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Car Buying Tips from an Auto Fraud Attorney – Part 1

At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we get multiple calls a day from people who feel they have been defrauded by a car dealership.  As a result, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the most common problems that vehicle buyers deal with.  Below, I’ve laid out a couple of the most common complaints I hear about and some tips that can be used to avoid these issues.

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Problem 1 – Verbal Promises & Representations

You’ve all seen it.  The car swerving ahead of you.  The car drifting into your lane.  The car slamming on brakes at the last minute to avoid the line of stopped traffic.  When you pass by, if you are lucky enough to get by them safely, you see the driver’s head looking straight down at their cell phone actively scrolling their social media or text messages, and ignoring the rest of us on the road.  Not a care in the world except to be intently focused on the latest happenings on social media.

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The most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that only about 3% of drivers are using cell phone or other electronic devices while driving.  I, for one, do not believe this for a minute.  There is not a day that goes by where I do not see multiple people drifting from their lanes and fully absorbed in their cell phone while driving.  Each day seems to be worse than the previous day.  People are addicted to their Fakebook (you know people are lying about their perfect seeming lives on Facebook, right?) or Instagram accounts.

Cell phone use while driving is dangerous and is considered distracted driving.  Distracted driving accounted for 3166 deaths in 2017 and would appear to be on the rise as we all witness more and more distracted drivers in our daily commutes.  We often perceive distracted driving to be centered around the use of a cell phone while driving, but it can also include eating, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio, or fumbling for other control devices on your dashboard.   In 2017, there were also 599 non-occupants killed in distracted driving crashes which are typically unsuspecting pedestrians, bicyclists, and others just minding their own business.

No two settlements are identical.  But my friend/cousin/neighbor/etc. settled their claim for $$$$ and they were not hurt as bad as I was.  We hear this all the time when it comes to personal injury settlements.  Unfortunately, all I can say in response is “Good for your friend/cousin/neighbor/etc.”  Even within the same vehicle in an accident, there can be different settlement results among the claimants.  That’s because no two people are identical (except identical twins! And even they are going to have some differences—just ask their Mom).

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                Think about it.  Even in a rear-end collision, the occupants of the vehicle are going to be affected differently. *  Those in the back seat may be impacted greater than those in the front seat since they are physically closer to the impact.  Or maybe not.  Maybe the backseat passengers are children who are secured in proper car seats and are more insulated from the impact and were not injured at all, and yet the parents in the front seat sustained soft tissue injuries to their neck and back, or a knee injury from striking the dashboard, or a head injury from striking the steering wheel.  Each of those injuries, or lack thereof, is going to merit a different settlement value.

                However, the nature of the injuries alone do not dictate settlement value.   The amount of settlement bills incurred are also a factor in determining settlement values.  In North Carolina, the amount of bills incurred in an accident has become a veritable playground for insurance companies and hospitals and a minefield for claimants and their attorneys.  This is due to North Carolina General Statute 8C-1-414, commonly referred to as Rule 414.  This is an evidentiary rule stating evidence of medical expenses is limited to the amount “actually paid to satisfy the bills.” Therefore, if the two parents in the above scenario are both employed and each have their own health insurance through their respective employers, and they both go to the same hospital, that hospital may have a difference contract with each health insurance provider.  This can result in the hospital charges that each parent are allowed to claim toward the total bills are different, even if the actual amount of the two hospital bills are the same.  Of course, that would even be assuming they received the same treatment at the hospital.

It goes without saying that you don’t discuss politics or religion if you want to keep from upsetting some folks. So, I am going to briefly discuss both J. I hope you can not only tolerate my comments but go a step further and perhaps rethink your perspective, even if  you disagree with mine.  I want to discuss these issues in the context of the Bill of Rights. I am in the business of helping people, defending and fighting for their rights. All people. I believe in the Bill of Rights with every part of my being. According to the Bill of Rights it does not matter if you are straight or gay, black or white, man or women, republican or democrat or any “one off” from what I have listed.  We all have the same rights recognized and granted to us in the first ten amendments  to the US Constitution.
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Under Amendment 1, we all have the right to believe in whatever religion we choose, including no religion. Each of these are equal, none greater than another. While I am not a huge fan of ORGANIZED religion (of any kind), I respect your right to believe, as well as your right not to. We are also granted the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. So, say and think what you like, but make sure you stop talking and let others do the same. You are not necessarily right; you are opinionated. Let others give their “2 cents” and if you have an open mind you might learn something. Let the press do their job and be thankful, even if you don’t like their slanted view, that they have a RIGHT to report it. I miss the days of straight forward news reporting instead of the opinionated perspectives we get today, but they are FREE to do it that way. Fortunately, you can get the facts if you change the channel and learn to listen and determine your own opinions. I encourage you to stop regurgitating  the sound bites you hear and get the full story, contemplate it and share “your thoughts” not as truth but as “your thoughts.”   
 
Under Amendment 2, we have the right to own and keep guns. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them. If you like them, buy them and act responsibly. It is this right that in my humble opinion keeps our government and others from suppressing us the citizens even more. I often get concerned about our government infringing on our rights, both parties by the way. My guns are my last line of defense and I will keep them. Thank you.

Picture it:  you’re driving home from a long day at work. You reach an intersection with a green light. But, you’re t-boned by someone that runs the red light while on their cell phone. You have suffered some very severe injuries. You must be extracted from your car by the fire department. You’re flown by helicopter to the nearest trauma center and spend a month in the hospital. Your medical bills when you’re released are more than $150,000. You also have a permanent injury and can’t return to your old job or way of life.accident-on-the-city-road-at-night_t20_neaR6K-300x200

            The liability insurance for the person that caused the accident becomes the first source of your recovery. Each state sets the minimum amount (“minimum limits” in lawyer-speak) each driver must have in order to drive. North Carolina’s minimum limit is $30,000South Carolina’s minimum limit is $25,000.  There are no hard statistics, but (in our experience) the vast majority of drivers carry only the amount required by law. It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that a minimum limit policy doesn’t go very far in your situation.  This sad scenario is something that we as injury lawyers see far too common. There is no worse feeling than telling an injured person that there is no way to get more money for a client.

            So, how do you avoid being out of money in a serious accident. You need to add a three-letter acronym to your own car insurance:  UIM.  UIM stands for under-insured motorist coverage. It is an optional coverage in both North and South Carolina.  UIM provides coverage to you in the event you’re in an accident in which the at-fault driver (the person that caused the accident) doesn’t have enough insurance to pay your bills. UIM covers you as a driver, not just your vehicle. The more UIM you buy then the greater your protection will be in the event of a catastrophic accident. The law in South Carolina requires an insurance agent to make a “meaningful offer” of UIM coverage. But you should specifically ask for UIM coverage as part of being an informed consumer.

Motorcycle accidents cause some of the most serious road injuries. In fact, they’re nearly 29 times more deadly than normal vehicular accidents. These accidents can cause even more severe injuries when motorcyclists don’t wear helmets, although injuries can happen to anyone involved in an accident on two wheels. One of the most common injuries that motorcyclists sustain are head injuries, so it’s essential to know the signs of one following an accident. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can take days, weeks, or even months after an accident to show symptoms. Being that head injuries are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accident fatalities, it’s essential to understand the signs of a head injury to look for after being involved in one. Depending on the size, type, and location of the head injury, symptoms may include:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Memory loss or amnesia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Visual problems
  • Poor attention or concentration
  • Irritability or emotional disturbances

Secondary Brain Injuries

Secondary brain injuries, versus primary brain injuries, occur specifically when there are changes to the brain that occur hours or days after the primary brain injury. It happens when there is inflammation or a release of chemicals in the brain following a head injury. Swelling in the brain may cause increased intracranial pressure, which could lead to brain damage or death. It’s possible that, after a motorcycle accident, a victim could still have head trauma or a brain injury that develops later on. Immediately seek medical treatment if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, as brain injuries could develop at a delayed time.

The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is pleased to announce the grand opening of our new office in Greenville, NC! The new office will be located at:

313 South Evans St.
Greenville, NC 27858

Our entire legal team is thrilled to become a part of the Greenville community, and looks forward to helping local residents protect their rights as they navigate the personal injury process. With an established office in Charlotte, our Greenville, NC location will help us provide residents throughout the northeastern part of the state with greater access to a team that has earned the respect and trust of clients across North and South Carolina, and has secured a track record of proven results in all types of personal injury cases, including:

The exciting Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson Birthday Bash is just around the corner! The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor and our Hickory motorcycle accident attorneys are going to be there, as well as our famous Gator Girls!

Important information about the event:

  • Date: June 30th, 2018
  • Time: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Where: 2002 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory, NC 28602
  • Host: Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson
  • Contact: 826-327-3030

If you love all things Harley-Davidson or are just gaining an interest in motorcycles, this is going to be the place to be in North Carolina this weekend. There will be a stunt show starring the one-of-a-kind Christina Billings, live musical performances from Mama’s Remedy and Soul Watt, and plenty of vendors. Be one of the first 200 people through the door and you will also get a ticket for free BBQ!

This weekend, The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor will be setting up at the Hmong New Year Festival. We are excited to participate in the festival this year. The event will be celebrating Hmong culture, as the Hmong New Year is traditionally observed at the end of the harvest season in Laos, usually falling between November and December. This year, the celebrations will take place from November 23 to November 26, 2017.

The festival itself will include a number of different activities, including the ball-tossing contest, the Miss HSP 2017 beauty pageant, a traditional dancing contest, a singing contest, a parade, and a fashion show. The festival will also feature many shopping and food vendors.

The New Year Festival will take place at the following address:

In 2008, SCANA Corporation applied to construct two nuclear reactors in Fairfield County, South Carolina. This year, it was announced that the entire project was a failure and could not be completed. The situation has been surrounded by scandal after recent reports uncovered that SCANA applied with a nonspecialized construction timetable that feasibly could not match the needs for the project. Furthermore, another audit report has found that a third-party engineering firm knew the project was destined to fail more than a year before the official decision to scrap it was announced.

The failure of the SCANA nuclear reactor project in Fairfield County will have significant lasting impacts on most of South Carolina for the foreseeable future. Billions of ratepayers’ dollars have been wasted totally wasted, and lives have been destroyed due to financial devastation. As the story continues to unfold, it seems to prove to be one of the world investment disasters in the state, if not the country.

While so many people are going to be negatively impacted by the scrapped project, an overlooked group are the thousands of people that have invested their hard-earned money in SCANA. Rather than being rewarded for helping put money into an ambitious project, this group of people are now seeing their investment go down the drain due to corporate greed and egregious mismanagement of the project. There have also been reports that SCANA’s management were happily paying themselves outrageous bonuses, all the while knowing that the project would ultimately be a failure.

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