April 28, 2014

Building Code Violations Resulting in Injury

Landlords and other building owners in North Carolina have a responsibility to ensure that their properties are safe for invitees (and sometimes even trespassers) and that the structures on site adhere to proper building codes.
When they do not and someone suffers a serious injury as a result, it may be appropriate to file a premises liability lawsuit.

Like many states, North Carolina does not subscribe to the legal theory of strict liability. That means just because a person has been injured on another person's property does not make them automatically liable for compensation. Your attorney will have to prove that the property owner or manager knew about the hazardous condition (or should have known), failed to take any reasonable steps to remedy the situation and that in turn proximately caused your injury.

Continue reading "Building Code Violations Resulting in Injury" »

April 25, 2014

Dawkins v. Union Hospital - Doctors, Hospitals, Can Face Ordinary Negligence Claims

Under South Carolina law, civil actions alleging medical malpractice against doctors, hospitals and medical staffers have to follow a very strict set of procedures, per S.C.C.L. Section 15-79-110. These differ from what is required for ordinary claims of negligence.
However, the South Carolina Supreme Court recently ruled in Dawkins v. Union Hospital that not all claims against doctors, hospitals or health care institutions need follow the medical malpractice format - but only if the issue stems from ordinary negligence, and not medical malpractice.

Personal injury lawyers in Rock Hill have been carefully watching this case, as it may shape the way future cases are filed.

Continue reading "Dawkins v. Union Hospital - Doctors, Hospitals, Can Face Ordinary Negligence Claims" »

April 22, 2014

Teen Head Injuries Increase Risk of Suicide

The majority of head injuries in the United States occur either because of motor vehicle accidents or because of slip and falls. Unfortunately, young people are more likely to be involved in collisions and young children along with the elderly are also the group most likely to suffer a fall. caution-tripping-hazard-1439458-m.jpg

When a head injury occurs, the impact of an injury can be far-reaching and affect every aspect of the victim's life. The driver, property owner or other third party responsible for causing the injury needs to be held accountable. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can help victims to pursue a claim for compensation. Unfortunately, new evidence indicates that teenagers who sustain traumatic brain injury may face yet another potential consequence of the damage to the brain: an increased risk of suicide.

Continue reading "Teen Head Injuries Increase Risk of Suicide" »

April 20, 2014

South Carolina Considers Video to Reduce Risk of School Bus Accidents

Each year, an average of 19 school-aged children are killed in collisions involving school transportation. In most cases, the child loses his life before he gets on the bus or after he exits. Just five children die annually on average as a result of collisions while the kids are passengers on the bus. The rest are killed in pedestrian accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. bus-1389756-m.jpg

Many of these collisions could be prevented if drivers paid more attention to the rules of the road and if they obeyed the laws that prohibit passing a stopped school bus. Because many drivers do pass when the school bus stop sign is displayed, the Augusta Chronicle indicates that there is a proposal being considered that would allow school buses to film those who illegally pass them. Those who pass school buses can face criminal charges and can be held responsible for losses and damages they cause. Victims and surviving family members can get help from an experienced Anderson, SC injury attorney.

Continue reading "South Carolina Considers Video to Reduce Risk of School Bus Accidents" »

April 18, 2014

South Carolina Case Could Help Victims in Insurance Disputes

A South Carolina man was a passenger in a co-worker's vehicle when an automobile accident occurred. There was insufficient insurance coverage and the victim did not have under-insured motorist coverage. To obtain much-needed compensation for injuries, he submitted a claim under a separate insurance policy that had been issued to his fiancé and that listed both the man and his fiancé as residents. The policy did not have the injured man listed on the declaration's page as the "named insured." law-and-order-533138-m.jpg

The insurance company denied the claim and said he wasn't eligible for underinsured motorist coverage because under the policy language, he was not related to the owner of the policy. The couple never did become related because they broke off the engagement. However, Insurance News Net reports the victim pursed compensation all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Continue reading "South Carolina Case Could Help Victims in Insurance Disputes" »

April 15, 2014

Baby Carriers Must Meet Tougher CPSC Standards

In an effort to prevent injurious and fatal falls involving babies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has made mandatory a previously voluntary set of standards for soft infant safety carriers. mommaandbaby.jpg

These soft carriers typically have waist and shoulder straps, and are worn as a type of sling in which the caregiver carries the child in an upright position in the front.

Between 2007 and mid-2013, the CPSC reported a total of 43 deaths and 66,000 hospital emergency room treated injuries related to these handheld carriers. Just from Sept. 2012 through July 2013, the CPSC received 31 incident reports related to soft baby carriers, with two of those resulting in fatalities and 24 injuries - including three head injuries that occurred when the baby fell from the carrier.

Continue reading "Baby Carriers Must Meet Tougher CPSC Standards" »

April 9, 2014

Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc. - Post-Sale Modification Defense Not Absolute

Anytime a product causes harm to someone through its use, questions arise as to whether there was an inherent flaw or manufacturing defect in the design that is to blame.

OurCharlotte product liability lawyers know a common defense in these cases is that of post-sale modification. That is, the defendants allege product was somehow altered in a way that was not intended by the manufacturer. Therefore, the product may have been unsafe, but the maker is absolved of liability.

But as the New York Court of Appeals ruled recently in Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc., this defense is not absolute. Manufacturers do have a responsibility to anticipate potential modifications and misuse, and guard against those when they may pose a danger.

Continue reading "Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc. - Post-Sale Modification Defense Not Absolute" »

April 7, 2014

Bioderm Skin Care, LLC v. Sok - Beauty Industry Negligence

Taking care of one's appearance is important, and patrons of beauty salons have every right to expect that licensed businesses and employees will be professional and competent.
When they're not, hopefully the worst that happens is you suffer a bad hair cut for a few weeks and find yourself another stylist. Unfortunately, our beauty salon injury lawyers know that sometimes, patrons can be seriously hurt. It's easy to overlook the fact that these workers are handling potentially dangerous chemicals, sharp objects and heat. Severe burns, lacerations and other injuries have been reported in some cases where workers were careless or not properly trained.

Further complicating these cases is that a growing number of "salons" are either headed or overseen by doctors (or should be). Examples would obviously include any procedure that involves cosmetic surgery, but it could also encompass "medi-spa" offerings such as laser hair removal, Botox procedures, tattoo removal, skin resurfacing and certain weight loss programs. This raises legitimate questions about whether these matters of personal injury or medical malpractice. The answer is important in terms of statutory time limitations, as well as the requirements necessary to file the case.

Continue reading "Bioderm Skin Care, LLC v. Sok - Beauty Industry Negligence" »

April 7, 2014

Colleges Can be Liable for Student Assault, Harassment

When a college student is victimized by a fellow student, our Asheville personal injury lawyers believe it's important to analyze whether the school's response was appropriate, and whether the institution failed in its duty to take preventative measures.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that bars discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity in schools that receive money from the federal government. Statutorily, sex discrimination can include sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault. When a school knows about and ignores sexual harassment or assault in its programs, it can be held responsible and compelled to pay damages to the victim.

The legal standard used to prove this is called "deliberate indifference." However, this can be a high standard of proof, as the language is broad in a way that can shield schools from culpability. This was illustrated recently in the case of Roe v. St. Louis University, et al., reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. We share this not to discourage victims, but to stress the importance of seeking counsel from a firm with a high degree of experience.

Continue reading "Colleges Can be Liable for Student Assault, Harassment" »

April 4, 2014

Third Party Liability Stemming From Criminal Attack

In the criminal courts, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. barstool.jpg

In civil court, plaintiff attorneys need not show the defendant meted out even a single blow. In third-party liability cases, a defendant could be held liable for the criminal actions of another person if the plaintiff can show that he or she was made vulnerable to the crime by the defendant's breach of duty.

Our Spartanburg personal injury lawyers know this comes up a lot in cases of negligent security, where a landlord or some establishment fails to ensure the property is appropriately secured from intruders or aggressive individuals.

Continue reading "Third Party Liability Stemming From Criminal Attack" »

April 2, 2014

Rock Hill Nursing Home Abuse Allegations Investigated

Authorities are investigating a claim of nursing home abuse in Rock Hill after a 91-year-old resident alleged her caregiver grabbed her so hard that it caused a wound requiring stitches.
The alleged victim revealed to her son that she was frightened of the caretaker, and had for months been subjected to both verbal and physical abuse. The son responded by placing an audio recorder in the room over the weekend. One night, the caretaker in question entered her room and yelled at the frail woman to get up. When she was responded too slowly, the caretaker reportedly yanked her arm so hard to pull her up that she tore the skin.

While officials at the facility in question wouldn't respond to media inquiries, citing the ongoing criminal investigation, they did report that the staffer at the center of the investigation is no longer working there. Officials with the State Department of Health and Environmental Control have also launched an investigation.

Continue reading "Rock Hill Nursing Home Abuse Allegations Investigated " »

March 31, 2014

Buechel v. United States - Prison Negligence Results in Lawsuit

Plaintiffs who have served time in prison aren't always the most sympathetic in a personal injury lawsuit. prison.jpg

However, prison administrators have a responsibility to ensure that those in their care are afforded basic protections with regard to their health and safety. Just because a person was sentenced to serve time does not mean they deserve to suffer ill treatment or conditions leading to illness.

This is what was alleged in the recent injury case of Buechel v. United States, which was reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Continue reading "Buechel v. United States - Prison Negligence Results in Lawsuit" »

March 28, 2014

Tougher DUI Laws in South Carolina Closer to Passage

South Carolina has one of the highest rates of DUI deaths in the nation. In 2012, the last year for which figures are available, nearly 360 people were killed in South Carolina by drunk drivers. carcrash.jpg

To put that into perspective, there were 239 people aboard the missing Malaysian jet flight that has received so much attention of late. Meanwhile, a single alcohol-related fatality in South Carolina can cost upwards of $4.9 million.

Our personal injury attorneys in Anderson recognize it is in the spirit of reversing this trend that South Carolina lawmakers are pressing a measure called "Emma's Law," (S. 137) named after 6-year-old from Lexington County who was killed by a repeat OUI offender in January 2012. The intoxicated driver is now serving a nine-year prison sentence.

Continue reading "Tougher DUI Laws in South Carolina Closer to Passage" »

March 26, 2014

Non-Economic Damage Cap Deemed Unconstitutional by Another State Supreme Court

Florida has recently joined seven other states in finding that non-economic damage caps in medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. The case, Estate of McCall v. United States,, stemmed from the death of a young woman who died shortly after childbirth.
The finding is important because, while North Carolina has had non-economic damage caps in place since 2001, there has yet to be a constitutional challenge on the issue here. The more states follow this precedent, the more likely we are to see a similar outcome.

Charlotte personal injury lawyers know that part of the reason we have non-economic damage caps stems from a major push by health care lobbyists in the late 1990s and early 2000s for tort reform. Doctors would be driven from states in droves, they said, unless legislators could enact reforms to bring the cost of medical malpractice insurance down. One of the best ways to do this, they asserted, was to cap the amount of damages plaintiffs could collect for serious injuries or wrongful death.

Continue reading "Non-Economic Damage Cap Deemed Unconstitutional by Another State Supreme Court" »

March 24, 2014

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Moves Forward

An emergency room doctor whose allegedly negligent care resulted in a patient sustaining a traumatic brain injury will not be allowed to claim immunity under his state's Good Samaritan Act, as he had tried to do when first confronted with the lawsuit.
Spartanburg injury lawyers know that medical malpractice defendants tend to have more resources than most to fight claims, and will mount a vigorous defense whenever possible. This doctor had attempted to assert that he was acting as a "volunteer" when responding to a Code Blue in an emergency room - despite the fact that he worked at the hospital, was compensated for his time there and was required by way of his contract to respond to Code Blue emergencies.

The trial court had initially granted the doctor summary judgment, but that was later reversed upon appeal and the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the second decision.

Continue reading "Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Moves Forward " »