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Police Car Lights via Wikimedia CommonsSometimes pedestrian accidents happen outside of a marked crossing.  You should never assume the pedestrian has responsibility in these cases because other circumstances may shift liability to the driver.

Recently, a pedestrian was hit by two vehicles while crossing Central Avenue outside of the crosswalk.  He suffered most of his injuries when hit by the first driver; however, the second driver fled the scene.  Police are still looking for the driver of that vehicle.

When interviewed, other pedestrians in the area admitted they also cross where the injured pedestrian crossed because it is easier to cross there.  The unmarked crossing has one-way traffic in each direction.  Up the road at the pedestrian crossing, there is a turn lane which makes crossing more difficult.   At that crossing you must be aware of 3-way traffic.

Another contributor to driver liability is that this unmarked crossing is near a bus stop.  When the bus is stopped cars speed around the bus and don’t really think about pedestrians in that area.  This has caused several pedestrians to have collisions with cars at this often used crossing.

If you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian your injuries are usually covered under the policy of the driver that hit you.  In a case like this one, there are other circumstances that need to be taken into consideration.  The fact that the crosswalk is located in an inconvenient and more dangerous location, vehicles speeding around the parked bus, and laws set forth to protect pedestrians are just a few means of possible recovery  for a pedestrian crossing outside of the crosswalk.  However, North Carolina is a contributory negligence state.  That means that if you are found even one percent at fault, you are barred from collecting on your claim.

Since liability is not always a clear cut picture, do not talk to any insurance adjustor or admit any fault when involved in an accident.   Speak to an experienced attorney first.  They can give you advice on how to handle your specific situation so that you may avoid common pitfalls that may bar recovery in your case.

Auger & Auger are skilled attorneys that understand the laws pertaining to personal injury and they can help you avoid the pitfalls of a contributory negligence claim.  Don’t take the chance of making a mistake.  Call us today.

Statistically speaking, getting in your car in the morning and driving to work is one of the most dangerous activities you will participate in each day. Turn that car ride from a simple work commute to an 8 or more hour return trip from Blackwater River in Florida to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the degree of danger you put yourself in increases exponentially as you are exposed to more distracted drivers, large trucks, and drunk drivers. Rebecca DeNardis, a senior with a full scholarship to Duke with a double major in mathematics and computer science, was killed by a drunk driver in Crestview, Florida while making this exact trip.

After a week of camping and canoeing on the Blackwater River with Duke’s Outdoor Adventure Program, five students and the program director headed back to school as an intoxicated man, Martin Zackery Hale, made the fatal decision to get into his car and continue onto the road.   Hale crossed over the Interstate 10 median and struck the van, killing DeNardis and severely injuring another student.

According to DeNaris’s father, his daughter had many gifts, including being bright enough and talented enough to gain a full scholarship to one of the most prestigious Universities in the country, and that she had a job lined up at Google for when she graduated in May.

The DeNaris family is not alone in their grief.  Just one month ago, four fraternity brothers from the University of South Florida were killed when a possibly drunk driver headed the wrong way on I275 crashed head-on into their vehicle.  Toxicology reports are still pending in that case.  That same day, a drunken 21 year old in Pomona, California also collided head-on with multiple vehicles, killing 6 innocent victims.  In that case, the drunk driver has been charged with 6 counts of murder and is being held on $6,000,000 bail.

Nothing can be done to salvage the emptiness left to the families of these victims. However, we encourage victims and family members of victims of drunk drivers to pursue legal remedies to ensure that families can get the answers and justice that they deserve.

(Hale is currently charged with six counts of “DUI and damage to property,” as well as “DUI and serious bodily injury to another” and “DUI cause death to human” and has yet to be convicted of any charges).

Dog attacks are uncommon, but do happen. Dogs can be on leashes with collars and still break free to attack people. In one such case in Murrieta, CA, in a Lowe’s Home Improvement store, a purebred Akita escaped from his owner and bit a child in the face, leaving him with 50 stitches.

The story itself is cut and dry: child approaches a large dog, a large dog attacks; but the implications and questions which arise from stories like this in court and in the media are much farther reaching than the attack alone.

The foremost question being asked here is: who is to blame? Is the owner who did have his dog around the leash, who allowed his violent dog to get too close to a child to blame? Are the parents, who should have kept a 3-year old away from a large Akita, negligent? Or is the store somehow responsible for this damage, because they let the dog owner and his dog into the store, while the official Lowe’s position is to not allow non-service animals in store?

Those around the nation have commented:

Sarah Farmay commented, “why did they not stop the three year old? No one knows how a dog will react to the high pitched voices of children who could be viewed as threatening to the dog.”

David Marquez agreed, saying: “But why was the dog in the store in the first place?”

As for now, the family is suing both the dog owner and the Lowe’s local chain for an excess of $25,000 worth of damages for medical costs and the possible disfiguration that occurred to the child’s face. This means that they are suing in unlimited civil court, as $25,000 probably will not cover all of these costs.

As it appears, Lowe’s will probably have to pay the brunt of the cost, as it is very unlikely that the owner has the resources to fully compensate the child and his family.

If you are ever injured in a dog bite accident in North Carolina, be sure to contact the Auger & Auger Law Firm as soon as possible to insure that you armed as well as you can be to combat large companies and insurers.

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Whiplash is a common ailment from car accidents, affecting nearly one million Americans each year. We illustrate what causes whiplash, how to recognize it’s symptoms, and what you can do to prevent injury in the future.

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