Topic: Drunk Driving

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.)

Driving Less to Reduce Your Likelihood of Getting Into a North Carolina Car Accident

May 12, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s a great idea to help you avoid getting into another serious North Carolina car accident.

We’ve touched on this concept before, but the general theory is well worth reviewing. Here’s the gist: Instead of adopting a complex system of new habits and resolutions to be a safer driver, opt for a simpler and more effective approach: drive less to reduce your overall likelihood of getting into a crash.

After all, certain behaviors associate with higher crash risk–driving under the influence, for instance, or driving while chatting on a cell phone or driving while exhausted. However, these bad behaviors and bad habits simply ratchet up your likelihood of getting into crash on any given mile. Every mile you drive is somewhat fraught with the risk, in other words. You can make each mile driven riskier or less risky by your driving and attention habits.

Rather than fiddle with your habits and behaviors–which are obviously hard to change- why not just change the absolute number of miles you drive?

For instance, say you commute 40 minutes to work every day–and drive 40 minutes home. Maybe you could arrange a situation with your boss where you could telecommute to work two days a week. By doing that, you’d save around three hours of driving time a week. Maybe you would have driven 50 total miles during that time. So if you save 50 miles of driving a week; over a full year, you’ll save about 2,500 miles. And if your chances of getting into an accident over that 2,500 miles– which may have been 0.001% or something–are now reduced to zero percent. Extrapolate that arrangement over 50 years, and the numbers become even more favorable. 50 times 2,500 equals 125,000 miles. 0.001% of 125,000 = 1.25 crashes averted!

Of course, if you’ve already been in a crash, these words may come a day late and a dollar short. Fortunately, you can turn to the DeMayo Law team right now for effective legal guidance about how to prosecute your case, hold liable parties to account, and get fair results.

Call us now for a free consultation.

Another Anti-Distraction Tool To Avoid North Carolina Car Accidents

May 8, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

This Charlotte auto accident blog spends a lot of time delving into tools and concepts to help drivers regain focus behind the wheel. If you recently got hurt in a crash, you are extremely attuned to personal safety; you want to do everything in your power, going forward, to protect yourself and your family (and other people on the road).

To that end, here is another tool to put in your auto safety toolbox: safe driving apps.

Browse any major app store online, and you will find dozens of really cool, innovative apps that can protect you against distracted driving. These apps can:

  • Send an automated message to anyone who text or emails you saying, in effect, “I am in a car right now and can’t talk”
  • Lock the phone so that you literally can’t receive a text or incoming email;
  • Alert parents if/when a teen chats-and-drive and ID the teen’s location via GPS;
  • Track teen driver behavior by identifying driving infractions and alerting parents.

Car safety has gotten sophisticated, thanks to GPS devices, cell phone apps, and other innovative technologies and processes. In some ways, it’s cool to think that we can use cell phone apps and software to diffuse the dangers of driver cell phone use. However, for all the marvelous techie solutions out there, you still need to maintain discipline and
focus on improving your driving habits and eliminating distractions in your life.

If you were hurt by a distracted driver in North Carolina, the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you figure out what to do and plan your next steps. Get in touch with our team now for a free and thorough consultation.

Simple Way To Get Into A More Positive Mindset About Your North Carolina Auto Accident

May 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You are feeling pretty grim about your North Carolina car accident. Maybe you’re still sick/injured from the grueling collision. Or maybe you’re you just psychologically devastated–it all happened so fast, and the other driver (who hit you and caused all the mayhem) seems uncooperative and unlikely to agree to pay a fair share, unless you use the
legal equivalent of a blowtorch to make him or her acknowledge your rights. You get upset even just thinking about the case, and you are not quite sure if/how you can ever find a silver lining.

Here’s a simple trick that will get you into a more positive mindset.

Read success stories.

Find videos or testimonials from real people who’ve been in similar situations to the one you are in right now and who overcame them. You may not get any actionable advice from reading these positive stories. But the testimonials will hopefully kindle (or rekindle) your
sense of optimism. At the risk of being overly self-serving, you can check out the positive testimonials that we have compiled here at the official DeMayo Law website. Or you can search elsewhere.

 The object is not to get carried away but rather to reframe your dilemma.

 Advocates of “positive thinking” often oversell their case to cynics and wind up scaring away people who otherwise might benefit from adopting more rosy outlooks. Truth be told, your situation may not turn out as well as other plaintiffs’ cases. But human beings are primarily storytellers. We love to hear a good story, and we love to tell a good story. Great stories help us remember and learn–and they train our brains to think in new ways about old problems.

If you are stuck thinking about your case and your North Carolina auto accident in a purely negative way, you can still make progress and ultimately win. However, you will likely find the experience to be fraught, intimidating, and discouraging. If, on the other hand, you can see multiple paths by which success can be possible (assuming you do the right things and the facts of your case go your way), you will be more inclined to take action.

For instance, right now, you may need to redo your teaching schedule or personal finances in the wake of the disaster. If you are stuck in a negative, sour mindset, you might delay/defer/procrastinate that project. But if you are feeling more encouraged, you might be more inclined to get started. The more you can take control over various projects in your life, the more positive momentum you will get towards returning to normal.

Connect with our Charlotte auto accident law firm today for sound, insightful help with your case.

“Feeling Fine” After Your Auto Accident in North Carolina? You Might Not Be!

May 2, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

After “getting shaken up” in an auto accident in North Carolina, you got first aid and returned safely to your home. While the screech of tires and the smell of burning rubber may be still vivid in your conscious memory, you are grateful that you did not suffer worse damage– a broken spine, serious bleeding, paralysis, or death.

Unfortunately, just because you survived your North Carolina auto accident intact does not mean that everything is “hunky dory.” If you haven’t yet gotten thoroughly checked out by a physician, that should be your #1 priority. Even if you have — and you have gotten a clear bill of health — be extremely mindful of your physical and mental state for the next several days.

When human beings get exposed to highly traumatic events — such as car crashes, military explosions, etc. — our brains release special chemical signals that temporarily numb us, so that we can psychologically tolerate what we are going through.

These chemical signals are a godsend, in that, if we didn’t have them, traumas could send us over the brink. The drawback is that these chemicals can mask more subtle, chronic damage. For instance, on a purely physical level, you might not “feel” internal damage or
muscular tears until hours after the crash (when the endorphins wear off). Psychologically, a similar phenomenon can happen. You might “feel okay” for a few days after the crash but then suddenly feel depression or panic.

The point of this article is not to scare you — odds are (hopefully) that you will be fine.

However, you want to be sensitive to your condition and also lean on friends and family members to watch out for you and give you extra care and attention. In some cases — concussions, for instance — you may need to exercise exquisite sensitivity. Recently concussed people are at much elevated risk for extra damage. A second concussion that happens shortly after first one can wreak horrible havoc and lead to edema, swelling in the brain, stroke, and all sorts of other horrific symptoms.

Given the tenuous nature of your medical situation, you may want to explore your potential legal options. Why bother doing so, if you are 99% sure that you are “going to be fine”?

First of all, the amount of time/energy you will waste by “just checking” is minimal. Our team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, for instance, can help you assess your potential Charlotte auto accident case rapidly and at no cost to you (you can call us at (877) 529-1222).

Second of all, the cost of NOT doing anything might not matter 99 out of 100 times. But if your situation happens to be that “1 out of 100” kind of case, where you actually DO need serious medical help, if you wait too long to get the “legal wheels in motion” you may find yourself at a serious disadvantage later on and regretting your lack of action now.

Diminished Energy, Enthusiasm, and Resources after Your Auto Accident in Charlotte? Read This!

May 1, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

After auto accidents in Charlotte (or anywhere), victims suffer not just because of the immediate medical consequences–and the psychological trauma–but also because of a chronic depletion of energy/enthusiasm. You may have a challenging job or small kids to take care of or financial goals to meet. You probably had a pretty busy life prior to the
moment when the truck collided with you at that Charlotte intersection or that kid yapping on his cell phone cut you off.

You may lack motivation or money to move forward with important projects in your life–projects both related to and entirely separate from your North Carolina personal injury case. You can’t exactly “conjure” enthusiasm out of nothing. And you can’t make your obligations all go away.

So how should you proceed? How can you avoid getting buried by your to do list?

First of all, acknowledge reality. Exactly how much energy do you have now–not how much energy do you hope to have three weeks from now, after you go through therapy. How do you feel now? How many hours a day can you concentrate? How good is your concentration? Et cetera.

Also, be honest about your obligations. What are your work obligations? What are your child care obligations? Your financial obligations? Make a comprehensive list. Get everything down on paper, so that you can wrestle with it in a systematic way.

Once you complete this exercise, it’s time to get creative.

Can you leverage your current capacities/resources to handle a little bit more work?

For instance, right now, you may feel like you can only get three or four working hours a day because of your illness. But maybe if you handed off some chores to a friend or relative, you could get an extra hour a day to get the “real stuff” done.

So get creative and think about how to expand your productivity.

Likewise, figure out what you can knock off your list–or defer indefinitely for several weeks or several months. For instance, you might have been planning a big project at work. But can you put that project on hold for several months while you recover? You may have wanted to go on a spa retreat with your girlfriend from college. But can you put that on hold, while you recover?

To jog your thinking, ask yourself these difficult questions, and spend time brainstorming. What if you only had half as much energy in your day? What compromises would you make? What if you had to nix half of the projects on your plate? Could you do it? If so, how?

This kind of exercise will highlight the resources you do have. One way to shortcut the busy work is to connect with an experienced North Carolina auto accident law firm, like DeMayo Law. Find out more about how we help like you on our site, or call us now for thorough insight into your challenges.

Could Innovations in Football Helmet Science Lead to Fewer North Carolina Auto Accident Injuries?

March 14, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

We touch a lot on the theme of North Carolina auto accident injury prevention on this blog. Why? Because everyone — injured and non-injured alike — can benefit from insights into what constitutes safe driving.

To that end, new innovations in football helmet technology may portend automobile safety upgrades that could make our world much safer.

If you follow our North Carolina traumatic brain injury blog — or if you follow football news in general — you no doubt know that the NFL has a serious head injury problem. Over 4,000 ex-pros and their spouses are suing the National Football League. They allege, among other things, that the NFL underrepresented the dangers of long-term concussions.

To meet this challenge, helmet manufacturers are racing to develop technology to protect the brains of gridiron warriors. One company based in Sweden has developed a very interesting system called the MIPS system, which redirects torsional forces using a loosely sliding plate to prevent the brain from getting “spun around.”

As any physics major can tell you, force can be broken down into an intensity component and a directional component. Most helmet manufacturers — and automobile safety technology manufacturers — focus on the intensity element. They develop and test materials that blunt forces. But the MIPS system takes a different approach. It tries not only to “de-intensify” forces but also to manage the direction of these forces.

No one knows whether the MIPS system — or any system like it — will become the new standard in NFL headgear. But the implications for North Carolina car accident prevention are pretty interesting. If automotive manufacturers in the future can learn how to harness this technology — that could counter both the direct AND torsional forces that happen during collisions — then perhaps we’ll reduce serious accidents and deaths and injuries.

Of course, we likely won’t see innovations along those lines for years. But if you’ve been struggling to get compensation after your accident, please get in touch with us here at the DeMayo Law for a complimentary consultation — 1.877.529.1222.

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.

Reconstructing Your North Carolina Car Accident

September 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

How exactly did your North Carolina car accident happen?

Whether it occurred hours ago or days ago, you may have sense memories of the experience. You certainly probably were emotionally and physically rocked by what happened. To recover damages from the driver who hit you (or from a liable insurance company), you likely need to begin to build a case. That means you likely want to document what happened and assemble/collect/preserve potential evidence.

Meaningful documents might include:

•    the hospital report/physician’s analysis;
•    the police report from the scene of the accident;
•    witness statements;
•    contact info and phone numbers;
•    journal entries of your own personal experience.

Understand that the human memory has a profound tendency to color and change. When an event is emotionally or physically charged – such as a Charlotte auto accident – you are particularly susceptible to subconscious rewrite history.

This is true not just for you, but for anyone who witnessed the accident, including the police officer/officers who investigated!

To deal with this problem, collect multiple angles. Different perspectives help. Here’s an analogy to help you understand why. Imagine you’re trying to illuminate a large, strange, dark object using just flashlights. A single flashlight beam might not show the whole “thing” that you are looking at, but multiple flashlight beams pointed at the same object will give you a far better ability to resolve the “truth” about what it is. Likewise, your accident was likely multifaceted and complicated, even if it just involved your car and another vehicle. Thus, the more diverse perspectives you can get, the more compelling your case will be.

That may all sound a little abstract. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the investigation on your own. But don’t wait too much longer. Witness accounts, like milk, can spoil over time; and evidence from the scene might be lost. Get in touch with the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today to make needed progress.

How Far Should the Law Go to Prevent Auto Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere?

August 23, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

As someone who’s recently been hurt in a North Carolina car crash – or a friend or relative of a victim – you undoubtedly have auto safety on your mind every hour of every day.

While victims can leverage the law to seek compensation for injuries, lost time at work, loss of companionship and other damages – ideally by turning to a competent and experienced law firm, like the team at DeMayo law – your leverage is limited.

Besides, the damage has already been done.

In your time of grief or pain or struggle, you might be tempted to want to “do something” to make sure that what happened to you or your friend or family member “never happens again.” This sentiment is obviously understandable. But people who design policy need to be very mindful to treat road safety issues scientifically. They must let data and evidence — rather than emotions — dictate the most appropriate steps.

It’s also important to have a collective discussion about the rule of intervention. Is the state or the community responsible for imposing rules to encourage auto safety?

Obviously, there is a fine balance here. If we lacked auto safety laws altogether, people would be driving 120 mph per hour down suburban streets; chaos would reign. On other hand, too much bureaucracy – too many restrictions – would not only make transportation nearly impossible, but it would also likely cause accidents because of the confusion.

Truth be told, there are probably certain restrictions right now that could be eliminated or changed to benefit everyone who uses the roads. Likewise, there are probably certain restrictions or limitations that could be imposed that would do the same.

For instance, it might behoove the state to impose regular driver’s ed testing – maybe once every five years – to make sure that everyone stays refreshed regarding the rules of the road. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to test drivers once before giving them their licenses and then just sort of let them “wing it” for years, decades, or even longer.

So, maybe regular, universal “imposed driver’s ed” would be a good idea.

Likewise, it’d be interesting to see what might happen if we started treating people who drive while distracted — or while overly fatigued — similar to the way we treat people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We know from statistics that driving while on a cell phone or driving while really sleep deprived is hugely dangerous. But we certainly don’t punish overly tired drivers nearly the way we punish DUI drivers – and perhaps we should legally consider these behaviors more similar because of the compelling statistics.

The debate will rage on, but it’s important for both for accident victims and for policymakers to consider how and why North Carolina road safety can be improved.