Topic: Spinal Cord Injuries

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.

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

North Carolina 15-Passenger Van Accident on I-95 Sends Several People to Hospitals

September 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Several people were injured on Monday in a North Carolina 15-passenger van crash close to I-95 in Wilson County. The single-vehicle crash resulted in the van flipping over and landing upside down in a field. The Wilson County Highway Patrol says the vehicle was transporting migrant workers.

According to one witness, people were crawling out of the vehicle while others were pulled out. There was a lot of screaming by the victims, who didn’t appear to speak English. Several of the 15-passenger van victims were sent to the hospital.

15-Passenger Van Accidents
Unfortunately, 15-passenger vans are among the vehicles most at risk of rolling over during a North Carolina motor vehicle accident. This information is now common knowledge, yet many schools, groups, day care centers, camps, athletic programs, recreational centers, shuttle services, churches, hotels, and organizations continue to use 15-passenger vans for transportation. If you or someone you love was hurt in a 15-passenger van crash, do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina 15-passenger van law firm to request your free case evaluation.

The problem with 15-passenger vans is that they are designed in a way that when they are actually loaded to capacity cargo and passengers their rollover risk triples. Yet approximately 500,000 15-passenger vans continue to transport millions of people every year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, although 15-passenger vans have a lower death rate than other vehicles, it has a higher occupant fatality rate. Also, not just anyone can operate a 15-passenger van. Federal standards require that 15-passenger van drivers have a commercial driver’s license.

Because 15-passenger vans are bigger than most other autos, the driver must know how to navigate corners and turns, as well as how to safely back up. It doesn’t help that the van’s high gravity center causes the vehicle to become less stable the more weight is added to it. Too quick of a turn or lane change made or a tire blowout can cause the driver to lose control of the van, which could roll over to result in serious injuries, including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.

Many people seem to forget that riding a 15-passenger van is not like riding a bus and seat belts must be used as protection in the event of a deadly crash. Yet the driver or those supervising the van or trip don’t always enforce this.

You may have reason to pursue a North Carolina personal injury case against a negligent driver of van operator or another party. You may have reason to file a North Carolina products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the 15-passenger van or the manufacturer of one of the vehicle’s defective/malfunctioning parts.

Several people injured in van crash, ABC11, September 5, 2011

Multiple People Hurt In Crash In Wilson, WITN, September 6, 2011


Related Web Resources:

Q&A: 15-passenger vans, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Analysis of Crashes Involving 15-Passenger Vans, NHTSA (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Prevent North Carolina 15-Passenger Van Crashes by Not Overloading Vehicle, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 22, 2010

Tractor-Trailer Crash Involving 15-Passenger Van Kills 11 People, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2010

Minivan Tire Blowout Kills Six People and Injures 9 in Rollover Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 2, 2009

Woman Injured In Raleigh, North Carolina Bicycle Accident Dies

May 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Nancy Leady, 60, died last week after her bicycle was struck by a 21-year-old North Carolina State student. Brian Reid had been celebrating his 21st birthday when the tragic accident happened. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to control speed, and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Because a bicyclist does not have any protection, except for a helmet, from the impact of colliding with a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus, many bicyclists are prone to serious injuries when they are involved in a traffic accident. Serious bicycle injuries can include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, severed limbs, and death.

In Raleigh, Monroe, Hickory, Charlotte, or anywhere else in North Carolina or South Carolina, one of our bicycle accident lawyers can explore your legal options with you.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 622 bicyclists died in traffic accidents in 2003.
• 46,000 others were injured that same year.
• The average age of bicyclists killed in 2003 was 35.
• Over 30% of bicyclist deaths involved alcohol (whether the pedalcyclist or motorist).

In preparation for National Bicycle Safety Month in May, the N.C. Department of Transportation offers the following reminders to motorists about keeping bicyclists safe:

• Keep a lookout for oncoming bicyclists when turning left and wait for them to clear the intersection before completing your turn.
• After passing a bicyclist on your right, take care not to cut them off by immediately turning right in front of them.
• Slow down when passing a bicyclist to make sure the rider is aware of your presence and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the bicyclist.
• Stay alert for bicyclists who suddenly swerve or turn in front of you.
• Yield to bicyclists, when appropriate, as you would for other motor vehicles.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles says that 114 bicyclists died and almost 2400 others were injured in traffic accidents in North Carolina from 2001 to 2005.

Bicyclist dies after struck by vehicle, News14.com, April 24, 2008

May is National Bicycle Safety Month, NCDOT.org

Related Web Resource:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Mother Dies in North Carolina Fall Accident From Dorm Bunk Bed While Visiting Daughter at UNC-Chapel Hill

September 13, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The mother of a 19-year-old UNC-Chapel Hill student died last month from a fatal head injury she sustained during a fall from her daughter’s dorm room bunk bed. The bed did not have safety rails. Donna Sykes was 49.

Donna was reportedly helping her daughter Jesse, who has cerebral palsy, adjust to dorm life. Jesse did not have a roommate.

According to campus officials, students have the option of elevating the beds anywhere from three inches off the ground to close to 6 ½ feet when they move into a dorm room. The beds don’t come with rails, but students can request them. Now, however, school officials are considering making the bed rails a requirement. Since Donna’s Chapel Hill fall accident, the university has received dozens of requests for the optional attachments.

According to the NewsObserver.com, one college junior, Matt Wilding, says that his bed became wobbly and unstable when he tried to elevate it to the highest height possible at the beginning of the semester. He ended up lowering the bed almost a foot so that it was raised enough that he could fit his desk and fridge underneath. Wilding says he wasn’t even aware that bedrails were an option.

According to housing director Larry Hicks, Donna Sykes’ death was the first one resulting from a bunk bed fall at the university and that in the last decade, only a handful of students have been hurt in North Carolina fall accidents from the dorm beds. Safety consultant Mark Briggs says, also in NewsObserver.com, that most fall accidents from dorm bunk beds happen because students were playing around, drunk, or having sex.

North Carolina Fall Accidents

If you or someone you love was injured in a North Carolina fall accident on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a Chapel Hill, North Carolina personal injury case if negligence on the premise owner’s party contributed to allowing the accident to happen. If a defective or poorly designed product was involved, you also may have grounds for a North Carolina products liability case against a manufacturer.

Fall accidents—especially ones from elevated heights, can cause broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even wrongful death.

UNC fields bedrail requests after deadly fall from bunk, NewsObserver, September 11, 2010

Woman’s fatal fall from dorm bunk prompts calls for bed rails, WBTV/WTVM, September 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Head Injury, emedicinehealth

ConAgra Foods Workers Injured During 2009 Slim Jim Blast File North Carolina Negligence Lawsuit Against Town of Garner and More than 15 Contractors

April 22, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Over 20 ConAgra Foods workers who were injured during an explosion at the company’s Slim Jim plant last summer are suing the town of Garner and more than 15 contractors for North Carolina negligence. The workers sustained serious injuries, including emotional trauma and serious burn injuries, during the June 14, 2009 blast that was caused by a natural gas leak. 3 workers died and 38 were hurt. Also included as plaintiffs in the North Carolina negligence lawsuit are the wife of an ex-worker and one contract worker.

Federal investigators say the blast was caused by the improper indoor purging of a gas line that provided the fuel to the water heater. In their North Carolina negligence complaint, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants knew this was taking place but didn’t stop it. The explosion happened as a contractor attempted to light a gas-fired water heater in a pump room. The complaint also contends that the town let contractor Midsouth Industrial Refrigeration Inc. install natural gas and propane lines even though it lacked the proper licenses and limits.

As a worker injured on the job, you are likely entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits. This precludes you from suing your employee for personal injury or wrongful death. However, you still may be able to file a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death complaint against liable third parties.

Explosions at a workplace can result in serious injuries for those that are lucky enough to survive. Burn injuries, disfigurement, broken bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and emotional trauma are just some of the serious work injuries that can result. You deserve to receive all the injury compensation that you are owed for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Workers injured in ConAgra explosion file civil suit, NewsObserver, April 8, 2010

ConAgra workers sue N.C. town, Omaha.com, April 8, 2010

Third Body Found in Slim Jim Plant Explosion Rubble, FoxNews/AP, June 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:
ConAgra Foods

Town of Garner, North Carolina

Over 37,000 North Carolina Brain Injury Patients a Year Require Emergency Room Care

March 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The Newsobserver.com reports that 37,000 emergency room patients are treated for North Carolina brain injuries each year. The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina calls TBIs a “silent epidemic,” with more people suffering from brain injuries than there are patients diagnosed with breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS combined. In the state of North Carolina alone, there are 180,000 brain injury patients—equal to Fayetteville’s entire population.

Many people don’t really understand what a TBI is or how serious the injury can become in certain cases if medical attention isn’t immediately sought. Also, with car crashes and fall accidents as two of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries, many victims sustained their injuries because another party was negligent. Please do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina brain injury law firm to explore your legal options.

March has been designated Brain Injury Awareness month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its latest report on TBI’s called “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death.” Among its latest statistics:

• There are approximately 52,000 TBI deaths in the US every year.
• 1.7 million hospital visits are traumatic brain injury-related.
• 75% of brain injuries are considered mild TBIs.
• Older people, above the age of 65, kids, younger than 5, and teens, 15-19, are most at risk of suffering from a TBI.
• Adults, 75 and older, had the highest TBI death and hospitalization rates.
• The leading known causes of TBI’s are falls, motor vehicle crashes, getting struck by or striking an object, and assaults.

Sustaining a serious TBI can prove catastrophic and not to mention devastating for the victim and loved ones. The costs of living with one can be astronomical.

When you look at the most common causes of TBI’s, it is no surprise that many traumatic brain injuries could have been prevented. Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm to discuss your TBI case.

CDC Study Examines Rising Incidence of TBI, Medpage Today, March 19, 2010

Brain injury alters her life, Newsobserver.com, March 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Brain Injury Association of America

Living with a TBI, Brain and Spinal Cord.org

North Carolina Wrongful Death Settlement Reached Between City of Charlotte and Family of Woman Fatally Struck by Fallen Tree

December 9, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death settlement has been reached between the city and the family of Kay Plyler. The agreement comes today just as jury selection in the civil trial was about to begin.

Plyler died in March 2008 when a tree fell on the car that she and her daughter Taylor, then 14, were riding in. Plyler, who was crushed in the freak accident died from her injuries. Tyler survived the falling tree accident but was injured.

The Plyler family’s North Carolina wrongful death attorneys have claimed that the city of Charlotte was aware that the tree’s root system was decaying yet failed to warn the public that the tree was dangerous. Meantime, Charlotte’s lawyers had argued that the city was unaware that the tree roots were rotting.

The terms of the Charlotte wrongful death settlement is confidential and settlement amount still needs to be approved by the Charlotte City Council. Attorneys for both sides say that the money will cover Taylor’s college education. Plyler’s son and husband were also awarded damages.

Getting hit by a falling tree, especially a large one, can cause serious injuries to victims. Just last week, a 33-year-old man filed a personal injury lawsuit against the city of New York, Central Park, and the Central Park Conservancy for the spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries he sustained when a limb from one of the trees in the park struck him last summer. According to statistics, between 1995 – 2007, more than four hundred people were killed in accidents involving falling limbs or trees.

Premise owners can be held liable for North Carolina premises liability or wrongful death if there is a hazard on the property that could have or should have been remedied but wasn’t and, as a result, causes injury or death. Rotting trees are more at risk of falling when the soil is soggy or the winds are high. It is a premise owner’s responsibility to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Settlement Reached In Wrongful Death Lawsuit, WSCOTV, December 7, 2009

City settles suit over fatal tree accident, Charlotte Observer, December 9, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Kay Plyler, Death Notice, Charlotte Observer, March 14, 2008

Recognizing Tree Hazards, Trees are Good

Fayetteville, North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Teen’s Drowning Accident in Drainage Ditch Can Continue, Says Judge

August 18, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

An appellate court judge in Fayetteville says that the North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of 17-year-old Jesse Marquil King can go forward. King drowned in August 2005 after he fell into a flooded ditch during a rainstorm. The ditch’s pipe dragged the teenager under the water. His family is suing the city of Fayetteville for his drowning death and is accusing the city of negligent maintenance of the drain system.

In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel agreed that North Carolina law doesn’t provide immunity against the state when it comes to operating storm drains. This ruling upholds a trial judge’s decision and allows the Fayetteville wrongful death lawsuit to move forward.

Premises Liability Lawsuits
Property owners and managers are supposed to make sure that there is no condition on the premise that could lead to personal injury or wrongful death. Inadequate maintenance, when a landowner neglects to maintain a premise or something on the property that could cause injury, is one reason for filing a North Carolina premises liability civil complaint for damages if someone gets hurt.

Storm drains are supposed to help drain water or melting snow off the streets so that the streets don’t flood. Unfortunately, storm drain accidents are not uncommon, especially if the grate has some defect that allows a person or a bicycle to fall into it. Fall accidents can lead to broken bones, dislocated body parts, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries. In King’s case, falling into a storm drain caused him to drown.

Government and safety officials can be held liable if there is an unsafe condition on a road that causes an injury or death to happen.

Ruling allows wrongful death suit against Fayetteville to proceed, FayObserver.com, August 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Read the Court’s Opinion (PDF)

Premises Liability Overview, Justia

Spinal Fractures From Motor Vehicle Accidents Can Be Prevented if Seat Belts are Used Along with Air Bags, Says New Research

January 28, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

The chances of a motor vehicle occupant sustaining a spinal fracture decreases if the driver or front side passenger is wearing a seat belt and riding in a car equipped with air bags. This information comes from research gathered from records of over 20,000 auto accident victims who received medical attention at Wisconsin hospitals after t auto collisions that occurred between 1994 and 2002. The article, found in the latest issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, is called “The continued burden of spine fractures after motor vehicle crashes.”

A spinal fracture occurs when at least one vertebrae in the neck or back breaks. A serious spine fracture can cause a spinal cord injury, paralysis, or death. Auto accidents are the number one cause of SCIs. 2,530 of the accident victims who took part in the study had spinal fractures. 64 of them died while they were in hospitals.

The 20,276 study participants had to be older than 15 and were riding in the front of the vehicles when the auto collisions happened. They also could not have been ejected from the vehicle and their files had to come with complete ICD-9-CMs.

Among the study’s findings:
• Combined seat belt and air bag use provide added protection and lower the risk that an auto accident victim will sustain a spinal fracture
• 38% of the victims were not using seat belts when the auto collision happened.
• Just 14% of the study participants were equipped with both air bag and seat belt protection when the auto crash happened.
• Air bag use alone without a seat belt was linked to a greater risk of thoracic spine fracture injuries.
• Speeding and drunk driving were two of the major causes of these motor vehicle crashes studied.

SCI Facts
• 250,000 Americans have spinal cord injuries.
• 11,000 new injury cases happen each year.
• Common causes of spinal cord injuries include auto accidents, violent incidents, fall accidents, and sports-related accidents.

Research: Air Bags/Seat Belts Important in Preventing Spine Fractures, Huliq.com

Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Statistics, Sci-Info Pages

Related Web Resource:
Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Several People in North Carolina are Injured in Head-On Collision on Highway 98 in Wake County

August 21, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Northern Wake County, four people were transported to hospitals on August 14 after the vehicles they were riding in became involved in a head-on car accident on Highway 98 between Ghoston Road and Marsh Field Road.

North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers said the accident happened when a Mustang crossed over the center lane and struck a sport utility vehicle. The SUV spun to the other side of the road. A pickup truck riding behind the SUV swerved to avoid the crash and landed in a ditch.

EMS workers spent almost two hours extricating one of the victims from the Mustang. The jaws of life had to be used to get him out. He was given pain relief shots while the EMS team worked and before he was transported to the hospital. The driver of the SUV and the pickup truck driver and his son were also taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

2007 Traffic Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 2,491,000 motor vehicle injuries that occurred in the United States in 2007 and 41,059 fatalities. The NHTSA says that of those deaths 1,675 took place in North Carolina.

Head-on collisions can result in serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, massive internal injuries, and wrongful death. If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle crash in Raleigh, Charlotte, or another city in North Carolina, our personal injury law firm would like to talk to you. Our North Carolina car crash lawyers are dedicated to helping our motor vehicle accident clients recover the maximum compensation they are owed for their injuries.

Three vehicles involved in accident on Hwy. 98, ABClocalgo.com, August 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Head-On Collisions, Safety.Transportation.org

6-Year-Old North Carolina Girl Paralyzed in Car Crash Is Center of Local Fundraising Efforts

June 12, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Hillsborough, North Carolina, town members are trying to raise funds for Khari Clark-Hester, a 6-year-old girl who is paralyzed from the waist down after she suffered spinal cord and brain injuries during an auto crash on April 10.

Khari sustained these catastrophic injuries when the passenger side of the car she was riding in was hit by a pickup truck. Khari spent several weeks in intensive care at NC Children’s Hospital and was later moved to a rehabilitation center. Her mother and 2-year-old sister were also involved in the crash but are now both fine. Khari needs money to pay for a medical car seat, a wheelchair ramp outside their house, and other medical costs.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, our catastrophic injury lawyers can help you or your injured family member recover personal injury compensation from the negligent party to cover your losses and damages. Catastrophic injuries are often life changing accidents, and living with a TBI or an SCI can be very expensive.

Traumatic Brain Injury
A sudden trauma to the brain can cause a traumatic brain injury. While a mild TBI can result in temporary unconsciousness, headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision, a more person with a serious TBI may experience convulsions, seizures, permanent brain damage, or fall into a coma or brain death.

Spinal Cord Injuries
A severe blow that dislocates or fractures the spine can lead to a spinal cord injury. An SCI patient may experience loss of sensation, sexual dysfunction, respiratory problems, loss of movement, including paralysis, and other serious health problems.

Our North Carolina auto accident lawyers know how to prove that a negligent motorist or another liable party caused your catastrophic injuries. We will zealously pursue your recovery. Our personal injury lawyers have successfully obtained compensation for the families of minors seriously injured in auto crashes.

Community unites to help accident victim, The Daily Tar Heel, June 12, 2008

Town rallies for injured girl, The Chapel Hill News

Related Web Resources:

Spinal cord injury, MayoClinic

Traumatic Brain Injury

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

Two North Carolina Police Officers Are Injured After Falling Through Building Skylights

May 8, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Catawba County, North Carolina, two Longview police officers were injured after falling through a roof. The men were inspecting what they thought was a break-in at a roofing equipment and tools company E.L. Hilts & Co.

The two officers saw that the gate to the building was unlocked and a ladder was leaning against the building. One man climbed the ladder and fell through the roof. The other officer fell soon after. There apparently were two fiberglass-like skylights that had been painted over to match the color of the roof and the men had stepped on them.

One officer sustained serious head injuries from falling 20 feet. He was taken to Winston-Salem by airlift where he was admitted to Baptist Medical Center. The second police officer landed on the banister of a stairwell and his injuries were not as serious. He was taken to a Hickory hospital and later released.

Longview police later discovered that an employee that worked for the company had left the ladder against the building and forgot to lock the gate.

It is the responsibility of all North Carolina property owners to make sure that any hazardous conditions are removed from the premise so that patrons, visitors, employees, residents, or guests are safe from serious harm. In the event that there is an unsafe condition that exists on the premise, property owners must provide proper warning and take the correct safety precautions so that serious injuries and deaths are prevented.

Please contact our North Carolina premises liability law firm to discuss the specifics of your injury case.

Fall accidents, especially from elevated heights, can lead to serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, massive organ injuries, permanent disabilities, and wrongful death. You may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against a negligent party. You will increase your chances of obtaining a successful financial recovery by retaining the services of an experienced North Carolina premises liability lawyer.

Falls through skylights injure 2 officers, Charlotte.com, May 8, 2008

Fall through roof injures officer, Hickoryrecord.com, May 7, 2008

Dozens of North Carolina School Kids are Injured When School Buses Collide

November 9, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Selma, North Carolina, approximately three dozen students sustained minor injuries on Wednesday in a bus accident on Highway 96. The school children were taken to local hospitals following the multi-bus accident.

Three school buses were involved in the motor vehicle collision, in which one bus rear-ended another. The driver of one of the buses sustained neck injuries. A parent of one of the children experienced a panic attack and also had to be taken to a hospital.

The school buses had come from Selma Middle School and Selma Elementary School.

Every day, more than 23 million elementary, middle school, and high school children ride school buses to and from school. At least 17,000 kids are injured in school bus accidents each year.

School bus drivers and the schools and bus companies that employ them are required to exert a reasonable duty of care to make sure that children who ride the buses are transported safely to and from school. If their failure to exercise this reasonable care causes a student on the bus or a student getting on/off the bus or walking near the bus to become injured, the bus driver, the school, and/or the bus company may be held liable for personal injury.

Bus accidents can result in serious injuries, including abrasions, internal injuries, burns, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death.

Common kinds of injury accidents involving school buses include a bus colliding with another motor vehicle, a bus striking a pedestrian, a student sustaining injuries while getting on and off the bus, and bus rollovers. Causes of driver negligence can include speeding, carelessness, not paying proper attention (including talking on the cell phone or text messaging while driving), reckless driving, and drunk driving. The school or bus company’s hiring of unqualified bus driver and improper maintenance of the bus can also lead to bus crashes.

If your child was injured or killed in a bus accident in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should speak with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with bus accident cases.

Bus wreck injures students, News & Observer, November 9, 2007

27 kids injured in school bus crash, News14.com/AP, November 7, 2007

School bus injuries much higher than thought, MSNBC.com/AP, November 6, 2006

Related Web Resource:

School Bus Fatalities and Injuries, NCSBS.com

Raleigh Announces Plans to Prevent More North Carolina Pedestrian Fatalities by Improving Capital Boulevard

August 21, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The city of Raleigh wants to spend $420,000 on making road improvements to Capital Boulevard. The 10-mile stretch—going from Durant Road to Peace Street—is the most deadly stretch of road for pedestrians in Wake County.

In the last five years, at least eight pedestrians have died in North Carolina’s capital city while trying to cross Capital Boulevard.

Improvements will include:

• On Brentwood Road: Adding two refuge islands and pedestrian-activated signals at the intersection
• Millbrook Road, Calvary Drive, and Spring Forest: Adding refuge islands, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals
• Bufaloe Road: Adding pedestrian-activated signals at the intersection

The Raleigh City Council has approved the improvements, and now the city will need the approval of the state to implement the changes.

In the United States, there were 4,881 pedestrian fatalities and 64,000 pedestrian injuries in 2005. 70% of the pedestrians who died were men. 48% of all pedestrian deaths took place on a Friday, a Saturday, or a Sunday.

If you or someone you love is a pedestrian who was seriously injured on the road in a traffic accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, or because any other party acted negligently or carelessly, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away to determine whether you have grounds to file a pedestrian accident claim.

Injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident can be life-altering if not fatal. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries are just some of the many kinds of injuries that can result in a pedestrian-related crash.

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center offers a number of suggestions for how pedestrians can stay safe on the roads:

• Avoid walking in freeways and areas restricted to pedestrians.
• Cross streets where there are stop signs and crosswalks.
• If you have to walk on the road, walk in the direction that faces oncoming traffic.
• Pay attention. Not all drivers will be watching the roads carefully.
• Cross the roads carefully even when you have the right of way and the motor vehicles on the road are supposed to be stopped.

Capital to become safer for pedestrians, Newsobserver.com, August 21, 2007

Pedestrian Crash Facts, Walkinginfo.org

Pedestrian Safety Tips, Highway Safety Research Center

Related Web Resource:

Designing New Roadways, IIHS.org (PDF)

North Carolina Cyclist Dies After His Bicycle is Struck in Collision with Pickup Truck

August 13, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Michael Davis, Jr., a Roxboro resident, died from his injuries, after his bicycle was hit by a pickup truck on Durham Road. Davis was going southbound on U.S. 501 on his bike when he was hit from the back by Lee Wayne Lunsford of Timberlake.

He was declared dead at Person Memorial Hospital in Roxboro.

Bicycle accidents can lead to serious if not fatal personal injuries. Bicycle riders have no protection (except their helmets) when they are in accidents involving other motor vehicles. Scratches, bruises, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, road burns, and disfigurements are just some of the injuries that can occur in a bike crash.

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute offers the following statistics:

• Some 85 million people ride bicycles in the US.
• 784 cyclists died in 2005 in the United States.
• More than 90% of these deaths involved motor vehicles.
• Approximately 540,000 bicyclists are treated in U.S. emergency rooms because of injuries.
• About 27,000 bicyclists are hurt enough that they are hospitalized.

Common accident scenarios involving a bicyclist and the driver of a motor vehicle include:

• A motor vehicle driver overtaking a bicycle.
• A motor vehicle driver merging (or turning) into the bicyclist’s path (or vice versa).
• The motor vehicle driver/bicyclist not yielding the right-of-way.

A person who is injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver or because a stoplight was defective or there was dangerous debris on the road might be eligible for personal injury compensation.

Roxboro man struck, killed while riding bike on 501 S., Roxboro-Courier.com, July 25, 2007

Bicycling Crashes: Crash Types, Bicycling Info.org

Helmet-Related Statistic, Helmets.org

Related Web Resources:

Bicycle Laws of North Carolina, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation

Bicycle Safety Facts and Statistics, Federal Highway Administration

North Carolina Hit-And-Run Driver Turns Himself in to Face Charges In Death of Autistic Teenager

July 20, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Shannon White, a 29-year-old Shelby resident, gave himself up to North Carolina police on Wednesday following his indictment on involuntary manslaughter and felony hit and run charges for the death of Jonathan Scruggs, 18. Scruggs was walking down Caleb Road in Shelby in May when he was hit by White’s motor vehicle.

Scruggs, who had been home-schooled his entire life and was autistic, was headed to his first day of school at Cleveland Community College and his new job at Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries during the time of the hit-and-run accident. His family went looking for him and found his body on the side of the road.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in North Carolina, criminal charges can be filed against the driver for fleeing an accident scene. North Carolina law says that a driver has a “Duty to stop in event of accident or collision; furnishing information or assistance to injured person, etc.; persons assisting exempt from civil liability.” If found guilty for hit and run after causing an accident, the defendant may have to pay a fine and serve time behind bars.

As a victim of a hit-and-run car accident, you are entitled, by law, to seek legal remedies against the negligent party that caused your injuries. Injuries in any kind of car accident can range from mild to severe and can include mild bruises, broken bones, fractures, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can examine your injuries, investigate the accident, and prove that your injuries were caused by a hit-and-run driver. A criminal conviction will force the defendant to face the law for committing the crime of hit and run. A personal injury claim or lawsuit will allow you, the injured person, to collect damages for the injuries that have been done to you.

If your injuries are severe, you will need assistance covering your extensive medical bills and recovery costs. A personal injury case lets you hold the negligent party responsible for the costs that they have caused you to incur through your pain and suffering and injuries from the accident.

Shelby man turns self in to face hit-and-run charge, Charlotte Observer, July 20, 2007

Hit and Run Laws in North Carolina

Related Web Resource:

Fatality Facts 2005: Pedestrians

North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents and Deaths on the Rise

July 2, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that the number of motorcycle fatalities is growing. This year, the Highway Patrol has so far reported 47 motorcycle deaths, compared to 93 fatalities for all of 2006.

This rise in motorcycle collisions is reflected nationally. In 2003, 3,661 riders were killed while riding motorcycles in the U.S., while more than 67,000 sustained injuries. Police reported more than 79,000 traffic collisions involving motorcycles.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol cites better gas mileage as one of the reasons that motorcycles are growing in popularity. The increase in the use of motorcycles is one of the reasons that more accidents, injuries, and deaths are occurring.

Despite the laws and safety measures that exist to keep motorcyclists safe on our roads, riding a motorcycle can be a very dangerous experience. Motorcycle riders do not have anything to protect them from becoming seriously injured when they are involved in a traffic collision with a truck, car, or another motorcycle.

North Carolina is one of the U.S. states with a mandatory helmet law. Also under state law, motorcycle drivers are required to have a passenger seat and footrest on their motorcycle if they are carrying a passenger with them.

Injuries from a motorcycle accident can include broken bones, severed limbs, severe burns, cuts, scrapes, bruises, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, road burns, disfigurement, and wrongful death.

Motorcycle Fatalities Up Across State, News14.com, July 1, 2007

Motorcycle Rider Safety Data, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

North Carolina State Laws, AMA Database of Motorcycle Laws

Related Web Resources:

Motorcycle Safety, NCDOT.org

State of North Carolina Mandatory Helmet Law

 
 

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