Recently in Car Accidents Category

April 8, 2015

Golnick v. Callender - Proof of Injury Cause as Important as Crash Cause

In any injury case, establishing the negligence of the other party is often a key issue in obtaining compensation. But one cannot overlook the requirement to prove the injuries alleged were proximately caused by the defendant, or at least substantially worsened as a result of defendant's negligent actions.
This is especially important for plaintiff's who have pre-existing health problems or who have endured a subsequent injurious accident, as defendant will almost certainly argue against proximate cause.

That was the case in Golnick v. Callender, an injury lawsuit before the Nebraska Supreme Court. Here, defendant actually admitted negligence in causing a head-on collision with plaintiff's vehicle, though he denied the assertion that he had been texting when he crossed the center line to avoid stopped traffic ahead. However, defendant still prevailed in this case because plaintiff was unsuccessful in proving his injuries were proximately caused or substantially worsened as a result of this particular crash.

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March 6, 2015

Wadeer v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co. - Recovery of Damages for "Phantom Vehicle" Accident

Uninsured motorist coverage in North Carolina provides a way to recover damages sustained in an auto accident when the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance. (In cases where the driver does have insurance, but it's not enough to cover the damages, the type of coverage sought is underinsured motorist coverage.)
These policies do cover hit-and-run accidents, where one vehicle strikes another and the at-fault driver is never identified or located. However, "phantom" vehicle situations are tougher.

These are cases in which one driver causes another to leave the roadway, but there is never an actual impact and the at-fault driver does not stop. It is not necessary for the unidentified vehicle to make contact with yours in order to collect coverage. However, it's likely the insurance company will challenge your claim to coverage, particularly if there were no other witnesses to the incident.

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January 12, 2015

Powell v. Christopherson - $500k Car Accident Injury Verdict Affirmed

Seeking immediate medical attention right after a car accident is a smart thing to do not only for the benefit of ensuring your health, but also because it could preserve your personal injury claim.
Failure to at least get a check-up following a crash opens the door to a successful defense assertion that some other incident or condition is the cause of injury, as opposed to the crash. Injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents aren't always immediately apparent, so if they do crop up later, it's important to have as much documentation as possible.

This was shown recently in the North Carolina Court of Appeals case of Powell v. Christopherson, involving a distracted driver who blew through a red light and slammed into plaintiff's vehicle as she proceeded through an intersection.

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October 22, 2014

Christensen v. Alaska Sales - Early Head Injury Treatment Critical

Several years ago, a woman in rural Alaska struck two moose on a dark highway. She found herself disoriented, but she hadn't broken any bones. She had the capacity to call police and her husband. They noted a large mark in the middle of her forehead, but she shrugged it off, declining emergency treatment.
But in the days that followed, she began to experience dizzy spells and headaches. Her balance increasingly worsened, and she kept falling. Her short-term memory began to suffer. Her speech became disjointed. Her symptoms continued to worsen. After a week, she sought help from a doctor. She was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. The injury gave rise to a claim of seat belt defect in Christensen v. Alaska Sales & Service, Inc..

Latent head injuries are common, as the effects are not always immediately apparent. Early intervention can be key in reducing the damage. This is why it's critical for anyone who has suffered a head injury - whether in a car accident or sports injury or fall.

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August 28, 2014

Brooks v. Martin, et al. - Overcoming Governmental Immunity Defense

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a complaint brought by a woman seriously injured when a police officer negligently collided with her at an intersection.
While such action seems inherently unfair, it's an illustration of the principle of sovereign immunity, which can shield government entities and employees from legal responsibility for harm caused.

However, our Asheville personal injury attorneys recognize this protection is not without limit, and there are circumstances under which a person can successfully bring suit against the government or its workers. Such a case should not be pursued unless it has been carefully reviewed by an experienced injury lawyer.

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July 4, 2014

Injury Prevention for 4th of July Weekend

Fourth of July weekend is a time for family gatherings, beach parties, backyard pool parties, camping, and all-night festivities that commemorate our U.S. independence. While preparing your family for the big holiday weekend, remember to put safety first. Every year, thousands of Americans are injured in 4th of July accidents, including those involving outdoor barbecues, swimming, alcohol, or fireworks. North Carolina families can help to prevent injures by understanding the risks and being prepared.


Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys represent individuals and families who have been impacted by serious and life-threatening injuries. We are experienced in accident investigations and committed to raising safety awareness to prevent future injuries or wrongful death. Here are some tips to help prevent accidents or injury this 4th of July weekend.

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March 28, 2014

Tougher DUI Laws in South Carolina Closer to Passage

South Carolina has one of the highest rates of DUI deaths in the nation. In 2012, the last year for which figures are available, nearly 360 people were killed in South Carolina by drunk drivers. carcrash.jpg

To put that into perspective, there were 239 people aboard the missing Malaysian jet flight that has received so much attention of late. Meanwhile, a single alcohol-related fatality in South Carolina can cost upwards of $4.9 million.

Our personal injury attorneys in Anderson recognize it is in the spirit of reversing this trend that South Carolina lawmakers are pressing a measure called "Emma's Law," (S. 137) named after 6-year-old from Lexington County who was killed by a repeat OUI offender in January 2012. The intoxicated driver is now serving a nine-year prison sentence.

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March 6, 2014

Fighting Insurance Auto Companies Over Wrecks With "Excluded" Drivers

We all know there are drivers who take their chances behind the wheel without insurance.
In some cases, these individuals may be "excluded" drivers, or those who have been expressly named as not being listed on a household member's policy. People or insurance companies will list individuals as excluded for a host of reasons, ranging from a spouse who has a bad driving record to a teen whose presence on the policy would cause rates to spike.

Our Charlotte car accident attorneys know that auto insurance firms love these policies because it minimizes their risk. In theory, anyone you allow to drive your vehicle is considered a "permissive user" of that vehicle and as such, will be covered under the vehicle policy. However, if a vehicle owner allows an excluded driver to operate the vehicle and he or she is subsequently involved in a crash, the insurance company may be indemnified and both the driver and the car owner may be held personally liable.

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January 6, 2014

NTSB Report Highlights Dangers of Wrong-Way Collisions

Wrong-way traffic collisions involve collisions caused by one vehicle moving in a lane direction opposing the legal flow of traffic. In many of these collisions, drivers enter an on or off ramp from a divided highway, entering into dangerously fast traffic. For drivers who make the mistake of entering the wrong way, accidents can be severe resulting in serious injury and fatality. For other drivers who collide with a wrong-way vehicle, accidents can be equally catastrophic. In an attempt to better understand the cause of these accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board has initiated a study and published a report on the findings.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published the report on wrong way driving on exit and entrance ramps, not wrong-way accidents caused by a driver who crosses over the median. Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys are experienced in the investigation of serious car accidents and are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their loved ones after an accident. In addition to helping those whose lives have been impacted by an accident, we are also interested in shedding light on driving safety concerns in North and South Carolina and nationwide.

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January 4, 2014

Carolina Railroad Crossing Accidents a Forgotten Risk

Regardless of whether you live in the suburbs, a rural community or in the city, it is likely that you will cross railroad tracks with some frequency. You may not cross tracks in your every day commute, but most of us will be navigating over, under, and across railroad tracks, sometimes without even knowing it. Despite advances in technology and education to warn drivers of the potential danger of accidents, thousands of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists are killed every year by moving trains. This New Year, residents of North and South Carolina should consider the very dangerous nature of railroad crossings and follow the law and common sense to stay safe.

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If you have grown up in the vicinity of trains, you may already have an inherent understanding of how the system works and how to stay safe. Still, we should never take for granted the possibility that we are in danger near train tracks. Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys are experienced with representing victims of train accidents and other road collisions. In addition to helping victims recover compensation, we are committed to raising awareness to improve safety in communities throughout North and South Carolina.

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December 5, 2013

North Carolina Traffic Safety a Holiday Focus

Law enforcement significantly increases the number of DUI sobriety checkpoints during the holiday season. The increase in enforcement is linked directly to the increase in driving under the influence violations during the holiday season.


Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers know holidays are the most dangerous time of the year for drunk driving accidents. Responsible hosts and responsible celebrations can go a long way toward mitigating the risks.

The only holiday with more drunk driving deaths than Thanksgiving is New Year's Day/Eve when there is a 62 percent increase in violations. The reported increase in drunk-driving incidents is consistent with data from other organizations.

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October 25, 2013

Rubbernecking on Carolina Roads Causes Additional Traffic Accidents

According to a research at the University of Virginia traffic incidents cause delays in incident direction and also in the opposite direction. Traffic incidents and increased volume make the roadway more dangerous for all drivers.


Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys understand secondary accidents are a common threat, as motorists slow to make their way through an accident scene. In too many cases, distractions lead to additional injuries.

A lot of research has been conducted regarding the influence of a traffic incident on the flow of traffic in the incident direction. However, very little research has been conducted regarding the well-known phenomenon of rubbernecking and its effect on traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

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September 26, 2013

New Technology Liberates Disabled in the Great Outdoors

Throughout the Appalachians, and the North and South Carolina coasts, avid nature lovers know that there is much to be appreciated. Unfortunately, those who have suffered serious injury or disability are often left on the sidelines. A recent advancement in technology allows people with disabilities to enjoy outdoor activities including skiing, biking, and even white water rafting.

Suffering a permanent injury is devastating for victims as well as their families. Our Spartanburg injury attorneyss are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and helping them move forward after an accident. We take a proactive approach to ensure financial security and also stay abreast of new technologies and advancements that can improve the quality of life for victims.


According to a recent NPR report, innovators are exploring new technologies and the creative ways that invention can help victims of disability enjoy the great outdoors. The equipment started with a simple idea, using plywood board with lawn chairs to build a replica of a seat for a passenger in a wheelchair. Though the contraption is simple, it allows individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries or those who cannot sit upright the ability to go whitewater rafting. The company also offers skis that run for $3,000 a set.

The equipment is high-performance and will be used in the Paralympics. The equipment is also delicately constructed to offer lightweight shock absorbers and suspension systems that have changed the way that spinal cord injury victims can mountain bike. In many cases, these are able-bodied individuals who just need the right equipment to perform the activities they once enjoyed.

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September 25, 2013

Harvest Season and Farm Equipment Collisions in the Carolinas

Farming is a notoriously dangerous industry with significant risks for workers who handle heavy machinery and equipment. Through the busy harvest season, workers will be at even greater risk for accidents and injuries related to farm equipment. In addition, motorists sharing the road with farm equipment could face severe accidents and injuries. According to target="_blank"> recent publications, there are a number of characteristics of crashes involving farm equipment that increase the potential for injury and accidental death.


Nationwide, farmers will be gearing up for the harvest season and using heavy equipment for cultivating the land and transporting goods. Drivers, especially in rural farming communities, should be wary of farming equipment to prevent accidents and injuries. Our Spartanburg accident attorneys are dedicated to working to keep the communities throughout North and South Carolina safe.

A recent report published by the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa, indicates that crash fatality and injury rates are much higher on rural roadways than other roadway types. We have discussed this phenomenon in other posts, attributing the dangers of rural driving to high speeds, reduced vision, and lack of signage. New reports indicate that these accidents could also be related to slow-moving traffic, including collisions involving slow-moving farm vehicles and equipment. The study focuses on understanding the characteristics of accidents involving farm vehicles and equipment.

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June 23, 2013

Doctors are Waiting Too Long to Talk to Elderly Patients about Driving Dangers

Our Spartanburg injury lawyers know that senior citizens generally outlive their ability to drive safely by at least six years according to most studies. This means that at some point in the lives of most senior citizens, there comes a time when the keys need to be put down and the senior needs to stop driving. 673558_sign_1.jpg

Unfortunately, many seniors are unaware of exactly when they should give up on getting behind the wheel. Seniors may depend upon family members or upon doctors to have a discussion about driving safety but a recent study shows that clinicians are waiting too long to discuss senior driving risks.

Doctors Shouldn't Wait to Discuss Senior Driving

According to a small study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, clinicians and not elderly patients were often the first ones to start the conversation about safe senior driving. However, reported that healthcare providers tended to wait for "red flags" before bringing up the subject of senior driving dangers.

When doctors and healthcare providers did bring up the issue, they also reported that the conversations with the senior were usually unpleasant. For many seniors, driving is seen as a link to independence and freedom. A discussion about giving up that freedom is not well received, which may be why doctors tend to wait.

Despite the fact that seniors often do not like to discuss the risks of driving, however, researchers stress that it is very important for doctors to begin the discussion before red flags arise. Waiting for red flags, which can include an accident or serious health problems, could mean that the senior is driving for months or even years before the doctor notices a problem even though it really is no longer safe to drive. If a doctor waits for an accident to happen, then people could get hurt simply because someone drove for too long after his mental or physical health was impaired.

Instead of waiting until the doctor thinks the problem has become a serious one, researchers advise that clinicians and healthcare providers begin having conversations with seniors as soon as they turn 65. The same study showed that seniors don't mind regular questioning about driving, and these questions can give doctors some insight on when a senior might be beginning to struggle. Furthermore, asking questions of the senior and establishing a line of communication about driving dangers can make it easier to have the inevitable conversation when the time arises that driving no longer is safe.

This issue of talking to seniors about the dangers of driving beyond their prime has become a very urgent one. In the United States, there are 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every single day. The aging of the driving population could significantly increase the risk of accidents unless seniors stop driving before it becomes dangerous for them to do so. Doctors and other healthcare providers have an important role to play in making that happen.

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