Carolina Accident Lawyers

Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit against North Carolina Police

Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit against North Carolina Police

Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit against North Carolina Police

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Attorney

According to a news article, the family of a 24-year-old woman shot and killed by a Duncan police officer will receive $700,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. The victim, Rebecca Lynn Oliver, was shot to death at a motel after police responded to a disturbance complaint from a man who indicated that the victim and her boyfriend were behaving suspiciously. According to the lawsuit, the victim entered the unoccupied patrol vehicle and was discovered by the police officer. The suit claims that the victim was unarmed and posed no jeopardy of serious bodily harm or death to the officer, who was outside the car when he fired at her at least four times.

If you are seeking to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one who passed away because of another’s negligent actions, you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.

Excessive Force

According to the lawsuit, the Duncan police officer used excessive force when he shot her, and that the officer had other available methods of handling the situation that would have been less forceful and would not have placed him in any exposure to harm. The suit alleges that the officer was embarrassed and upset that the victim was able to get into the police car. Therefore, the officer reacted by running and yelling at the victim to get out of the car or he would shoot her. The victim was shot several times by the officer.

North Carolina law allows a police officer to use deadly force against another only when it appears reasonably necessary for self-defense or the defense a third person from the imminent use of deadly physical force. Deadly force may also be permissible in order to effect an arrest or prevent someone from escaping who is doing so with the use of a deadly weapon, or to prevent someone from escaping who is trying to do so because of a felony conviction.

Wrongful Death Suits Against Law Enforcement

In order to sue police officers, plaintiffs have to allege that an officer, as a representative of the law, violated their rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Generally, law enforcement officers are permitted to use whatever force is necessary to make an arrest or defend themselves from the threat of bodily injury or death. With these cases, juries have to make a determination whether a law enforcement officer used more force than was reasonably necessary to make an arrest under the circumstances, and an arresting officer is allowed to use more force to effect the arrest of a resisting suspect or if threatened with death or great bodily harm. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a police officer cannot shoot a fleeing suspect unless it is necessary to prevent an escape and he or she has reason to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

The attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you navigate the complexity of wrongful death actions in both state and federal courts in North and South Carolina. There are certain time limits and procedural rules that must be followed, which may ultimately determine whether your complaint will be heard. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Uninsured Employers Fined Extensively in 2015 in North Carolina

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Uninsured Employers Fined Extensively in 2015 in North Carolina

Charlotte, NC Attorney

According to an article by the Raleigh News and Observer, the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which has the responsibility to enforce the state’s workers’ compensation laws, targeted employers who failed to carry proper workers’ compensation insurance. According to the article, the agency collected nearly $1 million in civil fines from uninsured companies and charged 100 employers with misdemeanors for willingly going without coverage. If you were injured at work and are seeking to file a workers’ compensation claim in North or South Carolina, should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.

In North Carolina, any employer with three or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance at no cost to the workers. This applies to both full and part-time workers. Those employers who do not carry required insurance can be fined up to $100 a day for each day without coverage, and an additional fine equal to the injured workers’ medical bills and disability payments may also be assessed.

Increased Fraud Detection Capacity

According to the article, the Industrial Commission’s fraud detection has been made possible by software that combines data from several state agencies. For years, the Industrial Commission had apparently worked in a silo and was not receiving or sharing information with other departments responsible for ensuring that companies followed the law. However, it is now able to mine several databases to detect inconsistencies that suggests a problem with workers’ compensation coverage. This is a huge leap from its previous state before 2012, when the agency failed to ensure that the state’s employers carried proper coverage. Data from that time indicated that as many as 30,000 employers in the state who were required to purchase workers’ compensation did not do so. The commission is now trying to correct that problem. Last year, the agency investigated nearly 2,000 cases involving potential lack of coverage, and those efforts brought 800 companies into compliance. In the same year, it ruled that 71 workers were injured while working for employers without proper workers’ compensation insurance.

Investigations Last Year

During the last 18 months, investigators for the commission apparently visited business in six North Carolina counties that were suspected to have no workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The agency targeted these companies because they had a prior claim involving an injured workers, which is an indicator that the company knew or should have known that it had a duty to carry such insurance. After those investigations, the agency issued 100 charges, all misdemeanors, against the company owners. The charges were dismissed by prosecutors if the employer bought insurance and came to court to prove it.

Additionally, North Carolina’s governor issued an executive order placing the Commission in charge of coordinating how various state agencies respond to information about businesses that might be cheating. He charged each agency to enforce its rules and issue appropriate sanctions.

If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a compensable work injury, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you navigate the complex process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

 

 

 

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Aggressive Driving in North Carolina

Aggressive Driving in North Carolina

Charlotte, NC Attorney

Aggressive driving is often cited as the cause of many accidents on the road, and it includes a wide range of high-risk, reckless, and potentially dangerous driving behaviors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as something that occurs when a person commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property. There are various behaviors that, alone or together, are indicative of aggressive driving such as excessive and unnecessary honking, rude gestures, and yelling at other drivers, recklessly weaving in and out of lanes, cutting off other motorists, passing slow moving vehicles excessively, and running red lights or stop signs.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found by analyzing NHTSA data that as much as 56% of all accidents that occurred between 2003 and 2007 involved some form of aggressive driving. Additionally, as much as two-thirds of all traffic deaths could be linked to aggressive driving. The AAA found through a national telephone survey found nearly eight out of every 10 people surveyed rated aggressive drivers as a serious or extremely serious traffic safety problem. If you have been injured in a car accident because of the aggressive or reckless driving of another in North or South Carolina, you should consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.

North Carolina Reckless Driving Law

North Carolina is one of 15 states that have enacted legislation aimed at curbing aggressive driving. 11 of these states have adopted definitions of aggressive or reckless, including North Carolina. Under this statute, reckless driving is speeding and driving carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others or driving without due caution and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.

Aggressive Driving Instances in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) tracks data on contributing circumstances in car accidents across the state and publishes it in a report. This data provides a picture for the most common indicators of aggressive driving in North Carolina.

Speed was a factor in various circumstances, such as failure to reduce speed, exceeding safe speed for conditions, or exceeding the authorized speed limit. Speed was cited in 72,110 car accidents in North Carolina in 2014, including 428 fatal crashes and 40,816 injuries. The following are additional circumstances that may be counted as aggressive/reckless driving:

  • Failing to yield right of way or disregarding a yield sign was a contributing factor in 35,851 accidents that resulted in 135 fatal crashes and 13,712 injuries;
  • Following too closely was a factor in 5,101 accidents that resulted in one fatal crash and 1,559 injuries; and
  • Disregarding a stop sign was a factor in 3,337 accidents that resulted in 29 fatal crashes and 1,638 injuries.

Bice Law, LLC can help you seek compensation for your injuries caused by a car accident with an aggressive driver. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling our toll-free number at (855) 500-BICE or by submitting our online form. Consulting an attorney as early as possible may make an impact in the successful resolution of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us today.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Scaffolding Collapse

Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Scaffolding Collapse

Charlotte, NC Attorney

Last January, the families of three workers killed in a North Carolina scaffolding accident that occurred in March 2015 filed a wrongful death suit against four companies that were either involved in the project or supplied the scaffolding that failed in the accident. The three deceased workers men worked for a subcontractor that was helping to erect a $54 million office building adjacent to the Raleigh Convention Center and the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center. The families are unable to sue the subcontractor because, under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation statute, employers who provide for workers’ compensation coverage are insulated from lawsuits if they have not committed any intentional wrongdoing against their employees.

Alleged Negligence and Wrongful Death

Section 28A-18-2 of North Carolina Statutes defines wrongful death as death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” The statute states that a wrongful death claim is appropriate if, had the injured person lived, he or she would have been entitled to damages for their personal injuries. A wrongful death suit is similar to a personal injury suit but the injured person is no longer alive to seek civil remedies in court.

According to the wrongful death suit in this case, the general contractor on the worksite acted negligently in forcing the subcontractor to dismantle the scaffold quickly, so sections of it were being loaded onto the platform where the workers were standing. That platform had a maximum weight limit of 2,500 pounds. However, with the scaffolding equipment present on the platform, it was bearing 4,200 pounds at the time of the accident. Additionally, the scaffolding mast climber that goes up and down the side of a building to take workers to different floors was not properly anchored to the building. The lawsuit alleges that these two factors together caused the scaffolding to fall.

The plaintiffs also allege that the companies who provided the scaffolding equipment failed to provide proper training on how to install the equipment and how to operate the mast climber. The attorney representing the families stated that if the simple protocols involved in building, inspecting and operating the scaffold equipment were followed, this horrific construction accident would have been prevented.

Occupational Safety and Health Citations

Last September, three of the companies involved in the incident were fined for violating established safety standards. The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Division conducted an investigation and found that the scaffolding company committed three willful violations and one serious violation by loading more weight than the structure was designed to hold and did not have a trained person on-site to oversee operations and ensure that procedures were followed so a scaffolding collapse would be prevented. North Carolina OSH Division fined the company $152,000. Two other companies were apparently each fined $4,200 for other serious violations of the safety standards.

Bice Law, LLC, can help you seek compensation by filing a wrongful death suit on your behalf if your loved one died because of another person or company’s negligence in North or South Carolina. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling our toll-free number at (855) 500-BICE or by submitting our online form. Consulting an attorney as early as possible in your case can make difference, so do not hesitate to contact us today.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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South Carolina Daycare Sued for Wrongful Death

South Carolina Daycare Sued for Wrongful Death

Rock Hill, SC Lawyer

The parents of a deceased 2-year-old boy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a daycare provider in Greenwood, South Carolina, alleging that the facility was negligent in caring for their child. The toddler passed away due to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that resulted from an E. Coli infection. The state health department confirmed that there were seven cases of E.Coli at the daycare, The Learning Vine, LLC, and the facility decided to voluntarily close to cooperate with the investigation.

Negligence in Handling Illness

The lawsuit against The Learning Vine alleges that the daycare was negligent in responding to the first confirmed infection of E. Coli in the school — a preschool teacher. The teacher apparently returned to work at the center prematurely, and that several of the children began showing signs of infection shortly thereafter, including the deceased toddler. The suit states that the deceased child experienced recurring diarrhea for a couple of weeks. His parents brought him to the doctor initially when his condition showed no signs of improvement, but was sent home without treatment. They later took him to the emergency room, and four days after he was admitted, he was put on dialysis and a ventilator and eventually died.

According to the lawsuit, the school failed to notify the health department regarding the sick teacher until after the children showed infection symptoms and failed to inform parents regarding the teacher’s illness. The suit alleges that The Learning Vine failed to follow health guidelines and did not adequately disclose knowledge of the outbreak. The school’s negligence and lack of care, according to the suit, caused the child’s death.

The South Carolina health department conducted an on-site review of the facility and issued citations for twelve violations.The daycare apparently has a C rating in the state’s voluntary rating and improvement program, which meant that the facility met basic requirements, but garnered the lowest possible passing score.

Proving a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death suits are frequently brought by immediate family members on behalf of a deceased individual who died because of negligent or reckless conduct by another. These suits may be brought by a victim’s spouse, children, parents, grandchildren, or siblings. In cases where the deceased is a child, wrongful death suits are usually brought to recover for intangible damages that the parents suffered. These may include lost love and companionship, mental shock and suffering, and wounded feelings, grief and sorrow.

Additionally, punitive damages may be sought. These are not awarded to provide compensation to the family or estate, but are intended to punish the negligent party for the deliberate or reckless conduct that caused the death. In South Carolina, wrongful death suits must be filed within three years of the individual’s death.

If you believe that your loved one died because of another’s negligent or reckless actions, then you may be entitled to compensation. Bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is a complex process, and you should avail yourself of seasoned representation. The attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you bring a wrongful death suit and effectively advocate for your interests. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

 

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