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Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Scaffolding Collapse

Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Scaffolding Collapse Charlotte, NC Attorney Last January, the families of three workers killed in a North Carolina scaffolding accident that occurred in March 2015 filed a wrongful death suit against four companies that were either involved in the project or supplied the scaffolding that failed in the accident. The three deceased workers men worked for a subcontractor that was helping to erect a $54 million office building adjacent to the Raleigh Convention Center and the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center. The families are unable to sue the subcontractor because, under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation statute, employers who provide for workers’ compensation coverage are insulated from lawsuits if they have not committed any intentional wrongdoing against their employees. Alleged Negligence and Wrongful Death Section 28A-18-2 of North Carolina Statutes defines wrongful death as death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” The statute…

2015 a Deadly Year on South Carolina’s Highways

2015 a Deadly Year on South Carolina’s Highways Fort Mill, SC Attorney According to the Times and Democrat, preliminary data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety shows that 2015 was far deadlier in terms of deaths in vehicle accidents as compared with 2014. According to the article, there were more than 950 deaths on South Carolina roads and highways in 2015, 129 more than the 823 who were killed in 2014. This presents at 15% increase from the prior year. Similarly, the total number of fatal collisions increased by 129 from 2014 to 2015, which represents as 17% increase. Although these figures are still under review since some collisions are still under investigation, it is likely that the final totals will be worse. If you were injured in a car accident in North or South Carolina, you should seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, such…

Commercial Truck Companies and Driver Fatigue

Commercial Truck Companies and Driver Fatigue Charlotte, NC Attorney The U.S. Department of Transportation has found that truck driver fatigue has been a primary factor in the nearly 4,000 fatal large truck crashes each year. Consecutive hours of work without the requisite rest can cause commercial truck drivers to be fatigued, and when this occurs, the risk of serious accidents greatly increases, particularly because of the involvement of large trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association conducted a study that revealed driver fatigue as a factor in 30 to 40% of all large truck crashes. If you have been injured in a large truck accident in North or South Carolina, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney such as  Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC. Hours of Work Regulations The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues rules that determine the boundaries of how…

Four-Vehicle Crash with Multiple Fatalities in South Carolina

Four-Vehicle Crash with Multiple Fatalities in South Carolina Fort Mill, SC Lawyer According to a news report, four individuals were killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Lexington, South Carolina. Preliminary investigations revealed that the accidents began when a pickup truck crossed the center line and side-swiped the first vehicle, which was a Ford van. The van apparently spun out of control and collided with the second vehicle, a GMC SUV. The pickup truck continued down the road and ran into another a Ford Sport, which caught fire. The driver and two passengers of the Sport were killed, along with the driver of the pickup truck. Multi-Vehicle Accidents Determining who was at fault is the most pressing issue in multi-vehicle accidents. Although chain reaction may have started with a single driver’s negligence, other drivers may have also failed to exercise the requisite duty of care. There are different situations that could…

Jury Award in Fayetteville Medical Malpractice Case

Jury Award in Fayetteville Medical Malpractice Case Charlotte, NC Lawyer A jury in Fayetteville, North Carolina reached a verdict in a medical malpractice suit filed against the Owen Drive Surgical Clinic of Fayetteville and awarded over $7.5 million in damages. According to a report from the Fayetteville Observer, the plaintiffs were Melode Dickerson, a patient at the clinic, and her husband, Gregory Dickerson. The jury award consisted of $3.24 million in economic or compensatory damages, $4 million for pain and suffering, and $300,000 for loss of consortium. Generally, compensatory or economic damages is money that will cover costs such as past, present, and future medical bills to treat the injury caused by the medical malpractice, as well as lost wages. In North Carolina, there is no limit to the economic damages that may be recovered. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is considered non-economic in nature and is also…

National Association of State Lawmakers Investigating Workers’ Comp Opt-Out Bill

National Association of State Lawmakers Investigating Workers’ Comp Opt-Out Bill Rock Hill, SC Lawyer According to a ProPublica report, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, whose members serve on insurance committees of state legislatures and act as gatekeepers for related bills in their states, will investigate a growing effort to enact legislation that will allow companies to opt out of workers’ compensation insurance and write their own company plan for how they will provide care for injured employees. Texas and Oklahoma currently allow companies to opt out, and Tennessee and South Carolina are seriously considering similar legislation. The Prevailing Scheme Currently, most states require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical care and lost wages to workers if they are injured on the job. In exchange, workers are barred from suing their employers. Generally, an employee with a work-related illness or injury can get workers’ compensation benefits regardless…

South Carolina Wrongful Death Settlements for Police Shootings Top $17 Million

South Carolina Wrongful Death Settlements for Police Shootings Top $17 Million Fort Mill, SC Lawyer According to a piece from the Post and Courier, the amount of settlements in cases involving police shootings has exceeded $17 million in 2015 alone. The bulk of these settlements were paid by municipal insurers, including the state’s Insurance Reserve Fund and the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Eventually, taxpayers will foot the bills for these settlements through higher premiums, and insurers have grown increasingly concerned in recent years about the increase in law enforcement liability claims. Many of these settlements involve wrongful death claims against law enforcement, and the largest settlements involve cases in which officers fired a gun at fleeing suspects, often as they tried to drive away. Settlement Breakdown The total of $17 million in legal settlements so far this year include $10 million in the 2011 case of a South Carolina…

NHTSA Proposes Stronger Truck Guards to Reduce Rear-impact Deaths

NHTSA Proposes Stronger Truck Guards to Reduce Rear-impact Deaths After receiving petitions from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, the National Transportation Safety Board, and from a North Carolina mother who lost two daughters in a 2013 truck crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed that trucking companies be required to install stronger guards on their trailers to reduce deaths caused when cars rear-end tractor trailers. According to the NHTSA, the stronger guards will prevent between and three serious injuries and one fatality a year. Rear-Impact Truck Accidents For decades, tractor-trailers have installed underride guards that hang down from the back ends of box trailers. These guards are currently built to protect passengers in crashes of up to 30 miles per hour. According to NHTSA, increasing its rating to be able to protect passengers in crashes of up to 35 miles per hour can…

FMCSA’s Collision Fatalities Study Finds Trucks and Buses “Overrepresented”

FMCSA’s Collision Fatalities Study Finds Trucks and Buses “Overrepresented” Fort Mill, SC Lawyer In early November, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a webinar discussing its findings from its latest collision fatalities study. The webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets, which calls on city leaders to advance roadway safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. FMCSA’s study analyzes the details surrounding crash fatalities to help inform cities working to make roadways safer. Upward Trend for Truck Crashes FMCSA’s study, which looks at data up through 2013, reveals that commercial vehicles are overrepresented in the total number of crashes. Heavy trucks and buses are involved in about 4% of registered vehicles and 9% of total miles driven, but were involved in 13% of accidents and 13% of overall traffic fatalities. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety…

Man Injured in Team-Building Kickball Game Entitled to Workers’ Compensation

Man Injured in Team-Building Kickball Game Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Fort Mill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of providing an injured worker with workers’ compensation coverage for injuries he suffered in a company kickball game. The worker was employed by a marketing and public relations firm. During one of his meetings with his managers, they indicated the importance of team-building events, and the worker suggested a kickball game. His supervisor approved the idea and authorized company funds for the event. During the game, the worker shattered his tibia and fibula and had to be taken away in an ambulance. The worker will have a knee replacement, according to the court’s decision. Compensable Work Injury Generally, South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation scheme will provide compensation to workers who suffer from injuries arising out of and in the course of their employment. This also includes those who…

South Carolina Daycare Sued for Wrongful Death

South Carolina Daycare Sued for Wrongful Death Rock Hill, SC Lawyer The parents of a deceased 2-year-old boy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a daycare provider in Greenwood, South Carolina, alleging that the facility was negligent in caring for their child. The toddler passed away due to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that resulted from an E. Coli infection. The state health department confirmed that there were seven cases of E.Coli at the daycare, The Learning Vine, LLC, and the facility decided to voluntarily close to cooperate with the investigation. Negligence in Handling Illness The lawsuit against The Learning Vine alleges that the daycare was negligent in responding to the first confirmed infection of E. Coli in the school — a preschool teacher. The teacher apparently returned to work at the center prematurely, and that several of the children began showing signs of infection shortly thereafter, including the…

Sophisticated Users Under South Carolina Product Liability Law

Sophisticated Users Under South Carolina Product Liability Law Fort Mill, SC Lawyer The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision regarding a product liability case that addressed the applicability of the so-called “sophisticated user” doctrine in product liability lawsuits. In this case, the plaintiff suffered severe burns over almost half his body when a very flammable chemical caught fire at his job site owned by his employer, Engelhard Corporation. The fire burned 42% of the plaintiff’s skin, including his face, ears, arms, legs, and lungs. The fire left the plaintiff severely disfigured with limited eyesight. Plaintiff’s Claims The plaintiff in his case filed a product liability suit against multiple entities in the chain of supply of the dangerous chemical involved, sodium bromate, including the supplier of the chemical and the purchaser of the chemical, which in this case was the plaintiff’s employer, Engelhard. He first claims that the defendants supplied…

Appealing a Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits in North Carolina

Appealing a Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits in North Carolina Charlotte, NC Lawyer Individuals with disabilities in North Carolina who are unable to gain employment may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if they meet the federal government’s definition of disabled. Initial applications may be made to a local social security office, and once that office decides that the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements pertaining to income levels or work credits, the application is forwarded to North Carolina’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency. This agency is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for making the initial decisions regarding eligibility. Eligibility Rules The Social Security Administration’s criteria for eligibility for disability benefits includes both satisfying its medical disability criteria and non-medical criteria involving work credits. For the purpose of gaining disability benefits, the medical criteria requires that applicants be able to show…

When You are Injured by a Public Employee

When You are Injured by a Public Employee Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer In a typical personal injury lawsuit, the defendant – the person or entity accused of negligently injuring another – is generally a private individual or business. But consider the recent story of Columbia Police Department investigator Tyrone Pugh. In the early morning hours of January 19, video footage emerged that appeared to show Pugh punching an unidentified male who had been lying face-down on the ground. Undoubtedly, the unidentified man suffered injuries as a result of the altercation. But as a police officer, Pugh is a public employee. Suppose the unidentified man wanted to bring a personal injury lawsuit against Pugh for the injuries he suffered; can the man do so? The Importance of State Tort Claims Acts Ancient legal principles that generally held that the government and those that act on behalf of the government could not…

Approval of Wrongful Death Settlement Sought in Walter Scott Case

  Approval of Wrongful Death Settlement Sought in Walter Scott Case Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer After reaching an agreement with the City of North Charleston to settle a wrongful death claim stemming from Walter Scott’s deadly shooting by a North Charleston police officer, the family has formally asked a South Carolina state court to approve the proposed settlement agreement. The wrongful death settlement amounts to $6.5 million, with $3 million going to Scott’s estate and $2.4 million for attorneys’ fees and costs. $17,000 will pay for back child support. Shooting Garners National Media Attention The now-infamous video that shows a former South Carolina police officer shooting Scott to death in the back after he started running away from a traffic stop in April garnered national attention and resulted in an immediate murder charge. The video shows that the former officer initially chased Scott, and both individuals wrestled on the…

Fatal Dump Truck Crash in North Carolina

Fatal Dump Truck Crash in North Carolina Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer According to a news report, a dump truck overturned onto a vehicle in Wake County, killing its driver. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol indicated that the vehicle, a red Nissan sedan, crossed the center line of the road as the dump truck was running in the opposite direction. The dump truck driver apparently saw the vehicle move into his lane and attempted to make an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting the other vehicle head-on. However, the red sedan sideswiped the dump truck, which swerved as its driver overcorrected and caused the truck to overturn. At that time, another vehicle was traveling in the same lane as the dump truck and was crushed when the truck overturned, resulting in the driver’s death. Common Causes of Large Truck Rollovers The risk of a large truck rolling over is much…

Recovering Damages After a Chemical Spill

Recovering Damages After a Chemical Spill A train derailed recently near Allendale, South Carolina, leaking some of the hazardous chemicals it was carrying. Although the spill did not result in any homes needing to be evacuated, a local plant was evacuated. In addition, two individuals on the train were injured. While this particular derailment did not appear to result in any serious injuries, these sorts of incidents can cause serious property damage, mandatory evacuations for private citizens, and lead to personal injuries and illnesses. After a train derailment, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help individuals affected by the derailment recover much-needed compensation. Train Derailment Statistics According to preliminary data from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, there were approximately 10,804 total train accidents or incidents in 2014. This number is higher than 2013’s total of 10,524 accidents and incidents and even higher than 2012’s total…

FAQs: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina

FAQs: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina Rock Hill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer In South Carolina, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees that are injured while on the job. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up his or her right to sue their employer in negligence. Employees who are injured while working in South Carolina or develop an illness as a result of their working environment are eligible to collect benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation system. What body of law governs workers’ compensation in South Carolina? The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has been granted statutory authority to create and administer the state’s workers’ compensation regulations. The Commission decides the procedure to be followed in order to file a claim and to achieve a hearing. Visit their website for more information. Who will pay my workers’…

Car Accidents and North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law

Car Accidents and North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer It is a situation no one wishes to ever be placed in. You witness a car accident. You can see that there are victims in need of immediate help.  Everyone wants to say that they would jump right in and assist the victims in anyway possible. And if you do – can the victims sue you later if your help actually causes him or her further injury? What if a victim dies because of help you administered? It is a worst case scenario that unfortunately plays out in North Carolina and states around the nation each year – good Samaritans caught between what they know is right and protecting themselves from a potential lawsuit. What are Good Samaritan Laws? Generally, good Samaritan laws protect the average person who sees someone in need and extends help. A person,…

What To Do When a Product is Recalled

What To Do When a Product is Recalled Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer Kiddie is recalling nearly five million fire extinguishers sold online and at several national stores like Home Depot after reports that eleven Kiddie-brand extinguishers failed to discharge properly. This can obviously pose a risk to someone attempting to suppress a fire. Unfortunately, product recalls seem to be occurring with greater frequency. Whether the recall covers automobiles or clothing, children’s toys or fire extinguishers, there are certain steps consumers should take when they receive news of a product recall: Remain calm. First, fight any urge you may have to panic or worry. The vast majority of recalls are voluntary recalls, meaning that the company has voluntarily agreed to recall the product. These recalls can occur even if no injuries have been reported. Follow the instructions regarding the recall. Along with the recall notice (which identifies the precise product…