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damages you may receive after a car accidentIf you have been involved in a car crash, you may have someone recommend to you that you seek the services of an experienced car accident attorney who can help you with your case. The typical reason is that a non-lawyer may not be capable of assessing all of the types of damages / compensation that they may be able to recover from the other driver’s insurance company following their car accident.

Without knowledge of North Carolina car accident law, an individual may unknowingly accept a far lower settlement ask for less than they may be entitled to under the law. In fact some injured people may not even pursue an injury claim at all because they may not know that they can! Some people avoid fighting with the other driver’s insurance company over their settlement, believing that the amount of money that they have been offered by an insurance company is fair. Others hold tight to the feeling that they aren’t “the type of person” to sue someone. The truth of the matter is that insurance companies aren’t out for a car accident injury victim’s best interests and utilizing a car accident lawyer and the Court (if necessary) doesn’t make you anything other than a person that wants to protect their rights!

Working with North Carolina car accident lawyers can allow you to be informed of how much your case may be worth. Your lawyers can also assemble the facts and evidence necessary to prove your case and its legal value.

To help you get oriented as to how much your case and injury claim might be worth, take a look at the following categories of car accident damages available to North Carolina car accident victims.

Recovering Your Medical Expenses After a Car Accident in North Carolina

Medical expenses are among the most immediate and quantifiable damages victims can recover after their serious car accident. The average person understands that if someone else was responsible for causing the accident that injured them, they are eligible to recover their reasonable and necessary healthcare costs.

What they may not know is how to accurately and thoroughly document these expenses so that they can recover nearly every penny they spent on their own healthcare. Even if their own private medical insurance provided the initial coverage for their treatments, they still have the right to seek compensation for those costs.  (An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to tell you how your own private health insurance may affect your potential settlement – let them know about your health insurance when you speak to them!)

Additionally, a car accident victim may recover medical expenses, including:

  • Hospital fees
  • Emergency room charges
  • Bills from doctors’, private practices, and specialists
  • Prescription drugs and medication
  • Physical therapies and other therapies that are medically necessary
  • Incidental expenses necessary to receiving treatment, such as travel costs to and from your medical appointments.

A car accident settlement or award may include should certainly consider past related medical expenses, and it may attempt to predict all future medical expenses as well. For instance, a victim who will need multiple surgeries scheduled in the future may receive compensation in advance based on a projection of how much those surgeries may cost.

Recovering Loss of Earnings and Income After Your Accident

Injury victims will likely miss work and other income-earning opportunities. Since this outcome is the result of the accident, that lost income can potentially be recovered as part of an injury claim.

Officially, recovering lost income pertains to the loss of the victim’s time they could spend fulfilling their employment duties, the loss of their ability to perform ordinary work, and a reduced capacity to earn money in general.

Compensation for these losses will account for past, present, and future income potential. To project the possible lost future income, a jury is instructed to account for the injured party’s:

  • Current age
  • Their occupational duties, and how their ability to perform them was affected by the accident
  • Their earnings history, including the value of past wages or salaries
  • Their present or most recent earnings
  • The nature and extent of their employment
  • The loss of income potential from their personal business, if they have one
  • The expected duration it will take for the individual to heal from any temporary injuries
  • The potential impact on future earnings from any permanent loss of limb or loss of use of a bodily function

Physical Pain and Suffering

In cases of serious injury, car accident victims may be able to request a monetary amount intended to compensate them for the pain and suffering they experienced as a result of the car accident. This pain and suffering must be directly traced to the negligent actions of the defendant. Individuals wishing to add pain and suffering as part of their settlement will be expected to provide concrete evidence to support their claim. An attorney can often assist individuals with the process of documenting such evidence. This evidence can include information from a pain journal or a list of activities that are difficult or impossible because of the victim’s suffering.

Permanent Injury or Disability After Your Car Accident

Many car accident injuries are so severe as to cause the victim to permanently lose a limb partially or completely. They may also lose the full capacity of certain bodily functions, such as having an eyesight impairment as the result of retinal damage. Such damages may include the permanent scarring or disfigurement of a visible organ, even if the organ functions normally. Calculating the value of a lost limb is complex and North Carolina does not set forth specific guidelines.

Loss of Consortium, Loss of Society, and Diminished Life Expectancy

In instances where a major accident injury causes the victim to lose their ability to lead a normal life at home, they may be eligible to receive additional compensation. Such losses may include an inability to:

  • Perform household chores
  • Engage with children and loved ones in the same manner as before
  • Provide domestic services that help keep the family functioning
  • Have sexual relations with their spouse

In some rare instances, permanent damage to a vital organ may shorten the accident victim’s life measurably. They may be able to claim that loss of life as part of their general damages in the same vein as calculating lost future income or lost functioning of a limb.

Wrongful Death Car Accident Cases

In the event that an individual dies as a result of car accident injuries directly caused by someone’s negligent actions, the victim’s survivors and the representatives of their estate can file a wrongful death case in North Carolina.

A wrongful death claim will account for all medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and losses of a normal life as above. The final amount requested as compensation may also reflect what the individual may have been able to recover had they survived.

Punitive Damages

In cases of extreme “gross” negligence, malicious behavior, or behaviors exhibiting a lack of remorse for harmful actions, certain judges and juries may award additional compensation intended to punish the defendant. These awards are rare, but they are intended to add additional punishment to those who commit heinous acts as both a deterrent and a symbolic action of justice.

Punitive damages are awarded in only the most egregious of cases. Punitive damages are capped in almost every state and there are guidelines on who receives these damages after they have been awarded.

Recover Damages with Help from Our NC Car Accident Lawyers

The amount that a person may receive after an accident is based upon many factors. A judge will consider the amount of medical expenses the victim has already paid and how much they may have to pay in the future. The judge may also consider the time a victim is required to spend recuperating, whether the victim is able to return to work, and if the victim’s ability to enjoy life has been diminished.

If you have been hurt in an accident, reach out to Auger & Auger Law. An experienced member of injury team can review the details of your case at no cost to you and help you determine the type of damages that may you may be entitled to under the law.  You do not have to take the insurance company’s word for it, speak to a lawyer about your options and what you may be entitled to! (855) 971-1114 We answer our phones 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

download (70)A teen has been indicted by a jury on charges of driving while impaired and felony death on Tuesday.

According to court documents, David Engelmann, 18, of Hickory, was driving a Subaru Forester in August when he ran his vehicle off the road. Engleman overcorrected and flipped the small SUV.

Killed in the accident was Engleman’s high school classmate, Jay Brian Robertson II, 17, who was ejected from the vehicle’s open sunroof. Robertson died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Investigators with the Hickory Police Department indicated that Engleman’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was 0.09 per cent, which is over the legal limit of 0.08.

A grand jury declined to indict Engleman on the charge of felony death by vehicle in May.

The problem of underage drinking is one that affects communities everywhere in the country. While some may feel it is only natural for teens to want to test their limits while drinking before they are of legal age, teen drivers have less experience with both driving and alcohol so they often will misjudge their ability to drive after consuming alcohol.

Statistics have also shown that teen drivers tend to drive over the speed limit more often than more experienced drivers do. When the elements of speed, a teen driver’s inexperience on the road, and the use of alcohol are added together, the end result can often be an accident leaving people seriously injured or worse.

If you have experienced a loss or damage or have been injured due to a drunk driver, give the offices of Auger & Auger a call. We have years of experience in DUI cases and in recovering restitution for damages for our clients You and your loved ones deserve not only compensation for your injuries, but also to see that justice is served. We will help you decide your best course of action and we are here to help. Your initial consultation is confidential, free and without obligation to you. Contact us today.

1307593_mobile_phone_in_hand-thumb-225x300-6408712Distracted driving, or texting while behind the wheel, is exceedingly dangerous.  It only takes a few seconds of inattention for an accident can occur. That is exactly what happened when Jessica Sowell was arrested. She is currently facing the charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle, texting while driving, trafficking heroin as well as other related charges.

Investigators say that Sowell’s Nissan Altima crossed the center lane on Mount Holly Road and hit Casey Townsend’s GMC Yukon in a head-on collision just after 12:00 a.m.

Townsend was declared dead at the scene of the crash.

Sowell did admit to police officers that she had been using her cellphone at the time of the accident.  Neither alcohol nor speed played a factor in the fatal crash.

The statistics are clear.  According to a recent study, those drivers who use their cellphones or smart phones to text while they are driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision than those drivers who do not text and drive.  Texting behind the wheel is even more dangerous than those who drive under the influence of alcohol. At 55 miles per hour, it takes less than five seconds for a vehicle to ravel the length equal to that of a football field.  If someone has their eyes off the road for that distance, it’s a situation that can prove to be deadly.

When a driver has been texting and driving gets into an accident, it is very easy to prove by obtaining records from the driver’s cellphone or wireless provider.   If a person is found guilty of texting and driving, penalties can be as high as for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.  There is often jail or prison time, high fines and civil damages to compensate victims and their families.

If you or someone you love has been injured or has tragically lost their life in an accident involving texting while driving, give the offices of Auger and Auger a call.  Having solid legal counsel on your side to represent you is important.

 

download (14)A woman is now facing the charge of DUI manslaughter after driving under the influence while sending text messages to her boyfriend.

According to investigators, Mila Dago, aged 22 at the time of the crash on August 14, 2013, was behind the wheel of a rented Smart Car when she ran a red light at around 4:45 a.m., crashing into a truck driven by Benjamin Byrum, 51.

A passenger in Dago’s car, Irena Reinoso was killed in the crash.

Last week, prosecutors released new evidence in the case. The evidence included a string of text messages sent by Dago while she was driving, the last of which said, “Driving drunk woo” and “I’ll be dead thanks to you”. The text was sent just three minutes before the fatal crash that killed Reinoso.

Police reports indicate that two hours after the accident Dago had a blood alcohol level of .178 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Court records indicate that Dago entered a plea of not guilty to the charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, and two counts of DUI.

No matter what emotional hardships a person is going through, there is just no excuse for getting behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking. Texting while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is potentially an even more lethal combination.

No amount of money can replace a loved one.  At Auger & Auger, we are here to help you in any possible after the accident. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in personal injury and wrongful death claim cases. We are here to help. .

One of the most well-known auto clubs in the nation, AAA, released a report last week recommending new laws that ban the use of cell phones and other mobile devices by teenage drivers. This is not the same old ban on texting and driving, this is the prohibition of any use of a mobile device by a teenage driver. But why?

Previous estimates had teenage distracted driving as the cause of vehicle collisions in about 14% of incidents. The startling report by AAA raises this to 58%, and it is not an estimate. The data was collected by watching real videos of 1700 teenage drivers.

The 7-year study shows that teens do more than drive when they are behind the wheel. Teens were observed reading text messages, talking on their phones, updating social media statuses, and even performing personal hygiene. The fact that teens drive while distracted is not news – the fact that the statistics are so much higher than was once thought is.

When it comes to distracted drivers, teens do not always know that they are, indeed, distracted. In one instance, a teen on his cell phone, looked both ways and was still struck by a vehicle that he did not see. In other accidents, teens rear end drivers without ever braking.

AAA is not trying to get teenage drivers in trouble with the law or their parents. Instead, the group is aiming to make the roads safer for every driver. The group hopes that parents of teen drivers will set down their own rules when it comes to borrowing the car. Parents should also be very clear of the consequences their children will face if they are caught disobeying the rules.

The law should not be limited to teens some say. Distracted driving knows no age, although adults may practice better self-control when driving. Anyone getting behind the wheel is reminded that driving is all that one should be doing inside of a vehicle. There is no room for error or distraction when it comes to operating machinery that could be the cause of someone’s death.

If you choose to drive a car, put your cell phone down. Eat before you leave home or wait until you get to your destination. Put your makeup on and brush your hair before you grab your keys. Understand that there is nothing that cannot wait. When you drive with all of your attention focused on the task, you are less likely to be the cause of your own, or someone else, ruined day.

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Eli ChristmanTexting and driving do not mix under any circumstances.  Put prescription medication on top of that, and you have a recipe for car accidents and fatalities.  Belinda Hudspeth learned that the hard way, as she is now facing charges for allegedly hitting and killing Lavon Ramsey.

Hudspeth regrets her decision to text and drive.  She’s already faced two DWI convictions and one for drug trafficking.  She was sentenced to probation in those cases, but now she’s realizing the depth of her actions.  “I just want to apologize to the family,” Hudspeth said in court.

Ms. Hudspeth’s bond was set at $1 million.  The family was in tears as the bond was set.  “My momma didn’t mean to do it.  It was an accident,” said Angela Walker, Hudspeth’s daughter.

While these types of things do happen, and she didn’t hit Lavon Ramsey on purpose, the fact still remains that Ramsey is dead and Hudspeth is facing charges because she briefly stopped paying attention to the road to answer a text.  One has to ask if the text that she was sending was worth someone’s life.

Chuck Ramsey, the husband of the deceased, says that he forgives Hudspeth for answering the text.  “I feel for her and I know she didn’t do this and things happen,” Ramsey said.

The witnesses around don’t have the same opinions.  “I promise you if I get called into court for this, I will make sure I do my best to convict this woman of the maximum sentence she can possibly get,” says one witness, Brian Sawyer.

If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident, we encourage you to seek legal counsel.  We are trained to answer many of the questions that you have, and we will do our best to make sure that you get those answers and the justice that you deserve.

familymwrA back-over incident takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space. It is a common and mostly preventable mishap, but thousands of children every year are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them. Just like what happened to a 14-month toddler in Lee County.

According to S.C. Highway Patrol, little Jaylen was hit by a 1996 BMW driven by a 17-year-old female relative. This is more common than you might believe. The most common victims of back-over accidents are between the ages of 1 and 2, and are struck by a relative or parent.

As stated by KidsAndCars, a national group that tracks child deaths in motor vehicles, 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week in the U.S. 2 out of 50 die from their injuries. For that reason, drivers need to be aware of the “blind zone” that extends around the car when they back up.

One good lesson to remember: “Never move a motor vehicle until you make sure nothing is behind you.” You can always have one person exit the vehicle and another person to check what’s behind it. It is better to be cautious than regret later on.

If your beloved child has been a victim of a back-over caused by other people’s negligence, knowing your rights and acquiring legal protection will certainly help you get the compensation you deserve. Let an expert lawyer assist you with your case. Contact Auger & Auger today for a free consultation.

WonderlaneThey were heading out from their military base on their way to do their duty at the funeral of a WW2 veteran and former Army officer. However, several members of the Ft Bragg Honor Guard did not expect to encounter their own tragedy in the form of a logging truck coming down US 15-501 near Charlotte.

According to reports, serviceman Richard Horton, 22 was intent on his driving his van. The van had poor visibility from some angles, and Horton stated that he relied on his fellow passenger in the front seat to look for traffic. Unfortunately, the logging truck was missed. The logging truck which was estimated to have been going at 55 miles per hour struck the passenger side of the passenger van, crumpling it inward and rolling the vehicle with the 82nd Airborne Division Honor Guard members inside, causing it to slide over 70 feet down the road. They remained there, several of them trapped within the twisted steel for over 45 minutes until they could be freed by emergency responders

At least 5 members of the 10-person Honor Guard detail are considered to be in critical condition, two of whom had to be airlifted the University of North Carolina Health Care in Chapel Hill. Three other Honor Guard members were taken to Scotland Memorial Hospital. Richard Horton was charged with failure to yield right-of-way.

The driver of the tractor trailer, Donald George Stone, 42, also reported pain however was not hospitalized. He was not charged and faces no citations for the crash.

Another detail from the North Carolina National Guard was dispatched to serve as Honor Guard for the funeral while the rescue attempt was underway.

Car accidents are always traumatic and can be nerve-wracking. In the wake of these devastating incidents the last thing you need to worry about is trying to handle your own injury claims. The personal injury lawyers of Auger & Auger have over 20 years of experience of fighting aggressively for the rights of the injured. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, let our lawyers do the fighting for you.

USDAWhen a crash happens involving a tractor trailer, one of the things that officers look for is to see what cargo the truck was hauling. If it was hauling something dangerous, like fireworks or gasoline, hazmat crews may need to get involved so that the mess can get cleaned up. When hazardous chemicals get into the environment, the results can damage property and the health of people around them. This can open up haulers to lawsuits.

A relatively minor case happened a couple days ago in Charlotte. A crash happened on CSX Way with a tanker that was carrying ethanol. Ethanol is flammable, but not especially dangerous. However, hazmat crews still had to figure out how to remove the product after they discovered a small leak in the tanker.

Fortunately, this accident happened in an industrial area. Equipment for removing and storing the ethanol was probably very close by. However, if the chemical was a more dangerous one or if the accident was in a more public area then the carrier could have been facing the possibility of a lawsuit.

If you believe that your property or your health has been affected due to a chemical leak, you need to get experienced personal injury professionals on your side. The lawyers at Auger & Auger are ready to represent you. Call today to begin legal proceedings.

WSOC

Accidents can happen even on the best of days. They can seem senseless, leaving people with questions. How will they move on? How can they pay for the damage? Sometimes the damage is irreparable.

On what should have been a very happy day, two families now face a funeral just hours after a wedding in Georgia.  As reported in WSOC, a witness was driving when he saw the groom stumbling on the side of the road. He was covered in blood and his shirt was torn up.

The Georgia State Patrol was called and the groom was questioned. He and his bride had just left their wedding reception in a sports car. The car went off the road when he tried to swerve to avoid hitting a dog. The car rolled down an embankment. The bride was thrown out of the car and the car rolled right on top of her.

The groom is now recovering in a local hospital, but they police say that charges may be pressed depending on a blood test. If they find that the groom was drunk when he left the wedding reception, there will be even more tragedy added to this sad case.

The families might be justifiably angry, and file a wrongful death claim in their grief. It is okay to consult with a lawyer who will listen to your case compassionately and explain your legal options. Anytime you or a family member have been injured, it’s possible that you may be entitled to compensation. If you live in North Carolina, call the law offices of Auger & Auger for a free consultation about your injury claim.

The list of prior client settlement results and client reviews/testimonials, do not constitute a promise of any particular result in any particular case, as each and every case is unique. Each case was handled on its own merit, and the outcome of any case cannot be predicted by a lawyer or law firms past results.

If a recovery or settlement by trial is made, the client will be responsible for costs 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 percentage will be computed prior to the deduction of expenses from the total recovery.

The principal office for Auger & Auger Law Firm is located at 717 S. Torrence St., Suite 101, Charlotte, NC. The attorneys and staff of Auger & Auger Law Firm work and process all of the firm’s files at the principal office location in Charlotte, NC. Other office locations listed on our website are satellite offices that are not staffed daily. Satellite offices are operated for the convenience of our clients and who live outside of the Charlotte, NC metro area and are unable to meet with us at our principal office location. All meetings at our satellite offices must be made by appointment only. Phone numbers for satellite offices forward to our principle office location in Charlotte, NC.