January 8, 2015

Mauldin Police Officer Killed in Motorcycle Crash

On Monday evening, a 22-year-old Mauldin police officer was killed in a motorcycle crash. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened at the intersection of West Butler Road and Cary Street.

For currently unknown reasons, Austin Gotowka lost control of his bike and slid through the intersection. There was another vehicle involved, but there's no word on what happened with that vehicle. As of Tuesday, the driver had not been cited, but very few details have been released about the investigation. Gotowka was wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck.

The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Austin Gotowka.

January 6, 2015

Pisgah Forest Fatal Wreck

Last week, a fatal chain-reaction crash occurred in Transylvania County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened on Asheville Highway 280 in the Pisgah Forest area. Although very few details about how this crash happened have been released, we do know that a vehicle crossed over the center lane of the roadway and struck another automobile. The initial collision caused a chain reaction. At least two other vehicles were involved in the crash, and 80-year-old Robert James Giuduci was killed.

Three other people were hospitalized for injuries, but there's no word on their current conditions. There's also no explanation for why the initial car crossed over the centerline. Could it have been a case of distracted driving? Did the driver have a medical emergency or a mechanical problem with the car?

Dangerous Roadways Around Asheville

Apparently, this isn't the first crash to happen on this particular stretch of roadway. Local residents report that they've seen multiple car accidents in this area over the past few years. One woman refuses to let her children play in the front yard due to the danger involved. It may be time for officials to take a closer look at roadway configuration or other factors that make this part of the road notoriously dangerous.

Distracted Driving in Asheville

It's also not uncommon for drivers to veer out of their lanes or cross centerlines when distractions are involved. Distracted driving puts everybody on the road at great risk. There is even research that suggests distracted drivers have slower reaction times than alcohol impaired drivers. Texting-while-driving isn't the only type of distracted driving either. Anything that takes the driver's attention away from the task at hand is considered a distraction.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver, contact a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Additional investigative efforts may be necessary to determine the cause of the crash. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Robert James Giuduci and wishes speedy and full recoveries to all of the injured victims involved.

December 24, 2014

Semi Truck Crash on I-26

On Friday, WLOS ABC News Channel 13's Facebook page reported on a semi truck crash on I-26. Very few details were released, but we know that the wreck involved a minivan and a tractor trailer. The incident happened in the westbound lanes of I-26, near Ferry Road or mile marker 34.

Traffic was slowed down to about 20 miles per hour in the area as crews and first responders worked the scene. There's no word on whether or not anybody was injured, or how the crash happened. The cause is likely still under investigation with authorities.

How to Avoid Collisions with Commercial Vehicles
Many motorists make the mistake of driving alongside an 18 wheeler. This is very dangerous driving for anyone. A significant percentage of all tractor trailer collisions occur when a tractor trailer suddenly changes lanes. Due to the size of these large commercial trucks, they have a huge blind spot that make changing lanes a very dangerous activity. Truck drivers are trained not to change lanes without first looking to their side to make sure there is not a vehicle sitting in their blind spot. Unfortunately, however, many truck drivers look only in their side mirror and do not actually turn their head to look in the lane beside them. As a result, many passenger vehicle drivers find themselves in the danger zone with no where to go. To avoid the danger zone, simply do not attempt to pass an 18 wheeler unless you have a clear path all the way past the big rig. If there is another vehicle in front of you, you should wait until that vehicle has completely passed the 18 wheeler before you begin your passing maneuver. Once you start to pass the 18 wheeler, then continue to make your passing maneuver so that you go all the way past the big truck. You should also avoid attempting to pass an 18 wheeler on bridges and in areas where there is a concrete median. You should always leave yourself an escape path in the event of a unexpected movement by a commercial truck.

Another danger zone exists when traffic suddenly slows down or comes to a complete stop on the interstate. This is particularly dangerous at night when visibility is low and truck drivers are more prone to be sleepy. In this situation, you should keep a careful watch on the traffic behind you. Many fatal crashes have occurred as a result of tired truck drivers running into slow or stopped vehicles on the interstate. To safeguard against this situation, we suggest activating your hazard lights / emergency flashers as long as traffic is moving slowly or stopped. Also, if you see an 18 wheeler, or any vehicle for that matter, approaching from behind and they do not appear to be slowing down well before they get close to your vehicle, then you should quickly move your vehicle off of the paved surface. You can always re-enter the highway after the truck driver has slowed his vehicle or even passed on by.

Crashes involving semi trucks can be catastrophic and even fatal for drivers and occupants in smaller traditional vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free case consultation today.

December 22, 2014

Three Children Struck by Elderly Driver

On Friday morning, three Transylvania County children were struck and injured by an elderly driver. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened at about 7:15 a.m., as the children were getting ready to board the school bus. The driver, 85-year-old Floyd Hipps, failed to stop or reduce his speed for the school bus. Children were crossing Greenville Highway, and the bus was completely stopped with the crossing arm out and red lights flashing at the time of the wreck.

Children from Bus 77 were headed to Brevard Middle School. The bus made a stop near the Connestee Falls subdivision to pickup about five kids when Mr. Hipps drove through. The 2013 Ford Explorer hit three of them and sent two to the ground. School bus officials did report that while the bus had onboard cameras, it did not have stopping arm cameras, so no footage of the incident was captured of the incident.

Two of the children had to be airlifted to Mission Hospital in Asheville, and the third child was taken by ambulance to Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. Thankfully, none of the injuries were life-threatening. One child suffered a fractured femur, a second child suffered a concussion, and a third child suffered a fractured skull. The third child remains in serious condition at the hospital. The other two children have been released. Mr. Hipps was charged with felony failure to stop for a school bus and failure to reduce speed, but there's no word on why he didn't stop. The Highway Patrol spokesperson said that any time a child is hit a child is hit at a bus stop, the criminal charge becomes a felony. Hipps told Troopers that he did not see the children before the impact.

The Danger Zone

After this incident, it may or may not come as a surprise to Asheville parents that the most dangerous part of riding a school bus is loading and unloading. The 10 feet in front of, behind and beside a school bus is considered the "Danger Zone." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages parents to talk to their children about safe boarding and unloading practices. Not only are children at risk from other drivers, but they're also in an area where a bus driver may not see them. Children who have to cross the street to board the bus or unload from a bus should be instructed to stay well in front of the bus so that they can have direct eye contact with the bus driver. Children should also be told that they must still look in both directions prior to crossing the street, even if the bus' lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended.

Civil Liability Analysis

In addition to the criminal charges, Mr. Hipps also faces the potential for substantial civil liability from this incident. The purpose of the civil justice system is to compensate those who have suffered injury or harm as a result of someone else's careless or reckless conduct. The children who suffered injuries from this incident have the right to assert a personal injury claim against Mr. Hipps and his automobile insurance company. In a situation like this, the liability of Mr. Hipps seems clear, and the only real question would be the value of the childrens' personal injury claims. While the injuries in this case do not appear life-threatening, the injuries are certainly serious.

What Is My Case Worth?

The children in this case would have the right to recover for all of their medical expenses, including but not limited to ambulance, hospital, and rehabilitation costs. The right to recover for these expenses exists even if the children are covered by their parent's private health insurance. The children would also have the right to recover money damages for any permanent injuries and for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by the injuries. Mental suffering can include things like anxiety and post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). There is no set formula for deciding the value of such claims. Clients often want to know at the beginning of their case: "what is my claim worth?" At Davis Law Group, we always respond by saying that, "your case is worth what any 12 people off the street could agree on after hearing all of the evidence in your case." There is no way to say what any given case is truly worth immediately after the injury. The reality is that we have to wait and see how the client does during the medical treatment and then also how the client is doing after their injuries have healed and all of the medical care is completed.

Does The Minor Receive Money?

When a minor is injured as the result of another person's careless or reckless conduct, and the minor makes a claim and recovers money for their injuries, the money must go into either a trust account in the Clerk of Court's Office or into a Structured Settlement. A Structured Settlement is a form of an insurance annuity.

If the money is deposited with the Clerk's Office, then as soon as the minor turns 18 years of age, he or she can take all of the money from the settlement and do with it as they please. If the money is placed into a Structured Settlement, then the money will be disbursed to the claimant at certain intervals and amounts, depending on how the Structured Settlement is put together. Often, the parents of the minor decide that it would be better to place the money into a Structured Settlement so that the money can be disbursed in a way that is helpful to paying for a college education. Another huge benefit of a Structured Settlement is that the interest income earned prior to disbursement is tax free and not subject to capital gains taxes.

Elderly Driver Safety

Although very few details about the crash have been released, plenty of citizens are talking about elderly driver safety. As our friends and relatives continue to age, their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle may diminish. These are not easy conversations to have with a friend or loved one. But, if you're worried about an elderly driver, it may be time to have "the talk." The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides a variety of materials to concerned family members and helpful tips for bringing up the conversation. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. wishes speedy and full recoveries for all of the injured children involved.

December 18, 2014

NHTSA's SaferRide Mobile App

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is hoping to reduce the number of injury-causing and fatal drunk driving crashes this holiday season and all year long. In addition to the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, they've recently released a mobile app to help deter drunk driving.

The SaferRide app is designed to help users find taxicabs or friends who can give them a ride home at the end of the night. The app uses the person's location to find a nearby safe ride home. At this time, the app is available for Android users on Google Play.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact the skilled personal injury team at Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free case consultation today.

December 17, 2014

Semi Truck Crash on I-26

Early Tuesday morning, a crash involving a semi truck had first responders rushing to the scene. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened in the early morning hours on I-26, near Airport Road. For currently unknown reasons, a commercial truck hit a car, crashed through a guardrail and overturned down an embankment near Glenn Bridge Road. Very few details have been released about this wreck, but we do know that first responders had to free the big rig driver who was trapped in the cab.

Special Equipment Needed to Move Semi Truck

Thankfully, the people in the car that was involved were able to walk away from the scene. Crews worked to clear the area, and special equipment had to be brought in to remove the tractor-trailer. Officials had this Buncombe County crash scene cleared for commuters in time for early morning, rush hour traffic.

Tractor Trailer Crashes in Asheville

Semi truck crashes in Asheville and the surrounding areas can be incredibly devastating for other drivers and passenger vehicle occupants involved. Big rigs are so much larger and heavier than traditional vehicles. They can be extremely destructive in the event of a crash. Even seemingly minor crashes at relatively low speeds can be catastrophic for other drivers on the road.

Complexities of a Semi Truck Crash Case

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the department tasked with regulating the commercial trucking industry. Because semi trucks are so large and heavy, they have to follow additional rules and regulations to keep the roadways safe. If drivers and commercial trucking companies aren't following the required federal safety regulations, everybody on the road is put at risk.

What to do After a Wreck with a Semi Truck

If you have been injured in a wreck involving a semi truck, tractor-trailer or some other type of commercial trucking vehicle, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Commercial trucking cases can be incredibly complex due to the additional federal safety regulations that drivers, operators and owners have to follow. Contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free case consultation today.

December 16, 2014

Fatal Crash in Asheville

Last Monday afternoon, an elderly man was killed in a wreck on I-40. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened in the westbound lanes, sometime around noon, near exit 8. For currently unknown reasons, 82-year-old Russell Ellsworth Bly, turned into the path of an oncoming box truck. The box truck was traveling west on I-240, when Bly went to turn onto the roadway.

Although he was rushed to Mission Hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. Very few details have been released about this crash, and there's no word on whether or not the driver of the box truck suffered from any injuries. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Russell Ellsworth Bly.

December 9, 2014

Toddler Injured by Hit and Run Driver

On Saturday afternoon, a hit and run crash sent a toddler to the hospital with serious injuries. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened at a residence on Woodcock Drive in Hendersonville. The child, a two-year-old, and 49-year-old Marshall Waters were in the driveway in front of a house when a driver attempted to move a Chevy Tahoe while sitting in the passenger's seat. The driver ended up backing up at a high rate of speed.

Police Still Looking for Driver

Although Waters tried to push the toddler out harm's way, they were both struck by the Tahoe and sent to the hospital. Waters was treated for a broken shoulder and released. The toddler required stitches for a head injury and had to have a rod put into his leg. As of Monday, authorities were still trying to track down suspect, 33-year-old Lamar Lammons of First Avenue West. He has been charged with felony hit and run causing serious injury, driving with a revoked license, careless and reckless driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

Hit and Run Crashes in Asheville

Hit and run crashes in Asheville can be complicated for victims and their families. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney should be a top priority for victims. Whether you're a pedestrian, cyclist or a motorist, an attorney can help to find and hold accountable the person who caused your injury. It will be necessary to keep up-to-date with investigative developments and also deal with difficult insurance representatives.

What to do After a Pedestrian Accident

After any kind of automobile accident, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights are being protected and your family's best interests are being looked out for. Since pedestrians continue to be one of the few roadway user groups that continue to see a rise in traffic accident injuries and fatalities each year, having a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side is critical. Don't count on an insurance company adjuster to take good care of you either. They're looking out for their bottom line and habitually delay and deny claims to wear their policyholders out.

One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make after an accident is to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. Adjusters are trained to ask questions so that you feel almost compelled to admit some small amount of responsibility for what happened. Once this happens, the adjuster will deny your claim. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. has handled many hit and run cases where the insurance company initially denied the claim, but later admitted their driver was liable after being presented with the evidence gathered by our investigators. The Davis Law Group team wishes the young victim and Mr. Waters full and speedy recoveries from their injuries.

December 4, 2014

DriveMode App to Discourage Distracted Driving

AT&T has recently launched a new app that will help to discourage distracted driving. The "DriveMode" app is designed to automatically send a reply to incoming text messages when the vehicle begins moving at 25 miles per hour. It also disables the noise alerts for text messages that might make checking a message tempting for drivers.

Additionally, calls in or out will also be disabled, except for 911, and up to five contacts that you can put on your "allow list." Motorists can download the app through Google Play, BlackBerry App World and the AT&T AppCenter.

Although this app doesn't address every possible way a driver could be distracted behind the wheel, it may help to create awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Developers are also hoping that this app will encourage other drivers to take the "Don't Text and Drive" pledge. If a distracted driver has injured you, contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. today.

December 2, 2014

Tow Truck Driver Killed

On Monday, a tow truck driver from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was killed after being struck by a motorist on I-95, near Wilson. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened near exit 116. The 44-year-old tow truck driver, Jeffery Allen Rackley, was responding to a family's call of a broken down van on the interstate. As he was preparing to load the vehicle onto his truck, a motorist ran off the roadway, hit the disabled van and struck Rackley.

Driver Charged with Felony

Very few details have been released about the developing case, but the driver was charged with felony failure to move over, causing serious injury or death, misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and reckless driving. At this time, there's no word on why the driver left his lane and struck Rackley and the broken down vehicle. The 67-year-old driver, Paul Joseph Dattari, was reportedly released on a $5,000 bond.

Move Over for Safety

In North Carolina, there is a "move over" law, which requires drivers to move over one lane or reduce speed for emergency response vehicles on the side of the highway. This includes public service vehicles with amber lights too. Anytime a motorist is broken down on the side of the road, whether or not first responders or tow trucks are on the scene, it's a good idea to move over or slow down. This practice helps to keep vulnerable roadway users who may be outside of their vehicles safe.

Distracted Driving in North Carolina

Although very few details have been released, law enforcement officers may be looking into distracted driving as a potential factor. When a driver leaves his or her lane, it could be due to distracted, impaired or reckless driving. Sometimes, it takes additional investigative efforts to determine if somebody was distracted at the time of the crash, so it's a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a fatal accident. A lawyer can stay on top of investigative developments and be an advocate for families after the crash. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jeffery Allen Rackley.

November 26, 2014

Child Struck by Car in Greenville

On Tuesday night, a child was struck by a car in Greenville, South Carolina. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened sometime around 8:15 p.m. on Conestee Road. For currently unknown reasons, the young boy was hit while trying to cross the road. Thankfully, the driver remained on the scene, but there's no word on whether or not charges have been filed at this time.

Additionally, no information has been released on the age of the child, his current condition or the extent of his injuries. Very few details about the collision have been released, which may still be under investigation. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. wishes the young pedestrian a full and speedy recovery from his injuries.

November 24, 2014

Deadly Collision on Highway 9

On Friday afternoon, a head-on collision took the life of one woman and sent four children to the hospital. According to the Times News Online, the incident happened at about 3:30 p.m. For currently unknown reasons, 72-year-old Isabell Davis Laughter's car crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic near the Sunny View community and Garret Road. Her car struck a Ford SUV head on. She was killed in the crash, and the other driver suffered from a broken collarbone.

Two Children Airlifted to Hospital

Laughter was reportedly unbelted at the time of the wreck, and two of the four children in her car had to be airlifted to Mission Hospital for treatment of critical injuries. The other two children involved in the crash were transported to Spartanburg Regional Hospital. There is also some speculation that at least two of the minor passengers were unbuckled at the time of the crash. The roadway had to be closed for hours as first responders and crews worked the scene. Very few details have been released about this two-car crash, which is likely still under investigation with law enforcement authorities.

Buckle Up Your Giblets

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently trying to get the word out about their seatbelt safety campaign, "Buckling up Could Save Your Giblets." This holiday weekend and all year long, motorists and their passengers are being encouraged to buckle up. Using your seat belt for every trip, no matter how short, is the single most effective way to improve your safety in the event of a wreck. Unfortunately, one in seven adults still do not wear seat belts on every trip, even though seat belts reduce serious injuries and death in crashes by about 50 percent.

Recovering from a Head-On Collision

At this time, there's no word on the extent of injuries involved or the current conditions of the injured children. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Isabell Davis Laughter and wishes speedy and full recoveries to all of the recovering victims.

November 20, 2014

School Bus Crash in Henderson County

On Tuesday morning, a woman had to be airlifted to Mission Hospital after she rear-ended a school bus in Henderson County. According to the Times-News Online, there were about 20 children on the bus at the time of the crash. The incident happened at about 7:36 a.m., when a school bus stopped to pickup students at Ferenvilla Drive. Another school bus stopped behind that bus, and was suddenly rear-ended by a small car.

Very few details have been released about how this crash happened. Why didn't the driver stop in time? Could it have been a case of distracted driving? Was the driver unable to stop due to a mechanical problem? At least one child was taken to the hospital for evaluation, and the woman driver's injuries were described as "non-life-threatening." The driver was reportedly charged with failing to reduce speed.

The attorneys and staff at Davis Law Group, P.A. have helped thousands who have been involved in serious motor vehicle crashes involving buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars. The firm's attorneys are glad to answer any questions you have. Remember, if you are involved in a wreck, you should always talk to an attorney before you talk with an insurance company.

November 18, 2014

Fiery Semi Truck Crash on I-40

On Sunday night, a semi truck caught fire on Interstate 40 in McDowell County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. near mile marker 79. Portions of the interstate roadway had to be shut down for nearly seven hours. Crews were on the scene, near the Old Fort and Sugar Hill Road areas, working through the night.

Lanes Reopened for Morning Commuters

Very few details have been released, but this appears to have been a one-vehicle crash. It's unclear whether the tractor-trailer crashed and then caught fire, or if the fire started independently of a crash. Crews had the all of the eastbound lanes open by about 4:30 a.m., just in time for the morning commuters. Thankfully and surprisingly, no injuries were immediately reported with this fiery semi truck crash.

Transporting Hazardous Materials

At this time, there's no information on what the tractor-trailer was hauling, and there's still no word on how exactly the fire got started. Was the fire caused by some type of hazardous material or caused as a result of the fuel in the tank? All commercial trucks have additional rules and regulations to follow, but trucks hauling hazardous and flammable materials have even stricter rules and guidelines. Big rigs carrying certain types of hazardous materials have to maintain a higher level of safety and retain and keep HazMat certifications and permits.

Semi Truck Crashes in North Carolina

Thankfully, there were no injuries reported in this fiery tractor-trailer crash. Unfortunately, that's just not the case for many people who are involved in big rig crashes in North Carolina and across the country. Since commercial vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they can do a considerable amount of damage in the event of a wreck. They don't stop on a dime, and smaller passenger vehicles just don't stand much of a chance when crashes involve semi trucks. This is why commercial drivers and trucking companies have additional rules and regulations to follow. If you or a loved one has been injured in a big rig crash, contact the experienced team at Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free case consultation today.

November 13, 2014

Motorcycle Crash in Buncombe County

On Wednesday afternoon, a high-speed motorcycle chase ended in a wreck in Buncombe County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident began on New Liecester Highway, when an 18-year-old motorcycle rider failed to stop for authorities.

Very few details have been released, but officials did report that the chase ended in a crash on Monte Vista Road. Law enforcement officers and first responders were on the scene, but there's no word on whether or not the rider or anybody else was injured in the crash, or if other vehicles were involved. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 did report that there were charges pending against the motorcyclist.

High-speed chases can endanger and injure other roadway users and innocent bystanders. If you or a loved one has been injured due to somebody else's reckless, careless or willfully dangerous behavior, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.