Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents

Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

Accidents involving vehicles are plentiful throughout the nation, but drivers and passengers are not the only victims of car accidents. According a report conducted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (NCDOT), pedestrians and bicyclists are increasingly victims of negligent drivers in North Carolina.

North Carolina Pedestrian Statistics

The NCDOT report states that in 2009, North Carolina ranked 12th in pedestrian fatalities in the nation. The report also states that most accidents involving pedestrians involve people in the age range of 16-25 years old. Crashes also tend to occur in “non-roadway locations” such as parking lots and driveways as well. As a pedestrian, you usually have the right of way. However, as a pedestrian, you can reduce the probability of being involved in an accident by paying attention to your surroundings.

North Carolina Cyclist Accident Statistics

The NCDOT report continues with statistics regarding accidents involving cyclists. The report states that the age range that is most affected by cyclist accidents are 11-15 year olds, which made up 18% of all cyclist crashes. The report also states that most cyclist crashes occurred in residential or commercial areas where posted speed limits are between 30‐35 MPH. As a cyclist, there are some precautions that you can take in order to reduce the probability of being involved in a car accident while cycling, such as walking your bicycle in crowded areas and parking lots. Furthermore, wearing a helmet will reduce the injuries you sustain if you are involved in a car accident.

Pedestrians And Bicyclists Need Protection Too

With the numerous ways in which you can be injured as a pedestrian or cyclist, there are several things to remember. First, be attentive to drivers when walking or cycling. Although the drivers are supposed to be paying close attention, they may be focusing on the road and are not always watching out for the pedestrian or bicyclist. Second, cross streets at designated crosswalks and even if you have the right to cross, still look both ways for drivers that may not be paying attention to avoid an accident. When riding a bicycle, wear a helmet. A helmet can reduce the risk of serious brain trauma or death, especially when struck by a car.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

If you or a loved one has the unfortunate luck to be struck by a car while walking or cycling, seek medical attention immediately. If, due to the car accident, you have incurred significant and continuing medical bills, you should speak with an experienced attorney at Bice Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our attorneys will assist you in handling your difficult situation and will be able to understand the potential courses of action that you have as a North Carolina accident victim. An experienced attorney at Bice Law, LLC will be there throughout the entire ordeal and help you to choose the legal plan of action that best suits the needs of you and your family. To discuss the facts of your case with us, click here or call (855) 5-BICE-LAW.

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First Trimester Genetic Testing Gone Wrong

Rock Hill SC Birth Injury Lawyer

Pregnancy can include a multitude of experiences. It is remarkable, emotional, delightful and frightening. There is a host of occurrences that can go wrong for both the expectant mother and the child. Because of the possible complications involved in pregnancy, doctors must perform many different tests throughout. Available to the expectant mother is genetic testing which can identify risks of any abnormalities. However, these genetic tests can misidentify a condition or a doctor may make a mistake regarding the results of such a test. These mistakes can lead to the birth of a child who may have mental and physical handicaps. Doctors responsible for genetic testing may be responsible for a lack of informing the prospective parents. Parents can bring suit on behalf of child for their doctor’s misinformation or misidentification. This is called a “wrongful birth” action. However, in some states, a child must bring suit for injuries resulting from the doctor’s misinformation. This is called a “wrongful life” suit. But what is the difference between the two?

What is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit?

A wrongful birth action is brought by the parent of a child born with an impairment or birth defect. The parents assert that the doctors in charge of genetic testing or informing the parents of the risks of continuing a pregnancy were negligent in performing their duties. In turn, the doctor’s negligence deprived the parents of the right to make a timely decision regarding whether to terminate a pregnancy because of the likelihood their child would be born physically or mentally impaired. The birth defect itself was not the cause of the doctor’s actions, however, the doctor did not fully inform the prospective parents of the risks associated with continuing the pregnancy. See Willis v. Wu

 Wrongful Life Lawsuit: What’s the Difference?

A “wrongful life” action is a bit different from a wrongful birth action. A wrongful life action is brought by or on behalf of the child himself. The child asserts that the doctor’s negligence led to his or her parents’ misinformed decision either to conceive him or to terminate the pregnancy. The child is asserting that without the parents having all of the facts and risks provided to them, they could not have made an educated decision, and he or she should not have been born.

Contact an Attorney at Bice Law LLC

If you or a loved one is a parent of a child with special needs in North Carolina or South Carolina, contact an experienced 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 relevant laws regarding wrongful birth and wrongful life and will help you to understand the legal process during a difficult time. Our legal professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions you may have regarding your possible lawsuit. We are prepared to help you in any way that we can.

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Medical Malpractice: Did Your Doctor Injure Your Child During Birth?

Charlotte NC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Injuries to a newborn baby that occur during delivery can affect both the child and the parent for their entire lives. Injuries to the child vary in severity and can consist of minor injuries, injuries that can lead to disabilities in cognitive development in the child, or can even lead to the death of the child. According to a study performed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the most common and preventable injuries that occur during childbirth are broken collarbones, infections, and head injuries. The AHRQ study states that every 2.29 births out of 1,000 results in a physical injury to the newborn that would have been prevented had the delivering doctor followed correct procedure.

Proving Your Doctor’s Negligent Delivery-Room Actions

If your child has sustained an injury due to the doctor’s negligence in the delivery room, his or her actions would be considered “medical malpractice.” Medical malpractice cases are civil actions called “torts.” Every tort has the following four elements:

Duty

In most medical malpractice cases, the existence of a duty is the simplest element to prove because the doctor is treating the patient. In a medical malpractice case, the doctor owes a duty of care to the mother, the unborn child, and the father because the doctor’s actions will affect each of the three parties.

Breach of Duty

Once a duty of care is owed, the doctor’s actions must conform to the skill reasonably expected under similar circumstances. This means that the delivering doctor must act with the same level of care as other doctors would in his or her position. It is usually a jury’s job to determine whether the delivering doctor breached his or her duty by straying from appropriate procedure.

Causation

Usually, if the doctor’s negligence was the cause of the harm to the patient, the causation element will be satisfied. However, there are many considerations which each case must inspect in order to determine whether the doctor’s acts were the cause of the injury. An example of such is whether the doctor was acting in response to a medical emergency.

Damages

The final element that must be shown is that as a result of the doctor’s negligent actions, the plaintiff or plaintiffs suffered damages. Damages can differ depending on many different circumstances such as the party and whether the numbers are easily calculable. For example, an easily identifiable damage would be past medical bills. On the contrary, it may be difficult to determine pain, suffering, and loss of earning potential of an injured newborn.

Contact an Attorney at Bice Law LLC

If you or a loved one is injured in North Carolina or South Carolina as a result of a doctor’s seemingly negligent actions, 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 laws pertaining to medical malpractice 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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Contributory Negligence vs. Comparative Fault: The Difference Between North and South Carolina

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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Quick Facts on Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Rock Hill SC Large Truck / Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer

Cars and large trucks share thousands of miles in roadway on South Carolina’s highways. The danger from fully loaded heavy tractor trailers weighing over 80,000 pounds is real. Tractor trailer drivers are obliged to follow specific driving rules and regulations that ensure their safety as well as those of other vehicles on the road with them.

What are the prime factors behind tractor trailer accidents?

– There are inherent risks involved in manning large vehicles on state highways. Drivers have to contend with large blind spots, make turns carefully given the vehicle’s size and weight, and watch the brakes at all times due to the larger stopping distances.

– Driver fatigue is a common cause of accidents. Drivers may exceed the number of hours permissible for driving within a 24-hour window and when weariness creeps in, pose a serious hazard.

– An examination of log books and odometer readings can reveal discrepancies in hours driven. An assessment of the driver’s mental and physical condition at the time of the accident can offer clues into the incident. The trucking company’s policies and the driver’s safety records can also help understand the reasons behind the accident.

– Overloading and off-set loads can cause collisions. In such cases, negligence must be proven. The fault can be attributed to the tractor trailer, and not the driver in instances when the vehicle’s lighting is claimed to have affected visibility and consequently contributed to the accident.

A personal injury attorney will investigate all pertinent details to develop a strong case for you, the plaintiff.

What kind of compensation can you expect for tractor trailer accidents?

The compensation amount will depend on several factors, and on the nature of your case.  The extent of damage you suffer, damage to your car, loss in wages and medical bills are some key aspects that will determine the final compensation you are awarded. When you have a strong case and an aggressive attorney representing you, the compensation can be significant. It is not unusual to see trucking companies pay in excess of a million dollars for tractor trailer accidents that have resulted in debilitating consequences for the affected party.

Trucking accident defense

The defense attorney representing the trucking company will investigate if accident victims have full or partial liability. They will also look into factor like the road condition that may have contributed to the accident and pursue individual(s) responsible for the same.

Contact the Large Truck / Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered a serious injury in a truck accident, contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North Carolina and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  large truck / tractor trailer accident attorneyWe serve families across both North and South Carolina.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

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North Carolina Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer 

For many people involved in an accident that results in injury to the victim or the victims property, it is often a difficult decision whether or not to file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer. The legal process can be time consuming, confusing, and to some, frightening. However, if you have been involved in an accident that results in injury to your person or property, such as a car accident, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The decision to seek timely legal advice is very important due to North Carolinas statute of limitations.

The Importance of Seeking Timely Legal Advice

North Carolina General Statute § 1-52(16) is North Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury. It states that lawsuits for compensation arising out of injuries to one’s person or property must be brought within three years after the injury becomes apparent or should reasonably have become apparent to the victim. This statute is important because it means that an injured person has three years to file a lawsuit against whomever is liable. This statute essentially acts as a deadline. If the three-year deadline passes, then the victim will be “barred” from filing a lawsuit. Being “barred” from filing a lawsuit means that the victim will no longer be legally allowed to file a lawsuit and the victim will have no possibility to recover damages caused by the wrongdoer.

Differing Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitations also vary depending on several factors. Statutes of limitations differ in length from state to state. For example, the statute of limitation in New Jersey, Ohio, and many other states forpersonal injury is two years rather than the three provided by North Carolina. Furthermore, the statutes of limitations in North Carolina vary depending on the type of injury. An example of such is North Carolina’s wrongful death statute, which provides two years for the family of decedents to file a civil suit. Finally, the statute of limitations can differ depending on the identity of the wrongdoer, such as if the liable individual was associated with a government entity. Due to the varying statutes of limitations, it is very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Contact an Attorney at Bice Law LLC

If you or a loved one has been injured in North Carolina or South Carolina, 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 Bice Law personal injury attorney knows the laws and will help you to understand the legal process during a difficult time. A Bice Law attorney is 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. Don’t hesitate or wait too long, because you never know when the statute of limitation on your possible case will run.

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Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice in North Carolina?

Charlotte NC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When a negligent medical practitioner in North Carolina has caused you an injury you have the right to file a personal injury suit. It is necessary to establish that substandard care was provided to you, which resulted in your injury. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in North Carolina can help you gather the right kind of evidence and data to strengthen your personal injury claim so that you get your rightful compensation.

Is only my doctor liable to pay for medical negligence?

Fortunately, North Carolina medical malpractice law covers more than just your doctor in cases where negligence or use of substandard practices have caused an injury to the patient. After all, there is a possibility that such injury may occur at any stage of the treatment process. Under prevailing law, any health care provider can be sued for medical malpractice. That includes an individual or an entity, such as a hospital, clinic, hospice and other medical care facilities. In addition, other health care providers apart from doctors, that is, nurses and midwives, can also be sued for damages if the care they have provided is inappropriate, or insufficient, and has resulted in injuries to the patient.

How much compensation can you claim?

Injuries caused by the negligent behavior of medical professionals can lead to some very serious consequences that may have a life-long impact. Given this possibility, the law places no limits on the amount that can be claimed as compensation in a medical malpractice suit. It depends on the kind of injury inflicted and the degree to which the practitioner’s negligence played a role in the patient’s injury. In addition, the impact of the injury on the patient is also taken into consideration. For example, a permanent disability arising out of medical malpractice may result in a far higher sum being awarded as damages as compared to a minor injury.

In North Carolina, the punitive damage that can be claimed in such cases is restricted by law. These damages are awarded when it can be proved that the health care provider caused the injury deliberately, with malicious intent. Punitive damages cannot amount to more than three times the actual damages awarded. A further provision ensures that a minimum of $250,000 is awarded to the plaintiff (i.e.: if the three times rule results in punitive damages lower than this sum).

Contact the Medical Malpractice Law Firm of Bice Law

If you believe you have suffered injury or harm due to medical malpractice, take the first step to protect your legal rights contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.   We serve families across both North Carolina 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 medical malpractice attorney.

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Why Are Trailer Truck Accidents Different from Others?

Rock Hill SC Large Truck / Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer

Any kind of auto accident can result in serious injury, but when your car collides with a trailer truck, the chances of escaping with minor scrapes is reduced even further. Given their massive size, weight and the difficulty in maneuvering them, trailer trucks can be described as some of the most dangerous vehicles on road. That also means accidents involving these behemoths can be quite different from other kinds of auto mishaps.

If you have been the unfortunate victim of a collision with a trailer truck in North Carolina or South Carolina, it is best to seek the help of an experienced truck accident/ personal injury attorney immediately and here are some reasons why:

  • Truck companies try to avoid paying compensation by resorting to various tactics and to deal with such a situation and get your compensation you need expert help.
  • Often, truck drivers work long hours exceeding the legal limit. A driver who has been driving without break for too many hours at a stretch is a risk to himself and others. To cover up the fact that he has been violating the law in this respect, the driver may produce fake log books. An experienced legal professional knows how to spot this kind of a cover up.
  • Many trailer truck accidents occur because drivers are not properly trained to handle the huge mass and size of the vehicle. To escape from their liability in case of an accident, the trucking company may stonewall efforts to determine the driver’s qualifications and skills. Your attorney will know exactly whom to approach and what to do to get this information.
  • Excessive loading is a major cause of trailer truck accidents and pinning the blame for this on the trucking company is a challenging task unless you have an experienced truck accident lawyer by your side.

 As a victim of an accident with a trailer truck in North Carolina or South Carolina, chances are you are already dealing with sufficient mental and physical trauma. Avoid adding to the stress of the situation by taking on the process of filing a claim against the truck company on your own. An experienced personal injury attorney who has dealt with similar auto accident cases before knows the various tricks that the company may employ to avoid paying compensation. He/ she can ensure that all these avenues are blocked so that you claim damages that are rightfully yours.

Contact the Large Truck / Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered a serious injury in a truck accident, contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North Carolina and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  large truck / tractor trailer accident attorneyWe serve families across both North and South Carolina.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

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These Medical Malpractice Cases Will Shock You

Charlotte NC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) states that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the country. Medical malpractice payouts amount to billions of dollars each year. A malpractice claim is said to exist when a healthcare provider deviates from the normal standard of care in treating a patient. Unfortunately, the extent of malpractice is quite shocking, and reflects poorly on the medical community that we respect and depend on. Here are three shocking real-life medical malpractice lawsuits that made headlines.

1. Sherman Sizemore Anesthesia Awareness Case

This lawsuit may sound like it’s right out of a Robin Cook medical thriller. Sherman Sizemore, a 73-year old baptist minister from West Virginia had the horrifying experience of being conscious during a surgery investigating his persistent abdominal pain. The anesthesiologists did not administer the general anesthetic that would have rendered him unconscious after the surgery. Such was the trauma experienced by Sizemore that he committed suicide two weeks after the surgery. Family members revealed that he was troubled by nightmares and developed a fear that people were trying to bury him alive.

Anesthesia awareness affects anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 Americans each year. The phenomenon is characterized by wakefulness during surgery (feeling pain, discomfort and stress of surgery) but without the ability to speak or move.

2. Gross patient negligence at Brooklyn Hospital

On June 19, 2008 49-year old Esmin Green died an undignified death in the waiting room of Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York. Green had been sitting for almost 24 hours in the waiting room before she collapsed on the floor and passed away. Disturbingly, none of the hospital staff attended to her as she lay on the floor, and it’s only 30 minutes after she fell silent that a nurse examined her. Green’s death had been caused by pulmonary thromboemboli, a sudden blockage of the lung artery due to a blood clot elsewhere in the body. Patients suffering from this condition are advised not to sit for long hours to prevent clots from forming. Had the doctors at Kings County noticed her swollen legs and administered careful care, she would have been alive.

3. Sperm mix-up

In 2007, a New York couple was granted a claim for ‘wrongful conception’ after filing a negligent lawsuit against in-vitro fertilization clinic New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine. Nancy Andrews was impregnated with sperm from a total stranger by the clinic’s embryologist. The daughter born to the white couple had a distinct African American skin tone, which aroused suspicion that their genetic material had been inappropriately used for others.

Contact the Medical Malpractice Law Firm of Bice Law

If you believe you have suffered injury or harm due to medical malpractice, take the first step to protect your legal rights contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.   We serve families across both North Carolina 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 medical malpractice attorney.

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