Topic: Traumatic Brain Injuries

What Will the “World’s Most Detailed Brain Scans” Mean for North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment?

July 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina traumatic brain injury victims (and their families) often feel frustrated because they lack comprehensive information about prognoses.

TBI is a very, very complicated and poorly understood catalogue of conditions. Although most people talk about traumatic brain injury as a “single thing” — it’s more likely that there are many different types of TBI, even if commonalities exist among these different “species” of disorder.

Fortunately, scientists are making headway in terms of understanding how the brain works — particularly, our imaging capabilities are getting better and better.

BBC News recently reported that scientists connected with the Human Connectome Project are publishing “the most detailed brain scans the world has ever seen.” So far, the researchers have published the scans of more than five-dozen adults, and they hope to scan 1,200 brains and include DNA and behavioral traits in the data. They are making the
info available to neuroscientists for free.

Professor David Van Essen told the BBC “we are very optimistic that as the community delves… into these data sets, they will reveal new insights into the brain circuits of healthy adults.” The volunteers engaged in many tasks during the scans, including gambling, doing math, manipulating their bodies, etc. Professor Van Essen hopes that this analysis will “uncover which neural pathways are important in determining human behaviors.”

With these better scanning methods, researchers may better understand the neural circuits that relate to various activities and emotional states. By understanding how normal brains work — and what they look like when they are working normally — researchers will also be able to help people who struggle with cognitive dysfunctions, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury.

For instance, researchers might be able to look at a brain scan of your friend or loved one who suffered a concussion in North Carolina (or some other kind of TBI) and compare that brain map to the map of a cognitively normal person to determine what therapies might be appropriate, what drugs might be appropriate, what kind of training might be most useful, and so forth.

We are a long way away from serious practical applications of this kind of scanning technology, but we are headed in the right direction. Don’t let this discourage you. Recovering from serious brain injury is a long term proposition, after all. After all, your goal is long term health and wellbeing — optimized based on your accident history and other factors.

The sooner that you can begin to understand not only the injury itself but also your legal options, the more at ease you will feel about your long term situation. Get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today to go over your options and to protect your rights. Call us now at (877) 529-1222 for insight and a free case consultation.

Talk About Traumatic Brain Injury! Skull from 1200s Changes Scientists Thinking About Medieval Medicine…

June 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

When most people think about traumatic brain injury research, they fail to recognize that researchers themselves often understand very little about the history of TBI science.

Myths abound both at the level of subtle detail and at the level of large scale treatment.

For instance, many people believe that football related concussions definitively cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — and, indeed, this blog has published many articles suggesting that that link could be vigorous. But, to date, there has never been a thorough, double-blind, well controlled study to prove that thesis.

Scientific discoveries have a fascinating way of changing our perspective on TBI. Consider, for instance, the recent discovery of a mummy head specimen from the 1200s. Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist at University Hospital of France, says that researchers found a specimen dating back to the early 1200s — a man’s head that was preserved using surprisingly advanced preparation. According to Charlier, the preparer used cinnabar mercury, lime, and bee’s wax to preserve the veins and arteries in the head. The specimen will soon be on display at the Parisian Museum of the History of Medicine.

Here’s what’s really interesting! It’s a revelation that a “Dark Ages” physician would be able to preserve such a specimen in such exquisite detail, given our stereotypical beliefs about what the Dark Ages were like. It turns out that many of our beliefs about what happened during the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Advent of the Renaissance were misguided.

According to an article on Life Science about this phenomenon — “grotesque mummy head reveals advanced medieval science” from March 5th — “science had already been advancing swiftly starting way back in the 13th Century.” Copernicus, for instance — the guy who popularized the revolutionary idea that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice-versa — “took some of his thinking on the motion of the earth from Jean Buridan, a French priest who lived between about 1358 … but Copernicus credited the ancient Roman poet Virgil as his inspiration.”

Why is this all important?

It’s important to consider the historical context of traumatic brain injury science, because as someone who is recovering from an injury, you may be currently laboring under false beliefs about what you need to do — or what you should be doing — to manage the injury and its aftermath, particularly as it relates to compensation and liability.

The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo is ready to help you understand the dynamics of your case, so that you feel more empowered and less unsteady about how to proceed. Call us today at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation about your Charlotte TBI matter.

How Come No One Is Taking My North Carolina Concussion Seriously?

June 27, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you suffered a concussion in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, most people will be sensitive to your situation will provide support, good wishes, and care. But not everyone will understand your dilemma or be sensitive to your medical needs. Many people just don’t understand — or at least don’t fully understand — what it means to suffer a concussion.

As a result, they may encourage victims to return to vigorous activity before such activity is safe. For instance, a high school football coach may “shrug off” a young linebacker’s complaints of headache and dizziness and encourage him to go return to a big game.

As a result of that careless decision, the poor young kid can suffer a second impact injury, which can lead to edema, permanent neurological dysfunction, stroke, and even death. On a less dramatic note, subtle actions that demonstrate a lack of compassion or understanding can also cause harm. For instance, let’s say that your young son fell off a wall and conked his head. For the past several days, he has been resting in bed for 15 hours a day. You understand that “he is not feeling good,” but you also want him to go back to school and “shake it off.” So you might gently encourage him to stop resting so much and “rejoin the world.”

Even though you may not intend to do any harm, if you rush him through the healing process, you can make rehabilitation longer, more painful, and more fraught.

Conversely, careless/uncaring people can make errors of neglect or omission that can redound to horrible effect. For instance, in the situation described above, maybe the child really needs to see a doctor immediately because he’s suffering bleeding in the brain or some other horrible symptom. If a caregiver fails to take action to get proper medical help within the proper timeframe, irreversible damage can occur.

These points may seem obvious. But many people who suffer brain injuries accidentally feed into this behavior by “striving to please” or forcing themselves too hard. Now is not the time to worry about your boss, your coach, your teacher, or your friends. Now is the time to worry about brain injury — healing from the trauma and getting the rest and astute medical care you need.

To remove at least one worry from your plate, consider getting in touch with the Charlotte traumatic brain injury law firm of DeMayo Law today. We can begin to investigate your case and make sure that you are situated for a powerful legal response, so that you can rest a little easier. Call us now at (877) 529-1222 for thorough help.

53 Members of Congress Want to Investigate Whether IED Blast Induced Traumatic Brain Injuries May Be Sparking Suicide Epidemic in the Armed Forces

June 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Improvised explosive devices, also known as IEDs, were used against American service personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq in the wars over the past decade. New evidence suggests that these hidden bombs not only caused traumatic brain injury but also increased the likelihood of suicidal behavior.

Recently, 53 members of the US Congress sent a letter to Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, asking Congress to figure out what to do about the rash of suicides, possibly induced by IED traumatic brain injuries. Per the letter: “Evidence suggests that blast injuries, including but not limited to those causing damage to vision or hearing, can have a severe psychological impact…that can play a major contributing role in suicides.”

The prevailing theory is that the psychological trauma of combat causes mental distress that can lead to suicide. The alternative view that the bipartisan members of Congress want to investigate is that the IED explosions, in and of themselves, change the structure of the brain and make people more prone to suicide.

In other words, it’s not psychological stress. It’s a neurological problem–a physical, biochemical problem. According to the spokesman for the Blinded Veterans Association, Thomas Zampieri, “I’ve talked to a lot of neurologists, military neurosurgeons and trauma surgeons who have all started to ponder if the IEDs that have caused the TBIs are the real
cause of the suicides, versus the traditional approach that suicides are all caused by the psychological stresses of combat.”

According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, more than 266,000 troops suffered brain injuries in combat between 2000 and 2012–coincidental with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as special military operations around the world and training exercises.

If you or someone you love was hurt in combat or in training, and you want answers about what legal actions you can take regarding your traumatic brain injury case, please get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today for thorough, strategic assistance.

Scary New Research about Traumatic Brain Injury in Colleague Football Players: Even If You Don’t Get Concussed, You Can Still Sustain Serious Damage

June 20, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

New research produced by the Cleveland Clinic suggests that traumatic brain injury in college athletes may lead to a pathological process–long term harm–even when players don’t suffer diagnosable concussions.

The researchers looked at data collected from 67 collegiate players who played during the 2011 season. No player experienced a diagnosable concussion. However, 40 of the 67 players who got hit hard had high levels of an antibody that is associated with traumatic brain injury. The researchers sent these athletes to University of Rochester Medical Center for brain scans, where scientists analyzed them using a double blind analysis. Shockingly, abnormalities correlated with perturbed brain health were found in the brain scans of these non-concussed players.

According to the CDC, nearly half of all high school football players get concussed every season. College football players suffer similar rates of concussion.

This new research is quite alarming.

The implications are both shocking and potentially game changing. What if further research does bear out that the act of playing “regular” football is somehow fundamentally dangerous? How should we reform our institutions? Can the game itself be saved? Or will we just have to accept that student athletes will suffer some brain damage for the sake of
sport they love?

While much of our attention has been on the NFL–and for good reason, given the flood of new data we have on chronic traumatic encephalopathy–only 1,700 people play professional football.

Meanwhile, over 20,000 men play college football, and many more play high school football. If these players are suffering brain injury–or at least the beginnings of brain injury–without even getting concussed… that suggests that football may be more dangerous than even many alarmists have been suggesting.

The NCAA’s Chief Medical Officer, Bryan Hainline, issued a statement affirming the League’s commitment to the health and well being of student athletes: “we are actively collaborating with members, institutions and research facilities to improve with the health and safety of student athletes.”

If you or your child got “his bell rung” at a football game in Raleigh, Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you want answers. How can you afford to pay your medical bills? What should you do next in terms of bringing legal action–or at least researching legal action?

Our Charlotte traumatic brain injury law firm can help you answer those questions in a systematic, compassionate and confidential way. Call our offices now to get genuinely compassionate and thorough help with your situation.

Putting the Pieces of Your Traumatic Brain Injury Together: When You Can’t Remember What Happened

June 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s a very common problem with North Carolina traumatic brain injury cases.

A person gets hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, workplace disaster, or a fight. But because of the brain injury, the person can’t recall the events that led to the injury in an accurate, linear, and coherent way.

So what you do?

The solution must be concocted on a case-by-case basis. Certain strategies might be useful in some cases but not others. For instance, let’s say that you got hurt at a Charlotte construction site, when a coworker switched off a piece of machinery while you were riveting. The jolt from that action set you tumbling off your platform to the ground. In that case, perhaps video footage recorded the fall, or other tracking devices might have gleaned evidence that can be used forensically to piece together the situation. Or maybe a coworker or other witness saw you fall.

What about situations in which the injured person gets hurt, and no one sees what happened?

This happens a lot with car accident cases. For instance, a person might drive solo on a wind-y Raleigh street during the middle of the winter, slip on a patch of black ice, and hit a tree. The driver might get a serious brain injury and be unable to remember why he slipped. In this kind of case, indirect forensic techniques could help to discern the cause of the accident.

For instance, maybe the tire patterns on the road could offer clues about why the car slipped on ice. Or maybe a detailed examination can reveal that the braking system failed.

The point is that, as a victim or friend/family member of a TBI victim, you don’t really need to worry about the details of the forensics as much as you do need to worry about obtaining effective legal counsel as early as you can in the process, so that that counsel can begin an immediate investigation and assemble the proper forensics.

To that end, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today, so we can help you get a handle on your situation and build an effective case going forward.

How Much Will You Need to Be Involved with Your North Carolina Mass Tort Lawsuit?

June 9, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You are on offense. As someone who was injured (or whose loved one was injured), you are seriously considering filing a North Carolina class action or mass tort lawsuit — or an independent personal injury action.
On the other hand, you’re dubious. The thought of getting wrapped up in some complex legal action fills you with dread, because you don’t want to get roped into being a “lead plaintiff.” You want to forget about the traumatic experience — not have to relive it for months or years.

So how much, exactly, will you have to be involved in your legal fight?
The answer depends.

Obviously, if you choose to be a lead plaintiff — and if you’re pursuing a massive case against a huge company that could settle for tens of millions of dollars — then you obviously need to be pretty involved. However, the process is less involved and less confusing than you believe.
Assuming you pick a North Carolina class action law firm that’s a good fit for your needs — that shares your values and vision, and that has the experience and resources to argue effectively on your behalf — you won’t have to do much at all. That’s one of the beautiful things about finding good legal representation: When you’re well represented, you won’t have nagging questions distracting you from your day-to-day business and from the important work of recovery. You can focus all your attention on getting better, on fixing your financial problems, and on healing yourself psychologically.
While you ultimately need to “do more work” as a plaintiff in a class action or personal injury lawsuit than would if you “did nothing” about your case, the peace of mind that you’ll get will undoubtedly cancel out the extra work that you need to do.
For instance, if you don’t do anything, you might waste hours or even days’ worth of your time ruminating about aspects of your case or aspects of how to handle an insurance company.
That’s time you will never get back — time that you could spend relaxing or being productive.
Also — it should go without saying — but if you WIN your case, you should get well compensated for your injuries and damages. You will receive nothing, if you do nothing.
In summary: If you’ve been hesitant about connecting with an attorney, that hesitancy makes all the sense in the world. However, you might find it worthy to examine what’s at to the root of that hesitancy. Are you just scared about the time commitment? Because if so, that fear really doesn’t make objective sense. If not, probe deeper to understand what’s really going on — why, fundamentally, are you resistant to getting the help that you really need?

Really Sad North Carolina Mass Tort News

June 2, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Documenting North Carolina class action and mass tort lawsuits can be a sad and dispiriting exercise.

The lengths to which some companies will go to obfuscate the truth and to strive for profits at the expense of the wellbeing of human beings can shake one’s faith in humanity.

Consider, for instance, the recent resolution of a seriously twisted case out of New Jersey. A generic drug manufacturer, Par Pharmaceutical, pled guilty to charges to end civil and criminal investigations into its behavior. The drug maker will pay $45 million as punishment for marketing an AIDS drug, Megace ES, illegally for “off label uses.”

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) had allowed the drug maker to sell Megace ES to treat anorexia and unexplained weight loss in AIDS patients. But the company tried to expand its consumer base by selling the drug to elderly people who didn’t have AIDS.

According to a U.S. attorney who worked on the case, Paul Fishman, “Par admitted to choose to ignore [the FDA approval process for new uses of medications] in pursuit of more sales and greater profits … the conduct was wrong and went on for a long period of time.”

The company sent sales forces to call on nursing homes and hospice facilities to sell the drug. They also sought out confidential patient data to find people who could be switched to the expensive drug. According to plaintiff’s lawyers, Par refused to acknowledge the potential safety effects on patients because “there is little profit to be made by marketing the drug lawfully, due to advancements in HIV and AIDS treatments which drastically reduced the on label patient population.

It’s really a shame that we need lawyers and whistleblowers to watchdog large pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers.

In an ideal world, these companies would do due diligence and take it upon themselves to vet their products and ensure patient health and wellbeing over their own profitability. After all, if you’re going in business to help people manage their medical conditions, your fundamental obligation is to your customers.

Unfortunately, the real world is full of disappointing situations.

If you or someone you love was harmed as a result of some company’s negligence, carelessness, omission, or other malfeasance, the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to advise you. Please call us at (877) 529-1222 to get a confidential, free evaluation of your case. Let us help you ensure justice and gain some peace of mind.

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.

Charlotte, North Carolina Products Liability: Lawsuit Blames HALO SleepSack For Baby’s Tooth Injury

November 9, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 2-year-old must now wear a fake tooth after her real one got yanked out by the zipper tab of the HALO SleepSack that she was wearing. At the time, the title girl was just 14-months-old. Now, her family has filed a North Carolina products liability lawsuit against th wearable sleep blanket’s manufacturer.

The infant sleeper can be bought in stores, on the Internet, and at baby consignment sales. The HALO SleepSack is marketed as a blanket alternative. The company HALO told local channel WBTV that it has decided to redesign the zipper. However, it claimed that the risk of the type of accident that Taylor was involved in is under one in a million.

According to Taylor’s mom Lora Stern, the little girl’s tooth was pulled out of her gums that the blanket’s zipper tab got stuck on after the little girl kicked her feet, which, at the time, were close to her mouth. Taylor is not the only child to sustain an infant injury from the HALO SleepSack. One 9-month-old boy also sustained dental damage in a similar accident.

HALO SleepSack has also been linked to SIDS and child suffocation injuries.

Unfortunately, there are infant products out there that pose a threat of serious injury or death to babies. It is the responsibility of product manufacturers to make sure their consumer goods are free from any defects or flaws that could cause anyone to get hurt.

One of the few times that a parent or guardian can leave a baby alone without supervision is while they are sleep. This is one more reason why it is important that infant products be free from defects or dangers because there may not be an adult present protecting them from such hazards.

Even though the Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for recalling products that have since their release proved dangerous or unsafe, sometimes, recalls are not issued at all or they aren’t announced until after there have already been serious injuries or deaths. You may be able to file a North Carolina child injury lawsuit against a manufacturer to recover damages.

Some examples of accidents and injuries that have occurred because of unsafe or defective products:

• Suffocation
• Strangulation
• Choking
• Fall accidents
• Fingertip amputations
• Stomach problems from swallowing magnets and other small objects
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Fractures
• Eye injuries
• Burn injuries
• Lead poisoning
• Entrapment accidents

It is important that a manufacturer warn of any risks involved in using any type of consumer good and offer instructions on how to avoid them. Failure to warn of dangers or provide proper directions can be grounds for a products liability case.

There also may be other parties that can be held liable, such as the product’s distributor or seller.

Family says zipper yanked out baby’s tooth, WBTV, October 23, 2011

CPSC

SafeKids USA

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Products Liability?: Toning Shoes May Cause Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, August 10, 2011

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

Drop-Side Crib Ban and Tougher Crib Safety Rules Will Hopefully Prevent Some North Carolina Child Injuries and Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2010

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

Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm to Provide Free Speakers Bureau Service to Talk about the Legal Issues Affecting You

September 1, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

For nearly two decades the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has been an active member of the community and every year, our Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers give back by participating in and offering a number of public service programs. This year we are unveiling our Speakers Bureau, a public service program that allows us to meet with you and answer your questions about specific legal issues that may be impacting you. This service is free.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we know that the legal process can sometimes seem overwhelming and confusing. This is why we want to answer your questions and explain your legal rights. Our North Carolina injury lawyers are available to speak to your group or organization in Charlotte, Hickory, or Monroe about a number of topics, including (but not limited to):

General Interest:
• What to do if you get hurt in a car crash
• Pursing law as a career
• Choosing the best auto insurance for you

Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Crashes:
• What to do if you’ve been in a traffic crash
• Drinking and driving
• How to deal with insurance companies
• Understanding your auto/motorcycle insurance policy
• Traumatic brain injury and whiplash
• Dangerous roads

Caregiver and Family Support:
• How to handle insurers
• When you should speak with a lawyer
• Lost wages and medical bills

Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation:
• Who is eligible to receive benefits
• What you should do if you get hurt on the job
• What to do if your request for Social Security Disability is denied

How to Request Our Speaker’s Bureau:
To request a speaker from our law firm, fill out our Speakers Bureau Form. We will send you an e-mail notification confirming the receipt of your request. Please give us at least four weeks notice from when you would like us to speak. Speakers are available on a first come, first serve basis. Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers will make every effort to ensure that our presentation for you is informative and interesting. Professional groups, service organizations, volunteer groups, church groups, injury and illness support groups, educational groups, caregiver support groups, schools and educational groups, social clubs, and community associations are just some of the groups that could benefit from our Speakers Bureau program.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is located in Charlotte, Hickory, Monroe, and Lumberton, North Carolina, and we represent clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Other community services we offer include the Arrive Alive; Don’t Drink and Drive program and the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. We also remain actively involved in raising money and awareness for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving program and services, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina Thanksgiving food drive, and the Angel Tree Toy Drive.

For more information, visit our Web site or contact our Community Relations Director Kristine Woolley at kwoolley@demayolaw.com or call (704) 343-4644.

Read More About:
Arrive Alive: Don’t Drink and Drive

Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program

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

August 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

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

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

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

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

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

Related Web Resource:
Slip and Fall, Nolo

Premises Liability, Justia

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

 

HBO’s “Hot Coffee” Documentary Examines America’s Legal System and the $2.9M Personal Injury Verdict Against McDonald’s

June 30, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new documentary on HBO is asking viewers to take a closer look at America’s legal system and think about whether or not it restricts the legal rights of those seeking civil damages for personal injuries. Former public interest attorney and first-time filmmaker Susan Saladoff made the documentary film.

The documentary focuses on four “exhibits.” There is the infamous “hot coffee” lawsuit, involving senior Stella Liebeck, who a jury awarded $2.9 million for injuries she sustained when she spilled a cup of scalding coffee in her lap while in a parked car at McDonald’s. Liebeck, who sustained 3rd degree burns and had to receive skin grafts and undergo years of costly medical care, soon became the butt of jokes for such a big reward. Meantime, corporate America used her case as an example for why states should set caps on injury damages.

Also under close scrutiny is the case of 15-year-old Colin Gourley, a victim of medical malpractice who sustained a traumatic brain injury during birth. Although a jury awarded his family $5.6 million to provide for him for life, the caps on non-economic and economic damages in Nebraska reduced the award to $1.25 million.

You can check your local cable listing to see when “Hot Coffee” is airing on HBO.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm represent clients injured in accidents that were caused by other people’s negligence. It is so important that our legal system allows victims to be able to receive compensation for the harm that they suffered. Sometimes, injuries can be so severe that the victim may become disabled for life or no longer able to work. Medical and recovery expenses can be astronomical.

Hot Coffee, HBO

The McDonald’s Coffee Case, Lectlaw

Faces of Medical Malpractice, Center for Justice and Democracy (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
New North Carolina Medical Malpractice Bill Capping “Noneconomic Damages” at $500,000 Passes the State Senate, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2011

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

Chapel Hill Daycare Operator Sued for Infant’s Traumatic Brain Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 22 2009

Charlotte, North Carolina Slip and Fall Accidents Can Cause Painful, Debilitating, and Costly Personal Injuries

February 13, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you were hurt in a North Carolina fall accident on someone else’s property you may have grounds for a personal injury case. Today, our Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers would like to discuss slip and fall injuries in greater depth.

Slip and fall accidents cause injury to thousands of people each years. While what sounds like a minor accident of someone slipping on a slippery, slick, or wet surface and landing on the ground can seem harmless enough, this type of accident actually lead to serious and painful, debilitating injuries, and, in some cases, death.

For example, a North Carolina slip and fall accident on frozen ice can cause the victim to strike his/her head and sustain a traumatic brain injury, or a slip accident on a banana peel left on a flight of stairs can lead to back injuries and broken bones. For elderly persons, hip dislocation and fractures have been known to occur because of slip and fall accidents. Infection, health complications, and challenges with recovery can also occur.

North Carolina Premises Liability
To prove that the owner of the property where the North Carolina slip and fall accident is liable for your injuries, you will have to show that he/she was negligent and that this was the proximate cause of your personal injury. This means that you need to demonstrate that the premise owner either knew or should have been aware that there was a dangerous condition on the property, there was sufficient time to warn about or fix the condition after finding out about it, and North Carolina personal injury occurred as a result of these failures.

Other types of fall accidents that can be grounds for a premises liability case include trip and fall accidents, which involves the victim tripping on an object on the floor or an uneven part of the ground, step and fall accidents, which can be caused by the victim stepping into a gap or opening on the ground, and stump and fall accidents, which can occur because of an impediment on the floor. Examples of possible slip/trip/step/stump and fall accidents:

• Slipping on the wet floor of a hotel lobby
• Slipping on spilt milk left on a grocery store floor
• Tripping on toys left on the staircase
• Stepping into a pothole and falling forward
• Stumbling on an overgrown tree root in someone’s front yard
• Stumbling and falling backward off a stairwell because inadequate lighting made it hard to see

In North Carolina, you have three years from the date of the accident to file your Charlotte, North Carolina slip and fall lawsuit.

Slip and Fall, Nolo

Premises Liability, Justia


More Blog Posts:

More Reason to Prevent North Carolina Nursing Home Fall Accidents: Men More at Risk of Dying from Hip Fractures While Women Are More Likely to Sustain The Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 16, 2010

North Carolina Personal Injury Filed Over 2008 Assault at Convenience Store Alleges Inadequate Security, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 28, 2011

Mother Dies in North Carolina Fall Accident From Dorm Bunk Bed While Visiting Daughter at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 13, 2010

Goldsboro Driver Sustains Burn Injuries in Fayetteville, North Carolina Truck Crash

December 1, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

As of yesterday, a Goldsboro tanker-truck driver who sustained burn injuries from a Fayetteville, North Carolina truck accident on Interstate 95 on Monday night remains in critical condition.

Frankie Graves is in Chapel Hill at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center. The 54-year-old trucker sustained burn injuries on 40% of his body. According to North Carolina state troopers, the fuel tank of Graves’s tanker truck was punctured when the the vehicle struck the guardrail after crashing into a semi-truck that had stopped abruptly to avoid hitting the driver of a pickup truck that had run out of gas.

Graves reportedly jumped out of his cab with his clothes burning. Another man rolled him in the median to put out the fire.

Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be very painful and they can take a long time to treat and recover from. This can require costly surgeries, skin grafts, physical therapy, and psychological counseling. There may even be internal damage and permanent physical disfigurement. The burn injury victim may no longer be able to work, which makes the need for financial recovery if someone was liable for the injuries even more of a priority.

There is the misconception that passenger vehicle occupants are the only ones that get hurt in North Carolina truck crashes. Truck drivers do get hurt and sometimes it is because of the negligence of another trucker, the driver of a passenger vehicle, a trucking company, a truck manufacturer, or another liable party.

While injured truck drivers are likely entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation recovery, there also may be third parties that can be held liable.

Burned tanker truck driver still in critical condition, FayObserver, Oct 22, 2009

I-95 tanker accident still causing issues hours later, News 14, October 20, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Traumatic Brain Injury, Medline Plus

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Banning Defective Medical Devices: Report Raises Questions About Whether FDA is Doing Enough to Protect People

November 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A new report published in BMJ, a British medical journal, is questioning the US Food and Drug Administration’s ability to keep defective and dangerous medical devices out of the market. The paper contends that inadequate manpower, an insufficient budget, lack of authority, and the agency’s co-opting by special interests, medical devices makers, and political forces are rendering the FDA unable to do its job to protect the public.

The authors of the study, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice instructor Shannon Brownlee and medical investigative journalist Jeanne Lenzer, talk about the deficiencies in the FDA’s post-approval surveillance process. For example, since the agency approved the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) by Cyberonics 13 years ago, there have been reports of approximately 900 deaths involving people that used the medical device. The FDA still does not know what caused these fatalities or if a VNS even was a cause of death. Some 60,000 people are currently using a VNS, which is designed for treating epilepsy and is also approved treating depression. Cyberonics is seeking to widen the approval for VNS so that it can be used for treating traumatic brain injury, stroke, and obesity.

Recently, the FDA took back its approval of the Menaflex Collagen scaffold knee replacement device. The agency admitted that it approved the medical device without properly researching it because of political pressure and the flexible requirements that exist to fast-track certain devices. Under the 510(k) program, new medical devices can be approved quickly if their makers can show that the product works in the same that other medical devices currently in the market do.

In August, DePuy Orthopaedics recalled about 93,000 artificial hips over concerns that the medical devices had a 12 – 13% failure rate. Metal particles from the implants have also been known to cause cobalt toxicity.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina defective medical device lawyers know that it can be very upsetting to discover that you or your loved one developed health issues or now have to undergo yet another medical procedure because the manufacturer of your medical device was negligent.

Is the FDA doing its job?, Washington Post, November 3, 2010

Why the FDA can’t protect the public, BMJ, November 2010

FDA Determines Knee Device Should Not Have Been Cleared for Marketing, FDA, October 14, 2010

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Products Recalled, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:
US Food and Drug Administration

VNS Therapy, Cyberonics

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

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked To Emotional Processing Issues

May 20, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

We all know that suffering from a North Carolina traumatic brain injury can be devastating for the victim and family members. Depending on the degree of seriousness of the TBI, a person living with a brain injury may experience memory problems, confusion, communication difficulties, attention problems, speech problems, sensory impairment, vision problems, hearing difficulties, a decreased sense of smell, a decreased sense of taste, paralysis, chronic pain, spasticity, bowel problems, aggressiveness, depression, or personality changes. Now, new research has shown that a traumatic brain injury can also cause problems with a person’s ability to process emotions.

This impairment can make recovery more difficult and cause relationship problems for the TBI patient. According to head injury specialist Professor Roger Wood from the University of Swansea, family members reported that following a TBI accident, the patient exhibited a lack of love or warmth that strained their relationships.

Wood and colleague Clair Williams asked TBI patients to fill out a neuropsychological test questionnaire that helps identify who has low empathy. Williams and Wood found that TBI patients generally scored low results for empathy. They also found that TBI patients have a harder time identifying not just what someone they saw in a video or photograph might be feeling, but also they were more likely to have problems describing and identifying their own feelings.

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury is devastating enough without compounding its effects with a decreased ability to feel and empathize. TBI victims and their families lose so much in terms of what their lives and experiences with one another would otherwise have been like if only the brain injury accident never happened.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina traumatic brain injury attorneys represent victims and their families with claims against the parties responsible for causing the TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can occur during car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, or as a result of medical malpractice or some other type of negligence.

Traumatic Brain Injury leads to problems with emotional processing, Psychology Today, January 3, 2010

Inability to empathize following traumatic brain injury, Cambridge Journals

Related Web Resource:
Traumatic Brain Injury, MedlinePlus

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

American Academy of Pediatrics Want Warning Labels on Food that Pose a Child Choking Hazard

February 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The American Academy of Pediatrics is reporting that every five days, at least one child in the US dies from choking accidents involving food. Now, the academy is calling on food manufacturers and the federal government to put into place a food labeling system that would warn parents that the food is a choking hazard.

The academy says choking is the number one cause of fatality among kids younger than age 15, with kids under age 5 at highest risk of choking. One reason for this is that kids in this age group don’t have all of their teeth. This can make it hard for them to grind the food down enough that they can easily swallow.

More Kid Choking Accident Facts:

• Over 10,000 kids end up in the emergency room every year because of choking accidents involving food.

• A 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Study reports that about 100 kids a year die from food-related choking accidents.

• HealthyChildren.org, a Web site powered by pediatricians, says food is the most common cause of child choking injuries.

Food that is small enough to enter a child’s throat yet large enough to get stuck their, blocking the airway, can cause oxygen deprivation. If not alleviated quickly enough the obstruction can lead to a traumatic brain injury and even death.

Some foods that pose a high choking hazard risk include:

• Apples
• Peanuts
• Grapes
• Raw carrots
• Hot dogs. Considered by some pediatricians as the number one food choking hazard
• Certain candies

If your son or daughter was injured or died because of a food choking accident that the manufacturer could have prevented by designing/packaging their food product in a safer form or warning parents that about the choking hazard, you may have grounds for filing a Charlotte, North Carolina injuries to children lawsuit.

Pediatricians call for a choke-proof hot dog, USA Today, February 22, 2010

Labels urged for foods that can choke kids, CNN, February 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Choking Episodes Among Children, CDC

Food choking hazards and children: What parents need to know, Consumer Reports

North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors at Greater Risk of Suffering from Depression

January 12, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 50% of traumatic brain injury survivors will likely experience depression. This rate is nearly eight times higher than that of the general population. TBI survivors who went into depression following their head trauma reportedly experienced greater pain, mobility problems, and challenges executing their usual responsibilities.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied 559 participants. Each TBI patient was interviewed over the next six months and then again at 8, 10, and 12 months. The study’s findings confirmed that a TBI can cause major depressive disorder.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina traumatic brain injury law firm represents clients who sustained their TBIs that were caused by other parties negligence. Some 1.5 million Americans will sustain a TBI this year.

Some TBI symptoms appear immediately, and others can take days or weeks to develop. While most head trauma side effects will clear up within a year, some 80,000 people a year will be left with permanent, devastating effects. Depending on the kind of TBI and its severity, unconsciousness, dizziness, headaches, lightheadness, confusion, vision problems, fatigue, bad taste in the mouth, sleep pattern changes, ringing in the ears, mood changes, behavioral changes, memory problems, attention problems, vomiting, convulsions, nausea, seizures, slurred speech, extremity-related problems, agitation, confusion, coma, infections, cranial nerve injuries, organ system failure, vascular injuries, damage to cognition, sensory processing, communication, personality changes, and brain death may result from a traumatic brain injury.

Common causes of North Carolina traumatic brain injuries include fall accidents, car crashes, assaults, and getting hit by or striking a hard object.

Traumatic brain injuries linked to depression, Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2010

Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC

Traumatic Brain Injury: Hope Through Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Journal of the American Medical Association

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

Chapel Hill Daycare Operator Sued for Infant’s Traumatic Brain Injury

July 22, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

In Durham County, the parents of a 7-month-old infant are suing Chapel Hill daycare operator Cheryl McAdoo Alston for his permanent traumatic brain injury. The North Carolina injuries to minor complaint accuses Alston of injuring the baby, who was attending Cheryl’s Infant and Toddler Preschool, and neglecting to get him medical care in a timely manner after she allegedly hurt him. The child’s parents are seeking over $10,000 in damages for their son’s personal injury.

A North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawsuit is not the only legal woe that Alston is facing. She was arrested last week for allegedly shaking the infant so violently that now, more than two months after sustaining the head injury, he is still under close observation at UNC Hospital’s neonatal unit. The boy’s parents say that he is impaired for life, and it is too soon to tell whether he will be able to walk or talk normally.

Alston, who has spent most of her life taking care of babies, has lost her license to run her at-home day care, and an Orange County, North Carolina judge has ordered the 53-year-old woman to stay away from kids.

Alston claims that after returning from washing her hands, the baby, who was in a car seat, would not respond to her. She says that when she grabbed him out of the seat, his head fell back when she tried to press him into her shoulder. The infant’s father arrived at the day care center at this time.

Alston maintains that she would never hurt a child. However, this is not the first time that social workers have questioned the care that she provides at her day care center.

In April 2008, North Carolina investigators interviewed Alston about another child under her charge who also sustained injuries. The child’s guardian was worried that Alston had failed to properly supervise the boy and that another child might have fallen on him.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are usually caused by a jolt or blow to the head or an injury that is penetrating enough that the brain’s functioning is disrupted. Depending on the severity of the TBI, the injury can be mild, resulting in temporary impairment, or severe, resulting in permanent or fatal brain injuries.

Daycare operator sued over abuse, ABC Local, July 21, 2009

Day care operator charged with injuring baby, NewsObserver.com, July 22, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC

Abusive Head Trauma, KidsHealth.org

Family Files $50 Million Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Chimp Owner for Mauling Incident

March 18, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 55-year-old woman remains in the hospital in critical condition after a friend’s pet chimpanzee attacked her. Charla Nash’s nose, hands, eyelids, and lips were ripped off and a number of her facial bones were crushed during the 12-minute chimp attack that took place in February 2009. She also has a traumatic brain injury and she may be blind. This week, her family filed a $50 million personal injury lawsuit on her behalf.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys are accusing the chimp’s owner, Sandra Herold, of failing to take the necessary steps to make sure that people were safe around Travis. The 14-year-old chimpanzee had a history of erratic and violent behavior.

Their personal injury lawsuit contends that Herold was aware that Travis was aggravated on the day she invited Nash over to assist her in bringing the chimp back into the house. The complaint says that because of the tragic accident, Nash has suffered serious psychological and emotional trauma, debilitating physical pain, won’t be able to retain her job, will lose her benefits and income, and won’t be able to enjoy life the way she did before the accident.

Herold believes the chimp attacked her friend because she had a new hairstyle and thought she might be a danger. A police officer who arrived at the injury scene shot Travis dead. Herold, who tried to pull the chimpanzee off Nash, had to be hospitalized for her injuries.

Chimpanzees as Pets
According to the Chimp Haven Web site, chimpanzees are wild animals who should not be treated as pets. While they might behave like dependent, helpless animals when they are young, they will exhibit a strength and cleverness by age 5 or 6 that will be very difficult to handle. They can possess up to 10 times the strength of human beings and can be very dangerous to be around.

If you were injured because you were attacked by someone else’s animal, you may be entitled to North Carolina personal injury compensation.

Family of chimp attack victim seeks $50 million, CNN.com, March 18, 2009

Chimpanzees as Pets

Related Web Resources:
Worst Chimp Attack Ever, Esquire, February 17, 2009

Wild animals are not people; only people are people, Mercator.net, March 18, 2009

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

Davidson County Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit by Family of Inmate Beaten in Jail

January 22, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Carlos Claros Castro will receive a settlement payment in the wrongful death of Castro, who died in Davidson County, North Carolina after being beaten by two county jailers.

The family of the Honduran immigrant had filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $100 million–$50 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit claims that County Manager Robert Hyatt, Sheriff David Grice, and others failed to properly train or hire enough officers at the jail. The family also accuses Sheriff Grice of not properly investigating complaints and allowing excessive force to be used at the Davidson County jail.

Castro worked at Elizabeth’s Pizza in Thomasville, where he also had a home. He was brought to the Davidson County jail after his arrest for DWI, driving without a driver’s license, and leaving the scene of a one-car accident on January 6.

Castro reportedly took off his clothes when he couldn’t use the phone right away. He was restrained in a chair for over four hours. He was deprived of food, water, and not allowed to move.

Castro was later transferred to a second-floor isolation cell. Castro became involved in a struggle with detention officer Ronald Parker and Brandon Huie because Castro refused to return a mop.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the officers reportedly Tasered, pepper-sprayed, and beat Castro with a baton and their fists a number of times. He was transported to Lexington Memorial Hospital where he died.

An autopsy declared the death a homicide caused by multiple traumatic injuries. Claros had bleeding in the neck and brain, bruises on his head and body, stun gun wounds, and signs of asphyxiation.

Huie and Parker were initially charged with second-degree murder. The two men were eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Police Brutality
Injuries or deaths caused by the unnecessarily violent actions of a police officer or another law enforcement officer is considered police brutality and can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Police brutality is an abuse of power. Just because you have been arrested for a crime does not entitle police to treat you with violence, abuse, or disrespect.

In North Carolina or South Carolina, our personal injury law firm can help you deal with your police brutality injury case. If your loved one has died at the hands of law enforcement officers, you can also speak to one of our wrongful death lawyers.

County settles wrongful-death suit, The Dispatch Online, January 11, 2008

Claros Family Settles Lawsuit, Journal Now, January 10, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Read the Medical Examiner’s Report (PDF)

Event Report, January 7, 2006, (PDF)

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

 
 

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