Topic: Pedestrian 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.

What’s Scarier (If You Were Being Rational): Shark Attacks or North Carolina Truck Accidents?

February 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

What are you more afraid of: A shark attack or a Charlotte truck accident?

If you’re like most normal people, as soon as you start to contemplate what it might feel like to get assaulted by a Great White in the middle of the ocean, your pulse rises. You freak out! There is something intuitively strange and scary about sharks. Movies like Jaws and salacious footage of shark attacks in the news gin up our fears of these monsters.

Conversely, we also understand that North Carolina truck accidents can be scary, but the fear isn’t the same for most of us.

But statistically speaking, the likelihood of your getting hurt or killed in a truck accident vastly exceeds — by orders of magnitude! — the likelihood of your getting hurt or killed in a shark attack.

Yet every time a fatal shark attack happens, especially on U.S. shores, the story rises to the top of the Huffington Post and other news aggregator sites. Meanwhile, fatal truck accidents — even accidents that kill multiple people — often barely make the local papers.

This disconnect between what we actually fear and what we technically should fear (if our fears were more in line with our statistical reality) gives us profound insight into the nature of safety. The disconnect suggests that we may often pay attention to the wrong types of warnings and — at the same time!! — fail to pay attention to the right types of warnings.

Thus, we may overreact to non-threats and under-react to true threats and, in both ways, put ourselves in unnecessary peril.

If you’ve already been in a truck accident — and you suffered serious injuries — then you might feel that you’re acquiring this theoretical knowledge a day late and a dollar short.

But this new kind of thinking can still be useful for you, especially if you need to make a claim against an insurance company or liable trucker. Why? Because you’re likely ALSO thinking about your truck accident through inaccurate filters or belief systems. And if you don’t approach your legal and insurance situations accurately and strategically, you could miss out on fair compensation and struggle pointlessly.

Let the team at DeMayo Law help you articulate and structure the smartest possible legal action. Email or call our team now for an immediate consultation.

Could Small Policy Shifts Lead to a Radical Decrease in Teenage Auto Accidents in North Carolina and Beyond?

August 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — published in the scarily named journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly — has found that young drivers, between the ages of 15 and 24, account for nearly a quarter of all motor vehicle deaths on US roads every year.

Why are young drivers inherently more at risk for fatal North Carolina car crashes?

Young drivers lack experience, and they are inherently more prone to taking risks. This combines to create the deadly cocktail.

There is a bright side, however, to the research.

Licensing processes gradually allow teenage drivers to acclimate to their responsibilities — these processes may be able to reduce car crash risk by 16% or more, according to some data. In other words, when you put new teenage drivers through a process — like forcing them to drive with a permit or drive with an adult before “graduating” to greater driving independence — this somehow prevents drivers from getting into as many car crashes.

Looking for success stories, and then combining them.

Let just say that the research turns out to be correct – that, when you train teen drivers correctly, you reduce their risk of accidents.

One then might ask some questions:

•    What other accident prevention methods seem to work in the real world?
•    For instance, does positive peer pressure (e.g. social pressure designed to that nudges peers towards safer behavior) lead to lower accident rates?
•    What about town wide curfews?
•    What about cell phone bans?
•    What about other laws, restrictions, and sentences and rewards?

If we cast a wide net, we might find that a variety of programs seem to have some success at reducing accident rates in different contexts. It would be interesting if we could gather the most seemingly effective of these policies and bundle them into one kind of “uber policy” designed to maximize safety among teen drivers.

In other words, say that positive peer pressure, having a curfew, and using a gradual driver’s ed system all reduce teen fatalities a little bit. What if you bundled these activities into one process? Would we be able to limit accidents by an even larger margin? If so, that kind of creative thinking could seriously save lives and reduce injuries.

If you’ve already been hurt in an accident – or someone you love has been hurt – the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to talk to you about your potential legal options for getting justice done and obtaining compensation.

Supreme Court Rules in Fatal North Carolina Auto Accident Case

July 5, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Nearly a decade ago, a fatal North Carolina auto accident took the lives of Mickela Nicholson, Marianne Dauscher, and Michael Layaou on Highway 1010 in Johnston County. The estates of the three people killed sued the North Carolina Department of Transportation for negligence that led to the accumulation of water on the road, which in turn precipitated the fatal hydroplaning accident.

(Nicholson had been driving the speed limit. She veered off the road due to its disrepair. When she hopped back on, the eroded road and slick conditions caused her to hydroplane and slam into the jeep).

The DOT fought back against the lawsuit, claiming that the estates of the descedents could not sue for the failure to “make appropriate repair.”

On the Friday before last, the North Carolina Supreme Court weighed in on the matter and ruled decisively in favor of the estates of the deceased – giving the okay for them to sue the DoT.

Who knows what will happen next? Obviously, no ruling can ever bring back the young people who were killed in the crash. It’s also been nearly a decade since the incident – a decade of uncertainty for the families involved.

The case illustrates how slowly North Carolina auto accident cases can progress through the court system. Especially if someone was killed or seriously injured in a crash – where hundreds or thousands of dollars or millions of dollars might be at stake – the court process can drag on extensively. Plaintiffs can experience an emotional rollercoaster ride, as positive and negative news breaks periodically about the case.

How should victims and family members of victims comport themselves during these intense “ups and downs”?

First and foremost, it really helps to have a solid North Carolina auto accident law firm on your side – such as the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo – to answer your questions, keep you feeling in control, and keep you focused on the best possible strategic outcomes. A good law firm can also help you navigate the surprises and opportunities that can emerge as you pursue justice and strive for compensation.

Beyond that, understand that getting over a serious car accident – or the fact that a loved one was in a serious car accident – is a process. There is no one-time “quick fix.” Even if a liable party agreed tomorrow to pay you as much as you wanted for the damages done, you would still need time to adjust to your new reality, and your “emotional immune system” would need to process what happened to you and bring you back to equilibrium.

Try to be compassionate with yourself; to be compassionate with those who might have caused you harm; and to be patient as the wheels of justice move forward. Be sure to educate yourself and connect yourself with great resources – legal, medical, and otherwise – to make the journey simpler and more certain.

North Carolina Car Accident Theory – Talking to the Driver Who Just Hit You

February 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

After a North Carolina auto accident – even a minor one, such as a fender bender at a red light or a scrape on the freeway – you enter a kind of primitive physiological state. Your body knows that it’s under threat, and stress reactions kick in. Your adrenaline may jack up. Your blood pressure may rise. You may experience extreme anger as well as focus. If you’re injured, your body may go into shock. A lot of things happen, both psychologically and physically, in other words – even if the accident is minor.

When you get out of your vehicle and talk to the driver or motorcyclist or trucker who hit you, you’re still operating, physiologically, from this primitive state. It’s normal, in such a situation, to feel extreme animosity and anger because you’ve had your need for safety fundamentally threatened. So, you may end up saying or even doing things that you would never do in “real life.” You might curse at an old lady or threaten to punch a scared teenager. You might make accusations that have no bearing or, conversely, apologizing for something that you didn’t even do. Some of these communication mistakes are unfortunate but inconsequential. If you call an old lady an SOB, you might regret it later, but it might not hurt your potential to obtain compensation in North Carolina auto accident case. But if you engage in other behaviors – such as admitting fault as a “gut reaction” when you weren’t indeed in fact at fault, that admission can come back to haunt your case.

To protect yourself from ever having to be in this position, you need to practice how to communicate with people while you’re under stress. Techniques abound to help people become better listeners and more calm and cool in dangerous circumstances. One philosophy of communication you may wish to explore is Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication philosophy. Rosenberg teaches his students to listen for the “feelings and needs” behind aggressive and angry external statements. For instance, the driver who cursed at you may not be angry because at “you;” rather, he is angry because his need for safety was not met. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one, since it liberates you from responsibility for other people’s feelings. Likewise, when you get in contact with your own feelings and needs, you are less likely to “take things personally” and more likely to be resourceful, compassionate, and even empathetic in situations where you are under stress.

Learning NVC communication is by no means easy or simple or intuitive. But Rosenberg’s students have compiled many anecdotes in which NVC training helped them to deal with extremely such stressful situations – being robbed, being threatened in public, etc. By connecting with yourself and with others at moments of anger, you can defuse situations that could otherwise turn ugly and also protect and preserve your chances for maximizing justice and obtaining the best possible recovery and resolution.

More Web Resources;

What Happens to the Brain During Periods of Extreme Stress

Nonviolent Communication Website

North Carolina Car Crash Scam: Eight People Charged, Millions Outraged

October 13, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Authorities in Raleigh have arrested eight people in conjunction with a North Carolina car crash scam. According to State Insurance Commissioner, Wayne Goodwin, the group “staged car wrecks and then submitted bogus insurance claims” to pull in $44,000. Had authorities not thwarted scam, the group could have succeeded with claims for an additional $51,000. Authorities are still looking for two other people suspected of faking car crashes to collect insurance claims. Most of the suspects are from Raleigh, although one hails from Louisburg; all eight people are being held on various bond amounts, according to an AP report.

Obviously, conscientious citizens find this behavior despicable and scary. Who fakes car crashes to collect money? What would happen if a car crash actually injured someone – not just one of the scam artists but an innocent bystander? How common is this kind of scheme? What can people do to prevent becoming victimized by scam artists?

These are all crucial questions, and it’s easy to worry about crazy insurance scammers threatening the lives of motorists and pedestrians. But it’s important not to get distracted by these fantastical, low-probability problems — e.g., someone crashing his car into you, so he can dupe you in some elaborate insurance scam. After all, there are real road dangers out there, and your time is better spent focusing on the dangers you can control and are likely to face. For instance, as we’ve discussed before in this North Carolina car crash blog, certain times of day and holidays are far more dangerous than others. If you make a conscious effort to avoid driving on, for instance, New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday – as well as on Friday and Saturday nights – you will likely reduce your accident risks a lot more than if you fret over the nefarious doings of car crash scam artists.

For grounded help with your North Carolina car accident issues, connect with a responsible North Carolina car accident law firm.

More Web Resources:

NC Police Charge Eight with Running Car Crash Scam

How common are car crash scams?