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If I'm in an accident that is partly my fault, can I still file a claim?

Winter Accident_06082014Accidents are often caused by a number of factors. For example, someone may have hit you because of running a red light, but you may have been speeding when you passed through the intersection. It could be argued that you are partially responsible since you may not have passed through the intersection at that moment if you had not been speeding.

You may think that you do not have a claim if you were found to be partially responsible for the accident. As North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Mike Jordan explains, in North Carolina, that is usually true, though there may be some exceptions.
North Carolina recognizes "contributory negligence," which says that if you are at fault even 1 percent in an accident, you cannot recover damages from the other driver.

However, North Carolina also allows for some exceptions to this rule. The "Last Clear Chance" doctrine states that if a driver had an opportunity to avoid the accident but did not take advantage of that opportunity, then that person is truly at fault. The Last Clear Chance doctrine assigns fault even if it could be argued you may have contributed in part to the accident.

Even if you were determined to have potential contributory negligence in an accident, the Last Clear Chance doctrine may make it possible for you to pursue a claim to recover damages from the at-fault driver.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been in an accident and you have any questions about whether you have a claim, a North Carolina personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you determine what your legal rights may be. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case. Don't let a misunderstanding of the law keep you from getting the compensation that you may deserve.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving

As the temperatures drop outside, driving conditions can become more dangerous. Snow and ice make the roads slicker, increasing your chances of getting into an accident with another vehicle or skidding off the road into a ditch or, worse, a tree or a building.

It is important to prepare your car for the winter weather so that you can travel safely throughout the season. Here are a few tips for you can prepare your car for winter driving:

Check the Tires

When you're driving over heavy snow or slick ice, it is important to have the proper tread on your tires so you don't skid all over the road or become stuck. Check your tires for any thinning tread, bald patches, or bulging. If any of these are present, you should replace the tire. Be sure to follow up with a tire rotation to make sure you get even wear from your tires.

Check the Fluids

It is always important to make sure your vehicle has adequate levels of all the necessary fluids, but it is even more important when you're driving in the winter. Without adequate levels of brake fluid, you could take even longer to stop on an icy road. If your steering fluid drops too low, it could be hard for you to react quickly to another vehicle skidding out of control in front of you.

Make sure you check these and other fluids regularly to make sure that your car is in top working condition.

Winter Road_07182014Check the Headlights and Brake Lights

Visibility will already be diminished in the winter, when the days are shorter and fog, snow, or just generally cloudy and dreary conditions persist. Make sure that all your lights are in working order to make sure you can see well when you're on the road. Also be sure to check for any cracks or damages to the area around the light that could impair your visibility.

Change Your Wiper Fluid

Water freezes - that includes your water-based wiper fluid. You can choose a wiper fluid that won't freeze that can help you to clear frost, ice, dirt, and other debris from your windshield so you always have a clear view when you're driving. You might also consider heavier wiper blades that are made for winter weather conditions.

Wax Your Car

This step won't help you stay safer on the road, but it will protect your car. The salt, sand, dirt, and other grime that accumulates on the road to keep it free of snow and ice will eventually accumulate on your car and will eat away at the paint job. You can protect your car by giving it a fresh coat of wax at the beginning of the season and by keeping it clean.

Use Weather-Proof Mats

Here's another one to protect your car itself: Getting in out of the car so often, you are bound to track in snow, ice, salt, and even mud. Your carpets can take a beating. You can easily protect them by using weather-proof mats throughout the season. Switch back to your regular carpets when the ice has finally thawed out for good.

Preparing your car for the winter weather can help to keep you safer on the roads, and it can also help you to protect the investment you have made in your car. Follow these practical tips to get your car ready for the season, and you will improve the safety of your family all winter long.

What If I'm Hurt on My Friend's Property? Can I Sue?

You are invited to a party at your friend's house, and when you arrive, you slip and fall on an electrical cord that is running across the walkway, chipping your tooth and seriously injuring your face. You end up having to get dental surgery and stitches for the injuries on your face. Your doctor tells you that you will have a serious scar and that you will need plastic surgery to fix it. Your medical bills could cost thousands of dollars.

Frustrated5_06032014Can you sue your friend for damages?

It depends on the circumstances of your case and whether your friend was negligent or has some other liability. However, if the question is simply can you sue a neighbor, friend or acquaintance in the same way you can sue a business for injuries you sustain as a result of their negligence, the answer is yes.
Personal property owners are not subject to the same liability as business owners, so it may be a bit more difficult to pursue a claim in some instances.

However, the law still protects you if you are injured, no matter who owns the property in question.

But Should I Sue My Friend?

In most cases, people are more worried about whether they should sue a friend or acquaintance rather than whether they can.

If you are injured on your friend or neighbor's property, you may face thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost time from work, or even permanent disability.

If you do not seek the compensation to which you are legally entitled, you will have to pay these expenses yourself and you could even face the loss of your ability to care for yourself and your family if you become unable to work.

In most cases, you will be suing your friend or neighbor in name only -- their homeowner's insurance company actually provides the defense and pays any settlement or judgment. Your friend buys this insurance for this very reason -- protection against financial liability.

The majority of personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. In most cases, your friend will never have to pay a dime directly and will never have to appear in court. You can get the compensation to which you are entitled under the law, and you can preserve your relationship with your friend.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

Every case is different, and a North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you determine what the factors are in your case that may influence your legal rights. If you have been injured on a friend's property or in a place of business, 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.

Categories: Auto Accidents

What If I'm a Passenger with a Friend or Family Member, and We Are in an Accident that Was Their Fault?

CarAccident2_07212014When you are driving and get into an accident in which the other driver was at fault, you might not think twice about trying to get the compensation you need for your injuries and damages to your property. But when your friend is driving the car and was at fault in the accident, you might hesitate. After all, you probably don't want to take legal action against your friend.

You are likely entitled to compensation for your injuries if you are involved in an accident that was not your fault -- even if a friend or family member is the person who is at fault. However, it's usually not your friend or family member who you are going after for those damages; it's the insurance company.

Insurance coverage is legally required to provide protection against injuries and damages in an accident, so your friend or family member should already be carrying that coverage. When you pursue compensation, you will generally pursue it from that insurance company.

You may also worry that going after your friend or family member's insurance company for damages will raise their rates. However, as Attorney Michael Jordan points out, in most cases, their rates will already have increased from the accident. There is a cap on how much insurance companies can raise rates for an accident, and chances are that your friend's policy has already hit that cap after the accident.

While it is important to protect relationships with friends and family members, it is also important to get the medical treatment you need for your injuries and to protect yourself against serious financial losses as a result of injuries or time lost from work. By pursuing the compensation you need, you are targeting the insurance company, not your friend or family member. Deciding not to pursue that compensation will only hurt you in the long run, not help your friend or family member.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help guide you through the process to help you protect your legal rights and get the full compensation that you may deserve. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you.

5 of the Most Common Reasons for Accidents on the Road

Driving_07222014Traffic accidents happen every day. Some of them are minor, and some of them result in serious injuries that can have long-lasting, devastating consequences. The reasons for these accidents vary, but a large percentage of them are preventable if drivers are better informed and make better choices on the road.

When we look at the causes for traffic accidents, some patterns start to emerge. A handful of factors continue to be at the root of many serious accidents. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons for accidents on the road:

Distracted Driving

Talking on a cell phone. Texting. Putting on makeup. Brushing hair. Eating. Changing the channel on the radio. Talking to other people in the car. All of these distractions account for a large percentage of accidents on the road each year. "Rubber necking" at other accidents and reading while driving also account for a significant percentage of distracted driving accidents.

Drivers must eliminate distractions whenever possible in the car. Leave personal tasks such as grooming or eating until you get to your destination. Use a hands-free phone if you absolutely must make a call while you are driving. Never text while driving. Always keep your eyes on the road when you are behind the wheel.

If a task can't wait, pull to the side of the road or make a stop.

TiredDriver_07182014Driver Fatigue

Most of us wish there were more hours in the day, and we push ourselves to fill the time we do have by getting as much done as possible. However, when we start burning the midnight oil to try to get more accomplished, we short ourselves on sleep and put ourselves and others in danger when we get behind the wheel.

Late-night and third-shift workers may also drive home exhausted, leaving them vulnerable to making mistakes on the road - possibly even falling asleep behind the wheel. Fatigue can also be a problem for drivers on long-distance trips.

Make sure you are always well-rested before you drive, and pull over to rest or take a break if you start to feel drowsy.

Aggressive Driving

Some drivers get a false sense of invincibility on the road and drive more aggressively than is safe. Speeding, following too close, improper lane changes, and quick turns are just a few of the unsafe practices that can fall under the classification of aggressive driving.

Always follow traffic safety rules when you are behind the wheel. Don't let frustration with other drivers or impatience to reach your destination affect the choices you make. Acting on impulse and engaging in aggressive driving could result in a serious accident that could leave you or others with serious injuries (or worse).


Sometimes, conditions on the road are beyond your control. Heavy rain, hail, or snow can make driving conditions less safe by reducing your visibility, making the road slick, or causing unexpected debris on the roadway.

To keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road during inclement weather, practice extra caution when you are behind the wheel. Reduce your speed as necessary, increase your following distance, or pull off the road if needed. Also be sure that your vehicle is always in top condition, with working wipers, quality tires, and sound brakes.

Driving Under the Influence

The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have been well-documented, but it continues to be a cause of a significant number of accidents each year. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are out and have been drinking, call a cab or ask a friend or family member to drive you home.

With more education about these common causes of traffic accidents, drivers can learn to make better choices that greatly reduce their risk of getting into serious accidents that can lead to serious injury to themselves or others on the road.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an 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.

Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-552-8215
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

301 S McDowell St, Suite 900
Charlotte, NC 28204
Phone: 704-599-1078
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

Goldsboro Law Office

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Phone: 919-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greensboro Law Office

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

Greenville Law Office

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

Henderson Law Office

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

Morganton Law Office

216 N. Sterling Street, Suite B
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: 828-219-3080
Toll Free: 1-844-520-2894

New Bern Law Office

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

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
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

144 Woodridge Court
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