Topic: Truck 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.

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.

Did an Animal Cause Your Charlotte North Carolina Car Accident?

November 8, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You and your family suffered injuries in a serious North Carolina car accident.

You’re confused about why it happened. Who was responsible? What you can possibly do to get compensated and move on and rebuild your life?

Given your powerful emotions — and still very present memories about the crash — there is a high likelihood that you’re going to want to blame a human being – or multiple human beings – for the events. Indeed, the majority of car accidents in North Carolina stem from driver error and negligence. For instance, maybe an older gentleman hit the gas when he thought he was hitting the brakes, and he careered into your car. Or maybe a teenage driver sped by your SUV and forced you to drive into a ditch.

Unfortunately, when we focus only on blaming other people — due to our powerful emotions, need for justice, and desire to order a complex, chaotic events — we may fail to pay attention to other factors that might have mattered more. For instance, perhaps an animal caused the crash or made it worse.

Animals can be involved in auto accidents in many subtle ways. For instance:

•    A deer running on the highway can cause cars to swerve out of its way and crash;
•    A cat or dog in someone’s seat can break loose from a restraint and distract the driver;
•    While swerving to get out of the way of someone walking his dog, a car can precipitate traffic problems, including accidents “downstream” – that is, far from the swerve itself;
•    Etc

How can you tell if an animal was to blame – or even partially to blame?

Without an external, objective way to assess the situation, you can’t!

To truly understand what happened (or what might have happened), you need to do a thorough, objective, “360 degree” review of the evidence and examine subtle factors that may not have been apparent to you, if you were in the crash itself.

For instance, say a truck driver hit you on I-95. After examining records, photographs, and documents, investigators might find out that the trucker had a large dog with him riding in the cab. The dog jumped up on his lap at an inopportune moment, distracting him, and causing him to veer into your lane and precipitate the accident.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has resources to help injured victims and their families not only get compensation and justice, but also achieve clarity about what caused the event.

Is Texting While Driving Really the Root Cause of So Many North Carolina Car Accidents?

October 30, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Drivers who text while behind the wheel – or who engage in other distracted activities – can be at a significantly elevated risk for causing a North Carolina car crash. For instance, many studies suggest that drivers who text have reduced reaction times and may very well perform worse behind the wheel than DUI drivers or drivers who’ve been sleep-deprived.

In other words, texting = hugely dangerous no-no.

On the other hand, efforts to stall or reverse the texting while driving epidemic have been somewhat (although not entirely) fruitless in Charlotte and elsewhere throughout the United States.

Why is this?

If fledgling science convincingly suggests that texting is incredibly dangerous – perhaps more so than DUI driving – then why haven’t we collectively rallied around policies that would ban cell phone use and punish offenders harshly?

In other words, if texting really is as dangerous as DUI driving, then shouldn’t the punishments be commensurate? Right now, if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher in North Carolina, you can go to jail, have your license stripped for a year, and suffer all sorts of other powerful consequences – even if your DUI was uncomplicated by an injury accident or other charges.

So why shouldn’t we do the same thing to drivers who text while driving?

Why shouldn’t we throw them in jail for a year or longer for their activity; strip their licenses; compel them to attend weeks and weeks of safe driving training; and subject them to strict probation terms? The answer probably has less to do with a logical rejoinder to the comparison between texting while driving and DUI driving than it does with our cultural biases.

Despite the science and statistics, we’ve accepted the idea that texting is somehow less hazardous – less socially unacceptable. And that cultural imprimatur – that texting is not necessarily great but not nearly as a “bad” as DUI driving – may ultimately be driving not only the epidemic of texting behind the wheel and cell phone use behind the wheel, but also indirectly driving up accident injury rates in and around the state, health care costs, and so forth.

The moral is this: the fact that we find texting behind the wheel somewhat socially acceptable may be the real root problem. So if we want to improve auto safety in the state, we need to address that real root problem and somehow find ways to make texting as socially detestable as DUI driving. Once we do that, maybe we’ll start to see some real changes.

If you’re looking for practical, specific, step-by-step help after your North Carolina car crash, get in touch with the highly regarded and empathetic team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo.

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.