May 2013

PTSD After an Auto Accident in North Carolina?

May 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your recent auto accident in North Carolina traumatized you. You can recall elements of the crash in exquisite detail. Fortunately, you escaped without truly debilitating
injury, and your doctor has given you a thorough examination and put you on a course of effective rehab.

But you still cannot escape feelings of anxiety, depression, and general fear regarding your
car accident. You wake up in the middle of the night, haunted by it. Sometimes you’re able to discuss what happened in objective detail without having a strong emotional reaction. But sometimes — often when you’re in the middle of doing something else — you’re suddenly struck by strong emotions that seem to come out of nowhere.

So what might be going on?

Emerging research in brain science may have some clues. When human beings go through
extremely stressful events–either chronic events, like ongoing torture, or acute events, like accidents, military explosions, witnessing a gruesome event, etc–these awful incidents can trigger chemical changes in the brain itself. The brain releases cortisol, adrenaline, and a cascade of other neurochemicals which can change the way the brain processes information and even how it’s structured.

No one really understands how traumatic events etch these neurochemical changes, but there seems to be evidence that they can happen. What that means is that survivors of
traumatic Charlotte auto accidents, roadside bombs in Iraq, etc may need extensive help not just dealing with their injuries and “calming down” after what happened but also with managing very real neurological trauma.

Of course, to deal effectively with these setbacks, you need to avoid the “do it all myself”

If you haven’t yet connected with a North Carolina auto accident law firm, for instance, now is a good time to reach out to the DeMayo Law team by calling us at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation. Likewise, start to look for other resources and people who can help you deal with your finances, your logistics, your depression/trauma, etc.

Human beings can overcome incredible adversities–e.g. events that fundamentally change our brains–but we often need to reach out to other people to help us weather the storm.

North Carolina Auto Accident Dilemma: What if a Friend or a Family Member Hit You?

May 22, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Most North Carolina auto accidents occur between strangers — or at least relative strangers.

For instance, perhaps a trucker randomly rear-ended you on I-95 or a young teenage driver blew through a yellow light at 60 miles per hour and knocked your car so hard it
spun around two times. You didn’t know the people who hit you, which is just as well.

Unfortunately, every so often, North Carolina car accidents involve collisions between friends and/or family members. What happens then? How can you collectively sort out
liability issues without wreaking havoic on the family or on a long-term friendship?

Issues like this can get pretty dicey, especially since car accidents can often lead to
surprisingly long-term costs, including rehab, therapy, time off or work, and other damages. In most circumstances, the situation can be settled relatively harmoniously.

Hopefully no one got seriously hurt or killed in your crash. Hopefully, the liable driver or drivers had insurance, so that the insurance companies can bear the brunt of the cost. However, not every driver in North Carolina has insurance. Not every accident has happy ending — or even an “okay” ending.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is a highly sensitive, experienced, and strategic legal force. We know how to handle complex cases with accuracy and effectiveness, and we can help you and your family figure out how to deal with your post-accident puzzle, so that it leads to a minimum of acrimony, frustration, guilt, and confusion.

You road to rehabilitation — or just the road to processing what you’ve been through —
may take a long time. However, you can gain immediate clarity about what to do next and how to do it by getting in touch with our team today at (877) 529-1222.

Your situation does not have to be complex or confusing. DeMayo Law is here to help.

What If North Carolina Auto Accident Prevention Experts Took A Page From The Best Web Marketers And “Split Tested”?

May 18, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Most North Carolina auto accident prevention specialists traffic in “tried and trusted” ideas about auto safety. They focus on improving the structural integrity and “accident readiness” of trucks, cars, and other vehicles. They also focus on improving driver awareness and eliminating bad driver habits.

For instance, we all know that you’re not supposed to drive while DUI or drive while yapping or texting on a mobile phone. We also know that you should drive while alert; read over directions before you head along a new route; and avoid driving near bar districts on Friday and Saturday nights and on snowy roads at night.

Driver education efforts also go towards defining and instilling those “good driver behaviors” in the population. Unfortunately, many of the experts in accident prevention may be missing out on very cool insights from other industries and fields that could help improve auto safety and ultimately reduce the number of serious injury accidents in Charlotte and beyond.

For instance, the world of web marketing may be able to teach accident prevention experts a thing or two. In web marketing, designers often like to do something called “split testing” pages. Basically, you make one or several versions of a website, and then you send traffic to all the sample pages. You then measure what actions visitors take (or fail to take) at these pages and make adjustments over time to evolve better designs.

What if we “split tested” dangerous intersections and other accident prone areas?
Split testing in the real world is obviously harder to do than split testing in the virtual world. You can’t exactly construct three different versions of an intersection and see how they play out. But perhaps accident-modeling experts could use digital modeling to beta test different types of intersections and improve the odds of finding a good design off the bat.

Likewise, perhaps engineers could come up with creative ways to “split test.” For instance, maybe engineers could cycle different types of signage at a particular intersection to see what signage works best in terms of getting drivers’ attention and causing them to take appropriately safe actions.

Of course, as someone who has already been hurt in a North Carolina car accident, you’re probably not particularly curious about split testing or intersection engineering or anything else technical. You just want good help to get compensation.
You want to get clarity on what you can do (and can’t do) to defend your rights and seek justice. Talk to the DeMayo Law team today at (877) 529-1222 to learn more about your legal options and opportunities.

Could We Reduce The Number/Intensity Of North Carolina Auto Accidents By Getting Rid Of Free Parking?

May 15, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s another potentially very useful, “out of the box” idea for reducing the number of auto accidents in North Carolina and beyond: What if we dramatically changed the parking rules in big cities like Charlotte and Raleigh?

In his landmark opus, the High Cost of Free Parking, Yale University educated researcher, Donald Shoup, builds a compelling case that the American obsession with “free parking” has led to horrific urban problems, including pollution, traffic congestion, reduced quality of life, destruction of urban green space, and accidents.

Shoup argues, pretty convincingly, that our failure to treat parking properly as a commodity — pricing it accordingly and distributing the revenues to local communities, e.g. — is at the root of billions of dollars worth of pathology in North Carolina and beyond.
Fortunately, Shoup has worked out something of a solution — a three-legged program that involves pricing parking fairly to ensure optimal flow of traffic through urban areas and distributing the revenue from parking meters to local businesses and municipalities to make improvements.

His ideas are not just theoretical — they’ve actually already been applied in municipalities in Texas and in California (most recently, a big project in San Francisco), and these projects have been pretty successful.

Why might “free parking” cause auto accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere?
A lot of traffic congestion in urban areas consists of drivers trolling for open spaces. Many of these drivers traverse block after block looking for places to park. When you aggregate this behavior over hundreds and thousands of drivers over years and years, the numbers add up. Think of all the extra emissions that get exhaled when people search for parking. Think about all the miles travelled.

As any statistician will tell you, accident prevention is a numbers game. The more miles people drive, the more accidents happen. So when people troll for parking more, they tend to get into more accidents. If municipalities like Raleigh or Charlotte adopted a more Shoup-like parking schema, perhaps we could reduce traffic congestion and accidents. We’d also potentially save millions of dollars, collectively, in the process.

North Carolina’s big cities don’t compare to cities with real parking problems — like Los Angeles. But even if we saw only a relatively modest improvement in number of miles driven and number of accidents per those miles, maybe such a change in structure could lead to a reduction of several dozen accidents a year. Over a few decades, think about how many peoples’ lives would be saved/improved just if we thought a little more constructively about our parking paradigm.

For help dealing with your North Carolina auto accident case, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team at (877) 529-1222.

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.