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August 28, 2020

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS FOR VICTIMS OF AN ACCIDENT

If you have been injured in a car accident you will probably have a lot of questions. The following is a list of those potential questions and answers to those questions as provided by the attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT?

  • Make notes of conversations and events at the scene.
  • Keep a diary (medical care, medications, pain, limitations, work issues, etc.)
  • Keep a file with all related documents (accident report, bills, insurance letters, etc.)
  • Take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Take pictures of your personal injuries.
  • Follow the recommendations of your medical providers.
  • File your medical claims with your health insurance carrier.
  • Notify your insurance company about your accident.
  • DO NOT speak with the liability insurance adjuster.
  • DO NOT sign a release without speaking with an attorney.

DO I HAVE A CLAIM?

  • If you were injured due to the fault or negligence of another, and did not contribute to your injuries, you may have a claim for damages caused by that accident.

WHAT TYPES OF DAMAGES ARE RECOVERABLE?

  • Property damages
  • Medical expenses – past and future
  • Lost wages – past and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent injuries

WHEN SHOULD MY CASE BE SETTLED?

  • Your claim should not be settled until you have been released by your doctor and know the extent of all of your damages.
  • In North Carolina, the statute of limitation for a personal injury claim is generally three years from the date of accident.

SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT?

  • In most accident cases, there are legal issues concerning liability or fault, property damages, personal injury damages, liens, and insurance coverage.
  • An adjuster will contact you after the accident. The adjuster represents the insurance company, not you, and will use his or her experience and training for the benefit of the insurance company.
  • To ensure your rights are protected, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

HOW DO I CHOOSE AN ATTORNEY TO WORK FOR ME?

  • Ask family and friends about the reputation of the attorney.
  • Ask the attorney about their experience handling personal injury claims.
  • Ask if your attorney, and firm, have experience litigating personal injury claims.
  • Meet with an attorney to ensure you are comfortable with them and are confident that the attorney will work diligently for you.

If you have additional questions about your car accident or would like a free consultation, call our office at 252-378-2525.

August 26, 2020

STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

The time immediately following a car accident can be one of the most difficult someone experiences considering the shock and adrenaline that comes from the situation. And unfortunately, thousands of people go through this without legal guidance.

If this happens to you, it is important for you to know what steps you should take after the accident so you can better protect your rights. You need to completely understand how you can prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you during this difficult situation.

It may be hard to remember these at such a difficult time, but by taking these steps can put yourself in a strong position should you need to pursue legal action for injuries you may have sustained due to the negligence of another. Here are the stops you should follow to protect your rights after an accident.

1. QUICKLY GET TO SAFETY
Get your vehicle and yourself out of the road. The longer you are in the road, the more danger you and other drivers may be in. If you cannot move your vehicle off the road, you and any passengers need to quickly get to the side of the road or onto a sidewalk.

2. GET THE CORRECT INFORMATION
After the crash, you should get the responsible driver’s information – this includes a way for your insurance company to contact them, their insurance information, and anything else you think may be important to the case.
If there are any witnesses, you should also request their information so your insurance company can contact then and use their testimony if needed.

3. FILE A CLAIM WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Immediately contact your insurance company and let them know you’ve been in an accident, including where the accident occurred, what happened, what  damages you have incurred and if there were any injuries sustained any injuries. Reporting the accident quickly is important.

4. TAKE PICTURES
Following your car accident, pictures can be good evidence to use through the legal processes. For example, pictures at the scene of the accident could show potential issues with the road such as potholes, tire marks and/or missing traffic signals.
Make sure you also take pictures of your car, the other car, and any visible injuries you may have received. This could be helpful to show that you did, in fact, sustain significant injuries. In some cases, an adjuster can use pictures that have been taken to help determine fault.

5. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Your health should be your top priority and should seek medical attention quickly. Some injuries may not be present right away, but by seeking help from a medical professional you can find out if you are injured and if your injury stems from the car accident.

6. CALL A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another in a car wreck, you can speak with a personal injury lawyer about your rights. Having a lawyer on your side from the very start means you will better understand what you can expect and it can also help you get the resources you need to move forward with your claim in confidence.
An injury attorney can listen to your statement, help you put together the evidence, and build a strong case for you. This is a very important step because you will have legal representation on your side, just like the insurance company will have their legal team on their side.

At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, our car accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights. We work hard every day to go the extra mile for our clients. Our ultimate goal is to help you prove your case and help you get the most favorable outcome.

We know this is a very difficult time and it is important for you to have someone on your side. You need to focus on your recovery, and we will handle all the legal matters for you. Our team has the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources you need.

Call us today at 252-378-2525 to speak with an attorney about your potential case. We offer free consultations to individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of another driver.

August 24, 2020

TIPS TO AVOID A RED-LIGHT COLLISION

Too often drivers neglect to follow traffic signs and signals. This could be due to distractions, impatience, or an impairment, but no matter the cause, it can cause serious or even deadly results. According to AAA reports, there were 254 red-light deaths between 2008 and 2017 in the North Carolina alone. And just about half of the fatalities in these accidents were passengers or drivers in other vehicles.

Even a cautious driver may risk severe injury or death if another motorist ignores or misses a red-light or stop sign. This means that it is essential that motorists practice defensive driving when approaching and passing through intersections. We encourage you to follow these basic guidelines when you are approaching an intersection so that you can help avoid a collision.

Be aware how long the traffic light has been green
According to AAA, speeding up when the traffic signal turns yellow is one of the main causes leading to a red-light collision. If the signal has been green for a while, you should assume that the light may turn yellow by the time you reach it, so you should proceed with caution.

Pause when you enter an intersection
You should pause and look both ways for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians – even if you have the right a way when entering an intersection.

Be ready to stop
Do not assume that other motorists are going to follow the rules of the road. When passing through an intersection, remove your right foot from the accelerator and position it over the break – this is called “Covering the brake” – may give you the few extra seconds you need to react should you need to.

Tap the brakes
When you approach a yellow or red signal, you should tap the brake pedal a couple of times before coming to a complete stop. This will alert a driver behind you that is distracted or inattentive helping you prevent a rear-end collision.
If you have been involved in a red-light collision that was not your fault, call us today at 252-378-2525 to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys regarding your potential case. We offer free 24/7 consultations to individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of others.

August 21, 2020

TRUCK ACCIDENTS CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY

Truck accidents typically cause more serious injuries and fatalities than other types of motor vehicle accidents, such as car and motorcycle accidents. What makes this worse is the fact that many of these trucking accidents could have been prevented in the first place. The vehicle’s driver can so many things to try to avoid or prevent an accident, but truck’s driver may be at fault for any injuries or death in the other vehicle.
There are many statistics out there related to truck accident, FleetOwner.com is one source that provides these. They noted that truck crashes often occur with the highest frequency on Saturdays and Sundays during the daytime hours between 11 am and 4 pm. They go on to note that “More than 21% of all large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction.” That is an astounding number of truck drivers driving carelessly each day.
Failing to yield right of way caused more fatal accidents than any other types of accidents. The total number of truck accidents has increased year over year with more and more trucks delivering products across cities, counties, and states towns.

The most common causes of tractor-trailer accidents that lead to serious injury or a fatality according to GTG Technology Group are:

  • Poor vehicle maintenance and equipment failure such as defective parts, poor repairs, and maintenance, and worn brake pads. Other causes could be that a driver may have improperly loaded cargo which can cause an imbalance causing lost cargo and tip-overs.
  • Bad weather including heavy rainstorms or snowstorms,
  • At the top of the list is driver error with drunk driving, reckless driving, and drowsy driving be the main culprits.

If you’ve or a family member have been injured in a trucking accident due to the fault of another, we think the insurance company should pay have to paid for your pain and suffering, so call Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP, and speak with one of our attorneys. As always, your consultation is free, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.