Get a FREE Case Review
Call Today: (855) 971-1114
Available 24 Hours, 7 Days A Week

mid-20s man texting while drivingWhen it comes to the worst drivers in America, people have strong opinions on who they believe should carry the title. Some believe it to be seniors. Others think that the distinction belongs to teenagers. Of course, there are those who think other certain groups also hold the title.

According to a report recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, those between the ages of 19 and 39, or Millennials, are proving to be quite dangerous behind the wheel. The report states that 88 percent of this generation has engaged in at least one behavior behind the wheel that could be considered risky within the past month.

The behaviors undertaken include texting and driving, speeding and running red lights. Most people have accepted that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior. Many would agree that speeding and running red lights is also risky. Unfortunately, these behaviors are nothing new for young drivers.

Why Are They So Dangerous?

Here’s what is new: Drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 typically don’t feel as though their behaviors are dangerous. They are widely unapologetic. According to the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Dr. David Yang, “Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19 – 24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.”

Dr. Yang goes on to say that these drivers need to understand the potential consequences of their behaviors. It’s also important that Millennials guilty of risky behaviors change those behaviors and drive more safely. The report released says that close to 12 percent of drivers between 19 and 24 feel as though it is acceptable to drive through a school zone at 10 mph over the posted limit. Fewer than five percent of all drivers feel the same.

Millennials Aren’t Alone

The good news for millennials, and maybe the bad news for the rest of us, is that they aren’t alone in their risky attitudes. For other groups surveyed, at least 60 percent reported engaging in the same behaviors, texting, speeding and running red lights, in the last 30 days.

It means that, as a nation, we aren’t the most responsible motorists on the planet. While millennials may be statistically the most unsafe drivers, the rest of the population that is of driving age isn’t much better. It’s up to each person that gets behind the wheel of a car to operate it safely.

Distracted driving is known to be particularly dangerous, causing more accidents each year than any other behavior. If you have a smartphone, put it on “do not disturb” while you’re driving. If you have a hands-free system, use it sparingly, if at all. Remember that when you get behind the wheel, you’re number one focus is the road ahead.

If you are involved in an accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team. We will help you arrange a free consultation and tell you more about your legal rights and options. Call today to schedule your case evaluation and take the first steps in being compensated for your damages.

close up of doctor bandaging one hand after an accidentWhen people think of burn injuries, their thoughts may travel to cooking accidents or even house fires. Many don’t consider burns as the result of motor vehicle collisions, but these injuries do occur. In fact, car accidents cause a fair share of burn injuries treated by medical professionals across the country.

The aftermath of a burn injury can be devastating. Burns cause serious pain and often require rehabilitation. In some situations, burns can be so severe that they lead to death. When you or a loved one has been burned as the result of a car accident that was not your fault, you may have legal rights to compensation.

How People are Burned in Car Accidents

Any motor vehicle that runs on gasoline has the potential to catch on fire in a collision. In some cases, a fire erupts and traps a victim in their vehicle. In other cases, a person is burned after they are able to escape their flaming car after an accident.

Burn injuries may also be caused by a collision with a large truck carrying fuel or other toxic chemicals. If these chemicals leak after a serious accident, they can burn the victims and even witnesses who stop to assist.

Types of Burn Injuries

A burn can be minor or severe. Any burn, no matter how slight, should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. A doctor will examine the burn and place it into one of three categories:

  • First degree: This type of burn affects the outer layer of the skin. It may cause redness and swelling, but rarely causes significant pain. Minor discomfort, especially when the area is touched, is more common.
  • Second degree: This burn affects the outer layer of the skin and the layer just beneath. Redness, swelling and blisters are common with this type of burn. It may cause a good deal of pain.
  • Third degree: This is the most serious type of burn that people live with. It can affect all layers of the skin and tissues that lie beneath, including the bones. These burns often appear black or white in their initial stages.

Treating Burns

Again, burns should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. Each type of burn may be treated in a different way in order to manage pain and promote healing. First-degree burns may be treated with over-the-counter remedies, while second- and third-degree burns may require extensive care. Third-degree burns may require skin grafts, surgery, rehabilitation or all three.

If you have been burned in a car accident in Charlotte, you may be entitled to compensation for the medical costs you have incurred and will in the future. Reach out to our experienced team of personal injury attorneys to discover more about your legal rights and options. We can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our office today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

deer crossing signYou’re driving down the road at dawn on your way to work. You’re driving safely and paying attention to the road ahead. All of the sudden a deer leaps into your path and you can’t avoid hitting it. What do you do now?

Once you’ve shaken off the stress of just having been in a collision, it’s time to take action. Here are six steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.

1. Move Your Car

If your car is operable, pull it over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights so that other cars will see you. If you get out of your car to check on the animal or look for damage, don’t walk into the roadway. Both you and your car are going to be less visible in times of low light.

2. Call 911

For insurance purposes, it is a good idea to have a police report made so you can share it with your insurance company. If you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy, hitting a deer is typically a covered loss.  If you swerve to avoid hitting a deer and hit a tree or some other object such as a tree, fence or other vehicle, that claim will typically fall under your collision coverage.

3. Documentation

If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the current road conditions, the area surrounding your car and the animal if it is still present. If there were any witnesses that stopped to assist you, ask if you can have their contact information should you need it in the future.

4. Keep Your Distance

If the animal is still present, keep your distance. You can use the zoom on your camera to get photos. The deer could act unpredictably if it’s injured. No matter how bad you feel about any injuries the animal sustained, you have to remember that it is a wild animal and could harm you.

5. Double-Check Your Vehicle

Your car may not be safe to drive after you hit a large animal like a deer. Look for any leaking fluids, loose parts or broken lights. Make sure your tires are still inflated and that all latches on your car shut tightly. If you don’t believe that your car is safe to drive, call for a tow.

6. Call Your Insurance Agent

Reach out to your insurance agent when you get home. They will want to know what happened and you will want to start the process of having your car repaired if necessary. The sooner you speak with your agent, the faster you can get your vehicle fixed.

While there is no fault when you strike a deer except maybe your own, if you are hit by a driver who swerved to avoid an animal in Charlotte, you may have legal rights to compensation. Call our attorneys to arrange for a free case evaluation and discover more about your legal options. We may be able to secure compensation based on injuries sustained because of a negligent driver.

old tire, closeupIt’s easy to understand how a person could be held at fault for a car accident if they were negligent or behaved recklessly in some way. It’s also possible to potentially hold a driver accountable if they were operating faulty equipment. In some cases, defective automobiles can also be found to be the responsibility of the manufacturer of the automobile or automobile part manufacturer.

Any serious injury accident caused by faulty or defective equipment should be investigated.  The goal of such an investigation is to thoroughly determine any potential negligence claims against the person operating the vehicle or against a manufacturer or repair shop that could have been negligent in the manufacturing or repair of the vehicle — resulting in serious injury.

Here are come common types of faulty equipment frequently involved in motor vehicle accidents.

1. Tires

Tires aren’t made to last forever, even though some people believe they are. The tires on any vehicle are rated for so many miles and should be replaced at that point. That’s not to say that tires won’t fail before their mileage is up. When an owner realizes that their tires are under-inflated, over-inflated or even that tread is worn or missing, they could be held responsible if a tire fails and results in an accident.

2. Bad Brakes

Brakes can be expensive. It’s why so many people wait until they can’t possible wait any longer to have them changed. Unfortunately, this choice could lead to an accident. If you have heard screeching, scraping or grinding when you apply the brakes, or you notice that you have to push the pedal nearer the floor to get your car to slow down, you need to have your brakes looked at. Don’t risk not being able to stop when you need to.  Additionally, there have been successful cases against brake repair shops when their faulty repairs resulted in serious injury accidents.  Each case is different and should be investigated as soon as possible after the accident occurred.

3. Poor Visibility Due to Bad Wipers, Not Clearing Snow or Ice from Windshield or Driving in Unsafe Conditions

This is true especially when it snows and you don’t take the time to clear off your windshield and rear and side windows, but it can also occur because you fail to do one easy thing: Change windshield wiper blades. In order to work properly, your blades have to be making appropriate contact with your window. Over time, wiper blades wear and fray, inhibiting their ability to keep your windshield clear. If you cause an accident because you couldn’t see due to faulty blades, you could be held liable.

Additionally, driving in unsafe driving conditions can also lead to an accident that might not otherwise occur in good weather. If you are going to be on the roads, make sure you can see and that the weather is appropriate to drive in.

Proper vehicle maintenance is the responsibility of every owner. If you aren’t sure what you need to do or when, consult your owner’s manual. Keeping up on maintenance could not only prevent costly repairs, but it could prevent you from causing an accident.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of attorneys to arrange a case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your appointment and discover more about your rights.

aggressive driver yelling out of his windowYou’re driving down the road in your car or on your motorcycle. All of a sudden a car comes flying up behind you, laying on its horn and blowing by you in the passing lane. It cuts you off, forcing you to slow down dramatically, and hovers in front of you controlling the way you can drive. You have run into an aggressive driver.

Some people get behind the wheel and focus on the task at hand. They obey the rules of the road and they tend to themselves. Others get behind the wheel and pretend that they are on a racetrack, driving in a way that puts not only themselves but others in danger. Here is how to respond (or not respond) to an encounter with an aggressive driver.

1. Don’t Make Gestures

Let’s be honest: If you are the victim of an aggressive driver, you have every right to lose your cool. But don’t give in to your first impulses. Chances are that flashing your high beams, blaring your horn or making hand gestures is only going to inflame the other driver and make the situation worse.

2. Move Over

If you can safely get in a different lane of travel, do so. This is clearly easier to do if you are on a highway and not a city street. Signal with your blinker and move to another lane when it is safe. You don’t want to put anyone else at risk by cutting them off. Giving the aggressive driver plenty of room may get them to leave you alone.

3. Leave Room for Yourself

Aggressive drivers seem to be more agitated during rush hour when cars are sitting bumper-to-bumper on the highway. Most of us creep up to the car in front of us, leaving very little room should we need to maneuver. If you have been met with an aggressive driver, always plan to leave yourself as much space as is reasonably possible. Instead of creeping up on the car in front of you, leave yourself some room to move.

4. Don’t Look

Don’t make eye contact with the aggressive driver. Your goal is to diffuse the situation, and you don’t know what making eye contact will do. In many cases, it only serves to challenge the other driver and make matters worse.

5. Call 911

If you have done everything you can to avoid and deescalate the aggressive driver, your last option is to call 911. You will need to know your location and, hopefully, the license plate number of the offending driver. Let the police handle the situation like they are trained to do.

If you are involved in a vehicle collision in Charlotte or elsewhere in the Carolinas, reach out to our office. We will help you arrange a case evaluation and advise you of your rights. Call today for assistance and learn more about your legal options for compensation.

man rubbing his neck after a car accident; whiplashWe’ve seen it on television. We’ve watched it happen in the movies. Some of us have even experienced it in real life.

Two cars are involved in an accident. One driver wasn’t paying enough attention and rear-ends the vehicle ahead of them. The driver in the first car jumps out dramatically, holding their hand to the back of their neck and hollering at everyone nearby.

Scenes like this give whiplash a bad name. Yes, it is a real condition, but not a medical term. In fact, before automobiles were invented, the condition had a different name: railway spine. People involved in train accidents were the sufferers of the condition.

Despite what people may have come to believe, the condition is a very real one. If you’ve ever suffered whiplash, you know just how painful it can be. Here is some additional information about this condition and your rights.

How Whiplash is Caused

When the neck is suddenly extended due to a force, the ligaments, muscles and vertebrae in the neck and shoulders can be damaged. This type of injury is commonly found in rear-end collisions where the head is thrown forward and then back again in a fast or violent manner.

When your head moves back and forth so quickly, the spine can take the shape of an S. This can lead to injury in the muscles of the shoulders and back. When the trapezius muscle, in particular, is injured, the result can be constant and persistent pain.

3D rendering of the trapezius muscle
Trapezius muscle

Symptoms of Whiplash

If you were in an accident, you will typically know if your head was thrown forward and then back again. If this happened, you may experience whiplash. Then again, you may not. Your symptoms may not be immediate, but should appear within 24 hours. Those symptoms include:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Increasing pain in the neck
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in vision
  • Numbness in one or both arms
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Problems with memory

If you notice any one or more of these symptoms, it’s important that you go to the doctor, even if you visited one immediately after the accident. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may request diagnostic imaging to rule out any other conditions that could be contributing to your discomfort.

Signs of whiplash shouldn’t be ignored. While the condition itself may heal on its own or with home therapy, there could be other conditions present that are causing your symptoms.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys and arrange a case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options and the best next steps. Call today to schedule your consultation and begin the process of recovering what you deserve.

As much of the country braces for a cold and icy winter, it’s a good time for a reminder about driving through the rotten weather. Living in Charlotte means that you don’t have to deal with snow on the roads too often, but what if you’re traveling? Knowing how to avoid winter-weather car accidents can help keep you and your family safe. Here are the top causes of winter crashes and how you can avoid them.

1. Ice

Icy roads are incredibly dangerous, especially if you can’t see the ice. Black ice is that which coats the road very thinly, making it difficult to see until it’s too late. If you know that freezing rain is predicted or if it is extra cold when you get up in the morning, it’s a good idea to assume there will be ice on the road and behave accordingly.

Drive slowly and plan on taking a bit of extra time to get to your destination. Slow down slightly as you cross bridges and, if you encounter ice, take your foot off of the gas and coast over the patch. Don’t slam on your brakes and don’t accelerate. If you find yourself sliding, steer into the slide to regain control of your tires.

2. Poor Visibility

One of the first things you should do before winter weather hits is to make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is filled. If you need to add fluid, choose one that is rated for winter weather and has added deicer. These fluids are typically orange, pink or purple, making them discernible from the typical blue of washer fluid. While you’re at it, make sure your other fluid levels are where they’re supposed to be.

3. Tires

Bald tires and those that aren’t inflated properly are another leading cause of accidents in the winter. When you tires don’t have enough tread or when the tread isn’t meeting the road properly, you are putting yourself in danger. If you aren’t sure what to look for when it comes to your tires, ask a mechanic to take a look for you. If your tires are worn or, worse, bald, you should have them replaced before you have to drive through snow and over ice.

Cold weather driving isn’t something that people in every state are used to. As winter begins to grip a larger number of states each year, knowing how to drive in poor conditions is something that benefits everyone. While people up north may be more used to driving over snow-covered roads, people in the south may want to learn how to do it properly.

In many cases, winter-weather accidents can be avoided. If you happen to be involved in an accident in Charlotte that was due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and property damage. You shouldn’t be put into financial difficulty because of someone else. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Adults aren’t the only people who want to enjoy New Year’s Eve. Preteens and teenagers may have their own ideas about ringing in 2018. Instead of telling your child no when it comes to their going out, consider laying down some important ground rules for how they can spend New Year’s Eve without having to stay at home or being one of the few kids at a party for grown-ups.

1. Lay Down the Plan

Know exactly what your child will be doing, and with who and where, at least two days prior to the big night. Your child should know how they are going to get to the party, the address where they will be, the time they are leaving home and the time they will return.  Do not accept I don’t know as an answer to any of those questions.

2. Speak with the Parents

If your child will be partying at someone’s home this holiday, insist on speaking with the parents or guardians of the party host. You want to be confident that there will be no alcohol at the party, that the party is actually permitted to take place, and that there will be plenty of supervision present.

3. Make Sure You Can Be Reached

Your teen should know that they can call you if and when they need you. Stay available while your child is out.   If the party gets out of control, your teen should have no doubt that they can call you for a ride home. If that phone call comes, save your questions for the morning and just focus on getting them home safely.

4. Have Kids Check In

As embarrassing as it may be, let your child know that you will be calling at various times throughout their evening to check in on them. Let them know that if they don’t answer the phone, you will come looking for them. They may prefer that you weren’t calling, but you make the rules!

5. Host The Party

If you really want to keep your child safe, you can always host a party for the kids at your own home. You will have peace of mind and your kids and their friends will have a good time. If you are friendly with the parents of the teens, invite them as well. The kids can celebrate in the basement while the parents celebrate upstairs.

You don’t have to nix the New Year’s Eve party for your kids because you are afraid of the dangers lurking out there. Let them go, but make sure you lay down these ground rules. Know who they are going to be with and where they will be.  Know when to expect them to contact you next or arrive back at your home.  Reiterate over and over, no drinking and driving, no riding with someone that has been drinking, and don’t take rides or drinks from people that they do not know.

We understand how stressful accidents can be, especially if they involve a child or another loved one. Reach out to our team to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.  We have been helping injury victims in North Carolina for over 20 years.  Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.

man and woman on a road trip with the top downAre you preparing for holiday travel? If so, you aren’t alone. Thousands of people will be hitting the nation’s roadways at the end of this month as they head to the homes of friends and relatives. Here’s a surprising fact for you: Christmas is not the holiday during which you are most likely to be involved in a car accident.

While any holiday is more risky than other days of the year due to the sheer number of cars on the road, it’s not the most hazardous. That distinction goes to the Fourth of July. With that in mind, here are the six most dangerous holidays for road travel by the numbers.

1. Fourth of July

For some reason, drinking and driving seems to go hand-in-hand with Independence Day, making it the most dangerous holiday to be on the road. On average, there are over 500 fatalities on the road and almost 60,000 serious injuries reported every Fourth of July.

2. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone and hopefully you made it to your destination safely. In recent years, traffic-related deaths have been on the declined, but it is still considered dangerous. The number of accidents is thought to be due to fatigue and distracted driving.

3. New Year’s Day

Alcohol-fueled parties could be a reason that New Year’s Day is so dangerous. Consider that the day begins just after the clock strikes midnight and many people are heading home. On January 1st, more than half of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol.

4. Christmas

Christmas is a top holiday in America, but it is number four on the list of most dangerous holidays to be on the road. The majority of collisions occur between the afternoon of December 24th and Christmas evening. Those accidents decline when Christmas falls on a day during the week.

5. Labor Day

Labor Day is the official end to summer and that means parties and road trips. There is plenty of traffic on the road during what many spend as a three-day weekend. If you travel on Labor Day, even a short distance from home, keep your eyes focused on the road.

6. Memorial Day

Just as Labor Day is the end to summer, Memorial Day is its official kick off. According to some statistics, there are 32 percent more roadway fatalities on Memorial Day than on the three days prior combined. Many people are out welcoming summer, but just as many are on their way home from a weekend break.

No matter which time of year you are traveling, if you are injured in an auto accident in Charlotte, you have legal rights. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation. We understand what you and your family are going through and we are here for you. Call our office today and schedule your appointment. Let us advise you of your options and help you take the next steps.

You’ve been involved in a car accident. You are understandably stressed out and maybe even anxious. In the days that follow, you have a lot to deal with. The last thing you need is a phone call from the other party’s insurance adjuster, but it could very well happen.

One of the first questions people have when they get this phone call is whether or not they have to provide information. The short answer is “no.” There is nothing legally binding you to give the other person’s insurance company any information at all. So why do they call?

The Investigation

Most insurance companies will attempt to sort out liability when the police report has become available. To do this, they will speak with their own insured and often reach out to the other party involved (YOU). This is especially true when those involved in the accident and the witnesses who saw the whole thing happen give conflicting accounts. If a police report is unclear, the insurance company will certainly try to speak to additional witnesses or parties that may have additional information.  One of the ways that insurance companies are profitable is by being very good at investigating claims and looking for information that may help them pay little or nothing on a claim.

Let’s say that you were rear-ended by a vehicle. The police arrive and you give your side of the story. You were stopped in the turn lane with your signal on when the driver behind you crashed into your bumper. The other party tells the police that you were in the lane of travel and didn’t have your turn signal on. They also say that you stopped abruptly and they had no time to stop. No one else saw the accident. In this case, you can almost assuredly expect a phone call from an adjuster that is looking for information that they may try to use against you to deny your claim.

Your Insurance Company Versus The “Other” Company

When you are involved in an accident, you will want to cooperate as much as possible with your own insurance company. In fact, your cooperation may be required as outlined in your policy. You do not, on the other hand, have any obligation to speak with the other driver’s insurance adjuster. In most cases, it is in your best interest not to.

If you are called by an insurance adjuster that insures the other driver, politely decline to give them any information. Your next step would be to call an experienced car accident attorney. Keep in mind that anything you say to the adjuster could be used against you in their decision to pay out the claim or, worse, in court should you file a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have been involved in an accident in Charlotte, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here for you. We understand what you are going through, and we will use our knowledge and experience to fight for your rights. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. Let us review the details of your accident and help you make the best decisions moving forward. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.

DISCLAIMER: The listed settlements and client reviews/testimonials do not constitute a promise or guarantee of any particular result in any particular case, as every case is unique. Each case was handled on its own merit, and the outcome of any particular case cannot be predicted by a lawyers or law firms past results. If a recovery by settlement or trial is made, the client will be responsible for cost advanced in addition to attorney fees. Client remains responsible for costs, expenses and disbursements, including medical bills, within the scope of representation. The attorney’s contingency fee percentage will be computed prior to the deduction of expenses from the total recovery.