September 2011 Archives

September 28, 2011

Heating Units Should be Checked During Fall Season to Reduce the Risk of Injury from Defective Products in North Carolina

In a joint effort, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Company are strongly advising consumers to make sure they don't own the recalled Goldstar or Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers. These units were recalled back in December 2009 but only two percent of the units have gotten the free repair needed to make them safe.

Our Charlotte personal injury lawyers know that these defective dehumidifiers have allegedly caused property damage in excess of one million dollars. In the most extreme case $500,000 in fire damage was caused to a house in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania.
The hazardous defect with the 98,000 dehumidifiers is that the power source to the units compressor can short circuit, which results in a fire and burn hazard. There have been a total of 27 incidents reported, including 13 major fires.

With fall approaching and bringing cooler weather, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind us all to have our fuel-burning heating systems -- including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, boilers, wood stoves, chimneys, vents and flues -- inspected by a trained professional. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is known as the silent killer because it is odorless and colorless.

This deadly gas claims the lives of roughly 500 people every year. The CDC estimates that more than 15,000 people suffer from non-fire related unintentional CO exposure. Over 100 of them die from CO poisoning from heating systems that use natural gas, oil, wood, liquid propane, coal or kerosene. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, confusion and chest pain.

CDC offers these helpful tips:
-Have a professional inspect your heating system each year.
-Make sure you have smoke and CO alarms in your house that are battery operated.
-It is a must to have CO alarms in and around your home's sleeping areas and smoke alarms on every level.
-Do a monthly test of your smoke and CO alarms.
-If your alarm goes off, exit your home and call 911, don't investigate the cause.
-Get medical attention right away if you or family members have CO poisoning symptoms.

Space heaters: Use space heaters that are safety tested and certified. Older heaters won't have the needed safety features necessary to keep you safe. Never place a space heater on carpet and keep it 3 feet away from any material that could catch fire. Keep pets and children away from space heaters and always turn the heater off when no one is in the area or when you go to sleep. Unplug the heater when you are leaving for the day.

Fireplaces: Have a professional check the chimney and flue for debris, creosote blockage and leaks. Never start a fire until the damper is open and don't close it until the ashes have cooled. Ashes should be put in a container that is fire resistant and covered. The container should be kept outside and away from anything that is flammable.

Charcoal grills: Never ever use a charcoal grill inside the house.

Gas-powered generators: Often used during power outages, the exhaust from these generators contains carbon monoxide. For this reason they can never be used inside the home and must be used outside and far away from the house.

Continue reading "Heating Units Should be Checked During Fall Season to Reduce the Risk of Injury from Defective Products in North Carolina" »

September 28, 2011

NCDOT and AAA Team Up to Shine Light on North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is asking all pedestrians to hang up the phone, to stop playing hand-held games and to turn down the music on their headphones as officials report seeing an increased number of pedestrian accidents in Asheville and elsewhere throughout the state.

As mobile technology continues to increase, so do the number of accidents related to distractions. Officials aren't just witnessing drivers engage in the dangerous behavior anymore.
Our Greensboro pedestrian accident attorneys understand that these distractions have the ability to put pedestrians in extremely risky situations on our roadways. Distractions reduce a person's ability to react to a traffic hazard. When a speeding car is passing by, every second counts. In an attempt to reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents nationwide, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety collected and examined pedestrian accident reports. This study concluded that one of the most influential factors in the outcome of a pedestrian-car accident is the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact. Distractions delay a pedestrian's ability to react and potentially to avoid a collision.

NCDOT reminds pedestrians that paying attention to traffic while crossing the street is extremely important. Pedestrians should use their eyes and ears when crossing.

"The common use of electronic devices distracting and extremely dangerous," said Kumar Trivedi, interim director of NCDOT's Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.

The Foundation collected accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). AAA focused on the cause and concluded that one of the most common factors in the outcome of an accident was a vehicle's speed. The faster a car is traveling at the time of the collision, the higher a pedestrian's risk for serious injury or death.

A pedestrian that was hit by a vehicle that was traveling at a speed of 30 miles per hour had a 50 percent chance of being seriously injured. A pedestrian that was hit by a vehicle that was traveling at 42 miles per hour only had a 50 percent chance of surviving. These risks fluctuate alongside the fluctuation in speed.

To help reduce the risks of injury and death for pedestrians involved in traffic accidents, AAA suggests the following to transportation officials:

-Lower speed limits in regions with large pedestrian populations.

-Construct a physical barrier to separate pedestrians and motor vehicles in areas where speedy traffic flow is needed.

-Urge technicians to design more efficient vehicle-based pedestrian-detection systems that can warn drivers or brake automatically when a collision may occur.

Motorists are asked to travel with extreme cautious. Safe and alert driving habits may be the only factor that is more beneficial that any technology-based change. Driver alertness lies within you. A life can be lost on our roadways with one bad decision.

Continue reading "NCDOT and AAA Team Up to Shine Light on North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents" »

September 26, 2011

Bathtubs and Bath Seats a Drowning Hazard for Small Children in North Carolina

Now that Labor Day has passed, you are probably thinking about closing your pool for the year, which means the risk of drowning accidents in Gastonia, Statesville and Asheville will subside for the winter. We hope that you had an accident-free summer following our blog we posted about the Pool Safely campaign on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, in which we provided some safety tips to avoid pool-related injuries or drowning accidents throughout the summer.

Our Greensboro personal injury lawyers know that pools are not the only place a young child can drown at home. We also know that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional deaths among children ages 1 to 4 years old, so parents, babysitters, caregivers, and daycare centers should never leave children unsupervised around water or leave them in a potentially dangerous situation where a water-related accident can result in injury or death.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a warning about indoor water safety and the dangers that buckets, bath seats and bathtubs pose to small children. Bath tubs are the second most popular drowning area for children behind pools.

A new CPSC report looked at 660 submersion incidents involving children under age 5 and not related to a pool or spa from 2005-2009. The study found 65 percent of incidents resulted in death and 32 percent of incidents resulted in injury.

A high percentage of submersion (549 incidents) accidents were children under 2 years old. Additionally, 92 percent of the incidents occurred at a residence. The report indicated that 457 incidents occurred in a full-size bathtub; submersion in bathing aids, buckets and septic tanks were other products or locations proven to be fatal. A child's death resulted when being left alone in the bath tub in 134 of the fatal incidents.

U.S. News reports that drowning accidents are not the only hazard found in bathtubs. Each year roughly 43,000 children are injured by a slip and fall injury in a bathtub. In a study looking at bathtub and shower-related accidents from 1990 to 2007, researchers found that over 54 percent of injuries happened to children ages 4 and under. Cuts were the most common type of injury with 48 percent occurring on the face.

To prevent a tub or shower accident when bathing small children, the CPSC recommends to:

  • Use slip-resistant mats inside and outside the tub to prevent slipping or being submersed in water from a fall.

  • It doesn't take much water for a child to drown so keep them away from tubs, basins or anything containing fluid.

  • Never leave a child alone with another child in a tub without adult supervision no matter what the age.

  • Install toilet seat covers on all toilet bowls in your home.

  • Toddlers can be clumsy and top heavy which causes them to fall over and be submersed when containers or buckets are left with water in them.

  • Keep children within arm's reach at all times while they are in a tub to keep them from slipping or drowning.

Continue reading "Bathtubs and Bath Seats a Drowning Hazard for Small Children in North Carolina" »

September 23, 2011

Bus Accidents in North Carolina Often Accountable to Charter Company Negligence

You may remember back in June when we posted on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog about the North Carolina bus company that was told to cease operations following a fatal bus crash on its way to New York City.

A few weeks later, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that United Tours Inc. also a North Carolina-based bus company, be shut down, declaring the company was an imminent hazard to patrons using the company to travel.
Even though summer tourism season has come to a close, Charlotte bus accident lawyers know that fall tours to see autumn foliage will continue the next few months, so consumers should use a reputable company to avoid a serious injury in a Hickory bus accident.

Last month, the FMCSA held roundtables in four different regions asking stakeholders, as well as, the community to help present ideas and discuss how to strengthen motor coach safety and keep passengers out of danger while they travel. The ideas and strategies of the future will include:

  • Creating awareness among safety advocates, consumer groups, law enforcement officials and other stakeholders in the industry to emphasize the importance of safety.

  • Identify problem areas in already established policies and revise to make them better.

  • The motorcoach industry must be educated and trained in purchasing motorcoach services, maintenance and operations by devising valuable tools and resources.

  • Strengthen the community and stakeholders to take personal responsibility for making buses safer.

North Carolina has a total of 35,332 registered buses operating throughout the state. Almost 11,000 of these buses are operated for private (school and other) and commercial use; the rest are publicly owned. The government wants to put the responsibility on the consumer to put safety first, but in reality the motor coach and commercial bus industry has a responsibility to take precautionary measures to keep passengers safe.

Some charter companies are guilty of falsifying logbooks, not doing routine maintenance checks on buses or hiring unqualified drivers. When an accident occurs, many times the negligence or liability can be traced back to the driver or charter bus company.

Tour planners or tourists wanting to take a fall bus tour are encouraged to review a charter company's safety performance scores which can be compared to the national average by visiting FMCSA online. Any company that is issued unsatisfactory or conditional ratings is generally considered a higher risk to the safety of passengers.

Buses that carry 16 passengers or more should have at least $5 million of insurance coverage. Check to see that the company you intend to use is sufficiently covered and operating under the authority of the FMCSA. If you notice a company is in violation you can report them by calling 1-888-368-7238.

For example, if a driver is traveling at an excessive speed, a bus is overcrowded or you notice faulty equipment, the company should be reported to the proper authorities. Violations for in-state charter companies can be reported to North Carolina Utilities Commission or city and county transit authorities.

Continue reading "Bus Accidents in North Carolina Often Accountable to Charter Company Negligence" »

September 21, 2011

Evacuation Procedures Can Help Reduce the Risk of Injury When Disaster Strikes in North Carolina

When an emergency situation occurs, many of us panic and don't know what to do, which can result in a high number of injury accidents related to liability in North Carolina and elsewhere.

The National Safety Council has declared September as National Preparedness Month in which communities, workplaces, schools and vendors among others should take the initiative to become more prepared in the event that a crisis situation were to occur. Failure to communicate and execute an evacuation plan or emergency preparation can hold landlords, restaurant owners, daycare centers of businesses or others responsible when an injury occurs.
Greensboro injury lawyers know that being prepared for a disaster can reduce the risk of injury, but many establishments can be found at fault when an injury occurs because a proper evacuation or emergency procedure was not executed. Employees, patrons and tenants should always be kept safe when a disaster arises.

The NSC offers four simple tips: Get a preparedness kit, devise a plan, stay informed and do what you can to help others by getting involved.

An emergency kit should contain all the items you need for survival like food, water, and warmth with a minimum of 3 day's supply. Disasters often bring power outages, so you need to be prepared for multiple days without electricity. Must have items include: a gallon of water per person per day, ample supply of non-perishable food, blanket, whistle, extra batteries, transistor radio, flashlight, towelettes or wet wipes, dust mask and garbage bags. For a full list of items, click here to view online.

Devising a plan means knowing how you will communicate, if you will stay put or evacuate during an emergency, and what the evacuation plan is. Make sure you establish an out-of-town contact that can be relied on for communication to other family members. Text messages can often get through to cell phone users so make sure you know how to communicate via a texting plan. Ask about the evacuation process at your place of employment or your child's school. If nothing is in place, volunteer to help devise something that could be used in the future. For more information about a site-specific emergency evacuation plan, visit online by clicking the link.

Get as much information through media outlets ahead of time before disaster strikes. Every state has an Emergency Management or Services office that can help you with updated information as well as when evacuation is needed or should take place. Other sources that can be used are the newspaper, radio or television.

A good way to get involved in emergency preparation is to learn CPR or other first aid procedures that can be used in a crisis. You can take first aid courses online or find a Community Emergency Response Team program near you that can train you on lifesaving skills, fire safety and basic disaster responses.

Continue reading "Evacuation Procedures Can Help Reduce the Risk of Injury When Disaster Strikes in North Carolina" »

September 19, 2011

Driver Inexperience Can Lead to a High Risk for Moped Accidents in Gastonia, Charlotte

You may have noticed more and more mopeds or scooters occupying roadways in North Carolina these days. After all, there aren't many requirements placed on an operator of these 2-wheeled machines. Not to mention the amount of money that drivers can save tooling around town in these small fuel efficient vehicles can be astronomical compared to a car, truck or SUV.

That said, our Gastonia personal injury lawyers want to reiterate the importance of using caution around these vehicles because they are often difficult to see or hear which can lead to a high rate of accidents if a motorist becomes distracted or aggressive while driving.
In the news recently were two separate moped accidents in North Carolina that resulted in serious injury and death. In the first accident, reports WECT, a car and moped collided in Brunswick County. The collision took place near the intersection at Sunny Point on Highway 87. The operator of the moped was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Fox Charlotte reports that the second moped accident in Charlotte took place on a Sunday evening while a man in his fifties was driving on Braewick Place. The male operator driving his moped crashed after laying the vehicle down along the asphalt.

A neighbor called 911 after hearing a loud crash. The male driver was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead after reportedly having trouble breathing following the crash. It is believed the operator of the 2008 Motive Power Industries Moped was driving under the influence.

If you are 16-years-old and own a helmet, you are permitted to operate a scooter or moped in North Carolina. Any scooter with no external shifting device, a motor size of 50cc or lower and travels less than 30mph on flat surfaces does not require registration, inspection, liability insurance or a valid driver's license to be operated. Loose scooter or moped laws for the most part allow just about anyone to operate.

Scooters and mopeds may not be as big as a motorcycle or travel near as fast on roadways but it doesn't make them any less dangerous. Driver inexperience plays a significant role in the number of accidents that occur in North Carolina or nationwide. Operators of 2-wheeled vehicles are always encouraged to take a training and safety course to learn more about how to handle the vehicle and how your machine operates mechanically. offers the following advice to beginner moped or scooter riders:

  • Dress from head to toe in protective gear, including helmet, long pants, gloves and leather or denim jacket.
  • Familiarize yourself with the inner workings of your moped or scooter. Try to gain knowledge about how to change tires, the power source and how the engine works.
  • Perform routine checks on your moped or scooter, especially before taking it out on long trips. You can test the oil, check your headlights, test your brakes, and make sure the chains are oiled properly.
  • Riders should stay off their cell phone and know what is going on around you at all times. Rural or uneven roads are particularly dangerous so be aware of other vehicles or obstacles on the road while traveling.

Continue reading "Driver Inexperience Can Lead to a High Risk for Moped Accidents in Gastonia, Charlotte" »

September 17, 2011

Pedestrian Distraction Can Lead to High Risk of Accidents Involving Cars in Asheville

We frequently post about the dangers of distracted driving accidents on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog but what about the danger of distracted pedestrian accidents in Asheville, Greensboro or Charlotte?

Gastonia injury attorneys know that pedestrians are at considerable risk of getting hit by a distracted driver while crossing a busy street but the odds become even greater if the pedestrian becomes distracted by an IPod, IPhone or other mobile device.
The News & Observer reports that pedestrians who are talking on the phone, texting or listening to music while crossing the street are putting themselves in danger of not being able to see or hear their surroundings.

North Carolina reports approximately 2,500 car accidents involving pedestrians being hit happen every year. On average, more than 400 pedestrians are either killed or injured severely in North Carolina pedestrian accidents annually. Though alcohol seems to be a cause in 12 percent of these accidents, distraction is likely another leading cause of walkers being struck by a vehicle.

To this point, most of the distraction-related studies and research has been geared towards driving, but there is a need for more data on distracted pedestrians.

U.S. News & World Report states that a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has a growing number of small labs in which scientists can study pedestrian behavior. The labs are designed to have three screens set up in a semi-circle which show traffic amongst a street scene and the sound effects of road traffic is generated through speakers, creating a virtual effect.

College student volunteers for the study were asked to cross an intersection 10 times each, some with distractions and some without. The results indicated that texters failed to reach the other side 25 percent of the time, cell phone users didn't make it across 12 percent of the time and those with no distractions only failed to cross to the other side 6 percent of the time. Participants listening to music while they tried to cross were crushed by virtually simulated cars traveling at 30 mph on a two-lane road once in every three attempts.

A fault of the study was that pedestrians couldn't speed up and cars couldn't slow down to avoid a collision which likely happens in real-life scenarios. What can be taken from the study, though, is that pedestrians need to be able to see and hear in order to detect a problematic situation in the environment. By having ear plugs in your ears or looking at a phone screen, a pedestrian may not hear or see a potentially dangerous situation that could be avoided if their focus was on the roadway and traffic.

Cell phones and iPods are not the only forms of distraction that can make crossing a street dangerous. Arrive Alive offers these distracting behaviors:

-Looking at a watch to determine the time.
-Swatting at an insect.
-Conversing with a fellow pedestrian.
-Reading an article in a magazine or book.
-Sifting through a purse or backpack to find something.
-Eating a sandwich or salad while you walk.

These behaviors should be avoided if you want to reduce the risk of injury while crossing the street in North Carolina.

Continue reading "Pedestrian Distraction Can Lead to High Risk of Accidents Involving Cars in Asheville" »

September 15, 2011

Cell Phones and Other Distractions Can Prove Deadly for Motorist Involved in Distracted Driving Accidents in Hickory

A video series recently launched by the National Safety Council could help motorists to put into perspective all of the dangers related to cell phone use while you are operating a vehicle. Cell phone distractions are a leading cause of car accidents in Hickory, Gastonia and throughout the entire state of North Carolina.

Asheville personal injury lawyers know that organizations throughout the country are continuing to be vigilant in their fight against distracted driving because this behavior continues to kill thousands each and every year on our nation's roadways. It takes everyone getting on board, putting the cell phone down, and focusing on driving to reduce the risk that are associated with getting distracted behind the wheel.
The series of short videos titled "Understanding Distracted Driving" are free to the public and can be downloaded via YouTube. The 2- to 3-minute videos include frequently asked questions answered by the Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council, David Teater.

Some questions include what is the science of cognitive distraction, why are cell phones a dangerous distraction, what employers can do to protect their employees from driving distracted on company time, how parents can set an example and what will it take to reduce crashes.

Teater lost his son in a motor vehicle crash back in 2004 and since then has been a strong advocate for opposing distracted driving behaviors. A former CEO for a strategy and research firm offering counseling to auto manufacturers, Teater frequently speaks about the important topic of banning cell phone use while driving to several state legislatures, in addition to standing in front of the U.S. Congress.

"The resources NSC has developed explain why this behavior is so dangerous and provide solutions on how to go about changing behaviors to make our roadways safer," said Teater.

We posted on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog during National Distracted Driving Month that the NSC and Focus Driven were going to work together to get drivers throughout the country to put down their cell phones during the entire month of April. The two safety organizations encouraged companies to build strong polices for their employees which would ban cell phone use and keep them safer while driving on company time.

This has all been a part of the NSC's global attack in many different facets to get the message across. The NSC was the first organization to emphatically request a complete ban on cell phone use while driving in the car back in 2009. Since then, many elected officials, employers and general public have jumped on the bandwagon to fight the cause along with the NSC.

We seem to hone in on cell phones being a deadly distraction in cars, but let's not forget there are a number of other things that can distract us while we drive. A woman from Raleigh was allegedly distracted when she was involved in an accident that killed a 61-year-old male pedestrian recently.

WRAL reports the woman was fiddling with the radio in her car when she lost control of the vehicle, side-swiped a utility pole and hit a pedestrian walking along the road. The driver is charged with failure to maintain a lane and misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle.

Avoid learning a difficult lesson by minimizing distractions inside your vehicle and always putting the cell phone out of reach while you drive. Not only can it save you but it can make roadways safe for others.

Continue reading "Cell Phones and Other Distractions Can Prove Deadly for Motorist Involved in Distracted Driving Accidents in Hickory" »

September 12, 2011

Window Falls Common Among Toddlers Which Can Lead to Severe Head Injuries for Children in Asheville, Elsewhere

Children can be seriously or fatally injured by fall accidents in Asheville, Statesville or elsewhere, especially when they occur out of a window from the second floor of a building. The results of a recent study published by MSN indicate that it's a sensitive issue and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. More than 5,100 injured children show up in hospital emergency rooms following a fall out of a window.

Hickory injury attorneys know that accidents can happen but falls from out of a window should be preventable. Though many of these types of accidents occur at home, it is important that parents know their children are safe under the watchful eye of a daycare center or child caregiver and that the necessary safety precautions are taken to avoid a child fall injury.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was used in an analysis of child fall injuries taking place throughout the United States. From 1990 to 2008, more than 98,000 children under age 18 were given medical attention for injuries after falling out of windows. This equates to a rate of 7.3 injuries per 100,000 children.

In the first study of its kind, researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that 1 in 4 children sustained injuries severe enough to be admitted into the hospital from fall accidents out of a window.

"We continue to see this problem, especially in younger kids, despite the fact that we know how to prevent it," said Dr. Gary Smith, a lead researcher of the study.

Toddlers have a high center of gravity and are typically the age most at risk of falling out of a window because when they lean out the window for curiosity sake, they tend to topple over. Toddlers are accountable for roughly 66 percent of all window fall accidents.

When a child falls out of a window, especially from a second floor level, they typically fall head first. Almost 50 percent of children who land on their head suffer severe face and head injuries.

Safe Kids USA reports these general fall accident statistics:

  • On average, 103 children die each year from fall accidents.

  • For children 14 and under, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries.

  • The 10 and under age group account for 4,000 injuries and 12 deaths related to window falls each year.

  • 23 percent of fall injuries for ages 5 to 14 years occur at school.

  • The most common locations for window falls are in large urban areas and areas with overcrowded housing.

  • Children residing in apartment buildings are 5 times more likely to suffer a window fall than a child living in a residence.

Parents are advised to keep their children safe at home by investing in window guards for every reachable window in your house. You should never leave a window open more than 5 inches when small children are present. Remove any furniture or cribs near a window that are easy to climb on and close enough to crawl out of a window.

Parents should also never assume that a window screen is strong enough to prevent a child from going through. In most incidents, this is not the case.

Continue reading "Window Falls Common Among Toddlers Which Can Lead to Severe Head Injuries for Children in Asheville, Elsewhere" »

September 8, 2011

Fall Hazards a Common Defective Product Downfall, Child Injuries May Require Experienced Injury Law Firm in Gastonia, Elsewhere

Children fall.

It is almost to be expected considering their energy and reckless lifestyle, but when a fall hazard is created by a defective toy or other child product in North Carolina or elsewhere it becomes a serious matter.

Consumers have a right to feel safe and free from harm while using new products so when manufacturers or retailers fall short of providing safe products it is up to them to be liable for damages or any injuries sustained in a fall accident.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced several child product recalls due to fall hazards recently. Our defective product injury attorneys in Gastonia, Hickory and Asheville agree that fall hazards are dangerous because they often lead to serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, lacerations, and deep contusions that can not only be painful but costly in treating them. If your child has sustained an injury from a fall, have a personal injury law firm help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Recent fall hazard recalls in child products include:

  • Pacific Cycle Playsafe Dartmouth Swing Set: This product is sold exclusively at Toys R Us stores nationwide so anyone purchasing a unit from January 2011 through May 2011 should stop using the product immediately due to a fall hazard. There have been five reported bruising incidents related to the sling-style swing seats breaking while being used. Dangerous models include model number 22-PS340 with date codes FSD0115AA and FSD0315AA which can be located in the owner's manual of your purchased unit.
  • Radio Flyer Scoot 'n Zoom: This product has been recalled due to a tip-over fall hazard when a child is riding the toy. There have been ten reported incidents to date which caused teeth to be loosened or removed and chin lacerations requiring medical attention. Consumers can contact Radio Flyer for a full refund or replacement product but should not allow children to ride any models with number 711 found molded on the bottom of the toy. Products have been sold between August 2010 through August 2011 at Walmart,, and other retailers.
  • Target Step Stools with Storage: The number of recalled units has grown to 341,000 from a previous recall announced in early August. Several reported incidents have indicated that product users have fallen under the collapse of the product while using them. Fourteen children have been injured along with several adults and users age unknown which have led to serious injuries which include a fractured hip and pelvis, fractured wrists, bruising and scrapes. Anyone purchasing a unit from January 2007 through October 2010 from or Target stores nationwide should stop using the product and return the item for a full refund at any Target store.
  • phil&teds USA Table-Top Clip-on Chair: This defective product has caused several fall and pinching accidents in small children. The chairs detach from surfaces when a clamp pad is worn or missing. Children are often subject to pinching when their fingers get caught between the clamping mechanism and the bar. It has also been reported that the user's manual is insufficient leading to several incidents of product misuse. Defective units have been sold in person at Toys R Us, Target and Buy Buy Baby, as well as, online at, and other online retailers from May 2006 to May 2011. Reported injuries have included children's fingers being pinched, crushed, amputated and lacerated, as well as, other reports of bruising. Consumers can contact phil&teds for a repair kit and new user instructions but should cease in using the chair until repair is completed.

Continue reading "Fall Hazards a Common Defective Product Downfall, Child Injuries May Require Experienced Injury Law Firm in Gastonia, Elsewhere" »

September 8, 2011

Truck Driver Shortage Leads to a High Risk of Trucking Accidents in North Carolina due to Driver Fatigue

The trucking industry will likely face a problem by 2014 considering it is expected to increase wage bills by as much as 30 percent, but there is a deficit in truck drivers and a high demand for loads to be transported.

Asheville personal injury lawyers know that this will likely translate to more trucking accidents in Charlotte, Statesville and elsewhere because employed drivers will be asked to extend their hours of service, make longer trips, transport heavier loads which directly affects the safety of truck drivers and other motorists sharing the roads with them.
Bloomberg reports the driver shortage is likely due to the high demands and stricter regulations being placed on the trucking industry and truck drivers in general. By next year, it is expected the shortage will grow to 300,000 vacant full-time positions which equates to approximately ten percent of the workforce. There is a high demand for shipments with a slowly recovering economy, but there aren't enough quality truck drivers to get the cargo transported. Trucking companies are being forced to increase wages just to keep drivers employed, some as much as 2 to 3 percent.

Government restrictions on hours of service, size of loads, federal emissions rules and driving experience or poor driving record make it less desirable for truckers to continue driving for companies but on the flip side trucking companies have a smaller pool of applicants when they sift out drivers with less than reputable driving records.

The financial burden placed on trucking companies is in large part due to the federal emissions rules placed on companies to put more fuel-efficient trucks on roadways as well as the high-priced diesel fuel used to operate them. The cost of diesel fuel on average has been 30 percent higher this year than through August of last year. The only saving grace for the trucking industry is that the speed of transport is faster than if companies needing freight or cargo transported were to switch to rail shipment.

It is amazing that we are even discussing a truck driver shortage considering the nationwide unemployment rate remains over 9 percent. If truck drivers could travel for less than 3 week jaunts for a single customer at a time it may make being employed by a company more attractive.

The average yearly salary for a driver is $40,000, which isn't all that much considering the wear and tear on their body as well as the required time away from home and family. Drivers who get laid off don't rush right back into another trucking job because they prefer to find something with fewer hours and closer to home.

The long and the short of it is, motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists continue to be at risk for serious or fatal injury on roadways due to the fact that truck drivers are overworked, are in a hurry to make deliveries or carry more weight for long periods of time on their truck because there aren't enough drivers employed in the trucking industry. Stay alert and use caution when occupying the same roadway as a truck driver as they may be too drowsy or distracted to see you.

Continue reading "Truck Driver Shortage Leads to a High Risk of Trucking Accidents in North Carolina due to Driver Fatigue" »

September 6, 2011

Preparedness Can Reduce the Risk of Injury Resulting From Weather-Related Accidents in North Carolina

The aftermath of Hurricane Irene has put many families on the Eastern seaboard in complete devastation, not only to be evacuated from their homes or be without electricity, but some are mourning the loss of a loved one lost in the storm. According to WTVD ABC News, the fierce act of nature took as many as six lives in five different parts of North Carolina.

The following are examples of how circumstances of storms can be unpredictable and extra caution should be practiced to avoid fatal injuries during weather-related accidents in North Carolina.
One man died instantly when a tree limb fell on top of him while walking near his home in rural Nash County. A 15-year-old girl was killed in a two-vehicle crash at an intersection with malfunctioning traffic signals in Goldsboro. Her family was en route from Myrtle Beach back to their home in Virginia.

Another death occurred in Onslow County when a man was putting up reinforcements to stop the wind destruction and water flow from coming into his house and he suffered a heart attack and died. A mother was killed when a tree limb crashed onto the car while riding in the vehicle with her family in Sampson County. Pitt County reported two deaths. The first death occurred when a man died while sitting inside his home and a tree fell directly on his house. The second casualty in Pitt County occurred when a man attempted to drive through standing water and struck a tree.

Charlotte injury lawyers know that the clean-up process following a storm's destruction can be just as dangerous as the actual storm itself so use extra caution during acts of kindness to get friends and neighbors back on their feet again.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a warning to clean-up crews and the general public to be aware of the dangers of injuries and illnesses that can be associated with cleaning up after a storm like Irene. People can become at risk of exposure to heat stress, contaminated food and water, carbon monoxide poisoning, downed wires, or be struck by or fall off of large equipment used in the clean-up process. Workers and volunteers have a high risk for injuries leading to broken bones, lacerations, burns, concussions, musculoskeletal injuries or suffocation caused by entrapment or falls.

Preparedness is the first step in protecting you and your family during and after a storm. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration suggests you be prepared by having an evacuation plan ahead of time, learn hurricane terminology and definitions such as tropical storm watch and tropical storm warning, and check periodically with newscasters and local authorities on updated storm information and evacuation instructions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several emergency supply tips which include:

  • Have a 3-5 day ration of food and water on hand using clean containers to store. Estimate up to 5 gallons of water for each member of your household per day.

  • Have a full supply of batteries on hand to coincide with a battery operated flashlight and radio.

  • Keep several baby wipes or disposable cleaning cloths for bathing purposes on hand.

  • Make sure prescriptions or other medical needs are stocked, including a first aid kit.

It is nearly impossible to anticipate what damage or destruction a storm can do to your home but being prepared ahead of time can minimize the dangers and keep your family safe in a weather disaster. Remember to use caution as you put the pieces back together and reduce the risk of injury during clean-up procedures.

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