, the victims’ families also may have a case against the entities responsible for the road.

Scene of I-40 triple fatal wreck worries drivers, WRAL, July 7, 2011

Charge upgraded in triple fatal I-40 crash, WRAL, July 5, 2011

Trucker in I-40 triple fatal jailed on DWI charge, ABC Local, July 2, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

North Carolina Department of Transportation


More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Truck Accident Claims: Is True Total Compensation Possible?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011

North Carolina Truck Accidents: Getting Past the Anger, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2011

Goldsboro Driver Sustains Burn Injuries in Fayetteville, North Carolina Truck Crash, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 23, 2009

Goldsboro Driver Sustains Burn Injuries in Fayetteville, North Carolina Truck Crash

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

As of yesterday, a Goldsboro tanker-truck driver who sustained burn injuries from a Fayetteville, North Carolina truck accident on Interstate 95 on Monday night remains in critical condition.

Frankie Graves is in Chapel Hill at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center. The 54-year-old trucker sustained burn injuries on 40% of his body. According to North Carolina state troopers, the fuel tank of Graves’s tanker truck was punctured when the the vehicle struck the guardrail after crashing into a semi-truck that had stopped abruptly to avoid hitting the driver of a pickup truck that had run out of gas.

Graves reportedly jumped out of his cab with his clothes burning. Another man rolled him in the median to put out the fire.

Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be very painful and they can take a long time to treat and recover from. This can require costly surgeries, skin grafts, physical therapy, and psychological counseling. There may even be internal damage and permanent physical disfigurement. The burn injury victim may no longer be able to work, which makes the need for financial recovery if someone was liable for the injuries even more of a priority.

There is the misconception that passenger vehicle occupants are the only ones that get hurt in North Carolina truck crashes. Truck drivers do get hurt and sometimes it is because of the negligence of another trucker, the driver of a passenger vehicle, a trucking company, a truck manufacturer, or another liable party.

While injured truck drivers are likely entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation recovery, there also may be third parties that can be held liable.

Burned tanker truck driver still in critical condition, FayObserver, Oct 22, 2009

I-95 tanker accident still causing issues hours later, News 14, October 20, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Traumatic Brain Injury, Medline Plus

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Evenflo Recalls 13,792 Maestro Child Safety Seats

October 14, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Evenflo is recalling 13,792 Maestro child safety seats because of a possible crack that can form near the harness adjuster that could result in a child becoming improperly restrained. Evenflo will fix the safety issue by giving consumers a metal reinforcement plate to better support the area of the adjuster. There are no injuries reported so far.

Models affected by the recall start with the number 310. These child safety seats were made between November 24, 2009 and April 9, 2010. If you own one of these child booster seats you should contact Evenflo right away to ask for your free reinforcement plate. While you are waiting for your repair kit, NHTSA says your child can still use the seat as long as the owner’s manual is followed.

With motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death to kids under age 15, our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability attorneys and injuries to a minor lawyers know how important it is to make sure that your child is safely buckled in, whether with a seat belt or in a child safety seat.

Having your son/daughter use a defective car seat can lead to catastrophic consequences during a North Carolina car accident. You may be able to hold the product manufacturer liable.

Examples of child safety defects:

• Poor construction
• Harness defects
• Separation of base/shell
• Handle malfunctions
• Flammable material
• Sudden release
• Unanticipated rotation
• Improper or unclear instructions

A defective car seat can even make your child’s injuries from a traffic crash worse than they otherwise would have been.

Consumer Advisory: Evenflo Company Recalls 13,792 Evenflo Maestro Child Safety Seats, NHTSA, October 15, 2010

Evenflo Initiates Voluntary Safety Recall of Certain Maestro Combination Booster Seats, Evenflo, October 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Car Safety Seats, American Academy of Pediatrics

Child Passenger Safety, CDC

City of Charlotte, North Carolina Sued for Wrongful Death From Falling Tree Accident

October 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Kay Plyler, the 53-year-old woman who died last year after a tree fell on her car, is suing the city of Charlotte for wrongful death. The civil lawsuit contends that the tree was a public hazard that should have been removed.

The North Carolina premises liability accident happened on March 8, 2008, when a tree, located close to the corner of East and Asheville Place, fell on Plyler’s black SUV. Plyler’s 14-year-old daughter was in the motor vehicle with her. While the teenager did not sustain physical injuries, the complaint says that she suffered emotional trauma from the deadly accident.

Also according to the wrongful death lawsuit, the tree, which was suffering from 90% root decay, should have been removed. Other trees in the area that were suffering from similar health issues were taken away.

This is not the first time Charlotte has been sued over a tree. In 2003, the city was sued for personal injury because of a tree. Another lawsuit for property damage involving a tree was filed in 2005.

Just last week, a 35-year-old woman was in Charlotte driving her two young children in her car when she was almost struck by a giant oak tree that fell. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Over 400 people died because of falling trees or limbs between 1995 and 2007. In Charlotte, high winds and soggy soil are just some of the conditions that can cause the city’s older trees to fall, potentially causing injury to motorists, pedestrians, and residents, as well as damage to power lines. There are steps that city officials and property owners can take to make sure that such accidents do not happen.

Some 160,000 trees are planted in Charlotte’s public areas. Each year, workers cut down some 300 to 400 trees that are in poor health.

Family suing city over tree that killed woman, Charlotte Observer, January 11, 2009

Our cherished trees can be a danger, Charlotte.com, January 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Who Is Responsible When Your Tree Falls?, Realty Times, January 12, 2009

8 Signs of a Sick Tree, Treejob.com

Woman Shot During Police Pursuit Sues City of Asheville for North Carolina Personal Injury

June 30, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Mary Wilcox is suing the city of Asheville and its police department for North Carolina personal injury involving use of excessive use of police force. Wilcox was shot in the leg, liver, and spleen during a police pursuit on May 31, 2007 in the Haw Creek neighborhood.

Wilcox was a passenger in the car that Officer Justin Clinard was chasing. According to police, the driver of the car, Larry Julius Wilson, had tried to run over a cop at a housing development. He then allegedly tried to run down another police officer at an apartment complex. That officer started shooting at the vehicle.

Stop sticks were put out on New Haw Creek Road, which blew out at least one of Wilson’s tires. However, he kept driving and allegedly tried to run over another two cops that fired at his car.

While Wilson has pleaded guilty to one count of felony flee to elude arrest, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, and a habitual felon charge, Wilcox was never charged with any crime. In her Asheville, North Carolina injury lawsuit, Wilcox is accusing the police officers of negligence for firing their weapons. She is also alleging excessive use of police force and inadequate supervision. Officers Clinard, Brian Hogan, Cheryl Intveld, Stony Gonce, and Chief Bill Hogan are among the defendants named in her Asheville personal injury complaint. Four months after the shooting, Clinard left the police department.

Wilcox is seeking unspecified damages for her shooting injuries.

Police Pursuits
It is important that police officers follow proper procedures and drive carefully even when in the midst of a police pursuit. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 360 deaths a year occur because of police chases. Usually, 1/3rd of the victims are innocent bystanders. However, the reality may be much harsher than what these figures portray because not all bystander injuries related to a police chase are documented.

Persons injured during police pursuits, including suspects, may have grounds for a North Carolina injury lawsuit. It was just in 2008 that the city of Asheville paid two families $1.5 million for police chase-related injuries. A truck driver died and his passenger was injured when cops chased him the wrong way on an interstate exit ramp and his vehicle was struck head-on by a car.

Woman injured in Haw Creek police chase shooting files lawsuit, Citizen-Times, June 17, 2010

Deaths lead police to question high-speed chase police, USA Today, April 22, 2010

Related Web Resource:
City of Asheville, NC

Asheville Police Department

North Carolina Train Derailment Accident Injures at Least 10

May 13, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

At least 10 people were injured in a North Carolina train accident involving a tractor-trailer that got stuck on the train tracks at a Mebane crossing. The Amtrak train was headed for Charlotte this morning when it collided with the large truck between Raleigh and Greensboro and became derailed.

The train was carrying 1,900 gallons of fuel and hazardous materials. A team from Norfolk Southern had to come out to the train derailment sight to contain about 500 gallons diesel fuel that had leaked out of the locomotive, which, along with a train car, caught on fire. Meantime, the train accident victims were treated transported to local hospitals.

This is not the first train accident to occur at this particular crossing. Six previous North Carolina train accidents going back to 1978 have take place at site of today’s crash.

Also, it was less than two months in that another Amtrak train was involved in a Charlotte, North Carolina train crash with a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck on the tracks. 118 people were riding the train when it collided with the semi-truck, which was transporting luxury vehicles. No serious injuries were reported.

Some reasons why a vehicle might get stuck on a train track:

• Mechanical problems
• Panic on the driver’s part
• Vehicle is physically stuck on the tracks
• Railroad crossing arm malfunction
• Vehicle is stopped on the tracks while caught in slowed or stopped traffic
• Train malfunction
• Human error

Just last month, a woman was killed in an Illinois train accident involving an Amtrak train because the warning system failed to let her know that the train was arriving.

Amtrak Train Crashes Into Truck, Derails in North Carolina, MyFox8, May 13, 2010

Charlotte-bound Amtrak train hits truck, Charlotte Observer, May 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Amtrak

Train Accidents, Justia

Over 37,000 North Carolina Brain Injury Patients a Year Require Emergency Room Care

March 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Newsobserver.com reports that 37,000 emergency room patients are treated for North Carolina brain injuries each year. The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina calls TBIs a “silent epidemic,” with more people suffering from brain injuries than there are patients diagnosed with breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS combined. In the state of North Carolina alone, there are 180,000 brain injury patients—equal to Fayetteville’s entire population.

Many people don’t really understand what a TBI is or how serious the injury can become in certain cases if medical attention isn’t immediately sought. Also, with car crashes and fall accidents as two of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries, many victims sustained their injuries because another party was negligent. Please do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina brain injury law firm to explore your legal options.

March has been designated Brain Injury Awareness month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its latest report on TBI’s called “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death.” Among its latest statistics:

• There are approximately 52,000 TBI deaths in the US every year.
• 1.7 million hospital visits are traumatic brain injury-related.
• 75% of brain injuries are considered mild TBIs.
• Older people, above the age of 65, kids, younger than 5, and teens, 15-19, are most at risk of suffering from a TBI.
• Adults, 75 and older, had the highest TBI death and hospitalization rates.
• The leading known causes of TBI’s are falls, motor vehicle crashes, getting struck by or striking an object, and assaults.

Sustaining a serious TBI can prove catastrophic and not to mention devastating for the victim and loved ones. The costs of living with one can be astronomical.

When you look at the most common causes of TBI’s, it is no surprise that many traumatic brain injuries could have been prevented. Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm to discuss your TBI case.

CDC Study Examines Rising Incidence of TBI, Medpage Today, March 19, 2010

Brain injury alters her life, Newsobserver.com, March 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Brain Injury Association of America

Living with a TBI, Brain and Spinal Cord.org

North Carolina Police Brutality Lawsuit Filed Against Alamance County Sheriff and Two Deputies

January 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Burlington man claims that he was the victim of North Carolina police brutality in Alamance County. Bobby J. Stanley is suing Sheriff Terry Johnson and two deputies for personal injury. Stanley contends that he is a victim of assault and battery, false arrest, and illegal search and seizure.

According to his North Carolina personal injury complaint, the plaintiff claims that while two cops apprehended him on DWI charges last year, they broke his arm. He is seeking at least $10,000 in damages for permanent partial disability, partial loss of the use of his arm, medical bills, depression, and anxiety. Stanley says that he wasn’t drunk and he was swerving to avoid driving into potholes.

He gave Lt. D. L. Crowder permission to search him but he says he never gave the deputy permission to search the van. Crowder and Cpl. Jackie Fortner then allegedly grabbed him with “such force and violence” that his arm broke.

Stanley says that the officers disregarded his need for medical attention and continued searching the car. They charged Stanley with failing to stop at a stop sign and gave him an unsafe movement violation. The stop sign-related charge was later dismissed. Stanley filed his Alamance County police brutality complaint in February.

Meantime, the Sheriff’s Department is denying the accusations. A police document claims that Stanley refused to be treated by an EMS who examined him at the scene. The police officers that arrested him contend that Stanley told them he taking a lot of drugs because he has cancer. They claim that they grabbed Stanley because he became agitated. They acknowledge that he did not consent to the vehicle search.

North Carolina Police Brutality Lawsuit
Police officers are not use excessive force against suspects, prisoners, defendants, or anyone else when doing their jobs. Even if no criminal charges are filed against the cops, you may still be able to hold them liable in civil court for North Carolina injury caused by physical assault, sexual assault, verbal battery, emotional abuse, and other acts of violence.

Documents show different side in sheriff’s department lawsuit, TheTImesNews.com, March 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Alamance County Sheriff’s Department

Testimony of Police Violence Across the Nation

NC DOT to Study State Bridges Following Second Fatal Fall

December 3, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is examining some 17,000 bridges to determine if safety measures can be taken to prevent more fatal falls. On Friday, 33-year-old Carroll Lee Eames fell to his death while helping the car crash victims of a multi-vehicle wreck on the Interestate-440 bridge on the Outer Beltline.

Police say Eames fell through the gap between two bridges as he jumped over a concrete barrier to avoid being hit by an oncoming vehicle. Unfortunately, a 30-foot drop to Crabtree Creek awaited him on the other side of the barrier and Eames died from injuries he sustained during the fall accident.

In October 2005, 26-year-old Todd Fletcher died when he fell off the Inner Beltline Bridge while also helping North Carolina car accident victims. Fletcher’s father, Done Fletcher, filed a North Carolina wrongful death claim over the tragic accident.

According to Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, the NDCOT did put up a fence to prevent people from going over the edge on the Inner Beltline side, but there is no such barrier on the Outer Beltline side where Eames’s North Carolina fall accident happened. The opening that separates the two bridges is about five feet.

Eames’s father, Caroll Eames Sr., is quoted in the NewsObserver.com as saying that he feels that the state “took my son’s life away.” Eames Sr. says that the state must have known that area was a safety hazard.

Luis Jesus Coyt, a passenger in one of the vehicles involved in the North Carolina car crash that Eames Jr. was assisting with also fell off the Outer Beltline bridge. He sustained minor injuries.

Currently, the NCDOT lacks guidelines requiring that all bridges have standard protective rails. In several instances, fences were added to certain bridges after pedestrians had already fallen.

North Carolina Premises Liability
Property owners and managers can be held liable for North Carolina premises liability if a hazard on a premise contributed to causing personal injury or wrongful death and that danger could have or should have been remedied.

Accident spurs state to study bridges, NewsObserver.com, December 1, 2009

Good Samaritan falls from I-440 bridge, dies, CharlotteObserver, November 28, 2009

NC DOT begins bridge study after fatal plunge, WECT, December 1, 2009


Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Department of Transportation

North Carolina Bridge Information

Raleigh Motorcyclist Dies Following North Carolina Injury Accident

November 3, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Raleigh man who was injured in a hit-and-run North Carolina traffic accident has died. Michael Stegler was 49. The Raleigh motorcycle accident happened on October 2 when Stegler’s motorcycle was struck by a van that did not stop at the crash site.

Police later identified Jack W. Stith II as the hit and run driver. He is charged with failing to stop at a crash site.

2008 Motorcycle Data, NHTSA:

• 5,290 US motorcyclist deaths
• 77% of the motorcycles were hit from the front.
• 7% were struck from the back.
• 25% of motorcycles involved in deadly accidents collided with nonmoving objects.
• 19% collided with passenger cars.
• 4% were involved in large truck crashes.
• 14% were in crashes with light trucks.
• 96,000 motorcyclist injuries.
• 2,554 motorcycles involved in these fatalities collided with another kind of motor vehicle.
• 159 North Carolina motorcycle rider deaths.
• 115 South Carolina motorcycle rider fatalities.

Nationally last year, there were 2% more motorcyclist deaths than the 5,174 motorcyclist fatalities that occurred in 2007. And according to the US Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting, there has been a 150% increase in motorcycle fatalities over the past decade (In 1997, 2,116 people were killed in US motorcycle crashes). This is unfortunate for motorcyclists and their passengers, who are prone to catastrophic injuries during motorcycle accidents.

For the first time since 1981 when it issued the Hurt Report, the Federal Highway Administration is going to conduct a study about what causes motorcycle crashes and how to stop them from happening.

Motorcycle rider struck in Hilltop hit-run dies, The Columbus Dispatch, October 15, 2009

Motorcycles, 2008 Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA (PDF)

Federal Government To Study Motorcycle Crash Causation, Chicago Now, October 9, 2009

Related Web Resources:
The Hurt Report

FARS

Kids are Twice as Likely to Die in North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents on Halloween Night, Says Safe Kids USA

October 26, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to Safe Kids USA, a child’s chances of dying in a pedestrian accident more than doubles on Halloween night. 4-10pm on October 31 is when child pedestrian fatality statistics go from 1 child death/night (for these same six hours) to 2.2 kid fatalities for the evening.

One reason for the increased danger is because kids who trick or treat are likely to walk outside in the dark when it is harder for drivers to see them—especially if they are small in size or short in height. Also, a child dressed in full costume, such as a mask or a headdress, might have a hard time seeing approaching vehicles.

North Carolina Child Pedestrian Accidents
While there are steps that parents and kids can take to prevent North Carolina child pedestrian accidents from happening, such as using a flashlight, not jaywalking, and making sure that costumes are easily visible for motorists, drivers are responsible for exercising caution and watching out for pedestrians regardless of the time of day or the year.

Careless or reckless driving can be grounds for a South Carolina or North Carolina pedestrian lawsuit involving injuries to minors if a child is hurt because of driver negligence.

To avoid causing a Charlotte, North Carolina pedestrian accident, you might want to look at the following suggestions offered by the The National Safety Commission:

• Look out for trick or treating kids.
• Make sure headlights are on so that you are visible.
• Do not drive drunk.
• Do not talk on the cell phone.
• Do not text message.
• Check your blind spots.
• Expect that a child might decide to run between cars or cross the street without looking.
• Consider driving lower than the posted speed limit.
• Be ready to stop at any moment.
• Be patient with child pedestrians.
• Try not to go around or pass vehicles that are stopped.

Related Web Resources:
Real horror of Halloween: Pedestrian deaths, USA Today, October 26, 2009

Holiday Driving: Halloween Safety Tips, The National Safety Commission, October 13, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Top Ten Tips for Safe Trick-Or-Treating this Halloween , Safe Kids USA

Pedestrians, 2008 Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, NHTSA (PDF)

Did Gastonia Police Officer Commit North Carolina Police Brutality When He Fatally Shot Man Holding Knife?

September 22, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Gaston Gazette is reporting that Debbie Keeter is still waiting to see whether criminal charges will be filed against the Gastonia police detective who fatally shot her son in the head. Keeter says that less fatal measures could have been taken to apprehend her son, who was confused and in the middle of a stabbing brawl with men who allegedly threatened to kill him at the time.

Terry Adam Boone died on May 1, 2008 when Gastonia Police Detective Scott Barnes shot him in the head. Boone was holding a knife in his hand and police say that the 20-year-old appeared to lunge at Barnes, who then shot him in the back of the head to prevent the attack.

Barnes was called to the scene of a stabbing. Audrey Lingerfelt, Boone’s girlfriend, told The Gazette that men who were involved in a disagreement with Boone had arrived at her residence and were threatening to beat and murder him.

When Boone arrived at his vehicle, one of the men stabbed him. He stabbed the man back before going into Lingerfelt’s home.

When police arrived at the residence, Boone left Lingerfelt’s home through the back door. She says she later heard the gunshot. A neighbor says that Boone was defending himself when police showed up in unmarked vehicles.

Keeter claims that Boone was injured and his eyes and face were covered in blood. She doesn’t believe that he posed a threat to Barnes. At the time of Boone’s death, his blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal driving limit at 0.14.

Excessive Use of Force as North Police Brutality
North Carolina police officers are never allowed to use excessive violence when dealing with anyone at any time and the victim or his/her family can file a North Carolina police brutality lawsuit if a cop violates their civil rights and/or causes serious injury or death without provocation or justification. Unjustified shootings, verbal abuse, injuring someone with a Taser when the suspect could have been apprehended in a less painful manner, false arrest, beatings, sexual assault, and intimidation are forms of police brutality and can be grounds for a North Carolina injury lawsuit.

Mother still seeking answers in May 2008 fatal police shooting, Gaston Gazette, September 21, 2009

Gastonia police: Officer shot suspect in back of head, WCNC, May 6, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Gastonia Police Department

North Carolina October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality

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

Lawsuit Accuses Toyota of Concealing Evidence in Hundreds of Rollover Accidents

September 3, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

A former attorney for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. is suing his former employer for allegedly forcing him to withhold evidence from the victims of hundreds of rollover accidents. Dimitrios P. Biller says that not only did the world’s largest motor vehicle manufacturer make him conceal the evidence from plaintiffs who had sustained injuries or lost loved ones, but he claims that the company then made him resign two years ago.

Biller’s complaint accuses Toyota of getting rid of information in over 300 rollover accidents. He claims the data that was concealed proved that the vehicle roofs involved in the rollover accidents were substandard. He also accuses Toyota of illegally withholding computer-stored data from products liability attorneys and wrongful death lawyers.

Biller’s lawsuit claims that the company’s engineering unit was allowed to get rid of important documents and information that should have been turned over to the plaintiffs. The complaint also charges that Toyota held back records on vehicle roof testing and design.

Biller says that he was intimidated and harassed by Toyota employees even after he left the company. Because of the pressure that he was allegedly subjected to, Biller claims that he has had to undergo psychiatric treatment over the last four years and in 2007 he was diagnosed with major depressive syndrome.

Toyota has responded to Biller’s allegations with a statement calling the attorney’s claims “misleading” and “inaccurate.” The auto manufacturing giant portrays its former managing counsel as a disgruntled former employee who did not like the fact that he had to resign.

If in fact Toyota did withhold evidence in these cases, however, this could result in the reopening of rollover cases that over the past two decades the car maker has either won or settled.

Obtaining recovery for a Charlotte rollover lawsuit usually requires the experience of a North Carolina injury law firm who understands the intricacies involved with proving that an auto manufacturer was negligent and therefore owes the plaintiff damages for products liability or wrongful death.

Toyota concealed evidence in rollover cases, ex-attorney alleges, Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2009

Toyota Accused of Hiding Evidence, CBS News, August 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Q&As: Rollover and roof crush, IIHS, January 2009

Roof Crush and Rollover Information Center, Public Citizen

Raleigh Pedestrian Accident Claims the Life of 6-Year-Old North Carolina Girl

August 25, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Ashley E. Ramos-Hernandez, 6, died last Wednesday after she was struck by a sport utility vehicle during a Raleigh pedestrian accident. The deadly North Carolina traffic incident occurred during the afternoon close to the intersection of Hillock Drive and North Hills as the young girl was crossing the street. The driver that struck Ashley, 83-year-old Geraldine Baron Deitz, has been charged with passing a stopped school bus and misdemeanor by motor vehicle death.

According to Raleigh police, Dietz says she saw a stopped school bus ahead of her and that all of the bus’s markers and signals were not activated. She says she initially stopped for the bus but when it did not turn she kept driving until she heard a “thud.”

Witnesses, however, dispute her account. They say that the 83-year-old driver ignored the fact that the bus’s markers and signals were activated as Ashley and other kids were crossing the street. The fact that Deitz is an elderly senior driver is once again raising the issue of whether older drivers should be allowed to continue to drive without being tested again.

Since 1999, Ashley is the eighth student to die in a North Carolina pedestrian accident because of drivers who passed stopped school buses. Derek Graham of the state’s Department of Public Instruction was quick to point out, however, that all of the drivers did not fall under one specific age range. He also said that in North Carolina, drivers ignore school bus stop-arms about 2,000 times a day.

According to AAA:
• Almost 1/5th of child traffic deaths involving kids under age 15 are pedestrians.
• Most school pedestrian fatalities occur between 3 and 4 pm.

A driver who strikes any pedestrian due to negligence or carelessness can be held liable for North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death.

Child, 6, dies after being struck by car, The News & Observer, August 19, 2009

Back to School Driving Tips, KTVN News, August 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Walk this Way, Safe Kids

Walking Info

North Carolina Truck Accidents are 23 Times More Likely to Happen When a Trucker is Texting

August 11, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Although texting while driving will be banned in North Carolina beginning December 2009, that doesn’t mean that car drivers and truckers shouldn’t give up this dangerous form of distracted driving as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, a new Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study is reporting that truck drivers increase their crash risk by 23 times whenever they text. Can you imagine how many lives are endangered every time a trucker decides to take his or her eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel of an 18-wheeler truck or a tractor-trailer just to read or compose a text message?

According to the study, which involved 203 truckers who collectively traveled at least 3 million miles, texting is dangerous because truck drivers appeared to be spending at least 4.6 seconds not looking at the road when checking their electronic devices. Not looking at the road for more than 2 seconds can prove deadly. If a truck driver is driving his or her truck at a speed of 55 mph, 4.6 seconds is enough time for the trucker to have driven the distance equivalent to the length of a football field. Think of how many cars, buses, or motorcycles a truck driver might fail to see during that time.

This news is a good wake up call for anyone who may have lingering doubts about how dangerous texting while driving can be regardless of what kind of vehicle you are driving. Large truck drivers especially must take heed because in most cases, it is the occupants of the smaller vehicles involved in a North Carolina truck accident that have the greater chance of getting seriously hurt.

Meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced new large truck braking regulation. Whereas before, tractor- traveling at 65 mph speeds had to stop completely within 355 feet, the new rule requires that they stop within 250 feet. The new standard, which is a 30% improvement of the current stopping distance, will be phased in over a four-year period starting with 2012 models.

The NHTSA hopes that 227 truck accident deaths and 300 injuries will be prevent each year.

Tough New Braking Rules For Large Trucks Will Save Hundreds of Lives Annually, NHTSA, July 24, 2009

Texting and Driving Don’t Mix, The Washington Post, July 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Cell Phone Driving Laws, GHSA

FMCSA

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

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 Motor Vehicle Crashes: State Highway Patrol Reports 9 Traffic Deaths Over Memorial Day Weekend

May 28, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to preliminary statistics from the N.C. Highway Patrol, nine people were killed in North Carolina motor vehicle accidents over the Memorial Day weekend. That is the same amount of people that died over last year’s 3-day holiday period when 534 motor vehicle riders were injured.

Also killed over this holiday weekend, but on Friday morning—which is not included in the NC Highway Patrol’s holiday weekend injury and death report, which covers the period beginning 6pm on Friday through Monday at midnight—was a family of four. Wayne Pride Hicks, his wife Natalie, and their five children were taking advantage of the long weekend to meet with Wayne’s biological father, who had never met his daughter-in-law and grandchildren before.

However, on Friday morning, on Interstate 77 close to Elkin, the minivan they were riding in drove across a 60-foot wide median, hitting oncoming traffic and crashing at full speed into two other vehicles. Wayne, 44, Natalie, 35, Wayne Jr., 10, and Natalie, 3 all died in the tragic North Carolina car accident. The three surviving children, Elijah, 8, John, 7, and Josiah, 5, were treated at a hospital for their injuries. Police think Wayne may have fallen asleep while driving.

Also killed in the deadly North Carolina traffic accident was Hickory resident Bryan Mowry, who was riding the pickup truck that was struck by the minivan Wayne was driving. The other person riding in the car with the 59-year-old car accident victim was Sandra Mowry, 57, who was seriously injured. 50-year-old Bonnie Casstevents Weddle, whose car was also struck head-on by the minivan, was treated at a hospital for her injuries before being released.

With summer fast approaching and more people expected to travel on state roads, North Carolina troopers are taking more steps to prevent traffic crashes. The state’s Highway Patrol has been part of the nationwide “Click-It or Ticket” seatbelt campaign meant to remind people that there are consequences to not wearing a safety belt.

9 die in NC wrecks over Memorial Day weekend, Citizen-Times, May 26, 2009

Van crash in North Carolina kills four from Queens family on way to a first-time reunion, Daily News, May 23, 2009

Fifth Person In I-77 Crash Dies, Fox 8, May 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Click It or Ticket, North Carolina Department of Transportation

NHTSA

After Decrease in North Carolina Motorcycle Deaths in 2008, State Transportation Officials Hope to Continue Rider Fatality Decline in 2009 with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 24, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina Governor Perdue is calling the month of May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. His proclamation is part of a nationwide campaign to remind motorists and other drivers that they share the roads with each other and they must do so safely. This awareness will prove especially important in the coming months, as the warmer weather kicks into gear along with the many riders getting on their bikes.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is reporting 142 motorcycle fatalities in 2008—a decline from the 192 rider deaths in 2007. However, AAA Carolinas says North Carolina still has the number eight highest motorcycle death rate in the US. While motorcycles make up just almost 2% of all registered vehicles in the state, they represent almost 12% of all North Carolina traffic deaths.

Just this month, a 21-year-old Onslow motorcyclist died in a single-vehicle crash. Police say that Christopher Steiner may have been traveling approximately 90 mph in a 55 mph zone when he lost control of his bike. His cause of death, according to the Onslow County Medical Examiner’s Office, was blunt force trauma. In another North Carolina motorcycle accident in Lillington, Victoria Allen was charged in the fatal traffic accident that killed Brandon Rodney Brown on US 421.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month seeks to make riders and other motor vehicle drivers aware that they are both responsible for preventing North Carolina motorcycle accidents from happening. AAA Carolinas Offers a Number of safety tips for motorcyclists and drivers, including:

For Motorcyclists:
• Wear a helmet. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program recommends that you use a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard ( FMVSS ) 218 helmet. North Carolina law mandates that motorcyclists wear helmets.

• Before you get on a North Carolina highway, take a state-approved motorcycle training course.

For Other Drivers:
• Don’t share the lane with motorcyclists.
• Signal to indicate your next move.
• Give at least 3 seconds more following distance to a motorcycle than you would another motor vehicle.
• Check your blind spots for motorcycles.

Both riders and the drivers of trucks, cars, and buses are reminded to pay attention when driving.

Gov. Perdue Proclaims May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Media Newswire

Motorcycle riders aim to spread awareness this month, WRAL, May 13, 200

Woman charged in motorcyclist’s death, WRAL.com, May 3, 2009

Onslow man killed in motorcycle wreck, WRAL.com, May 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
AAA Carolinas

Clutch & Chrome

Man that Caused North Carolina Car Crash that Killed Siblings May Have Been Having Psychiatric Breakdown

May 12, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Wake County, visiting Durham Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens has decided to continue the hearing in the criminal case of driver Victoriano T. Layon. The 38-year-old Selma man is ready to plead guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2008 North Carolina car accident deaths of siblings Wanda Gail Altman, 53, and Daris Wayne Hancock, 49.

Layon struck the Ford Taurus that the siblings were riding in at the intersection of White Oak Road and US 70 on January 11, 2008. Layon, who had been operating a Ford F-150 at a high speed, rear-ended their vehicle, crushing it and killing Hancock and Altman.

Pleading guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges would have set Layon free on probation. The defendant was at first charged with second-degree murder and has been behind bars for 16 months. Stephens, however, has requested that the defendant now be given a psychiatric evaluation. He says he doesn’t feel comfortable releasing Layon just yet.

Layon’s psychiatric state at the time of the crash has long been an issue. His wife Jennifer, who was in the car with him and their two sons when he struck the other vehicle, reportedly told police that prior to the deadly auto incident, her husband started behaving strangely. He read specific portions of the Bible, experienced painful headaches, slammed the family cat into the ground, commented that Satan lived inside the pet, and told his wife that God was inside him. She also said he stepped on the gas pedal right before hitting the car that Altman and Hancock were riding in.

Following the deadly North Carolina car accident, he managed to throw off the people who were holding him down and ran off. Clayton police found him the next day. They say that he told them that God told him to hit the other car.

Wake County Car Accidents
If you were involved in a Wake County, North Carolina car accident that was caused by another party’s reckless, negligent, or careless behavior and you sustained serious injuries, you may be entitled to North Carolina personal injury compensation. If your loved one was killed in a Wake County traffic accident, you may have grounds for filing a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit.

Did man’s crisis cause crash?, News Observer, May 12, 2009

Bond Denied for Suspect in Fatal Hit-and-Run, WRAL.com, January 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents Overview, Justia

The Tragedy of Fatal Hit and Run Accidents on America’s Deadly Roads, Deadly Roads

North Carolina Products Liability: Tougher Roof Strength Standards Will Provide Better Rollover Crash Protection, Says US Department of Transportation

May 6, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is doubling its roof strength requirement for light vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds and introducing an actual requirement for vehicles weighting 6,000 to 10,000 pounds. According to US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, these tougher standards will offer passengers greater protection during rollover accidents.

The current light vehicle requirement is the ability to withstand 1.5 times the force of the vehicle’s weight. The new standard would require that a light vehicle’s roof withstand 3 times the motor vehicle’s weight. Heavier vehicles will now have to meet a roof strength requirement of 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight.

September 2012 marks the beginning of the phase in schedule of these new requirements that must be completed for all vehicles that fall under the applicable weight categories by the 2017 model year. Some 10,000 people are killed in rollover accident each year.

Kinds of Rollover Accidents:
Tripped Rollovers: When a vehicle trips over an object, like a guardrail, a curb, or a steep slope.

Un-Tripped Rollovers: Can occur when the driver is driving at a high speed and tries to avoid getting involved in an auto collision.

While driver negligence can lead to rollover accidents, auto manufacturers must make sure that they make sport utility vehicles and other autos that are designed in such a way that they prevent rollover accidents from happening. In the event of a rollover collision, then the motor vehicle must offer vehicle occupants the proper safety protections needed to minimize injuries and prevent deaths.

Other safety precautions that auto makers can include in their motor vehicles:

Electronic Stability Control: Helps drivers stay in control of the auto so that it doesn’t go off road or skid out of control.

Rollover Air Bags: Side-impact head air bags can prevent occupants from getting ejected during a rollover accident.

Seat Belts: Use of seat belts improves survival chances in a rollover crash by 75%.

Auto makers must make sure that their vehicles are free from defects and come with the proper safety precautions. When a rollover accident occurs and a person gets hurt of dies because a vehicle part was defective or the vehicle malfunctioned, the car manufacturer can be held liable for North Carolina products liability or wrongful death.

U.S. DOT Doubles Roof Strength Standard for Light Vehicles, NHTSA, April 30, 2009

Rollovers, Safercar.gov

Related Web Resource:
Read the NHTSA Final Rule (PDF)

North Carolina Bill Banning Text Messaging While Driving Now Goes to Senate

April 18, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Now that the North Carolina House of Representatives has made it overwhelmingly clear—by a 104 to 5 vote—that texting and emailing while driving should be banned, the bill now heads to the state Senate and then Governor Bev Perdue. If the bill becomes law, anyone caught violating the ban would b fined $100 plus court expenses. Rescue workers and police are among those who would be exempted. An amendment to the bill helps determine when negligence might have occurred if someone was texting when a North Carolina car accident happened.

There are more people texting in North Carolina than ever before. According to the 2008 “Big City Wireless Use Study,” from April 2006 to April 2008, text messaging use increased among Verizon customers by over 600%. The International Wireless Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry says text message sending and receiving increased from 14.4 million in 2000 to 48.1 billion in 2007. That same year, a University of Utah study reported that texting while driving is similar to driving under the influence and is 50% more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving.

Even the American Medical Association has spoken out about texting while driving, calling the habit a health hazard. Another recent study says that texting while operating a motor vehicle forces a motorist to spend 400% more time with his or her eyes off the road—a dangerous practice whenever someone is driving.

In order to send or receive texts, a driver must take one if not both hands off the steering wheel, which can lead to catastrophic North Carolina motor vehicle crashes—especially if he or she has both eyes on his or her cell phone while reading or composing a text message.

Currently, in North Carolina, only minor drivers and school bus drivers are banned from texting while driving. They are also banned from speaking on cell phones any time they are operating a motor vehicle.

Texting while driving is negligent behavior.

N.C. bill would ban texting while driving, McclatchyDC.com, April 16, 2009

Texting While Driving Dangerous To Your Health, RedOrbit, November 2008

Related Web Resources:
Cell Phone Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association

National Safety Council

Family of North Carolina Woman Who Drowned in Car Files South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit

April 18, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of a 77-year-old North Carolina woman who died when she drowned in her car is suing three companies for her wrongful death. In mid-October 2008, Tecora Young left a birthday party at a South Carolina recreational facility and then disappeared. By Mid-December, Young’s car was found in the Broad River with her body inside.

According to a local coroner, the elderly woman died because she drowned. Foul play is not suspected and she may have accidentally ended up driving into the water.

Now, Young’s family is suing the Gaffney Board of Public Works, Duke Energy, and the Department of Natural Resources for her wrongful death. They contend that proper lighting, warning signs, a barricade, or another design change could have prevented Young’s drowning accident and she would still be alive today.

According to the family’s wrongful death lawyer, they are suing Duke Energy because it is in charge of the Broad River and all access to it. The Board of Public Works is in charge of the area near the river and made improvements. DNR approved a study conducted by Duke Energy that made improvements to the water area a number of years ago. Young’s family wants to receive a wrongful death settlement or a civil trial.

Proving liability in a North Carolina or South Carolina motor vehicle crash can be complicated—especially if the collision is one involving just one auto. However, there may be more than one party responsible for the personal injury or death. The best way to determine this is to hire an experienced car accident law firm to help you prove your case.

Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one is never easy. Not only will there be expenses to pay for and other financial losses, but there is also the loss of your loved one that can never be quantified. There are, however, ways to hold the responsible parties liable for your suffering and the loss of your loved one’s life.

Upstate Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit, WYFF.com, April 23, 2009

Body From Submerged Car Identified, WYFF.com, December 18, 2008


Related Web Resources:

Duke Energy

Gaffney Board of Public Works

North Carolina Highway Patrol Starts "Operation Buckle Up" to Reduce Motor Vehicle Injury Accidents and Deaths

April 13, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Operation Buckle Up begins in North Carolina today. The state and local initiative by law enforcement officers is designed to reduced the number of injury accidents and deaths, as well as prevent certain traffic violations. Over the next two weeks, police officers will crack down on motor vehicle drivers and riders that are in violation of North Carolina’s seat belt laws.

Statistics:

• 1558 people died on North Carolina’s roads in 2006.
• 48% of fatalities involved people that did not wear seat belts.
• 88.6% of people in cars and trucks are believed to be in compliance with North Carolina’s seat belt laws.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol has also been cracking down on drunk drivers. Police cited 2,905 drivers for driving while impaired between August 13 and through the Labor Day weekend ending September 3.

The areas where the largest number of drunk drivers were apprehended in North Carolina during the two-week initiative were Carteret (86), Mecklenburg, (100), and Wake (342). One Highway Patrol officer at the Lexington office says that his agency has arrested 182 people for DWI this year.

The James Madison University Web site offers the following facts and statistics about seat belt safety:

• Out of every five motor vehicle drivers, one driver will be in a traffic accident this year.
• About 35,000 people die in accidents involving a motor vehicle every year. About 50% would not have died if they were wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.
• If just 172 of the 35,000 people did not die, some $100 million a year in personal injury and wrongful death recovery costs would be saved.
• Children have been known to die or be seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash because they were crushed by adults that were not wearing seatbelts.
• 80 out of every 100 children that die in a motor vehicle collision would have been saved if they had been a safety belt or child safety seat.

Many motor vehicle accidents happen because a car driver, truck driver, motorcyclist, or bus driver was negligent. If you were injured in a motor vehicle injury victim because another party was negligent—even if you were not wearing a seat belt—you should speak to a personal injury lawyer right away.

Your personal injury attorney can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for you so that you can obtain the recovery that you need to cover your medical costs and other related damages.

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident because of a defective seat belt, you could have grounds to file a seat belt injury claim for your injuries.

Highway Patrol focuses on seat-belt usage, The Dispatch Online, September 17, 2007

Safety Belt Statistics, James Madison University

Related Web Resources:

NC Seat Belt Law, NC Crime Control.org

The Disaster Center’s Motor Vehicle Accident Death and Injury data Index, Disaster Center.com

North Carolina Traffic Fatalities Dropped 17% in 2008

April 7, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the North Carolina Transportation Department, the number of people that died in motor vehicle accidents throughout the state in 2008 compared to 2007 decreased by 18%. State transportation officials say there were 1,406 traffic deaths last year, compared to 1,705 the year prior.

Traffic fatalities involving alcohol use also dropped, by 19.8% from 489 deaths in 2008 to 392 fatalities in 2007, while motorcycle deaths declined by 26% from 192 to 142.

N.C. Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti says that the decline in traffic deaths shows the state’s commitment to working with local agencies to ensure that North Carolina is a safe place for ground travel. So far, in 2009, North Carolina traffic deaths are down 12% compared to the same time period during 2008.

Earlier this year, South Carolina’s public safety department also reported a sharp drop in traffic deaths for 2008. While 1,077 people died in South Carolina motor vehicle crashes in 2007, 894 traffic fatalities occurred in 2008.

According to the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center, the decrease in motor vehicle deaths in all of the US states last year can be attributed to the fact that there weren’t as many motorists on US roads. Yesterday, the US Department of Transportation reported that the number of motor vehicle deaths that occurred nationally for 2008 was the lowest figure since 1961.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says about 37,313 traffic fatalities occurred throughout the US last year. There were 41,059 motor vehicle deaths the year before. Seat belt use was slightly up in North Carolina, at 89.8% in 2008 compared to 88.8% in 2007. Safety belt use in South Carolina went up to 79% last year from 74.5% the year before.

Any decline in motor vehicle deaths is a positive step forward toward creating greater safety on US roads. However, if you have been involved in a North Carolina or a South Carolina motor vehicle accident that was someone else’s fault, you should consider your legal options regarding personal injury or wrongful death before settling with the negligent party’s insurer.

N.C. traffic deaths down in 2008, News-Record, January 7, 2009

SC traffic deaths plummet in 2008, The Post and Courier, January 2, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2008(PDF)

Seat Belt Use in 2008-Use Rates in the States and Territories, NHTSA (PDF)

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Charlotte Multi-Truck Crash May Have Been Caused by Drowsy FedEx Trucker

March 11, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Charlotte, three people sustained injuries on Wednesday when a Fedex truck collided with a tractor-trailer and another truck on I-85 close to Ikea Boulevard. According to troopers, who are still investigating the cause of the North Carolina truck collision, the FedEx trucker may have fallen asleep while driving.

The Charlotte motor vehicle accident occurred around 2:30 in the morning while two trucks and a street sweeper were on the interstate. The FedEx truck rear-ended one trailing truck, which then hit the other truck.

One truck accident victim was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, while two other people were taken to the non-emergency unit at CMC University. According to troopers, they believe the FedEx trucker may have fallen asleep at the wheel because he doesn’t appear to have stepped on the breaks before the rear-end truck crash happened.

Drowsy Driving
Drowsing driving is one kind of distracted driving that can lead to serious injuries for the sleeping driver and those around him or her.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving accidents tend to exhibit the following characteristics:
• There were no other occupants in the vehicle with the drowsy driver.
• The auto accident is a serious one.
• Drowsy driving accidents usually happens early in the morning or afternoon or late at night.
• The motorist failed to take action to avoid the auto accident.
• Can result in single-vehicle collisions.

Motorists who are most at risk of engaging in drowsy driving:
• Drivers who are under medication.
• Exhausted drivers who are not getting enough sleep.
• Drivers who are chronically sleepy.
• People with sleeping disorders.
• People who have had too much to drink.
• Shift workers.
• Young motorists.

Driver may have fallen asleep in I-85 accident, WCNC.com, March 11, 2009

Facts about Drowsy Driving, Dps.state.la.us

Related Web Resources:
Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes, NHTSA

Truck Accident Web Resources, Justia

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Charlotte truck accident, you may be entitled to North Carolina personal injury compensation.

North Carolina Bus Accident Sends Students to the Hospital for Treatment of Minor Injuries After Car Goes Under the Bus

March 3, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Lillington, a number of five high school students and a car driver were transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries following a North Carolina school bus accident. The traffic collision occurred yesterday morning when the school bus was rear-ended by a vehicle at the intersection of US 101 and Lafayette Road.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says the car, driven by Lillington driver Maureen Denise McCouat, went under the bus, seriously damaging her vehicle and causing minor damage to the school bus.

This is not the only Harnett County bus accident to happen recently. A number of week ago, another car slid under a school bus during a North Carolina traffic accident. Fortunately, no one was injured. Following the motor vehicle crash, the car driver waved to the occupants of the school bus before driving off. The motorist has yet to be apprehended. On Friday, a local elementary school bus was almost involved in an auto accident when another motorist swerved in front of it.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which defines a school transportation-related crash as a traffic accident involving an actual school bus or a vehicle being used as a school bus that takes kids to and from school or to school-related activities:

• 1,541 people have been killed in US school transportation-related crashes since 1997.
• 73% of these fatalities were riding in the other vehicles when the motor vehicle accident happened.
• 7% of the people that died were riding in the school bus when the traffic crash occurred.
• 20% of deaths involved pedestrians and pedalcyclists.
• Between 1997 and 2008, 27 school bus passengers and 16 bus drivers died in 36 single-vehicle accidents.
• 32 passengers and 34 drivers died in the 54-multiple vehicle crashes involving a school bus.

Driver Slams Under Bus: Students Go To Hospital With Minor Injuries, Dunn Daily Record, March 3, 2009

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related Web Resources:
School bus injuries much higher than thought, MSNBC/AP, November 6, 2006

National Coalition for School Bus Safety

North Carolina Motorcyclist is Seriously Injured After Car Driver Fails to Yield the Right of Way on UNC-Charlotte Campus

February 25, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a motorcycle rider sustained serious injuries when his vehicle collided with a car on the UNC-Charlotte campus. According to campus officials, the car hit the motorcycle after failing to yield.

The Charlotte motorcyclist, who is a UNCC student, had to be pulled from under the vehicle. He sustained serious injuries and was taken to Carolinas Medical Center.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcycle rider is the person operating the motorcycle, while a motorcycle passenger is the person who is on the motorcycle but is not driving it. Motorcyclists can refer to both groups.

2007 NHTSA Motorcyclist Accident Facts:
• 5,154 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents.
• 2,641 of all motorcycles involved in deadly accidents were in traffic crashes with another vehicle.
• 78% of these two-vehicle crashes involved a motorcycle getting hit from the front.
• 5% of these collisions involved a motorcycle getting hit from the back.
• 36% of motorcycle riders involved in deadly accidents had been driving over the speed limit when the collision happened.
• 26% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents did not have a valid license.
• 3.7% of motorcycle riders involved in deadly accidents had at least one previous DUI conviction.
• 103,000 US motorcyclists were injured.
• There were 195 North Carolina motorcycle fatalities.
• There were 119 South Carolina motorcycle deaths.

Motorcyclists are at greater risk of getting involved in a deadly auto accident with a nonmoving object than other motor vehicles. In North Carolina and South Carolina, motorcyclists are entitled to personal injury compensation if the negligence of a driver or another party caused their injuries.

Motorcyclist injured in crash on UNCC campus

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina State Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

71-Year-Old Motorist Charged with Felony Hit-and-Run in North Carolina Pedestrian Accident Death

February 23, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Pender Couny, North Carolina, a senior driver has been charged with felony hit and run in the death of a 30-year-old substitute teacher. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Amy Suzanne Kornegay was struck by a pickup truck on February 9 while walking along a road.

The driver of the truck, 71-year-old Amon Hall, was charged with failing to file a police report and leaving the scene of the accident site. Hall reportedly did go back to the scene later because he thought he struck a dear.

Amy’s husband, volunteer firefighter Jamie Kornegay, rushed to the scene after he heard on his pager that a pedestrian accident had happened in the area where he knew his wife had been walking. He was off-duty at the time the call came through.

NHTSA 2007 US Pedestrian Fact Sheet:
• There were 4,654 pedestrians that died in US traffic accidents.
• A pedestrian dies in such accidents every 113 minutes.
• A pedestrian gets hurt in traffic crashes every 8 minutes in this country.
• 70,000 pedestrians were hurt in traffic collisions in 2007.
• 73% of pedestrian deaths took place in urban areas.
• 90% of pedestrian fatalities occurred under normal weather conditions.
• 67% of pedestrians were killed at night.
• 77% of the pedestrians that died were killed in traffic accidents that took place at non-intersections.
• 48% of deadly pedestrian accidents happened on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
• Of the 1,675 North Carolina traffic deaths that occurred in 2007, 171 of these fatalities were pedestrians.
• Of the 1,066 South Carolina traffic fatalities that occurred in 2007, 106 of the people that died were pedestrians.

If you are driver who has accidentally struck a pedestrian in a North Carolina traffic accident, you must stop at the accident site, contact local authorities, and make sure that the injured person gets medical help. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges against you.

If you are a pedestrian who was injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s reckless, carelessness, or negligent behavior, you may have grounds for filing a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit.

Familiar scene, unique tragedy for widowed firefighter, StarNewsOnline.com, February 13, 2009

Charges filed in hit-run death of firefighter’s wife, WRAL.com, February 12, 2009

Pedestrian Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Pedestrian Crash Statistics, University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center

Walking Info.org

Another Teenager Dies in North Carolina Traffic Accident

February 6, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Henderson County, a 16-year-old driver died on Tuesday when the vehicle he was driving went off the road and hit a tree. According to North Carolina Highway Police, Travis Sain was driving approximately 50mph in a 40mph zone. Another teenager who was riding in the car with him was transported to Mission Hospital.

This is the third teen motorist death in Western North Carolina already this year. On January 29, a 15-year-old passenger died in a single-vehicle crash that occurred close to Waynesville. The vehicle’s driver was the same age. Earlier in January, a 16-year-old driver died after he drove off the road and hit a tree close to Canton. The teen driver was reportedly driving nearly twice the speed limit in a 35 mph zone.

For the entire 2008, there were only four reports of fatalities involving teen drivers in this area. Speed was cited as a cause in two of those deadly North Carolina motor vehicle crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2007:

• 3,184 young drivers died in US motor vehicle crashes.
• 252,000 young drivers sustained injuries.
• 6,982 young drivers were involved in 55,681 deadly auto accidents.
• 1,631,000 young drivers were involved in traffic accidents that were reported to police.
• 31% of young drivers involved in deadly accidents lacked a valid driver’s license when the accident happened because of a license revocation or suspension.

While North Carolina law allows teenagers to get their driver’s license when they turn 16, this does not instantly make them good drivers. Learning how to drive properly and safely takes time and experience.

According to a study conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Sponsored by the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, the three most common risk factors for people ages 8 to 17 that can lead to motor vehicle deaths are riding with young drivers, riding without seat belts, and riding on fast speeding roads.

Henderson teen dies in traffic accident, Citizen-Times.com, February 5, 2009

Teen Drivers, Insurance Information Institute, January 2009

Related Web Resources:
2007 Young Driver Traffic Safety Facts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

North Carolina Teen Drivers Guide, DMV.org

Spinal Fractures From Motor Vehicle Accidents Can Be Prevented if Seat Belts are Used Along with Air Bags, Says New Research

January 28, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The chances of a motor vehicle occupant sustaining a spinal fracture decreases if the driver or front side passenger is wearing a seat belt and riding in a car equipped with air bags. This information comes from research gathered from records of over 20,000 auto accident victims who received medical attention at Wisconsin hospitals after t auto collisions that occurred between 1994 and 2002. The article, found in the latest issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, is called “The continued burden of spine fractures after motor vehicle crashes.”

A spinal fracture occurs when at least one vertebrae in the neck or back breaks. A serious spine fracture can cause a spinal cord injury, paralysis, or death. Auto accidents are the number one cause of SCIs. 2,530 of the accident victims who took part in the study had spinal fractures. 64 of them died while they were in hospitals.

The 20,276 study participants had to be older than 15 and were riding in the front of the vehicles when the auto collisions happened. They also could not have been ejected from the vehicle and their files had to come with complete ICD-9-CMs.

Among the study’s findings:
• Combined seat belt and air bag use provide added protection and lower the risk that an auto accident victim will sustain a spinal fracture
• 38% of the victims were not using seat belts when the auto collision happened.
• Just 14% of the study participants were equipped with both air bag and seat belt protection when the auto crash happened.
• Air bag use alone without a seat belt was linked to a greater risk of thoracic spine fracture injuries.
• Speeding and drunk driving were two of the major causes of these motor vehicle crashes studied.

SCI Facts
• 250,000 Americans have spinal cord injuries.
• 11,000 new injury cases happen each year.
• Common causes of spinal cord injuries include auto accidents, violent incidents, fall accidents, and sports-related accidents.

Research: Air Bags/Seat Belts Important in Preventing Spine Fractures, Huliq.com

Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Statistics, Sci-Info Pages

Related Web Resource:
Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

National Safety Council Wants All US States to Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving

January 23, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The National Safety Council wants US lawmakers to push for a nationwide ban of all cell phone use while driving. The NSC says that even hands-free devices are a distraction to drivers, who should be focusing all of their attention on the road and in the vehicle and not on a phone or text messaging conversation going on with someone who is elsewhere.

Findings from the University of Utah and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis support the claim that use of cell phones and their accessories, including handheld devices, can make for distracted driving. The National Transportation Safety Administration is also backing up these findings and plans to push local lawmakers to establish tougher laws on the issue.

In North Carolina, current laws ban cell phone use and text messaging by teen drivers younger than 18, as well as bus drivers. Now, North Carolina Representative Nelson Dollar says the state should consider banning text messaging while driving.

According to the National Institute of Health, 636,000 auto crashes resulting in 2,600 deaths happen every year because people were talking or texting on a cell phone or another PDA device while driving. 330,000 other victims were injured, with 12,000 of them sustaining serious injuries. The costs incurred by such accidents is over $43 billion annually.

The NSC says that in addition to pushing tougher legislation, it will offer more education and materials about the dangers of driving while using a cell phone.

Distracted Driving
The NHTSA says that driver inattention is the cause of 80% of all auto crashes. According to the NSC’s Cell Phone Use While Driving Fact Sheet:

• The chances of a motorist becoming involved in an auto accident increases by four times whenever he or she is driving while talking on a cell phone.

• Over 100 million people drive and use their cell phones at the same time.

• It is safer to talk to someone who is in your vehicle with you than it is to talk to someone on your cell phone.

N.C. lawmakers could consider texting-while-driving ban, WRAL.com, January 2, 2009

National Safety Council Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving, NSC.org, January 12, 2009

Cell Phone Use While Driving Fact Sheet, NSC.org

Related Web Resource:
Cellphone laws, IIHS.org

Motor Vehicle Accidents Continue to be the #1 Killer of Children, Says World Health Organization

December 29, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The World Health Organization has released its World Report on Child Injury Prevention. Among its findings is that motor vehicle deaths continue to be the leading cause of child fatalities. Almost a million children die around the globe annually because of accidental injuries, many of which are preventable.

The WHO Report’s Leading Causes of Accidental Child Injuries:

1. Traffic Accidents: 260,000 kids a year are killed. 10 million others are injured. This is also the #1 cause of fatalities among children, ages 10-19. Motor vehicle crashes are also the #1 cause of child disabilities.

2. Drowning Accidents: While some 3 million children survive drowning accidents each year, about 175,000 others are killed. Many drowning accident survivors suffer from permanent brain damage.

3. Burn Accidents: 96,000 kids die each year from their burn injuries.

4. Fall Accidents: 47,000 youths die every year because they fell. Hundreds of thousands of children survive fall accidents, but with injuries.

5. Accidental Poisoning: Over 45,000 youths are killed annually because they ingested something that was poisonous.

The WHO’s Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention director, Dr. Etienne Krug, says that injuries become the number one cause of child deaths once a young person turns 9. In the US, these leading causes of child injuries and fatalities are also among the common causes for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits involving injuries to minors.

If your son or daughter died in a North Carolina auto accident, bus crash, pedestrian accident, bus collision, train accident, premises liability accident, or fall accident, there are steps you can take to make sure that you hold the liable party responsible and that you get your child the medical care he or she needs to recover.

Injury Risks For Children Vary Around The World, Washington Post, December 23, 2008

Traffic Accidents Top Cause Of Fatal Child Injuries, NPR, December 10, 2008

Related Web Resources:

World Report on Child Injury Prevention Report, WHO (PDF)

CDC Childhood Injury Report, CDC

Charlotte Construction Worker’s Death is Third Work Accident Involving Wachovia Project in a Month

December 15, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina construction worker died on December 2 after he was struck by a tool that fell from the 11th Floor in an elevator shaft located in the Wachovia tower. Jonathan Beatty, an elevator installer employed by Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp., was 24. The work accident that caused his death is the third accident to occur at the Wachovia construction site, located at Tryon and Stonewall, within a month.

On November 10, steel beams dropped from a crane, smashing into windows before hitting the ground. Shards of glass fell toward motorists and pedestrians below. No one was injured in this second construction accident.

On November 4, Leslie Hopper sustained damage to her property when glass from the Wachovia construction site fell onto her vehicle, flattening her tires, breaking her windshield, and damaging her sunroof. Hopper and her daughter were headed out of town when the accident happened. Hopper has expressed frustration that the construction company didn’t do more to ensure motorist and pedestrian safety.

North Carolina Construction Accidents
Construction accidents can result in serious injuries for construction workers and others, such as pedestrians and motorists passing by the site, and other parties that may be on or around the work premise. For the year ending in September 2008, 18 construction-related fatalities occurred in North Carolina.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers do not have to report a work accident unless three or more people end up in the hospital or one person is killed. An OSHA investigation usually takes at least four weeks. During this time, OSHA employees will inspect the accident scene, gather evidence, and interview witnesses to determine the cause of the work accident and find out whether any safety standards were violated.

Wachovia tower incident provides window into worksite rules, Creative Loafing, December 9, 2008

Job at tower gave worker new hope for his dream, Charlotte.com, December 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Wachovia Condominium Tower, Emporis.com

FMCSA Approves New Rule Targeting Medically Unfit Truck and Bus Drivers

December 9, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved a new rule requiring that the licenses and medical examination certificates of bus drivers and commercial truckers be combined in a single electronic record. This will make it easier to determine whether drivers meet the medical criteria to drive a commercial vehicle. US states have three years to comply with this new rule.

The FMCSA is also proposing creating a medical examiners registry made up of people qualified to medically certify bus drivers and commercial truckers. The administration hopes that making sure that only qualified individuals are allowed to operate such large vehicles will result in greater safety and less truck accidents on US roads.

Unfortunately there are bus operators and tractor-trailer drivers who have suffer from a heart attack, a seizure, lost consciousness, or experienced another serious health emergency while driving. The repercussions of these health problems can be catastrophic for the driver and anyone else involved in the bus or truck accident. Thousands of serious motor vehicle crashes have happened because a bus operator or trucker who shouldn’t have been allowed to operate a commercial vehicle was behind the wheel.

In 1999, 22 people died in a New Orleans bus crash when driver Frank Bedell experienced life-threatening heart and kidney conditions. Despite his poor health, Bedell, 46, had a valid commercial driver’s license and a certificate declaring him medically fit to drive.

Based on a May 2007 – June 2008 study, the Government Accountability Office reported that 536,000 truckers and bus drivers had been issued licenses to operate commercial vehicles even though they qualified for federal medical disability payments. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also determined that it is very easy for commercial bus operators and truck drivers to obtain a forged medical certificate and that this is a common practice.

2007 Large Truck Facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• Out of the 2,224 deadly North Carolina motor vehicle crashes that occurred last year, 151 of the collisions involved large trucks.
• In South Carolina, there were 80 deadly large truck crashes in 2007.
• Nationally, more than 100,000 people were injured in large truck collisions.

Rules Target Medically Unfit Truck, Bus Drivers, AP/CBS, December 2, 2008

Rule seeks to help identify unfit truckers, Business Insurance, December 4, 2008

FMCSA Improves Medical Requirements for Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers, FMCSA, December 1, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Final Rule: Medical Certification Requirements as part of CDL Part of the CDL, FMSCA, December 1, 2008

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

North Carolina Car Accidents: Over-Correcting is A Common Cause of Auto Crashes

December 1, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Over-correcting when driving is a common cause of North Carolina car accidents. A driver ends up off the road, overreacts to the situation, and over-corrects in an attempt to avoid causing a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, what can end up happening is that by quickly turning the steering wheel to prevent an accident from happening, a single-vehicle rollover or a collision with another motor vehicle can result.

In January, Joseph Gerald Hart, 16, died in a Raleigh head-on collision with a delivery truck. The teen driver had over-corrected after driving off the road. In November 2007, 16-year-old Joel Duran drove off Interstate 40. While over-correcting, his SUV rolled over. Two of his passengers, 23-year-old Elizabeth Arch and 17-year-old Zepherino Duran were ejected from the vehicle.

Zepherino sustained critical injuries and Arch died from hers. Joel has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and manslaughter.

Adults, too, have known to over-correct. The Highway Patrol makes its troopers practice how to reenter the highway safely and correctly.

Last January, a school bus driver who over-corrected struck an SUV, killing its driver. The North Carolina bus driver, Trumeka Deon Wilson, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Unfortunately, over-correction and other driving errors can lead to catastrophic North Carolina car accidents that can cause serious injuries or deaths. In these instances, it is time to contact an experienced Raleigh, North Carolina car crash law firm about your case.

Other common mistakes that can lead to catastrophic North Carolina motor vehicle crashes:

• Drowsy driving
• Speeding
• Swerving out of one’s lane. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 15,574 people died in US traffic accidents in 2007 because a driver swerved out of their lane.
• Drunk driving
• Failure to yield
• Running a red light
• Reckless driving
• Not wearing a seat belt

Over-correcting linked to many accidents, WRAL.com, May 21, 2009

Most Lethal Driving Mistakes, MSN.com

Over Correction- One of the Most Common Mistakes Teens Make, ParentalCourage.com, May 22, 2008

Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Administration

Teen Drivers, CDC

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

Former News Anchor Tolly Carr Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Family of Man Killed in Drunk Driving Accident

November 24, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, former WXII News anchor Tolly Car has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of the man he fatally struck during a 2007 drunk driving accident in Winston-Salem. Carr is currently serving a 25 – 29 month prison sentence for his role in the deadly motor vehicle crash.

Police say Carr drove his pickup truck through a construction zone before running his car off the road and striking Casey Bokhoven in March 2007. In August 2007, Carr pleaded guilty to felony serious injury by vehicle, felony death by vehicle, and driving while impaired.

Carr, whose blood was tested four hours after the accident, had a blood alcohol level of .13. North Carolina’s legal BAC limit for driving is .08. In their wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiffs accused the former news anchor of trying to conceal his actions by telling witnesses not to call police.

The terms of the wrongful death settlement with Bokhoven’s family are confidential. However, their wrongful death lawyer says Carr will start making payments to the family in 2010.

Also named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit are three Winston-Salem bars. The plaintiffs accused the establishments of serving the former news anchor about 17 drinks. Their wrongful death lawyer says that bar employees should have stopped serving Carr more alcohol or made him get into a cab.

The Burke Street Pub reached a wrongful death settlement with Bokhoven’s family last week. Another bar, 6th and Vine, settled with the family in August. The third establishment, Sounds on Burke, has filed for bankruptcy.

Tolly Carr Settles Wrongful-Death Lawsuit, MSNBC.com, November 18, 2008

Bokhoven Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Tolly Carr, MyFox.com, May 21, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Tolly Carr Pleads Guilty, Sentenced To Prison, Digitriad.com, August 13, 2007

WXII

12-Year-Old North Carolina Boy is in Critical Condition Following Greensboro Drunk Driver Accident

November 17, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, a 12-year-old Greensboro boy is in critical but stable condition after a drunk driver hit him last Tuesday afternoon. Drew Gardner and Taylor Rhynehardt were playing near a creek bed when a van, driven by Michael Charles Parks, rolled through a stop sign and drove through 40 yards of wood before striking Gardner and then crashing into a tree.

Gardner, who is at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, sustained two collapsed lungs, eight fractured ribs, a broken collarbone, and skull fractures. He has been sedated and unconscious a majority of the time since the North Carolina auto accident.

Rhynehardt, who was not hit by the van, sustained less serious physical injuries when the tree broke and fell on him. However, he told a local TV news program last week that he has not been able to close his eyes without reliving the accident.

Greensboro police have charged Parks with driving with a revoked license and driving while impaired. They say more charges are likely. However, the 40-year-old has not been arrested for his involvement in the crash.

This is not Parks’s first DWI offense. He has one prior DWI conviction, while two other DWI charges that were dismissed.

NHTSA 2007 Children and Traffic Accident Facts
• 200,000 children, age 14 and under, were injured in motor vehicle crashes last year.
• 245 of the 1,670 kids in this age group were injured in drunk driving accidents.
• 306 children, age 14 and under, died in pedestrian accidents in 2007.
• 14,000 kids sustained pedestrian-related injuries.
• In North Carolina, 54 child pedestrians, age 14 and younger, died in traffic accidents.

If your son or daughter was seriously injured in a North Carolina or South Carolina traffic accident, you and your family may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party.

Boy hit by van is critical but stable, News-Record.com, November 15, 2008

Other Boy Injured In DWI Crash Speaks Out, Digitriad.com, November 11, 2008

Children, 2007 Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA

Related Web Resource:

2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment — Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities, NHTSA, (PDF)

Speeding May Have Been the Cause of Deadly North Carolina Accident that Left Three People Dead and Another Person in Critical Condition

November 10, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A deadly North Carolina motor vehicle crash that occurred outside Lillington on Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Shady Grove Road and N.C. 210 has left three young people dead and one adult with serious injuries. According to State Highway Patrol, excessive speeding may have been the cause of the multi-vehicle crash.

Police say they believe that 20-year-old Sharon Southerland was driving her 2000 Lincoln at a speed of 90mph when she lost control of the vehicle, which crossed the center line and struck another vehicle headed in the opposite direction. A 2008 Ford passenger sedan, driven by Spring Lake resident Timothy Evan, drove into Southerland’s speeding Lincoln, while the car of Raleigh resident George Tracy, was struck by flying debris.

Southerland and her two passengers, Abraham Ryan Lowe, 18, and Ashley Williams Richardt, 21, died from injuries they sustained in the crash. Lowe and Richardt were siblings. Evan was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center with serious injuries. Tracy was not injured in the auto crash.

According to the NC State Highway Patrol, the Lincoln was moving at such a fast speed that it split in half upon impact. Southerland and Richardt, who were sitting in the front of the car, were ejected from their seats.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005:

• Over 13,000 people died in the US in speeding-related motor vehicle crashes.
• Speeding was a contributing cause in 30% of all deadly crashes in the US that year.
• 86% of all speeding-related traffic deaths happened on non-interstate roads where the speed limits were no more than 55 mph.
• 28% of all deadly accidents that took place on dry roads involved speeding.
• Speeding was a contributing cause in 33% of fatal traffic accidents that took place on wet roads.

Mother Of Crash Victims Warns Others To Slow Down, Dunn Daily Record, November 6, 2008

NHTSA Speed Campaign Tool Kit

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Speeding, SafeRoads.org

Multi-Vehicle Accident involving Tanker Truck Leaves Five North Carolina Residents Dead and Two Others Injured in Harnett County

October 27, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Harnett County, five people died and two others were injured on Friday night in a multi-vehicle collision involving a tanker truck filled with gasoline.
The deadly crash occurred at the intersection of NC 27 and Old Fairground Road at around 11pm.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the deadly truck crash accident happened after the driver of a black Honda Accord ran a stop sign and drove into the path of the tanker truck. The truck drove over the Accord before the two vehicles crossed the center line and struck an Oldsmobile station wagon.

Police say that the truck did not explode or leak gas. The Honda, however, was crushed during the collision with the tanker truck. All of the victims that died were riding in the Accord. Driver Esteban Isidro (a 22-year-old Raleigh resident), Jorge Gallardo (age 23 and also from Raleigh), and Angier residents Norma Martinez, 15, Germain Chavez, 25, and Ashley Martinez, 17, died at the scene. Martinez was pregnant.

The driver of the station wagon, 18-year-old Benson resident Kimberly Jones, was admitted to Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital in Dunn where she received treatment for a broken collarbone and a broken ankle. She was released from the hospital on Saturday.

Truck driver and Pikeville resident Ronnie Vanatta was treated at the crash scene for minor injuries.

Car Accidents
If you were seriously injured or someone you loved died in a North Carolina or South Carolina car accident, you may be able to sue the negligent party or his or her estate for personal injury or wrongful death. To maximize your chances for financial recovery, it is important that you work with an experienced personal injury law firm that knows how to conduct an investigation on your behalf to determine the facts surrounding your accident.

There may be more than one party that can be held liable for your injuries or your loved one’s death. Your medical and recovery expenses may also be significantly more than you think. A good personal injury lawyer will know how much it will cost for you to recover.

Five killed in collision with tanker truck in Harnett, News & Observer, October 26, 2008

Troopers name 5 killed by oncoming truck in NC, FoxNews, October 26, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Large Truck Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, NHTSA

AAA Carolinas Warns Against Distracted Driving in North Carolina and South Carolina

October 13, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new education campaign by AAA Carolinas warns drivers in North Carolina and South Carolina counties against distracted driving. There are 10 counties targeted in the campaign (5 in each state). The North Carolina counties are Wake County, Watauga County, Pitt County, Durham County, and New Hanover County. The counties were selected because of annual figures pinpointing these counties as the most dangerous in each state for motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

The campaign strongly cautions about talking on the cell phone while driving. Graphic posters placed in gas stations note that a driver is four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash while he or she is talking on a phone.

According to a 2008 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Study, for every 10 auto collisions, eight of the auto crashes involved drivers that were using cell phones or smart phones. 65% of near-crashes also happened when motorists were talking on the phone or text messaging.

A 2001 University of North Carolina study estimates that some 284,000 distracted motorists are involved in serious injury accidents each year. The AAA Carolinas Web site says that 4,000 to 8,000 traffic collisions occur every day because of distracted driving. Driving while distracted can also be linked to up to 3 million of the 6 million auto collisions that occur in the United States each year.

Distracted driving can also occur while a driver is:

• Searching through an iPod or another MP3 player
• Eating while driving
• Putting on makeup
• Reading a book or a newspaper

AAA says distracted driving contributes to one-third of S.C. crashes, SCNow.com, September 26, 2008

AAA tackles problem of distracted driving, The Watauga Democrat, September 22, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Distracted Driving, AAA

AAA Carolinas

Drowsy and Distracted Driving, NHTSA

North Carolina Worker Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries After Fall At Charlotte Construction Site

October 6, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A construction worker sustained critical injuries in North Carolina on Saturday after falling from a more than five story height. The work accident occurred at future site of the luxury Vue Condominiums located in uptown Charlotte.

Fall Accidents at Work:
15% of disabling work injuries are a result of fall accidents, slip accidents, and trip accidents. Some 5,100 workers died in fall accidents in 1999.

Kinds of Falls:

Elevated Falls:These happen less often but result in more serious injuries.

Examples of Elevated Falls:
• Falls from the higher levels of a construction project
• Falls from ladders
• Falls from motor vehicles
• Falls from construction equipment, such as cranes and loading docks

Same-Level Falls: These happen more often but result in less severe injuries.

Examples of Same-Level Falls:
• Slip and fall accidents
• Trip and fall accidents
• Step and fall accidents

It is important that construction companies provide workers with the proper safety clothing and gear and that the correct safety procedures are followed on the site. Failure to implement safety measures can lead to catastrophic injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that fall accidents are a leading accidental cause of construction accident deaths.

Worker Critically Injured in 5-Story Fall, Charlotte Observer, October 5, 2008

Man Falls from Uptown Construction Site, WSOCTV.com, October 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Preventing Injuries from Slips, Trips and Falls, CDC.gov

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Charlotte Adult Care Center Will Close Today Following Reports of Drug Use and Violence

October 3, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is forcing Charlotte Manor, an adult care center, to shut down today, following reports of violence, drug abuse, and neglect. State health officials have suspended the home’s operating license, and today residents must evacuate the premise by 5pm. North Carolina health officials have said the move is to protect the home’s residents, who are in “imminent danger.”

State health officials conducted its yearly inspection of the home last month, and Charlotte Manor was cited for violations regarding:

• Personal care
• Health care
• Supervision
• Residents’ rights
• Housekeeping
• Furnishings
• CPR Training
• Resident discharge

Charlotte Manor not only houses frail and older residents, but people under 50 can also reside there. Some of its residents have criminal records or have abused drugs. According to one resident, some residents were discovered smoking crack at the home. Another resident reports that violent acts have taken place at the home, including two men getting into a physical altercation and another incident, in which the tires on a motor vehicle were deflated.

Details of this year’s inspection have yet to be released, but previous inspection reports of the home over the last two years indicate recurring problems with properly feeding and providing medication to residents with health issues. Maintenance issues are not always dealt with in a timely manner. Also, over a dozen people have to share a couple of common bathroom facilities, rather than having one bathroom for two to four residents.

Nursing homes and other care facilities are supposed to provide residents with the proper care, while making sure that they are safe from abuse, neglect, or harm by workers and other residents. When failure to fulfill these duties of care leads to injuries or death, a care facility can be held liable through a nursing home abuse and/or neglect claim or a premises liability lawsuit.

Violence and drug abuse reported at care center, Charlotte Observer, October 3, 2008

State Office Shuts Down Home for Adult Care: Officials Cite ?Imminent Danger’ at Charlotte Manor, and Residents Must Leave By Late Friday., IStockAnalyst, October 2, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Notice of Suspension (PDF)

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services

Tractor-Trailer Driver is Sued for Personal Injury in North Carolina Following Multi-Vehicle Crash on I-40

September 17, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is charging truck driver Carroll Edward Jett with misdemeanor death by vehicle for allegedly causing a multi-vehicle pileup on I-40 last July 1. The deadly multi-vehicle collision occurred east of Asheville when the tractor-trailer that Jett was driving ran into six motor vehicles that were stopped from behind.

According to a police citation, the 60-year-old tractor-trailer driver was speeding. Although no toxicology tests were performed, the Highway Patrol does not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in causing the crash. 11 people were injured and Haiden Bailey, a 15-month-old toddler, died in the tractor-trailer accident.

54-year-old McDowell County resident Margie Gail Durie sustained serious injuries in the crash. She filed her personal injury lawsuit against Jett, truck owner and employer Coretrans, and Marlboro Warehouse Co.

Durie’s lawsuit accuses Jett of failing to slow down his tractor-trailer, violating state and federal safety laws while operating the truck, failing to pay attention to work zone conditions, failing to keep a proper lookout, and operating his tractor-trailer while recklessly disregarding other people’s safety and rights.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 4,808 people died in large truck accidents last year.
• 802 of the victims were in the truck.
• 3,601 truck accident victims were riding the other vehicles that were involved in the crash.

Driver charged in I-40 pileup, Citizen-times.com, August 29, 2008

Woman injured in July I-40 crash sues trucker, trucking company, Citizen-Times.com, August 1, 2008

Related Web Resources:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF)

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Husband of Murdered North Carolina Worker Who Was Kidnapped From Parking Garage Sues City of Raleigh for Wrongful Death

September 8, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The city of Raleigh and utility company Progress Energy are two of the defendants named in the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the husband of Cynthia Moreland, the woman who was kidnapped from a parking garage in downtown Raleigh and later murdered. In his North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit, Walter Moreland is accusing the city of Raleigh and Progress Energy of negligence because of their failure to provide adequate security at the garage. Raleigh leases the garage to the utility company.

On August 22, 2006, Cynthia, who works for Progress Energy, was headed to work when she was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Antonio Davon Chance. Her body was discovered 11 days later in Harnett County. Chance, who pleaded guilty to the criminal charges against him, is serving a lifetime prison sentence.

The lawsuit contends that Progress Energy either knew or should have known that it had employees that would park their vehicles in the garage even on the days that they came to work early. The complaint called the parking surveillance system “inadequate” and accuses the city of Raleigh of negligence and of appearing to be more interested in generating parking revenue while making security a lesser priority.

Also named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit are Quantum Support Inc., McLaurin Parking Co., and Security Forces Inc. The plaintiffs contend that those in charge of monitoring security in the garage should have noticed on the surveillance cameras that Chance was in the garage and behaving suspiciously.

The cameras captured footage of Chance driving Cynthia’s motor vehicle out of the parking garage. Walter’s complaint says that if security personnel had been “reasonably attentive,” they would have noted that a “scared, well-dressed woman” was with the driver.

Inadequate security on a premise can be grounds for a premises liability or wrongful death lawsuit if someone is killed or injured on the property, and the premise owner or manager could have done something to prevent the crime or accident from happening.

Progress Energy, city named in wrongful death suit, WRAL.com, August 21, 2008

Read the Complaint (PDF)

Cynthia Moreland Homicide Case, WRAL.com

NHTSA Ranks North Carolina and South Carolina as Two US States With Greatest Increase In DUI Deaths

September 2, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, North Carolina and South Carolina are the two US states that have experienced the largest increase in DUI deaths between 2006 and 2007. The report, called the 2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment—Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities, found that out of the 1,675 traffic deaths that occurred in North Carolina last year, 487 of these motor vehicle deaths involved alcohol—66 more deaths than the 421 alcohol-related fatalities that occurred in the state in 2006.

In South Carolina, out of the 1,066 motor vehicle deaths in 2007, 463 of the fatalities involved alcohol. The state experienced 419 drunk driving deaths in 2006.

The report also included national DUI statistics and facts, including:

• 12,998 DUI-related deaths in the US in 2007.
• While 32 states experienced a drop in alcohol-related fatalities between 2007 and 2006, other states experienced an increase in deaths.
• Total drunk driving deaths dropped 4% in 2007 compared to 2006.
• The number of alcohol-related motorcyclist deaths increased in 25 US states.

Also, motorcyclists comprised 57 of the 487 drunk driving deaths that took place in North Carolina last year. In South Carolina, there were 56 alcohol-related motorcyclist deaths in 2007.

Meantime, some 100 college president, including the president of Duke University in North Carolina, are calling on lawmakers to lower the legal drink age. The presidents belong to a movement known as the Amethyst Initiative, whose members believe that lowering the drinking age might make teens less likely to “binge drink.”

In North Carolina and South Carolina, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. Drunk driving is dangerous and can lead to serious personal injuries and deaths.

Area Tops List of Fatal DUI Crashes in 2007, WSPA.com, August 29, 2008

Drunken-driving deaths fall in 32 states, Boston.com, August 28, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Amethyst Initiative

2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment—Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities, NHTSA (PDF)

Several People in North Carolina are Injured in Head-On Collision on Highway 98 in Wake County

August 21, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Northern Wake County, four people were transported to hospitals on August 14 after the vehicles they were riding in became involved in a head-on car accident on Highway 98 between Ghoston Road and Marsh Field Road.

North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers said the accident happened when a Mustang crossed over the center lane and struck a sport utility vehicle. The SUV spun to the other side of the road. A pickup truck riding behind the SUV swerved to avoid the crash and landed in a ditch.

EMS workers spent almost two hours extricating one of the victims from the Mustang. The jaws of life had to be used to get him out. He was given pain relief shots while the EMS team worked and before he was transported to the hospital. The driver of the SUV and the pickup truck driver and his son were also taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

2007 Traffic Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 2,491,000 motor vehicle injuries that occurred in the United States in 2007 and 41,059 fatalities. The NHTSA says that of those deaths 1,675 took place in North Carolina.

Head-on collisions can result in serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, massive internal injuries, and wrongful death. If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle crash in Raleigh, Charlotte, or another city in North Carolina, our personal injury law firm would like to talk to you. Our North Carolina car crash lawyers are dedicated to helping our motor vehicle accident clients recover the maximum compensation they are owed for their injuries.

Three vehicles involved in accident on Hwy. 98, ABClocalgo.com, August 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Head-On Collisions, Safety.Transportation.org

North Carolina's Latest Drunk Driver Crackdown Begins on Friday

August 13, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Beginning Friday, state and local police officers in North Carolina will intensify their patrol for drunk drivers using patrols and checkpoints. The statewide campaign, coordinated by the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program, is called “Booze It & Loose It” and will run until September 1.

Last year, over 500 alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents happened in North Carolina for the period beginning August 17 through September 3, 2007. 27 people died and 400 others sustained injuries.

The total number of drunk driving-related deaths in North Carolina for 2007 was 488 victims, while over 9,000 people sustained serious injuries. For the entire year of 2007, 488 people died in North Carolina in drunk-driving related accidents and over 9,000 people suffered serious injuries.

On August 8, 2008, North Carolina conducted a one-day statewide “Booze it and Lose It” anti-drunk driving blitz. 454 people were cited for DWI. State and local police also filed 2,047 speeding charges and 190 drug charges. Seatbelt violations numbered 808, and 185 citations for safety violations related to child passengers were issued.

Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. In North Carolina, getting caught drunk driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater can be grounds for criminal charges. A drunk driver that injures or kills a pedestrian or another motorist can be sued for personal injury or wrongful death.

General drunk driving statistics (from MADD Web site):

• 17,602 people in the US died in auto crashes involving drunk drivers in 2006.
• Close to 50 people a day are killed in drunk-driving related accidents.
• 275,000 people are injured in this country every year in collisions involving alcohol.

State to check for drunken drivers, The News & Observer.com, August 13, 2008

North Carolina Runs Special ‘Booze it & Lose it’ Blitz, Insurance Journal, August 8, 2008

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Labor Day Campaign: “Booze It and Lose It,” August 15 – September 1, 2008, NCDOT.org (PDF)

Trucking Company is Defendant in North Carolina Wrongful Death Case Involving Overloaded Tractor-Trailer

August 5, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A tragic North Carolina accident involving an overloaded tractor-trailer and a Nissan pickup on NC 89 last January has resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against a Maine trucking company. 68-year-old Glenn Shumate died last January after the Nissan pickup he was riding up Lowgap Mountain was struck by an out-of-control truck loaded with potatoes.

The North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Winston-Salem’s Forsyth County Superior Court, accuses B & J Transportation Inc. and trucker Marvin Patton of negligence. The plaintiffs are accusing Patton of not driving the truck safely.

They also claim that the trucking company had told the 53-year-old trucker to drive down the dangerous NC 89 because the route was faster. The lawsuit includes documents alleging that the company purposely directed Patton on this particular route toward Charlotte to avoid a truck weighing station on Interstate 77. Commercial vehicle operator Gale A. Gunders is also named as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Loading Trucks
Any time that a commercial driver has cargo in his or her truck, the load must be distributed and secured properly. If the distance that the trucker must drive is over a certain number of miles, then he or she is responsible for rechecking the loads at designated distances. It is also the truck driver’s job to add any safety measures to secure the truck’s load if it appears necessary.

In the event that failure to properly load or secure a large truck results in a motor vehicle accident where others are injured or killed, the trucker, his or her trucking company, and other parties can be held liable for personal injury or wrongful death.

If you have been injured in a truck crash in North Carolina or South Carolina, it is important that you speak with an experienced truck crash lawyer before talking to the trucking company or its representatives.

Lawsuit filed against trucking firm over death, Mount Airy News, August 1, 2008

Part 658: Truck Size and Weight, Route Designations — Length, Width and Weight Limitations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Related Web Resource:

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Family of 5-Year-Old Motocross Rider Files North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit

July 23, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, the parents of 5-year-old Cody Fidler are suing the owners of Parker Valley Motocross Track in Cleveland County for his wrongful death.

Fidler died of neck trauma last year while at the park when an older biker crashed into him. The North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit accuses the park owners and promoters of negligence for allowing a more experienced rider on the track while Cody was there. The 5-year-old died after a 10-year-old on a larger motorcycle hit him. The track is now closed. Cody’s parents are also suing for deceptive trade practices and emotional distress.

Trauma
Trauma occurs when an external force forcefully or violently impacts the body. There are three kinds of trauma:

Penetrating trauma: Injury occurs when an object penetrates the body.

Acceleration/deceleration trauma: The body in motion strikes another (moving/still) object, which results in the tearing of stretching of body tissues.

Blunt Trauma: Force of impact causes body tissue compression.

Three kinds of collisions that can happen during a crash:

• Body v. whatever it contacts
• Vehicle v. whatever it contacts
• Body v. body

If someone you love has died due to trauma injuries in a motocross accident, car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident resulting from the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation.

Family Sues in Child’s Motorcross Death, WCNC.com, July 19, 2008

5-year-old’s family sues over 2007 motocross death, DailyComet.com, July 19, 2008

Understanding Head and Neck Trauma, Biker’s Rights

Related Web Resource:

Our Experience With Motocross Accidents In Children: Patterns Of Injuries & Outcomes, ISPub.com

Two People Injured as Train Strikes Tanker Truck in Charlotte, North Carolina

July 16, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A truck driver and a train worker sustained injuries last Friday morning when a 70-car freight train struck a tanker truck loaded with 6,100 gallons of oil near the Mecklenburg-Cabarrus county line in Charlotte. The North Carolina train-truck accident happened after the truck got stuck at a railroad crossing.

The train engineer sounded the horn and activated the emergency brakes but could not stop soon enough to prevent the accident. The collision caused a fire that affected one of the train’s cars.

Federal Railroad Administration records indicate that this is not the first time that a train-motor vehicle accident like this has happened at this particular crossing, located on Cabarrus Farm Road close to Universal City Boulevard. In 2004, real estate appraiser David Pearsall says that a freight train struck his pickup truck as he drove across the tracks. He says that he could not see the approaching train because tall weeds blocked his view of the track. Although there are several signs marking the tracks, there are no bells, lights, or automated crossing arms to indicate that a train is approaching. The crossing is on private property.

According to federal statistics, there were 68 train crashes at railroad crossings in North Carolina in 2007. 20 people were injured and five people died in these accidents.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a train accident, our North Carolina and South Carolina train collision attorneys can help you determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. Train accident cases can be challenging cases to prove, which is why you need to work with a personal injury law firm that has the experience to obtain your recovery for you.

Common Causes of Train Crashes at Railroad Crossings:

• Operator negligence
• Driver inattention
• Motor vehicle/train defects
• Poor warning or crossing signs

Hazmat Spill Follows Tanker-Train Crash, News14Carolina.com, July 12, 2008

Report: Tanker stuck on track as train approached, WCNC.com, July 15, 2008

Accidents At Rail-Highway Crossings, Visual Expert.com

Federal Railroad Administration

Chapel Hill Teenager Dies After Being Struck by Car in Raleigh

July 15, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Raleigh, North Carolina, 17-year-old Lillian Broox Manis of Chapel Hill died on Saturday after the car she was riding in was broadsided by a Ford motor vehicle. Durham resident Philip Iavorov Jurov, the driver of the Honda that Manis was riding in, also suffered serious injuries from the North Carolina crash.

The driver of the Ford, 19-year-old Raleigh resident Justin Caleb Crouse, appeared in Wake County District Court today to face several criminal charges related to the deadly motor vehicle accident. Crouse was charged with felony death by vehicle, a red-light violation, and provisional DWI.

According to North Carolina police, Crouse lost control of his vehicle before running off the right side of the road. The tires on the right side of the Ford deflated and his car entered the intersection, ramming into the passenger side of the Honda that carried Manis and Jurov at about 50 mph.

After the two cars traveled another 120 feet across Glenwood Avenue, the Honda rolled over. Manis was transported to WakeMed hospital where she died from her injuries.

One woman called Wake County 911 at about 3:30am and reported that a very “intoxicated” man was getting ready to leave the neighborhood.

In North Carolina, there were 490 alcohol-related deaths in 2006. Some Teen Drunk Driving Facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 28% of 15-20 year olds that died in auto crashes in 2005 had consumed alcohol.
• 64% of young drivers that were involved in alcohol-related deadly crashes were not using seatbelts.
• Over the past 30 days, 28.5% of US high school students have traveled at least once in a motor vehicle where the driver had consumed alcohol.

Drunk driving is a reckless and negligent act that can lead to serious injury accidents on the road. Our North Carolina car accident lawyers can help you determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Driver charged in Raleigh wreck that killed teen girl, WRAL.com, July 14, 2008

Teen Killed in a Raleigh Car Crash, Newsobserver.com, July 12, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Students Against Destructive Decisions

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Truck Safety Coalition Says Allowing 53-Foot Long Tractor-Trailers Onto North Carolina Highways Will Endanger Lives

June 25, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Truck Safety Coalition says that a legislative proposal that would let 53-foot tractor-trailers onto main highway routes in North Carolina is dangerous and could cause serious truck injuries. The proposal just passed in the state Senate and will now be considered by House lawmakers.

Opponents of the new legislation have voiced concerns that the longer trucks are hard to control on narrow, winding, and two-lane roads even for experienced truckers. In some North Carolina areas, other motorists have been run off the roads because the drivers of 48-foot trucks haven’t been able to stay in their lanes.

The House of Transportation Committee will look at the bill this week, which the North Carolina Senate approved by a 47-0 vote last week. If approved, the measure would also loosen weight restrictions on trucks and allow for the transportation of recreational boats 10 feet wide or smaller without a permit. The current regulation allows only boats 8 ½ feet wide or smaller to be transported on North Carolina’s roads without a permit.

Supporters of the bill claim that 53-foot trailers is the new industry standard and that passing the proposal will help boost the state’s economy. However, while it allows for the barring of certain vehicles on specific routes if engineering studies show that their presence on these roads is a hazard, the new legislation does not mandate the studies.

Trucking accidents can cause serious injuries to passengers. Truck accidents have been known to occur when the truck driver:

1) Steps on the brakes. Bigger trucks can’t stop as quickly as smaller trucks, cars, and motorcycles. Many large trucks need almost 800 feet to brake to a stop—compared to the approximately 400 feet that many motorists need.

2) Makes a turn. Larger trucks need more space to turn left or right.

3) Fails to notice a vehicle or pedestrian in the truck’s blind spot. Truck drivers have major blind spots and they do not always check these areas to make sure that there is nothing there.

4) Large trucks are not as easy to control or maneuver as regular automobiles, which can create a problem on narrower roads or roads with just two lanes.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a truck accident because of another party’s negligence, contact our North Carolina truck accident lawyers today.

Safety group opposes lifting truck restrictions, WCNC.com, June 24, 2008

State Senate votes to allow bigger trucks, Newsobserver.com, June 18, 2008

Related Web Resources

Truck Safety Coalition

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit Sues Suppliers Involved in Tainted-Surgical Instrument Incident At Duke University Health System Hospitals

June 20, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

This week in North Carolina, 67 patients filed a personal injury lawsuit against Cardinal Health and Steris Corp., the companies that supply Duke University Health System hospitals with sterilization equipment. Also named in the lawsuit are a number of Cardinal workers. The lawsuit alleges deceptive trading practices, negligence, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, and it comes right after Duke Healthy University Health System reached a settlement with patients that claim they were injured because of exposure to the fluid.

The current lawsuit accuses the defendants of trying to cover up their mistakes after some 3,800 surgical patients at Duke Health Raleigh Hospital and Durham Regional Hospital in 2004 were exposed to instruments washed with used hydraulic fluid.

Duke Health officials have said that the instruments had been sterilized after being washed in the fluid and that their findings showed that patients were unlikely to be harmed. A number of patients, however, said they suffered immune system reactions and infections as a result of the exposure.

Although Duke Health isn’t a defendant in this new lawsuit, the plaintiffs are accusing the hospital system of working with the defendants to minimize liability in the case. Duke Health allegedly shared costs with the companies for testing the instruments, conducting the test in a lab connected to Duke, preventing patients from getting more information, and destroying key evidence.

The lawsuit accuses Cardinal workers of failing to check the detergent drums before sending them to the hospital. The hydraulic fluid came from an elevator and was transported to the hospital to be used as detergent. The Steris workers are accused of disregarding complaints of greasy surgical tools and neglecting to check the sterilization equipment at the hospitals.

Hydraulic fluid is often used in equipment, machines, and motor vehicles and has been known to cause health issues in people that have been exposed to it.

If you have suffered health issues because of your exposure to a toxic or hazardous substance, contact our North Carolina personal injury law firm today.

Suit alleges cover-up in tainted surgical instrument case, WRAL.com, June 19, 2008

Duke, patients settle hydraulic fluid claims, The News and Observer, January 19, 2008

Read the Lawsuit

Related Web Resources:

Hydraulic Fluid Facts, Dukehealth.org

A compilation of correspondence related to hydraulic fluid issues at Duke University Health System, Dukehealth.org

18-Wheeler Tractor-Trailer Crash Claims the Lives of a Firefighter and a Sheriff’s Deputy in North Carolina

June 18, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy Steven Boehm and firefighter Gene Thomas died on Saturday after being struck by an 18-wheeler truck. The fatal accident took place on a coastal highway near a burn site at Marine Corps Base Camp in Oslow County. Bill Hall, a second deputy, sustained minor injuries from the crash.

Reduced visibility, caused by fog and smoke from the burn, may have played a role.
The truck driver, Fayetteville resident Robert Kornegay, was charged with exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle.

18-wheeler Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Traffic accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks can lead to serious injuries for those involved. If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a collision with an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer in North Carolina or South Carolina, it is important that you hire an experienced truck crash lawyer.

Trucking companies are prepared when it comes to dealing with injury cases, and many of them will aggressively fight to minimize liability. You need a truck collision law firm that is familiar with the state trucking regulations, as well as the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Our North Carolina truck crash attorneys have successfully represented clients with trucking accident claims and lawsuits. You are entitled to financial recovery for your injuries and losses.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents include:

• DUI
• Failure to monitor blind spots
• Driver fatigue
• Break or tire failure
• Unsecured cargo
• Speeding
• Driver inattention
• Reckless or careless driving

Do NOT speak to a truck company representative without your lawyer present. Tractor-trailer accidents are usually catastrophic injury accidents.

Potential defendants in a truck accident case may include the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the tractor-trailer, the truck leasing company, the truck manufacturer, and other liable parties.

NC Deputy and Firefighter Killed in Tractor-trailer Crash, Efluxmedia.com, June 15, 2008

Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff Steve Boehm, PoliceOne.com, June 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Safety Coalition

North Carolina Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against City of Fayetteville, Drunk Driver, and Several Others After Daughter is Killed in DWI Motor Vehicle Accident

May 27, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Emily Elizabeth May, a Raleigh, North Carolina resident who died in a DWI auto crash last year, is suing the city of Fayetteville, Emily’s friend Danielle Polumbo, ACS State & Local Solutions Inc., Carolina Hospitality of Florida, Fayetteville Miyabi Inc., and Linden resident Brandi Reaves for wrongful death.

May died on May 17, 2007 while riding in a vehicle driven by Polumbo. According to the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit, the two girls had dinner at Miyabi Kyoto Japanese Steak and Seafood House before proceeding to Secrets Cabaret. Carolina Hospitality owns the nightclub. Polumbo drank alcohol at both spots, even though she was just 20-years-old. The lawsuit alleges that at the club, Reaves, who knew Polumbo, served her a number of drinks.

Soon after leaving the nightclub, Polumbo ran into the red-light camera pole, which is run by ACS and the city of Fayetteville. The camera dropped onto the car and struck May.

May’s family alleges that mounting the camera, which weighed several hundred pounds, on a pole that was designed to “break away” when impacted created an unsafe condition that placed drivers and others on Bragg Boulevard at risk of serious personal injury during a motor vehicle accident.

After the accident, Polumbo’s blood-alcohol level registered at .17%, which is more than double the .08% drunk driving limit. Earlier this year, she pled guilty to reckless driving, DWI, driving after consuming alcohol while under the age of 21, and felony death by vehicle. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation.

May’s family is asking for over $10,000 in wrongful death-related damages.

Catastrophic motor vehicle accidents can be complex injury or wrongful death cases that require the skills and knowledge of an experienced North Carolina wrongful death lawyer. In certain instances, more than one negligent party may have contributed to causing the deadly accident. Our North Carolina wrongful death lawyers know how to prove liability so that we can claim damages from all responsible parties.

We can gather evidence, call on accident reconstruction experts, and work with medical experts that can explain how the injury wounds were caused by the accident. We will zealously pursue your wrongful death recovery.

May family files lawsuit in fatal DWI, FayObserver.com, May 16, 2008

North Carolina Drunk Driving Law, About.com

North Carolina Drunk Driving Statistics, Alcohol Alert.com

North Carolina Family Sues Franklinton Police Officer For Wrongful Death of Two Daughters in Car Accident Involving Police Car Chase

May 22, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, the Granville County family of 18-year-old Linsey Lunsford and her 9-year-old sister Maggie are suing the town of Franklinton, Police Officer Michael Dunlap, Police Chief Ray Gilliam and Police Lt. John Green for their wrongful deaths.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the two sisters died after suspect Guy Christopher Ayscue crashed head-on into their vehicle while fleeing from Dunlap on December 1. Ayscue also died in the deadly auto collision.

Officer Dunlap says the chase began because he tried to apprehend Ayscue, who was driving erratically. Ayscue also reportedly had a criminal record, which included convictions for driving violations, drug and alcohol infractions, assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery.

Investigators say the police chase was going as fast as 90 mph in a 50 mph zone. The 15-mile police chase began on NC Highway 56 and ended on US Highway 15. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that Dunlap may have been driving as fast as 103 mph at one point.

Franklinton police policy states that police officers engaged in suspect pursuits can at no time drive faster than 20 miles above the posted speed limit. Officer Dunlap was placed on administrative leave after the crash but returned to patrolling the streets in February.

If someone you love has died in a motor vehicle collision caused by another party’s negligence, contact our North Carolina personal injury law firm right away to schedule you free consultation.

In 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that over the past decade, over 3,000 people died because of police car chases. Of the 365 police car chase fatalities in 2001, 140 of the victims were not even directly involved in the actual pursuit. Federal statistics reveal that 40% of police car chases result in motor vehicle accidents.

Our North Carolina wrongful death law firm has the experience and resources to handle even the most complex wrongful death cases. We can help you recover compensation for your losses.

Family Sues Cop, Suspect’s Estate in Chase Crash that Killed Sisters, WRAL.com, May 21, 2008

Sisters, Suspect Die in High-Speed Police Chase, NC Wanted, December 1, 2007

Police pressured to call off chase, USA Today, January 1, 2008

Related Web Resources:

The Lawsuit (PDF)

Franklinton Police Pursuit Policy (PDF)

Return of North Carolina Motorcyclists In Spring Followed By Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 5, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has dubbed the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to promote motorcycle safety and road sharing between motorcyclists and other drivers.

The national safety campaign comes less than a week after the end of North Carolina’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week, which took place from April 21 to April 25.

The statewide and national safety awareness campaigns couldn’t come at a better time. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles says that motorcycle deaths have risen—183 rider deaths last year compared to 61 motorcyclist fatalities in 1997.

Motorcycles account for only 1.96% of all registered motor vehicles in North Carolina, but make up nearly 12% of all traffic deaths. There are 500,000 licensed drivers in North Carolina with either a motorcycle learner’s permit or endorsement.

Promoting motorcycle safety is essential—especially as motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Just lat month, a Guilford County school bus driver was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. She accidentally struck a motorcyclist when she failed to stop before driving through an intersection.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, our motorcycle accident law firm has helped many motorcycle victims and their families recover personal injury compensation.

Many motorcycle accidents occur because motorists fail to see the motorcycles on the roads with them. Driver inattention, inexperience, and drunk driving are also common causes of motorcycle crashes.

As your personal injury representation, our North Carolina motorcycle accident law firm can deal with all aspects of your personal injury case for you.

School Bus Driver Charged In Motorcycle Crash Death, WXII12.com, April 22, 2008

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, AAMVA.org, March 31, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Gov. Easley Proclaims April 21-25 Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week, WNCT.com, April 21, 2008

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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

University of North Carolina Wilmington Student Dies and Three Others Are Injured In Car Accident Involving Alcohol

April 1, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Annie McLeod, a University of North Carolina Wilmington Student, died on Sunday following a deadly car accident on North College Road in Wilmington over the weekend.

McLeod, 22, and two of her UNCW schoolmates, 19-year-old Tyler Roberts of Raleigh and 18-year-old Sarah Brown of Colerain, were on the road at around 2am on Sunday when they were struck by a Blue Lincoln that crossed the median. The Lincoln was driven by Wilmington resident Kelvin Cardwell, 22.

McLeod died on the way from the accident scene to the hospital. The other three injury victims were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for medical treatment of their injuries.

The Wilmington Police say that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

If someone you love was seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash in North Carolina or South Carolina because another person was negligent or careless, please contact our auto accident law firm right away to explore your legal options. Our law firm handles personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Drunk Driving
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 1 person dies every 31 minutes in an alcohol-related auto accident, while 2 people are injured every two minutes.

• The CDC says that 16,885 people died in the US in 2005 in motor vehicle crashes where alcohol was involved.

• Driving with a BAC of .08% or more is illegal in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

• Every year, alcohol-related accidents incur some $51 billion in costs in the U.S.

• Approximately 18% of auto accident driver deaths involved drugs other than alcohol.

UNCW student killed in crash, WWAYTV3.com, March 31, 2008

UNCW student killed in 2-car crash; 3 injured, StarNewsOnline.com, March 31, 2008

Impaired Driving, CDC.gov

Related Web Resource:

Drunk Driving, NSC.org

North Carolina Highway Patrol Goes Into Auto Accident-Prevention Mode for Easter Weekend

March 21, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says it will be on the lookout over the Easter weekend for drunk drivers, speeding drivers, aggressive drivers, erratic drivers, and drivers without seatbelts. The crackdown is intended to keep auto accident injuries and wrongful death incidents low.

The Easter weekend in North Carolina is a busy time on the roads, with motorists visiting relatives, going to church, heading to the beach, and spending time with friends. Over the 2007 Easter weekend, there were 1,153 auto accidents that left 8 people dead over the 3 ½ day period. This Easter weekend began yesterday at 6pm and ends on Sunday at midnight.

The NC Highway Patrol will also be taking part in the national CARE program—the Combined Accident Reduction Effort—that has State police officers and highway patrol officers making themselves more visible during busy holiday seasons in an effort to save lives and keep the motor vehicle accident toll low.

Unfortunately, holiday weekends can turn tragic when auto accidents occur. There may be serious injuries (and even death) for the driver, his or her passengers, and other people on the roads.

Our North Carolina and South Carolina auto accident law firm have helped many victims of car accidents, motorcycle accident, bus accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents recover compensation for their injuries or the deaths of loved ones.

Although you cannot control the behavior of other drivers on the road, you are in control of your own actions.

GMAC Insurance says the leading driving mistakes include:

• Multi-tasking while operating a vehicle.
• Following the vehicle in front of you too closely.
• Not yielding when making a left turn.
• Improper merging.
• Not looking to see what or who is in behind you.

State Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Over the Easter Holiday Weekend, Lelandtribune.com, March 20, 2008

Top Driving Mistakes that Cause Crashes, GMAC Insurance

Related Web Resources:

C.A.R.E.

Car Accident Injuries – Causes and Preventive Measures, Ezinearticles

North Carolina State Highway Patrol

 
 

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