Topic: Personal Injury

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.

Letting Go of Timidity and Launching that North Carolina Class Action Lawsuit

April 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Why have you yet to file a North Carolina class action lawsuit? Why haven’t you take action to protect your rights and to hold a dubious insurance company or narcissistic boss or negligent product maker to any kind of account?

After all, you have plenty of reason to want to take action. Exhibit A: your serious injury or your loved one’s serious injury. Exhibit B: your strong belief (perhaps supported by evidence) that someone or some institution has not played fair with you–either failed to warn you about some danger or put you in harm’s way due to negligence, misanthropy, carelessness, fatigue, or some combination of bad factors.

Yet you are restrained. You are not taking action.

Rather than beat yourself up over this, recognize this “timidity problem” is incredibly common among accident victims. The tort reform lobby likes to paint North Carolina personal injury plaintiffs as somehow overly entitled or venal. This stereotype is totally incorrect–and almost the reverse of what’s true.

Most people who get injured are extremely reluctant to take their fight to the court system, even when they have extremely good reason to do so.

The reason they’re so reluctant is that most people don’t like to make waves. They don’t like the idea of “suing” someone or some company. It sounds really aggressive. Plus, when you “sue” someone or put up any kind of legal fight, you need to jump through all sorts of hoops and possibly retain a North Carolina personal injury class action lawyer (which can be an intimidating proposition). Then you may need to get embroiled in a battle that puts your reputation on the line (or at least so you fear). Ultimately, you may not even get results.

Thus, you could fight very hard, get your hopes up and then see those hopes dashed.

No, the problem is not that too many people pursue legal action–it’s that timid people who should at least consider their options are intimidated from exploring their options.

Understand that it’s an act of tremendous bravery and courage just to pick the phone and connect with a mass tort law firm, like DeMayo, at (877) 529-1222. Calling our firm or any reputable firm may force you to abandon your comfort zone, temporarily. And when you are sick and injured or financially struggling, the last thing you want to do is “go out of your comfort zone” even more.

But recognize that you owe to yourself and your family to understand your rights and options, even if you never decide to act on them through the court system. First, seek help, and then make a more informed decision once you know your options better.

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Pharmacy Malpractice Allegations Made Against CVS Pharmacy in Huntersville

March 21, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Cornelius woman claims that she almost died because a CVS Pharmacy in Huntersville gave her a combination or drugs that proved dangerous. Michele Thomas filed a complaint with the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy against CVS and the pharmacist who dispensed the  medications.

If the pharmacy or the pharmacist was negligent and played a role in causing Thomas’s health issues, she could have grounds for a Mecklenburg County, North Carolina pharmacy malpractice lawsuit. Thomas said that the pharmacy filled her prescription for the drug Allopurinol to treat gout in October 2010. At the time, she was taking Imuran because she of a kidney transplant  she underwent years before. Thomas contended that she did not know that taking the two medications together was dangerous.

Six months later, she went to the ER. Tests showed that taking the two drugs at the same time caused her system to shut down.

Thomas said that even now she suffers from health complications and she still cannot work. She claims that the pharmacy has a software system that is supposed to oversee customer prescriptions to prevent such errors and that it failed. Thomas also believes that the pharmacist was at fault.

Meantime, CVS has put out a statement reaffirming its commitment to customer safety. The company said that it has taken steps to make sure that such a mistake, if one did in happen in Thomas’s case, doesn’t occur again.

Pharmacy Malpractice

Pharmacy mistakes can cause serious health complications and even death. It is important that the pharmacist and his/her assistants correctly read a prescription note and provide the customer with the right medication and adequate instructions to make sure that the drug is taken correctly.  Examples of pharmacy mistakes include giving the wrong drug (pharmacy misfills), dispensing a combination of drugs that could cause an overdose or dangerous reactions, dispensing medications that could cause allergic reactions for the patient, and neglecting to design and implement a quality assurance system that can successfully prevent pharmacy errors.

Often, pharmacists at a busy establishment are in a hurry and they may be trying to focus on completing multiple tasks at once. Some pharmacy employees who are hired may lack the experience or knowledge to do a proper job.

Common causes of pharmacy mistakes include short staffing, confusion over medications that sound or look the same, poor physician handwriting that can be hard to decipher, to many prescriptions to fill, exhaustion, plenty of distractions, not enough time to make sure each customer understand what is involved with taking a drug safely and correctly, and failures in the established system of checks and balances that is supposed to prevent such errors.

Contact our Mecklenburg County, North Carolina personal injury law firm to request your free case evaluation.

Woman alleges pharmacy gave her dangerous drug cocktail, WSOCTV, March 19,  2012

Don’t be a victim of pharmacy errors, CNN, October 25, 2007

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit: Charlotte Woman Who Lost Her Breasts and an Arm in Propeller Accident Sues for Damages, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 25, 2012

North Carolina Workplace Shooting at Lumber Company Results in Three Deaths and One Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2012

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

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit: Charlotte Woman Who Lost Her Breasts and an Arm in Propeller Accident Sues For Damages

January 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Deondra Scott, a Charlotte woman who lost her breasts and an arm in a boating accident last summer, is seeking North Carolina products liability and personal injury damages. Scott was seriously injured when a boat propeller struck her during the popular Lake Bash event on Lake Norman, which is bordered by the counties of Iredell, Catawba, Mecklenburg, and Lincoln border Lake Norman.

The 25-year-old claims that while in the water the boat’s propeller hit her twice. In her North Carolina boating accident lawsuit she is suing Dennis F. Allen, David D. Orzolek, and Chaparral Boats Inc.

Scott contends that Allen, who was the boat’s operator, never drove a motorboat prior to that day and he lacked the skill to safely navigate one in a crowded, public area. She says that the propeller hit her as Allen was trying to tie it to another vessel and he still had the engine running.

Allen and Scott had come with a group of friends to the Lake Bash event. According to her North Carolina personal injury lawsuit, people shouted at him to turn off the engine but he “panicked,” redirecting the boat into reverse and causing the propeller to hit her. He then placed the boat’s gear in forward and that was when the propeller to hit her a second time.

Scott is also suing Orzolek, who is the person that Allen rented the boat from, and Chaparral Boats, the company that designed, made, and marketed the vessel. She contends that Orzolek should have known that Allen lacked the experience to safely operate the motorboat and shouldn’t have allowed him to rent the vessel. She believes that Orzolek could/should have done more to enforce appropriate safety procedures to renters.

Scott is seeking North Carolina products liability damages from Chaparral Boats. She is accusing the boat manufacturer of continuing to sell the boat even though its design isn’t safe. Scott says that designing the boat so that seven people end up seated behind the boat operator can obstruct the latter’s view. Also, she claims that the ladder and platform are located just a few feet from the propeller and the vessel came with inadequate warning signs about possible dangers, as well as lighting that wasn’t bright enough.

Scott sustained such severe injuries that she had to have her breasts and an arm amputated. She also suffered a severed sternum, lacerations on her legs, and punctured a lung. She says the accident has left her with serious psychological and emotional problems, medical expenses, permanent injury, scarring, limb loss, lost wages, and other damages.

Boat operators and boating companies must exercise caution so that they don’t end up running over swimmers or striking them with their propellers. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and serious injuries can happen that may prove fatal. You may have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury case.

Read the Complaint (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Families of Two Parasailing Victims Killed in Ocean Isle Beach Sue for North Carolina Wrongful Death, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 25, 2010 

Preventing North Carolina Drowning Accidents: CPSC’s Pool and Spa Drain Cover Recall a Reminder that Entrapment Can Lead to Serious Injuries and Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 6, 2011

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

North Carolina Workplace Shooting at Lumber Company Results in Three Deaths and One Injury

January 16, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A shooting at the McBride Lumber Co. claimed the lives of three people, injured another, and ended with the gunman putting a bullet in his head. The latter two remain in critical condition.

The North Carolina shooting incident happened on Friday in Montgomery County. All five people involved work at the lumber company.

According to Sheriff Dempsey Owens, there is a possibility that the shooter, Ronald Dean Davis, 50, may have been the target of harassment on the job. However, this theory has not been verified.

The victims who died are Jose Galdino Lopez Izquierdo, 25, Daniel Thomas Davis, 32, and a third person. Florentino Tellez Aparicio, 21, is still being treated at UNC hospitals.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation

Employees injured while doing their job are entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits. Fault doesn’t have to be a factor for an employer to have to pay these benefits. That said, employers are still responsible for creating a safe, non-hostile environment that is free of any hazards or dangers that could cause serious injuries or deaths. Victims and their families also may have grounds for filing third party lawsuits against liable third persons or entities. You generally cannot sue the employer for North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death. For loved ones who have lost someone who was injured in a work incident, you should be entitled to death benefits from the employer’s insurer.

Friday’s incident is not the only shooting to recently occur at a North Carolina workplace. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are searching for two men in connection with a robbery and the shooting death of Fast Wok restaurant employee Edward Rosen. The 52-year-old was fatally shot while working at the Charlotte, North Carolina restaurant earlier this month.

Of course, who can forget the deadly North Carolina shooting rampage that took place in 2009 when Robert Stewart stormed into the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center and shot 11 people. 8 of his victim, one nurse and seven elderly residents, died.

Stewart was reportedly targeting his wife.  Last year, a jury convicted him of second-degree murder. He will spend the rest of his life in prison. North Carolina wrongful death lawsuits have already been filed over the catastrophic shooting.

Unfortunately, insurance companies can try to delay or reject your claim for North Carolina workers’ compensation or survivor benefits. To make sure that you receive the benefits that you are owed in a timely manner, you should speak with an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm that handles work comp cases.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo represents clients in the North Carolina counties of Iredell, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Catawba, Alexander, Cabarrus, Rowan, Union, Burke, Lincoln,  Scotland, Robeson, Anson, Cleveland, Richmond, Caldwell, and Cumberland and the South Carolina counties of Lancaster, York, Marlboro, Chesterfield, and Dillon.

Victims of Star Shooting Spree Identified, North Carolina, WRAL, January 17, 2012

Chinese restaurant worker shot, killed during robbery in Charlotte, January 15, 2012

3 Killed in North Carolina workplace shooting, January 13, 2012

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Nursing Home Shooting Rampage: Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 12, 2011

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lessons: Getting over the Fear of Asking for Help, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 14, 2012

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

 

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

December 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

After spending a decade recommending that limits be placed on who can use a cell phone while operating a vehicle, now, the National Transportation Safety Board is now calling for a full ban on all cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. Only passengers would retain their right to talk on a phone or text message – unless it is an emergency situation, in which case a driver can call or text for help.

Currently, in North Carolina there is a statewide ban on texting while driving. Unlike a number of states, which have banned drivers from using hand-held cell phones, NC allows most drivers the use of both. The state has, however, prohibited drivers under 18 and school bus drivers from using cell phones. That said, even with such restrictions, this doesn’t mean that motorists are abiding by the laws. Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm are aware of the impact that distracted driving can have on a motorist’s ability to drive safely. We represent victims and their families who suffered injury or experienced a death because a driver or another party was negligent and caused a North Carolina car accident.

Unfortunately, even though there is growing awareness of the dangers of texting and other distracted driving behaviors, many people can’t seem to stop. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued its findings based on a national survey it conducted. Over 6,000 drivers participated.

Per the survey:

  • At any moment in 2010, nearly 1 out of every 100 drivers was either emailing, texting, on the Internet, or using a hand-held device for other purposes while rating. This rate of activity is about 50% over from the year before.
  • Most surveyed said they wouldn’t hesitate to answer an incoming call while driving.
  • Almost 2 out of 10 drivers admitted to sending emails or texting while driving.
  • Drivers in the 21-24 age group were more likely to text and drive.
  • Over half of respondents said making a call while driving doesn’t impact the way they drive.
  • About a quarter of those surveyed had the same opinion regarding how texting or sending emails affected their driving abilities.
  • 90% said they don’t like it when they are riding in car operated by a driver that is texting.
  • Bad weather was the situation during which most respondents would hesitate to talk on a cell phone or text/e-mail while driving.
  • Bumper-to-bumper traffic and rapidly moving traffic were two situations that might compel some driver to stop texting/e-mailing/talking on the phone.

Driver electronic device use in 2010, NHTSA, December 2011 (PDF)

NTSB: Ban all driver use of cell phones, CBS, December 13, 2011

More drivers texting but few think it’s dangerous, survey says, Denver Post/AP, December 9, 2011


More Blog Posts:

Enter Our Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm’s Drunk Driving Awareness Campaign This Holiday Season and Give Yourself the Chance to Win a Flip Camera, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2011

North Carolina Personal Injury: The Dangers of Road Rage, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December

 
 

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