Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

By :Douglas A. Petho

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem. Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Despite being often overlooked or undiagnosed, on average, approximately 1.7 million people are diagnosed as suffering a traumatic brain injury each year.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

By :Douglas A. Petho

If you’ve been involved in serious accident, hiring an attorney to assist in making sure that all medical bills, lost wages, property damages in pain and suffering are fairly compensated is smart decision. However, many people are concerned about the cost of obtaining this help.

Personal injury cases are handled on a “contingency fee”. This means that the amount that is paid is contingent on the accident attorneys ability to get money on your behalf from either the person responsible for the accident or his or her insurance company. If there is no recovery either by settlement or trial, then you pay no legal fees.

By :Douglas A. Petho

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident or any other accident involving serious injuries, you will soon be facing many issues that you may never have had to deal with prior to this unexpected event. Questions about who will be responsible for medical expenses, lost wages property damage will need to be addressed. Tackling these issues can be daunting and mistakes can affect the amount of compensation that is ultimately collected.

Let us help you with your accident claim

By :Douglas A. Petho

Medical payments coverage is optional coverage which provides certain protection to insureds under a policy who are injured in an automobile accident. It is designed to provide reimbursement of medical expenses up to the policy limits purchased. Common coverage amounts can be as little as $500 and as much as $1 million.

Unlike a liability claim for negligence, medical payments coverage does not require a finding of fault or negligence on the part of a particular driver.

By :Douglas A. Petho

Everyone knows what to do when involved in an automobile accident right? You are supposed to immediately call the police, determine whether anyone was injured, get contact information from any eyewitnesses, etc. But there some things that are just important not to do following an accident. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make that may get them into trouble down the road.

Do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company unless you have a legal obligation to do so!

By :Douglas A. Petho

Most people don’t look for a lawyer until they need a lawyer. Unexpected events such as automobile accidents, on-the-job accidents or other injuries lead many people to seek out the best attorney they can find to represent them. Although there is no shortage of attorneys, figuring out who to hire can be a challenge. Television advertisements and junk mail solicitations are certainly one way to decide. A better method would be to evaluate the qualifications of the attorney you are considering before signing any paperwork.

#1 How long have you been licensed to practice law?

By :Douglas A. Petho

After an accident, a rental car may be provided in one of two ways. First, once a liability insurance carrier for an at fault driver has accepted liability, they are responsible for paying the cost of a rental vehicle from the date of the accident. The length of time, however, depends on whether the vehicle is declared a total loss or is repairable. If the vehicle is a total loss, once they have extended an offer for the value of the vehicle, their liability will end. Most insurance carriers will extend payment for a rental vehicle for two or three days to allow for payment to be received. If the vehicle is repairable, the liability insurance carrier is responsible for paying for alternative transportation until the repairs are complete.

If the liability insurance carrier for the at fault driver has not accepted liability, a driver may still be able to obtain a rental under their own automobile insurance. Rental reimbursement is often sold in connection with the collision coverage. Many carriers require however, that in order to obtain a rental under rental reimbursement that a collision claim must be made. The same time frames apply to a rental under rental reimbursement that apply to a rental provided under liability insurance.

By :Douglas A. Petho

As part of a broader package of tort reforms passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011, the legislature has modified North Carolina Gen. Statute § 6-21.1. The statute grants authority to a trial judge to award attorneys fees as part of costs to a prevailing plaintiff. These costs are taxed to the defendant.

Under § 6-21.1 as previously written, authority to award attorneys fees was limited to actions where the judgment finally obtained was less than $10,000. The statute did not limit the amount of attorneys fees that could be awarded. Judges were however required to make findings of fact to justify entering such an award. In the case of Washington v. Horton,132 N.C.App. 347 (1999), the North Carolina Court of Appeals set out five factors the trial court was required to use in determining whether or not to make an award. Those factors were(1) settlement offers made prior to the institution of the action; (2) offers of judgment made and whether the judgment finally obtained was more favorable than such offers; (3) whether defendant unjustly exercised superior bargaining power; (4) in the case of an unwarranted refusal by an insurance company, the context in which the dispute arose; (5) the timing of settlement offers; and (6) the amounts of the settlement offers as compared to the jury verdict. Awards of attorneys fees would only be reversed on a showing of abuse of discretion by the trial judge

By :Douglas A. Petho

Unless you are fortunate enough to have a videotape of an accident, a great deal of effort is often spent trying to reconstruct the facts of a collision. Usually, despite doing the best investigation, questions remain exactly how or why a crash occurs. Answers to many of these questions will soon be available from data of contained from the “event data recorders” otherwise known as “EDT’s”.

EDt’s are nothing new. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that about 64 percent of 2005 model passenger vehicles had the devices. By 2005, General Motors, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Suzuki were all voluntarily equipping all of their vehicles with EDRs, According to NHTSA, these devices are standard equipment from manufacturers including Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, General Motors, Isuzu, and Suzuki. The problem has been being able to gain access, understand, and use this information. With no standardized format, proprietary software and a wide variation in the types of information that were actually recorded, their usefulness has been limited.

Police have identified the victim of a fatal crash in that occurred in Conway, South Carolina as 26-year-old Thomas Jones, of Conway. The victim of multiple trauma caused by the crash.Mr. Jones apparently ran off of US-378, struck a number of trees and overturned. Jones was not wearing his seatbelt, according to authorities.

Research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that using lap/shoulder seat belts reduce the risk of fatal

injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to-critical injury by 50 percent. For light-truck occupants, seat belts reduce the risk