Archive for the ‘Auto Accidents’ Category

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 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, 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 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.

How Insurance Coverages Can Work: The Front Street Church Bus Accident Examined

A recent church bus accident in Tennessee left 8 families without loved ones – all because one tire blew out.

Many more members of Front Street Baptist Church in Salisbury, NC, were left in critical condition and many suffered devastating injuries.

Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy.

No amount of money can ever replace what they’ve lost, but the fact is that we pay hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars in insurance costs every year so that when accidents do happen, we aren’t financially ruined as well.

In this post, we’ll attempt to illustrate how insurance coverage can work in NC by examining the accident.

Summary of the Front Street Baptist Church Bus Accident
According to news reports, members of Front Street’s “Young at Heart” senior group were traveling on I-40 East in the church’s bus from a jubilee in Gatlinburg, TN, when one of the bus’s tires blew out – causing the bus to veer across the median and into oncoming traffic.

The church-owned bus then hit an SUV with two passengers in it and a tractor-trailer, carrying paper towels, which immediately caught fire.

5 passengers on the bus and the driver were killed, as well as the driver of the tractor-trailer and one passenger in the SUV. 14 others were injured.

The accident is still being investigated, but according to Tennessee Highway Patrol in an interview with WBTV, it appears the bus driver lost control after the tire malfunctioned. They further added that it would be extremely hard to maintain control in those circumstances.

Our Analysis
We’ve looked at how insurance coverages could play out in this scenario, but before we begin, please note that:

DISCLAIMER 1) – This accident will require a great deal of additional investigating and these are just our assumptions and generalizations, based on the information made available through news reports. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney.

DISCLAIMER 2) – Although victims listed could receive the same “coverages” that does not necessarily mean they will. Each victim’s case is unique and will likely be evaluated and handled based on their individual circumstances.

DISCLAIMER 3) – In our experience, in a complex accident, insurance companies may be apt to deny coverage, but that does not mean they’re not responsible. A NC personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Let’s begin:

  1. The bus passengers

    Since the passengers were likely not at fault for the accident, they should receive payment for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and possibly other losses.

    For the passengers that died, their families may be awarded a wrongful death claim to cover funeral costs and other losses.

    The liability insurance company the church used to insure the bus (assuming the church had a policy in place – most do) could pay many of these bills. However, the investigation is unclear over whether or not the driver was properly licensed to operate the vehicle. If that’s found to be the case, the liability insurance company covering the bus could try to refuse to pay for the damages.

    The driver, someone in charge of maintaining the vehicle and overseeing its use or even the tire manufacturer/seller may all be investigated and their insurance companies may also be held responsible, depending on the facts.

    Bills after an accident can add up quickly and the passengers may be able to use Medical Payments Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage on their own policies as well.

    If any of the passengers live with a blood relative that also has insurance, those policies may be additional coverage also.

  2. The SUV passengers

    The SUV passengers will likely have all the same coverages available to them as the bus passengers – since they were also victims.

    However, the SUV passengers may also be able to draw coverage from the SUV driver’s liability insurance policy, since his/her policy is designed to protect the passengers in his/her vehicle.

  3. The SUV driver

    Although it may seem strange, the SUV driver’s coverages will likely be very similar to that of the bus passengers – with all the liability insurance relating to the bus possibly covering his losses and his own insurance company possibly supplementing where needed with MedPay and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

    Also, assuming the SUV driver was the owner of the vehicle he/she was driving, he/she may also be paid for the property damage to the SUV.

  4. The tractor-trailer driver

    Since the tractor-trailer driver was likely working, his family may receive death benefits from his company’s workers’ compensation insurance.

    Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina allows for the families of workers who have died on the job to receive up to 500 weeks of benefits (typically two-thirds of the deceased’s average weekly earnings), up to $10,000 in funeral expenses, and reimbursement for medical expenses incurred prior to death. A minor child or disabled spouse may be entitled to receive benefits beyond the 500 weeks.

    However, news reports say that the truck driver was from New Orleans and, assuming his company is located there, his workers’ compensation benefits will likely be different from those in North Carolina.

    Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” type of coverage – meaning it typically doesn’t matter who is at fault for the accident. But since this accident does not appear to be the trucker’s fault, his family may also be able to file what is known as a “third-party claim” for liability insurances that cover the actions of the bus.

  5. The  bus driver 

    Many times, in situations like these, the bus driver is a volunteer and therefore workers’ compensation insurance, would not apply.

    Since his injuries were fatal, as were his wife’s, his next-of-kin would likely receive whatever coverage is determined for him.

    There are many factors involved in this particular case and a NC bus accident attorney would have to thoroughly investigate this case.

    As a whole, this accident is extremely complex, in terms of legal fault. Troopers have told the media that, although they’re investigating now, the official report may take up to six months to be released.

    In our experience, that means victims could be waiting a long time for money they may need to cover necessary medical costs, etc. An experienced attorney may be able to help.

NC Car Accident and Workers’ Comp Lawyers
Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific accident. We see the devastating results of car accidents every day, but it never gets easier to hear about the loved ones our clients lose.

If you need a car accident or workers compensation lawyer in NC, or you just have questions about legal process and insurance, please give us a call at 1-866-900-7078.

We’re happy to help – even if you decide to seek legal representation somewhere else.

Texting and Driving Video: “From One Second to the Next” An It Can Wait Documentary

There’s a powerful Warner Herzog documentary called “From One Second to the Next” that’s making waves right now about the dangers of texting and driving.

There are tear-jerkers.

Then there are sob-wrenchers.

And then there is this video.

Watch it.

These are true stories. If you, or a loved one, sometimes think texting and driving isn’t such a big deal, this might change your mind.

(produced by

Texting and Driving Kills
According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.

That’s more people than were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

In just that one year, 3,000 mothers, fathers, sons and daughters were taken from families that loved them – families who are now left to live with a gnawing pain that the horrendous accident that killed their loved one could have been prevented.

And people are still being killed. Every. Single. Day.

Not to mention all the victims like Xzavier or Debbie who were not killed, but their lives are forever changed.

Get an NC texting and driving car accident lawyer
Texting and driving is illegal in North Carolina and it ­must be taken seriously.

If you, or a loved one, were the victim of a texting and driving accident, we strongly encourage you to seek legal help.

Dealing with the consequences of a texting and driving accident can be costly and long-lasting, we need drivers to realize what a serious, serious problem this is and taking legal action might just be the push they need.

We’re committed to trying to help those injured by a distracted driver, one case at a time. If you need help, please call us for a free case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078.