WHICH WAY SHOULD YOUR WHEELS BE POINTED WHEN WAITING TO MAKE A LEFT TURN?

 

November 19, 2018

 

Your wheels should always be pointed straight when you are waiting to make a left turn.  Otherwise, you will be pushed into oncoming traffic if you are struck from behind. Many people are killed in traffic accidents every year by failing to follow this simple safety rule.

JAYWALKING

 

November 12, 2018

 

Walking is a great way to get exercise, but don’t take unnecessary chances. Crossing the street outside of the crosswalk is known as jaywalking, a practice which can result in serious injury or death.

 

If you are not in the crosswalk when you cross the street, you must maintain a proper lookout for all vehicles on the highway and yield the right-of-way to them. Failure to do so is contributory negligence which you can bar a pedestrian’s recovery of damages for his or her injuries in a civil action in North Carolina.

 

Stay safe. Stay in the crosswalk!

WHO HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY WHEN MERGING?

 

November 5, 2018

 

A driver has the right of way in the lane in which his vehicle is traveling.  Always be careful when merging into someone else's lane. NCGG 20-146(d)(1) states that a driver should not move his vehicle into another lane “until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” Nevertheless, even if you have the right of way, slow down when you see another driver trying to move into your lane and allow him to merge. Be courteous to other drivers on the road.

SAFETY TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN DRIVING
 
October 30, 2018
 
1. Drive slow. Don’t speed through neighborhoods where children could be trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
2. Be alert. Remember, kids are excited on Halloween and might forget what their parents taught them about looking both ways before crossing the street.
3. Be careful backing out of driveways. Small children can be hard to see, so drive very slowly and keep a careful lookout for trick-or-treaters.
4. Avoid distractions while driving. Distractions reduce your reaction time and divert your attention from the road. Never text, eat, talk on the phone or look for a good radio station on Halloween night.
5. Make sure your headlights are on even before it’s dark. This increases your visibility and also helps children see you.
6. Remember that 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. is the peak time for trick-or-treating.
7. Obey traffic signs and look for children crossing the street before you proceed even when you have the right of way.
...and don't forget to talk to your children about Halloween safety.

COLLISIONS WITH LIVESTOCK

 

October 29, 2018

 

Collisions with animals kill 200 people a year in the United States. Many others are injured and their vehicles damaged.

 

Who is responsible? Obviously, it's not the animal. However, sometimes action can be taken against the livestock owner. Anyone who owns livestock in North Carolina is required to take reasonable measures to ensure that their animals do not escape.

 

Taking reasonable measures includes providing adequate fencing or other enclosures and also properly maintaining those enclosures.  

 

Victims of collisions with livestock must prove that the livestock owner was negligent in order to recover damages. This may be hard to do when a determined bull breaks through a perfectly good solid fence and escapes. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney if you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with livestock.

 

LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR CAR

 

October 22, 2018

 

North Carolina law requires every motor vehicle traveling on the highway to have its headlights and rear lamps lit: 1) from sunrise to sunset, 2) any time there's not enough light to clearly discern a person from distance of 400 feet, and 3) any time that your windshield wipers are constantly in use due to smoke, rain, snow, fog or other weather or environmental conditions which severely reduce your ability to clearly see a person or motor vehicle at a distance of 500 feet. You're not required to have your headlights and rear lamps on if your windshield wipers are operating only intermittently due to misting rain, snow or sleet. 

 

As of March 1, 2018, North Carolina law requires all vehicles originally equipped with white backup lights to have those backup lights operational. 

 

North Carolina also has laws in effect setting forth the lighting requirements for motorcycles, bicycles, road machinery, farm equipment and trailers.

 

SAFETY TIPS FOR HURRICANE DRIVING:
 
October 15, 2018
 

1) Be prepared.  Keep your gas tank full and your car in good running condition.  You don’t want to run out of gas or be stuck on the side of the road with car trouble during a hurricane.
2) If you have to travel, don’t wait till the last minute.  Waiting increases the risk that you will get stuck in traffic as the storm intensifies around you.
3) Stay in your vehicle and try to find a sheltered place to park such as a parking garage or overpass.
4) Don’t drive through water on the road.  There can be hidden dangers beneath the water.  It can damage to your engine or even sweep your vehicle off the road.
5) Be aware of your surroundings, and be on the lookout for downed electrical wires, trees or other debris on the road and in the air. 
6) Maintain a safe distance from big trucks and trailers on the road.  Because of their large surface area, they are more vulnerable to tipping over in strong winds.
7) Don’t set your cruise control.  Doing so could make your vehicle accelerate and hydroplane turning a bad situation into a worse one.  If you do hydroplane, take your foot off the accelerator.  Don’t hit the brakes or turn your steering wheel.  Wait till you regain traction and then tap the brakes lightly to help them dry.
8) When it’s raining so hard that you can’t see what’s ahead of you, pull off the road and wait it out.


It’s best to stay completely off the road during a hurricane.  If you can’t, remember these tips and stay safe!

TIPS FOR AVOIDING ROAD RAGE ACCIDENTS

 

October 8, 2018


 

AVOID CONFRONTATION. Don't let another driver draw you into a confrontation that can end badly. Remember, driving is not a competitive sport.

ATTITUDE. Always try to control your anger and stay calm.  Focus on your driving and on getting to your destination safely.  

KEEP UP THE PACE.  When you drive in the left lane, make sure to keep up with other traffic.

No matter how fast you are going, move into the right lane if another driver wants to pass.

AVOID TAILGATING. Not only does tailgating increase your chances of being involved in an accident, it also annoys other drivers around you.

AVOID GESTURES. Although you may be angry over the rudeness of another driver, never let the other driver see that you are upset.

Never make angry or obscene gestures towards the other driver.

GET HELP. If you feel that your safety is in jeopardy as a result of road rage, call the police or go to a heavily populated area.

Never drive to your home, and never get out of your car to confront an angry driver.

 

DRIVE SMART!   STAY CALM, AND STAY SAFE!

 

DOES AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COVER PUNITIVE DAMAGES?
 
October 1, 2018
 
Punitive damages are damages designed to punish at-fault drivers for bad behavior such as driving while impaired or engaging in competitive racing. The liability provisions of North Carolina automobile insurance policies do provide coverage for such damages. 
 
However, if you are injured by an unidentified hit-and-run driver or a driver with no liability insurance coverage and must file under the uninsured motorist provisions of your own insurance policy, punitive damages are specifically excluded from coverage.  
 
Your own insurance company does not have to pay punitive damages for the bad behavior of at-fault drivers who are unidentified or uninsured.

WHEN YOUR NEW CAR IS WRECKED

 

September 24, 2018

 

North Carolina General Statute 20-71.4 makes it a misdemeanor to transfer title to a motor vehicle which is 5 model years old or less and to fail to disclose in writing to the purchaser that it has been involved in a collision in which the cost of repairs, excluding airbag replacement, exceeded 25% of the vehicle's fair market value at the time of the collision.

 

Thus, if another driver causes an accident in which your vehicle is wrecked but not totaled, your vehicle may lose value. After all, no purchaser is going to pay the same price for a vehicle that has been wrecked as for one that hasn't. 

 

If an accident results in your vehicle losing value, you may be entitled to make a claim for diminution in value in addition to your claims for vehicle repairs, loss of use and any other property damage claims you may have.

WILL AUTO INSURANCE PAY IF I’M INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY MY SPOUSE?

 

September 17, 2018

 

Many years ago, marriage was considered to the be a merger of the wife’s identity into her husband’s.  Women couldn’t enter into contracts or file lawsuits without their husband’s joinder.

 

Since a husband and wife were considered to be one entity and since an entity can't sue itself, lawsuits seeking damages for negligence were not permitted between spouses.

 

However, in modern times, immunity for injuries caused by a spouse's negligence has been abolished in North Carolina, and you CAN make a claim against your spouse if you are injured in an automobile accident that is his or her fault.

 

WHOSE INSURANCE PAYS WHEN YOU WRECK A CAR YOU'RE TEST DRIVING?

 

September 10, 2018

 

When you test drive a car, it is considered to be a temporary substitute vehicle under the terms of your automobile insurance policy.

 

As such, your insurance company will be responsible for paying for the damages when you cause an accident while test driving a vehicle that belongs to the dealership.

 

NEVER JUST “EXCHANGE INFORMATION” AFTER AN ACCIDENT

 

September 4, 2018

 

When another driver causes an accident, he or she may plead with you not to call the police--especially if they are driving without a license or driving while impaired. The at-fault driver may apologize, admit fault and give you their insurance information at the scene with the promise that their insurance company will take care of your damages. However, far too often the at-fault driver's “version” of how the accident occurred changes when they are speaking to their insurance carrier after they've had time to think about how a chargeable accident will increase their insurance premiums. They no longer admit fault and will even place the blame on you. Then your claim will likely be denied. Failure to contact law enforcement can also result in charges being brought against you for failure to report an accident with property damage in excess of $1,000. Don't take chances. If you're involved in an accident, play it safe and report it!

WHY WON’T THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER RETURN MY PHONE CALLS?

 

August 27, 2018

Adjusters for the at-fault driver’s insurance company don't have to return your phone calls.  In fact, the insurance company doesn't have to pay anything at all on your claim unless forced to pay by a Court of law.

 

Insurance companies are in business to make money. As a result, some adjusters look for ways to deny or reduce the value of your claim. The less they pay, the more the insurance company gets to keep.

 

An accident victim may be wondering how they're going to pay for their medical expenses or a rental car.  The longer the adjuster takes to return that victim’s call, the more financial pressure the victim may feel and the more likely he or she may be to accept whatever they are finally offered regardless of whether or not the offer is fair.

 

At Quinn Law Firm, we have found that simply hiring an attorney will usually stop these delaying tactics.  Let us help take the frustration out of dealing with insurance claims--and difficult adjusters--on your own.

 

MYTH: ALL LAWYERS CAN HANDLE PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS

 

August 20, 2018

 

Although cheeseburgers may be on the menu at an Italian restaurant, no one goes to an Italian restaurant for a cheeseburger. They go for lasagna or pizza.

 

The same goes when selecting a personal injury attorney. Always choose an attorney who routinely handles cases like yours.

 

Attorneys who handle automobile accident and personal injury claims on a regular basis have the experience to know the types and amounts of benefits to which their clients are entitled and the best strategies for recovering those benefits. They are familiar with automobile accident laws as well as insurance policy provisions.

 

At Quinn Law Firm, our practice has been focused on automobile accident and personal injury claims for over 30 years.  Let us put our experience to work for you.

 

WILL THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER OFFER ME A “FAIR” SETTLEMENT?

 

 

August 13, 2018

 

If an adjuster offers to settle your personal injury claim, it's likely that he or she will tell you that the insurance company's offer is “fair.”  Although the adjuster is not being untruthful, what he or she actually means is that the settlement offer is fair from the perspective of the insurance company.  Remember, the adjuster works for the insurance company. His or her job is to settle your case for the lowest amount possible--regardless of whether or not you are adequately compensated you for your damages.

 

Always hire an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight for a settlement that is fair for YOU, the injured victim!

“BLACK BOX” CRASH DATA RECORDERS

 

August 6, 2018

 

Many people don't realize that most cars and trucks have tamper-proof “black boxes” just like airplanes.  They record data from the vehicle’s sensors which can help prove how an accident occurred--especially if there are no witnesses.

 

After a car crash, the data can be downloaded from the black box, also known as a crash data retrieval (CDR) system or an event data recorder (EDR), to a computer and analyzed to help lawyers and law enforcement officers determine what factors contributed to the crash including data regarding the vehicle's speed, whether or not brakes were applied, how the car was being steered, the throttle position, whether the cruise control was on, whether or not seat belts were in use, and more.  Some vehicles have systems such as OnStar which transmit information from the CDR system to a remote location for storage.

 

It's important to download the recorded data as soon as possible after an accident, as some black boxes will only retain the recorded data for a limited period of time. Also, make sure not to give the black box from your “totaled” vehicle to the insurance company before the data is retrieved.

AM I RESPONSIBLE IF SOMEONE DRIVING MY CAR GETS INTO AN ACCIDENT?

 

July 30, 2018

 

If someone driving your car with your permission, express or implied, is at fault in an accident, your insurance company will cover the damages.   A judgment solely against that driver will be covered under your policy. 

 

There are also circumstances under which you can be held personally liable as well.  You may be held liable if an individual driving your vehicle was acting as your agent such as when driving to the store to buy groceries on your behalf. You can also be held personally liable if you negligently allow another driver to drive your car.  For example, when you give your car keys to someone who is intoxicated, you will be responsible for negligently entrusting your vehicle to a drunk driver and can be held personally liable for any damages that drunk driver may cause. 

SHOULD I PAY OFF AN ACCIDENT-RELATED TRAFFIC TICKET?

 

July 23, 2018

 

The answer is NO.  When you pay off a ticket, you are pleading guilty or responsible for committing the offense charged. A plea of guilty or responsible can be used against you in a subsequent civil action should the other driver sue you. It can also be used to bar your claim if the accident was not your fault. Even if it's cheaper in the short run to pay off the ticket than hire an attorney to fight it, never pay off a ticket for an accident-related traffic citation. Not only can paying off a ticket hurt you in a civil action, it can also result in points against your driver's license and increase your insurance premiums.

SHOULD YOU GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY?
 
July 16, 2018
 
If you've been involved in an automobile accident, it is likely that the  insurance company will ask you to give a recorded statement.  Adjusters may try to pressure you into giving one by saying they need it in order to proceed with your claim.
 
Remember, adjusters work for the insurance company.  Their motive in requesting a recorded statement is to try to find a reason to deny your claim or at least pay less for your claim.  They know exactly what questions to ask to increase their chances of getting you to say something that will hurt your case.
 
Unless you're dealing with your own insurance company such as when you're making an uninsured motorist claim, there's no legal duty to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver's company.  However, if you need vehicle repairs or a rental car to get to work, the insurance company may have you over a barrel.  You may have to give some sort of statement in order to get them to stop stalling so you can get to work and not lose your job.
 
If it becomes necessary to give a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you can write a narrative of what happened or ask the insurance company to submit questions to you in writing instead. This will prevent a slip of the tongue from causing your claim to be denied. However, you should NEVER give any sort of statement to an insurance company without your attorney being present to protect your rights.

UNBIASED WITNESSES CAN BE INVALUABLE AFTER AN ACCIDENT

July 7, 2018

 

If you witness an automobile accident, please stop, provide any assistance you can to the injured parties, wait for the police to arrive and then tell them what you saw.  

Innocent victims often need help proving that the other driver caused the accident in order to get the at-fault driver's insurance company to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, auto repairs and other damages.  

If you are an innocent victim in an accident and there are witnesses at the scene, don’t assume they will hang around until the police arrive to give a statement.  Make sure to get each witness’s name, address and telephone number as soon as possible so that the police officer, the insurance company and your attorney can talk to the witness later.

When the at-fault driver’s insurance company is performing their investigation, unbiased witnesses can often make the difference in whether or not the insurance company accepts liability for the accident.

SHOULD I PURCHASE INSURANCE FOR A RENTAL CAR?

 

July 1, 2018

 

The rental company may tell you that you HAVE to buy the insurance they are selling or else you will be personally responsible for damages in the event of an accident. That's not always the case. You should check with your insurance agent to find out if your automobile insurance policy will cover the rental. Most policies do. Also, the credit card you use when you rent a vehicle may provide some sort of coverage for the rental as well. Ask them, and be SURE to read the rental agreement carefully to make sure you aren't agreeing to pay for coverage you don't need. If you don't have coverage under your policy or through the credit card company, you will need to purchase insurance coverage when you rent a car, but don't be coerced into buying coverage that you don't need. Ask your insurance agent and credit card company first, and know your rights before you rent a car.

AVOID GAPS IN TREATMENT

 

June 18, 2018

 

Perhaps the most common mistake made by accident victims is having gaps in their medical treatment. There are certain types of gaps such as ones caused by a sudden emergency or a death in the family that are understandable and don't hurt your case. If you have a good explanation for a gap in treatment, be sure to tell your doctor so that he can document the reason in your medical records.

 

However, gaps in treatment without good reason can kill your personal injury case or at least greatly diminish its value.  Insurance adjusters and jurors believe that people who are in pain will seek medical treatment. They believe that, if a person doesn't go for treatment, he must not be hurt that bad.

 

Sometimes doctors recommend a patient have future treatment. Why should an insurance adjuster or juror give compensation for future treatment to an accident victim who didn't keep his appointments from the start?


People who don't seek treatment tend to get worse instead of getting better, so get treatment right away after an accident. Then always keep your doctor’s appointments, and follow your doctor's advice. Doing so will help your case and your health.

SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

 

May 21, 2018

 

School will be starting again before you know it. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has published safety tips for children walking to school.


• Cross in crosswalks.
• Watch for and obey crossing guards.
• Look both ways before crossing the street.
• Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic.
• Pay attention. When walking, avoid distractions like cellphones.
• Obey signs and signals.
• Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the road as you can.

WILL THE INSURANCE COMPANY PAY YOUR INJURY CLAIM IF YOUR NAME IS NOT LISTED ON THE ACCIDENT REPORT?

 

May 7, 2018

 

Occasionally a passenger's name is omitted from the police report. This may be an oversight, or perhaps the officer did not even realize you were a passenger. When this happens, the insurance company may refuse to pay your claim. However, your name can generally be added to the police report simply by making an appointment to meet with the officer and asking him to amend the police report to include your name. With an amended police report that includes your name, the insurance company will no longer dispute your presence in the vehicle.

CAN THE INSURANCE COMPANY “CLOSE” YOUR CLAIM?

April 30, 2018

Attorneys sometimes receive calls from panicked automobile accident victims who have been told by the at-fault driver's insurance carrier that their claim has been “closed.” This is a tactic used by insurance companies to put pressure on the claimant to settle his or her case quickly. Closing a claim simply means that the insurance company has placed the claim on “inactive” status. It does not mean that your claim is permanently closed or that it cannot be reopened. As a claimant, the only date with which you should be concerned is the statute of limitations, or time allowed by law during which you must either settle your claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Statutes of limitations differ from state to state and may be affected by the claimant’s age, mental capacity, military service or other factors. You should always consult an attorney to determine the proper statute of limitations for your case.

WHEN THE AT-FAULT DRIVER REFUSES TO COOPERATE WITH HIS INSURANCE CARRIER


April 23, 2018

 

An insurance company may attempt to deny a claim when their insured, the at-fault driver, avoids speaking to them about the accident. All insurance policies contain a clause requiring their insured to cooperate with the carrier. However, the insured's failure to cooperate cannot bar the victim's claims for compensation for injuries and damages in North Carolina. Pursuant to the provisions of NCGS 20-279.21(f), liability of the insurance company "becomes absolute" when the accident occurs, and no subsequent violation of the policy provisions by the insured can affect the victim's right to recover. Thus, although the insurance company is allowed a reasonable period of time to try to obtain a statement from their insured after an accident, ultimately the insurance carrier must make a liability decision without their insured's statement if their insured fails to cooperate.

DOES FAILURE TO WEAR A SEAT BELT BAR YOUR INJURY CLAIM?

 

April 16, 2018


North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, so being even 1% at fault can bar your injury claim. An insurance company may argue that failure to wear a seat belt is negligence that will bar your claim.  However, North Carolina General Statute § 20-135.2A(d) states that evidence of failure to wear a seat belt is admissible in Court in a civil action.  Thus, although you should ALWAYS buckle up for your own safety, failure to wear a seat belt does not bar your injury claim in North Carolina.

WILL DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE BAR YOUR INJURY CLAIM?

 

April 9, 2018

 

Driving with a suspended or revoked license when an automobile accident occurs is against the law and will likely result in you receiving a traffic citation.  However, if the accident is not your fault, the fact that your driver's license was suspended or revoked at the time of the collision will not bar recovery for your injury or property damage claims in North Carolina.  If the other driver's negligence caused the accident, you are entitled to recover.

 

HANDS-FREE NOT RISK-FREE

April 2, 2018

 

According to National Safety Council, “In order to stay safe, you need your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on driving.”  

 

In a study conducted by Stanford University, a virtual simulator was populated with hazards such as pedestrians, bicyclists and animals darting out into the road. The study involved 30 drivers--15 of whom used hand-held cell phones and 15 of whom were allowed to talk hands-free.

 

Of the drivers in the simulation using handheld cell phones, 1 passed, 5 drove into oncoming traffic and 9 crashed.  Of the 15 drivers talking hands-free, 1 passed, 6 drove into oncoming traffic and 8 crashed.


What this study showed is that there is virtually no safety difference in talking on the phone hands-free versus using a hand-held cell phone while driving.  According to the National Safety Council, “Drivers talking on a cell phone can overlook up to 50% of what’s around them, and activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images is reduced by up to 1/3 when talking or listening to the phone while driving.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO REPORT AN ACCIDENT

 

March 25, 2018

 

NCGS § 20-166.1 requires parties involved in an accident to “immediately” report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency whenever there is injury, death or more than $1,000 in property damage.  Failure to do so is a misdemeanor which can subject you to criminal penalties and driver’s license suspension.

 

In cases involving “hit-and-run” drivers whose identity is not known, NCGS § 20-279.21(b)(3)(b) states “the insured, or someone in his behalf, shall report the accident within 24 hours or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, to a police officer.”  Your auto policy also requires you to promptly notify both the police and your insurance company if you have been involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver.  In Hoffman v. Great American Alliance Insurance Company, COA03-947 (2004), the plaintiff’s claim for uninsured motorist benefits under his policy was denied for failure to comply with the reporting requirements of the North Carolina General Statutes and his insurance policy.

 

You should always report a motor vehicle accident to the police. Don’t simply “exchange insurance information.”  At-fault drivers often tell their insurance company a different version of how the accident occurred if no report was made, and your claim may be denied.  Protect yourself by making a police report.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

 

March 18, 2018

 

Here are some tips:

1. Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.  Personal injury laws can you very complex.  Make sure you hire an attorney who knows what he or she is doing.

2. Hire an attorney who offers free initial consultations.  This gives you an opportunity to get to know your attorney, and it gives your attorney an opportunity to evaluate your case.

3. Ask questions before you hire an attorney.  Learn what to expect and possible outcomes. Find out about the claims process.  Find out if the lawyer is willing to handle your personal injury case on a contingent fee basis.  It's a good idea to write down any questions you might have before your appointment, so you won't forget to ask.

4. Choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable and well-represented. A good lawyer will listen to you and make you feel confident that he is representing your interests and not those of insurance company.

DRIVING WITH ANIMALS IN YOUR LAP

March 12, 2018
 
A bill pending in the North Carolina General Assembly could make it illegal for motorists to drive with an animal on their lap. House Bill 73 states that driving with a pet in your lap is "a distraction that endangers the safety of the driver, any passengers in the vehicle, others traveling in the same vicinity, and the animal.” If passed, the bill would impose a $100 fine and Court costs but would not cause the offender to incur driver's license or insurance points.

REPLACING YOUR CHILD'S CAR SEAT AFTER AN ACCIDENT

 
February 26, 2018

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you replace your child's car seat after a moderate to severe impact accident. If an accident is severe enough to bend your car's steel frame, it can certainly damage the plastic in your child's car seat--even if can't see any damage with the naked eye. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of replacement after an accident without question.

GET EYEWITNESS INFORMATION

 

February 7, 2018

 

After an automobile accident, get contact information for all witnesses. Encourage them to remain at the scene until police arrive and obtain their contact information as well. If an at-fault driver runs a stop light, he may not tell the truth for fear of getting a traffic ticket or having his premiums rise. Eyewitness testimony can be crucial in persuading the at-fault driver's insurance company to accept responsibility for your damages.

 

NIGHT-VISION TECHNOLOGY

 

January 29, 2018

 

Most pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Night-vision technology uses infrared thermal imaging and spotlights to make pedestrians visible to night drivers in time to save their lives. 

 

 
VEHICLE RECALLS
 
November 16, 2017
 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed an online search tool where drivers can find out if their car has been recalled and why. To find out if your car has been recalled or to sign up for notifications about future recalls, visit www.safercar.gov or call (888)327-4236. Recalls can help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.

 

Gap Insurance

 

October 19, 2017

 

When you're involved in an accident and your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company is obligated to pay fair market value for your vehicle. They don't have to pay off your vehicle loan or buy you a new car. Thus, when you buy a vehicle, you should strongly consider purchasing GAP insurance. Many GAP policies even cover theft if your vehicle is stolen.

 

GAP” stands for Guaranteed Auto Protection. A GAP policy will pay the difference between what is owed on your vehicle loan or what a new vehicle would cost and the fair market value of your vehicle.  You should check your GAP insurance policy to determine exactly what coverages are provided.

 

GAP insurance can be invaluable for new vehicle purchasers. You've often heard it said that the moment you drive a new vehicle off the lot, its value drops. That is true. As soon as a new car is driven off the lot, it becomes a used car to the rest of the world and is worth less than what you paid for it just a few minutes before.

 

GAP insurance is used when the amount you owe on your vehicle is more than the vehicle is worth. After the amount you owe on your loan is paid, you end up even. Although you'll still need to find a new car, you won't owe money to the finance company on the totaled or stolen vehicle that you no longer have.

 

GAP insurance is usually available when purchasing a new vehicle. However, some insurance companies will offer it on any vehicle—new or used. Other companies even offer GAP insurance on leased vehicles.

 

Protect yourself and your credit with GAP insurance today!

 

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist

Coverage

 

June 19, 2017

 

One out of every seven drivers on the road is uninsured.  Protect yourself, your passengers and resident family members by purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage today.

Winter Weather Driving Tips from the NC DOT

 

January 25, 2017

 

 

If travel in winter weather is absolutely necessary, you should use the following precautions:

  • Clear your windows and mirrors;

  • Reduce your speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;

  • Maintain a safe following distance behind brine application trucks, snow plows and spreader trucks;

  • Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution, and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge or overpass;

  • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply your brakes, as that will cause further loss of control of your vehicle;

  • If you have a mobile phone, take it with you. You can contact the North Carolina Highway Patrol statewide by calling HP (*47), or call the county emergency center by dialing 911; and

  • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out. Treat this scenario as a four-way stop.

 

Mandatory Backup Cameras Required by May 1, 2018

 

December 17, 2016

 

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will require all vehicles under 10,000 pounds manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 to include backup cameras as standard equipment. According to the NHTSA, an average of 210 people die every year as a result of backup accidents. Of those, 31 percent are children ages 5 and younger. Vehicles will be required to have rear visibility technology as of May 1, 2018 to ensure that drivers have a clear view of the area behind their vehicle in the hopes that this will reduce the number of deaths that occur annually in backup accidents. At Quinn Law Firm, PLLC, we applaud this dedication to increase the safety of both drivers and pedestrians!

 

Be Careful What You Post on Facebook!  

May 28, 2016

 

If you've been injured in an accident, be careful what you post on Facebook or other social networking sites! Posts such as "I was in an accident, but I'm OK" may later be used by insurance adjusters or defense attorneys in an effort to minimize your injuries. That goes for pictures you post as well. There's nothing like a picture of someone out laughing and drinking at the club or playing sports to do damage to their claim for compensation for pain and suffering.  

It's best not to put anything in a post, text or email that you don't want an insurance adjuster or defense attorney to read.  

 

Remember, "Anything you say (or post) can and will be used against you in a Court of law!"

 

 

Pedestrians, Bicyclists or Motorists: Who Has the Right-of-Way?

August 22, 2015

 

When not using a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way when crossing the road.  When a sidewalk is available, pedestrians must use the sidewalk instead of walking on the road.  When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians walking along or on the highway should walk on the extreme left of the road or shoulder facing traffic and must yield the right-of-way to traffic.

 

Unlike pedestrians walking outside of crosswalks, pedestrians in crosswalks do have the right-of-way at marked and unmarked crosswalks in residential and business areas except where there is a traffic or pedestrian signal.  Also, whenever any vehicle is stopped at an intersection crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, any other motorist or bicyclist approaching from the rear is not permitted to overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

 

When riding a bicycle on a road, the bicyclist must ride in the same direction as other traffic.  Also, the bicyclist must travel in the right-hand lane and should ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the highway. Exceptions to this law are provided when the bicyclist is:

Passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction

Avoiding a dangerous obstruction

Riding on a one-way street

Preparing to make a left turn

 

At intersections, both motorists and bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic when making a right turn on red.

 

Being struck as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle can cause catastrophic injuries and even death.  If this happens to you or a family member, call Quinn Law Firm to help recover the compensation to which you or your family member is entitled.

 

Texting and Other Driver Distractions

April 5, 2015

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines “driver distraction” as:

  • Texting

  • Using a cell phone or smartphone

  • Eating and drinking

  • Talking to passengers

  • Grooming

  • Reading, including maps

  • Using a navigation system

  • Watching a video

  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,328 people were killed in 2012 by driver distraction and 421,000 more were injured.

 

10% of all drivers under the age of twenty involved in fatal car wrecks were distracted when the accidents occurred. 27% of drivers in their twenties involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time.

 

Since texting requires the driver's attention visually, manually and mentally, it is by far the most dangerous form of driver distraction. The average time a driver's eyes are off the road when texting is 5 seconds. At 55 mph, a driver can cover 300 feet (i.e., the length of a football field) in 5 seconds.

 

North Carolina law provides the following cell phone and texting restrictions:

  • All drivers under 18 are banned from using cell phones while driving. Dialing 911 in the case of an emergency is the sole exception.

  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones.

  • All drivers are banned from texting while behind the wheel.

     

Even with the enactment of texting and cell phone usage laws, motorist distraction remains a serious and all too often a deadly threat to others on the road.

GRACO Recalls 3.7 Million Car Seats:

Is Your Child's Car Seat Safe?

March 6, 2014

 

Graco, which manufactures strollers, car seats, and other equipment for infants and toddlers, recalled 3.7 million car seats in February 2014 because of faulty buckles.

 

Although Graco denies any reported injuries, they are recalling the car seats because faulty buckles that won’t unlatch can cause children to get stuck in their car seat--leaving parents with no choice but to cut the straps in order to free their child. Suffice it to say, this could have devastating consequences in an automobile accident or fire when getting your child out of the car needs to be done very quickly.

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates this is the 4th largest car seat recall in history. The recall involves certain Graco car seat models manufactured between 2009 and July 2013 including:

  • Toddler Convertible Car Seats: Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat.

  • Harnessed Booster Seats: Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

 

Car seat safety is of the utmost importance for parents. If you’re involved in an automobile accident, your children could be severely injured if not properly restrained. If you’re unsure whether or not your car seat is safe, you can go to one of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's inspection stations and have your child's car seat inspected for free. Nothing is more important than the safety of our children!

All New Cars Must Be Equipped with “Black Box” Data Recorders By September 2014

February 22, 2014

 

Many people don't realize that cars have “black boxes” just like most airplanes do, but they’re already being installed in almost all new cars and trucks. They record information from the vehicle’s sensors about the driver's every move and more. 

After a car crash, the data can be downloaded from the black box, also known as a crash data retrieval system, to a computer and stored to help lawyers and law enforcement officers determine what factors caused the crash and resulting injuries including data regarding the vehicle's speed, whether or not brakes were applied, how the car was being steered and even whether or not seat belts were in use. Information from the 10-20 second period prior to an automobile accident can prove to be invaluable in such a determination.

As a word of warning after an accident, it's important to download the data as soon as possible as some black boxes will only retain the recorded data for a limited period of time. Also, it's important to make sure that you do not give the black box contained in your “totaled” vehicle to an insurance company before the data is retrieved.

As of September 1, 2014, these “black box” data recorders will be mandated by law in all new vehicles. 

 

You Are Entitled to Claim Lost Wages Even if You are Paid by Your Employer!

November 1, 2013

 

If you are unable to work due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident or if you lose time from work for doctor's appointments, you are entitled to compensation for the time you missed from work even if you've already been paid by your employer. You may receive sick leave benefits or use vacation time. However, those are your benefits, and evidence of those benefits is not admissible in Court. If you lose a vacation day, you have suffered a loss. Being paid by your employer for missing time from work because of the pain you are suffering from an automobile accident does not make up for the vacation time you could have spent with your family. Your time is valuable.

 

Let us help you recover compensation for the time you missed from work and for the other damages to which you are entitled! Call Quinn Law Firm, PLLC today!

 

 

Dog Bites!

August 30, 2013

 

Dog bite victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries from irresponsible dog owners under several legal theories.  Under one theory, there may be liability for violation of a safety statute, ordinance or regulation. For example, when a dog owner ignores a leash law and simply lets his dog roam the neighborhood, that person could be held accountable for making such a foolish choice.

 

In North Carolina, dog owners are also generally held liable under basic negligence principles if they knew or should have known that their dog had vicious propensities or was dangerous and failed to take adequate precautions for the protection of others.

 

Also, if the dog has previously bitten anyone or been declared dangerous by the authorities, then the owner becomes responsible under the theory of strictly liable for any future bites. Homeowner's or renter's insurance may provide coverage for the negligence of their insured which results in a dog bite. If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, call Quinn Law Firm, PLLC today!