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Raleigh Personal Injury Law Blog

Understanding the effect of helmet laws in personal injury claims

Many states in the U.S., including North Carolina, have strict laws against motorcyclists riding without a helmet. Authorities have tried to emphasize how important it is for motorcyclists to wear helmets because the helmet serves as effective protection in the event of a motorcycle accident. A helmet helps to reduce head injuries, leading to fewer fatalities from accidents.

Despite the best efforts of state agencies to convince riders to wear helmets, there are people who still do not obey the law. Such a response has forced many states to implement mandatory helmet laws. If the motorcyclist violates those laws, there will be legal consequences. Riding without a helmet and getting involved in a motorcycle accident may be considered negligence, and the negligent rider may have forfeited any right to compensation based on that behavior. Helmets are also mandatory for motorcycle passengers in many states.

Points to remember about the revocation of a driver's license

Drivers of commercial vehicles in North Carolina should be aware of the rules regarding revocation of a driver's license. The Motor Vehicles Division has the authority to revoke the driver's license of a person if that person has been convicted of a certain listed offense. If a driver has been convicted of manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle, the same offense may lead to the revocation of the driver's license. Apart from that, if the driver is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, the division has the right to revoke that person's the driver's license.

In North Carolina, the permissible blood alcohol limit for commercial vehicle drivers is 0.04. If a person who is operating a commercial vehicle is found to have a BAC level that is higher than that amount, the person's driver's license may be revoked. In such cases, the chemical analysis report that revealed the BAC should be considered conclusive evidence and no further appeal or modification may be permitted. If the motor vehicle is used in any way that causes a felony to occur, the person's driver's license may be revoked by the authorities.

North Carolina drivers often break the "move over" law

Many North Carolina residents may be aware that in 2002 our state passed a law that required vehicles to move over or reduce their speed if there is an emergency vehicle near them. That law was meant to safeguard accident victims, emergency crews and law enforcement officers who might be present at the scene of an accident. Sadly, as recent reports state, many drivers in the state are unaware of this law.

One example of such an incident occurred recently when a state trooper's car was hit by another driver. According to reports, the incident happened when the trooper was investigating a car accident on U.S. Highway 70. A 22-year-old driver reportedly crashed into the trooper's car. Stemming from this incident, and other similar cases, the North Carolina Highway Patrol has stepped up its efforts to apprehend those drivers who break the "move over" law. The fine for that violation is $250.

North Carolina truckers can face higher truck accidents penalties

Commercial vehicles, such as trucks and other large commercial vehicles, which carry large loads in North Carolina, are subject to more stringent laws than other personal vehicles. Commercial vehicles, like trucks, offer their services for a price. With that in mind, in the event of an accident, the trucking company may find itself in the position of being indicted.

Like every driver on the road, truck drivers must follow traffic laws to avoid violations. These include laws like speeding, driving while texting or driving under the influence. Nevertheless, a trucking company is also obliged to follow the rules regarding the number of working hours that a truck driver is allowed to drive or even the timing of driving across various state and interstate highways.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury cases?

The victim of a car accident often not only suffers serious physical injuries but the person can also face extreme financial challenges because of the car accident. Medical expenses to treat injuries are often very high; those injuries include head injuries as well as internal and external bleeding. In many cases, the victim of a car accident suffers permanent disabilities as well.

In other cases, the car accident victim might lose a limb or may lose function of a body part. All of those injuries can hinder the car accident victim from returning to the job that the person held previously or from finding a new job. Additionally, North Carolina law dictates that car accident victims are entitled to seek compensation from the other driver's insurance company as well as the other driver for injuries and damages.

Interstate trucks are subject to special laws in North Carolina

Truck drivers often carry very heavy loads on North Carolina roads. Many truck drivers drive at night or travel across state lines as part of their job. Truck drivers are usually commercial drivers who have been hired by the trucking company to use their trucks to help them succeed in business.

It is important to consider the large size of the trucks as well as the quantity of the freight that can be transported at various times of the day. With that in mind, North Carolina authorities have established specific rules for interstate truck drivers in order to prevent truck accidents.

Motorcycle accident deaths continue to drop across United States

Although the accident rates for motorcycles has been declining over the last few years across the country, these riders remain the most vulnerable class of vehicle accidents on North Carolina's roads. The typical vehicle operator is exposed to the road, the elements and other vehicles and usually has no other protection than a helmet. Motorcycles do not have the safety features and devices that most modern cars do such as airbags and seat belts that can lessen the impact of an accident.

This is why so many riders involved in motorcycle accidents suffer serious injuries, including head and brain trauma, neck and spinal cord injuries and fractures and internal organ damage. In too many cases, accident victims succumb to their injuries.

Seeking fair compensation after fatal car accidents

In most fatal car accidents, family members and loved ones of North Carolina victims often seek legal recourse with the help of legal professionals. They seek help to initiate a lawsuit against a negligent car driver, as well as their insurance company. In some cases, a civil lawsuit for wrongful death may also be initialed by the bereaved family members. North Carolina laws, however, provide that any such lawsuit has to be initiated no more than two years from the date of the fatal car accident.

Over the years we have observed, through the various fatal car accidents victims that we have represented, that the decision maker in a particular case - whether the judge or jury - will look into all of the various aspects of the accident. Additionally, the court will look at the victim to determine the extent of the damage.

What causes truck accidents on the road?

Truck accidents often lead to serious injuries because they have the potential to cause multiple car and vehicular accidents in addition to pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Due to the size of most trucks, trucking companies try to ensure that only experienced commercial drivers are hired to drive such large vehicles.

The victim of a truck accident may suffer serious injuries or the person may even succumb to injuries. In most cases, the victims as well as their dependents may wish to consult an attorney in order to initiate a lawsuit against the trucking company to obtain compensation for accident-related medical expenses.

North Carolina drunk drivers can face tough consequences

Drunk driving is without argument an irresponsible and dangerous practice of motorists in North Carolina and beyond its state lines. National statistics show that someone dies nearly every 45 seconds due to the consequences of a drunk driving accident. Stringent laws are an important part of protecting the public and ensuring that pedestrians and other vehicles and passengers are safe while travelling on North Carolina highways and byways.

Drunk driving charges are brought against a driver with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding the legal limit. That measurement is usually obtained during a traffic stop by using standardized field sobriety tests, such as breathalyzers. The BAC legal limit for non-commercial drivers is 0.08 percent. Commercial drivers have a stricter BAC limit of 0.04 percent. Underage drivers, those younger than the legal drinking age of 21, can be arrested for drunk driving if any traceable level of alcohol is found in their bloodstream or on their breath.