Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Car Accident Deaths in North Carolina

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents kill more than 35,000 people in the U.S. every year. That's nearly 100 people every day.

The leading causes of fatal car accidents are:

  • Drunk driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted drivers
  • Weather
  • Inexperienced or elderly drivers
  • Car manufacturing defects
  • Street and highway construction or defects
Of those, Distracted Driving is on the rise with the advent of cell phones and smart phones and their near constant use while driving. 

If a loved one died in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident in North Carolina due to someone else's negligence, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

Under North Carolina's Wrongful Death Act, a family may recover damages that include medical care and treatment, reasonable funeral expenses, lost income, and other damages from the loved one not here any more. 

If a loved one has died in an auto accident, it's important to speak to an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney right away. There may be evidence that needs to be protected that may be lost or destroyed if too much time goes by, including cell phone records, black boxes from the car, camera footage, etc. Additionally, most of this evidence will not be turned over unless there's an attorney involved. We are licensed state wide and represent clients all over North Carolina, including Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington and beyond. Please call today for a confidential free consultation with an experienced North Carolina auto accident attorney today. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Importance of Medical Payments (“Med Pay”) coverage for North Carolina Drivers

      What is Med-Pay coverage? 
      
North Carolina drivers involved in auto accidents often overlook a source of money available to them through their own insurance. Unbeknownst to many drivers, their policies include medical payments “Med Pay” coverage which covers any medical expenses related to an accident up to the amount of coverage. Med Pay coverage can be anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000!



      When can I collect?

Receiving your Med Pay coverage is usually very easy. All you need to do is contact your insurance company and file a claim by submitting your medical bills along with a copy of the accident report. At Hemmings & Stevens, we file these claims for you for no additional charge.

      Why is Med Pay so important in North Carolina?

a. North Carolina follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which bars recovery by a plaintiff if he or she is partially at-fault. Consequently, many claims are denied when the at-fault driver can point to anything you did to contribute to the accident. However, Med Pay is available regardless of fault. So, even if your claim against an at-fault driver is denied, you still have insurance to cover your medical costs.

b. Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts liability, a bodily injury claim may take a while to resolve. Typically, bodily injury claims do not settle until all medical treatment is completed. Even then, it may take months for the at-fault insurance company to compensate you fairly. If you have Med Pay coverage, you can have your bills paid much faster.

c. It’s CHEAP!!! Most drivers don’t realize they even have Med Pay coverage because it’s so inexpensive that they don't notice they're even paying for it. So, they simply overlook it. At Hemmings & Stevens, we will review all your coverages and obtain everything you’re entitled to. Additionally, we encourage all of our clients to INCREASE their Med Pay coverage going forward.

Call Hemmings & Stevens today for more information. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FIVE THINGS TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT IN NORTH CAROLINA


FIVE THINGS TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT IN NORTH CAROLINA
If you are in an auto accident in North Carolina, you should speak to an experienced auto accident attorney to protect your right to recover for your injuries. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, the attorney can seek compensation for any medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other losses incurred because of the accident. That way, you can focus on your recovery and ensure that your rights are being protected.

After a car accident, you should consider following these simple steps:

1. Call 911 – Even if it is just a minor auto accident, the police should be called to the scene. Without a police report, insurance companies will often deny your claim. Plus, injuries are often not immediately noticeable due to the initial shock of the auto accident.  By calling 911, a record is created and both law enforcement and emergency medical personnel will be dispatched to the scene and will document the accident.

2. Seek medical treatment – Injuries from car accidents may not show up immediately, even major ones. If you did not immediately go to the emergency room, you should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. When you speak to the doctor, it is important to explain each detail of the accident, even if you don’t consider it significant at the time. This allows the doctor to properly evaluate any potential health problems.

3. Notify your insurance company – Your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company both need to be notified of the accident immediately.  At this time, you should not make any statements about the accident or sign any documents or offers to settle until you have spoken to an attorney about the car accident.

4. Get a copy of the police report – If law enforcement was called to the scene of the accident, a report will be prepared by the responding officer.  This report is critical in establishing fault in all vehicle accidents. A copy of the report may be obtained by calling the responding law enforcement agency. Additionally, if the accident was investigated by the police departments of the following cities, you may obtain a report online: RaleighCaryGarnerWake ForestGraham,  North Carolina Highway Patrol, a copy of the report may be obtained online within days.

5. Keep good records – Recovering from insurance companies requires good record keeping. The insurance company will want a copy of everything involving the accident: crash report, medical records, car estimates, mechanic bills, lost wages etc. You should keep everything having the do with the accident in one file and provide a copy of everything to your attorney.

If you’re involved in an auto accident in North Carolina, call Hemmings & Stevens, PLLC today for a free consultation. 919.277.0161 or visit our website: www.hemmingsandstevens.com

 North Carolina DWI Auto Fatalities


The Associated Press reports that a recent “Booze It & Lose It” campaign in North Carolina netted nearly 2,900 people driving under the influence over an eighteen-day period that included Labor Day weekend. 


The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that from August 16, 2013 through September 2, 2013, 2,866 people were arrested for drunk driving.  Statistics showed Wake County had the most arrests in the state with 257. There were 220 arrests in Guilford County, followed by Mecklenburg County with 181 and Forsyth County with 118.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), with 389 drunk driving deaths in the State of North Carolina in 2010, and 365 in 2011, our State ranks as one of the most dangerous in the country for drunk driving fatalities.

If you or a family member have been in an auto accident involving a drunk driver, contact the law firm of Hemmings & Stevens PLLC for a free consultation about your case with an attorney.

Car Accident Deaths in North Carolina

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents kill more than 35,000 people in the U.S. every year. ...