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Dunn NC Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

How many people have prenups?

You're considering a prenup. You know it's going to be awkward to bring it up, so you're wondering how common it really is. How many people have them?

Not that many people use prenups, despite their benefits, according to many reports. Some have said that just 5 percent of married couples drafted one before tying the knot. When you consider the divorce rates, you can see that most people are divorcing without any sort of protection in place.

Are teen drivers the only ones to take risks?

The way people sometimes talk about teen drivers, you'd think no one else ever takes a risk behind the wheel, while teens do nothing but take risks. Do they actually deserve this reputation?

Teens do take the most risks. Multiple studies have shown that, including a recent one carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. But that study actually found that older drivers take many more risks than people assume.

Medical records and undue influence

Do you think that undue influence caused a parent to create a will or estate plan that didn't actually go along with what he or she would have wanted? If so, one thing to carefully consider are the medical records for that parent. They can strongly support your case.

For instance, perhaps your parent was suffering from a degenerative brain disease, like Alzheimer's. You even had to move the parent into a home. You couldn't visit as much as you would have liked, but a step-sibling -- who wound up getting much more than you in the will -- was there all of the time.

Who can be a personal representative?

A personal representative will help get a person's estate through the probate process. This can be long and complicated, and not just anyone is allowed to do it.

So, what are the qualifications that need to be met? Who may ask to be a personal representative and assist in this process? Under North Carolina law, that person can be:

How does involuntary intoxication work?

Intoxication is typically voluntary, which is why the authorities come down so hard on drunk drivers. You knew you were drunk, you knew driving would put others in danger, and you chose to do it anyway.

But what if you didn't know you were drunk? What if you actually tried to follow the law, but someone else caused you to break it without your knowledge?

Pets may become bargaining chips in divorce

If you get into a contentious divorce with your spouse, he or she may look for bargaining chips to use against you. One of these could simply be the family dog.

Technically, the court views pets as property. However, you know that it goes far beyond that. You have a relationship with your pet, a close bond. Losing your pet would be far more heartbreaking than losing, saying, your flat-screen TV. Even though that TV may have cost far more, you can replace a television. Replacing a pet is possible, but it will always be a different pet.

Young woman killed in car accident after graduation party

Three young people who were at a graduation party in North Carolina piled into a small Toyota Scion to head home. The driver of the Scion was a 21-year-old man, as was the passenger in the front seat. Behind them in the rear seat, without her seat belt on, was a 22-year-old woman.

The Scion was driving west, and the police allege that it was speeding when it went into a curve and the driver lost control. The car left the road, hit a tree and flipped.

Cycling accidents increase in the summer

North Carolina Department of Transportation estimates that 20 bicyclists are killed each year in the state while riding their bicycle. About 960 bicycles are involved in accidents with other motorists. Watch for Me NC is a campaign designed to bring awareness to bicycles and pedestrians on the road. The NCDOT sponsors the campaign. With so many cyclists getting back out on the road, it is important to know when accidents are more likely to occur.  

Watch for Me NC discovered these statistics about bicycle accidents: 

  • Over 50 percent of the accidents involving bikes occur in intersections. About 25 percent of accidents involve a car or truck that is turning.
  • More than 50 percent of crashes of bicycles and cars involved cyclists who were under the age of 30.
  • Male bicyclists were involved in over 80 percent of the crashes.
  • The most crashes occurred between May and September, when the weather is the best for cycling.
  • Although more cyclists ride on the weekend, three-quarters of the crashes occurred on weekdays and more crashes occurred in the late afternoon.
  • On the weekends, more crashes happened between noon and 4 p.m. 

Zero tolerance means the 0.08 limit does not apply

The common perception is that you need to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to be charged with a DUI. This is not always true. You can be charged if you blow into a breathalyzer and your BAC is over the limit. However, just coming in under the limit does not mean that you'll avoid charges.

For example, there are zero tolerance laws for those who are under 21. You can get your driver's license at 16, but you can't drink legally for five more years. That's a huge window for potential underage drinking and driving.

Can you set traps for people who break into your house?

You move into a new area, and the neighborhood isn't the best. You're worried that someone is going to break into your house, either while you're there or when you're at work. You decide to set traps that can deter them, protecting your assets and your family. Is this legal?

It's not. You could be liable if your traps are set intentionally and then injure people, even if those people should not have been on your property in the first place.