Articles Posted in Car Accidents

When you are injured in a car accident, you can bring a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash. This may seem like a fairly straightforward process, but lawsuits can be incredibly complicated. The North Carolina civil court system also has countless procedural rules that must be followed in order for you to receive compensation. One of the best things you can do to protect your rights following a personal injury accident is to seek guidance from an experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer. At Maurer Law, our team has assisted numerous individuals with understanding their rights and the best way to proceed after an accident.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered whether the trial court made a reversible error when it granted a motion for a new trial in a case involving a car accident. The plaintiff in the lawsuit alleged that he was rear-ended by the defendant while his car was stopped at a red light. The jury concluded that the defendant was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and awarded $500 in damages. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial on the issue of damages. More specifically, the plaintiff challenged statements made to the jury asking it to consider the financial impact of a verdict on the defendant’s finances and statements indicating that the defendant did not have liability insurance to assist with paying a judgment. The court granted the motion for a new trial and the defendant appealed.

Before the appellate court can review the merits of an appeal, however, it must first determine whether it has jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The defendant in this case acknowledged that his appeal was interlocutory. This means that it was an appeal coming before a final disposition in the case. The appellate court noted that because the motion for a new trial only granted a new trial on the issue of damages, it was not appealable. N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 7A-27(b)(3) specifically provides that motions granting partial new trials are not eligible for appeal.

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Insurance issues often arise in motor vehicle accidents especially when multiple drivers, vehicles, and victims are involved in the crash. While you are dealing with your injuries and trying to handle the stress and disruption that the accident has caused in your life, the last thing you probably want to handle is an insurance claim and negotiation process. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of Charlotte car accident lawyers is prepared to assist you with ensuring that you are treated fairly throughout this process. Contact us immediately to learn about your potential right to recovery.

A North Carolina appellate opinion provides an example of a common insurance dispute that can arise following a personal injury accident. The main issue in the case involved accidents where there is more than one at-fault driver. The court was asked to decide whether the injured party was required to exhaust only one liability insurance coverage of one of the at-fault motorists in order to trigger the insurer’s obligation to provide underinsured motorist benefits.

In the accident, a truck driver lost control of his vehicle while traveling on a freeway causing it to strike the median barrier and flip. A volunteer firefighter responded to the scene and found that the driver was injured, and that fuel was leaking from the vehicle. The firefighter was later struck by a vehicle that swerved in an attempt to avoid colliding with another vehicle that has slowed suddenly as it approached the area where the accident took place. The firefighter was dragged beneath the vehicle, sustaining severe injuries including broken bones, lacerations, and internal injuries.

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As Asheville car accident lawyers, we often handle cases involving complex insurance policies and questions about whether coverage will be provided for an accident. If you have severe injuries following a crash that wasn’t your fault, you probably also have severe medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the accident. In addition to helping you assert your right to compensation from the driver who injured you, we are prepared to help you ensure that insurance companies treat you and your family fairly during this challenging time.

A recent case from the North Carolina Court of Appeal highlights some of the key aspects of knowing your rights in an insurance policy dispute. The plaintiff in the case filed a declaratory judgment action to determine the extent of the plaintiff’s liability to the defendant for an automobile accident in which the defendant was injured and his wife was killed. The decedent had an insurance policy that provided underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage in the amount of $100,000 per person or $300,000 per accident. The other driver involved in the accident had an insurance policy providing coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.

The other driver’s insurer tendered the full policy limits of $100,000 per accident divided among the four parties in the accident. The decedent’s insurer paid the surviving husband $68,000, which represented the $100,000 policy limit minus the amount he received from the other driver’s insurer. It also paid a sum to the decedent’s estate. The surviving husband argued in court that he was entitled to receive UIM policy limits. The husband ultimately won this argument and the insurer appealed.

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In a recent North Carolina appellate decision, a personal injury plaintiff appealed a summary judgment motion granted in favor of the defendant. The North Carolina car accident case arose when the plaintiff was driving a truck east early one evening. The plaintiff’s father was riding in the truck with him. Only a quarter mile from their home, they saw a tree had fallen and was blocking traffic in both lanes. The branches of the tree held the trunk about five feet above the road.

The plaintiff’s father asked him to slow down, and he stopped at most 40 feet from the tree. The father turned the hazard lights on and called his mother to ask her to bring a chainsaw, so he could remove the tree. He also told the plaintiff to get across the tree and try to slow cars down while waiting for the mom to arrive. The plaintiff climbed onto the top of the tree and asked his dad for gloves because he’d gotten pinesap on his hands.

The plaintiff stood on the tree and waved his arms at a car that was approaching. The father would later testify he never got down from the tree and was acting like a teenager because he thought the other driver would stop. The father told him to jump down, but when the plaintiff tried to jump, his pants caught on a tree limb.

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A recent North Carolina car crash case arose from a car accident in 2012, involving the plaintiff and the defendants’ cars. The car driven by one defendant was owned by another person, and the only allegation of negligence in the complaint was based on vicarious liability. The investigating officer prepared an accident report that listed the defendant driver’s address, but it didn’t indicate whether the defendant driver had a suffix in his name.

The plaintiff sued, claiming negligence by the defendant driver and alleging that this caused her injuries. The complaint also alleged another defendant owned a car driven by the defendant at the time of the accident. The complaint alleged the correct owner of the car and stated she was also liable to the plaintiff for her injuries. The court issued a summons.

The plaintiff filed an affidavit of service, claiming that service had been completed by mailing a complaint and civil summons to the defendant driver at his address by certified mail with a return receipt requested. Someone had printed the name “Phillip Park Ja” or “Phillip Parker Jr.” on the form.

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In a recent North Carolina appellate decision, the plaintiff was awarded workers’ compensation benefits after a car accident. The appellate court reversed on the basis that the plaintiff had chosen to settle his personal injury lawsuit against a third party without the defendant’s consent and had gotten a disbursement of settlement proceeds. According to the appellate court, this meant he was barred from obtaining workers’ compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The plaintiff asked the North Carolina Supreme Court to review.

The case arose when the plaintiff slipped while working with a manhole cover as a utility technician. He hurt his shoulder and neck. The city, his self-insured employer, accepted his claim for workers’ compensation. The city authorized his treatment with a particular doctor, who restricted him from working for a certain period. When that period concluded, the plaintiff asked for a note to stay out of work because he continued to be in pain.

While going to an office to get the note, the plaintiff got into a car crash and experienced a traumatic brain injury. He was taken to the hospital and asked his wife to call his supervisor and let him know about the accident. The wife contacted the supervisor and told him the plaintiff was in a car crash while going to get a note to stay out of work, and he wouldn’t come into work. The plaintiff also had a conversation with his supervisor, his safety manager, and other coworkers about his car crash.

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In a recent North Carolina car accident case, an insurer appealed from a judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of a plaintiff in a motor vehicle collision. The case arose from a 2013 motor vehicle collision. The insurer was the plaintiff’s uninsured motorist insurer. Under his policy, it was to pay the plaintiff compensatory damages if the plaintiff was hurt by a driver who was at fault but had insufficiently high liability coverage.

After the collision, the plaintiff settled with the defendant’s insurer and was advanced $35,000, which included the maximum medical payment and the liability limits. However, the insurer and the plaintiff couldn’t settle on the total amount of damages, so the plaintiff asked for arbitration under the policy provisions.

A panel of arbitrators awarded $110,000. This didn’t consider interest or costs in determining the award. The plaintiff moved the trial court to confirm the award. The lower court entered judgment for $110,000 plus pre-award interest and post-award interest. The insurer appealed.

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In a recent North Carolina car accident decision, a plaintiff filed a claim for damages against the North Carolina Department of Transportation under the Tort Claims Act. He asked for damages of more than $1 million. He claimed that the DOT’s employees were negligent in maintaining, designing, and installing the right safety mechanisms or warnings and speed limits in a curve on a road next to a pond.

The Deputy Commission entered a denial of the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed, and the Commission amended its decision. However, a majority of the commission affirmed the denial.

The case arose when the plaintiff was bringing firewood to a home at the end of a two-lane residential road in a rural area. There was a short straight section at the start of the road with a double curve around the pond. At the time, there weren’t warning signs for the double curve or the 90-degree turn.

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In a North Carolina car crash decision, the plaintiff appealed from a trial court’s judgment that permitted the defendant’s motion for credits and setoffs against the tort judgment received by the plaintiff through their underinsured motorist coverage insurer. The trial court found that the insurer had waived its right to subrogation and didn’t have any further duty.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court shouldn’t have permitted the credit, and it was an abuse of discretion not to let the plaintiff depose the defendant’s insurer, among others.

The case arose when the plaintiff sued the defendant, trying to obtain damages after a car crash. The jury found that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and the damages were $263,000. The defendant filed a motion for setoffs and credits against this judgment. The trial court reduced the award to $230,000.00 after making a finding that the defendant was entitled to credits or setoffs that totaled $33,000.00, based on the defendant’s motion. It found setoffs and credits would need to be applied so that the judgment would be $230,000.00. The order found that the parties had disagreed about whether the defendant should get a credit for what the plaintiff had gotten from their underinsured motorist coverage insurer.

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