September 6, 2013

DMV Cracks Down on Motorcycle Beginner's License Renewals


Officials with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles recently announced that there is a new motorcycle beginner permit renewal system. This change comes as officials attempt to improve motorcycle rider safety. Now, before renewing a beginner's permit, each rider is required to make an effort to pass the motorcycle skills test.
54505_motorcycle_01.jpg
This change was made specifically so that motorcyclists would not be able to continuously renew their beginner permit instead of applying to get a motorcycle license. Now they're got to take the test. If they pass then they will get a motorcycle enforcement or license. If they fail the test, they will more than likely be able to renew the beginner's permit.

Our Anderson motorcycle accident lawyers understand that motorcycle permits are good for one year and can be renewed without limit. The only difference between these two permits is that a motorcyclist is not allowed to operate the vehicle during nighttime hours. The law, however, also gives the DMV the option to refuse a renewal if they feel that the applicant does not make an attempt to pass the test.

Continue reading "DMV Cracks Down on Motorcycle Beginner's License Renewals" »

September 4, 2013

Keeping Child Travelers Safe -- "Let's Go NC!"


Children are some of the most vulnerable travelers. Their bodies are likely to sustain serious injury in the event of an accident -- much more likely than our larger, adult bodies. And it's these youngsters who oftentimes travel along our roadways on foot and on their bicycles, which makes them even more at risk for a serious injury or death in the event of a traffic collision.
mgDBQv0.jpg
Thanks to officials with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), there's a new way to help educate these young travelers. It's all a part of the "Let's Go NC! A Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Skills Program for Healthy, Active Children" curriculum. It's equipped with various lesson plans, supplemental tools, educational materials and more to help teach children grades K-5 about the basics of biking and walking. Officials are urging parents, schools, after-school programs, clubs and law enforcement officers to use this curriculum to help keep our children safe.

Our Asheville child injury lawyers understand that children don't fully understand the traffic around them. And because of this, it's difficult for them to foresee the dangers. Throughout the "Let's Go NC!" curriculum, students will learn safety tips regarding walking safely near traffic, crossing the streets safely, crossing intersections properly, safety on and around school buses as well as parking lot safety. The lessons for each grade grouping include a Discussion and Demonstration that occurs in the classroom and hands-on Skill-Building Activities which occur outdoors. Some lessons include a video to complement classroom instruction.

Continue reading "Keeping Child Travelers Safe -- "Let's Go NC!"" »

September 2, 2013

Expectant Parents Killed in Asheville Limousine Accident


Two young motorists were killed following a serious Asheville traffic accident. The female was pregnant with the couple's first child, according to Hollywood Life. The first sonogram pictures of their baby were recovered in the mom-to-be's purse after the accident.
mkBFwNg.jpg
The couple were passengers of a limousine company they had hired in North Carolina when the limo driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree. The woman died immediately upon impact, but the husband didn't know. He pleaded with responding paramedics to save her and his unborn child first. He later died from injuries sustained in the accident at the hospital. The limo driver also remains in the hospital and awaits the outcomes of a pending investigation. According to the investigation thus far, the driver's "actions directly contributed to the collision."

Our Asheville personal injury attorneys understand that limos are used on special days. During the celebration, it's important to keep an attentive eye on safety. For that reason, we're here with a few simple safety tips to help ensure that your big day is a safe one. Limousine accidents can be more serious than an ordinary accident because of the mass and weight of the vehicle. This increases the forces at work during the collision and can result in more serious injuries, especially with passengers in the back who may not be wearing a seat belt.

Continue reading "Expectant Parents Killed in Asheville Limousine Accident" »

August 31, 2013

Are We Safe? New Report on State Building Safety Inspections and Codes


Residential building codes ensure that development companies, builders, contractors, landlords, and homeowners meet safety standards. Commercial and residential building codes are necessary to maintain safe premises and to prevent serious injury to owners, tenants or visitors. According to a recent report in Newsday, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) has released an update to a state report which reviews progress of 18 states in the Atlantic Coast region, including North and South Carolina.

Having a clear understanding of your rights, obligations and responsibilities is critical to ensuring safe premises. Our Asheville premises liability attorneys are committed to preventing serious injury and accidents involving failed maintenance. Slip and fall injuries, catastrophic back and head injuries, paralysis, even wrongful death can be attributed to dangerous properties. Whether you are a homeowner, landlord, developer, or business owner, it is important to know how safety standards can impact your rights and liability.

workersIC.jpg

According to the report, which focuses on 18 states, some states have made progress, while other states have failed to create better residential building codes. Uniform state building codes are important because they are the standards to which builders and property owners are held. The current IBHS report is intended to raise awareness surrounding building codes and keep citizens aware of building code activity. Citizens in each state can check building code standards to ensure that they are meeting obligations to the community.

Continue reading "Are We Safe? New Report on State Building Safety Inspections and Codes" »

August 28, 2013

Hidden Dangers in and Around Your Vehicle


While we have regularly covered safe driving to keep your children safe, it is also important to remember the dangers of vehicles, even when you are not behind the wheel. A car, SUV or truck can be a hazard to you and your children while parked. To keep your family safe, it is important to remember the hidden dangers in and around your vehicle to prevent accidents and injury.

A vehicle is a large, heavy piece of machinery with electrical components, dangerous fumes, as well other attributes that could potentially put your child at risk. Whether your car is parked in the driveway or the garage, you should keep in mind that it could be dangerous to your loved ones. Our Asheville personal injury attorneys are committed to keeping our community safe and preventing serious accidents and injury. We are dedicated to raising awareness about vehicle hazards that could threaten the safety of your loved ones.

SUV.jpg

When you purchased your vehicle, you probably looked for safety features. When you had children, you bought car seats and ensured that your vehicle was safe for driving. Sometimes the most obvious dangers are the ones we can forget. Here are five common dangers and tips from the Department of Transportation to keep your children safe around vehicles.

Continue reading "Hidden Dangers in and Around Your Vehicle" »

August 26, 2013

Keeping Children Safe from Home Water Hazards


Every year, home dangers and accidents claim the lives of healthy children. In many cases, these accidents are preventable. One of the primary risks that children face in and around the home involves water. Water injuries and accidents can result in suffocation and brain damage, electrocution, and in the most severe cases, accidental death. Taking the time to safeguard your home and understand potential dangers can keep your children safe.

Whether you have moved into a new home or are interested in safeguarding your existing home, there are a number of ways you can prevent water-related injuries to children. Our Asheville personal injury attorneys are dedicated to keeping children safe at home and in the community. We will take a proactive approach to raise awareness to prevent injuries and to protect the children of North and South Carolina.

1262339_swimming_pool.jpg

Every year, children fall victim to serious injuries and accidents involving pools and bodies of water in the home. Potential accident sites include bathtubs, baby baths, buckets and pails, chests of ice, coolers with ice or melted ice, hoses, hot tubs, whirlpools and spas, irrigation ditches, wells, pot holes, lakes, fish ponds, and garden fountains. Even a small body of water can create a serious hazard and risk for your children. It is important to identify the known water hazards in and around your home, lake house or other property.

Continue reading "Keeping Children Safe from Home Water Hazards" »

August 22, 2013

Save Your Back with Back-to-School Safety Tips


Kids seem overloaded these days with school, extra-curriculars, music, sports, friends, video games, iPods, computers, and other activities. Their backpacks tend to carry the burden of these busy lives. Every year, thousands of children and teenagers suffer serious and long-term back injuries because they are weighed down by heavy and overloaded backpacks. To prevent long-term injury, you should be aware of how to protect your child or teen from backpack-related injuries.

School season is beginning and it can be difficult to keep safety in mind when you are trying to meet the demands of your child's changing schedule. It is important to plan ahead to prevent serious injury. Our Charlotte child injury attorneys are dedicated to helping keep children safe this back to school season. In addition to traffic and bus safety, we also believe in backpack safety to prevent serious injury to children.

girls onbike.jpg

Well-designed backpacks are intended to distribute heavy weight loads between the strongest body parts, including the shoulders and upper back. When a backpack is used improperly or overloaded, that weight distribution can fall heavily on other muscles, causing the risk of serious injury and harm. An improperly packed or worn bag can lead to severe back, neck and shoulder pain as well as muscle injuries. Overtime a child could develop posture problems that could impact their growth and development and cause additional issues later in life.

Continue reading "Save Your Back with Back-to-School Safety Tips " »

August 20, 2013

Checklist to Keep Teens Safe This Sports Season


Teen athletes face a number of dangers every time they go to practice or have a game. In addition to regular injuries that could be caused by impact or repetitive stress, traumatic injuries could also cause serious or permanent damage. Despite the benefits of getting good exercise and learning teamwork, parents, educators, and teens should be aware of the risks and be prepared before starting a new school and sports season.

While there are some accidents that aren't preventable, taking a proactive and knowledgeable approach to this year's sports season could prevent serious injuries, and death. Our Asheville personal injury lawyers are experienced with the investigation and representation of teen sports accidents. We are dedicated to sports and team safety and helping to prevent injuries, including traumatic brain injury.

baseball2.jpg

Teen athletes are vulnerable to joint injury, head and neck injury, heart trouble, and heat stroke. In a recent report by NPR, sports medicine doctors and other professionals offer the following checklist to keep your teen athletes healthy and safe.

Continue reading "Checklist to Keep Teens Safe This Sports Season" »

August 18, 2013

Hilton Head Death Highlights Golf Cart Risks


In areas with warmer climates, golf carts are an enjoyable, easy way to get around the neighborhood or the resort, along the beach or in small communities. While golf carts can be fun on and off the course, it is important to remember golf cart safety. After a recent golf cart accident and death in South Carolina, drivers and passengers should be reminded of the importance of driving and riding safely.

Golf carts are not as fast as cars, but they are definitely not toys. Every year, tragic accidents cause serious injuries and take the lives of drivers, passengers and bystanders. Our Asheville personal injury attorneys are experienced in golf car accidents and will help victims and their families protect their rights. As experienced attorneys, we are committed to public wellness and to keeping North and South Carolina residents safe for tourists and residents.

golfcart.jpg

According to reports, authorities are still investigating the death of a man following a fatal golf cart accident. The 77-year-old victim was driving his golf cart on a road in Sun City Hilton Head. Police indicated that the golf cart veered off the road, struck a car and then a small tree. The Highway Patrol found the victim next to the golf cart following the accident. The golf cart driver and victim was taken to a nearby hospital where he died the next day. An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.

Continue reading "Hilton Head Death Highlights Golf Cart Risks " »

August 16, 2013

Nursing Home Falls Are Common Cause of Preventable Death


Making the important family decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is always difficult. For many families, providing daily care and trying to meet the needs of an ailing parent or grandparent is too overwhelming. Seeking out nursing home care and professional assistance is one solution to meet the growing demands of an aging population. While nursing home care has been under scrutiny for years, new evidence suggests that patents are dying from a preventable cause: negligence and falls.

While a child who falls and breaks a limb can recover quickly, an elderly person could have a more difficult time healing. In some cases, a broken limb or brain injury could eventually lead to death. Our Rock Hill nursing home injury attorneys are experienced in complex cases involving nursing home negligence. We are dedicated to helping our clients protect their rights and recover compensation in the event of an accident or wrongful death.

wheelchair.jpg

Every year, thousands of nursing home patients suffer from preventable falls. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 1,800 deaths every year related to fall injuries. Victims can suffer any number of traumas, including broken bones or head injuries. In many of these cases, victims are left with a permanent disability that can further impact the quality of life in their final years.

Continue reading "Nursing Home Falls Are Common Cause of Preventable Death" »

August 14, 2013

A Matter of Degrees: Treating Burn Injuries


Burns can be among the most excruciating injuries accident victims endure and can cause permanent injury, including loss of limb, nerve damage, scarring, loss of mobility, and host of other issues. For the victims and families of burn injuries, recovery can take a significant amount of time. Burns can range from first-degree minor blisters to more severe cases. Knowing what kind of burn you have suffered is important to obtaining treatment and in getting the care you need.

Victims may have sustained an injury in a fire, car accident at home using the grill or stove top or in a work-related accident. Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys are experienced in the investigation of accidents and in helping victims recover the full compensation they deserve. If you have suffered a burn injury, we can help you recover financial support for medical treatment, pain and suffering, treatment, long-term care, lost wages, and any additional losses you have sustained.

fire1.jpg

A first-degree burn is a simple injury that may occur when touching a stove top, brief exposure to a flame or even sunburn. If you or someone you love has suffered a first-degree burn, you should soak the affected area in water for 15 minutes. No matter how severe the burn is, doctors assert that this period of time with water is crucial to protecting the skin. Even if you will be making your way to the emergency room, you should keep the injury covered with a wet cloth.

In addition to reducing swelling and pain, the use of water on a burn can release the pain and stop the worsening of a burn wound. In the long-term covering wound with water during the first 15 minutes will also help the area recover faster. For most first-degree burns, this should be enough. A patient may want to go to a general practitioner who can clean and dress the wound.

Second- and third-degree burns often require a hospital visit. If a burn is critical, then the patient may require a burn specialist and plastic surgery. The severity of a burn is based on the depth of the burn. Usually a third-degree burn is the deepest and will show discoloration. A victim can lose sensation and the burn could penetrate the skin and muscle. A second-degree burn usually appears with blisters.

The severity of a burn also depends on where it occurs on the body and how much of the body is affected. When a burn covers more than 15 percent and affects a victim's face, neck, chest, hands, genitals or feet a patient should be admitted to the hospital. After initial treatment of a wound, a burn victim may have to go through skin grafts and other surgery, including reconstructive surgery.

Victims of burns may also suffer from smoke inhalation, which can be very dangerous and permanently damage the lungs. Older patients may be at a greater risk of deep burns and smoke inhalation, while a younger patient may have less risks. Though burns are very common, only the most severe burns threaten the life of the patient. Taking immediate steps to reduce pain, swelling and additional damage caused by a burn can improve opportunities for long-term recovery.

Continue reading "A Matter of Degrees: Treating Burn Injuries" »

August 9, 2013

Hidden Summer Dangers and Injury Risks


In previous posts, we have discussed the dangers of swimming and boating as common summer activities that can cause serious injury. While you may already have a grasp of summer boating and swimming safety, remember that there are other summer activities that can result in accidents or serious injury you may not expect. Bracing the outdoors and enjoying the summer sun are important for every family this season, but remember that there are some hidden risks that could be harmful.

Drinking, the outdoors, and over-exposure to the sun are all potential risks that land millions of Americans in the emergency room every summer. Our Greensboro personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping members of the local community prevent serious accidents and injury and to seek appropriate care and compensation in the event of an accident.

sun2.jpg

Here are other injuries to watch out for this summer:

Lawnmower injuries. Every year there are 80,000 hospitalizations involving lawnmower accidents. Most of these cases occur when rocks, sticks, and other debris are picked up and thrown by the blades. When cutting the grass this summer, be sure that you know how to properly use your equipment and that it is maintained. You should also wear protective eye gear and clothing to prevent injury.

BBQ accidents. Firing up the grill is a common past time throughout the summer, but is important to take necessary precaution to prevent explosions and burns. According to reports, the U.S. fire department responds to over 8,000 fires every year involving grills and barbeques. Always be cautious when lighting a grill and opening the cover. Make sure your grill is in a safe spot and keep small children away from the BBQ.

Dangerous sunburns. While a minor sunburn impacts all of us, a dangerous sunburn can be deadly. Repeat sunburns can permanently damage DNA and increase your risk of skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, wear appropriate sunscreen and continue to apply it throughout the day, especially if you are in the water.

Heat rash. In addition to sunburn, exposure to sun can also result in heat rash causing blisters or deep red bumps. Victims may experience itchiness and sensitivity. Heat rash can occur anywhere on the body. Dehydration is another risk of being in the sun too long and can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.

Slips, falls, and flip-flops. Though summer means sandals, remember that footwear can also be dangerous and result in achy feet or injury from a fall. Most flip flops have no cushion or support. Exposure could also result in cuts to feet or ankles. Unless you are on the beach or at the pool, you should wear shoes with support to prevent injury.

Hangovers and alcohol-related accidents. For many of us, being out in the summer sun also involves beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Remember that alcohol can impair judgment, reduce motor skills, and leave you vulnerable to any number of accidents or injuries. In addition to being a danger to yourself, you could be a danger to others.

Continue reading "Hidden Summer Dangers and Injury Risks " »

August 8, 2013

New Technology Helps Accident Victims Communicate


One of the most severe and life-altering injuries is brain and spinal cord damage. Victims of paralysis are often unable to walk, confined to a wheelchair and suffer from an overwhelming loss of life enjoyment. While researchers are constantly looking for improvements to treat paralysis, there is no cure. In a recent breakthrough, those who are unable to speak because of brain injury and paralysis may benefit from new technology that allows victims of paralysis to communicate through their pupils.

Any injury that leaves a victim unable to communicate or speak is devastating to victims and their families. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, swimming and boating accidents and other preventable tragedies are often the cause of paralysis and the loss of communication between victims and families. Our Greensboro personal injury attorneys are experienced in complex cases involving paralysis and are dedicated to helping victims get compensation and treatment that they deserve. We are also abreast of new technologies that can aid victims who suffer from serious and life-altering injuries.

brainscan.jpg

A new kind of communication may be on the market allowing victims of brain injury and paralysis to answer questions through "smart goggles" that can read the response of a patient through the pupil. The technology also allows individuals in a reduced state of consciousness to respond to requests and commands. This also gives doctors the opportunity to diagnose patients who have a loss of brain function.

The technology uses pupils which expand and contract in response to light and dark. The pupil also dilates when we are thinking or contemplating a decision. German researchers are using the physiological system of the pupil to help victims of accidents communicate through neurological responses. They initiated the technology by asking simple questions with responses "yes" or "no" on a computer screen. Wearing the glasses of special technology, the researchers read the pupils response to the questions, finding that the more contemplation and the larger increase in pupil size, the more likely the responder found the correct answer.

When a victim is unable to speak after an accident, it can be difficult for doctors to identify areas of pain, apply proper treatment, and restrictive for patients and their families. This new technology could alleviate some of the stresses, by allowing victims to communicate their needs while in recovery. While using the new technology, doctors found that accuracy of the smart goggle technology was between 67 and 87 percent--not 100 percent, but better than guessing a victim's condition or needs.

The technology could help to allow patients to communicate their needs including hunger or pain. It can also help in the event of trying to put together the pieces after an accident or criminal matter. Officers could apply the technology when interviewing witnesses. Though the opportunities are endless, it is not known when the smart goggles will be made available to doctors or for consumer use.

Researchers believe that continuing to work and develop the technology could improve the accuracy to have a greater success rate. The initial trial run is a positive step forward for victims of accidents who have been left in a semi-conscious state or unable to communicate after an injury.

Continue reading "New Technology Helps Accident Victims Communicate" »

August 5, 2013

Ocean Isle Beach House Deck Collapse Injures 21


Building inspectors in North Carolina are looking into what exactly caused an Ocean Isle Beach house deck to collapse in a recent accident. According to the Gant Daily, more than 20 people were injured in this collapse.
dJlw1I.jpg
Inspectors are looking at potential structure failures at the home, which is privately rented. it's located at 83 Ocean Isle West Boulevard. The emergency services director for Brunswick County, Anthony Marzanom, says that there were 25 people outside on the deck when it dropped down onto a concrete patio on the ground below. Luckily, none of the injuries are life-threatening, but there were 21 lacerations, a bone and hip fracture and a spinal injury. All of the victims were transported to various local hospitals for treatment.

Our Ocean Isle Beach premise liability attorneys understand that the home was constructed back in 2003 and was last inspected in 2012. Unfortunately, that inspection wasn't enough to prevent this tragedy. And what's even more unfortunate is that this is the second accident of this kind to happen in the state within the last month. The other one happened at a home in Cherryville. In that accident, the deck also collapsed when there were 25 people on it. According to inspectors, that deck was more than 25-years-old and was no longer able to carry such weight.

Although these types of accidents are most commonly associated with older, multi-story apartment buildings with wooden porches, they can happen just about anywhere at any time. These accidents are also more common during the warm, summer months. Sadly , these structures are often improperly constructed, poorly designed and sometimes even over-crowded. These factors are common causes that lead to falls and collapses. And it's these kinds of accidents can result in broken bones, closed head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even fatalities.

The conditions of the property and its facilities are the responsibility of the owner. They have the responsibility to maintain safe premises and they can be held liable when accidents result in serious injuries or death.

According to recent studies, there are more than 50,000 million wooden decks in the United States that are over 25-years-old.

Deck, Porch and Balcony Collapse Prevention:

-Make sure that the maximum capacity for these areas are posted and obeyed.

-Frequently inspect for rusted or missing fasteners and/or nails. Replace when needed.

-Keep an eye out for buckled or loose boards and/or splinters. Uneven stair treads and discolored areas are also a sign of deterioration.

-Make sure the porch does not sway or move in any direction.

-If your porch is older that 15-years, it's important that you have it inspected by a professional.

-Keep the area clear of sitting materials. Debris and other objects can speed the process of decay.

-Consider the weight of your porch or deck's furniture. Move it when it's not being used to help eliminate wear or stress.

-Make sure none of the wood is rotted or cracked. When noticed, you want to replace immediately.

Continue reading "Ocean Isle Beach House Deck Collapse Injures 21" »

August 2, 2013

New Film Captures Reality of Brain Injuries


The impact of a brain injury can be long-term. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have been gaining more attention by medical practitioners and researchers as well as by the media. In a new film produced by HBO, documentary filmmakers take a close look at the impact of brain injuries and the real ways that a brain injury can impact the life of a victim. The film, "The Crash Reel" discusses the very insidious nature of a brain injury and the extent to which victims lives are affected long after impact.

Brain injury survivors know that the injury has physical, mental and social components. It can physically leave someone debilitated as well as affect them emotionally and socially. Many victims are unable to work after an accident. Our Charleston brain injury attorneys are experienced with the complicated nature of brain injury cases and will pursue every avenue of recovery for victims.

880737_brain_001.jpg

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be the result of sports injuries, a car accident, fall, swimming pool or boating accident, or any other incident which causes severe impact. In the film, "The Crash Reel," the documentary creators follow the life of snowboarder Kevin Pearce, whose life was changed after an accident. The film details the life of the rising snowboarding star before his stardom was eclipsed by a severe accident.

The film captures a moment when Pearce attempts a highly technical and dangerous snowboarding move known as a "cab double cork" which leaves him in a coma. Suffering from a traumatic brain injury, Pearce is also in a rehab hospital for months. The film takes a close look at Pearce's family, his doctors, his friends, and others who can testify to the difficult road of recovery faced by the snowboarder.

Coming to know his injuries more intimately, viewers can understand the permanent brain damage that impacts his memory and vision. He is also at a greater risk of injury if he suffers an additional blow to the head. While the film focuses on recovery, it also sheds light on the very tragic aspects of traumatic brain injury--many victims will never be back to "normal." Some will never walk or talk again.

For victims of brain injury, the recovery process can take months or years. In some cases, a full recovery is not possible. Any victim of a brain injury may require extensive medical treatment and care. It is important to have financial support in the event of an accident or injury. An experienced attorney can investigate any case involving TBI and pursue just recovery for victims to compensate for medical expenses, long-term care, lost wages, and other personal losses related to the accident.

Other victims in the film suffered tennis injuries, bicycle injuries, and other sports-related accidents. The filmmakers hope to raise awareness about brain injury and to encourage health, safety and concussion awareness. Though some sports are inherently dangerous, athletes should be wary that complicated and difficult tricks could result in dramatic consequences, including TBI. Parents, teachers, and other authorities should also raise awareness among young athletes to prevent future accidents and injuries.

Continue reading "New Film Captures Reality of Brain Injuries" »