The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been substantial in the United States, as the nation tries to avoid a healthcare crisis. Many cities and states are requesting, a few even ordering, that citizens “shelter in place”, resulting in businesses being shuttered and employees without wages. Only certain categories of work are deemed “essential” and fall within the exceptions to these rules.
Most of us run paycheck to paycheck and have limited PTO (Paid Time Off/Personal Time Off) from work. With an ordinary cold, we would typically find our way to work and tough it out just like our coworkers would do. But now we have COVID-19, and it is a different animal so to speak.
The Coronavirus is comprised of a large family of viruses that affect humans and animals. There are seven (7) known types of Coronavirus. Four of the seven are very common and cause mild respiratory infections like the common cold. A fifth type is known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and a sixth type is known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and these last two tend to be more serious in comparison to the first four types.
The dinner included national members from various states and prospective members. Jason Taylor oversees membership for this chapter and organized this event with the help of our own McKenzie Jackson. Proud to report that another LOJET attorney was in attendance as a prospective member, Mrs. Robyn Buckley.
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).
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.
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 left 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.
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 $30,000. South 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.
BLUE LIGHTS – EMPTY WALLETS
IF YOU USE A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA
Chances are that you have encountered driving through a city that has placed red light cameras at intersections. The stated purpose is to increase safety at intersections by imposing a penalty for those drivers who run red lights. The penalty fine varies from place to place but is typically $50 or $100 for a violation. If not paid timely, then the fine amount doubles in most locations.
The Good. When driving through an intersection, it is nice to know that other drivers may be less likely to run a red light if they fear being fined for that bad driving habit. We know that 40% of the roughly 6 million car crashes that occur in the United States every year are intersection-related crashes. Various surveys and data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warn us that intersections can be dangerous places. If red light cameras cause drivers to be more careful not to enter an intersection on a red light, then that should be a good thing for all of us.