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Who Pays for E-scooter Injuries?

If you’re in the Triangle area, you’ve undoubtedly seen at least one brand of electric scooter (most likely Byrd or Lime). These e-scooters, as they are more commonly known, have become a popular method of transportation. They have their good qualities, a handful of bad injury repercussions, and some downright ugly outcomes of the ramifications of these injuries.

The Good. On one hand, their arrival has created jobs, reduced pollution, helped to decrease traffic in some areas, and given riders a chance to get from point A to point B in a novel new way.

The Bad. Unfortunately, however, e-scooter injuries have increased exponentially.

The Ugly. When it comes to paying for these injuries, don’t look to the scooter companies. Or to insurance.

Common E-scooter Injuries

WRAL cited a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study, which stated that head injuries are among the most common e-scooter mishaps (40%). Although this study was conducted in California, Triangle physicians also reported seeing broken bones (more than 31% of injuries), and arm, wrist, or hand fractures. Many are serious enough to require permanent plates and pins.

Injuries span all ages. From younger people under the age of 18, who are sometimes seen as risk seekers, to those over the ages of 50.

The JAMA study noted that nearly 5% of those injured, were intoxicated during the accident. Drinking and operating an e-scooter can lead to more serious injuries that have required some people to receive intensive care for bleeding on the brain or intracranial hemorrhages.

If that is not bad enough, even worse accidents have been reported. In recent months, there have been at least three deaths across the country related to e-scooters. One young woman riding a scooter in Ft. Lauderdale was so severely injured, it left her in a vegetative state. The woman’s mother is suing Lime based on the argument that Lime’s app includes language that specifically instructs people not to operate scooters on local sidewalks, pushing them onto city streets instead. The conundrum here is that operating a motorized scooter on the street is against the law in Fort Lauderdale, though the city does permit e-scooters to be ridden on sidewalks.

There have been so many accidents nationwide that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has entered the picture. The agency is studying the health risks associated with e-scooters by analyzing injuries to riders and pedestrians.

Safety Rules for E-scooters

As that story illustrates, the rules governing e-scooters are confusing. They vary from state to state and seem to change. In North Carolina, riders are not allowed to ride on sidewalks and they must wear helmets. Yet, these rules are routinely broken.

Who Pays for E-scooter Injuries?

Are riders completely held liable, or do the scooter companies provide insurance for its riders? According to Bird’s and Lime’s rental agreements, the rider assumes all responsibility.

When an at-fault driver of a car is involved in an e-scooter collision, that driver’s car insurance coverage may potentially apply. That might lead someone to believe that if they are a scooter rider and become injured as the result of a vehicle driver’s negligence, the driver’s auto insurance might pay for the scooter rider’s injuries. Not necessarily so.

Don’t think that the negligent driver’s insurance company is simply going to hand you over a fat check for all your medical bills and other expenses to fully compensate you for the injuries you suffered. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses – some of the world’s most profitable. They are so profitable, in fact, that in 2016, the insurance industry’s assets ($5.8 trillion) totaled more than the GDPs of all but two countries – the United States and China.

Insurance companies understand how to try to avoid paying you what you may potentially deserve. Click here for stories of individuals who have had to deal with insurance companies’ tactics.

Did You Contribute to an E-scooter Crash?

One more thing. North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. What that means is if the insurance company can prove you were partially at fault – even just 1%, – you will most likely not get compensation.

Electric scooter accidents have been proliferating in NC cities and towns and across the nation. If you decide to ride an e-scooter, make sure you obey the rules and remain extra cautious to try to avoid injury to yourself or others.

No permita que el seguro se aproveche de usted con una oferta de “Precipitarse y Resolver”

Imagine que ha estado en un accidente de auto – nada grave, pero sus heridas son suficientes para enviarle al hospital para ser evaluado. Tiene dolor de cabeza, cuello, y espalda. Los doctores mencionan latigazo cervical y le despachan a la casa con medicamentos para el dolor y la advertencia de que se podrá sentir peor en los próximos días. Unos días después, el seguro del conductor culpable le llama y le ofrece una transacción  cubriendo sus facturas del hospital y unos $500 adicionales para resolver su caso. Usted piensa, bien… $500 extra. Y ellos quieren resolver tan rápido. Usted está ocupado y quiere dejar todo esto en el pasado. Así que usted acepta la oferta y cambia el cheque por $500 en efectivo.

Todo está bien. O eso pensó.

Un mes después, empieza a tener migrañas consistentes y siente hormigueo por su pierna izquierda que progresivamente ha empeorado. Usted regresa al doctor y se entera que tiene una concusión y una vértebra dislocada, que requiere una operación y semanas de rehabilitación y tratamiento. El doctor dice que estos problemas secundarios probablemente surgieron por su accidente de auto.

¿Qué hace usted? Más le vale llorar. Cuando cambió el cheque del seguro por los $500 , usted resolvió el reclamo, sabiéndolo o sin darse cuenta.

La compañía de seguro le engañó  usando lo que se llama el
 “Precipitarse & Resolver”

Cambiando el cheque, usted los libró de responsabilidad adicional. Y ahora usted es responsable por sus facturas médicas. Hemos visto esta prisa por llegar a un acuerdo como la estrategia favorita de algunas compañías de seguro para intentar  engañar a víctimas de lesiones y transigir prematuramente  para pagar lo menos posible.

La Estrategia “Precipitarse y Resolver” del Seguro

La técnica de “Precipitarse y Resolver” típicamente funciona así : un representante de la compañía de seguro le contacta poco después del choque y le hace una oferta muy baja. Ellos saben que usted tiene muchas cosas que hacer, probablemente siente dolor, no tiene un carro para manejar, y puede estar faltando al trabajo. Y la compañía de seguro va a intentar resolver antes de que otras lesiones “secundarias” se manifiesten.

Este es un tiempo confuso para víctimas, y la compañía de seguro puede intentar aprovecharse de su confusión para que usted termine resolviendo el reclamo por mucho menos de lo que vale su caso, y que renuncie a sus derechos antes de que usted sepa cuan herido usted está o antes de que tenga la oportunidad de hablar con un abogado para aprender sobre los varios derechos que usted tiene para luchar por más dinero. El objetivo es tratar de que usted acepte una minúscula oferta antes de que usted sepa la magnitud de sus lesiones. Para muchas personas, este dinero rápido parece demasiado bueno para ser verdad. Pero usted sabe lo que dicen sobre eso – demasiado bueno para ser verdad usualmente lo es.

Tristemente, hemos visto a muchos de nuestros clientes que no hablan inglés (en especial clientes hispanos) convertirse en victimas del “Precipitarse y Resolver”. Cuando uno de nuestros paralegales llamó a un cliente nuevo por primera vez, él dijo que la compañía de seguro le envió un cheque y que lo había cambiado en efectivo esa mañana. Fue dinero en el correo, y no lo pensó dos veces – así que lo llevó al banco. La compañía de seguro no le dio oportunidad, y lo peor es que el cheque solo fue por $500.

Nosotros también representabamos a un cliente que tuvo a un ajustador de la compañía de seguro que fue a la casa del cliente, hizo una oferta y se sentó en el sofá, y se negó a irse hasta que alguien le aceptara la oferta. El cliente no supo que hacer.

Estos son solo dos, de docenas de ejemplos, de las estrategias de las compañías de seguro que tenemos en nuestro folleto gratis Compañías de Seguro (y otros) Comportándose Mal que usted puede descargar de nuestra página web. Léalo si se anima. Es realmente impactante.

Cuidado con la Declaración Grabada

Como parte de cualquier protocolo de accidente, la compañía de seguro probablemente le llamara lo más pronto posible para obtener una “declaración grabada.” Lo que usted diga al representante del seguro y las palabras que usted escoja son extremadamente importantes para la transacciónde su reclamación. (Haga click aqui por cinco cosas que no debe decir en una declaración grabada.)

La declaración grabada es tan importante, que yo le aconsejo a mis clientes que no provean una antes de consultarlo conmigo primero, o solo si yo estoy incluido en la llamada telefónica durante la declaración.

Lo hemos visto una y otra  vez. El representante probablemente le hará preguntas para dirigirlo, que pueden hacer que usted admita culpa parcial, o que responda en tal manera que sus propias palabras pueden ser usadas en su contra en la corte, si llega a esto. Algo tan simple como “¿Cómo te sientes hoy?,” requiere ser manejado con mucho cuidado. Si usted responde, “oh, yo estoy bien, gracias” algunas compañías de seguro pueden tratar de interpretar que eso significa que usted está bien desde la perspectiva médica, aunque usted solo respondió retóricamente.

Otras Estrategias de Seguros para Pagarle Menos a Usted

La mayoría de las compañías de seguro son compañías con fines de lucro. El lucro de ellos, no el suyo. Y muchas de ellas tienen varios métodos para intentar  retener tanto dinero como sea posible. Haga click aquí para aprender maneras sorprendentes que algunas compañías de seguro han creado para quedarse con dinero que usted posiblemente merece, de sus propias manos.

Por qué el Seguro no Quiere que Usted Contrate a un Abogado

¿La verdadera razón por la cual las compañías de seguro no quieren que usted contrate a un abogado?  Estudios de la industria de seguros muestran que, en promedio, víctimas de accidentes de auto que manejaron su reclamo sin ayuda legal recibieron 3.5 VECES MENOR* compensación por su pérdida, de lo que hubieran recibido si hubiesen contratado a un abogado de daños corporales.

¿Qué puede hacer un Abogado de Accidentes por Usted?

Nos ocuparemos de la compañía de seguro y sus facturas médicas por usted. Lo único que usted debe hacer es seguir las órdenes de su doctor y recuperarse lo más rápido posible. Mientras usted se recupera, nosotros haremos lo difícil e intentaremos:

  • Probar daños
  • Determinar la culpa
  • Prevenir y bloquear tácticas evasivas de los seguros
  • Investigar el reclamo
  • Proteger la evidencia
  • Negociar un acuerdo justo

Usted puede tener derecho a la compensación máxima por:

  • Facturas médicas y de rehabilitación
  • Tiempo faltado al trabajo
  • El costo de reparaciones a su vehículo
  • La disminución de la capacidad de generar ingresos por daños permanentes

No solo ofrecemos una evaluación gratuita para su caso, usted no paga nada por adelantado, y no paga los honorarios de abogado si no obtenemos compensación para usted.

Abogados de Choque en NC ofrecen Evaluación Gratuita de su Caso

Si usted ve un cheque en el correo, o le ofrecen un acuerdo demasiado pronto, eso es una señal de peligro. Si usted deposita o cambia el cheque, usted puede estar intercambiando su futuro financiero. Tome su tiempo y hable con un abogado de accidentes de auto con experiencia antes de llegar a un acuerdo.

Contáctenos o llame 1-800-968-5342 por una evaluación gratuita de su caso.

 

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

 

How Your Body Reacts to a Car Accident

One minute, you’re driving along the highway on your daily commute to work. The next, you’re laying roadside after being tossed from your vehicle in a high-impact collision. Your body lies motionless. Or does it?

A lot can happen to your body in a short period of time during a car crash. Much of it you may not even be aware of. Many assume that the effects of a car crash are only those you can see externally, but in reality there’s an internal crash of your body’s organs that can be just as debilitating.

Let’s break down the anatomy of a car crash…

Step 1: Metal Hits Metal

Depending on the vehicles involved and the nature of the collision, this can come in many different forms. The severity of damages to the car will ultimately depend on the speed and size of the involved vehicles.

Cars are built to take on collisions and to try to protect drivers and passengers as much as possible. The nose of the car is often referred to as the “crumple zone” and is designed to absorb some of the shock and energy from a crash. However, there is only so much your vehicle can shield you from…

Step 2: Body Hits Metal

After the car has taken all it can, the body will start to feel the effects of the crash. This stage is the one that you will feel directly. The kinetic energy unabsorbed by your car’s exterior will now transfer to your body and force it into motion.

The motion could be restrained by a seatbelt or airbag, or the force could cause the body to collide with other parts of the car – often the window or steering wheel. In serious incidents, the body could be entirely ejected from the vehicle, leading to the next stage of the collision. However, even if the movement is controlled by safety features, further injuries are still probable.

Step 3: Internal Organs Keep Moving

When your body has finally come to rest after a crash, you may think you are lying very still. But you are not.

Your internal organs continue to bump into each other even after you have stopped moving.

We’ve all learned Newton’s law that “an object at motion tends to stay in motion.” This law is especially applicable to human bodies when suddenly jolted into high motion situations. Despite the fact that there is only so far your physical body can be tossed, the internal organs will continue to move toward the point of impact until all energy is absorbed.

During a car wreck, the human body naturally goes into an instinctive survival mode. Both adrenaline and endorphins are released as a reaction to the shock. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural pain relievers when released. That’s why you may not feel the internal pain immediately.

Even if a body appears to have escaped a car crash uninjured, there’s a strong possibility that internal organs could be torn, bruised, or bleeding.

How to Stay Safe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that seat belts saved over 14,000 lives in 2016 alone. Frontal air bags saved an additional 3,000 that same year.

While car crashes can be unpredictable and unavoidable, it is important to take the necessary precautions to limit the injuries, both internal and external, caused by a car wreck. Buckle up and familiarize yourself with the proper use of an air bag to try to lessen the severity of any potential injuries.

Finally, be alert while on the roads. Click here for more helpful tips about driving safely on NC highways.

North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys Evaluate Your Case for FREE

If you have been in an auto accident, don’t wreck twice. The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin will fight for you and try to get you the maximum compensation you potentially deserve. Call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click here to contact us online.

P.S. Why choose our car accident attorneys? Here are a few good reasons.

Which Greensboro Roads Can be Dangerous?

Every town and city has them. They’re the intersections, roadways, merge sites, or construction zones that locals try to avoid like a root canal. At best, these sites can be a nuisance. At worst, they can sometimes be downright deadly.

Our law firm has 14 office locations across North Carolina. The James Scott Farrin headquarters in Durham is right off the NC-147 Freeway. While convenient, the NC-147 Freeway always seems to be under construction somewhere, sometimes causing accidents and traffic back-ups.

I am located in our Greensboro office, which is in downtown Greensboro next to the Greensboro Marriott. We have often seen clients from High Point, Asheboro, and Burlington in addition to Greensboro. As a personal injury attorney, I am often privy to information from clients, law enforcement and others regarding roadways around town that can be particularly worrisome.

Troublesome Roads in the Greensboro Area

For me, personally, there are a handful of trouble spots.

Wendover Avenue can be a challenge, but the section near the I-40 can be particularly troublesome at times.

Battleground Ave. is another area I tend to try to avoid if possible. As a Greensboro accident attorney, I have known of many collisions along this route. The intersections along Battleground Ave. can be confusing, the volume of traffic is high, and there are random, short, one-way sections that can be problematic, even to local Greensboro residents.

There can also be congestion and collisions along the stretch of I-40/I-85 between the Freeman Mill Road exit and the Lee Street exit.

Those are my personal bugaboos. The Greensboro Police Department has their own list of sites that they consider to be among the most dangerous.

Greensboro’s Top Crash Sites and Speed Traps

WWFMY News 2 reported on the top 10 crash sites, according to the Greensboro Police Department:

  • I-40/I-85 (Elm-Eugene Street to 29)
  • I-40/I-85 (Randleman Rd to 220)
  • US-29 Corridor (E Market to E Gate City)
  • W Wendover Avenue Corridor (Bridford to Tri-City)
  • Battleground Avenue Corridor (Westride to city limit)
  • I-40/Guilford College Road
  • Holden Rd/Vandalia Road
  • W Gate City Blvd/W Meadowview Road
  • Pisgah Church/N Elm Street
  • I-40/Sandy Ridge Road

Many of the problems along these Greensboro roads have to do with speeding, and the news reports that Greensboro police have often had officers patrolling these very areas where speeding has been an issue.

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has represented far too many victims of speeders. Speeding is avoidable and so are accidents due to this offense. Sadly, though, we see these every day. It never gets any easier to see a life change for the worse in one brief instant.

Click here for Tony’s story. He was “living the dream” until he was hit from behind by a vehicle speeding at 70 mph.

Get a Free Case Evaluation From Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been the victim of any type of car wreck in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina as a result of speeding or for any other reason, contact us today or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

Click here for information on the formidable team of car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin who stand ready to fight for you.

Tire Tread Depth Safety Standard May Be Too Low

You know your tires are responsible for getting you from A to B. But how much do you really know about the safety of those four wheels under your vehicle? Here are some surprising facts uncovered in a new AAA study about tire safety and tread depth.

Tires are the only point of contact between vehicles and the road. Every safety and control system in the vehicle relies on the ability of the car’s tires to maintain adequate traction. That is why safety guidelines are imposed on how worn vehicle tires can be before they are considered illegal to drive on.


According to the North Carolina Consumers Council, your tires are your most critical safety component.


The agency states that tires with a tread depth of 2/32” or less will not pass state safety inspections. Tires with tread below this threshold are known to be insufficient for a vehicle’s needs, especially in wet conditions.

However, a new study by AAA suggests that even tires that are within our state’s limits are more dangerous than people may realize.

How Safe Is the 2/32” Tire Depth Minimum?


AAA found that a tread depth of even 4/32”, twice as deep as the state standard for
replacement, was measurably unsafe.


The agency conducted tests on wet roads at speeds of 60 mph to compare the stopping ability of brand new tires versus those with a tread depth of 4/32”.

The tests discovered that, compared to new tires, those with a tread depth of 4/32” increased stopping distance by 43% – which means another 87 feet of stopping distance for cars. Put another way, the point at which the new tires reach a complete stop, the worn tires continue to travel at speeds of nearly 40 mph. No matter how hard you hit the brakes; your tires will keep traveling and could potentially cause a collision.

If you think buying more expensive tires is the answer, AAA has a caveat about that. The study found that tread depth had a much larger influence on tire performance than the cost of the tires. Worn tire performance for the most expensive all-season tires did not perform significantly better than the less expensive all-season tires in the study.

Precautionary Measures & Tire Tread Depth

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that one in every 11 crashes involved an issue with a tire prior to the accident.

So what can you do to help try to keep your tires up to par?

  • Inform yourself of the functions and proper maintenance of your tires. Take matters into your own hands and stay up to date with information on tire safety.
  • Test your own tire depth using a quarter. Turn the quarter upside down and place it in the tread; if you can see anything above the top of Washington’s hair, it is time to change the tire.
  • Don’t wait to change your tires. Change them before they reach a tread depth of 4/32” instead of waiting until they reach the state-mandated minimum of 2/32”.

AAA notes that the 2/32” minimum may provide benefits in the form of lower warranty costs for manufacturers, but the human cost could be too high to ignore.

Click here for more tips on safe driving.

Get a Free Case Evaluation from North Carolina Car Crash Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident due to the at-fault driver’s worn tires (or for any other reason) contact us today or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

Click here for information on the formidable team of car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin who stand ready to fight for you.

Truck Wrecks Are Not Just Big Car Wrecks

Experience navigating commercial truck accident investigations tells us this:

Commercial truck accident investigations take on a life of their own and can become very complex, very quickly.

Success in truck accident claims often boils down to experience


“As a defense lawyer for the trucking industry, we were often called to the accident scene within the hour to begin gathering evidence to make a case.”

— Patrick White, Former Defense Attorney for the Trucking Industry


There are a whole host of state and federal rules and regulations that govern how commercial trucking companies and truck drivers should operate. Millions of dollars can potentially be at stake, which is why insurance companies are likely to do almost anything to deny fault. They often have their best and most experienced adjusters handle these claims. Some have been known to send a defense lawyer to the scene within the hour to begin gathering evidence on behalf of their client.

Experience in this industry has proven to me that it is extremely difficult to be successful in this type of claim unless you know how to navigate the trucking industry and its rules and regulations.

A collision with a commercial truck is subject to different rules and regulations than car crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates operating codes that apply only to commercial trucking companies and truck drivers. Truckers also have special training and licensing requirements. Trucking companies are required by law to keep records that must be produced as evidence in the event of a crash. However, sometimes these documents have been destroyed if they were not accessed immediately.

Preservation of evidence is a critical reason we urge truck accident victims to contact us as soon as possible after an accident.

Serious injuries and potentially millions of dollars could be at stake

Multiple companies are often involved and will potentially point blame at each other – and at you. Trucking companies often act immediately, putting their best people on the scene to start making a case against anyone but them.

If we take your case, we will immediately begin gathering evidence to try to get you the maximum compensation you may deserve.

We take immediate action to preserve critical evidence

Trucking companies will often call on their best investigators, insurance reps, supervisors, and other truck accident experts. They will be looking at skid marks, the debris field, talking to witnesses, the police. They will obtain data from the truck’s black box and driver log books – and they will work to get the data that was recorded from your own vehicle, such as speed and braking.

Truck accident victims may need their own accident experts on the scene to gather evidence and secure critical information.

Multiple companies will likely obtain their own lawyers to try to prove fault

In my experience, it is rare that anyone wants to pay or accept fault, including companies who broker truck drivers, loaders, and maintenance, parts manufacturers, and the trucking company itself. The driver’s very livelihood may depend on his innocence. So he may try to do everything he can to exonerate himself, even if that means blaming you.

Let us work to deflect these accusations to try to prove you were not at fault and that you deserve maximum compensation.

We investigate to try to uncover all parties that may be liable to you in a trucking accident, including:

  • Owner of the trucking company
  • The parent company of the trucking firm
  • Big-rig owner
  • Truck driver
  • Truck driver’s employer
  • Owner of the cab and owner of the trailer
  • Manufacturer of the truck’s parts
  • Maintenance company that services the truck or its parts
  • Manufacturer of other vehicles, if involved
  • Owner and driver of any other vehicle involved
  • And potentially other at-fault parties

You may get nothing if they can show you were partly to blame

If the defense lawyers can show that you were just 1% at fault, they may claim they do not have to pay you one dime under North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws. Unfortunately, they may be correct. Contributory negligence means that even if you were just a fraction at fault for your injury, the insurance company may not be legally obligated to compensate you. That is why you need a lawyer who can help you try to prove someone else was 100% to blame for the injuries you suffered.

Insurance companies sometimes offer far less than what you deserve

Or they may offer what you might believe is a substantial sum of money. Don’t be fooled by an offer of quick cash up front. In many cases, we’ve found these types of offers to be a ploy to entice the unwitting victim to settle quickly and disappear – fast.

Our advice? Talk to us before accepting any type of truck accident settlement.

Let us even the playing field and fight for maximum recovery

Trucking companies have lawyers looking out for them. That's why it's important to have an experienced truck accident attorney fighting for you. We complete our own investigations and take steps to preserve evidence in the possession of the trucking company, by court order if necessary. This evidence may include:

Hours of Service (HOS) data

HOS data can be found in logbooks or electronic logging devices. It can show whether the driver followed federal regulations concerning the number of hours drivers are allowed to spend on the road.

Employment records

Did the driver have a poor safety record or was otherwise unqualified to drive a truck?

Maintenance records

Were there maintenance problems with the truck or any of its individual parts?

Electronic data

Today’s trucks have electronic control modules ("black boxes") that record information about the truck's operation. This information has been known to disappear quickly.

We fight for maximum compensation the law allows

You may have a right to maximum compensation for:

  • Medical and rehabilitation bills
  • Future medical
  • Lost time from work
  • Cost of vehicle repairs
  • Diminished earning capacity for permanent injuries
  • Funeral expenses

Pay no attorney’s fee if we don’t recover

You pay us nothing upfront and no attorney’s fee whatsoever if we don’t recover for you.

We offer a free initial case evaluation, so contact us today at 1-866-900-7078.

You have a lot on your shoulders right now – a lot of decisions to make about your recovery and medical bills. Let us try to go after all the money you may be owed so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

How to Drive Smart When School’s In Session

As auto accident lawyers we are often asked questions about “the rules” of the road. What is legal, what isn’t. One question I have found myself answering more than a few times is when to stop for a stopped school bus. (Click here for our easy-to-follow infographic.)

The better question to answer in my opinion is how to drive safely near schools and when school children are nearby.

When Do I Stop for a School Bus?

If you are unsure of exactly which situations require you to stop for a stopped school bus, you are not alone. During a one-day study conducted by the North Carolina School Bus Safety Web in 2013, more than 3,300 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses.

The penalty for not stopping carries a minimum fine of $500, as stated in House Bill 428 (Hasani N. Wesley Students’ School Bus Safety Act). Passing a stopped school bus is not only illegal but also dangerous for children who may be entering or exiting the bus.

As a rule of thumb, drivers behind the school bus should always stop, regardless of whether they are in the same lane as the bus or not.

With a couple of exceptions, drivers on the opposite side of the road must also stop for a stopped school bus. Traffic traveling in the opposite direction is not required to stop, ONLY if driving on a four-lane road with a median separation, divided highway, or center turning lane. However, four-lane roads without median separation or turning lanes, and all two-lane roads – with or without center turning lanes – require that all traffic on either side of the road come to a complete stop until the school bus resumes motion.

Driving Near School Busses

In addition to knowing when to stop for a stopped school bus, drivers should take additional precautions when sharing the road with school buses. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends leaving a greater following distance behind buses than you would behind other cars, allowing you adequate time to stop when necessary.

The NSC also warns that “the area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children.” The organization recommends that drivers stop with a generous space between the bus and their vehicles to allow school children to enter and exit the bus as needed.

Keep in mind that because school buses are so large, drivers have limited visibility of surrounding cars and may not be able to see you. You should take this into consideration and yield to school buses when changing lanes and turning.

Look Out for Pedestrians

More than one-third of the children killed in school-transportation related crashes between 2006 and 2015 were pedestrians, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In North Carolina drivers must yield to pedestrians at all intersections and driveways.

School-aged children may be unpredictable or may not know the specific rules of when to cross a street. Therefore, drivers should use extreme caution and be prepared to stop at any given time when traveling through school zones and surrounding areas and neighborhoods.

The only thing children should have to worry about on their journey to school is whether or not they will pass their algebra test!

NC Personal Injury Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluation

Getting hurt on the way to school is something no one should have to go through alone. There can be extensive medical bills and issues with the insurance company. You want someone to fight for you to try to recover everything you are potentially due in damages.

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*.

If you or someone you know was involved in a school-transportation related accident, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

Shocking Facts About Hit-And-Run Crashes

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit-and-run crash happens every minute on America's roads. As a matter of fact they have hit an all-time high – and they’re increasing, says a new AAA study.

It’s a trend going the wrong way and showing no signs of stopping or turning around any time soon.

Hit-and-runs occur when at least one person involved in the crash flees the scene before offering help or information to others involved. While hit-and-runs typically occur between two moving cars, they may also involve pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, parked cars, and other property.

Hit-and-runs are serious business and can increase the cost of medical care, including the severity of outcomes, given delays or total absence of medical attention for victims and for families who are looking for remediation and insurance support. Experts say staying to help the injured victim could save a life.

Not only have hit-and-runs become more common, they are increasing. Let’s see why.

Putting Hit & Runs in Perspective

Here’s what AAA’s study shows about the severity and frequency of hit-and-runs.

  • The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) says that there were 56 recorded hit-and-run crashes in 2017.
  • Nationally, hit-and-runs account for over 5% of traffic fatalities.
  • Nationally, there’s an average increase of 7.2% every year.
  • Fleeing drivers accounted for 20% of pedestrian crash fatalities.
  • Nearly 65% of people killed due to hit-and-runs are pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • In 2016, 2,049 people were killed in hit-and-runs, a 60% increase since 2009 and the highest number ever.

To put it in perspective, that’s almost six deaths per day and more than one hit-and-run every minute on US roadways.

What’s with the Trend?

No one knows exactly why there is an increase in hit-and-run collisions, but there are many theories, ranging from population increase to distracted drivers, including drivers who are on their cell phones while driving.

Population Growth

With a population of 292 million, the US is the third most populous country in the world. And the US Census anticipates the population to double during this century.

North Carolina’s population is 10.3 million. And with a birth every eight seconds, our state is ranked as the fifth fastest growing state in the nation.

So what does this mean for hit-and-runs? It means there are far more people on the road which increases the number of collisions, including the likelihood of hit-and-runs.

Strengthening Economy

When the economy is doing well, more people have money to buy gas and travel. Many can also afford their own cars, cell phones, Bluetooths, and other technological devices that may take their mind off driving and contribute to the spike of collisions.

Distracted Driving

Another theory for the increase of hit-and-runs centers on distracted driving, namely cell phone usage.

In many states, including North Carolina, texting and driving is illegal, meaning that a collision due to phone usage turns an accident into a criminal offense. This is something scary enough to send a driver fleeing the scene and creating a hit-and-run.

A new Zendrive study has revealed what many of us intuitively suspected. Americans use their phones nearly every single time they get behind the wheel. The study also found that drivers spend 3.5 minutes every hour on their phones while driving, even though a two-second distraction increases the chances of a crash by 20 times.

Drunk Driving

Driving a vehicle drunk or impaired is a crime. Like texting and driving, fear of that criminal charge on top of causing a collision could lead someone to flee the scene, effectively creating a whole new criminal charge.

Every day, nearly 30 people in the US die because of alcohol-related vehicle crashes – or, one person every 50 minutes in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In North Carolina, alone, there was a 50% increase in driving while impaired cases from 2014 to 2015.

While these represent only a few theories on the hit-and-run increase, there is no definitive answer as to why hit-and-runs have continued to increase.

The Motivation to Run: Hit-and-Run Characteristics

Leaving the scene of a collision is illegal in every state and can lead to serious criminal charges. In North Carolina, even a misdemeanor hit-and-run (which would involve property damage or minor injury) carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail as well as fines.

According to Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations at AAA, “While no one likes being involved in a crash, leaving the scene will significantly increase the penalties for drivers – whether they caused the crash or not.”

Yet, it happens over a thousand times a day.

Who Are Hit-and-Run Victims?

  • Fatally injured pedestrians under age six or over age 80 were half as likely to be victims of hit-and-runs as in any other age groups.
  • In crashes involving children, the driver is identified more than 60% of the time versus 39% for older victims.
  • Males make up around 70% of hit-and-run victims in crashes.

Who Are Hit-and-Run Drivers?

  • Drivers are likely to be young males with a history of prior DWI and license suspension.
  • Drivers tend to drive older model cars, suggesting a lower socioeconomic status.
  • Drivers frequently have positive blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest, and drivers who leave the scene are between two and nine times more likely to have been intoxicated at the time of the crash.
  • Drivers who flee crashes involving children ages 15 and younger or women are more likely to be identified later on.
  • Drivers are about twice as likely to be identified in hit-and-runs when they happen in locations other than the road or crosswalks.

What Factors Contribute to Hit-and-Runs?

  • Environmental factors tend to be associated with the likelihood of a hit-and-run crash. These factors may include lighting, roadway design, and location.
  • In general, the greater the visibility of a crash, the less likely it will turn into a hit-and-run. Visibility may include lighting conditions, but it can also involve the number of potential witnesses, such as on heavily trafficked roads.
  • Contrastingly, higher pedestrian traffic increases the chance of a hit-and-run, though these are half as likely to occur in the daylight as opposed to nighttime when lower visibility improves a driver’s chance to flee.
  • Hit-and-runs are almost 4.5 times more likely to occur between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m., compared to crashes between 8 a.m. and noon. Nighttime, in addition to increasing the chance to escape because of low visibility, typically involves more risky behaviors like driving without a license or driving while intoxicated (DWI) – crimes that could motivate someone to flee the scene.
  • Types of roadways may also affect the likelihood of a hit-and-run. For example, undivided roadways or roads with lower speed limits increase the chance of hit-and-runs mostly because they are the roads pedestrians are more likely to cross versus high-speed interstates with minimal exposure to pedestrians.
  • And, not surprisingly, urban areas have more hit-and-runs than low-population areas.

Countermeasures: What You Can Do

These statistics are alarming. What can you do to avoid being another victim of the increasing number of hit-and-runs?

When a Collision Happens

If you are in a vehicle and are the victim of a hit-and-run, follow these steps as you are able:

  1. Pull over to get out of traffic. Write down or take a picture of the license plate number of the other vehicle. Police say that many victims are tricked when the driver of the other vehicle appears to pull over but then takes off, leaving behind a very confused victim.
  2. Try to get a description of the vehicle and where it is heading as it speeds away.
  3. Contact law enforcement immediately and tell them everything you know about the driver and what happened.
  4. Photograph the damage.
  5. Stay This can be very difficult to do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, but panicking largely decreases your chance of getting that viable information that can be used to find the person responsible.

Avoid a Hit-and-Run as a Pedestrian

A pedestrian hit-and-run can be a little more challenging. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as a pedestrian to try to reduce the risk of being hit by a car.

  1. Wear bright colors or reflectors so you can be more visible to drivers. Colors that easily reflect light, like white or yellow, are good choices. Reflectors can make you visible in a car’s headlights up to 500 feet.
  2. Stay on the sidewalks and crosswalks, especially at night.
  3. Stay off roads without sidewalks, or walk against traffic if there are no sidewalks. Walking against traffic allows you to see oncoming cars that might not see you.
  4. Look where you are going. When crossing a street, look left, right, and then left again.
  5. Be alert. You can’t control what other people are doing, but by being alert, you can control what you’re doing and how you might need to react to a potential situation.

Of course, none of these things can guarantee safety, but by doing your best to stay safe, you are potentially reducing your risk.

Get a Free Case Evaluation from Experienced North Carolina Lawyers

If you or someone you know was the victim of a hit-and-run injury or fatality, contact us immediately or call 1-866-900-7078. Our North Carolina car accident lawyers offer a free case evaluation.

Is Lane Splitting Dangerous?

A new California bill that defines and regulates lane splitting in the state has prompted other states, including North Carolina, to consider renewing attention to this debate.

Lane splitting – aka lane sharing or white-lining – is when a motorcyclist or scooter cuts between lanes of slower-moving traffic, or pulls in front of stopped traffic at a red light.

It is currently illegal to split lanes in North Carolina and in every other state except California. If you have ever driven on the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles or the Oakland Bridge in San Francisco, you can at least understand why California allows lane splitting. Nothing moves because these and many other California roadways are often idling bumper to bumper. Sitting on a hot bike in bumper-to-bumper traffic can be a miserable experience.

Lane splitting is deemed by some to be safe, if done by experienced and safety-minded motorcyclists. Others disagree, insisting that there is too much potential for catastrophe.

When Andy W. was in a motorcycle wreck he learned the hard way that the insurance company was not on his side. Click here to read what led Andy to us, and to a settlement* he was very happy with.

Pros and Cons of Lane Splitting

A 2015 study by the University of California Berkeley found that the risks of lane splitting can be somewhat mitigated under certain circumstances. For example, the study found that splitting is safest at 50 mph and under and also if motorcyclists traveled at a speed difference no greater than 15 mph than surrounding traffic.

Advocates point out that lane-splitting can help prevent motorcycles from becoming a stationary target in the event of an accident, particularly rear end accidents. California does have slightly fewer fatalities from rear-end collisions per registered motorcycle than other states, although there is no research to support why.

Some say lane splitting can be good for drivers, too, because it can help to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions from idling in traffic.

Opponents, on the other hand, make some worthwhile points about the potential dangers inherent in this practice – most of these dangers originating from other drivers.

  • Unexpected doors opening
  • Sudden lane changes from other vehicles
  • Vision impairment around large trucks
  • Collisions with turning vehicles
  • Too high of speed differentials when splitting lanes.

There’s one caveat to the Berkeley study that opponents emphasize. It found that of the motorcyclists involved in nearly 6,000 collisions in California, 17% had been lane splitting.

Consequences of Lane Splitting in North Carolina

The motorcycle accident rate nationally is significant when compared to cars — motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to be killed in a wreck, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Still, the California bill, in combination with the potential benefits of easing traffic congestion, has made lawmakers in other states, including ours, open to considering this practice.

One of the primary challenges of legalizing lane splitting in North Carolina is that drivers may not be prepared for the change. This could lead to an upsurge of motorcycle accidents, which could result in even more injuries and fatalities – at least initially.

There are legitimate arguments for and against this practice. On a personal note, about the only time I could see myself even considering lane splitting would be if traffic were at a complete standstill. Regardless of where you fall in this discussion, I hope you have safe and enjoyable ride!

What are your thoughts about lane splitting? Tell us on Facebook.

Get a Free Consultation From North Carolina Motorcycle Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident of any kind, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

 

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

Get More from Insurance. Ask for Diminished Value for Your Wrecked Car

One of the benefits of being a plaintiff’s attorney is that I am able to advocate for the “little guy” against Big Insurance and Big Corporations. It’s quite humbling and rewarding to know I can help empower others to stand up to “the powers that be” to try to get what they may be potentially owed.

So in the interest of empowering the general public, I’d like to go on record to out a widespread tactic that some insurance companies use that prevents their claimants from recovering millions of dollars a year.

Non reimbursement for diminished value claims.

What Is a Diminished Value Claim?

Have you ever heard of a diminished value claim? I didn’t think so. That’s what some insurance companies may bank on. And they likely won’t bring it up to you. (That’s more money they get to keep, you see.) It is one of the insurance company’s dirty little secrets and it can be a real money maker for them – millions of dollars a year.

Diminished value claims allow you to recover the difference between the car’s pre-accident value and the value of the car after it has been repaired. Let’s say, for example, a car that has never been in a wreck may be worth $20,000 at resale, but worth thousands less if it had been in a car wreck and repaired. The difference in those two amounts would be the diminished value claim.

Although you pay for diminished value through your insurance premiums, the insurance company may not necessarily pay you for it after an accident. We have had clients come to us who have asked their insurance company to pay them diminished value, but were low-balled on the amount. They had to get us involved to try to recover what they were potentially rightfully owed – something they had paid for year after year in their premiums.

This is money the insurance companies often keep – money that might be yours!

ABC11 Talks to Hoyt Tessener About Diminished Value Claims

Senior Litigation Attorney, Hoyt Tessener, was featured in a news report on ABC11 about diminished value claims after a car crash. Click here to view Hoyt’s interview with ABC11.

As car wreck attorneys we see this money being left on the table A LOT. We almost always have to ask for diminished value reimbursement when demanding recovery for damages. If we take your NC car wreck injury case, we will evaluate whether you may have a diminished value claim. If so, we will negotiate with the insurance company to try to get them to pay for all the damages you are potentially due by law.

We think it is important for people to know that they may be entitled to diminished value payment if their vehicle has been wrecked due to an accident that was not their fault. (Diminished value claims are void if the accident was your fault.)

Get a Free Case Evaluation From NC Car Wreck Lawyers

If you have been injured in an NC auto crash and we accept your personal injury claim, we will try to determine if you may have a diminished value claim as well. Contact us, or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

PS… Click here for another relatively unknown secret some insurance companies may not admit to. This secret could put your life in jeopardy or potentially leave you liable for another person’s injuries.

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

2915 Raeford Road, Suite 204
Fayetteville, NC 28303
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

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
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