May 2012

North Carolina Auto Accident: Recognizing Your Own Anger and Seeing It As a Manifestation of “Needs Not Met”

May 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina auto accident victims are often extremely angry, underneath the pain, frustration, disappointment and fear. They’re angry because their lives have been thrown out of balance, and this chaos can set off a chain reaction of problems in every sphere of life and work. When accident victims acknowledge these feelings of anger, they typically at first direct them outwards or inwards. You might have had thoughts to the effect of, for instance:

•    Anger at the other guy: “What on earth was that guy thinking, talking to himself when he tried to merge into my lane?”
•    Anger at the emergency response: “what took those idiots at the fire department so long to respond to our 911 call?”
•    Anger at yourself: “I knew I should have done better than to go to that shifty mechanic.”
•    Anger at a tangential participant: “If only my boss hadn’t told me to go on that stupid delivery run, none of this would ever have happened.”

This anger is not necessarily good or bad. Indeed, harnessed the right way, anger can be a wonderful clarion call to alert us to our needs that are not being met. It can also help us get the resources we need to get results — to get things done in your lives.

For instance, maybe your anger is subconsciously clueing you into the fact that certain parties might be potentially liable for the auto accident. For instance, maybe you had a “bad feeling” about a mechanic that you went to. By understanding this feeling and following your intuition, you and your attorney might discover that the mechanic had indeed done a poor job adjusting your brakes, and that this poor job ultimately impacted your ability to respond during an emergency maneuver on the road.

Thus, your anger can spark beneficial conversations!

On the other hand, if left unprocessed and misunderstood, anger can actually cause you additional health problems and stress. It can cause you to make non-strategic decisions, such as “blowing your top” at a less than compassionate insurance adjuster who calls during dinner hour, and so forth.

It’s a proverbial double-edged sword.

Dealing with your emotions after a car accident is extremely important. Given that there is so much on your plate already — and so much at stake for your future — you may find it very useful to take advantage of a free case evaluation with the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo.

Beyond “Back to Baseline” – Your Vision for a Great Life After Your North Carolina Auto Accident

May 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your recent North Carolina auto accident has set you back in more ways than you care to imagine. You might simultaneously be suffering from:

•    health problems;
•    transportation issues;
•    emotional problems stemming directly and indirectly from the crash;
•    financial issues (e.g. how you’re going to pay for the surgery and medical care);
•    and beyond.

If you look at your situation in one light, it can be pretty depressing. And you can, if you want to, look at everything that’s happened from a pessimistic perspective. You’ve lost property, time, health, et cetera, and now you’re going to have to spend time and energy “picking up the pieces” and healing to the best of your ability.

This all may be true! But if you look at the journey of the North Carolina accident victim as a journey to “recover to baseline” – that is, to recoup your losses only – then you’re creating a pretty ho-hum goal for yourself. It’s not very inspiring to think “man, if I work really hard at rehab and collect and win my North Carolina auto accident liability case, and if 10 other things also fall in my favor, then maybe in a year I’ll get back to where I was four weeks ago.”

That may actually be your reality. But this way of framing your goal is not very inspiring!

And because it’s not that inspiring, it might not motivate you to do the right things and to take the kinds of actions that you need to take to achieve your goals.

Why not reframe your problem, based on BOTH an acceptance of your current reality AND a crystal clear vision of an idealized future?

For instance, maybe your medical leave will give you some time off to reconsider your career. You might therefore explore alternative career options that will ultimately leave you happier and more fulfilled – and ideally making you more money, as well.

The following sounds like an audacious – perhaps even disrespectful – question to ask, but it’s a good question to ask: what positive “stuff” can you get out of this experience? How can you turn this catastrophe into something of an opportunity?

Yes, a lot of things have gone wrong. But by zeroing in on what’s gone right – you survived the crash, for one – you can open your eyes to new ways of solving your problems and new possibilities as opposed to the not-so-inspiring “back to baseline” mentality.

Things have changed. And when things change, a little out-of-the-box creativity can be useful. For help dealing with the nuts and bolts of your case – to obtain maximum compensation for what’s happened to you – connect with the team at Michael A. DeMayo’s law offices for a free consultation.

Auto Accident in Charlotte: Filling in the Memory Gap

May 24, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You or someone you love was hurt in auto accident in Charlotte. You want to do whatever you need to do to protect yourself, legally speaking, and obtain fair compensation for the destruction to your vehicle, your medical bills, your long-term therapies and any rehab you might need.

To maximize your chances for success, you need to amass potentially useful evidence. This could include police reports, accident reports, witness statements, pictures of the accident scene, identifying information for all the parties involved in the accident, specific things said in conversations with insurance adjusters and other witnesses, et cetera. To the extent that you can obtain this good evidence and pass it along to your attorney (whether you retain the team here at DeMayo Law to represent you in your North Carolina accident or not) is to the extent that you’ll increase your likelihood for positive results.

Unfortunately, many drivers don’t realize this fact until way after the accident.

Also, drivers in serious accidents often forget critical details of what happened. And everyone’s memory fades, changes, and warps over time. That’s just the nature of human memory – we “color” our memories based on our current experiences or feelings. So the longer you wait to record, objectively, your current memory and your feelings and what you thought occurred, the harder it will be to capture what actually took place with a high degree of accuracy.

How do we solve this “memory gap” problem?

Here are a few key points:

1: It’s never too late to start amassing information.

Maybe it’s been a few days or even a week since your Charlotte auto accident, and you’ve already forgotten the color of the car that hit you or even what you said to the other guy’s insurance adjuster when he called your house. That’s fine. Get into gear now. Collect critical information, start keeping records – and just get in the game.

2: Seriously consider getting in touch with an attorney.

The team at the Law Offices at Michael A. DeMayo has a tremendous amount of experience and a great reputation for helping auto accident victims. But the longer your wait to retain an accident firm, the more time the insurance companies and other liable defendants will have to build a case against you – and potentially build a countercase to try to hit you for liability.

3: Do your best to be as accurate as possible.

Avoid embellishing, making stuff up, or going “beyond what you know for sure.” Be honest. And you want to be honest not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because, if you lie or embellish or even make accidental mistakes, and the defense team can prove that you have done this, your chances for success drop dramatically. Honesty really is always the best policy.

Learning Lessons from Your Charlotte Car Accident

May 22, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You were recently involved in a car accident in Charlotte – or someone you love was. In the days or perhaps weeks that have followed, you’ve been scrambling around “doing damage control” — trying to get your car fixed, get your medical situation under control, and resolve the many frustrating logistical issues that have cropped up for you.

For instance, maybe the auto accident forced you to miss work for a week, and you got really behind on a killer project. So now you’re spending double time at the office trying to make your deadline. Simultaneously, you’re trying to recover from some serious bruising and perhaps a broken bone. In other words, you are operating in a mode that’s very reactive. And when crazy “stuff” happens in our lives, we often must default to reactive mode – emergency response – just to keep ourselves together, stay healthy, and prevent further damage.

There is a danger here though. It’s not necessarily bad to enter this reactive mode, but it can be bad to stay in it exclusively for too long. And here’s why. Accident victims might fail to extract some very potentially useful information from what happened and then use that information to plan strategically for the future.

That’s all a bit abstract, so let’s illustrate with an example.

Let’s say that you got into an accident on I-95 late Friday night while heading back from a club. If you really thought about the circumstance of the accident, you’d remember that the freeway was pretty “crazy” during late Friday and Saturday nights. Maybe there’s a higher proportion of kids out drinking and driving or whatever. Point is, if you have the self-awareness to understand what’s going on, you might change your behavior in the future to avoid that stretch of the highway — and/or to avoid driving late on Friday or Saturday nights.

Thus, when you escape from reaction mode, your accident can teach you useful lessons!

Here’s another type of lesson learned. Say you got rear ended by a large SUV at a stop light and suffered whiplash and other damages. Your car had only a so-so safety rating, but you got it because it was cheap. In light of what happened, if you take time to reflect and not just react, you might realize that, for future car purchases, you want to focus more on safety.

Another example: say you were pretty sleepy when you got hit. Maybe it wasn’t your fault — i.e. a careless driver yapping on a cell phone swerved into your lane and hit you — but you still had a pretty sluggish reaction time. You might want to pay more attention to your level of fatigue the next time you drive!

For help understanding what you need to do at the strategic and tactical level after an accident, connect immediately with the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free and confidential consultation.

Attorney Michael A. DeMayo Continues Successful Arrive Alive® Initiative

May 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Arrive Alive®, one of the main community service programs presented by the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, just concluded after another successful week. Launched in 2003, the initiative presents the dangers of teenage drinking and driving in a powerful way that teens can really hear. This program has been presented around 100 times in over 50 high schools, to great acclaim.

After many years as a personal injury attorney, Michael A. DeMayo has seen his share of lives shattered by drinking and driving. He and his attorneys deal with this problem on a daily basis. Obviously, it’s an occupational hazard of their profession. But instead of turning off, shutting down and becoming resigned or cynical about the problem, DeMayo took his law firm in a different direction entirely.

They developed the Arrive Alive® — Don’t Drink and Drive program as an attempt to nip this all too pervasive problem in the bud – with raising the awareness of teenagers. The belief behind this program is that if kids can really get the danger of drinking and driving when they are first starting out as drivers, and make a commitment never to do so, many lives will be saved.

This year Michael A. DeMayo personally presented this program to ten high schools within a 75 mile radius of his main offices in Charlotte, NC. The one hour presentation is free, offered first come first serve to schools in that area who can promise at least 200 students in attendance. It’s targeted to juniors and seniors, basically kids who are new drivers and face a lot of peer pressure to drink or do drugs.

DeMayo shares the stage every year with someone the teens can really relate to. This year that someone was 27 year old Karl Kakadelis.  At 19, Kakadelis was in an accident after consuming a few beers, during which his friend was thrown from the vehicle he was driving and killed. He frankly and movingly shares his own personal tragedy during the presentation, telling not just the events of that fateful night but how this tragedy has affected his life in the ensuing years.

Teens are, of course, famous for rejecting adult authority and opinions. Frequently at that age, they feel invulnerable and it’s difficult to get a safety message across. The ongoing positive feedback this program has received, not just from teachers and principals, but from the students as well, is a testament to its power and effectiveness. Many students report being moved to tears, and principals report that the kids are still talking about the power of the presentation weeks afterward.

Students who attend the presentations are able to make a pledge that they will never drive intoxicated, or allow a friend or family member to do so. They can do this online on Michael A. DeMayo’s website, via his Facebook page, or with the Arrive Alive® App in the iTunes store.

For more information on this valuable program, please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo.

North Carolina Car Accident Reporting: Lies, D–mned Lies, and Statistics

May 17, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina car accident reporting is often confounded by too much reliance on bad statistics and hasty conclusions. We live in a “we need more content, stat 24/7” society, and the web is notoriously littered with flagrant marketing pitches disguised as legitimate information.

With so many seemingly useful channels of input coming into your world, how can you know whom to trust? How can you gain clarity? In other words, how do you know when you’re “doing enough” to take care of your problem? How do you know when you need to find more resources, do more research, or just generate more ideas about how to solve a particular problem?

Exposed to lot of information, but not trained effectively for how to use it

As children, we were taught basic rules of learning. We were taught to read, to write, and hopefully, to think critically. But we grew up – or at least most of us grew up – in an era before the web invaded every aspect of our life, education, and culture. As a result, we have certain skills that are essentially useless: who needs to memorize historical dates anymore, when you can find out that trivia instantly using your cell phone?

Meanwhile, we are lacking in certain skills that are essential for navigating the modern web. How do we organize different inputs? How do we prioritize? How do we time manage effectively? How do we discern truth from fiction? How do we know which “authorities” to trust, when, and on what subjects? There are strategies and tactics for dealing with these questions, but almost no one learns them in school. We are forced to find them, ad hoc, as we become adults. And this can be difficult when you are facing challenges with respect to a North Carolina car accident or workers’ compensation claim or any other problem.

After all, if you are just trying to figure out who won the World Series in 1984 (The Tigers) or how to clean your garage in ten easy steps, the web makes it ridiculously easy for you. If you are trying to deal with a more complex topic, the web can help, but it can also hinder. Answers to complex problems require expertise in many domains – and they also require a kind of integrated sense of the problem. But you need people to help you navigate this information, not just information itself.

The team here at the law offices of Michael DeMayo is keenly aware of the challenges and struggles that accident victims face. We can help you regain some clarity and a sense of control not only by giving you powerful legal representation but also by helping you in other aspects of your case and your life. After all, you are not just your case – you are an integrated person with integrated needs. Yes, you want compensation and justice. But even more than that, you want clarity, and you want to regain a sense of control. Let us help you.

More Web Resources:

Information alone is not enough

Why people matter

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

Seven Things That Will Almost Assuredly Increase Your Likelihood of Getting in a North Carolina Car Accident

May 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you recently were hurt in a North Carolina car accident, or a friend or relative was injured in a truck or motorcycle crash, you have been thinking about safety quite a lot. You’re keenly aware of the hazards that North Carolina roads present – both supposedly safe highways like Interstate 95 or unpaved rural roads out in the far western corners of the state. Sometimes, it’s helpful to identify what you don’t want to do to highlight what you want to achieve. To that end, here are seven things that you can do that will ratchet up your likelihood of getting into a significant North Carolina auto accident.

#1. Drive only during horrible weather.

Is it snowing outside? Sleeting? Is there a hurricane on the horizon? If so, hop in your vehicle and drive. Be sure to drive with broken windshield wipers, a car that hasn’t been tuned in months if not years, and on roads that you are utterly unfamiliar with.

#2. Consume massive amounts of pharmaceutical medications, drugs, alcohol, etc.

(Note: this is a joke – do not actually do this. Same goes for all of the comments in this article—do not actually attempt these crazy ideas!)

#3. Stay up as long as you can and then hop behind the wheel.

Studies conducted by the National Sleep Foundation and by Australian researchers show that extremely fatigued people — those who stay up for more than 24 hours in a row, for instance — are actually more impaired than DUI drivers.

#4. You hear a rattle in your engine? Ignore it.
See how long you can drive your car before it literally falls apart on the road. Did you notice any warning lights in your dashboard? Ignore those. Is your car billowing black smoke every time you take it on the road? Forget about it. Follow these habits of carelessness and disrespect for your automobile, and you will increase your likelihood of getting into an injury accident.

#5. Ignore your bad habits.

Do you have a tendency to speed, blow through a certain stop sign on your way to work, or get aggressive when you feel like another driver has just you cut you off? If so, keep that up. Ignore those red flags. Ignore the concerns of friends or family members. Ignore the traffic citations you get for driving while yapping on your cell phone or texting your friend. No need to wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle. No need to undergo extensive training if you are going to drive the big rig. No need to change if all your friends call you an angry, scary driver. Just keep doing what you are doing, and disaster will almost surely follow.

#6. Ignore signs of deteriorating health and vision.

If you are a senior driver, and you no longer can see the road — if you are driving at 20 mph because you are so scared of crashing — by all means, don’t seek an intervention. Keep going until you literally drive off the road due to your degradation of skills and capacity.

#7. If you’ve been in a North Carolina car accident, ignore the lessons that can be gleaned from that.

Blame it on the other guy. Pretend it didn’t happen. Or otherwise live in a state of denial about your rights and responsibilities.

So those are seven sure fire ways to make your life more miserable, endanger yourself and others on the road, and potentially lead get arrested and thrown in jail.

On the other hand, if you want to make smarter, more strategic decisions regarding a recent accident, connect with an experienced, highly respected North Carolina auto accident law firm, such as DeMayo Law.

More Web Resources:

Hidden Dangers of the Road

Catalogue of Bad Drivers

Raise the Driving Age to Reduce/Eliminate North Carolina Auto Accidents?

May 9, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

What if we raised the driving age to 24? How would that impact the number, size, and scope of our North Carolina car accident problem?

A suggestion like this would probably lead you to two immediate thoughts:

•    Of course raising the driving age by 8 years would reduce accidents, probably by a ton!
•    Such a proposal would never fly – and wouldn’t even be a good idea because of productivity loss and the straitjacket-like effect it would have on our state.

First of all, these are understandable thoughts to have.

But second, we might want to consider them more critically.

Yes, if we spiked the driving age significantly, there would be fewer drivers on the road. That in and of itself would probably lead to fewer overall accidents. Also, as drivers get older, they demonstrate more mature judgment and behave in a less impulsive fashion. On the other hand, drivers need to learn driving skills at some point. Teenage drivers don’t exactly have a great reputation for safety and stability and agility in crises. But it takes time to learn any skill. If we bumped up the driving age to 24 (or 21 or whatever), then we would probably have a lot more incompetent 21 or 24-year-old drivers on the road than we do right now. Plus, the temptation for underage drivers to get behind the wheel would be enormous – the amount of cheating would be probably huge and those cheaters would not have the benefit of standard driver ed courses.

So even if there were fewer overall kids driving, the kids who did get behind the wheel would probably be way more dangerous on average than the kids driving now. So you may not see substantial reduction in accidents – or as substantial as you might initially expect.

As far as the second point is concerned, you might be surprised at how easy it is to create social changes – like raising or lowering the voting age, driving age, etc. But there has to be a reason for the shift – and that reason has to be urgent and compelling and simple enough for a large group of people to get behind and support. With respect to the bumping up of the minimum driving age to 21 or 24, there just doesn’t seem to be a groundswell of support in that direction. Safety advocates should therefore spend their time searching for other methods and strategies and tactics to reduce North Carolina auto accidents.

If you’ve been injured or have suffered damages, talk to the team at the Law Offices of Michael A DeMayo today.

More Web Resources:

Should we raise the minimum driving age?

The law of unintended consequences

Cure Diabetes, Reduce North Carolina Auto Accidents Significantly?

May 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

What’s the link between chronic disease and car accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere? It’s an intriguing question – one that hasn’t been blogged about to death or discussed at length in the mainstream media. It’s no surprise that type 2 diabetes and associated diseases (e.g. obesity, Alzheimer’s disease) are on the rise in the United States. But when people talk about car accident safety – and crash prevention – they rarely, if ever, discuss how our diabetes/obesity epidemic (“diabesity epidemic”) might be creating hazards on the road.

Parsing the Statistics

Groups like the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration keep tabs on injury accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere. For instance, it’s a famously repeated fact that car accidents kill approximately 40,000 people on US roads annually. But if you look just at stats regarding injury accidents and property damage, you can easily get misled. DUI-related deaths might be down from 15 years ago, for instance, but what can we attribute that to? Are people just driving DUI less? Or are people driving DUI the same amount but getting into fewer accidents because of improved auto safety features or road engineering changes? With a system as complicated as the North Carolina highway system, you can never really be sure what changes cause what results because of the dynamism of the interacting variables.

This is a long way of getting at a key point: the dangers caused by the increasing number of diabetic North Carolinians behind the wheel may be masked by other changes to our driving habits and behaviors and proclivities!

For instance, it could be that diabetic drivers are slightly more likely to get into injury crashes due to diabetes-related fatigue or blood sugar issues. But maybe enhanced car safety features, such as antilock brakes and better airbags, mitigate the effects of the diabetes-induced errors. In other words, if you just look at the statistics, there is too much noise in the data for us to come to any conclusions.

On the other hand, common sense suggest that drivers who are diabetic and fatigued and who suffer from blood sugar swings — and who also might be on diabetes drugs and thus subject to side effects related to those drugs — might be riskier drivers. It would also then follow that, if we could figure out ways to reduce the number of North Carolinian diabetics– or improve the treatment for these diabetics – then we could make a subtle but not insignificant dent in the number and severity of car crashes!

Of course, that’s all a lot of speculation. Until we have hard science and good data, we can’t really make any conclusive statements.

Nevertheless, this idea of expanding our thinking can be useful, particularly if you or someone you care about is involved in a North Carolina car crash, and you are trying to figure out how and why the accident occurred and what you can do to get compensation and move on with your life. Step one is getting good help: connect with the Law Offices of Michael A DeMayo today for a free consultation.

More Web Resources:

How Does Diabetes Affect Performance?

Diabetes and Driving