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Raleigh Personal Injury Law Blog

"Microsleep" can cause commercial vehicle accidents

Last week's post discussed the rules North Carolina truckers must follow on how long they can drive before stopping for an extended break. The idea of these regulations is that fatigued driving is dangerous, so those who driver large vehicles must stop to sleep from time-to-time to avoid commercial truck accidents.

Especially for the truck driver on a tight delivery schedule, however, there is still the temptation to believe that someone who is tired is simply a little slow on the draw and bleary eyed. In other words, some might think lack of sleep is nothing that cannot be cured with a shower, a large cup of coffee and a little bit of heightened attention behind the wheel.

3 facts about spinal cord injuries after semitruck crashes

Semitruck crashes can produce some very serious injuries. If you have a spinal cord injury from a semitruck accident, you might decide to seek compensation. There are many different factors that can affect your case. Some of the most compelling are the effects of the spinal cord injury. Not only can seeking compensation help you to hold the trucker and trucking company accountable, but it can also help you to get the financial backing you need to continue to support your wife and children.

Is there a limit on the time a trucker can drive?

Most motorists who drive in the area of Cary, North Carolina, probably recognize the serious danger of fatigued drivers operating large trucks or other commercial vehicles. Aside from just using common sense and not driving when too tired, many truck drivers and trucking companies have an obligation to follow specific federal rules pertaining to how long they can travel before needing to stop and rest.

A trucker who is hauling cargo can only be behind the wheel for 11 hours before having to take a 10-hour break. The rules are similar, with some slight variation, for commercial drivers who are transporting passengers. A trucker's 11 hours only includes actual driving time, meaning a trucker can actual take a longer trip, if he or she shows in the trucking log that they were stopped for gas, a meal or a bathroom break for a few minutes. In any event though, 14 hours is the maximum trip time, even accounting for breaks.

Pedestrian accident claims life of North Carolina woman

A fatal accident involving a Raleigh woman was recently reported in the area. The incident serves as an important reminder for Cary, North Carolina, drivers to be on the lookout for pedestrians.

Police identified the victim as a 43-year-old woman who was trying to cross what neighbors described as a busy street in the area during the nighttime. One witness saw the woman get struck by another vehicle and called 911. But, by the time authorities arrived, there was nothing they could do for the woman. The driver of the car who hit the woman was not hurt, and police apparently did not file criminal charges against the driver.

Investigating North Carolina commercial vehicle accidents

As last week's post reminded our Cary, North Carolina, readers, no one who has been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle should assume that the case will go smoothly simply because the driver of the truck or delivery van got a ticket. These sorts of cases can actually be among the trickiest and most frustrating for clients because of the current state of North Carolina's negligence laws.

In any sort of motor vehicle accident case, particularly when it involves a commercial vehicle, an injured person or his or her family are going to want to investigate the facts aggressively. This means leaving no stone unturned and taken nothing for granted.

Do car accident victims investigate the accident themselves?

When a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, one of the first things a Cary, North Carolina, family might want to know is whether the other driver involved got a ticket or is facing some sort of criminal charge. Whether the driver was doing something as common as speeding or was dangerously driving under the influence, a citation or charge against the other driver implies the other driver is financially responsible for the accident.

Indeed, a ticket is a sign that another driver was negligent and should compensate anyone injured in connection with the accident for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. However, North Carolina victims and their families should resist the urge to assume the case is a slam-dunk, and, therefore, just deal with the other driver or his insurance company directly.

What will workers' compensation cover after a work injury?

There are risks involved with almost every kind of work. Typically, higher-risk work environments are subject to safety regulations intended to minimize the risk of injury, but accidents still happen. Workers in North Carolina are supposed to be covered by worker's compensation insurance, at no cost to them, if they work for a company with at least three employees.

For those who work in the manufacturing sector, particularly machinery manufacturing, severe injuries are a bigger risk. Employees at John Deere or Caterpillar face jobsite injuries that could be serious and life-altering. In the event of an injury at work, their medical bills and possibly other expenses could qualify for coverage under workers' compensation. Filing a workers' comp claim can be confusing, particularly in the wake of a traumatic accident. An experienced attorney can help.

Criminal charges filed in connection with a recent fatal crash

As an update to a post on this blog, Raleigh, North Carolina, police have now filed formal charges against a young man who was allegedly involved in a fatal car accident a few weeks ago. One man, also young, died at the scene of the accident, while the man who now faces charges was hospitalized. The young man facing the criminal case was, as of the latest reports, in custody, while the case is pending.

The charges against the young man include running a red light and "careless and reckless driving." Police say speed was also a factor in the crash, claiming the young man was going 45 mph in a 35 mph speed zone. But, the young man has been charged with a felony "death by motor vehicle" and faces allegations that he was driving while impaired by either alcohol or drugs and driving without a valid license. Although not directly related to his driving, police have filed a drug possession charge and have cited the man for an open container violation.

Number of motorcycle injuries down; fatalities up

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people injured in a motorcycle accident during 2015 dropped by a little over 4 percent, down to 88,000 injuries from 92,000 injuries in 2014.

Unfortunately, the number of deaths due to motorcycle accidents rose over 8 percent, from 4,594 in 2014 up to 4,976 in 2015.

Distracted driving rules proposed

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has consistently warned drivers about the dangers of distracted driving such as talking or texting while operating a motor vehicle. It recently announced part of its proposed solution to the dangers caused by a distracted driver.

The NHTSA's voluntary guidelines that were issued in two phases. The first phase covered devices or systems that were built into the vehicle during manufacturing. These guidelines include recommendations to restrict the time that motorists take their attention from the road to perform any task to two seconds at one time and for a total of 12 seconds.