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winter stormWith one of the biggest winter storms in history having happened over the weekend, there is no time like the present to remind people that anything can be thrown at us by Mother Nature. States across the nation have been impacted by strange weather this year, prompting weather officials to remind us that no one is immune. Driving in a blizzard is only slightly different than driving in a typical snowstorm, but it never hurts to remind ourselves of these tips.

  1. Listen to Local Officials

Many localities initiate various types of snow bans. These can range from restrictions to parking on certain streets to not being permitted to drive altogether. Pay close attention to any weather issuances released by your local government and follow them.

  1. Clear the Car

So many of us get in a hurry to leave our homes and only clear the windshield. Some take a bit more time and clear the windows. In reality, we need to be sure to clear our entire cars from roof to bumpers. When people fail to completely clear their cars, they render their vehicles virtually invisible to other drivers during a major snowstorm or blizzard.

  1. Watch for Snow Plows

A driver last weekend was killed after a collision with a snow plow. Give these vehicles plenty of room to maneuver. Keep a fair amount of distance between your vehicle and a plow as you travel down the road.

  1. Drive According to the Conditions

We have all been traveling down the highway, barely doing the speed limit, when another vehicle flies past us. If it happens to you, don’t worry about it. Resist the temptation to speed up. Driver in a manner that is safe for the road conditions. Pushing your limits and that of the conditions will put you more at risk of a collision.

  1. Drive in Tracks

If you are fortunate, there will already have been a car that passed down the same road. Drive in the tracks that car has left behind.

If you find yourself stranded in a blizzard, dial emergency services as soon as possible. While you are waiting for help, make sure to keep the snow cleared from your car and your exhaust pipe. This will both make your car more visible and keep fumes from backing into your car.

If you have been involved in a car accident and believe you may be entitled to compensation, call our offices today. A member of our team will review your case at no charge. Call now.

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 Winter Car PreparednessAs people prepare to drive through winter weather, it is not unusual for them to talk to friends and family or even consult the Internet. Unfortunately, there are some myths that have prevailed over the years that people are still buying into. Here are four of those myths to be aware of.

  1. Winter Tires Are Not Needed

Many people think that winter tires are only made for driving through snow and over ice. The truth is that they are designed for maneuvering better over cold pavement as well. All-season and summer tires get hard in the cold weather and don’t move as well. Winter tires stay pliable and stick to the pavement better.

  1. All-Wheel Drive Is Completely Safe

All-wheel drive may make it easier to drive in the snow, but it does not make you invincible. In fact, having all-wheel drive can give people a false sense of security and contribute to poor driving. If you have all-wheel drive, consider it a bonus and not a reason to go tearing down the highway.

  1. All-Season Tires Are Good Enough

No. It really is that simple. All-season tires are not good enough for winter driving. Think of your own feet. Sandals are fine for the summer, but you want the traction of snow boots in the winter. Tires on your car perform the same sort of function.

  1. Under Inflate Your Tires

You may hear that the best thing you can do is to under inflate your tires. Not so. As the temperature drops, your tires naturally deflate. You lose pressure without doing it purposely. What you should be doing is making sure your tires are at the pressure recommended by the manufacturer so that you have maximum traction.

Don’t buy into any of these long-standing myths. Doing so only puts you in danger on the road. Instead, talk to people who are really in the know about what to do with your car in the winter: mechanics.

If you have been involved in a traffic collision and need an attorney, reach out to our team today. We will provide a free initial consultation and help you get the compensation you are entitled to, if any. Call now.

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 Newton’s LifeWhen it comes to having fun on the gridiron, no one tops the Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. You rarely see him without a smile on his face, and, of course, who can forget the dab? He brings a certain level of entertainment and enjoyment to the game, and there’s a reason for that: In December of 2014, Cam Newton was in a car accident that nearly claimed his life. New he uses that incident to fuel his spirit on the field, and his teammates have taken notice.

Cam Newton was recently awarded the Ed Block Courage Award, after being nominated by his teammates for the award. This is likely not the only award Newton will be given this year. Here’s why he deserves the Ed Block Courage Award this year.

Struggling Before the Accident

Cam Newton’s career so far with the Carolina Panthers has been riddled with injury. He went into the 2014 season coming off of a major ankle surgery. Yet, he still put of massive passing and rushing numbers. Any given week, he may be suffering from bruised ribs, muscles and any other number of minor injuries. But as one of the biggest quarterbacks in the league, he always has a huge target on his back. This doesn’t stop him from carrying his team by throwing crucial touchdown passes and running down the field on his own.

These injuries and constant hits from his opponents’ defenses didn’t bring him down. In 2014 alone, he threw for 3,127 yards and 18 touchdowns. In addition, he ran for 539 yards and five touchdowns. To make it even more impressive, he missed two games at the beginning of the season. But his toughest struggles were still to come.

A Fateful Day in December

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, Cam Newton was on his day off. Of course, being the dedicated player he is, Newton made his way down to the Carolina Panthers’ stadium to watch game film. On his way, a car pulled out in front of his truck and clipped him. Newton’s truck skidded over and flipped, coming to a stop on the Interstate 277 overpass. If he had skidded a few more feet, his truck would have fallen off of the overpass.

After the accident, Newton managed to pull himself from the wreckage and limp to the side of the highway. When the medical staff arrived, they rushed him to the hospital for examination. Somehow, Newton made it out of the wreckage without a bruise or cut. His injuries consisted of two transverse fractures in his back. After an overnight stay, he was in the Panthers locker room the next day — not suited to play, of course.


 Newton’s LifeA Changed Person

Even though the wreck could have been much worse, Newton realized what life was really about. He says one of the things he remembers most after the accident was standing on the side of the highway with a big smile on his face. He only missed one week due to his injuries. If you asked his teammates, they would say it was a completely different Cam Newton on the field when he returned. This was when he learned to smile through his adversity. At the beginning of his career, a loss would put him in a terrible mood that resonated throughout the rest of the team. Now, he smiles through the disappointment and enjoys his life, no matter what is going on around him.

In Cam’s eyes, he doesn’t care what his critics think. He knows pundits, both professional and otherwise, think he acts like a child on the field. His dancing, his constant talking and, of course, that huge Cheshire grin are a part of who he is now. Has that positivity lead to the Panthers’ new-found success? Whether or not it has, it has created a new atmosphere for the team.

A Good Reason for Joy

Now, Cam is seen as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Besides the Ed Block Courage Award, he is on track to be the NFL’s Most Valuable Player this season. In the 2015 regular season, he passed for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns. In addition, he ran for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. While these are not the best quarterback stats in the league, his fight through adversity has given him unquantifiable qualities that have propelled him to the top.

Now, after Cam and the rest of the Panthers thrashed the Arizona Cardinals, they are on their way to face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Newton showed his dedication to playing the game well and having fun while doing it, giving ball after ball to fans in the stands. This playoff win at home propels the Panthers to their first Super Bowl in 13 years. With the dynamic the team presents, this year could easily be the franchise’s first championship win.

Love him or hate him, Cam Newton has taught us one thing: Car accidents define our lives. We can let them ruin us, or we can take the experience and let them shape us into an even better version of ourselves. The most important thing to remember: No one can make that decision except you.

Sidewalks A winter storm dumps inches of snow and ice on your property. You want to stay huddled under a quilt with a cup of hot coffee in your hand. Is it a good idea? Not if you don’t want to be hit with a personal injury lawsuit. If someone slips and falls on your property because you have failed to clear it, you could very well find yourself in court answering for your lack of motivation. Here’s what you need to know.

When someone does slip and fall on your property, one of the first questions that will run through your mind is, “Who’s responsible?” The answer to that question is not always clear cut. In all actuality, it depends on where the accident occurred. If you own a home, you are expected, by law, to make a reasonable effort to maintain clear walkways. That means that you have to put your cup of coffee down, crawl out from under the quilt and shovel your sidewalks.

If you live in an apartment, condominium or other rental property, you may not be responsible. Take a good, long look at your lease agreement. Typically, your landlord is responsible for snow and ice removal. At times, you may rent a house and yard maintenance as your responsibility may be written into your lease. Check carefully.

So how do you protect yourself? The first thing you need to do is get to know your local laws. Find out who is responsible for your snow removal. The next thing you should do is determine if you are able to clear your walkways yourself, if you are required to do so. If you cannot, you need to make arrangements to have it done for you. Not being physically able to remove snow and ice may not be a good enough defense if someone is hurt on your property.

If you have any questions as to snow removal and your responsibilities, you can contact your local government offices to find out more. Your insurance agent can also be a great source of information.

If someone is injured on your property or you are injured on someone else’s property, you need the help of an experienced attorney. Call our offices today for assistance. We will review the details of your case for free and answer any questions you may have. Call now.

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ContrecoupIf you hear the term “traumatic brain injury,” certain things may jump to your mind. You may think of a slip and fall accident or even a car crash. The truth is, there are many types of incidents that can result in a traumatic brain injury. Here are the most common mechanisms that are attributed to brain injury:

  1. Open Head Injury

Injuries such as these result in an open wound to the head. These may be sustained from a bullet, a knife or any type of puncture. There tends to be focal damage along with a penetration of the skull. Effects are often very serious.

  1. Closed Head Injury

Closed head injuries occur when the head strikes another object. These type of injuries occur when a person slips and falls, during a motor vehicle collision or any incident where the head makes impact with another object. Closed head injuries are the most common among sports players.

  1. Deceleration Injuries

Most people know that the brain is a soft, gelatin-like mass. Most also are well aware that the skull is a bony plate. When the body moves, so does the brain. When the body comes to a sudden stop, the brain continues its forward motion, bouncing off the skull. This is similar to the way a person continues to move forward in a car crash even though the car has come to a sudden stop. When this type of deceleration occurs, the brain is damaged.

  1. Chemical

The brain may be injured due to a chemical or toxin. This may be the case when a person suffers carbon monoxide poisoning, lead poisoning or is over-exposed to insecticides.

  1. Hypoxia

Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen. It may take only a few minutes for the brain to suffer damage due to too little or no oxygen. This condition may be caused by respiratory failure, sudden drops in blood pressure or heart attack.

If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury in a slip and fall accident or vehicle collision, please call our team of personal injury attorneys today. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you. Call us now.

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 atv_fun_by_articwoodchuckVery few can say that riding an ATV, or all-terrain vehicle, is nothing short of exciting. Driving off-road, listing over turns and bouncing over rocks brings a sense of adventure that few other driving opportunities afford. Unfortunately, these vehicles see their fair share of accidents each year. If you plan on driving or riding an ATV, understanding what causes these accidents can help you prevent them.

  1. Driving on Paved Surfaces

ATVs are not made to be driven on flat, paved surfaces. They are made for off-road use and will, in all reality, handle very poorly on pavement. If you have to drive your ATV along smooth surfaces, do so with caution.

  1. Passengers

Do not ride double on an ATV not made for passengers. This can pose a threat to both riders as it throws off the balance on the vehicle. If the ATV is designed for only one rider, make sure only one person is on it.

  1. Inexperience

Driving an ATV with little or no experience puts everyone at risk. Do not let an inexperienced driver operate your ATV and, if you are an inexperienced driver, take some lessons before you jump into the driver’s seat.

  1. Dangerous Stunts

It can certainly be tempting to perform dangerous stunts on an ATV, after all, the adrenaline rush can be the reason that you may be driving an off-road vehicle in the first place. Do not perform dangerous stunts or maneuvers without the proper training.

  1. Unfamiliar Areas

Driving over unfamiliar terrain is dangerous. Never go full out when driving over terrain that you aren’t familiar with. Take at least one drive through the course or over the road at a slow pace to get to know what is in front of you.

ATVs are not necessarily dangerous, but they do pose a risk. If you are unfamiliar with their operation or don’t know where you will be driving, be sure that you get to know the vehicle and the course first. Inexperienced riders and drivers should always receive a few lessons before they hop aboard an ATV. When you take care to operate an ATV safely, you and your passengers are the better for it.

If you have been injured in an ATV accident, call our personal injury attorneys today. We will review the facts of your case for free. Call us now for assistance.

 

4439151929_e141e39b5e_bMany different professions utilize ATVs in their day-to-day operations. If you are an employer and permit your crew to drive or ride ATVs, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit if one of them gets injured. If you have ATVs as part of your equipment, follow these tips to protect yourself from workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits.

  1. Maintenance

ATVs must be maintained properly, just like any other piece of machinery. Consult the owner’s manuals of any machine in your fleet for the maintenance schedule. Be sure to keep up on routine maintenance and to repair any issues as soon as they arise.

  1. Training

Any employee who is going to be riding or utilizing an ATV must be trained in its operation. Make manuals accessible to employees and give them hands-on training as well. Ensure that your employees are getting hands-on training over each type of surface they will be riding exposed to.

  1. Policies

If ATVs are part of your daily operations, make sure that you establish clear policies on their use. Each employee should receive a copy of these policies and sign off that they have both read and received them.

  1. Hazards

On-site hazards should be clearly marked. Any pits or holes in the surface, any exposed wiring, and any objects that could be crash hazards should be made known to employees and anyone else who will be driving an ATV on your work site.

  1. Recalls

Recalls should be paid close attention to for the life of the machine. Know that recalls can happen at any time. Because a machine is not recalled as soon as you’ve purchased it doesn’t mean that there won’t be a recall later. Keep an eye on websites or sign up for alerts.

  1. Supervise

You can’t be everywhere at once, but you can conduct spot inspections of your employees while they are operating the ATVs. Keep an eye on speeds and driving habits to ensure that best practices are being followed.

If you or an employee is injured in an ATV accident, call our team of personal injury attorneys today. We will review the details of your case and advise you as to the best next steps. Call us now and allow us to provide you with a free case evaluation.

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car-keys-and-a-bottle-of-beerWhen it comes to drinking and driving, there are certain groups of people who are most at risk. While anyone can certainly take a drink and get behind the wheel, these people are statistically more apt to do so. People from all walks of life make poor decisions, but the numbers tell us that specific groups are more likely to drive under the influence.

Young People

According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, young people are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident while intoxicated. Alcohol metabolizes differently in everyone, but young people tend to have a lower tolerance than adults. This can lead to a higher level of impairment.

When looking at traffic fatalities in 2013 due to drunk driving, those drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher tended to be younger. One in every three drivers was between 21 and 24 years old, 29% were between the ages of 25 and 34, and just under a quarter were between the ages of 35 and 44.

Prior Convictions

People who have prior convictions for driving under the influence are close to six times more likely to drive under the influence compared to drivers who have never been charged with drunk driving. Keep in mind that this statistic only includes the people who have been convicted. The numbers do not include those who have only been arrested.

Motorcyclists

Thousands of motorcyclists were killed in traffic collisions in 2013. Of those who died, over a quarter had a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher. Close to half of those people killed with a BAC above the legal limit were over the age of 40. Those between ages 40 and 44 have the highest rate of mortality in these accidents, at a rate of 44%.

There is no certain predictor of who will choose to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking, but there are people who are more likely to do so. No matter who you are sharing the road with, be a defensive driver and stay alert. Never expect other drivers to be worried about your safety or that of your family.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and advise you if you may have a case. Contact us now.

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Posted In: Drunk Driving

car-keys-and-a-bottle-of-beerPreventing drunk driving is perhaps one of the most important initiatives in the country. Thousands of people are killed each year because they or other drivers on the road choose to get behind the wheel after having one too many. When it comes to measures to put an end to drunk driving, many things have been tried. Some have worked, and some have proven ineffective.

Effective Measures to Curb Drunk Driving

One of the best ways that law enforcement has used to curb drunk driving is simply to ramp up their enforcement. Instead of hoping to stumble upon a drunk driver, many agencies across the country pay specialized teams of enforcers. These specially-trained officers work on task forces that are designed and trained to spot drunk drivers and get them off of the road.

Sobriety checkpoints have often been proven effective. While it is mandated that these checkpoints must be announced well ahead of time, it seems that people either don’t hear about them or forget about them.

In some states, DUI courts have replaced criminal courts for drunk driving offenders. People who go through these systems are sentenced to rehabilitation in lieu of jail time. Treatment programs have been shown to be effective in not only getting drunks off of the road, but helping to make sure that they are also cured of their alcohol addiction.

When people are hit where it hurts, they pay attention. A method that has been proven effective in removing drunk drivers from the road is immediately taking away the driver’s license of anyone who is caught driving under the influence. This is often enough to cause a hardship to people that they do not want to deal with again.

Measures Being Investigated

One measure being considered in the effort to reduce drunk driving is to reduce the legal blood alcohol content threshold from 0.08% to 0.05%. This, however, does require more research before it is implemented. While it is known that lowering the legal limit will cause more drivers to be charged with drunk driving, it is unlikely that it would put a significant dent in the crime.

A second consideration being investigated is requiring, by law, a blood test any time a crash results in an injury. Again, this may result in more charges and a higher conviction rate, but it is unknown at this time what kind of effect it would have on preventing people from getting behind the wheel.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to more compensation than the insurance companies have offered you. Call our personal injury attorneystoday and allow us to review the details of your case at no cost to you. Call now.

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Posted In: Drunk Driving

 Austin_MaestroSpeaking to your aging parents about driving is something you may have been avoiding. You have an idea that your parents shouldn’t be on the road, but broaching the subject can be difficult. Independence is important as we age, and the thought of asking anyone to give up a bit of their freedom can be hard to do. Here are signs that will help you decide when is the right time to have “the talk.”

  1. Several close calls are a clue that it may be time to hang up the keys. It isn’t unusual for people to have near misses or close calls, but when those instances become increasingly common, it’s a sign that there needs to be a discussion about continued driving.
  2. If your parents or aging loved ones frequently get lost when they are in familiar territory, they are posing a danger to themselves.
  3. As we age, we begin to not exactly lose our sight, but lose our clarity of vision. Even with eyeglasses, night vision can be impaired. If you notice an elderly loved one squinting, rubbing their forehead or eyes, or frequently blinking when they drive, have a talk about their eye health and true ability to drive safely.
  4. When we get older, our reaction time slows. Pay attention when you are driving with your aging loved one. Notice how long it takes them to respond to normal traffic situations. If their response time seems slower than normal, it may be time to take the keys away.
  5. Physical conditions can make it hard to drive properly. Your loved one may have stiff joints or arthritis that can make it painful to drive effectively. If you notice that your parent is having a difficult time turning around or even moving their foot from one pedal to the other, driving is no longer safe.

There is nothing that says that any of these warning signs means an end to driving forever, but it should bring rise to a discussion. At the very least, your loved one should be examined by a doctor to be sure that they have no physical condition that is impairing their ability to drive safely. Another option is to enroll your parent in a driver-improvement course designed specifically for the elderly population.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys will review you case at no charge and advise you how to proceed. Call now.

 

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