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Top 5 Auto Insurance Myths

The rules governing your auto insurance policy can be complicated, and most consumers don't take the time to thoroughly review their policies and ask questions to clarify their coverage. As a result, many drivers make certain assumptions about their insurance coverage. These assumptions are perpetuated as auto insurance myths.

Here are the top 5 auto insurance myths we hear when talking to clients:

I Have Comprehensive Coverage, so My Car is Covered for All Types of Damages

Despite what its name suggests, comprehensive coverage only covers certain types of damages to your vehicle, including things like fire, hail storms, theft and vandalism. You must purchase additional insurance to cover other types of damages, such as collision coverage for damages caused in an accident or uninsured motorist coverage for damages caused in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Car Theft_06132014Many drivers refer to "full coverage," as well as comprehensive coverage, in claiming to be covered against all damages. However, there is no one type of insurance coverage that protects against all damages. It is very important to have a copy of your insurance declaration page when talking with a personal injury attorney about your coverage after you've been in an accident.

If Someone Else is Driving My Car and an Accident Happens, I'm Not Liable

Unfortunately, you could be responsible for any damages caused by your vehicle, even if you are not driving at the time. The car insurance you carry for your vehicle could be considered the primary insurance, which would be used to cover damages in the event of an accident. However, if the damages exceed your coverage limits, the insurance policy held by the person driving may then be used to cover the remaining costs.

I am Automatically Covered for a Rental Vehicle Under My Personal Insurance Policy

While your personal auto insurance policy may cover some damages when you are driving another vehicle, you should not count on it providing coverage for a rental vehicle. There is a lot of fine print regarding what is covered when you are behind the wheel of another vehicle and under what circumstances. It's always best to purchase a policy that covers your rental car specifically when you pick it up.

Insurance Claims Will be Paid Fully and Promptly

If this were always the case, we wouldn't be in business. Unfortunately, we have seen that insurance companies will try to dispute coverage and deny claims. That's why it's always a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer after you've been in an accident. A qualified personal injury lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and try to ensure that you get the benefits to which you are entitled under the law.

My Insurance Company is Loyal to Me

Again, this is something that we've seen is not always true, unfortunately. Even your own insurance company can wrongfully deny your claim for coverage. It is important to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you fight for your rights and try to get the compensation that you may deserve for your injuries.

Make sure that you aren't counting on unfounded insurance myths if you are in an accident. Protect yourself by reviewing your insurance policy thoroughly and asking questions about anything that is unclear. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights under the law if you have been injured in an accident. The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you if you have been injured in an accident. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

Driving Tips for Overseas Trips

WorkersComp34_06042014Traveling overseas can be fun and exciting - especially if you decide to drive yourself to better explore and discover new things. However, a vacation abroad can quickly turn deadly if you do not follow safe driving practices. Here are a few tips to help you make your trip overseas a safe one if you plan to drive:

Get an International Driving Permit

Your U.S. driver's license will not be recognized in many countries. To be on the safe side, you will need to get an International Driving Permit. You can apply for the permit through AAA or the National Auto Club - the only two agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of State.

Make Sure You Have Insurance

Your auto insurance policy may not cover you if you are traveling overseas. Double check your policy to see if you are covered (and confirm coverage with a representative from your insurance company). If you are not covered, look into getting a supplemental policy for your trip, or find out if the rental car agency offers such policies.

Learn Local Laws

The rules for driving overseas may not be the same as the rules for driving at home. For example, you may not be able to make a right turn on red. There may be special rules for passing. And, of course, you may even be required to drive on the opposite side of the road!

Make sure to educate yourself about these rules ahead of time. Not only could you save yourself from a ticket (or legal action), but you could also save your life by reducing your chances of a serious accident caused by a simple traffic gaffe.

Learn Basic Symbols

Some traffic symbols may be universal, such as red for stop or green for go. But some signs will be written in a language that you may not be able to read - or they may be written in a language that uses characters you cannot understand. For example, could you identify the word "Stop" written in Japanese?

Learn some basic symbols or words for traffic directions in the country to which you are traveling to be sure you recognize the rules for the road when you are out driving.

Use a GPS

When you are trying to read signs written in another language, remember whether it's OK for you to pass on a single-lane road, and perhaps even keep your orientation as you're driving on the "wrong" side of the road, you shouldn't also be trying to read a map to figure out where you're going. Use a GPS that can clearly identify your route in real time and perhaps even narrate it aloud for you.

Driving in another country can be a fun way to get to know the place better, but it presents many challenges. In order to stay safe, you need to prepare yourself by learning about the local traffic laws and how to read basic signs and symbols. Make sure you have the right driving permit and insurance, and get a good GPS unit. Then enjoy your trip!

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you are involved in an accident at home or abroad, the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

5 Ways to Stay Safe When Driving around Large Semi-Trucks

Tractor Trailer1_07032014Driving around large semi-trucks on the highway is not the same as driving around other passenger vehicles. Semi-trucks that are fully loaded can weigh more than 80,000 pounds - or more than 40 tons. All that extra weight makes it hard for these trucks to brake quickly or to respond to dangers on the road.

It is important to follow additional precautions when driving around large semi-trucks in order to keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road. Here are 5 tips for safe driving around large semi-trucks:

Be Alert

When you approach a semi-truck, or you see one approaching you, be on alert. Tractor trailers and other large trucks do not move the same as other vehicles on the road. Wind can push the trailers into other lanes, tires can explode onto the road, and the truck can start to drift across lanes if the driver becomes fatigued.

Unfortunately, a truck driver cannot react as quickly to these situations because of the size and the weight of the truck. You must be alert to take defensive measures as needed when the truck driver cannot, including braking or changing lanes quickly.

Don't Pass on the Right

Trucks have to swing widely to the left to make a right turn, creating a large gap that may make it seem like there is room to pass. If you try to pass a truck on the right, you leave open the opportunity that the truck will plow into your vehicle if it is trying to turn right.

Passing on the right is never a safe idea, but it presents even more problems if you try to do it to a truck. Stay safe and always pass on the left.

Don't Drive in a Blind Spot

Every vehicle has a blind spot for the driver. If you are in a truck's blind spot and the driver makes a lane change or has to swerve to avoid debris or other obstacles, the results could be disastrous.

Stay safe and stay out of a truck's blind spot. Pass quickly, and stay ahead of or behind the truck instead of side-by-side.

Don't Cut Off a Truck

With all that weight in tow, it can be very difficult for a semi-truck to slow down or come to a stop quickly. In fact, it can take a large tractor-trailer the length of three football fields to come to a complete stop from traveling 60 mph. If you cut off a semi-truck, the driver won't be able to stop quickly and may just plow right into the back of your vehicle.

Leaving plenty of room between you and a semi-truck when pulling into the same lane. Not only is it courteous, but it will also keep you both safe.

Don't Follow Too Closely

If you are tailgating a semi-truck, chances are that the driver can't see you and that you can't see anything in front of the truck - meaning that you also can't know if obstacles are approaching. If the truck has to come to a sudden stop, you may not have any warning, and an accident could easily occur.

It's always a good idea to allow enough following space between you and another vehicle on the road. It's even more important to do so when you are behind a large tractor-trailer.

Remember: Semi-trucks don't behave the same way as other vehicles on the road. Following these tips will help keep you and other drivers safe.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!

10 Ways to Stay Safe on the Road

 Many accidents can be avoided if all drivers practice safe driving tips on the road. While you can't control what other drivers are doing, you can increase your safety by being more mindful of your own behaviors.

Here are 10 ways that you can stay safe on the road so you can reduce your risks of being involved in an automobile accident:

Wear Your Seat Belt

Even if you're only driving 10 minutes to the store around the corner, put on your seat belt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts can reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50 percent. Air bags are not an adequate substitute for seat belts.

Speedometer2_07212014Follow the Speed Limit

Don't be tempted to put the pedal to the metal when you're in a rush. Speeding greatly increases your risk of an accident - either with another car or as a result of losing control of your vehicle. Stay within the posted speed limit and make sure you get to your destination safely.

Follow Traffic Rules

Driving rules have been established for a reason: They help keep you safe. Make sure you practice safe driving rules, including maintaining a proper following distance, stopping at all posted signs and lights, ceding the right-of-way, and more.

Text&Drive3_07032014Don't Talk on Your Phone or Text

You may think that you can handle taking a call while driving, but doing so greatly increases your risks of getting into an accident. Texting while driving is even more dangerous as it takes your eyes off the road and your hand off the wheel. Turn off your phone and wait to return calls and texts until you are safely parked.

Don't Put on Makeup While Driving

Many of us try to multi-task when we're in a rush. It's tempting to grab your makeup and try to put it on while you're on the way to work. However, putting on makeup while driving is dangerous as it greatly increases your risks of getting into an accident.

Don't Eat While Driving

Fast food restaurants seem to have been designed to encourage eating on-the-go. However, if you need to hit a drive through on the way home or the way to work, make sure you don't eat your meal until you reach your destination. Eating while driving is another form of distracted driving, and it can increase your risk of getting into an accident.

Map Your Route Ahead of Time

Trying to fiddle with a map or even a GPS device can distract your attention while driving and take your hand off the wheel, increasing your risk of an accident. Plan your route ahead of time by marking it clearly on a map or loading it up on a GPS before you leave.

Keep Your Car Well-Maintained

Engine problems, tire blowouts, and other malfunctions can cause potentially deadly accidents - especially if they happen at high speeds on the highway. Make sure your car is properly maintained by regularly checking the tires, belts, plugs, and fluids.

Make Sure You Are Well-Rested

Driving while you are sleep-impaired is almost as dangerous as driving while you are drunk. It reduces your response time and makes it harder for you to navigate safely on the road. Make sure you are well-rested each time you get behind the wheel, no matter how short the trip.

DrinkingandDriving_07222014Don't Drive While Impaired

Finally, it is important that you never drive while you are drunk or otherwise impaired. You present a real danger to yourself and other drivers when you drive while impaired. Always get a designated driver or hire a taxi if you are impaired.

Practicing these basic safe driving tips will help reduce your chances of being in an accident when you are on the road, keeping yourself and other drivers safe.

If you have been in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer a free evaluation of your case.

Requirements for Child Car Safety Seats to Change in 2014

For many car seats, parents have had two options: Using the seat belt in the car to attach the seat, or using the LATCH system - Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children - which most parents consider easier to use for installing the seat.

However, with a new federal rule that will take affect in early 2014, child safety-seat manufacturers will be required to tell parents not to use the LATCH system if their child and the car seat have a combined weight of 65 pounds or more.

Many car seats weigh as much as 15 to 33 pounds, so children as light as 32 pounds or as young as 3 may be affected by this new rule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in car seats with harnesses until they are 8.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers petitioned for the new rule because the strength of the lower tethers was not enough to assure the safety of heavier children. Other safety advocates say that seat belts need to be strengthened to reduce the risk of injuries to children.

Other problems have been noted with the LATCH system.

ChildinCar_07212014Last summer, a study by Safe Kids Worldwide found that community checkpoint technicians were only using lower anchors to attach child safety seats about 30 percent of the time, and parents were only using the top tethers about 30 percent of the time.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

The safety of your family is your No. 1 priority. If you or your loved ones have been injured in an automobile accident because of driver error or a malfunctioning car seat, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you. We have representatives available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer you a free evaluation of your case. There is no obligation. Find out how we may be able to help you!

Categories: Auto Accidents

Operation Drive to Live Pushes Parents to Talk with Teenage Drivers about Safety

Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teen drivers in North Carolina, and teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

SteeringWheel_07182014The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that every year, the number of fatal crashes involving teenagers rises in April, May, and June, corresponding with prom and graduation season.

In an effort to combat that trend and to promote safe driving education, the N.C. Highway Patrol recently conducted its annual "Operation Drive to Live" campaign, which combined an increased presence and enforcement of traffic laws around school zones, as well as traffic-safety education programs in high schools.

As part of the program, which ran from April 9-13, troopers looked to step up enforcement of violations such as speeding, following too closely, reckless driving, and distracted driving.

Safe Driving Agreements

Operation Drive to Live strives to highlight the dangers that teen drivers face on the road to encourage parents to take steps to teach safe driving practices and to encourage responsibility behind the wheel.

The N.C. Highway Patrol estimates that a teenager is involved in a crash every 23.6 minutes and says that their crash rates increase dramatically when they are no longer driving while supervised.

The N.C. Highway Patrol encourages parents to adopt a driving agreement with their teens. A driving agreement is a formal agreement that outlines specific actions and behaviors that are expected of both teens and parents.

A driving agreement could include agreements by the teen driver to never drive a vehicle after drinking or taking drugs and never to be a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who is intoxicated. The agreement could also include promises to always wear a seat belt, to obey the speed limit, to avoid distractions such as texting or playing with the radio while driving, and to avoid aggressive or reckless driving.

Parents are advised to review the agreement every 60 days and revise it as necessary.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one were injured in an automobile accident, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 right now to get a free evaluation of your case!

Categories: Auto Accidents

Distracted Driving May Lead to Accidents and Serious Injury

PeopleTexting_07312014If you're driving and you get a text from a friend, you may want to ROFL, but you'll have to say "TTYL" instead to ensure that you aren't saying "SMH" because you've been in an accident.

Distracted driving - including talking on a cell phone or texting - can lead to accidents that cause serious injury or even death.

According to research from Monash University, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into serious car accidents.

The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 16 percent of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving, and 20 percent of crashes with injuries involved distracted driving.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and officials are trying to get the word out that talking on the cell phone or trying to text while driving poses a significant risk to safety, both to yourself and to other drivers.

Many companies and local governments have already taken steps to regulate distracted driving.

State Cell Phone Laws

Nine states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. No state bans all cell phone use (hand-held and hands-free) by all drivers. However, 36 states ban text messaging for all drivers.

In North Carolina, there is a ban on text messaging for all drivers, and school bus drivers and drivers under 18 are banned from using cell phones while driving. Using a phone to check e-mail or the Internet while driving is also prohibited for all drivers.

The local Chapel Hill government recently passed a ban on the use of all cell phones while driving, including hands-free devices. The ban will go into effect on June 1.

Federal Laws for Businesses

A new federal law has also been passed that bans commercial drivers from using hand-held cell phones. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration law took effect on January 3.

Under the new law, not only can commercial drivers be fined for using a cell phone, but companies can also be fined for requiring or allowing drivers to use cell phones.

Many companies are following suit by passing their own distracted-driving policies. Reliance Steel & Aluminum told USA Today that it has banned the use of any kind of electronic communication device while driving, including CB or cell phone for calling or texting. Enbridge Energy Partners told the paper that it has banned the use of cell phones for company business while driving, even in personal vehicles.

North Carolina Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that involved a distracted driver who was talking on a cell phone or texting, you may be entitled to compensation. One of the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 right now for a free evaluation of your case!

Categories: Car Accidents

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078