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    Attorney Will Reaves

    In recent months, we’ve discussed automobile accident statistics and the importance of these numbers on a national level. This can be very informative of nationwide trends, but perhaps it’s time we analyze the local statistics. What do these same numbers look like when you concentrate the scope of the analysis to a state level? How are we doing here in North Carolina? Are the findings here in NC representative of the national statistics? Are they higher, lower? We’ll address all these questions and more below.

    First, let’s do a brief recap of the national statistics regarding automobile accidents. According to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the numbers for 2021 were rather concerning as a whole. Reports show that the first six months alone were some of the worst in recorded history. Nationally, over 20,000 people were killed due to automobile accidents, and over 31,000 were killed over the entire course of 2021.

    Now let’s examine that same period of time in North Carolina exclusively. North Carolina saw over a staggering 1,700 road-related deaths over the course of 2021, accounting for more than 5% of the national number. This number represents a 5% increase from the year before. Even more concerning is the fact that this number is now a North Carolina state record. We covered some of the potential reasons for the increase, including texts, phone calls, drunk driving, driving without a seatbelt, and even the relaxing of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

    Fortunately, local and national law enforcement are looking to improve statistics and make the roads of the United States safer and more efficient for everyone. 2021 saw law enforcement being awarded grants for the purpose of launching and maintaining initiatives that will aid in road safety. It’s unclear exactly what the focus will be and what to expect from these new regulations, but it’s certain to encourage safe driving through more frequent monitoring and enforcement. As a state that is responsible for 5% of traffic-related deaths over the past year, it is time we take responsibility for our actions and start taking the necessary steps to protect our drivers, our passengers, and our pedestrians.

    If you were in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Visit our offices here at Wayne Hardee Law, or contact us via website or phone to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. Don’t let yourself become a statistic!


     
    Attorney Will Reaves

    Much like being in a typical car accident on the roads, a truck accident can have similar long-term consequences, potentially only made worse by the massive size and wight of a semi-trailer or pickup. The driver and anyone involved may have been injured or killed in the accident, and the vehicles may have been damaged or totaled. This, in turn, leads to an avalanche of expenses in the form of medical bills, repairs, and funeral preparations.

    Such dramatic loss can be traumatizing, and the mental and emotional effects may go far beyond any physical injury. But there’s hope for recovering at least part of the damages. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed with bills and expenses that you could never hope to pay.

    The first thing to do after you’ve been in a truck accident is contact a law firm, particularly one skilled in personal injury law. Simply meeting with an attorney to seek guidance in your situation is entirely free of risk, as these attorney-client relationships are typically results-oriented and don’t require payment up front. In other words, the attorney will usually represent your case and succeed before requiring any form of compensation.

    After you’ve been advised regarding your unique situation and decided to proceed, you must evaluate the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. Damages typically fall into one of several categories: physical trauma, emotional trauma, full or partial loss of income, and death. Some of these categories may overlap with one another, but do a full self-evaluation and determine the ways you’ve been negatively affected.

    For example, maybe you were rushed to the hospital after the accident and are now facing an expensive medical bill. Maybe the accident gave you injuries that left you unable to work for a period of time, or perhaps you’ll be unable to work ever again. Maybe the accident caused the death of a friend or loved one, and the funeral preparations are causing physical, emotional, and monetary strain. Though only hypothetical, these are all things to consider when building a case in favor of proper compensation.

    If you or someone you know has been in a truck accident, then you know how difficult of a process it can be. Be sure to seek legal help immediately. If you’re looking for representation, then consider Wayne Hardee Law. Our team of attorneys would be glad to meet with you and advise you on the facts of your case. Contact us today to make an appointment!


    Attorney Will Reaves

    Liability waivers are powerful documents. Under normal circumstances, they take precedence over the natural law, as the signer is willingly waiving their right to hold a second party liable for any injuries or damages that they may sustain. These are typically used in situations where the participant may be put at risk doing a potentially dangerous activity.

    Of course, there are some guidelines. Before agreeing to the terms of any document and waiving their right to claim liability, a signer will want to know that every precaution was taken to prevent any injuries or other damages. The document itself must be clearly worded, without any hidden intentions or fine print, and specific in its applications and limitations. In other words, what does this apply to? What does it not apply to?

    The waiver not only benefits the organization by protecting them from lawsuit down the road, but it also acts as an entry ticket. The organization is providing access to their goods or services in exchange for the agreement that you will not seek legal action in the future. Typically, this agreement is binding, and the waiver covers any sustained damages. But under what circumstances might waivers be made invalid? Is this even legally possible? The answer is yes, invalidating a waiver can be done under the right circumstances.

    For example, though you’ve signed a document waiving all rights to a liability charge, the organization is still responsible for promoting safety and maintaining equipment. Whether that means additional safety staff or detailed instructional videos, they are responsible for upholding their end of the waiver agreement. Gross negligence is an obvious offense. Naturally, organizations cannot harm you intentionally, as that would negate the waiver immediately. The waiver must also be signed by a willing and knowledgeable participant. In other words, a participant cannot be forced or otherwise taken advantage of when signing. This includes waivers written using opaque legalese or hidden fine print.

    If any of these requirements are breached, then the waiver can easily be made invalid. A personal injury lawyer will approach the incident from all possible angles, seeking ways to gain compensation for your injuries. The presence of a waiver makes this process more challenging but not impossible, especially if the organization is clearly at fault. If you’ve sustained an injury at the expense of a negligent third party, consider finding a lawyer. Our skilled attorneys here at Wayne Hardee Law would be glad to accept the challenge and help you receive due compensation. Visit our website and contact us today!


    Attorney Will Reaves

    Oftentimes, personal injury cases are settled outside of court. Wanting to compensate the victim for their physical, mental, and/or emotional distress, the defendant’s insurance company will provide them with a predetermined sum of money as a settlement. This can then be used to pay for medical bills or other property damages that may have occurred during the accident.

    But what happens when the case goes to trial? Under these circumstances, you must be prepared to state your case and defend your position. You are defending the right to compensation for the personal injury you sustained at another’s expense. So, it stands to reason that the court will require evidence relevant to the case. But what kind of evidence should you be collecting? What is the judge looking for, and what is acceptable in the court of law? We will cover these and other questions below.

    First, it’s strongly recommended that you seek professional help from an attorney. Attorneys, especially those well-versed in the laws surrounding personal injury and compensation, can be a considerable asset to your case. They will guide you through the process, help you get your facts straight, and assist in gathering the necessary evidence should you ultimately need to present in court.

    In terms of evidence, you must collect information that is relevant to the case and supports your claim. For example, photo and video evidence is among the most important. This has to be done at the scene of the accident, so don’t get too caught up in the moment. Keep a level head, pull out your phone, and start taking photos. The most important thing you can do is remain consistent with your story and recount the accident exactly as you remember it, so jot down some notes before they slip your mind.

    Official documents are also extremely beneficial in a court of law. These may be in the form of a testimony from a licensed professional, or it may simply be an itemized medical bill with the total cost listed at the bottom. In a similar thread, you may also call witnesses to testify on your behalf. Perhaps someone witnessed the accident and can corroborate your claim against the defendant.

    Begin by building your case with the help of a professionally trained lawyer. Here at Wayne Hardee Law, our team is dedicated to helping you get full compensation for sustained injury. Our attorneys will work alongside you to ensure that you are properly informed and well-prepared. Give us a call today!


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