Topic: Construction Accidents

Your North Carolina Injury is Not the End of the World (Probably)–or At Least You Won’t Feel This Unhappy Forever

May 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re deeply depressed by your recent North Carolina injury. Whether some idiot in a truck bashed your car by blowing through a stop sign, or a doctor misread your chart and gave you a medication that made you literally sick to your stomach, you are in pain. You are angry; you are confused; and you are deeply dismayed by your situation and the prospects for your future.

Obviously, what’s done is done. You can’t go back in time and undo the North Carolina truck accident or reverse the doctor’s negligent decisions. And you may indeed have a long road to hoe. You might never regain function of your leg. You might need to be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. You might never be able to work as you once did. The brain damage caused by the accident may permanently limit your ability to be productive to two to three hours a day.

When you sit there and contemplate these scenarios–particularly the worst case scenarios–you can easily spiral into depression and apathy. This is really unfortunate. When you are depressed and/or apathetic, you may fail to take important kinds of action–such as contacting a reputable North Carolina mass tort law firm ASAP–because you feel too hopeless to persevere.

This is a shame, because science shows that our emotional immune systems are remarkably resilient.

Even IF a worst case scenarios plays out for you–e.g. you’re permanently hobbled by the accident or no longer able to work in a career that you love–these setbacks will not doom you to a lifetime of depression and unhappiness. Or at least they don’t necessarily mark you with that destiny.

That may sound very counterintuitive. But if you look at the research, those statements bare out.

Lottery winners notoriously experience euphoria for the first weeks or months after they win. But they ultimately wind up just as happy–and just as sad!–as they were before the pay day.

Likewise, people injured so severely that they are left as quadriplegics suffer extreme depression in the first few weeks and months. But they ultimately rebound to feel just as happy as they did before the devastating event.

This isn’t to say that you don’t have problems — that you shouldn’t feel depressed or anything. Rather, you should appreciate that your current emotional state is probably temporary.

Even more importantly, you need to avoid getting trapped by your emotions into “doing nothing” and/or into making impulsive and not-strategic actions that can have negative long-term implications for your finances and healthcare options.

To that end, consider connecting with the DeMayo Law team now at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation, so that we can put you on a more strategic path with respect to your case.

North Carolina Class Action News: Legal Fight Over High Sugar, High Caffeine Energy Drinks — A Portent of A Larger Battle To Come?

May 23, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Are we witnessing the beginnings of a major mass tort battle in North Carolina (and well beyond?)

Perhaps so. And big beverage companies may be on the receiving end.

Last year, for instance, a woman in Australia allegedly died from over consuming Coca-Cola. According to the Chicago Sun Times, a Maryland teenager died after drinking two large Monster Energy drinks in a single 24-hour period. These drinks contain a lot of caffeine and also a lot of sugar. While testifying before Chicago City Council, Edward Burke discussed a federal report “that showed the number of annual hospital visits tied to highly caffeinated energy drinks doubled between 2007 and 2011 — to 21,000.”

According to the President of Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Howard Axe, “super caffeinated energy drinks,” such as Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Rockstar, pose serious health risks, “including possible fatalities to adults and children, particularly those with preexisting conditions.”

The legal brouhaha in Chicago is focused on the adverse health effects of over consuming caffeine. Another, potentially more fraught and momentous debate has to do with the adverse effects of the overconsumption of liquid sucrose. As most famously articulated by pediatric obesity specialist, Dr. Robert Lustig, calories from liquid sucrose may have especially adverse effect on the liver because of the way the fructose component of sucrose gets metabolized by that organ. Lustig builds the case — at least in the doses that modern North Carolinians consume sugar — that “calorie is not a calorie.” The consumption of sugary liquid beverages, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and even many fruit juices, may be doing tremendous harm to our population and precipitating problems like metabolic disease, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.

So far, obviously, we have yet to see a major class action or mass tort lawsuit against beverage companies. But some health advocates are suggesting that we may be witnessing at least the beginnings of such machinations — they compare our current era to the era a few years before Big Tobacco was held to legal account for advertising and selling dangerous products.

If you have recently been harmed by a product or service, you are probably far less interested in the legal battle over energy drinks than you are with your own wellbeing, financially, medically, and otherwise.

 The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo proudly represents victims and their families in serious North Carolina personal injury matters. Please get in touch with us today by calling (877) 529-1222, so we can provide you a free consultation and help you get educated and informed about your options.

Our Illogical Reactions to Superstitions: Really Important to Understand, If You Want to Fight Your North Carolina Class Action Optimally…

May 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether your son broke his ribs in an SUV rollover, your husband tore his ACL on an amusement park ride, or you suffered a devastating home fire when your space heater malfunctioned, you understand you have the potential to take some kind of legal action and perhaps to participate in a North Carolina class action or mass tort lawsuit.

But you are confused about what to do next. Should you connect with a legal team like DeMayo Law or “deal with the situation yourself” — i.e. work directly with an insurance company?

Everyone has different needs and sensitivities and comforts. But it’s important to be rational rather than impulsive when you make a big decision like this.

We often play to our superstitions rather than to logical common sense.

Consider the diverse nature of our strange beliefs. Whether you are afraid of the number 13; you bet your wedding date when you play the lottery; or you worry about a black cat crossing your path or something along those lines, part of you recognizes that you’re being ridiculous with the superstitions.

You understand that that you are using “magical thinking” and not logic. But even when you “call out” your superstitions — call your own bluff — you may not be able to overpower your subconscious resistance. You may not, for instance, ever feel comfortable sleeping on the 13th floor of a hotel. If you’re Russian, you may refuse to shake someone’s hand when they reach through a doorway to you.

Depending on how deeply you hold strange beliefs, they can really hamper your life.

The point is that wrestling with such strange beliefs–even when you make those beliefs conscious and you appreciate that they’re clearly irrational–is more challenging than meets the eye.

As much as we should “trust our guts” in certain situations, we also need to learn how and when to challenge our intuitions in order to achieve best results.

To that end, if you have reservations about connecting with an attorney–or if you have some strange belief about why you are not someone who “does” lawsuits, reflect on that received wisdom. Are those concepts actually serving you right now?

Consider, for instance, the worst thing that could happen, if you got a consultation with attorney, versus the best thing that could happen if you did. That the more that you can shine rational light on your fears, the more you can move beyond them and make more compelling and useful decisions.

Class Action Lawsuits “Brewing” For Budweiser

May 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser Beer, is facing a pretty serious class action lawsuit that alleges that the brewer watered down its products prior to bottling.

Thus far, plaintiffs in Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Jersey, Colorado, Ohio, and California have all filed suit against the beer manufacturer based on whistleblowing testimony from former high placed employees in the business–at 13 separate breweries.

Will a North Carolina class action against Budweiser be next?

Anheuser-Busch has fought back vigorously against the bad press–the company recently took out full page ads in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and eight other major newspapers touting the fact that the company provided 71 million cans of drinking water to the American Red Cross and other disaster organizations. The cheeky headline read “they must have tested one of these.”

But a lead attorney in the case, Josh Boxer, shrugged off the newspaper ad blitz as a “classic non-denial…(the) alcohol readings, taken six times a second as the finished product is bottled, will confirm the allegations made by the growing number of former employees who keep coming forward to tell us the truth.”

In court, Anheuser-Busch will need to produce data on its internal and alcohol testing procedures. Ten different products are tangled up in the legal matter, including well-known brands like Budweiser, Michelob, and Bud Ice as well as more “exotic” brands, like Hurricane High Gravity Lager and Bud Light Lime.

Do you have a potential Charlotte class action lawsuit?

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you understand and defend your rights to get compensation. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to file a personal injury suit or a mass tort action. Our team can help you strategize and determine the most effective, accurate course forward. Call us now for a free consultation, and get clarity on what you need to do.

The End of the Beginning of Your Quest for Justice After a North Carolina Injury

May 10, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

In the hours and days since your North Carolina injury–or your family member’s injury- you have been in a mad scramble to get medical care and make sense of your options.

What steps should you be taking (or not taking) to manage the medical crisis, collect evidence, and deal with the urgent logistics in your life? Who is going to take care of the kids while you’re hurt? Who’s going to handle the big work project that you had to drop to deal with the catastrophe? How will you pay the mortgage now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars out of pocket on ambulance and hospital services?

After you wrangle these urgent details, you then need to scramble to recalibrate everything in your life. You will also need to find a way to deal with the tremendous challenges of finding appropriate representation:

  • Do you have a case or not?
  • If so, what should you do first?
  • Whom can you trust?
  • How can you evaluate different law firms against one another?
  • How can you work effectively with a law firm to make sure that you get clear answers and good communication throughout the process?

All of these urgent questions might be on your mind. And they all need to be addressed.

The several lining–if there is one–is that, once you do get all of these things taken care of, assuming you have done everything effectively, you should enjoy renewed peace of mind.

The great gift that a solid North Carolina mass tort law firm can provide is the gift of clarity.

Even though your life may feel like it’s in a million pieces right now–if you know exactly what’s going to happen next and what to expect; and if you have trusted people working on your behalf–much of the stress and agitation will lift.

Obviously, even a superb law firm is not going to magically make your injury go away or eliminate the anger and frustration you feel about what happened. But you should feel a sense of relief and security that you are moving in the right direction.

And when people feel like their lives are moving in a positive direction, they often see passed their immediate limitations and handle the process with more grace and patience.

Connect with the DeMayo Law team right now for strategic, insightful assistance with your Charlotte personal injury matter.

Worker Killed in Charlotte, North Carolina Construction Fall Accident

October 31, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A worker who plunged three stories off a roof has died from his Charlotte, North Carolina construction accident injuries. The Mecklenburg County fall accident occurred at the Pike Energy Solutions building on October 26.

At around 8am, the worker and a garbage shoot that was located on the roof both fell off the top of the building. The worker, who ended up in an industrial sized dumpster, was pronounced dead at the Charlotte, North Carolina fall accident site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the deadly incident.

Unfortunately, falls are one of the more common causes of construction accident fatalities. Statistics show that 30% of construction deaths a year are a result of falls from roofs, scaffolds, cranes, through elevator shafts, holes in the floor, and because of falling objects.

Construction crews and their companies should make sure that safe working conditions are implemented at all times—especially when the work is being done off the ground and at elevated heights. Are harnesses required? Should there be barricades put up? Is the area safe enough to have people working there? Are safety equipment and tools free from any defects that could cause them to fail?

Fall accidents can lead to serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, blunt trauma injuries, and even death. While you cannot sue your employer for your Charlotte, North Carolina construction accident injury, many construction jobs usually have other parties involved in the project. Negligence on the part of these third parties could allow you to seek North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death damages, as well as obtain North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we represent clients injured in all kinds of North Carolina construction accidents, including trench collapses, electrical accidents, welding accidents, construction blasts, machinery accidents, scaffolding accidents, motor vehicle crashes, accidents involving falling objects, crush injury accidents, fires, gas explosions, construction equipment accidents, ladder falls, conveyor accidents, forklift accidents, bulldozer accidents, boiler room accidents, elevator accidents, building collapses, and other types of construction accidents.

2010 Workplace Fall Accident Facts (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• 635 worker fall accidents
• Since 2007, deadly falls in the private construction industry have gone down by 42%

Unfortunately, for many construction workers involved in serious accidents, their careers are over and their source of livelihood gone.

You want to work with a North Carolina construction accident company that understands the nature of these types of injuries and how they can happen. There are usually numerous parties involved in working a construction job, and determining who is liable can be a daunting job unless you know what to do.

Man dies after 3-story fall into construction bin in north Charlotte, WSOCTV, October 26, 2011

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2010, Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 25, 2010

Worker Killed in 3-Story Fall at Charlotte Construction Site, Justice News Flash, October 26, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Charlotte Construction Worker’s Death is Third Work Accident Involving Wachovia Project in a Month, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2008

North Carolina Worker Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries After Fall At Charlotte Construction Site, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2008

Deadly New York Crane Accident Highlights Safety Issues As Multiple Cranes Operate in Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 19, 2008

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.

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

 

North Carolina Injuries and Deaths on the Job May Be Grounds for Both Third Party Lawsuits and Workers’ Compensation Claims

January 14, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

WRAL is reporting that according to the state Department of Labor, 48 people were killed in North Carolina work accidents in 2009. Most common causes of worker fatalities that year included an object or vehicle crushing or striking a worker, fall accidents, and electrocution accidents.

15 of the workers who died were in construction. The manufacturing and service industries saw six worker deaths each. Mecklenburg County had the most worker fatalities at seven deaths. Eight other counties, including Pitt and Nash counties, each experienced two worker deaths.

While even one worker fatality is one death too many, officials are reporting that North Carolina worker illness and injury rate is at an all-time low. They also are wondering whether concerns about the economy and job security may have distracted some workers and played a factor in some of the work-related deaths.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm want to remind you that if you were injured or your loved one was killed on the job, not only is it important that you file your North Carolina workers’ compensation case, but also, you should explore whether you have grounds for a third party North Carolina wrongful death case or personal injury lawsuit with individuals or entities that aren’t your employer but whose negligence contributed to causing your work accident or illness. Unfortunately, many workers and their families don’t realize that they also may have grounds for a civil case. Possible third party lawsuits may involve products liability, motor vehicle crashes, truck accidents, slip and fall, premises liability, violent crimes, inadequate security, premises liability, or other grounds for a case.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death law firm handles both North Carolina workers’ compensation and related third party cases.

NC workplace fatalities spike in 2010, WRAL, January 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Industrial Commission

North Carolina Department of Labor

Workers’ Compensation, Nolo

Holly Springs Family Files First North Carolina Chinese Drywall Lawsuit

April 22, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The first North Carolina defective Chinese drywall lawsuit has been filed. The plaintiffs are from Holly Springs and the complaint is against builder Stafford Custom Homes. Their lawsuit blames the corroding metals and putrid smell in their home on the toxic material in the walls of their residence that they say made them sick.

The plaintiffs, Mary and Daniel Flannigan, also contend that Stafford Custom Homes, in Southern Pines, should have known that the drywall could become dangerous and cause damage. The couple say they first noticed the “rotten eggs” odor before buying their residence in 2004. They said Stafford employees said that the smell was coming from the water heater.

The water heater coils were replaced and the couple later paid to have the water heater removed from under the house. Home inspectors became suspicious that mold might be growing, so Stafford Homes installed a layer of plastic in the basement to act as a vapor barrier. Despite all these changes, the smell wouldn’t go away and a number of family members began to experience chronic health issues. Also, guitar strings and jewelry are among the metals in their home that turned black.

In 2007, the evaporator coils connected to the gas furnace corroded and needed to be replaced. Last year, the Flannigans found out that their air and heating system was failing. The couple said that they were experiencing serious headaches and didn’t consider that the drywall in their home might be defective until they saw a tv news report about the Chinese-made product.

They are seeking North Carolina personal injury compensation for medical costs and to replace damaged property, including compensation for new drywall and the reconstruction of their home. They also want punitive damages.

Other North Carolina defective Chinese drywall lawsuits are expected. Just this February, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission started investigating complaints about Chinese drywall. They’ve been asking electrical engineers and toxicologists to collect samples so they could figure out the associated safety and health hazards.

In the last 10 years, millions of pounds of Chinese drywalls were installed in apartments and homes because they were costly and abundant and to meet the demands of the US housing boom. In the meantime, Congressional lawmakers have filed legislation to recall and ban drywall made in China until new safety standards for drywall are established.

Some 100,000 thousands homes in the US may be covered with Chinese drywall. The defective material has been linked to sinus and respiratory issues in some people.

North Carolina Sees First Chinese Drywall Lawsuit, NewsInferno.com, April 22, 2009

Holly Springs couple sues over Chinese drywall, The News and Observer, April 22, 2009

Related Web Resources:
CPSC: Chinese drywall poses potential risks to southeastern homes, WSLS, April 24, 2009

U.S. Lawmakers Seek Ban on Tainted Chinese Drywall, Insurance Journal, April 10, 2009

Charlotte Construction Worker’s Death is Third Work Accident Involving Wachovia Project in a Month

December 15, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina construction worker died on December 2 after he was struck by a tool that fell from the 11th Floor in an elevator shaft located in the Wachovia tower. Jonathan Beatty, an elevator installer employed by Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp., was 24. The work accident that caused his death is the third accident to occur at the Wachovia construction site, located at Tryon and Stonewall, within a month.

On November 10, steel beams dropped from a crane, smashing into windows before hitting the ground. Shards of glass fell toward motorists and pedestrians below. No one was injured in this second construction accident.

On November 4, Leslie Hopper sustained damage to her property when glass from the Wachovia construction site fell onto her vehicle, flattening her tires, breaking her windshield, and damaging her sunroof. Hopper and her daughter were headed out of town when the accident happened. Hopper has expressed frustration that the construction company didn’t do more to ensure motorist and pedestrian safety.

North Carolina Construction Accidents
Construction accidents can result in serious injuries for construction workers and others, such as pedestrians and motorists passing by the site, and other parties that may be on or around the work premise. For the year ending in September 2008, 18 construction-related fatalities occurred in North Carolina.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers do not have to report a work accident unless three or more people end up in the hospital or one person is killed. An OSHA investigation usually takes at least four weeks. During this time, OSHA employees will inspect the accident scene, gather evidence, and interview witnesses to determine the cause of the work accident and find out whether any safety standards were violated.

Wachovia tower incident provides window into worksite rules, Creative Loafing, December 9, 2008

Job at tower gave worker new hope for his dream, Charlotte.com, December 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Wachovia Condominium Tower, Emporis.com

Former News Anchor Tolly Carr Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Family of Man Killed in Drunk Driving Accident

November 24, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, former WXII News anchor Tolly Car has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of the man he fatally struck during a 2007 drunk driving accident in Winston-Salem. Carr is currently serving a 25 – 29 month prison sentence for his role in the deadly motor vehicle crash.

Police say Carr drove his pickup truck through a construction zone before running his car off the road and striking Casey Bokhoven in March 2007. In August 2007, Carr pleaded guilty to felony serious injury by vehicle, felony death by vehicle, and driving while impaired.

Carr, whose blood was tested four hours after the accident, had a blood alcohol level of .13. North Carolina’s legal BAC limit for driving is .08. In their wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiffs accused the former news anchor of trying to conceal his actions by telling witnesses not to call police.

The terms of the wrongful death settlement with Bokhoven’s family are confidential. However, their wrongful death lawyer says Carr will start making payments to the family in 2010.

Also named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit are three Winston-Salem bars. The plaintiffs accused the establishments of serving the former news anchor about 17 drinks. Their wrongful death lawyer says that bar employees should have stopped serving Carr more alcohol or made him get into a cab.

The Burke Street Pub reached a wrongful death settlement with Bokhoven’s family last week. Another bar, 6th and Vine, settled with the family in August. The third establishment, Sounds on Burke, has filed for bankruptcy.

Tolly Carr Settles Wrongful-Death Lawsuit, MSNBC.com, November 18, 2008

Bokhoven Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Tolly Carr, MyFox.com, May 21, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Tolly Carr Pleads Guilty, Sentenced To Prison, Digitriad.com, August 13, 2007

WXII

North Carolina Worker Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries After Fall At Charlotte Construction Site

October 6, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A construction worker sustained critical injuries in North Carolina on Saturday after falling from a more than five story height. The work accident occurred at future site of the luxury Vue Condominiums located in uptown Charlotte.

Fall Accidents at Work:
15% of disabling work injuries are a result of fall accidents, slip accidents, and trip accidents. Some 5,100 workers died in fall accidents in 1999.

Kinds of Falls:

Elevated Falls:These happen less often but result in more serious injuries.

Examples of Elevated Falls:
• Falls from the higher levels of a construction project
• Falls from ladders
• Falls from motor vehicles
• Falls from construction equipment, such as cranes and loading docks

Same-Level Falls: These happen more often but result in less severe injuries.

Examples of Same-Level Falls:
• Slip and fall accidents
• Trip and fall accidents
• Step and fall accidents

It is important that construction companies provide workers with the proper safety clothing and gear and that the correct safety procedures are followed on the site. Failure to implement safety measures can lead to catastrophic injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that fall accidents are a leading accidental cause of construction accident deaths.

Worker Critically Injured in 5-Story Fall, Charlotte Observer, October 5, 2008

Man Falls from Uptown Construction Site, WSOCTV.com, October 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Preventing Injuries from Slips, Trips and Falls, CDC.gov

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Son of North Carolina Woman Killed in Apartment Fire Files Premises Liability-Related Wrongful Death Lawsuit

June 4, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, Juan Arango, the son of Gloria Inez Suarez, a woman who died in a fire in her apartment that destroyed her building in the Colonial Village complex at Highland Hills in Carrboro last September is suing Colonial Properties Trust and property manager Renee Schumacher for improper maintenance and poor construction.

The Carrboro Fire Department has not determined the cause of the fire, but Arango says that it was the faulty construction and negligent maintenance that caused the flames to spread so fast. Firefighters were only able to look in 4 of the 14 units before the building started to fall down. Two women that jumped from their second-story balconies suffered injuries.

The fire reportedly burned for nearly 30 minutes before anyone reported it.
Arango says that none of the smoke detectors in the building were in operation. According to a fire department report, the fire detectors did not alert the victims that there was a fire.

Arango’s North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit accuses Colonial Properties and Schumacher of not creating proper fire barriers and failing to keep the common areas and crawl space free of combustible items.

In North Carolina, apartment landlords and managers are supposed to take the proper safety and maintenance precautions to ensure that there are no unsafe conditions on the premise or in a building or residential unit that can cause injury or death.

Failure to put in place and maintain the proper safety measures can be grounds for a North Carolina premises liability lawsuit if the injured person can prove that the manager or owner knew of the potentially unsafe condition but failed to eliminate this hazard.

Our North Carolina premises liability attorneys know how to properly investigate and pursue your case so that you can receive recovery for your injuries or the death of your loved one.

Woman’s death in fire leads to lawsuit, NewsObserver.com, June 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Colonial Properties Trust

Premises Liability, Justia

North Carolina Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against City of Fayetteville, Drunk Driver, and Several Others After Daughter is Killed in DWI Motor Vehicle Accident

May 27, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Emily Elizabeth May, a Raleigh, North Carolina resident who died in a DWI auto crash last year, is suing the city of Fayetteville, Emily’s friend Danielle Polumbo, ACS State & Local Solutions Inc., Carolina Hospitality of Florida, Fayetteville Miyabi Inc., and Linden resident Brandi Reaves for wrongful death.

May died on May 17, 2007 while riding in a vehicle driven by Polumbo. According to the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit, the two girls had dinner at Miyabi Kyoto Japanese Steak and Seafood House before proceeding to Secrets Cabaret. Carolina Hospitality owns the nightclub. Polumbo drank alcohol at both spots, even though she was just 20-years-old. The lawsuit alleges that at the club, Reaves, who knew Polumbo, served her a number of drinks.

Soon after leaving the nightclub, Polumbo ran into the red-light camera pole, which is run by ACS and the city of Fayetteville. The camera dropped onto the car and struck May.

May’s family alleges that mounting the camera, which weighed several hundred pounds, on a pole that was designed to “break away” when impacted created an unsafe condition that placed drivers and others on Bragg Boulevard at risk of serious personal injury during a motor vehicle accident.

After the accident, Polumbo’s blood-alcohol level registered at .17%, which is more than double the .08% drunk driving limit. Earlier this year, she pled guilty to reckless driving, DWI, driving after consuming alcohol while under the age of 21, and felony death by vehicle. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation.

May’s family is asking for over $10,000 in wrongful death-related damages.

Catastrophic motor vehicle accidents can be complex injury or wrongful death cases that require the skills and knowledge of an experienced North Carolina wrongful death lawyer. In certain instances, more than one negligent party may have contributed to causing the deadly accident. Our North Carolina wrongful death lawyers know how to prove liability so that we can claim damages from all responsible parties.

We can gather evidence, call on accident reconstruction experts, and work with medical experts that can explain how the injury wounds were caused by the accident. We will zealously pursue your wrongful death recovery.

May family files lawsuit in fatal DWI, FayObserver.com, May 16, 2008

North Carolina Drunk Driving Law, About.com

North Carolina Drunk Driving Statistics, Alcohol Alert.com

North Carolina Construction Worker Falls Down Elevator Shaft In Raleigh

May 13, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, A construction worker was injured in Raleigh on Monday after falling down an elevator shaft while working on the RBC Plaza site. The man was in a big metal basket and being lowered down the shaft with a crane when he fell some 14 feet from the 21st floor of the high-rise construction structure. The patient was treated at WakeMed.

The injured man broke his ankle and ribs. A Hardin construction worker says that this is the first serious injury sustained by a construction worker since the construction project began in October.

Unfortunately, construction accidents have been known to occur frequently to construction workers because of the nature of their job. Crane accidents, exposure to hazardous substances, electric shock, explosions, welding accidents, defective or faulty equipment or machinery, falling from great heights, and getting hit by heavy falling or moving objects are some of the common kinds of construction injuries that occur.

Construction accidents can lead to serious injuries, such as broken bones, serious burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, permanent disabilities, loss of limbs, and death. Due to the seriousness of some construction injuries and the nature of construction work, an injured person may find themselves permanently unable to work.

Workers’ Compensation benefits, which provides injury and death compensation for employees injured or killed on the job, prevent an employee for being able to sue an employer for injuries sustained on the job. However, the presence of workers’ compensation benefits does not mean that you shouldn’t contact a personal injury if you have been injured on the job in North Carolina or South Carolina.

Your workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure you are getting the maximum amount of benefits that you qualify for and that you receive your compensation as soon as possible. Your attorney can deal with the company’s insurance company to make sure that your rights are protected.

Your personal injury lawyer can also investigate your construction accident to determine whether a third party can be held liable for your injuries. The manufacturers of defective construction equipment or machinery or companies associated with the construction project are just a few third parties who could be held liable with a personal injury or wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

Fall injures worker at RBC Plaza, Newsobserver.com, October 16, 2007

Construction worker hurt in fall in Raleigh, ABC11.com, October 15, 2007

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Statutes and Rules, Workerscompensation.com

RBC Plaza

Deadly New York Crane Accident Highlights Safety Issues As Multiple Cranes Operate in Charlotte, North Carolina

March 19, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The deadly New York crane collapse that left seven people dead and 10 others injured has brought the issue of crane safety to attention—especially in Charlotte, North Carolina where a number of cranes are in operation.

Heade Southeast, Inc. operates 20 cranes in Center City Charlotte alone, not to mention another 20 cranes in the rest of the region. Some cranes can carry weight as heavy as 40,000 pounds.

The North Carolina Department of Labor says that there have been four deaths involving cranes in North Carolina since 2004. Dennis Kenna, Heade Southeast President, cites human error or disregard of the manufacturer’s safety recommendations as causes for crane accidents.

Recent North Carolina construction-related crane accidents:

November 2006: No one was injured when a crane collapsed at a construction site at Caldwell and Third Streets.

May 2006: A construction worker suffered a broken arm, neck, and legs when he was struck by a big concrete bucket that fell from a crane.

August 2004: A construction worker died at ‘Steel Fab’ in West Charlotte when a large steel beam crushed him.

May 2004: A construction worker died in Statesville after a crane hit him.

In New York on Monday, rescue workers pulled three more bodies from the rubble of Saturday’s catastrophic crane collapse–bringing the death toll to seven. The three victims are construction workers Clifford Canzona and Santino Gallino and Florida resident Odin Torres.

Torres is the only fatality that was not a construction workers. She was visiting her friend John Gallego in a nearby town home at the time of the collapse. The town home was destroyed by the crane. As of Tuesday, Gallego was in critical condition after being pulled from below 30 feet of rubble.

The crane had fallen when a 5 ½-ton steel collar, which workers had been installing around the crane, brook loose. The falling collar hit another collar, which destabilized the crane. The crane then smashed into the building on East 51st street and then the townhouse.

If you have been injured in a North Carolina or South Carolina construction accident, you should contact our personal injury law firm for your free consultation.

Death toll in New York crane collapse rises to 7, Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2008

Crane safety questioned after incident, News14.com, March 17, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Crane Accidents

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Issues More Than 50,000 Traffic Violation Citations During Operation Slow Down

November 27, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Troopers in North Carolina issued over 50,000 traffic violation tickets during the November Operation Slow Down/No Need 2 Speed program, which is designed to apprehend drivers speeding on highways in North Carolina. From November 13 until November 25, 2007, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and local troopers worked together to apprehend anyone driving over the speed limit.

Speeding is considered a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. Last year, 554 people in North Carolina died in a motor vehicle accident where speeding was a factor. The NHTSA says that 13,713 people died in the United States in 2002 because of accidents involving speeding.

North Carolina’s Highway Patrol says that of the 51,198 citations that it issued, 24,274 of them were for speeding violations. 954 violations involved DWI (driving while impaired).

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a car accident, truck collision, bus accident, pedestrian accident, or motorcycle crash because another driver on the road was speeding, you should contact an experienced South Carolina or North Carolina motor vehicle accident lawyer right away.

Perils of Speeding
Speeding can make it hard for a driver to stop their motor vehicle suddenly and safely. It also decreases a driver’s ability to steer around objects on the street or go around curving roads safely. A driver who is intent on speeding may end up changing lanes unnecessarily in order to keep up the pace. Many deadly car crashes happen because a driver was speeding.

Safedrivingtest.com offers a number of survival strategies that doesn’t involve speeding:

• Drive the speed limit.
• Don’t let the car behind you pressure you to speed.
• Slow down even below the speed limit in rainy, icy or snowy weather or on a road that is under construction.
• Don’t tailgate.
• Generally keep pace with the flow of traffic.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that it plans to continue keeping a vigilant watch for anyone speeding on the roads.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, 20 peopled were killed on North Carolina’s highways. Although the causes of all the accidents have not yet been determined, officials expect that speeding, not paying proper attention to the roads, carelessness, drunk driving, and not wearing seatbelts will arise as some of the reasons for the deadly crashes.

Troopers issue 50,000 tickets during statewide speeding crackdown, Charlotte.com, November 27, 2007

20 killed on N.C. highways over holiday, Charlotte.com, November 27, 2007
N.C.’s Operation Slow Down to ‘Crack Down’ on Speeders, Enhance Safety, Insurance Journal, November 13, 2007

More about Speed, Safedrivingtest.com

Related Web Resource:

Gov. Easley Announces Operation Slow Down/No Need 2 Speed, State of North Carolina Office of the Governor

North Carolina Inmate Killed On Roadside Cleaning Crew Lacked Proper Safety Equipment

July 17, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

State officials in North Carolina are investigating whether the Department of Correction administrator let a group of inmates work on a six-person roadside cleaning crew last Tuesday without giving them the proper safety equipment that they needed to stay safe on Interstate 40 near Lake Wheeler Road. One of the inmates, Charles Wilson, died after an SUV struck an empty prison van nearby. The van then rolled onto him.

Several inmates and workers at the Wake Correctional Center said that a corrections officer told his supervisor that the crew lacked the proper safety equipment, including road signs to warn motorists of their presence while working in the area. They say that the supervisor disregarded the absence of the equipment. A corrections department spokesperson says that the accusations are being investigated.

The van also struck inmate John Terry and correction officer John McDonald.

Police have charged Frederick Henri Beaujeu-Dufour, a Clinton resident and the man driving the SUV, with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Road Construction Site Injury Statistics

• From 1995-2002, 844 workers died at a road construction site in the US
• More than 50% of these deaths involved motor vehicle accidents

The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices defines a work zone as:

“an area of a highway with construction, maintenance, or utility work activities. A
work zone is typically marked by signs, channelizing devices, barriers, pavement
markings, and/or work vehicles. It extends from the first warning sign or high-
intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe lights on a vehicle to the ‘End Road Work’ sign or the last temporary traffic control device.”

By law, safety markers must be in place to ensure that workers on the road are safe. If North Carolina’s Department of Corrections knowingly allowed the inmates to work on the roads without the proper safety equipment, they could be held liable for the personal injuries and wrongful death sustained by some of the inmates. The driver of the SUV, Frederick Henri Beaujeu-Dufour, could also be held liable for the wrongful death of inmate Charles Wilson.

Inmates in roadside accident lacked safety equipment, Winston-Salem Journal, July 13, 2007

1 North Carolina Inmate Dies, 2 Injured in Roadside Crew Accident, WRAL.com, July 11, 2007

Fatal occupational injuries at road construction sites

Related Web Resource:

Notification of the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Final Rule, U.S. Department of Transporation Federal Highway Administration

 
 

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