January 2013

Two Scary Holiday Car Accidents in North Carolina Lead to One Dead and Nine Injured

January 31, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

As families throughout the Old North State celebrated Christmas blessings and rung in the New Year, some families were grieving and/or wracked with fear and concern over the welfare of their loved ones.

In Charlotte, a jeep accident near Northlake Mall created a catastrophic situation that resulted in injuries to nine different people, including life-threatening medical damage. Apparently, the jeep’s driver lost control and smashed into a tree.

Meanwhile, on Christmas Eve, out in Greensboro, 29-year-old Ronald Beardslee died when a Georgia woman hit his SUV, head-on. A child in the SUV and another passenger went to hospital with injuries that were, thankfully, non-life threatening. The woman who hit him, Ashleigh Lynn Mellon of Atlanta, also went to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The Greensboro Police Department is investigating what happened using their Crash Reconstruction Unit. Ms. Mellon faces an array of criminal charges related to the crash, including careless and reckless driving, driving while impaired, felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, and hit and run (she smashed into a guardrail before hitting Beardslee’s SUV).

These stories are pretty sobering. They illustrate the fragility of human life and the constant dangers that our North Carolina roads and superstreets hold for anyone who ventures onto them.

If you’ve recently been hurt – or if a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Charlotte car crash – probably you’re feeling a lot of things right now, none of them good. During this fragile time, you need resources to help you make better decisions. We at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo are here to provide a free and compassionate consultation, if you’re emotionally ready to start to pick up the pieces and think about what to do next.

One North Carolina Truck Accident: Three Radically Different Outcomes

January 29, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Prosecuting a North Carolina truck accident case is complicated — both by the inherent trickiness of truck accident forensics and by the diversity of potentially liable parties.

To understand why, consider a hypothetical crash. Let’s say that you were driving on I-95 South, when a commercial big rig jackknifed in front of your car. The ensuing crash totaled your vehicle and caused you severe injuries, including broken ribs, internal bleeding, and a concussion. Who should be blamed for the accident, and how should you strive to collect compensation from that party?

Here are three possible outcomes:

1. The driver was to blame.

Investigative work reveals that the truck driver was way over his allotted hours. He had also ingested a cocktail of alcohol and over the counter amphetamines. His negligence/carelessness clearly contributed to his bad driving, and thus he should be targeted. You might also target the trucking company that hired him for failing to screen/supervise its drivers.

2. The state/local municipality was to blame.

Imagine, instead, that the investigation reveals poor road upkeep on that stretch of I-95. The trucker jackknifed because he hit debris in lanes. Thus, the ultimate responsibility should be traced to the municipal organization(s) responsible for keeping junk off the highway.

3. Another driver should be to blame.

Perhaps the investigation reveals that another driver had cut off the trucker a tenth of a mile before the truck jackknifed. The proper outcome in this case should be to apportion blame/legal responsibility to the driver of that third vehicle and/or that driver’s insurer.

These examples are radical oversimplifications — in real life, cases are more complicated, and multiple parties can be simultaneously sued for damages.

The point is that you need an experienced, intelligent North Carolina truck accident law firm to help you investigate exactly what happened in your crash and help you come up with a battle plan to get fair compensation.

There Is Hope for North Carolina Auto Accident Survivors – Watch These Videos!

January 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

At this DeMayo auto accident blog, we often provide tips, strategies, and ideas to help victims understand their rights and deal with their diverse problems in a more resourceful manner. We don’t like to be overly self promotional, since, quite frankly, victims want to understand their own situations — they most definitely do NOT want to hear legal advocates tooting their own horns.

However, if you’ve been struggling since your accident — frustrated and scared by your medical diagnosis, intimidated by an insurance adjuster, overwhelmed by the sheer scope of your financial stress — consider spending 5 minutes or so clicking through the video testimonials we’ve compiled on our website. These are real people, just like you, who experienced tremendous adversity, such as illness, accidents, and nearly unbearable frustrations with insurance companies and callous employers. They nevertheless overcame their problems with a little help from our astute North Carolina auto accident team.

Even if you do NOT choose to call us for a free consultation about what you’ve been going through, please just listen to their stories anyway. Let them inspire you about what might be possible.

If you’ve been intimidated about investigating legal action, overwhelmed by stress since the day of your injury, or angry about your current law firm’s poor service, take time to reawaken your sense of what is possible. Neuroscientists have pretty clearly shown that when we focus on positive outcomes, we often find resources, almost serendipitously, that draw us to better outcomes. Learn from people who’ve overcome adversity after their Charlotte auto accidents, and let that inspiration be a beacon to you.

A Fantastic, Simple Strategy for Regaining Emotional Control After an Auto Accident in Charlotte

January 22, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether a drunk Duke freshman backed into your car and gave you whiplash and a concussion; or an out of control speed demon nearly killed you in a late night crash in downtown Charlotte, you’re feeling shaken, anxious, and depressed by the challenges confronting you.

In our last post, we talked about how the body’s natural “emotional immune system” will likely salve some of your pain through a process known as hedonic adaptation. In other words, you will get more and more used to your circumstances over time and ultimately return to a baseline level of satisfaction and happiness. This can be a good thing, if you’ve been depressed by a loss or a car accident injury. Or it can be a bad thing, since it will render your new Ferrari and/or bigger house irrelevant to your quest for enduring happiness.

Here’s one way to speed up the process of rejuvenating your emotional health: reduce uncertainties in diverse areas of your life. Right now, you’re focused on the car accident — on dealing with the myriad projects associated with the accident. But if you tie up uncertainties in totally unrelated aspects of your life, you will gain clarity. The more exhaustively you clarify all the “stuff” that’s dragging on your attention, the better you will feel, and the better decisions you will make about the car accident and about a lot of other things as well.

It sounds counterintuitive. But folding laundry, doing the dishes, decluttering an attic, or even just throwing out the garbage can give birth to an enhanced feeling of coherence. There is a reason why we feel great after cleaning. Purging compels us to deal with stuff that’s been lingering in our “mental attics.” As a result of actively engaging with this stuff, we gain a psychological boost. Author David Allen developed a systematic process for doing this mental uncluttering — he calls it “Getting Things Done.” Allen suggests that we’re better off using our minds to think ABOUT our stuff, not OF it.

Right now, you’re struggling with the accident and its after effects. Use this productivity “hack” to think more clearly about the accident… without actually thinking about the accident at all!

To relieve even more mental pressure, find and connect with a respected Charlotte accident law firm to make strategic inroads into your case. Get in touch with DeMayo Law now for a free consultation.

It Won’t Be Like This Forever: Right Now, You May Be At Your Low Point After Your Auto Accident in North Carolina

January 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your North Carolina auto accident happened out of the blue.

Whether you were rear ended at a stop sign near a Duke University frat, or injured when a big rig slammed into you on I-95, you feel like your life has been shattered. On a literal level, you may have been “shattered” — suffered broken bones, internal bleeding, and other physical insults and injuries. On a metaphorical level, you might also feel “shattered” — emotionally devastated, financially bereft, and isolated and alone, despite the goodwill of loved ones and the care of your physician.

Life right now just seems really hard. You’re not sure where the light at the end of the tunnel is, if such a light exists at all.

There IS a reason to take heart, and it in no way, shape or form is pollyannaish. The phenomenon has a name and powerful scientific data behind it. It’s known as “hedonic adaptation.”

Human beings process events (both good and bad events) in very counterintuitive ways. Life’s turmoils and delights do not impact our long term levels of happiness nearly as much as we think they should. We are effectively “buffered” against getting too low or too high, emotionally.

This “hedonic adaptation” explains why many people who win the lottery experience immediate euphoria but ultimately return to the baseline level of happiness that they had prior to hitting the big pay day. Hedonic adaptation also explains why people who suffer devastating injuries, such as total paraplegia, feel immediately depressed but ultimately rebound to their baseline happiness levels.

So winning millions of dollars in the lottery won’t make you happier… and suffering something as extreme as paraplegia won’t make you unhappier, at least over the long-term, at least in a statistically measurable way! This is counterintuitive and somewhat dismaying. But it should also hearten you, if you’re currently experiencing a really tight and tough situation right now.

Hedonic adaptation suggests that, if you’re incapacitated or overwhelmed right now, you won’t be that way forever. In our next blog post, we’ll talk about an interesting, scientifically supported strategy for how to “speed up” this hedonic adaptation process, so that you’ll start to feel better and more in control, even before your internal “emotional immune system” starts to kick in.

For help understanding your case, call the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free case evaluation.

Pay Extra Attention on Unfamiliar Roads to Avoid North Carolina Auto Accidents

January 15, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina auto accident statistics can be dangerously deceiving.

For instance, many safety experts say that the majority of accidents happen “close to home” — usually within just a few miles of your front door step. This is true. But it’s also misleading. Most people spend a vast majority of their driving time close to home. This skews the results!

When you leave your “driving comfort zone,” you are far more likely to encounter unusual driving situations, unfamiliar road conditions, and confusing traffic exchanges and signage. When you drive on unfamiliar terrain, you must be MORE careful than normal. Most of us intuitively understand this. When we go on road trips, for instance, we drink coffee (or Red Bull or 5-hour Energy Drink or whatever your poison), and we avoid distractions as much as possible.

Road trips also involve a lot of highway driving; and highway driving exposes you to particularly dangerous types of traffic, such as truck and commercial truck traffic. As we’ve explored before on North Carolina auto accident blog, truck crashes tend to be, “pound for pound,” far more dangerous than typical crashes because of the force differentials involved. A 20-ton truck driving at 60 miles per hour imparts as much force as a 2-ton car driving at 600 miles per hour.

So what’s the takeaway?

If you’re just boning up on your safe driving skills, the takeaway is this: always drive with vigilance, but when you leave your familiar roads, ratchet up that vigilance another level to accommodate for the extra dangers we just discussed.

If you’ve already been involved in a collision far from home – perhaps you don’t live in North Carolina, and you were only passing through on I-95, when a trucker hit you – then it likely behooves you to find effective local legal representation as quickly as possible.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo represent auto accident victims like you, and we have exceptional resources and staff to help you solve your problems and hold careless/negligent drivers liable.

Why Nothing You Ever Experienced Prepared You Effectively for Your North Carolina Auto Accident

January 10, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You were just involved in an auto accident in North Carolina. And you’ve been unpleasantly surprised by how “unprepared” you feel. This bafflement comes from many places — confusion about the legal aspects of your case, medical problems resulting from the collision, emotional “stuff” that’s been boiling up inside you ever since the crash, and more.

You’re normally such a (relatively) competent, organized person. How is it possible that you have been so “thrown off your game” by a single event?

First of all, scary events can lead to unexpected feelings. No one “prepares” to get into accidents. So even when you have your ducks in a row, you can still easily be blindsided by medical trauma, surprise financial catastrophes (or opportunities), and so forth.

Second of all, in school, we’re never taught a systematic way to process our emotions and our thoughts. Yes, we’re taught to “get organized” and to “stay on an even keel.” Maintaining logistical and emotional equilibrium can help us make more rational choices.

Sadly, though, we’re not really taught a step-by-step process to obtain (or regain) that feeling of high competence and control.

Getting perspective after an accident is not rocket science, but it’s not intuitive, either.

Right now, you’re probably conceptualizing your accident as a discrete event in time. A truck hit you or someone rear ended you. This caused a crisis, which you now must handle, for instance, by filing a legal claim against the negligent driver or pursuing compensation from an insurance company.

But an accident trickles down into almost every facet of a victim’s life, impacting emotions, work and home life, finances, health, and beyond. Once the accident happens, it can no longer be thought of (or dealt with) as a discrete event. Instead, it must be reconciled with as a diverse set of issues. You now need to clean up your finances; manage your health; possibly patch up your relationships; manage the legal and insurance headaches, and much more.

In other words, the process has grown much larger and more diverse. Thus, we need multiple tools and resources to attack these problems.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you with one of the most important projects on your plate: seeking compensation for your Charlotte car accident. Call us for a free consultation.

Managing the Diverse Projects on Your Plate Caused By Your Charlotte Auto Accident

January 8, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Charlotte auto accident has thrown your world into total disarray.

Not only do you need help with “nuts and bolts” issues, like seeking compensation from an insurance company or making sure “justice gets done” in your case, but you also want to identify and start to deal with problems kicked up in your financial, personal, and emotional life.

Here’s a method for how to start to get a handle on what’s been bothering you.

Step one involves simply clearing your head of all the “stuff” that you’re thinking about.

Our brains are very good at making intuitive connections between things but very bad at organizing information and feeding back the “stuff” we need to know it, when we need to know it. We don’t remember to get dog food when we’re at Petco but rather when we’re in the cab on the way to the airport!

Our minds operate chaotically. Rather than try to fight that instinct, aim to work with it. Dump the random your content that your mind generates onto an external format that you can review — such as a word document or notepad. Once you’ve dumped all the information out onto paper (or a word processor), you will immediately feel a surge of clarity and calm.

When you’re in the thick of a mental fog, you can feel like you have an infinite number of concerns on your plate. When you write everything down, you’ll see that your concerns are actually far more limited.

Next step: systematically process your stuff, and figure out what you’re going to do about each item, one at a time. You don’t need to finish each line item — you simply need to connect each item with a finish line and figure out the next action to take for that item.

Let’s say you have the following line item: “get finances in order after accident.” What, precisely, you would like to see happen with respect to your finances? Do you want to refill your emergency fund by a certain date? Do you want to pay off credit card bills or deal with creditors? Get clear about what you want, and then think about the very next step that you will need to do to start to make that a reality. For instance, your next step might be to call your broker.

Get all your thoughts out of your head, and attach outcomes and “next steps” to all those items. You’ll feel much clearer about how to handle the aftermath of your Charlotte auto accident.

For help with the legal end, please consider getting in touch with the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for an astute and insightful free consultation about your case.

“I Have No Time or Energy to Deal with My North Carolina Auto Accident – Help!”

January 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

They say that time slows down during and immediately after an auto accident in North Carolina (or elsewhere).

Subjectively, that might be true for certain people. But here’s something else that’s far more true – and far more germane, if you’re seeking damages to pay for medical care, broken auto components, and long-term rehab. And that is this: if you thought you were busy and “pressed for time” before the accident…you weren’t!

Crises have a funny way of forcing us to radically reprioritize our lives, in short order. Suddenly, taking the kids to piano lessons, returning that email from your high school reunion coordinator, and paying that credit card bill all take a distant fourth place in your life. This urgent renewal of focus can help you make progress, but it is not necessarily welcomed with open arms.

Even though accident victims enjoy enhanced clarity and a sense purpose/direction, they also simultaneously find themselves totally overwhelmed and unable to find time to manage even basic needs, such as the needs to rest, eat, and pay bills. As a result of the time crunch, the stresses spike. When you don’t have time to think, you tend to make more reactive, less deliberate decisions, which tend to lead to more stress and so forth and so on in a vicious cycle.

So how do you break that cycle?

The typical approach involves “grinning and bearing it” – that is, you acknowledge that your current situation is difficult and you just plug away, hoping that your perseverance and relentlessness will ultimately help calm things down. That attitude certainly can work, but it’s not necessarily the most efficient, and it may not be the most effective.

When we tell ourselves “I don’t have time to think” or “I’ll deal with this all later,” our brains don’t actually forget about our commitments. Our brains subconsciously keep track of what we’ve committed to. Later on, when you have time to come up for air, you may not consciously recall that you’ve made commitments, but your subconscious memory of those commitments makes you feel jittery, stressed, and uneasy.

Psychologists have found one tool to help alleviate that stress: it involves “pre-thinking” decisions. Right now, it feels like you have zero time to plan. But when you plan and actually think through your problems, you’ll almost certainly save more time and energy by finding efficiencies than you expend by doing the planning itself. (Read that last sentence twice: it’s key!)

That’s to say nothing of the extra energy and oomph you’ll enjoy from getting more of your plate. Except in urgent emergencies, it’s almost always “worth your while” to stop what you’re doing, take stock of where you are, and do good planning.

For help planning how to deal with your auto accident in Charlotte, get in touch with the reliable team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a consultation.

Did the Other Driver’s Abnormal Blood Sugars Cause Your North Carolina Truck Accident?

January 1, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Rates of obesity and type II diabetes are skyrocketing across the nation, so it may be time for us to have a collective conversation about the relationship among diabetes, blood sugar, and truck accidents in North Carolina.

How many accidents are caused or worsened by people’s blood sugar problems?

Your blood sugar can fluctuate due to hormonal problems, too much sugar/dietary carbohydrate, your energy level, and mood. These shifts impact your ability to concentrate. A trucker, for instance, who slams down a bunch of caffeinated sugary Red Bulls might experience a “high” for a few hours and might then feel a “crash” once the effects of the caffeine and the sugar surge wear off. Moreover, other “stuff” can also influence the trucker’s blood sugar levels — the amount and quality of sleep, amount and quality of sunlight exposure, medications, food allergies, and on and on. These effects will also, in turn, depend on the person’s dietary history, metabolic condition, and so forth.

All that said, it stands to reason that blood sugar issues might certainly play a role in many truck accidents. When your glucose levels drop, and you feel exhausted and unable to concentrate, your reaction time undoubtedly suffers. The different between a “near miss” and a fatal Charlotte truck accident may be just milliseconds. Thus, a low energy, metabolically-impaired trucker certainly must be more dangerous than a trucker with normal, stable blood glucose levels.

What if the trucker who hit you was negligent, careless, or otherwise compromised?

Police typically don’t test drivers’ blood glucose levels, so it can be hard to show that metabolic issues contributed to a crash.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is famous for investigating accident causes thoroughly, efficiently, and ethically. We can help you figure out what might have caused your crash and what you might be able to do to get fairly compensated for what you’ve gone through.