Topic: Motorcycle 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.

How Come No One Is Taking My North Carolina Concussion Seriously?

June 27, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you suffered a concussion in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, most people will be sensitive to your situation will provide support, good wishes, and care. But not everyone will understand your dilemma or be sensitive to your medical needs. Many people just don’t understand — or at least don’t fully understand — what it means to suffer a concussion.

As a result, they may encourage victims to return to vigorous activity before such activity is safe. For instance, a high school football coach may “shrug off” a young linebacker’s complaints of headache and dizziness and encourage him to go return to a big game.

As a result of that careless decision, the poor young kid can suffer a second impact injury, which can lead to edema, permanent neurological dysfunction, stroke, and even death. On a less dramatic note, subtle actions that demonstrate a lack of compassion or understanding can also cause harm. For instance, let’s say that your young son fell off a wall and conked his head. For the past several days, he has been resting in bed for 15 hours a day. You understand that “he is not feeling good,” but you also want him to go back to school and “shake it off.” So you might gently encourage him to stop resting so much and “rejoin the world.”

Even though you may not intend to do any harm, if you rush him through the healing process, you can make rehabilitation longer, more painful, and more fraught.

Conversely, careless/uncaring people can make errors of neglect or omission that can redound to horrible effect. For instance, in the situation described above, maybe the child really needs to see a doctor immediately because he’s suffering bleeding in the brain or some other horrible symptom. If a caregiver fails to take action to get proper medical help within the proper timeframe, irreversible damage can occur.

These points may seem obvious. But many people who suffer brain injuries accidentally feed into this behavior by “striving to please” or forcing themselves too hard. Now is not the time to worry about your boss, your coach, your teacher, or your friends. Now is the time to worry about brain injury — healing from the trauma and getting the rest and astute medical care you need.

To remove at least one worry from your plate, consider getting in touch with the Charlotte traumatic brain injury law firm of DeMayo Law today. We can begin to investigate your case and make sure that you are situated for a powerful legal response, so that you can rest a little easier. Call us now at (877) 529-1222 for thorough help.

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.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accident on Charlotte Motor Speedway Kills 2, Injures 1

April 4, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Police are still trying to determine what happened to cause a fatal North Carolina motorcycle accident to occur on the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday. Over 60,000 people had gathered for the Veterans Homecoming Celebration when, about 30-minutes after the festivities ended, two bikes collided, killing 66-year-old Alan Mokus and 71-year-old Thomas Hollingworth. Both men were Vietnam veterans. Also injured in the collision was Mokus’s wife Deoborah, 56, who is still in the hospital recovering from a head injury and broken bones.

Concord, North Carolina police have said that the two motorcyclists were coming from opposite directions and going at about 50 mph when they were involved in a head-on crash. Alcohol may have been a factor in this Cabarrus County motorcycle accident but this has not yet been confirmed.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Speedway spokesperson Scott Cooper said that based on an initial review, it looks as if the proper safety procedures related to motorcycle procession exit and entry were implemented. Organizers are said to have worked hard to set up safety guidelines for riders, who were told to stay on the speedway’s apron and not go over 35mph. Over 2,000 motorcyclists are believed to have participated in the procession. Vendors that the speedway had contracted were selling beer at the event.

However, according to some witnesses, after the actual procession, a lot of riders went on the track and they were riding from both directions. One experienced motorcyclist, who didn’t see the Concord motorcycle accident but had participated in the event, is quoted in the Gainesvile Times as saying that there was dangerous activity going on throughout the day. He reported that some riders took unnecessary risks, including going along a steep, banked turn close to the speedway’s big high-definition television screen. He also said that there were times when it was hard to get through the two-way traffic along the speedway, which has unmarked lanes. Also, there were riders without helmets.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents

Our Charlotte, North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers represent victims and their families injured in the state and in South Carolina. We are here to help our clients obtain financial compensation from the parties responsible for the harm that they suffered.

The liable party may be a negligent driver and/or another party. For instance, in this deadly collision, did the Charlotte Motor Speedway do enough to make sure that the riders would be safe? Was there adequate supervision? Were participants instructed on how to go through the speedway safely? Did supervision stop after the procession? Did anyone make sure that riders hadn’t been drinking especially as beer was being sold at the event? Also, were both motorcyclists at fault.

Alto Man Dies in NC Speedway Crash, Gainesville Times, April 3, 2012

Police: Motorcyclist had been drinking before speedway wreck, Charlotte Observer, April 4, 2012

Charlotte Motor Speedway

More Blog Posts:

Raleigh motorcyclist dies following North Carolina injury accident, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 3, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina Accident Claims the Life of Man who was Pushed into the Street During Bar Brawl, March 5, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina Injury Attorney Michael A. DeMayo is a Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 10, 2010

 

 

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

Sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury May Up the Risk of Stroke

August 2, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to researchers, patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries may have increase their risk of stroke by 10-fold. Our Charlotte, North Carolina TBI law firm finds these latest findings incredibly disturbing. This is just one more incredibly challenging complication that some of our brain injury clients may have to contend with, along with the other repercussions from having been in a serious accident.

The results from this latest study, which was conducted by Professor Herng-Ching Lin at Taipei Medical University, were published in the July 28 web edition of Stroke. Data was gathered on 23,199 traumatic brain injury patients who got hurt between 2001 and 2003. Their information was compared with data from 69,597 patients who did not have TBIs.

Among the findings:
• 2.91% of brain injury patients suffered a stroke within three months of sustaining their injury.
• Just .3% of non-TBI patients had a stroke during the same time frame.
• The risk of stroke among TBI patients did go down with each passing year.
• Patients with a fractured skull can up the risk of stroke had a 20-fold greater risk of developing a stroke during the first thee months than for TBI patients without a skull fracture.
• Traumatic brain injury patients are at greater risk of having a brain bleed than other patients.

One possible reason for the increased stroke is that certain TBI health complications—cardiac injuries, blood clotting, and torn arteries can result in a stroke.

Stroke:
A stroke can occur when there is a disruption in the flow of blood to the brain. A stroke is considered a medical emergency. Getting immediate care can save the patient’s live and decrease the chances of permanent disability. A stroke can lead to numerous complications, which can prove even more challenging for someone suffering from a Hickory, North Carolina TBI: Aspiration, factures, permanent brain function loss, mobility problems, loss of the ability to move parts of the body, factures, lower life span, and problems communicating.

Unfortunately, North Carolina traumatic brain injuries can occur as a result of car accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck collisions, pedestrian accidents, an assault crime, boating accidents, work injuries, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, falling debris, or other incidents.

Living with a Lumberton, North Carolina traumatic brain injury can be challenging and expensive. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the victim may not be able to work or survive without round-the-clock nursing care. In addition to basic living expenses, there also may be bills to contend with for rehabilitation and physical therapy. A TBI can also take an emotional toll on the victim and loved ones, whose lives will never be the same.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers are committed to helping traumatic brain injury patients and their families recover damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages, and other compensation from all liable parties.

Brain injury may boost stroke risk, USA Today, August 1, 2011

National Stroke Association

Traumatic Brain Injury, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

More Blog Posts:
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

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors at Greater Risk of Suffering from Depression, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2010

Over 37,000 North Carolina Brain Injury Patients a Year Require Emergency Room Care, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2010

 

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

Charlotte, North Carolina Injury Attorney Michael A. DeMayo Now a Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

August 10, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Michael A. DeMayo, a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer, is now a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the country. Members must have won multi-million dollar verdicts, settlements, and awards for their clients. Attorney DeMayo, who is founder and president of the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, is also a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Less than 1% of US attorneys belong to this group, known for its excellence in advocacy and for having obtained for at least one client an award, settlement, or verdict of $1 million or greater.

Charlotte, Personal Injury Attorney DeMayo leads a team of dedicated professionals with over 100 years of combined legal experience. They are committed to obtaining the financial recovery that their clients and families are owed by negligent parties. Our North Carolina law firm represents victims and surviving family members with all types of injury cases, including those involving medical malpractice, automobile accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall, products liability, defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, nursing home neglect and abuse, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, pedestrian accidents, and workers’ compensation. The Law Offices of Michael DeMayo is located in Charlotte, Monroe, Hickory, and Lumberton, North Carolina. We also represent clients with South Carolina personal injury cases in the counties of Marlboro, Chesterfield, York and Lancaster.

Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Michael A. DeMayo is also an active member of the community. Each year, his law firm awards college scholarships to a number of high school seniors for their innovative and creative ideas on ways to stop teens from driving drunk.

Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum & Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Michael A. DeMayo, Esq.

Verdicts & Settlements, Law Office of Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked To Emotional Processing Issues

May 20, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

We all know that suffering from a North Carolina traumatic brain injury can be devastating for the victim and family members. Depending on the degree of seriousness of the TBI, a person living with a brain injury may experience memory problems, confusion, communication difficulties, attention problems, speech problems, sensory impairment, vision problems, hearing difficulties, a decreased sense of smell, a decreased sense of taste, paralysis, chronic pain, spasticity, bowel problems, aggressiveness, depression, or personality changes. Now, new research has shown that a traumatic brain injury can also cause problems with a person’s ability to process emotions.

This impairment can make recovery more difficult and cause relationship problems for the TBI patient. According to head injury specialist Professor Roger Wood from the University of Swansea, family members reported that following a TBI accident, the patient exhibited a lack of love or warmth that strained their relationships.

Wood and colleague Clair Williams asked TBI patients to fill out a neuropsychological test questionnaire that helps identify who has low empathy. Williams and Wood found that TBI patients generally scored low results for empathy. They also found that TBI patients have a harder time identifying not just what someone they saw in a video or photograph might be feeling, but also they were more likely to have problems describing and identifying their own feelings.

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury is devastating enough without compounding its effects with a decreased ability to feel and empathize. TBI victims and their families lose so much in terms of what their lives and experiences with one another would otherwise have been like if only the brain injury accident never happened.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina traumatic brain injury attorneys represent victims and their families with claims against the parties responsible for causing the TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can occur during car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, or as a result of medical malpractice or some other type of negligence.

Traumatic Brain Injury leads to problems with emotional processing, Psychology Today, January 3, 2010

Inability to empathize following traumatic brain injury, Cambridge Journals

Related Web Resource:
Traumatic Brain Injury, MedlinePlus

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

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

September 8, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo

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

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

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

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

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

AAA Carolinas Says North Carolina Has Eighth Highest Motorcycle Death Rates Among US States

July 30, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

AAA Carolinas says that there were about 190 motorcycle fatalities in North Carolina in 2007. This figure is a significant jump from the 108 motorcycle deaths in 2006, and reportedly ranks North Carolina number 8 among the 10 US states with the most motorcycle deaths each year.

According to AAA Carolinas CEO David E Parsons, the number of motorcycle fatalities in North Carolina has doubled in the past five years. It doesn’t help that the number of people that own motorcycles in the states has grown because of rising gas prices.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcyclist’s chances of dying in a traffic crash is 37% greater than the odds faced by passengers riding in cars. While some accidents occur because of motorcyclist inexperience or error, many catastrophic injury accidents happen because a trucker, a car driver, a bus driver, or another party was negligent. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, our North Carolina motorcycle crash lawyers would like to talk to you.

To prevent injury a motorcyclist on the road, AAA Carolinas offers a number of suggestions to motorists, including:

• Assume that a motorcycle is closer than it appears.
• Give motorcyclists enough room to maneuver.
• Pay attention while driving.
• Obey all traffic signs and signals.
• Do not follow a motorcycle too closely.
• Check blind spots before turning or changing lanes.

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages.

AAA Warns Of Increasing Motorcycle Death Rates, NBC17.com, July 11, 2008

Multiple motorcycle accidents in New Hanover County leave three dead, WECT.com, July 29, 2008

Related Web Resources:

AAA Carolinas

Motorcycle Permit, North Carolina DMV

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

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 Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

June 6, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, the family of Charles Radford Paul III, a 30-year-old Raleigh cop who died in a 2002 motorcycle crash, has settled its wrongful death lawsuit with Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Raleigh store Ray Price Harley Davidson.

Paul died while chasing a speeding car. A draft from a tractor-trailer he was trying to overtake appeared to have made the motorcycle wobble, causing Radford to drive onto the freeway shoulder where he was thrown from his 2002 Electra Glide motorcycle.

The wrongful death lawsuit, however, says that he lost control of his motorcycle because of a high-speed wobble—a problem that has been encountered by other Harley-Davidson riders and mechanics. While some people believe the wobble is caused by a design defect in certain Harley motorcycles, others cite improper maintenance.

The confidential products liability settlement was made in December, but the lawsuit was not dismissed until last month. Paul’s family also received a workers’ compensation settlement from the city of Raleigh.

Defective motorcycles and motorcycle parts are a frequent cause of motorcycle-related injuries or deaths. Products liability lawsuits involving motorcycle accidents may cite a number of defect issues, such as:

• Defective tires
• Helmet defects
• Brake problems
• Defective pedals
• Stuck throttles
• Problems with the shock absorber
• Chain defect

Compared to other motorists, motorcycle riders are already at higher risk of injury or death when involved in traffic accidents. There is no reason that riders should be placed in greater jeopardy because a motorcycle or one of its parts was defective.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, our products liability law firm can help you pursue your personal injury or wrongful death claim against the negligent party.

Officer’s family settles motorcycle suit, News and Observer, June 3, 2008

Related Web Resource:

North Carolina State Motorcycle Laws

Justia.com

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

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

AAA Carolinas Releases Its List of Most Dangerous Places to Drive in North Carolina

February 28, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A report released by AAA Carolina ranks the most dangerous places to drive in North Carolina. Haywood County was named the place where there is the “Best chance of being in a collision” under the category “Top 5 Dangerous Counties for Tractor-Trailers.”

Haywood’s Interstate 40, which is winding and narrowly built, is one of the reasons for the high motor vehicle crash rate. The I-40 once was once known for having the highest rate of tractor-trailer crashes in the United States.

The large amount of traffic—in particular, tractor-trailers—that pass through the area is another reason that so many accidents occur. The cold weather can cause the roads and tunnels to become icy.

Swain County and Graham County ranked at the top of the “5 Dangerous Counties for Motorcycles” under the categories “Best Chance for Being Injured” and Best Chance of Being in a Collision.”

Graham County was also named the leading North Carolina County where one has the “Best Chance of Being Killed.” A major reason for this high ranking is the 318 curves on its 11-mile stretch of U.S. 129. The fact that the number of people buying and riding motorcycles is increasing is also playing a role.

Also ranking on the AAA Carolinas list is Gaston County, which ranked number 27 out of the 30 most dangerous counties in North Carolinas for auto crashes. On a positive note, it ranked 91 out of 100 counties where deadly accidents will most likely take place.

Mecklenburg County ranked number six under the most dangerous counties list. Also listed among the counties where motor vehicle collisions were most likely to occur were Lincoln County at number 25 and Cleveland County at number 33.

The number one county where auto wrecks were most likely to happen, for the fifth year in a row, is New Hanover County.

The North Carolina county where you are least likely to get into a motor vehicle wreck is Currituck County. Chowan County is the area where you are least likely to die in a car crash.

If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash or someone you love was killed in an auto collision that was caused by another negligent party in North Carolina or South Carolina, our motor vehicle accident law firm would like to offer you a free consultation to discuss your personal injury or wrongful death case.

Gaston County ranks in top half for wrecks, but few end in fatalities, GastonGazette.com, February 5, 2008

Mountain roads cited as among the state’s most dangerous, Smoky Mountain News, February 6, 2008

Related Web Resource:

AAA Carolinas

At Least 50 People Sent Hospitals After Greyhound Bus-Tractor-Trailer Accident Near Henderson, North Carolina

January 2, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two people were taken to a hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in critical condition and at least 48 others were transported to a Henderson hospital after a Greyhound Bus and a tractor-trailer collided near Henderson.

The bus was headed toward Raleigh on U.S. Route 1, when, according to a NC Highway Patrol Officer, it failed to slow down while the tractor-trailer attempted to turn. The bus rear-ended the truck. The bus then drove off the shoulder and down an embankment where it landed on its side.

If you are ever injured in an accident involving a bus or truck anywhere in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer right away.

Truckers and bus drivers are upheld to higher standards of motor vehicle safety than regular motorists. Injury accident cases involving buses or trucks are usually more complicated to prove than car accident or motorcycle crash cases.

An experienced truck accident attorney will be familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations that truck drivers and bus drivers are required to follow. A truck crash attorney knows what to look for to determine whether the truck driver was working beyond his or her legally allowed number of hours or whether a truck malfunction was the cause of a deadly crash.

Your bus accident lawyer can also determine whether other parties, ncluding the bus company, the government, a school district, or anyone else aside from the bus driver, can be held liable for your injury accident.

The size and weight of a large motor vehicle striking a victim who has little in the way of physical protection can lead to catastrophic—even deadly—injuries. Children, especially those riding school buses, are especially prone to serious injuries if they are involved in a school bus accident.

There are specific steps that you must take to maximize your chances for recovery in North Carolina or South Carolina if you are involved in any kind of motor vehicle crash.

50 Hurt in NC Bus, Tractor-Trailer Wreck, FoxNews, January 2, 2007

Greyhound Bus, Tractor-Trailer Collide On U.S. 1 Near Henderson, WXII12, January 2, 2007

Related Web Resources:

FMCSA

Greyhound Bus Line

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Urges Motor Vehicle Drivers to Avoid Injury Accidents During the Holidays

December 17, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The holiday season in Raleigh, Charlotte, and the other cities of North Carolina are a time for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the season and each other. This time of the year, however, can easily turn tragic if you are seriously injured or if someone you love is killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a careless, reckless, or drunk driver.

This year, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol wants to work with North Carolina motorists to make sure that people stay safe while riding on state roads and freeways during the holiday season.

Already, with 1257 traffic related-deaths, the motor vehicle death toll for 2007 in North Carolina is 109 fatalities more than what it was at this time of the year in 2006. Last year, from November 30, 2006 to January 2, 2007, 127 North Carolina drivers were involved in deadly traffic accidents that killed 27 people.

In an effort to keep the number of auto crash related-deaths from rising further this year, North Carolina troopers plan to set up DWI checkpoints and make sure that car drivers, motorcyclists, truck drivers, and bus drivers comply with state DWI laws through North Carolina’s “Booze It and Lose It” campaign and the nationwide Combined Accident Reduction Effort program through the holiday season.

Although we can’t control what other drivers do, each of us can take the proper safety measures to do our best to keep others and ourselves safe.

A Few Holiday Safety Tips from Precision Tune Auto Care:

• Don’t drink and drive
• Avoid driving if you are very tired or taking prescription medication
• Obey the speed limit
• Drive defensively
• Follow your car’s maintenance schedule
• Don’t talk on the phone/text message while driving
• Follow at a safe distance from the driver in front of you

In the event that you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, truck crash, or motorcycle collision anywhere in North Carolina or South Carolina, an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you file your personal injury claim or auto accident lawsuit to obtain your financial recovery from the negligent party.

Troopers encourage motorists to slow down and enjoy the holidays, The Leland Tribune, December 17, 2007

Gov. Easley Announces Holiday Booze It and Lose It” Campaign, State of North Carolina Office of the Governor, November 30, 2007

Safe driving tips for the holidays, Seacoast Online, December 26, 2003

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Highway Patrol

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Issues More Than 50,000 Traffic Violation Citations During Operation Slow Down

November 27, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Troopers in North Carolina issued over 50,000 traffic violation tickets during the November Operation Slow Down/No Need 2 Speed program, which is designed to apprehend drivers speeding on highways in North Carolina. From November 13 until November 25, 2007, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and local troopers worked together to apprehend anyone driving over the speed limit.

Speeding is considered a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. Last year, 554 people in North Carolina died in a motor vehicle accident where speeding was a factor. The NHTSA says that 13,713 people died in the United States in 2002 because of accidents involving speeding.

North Carolina’s Highway Patrol says that of the 51,198 citations that it issued, 24,274 of them were for speeding violations. 954 violations involved DWI (driving while impaired).

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a car accident, truck collision, bus accident, pedestrian accident, or motorcycle crash because another driver on the road was speeding, you should contact an experienced South Carolina or North Carolina motor vehicle accident lawyer right away.

Perils of Speeding
Speeding can make it hard for a driver to stop their motor vehicle suddenly and safely. It also decreases a driver’s ability to steer around objects on the street or go around curving roads safely. A driver who is intent on speeding may end up changing lanes unnecessarily in order to keep up the pace. Many deadly car crashes happen because a driver was speeding.

Safedrivingtest.com offers a number of survival strategies that doesn’t involve speeding:

• Drive the speed limit.
• Don’t let the car behind you pressure you to speed.
• Slow down even below the speed limit in rainy, icy or snowy weather or on a road that is under construction.
• Don’t tailgate.
• Generally keep pace with the flow of traffic.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that it plans to continue keeping a vigilant watch for anyone speeding on the roads.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, 20 peopled were killed on North Carolina’s highways. Although the causes of all the accidents have not yet been determined, officials expect that speeding, not paying proper attention to the roads, carelessness, drunk driving, and not wearing seatbelts will arise as some of the reasons for the deadly crashes.

Troopers issue 50,000 tickets during statewide speeding crackdown, Charlotte.com, November 27, 2007

20 killed on N.C. highways over holiday, Charlotte.com, November 27, 2007
N.C.’s Operation Slow Down to ‘Crack Down’ on Speeders, Enhance Safety, Insurance Journal, November 13, 2007

More about Speed, Safedrivingtest.com

Related Web Resource:

Gov. Easley Announces Operation Slow Down/No Need 2 Speed, State of North Carolina Office of the Governor

North Carolina To Pay Boat Captain $72,000 in Property Damages

October 12, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Sterling Stevenson, the captain of a CSY-44 sailboat that crashed into the Heidi Trask drawbridge in North Carolina ,when the bridge dropped onto his boat’s mast, has reached a settlement agreement with the state over damages his boat sustained in the collision.

Stevenson says that the State Attorney General’s Office offered to pay him $72,000 to compensate him for the damages to Marijke IV, his Bluewater Cruiser, and the personal expenses he has incurred from the September 10 crash. The State Attorney General’s Office confirmed that an agreement had been made with Stevenson but did not reveal the details.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation conducted a complete investigation with the State Attorney General’s Office and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The state, not Stevenson, was named the negligent party in the personal injury accident.

Improper maintenance of the drawbridge was cited as the cause of contributory negligence. A blind spot on one side of bridge will be examined, as will the issue of boats that are idle on the channel’s west side.

N.C. DOT division engineer Allen Pope says he is recommending relocating the closed-circuit television cameras and replacing the bridge house windows for greater visibility. He also wants to make improvements to the bridge operator’s workstation. He says these issues should be taken care of within 30 days. Pope would not say whether Wanda Ramsey, the bridge operator on duty when the accident happened, was at-fault in causing the collision. She has been a bridge tender for over 25 years.

If your boat, car, truck, or motorcycle has sustained damages because you were in a collision caused by another party, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer right away. An experienced personal injury attorney can meet with the other party and try to negotiate a settlement to compensate you for the costs associated with the property damage. If your attorney and the other party cannot reach a settlement agreement, your lawyer can sue the negligent party for you.

It is important that you work with an attorney who is experienced in handling property damage and personal injury cases. Your lawyer should be able to handle both kinds of cases for you.

State settles with boat captain, Luminanews.com, October 11, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Bridge collides with sailboat, captain to seek damages, Lumnia News, September 13, 2007

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Car Driver is Injured After Driving Under 18-Wheeler Truck in Charlotte, North Carolina

September 27, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The driver of a car was injured in west Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday after the motor vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler truck. Medics took the driver, who had serious injuries, to Carolinas Medical Center. The motor vehicle accident took place on Billy Graham Parkway and West Boulevard.

The car ended up going under the truck and being completely totaled. Police have been working on determining the cause of the truck accident.

Any time a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck, there is a good chance that the persons involved who were not riding in the truck may have sustained serious injuries. Large trucks tend to be very heavy in weight as well size. While the driver of a truck may be protected by the size and weight of a truck during a collision with a motorcycle or small car, the passengers in the other vehicles may not be as lucky.

By law, truck drivers have to adhere to stricter standards of safety than the drivers of cars and motorcycles. Regardless, truck accidents do occur, and the injuries that result are often serious and life threatening.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in North Carolina or South Carolina because a driver acted negligently or carelessly, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away.

Your attorney can investigate the accident scene and the vehicles involved while the evidence is still preserved. He or she can also look at the truck driver’s log reports to see whether the truck driver had been driving longer the legally allowed driving time for truck drivers when the accident occurred.

Some common causes of motor vehicle accidents involving trucks:

• Driver fatigue
• Not enough truck driver training
• Drunk driving
• Improperly loaded trucks
• Negligence
• Carelessness
• A truck that is poorly maintained
• Speeding
• Equipment failure
• Jackknifing
• Driving for a longer period of time than is legally allowed
• Using the cell phone while driving
• Reckless driving

Not only can the truck driver be held liable for a victim’s injuries, but the truck company and the company that hired the truck can also be named as responsible parties if evidence shows that they acted negligently—whether directly or indirectly—and were also responsible for the accident taking place.

Driver Runs Into 18-Wheeler, Rushed To Hospital, WSOCTV.com, September 23, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Facts About Trucks – Eighteen Wheelers, The Truckers Report

North Carolina Motorcyclist is Injured in Collision with SUV at N.C. 150 and N.C. 27 Intersection

September 10, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

A motorcyclist from Crouse was injured in North Carolina on Sunday after he was struck by an SUV at the intersection of N.C. 150 and N.C. 27.

North Carolina Highway Patrol say that Richard Mark Whitaker was riding his motorcycle east on NC 150 when a black Chevy pulled in front of him. Whitaker told police that he was going to go around the SUV but his motorbike locked up.

Whitaker sustained a cut to his head and said he was experiencing pain in his knee. The driver of the SUV, Somsack Phongsa, is from Grover, NC.

Police charged Whitaker with driving with his license revoked and having a fictitious tag. Phongsa was charged with failure to yield right-of-way.

This was the second traffic accident involving a motorcycle in Lincoln County over a 48-hour-period. On Friday, a woman was flown to Charlotte and treated at Carolinas Medical Center after she lost control of her motorcycle.

The woman says that a tractor-trailer was in the lane she was riding in on Shoal Road. She says that she tried to avoid the large motor vehicle but lost control of her motorcycle. She was flung from her motorcycle. An investigation in this case is ongoing.

In 2004, 134 of the 1,557 traffic deaths in North Carolina involved a motorcycle collision.

The “Hurt” Report” provides a number of statistics and information regarding motorcycle accidents, including the following:

• One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving other motor vehicles is the other drivers’ failure to notice there is a motorcycle nearby.

• Motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles will frequently occur at intersections—usually because a car, truck, or bus has disregarded the motorcycle’s right of way.

• Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are significantly overrepresented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly underrepresented.

• 2% of motorcycle accidents are the result of road defects.

• Under 3% of motorcycle crashes are caused because of mechanical failure.

• About 75% of motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle.

If you have are the injury victim of a motorcycle crash caused by the negligent actions of another party, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer immediately. Injuries from motorcycle accidents are frequently severe, and a personal injury attorney can work with you to obtain financial recovery from the responsible party.

Crouse Man Injured in Motorcycle Wreck, Lincoln Tribune, September 9, 2007

The Hurt Report

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Motorcycle Roads

North Carolina State Motorcycle Laws, American Motorcyclist Association

Raleigh Announces Plans to Prevent More North Carolina Pedestrian Fatalities by Improving Capital Boulevard

August 21, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The city of Raleigh wants to spend $420,000 on making road improvements to Capital Boulevard. The 10-mile stretch—going from Durant Road to Peace Street—is the most deadly stretch of road for pedestrians in Wake County.

In the last five years, at least eight pedestrians have died in North Carolina’s capital city while trying to cross Capital Boulevard.

Improvements will include:

• On Brentwood Road: Adding two refuge islands and pedestrian-activated signals at the intersection
• Millbrook Road, Calvary Drive, and Spring Forest: Adding refuge islands, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals
• Bufaloe Road: Adding pedestrian-activated signals at the intersection

The Raleigh City Council has approved the improvements, and now the city will need the approval of the state to implement the changes.

In the United States, there were 4,881 pedestrian fatalities and 64,000 pedestrian injuries in 2005. 70% of the pedestrians who died were men. 48% of all pedestrian deaths took place on a Friday, a Saturday, or a Sunday.

If you or someone you love is a pedestrian who was seriously injured on the road in a traffic accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, or because any other party acted negligently or carelessly, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away to determine whether you have grounds to file a pedestrian accident claim.

Injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident can be life-altering if not fatal. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries are just some of the many kinds of injuries that can result in a pedestrian-related crash.

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center offers a number of suggestions for how pedestrians can stay safe on the roads:

• Avoid walking in freeways and areas restricted to pedestrians.
• Cross streets where there are stop signs and crosswalks.
• If you have to walk on the road, walk in the direction that faces oncoming traffic.
• Pay attention. Not all drivers will be watching the roads carefully.
• Cross the roads carefully even when you have the right of way and the motor vehicles on the road are supposed to be stopped.

Capital to become safer for pedestrians, Newsobserver.com, August 21, 2007

Pedestrian Crash Facts, Walkinginfo.org

Pedestrian Safety Tips, Highway Safety Research Center

Related Web Resource:

Designing New Roadways, IIHS.org (PDF)

10 People are Injured and One Woman is Killed in Eastern North Carolina When Church Van and Pickup Truck Collide in Head-On Crash

August 7, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

One person has died and 10 others were injured during a head-on collision involving a Church van and a pickup truck in Eastern North Carolina on Monday.

The church van was going to a Baptist retreat center in Oak Island when the accident took place. The teenage and adult passengers in the van were members of Boonville’s Charity Baptist Church.

Norma Shore, a 60-year-old Boonville resident, is the woman who was killed in the motor vehicle crash. The injury victims were treated at Hoots Memorial Hospital in Yadkinville and at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Dwaine Dobbins, the driver of the pickup truck, was injured.

Head-on collisions can often lead to serious if not fatal injuries. They are motor vehicle accidents where the impact has occurred at the front of the vehicle. A car, truck, or motorcycle can become involved in a frontal impact collision, if it collides from the front with another motor vehicle or a nonmoving object. The speed that the motor vehicle was moving at, whether or not the passengers and driver were wearing seatbelts, whether the car or truck was equipped with working airbags, and the circumstances and severity of the crash are some of the factors that can affect whether or not any personal injuries sustained by accident victims are severe and/or fatal.

Common causes of head-on crashes include:

• A motor vehicle going the wrong way on a one-way road
• A car, truck, or motorcycle trying to overtake another vehicle when there isn’t enough passing space
• The driver of the motor vehicle has lost control of the car, truck, or motorcycle, and ends up crossing over the dividing line on the road and into oncoming traffic
• Speeding
• Following another vehicle too closely
• Not stopping soon enough before colliding into another automobile
• Driving under the influence of alcohol
• A defective motor vehicle
• Careless or negligent driving

Church van wreck kills one, injures at least 10 others, Winston-Salem Journal, August 6, 2007

What factors are associated with head-on crashes?, Austin City Connect

Related Web Resources:

Preventing Head On Collisions

Head-On Collisions, Safety Transportation

North Carolina Authorities Pull Unsafe Truck Drivers Off Roads in Charlotte

July 26, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

As part of “Operation Road Watch,” North Carolina troopers spent two days monitoring roads in the Charlotte area to see whether any commercial truck drivers were in violation of the state’s safety regulations.

Highway Patrol officers cited large truck drivers for over 500 violations—some violations were minor, but other violations could have proven seriously dangerous to other North Carolina drivers if an accident had occurred.

Close to three-dozen trucks and over two-dozen truck drivers were pulled off the road for these serious violations. Almost 300 commercial vehicles were inspected and fines worth thousands of dollars were issued because a number of the trucks were overweight.

Here are the results from Operation Road Watch:

• 290 Commercial Motor Vehicles Inspected by Troopers
• 151 Driver violations (26 removed from service)
• 235 Truck violations (35 trucks removed from service) 
• $7,851 out of service fines 
• 211 trucks weighed
• 139,950 over-weight pounds
• $8,072.80 over-weight fines

State police also looked at other drivers to see whether or not they were driving safely, especially when there were large trucks on the road.

Operation Road Watch is the first program to concentrate its attention on commercial motor vehicles. The program comes following a series of motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks. Unmarked motor vehicles and helicopters are also being used in the crackdown. The watch, which has begun in Mecklenburg County, will sweep through other counties later this year.

Every year, North Carolina police officers and state troopers examine over 16,000 collisions involving motor carrier vehicles. In 2006, 5,845 people were injured and 151 others were killed in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles.

The drivers of commercial vehicles are mandated by law to not only follow the rules of the road that car drivers and motorcycle drivers must follow, but they must also abide by the safety standards that have been set in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the state.

In the event that a person is injured by a negligent truck driver, he or she should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney that understands the nature of truck injury accidents and the different regulations involved. Personal injury claims involving trucks are much more complicated to resolve than personal injury cases involving just cars or motorcycles. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you file a successful claim regarding your truck accident.

Authorities pull unsafe truckers, rigs off the road, News-Record.com, July 23, 2007

Operation Road Watch, NCcrimecontrol.org

Related Web Resources:

NC Department of Crime Control & Public Safety

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

North Carolina Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck By Ford Fusion In Charlotte

July 10, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 25-year-old female pedestrian was declared dead at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say that Lavonda Gibson sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a Ford Fusion while crossing South Tryon Street.

The Ford’s driver, Nicholas Fratantonio, age 22, was not hurt in the motor vehicle collision.

The University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center says there are about 2,200 motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians in North Carolina every year. About 500 pedestrians are injured in these accidents, while 150 to 200 people are killed.

If you are a pedestrian that has been injured in a traffic accident, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim if another party’s negligence caused your accident.

Common kinds of pedestrian accidents that are caused by driver negligence:

• The car, truck, motorcycle, or SUV driver was not paying attention to the road and did not notice the pedestrian.
• The driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he or she struck a pedestrian.
• The driver was driving above the speed limit and could not stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
• The driver did not see and/or did not stop at the pedestrian crossing/at a red light.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can investigate your case and help you recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. Your personal injury attorney can also determine who was at-fault.

The NHTSA says that 64,000 pedestrians sustained injuries in traffic collisions in 2005. It also says that at least one pedestrian is injured in a traffic crash every eight minutes.

Pedestrian killed on South Tryon, The Charlotte Observer, July 8, 2007

North Carolina Pedestrian Crash Statistics, The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center

2005 Data: Pedestrians, National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration

Related Web Resources:

National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration

Adult Pedestrians

North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents and Deaths on the Rise

July 2, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that the number of motorcycle fatalities is growing. This year, the Highway Patrol has so far reported 47 motorcycle deaths, compared to 93 fatalities for all of 2006.

This rise in motorcycle collisions is reflected nationally. In 2003, 3,661 riders were killed while riding motorcycles in the U.S., while more than 67,000 sustained injuries. Police reported more than 79,000 traffic collisions involving motorcycles.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol cites better gas mileage as one of the reasons that motorcycles are growing in popularity. The increase in the use of motorcycles is one of the reasons that more accidents, injuries, and deaths are occurring.

Despite the laws and safety measures that exist to keep motorcyclists safe on our roads, riding a motorcycle can be a very dangerous experience. Motorcycle riders do not have anything to protect them from becoming seriously injured when they are involved in a traffic collision with a truck, car, or another motorcycle.

North Carolina is one of the U.S. states with a mandatory helmet law. Also under state law, motorcycle drivers are required to have a passenger seat and footrest on their motorcycle if they are carrying a passenger with them.

Injuries from a motorcycle accident can include broken bones, severed limbs, severe burns, cuts, scrapes, bruises, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, road burns, disfigurement, and wrongful death.

Motorcycle Fatalities Up Across State, News14.com, July 1, 2007

Motorcycle Rider Safety Data, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

North Carolina State Laws, AMA Database of Motorcycle Laws

Related Web Resources:

Motorcycle Safety, NCDOT.org

State of North Carolina Mandatory Helmet Law

 
 

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