Contact the Law Office of James Scott Farrin

1-866-900-7078

What to Do After an Accident (4 Easy Steps)

You’ve been in an accident.

What should you do next?

Accidents often have short-term effects (ex. missing work) and long-term effects (ex. ongoing medical care). If the accident wasn’t your fault, an insurance company should compensate you for these consequences, but you need to take steps to protect your rights.

Below are 4 steps that may help, but click here if you want to contact a NC car accident lawyer right now, or call us at 1-866-900-7078. Your initial case evaluation is free.

Woman hurt neck in car accident

1)      Medical Care – Be Thorough With Your Doctor

It’s natural to feel scared after an accident – especially if you’ve experienced serious bodily damage. While it may be difficult to focus on the minor injuries, reporting every scratch, cut, and ache to your doctor will make sure every injury is documented and help ensure that your rights are protected.

Warning: Not reporting an injury right away could lead to serious complications in your case.

For example: let’s say you have a broken leg and a sore shoulder after an accident. You know that soreness after an accident is somewhat normal, so you don’t mention the shoulder to your doctor. However, weeks later, it’s just getting worse. You find out it’s a torn rotator cuff and you need surgery.

But when you send the surgery bill to your insurance company, they balk. Since you didn’t report the injury right away, they argue that it wasn’t a result of the accident and say that they won’t pay it. (If this happens, please contact a NC car crash attorney right away).

Reporting every injury you see or feel is essential to try to make sure that you do not end up paying the price for someone else’s negligence.

It is also important to get consistent treatment for all of your injuries until they are fully healed. Frequent visits allow the doctor and insurance company to have a detailed history of your resulting medical problems and expenses.


2) Collect and Save Evidence From Day One

After years of experience, we can say that you never know what shred of evidence can end up supporting your claim.

Photos, clothing, paper, and other seemingly mundane materials could be important to building your case. The best rule is to just keep everything.  If in doubt, ask your attorney.

For example: one of the most important pieces of evidence could be the clothes you wore on the day of the accident – particularly if you were bleeding or thrown from the vehicle. Therefore, it is important to keep them and not to wash them in order to preserve their integrity.

Keep a record of all medical appointments, examination records, bills, and pictures of injuries. Be meticulous about how you manage all this material. With respect to your car, have someone take and keep pictures of vehicle damage, any other property damage, skid marks, and/or street signs. Keep witnesses’ names and telephone numbers. Record the weather on the day of the accident. All of this information could eventually play an important role in building your case.

As soon as you’re able, write down everything you can remember about what happened — or dictate the details to a loved one. Thorough documentation is incredibly important!


3) Keep an Accident Journal

One of the best ways to keep a record of everything is to start an accident journal. These journals can contain whatever information you find relevant, but most importantly they become a personal timeline of your experience that you can share with your attorney to help build a stronger case. Additionally, since these cases can sometimes last for years, starting a journal immediately means you will have something to look back on to refresh your recollection of how you were feeling shortly after the accident, when you are questioned about it.

What to include in your accident journal:

  • Name/contact information of anyone you speak to regarding your case (police officers, insurance adjustors, doctors, etc.)
  • When you spoke to them
  • Notes of your conversations and anything you think could be relevant


Bonus tip #1 (speaking with your insurance agent): Although we strongly recommend you speak with an attorney before talking with an insurance agent, if you find yourself in a position where you have to speak with them, this video may help you prepare.


4) Get a Professional Opinion – At No Cost

We’ve been doing this for many years. We’ve seen how insurance companies might seem sweet and accommodating up front, but as the bills add up, they may not be as accommodating as they were in the beginning. You should know:

It is very likely that an insurance company – whether the at-fault driver’s or your own – may offer to pay you far less than what you may deserve for your injuries and damages. Don’t sign anything or agree to a settlement without an attorney on your side reviewing the offer to ensure you aren’t losing rights, compensation or benefits.

Many personal injury attorneys will review your claim for free.

Bonus tip #2 (hiring an attorney): If you think you may want an attorney, hire one early. If they work on contingency, it won’t cost you any more than it would if you waited and they can help keep you from making inadvertent mistakes that may hurt your case.

Secondly, when you choose an attorney, we recommend you find one who has successfully represented people in car crashes like yours in court – just in case you need to take your case that far, and so the insurance company knows they’re willing to go there.



If you want the opinion or advice of an experienced NC car accident lawyer, please call us at 1-866-900-7078.  We’ll try to answer any questions you have, and there is no obligation to hire us afterward.

25 Things to Do After You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

A lot is at stake after an accident. As such, there’s a lot to do if you want to protect yourself. We’ve put together a quick list to get you started, but it is by no means comprehensive.

A NC car accident attorney may be able to help with many of these items.

  1. Gather information from multiple sources – names, numbers, statements, records of everyone on the scene, especially driver, police officers, witnesses, EMT personnel, if you can. Get the other driver’s insurance information.
  2. Deal with the insurance adjuster, who will ask questions about the accident and your injuries. He/she may insist on a statement. Make sure you know what to say and what not to say
  3. Get medical attention for any injuries and symptoms. Go to all appointments. Follow doctors’ orders.
  4. Figure out who is paying for your treatment, or will be expected to.
  5. Be aware of liens the hospital/medical provider may immediately ask you to sign if you don’t have health insurance.
  6. Obtain, keep track of all medical records – diagnoses, tests, bills – physicians, hospitals, clinics, ER and EMT.
  7. Use your health insurance for all its coverages. Handle all those details carefully and promptly. Keep all records.
  8. Take photos of the scene right at the time of accident and after. Take photos of all vehicles involved, especially your own, while they are at the scene. Photograph skid marks.
  9. Obtain the police report.
  10. Find out all the details of your auto insurance policies. Everything. Read the policy’s “summary booklet.”
  11. Find out all the details of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
  12. Determine if uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is going to be a factor
  13. Research whether you can utilize another family/household member’s policy.
  14. If you have to take time off from work due to injury – or you lose your job, keep track of all records and lost wages dealing with employment that are given to you or sent by employer. Handle any possible appeals of the employer’s decision to terminate.
  15. Save all evidence in and around your car at the scene…pieces of your car or theirs.
  16. Check to see if MedPay is available.
  17. Document & copy all reimbursements received from insurance company for any expense.
  18. Where is your car? Who’s paying for storage? Would your collision coverage pay for that after it leaves a tow lot?
  19. Keep a journal – on everything insurance company, doctors, police officers, witnesses say. Track your healing progress (including how you are feeling) or lack of progress in writing and in periodic photos, if injuries are visible. Record what you do related to the accident.
  20. Get the car independently appraised. If you get repairs, have damage/problems/repairs documented by mechanic.
  21. Keep a log of your driving or other expenses to get to and from doctors.
  22. Have you made arrangements with the appropriate parties to make sure your rent or mortgage is paid?
  23. Prepare for your own formal negotiations with the insurance company, if you feel they give you the opportunity. The insurance company is interested in keeping its costs down. Know all the traps you may face.
  24. Make sure you fully understand all of the legal/financial aspects of any settlement offer, for the short and long term.
  25. Assess whether a given settlement offer accounts for your future medical needs.

And these are just 25 actions you may need to take after an accident – there could be dozens more items to get done

For a free review of your case, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078. Or click here to speak with a live representative.

GM Ignition Switch Case Leads to Alarming Questions, Concerns for Car Owners

2.6 million GM cars have been recalled due to risks caused by potentially defective parts.

Media reports say that GM’s own statements point to deaths – possibly as many as 13 – apparently associated with these defects in the ignition switch.

Some surviving family members of people who have died in crashes involving some of the recalled models have already filed legal cases against GM for damages and losses. The number of those lawsuits has been growing in recent weeks.

Your Questions, Our Answers:

Why was there a recall of 2.6 Million GM cars, which included all years of the following models?

  • Chevrolet Cobalt
  • Saturn Ion
  • Pontiac G5
  • Chevrolet HHR
  • Pontiac Solstice
  • Saturn Sky

After what was reportedly years of knowledge about problems with ignition switches that could move from “run” to “accessory mode” and force a car to stall, deactivate airbags and sometimes lose its ability to be controlled, GM decided to issue a recall for 2.6 million vehicles. In a recall, the car manufacturer pays for the cost of replacing or repairing a potentially defective part when a car owner brings the vehicle to a dealer’s service center.

One study of federal safety records commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety and reported on in the New York Times showed more than 300 people have died in accidents involving airbag failures in the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Saturn Ion that may be tied to the ignition switch defect.

What if someone in your family died or was injured in a crash you think may involve these defective ignition switches? What can you do now?

The best advice is to contact an experienced product liability attorney right away. Among many other things, an experienced lawyer can try to help determine if there are records on you or your loved one’s accident that you did not know existed – those records could point to the cause.

If you or your loved one were wronged, you have a right to seek justice.

Automakers are required to keep certain records of serious crashes, complaints, calls and lawsuits. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains extensive records on serious accidents, as well, and is responsible for determining when the public may be at undue risk because of a dangerous or deadly pattern of accidents in a given car model or models.

This is also another reminder why you should consult an attorney after any accident, especially a serious one, in part so you may have a better chance of a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash.

The more you know at the time of a terrible car accident, the better your chances of a full and fair recovery of your losses.

News stories seem to indicate GM knew years ago of these problems. Why didn’t the company do more to let the public know? How could this affect you?

This a hard question to answer, and it may never be answered. However, in any series of consumer safety events like these, news reporting and new outside investigations can potentially demonstrate acts on the part of a manufacturer to downplay safety issues. If true, that kind of information could be vital in a legal case.

The GM defective ignition switch stories are rushing to the forefront. It is time now to seek legal guidance about how best to handle a possible lawsuit against GM and possibly some of its suppliers.

Timing is always important. More delay could hurt a potential case.

Are lawsuits being filed against GM already?

Yes. In fact, GM has reportedly already settled a number of cases involving deaths in accidents involving some of the car models under recall.

If you feel you may have a wrongful death or serious injury claim against GM involving accidents in the recalled Cobalt, Ion, HHR, Solstice, Sky, & G5 vehicles, the time to look into a potential case is right now.

Seek out experienced legal help so that, if the facts support a claim, you can try to make your case the strongest it can be. If a tragic accident didn’t have to happen, and a defect caused it, the truth must come out.

If you or a loved one has had one of these recalled vehicles and been seriously injured or killed in a crash, contact us today. At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we will evaluate your case for free and with no obligation. Just call us at 1-866-900-7078 today.

Will the New Rule to Prevent Truck Accident Injuries Be Ignored?

All car accidents can be devastating. But when one of the vehicles in the accident weighs 40 tons (average weight of a semi-truck), the chance for serious injury goes through the roof.

Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a study that supports their new “hours-of-service” rule, aimed at cutting down the number of drowsy truckers. According to the findings, the new rule may prevent 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries, and save 19 lives each year.

But there’s a problem the trucking industry faces that may hamper this progress – driver shortage, which could result in some ignoring the new rule or putting more inexperienced drivers on the road.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, click here to contact a NC truck accident lawyer.


Truck Accident Statistics in NC and Nationwide

In 2012, truck accident statistics rose across the nation. In North Carolina the number of fatalities from truck accidents rose by 30%.

Nationwide, 3,921 people were killed in truck accidents that year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  This was a 4% increase from 2011.  The number of injuries increased even more – 18% – from 88,000 injuries in 2011 to 104,000 truck accident injuries in 2012.

It’s worth noting that other parties often suffer the worst damages. According to the NHTSA, only 18% of those killed in truck accidents were the truck drivers. 73% were occupants of other vehicles and 10% were non-occupants (such as pedestrians).

New Hours-Of-Service Rule for Trucking Companies

In July 2013, the FMCSA enacted their new “hours-of-service” rule, imposing tighter limits on how long truckers could drive without a break. The new rule:

  • Decreases the maximum average work week hours from 82 to 70.
  • Allows drivers to resume after 70 hours, only if they have rested for 34 consecutive hours, “including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most – from 1-5 a.m.”
  • Requires drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
  • Retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.

The study released earlier this year specifically mentions that drivers who took a 34-hour restart – getting two nights of rest instead of just one – were more focused, less sleepy, and showed less lane deviation.

It was one of the largest real-world studies ever conducted with commercial motor vehicle drivers, according to the FMSCA.

Truck Driver Shortages Creates Safety Concerns

In North Carolina, truckers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive large trucks and tractor-trailers. It is generally customary for companies to also require up to a year or two of driving experience.

Unfortunately, trucking companies are having serious problems finding enough people to do transport jobs. A shortage of qualified drivers was described as the third most critical issue facing the trucking industry in 2013.

Faced with a limited talent pool and too few truckers willing to do the job, some employers may be tempted to pressure current workers to drive more than they should or lower their standards and hire drivers who may not have as much experience.

The trend of increasing truck accidents could thus continue, with motorists paying the price with their health or their lives.

NC Truck Accident Lawyers

If a truck driver causes a collision because he or she is drowsy, inexperienced or negligent in general, both the driver and the trucking company can be held legally liable.

Typically there are insurance policies to cover this sort of negligence, but the insurance companies can be very aggressive in their defense and evidence can disappear very quickly in our experience.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or visit www.farrin.com right now for a free case evaluation.

What to Do After a Car Accident – These 10 Resources May Help

Even “minor” car accidents are rarely simple.

And if you were injured in the accident, it may be even more important to get all the facts about how to proceed.

We’ve put together some of the basic resources to help you understand some of the issues you may face, but each case is unique, and we strongly recommend that you contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer.

Here are 10 resources you may want to look at:

  1. Our website – There you’ll find an immediate way to contact one of our staff LIVE and arrange for a free case evaluation. Links to what we do, information about car accidents and what to expect, and what steps to take and when. Includes helpful videos answering frequently asked questions.
  2. The Property Damage Booklet: a quick, helpful guide with answers to frequently asked questions about property damage to your vehicle and what you should do about it.
  3. Self-help booklets:
    Inside Information: Insurance Companies May Not Want You To Know

    After a Crash: Don’t Make These Two Mistakes  

  4. Our YouTube page, with videos you really should see.
  5. Case results that have made a big difference in clients’ lives.
  6. Video:  What is the first thing I should do if I’ve been in an auto accident?
  7. Video: Do you really need an attorney after an accident?
  8. Video: What you should look for in a personal injury attorney.
  9. Video: I was in an auto accident. Will I have to go to court to settle my case?
  10. Video: Are laws different for a personal injury claim when a child is injured?

When you get hurt in an accident – get help.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or at click here to send us a message.

Was Your Child in a Car Accident? 3 Steps You May Need to Take

It’s especially heartbreaking when children are the victims of another’s carelessness.

In addition to the steps you should typically take after an accident, there are a few extra precautions you probably should take if your child has been involved in an accident:

1)      See Doctors Who Specialize in Working With Children

Children often don’t have the experiences, bodily awareness, or sometimes even verbal ability, to tell you what hurts and how the accident may have affected them.

Even if the accident was minor, it’s always a good idea to have your child checked out by a doctor who specializes in children’s care, like a pediatrician. Some serious injuries, such as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), may not have visible symptoms.

Also, children may internalize the trauma of an accident, so it is generally a good practice to have them undergo some sort of psychological evaluation – even if it’s just talking with a school counselor.

Any time that you have to take off of work to care for your child should be covered by the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, but be sure to document your time and keep all paperwork related to your child’s medical care and insurance claim.


2) You May Need to Replace Your Child Safety Seat(s)

The force of an accident can compromise the safety of your child’s car seat. If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions published by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association, you may need to replace your child’s safety seat:

  • Was the vehicle unable to be driven away from the crash site?
  • Was vehicle door nearest the safety seat damaged?
  • Were any of the other vehicle occupants injured?
  • Did the air bags (if present) deploy?
  • Is there any visible damage to the safety seat?

The at-fault insurance company should help you pay for new safety seats, if necessary.

But do NOT dispose of your old car seat. Keep it, along with the child’s unwashed clothing and any other damaged items, as these may be useful evidence later on.



3) Try to Make Sure the Insurance Company Takes Your Child’s Injuries Seriously

In accidents involving children, insurance companies may have a tendency to undervalue the “losses” and damages to the child.

And keep in mind insurance agents are not paid to look out for your best interests, no matter how helpful or friendly they may seem. Anything you say can be used against you later.

Since so much is at stake when a child is injured, it’s generally a good idea to have an attorney review your case before you settle, sign anything, give a recorded statement, or even just talk to the insurance company.

Many personal injury attorneys will do this sort of review for free.

Afterwards, if you decide to hire a lawyer, he or she may be able to help you build a stronger case by contacting witnesses, gathering physical evidence or hiring experts to reconstruct the accident and help you try to make sure your child’s needs (both immediate and future needs) are accounted for– this is especially important if your child’s injuries were significant.


We’re not just attorneys. We’re mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles.

Helping to protect innocent people (like your child) is why our firm exists. If you have any questions about what may be best for your child, we want to help. Please call us at 1-866-900-7078.

Parents Can Reduce Teen Crash Risk by 50% – Just By Getting Involved

In 2012 alone, teen drivers in North Carolina crashed more than 40,000 times – resulting in 9,000 injuries and 71 deaths (according to the NC DMV).

That is a lot of car accidents.

But what if half of those accidents could be prevented?

According to a recent study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, all it may take is a little more instruction from parents.

The study reported that teens were half as likely to crash and 71% less likely to drink and drive if their parents helped teach them how to drive.

In addition, teens were two times more likely to wear their seat belt and 30% less likely to use a cell phone while driving. North Carolina is taking these statistics seriously and unveiled a new safety campaign aimed at getting parents more involved.

NC’s “Parent’s Supervised Driving Program”

Fox 8 reported in December that the North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles launched the safety campaign with a goal of boosting the amount and quality of training teen drivers receive from their parents.

The campaign, called the “Parent’s Supervised Driving Program,” encourages parents to go beyond the required 72 hours of supervised driving time and offers a number of important tips, advice, and other supportive materials for parents who are taking their teens on the road for driving lessons.

Under the Parent’s Supervised Driving Program campaign, teen drivers will be given a written curriculum for their parents when they obtain their learner’s permit. Fox 8 said that this curriculum contains helpful information for parents to make the most of their supervised time together, such as when and where they should take their teens driving.

You can even download their “RoadReady” app that tracks distance traveled, road types, and road conditions against each state’s specific driving requirements.

The campaign has been rolled out in several other states and operates entirely off of corporate sponsors.

Parents Need to Get Involved

Despite the evidence illustrating how much teen drivers can benefit from increased supervision while learning how to drive, the Parent’s Supervised Driving Program found that only 4% of parents used a resource while teaching their child how to drive and that parents often stop the supervised driving process early or overestimate the time they have spent supervising their teen.

It’s clear that increased parental supervision can go a long way toward preventing accidents, and we encourage all parents to take a more active role in training their teens how to drive. You can do your part to make North Carolina roads safe for everyone.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact a car accident lawyer in North Carolina today. At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we’ll be happy to evaluate your case for free. Just call us at 1-866-900-7078 today.

6 Ways to Keep Your Teenage Drivers Safe During the Holidays

You’re driving along, enjoying all the beautiful holiday decorations, when suddenly a van pulls out in front of you. You swerve hard and narrowly miss hitting it – you look back and see a distracted Christmas shopper, clearly frazzled, trying to get all her holiday errands done in time.

You continue on your way and stop at a stoplight. As you’re sitting there, you notice a car in your rearview mirror. He’s not slowing. You honk and see his head snap up just in time to come to a screeching halt just inches from your bumper – it’s a college student texting mom that he is on his way home.

The light turns green. You’re just about to go, when a car whizzes by – the driver is clearly inebriated (coming from a holiday party) and didn’t even notice that the light was red.

The roads can be dangerous during the holidays and imagine if you’re a less-experienced teenage driver. Do you think you could have avoided all of these potential hazards? Maybe not.

Holiday Accident Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, it’s estimated that more than 700 people will be injured or killed nationwide in drunk driving accidents alone –  that’s two to three times higher than the rate for rest of the year, to say nothing of the other types of accidents, like distracted or drowsy driving.

According to a report in WBTW.com, 15 people died last year in North Carolina car accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday alone.

Our car accident lawyers in North Carolina know that this time of year is particularly dangerous for young people, who lack overall driving experience and may make reckless decisions.

Car wrecks are the number one killer of teens across the country, claiming over 3,000 lives each year.  The combination of increased traffic, along with distracted and drunk drivers, can be a deadly mix – especially when the driver is inexperienced behind the wheel.

6 Safety Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers in North Carolina

The Traffic Safety Store recently highlighted a number of steps parents can take to reinforce and promote safe driving habits for their teenagers:

  1. Communicate openly with teenage drivers about expectations and obligations. One good way to start this conversation is to suggest a parent-teen driving agreement that clearly states your expectations for your teenager’s driving habits and even his/her responsibilities as they relate to the vehicle.
  2. Set a good example for your teen driver. Do you drive the speed limit, wear your seatbelt, and avoid dangerous behaviors (such as texting and driving)? Teens who see their parents engage in dangerous or reckless behavior behind-the-wheel may be more likely to engage in such behaviors themselves.
  3. Know what risks teens face. Joyriding, texting and driving, not wearing seatbelts, and drinking and driving can all be dangerous behaviors your teen could engage in. Parents should be aware of these (and other) dangers and make rules in order to prevent them. During the holidays, alcohol may be more accessible, so keep an eye on your teen.
  4. Drive with your kids for longer than required. Although North Carolina, like many other states, has a graduated licensing program, it can never hurt to spend more time with your teen while he or she is learning to drive. Studies show it can take as many as 1,500 miles of driving in all conditions before a teen has enough experience to be considered a competent – and safe – driver.
  5. Monitor your teen. You can install in-car surveillance cameras or use apps that track speed, swerves, and other dangerous behaviors. Earlier this year, USA Today published this list of devices to monitor teenage drivers.
  6. Enroll in an education course with your kids. Driver education programs exist that can be really helpful in reminding both teen drivers – and their parents – how to stay safe on North Carolina roadways.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact a car accident lawyer in North Carolina today. At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we’ll be happy to evaluate your case for free.

Just call us at 1-866-900-7078 today.

Texting + Walking in NC – You Could Get Hurt (And Be Liable)


Remember this video of the woman who fell into a fountain while texting that went viral a couple of years ago?

Although humorous, in interviews after the video became popular, she later reminded viewers about the seriousness of texting and walking, asking: what if that fountain had been a bus?

But despite her warnings, texting and walking has become a real problem with devastating consequences.

Texting While Walking Accidents

A study by Ohio State University earlier this year reported that the number of pedestrians injured because they were distracted by using their phone while walking has more than doubled since 2005.

Graph of Pedestrians Distracted by Cell Phones

Courtesy of Ohio State University

Further, they report that the researchers believe the actual number of injured pedestrians is much higher due to many not seeking treatment in an emergency room or not reporting the involvement of a cell phone in the accident.

“If current trends continue, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.

Efforts to Stop Texting and Walking Accidents in NC

Last year a New Jersey town actually banned texting while walking in response to several fatal pedestrian accidents and now North Carolina has decided it’s also time to take action.

According to WFMY News, one of Watch for Me NC campaign’s latest initiatives has been focusing on this very problem – encouraging pedestrians to keep their eyes on the road, not on their cell phone screen.

“It’s something we see all the time. It’s very common, see people walking with their heads down texting….not paying attention to their surroundings,” said Officer Brad Smith with UNCG Police in the WFMY story.

He went on to say that the number of distracted pedestrians, combined with the number of distracted drivers, makes for many very dangerous situations.

Texting and Walking Could Be “Contributory Negligence” in NC

In North Carolina, we have what is called “contributory negligence” which basically means that if you’re found to have contributed to the accident in any way, the other party (or their insurance company) may not have to pay for your injuries or property damage – even if they were “more” at fault.

In our experience, this means if you were distracted by a cell phone at the time of an accident, an insurance company may try to use that against you to avoid paying your medical bills or other damages.

However, the state of North Carolina does allow for some exceptions to the contributory negligence rule. If you may have contributed to your accident in some way, we highly recommend that you contact a pedestrian lawyer in NC.

NC Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

The injuries from a pedestrian accident can be serious and long-lasting. If you or a loved one were hit by a car, you should contact a North Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer right away.

A NC pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help you get the medical treatments you need now and provisions for future medical needs.

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has helped thousands of residents in North Carolina to get the benefits they needed and we may be able to help you. Give us a call for a free case evaluation today – 1-866-900-7078.

Hit by a car in Raleigh or Charlotte? You’re not alone…

Did you know that the Raleigh-Cary and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord areas rank among the most dangerous pedestrian areas in the United States?

The Transportation for America organization identified the top 52 most dangerous metropolitan areas and ranked them in order by pedestrian fatality rate.

Raleigh-Cary ranked 13th.

Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord ranked 17th.

Each year more than 2,400 pedestrians and 960 bicyclists are hit by cars in North Carolina. 400 of those pedestrians and 180 of those cyclists are in the Triangle area alone.

As NC pedestrian lawyers committed to helping residents that are hit by cars in Raleigh, Charlotte and throughout the state, this troubles us deeply.


NCDOT’s actions to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths
In response to the growing numbers of pedestrian and bicycling fatalities, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) launched a campaign called “Watch for Me NC.”

Watch for Me NC is a joint effort with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NCSU, area universities, and local municipalities that’s dedicated to inform drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists how they can be safer on the road.

Police are also “cracking down” on violations relating to biking and pedestrian safety

Currently the campaign is being piloted in several Triangle communities: Apex, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh and Wake Forest, but organizers hope to make it a statewide effort.


Tips for Safer Sidewalks
Want to stay a little safer while walking, running or bicycling? Here are a few safety tips from the www.watchformenc.org site that may help. Pass them along to your loved ones – it could save their lives.

Safety Tips For Pedestrians

  1. Look for cars in all directions—including those turning left or right—before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.

  2. Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.

  3. Enhance your visibility at night. Walk in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight or wear something reflective, such as stickers or armbands, to be more visible.

  4. Avoid distraction. More and more we see people texting or talking on cell phones when crossing streets; this diminishes the ability of your two key senses—hearing and seeing—that are used to detect and avoid cars. So particularly when crossing streets, put down the phone for a few seconds.

  5. Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road—obey signs and signals.

  6. Obey all pedestrian traffic signals.

  7. Watch for cars backing up in parking lots; brake lights can mean that a car is about to back up.

  8. Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.

  9. Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists

  1. Wear a helmet. It could save your life.

  2. Use a light and reflectors when bicycling at night, and be as visible as possible.

  3. Ride in the direction of traffic. Drivers may not be looking for you if you are riding the wrong way.

  4. Obey all signs and signals. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights.

  5. Use all of your senses – watch and listen for cars, particularly at intersections and drive ways.

  6. Avoid distractions such as listening to headphones or answering phones when riding.



Hit by a car and need a lawyer?
Because pedestrians and cyclists are so unprotected, they often have the most to lose in an accident. And North Carolina’s contributory negligence law may not be on your side.

If you, or a loved one have been hit by a car while walking or biking, we may be able to help. Give us a call for a free case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078.