Topic: Injuries to Minors

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.

It Sounded Like A North Carolina Car Accident, But It Wasn’t, And It Could Have Been Much Worse…

March 5, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

It could have been way worse than any North Carolina auto accident we’ve reported on a long time. Instead, only one man died, and that man is being heralded as a hero.

Here’s what happened.

Early one morning, around 5:45 a.m., residents of Sharpe Road in Burlington heard a horrific noise. It sounded like someone was speed racing down the street and turning up the volume of the noisy engine with a massive amp. A local resident, Deloris Burrell, told reporters “I heard a V-r-o-o-o-m! V-r-o-o-o-m! The first thing I thought was ‘why is someone racing their car at 5:30 in the morning’?”

Turns out, it wasn’t a car that was making the noise. It was a plane! A single-engine LabCorp plane piloted by 57 year old David Gamble of Greensboro.

Ms. Burrell ran to her window and saw Gamble’s small plane plummet out of the sky and crash land at an empty ball field near Mayco Bigelow Community Center. The plane erupted in a ball of flame. Investigators believe the plane had over 400 gallons of jet fuel onboard. Loccal residents ran to the scene of the crash and tried to help, but nothing could be done. The plane’s husk was a ball of flame, and Mr. Gamble sadly perished.

The crash is still under investigation, but authorities and local residents believe that Mr. Gamble purposely crash landed on the empty ballpark to avoid hurting anyone. That area is strewn with houses, and he could have easily crashed into a house, killing people literally in their sleep. It was a final act of extreme heroism augmented by a bit of luck. Residents say that people typically are out early walking around that track. But that morning, no one had been jogging or walking dogs. The damage to the facility was remarkably minimal, despite the fire and jet fuel release.

Not all North Carolina auto accidents involve acts of heroism or good luck, however.

If you or a loved one got hurt in a crash in Greensboro, Raleigh or elsewhere in the state, you may be confused about your rights, frustrated by an uncooperative negligent driver, or intimidated by insurance adjusters. There is no need to fight this battle alone. The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is standing by to help. Talk to us: we can provide a free consultation and help you strategize to make more intelligent decisions about your car crash case.

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.

Why Do So Many Efforts to Stop Auto Accidents in North Carolina and Beyond Misfire?

December 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

With the exception of programs like Michael A. DeMayo’s Arrive Alive program, a disturbing number of strategies to reduce auto accidents in North Carolina don’t live up to their promise.


Why are some programs successful? Why do others yield middling to lackluster results? Furthermore, what can an analysis of this phenomenon teach you about how to be a more effective, accurate plaintiff in a North Carolina auto accident case?

The Big Problem with the Received Wisdom: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Here’s a seemingly foolproof way to decrease the number of serious accidents: get more people to purchase vehicles with better safety equipment, such as anti-lock brakes, ABS, computerized collision warning systems, etc.

Sounds good on paper, right?

However, in his exhaustively researched book, Traffic, author Tom Vanderbilt shows that the advent of automatic brakes made a surprisingly meek dent in auto accident statistics. Why? Vanderbilt argues that people who bought safer cars felt entitled to take more risks behind the wheel. This extra riskiness washed out the benefits of the brakes. People followed other cars more closely, for instance, because they felt comfortable that their ABS system would save them.

The ABS debacle is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences: you create a clearheaded plan only to have it blow up in your face in an unexpected way.

Empirical Validation: The Gold Standard for Automotive Safety

To develop better safety approaches, we must rely more on data. What works? The Arrive Alive program works, for instance. Other safety initiatives also work. If we can figure out what programs work, we can then scale them up and diversify them as appropriate. If we can likewise find the courage and mindfulness to understand what doesn’t work (so we can all stop doing that stuff!), then maybe we can save time, energy, and money… all while reducing injury and fatality statistics.

Here’s the bottom line. Whether you’re a recent accident victim or someone who’s just passionate about making our roads and highway safer, our goal should be to avoid “reinventing the wheel.” if and when possible. Rather than “guess” about best practices for your case, talk to an experienced, results-proven Charlotte auto accident law firm, like the DeMayo Law Team or a similarly venerable firm. There is no reason or need for you to “rediscover” these key insights.

Find out what works. Then try that, before you go “out of the box” or “off on your own” to solve your problems.

Curious and Curious-er! After a North Carolina Truck Accident, Over $40,000 Missing from Armored Car…

December 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

This North Carolina truck accident sounds, on the surface, like something out of a spy movie.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, last week, a Brinks armored vehicle flipped over on Highway 52 out in Lexington, after the driver of a Kia made an improper lane change, forcing the truck to suddenly swerve. Fortunately, no one died in the crash, although the truck driver, 32-year-old Michael Gerringer, was reported to be in serious condition. Gerringer’s passenger, 23-year-old John Baldwin, also a Brinks employee, was reported to be in good condition. Meanwhile, 47-year-old Myada Brotons, the driver of the Kia, got hit with a spate of charges, including insurance and registration violations, for her role in the crash.

But here’s the really intriguing part…

After the truck ran off the road, hit the embankment, and flipped over, some of the cash (totaling ~$40,000) “got away.” But how? Who took it? Did the money simply blow away from the scene?

Interestingly, the damage to the Brinks truck was estimated to be around $300,000 – nearly 10 times as much as the amount of cash that mysteriously went missing!

This last fact is particularly salient. Most North Carolina car and truck accident victims focus on the big, emotionally riveting details — a la the $40,000 worth of cash gone missing. But you may gain massive leverage by focusing on the mundane “legal stuff” that’s truly important/valuable — paying attention to the metaphorical “$300,000 worth of damage” even though that aspect of the case may be less exciting/provocative.

How can you focus and avoid getting “carried away” by inappropriate emotions?

It’s difficult to react strategically to life’s opportunities and challenges, even when you have all the information you need and plenty of time to think. It’s even harder to be strategic when you have much on the line, and when you’re desperate for answers and justice.

The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you make better decisions, consistently, with respect to your case and beyond. Even though your situation may feel very chaotic, there’s actually a science to fighting and winning car accident cases in North Carolina.

Our team knows that science inside out. We have been able to demonstrate powerful results in diverse circumstances. Get in touch with us today to go over your rights and potential remedies.