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July 30, 2020

LITIGATION EXPERIENCE IS CRITICAL FOR INJURY LAWYER

If your lawyer cannot try your case, you are at the mercy of the insurance company.

Most personal injury and wrongful death cases are settled out of court.  If your lawyer is experienced in litigating injury cases, the insurance company will be aware of this fact; accordingly, your case may be settled for fair and just compensation without a lawsuit being filed.  On the other hand, if your lawyer has no or limited experience trying injury cases, the insurance company will likewise be aware of this fact and will likely try to settle your case for less than fair value.  So, if you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to the fault of another and are in the process of choosing a lawyer, you should find out about the lawyer’s trial experience (lawsuits filed, cases tried, results, etc.) and the lawyer’s litigation support staff.

If your personal injury or wrongful death case cannot be voluntarily settled for fair and just compensation, your lawyer needs to be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf and try your case.  Due to the costs involved in litigation (deposition and mediation costs, expert witness fees, etc.), many injury cases are settled for fair value after the case is filed but before trial.  Again, the trial experience of your lawyer will have a significant impact on negotiations at this stage.

Personal injury and wrongful death cases often involve underinsured or uninsured motorist claims.  In most instances, these claims are arbitrated, as opposed to being tried before a jury.  Again, insurance companies know which lawyers have experience arbitrating these matters.  So, if your claim involves an underinsured or an uninsured motorist claim, you need to find out about the lawyer’s experience with arbitrations (cases arbitrated, results, etc.). 

Most injury victims do not investigate a lawyer’s litigation experience before deciding who to hire. A review of a lawyer’s website or other advertising may highlight large recoveries.  However, a large recovery may have very little to do with an attorney’s litigation experience.  Large recoveries sometimes result from an attorney’s signing up a serious injury claim and then settling for the insurance company’s offer.  Advertised large settlements do not always mean that the lawyer is a respected litigator in the legal community.

Insurance companies know which law firms have litigation experience and which do not, and insurance companies use this information to their advantage.  If you are represented by an experienced trial lawyer, the insurance company may be more likely to offer fair and just compensation to you.  So, when choosing a lawyer, you need to make sure that you have an experienced trial lawyer on your side.

The attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP have over 55 years of combined legal experience. With their exceptional knowledge of the law, the attorneys at the firm have successfully handled thousands of injury claims and have tried and arbitrated hundreds of cases to conclusion.

Attorney Charles R. Hardee has been handling personal injury and wrongful death cases in North Carolina since 1981.  He has developed a statewide reputation for helping injured people and protecting their rights, in and out of the courtroom.

At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP, Charles, along with partner Brack Massey and their experienced litigation staff, handle the firm’s litigated cases.  If you or a family member have been injured or have lost a loved one due to the fault of another, call the attorneys at Hardee, Massey and Blodgett, LLP, an experienced, trusted, and proven team of injury attorneys.

July 28, 2020

WHAT DOES DISTRACTED DRIVING REALLY MEAN?

When a person is distracted while driving on North Carolina roads, anything from a simple fender-bender to a deadly situation can occur. Just one moment of negligent, distracted driving can shatter the life of a victim or multiple victims.

There are many forms of distracted driving. Sometimes it is obvious that an accident has occurred due to distracted driving. While other times it is more difficult to determine whether there was a distraction at all.

Here are a few common distractions that can impair a person’s driving ability.

Using a Cellphone

One of the most common driving distractions is cellphones. In the state of North Carolina, it is illegal for a person to send or read text messages or emails while driving. In accordance with the state law regarding cellphone use, it can also be presumed that accessing social media accounts while driving is also unlawful. If a person is using a phone, in any manner, when he or she hits you, he or she may be guilty of distracted driving. Fruthermore, it is against the law for someone under the age of 18 to use a cellphone at all while driving, including taking calls.

Focusing on Kids in the Vehicle

It is important to teach children how to properly behave when inside a vehicle. Parents should educate children of the fact that a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely depends on others in the car as well. Trying to drive while also coping with fighting children, will make it more challenging to pay attention to factors outside of the car and on the road.

Dealing with Pets

While in the car, pets may become upset or frightened. Even if your pet has never had an issue in a vehicle before, it is still possible. Pets that are not secured and free to roam around the vehicle will cause a distraction. Your pet can also interfere with the operation of the vehicle itself. If your pet is somehow able to block the gas petal, for example, you may not be able to brake properly. Our advice is to keep animals in a travel-approved crate.

Victims of distracted driving can find help by consulting an attorney at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP. The information provided in this blog is intended for informational purposes only, not as legal advice.

July 24, 2020

YOUNG MOTORCYCLIST ACCIDENT RECOVERY

The attorney’s at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP know that often times when people think of motorcyclists, they envision someone who is middle-aged. However, this is not always the case. There are actually many young motorcyclists on the road today, including teens, college students, and young adults. For young people, motorcycle accidents are often especially disruptive to their lives. Young adults may have to miss school or work as a result of the accident, or their dreams are derailed because of injuries they have sustained.

When a young person is involved in a motorcycle crash, they should focus on all aspects of the recovery process. It is important to stay positive, even when facing these hardships may seem unmanageable.

Motorcycle Accident Recovery

The motorcycle collision recovery process can involve everything from dealing with financial concerns, healing physically, and addressing negative emotions like anxiety and depression. As you move forward after a crash, be sure to keep all of these factors in mind. Sometimes motorcycle accidents are relatively minor, and victims are able to return to normalcy fairy quickly. Other times, these crashes can lead to life-long hardships and permanent immobility. Young victims, for example, can have an extremely difficult time adjusting to life in a wheelchair.

Reckless Drivers Should Be Held Responsible

If a motorcycle crash is the result of another driver’s negligence this should require immediate action. Victims of these wrecks, no matter the age, are often put in a difficult position and it is imperative to take a firm stand and protect your legal rights. Young adults involved in these collisions often turn to parents and family members for support, as well as an attorney who is experienced in this practice area. Explore more of our website to learn about your legal options.

If you were involved in any collision, contact the team at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP today!

July 21, 2020

CAN ROAD RASH CAUSE COMPLICATIONS?

If you are motorcyclist, chances are you have taken a fall. No matter if you are just beginning or an experienced rider, falls can, and do, happen. If you haven’t already, chances are you will experience a case of road rash because of fall in the future.

The term for an abrasion of the skin, road rash is caused specifically by a city street, highway, or other pavement during an accident. In most instances, road rash is only mild and superficial. However, according to Healthline, severe cases of road rash do happen, and they carry with them a risk of complications. 

Road Rash Severity 

Abrasion injuries, like road rash, are categorized into three different degrees based on severity. The most severe is a third-degree abrasion. This type of wound extends below the superficial layer of the skin all the way to the dermis, which is the deeper layer, and even down into the tissues beneath. This type of abrasion can bleed profusely and carries a much greater risk of complications. Third-degree abrasions are sometimes referred to as an avulsion injury. 

Road Rash Complications 

The most likely complications of third-degree road rash are infection and scarring. The risk of these complications can be greatly reduced if you seek treatment as soon as possible. Following your accident, you should monitor your wound for signs of infection. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as fever and foul-smelling wound discharge. If an infection does occur, you may notice yellow, green, or brown discharge from the wound, a painful lump in your armpit or groin, or find that your skin is very painful and irritated. An infected wound may not heal on its own, so it is important to see your doctor who will probably prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

To reduce your risk of scarring, do not pick at your wound. And, to reduce your risk of infection, keep your wound clean and follow a medical professional’s advice.