The Catastrophic Injury Blog

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Distracted Driving: Frequently Done and Potentially Fatal

 

We all do crazy and dangerous acts each time we drive our cars, trucks, vans, or other motor vehicles. We drink coffee on the way to work. We yell at energetic kids in the back seat. Some of us read and write texts while driving or eat lunch while we’re on our way down the road. We take our eyes off the road to see who is calling us
and to decide whether we need to call them back right NOW. Each of these acts are stupid things to do but more importantly, can be deadly to you, your passengers, and/or strangers in the car or truck that you might crash into when performing them.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have put together a very effective website on the dangers of distracted driving at www.Distraction.gov. You may have seen the all too realistic TV ad featuring a car full of young people out for a drive and the driver has one hand on her smartphone
and the other hand on the wheel.

The statistics from the website should get your attention:

    • • An estimated 3,328 Americans were killed in car crashes where distracted driving was a factor in 2012. That’s more than nine people a day.

• About 421,000 Americans were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers in 2012 (up from about 387,000 the previous year). That comes to about 48 people injured every hour of every day.

• At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.

• About 71% of teens and young drivers admit to creating and sending texts while driving, 78% stated they read texts while driving.

• Drivers in their 20’s make up 27% of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.

• Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field.

• Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. North Carolina law does not make it a crime to use a handheld device while driving, unless you’re a novice driver or driving a school bus. Texting while driving is illegal in the state. Regardless of whether these practices are legal or not, they’re just plain unsafe and stupid to do while driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, because of their negligence, there may be a valid legal claim for compensation due to injuries. Contact my office so we can discuss the situation and your potential legal options. Most importantly, don’t be a distracted driver yourself so you’re not the one at the wrong end of a personal injury lawsuit.

 

P: 828-252-2852

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FREQUENTLY ASKED PERSONAL INJURY QUESTIONS

How much money should I receive for my injuries?

You should recover past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, scarring, pain and suffering and any other loss you have endured as a result of the accident. The value of your claim depends on many different factors. For severe injuries, your spouse may be able to claim loss of consortium or companionship. If the cause of the wreck was related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, further punitive or punishment damages might be appropriate. The value of an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the jury verdicts and the range of settlements in a particular area is critical to making sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.

How do I handle myself at the scene?

You must stop and help anyone who is injured at the scene. Take precautions to make sure other cars are warned of the wreck. North Carolina Law requires you to call the most convenient law enforcement. Get the officer involved as soon as possible so this trained professional can objectively prepare critical reports and make important observations. You are only required under North Carolina law to disclose your name, address, registration number and driver's license. While you do not have to give a full statement to the officer, you should give a brief statement of what happened. You should not make any other detailed comments to anyone until you have consulted your lawyer. Photograph your car and your injuries as soon as possible. DO NOT SIGN...

Should I go to the hospital if I don't have pain?

Most health care providers recommend that you go to the Emergency Room to make sure you don't have hidden or delayed injuries. Even if you don't go to the Emergency Room for a check up, you should schedule a doctor appointment to be certain you have no injuries.

Q. I was involved in a car accident while working. Can I make a claim against the car insurance in addition to the workers’ compensation insurance company?

A. Yes. You will likely have a workers’ compensation claim regardless of how the car accident occurred. If the wreck was caused by someone else’s negligence, you will also have a personal injury claim against the responsible party. You should consult a lawyer familiar with both personal injury and workers’ compensation law to make sure these claims are brought in proper legal procedure. Failure to coordinate both claims could result in enforceable liens of one or both of the insurance payouts.

If I employ a lawyer, do I have to go to court?

No. Most lawyers will try and settle the case before filing a lawsuit and going to court. While the time between filing a lawsuit and the time of getting a jury trial vary form count to county, a safe estimate of the time it takes to get a case resolved in court is usually around twelve (12) months. New alternative dispute resolutions methods are growing in usage and popularity. Mediation and/or arbitration may be a way to get an independent judge to evaluate the claim and help resolve the differences in the evaluation of the claim. Even after a lawsuit has been filed, settlements of lawsuits can occur at any time. Lawsuits can be settled while the jury is still deciding the case or even...

What if the insurance company will not make a reasonable offer to settle?

There is no fixed formula for deciding what a claim is worth. What is "reasonable" depends on who is evaluating the claim. Insurance companies have a lot more experience evaluating and anticipating what a claim might be worth than you do. It is extremely important that you select a lawyer that has experience and is knowledgeable of the value of similar claims in you area. Valuations of cases vary from county to county and city to city. Consultation with local counsel is critical.

CATASTROPHIC INJURY VIDEO LIBRARY

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found.
Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Short Personal Injury Overview

Personal Injury Overview

Personal Injury Detailed Overview

Personal Injury Detailed Overview

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases