Topic: Wrongful Death

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.

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.

North Carolina Truck Accident Prevention – Keep Your Windshield Clean!

May 2, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina truck accidents are enormous and often catastrophic events. When we see the wreckage on local news reels or YouTube video clips, we are often dumbstruck at the carnage. Trucks are big. They are powerful. They are capable of not only destroying other vehicles on the road, but also of doing serious structural damage to roads, buildings, and structures like bridges and ramps.

Unfortunately, because the end results of accidents are so enormous and dramatic and emotionally gripping, we tend to think that the causes of these wrecks also must likely be big and easy to spot. We might, for instance, think that a truck driver that caused a big wreck on the freeway had been dosing himself with unbelievable amounts of methamphetamine. Maybe he was trying to drive across the country in 100 hours flat, without ever stopping to rest or sleep, for instance. And sometimes the cause IS dramatic — a brake snaps and fails during a critical freeway moment, for instance. But often, the root-cause of accidents is far more subtle:

•    A dirty windshield, for instance, can distract a driver, preventing him from seeing a truck approaching along his side;
•    A truck driver fails to notice a freeway sign that indicates that his particular type of vehicle should not be on the road, given the weather conditions or the size of his load;
•    The drivers of both vehicles get distracted by a sports game on the radio and thus fail to react with exquisite enough precision to avoid collision.

So you can have these subtle causes.

Here is something else that’s interesting. Many accidents have MULTIPLE causes – or contributing factors – some of which may be extremely subtle and difficult to detect, even with the most cutting-edge forensics. A truck driver who is borderline diabetic and who has blood sugar issues might, for instance, suffer a lapse of judgment – or a degradation in his driving capabilities. But unless you do blood work on that driver and manage to connect his pre-diabetes with the accident, this contributing factor would be very difficult to detect.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do the investigative and legal legwork by yourself. You can connect with an experienced North Carolina truck accident law firm, like DeMayo Law, to help understand your rights and potential avenues of recourse.

More Web Resources:

Subtle Factors which can Influence Your Driving

North Carolina Car Crash on I-77 Kills 16-Year-Old High School Student

April 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

On Saturday March 31st, a tragic North Carolina car crash on Interstate 77 took the life of 16-year-old Thomas Luciano, a student at South Mecklenburg High School. According to local reports from WCNC, Luciano was thrown out of an SUV during the crash – he had not been wearing a safety belt. The other passengers and the driver survived, although another passenger, Roland Calhoun, had to undergo surgery for an injury he sustained in the crash. Luciano’s friends painted a big rock outside their high school with messages remembering and celebrating him.

Tragedies like this car crash occur far too often in North Carolina and elsewhere. What can we learn from situations like this? Since the police investigation of the accident has not yet concluded, we can’t really say much about the cause of the crash. If it’s true that Luciano was not been wearing his safety belt, most accident investigators would probably say that omission was significant. But accidents are peculiar and eccentric events. Yes, the statistics definitely show that people who wear safety belts are more likely to survive car crashes and avoid injuries.

But when we jump too quickly to conclusions, we can shortchange ourselves and any friends or family members hurt in a crash. For instance, maybe you, too, recently got hurt in a North Carolina car crash in which you had not be wearing a seatbelt or in which “you drove too fast.” Or something. In other words, you believe that you were at fault in some fashion. You could just accept this diagnosis and try to move on with your life. But a detailed analysis may show that some other factor was also involved – perhaps, crucially so. For instance, maybe your car’s brakes malfunctioned. Maybe the road itself had a design flaw that caused your car to spin out on a curve.

The takeaway is that you may find it extremely useful to get an objective, clearheaded, experienced perspective on what happened. A North Carolina car crash law firm, for instance, can help you protect your rights and preserve potential opportunities to collect compensation from a reckless driver, careless mechanic, or other party.

More Web Resources:

“Classmates Mourn Teen Killed in Crash” Charlotte.

South Mecklenburg High School

North Carolina Car Accidents: How Much Safer Can Cars Get?

April 3, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

When we talk about North Carolina car accident prevention, we usually stick to the basics and to reality – we talk about technologies like airbags, ABS, seatbelts, etc. We analyze the effectiveness of these technologies and speculate about how we could deploy them more frequently and in better and cooler ways. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this kind of thinking. But if you really want to make progress with North Carolina car accident prevention, you may need to go beyond the conventional ideas and really think about the nature of auto safety itself.

After all, auto safety is not just about technology! Nor is it just about driver behavior. Nor is it just about road engineering. Nor is it just about traffic control. Auto safety really is a broad discipline that can be affected — and can affect — many, many arenas of life. So when you look at improving auto safety just through the lens of “let’s build better technology to make people safer” you may be taking an overly narrow view of the subject.

There are undoubtedly many leverage points we could push on that would lead to better road safety. Improvements in driver behavior. Improvements in driver education and training. Improvements in road engineering. Improvements in automobile engineering. Improvements in the way that auto safety experts talk to one another and share solutions. Improvements in the science of auto safety and on and on.

But a more holistic appreciation of these factors is needed.

It’s needed not “real folks” — not just for the eggheads who come up with policies and write articles about this subject for public consumption. Driving can be a hugely perilous activity – as this blog and others have cited many times over, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has estimated that 40,000 Americans die every year in car crashes… and millions are injured. This is a clear and present issue for all of us. We could probably benefit from knowing more about auto safety. Sure, it’s great to know that certain cars with ABS or with such and such kind of airbag are safer than other cars with different safety features. And yes: it’s good to be reminded of the fact that we need to keep our cars well maintained to avoid breakdowns like tire failures and faulty brakes. And it’s good to know that we shouldn’t be driving while overly fatigued or driving under the influence of alcohol or so forth.

But what ELSE might we be able to do to improve our safety consciousness – to protect ourselves and our loved ones out there? And perhaps, more interestingly, what “stuff” can we STOP doing that has really no affect on our safety – or a negative affect – and that costs us time and money and energy, only to give us a false sense of security?

This blog post obviously cannot answer all these questions. But it’s important to raise them and begin a more flourishing discussion about them, since so much is at stake for so many people.

That being said, if you’ve already been in an auto accident, you may benefit from talking with a North Carolina car accident law firm today.

Fatal North Carolina Motorcycle Crash Takes Life of Father and Son – DWI Driver Suspected

November 3, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last Tuesday evening, a horrific North Carolina motorcycle crash left a father and son dead in Burke County.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, 39-year-old Amie Jo Skeen has been arrested for DWI and felony hit-and-run in conjunction with the accident. Patrol officers said that a vehicle (presumably Skeen’s) driving on Airport Rhodhiss Road “sideswiped the motorcycle and kept going. Moments later, according to investigators, the car smashed head-on into a second motorcycle.” The people on the first motorcycle, fortunately, did not die, but they did apparently suffer injuries. Steven and Kevin Moody of Connelly Springs were driving second motorcycle, when the vehicle hit and killed them. Reports do not say whether any factors may have complicated the accident. For instance, were the Moody’s wearing helmets or not? What blood alcohol concentration (BAC) did the DWI driver allegedly have? Etc.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said that the minivan driver “kept going for about half mile before pulling into a wooded area, possibly to hide the vehicle. But a witness had followed the vehicle after the crash and led troopers to the driver.”

Skeen’s reaction to the arrest was probably legally problematic, if the reports are correct. The troopers arrest her in a wooded area near the road shortly after the fatal crash. Skeen allegedly kicked a WSOC TV reporter who tried to ask her questions. Skeen also allegedly told the TV reporter that she was high on drugs and thus could not have been driving her car: “I couldn’t have been driving. I was too high.”

Skeen is no stranger to the criminal courts. According to records, she has multiple convictions for driving with a revoked or suspended license. In the late 90s, she was arrested and convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon. In 2007, she got convicted of a charge of a felony cocaine possession.

While it’s important not to rush to judgment, especially simply reading about a North Carolina motorcycle accident case online or watching a TV report, elements of the report definitely suggest that Skeen will likely have her hands full, legally speaking.

However, no matter how “convincing” the details of your case might seem to an outsider – or how many compelling facts you have or arguments you have in your side – you nevertheless still must often fight and win a case using effective legal methods, excellent research, methodical argumentation, etc. So if you or someone you care about has been hurt in a North Carolina motorcycle accident, it may behoove you to connect immediately with an efficient, highly rated and respected North Carolina motorcycle accident law firm.

More Web Resources

Fatal DWI hit and run motorcycle accident in North Carolina

WSOC TV reporter kicked by DWI suspect in fatal accident