Tips When You Have a Major Injury

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Charlotte NC Auto Accident Lawyer

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the most common type of accident is a car accident. Car accidents occur all the time and injuries may occur as a result. In some cases, a car accident may only be a minor fender bender, and the injuries may be minimal. Examples of those injuries are bumps, bruises, and a sore neck, which can usually heal, even in the absence of medical attention. Unfortunately, however, some car accidents are major and result in catastrophic injuries. If you experience a car wreck, the following tips can help you stay safe and ensure your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.

Remember to Remain Calm

When you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, you may have a rush of emotions. It is extremely important, however, to remain calm. Whether you sustain an injury or witness a severe injury, the way you act can have an effect on the way you and others deal with the situation.

Get to a Safe Location

It is also important that you get to a safe location where you are free from danger. Although you want to get to a safe location, however, do not leave the scene of the accident, as this could result in criminal penalties.

Assess the Situation

From your safe location, you must assess the situation. In assessing the situation, you should determine if there are any severe injuries and whether you can safely help any injured people. If you are unable to provide assistance due to your own injuries or for any other reason, the next thing you should remember to do is to call the police.

Call the Police

Calling the police is an absolute necessity. Law enforcement officials are trained to guide you through the situation and will ensure the safety of all parties involved.

Even if the accident or injuries are not severe, it is still important to call law enforcement officials. The police will be able to provide you with an accident report, which may be essential in any insurance claims or later litigation.

Take Detailed Notes and Photographs of the Accident

After you have assessed the situation and called the police, it is important to try to take detailed notes of the scene of the accident, getting names of any individuals who are involved or witnessed the car accident. If it is safe to do so, try to get photographs of the damage to the vehicles, injuries, surrounding areas, and anything you may think is relevant.

Seek Medical Attention

Immediately thereafter, seek medical attention. Whether you sustain minor or major injuries, it is important to seek medical attention because your injuries could worsen in the future. This will help increase your chances of being awarded compensation in an accident claim.

The Final Step: Contact an Attorney

Finally, if you are injured in a car accident, contact Bice Law by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or visit our website to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys will be able to remind you of all of the steps you must take after a car accident. They will also be able to maximize your recovery from a tortfeasor and your insurance company. Feel free to reach out to us today to begin working on your case immediately.

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Contributory Negligence vs. Comparative Fault: The Difference Between North and South Carolina

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Charlotte NC Auto Accident Lawyer

Accidents occur at an alarming rate throughout the country. There are also many variables in each accident making each of them unique. Some variations on accidents can include the party liable for the accident; the type of accident, whether the accident was caused by a motor vehicle or in another fashion; the type of injuries involved; the location of the accident; and numerous other variations. If the accident involves at least two parties, and one of the party’s actions accidentally injures the other party, the injured party may be able to recover damages from the negligent party. In the legal world, this is typically called a negligence cause of actions.

In order to successfully recover in a negligence cause of action, the injured party must prove several elements by a preponderance of evidence. Those elements are: duty, breach, causation, and damages. However, even if the injured party can prove the elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, the amount of money the injured party receives can be reduced.

North Carolina Contributory Negligence

North Carolina follows the strictest form of the contributory negligence doctrine created through common law case decisions. The contributory negligence doctrine states that a plaintiff may not recover if his/her own negligence caused any of his/her injuries. Sorrells v. M.Y.B. Hospitality Ventures. This means that if the injured party was at fault at all, he/she will not be able to recover their damages for the injuries he/she sustained. Only a few states still follow this doctrine, as it is seen as antiquated, and it is more difficult for plaintiffs to recover compensation under this system.

South Carolina Comparative Negligence

In contrast to the contributory negligence doctrine followed by North Carolina, South Carolina follows the comparative fault doctrine. Under the South Carolina modified comparative fault laws, if the injured party’s fault is greater than 25%, the injured party will not be allowed to be compensated for his/her injuries. However, if the injured party’s fault is less than fifty percent, the amount of damages awarded by the jury will be reduced by the injured party’s fault.

Example:

  • Damages: $100,000
  • Defendant’s Fault: 75%
  • Injured Party’s Fault: 25%
  • Calculation: 100,000 x .25 (25%) = 25,000
  • Total Damages Awarded to the Plaintiff = $75,000

 As the example above shows, the injured party was 25% at fault, and therefore that amount was deducted from the damages.

Contact an Attorney at Bice Law LLC

If you or a loved one is injured in North Carolina or South Carolina, to avoid further aggravation of injury, seek immediate medical attention and then contact an experienced personal injury attorney by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or online to schedule a free consultation. An experienced personal injury attorney at Bice Law, LLC knows the differing laws and will help you to understand the legal process during a difficult time. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions you may have regarding your possible lawsuit. Having a seasoned attorney on your side can provide comfort and a sense of understanding throughout the difficult legal process.

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What are Your Rights When You are Injured in a Car Accident?

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Charlotte NC Auto Accident Lawyer

A startling number of auto accidents resulting in injuries occur every year, leaving victims with temporary or permanent  disabilities. Statistics show that 110,406 people were injured in such mishaps in 2012 in North Carolina and more than 1,260 fatalities occurred in the region as a result of auto accidents in the same period. Clearly, it is not wise to believe that such mishaps ‘only happen to other people’. Learn what your rights are in such situations and know how to protect them.

Your right to compensation

The very first thing to know is that in North or South Carolina, you have a right to compensation if you are injured in an auto accident that occurred through no fault of your own. That means, if a speeding driver crashes into you or if he violates a red light causing an accident in which you are left injured, the law ensures that you are recompensed for the trauma you suffer.

What do the damages cover?

A common misconception is that damages recovered through a personal injury lawsuit will cover only the cost of treatment for injuries sustained in the mishap. The truth is that an accident causes far more than just physical or superficial injuries. As an auto accident victim you suffer mental agony, which may leave lasting physical and mental scars.

In many cases, your injuries could force you to stay away from work for a while, leading to loss of pay. Worse still, the injury could debilitate you to such an extent that your ability to work like before is permanently impaired or your quality of life is affected. For example, a watchmaker who sustains a head injury may suffer impaired vision that renders him unfit for his job. A personal injury claim typically compensates, at least in part, for all of these sufferings that the victim experiences because of the other driver’s negligence.

Should you take the insurance company’s settlement?

Most victims of auto accidents make the mistake of taking the settlement offered by the insurance company without further thought, but this is usually not the best option. The truth is that the insurer tries to minimize the cost to him by offering the lowest possible sum in exchange for your ‘no lawsuit’ acceptance. If you are contacted by the insurer as soon as the accident occurs, do not accept any of his terms verbally or in writing without talking to a experienced North/ South Carolina personal injury attorney. Keep in mind that you may actually be entitled to a much larger amount of compensation than the insurer is willing to offer.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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How to Protect your Rights as the Victim of an Auto Accident

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Charlotte NC Auto Accident Lawyer

Auto accidents may occur at anytime, anywhere and to anyone no matter how careful they are. If you have been the victim of such an unfortunate incident, it is important for you to take immediate steps so that your rights are fully protected. After all, an accident can cause significant mental anguish and physical pain to you and at times, the impact may last a  lifetime. Apart from all of these,  medical treatment for the injuries sustained can burn a good sized hole in your wallet too. By filing a personal injury suit against the person responsible for the accident you make sure that your costs are covered and that the perpetrator is deterred from irresponsible driving. Take a look at the following points you should keep in mind as soon as you have been  injured in an auto accident in North or South Carolina:

Inform the Police Immediately

Calling the cops is in your best interests as soon as you have been injured in an auto accident in North or South Carolina. This helps establish the accident and its impact on record, which may prove very useful when you have to state the facts during your personal injury lawsuit. State laws require that the driver who is involved in the accident should contact the police immediately if anyone has sustained injuries in the accident,  there has been a fatality or property damage exceeding $500 has taken place.

Get Evidence to Back Your Claim

If the driver of the car is clearly at fault for the accident then it is a good idea to gather evidence to back this claim at the scene of the mishap. Collect contact details from the witnesses who can state how the driver was responsible for the mistake, for example, how he ran a red light. If possible, get written statements from them. Take pictures of the accident scene with your phone to indicate how the driver was on the wrong side of the road or how the skid marks show his car had been out of control when it collided with you. These can be used at a later stage to back up your personal injury claim.

Collect the Errant Driver’s Insurance & Contact Details

To file a personal injury claim, you need to know the driver’s address, contact details etc and also about his insurance coverage. Typically, an exchange of information takes place right after the accident between both driver and victim. If this has not happened by the time the  police get to the scene of accident, they will ensure that the relevant information- identity, contact details, auto insurance information, are taken by both parties.

Making sure that you take the right action at the scene of the accident is important because it can help you strengthen your personal injury claim. This is especially true of accidents where the other driver’s irresponsibility has resulted in your injuries or where the accident occurred because he/ she ignored the traffic rules.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

 

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Are You a Distracted Driver? Take this Test!

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Charlotte NC Auto Accident Lawyer

With technology booming the majority of people on the roads have a cell phone. Many of us are guilty of texting and driving, whether it is quickly glancing at your phone when it beeps or sending messages for your entire car ride, it is a distraction. To test your ability to multitask while behind the wheel of your car, take the test in the link below, your results will surprise you!

Click here to see how distracted you are while driving: Interactive Driving Game

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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What to do After an Accident

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Charlotte NC Auto Accident Lawyer

If you’re involved in an automobile accident, you’re faced with a thousand questions and concerns about your physical well being and property damage. Here are some general guidelines for what to do after an automobile accident:

  1. Stay calm. Do not argue or yell with anyone at the scene.
  2. Do not move any vehicles until after the police arrive.
  3. Call the police; do not let anyone talk you out of it.
  4. Do not dismiss your injuries, some internal injuries don’t show up for days. Do not be too proud to ride in an ambulance to the hospital if police or paramedics suggest it. If there is any pain, seek follow-up treatment with a doctor.
  5. Note any other causes of the accident, such as road hazards, etc.
  6. If you have a camera in the car, take pictures of the scene and the vehicles (damage, defects, odd tags or bumper stickers, alcohol and drug containers, etc.)

Once the police arrive:

  1. Be pleasant, cooperative and truthful.
  2. Speak slowly and clearly in order to be understood.
  3. Do not make guesses about time, speed, and distance.
  4. Do not say it was your fault. That can be determined at a later date.
  5. If you smell alcohol on another driver’s breath, or saw a driver and passenger switch places after the accident, tell the police officer.
  6. Give the police officer and the other driver information about your auto insurance, but do not tell anyone that your insurance will pay damages for anyone.
  7. Promptly notify your own automobile insurance company and contact my office to discuss your legal options.
  8. If you get a ticket, don’t argue with the officer. You must sign it to acknowledge receipt.
  9. From the other driver’s license, copy the name, address, license number and date of birth. Write down the tag number. If a large truck is involved, also copy everything that is written on the side of the truck.
  10. Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company until you talk to me.
  11. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer at Bice Law before you sign anything, give written or tape recorded statements, go to traffic court, or settle with a claims adjuster.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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Complacency is Dangerous

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Fort Mill SC Auto Accident Lawyer

You can’t decide what other people do on the road. That’s something you figure out the first time you see some crazy, irrational move that puts you and your passengers in danger and kicks in the road rage. The fact is, there are a lot of dangerous situations you face behind the wheel that you simply can’t control.

Defensive driving is about what you can control. The things you can do as a skillful, responsible driver to mitigate the risk posed by people who don’t seem to value their lives quite as highly as you do. These are techniques meant to keep you out of harm’s way, so that you can avoid accidents  before they become  inevitable.

Remember, being in the right doesn’t undo an accident. So here’s how to be better than right:

  1. Watch the other cars and drivers: Good driving is fundamentally about situational awareness. You need to know what’s going on around you – and not just where to stop and where to turn. You should be noticing everything that could affect your ride, including the behavior of other drivers. Is that Volvo weaving a little? Make a mental note and keep your distance. Is the pickup truck going too fast? Move out of the way and let him get to his ticket on time. Is that old Lexus moving very slowly? Don’t dart around them too quickly, the driver’s reaction time might be low. Predicting how drivers will behave seems tricky at first, but in practice you can tell quite a lot from very little. The guy tailgating you in a red corvette, for instance, might just be the kind to try to pass you on the right.
  2. Move in a smooth, predictable way: Even if you’re executing a legal maneuver, give the other drivers more than enough time to deal with the change. They may be distracted, with a phone or a daydream, and could easily miss a subtle cue. So don’t make it subtle: signal, move evenly, and do your best to telegraph where you’re headed and when. Sharp, sudden accelerations may be fine for you, but the other drivers aren’t in your head, and they may be far too deep into theirs. Don’t give them a chance to make a mistake, because it’s a mistake that will affect you.
  3. Don’t cut corners: Don’t cut any corners while driving, like not signaling or rolling through stop signs. These are the kinds of bad habits that lead inexorably to worse incidents. You need to stay sharp as a driver. Being lulled into a false sense of security because you do it so often is almost as bad as being inexperienced. Don’t take your skills or your safety for granted. It only takes one accident to change everything, and since you’ll be driving a long time, complacency is not your friend.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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Using a Cell Phone After an Accident

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Fort Mill SC Auto Accident Lawyer

A cell phone camera can be essential if you’ve been in an accident. Whether it’s an automobile accident, bicycle accident  or a pedestrian accident, your cell phone camera can make it easy to document your accident when you take these important steps.

You should always  call 911 and request a police officer respond to the scene. Even if the police do respond to the scene, I recommend obtaining the following information yourself. If you do not have a pen and paper, use your cell phone camera to easily capture this important information.

  • The name of the insurance company and policy number for each vehicle involved. Each insurance company has a different format so to make sure you get all the essential information, snap a photo of the insurance certificate.
  • The license numbers for each automobile- snap a photo of each automobile license plate.
  • Take photos of the vehicles involved and the positions on the street before you move any vehicles.
  • Take photos of the damage to all vehicles. Many times people think they only need to get the photo of their own vehicle’s damage. The forensic evidence of the photos of all vehicles can be significant especially if the need for accident reconstruction arises later.
  • If a police officer does arrive at the scene, the name of the officer, badge # and the NCIC number for the report. This will allow you to follow-up later with the police department to obtain a copy of the completed report. In this case I do not recommend taking a photo of the police officer- but they often times will provide a written receipt with this information to all parties involved. You can snap a photo of this so that all your information is saved in one place and won’t get misplaced.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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How to Handle a Rear-End Collision

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Fort Mill SC Auto Accident Lawyer

Rear-end crashes cause significantly more minor-to-moderate injuries than other types of car accidents. Each year nearly 3 million people sustain a whiplash injury. About 10% are permanently disabled. About half are left with some chronic problems.

Even though strains, sprains, disc injuries, contusions, fractures, mild head injuries, and other soft-tissue injuries are not fatal or permanent, they are often painful and debilitating. They put people off work and inhibit them from doing daily activities, often for substantial periods of time. So it makes sense to do whatever you can to lower the risk of injury in a rear-end collision.

Seating position is the next most important injury prevention factor. Most drivers are unaware of the on-coming collision and are unprepared for the crash. If they become aware, they may turn the head or brace incorrectly, increasing the likelihood of a more severe injury in the moments before impact occurs. If you are about to be hit from the rear, these tips may help keep you safe or lower your risk for injuries:

  • Sit back against the seat and head restraint;
  • Look straight ahead;
  • Shrug your shoulders slightly to limit neck movement;
  • Brake firmly if already stopped; and
  • Place your hands flat against the steering wheel if in the driver’s seat.
Studies show that only about 25% of automobile head restraints are adjusted correctly to prevent whiplash injury. The head restrain should be positioned as close to the head as possible, level with the top of the head. This is the most important way to prevent head and neck injury in a rear-end impact.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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South Carolina Child Safety Restraint Laws

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Rock Hill SC Auto Accident Lawyer

Across the country, three children under the age of 13 die each day in auto accidents, according to federal government statistics. This sobering data is even more saddening when you consider that many of the deaths could be avoided by the proper use of child safety seats.

Children are at a much greater risk for death or serious injury when they ride unrestrained, or in the wrong type of restraint, or a restraint that is installed improperly. More than half of the children killed in auto accidents are totally unrestrained, according to government statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that child safety seats used in passenger cars reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.

South Carolina’s child passenger restraint law requires that:

  • Children from birth to 1 year old, or who weigh less than 20 pounds, must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Children 1 through 5 years old weighing at least 20 pounds and less than 40 pounds must be restrained in a forward-facing child seat.
  • Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 40 to 80 pounds must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat.
  • Children under the age of 6 are not required to be in booster seats if they weigh more than 80 pounds or if they can sit with their backs against the car’s seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching.
  • Children under 6 may not sit in the front passenger seat. However, this restriction does not apply if the vehicle has no rear passenger seats or if all other rear passenger seats are occupied by children less than 6 years old.

Violators are subject to a $150 fine. This law does not apply to taxis, church, school and day care buses, or commercial vehicles.

Given the safety risks, the South Carolina legal requirement for child safety seats should be seen as the minimum standard.

  • Child safety specialists have the following safety tips for protecting your child:
  • Always choose a car safety seat based on your child’s age, height and weight, and follow the car seat manufacturer’s installation instructions;
  • Use a rear-facing infant seat in the rear passenger area from birth to 12 months, or as long as your child is within the height and weight limits of the seat;
  • When your child outgrows the infant seat, install a forward-facing child safety seat in the rear passenger area and continue to use the seat until they outgrow it;
  • Switch to a booster seat in the rear passenger area when your child outgrows the child safety seat, otherwise the adult seat belt may not fit properly;
  • Continue using a rear passenger booster seat, even up to age 12, until your child is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly, which should lie snug across the chest without crossing his or her neck or face, and snug across the upper thighs.

Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed.  We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.

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