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Charlotte Personal Injury And Workers' Compensation Blog

Collision between motorcycle and car kills four

When cars and motorcycles collide, the persons on the motorcycle generally suffer more severe injuries than persons in the car. Occasionally, the truth of this adage can be questioned if the motorcycle driver was driving too fast or was impaired by alcohol or drugs. A car and motorcycle recently collided in west Charlotte, killing the motorcycle operator and three people in the automobile. Police have not yet completed their investigation or issued a definitive statement about the cause of the crash.

According to police who were on the scene, a Hyundai Elantra was traveling east on Wilkerson Boulevard and was attempting to make a U-turn at Fairhaven Street. As the car began its turn, it was struck by a westbound Yamaha motorcycle traveling at what police described as a high rate of speed.

Looking to reduce the statistics for motorcycle deaths

In a scenic state such as North Carolina, riding a motorcycle is a favorite pastime for many people. The problem is that motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to injury or death than occupants of passenger vehicles and trucks.

A recent report by a nonprofit organization shows that motorcycle fatalities decreased in 2017 over the previous year, which is an encouraging sign. Compared to the deaths of passenger car occupants, however, the number is still alarmingly high. Consequently, efforts continue on several fronts to keep the incidents of motorcycle injuries and fatalities down.

Five-vehicle crash kills one, injures another on Hwy. 74

Multi-vehicle accidents can be difficult to sort out. In the space of a few seconds, several vehicles can collide for very different reasons, and determining liability may require a significant post-accident investigation. A recent multi-vehicle accident on Highway in Monroe demonstrates the difficulty of establishing causation and liability.

In this accident, a Range Rover was traveling east on Highway 74 when it crossed the median, hit a semi-tractor trailer truck and a Honda C-RV and flipped over. Two vans also collided with each other while trying to avoid the initial accident. The driver of the Honda was killed in the collision. A witness told police that driver of the Range Rover was pregnant. Based on this statement, the woman was taken to a local hospital for observation. No other injuries were reported.

Danger of North Carolina roads demonstrated by head-on collision

North Carolina has many winding and hilly roads that can be very scenic but also very dangerous. Many driveways and smaller roads enter these highways without any traffic signals or other warning. People who live in the vicinity of dangerous spots, such as blind curves or steep hills, are often familiar with the hazards, but people who rarely travel these routes are not. A recent head-on collision near Gastonia demonstrates the kinds of cataclysmic automobile accidents that result from such roads.

Recently, two cars were headed in opposite directions on Union Road near Dawnwood Drive in Gastonia. Without an obvious cause, the two cars collided head-on. Two people were airlifted to a nearby hospital, and three were taken to a nearby hospital in ambulances. None of the medical conditions of the injured were released by police who responded to the accident.

Understanding claims for wrongful death in North Carolina

When the thirteen colonies established their legal systems, they generally followed the English common law. One of the significant omissions caused by this practice was the failure to recognize claims for the wrongful death of another. In other words, if a father were killed by the negligent act of another person, the family of the decedent had no cause of action for the loss of companionship and income provided by the father. States began to remedy this injustice early in the twentieth century. North Carolina passed its first statute allowing a claim for wrongful death in 1919, and the law has been modified several times in the ensuing years.

The statute itself is straightforward: if a person dies because of the wrongful act of another, the personal representative of the decedent's estate can sue the party or parties liable for the death to recover the damages enumerated in the statues. The failure to use due care, or negligence, is a wrongful act within the meaning of the law. The personal representative is entitled to use the assets in the decedent's estate to pay the costs of the law suit, provided that such expenses are reimbursed to the estate if the claim succeeds.

Impairment suspected in fatal two-car crash in Charlotte

The front passenger seat in an automobile is sometimes ominously referred to as the "suicide seat" because persons who sit in that seat are especially vulnerable to serious injury or death in a head-on collision. A recent head-on motor vehicle accident in northwest Charlotte proved the sad truth of this name.

According to recent reports, a Dodge Charger was driving southwest on Oakdale Road at about 8:00 a.m. when a Hyundai headed in the opposite direction suddenly swerved into the southwest lane and struck the Dodge head-on. When police arrived, both vehicles were stopped in the southwest lane. The woman riding in the passenger seat - the so-called suicide seat - in the Dodge was taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. She later succumbed to those injuries soon after arriving at the hospital. Both drivers and all of their passengers were also hospitalized with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

3 types of distractions that impair driving ability

Every time you drive, you expect to arrive at your destination safely. Still, accidents in and around North Carolina are not exactly uncommon. When accidents occur, motorists or passengers often sustain some type of injury. In fact, in 2017, collisions on North Carolina’s roadways caused injuries to more than 125,000 individuals.   

Distracted driving is a primary cause of automobile accidents. While you may not be able to control how other motorists behave, you can commit to alert driving. To do so, you should understand the three types of distractions that may impair your ability to drive. 

Underride protector fails to protect driver in rear-end crash

Anyone who has driven on an Interstate highway has undoubtedly wondered about the horizontal bar on the rear of semi-trailer trucks. Why is it there? What does it do? The bars are called underride protectors or rear guards, and they are supposed to prevent passenger vehicles from sliding under the truck in the event of a rear-end collision. As a recent accident in Charlotte demonstrates, they do not always fulfill their function.

Sometimes, underride bars do not accomplish their intended purpose. According to reports, a 23-year old woman was recently killed in an underride collision in Charlotte when her car slid under a semi-trailer that was stopped in traffic. Police attributed the accident to failure to reduce speed, but other data shows that the blame for the death may be shared by other parties. Tests of underride bars conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have demonstrated that underride bars do not always prevent serious accidents, even if they are designed to withstand speeds up to the legal maximum of 35 mph.

Four killed in church van accident

Churches in North Carolina often use vans to transport parishioners, youth groups and church staff to activities at other churches and religious organizations. Such trips are generally safe for all concerned, but occasionally, other drivers create unexpected hazards. On May 28, a church-owned van was carrying a number of parishioners to a revival meeting at another church. The van was turning into the church drive way when a Ford F-450 truck rear-ended it. The results of the collision were calamitous.

As mentioned, the van was turning into the church driveway when it was struck by a large pickup truck pulling a trailer loaded with metal. The van overturned several times before it finally came to rest on its side. The truck and trailer swerved to the side of the road and struck a guardrail.

Fiery bus accident near Uptown Charlotte kills one, injures four

Buses often appear to be very safe, because they are larger than most vehicles that share the roads and strongly built to withstand crashes. Unhappily, buses can experience accidents caused by driver error, lack of proper maintenance and, of course, collisions with another vehicle. A recent bus accident near Uptown Charlotte tragically demonstrated the risks faced by bus passengers.

A bus owned by Victory Christian Center was traveling south on I-77 when the driver lost control of the vehicle. According to the state highway patrol, the bus struck a concrete retaining wall as the driver was attempting to change lanes. The impact ignited a fire in the bus's engine. The bus came to a halt, and most of the passengers were able to escape the burning vehicle. Unfortunately, an 87-year old woman could not extricate herself from the burning bus and passed away. Four other individuals suffered injuries that required hospitalization. The driver is facing criminal charges in the incident.

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