August 2011

Union County, North Carolina Dog Bite Lawsuit Blames School Staff for Incident on Playground

August 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The father of a former Western Union Elementary School student is suing the Union County Board of Education for North Carolina injuries to a minor because a pit bull terrier bit his son on the school playground in 2010. According to the North Carolina dog bite lawsuit, the stray animal entered the school premises. Meantime, while the board acknowledges that the dog got onto the grounds and bit Jordan, it denies responsibility.

If you or someone you love was injured in a dog attack that occurred on another person’s property, you may have reason for filing a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit against the premise owner and/or the dog owner. Property owners can be held liable for North Carolina premises liability if there is a danger or unsafe condition on the property that causes injury that would/could/should have been prevented if it weren’t for the owner’s negligence.

Dog owners can also be held liable for the victim’s injuries. However, because of the state’s laws regarding contributory negligence, which stops victims that played any role in causing their injury from obtaining damages, receiving the compensation you are owed can be tough. Also, it doesn’t help that the state’s laws regarding dog bites appear to be more to the dog owner’s advantage.

For example, a North Carolina dog owner can be held strictly liable for the animal’s injuries if he/she purposely and willfully violated the state’s prohibition against letting dogs run at large. However, this is only applicable if the dog is more than six months old and was running at large on its own during night hours. Strict liability may also apply if severe injury or death resulted and the animal had been used in dog fighting or was previously declared “potentially dangerous” for either having terrorized or caused injury to another human being or animal while off the owner’s property. These are just some of the reasons why you should work with an experienced Monroe, North Carolina dog bite law firm that knows how to prove negligence and obtain the maximum recovery possible.

You should know that a dog doesn’t need to have broken skin during the bite for you to have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina dog attack claim. Dog bites can cause serious emotional injury and mental trauma that can impede the victim’s life. Also, as we mentioned earlier in the blog post, there may be more than one party who should be held liable for your North Carolina dog bite injuries.

Also, if a dog bit you, you should seek medical attention right away. Even if the actual physical injury doesn’t appear severe you may be at risk of infection or rabies, which can exacerbate your condition. Some dog bite injuries can be so serious that they can lead to permanent disfigurement, scarring, organ damage, and even death.

Father Sues Union School Board Over Dog Bite Incident, WSOCTV, August 31, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Dog Bites, American Humane Society

Dog Bites, Nolo

More Blog Posts:

Waxhaw Pit Bull Attack Leaves 5-Year-Old Dead and Her Grandmother with Serious Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 12, 2011

Mint Hill Dog Attack Injures Grandmother and Six-Year-Old Boy, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2010

Eye Complications Can Develop in Children Suffering from North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries to the Face, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 29, 2010

Charlotte, North Carolina Slip and Fall Accidents Can Result in Painful, Debilitating Personal Injuries

August 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Every year, thousands of people are injured in slip and fall, step and fall, and trip and fall accidents. While these accidents sound harmless enough (after all, as young children didn’t all of us fall to the ground on more than one occasion and live to tell the tale with our bodies physically intact?), the injuries sustained during a fall accident, especially for older adults, can be very serious and can even lead to traumatic brain injuries and death.

Other common slip and fall injuries include broken hips, back injuries, neck injuries, fractures, head injuries, and injuries to the arms, pelvis, legs, and hands. Bruises are also not uncommon during trip and fall accidents. Depending on the type of injury and the age and physical health of the injured party, premises liability-related injuries are very painful and can lead to permanent disabilities, lengthy confinements at nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities, loss of independence, lack of mobility, the inability to go to work or tend to daily tasks, and health complications.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina slip and fall attorneys represent premises liability victims and their families throughout the state. Property owners owe patrons, guests, and residents a duty of care to make sure there are no slip and fall hazards on a premise that can cause serious injuries. Most North Carolina slip and fall accident victims don’t realize that they may be entitled to personal injury compensation.

Common causes of slip and fall, trip and fall, and step and fall injuries:

• Wet liquids on the ground
• Uneven flooring
• Ice and snow on a driveway
• Lack of stair railings
• Inadequately lit stairwells, hallways, and parking lots
• Torn carpeting
• Objects or debris on the ground
• Cracks on the sidewalk
• Broken floorboards
• Pavement holes

Related Web Resource:
Slip and Fall, Nolo

Premises Liability, Justia

Heatwave Prompts NHTSA to Warn About North Carolina Child Deaths in Hot Cars

August 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland is in Raleigh today to host a public meeting on hyperthermia. The session comes in the wake of one of the worst heat waves in North Carolina’s recorded history.

Hyperthermia continues to be the number one case of non-crash auto deaths for kids under age 4. According to the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences, 22 child deaths (under age 14) from hyperthermia have already occurred in the US this year. Last year, there were 49 child fatalities from hyperthermia.

It is important that parents and guardians are aware of the dangers of hyperthermia so that they don’t leave children in the car unattended for long—especially in extremely hot weather. Kids can overheat to death when left inside a motor vehicle. The temperature in an enclosed vehicle can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. One need only look at the death of 2-year-old Haile Brockington who was left in a day care van for several hours last year. Her family would go on to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the day care center and the van’s driver.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm represent the families of children injured or killed in car accidents that were caused by other parties’ negligence. One area that we haven’t spoken about in the past is non-crash injuries, which involves accidents with motor vehicles where a collision isn’t necessarily involved.

Hyperthermia is just one cause of non-collision vehicle deaths to children. Other common non-crash accidents:

• A power window can trap a kid’s head, feet, fingers, neck, or feet, resulting in asphyxiation and other injuries. This is why it is so important that the power switches are locked (or don’t malfunction) to prevent such injuries.

• Vehicle rollaway involves an unattended auto with the key in the ignition potentially shifting out of park and causing the vehicle to roll away. This could cause injury to a child left in the vehicle or one standing outside in its path.

• Backover crashes involve autos being backed out of a parking lot or driveway with the driver failing to realize that there is someone behind the vehicle.

• Fall accidents while getting into our auto of a vehicle.

• Injuries caused by a car door.

• Getting cut by the license plate, bumper, or another part of an auto.

• Carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sometimes, the negligent party is another motorist, the manufacturer of a defective auto part, or the person in charge of supervising a child at the time that the accident occurred.

We know how devastating it can be to have your son or daughter get hurt—especially because another party was reckless or careless. Our Lumberton car accident lawyers would like to offer you a free evaluation of your North Carolina injuries to a minor case.

Nation’s Highway Safety Chief Discusses Ways to Prevent North Carolina Child Fatalities in Hot Cars, NHTSA, August 23, 2011

Traffic Safety, NHTSA (PDF)

Haile Brockington’s family files wrongful death lawsuit, WPTV, August 13, 2010

More Blog Posts:

Adoptive Dad of Murdered 4-Year-Old is Not Allowed to Receive North Carolina Wrongful Death Damages, Says Jury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2011

Will New Car Seat Guidelines Decrease the Number of North Carolina Child Injuries in Traffic Crashes?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011

Mint Hill Dog Attack Injures Grandmother and Six-Year-Old Boy, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2010

Adoptive Dad of Murdered 4-Year-Old is Not Allowed to Receive North Carolina Wrongful Death Damages, Says Jury

August 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Although Johnny Paddock was never charged in the death of his 4-year-old adoptive son Sean Paddock, he will not be allowed to benefit from a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the boy’s biological grandfather. Paddock’s wife, Lynn Paddock, was convicted of felony child abuse and first-degree murder. She is serving a life sentence.

Police say that Sean suffocated after being bound too tightly in blankets on February 26, 2006. Although Johnny claims he knew nothing of the abuse, the civil court says that Johnny “aided and abetted” Lynn.

Sean’s five adopted siblings have also filed a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit against Johnny. In addition, they are suing Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc. for North Carolina personal injury because the group placed them with the Paddocks. Sean’s grandfather, Ron Ford, is also suing the group.

During Lynn’s 2008 criminal trial, the Paddock kids testified that she beat them on a nearly daily basis with wooden spoons, plastic rods, and other devices. They also say that she controlled when they could go to the bathroom and what they ate, made them exercise, and forced them to sit in front of a wall for hours. They claim she kept them away from other adults and kids.

Some of the kids still live with Johnny, who they say never beat them and was either asleep or away when they were abused by their mom. Still, Ford’s lawyers contend that Paddock knew about the abuse and didn’t do anything to stop it.

Because of this jury’s finding, Johnny will not be able to obtain any recovery from the wrongful death lawsuits filed over Sean’s murder. The verdict removes him as Sean’s legal dad and now paves the way for Sean’s siblings to win damages.

Ford, who lost his standing as Sean’s relative when the Paddocks adopted the boy, also won’t be collecting any damages from Sean’s estate. Following the jury’s verdict, Ford says that the fact that Johnny was being held accountable for what happened to Sean makes him “very very happy with this.”

North Carolina Wrongful Death
As you can see with this case, North Carolina wrongful death actions can be complicated, which is why you want an experienced Charlotte, NC wrongful death law firm handling your case. There may be complex issues involved, such as trying to prevent a family member who may played a factor in causing the victim’s passing from recovering compensation.

Losing someone you love is never easy under any circumstances and obtaining damages won’t make up for your loss. It can, however, allow you to hold the responsible parties accountable and serve as acknowledgement of what happened. In can also provide some financial relief.

Father faulted in death, The Herald, July 24, 2011

Verdict means adoptive father can’t benefit from boy’s death, WRAL, July 20, 2011

Paddock will pay for son’s murder, News Observer, September 22, 2009

Related Web Resource:

Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc.

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Convicted Murderer Mike Peterson Now Owes $35 Million for Wrongful Death of His Wife, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 11, 2011

North Carolina Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Stokes County Department of Social Services For Son’s Drowning Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 2, 2008

North Carolina Wrongful Death Results in $10M Award Against Taser, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2011

Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 11, 2011

North Carolina Products Liability?: Toning Shoes May Cause Injury

August 10, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

What was once considered a quick way to get a good workout may actually be a cause of personal injury. According to the Consumer Reports, toning shoes could send wearers to a doctor or an emergency room. If toning shoes are indeed causing North Carolina personal injury, the wearer may have grounds for a products liability lawsuit against the shoe manufacturer or distributor.

Consumer Reports recently examined the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new product complaint database and found that as of May 22, 36 people said they’d been injured because of toning shoes, which were cited as a cause of injury more than any other product in the database that has only been up since March 11.

Consumer Reports’ medical experts say that the reason so many injuries have occurred is because toning shoes are designed to create instability so that wearers are forced to use muscles that they wouldn’t normally exercise while walking. The shoes design is supposed to help tone thighs, buttocks, abs, and calves. With these touted results, it is no wonder that sales for toning shoes initially soared—increasing by 400% last year—with some toning shoes costing around $200.

Yet even then, doctors, consumer advocates, and fitness gurus were skeptical about the quick results promised by the shoes’ makers. In the fall of 2010, the American Council on Exercise put out a study, which found that toning shoes have not demonstrated a significant rise in muscle activation or exercise response. The council also said there was no evidence supporting the claim that users burned more calories and strengthened their muscle tone. Now, it looks like even buyers are starting to stay away and the prices of toning shoes have gone down to $50 dollars or less.

Toning shoe-related injuries reported in the database include:
• Pain to the leg, hip, or foot
• Tendonitis
• Broken bones

Other injuries linked to toning shoes include Achilles injuries, sprains, stress fractures, strains, and injuries sustained in a North Carolina slip and fall accident.

While older people with balance issues are at higher risk of sustaining a toning shoe injury, younger people also reported getting hurt.

North Carolina Products Liability:

Design Defects
When a design defect is involved, this usually means that every product made from the same design will likely be flawed. A product may have a design defect if there was foreseeable risk that the risk of injury could have been decreased or eliminated if a different design could have been used instead.

Failure to Warn:
Not warning that using a product in a certain way could prove dangerous is also considered a product defect known as failure to warn. Unfortunately, failure to warn is a reason why many adults and children are injured by defective products.

Manufacturing Defects:
A product may have become defective during the manufacturing process. What the manufacturing defect is and how it was caused will determine how many of the products were rendered defective.

If you file a North Carolina product liability claim under strict liability, this means
that as long as the product was the direct cause of injury, you don’t have to show that negligence was a factor. Our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability law firm represent clients throughout the state.

The Craze Over ‘Toning’ Shoes Is, Well, Over, Time, July 28, 2011

Are toning shoes unsafe? Reports of injuries raise concern, Consumer Reports, May 25, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Product Complaint Database, CPSC

American Council on Exercise

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Products Liability: CPSC Attempts to Prevent Injuries to Children with Graco High Chair Recall and Baby Sling Warning, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, March 21, 2010

American Academy of Pediatrics Want Warning Labels on Food that Pose a Child Choking Hazard, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, February 24, 2010

Products Liability: Two Families Sue for Wrongful Deaths of Loved Ones Fatally Burned While Wearing Flammable Bathrobes, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, November 6, 2009

Sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury May Up the Risk of Stroke

August 2, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to researchers, patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries may have increase their risk of stroke by 10-fold. Our Charlotte, North Carolina TBI law firm finds these latest findings incredibly disturbing. This is just one more incredibly challenging complication that some of our brain injury clients may have to contend with, along with the other repercussions from having been in a serious accident.

The results from this latest study, which was conducted by Professor Herng-Ching Lin at Taipei Medical University, were published in the July 28 web edition of Stroke. Data was gathered on 23,199 traumatic brain injury patients who got hurt between 2001 and 2003. Their information was compared with data from 69,597 patients who did not have TBIs.

Among the findings:
• 2.91% of brain injury patients suffered a stroke within three months of sustaining their injury.
• Just .3% of non-TBI patients had a stroke during the same time frame.
• The risk of stroke among TBI patients did go down with each passing year.
• Patients with a fractured skull can up the risk of stroke had a 20-fold greater risk of developing a stroke during the first thee months than for TBI patients without a skull fracture.
• Traumatic brain injury patients are at greater risk of having a brain bleed than other patients.

One possible reason for the increased stroke is that certain TBI health complications—cardiac injuries, blood clotting, and torn arteries can result in a stroke.

A stroke can occur when there is a disruption in the flow of blood to the brain. A stroke is considered a medical emergency. Getting immediate care can save the patient’s live and decrease the chances of permanent disability. A stroke can lead to numerous complications, which can prove even more challenging for someone suffering from a Hickory, North Carolina TBI: Aspiration, factures, permanent brain function loss, mobility problems, loss of the ability to move parts of the body, factures, lower life span, and problems communicating.

Unfortunately, North Carolina traumatic brain injuries can occur as a result of car accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck collisions, pedestrian accidents, an assault crime, boating accidents, work injuries, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, falling debris, or other incidents.

Living with a Lumberton, North Carolina traumatic brain injury can be challenging and expensive. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the victim may not be able to work or survive without round-the-clock nursing care. In addition to basic living expenses, there also may be bills to contend with for rehabilitation and physical therapy. A TBI can also take an emotional toll on the victim and loved ones, whose lives will never be the same.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers are committed to helping traumatic brain injury patients and their families recover damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages, and other compensation from all liable parties.

Brain injury may boost stroke risk, USA Today, August 1, 2011

National Stroke Association

Traumatic Brain Injury, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Injury Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Pittsboro Retirement Center for Assault that Left Elderly Resident with Brain Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 5, 2011

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors at Greater Risk of Suffering from Depression, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2010

Over 37,000 North Carolina Brain Injury Patients a Year Require Emergency Room Care, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2010



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