Carolina Accident Lawyers

The Insurance Company is NOT on Your Side after a Car Accident

The Insurance Company is NOT on Your Side after a Car Accident

White car that was involved in a serious collision.

If you are the victim of a serious car accident, you will quickly realize that the insurance company is not on your side. The unfortunate reality is that the insurance company, along with its adjusters and lawyers, will do everything possible to undermine your case and minimize its value.

From a business perspective, this makes complete sense. The insurance company wants to limit its monetary exposure to the greatest extent possible. One way that it does so is by significantly limiting personal injury payouts.

The experienced car accident lawyers at Bice Law understand that insurance companies are never interested in doing the right thing after a serious car accident. Our legal team can review the facts of your accident with you and help you decide on the best strategy for maximizing your case’s value, forcing the insurance company to pay you what you deserve.

Recorded Statements

One way that the insurance company may try to undermine your case is by requesting a recorded statement from you. Accident victims are not required to provide a recorded statement, contrary to what an adjuster may tell you.

You should never agree to provide a recorded statement to another insurance company following your car accident. These recorded statements serve no purpose other than to potentially gather information which the insurance company can later use against you. You should avoid them at all costs and call an attorney.

Initial Settlement Offers

Following some car accidents, the insurance company will put an extremely low settlement offer on the table, hoping that you will accept it. When it comes to low settlement offers, the insurance company only has its own interests at heart. Adjusters are hoping that you will accept the low offer so that they can dispose of your accident case quickly and remove your file from their desk.

You should never accept an initial settlement offer that an insurance adjuster puts on the table, as there is almost always additional money that can be negotiated.

 Settlement Negotiations

Even during additional settlement negotiations, many insurance companies will continue to fight you. In an effort to avoid paying settlement money on your case, they may allege any of the following:

  • That you suffer from preexisting injuries or medical conditions
  • That you were injured in a prior or subsequent accident
  • That your injuries were not all that serious
  • That you did not suffer any permanent injuries
  • That you did not treat immediately after your accident or that there are large gaps in your medical treatment

An experienced Carolina car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and highlight all of the positive aspects of your case.

Call a Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today

When the insurance company is fighting you every step of the way, the experienced car accident lawyers at Bice Law can help during settlement negotiations and throughout litigation.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Carolina car accident lawyer, please call us today at 704-243-8778 (North Carolina) or 803-639-8777 (South Carolina), or contact us online.

Share this article on Social Media!

How Insurance Companies Try to Minimize Settlement Payouts

Blue car with dents and smashed headlightIf you are involved in a serious car accident, chances are you are suffering from injuries and receiving medical treatment. However, when it comes to compensating you, insurance companies are not interested in paying you top dollar for your case. Instead, they are only interested in saving themselves money and keeping as much of it in-house as possible.

In an effort to resolve some car accident cases, the insurance company will offer the accident victim just enough money to make the case go away. It may even be necessary to send a draft lawsuit to the insurance company’s adjuster – or actually file the lawsuit – in order for the insurance company to take the car accident case seriously.

At Bice Law, our experienced legal team understands that insurance companies are not out to help you following a car accident. We are also aware of the common arguments insurance adjusters make in order to avoid paying you the money you deserve. Our attorneys are fully to prepared to negotiate aggressively on your behalf and take the necessary legal steps to maximize your recovery.

Preexisting Injuries

In car accident cases, many insurance companies will try and turn preexisting injuries against you. Specifically, adjusters may argue that your preexisting injury or degenerative condition is the actual cause of your pain and suffering – not the car accident you were involved in.

A Carolina car accident lawyer can turn that argument around. He or she can allege that although you may suffer from a preexisting medical condition or injury, the car accident exacerbated your condition, making it significantly worse.

Gaps in Treatment

If you have significant gaps in your medical treatment following a car accident, insurance adjusters will likely bring that up during settlement negotiations. The adjuster may argue, for example, that given these gaps you were not injured to the extent you are claiming.

In many instances, however, there are justifiable reasons for delaying or resuming medical treatment. Those instances can include:

  • Lack of health insurance coverage
  • Belief that the current medical or physical therapy regimen is not helping

Prior and Subsequent Car Accidents

If you have been involved in a prior or subsequent car accident, the insurance company may try and use those to explain away your current symptoms or injuries. However, just because you were involved in a prior or subsequent accident does not mean that you were not injured in the current accident.

In the case of prior accidents, minor injuries can resolve quickly. Therefore, you may have been asymptomatic during the time immediately preceding your current accident.

Call a Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today

If the insurance company is trying to lowball the settlement value of your case, you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. The skilled attorneys at Bice Law can advocate for your right to reasonable and fair compensation.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Carolina car accident lawyer, please call us today at 704-243-8778 (North Carolina) or 803-639-8777 (South Carolina), or contact us online.

Share this article on Social Media!

Four Things to Do after a South Carolina Car Accident

White car that was involved in a serious collision.

When you’re involved in a car accident caused by someone else, it’s often difficult to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately, the things that you say and do in the days and weeks after a serious crash can have an impact on how much you ultimately recover from the insurance company. Here are four things you can to do to protect your rights in the aftermath of a wreck. For more information, call Bice Law today to schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina car accident attorney.

Collect Information

If you’re able to do so, you should collect information about the way in which your accident occurred. Of course, never refuse medical treatment or ignore your injuries in order to do any of the following. Take pictures of the aftermath of the accident, and document things like:

  • The other driver’s name and insurance information
  • Any road conditions that you think may have contributed to the crash
  • Any damage to the other vehicle that may have existed before the accident
  • Contact information from eyewitnesses

See a Doctor, and Fully Engage in Medical Treatment

You should always see a doctor for a full medical evaluation after an accident, even you were cleared to go home by emergency medical personnel or you do not think that your injuries are that serious. In order to obtain compensation from an insurance company, you need to be able to provide documentation of your injuries – which is much, much easier when you have an official medical record. In addition, follow all of your doctor’s recommendations regarding follow-up care and treatment. If you don’t, you can give the insurance company an opportunity to argue that you are not as hurt as you claim to be.

Do NOT Accept a Settlement without Talking to a Lawyer

One tactic (of many) that insurance companies use to limit their liability is to offer victims a lowball settlement offer before they get a chance to talk to a lawyer. NEVER accept an offer before speaking with an attorney – as once you accept one, it’s nearly impossible to recover more compensation.

Call an Attorney as Soon as You Can after an Accident

Finally, you should call a lawyer as soon as you can after you’ve been injured in a car wreck. If you wait, you risk the loss or destruction of evidence critical to the success of your case. In addition, the sooner you’re represented by counsel, the sooner you can start focusing on the most critical part of the aftermath of an accident – your emotional and physical healing.

Call Bice Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer in South Carolina

A serious car accident can leave victims with substantial losses, including medical bills, lost income, lost quality of life, and significant physical and emotional pain and suffering.  At Bice Law, we are dedicated to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve and are will never back down to large insurance companies. To schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Justin Bice, call our office today at 803-639-8777 or contact us online.

Share this article on Social Media!

Multi-Vehicle Crashes Can Bring Up Complex Legal Issues

Blue car with dents and smashed headlightMany traffic accidents involve one car that collides with another car, and identifying the at-fault driver is relatively straightforward. However, some accidents involve multiple vehicles of different types, causing injuries to many motorists. In these cases, several parties may be to blame and may be liable for injuries to others. Determining liability in multi-vehicle crashes can be a complicated endeavor, and it is critical for any injured accident victims to discuss their rights with a skilled North Carolina personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Five-Vehicle Crash in North Charleston

Last month, a chain reaction crash occurred on I-26 in North Charleston, injuring three people and tragically killing one driver. As eastbound traffic slowed due to congestion, an Audi SUV, a pickup truck, and two tractor-trailers all collided. One semi-truck and the SUV then caught fire. A fifth vehicle was already pulled over on the shoulder and debris flew from the crash and hit that car.

Emergency personnel pronounced the driver of the SUV dead at the scene of the crash. At least two other people rode in ambulances to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. Reports do not indicate what caused the crash, only that authorities were investigating.

Who is Liable for Your Injuries?

If another party acted negligently and caused a crash, that party should be liable for your medical expenses and other accident-related losses. Such losses can be extensive and may include:

  • Past and future medical treatment costs
  • Past and future lost income
  • Permanent injuries or disabilities
  • Permanent impairment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Negligence occurs when a party breaches a duty of care, such as the duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner, and causes harm to others. Drivers can be negligent in many different ways that may lead to multi-vehicle crashes, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Road rage and aggressive driving
  • Speeding
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Dangerous passing
  • Drowsy driving
  • Violating any other traffic laws
  • For truck drivers, violating any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations

In multi-vehicle accidents, it is common for more than one driver to be negligent. For example, one driver may be intoxicated and may run a red light. A driver heading through the intersection may be texting and may not notice the drunk driver quickly enough to prevent a collision. The collision then sends the distracted driver’s vehicle crashing into another vehicle in the intersection. While it is always illegal and dangerous to drive drunk, the texting driver also violated the law and acted negligently. Therefore, under a doctrine known as joint and several liability, both drivers may be held liable for damages if someone in the third car sustained serious injuries.

Contact Our North and South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today

The above is only one example of how complex claims arising from multi-car accidents can be. Every accident is unique and an experienced you should always have an experienced personal injury lawyer evaluate your rights and options. Bice Law LLC represents injured clients throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Please do not hesitate to call (855) 500-BICE or provide information about your situation via our online contact form.

Share this article on Social Media!

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.

Share this article on Social Media!

Preventing Accidents for Older Drivers

Preventing Accidents for Older Drivers

 Fort Mill, SC Personal Injury Attorney

South Carolina has been experiencing a slight decline in the percentage of older-driver-involved highway accident fatalities. These drivers are 65 years old and above. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in its 2016 Highway Safety Plan, there were 132 older-driver-involved deaths in South Carolina in 2009, decreasing to 115 fatalities in 2010, before increasing by 7 to 122 in 2011, and increasing to 133 in 2012. Over that four-year period, the number of fatalities in this category of drivers decreased by 1.20% compared to the prior four-year average. However, throughout the 2009-2013 period, those ages 45-54 constituted the plurality of pedestrian fatalities at 23%, followed by those ages 55-64 at 15%. Older persons aged 65 and above constitute 13.2% of the pedestrian fatalities in South Carolina.

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in North or South Carolina and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. You should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.

Older Drivers and Accident Risks

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,560 people 65 and older killed and 214,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents nationwide in 2012.  Although many older drivers may continue to drive safely for years, aging can bring about diminished eyesight and reflexes that may take a dangerous toll on a person’s ability to operate a vehicle. The negative effects of deteriorating vision begin at around 40 years old and affect almost everyone at age 51. Accident crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that older drivers are involved in more accidents per mile traveled than any other age group except younger drivers (30 years of age and under). Drivers who are 70 to 74 years of age are almost twice as likely to be in a fatal car accident per mile traveled than drivers who are between 35 and 69 years old.

As a precautionary measure, many states require elderly drivers to renew their licenses in person. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have additional requirements for older drivers, starting as early as age 65. These requirements include more frequent renewals and vision and road testing. Under South Carolina statutes, a driver’s license holder who is at least 65 years old must renew their license in-person every five years. A vision test is required during an in-person license renewal. DMV personnel have the discretion to require both a written and a road test.

The DMV can place restrictions or conditions on a person’s license after administering a test and discussing those restrictions with him or her. The most common of these restrictions is the requirement of glasses or corrective contact lenses. Other common conditions South Carolina DMV may impose on older drivers include a prohibition on freeway or nighttime driving, or restrictions from driving during rush hour.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident accident anywhere in North or South Carolina involving those who are older drivers, Justin Bice of Bice Law, LLC can provide you with the expertise and effective advocacy you need to pursue your case and obtain compensation for your injuries. Justin has extensive experience in pursuing personal injury claims effectively on behalf of his clients. Older drivers may be held liable in automobile accidents if they fail to adhere to restrictions or conditions on their driver’s licenses, resulting in a crash. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling our toll-free number at (855) 500-BICE or by submitting our online form.

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.

Share this article on Social Media!

Slight Decrease Reported in South Carolina Speed-Related Fatalities

Slight Decrease Reported in South Carolina Speed-Related Fatalities

Fort Mill, SC Personal Injury Attorney

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in its 2016 Highway Safety Plan, South Carolina’s speeding-related population-based fatality rate was 6.5 fatalities per 100,000 during 2009-2013. In 2013, 39.9% of the state’s traffic fatalities were speed-related. A speeding-related fatality is defined as one that occurs in a crash in which a driver is charged with a speeding-related offense, or in which an officer indicates that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor. For the 2009-2013 period, the report indicated that the counties with the highest percentages of speeding-related deaths in South Carolina were Greenville (103 deaths), Horry (91 deaths), Richland (88 deaths), Charleston (78 deaths), Spartanburg (75 deaths), Lexington (71 deaths), and Anderson (69 deaths).

If you were in a speed-related accident anywhere in North or South Carolina and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. You should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.

Risks of Speed-related Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that in 2013, 9.613 fatalities in the U.S. resulted from speed-related automobile accidents. In a survey of speeding attitudes and behaviors, NHTSA found that four out of five drivers believed that driving at or near the speed limit makes it easier to avoid dangerous situations and reduces the chances of an accident. However, more than a quarter of individuals surveyed also admitted speeding without thinking about it and that they often try to get to where they are going as quickly as possible. 15% of those surveyed believed that driving over the speed limit was not dangerous if an experienced driver was involved.

To obtain compensation for injuries incurred because of an automobile accident in South Carolina, plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit have to be able to prove that the offending driver was negligent. Negligence is a legal term that means someone owed a duty of reasonable care to other people that he or she failed to satisfy, which resulted in injuries. With respect to a speed-related accident, proving a duty of care should is easier because all drivers have a duty to obey all traffic laws. If a driver failed to obey posted speed limits, then they breached their duty to other drivers to obey that particular traffic law. If a plaintiff can provide evidence such as a traffic citation for speeding, then it may be enough to satisfy both requirements of showing a duty of care and showing that this duty was breached. If a plaintiff can prove that a driver was driving at a reckless speed under the circumstances, he or she may still be held liable. This other evidence may come from different sources, including the type of vehicle damage sustained.

If you have been injured in a speed-related automobile accident anywhere in North or South Carolina, Justin Bice of Bice Law, LLC can provide you with the expertise and effective advocacy you need to pursue your case and obtain compensation for your injuries. Justin has extensive experience in pursuing personal injury claims effectively on behalf of his clients. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling our toll-free number at (855) 500-BICE or by submitting our online form.

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.

 

 

Share this article on Social Media!

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine: A Risk for Homeowners

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine: A Risk for Homeowners

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

 Childhood is usually a wondrous time of discovery and exploration. It is enjoyable to see the look on a child’s face when he or she is learning about something for the first time.

However, it is not always enjoyable from a legal perspective. It can be problematic when a child wanders onto a homeowner’s property and gets injured in the process of exploring. This area of law is referred to as the attractive nuisance doctrine, and could lead to a homeowner being liable for injuries a child sustains on his property.

This doctrine, created in the 19th century, requires homeowners to exercise reasonable care to protect children, particularly those who trespass onto the homeowners’ property, against harm.  The homeowner is required to take precautions with items or areas that would entice a child to enter onto the property.

What Leads to a Cause of Action Under this Doctrine?

 In order to show cause under this doctrine, the homeowner/defendant must know or have reason to know that children are likely to come onto his or her property, and must know that an unreasonably dangerous condition exists on the property. In addition, it must be shown that the child would not be able to discover or appreciate the risk imposed by the condition.

Other elements to show are whether maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating it are less than the potential risk to children and whether the defendant/homeowner failed to reasonably care and make safe conditions on his or her property.

What Constitutes an Attractive Nuisance?

The next question on most people’s minds is what exactly constitutes an attractive nuisance?  Swimming pools are often enticing to children – easy access, plus an awareness there are children nearby could pose a risk. Machinery such as lawnmowers and other tools that are left unattended can also be problematic. Wells, sheds, treehouses and other structures can all appeal to an unsuspecting child who is seeking to satisfy his curiosity and might not be aware of any risk in doing so.

Modern Application

Many states have abolished the traditional attractive nuisance elements and simply utilize premises liability law or have a statute that defines specific rules for homeowners. For example, many states have a statute that requires a fence or other security measures be placed around a pool. Failing to comply with such a statute can often lead to liability for injuries.

In general, premises liability law focuses on whether a homeowner was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care with regards to dangers on his or her property. The approach here assigns a duty to the homeowner to warn of known and latent dangers which are not known to a child and which the child could not reasonably discover on his or her own.

The age of a child is often considered when determining whether he or she is able to appreciate a possible risk. For example, most children, even those very young, know that fire is dangerous.  However, there are other risks that teenagers may understand, but a younger child may not.

Get Legal Help

If you or a loved one was harmed on another’s property, be sure to reach out to an injury lawyer today to learn about your rights. For experienced counsel in North or South Carolina, contact us as Bice Law, LLC today to ensure you receive the fair compensation you need to help your road to recovery.

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.

 

Share this article on Social Media!

Uninsured Employers Fined Extensively in 2015 in North Carolina

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.

 

 

Share this article on Social Media!

Proposed Revamped Mandatory Training for Truck and Bus Drivers

Proposed Revamped Mandatory Training for Truck and Bus Drivers

Charlotte, NC Attorney

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a new set of comprehensive training requirements for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators who are seeking a commercial driver’s license. These proposed standards were contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that purports to represent the recommendations of a committee consisting of FMCSA representatives and 25 stakeholders. It is currently posted, and the agency is collecting public comments.

These new training requirements are important towards helping prevent commercial truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.

Entry-Level Driver Training Requirements

The proposed rule would first require an individual to complete a mandatory driving practice training program prior to taking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test. The training program must be provided by a trainer provider who appears on FMCSA’s training provider registry and is appropriate to the license for which the individual is applying. Required individuals would include those applying for an initial CDL, an upgrade of their CDL, a hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement for their license, or someone seeking reinstatement of their CDL.

Those exempted from these requirements would include military drivers, farmers, and firefighters. Additionally, restricted CDL applicants such as drivers from Alaska, farm-related service industries, and the pyrotechnic industry, would be exempted from these proposed requirements.

Required Training Hours

The proposed rule would require Class A CDL driver-trainees to receive a minimum of thirty hours of behind-the-wheel training. With a minimum of ten hours on a driving range. They would also be required to drive on a public road, which Class A CDL driver-trainees may fulfill by either driving for ten hours on a public road, or ten public road trips each no less than fifty minutes long.

As to Class B driver-trainees, they would be required to receive a minimum of fifteen hours of behind-the-wheel training. At a minimum, they would be required to log seven hours of public road driving.

Training providers, at a minimum, would have to offer and teach a training curriculum that meets all FMCSA standards for entry-level drivers and would have to also meet requirements related to: course administration, qualifications for instructional personnel, assessments, issuance of training certificates, and training vehicles. Training providers that meet these requirements would be eligible for listing with FMCSA and would have to continue to meet the eligibility requirements in order to stay listed with the agency. Also, training providers would have to attest that they meet the specified requirements, and in the event of an FMCSA audit or investigation of the provider, would have to supply documentary evidence to verify their compliance.

Commercial truck drivers will be held to higher standards if these proposed training requirements become required. They are aimed at reducing accidents involving commercial trucks, which occur with alarming frequency nationwide. If you are considering filing a suit for injuries suffered in a large truck accident in North or South Carolina, Bice Law, LLC can provide you with the expertise and effective advocacy you need to pursue your case and obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling our toll-free number at (855) 500-BICE or by submitting our online form.

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.

Share this article on Social Media!