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How to Drive in the Snow in North Carolina (And Other Safety Tips for Wintry Road Conditions)

Nick says there could be up to six inches of snow the first weekend in January 2017. When the weatherman utters the S word, area neighbors look to Nick. He hasn’t been wrong in years.

By the way, Nick is 12. And he’s gotten it right every time since the ripe old age of 9. (We don’t know how he does it!)

One thing Nick cannot tell us though is how to manage a two-ton vehicle as it is sliding sideways into another two-ton vehicle. Nick thinks that’s cool. We don’t.

There’s a reason North Carolina’s schools and businesses close at even the tiniest hint of snow in the forecast! With NC’s topsy-turvy weather, snow often melts and refreezes, turning roads into ice-skating ponds that even our northern transplant drivers have trouble navigating.

And even if you’re as experienced in winter-weather driving as Santa, keep in mind that may not be true for everyone else on the road. Here are some guidelines to go by when driving in winter weather.

Don’t Underestimate Freezing Temperatures and Roads

Think…

  • Is my trip so urgent that I need to put myself and others in potential jeopardy?
  • Is my car prepared to handle the conditions I may face on the roads?
  • Is there another way for me to handle the task, or can I wait until conditions improve?

Preparing for Driving in the Snow

If you decide to travel out into the winter weather, the best way to keep yourself out of harm’s way is to prepare yourself and your vehicle as best as possible.

  • Check weather conditions in advance.
  • Have communication Charge your cell phone in case you need to communicate with authorities or others (but don’t communicate while driving). Let your friends and family know you will be going out and let them know when to expect you. Fill up your gas tank.
  • Test your heating and defrost Have your battery and antifreeze levels checked and don’t forget to fill your windshield wiper levels. All that roadway salt and sand can obscure your vision quickly and often.
  • Check your brakes and make sure your tire pressure is inflated according to what the owner’s manual suggests for driving in snow.
  • Check tire tread depth. Tires.com suggests you should have at least 5/32 of an inch tread to maintain good mobility on snowy roads. To easily check to see how much tread you have, place a quarter into several tread grooves across the tire. If part of Washington’s head is covered by the tread, you have more than 4/32″ of tread depth remaining.
  • Keep a winter emergency supply kit in your car. This can include a variety of things, from a blanket and gloves to a flashlight and batteries, or a candle to keep warm in case you get stranded, and cat litter, sand, or salt in case you get stuck. Click here for a list of other potential items.

Driving Safely in Snow and Ice

  • Excessive speed is the main cause of crashes during winter weather. Maintain a safe distance and drive slower than usual.
  • Clear as much snow and ice from your car as you can. And don’t forget your headlights and tail lights and the roof of your car – you don’t want snow blowing in your windshield or someone else’s.
  • Drive smoothly and avoid sudden accelerating, braking, and turning.
  • Do not use your cruise control.
  • When driving over bridges and overpasses, be particularly careful. They ice up first since they’re not connected to the soil and the ice may be hard to see. Don’t apply brakes while on a bridge. The recent icy rain in Raleigh just a few weeks ago saw most of the accidents on bridges and overpasses.
  • When intersection traffic lights are not working, proceed as a four-way stop.

What to Do if Your Car Skids in Snow

  • Try to remain calm.
  • Don’t brake unless you have to. Then brake gently.
  • Anti-lock brakes: apply steady gentle pressure
  • Standard non-ABS brakes: pump your brake pedal gently
  • Don’t accelerate until your vehicle slows down enough to regain some traction with the road. Then gently accelerate.
  • In general, if you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Braking will cause you to further lose control of your vehicle.
  • Rear-wheel skids. Turn the steering wheel in the direction your rear wheels are headed.
  • Front-wheel skids. Shift into neutral and don’t try to steer immediately. When your vehicle begins to slow down, steer in the direction that you want your vehicle to go. Then, put the vehicle into gear and gently accelerate.

What to Do If Your Car Gets Stuck in the Snow

  • Pushing the gas pedal and spinning your tires will only dig you in deeper. Turn them from side to side to help clear snow, and then turn the steering wheel so the tires are as straight as possible.
  • Use a shovel to clear the snow in front of and behind your tires.
  • Spread cat litter, sand, or salt in the cleared areas around your drive wheels.
  • NCDOT suggests that you might try rocking the vehicle back and forth, but cautions you to check your owner’s manual first; as some vehicle transmissions might be damaged by this. Shift from forward to reverse and back again, using a light touch on the gas pedal. Again, don’t spin your wheels.

AAA offers very thorough tips which build on this information and so does the NCDOT. Click here to access the AAA page and here for NCDOT’s website.

North Carolina Car Wreck Lawyers

If, despite Nick’s prediction, you decide to venture out and you are injured by someone else in a car wreck, contact us.

  • Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times1more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.
  • We are one of the largest personal injury law firms in North Carolina and have vast resources to draw from.
  • We have recovered over $600 million2 total for more than 30,000 clients since 1997.
  • We have more than 150 staff members, including over 35 attorneys.
  • Several of our lawyers have achieved peer- and client-reviewed designations including Best Lawyers Best Lawyers in America 20173 and Lawyer of the Year 20174; Super Lawyers Rising Star 20165 and Super Lawyer 20166.

  See for yourself some of the things clients have to say about us.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From North Carolina Lawyers

Contact us  or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE and let you know if we think we can help.

 

P.S. Click here if you want your teen driver to learn hands-on defensive driving techniques under simulated hazardous conditions. There’s a non-profit organization in NC that offers instruction around NC and the U.S. It’s free (donations) and taught by former race car drivers, police, professional stunt drivers, and other professional drivers.

 

 

1  Insurance Research Council 1999.

2  Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

3  Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular

4 Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the Lawyer of the Year, making this accolade particularly significant. Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com.

5 To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. Rising Stars undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. While up to 5% of the lawyers in any state are named “Super Lawyers,” by Super Lawyers magazine, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com.

6 Super Lawyers undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com.

Am I in Danger of Being Deported If I’m in a Car Wreck But I Am Not a U.S. Citizen? (And 10 Other Things Undocumented People Want to Know)

Car accidents are terrifying. And sometimes they’re even scarier if you’re worried about discrimination or even fear being deported. We understand.

Don’t let that fear cause you to make bad choices. If someone is negligent and injures you, you’re supposed to be given the same care and respect as any U.S. citizen.

“Supposed to” is key. As a non-U.S. citizen, you may have to take extra steps to try to make sure you’re treated fairly.

That’s what this blog is about, but click here
if you want to skip reading and talk to someone right away.

 

Why You Have to Be Careful After an Accident If You’re Not a U.S. Citizen

I and many of my James Scott Farrin colleagues do a lot of community work – particularly in the Spanish-speaking community. One question I hear a lot from our Latino neighbors is: “What should I do if I’m injured in a car accident but don’t have papers or a driver’s license?” They’re understandably afraid.

North Carolina accident laws are designed to try to help protect anyone who is injured in the state – documented, undocumented, U.S. citizens, and citizens of other countries.

Yet sadly, oftentimes we see adversarial behavior toward our non-citizen clients, especially Latinos, by some insurance companies and others. We have seen some of them try to intimidate these clients just because they don’t speak English, don’t have a driver’s license or proper documentation, or they’re not a U.S. citizen.

The Insurance Company Believes You Won’t Go to Court – Blatant Discrimination?

In our booklet Insurance Companies Behaving Badly, one employee recounted a story about an insurance adjuster who said they had a video contradicting what our client said about how she got her injuries. In mediation, we proved it wasn’t our client on the video, but the defense continued to deny the claim.

In response, we launched discovery into the insurance company’s treatment of Hispanic clients. They ended up settling the case for six figures*.

When you mess with our clients, you mess with us. We’ll play hardball. We do not appreciate bad behavior.

My Best Advice: Get Free Advice from an Attorney

A large portion of the cases I resolve in any given year are for non-U.S. and undocumented residents. Every time I think I’ve seen it all, an insurance company will come along and surprise me again.

My advice when you’re injured in an accident is to call an attorney right away. There are just too many ways insurance companies can affect your claim. Most attorneys will do an initial consultation for free, and if you ultimately choose to hire them you could potentially end up getting more for your claim.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5x times more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own **.

And if you think you cannot afford an attorney, think again. At our firm, you pay nothing upfront. We work on a contingency basis, which means if we don’t get you compensation, you don’t pay any attorney’s fees!

What to Do After an Accident If You Are Undocumented

When undocumented people call me after an accident and ask what to do, I tell them their initial steps are the same things anyone should do after an accident.

If you or someone else is injured, call 9-1-1. If your injury is serious, you may not have time to collect all the facts, and that’s OK. Your health comes first.

Don’t be Afraid to Report the Accident to the Police

In order to make a claim for your damages and your injuries, you must be able to prove the accident happened. You should call the police. Don’t be afraid. The purpose of calling is so the responding police officer will conduct an investigation and make an official report of the accident.

Never trust the at fault driver to report it on his own. He may later deny the accident ever occurred. By then it will be too late to contact the police, and you could be stuck paying for the crash yourself.

Suppose I got a ticket for no U.S. driver’s license? Will this affect my claim?

No. You should not ignore your ticket, as it may have other legal ramifications, but you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any damages to your vehicle, whether you have a license or not.

Will I be in danger of being deported if I have no drivers’ license and make a claim?

Generally, you will not likely be deported simply because you make an insurance claim after an accident where you received a ticket for driving without a license.

Gather Facts

Get as much information as you can while you are still at the scene, or immediately thereafter. Write down:

  • Date and time of the accident
  • Location of the accident
  • Other driver’s name and license plate number
  • Police report number
  • Investigating officer’s name
  • Witnesses names and their contact information, including phone number

Take Pictures

With your cell phone, someone else’s cell phone, or a camera, take pictures of:

  • All vehicles involved
  • Any property damaged by the wreck
  • Any visible injuries
  • Tire marks and debris in the roadway

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you feel fine, you should probably see a doctor. It’s not uncommon for people feel fine in the minutes and hours immediately after a crash, when adrenaline is high. Many people don’t start to feel the effects of a wreck until hours or even a few days later.

But if you don’t see a doctor and something starts to feel worse, you won’t have any documentation that your injuries are related to your accident and an insurance company may deny your claim.

 

10 Things Most Non-U.S. Citizens Want to Know After a Car Wreck

As I mentioned previously, a large number of my cases are non-citizens. Here are the top things most want to know.

1. I don’t have health insurance, can I go to the doctor?

If you are injured, you should seek immediate medical attention. There are options for those without health insurance.

2. Will the adjuster send me to a doctor?

No, it is your responsibility to obtain medical treatment. The adjuster does not direct treatment, or work directly with any specific doctors.

3. My injuries seem minor; can I just wait and see if they go away?

While your injuries may seem minor, only a medical doctor can confirm this. Sometimes injuries left untreated become worse or even permanent. If you do not seek medical attention in a timely manner, the insurance company may try to deny compensation for your injuries and related medical bills.

4. My car is not drivable, how can I go to the doctor?

It is your responsibility to obtain medical treatment, with or without transportation. Ask a friend or family member to give you a ride or take the bus. If you don’t get yourself to the doctor, you could prolong your pain. Without medical treatment, the insurance company will conclude you were not injured in the wreck, no matter how much pain you are feeling.

5. Should I call my insurance company?

Even if the accident is not your fault, you should contact your own insurance company to let them know you have been in a car wreck. You may have coverage available on your own policy that you can use without affecting your rates. If you are the owner of the vehicle involved in the crash, you should open a claim with the at-fault insurance company for your property damage. Do not go into detail about your injuries or treatment. It is enough to tell them you are injured and under a doctor’s care.

It is not wise to sign anything without first speaking to an experienced attorney; you may be signing away your entire case!

6. The adjuster said he needs my Social Security number, but I don’t have one. Can I still make a claim?

Yes, if you are injured in a car accident, you may have a right to compensation, regardless of your citizenship status.

7. The adjuster wants a recorded statement, should I give one?

Probably not. The insurance company knows how to protect their own interests. You may think there is no harm in telling your story, but liability laws are complicated and you could do irreparable damage to your case.

8. I am not fluent in English, how can I communicate with the adjuster?

Most insurance companies have Spanish-speaking staff, and if not, have translators available. Request to be contacted by a Spanish-speaking adjuster, or a translator.

9. The adjuster said the other driver has no insurance, what can I do?

There may be other types of coverage available to you to cover your losses. Inform your own insurance company the at-fault driver was uninsured.

10. The adjuster says he will pay for everything, so I don’t need an attorney, right?

No! You have no guarantee the adjuster will pay even a portion of your bills. Often at the end of the case the adjuster will offer to pay only a few of your expenses. You should decide for yourself if you need an attorney in your case. Don’t let the adjuster make this decision for you.

The insurance company has adjusters and attorneys working for them to make sure they come out on top. Sometimes an adjuster will give you misleading information, or try to scare you out of pursuing your rights. Each case is unique, and while you may not hire an attorney, it is a good idea to speak to an experienced attorney to discuss the nuances and issues or your particular case, and find out what your options are.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation by Experienced NC Car Crash Attorneys
We’re always here for you to try to help you protect your rights – documented or undocumented. Contact us anytime for a FREE case evaluation or call at 1-866-900-7078.

We have both Spanish-speaking staff and attorneys available to help you.

 

*Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannon be predicated upon a lawyer’s or law firms past results. These are specific examples of experiences we have had with some insurance companies, adjusters, or others. These stories do not necessarily represent any industry as a whole. These descriptions of events are based upon the recollections of individual staff members. Client identities have been removed or changed to protect their privacy.

**Insurance Research Council, 1999

Road Rage Rages During the Holidays (Tips on How You Can Steer Clear)

For many North Carolina residents there’s no avoiding travel during the holidays. Shopping. Visiting. Parties. And the usual commutes to work, kids’ games and practices. Time is tight. People are stressed.

And road rage rages.

Just in the past couple of months:

A man pulled a gun on another driver while at Concord intersection during a road rage incident.

A Hoke County man was shot and killed when an enraged driver plowed into his car, pulled out a gun and shot him.

At UNC Greensboro two cars tried to block another car that was carrying a young passenger. One of the drivers pulled out a gun.

What in the world is going on?

I’ll tell you what is going on.

More Stress + More Cars + Less Time = ROAD RAGE

People are stressed. Some are impaired by alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs). Many are in a hurry. And some are just plain rude.

An article in Psychiatry MMC, published on the National Institutes of Health website, offers this:

“Up to one-third of community participants report being perpetrators of road rage, indicating that various forms of road rage are relatively commonplace. …The most common offenders appear to be young and male. A number of factors may contribute to road rage, including environmental factors (e.g., greater number of miles driven per day, traffic density), nonspecific psychological factors (e.g., displaced aggression, attribution of blame to others), and … alcohol and substance misuse. … Some reasons include borderline and antisocial personality disorders.”

Why Is Road Rage Higher During the Holidays?

Why is road rage on the rise during the holidays? We’ve been representing accident victims since 1997, and here’s what we’ve observed:

  • Traffic. This one almost goes without saying: the more traffic, the more likely it is for drivers to get frustrated and angry. With tens of thousands of extra cars on the road, the holidays become a breeding ground for road rage, especially during peak travel and shopping times.
  • Unfamiliarity. Thanks to our mild climate in North Carolina, we see a lot of friends and relatives coming from out of state for the holidays. Unfortunately, that means there are many more drivers on the road who don’t know our roads well.
  • Unsafe maneuvers. One reason out-of-state drivers are disproportionately likely to cause road rage accidents is that they may potentially make unsafe maneuvers because they are not familiar with the roads. And tailgating, switching lanes, and making turns without signaling can all lead to road rage. Even something as simple as slowing down to try to read street signs can trigger rage.
  • Shopping and parking. Parking lots are some of the most common places road rage can happen any time of year. When the holiday shopping season hits, the parking lots at the Tanger outlets in Mebane and even your local Walmart can become a mob scene. Too many cars vying for limited parking spaces can turn ugly fast.
  • Seasonal stress. The stress of coordinating guests and celebrations, shopping, planning, decorating and all of the other tasks that come with the holidays can lead to an increase in stress on the roads.
  • Celebrations. Motorists who go out of their way to enjoy the holidays may be at risk of road rage. Holiday parties can lead to late nights out, and lack of sleep can contribute to road rage. Likewise, drug and alcohol use can cause drivers to become aggressive and impatient with others.
  • Winter weather. Winters in North Carolina generally aren’t bad, but we all remember the ice storm of January 2015. Even a little snow or sleet can contribute to road rage.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists even more reasons you might find worth reading.

What to Do If You Are Confronted By an Enraged Driver

If you are confronted by an enraged driver, DMV.org suggests being the bigger person and showing remorse by:

  • Waving to the other driver
  • Mouthing that you’re sorry
  • Allowing plenty of room for them to pass you
  • If it gets out of hand, call 911 as soon as it is safe to. And don’t get out of your car if someone confronts you.

How to Keep Road Rage in Check

You can’t control other drivers’ behavior, but you can take steps to try to keep yourself safe from aggressive drivers. Here are a few ways to avoid being hurt in a road rage accident:

  • Make sure you’re OK to drive. Be conscientious of whether you’re too stressed, frustrated, or tired to get behind the wheel. If your safety is at risk, consider if those errands can wait.
  • Plan ahead. Just know there will be heavy traffic and give yourself enough time to get your tasks done. Plan your shopping trips and other errands before you leave home. If it’s possible to arrange your schedule to go during off-peak hours, you’ll be much safer.
  • Avoid distractions. Distracted driving can lead to missed green lights, failure to signal, and other maneuvers that could trigger road rage.
  • Stay calm, no matter what. If you witness road rage, the absolute safest thing you can do is not respond. Don’t make eye contact, and certainly don’t hit your horn, tailgate, or antagonize the other driver.

If you feel yourself getting stressed because of another driver, Psychology Today suggests you practice stress breathing in your car: inhale for a count of four, hold for count of four, exhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and repeat as many times as necessary to help bring your pulse rate and blood pressure back to normal levels.

The article goes on to suggest that you keep your perspective. You cannot control, coerce, or fix the other driver. But you can control you. Focus on being “relentlessly positive” and practice kindness, starting with you first.

Like my grandmother used to say, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From North Carolina Car Wreck Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured by an aggressive driver in a road rage incident in North Carolina, contact us now for a free case evaluation or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

Holiday Party Hosts Better Watch Out – You Could Be Liable for Injuries Drunken Guests Cause. (10 Things You Need to Know)

If you plan on being the holiday host or hostess with the mostest this season, here’s something you should know.

If your mostest includes alcohol and your guests overindulge, you could potentially be on the hook if they wreck their car and kill or injure someone. As a matter of fact, you could be held liable if they trip over a tree root while stumbling home and chip a tooth.

In North Carolina you can be held responsible for whatever happens to your drunken guests after they leave your party. If it’s bad enough, you could find yourself ringing in the New Year with unwanted legal fees and court costs.

You might think your friend wouldn’t sue you over their own drunken negligence. Perhaps not. But those they injure sure could – especially if they had a good North Carolina personal injury lawyer. If my client was seriously injured because of the negligence of another, I’d go after each and every negligent party I could find.

Whether it’s a holiday party, Super Bowl party, or a back-yard brunch, you don’t want to be held liable because your guest caused personal injury. I’ve seen these types of situations ruin lives in certain instances.

How Is a Party Host Liable in NC?

Liability extends to anyone who provides alcohol to guests. North Carolina law says that when an intoxicated guest causes an injury or accident, the injured person may be able to seek damages from the host if they:

  • Provided or served alcohol
  • Knew or even should have known the person served was drunk
  • Knew the person would be driving after drinking alcohol served at the party

Let’s say, for example, you had a holiday open house at your new home in Winston-Salem. A guest who lives in Greensboro is among the first to arrive and the last to leave. You really haven’t paid much attention to how many times you’ve refilled his glass. When he’s ready to drive home, it doesn’t occur to you that he may be impaired, because he seems coherent and alert. And besides, you assume that he’s responsible enough to sober up before driving back to Greensboro. On his drive home he crosses over the center line of Route 421 at Willow Bend and crashes head on with a mini van carrying a young family. Thankfully no one is killed, but all of them sustained significant injuries. The driver was blinded by the airbag chemicals, the mom broke her back in three places, and one of the three children in the backseat sustained a severe concussion from which she will never recover.

Don’t think for one minute that family isn’t going to get a good North Carolina personal injury lawyer to try to sue him and you for everything they could possibly get. With all the medical bills they’ll have to pay – and significant time out of work for mom and dad for their injuries – they’ll need every penny that’s potentially coming to them.

Do you really want that responsibility on your shoulders? Unless you have a whopping umbrella policy, you could possibly lose just about everything you own. Life for everyone – including you – will never be the same.

It’s just not worth the risk.

If you’re planning a holiday party this season, here’s a list you’ll want to check twice before your guests enjoy that first glass of holiday cheer.

10 Ways to Minimize Your Liability When Hosting a Holiday Party

  1. Consider using a professional bartender who is used to recognizing early signs of
  2. Serve food with proteins and fats which can help absorb the effects of alcohol.
  3. Offer a variety of soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water in addition to alcohol.
  4. Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before you expect guests to begin leaving.
  5. Have an Uber, Lyft, taxi number, or app handy or at least one or more designated driver services throughout North Carolina (some will even take the guest’s car home). Why not provide a designated driver for them if your guests live close by?
  6. Ask one or two of your guests to monitor the crowd for potential problems and to take the initiative to offer rides to those who seem to need it.
  7. Make sure your guests know you want them to have fun, but to act responsibly.
  8. If you see a guest that’s suspect, take their keys if you have to. (Remember friends don’t let friends drive drunk.)
  9. Encourage your guests to wear their seatbelts while driving home. If they’re involved in a car crash, they’ll be better protected.
  10. Be open to overnight stays if an intoxicated guest cannot get a ride home. An air mattress is cheaper than a lawsuit.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation from NC Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident as a result of a drunk driver – or any driver – contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

 

P.S. Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own*.

 

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

Texting and Driving – Just as Addictive as Gambling or Drugs

We know better than to text, check Snapchat, like a Facebook post, or talk on the phone while driving.

We know better.

We’ve heard and read the heartbreaking stories of lives lost and ruined. But why do we do it anyway? For the same reason you can’t eat just one potato chip. Or you “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.”

chipsDopamine, the Ping, and Addiction

Dopamine is partly to blame. It’s the chemical reaction in your brain that leads to addiction. The ping of your cell phone creates the same arousal response that activates your brain’s reward center. And it is a key transmitter in a highly complex chemical relationship that sometimes leads to addictive behaviors. Food. Gambling. Video gaming. Drugs and alcohol. Shopping.

And texting while driving.

When we hear the ping of a text message, social media update, or email, our brains get a hit of dopamine. Who’s it from? Who liked my post? What am I missing out on if I don’t read this? Experts are learning that this initial hit, interestingly, can lead to a higher rush of dopamine than reading the message itself. And it’s not just with cell phones. The internet can also prompt addictive behavior.

“Ha Ha. Made Ya Look!”

Dopamine is a large part of the reason we are drawn to the urge to give in to a pleasurable experience. And you can’t stop the dopamine reaction any more than you can stop adrenaline from making you jump when startled. It’s autonomic. It’s primal. It’s how we are wired. And some scientists say it’s much of the reason why our species has survived for millennia. Food equals life. Sex equals the procreation of mankind.

We humans are wired to want to give in to our pleasures and primal urges. And that, some researchers say, is why we have a very hard time ignoring the ping of a cell phone when we are maneuvering a two-ton vehicle at 65 miles per hour through three lanes of heavy traffic with our toddler in the back seat.

That ping elicits the same dopamine response as the potato chip you just have to have, or the slot machine lever you are compelled to pull for the umpteenth time. It makes you want to look.

How Cell Phones Are Similar to Slot Machines

David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and the research source behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign calls the smartphone the “smallest slot machine in the world.”

He compares the variable reinforcement of a text, email or social media hit to a slot machine’s potential rewards. You don’t know when you’ll get it. You don’t know what you’ll get. And you don’t know how good it will be. It’s the anticipation that generates the high.

In addition to the dopamine surge, there’s something else working against us in a different part of our brain, he explained in a CNN interview. The dopamine reaction causes a partial shut-down of our prefrontal cortex – where most of our judgment and reasoning occurs.

So now, we have two areas of our brain working against us as we hurtle down I-95 dodging other smartphone addicts. We have the dopamine devil urging us to “take a quick peek,” while our inner voice of reason, which should be slapping our hand, is instead rendered mute.

And most experts agree that the prefrontal reasoning center is not fully developed until around age 25, which explains why the situation is even worse with teens and twentysomethings. (Incidentally, car insurance companies figured this out long ago. Think of what age insurance rates generally drop: 25!)

This texting and driving epidemic is starting to make more sense now isn’t it?

While this chemistry lesson is quite fascinating, what can we do to stop this behavior the very next time we get behind the wheel?

EndDD.org reports that over 90% percent of drivers know cell phone distractions are dangerous and find it “unacceptable” to text or e-mail while driving. Yet, 35% of them do it anyway.

4 Easy Ways to Stop Using a Cell Phone While Driving

  1. Turn your phone on silent
  2. Completely turn your phone off
  3. Put your cell out of reach (in the trunk, glove box, or in a purse in the back seat)
  4. Download one of the many apps that helps prevent you from texting while driving (most are free). Some will silence notifications and message people trying to reach you that you are driving.

And by all means, if you are texting someone that you know is driving, stop texting them! If for no other reason, you could be liable for damages if that driver causes an accident because of your text. Some states are currently considering legislation of this nature.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation from NC Personal Injury Lawyers

We have represented far too many clients who were injured – some severely – by distracted drivers. The stories are heartbreaking, and sadly, most could have been prevented.

If you or someone you know was injured by a distracted driver, please have them contact us  or call 1-866-900-7078. We are available 24/7 and will evaluate the situation for FREE and let you know if we think we can help.

P.S. Click here if you want your teen driver to learn what it’s really like to drive distracted (but experience it in the safety of a simulated environment). The non-profit Charlotte-based B.R.A.K.E.S (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) offers defensive maneuvering instruction around N.C. and the U.S. Students are taught by former race car drivers, policemen, and other professional drivers.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day – Most Dangerous Time to Drive

Before you go over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house this holiday season, make sure to be particularly cautious, attentive, and defensive on North Carolina’s highways.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving through January 1st (including New Year’s day) are some of the most dangerous and deadly times to be on the roads. In fact, Thanksgiving eve has become THE most dangerous night of the year to drive, particularly in more urban areas, says SCRAM, makers of alcohol monitoring technology. Known as “Blackout Wednesday,” this holiday has surpassed New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day as the biggest drinking night of the year.

Add to this more traffic, more distractions, aggressive drivers, and more social occasions involving alcohol. It is up to each of us to:

  • Practice safe, defensive driving
  • Buckle up and make sure all passengers are buckled too.
  • Make sure you, or your driver, are fit to drive – not tipsy or drowsy. If you are a passenger, help minimize distractions and help the driver stay awake and alert.

In general: If you see something, say something. If you see someone who has had too much to drink trying to get behind the wheel, say something. If you’re at a party, tell the host to take their keys, or call a designated driver for them.

If you are the party host, pay particular attention to how much alcohol you serve guests. If they injure someone while driving home, you could be liable under North Carolina law.

Thanksgiving

AAA reported that in 2015 more than 1.2 million people drove throughout North Carolina to their Thanksgiving destinations. No surprise, this family holiday ranks as one of the busiest travel periods just about every year. More cars on the roads too often translates to more accidents. Add alcohol to the equation, and this holiday weekend can turn deadly.

Christmas

The Christmas holiday season can be stressful. Combine stress with busy roads and you can get aggressive drivers. A State Farm survey found that nearly one-third of drivers were more likely to show signs of aggression or road rage during the holidays.

New Year’s Day

A surprise to some, New Year’s Day (not New Year’s Eve) almost always ranks in the top five deadliest days of the year, and has been ranked the deadliest day. Alcohol – a primary culprit.

Alcohol Behind Nearly Half of Holiday Car Crash Deaths

There’s one thing each of these deadly days has in common: Drunk drivers. Over a 25-year period, according to a Forbes study that analyzed U.S. Department of Transportation data since 1982, nearly half the fatalities during these times were alcohol-related.

Tragic Consequences of North Carolina Drunk Driving

Here’s a tragic story the News & Observer reported on recently about a drunk driving collision which could result in the young 22-year-old driver spending 70 years in prison. He was charged with multiple felonies after a collision he caused in Raleigh, which led to three deaths and multiple injuries.

The crash happened at 2:30 on a Sunday morning. He was driving drunk and traveling about 50 mph in a 35-mph zone. He lost control of the car and it went off the road, struck a light pole, a street sign, and a tree before overturning.

There were seven people inside the car. One of the victims was sitting in the lap of the driver at the time of the accident. The victims were just 22, 21, and 18. Two of the victims were thrown from the vehicle.

The young driver, who is the son of a pastor, is accused of six felony charges which could potentially carry a prison sentence of nearly 70 years total. He faces 17 years for each death and seven years for each serious injury.

Three lives ended. Another potentially behind bars for life. This deadly and totally preventable collision is just one of many fatal accidents that occur throughout North Carolina. The three young people who died will never enjoy another holiday with their families. And sadly, neither will the driver who killed them. He will likely be behind bars because he made the wrong choice to drink and drive.

Most Traffic Fatalities Preventable

A different News & Observer article pointed out that of 793 deaths so far in 2016, all but two of them could have possibly been prevented! Consider this:

  • Alcohol was involved in 168 deaths
  • 368 of those killed weren’t wearing seat belts
  • Speeding proved a factor in 155 deaths
  • Distracted driving was a factor in 100 deaths

The story above checks every one of those boxes. Alcohol. Speed. Distracted driving. No seat belts.

Sadly, all were preventable.

Designate a Driver – It’s Easier Than Ever

As you head into the holiday party season, keep in mind there are many more options today than ever for a sober ride home. Uber, Lyft, a North Carolina Designated Driver service, a taxi – and of course, a sober companion. Many of these services are as convenient as clicking on an app, and some are more affordable than a taxi. Some will even drive you and your car home.

There are just no more excuses to get behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From North Carolina Car Wreck Lawyers

If you do find yourself injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence – whether during the holidays or any other time – contact an experienced car wreck lawyer. Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own1.

If you have been injured, contact us now for a free case evaluation to see if we can help or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

 

P.S. Since the holiday season is also football season, click here for ways to tailgate safely.

1 Insurance Research Council 1999

Will My Case Settle or Go to Trial?

If you’re like most of my clients, you probably would like to avoid going to court. The good news is most cases don’t. They’re settled out of court instead.

But sometimes, if it’s in our clients’ best interests to tell their story to a judge and jury because the insurance company and the defendant aren’t playing nice and won’t give them a fair offer, that’s exactly what we’ll do.

One question clients often ask us is: How do we decide whether to settle or go to court?

Insurance Companies Don’t Want to Go to Court Any More than You Do

The vast majority of personal injury cases settle. Some of the most appealing reasons for both sides to want to reach a settlement are:

  • Jury uncertainty. You can pick a jury, but you cannot control them once they are seated in the juror’s box.
  • Compensation assurance. Settling allows you to eliminate the variable of not knowing how much a court may or may not award the plaintiff (you).
  • Public image. Who knows what ripple effects the jury’s decision could potentially have on how the plaintiff is portrayed by the insurance company’s lawyers?
  • Most insurance companies are for-profit businesses. And jury trial expenses can add up fast. Likewise, the plaintiff’s court expenses are paid out of any settlement money.

With that said, the insurance company should know your attorney is 100% willing and able to take your case to trial.

The willingness to take cases to trial affords us the ability to try to negotiate your case from a position of power. If the insurance company is under the impression that you and your attorney have any hesitation about presenting a strong case to a jury and judge, they might feel they have the upper hand and withhold some of the compensation you may deserve.

Understanding Your Options for Settlement or Trial

Whether it’s in your best interest to try to settle or go to court, we do our homework. And from day one, we involve each and every client in their case. We try to keep you informed and we ask that you do the same with your legal team.

We ask a lot of questions. We want to know what happened, who was involved, and how you were impacted. We research how the law applies. If necessary, we speak with doctors, insurance companies, state agencies, witnesses, and experts to try to determine all the facts of your case, not just what may be favorable to you. We’re not looking for quick easy answers. Our goal is to try to obtain the most compensation that our clients may deserve. The more we know, the better we can represent you.

As we said, insurance companies typically don’t want to go to court any more than you do. But if we feel they are not being fair, and we believe a jury trial is in your best interest, we won’t hesitate to go.

While most of our cases are settled out of court, if your case does go to court, we will try to prepare you every step of the way.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation from North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

Our law firm is one of the largest personal injury firms in North Carolina. And we have vast resources to draw from. Some of our best resources, in my opinion, are our paralegals, administrators, and others who work “behind the scenes” with our lawyers to help research and prepare your case – for a possible settlement or trial.

Some of our staff members previously worked for the very same insurance companies we deal with day in and day out. So they know their negotiation tactics.

When there’s no doubt on the insurance company’s part that we are ready, willing, and able to challenge them in court, often a settlement may look very good to them. Whatever the course, we are with you all the way.

If you were involved in a car wreck, don’t worry about whether your case will settle or go to court. Let our experienced car accident lawyers discuss this with you once we have the facts.

Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE and let you know if we think we can help you.

Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

How to Play it Safe With Pokemon Go

Stabbings, robberies, trespassing, a dead body? This is not the 6 o’clock news.

It’s the stark reality of the augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. Where players catch Pokemon by physically going to areas called PokeStops.

Hidden Dangers Playing Pokemon Go

Pokemon aren’t the only characters hiding at these PokeStops. Criminals are too. They’re lurking at PokeStops, and robbing and assaulting people who are looking for Pokemon.

Even getting to the PokeStops can cause hazards. Drivers are staring at their cell phones while driving in an attempt to catch Pokemon. And it’s causing car wrecks. Some have even stopped their cars in the middle of the road for a catch!

People have walked into streets, zombie-like, with their eyes glued to their phones and been hit by cars. They’ve wandered onto military firing ranges, crashed weddings and even funerals for a catch. Sadly, a teenaged boy was shot and killed while playing near Guatemala City late at night.

Worldwide Pokemania

Just like a real scavenger hunt, this virtual hunt can be delightfully addictive! Pokemon Go allows you to enter the world of augmented reality through an app that uses GPS and augmentation technology to enable players to search for nearby Pokemon. The object of the game is to “catch ‘em all.”

It also offers a way for gamers and screen jockeys – anyone, really – to get up, get out, and get moving.

Within the first two weeks of the game’s July 5, 2016 release, the app topped 15 million downloads, surpassing Facebook and Snapchat. Many churches and businesses have been promoting the app by becoming a PokeStop or by informing players of a Pokemon at their location in order to increase traffic and attention to their site.

pokemonGotta Catch ‘em All!

The app requires that you walk around to locate Pokemon, so the game has been described as a great way to explore points of interest in your town or other areas. And it has been described as a great way to meet people or get some exercise. By looking at your phone screen, you can see the character superimposed onto your actual surroundings – just like you see in the image here.

Our headquarters overlooks the Durham Bulls Baseball Stadium, and we got to see first-hand how addictive this game can be when they opened the stadium to the public and dozens of Pokemon seekers of all ages converged on the baseball field to catch Pokemon. And not all Pokemon were outside our building. In fact, one of our paralegals captured Pidgedy during her lunch break right inside our hallways.

Pokemon and Potential Hazards

Falling victim to a crime or stumbling upon a crime

Four teens in Missouri were arrested after committing numerous armed robberies by using the Pokemon Go app to lure their victims to secluded areas. Another teenager in Wyoming was on a quest to find a water Pokemon, when instead she found a dead body floating in the lake.

Injuring yourself

Risking your life is not the key to winning Pokemon Go. One Pokemon gamer was stabbed by a man after the gamer asked if the man wanted to “battle.” Obviously intending to battle on the app was not as clear to the attacker. After being stabbed, the gamer continued on his quest to find what he was looking for instead of immediately going to the hospital for medical treatment!

Accidents from distracted driving and walking

Pokemon can pop up anywhere any time. Whether you’re walking down the street and Jigglypuff pops up a block away or you’re driving and Charmander is at the corner store. Accidents can happen, even to the most attentive Pokemon player. People have gotten into accidents (even crashing into police cars) and have been hit by cars because they were distracted by the game instead of paying attention to their surroundings.

Trespassing

Trespassing has become epidemic since the release of Pokemon Go. Often Pokemon only appear at certain times, so players may hunt at varying hours of the night and early morning. The problem – some are located on private property, at businesses, or in city parks. Players can face criminal charges if they trespass on private property or at public places after allowed hours. Sadly, as we have seen, other players can face worse consequences by wandering out late at night in the wrong areas.

Pokemon Go – Playing it Safe

Be aware of your surroundings

Just because you see someone wandering around in the woods or staring at their phone – don’t assume they are playing Pokemon. Use caution when going into secluded areas and approaching strangers. While the game can be a great opportunity to meet other players, be sure they have the same intentions.

Don’t drive and catch

Do we really have to say this? Turn the game off and put the phone away. AAA Carolinas says playing Pokemon while driving is just as dangerous as texting and driving.

Distracted walking, too, can have dangerous consequences. Be vigilant and check your surroundings, particularly when crossing streets. Don’t risk your life just because you see Dragonite on the other side of the road. No Pokemon character is worth your life – not even Dragonite.

Respect your city’s curfew and business hours

If it’s 3:00 a.m. and a Pikachu pops up near the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, don’t go out to try to catch it. Only visit landmarks, businesses, private property, and historical sites during appropriate hours.

Put down the phone and enjoy the real life around you

While Pokemon Go can take you to attractions you’ve never been before, it defeats the purpose if you stare at your phone the whole time you’re there. A benefit of the game is that it compels you to get off the couch, go outside, and maybe even get a little exercise.

After you are drawn to a new museum, garden, historical site, or neighborhood park, take a moment to explore the area with your eyes instead of your phone. You may gain something more incredible than a new critter or points on a game. Allow the Pokemon app to enhance your actual reality in addition to your virtual reality.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Evaluate Pokemon Injury Cases FREE

Here’s something important to know about your right to compensation if you are injured playing the game. Unless you opt out of the game’s terms of service, you may be waiving your right to litigation in the event you are injured – or are blamed for injuring someone else. So be careful and be smart.

If you are injured by someone playing Pokemon Go or believe it is as a result of negligence on the part of Niantic (the company that developed Pokemon Go) contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. We offer more than 35 attorneys – many who are experienced in personal injury cases of all kinds.

And, unlike many of the Pokemon, you’ll catch us any time day or night.

Road Debris – Who Pays for Your Damages?

A colleague of mine was hauling one of those large plastic toddler play houses in the back of her truck recently, when suddenly the roof of the house blew off right onto the roadway, causing traffic behind her to swerve into other lanes to avoid crashing into the roof. She pulled over and retrieved the runaway roof, thankfully avoiding injury to herself or other drivers.

The incident prompted a conversation about injuries and accidents from escaping debris. Who is responsible? What role does insurance play? And just what would have been the legal consequences to my colleague if that roof had caused an accident and injury in North Carolina? Points on her license? A fine? Traffic court? Jail?

Road Debris Causes Numerous Crashes Says AAA

A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that unsecured loads falling off cars and trucks have been blamed for more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roads between 2011 and 2014. There were 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths from those incidents during that time.

More than a third of those deaths occurred because drivers swerved to avoid the debris.

Roadway debris can be a serious matter. One of our clients was severely injured in a life-altering way because of roadway debris.

What NC Law Says About Debris on NC Roads

Drivers responsible for creating road debris can face fines in every U.S state. All 50 states have laws that make unsecured loads illegal, according to AAA, with fines that range from $10 to $5,000. North Carolina’s fines are capped at $100.

North Carolina says you must properly secure all items on a vehicle. If you don’t and you cause an accident, you may be held liable. Specifically NC law states:

“No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is constructed and loaded to prevent any of its load from falling, blowing, dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom, and the vehicle shall not contain any holes, cracks, or openings through which any of its load may escape.”

Legal penalties for infraction are determined by the degree of the infraction. It could be misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the degree of willful negligence.

Will Auto Insurance Cover Road Debris Accidents?

But what about auto insurance? Will it pay for your damages or injuries if you crash as a result of running into or trying to swerve from road debris? In many instances, yes.

Crashing Into an Object

If your vehicle is damaged from running into or running over an object in the road, then your collision coverage should most likely pay for repairs.

Flying Objects That Land on Your Car

If the object flies through the air and hits your car, then your comprehensive coverage may come into play.

Personal Injury

If you or a passenger are injured, personal injury protection or medical payments would likely pay for treatment of injuries.

Getting the At-Fault Driver to Pay

If the accident was the result of someone failing to secure a load, you may be able to make a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance.

It’s always prudent to file a police report, which can help establish the facts for your insurance claim.

Road Debris Safety Tips

If You Are Driving

  • Try to look farther than two or three cars ahead, so you potentially have time to change lanes before you reach a hazard.
  •  In many instances it can be safer to hit the debris than to swerve to try to avoid it. (Remember that more than a third of road debris deaths occurred from swerving.)
  • If you’re on a roadway at night (and it’s not foggy and there’s no traffic), drive with your high beams on so you can potentially spot debris in the road.
  • Call 911 to report hazards in the roadway.

If You Are Carrying a Load

  • Properly secure the load on your vehicle. Test your cargo before you leave. If it moves, secure it better.
  • If you lose something, pull to the side of the road where it is safe and call 911. Keep your seatbelt fastened until help arrives.

Get Free Advice From Experienced NC Road Debris Lawyers

Proving liability can be tricky because North Carolina laws on road debris can be vague and leave lots of room for interpretation. Based on our experience in fighting the insurance companies for compensation for damages and injuries, we strongly advise getting an experienced roadway debris lawyer.

If you have been injured by roadway debris, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. Our experienced auto accident lawyers will evaluate your case for FREE.

How to Try to Avoid Hitting a Deer – 11 Tips!

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission estimates our deer population this year is topping roughly a million. And those million or so deer are watching for two things – mates and hunters. Especially from October through December, which is their mating season and our deer hunting season.

With nearly 18,000 animal-related car crashes in North Carolina (90% of them deer) in 2104, these fleet footed beauties are not looking out for you or your car.

1912586_1Deer on the Move in Autumn

While deer can travel at any time, be particularly alert between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. – and especially at dawn, and in areas where there’s development and where deer are being displaced. For example, for many years there has been a lot of construction and development in Wake County. And likely as a result, it has had the highest number of deer-related crashes 12 years in a row through 2015, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

11 Tips to Try to Avoid Deer-Related Car Damage or Injury

Here’s what the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and other roadway safety experts suggests to try to avoid colliding with a deer.

Preventative Measures

  1. Deer travel in groups. If you see one deer cross the road, others are likely nearby.
  2. Slow down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening.
  3. Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-related car crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  4. Deer are most likely to travel near bridges, overpasses, railroad tracks, and streams and ditches, and this is where most deer crashes occur.
  5. Drive with high beams on when prudent, and watch for eyes reflecting in the headlights.
  6. Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also crash.
  7. Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away. Deer can be easily mesmerized by consistent light, so flashing your lights may also help scare the deer away.
  8. Do not swerve to avoid a collision with deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, flipping it over, veering it into oncoming traffic, or overcorrecting and running off the road, causing a more serious crash.
  9. Let off your brakes if you see you are about to collide. GEICO Insurance company suggests that you try to let off the brakes at the moment of impact. Braking through the impact could cause the hood of your vehicle to dip down, which can propel the animal through the windshield.
  10. Do not rely on deer-related devices such as deer whistles, deer fences, or reflectors to deter deer, as these devices have not proven to reduce deer-vehicle crashes.
  11. Do not touch the deer if you crash into it. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. Get your car safely off the road if possible, and call 911 to report the accident.

Get Evidence That a Deer Caused the Crash

Take a photo of any evidence that shows you hit a deer. (For insurance reasons. I’m not suggesting you should pull over and take a selfie.) If you see any animal skin, hair, or other parts on your car (in the grill perhaps), get it on camera up close.

Sounds insensitive and inhumane, I know. (I love deer and I wouldn’t like to do this, myself.) But the reality is if you report the accident to your insurance company or if someone is injured as a result, you will need proof that you faced a “sudden emergency.”

Proof You Were Not Negligent

In North Carolina (and many states) there is a legal principle called the “sudden emergency doctrine” that can be used to defend negligence on your part.  It provides a challenge to the standard of care for ordinary negligence in certain situations where you are faced with an emergency situation.  In other words, an action that might have otherwise been negligent, might not be so if you are confronted with a surprise emergency situation.

Proof for Insurance Company

Let’s say, for example, no one is injured (except the deer), but the front of your car is a mess. The insurance company will want proof that you actually did hit a deer. Or that you swerved to avoid the deer. Otherwise they could deny your claim. Or at the very least, if they cannot prove you hit a deer, they could raise your rates.

While our firm handles primarily personal injury cases (not auto damage claims), here is food for thought about how an insurance company may view your predicament if you are filing for auto damages.

The insurance company cannot recover damages from the deer. (We all know deer don’t pay insurance premiums.) And even though colliding with a deer or any wildlife is technically considered a collision, this particular type of collision is usually covered under your comprehensive policy. Usually with comprehensive, you don’t’ pay a deductible and your rates are not likely to go up.

If your insurance company doesn’t see “evidence” that you hit a deer, they might make you file your car damages claim under your collision policy, which means you will pay your deductible and they could increase your rates!

Deer-Related Accident? NC Auto Accident Attorneys Offer FREE Evaluation

If you do find yourself in a situation where you have been injured in any type of car wreck through no fault of your own, contact us  or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE.