Topic: Motorcycle Accidents

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.

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.

DeMayo Truck Accident Hypothetical: The Carnage of a Truck versus Motorcycle Crash

August 2, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You don’t need to be told that North Carolina truck accidents can be dangerous – even devastating.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck crash – or you someone who needs help after an accident – you can personally attest to the fundamentally “unfair” advantage trucks have over other vehicles on the road. As we’ve talked about before, this advantage is due to the fact that trucks are more massive. They are thus able to bully lighter vehicles on the road, since they can impart far more force. If a 20-ton truck crashes head-on into a 2-ton car, and both vehicles are going the same speed (in opposite directions), the truck will be able to exert 10 times as much force on the car as the car will be able to exert on the truck.

This isn’t to say that the trucker can’t get hurt — or that the truck is somehow impervious to damage. But understand that this difference is like tossing a pebble into a pond versus tossing a large rock. Which act makes the bigger splash?

We can take this metaphor further.

Imagine if a 20-ton truck crashes into a 200-pound motorcycle. Same situation. This gives the truck a roughly 200 to 1 advantage, force wise, over the motorcycle. It would be kind of like what happens when your car smashes into a bee on the freeway. The bee doesn’t stand a chance.

Here is a good analogy to help really clarify this mental picture. Imagine that 20-ton truck slamming into a brick wall at 20 miles per hour. There obviously would be a crash – presumably a lot of damage. But how would the truck’s impact against the wall compare to the force generated if you drove your 200-pound motorcycle into the same wall and took just as long to stop?

To make the motorcycle exert as much force as the truck, you would have to pile drive it into the wall at 4,000 miles an hour! That’s faster than any non-military jet plane (and probably most military planes) in existence. At 4,000 miles per hour, you could fly practically from Charlotte to Hawaii in an hour.

That’s a lot of force – that’s a huge velocity – many times the speed of sound.

And that’s just for a truck traveling at 20 miles per hour crashing into a brick wall.

Imagine a truck traveling 60 miles, crashing into that same brick wall. A motorcycle 1/200th of its mass would need to travel at 200 times that speed to exert the same amount of force, assuming that both vehicles take identical times to stop. That means the bike would have to travel at 12,000 miles per hour.

That’s basically rocket speed!

If you or someone you care has been hurt in a motorcycle or trucking accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, the DeMayo Law team would love to provide a free and confidential case evaluation for you.

Odd North Carolina Auto Accident News: Banana Truck Explodes 18th Century Building (No, Not A Monty Python Sketch!)

July 19, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Some North Carolina truck accident cases sound absurd when you first read about them.

Case in point: An out-of-control 18-wheeler carrying bananas flipped over just outside Providence, Rhode Island last Sunday and slid into the Old Grist Mill Tavern, an 18th Century building, causing a gas main to explode ,which in turn consumed the landmark in flames.

Fortunately, no one was in the tavern when the accident happened, although the truck driver suffered injuries and got treated at a Providence area hospital. An area resident who heard the crash rushed down to see flames soaring above the street utility poles. David Elderkin told The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro, MA: “It sounded like a jet engine…this is a sad day. This is a very popular restaurant.”

The owner of the Old Grist Mill, Greg Esmay, told the Providence journal “[the 18-wheeler] slid along the ground and took out the main gas line and the electrical lines…there was a pretty good explosion, and it started a fire.”

The truck accident is currently under investigation, and who knows what will be found.

The scary/weird truck crash illustrates the profound dangers that trucks pose not only to people and vehicles but also to standing structures, like buildings and bridges. We all intuitively understand that trucks are “more dangerous” than cars. There is an actual reason for this intuition, however. Big trucks – especially 18-wheelers carrying lots of cargo – have enormous amount of mass. As any elementary physics student will tell you, when you accelerate mass to high velocity, you set a lot of force in motion. A truck weighing 20 tons going 30 miles per hour that crashes into you will impart as much force as a two-ton car traveling at 300 miles per hour. A ridiculously large amount of force, in other words – capable of creating instant catastrophes.

If you or someone you care about was hurt in a truck accident in North Carolina, the DeMayo Law team is available for a free, thorough, and compassionate case evaluation to help you make sense of your options to get a recovery.

Shifting Memories: The Other Guy Caused Your North Carolina Car Accident… Didn’t He?

May 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You were recently involved in a scary and surprising North Carolina car accident. In the wake of that disaster, however, you’ve had some confusing thoughts about what exactly happened prior to and after the collision. You are pretty sure that the other driver veered into your lane and caused you to weave off to the side of the road. But you are not 100% positive. Or maybe you are certain that the other driver blew through a stop sign and hit the tail of your car – then again, was there a stop sign at that intersection that you missed?

It’s not uncommon for victims of North Carolina car accidents to question their version of events, even if witnesses and others can confirm them. The human memory is notoriously complicated and doesn’t always come up with precise objective renditions of past events. Our emotions color our memories. The stories that we hear – that we tell ourselves after the fact — can also influence memory. And particularly if the accident was somewhat complicated – in which may be you and the other driver were both partially at fault – your mind can extrapolate the worst (or, conversely, entertain overly rosy ideas about how much you were to blame).

Is your mind playing tricks on you? What was the reality of your accident?

To understand complex events, like car accidents, we need hard data, good investigatory techniques, and keen understanding of North Carolina car accident law. One of the first steps is to get good, complete data and evidence as soon as possible after the crash. For instance, if you take a picture of the car accident scene – ideally many pictures – then you will have some kind of objective record to look at. If you interview witnesses and get them to write down their testimony right after the accident, then you have more reliable information. Police reports, medical documents, photographs, even a damaged car itself can all be used to corroborate a version of events or to challenge it.

What you do with that information is also mission critical. If you wait too long to connect with a resource, like Michael DeMayo’s North Carolina car accident law firm, then the information that you collect may lose its relevance, get lost, etc. You may also say or do things that create trouble for your case. For instance, you may make relatively innocuous comments to the other driver’s insurance adjuster – e.g. “I’m feeling a little better now” – that imperil your ability to collect damages months or even years down the line.

To guard against insecurity and poor memory, act with due urgency to collect relevant information and find a good law firm, like DeMayo Law, that you can trust to guide you the rest of the way.

More Web Resources:

The Notorious Value of Remembered Testimony

The tricks our minds can play on us in terms of memory

What to Do If Your Son is at Risk of Getting into a North Carolina Motorcycle Crash

April 30, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Maybe your son has already been involved in a scary and perhaps serious North Carolina motorcycle crash.

Or maybe you are just concerned that his driving habits and attitudes and friends have put him on a collision course with disaster. What can you do to influence his behavior, and get him to change his ways to become more safety conscious?

This problem is minimally discussed, if ever discussed, on North Carolina car accident blogs and other educational websites. Instead, we get the same old pabulum — preaching safety advice to the choir. Do you really need to be told, again and again, why it’s so important to wear a helmet while driving or why to avoid biking under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or extreme fatigue? Probably not. You are the one who always reads safety articles, forwards emails to your son, etc!

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to solve this “preaching to the choir” problem. How do you reach out to people who seem to make an art out of ignoring your advice?

The answer is not necessarily intuitive. In fact, probably you worry that if you get overly alarmist about motorcycle safety, then you will alienate your son (or other relative) who is at risk of a North Carolina car or motorcycle crash. And you might well be right.

On the other hand, you can’t stand idly by and allow the dangerous driving behavior to continue. If you are still reeling from an actual motorcycle accident, you know in a very real and palpable way what can go wrong – or at least what has the potential to go wrong.

What you need is not necessarily better information – more alarmism, more statistics showing why you are right and he is wrong, etc. You need a new approach — a way to try to connect on a personal, empathetic level.

No one likes to be preached to or talked down to, even if they would begrudgingly acknowledge that certain messages are ultimately in their best interest to hear.

So instead of preaching, consider trying to connect with the rider by using empathy and listening. Find out what’s really going on with him. One very interesting and innovative set of tools is the so-called “nonviolent communication” paradigm, developed by renowned psychologist and negotiator, Marshall Rosenberg.

Rosenberg has created a very interesting and a useful set of communication strategies that help people connect empathetically with one and another and get their needs met. Rosenberg focuses on the feelings and needs of various parties in negotiations.

You can find out more by checking out the link below. And if you need help with a specific motorcycle accident case, connect with a North Carolina motorcycle accident law firm.

More web resources:

Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication

Why it’s so hard to communicate criticism