A Hangover Can’t Touch Being Run Over—Note to self.

November 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Panthers pulled it out last Monday night with four points over the Patriots.  Big game! Monday night! The Patriots! First time in six years that Charlotte has hosted a Monday night game!  All that makes for a great night stumbling from bar to bar or simply returning to your tailgate homestead for the traffic to improve.

The important to remember as a fan leaving the stadium (or if that’s not possible, pin a note to your koozie prior) is that the safest place for a pedestrian is on the sidewalk.  In the area immediately surrounding the stadium, if you don’t see the sidewalk you should ask your neighbor to point you to it or walk you to it.

While it can be comical from time to time, it is very serious that you take care of yourself leaving the game.  Just because other people are disregarding the rules and walking in the streets, it doesn’t mean that you should follow lead.  That person may have better health insurance and is willing to accept the deductible cost for the benefit of walking in the street. Also, that person could have less to live for.

In addition to the regular traffic in the area, there are people leaving the stadium who decided “they were fine” and got behind the wheel.  I know there are no guarantees but even a drunk driver has a lower risk of hitting you on a sidewalk than if you’re walking in the road.  Be careful. Please.

As the Charlotte Knights work towards finishing the baseball stadium by the April 2014 deadline, the issue will become more prevalent and you need to be prepared.  Take care of yourself and the best way to do that is recognizing that nobody cares your own safety more than you do or should. (Moms don’t count.)

Passenger and Driver Use Same Attorney?

November 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

At first glimpse I can assure you it does look suspicious.  Almost like two hands in the cookie jar, putting compensation concerns over responsibilities to a client.  Well, as attorneys, there are certain internal guidelines that if implemented and executed properly would eliminate the concerns that arise out of this potential conflict of interest. 

What do I mean by conflict of interest.  Absolutely.  In most situations, the passenger of a “not my fault” car accident will likely have a claim against the driver’s insurance company as well as the insurance company that caused the car wreck, assuming other criteria have meet met.  So, if an attorney represents the driver, the attorney’s responsibility and interests are to advocate vigorously for that client (i.e. the driver.)

However, let’s say the passenger has also decided to work with the same attorney or law firm to handle the passenger’s bodily injury claim.  The passenger has a claim against the driver’s insurance and the at-fault vehicle’s insurance company.  Herein lies, a potential conflict.  In other words, the same “advocate vigorously for my client” lingo applies to both the driver and the passenger because both are now clients of the same attorney.  Well, in order to advocate vigorously for the passenger, it requires filing claim against the driver’s insurance company.  Uh-oh.  Boom.  The driver, who is also my client—is the subject of a claim—that I—his attorney filed?  So, by its very nature advocating for one will breach that assurance to the other. 

Back to the “certain internal guidelines implemented and executed” paragraph a couple paragraphs up, these potential conflicts can be waived or addressed.  Typically, this comes down to negotiations on behalf of clients, the collection of medical records, and collection of any all statements to the insurance companies.  So, these internal checks are fairly straightforward when it comes to the logistics of it…Don’t let anyone see something that the firm has because of representation of Client Driver that may have a disparate impact on the quality of representation offered to Client Passenger. 

I’ve seen this go sour fast, particularly in smaller firms.  Inevitably the six people in the firm will come across information helpful to one and harmful to the other.  For this reason, it’s important to call a spade a spade.  Common sense first impressions let you know which type of firm you are working with and ultimately trust your gut. 

The Insurance Company Won’t Replace My Car…(Part 2 of 2)

November 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Because most automobiles are generally considered depreciable assets, as time passes and the vehicle use increases, these are depreciated from the value of the starting asset value as an expense. When you purchase a new vehicle you would obviously want to insure the replacement value of the vehicle.  A year after owning the vehicle the value of the car is depreciated—whether you agree or not—it’s true.  If you don’t check with your insurance company and adjust the policy amount to correlate to a change in value you could pay higher premiums for a higher policy limit that you’ll never use.  The insurance company won’t tell you this.  Why would they?  Pay your premiums on the car that was worth $10,000 when you got it.  Keep paying the premiums even though three years into the policy, the car is now only worth $5000.  You get in an auto accident after paying the premiums on a $10,000 car when in reality your premium should have decreased—assuming your driving record remains constant. 

Use the difference in the premiums the insurance company prefers that you pay and what you should really be paying to save for a replacement car.  Or use the difference to pay down the balance owed on the car faster.  This will save you less in interest and may help reduce the likelihood of an unfunded liability in the event your vehicle is considered a “total loss.”  If you still owe more on your car than what it’s worth—the insurance company still only has to put you in the position you were in before the incident.  If that means paying the lienholder some but not all of the balance you owe on the vehicle, they don’t care. 

Is that harsh?  Well, their insured driver only caused the damage.  The fact that you may have a car that is worth less than what you owe on it doesn’t matter a lick to the insurance company.  These are a few ways to keep things in check when it comes to property damage after an auto accident. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo we handle the claim for property damage all the time.  It’s one more thing we can take off of your plate. Plus, there’s far less run around from the insurance company when they find out who is representing you.  Call us today at 877-333-1000 or fill out a free case evaluation at www.demayolaw.com.

The Insurance Company Won’t Replace My Car… (Part 1 of 2)

October 28, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’ve recently been involved in an auto accident in North Carolina there are certain things of which you should be aware regarding your claim.  First, the property damage claim for your vehicle is separate from your bodily injury claim and is usually handled by two separate insurance adjusters

The property damage claim can generally be resolved faster than a claim for the injuries you sustained as a result of the car wreck.  Why is this?  Well, it’s pretty straightforward.  Almost immediately after the car crash, your vehicle is damaged.  The damages will not increase or decrease although the different valuations of that damage may differ slightly. The car will not slowly repair itself and won’t progressively get worse.  The damage done to the car in the accident is it.  A bodily injury claim is different because requires a longer period of time to appropriately assess and treat the harm caused to your body.

The insurance company will determine a value of the damage to your vehicle after conducting an investigation into the post-accident status of the vehicle. The insurance company will weigh the extent of the property damage against the value of your vehicle prior to the accident.  Thus, putting you back in the position you were in before their insured damaged your vehicle.  The insurance company will decide if the cost to put your car back in its pre-accident condition is greater than completely replacing the car altogether it will render the car a total loss. 

This is a source of contention between the insurance adjuster and the car owner.  The insurance company is convinced that you can find the exact same car you had before the wreck for a fraction of what you could in reality.  So, how do you dispute this?  Well, there are a number of ways.  The process will be comparable to saving the princess on the original Nintendo with only one Mario life remaining.  Nonetheless, it can at least be attempted.

Are there ways to counteract this loss for personal property?  Absolutely, it requires planning and common sense, but it can be done.  One way is to frequently get the value of your vehicle from your own insurance company.  I don’t mean the asking or lowest accepted offer values if you were to sell the vehicle.  Or even the KBB or consumer report values. Especially not the remaining balance you owe on the vehicle.  These values may be determinative in an insurer’s assessment of value, but there is a “value” that insurance companies may place on your vehicle.

Center Console—Not a Pet Booster Seat

September 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

It can be so challenging to strap little Socks to back seat in a seat belt of all places when you know the best place for the little pup is right next to you.  He’s always been the best at picking a good radio station, sipping coffee, or moving the car from drive to neutral. 

It’s no problem to buck the kids up, but for whatever reason it is much more difficult to subject the little fur pocket to same safety restraints.  If not to protect you and your passengers from an auto accident, then out of respect and concern for the safety of others who travel the roads in North Carolina. 

It can be so easy to slam on brakes and grab the little fella from rolling into the floorboard, but the extra time and attention it requires could be better used to respond to an auto accident in the making.  Nearly every pet store in town has a simple seat belt extension for five bucks that can serve the purpose.  If the dog requires the finer things, for the cost of a tank of gas you can install an entire thermal heating lounge in the back seat or cargo section. 

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo we are constantly trying to conjure up ways to keep you safe while out on the North Carolina roadways.  If you have ideas about how to stay safe then give us a call or shoot us an e-mail.  Go to our website and click “Contact us.”

Whatcha Gonna Do?

August 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Earlier this week the artsy sector of Charlotte—NoDa looked more like the set of the hit TV show COPS after a man fled from police officers left the interstate and struck a fence.  The scene was shocking for fearful homeowners who had no clue what caused the noise and sudden blue and reds that covered the neighborhood. 

 This is just another reminder of how foolish some people can be on the roads.  These are the same roads that we travel day in and day out as we live life distantly from selfish acts.  As with any unexpected tragedy, inherent in the meaning is the unknown and unanticipated aspect of an auto accident.

These dangerous occurrences plague the headlines time and time again.  The driver, who later arrested, struck one vehicle from behind before ending the high speed chase in the quiet neighborhood.  The exact speed he was traveling at the time of impact is unknown, but officials say the speeds reached a hundred miles an hour.

The injuries this faultless victim suffered at the expense of the suspect’s reckless activity could take months if not years to overcome.  The unfortunate reality is she will be left to deal with these injuries while the suspect could be receiving three squares for a certain time and then later rock a new county issued anklet equipped with GPS and a red blink light. 

If you’ve been injured as the result of someone’s actions and don’t know how you’ll recover call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today.  We can discuss your case with you and even set-up a free case evaluation by calling 877-333-1000.

Round ‘Em Up

August 21, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you were driving late night on Wilkinson Boulevard over the weekend then you noticed the roads were empty.  That’s because Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police were roundin’ folks up left and right at a DWI checkpoint.  These late night checkpoints—particularly those conveniently placed near all night food places—are like shootin’ fish in a barrel for officers. 

This particular checkpoint had a much larger significance than just protecting other drivers on the road.  The parents of a young girl who died seven years ago because of a drunk driver attended the checkpoint the night prior in memory of their daughter.

The couple received the tragic news of their daughter seven years ago, but the continued dedication to preserving her memory gives officers the reminder they need to keep the roads safe with unbridled determination.  The following night there were over sixty charges with ten of those beings warrants.  Nobody wins with drunk driving—well correction—defense attorneys win.  Aside from the hefty fee collected by defense attorneys, nobody wins.  So, don’t do it.  Unfortunately, we all know several people disregard my advice all the time and auto accidents will continue to happen.

If you have been injured because of the careless actions of a drunk driver call us today.  At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo we are ready and able to help you get through this rough time.  It’s not your fault, and you shouldn’t have to find a day to pay for medical bills, time out of work, replacing your vehicle, the emotional trauma caused by someone else.  We are always available just by calling 877-333-1000.

Seatbelts: Like Pacemakers—Most Effective When Used

August 18, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

After a week in the hospital, a Chester county man passed away as the result of an auto accident in North Carolina nearly a week prior. Officers say he did not wear a seatbelt. This is something that is so simple to do and so often we neglect to reach up, pull down and fasten it.

Auto accidents in North Carolina like anywhere are a risk. It is the risk of driving. Risk are measured in two ways—frequency and severity. The frequency of an auto accident cannot be controlled by wearing a seatbelt; however, the handy little device can be a life saver when it comes to the severity of a car accident.

Until recently, the only way to reduce the frequency was to drive less. There are cars that stop themselves. Additional training is required for drivers, harsher penalties for those who abandon responsibility to others while driving, and a more savvy approach to road design. All of these however, do not directly correlate to the severity. It’s so easy to do. Wearing the seatbelt can reduce the severity and in some situations that’s all that matters. Sure—fender benders happen. It’d be ideal to know prior to an accident that you’ll be in an auto accident. You can avoid driving that day and essentially eliminate the frequency down to zero and ultimately eliminate the concern over severity.

In the real world, that doesn’t happen—but accidents do. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Charlotte call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today at 877-333-1000. If you prefer to learn more about the firm prior to speaking with someone, check out our website at www.demayolaw.com.

The White Columns Send a Message

August 14, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’ve driven down Morehead just outside of Uptown it’s hard to ignore the large brick building that houses the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo headquarters. From the freshly manicured flowers and shrubs to the always polished white columns, the building stands as a reminder to insurance companies that you—an auto accident victim—has someone in your corner. 

There are whispers in this field of law that personal injury attorneys just “get a settlement” and bounce.  While sometimes it is in a client’s best interests a settlement may not get the most favorable outcome for you.  There are several personal injury attorneys in North Carolina who take on a case knowing that it may not be financially prepared to enter into a long drawn out litigation process.  Assuming the firm is able to reach a settlement agreement, if you—the client is unhappy with the settlement and choose to start the litigation process this firm may not be able to continue representing you.  This is always a reality and often a common misfortune. 

It may be very difficult to find an attorney who is able to start the process all over for fear of not being able to provide complete and competent representation within the statute of limitations.  If you have been injured in an auto accident in North Carolina you need to consider this likely result when deciding on the right attorney to represent you.  We at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo send the message to insurance companies every day that you deserve to made whole after an accident caused by their client.  Don’t send insurance companies the wrong message; check out our website, www.demayolaw.com to request a free case evaluation today.

Supermoms Replace Kryptonite with Anxiety Pills

August 11, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Earlier this year ABC News conducted a study that found one in five mothers use anxiety medication after giving birth. That number doesn’t even include those who get a help-me-out here and there while discussing the day’s woes down at the nail parlor! The statistic is almost laughable at first glance, but given the increased expectations it makes sense.

Moms do catch so much responsibility. From keeping the refrigerator full, sports uniforms cleaned, kids to and from school, to and from activities, dinner on the table, accounting for the home, getting homework reviewed the list could continue for days. All the while—maintaining a career in a highly competitive job market.

So, why does a personal injury attorney in North Carolina care about this? Well—the supermom in the car next to you may be sipping away on a morning coffee or applying the last stroke of mascara but you don’t know what supermom had to endure to get to that point of her morning. The morning schedule rolls of the tongue like the chorus of a country song, we all have a line. The line may come for do-it-all moms early morning when she lifts her hands to her ears and mutters, “my nerves are shot!” or “just give me five minutes!” and that otherwise uncontrollable anxiety gets the help me out the doctor recommends.

Of course the bottle has warnings like “don’t operate machinery” but engraving that message on the pill itself wouldn’t stand in the way of the sanity sought. I say this to be on the lookout for odd things. If you are involved in an auto accident in North Carolina and you believe something is odd or suspicious about the other driver’s behavior make a note of that. Gone are the days where a DWI is reserved for rowdy teens boozin’ after a football game. Many people take medications and then hop behind the wheel like it’s nothing. The challenge these medications may create are sometimes unrecognizable until after an accident.

If you believe this may have happened to you call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo at 877-333-1000 or if you’d prefer check out our website, www.demayolaw.com. We can give you a free case evaluation just by clicking that option on our homepage.

 
 

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