March 22, 2014

Timely Filing of Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Generally in North Carolina, filing an Asheville wrongful death lawsuit must occur within two years of the date of death. This is called the statute of limitations, and the courts require strict adherence to time limits. A case could be tossed for filing even one day too late.
There are, however, exceptions. There are a few instances under which the length of time could be tolled (paused and thus lengthened). Then there are some circumstances wherein the date of injury occurs much earlier than the date of death, and here, the clock on that statute of limitations may start ticking at the time of injury.

This is why it's so imperative to meet as soon as possible with an attorney if you are contemplating filing a case. Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, and even before your attorney can file, he or she will likely want to:

  • Research the case;

  • Gather all necessary documents and records;

  • Evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of the case;

  • Determine specifically what legal claims of negligence can and should be made;

  • Identify all parties to be sued;

  • Select the proper court in which to file.

Continue reading "Timely Filing of Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuits" »

March 17, 2014

Amputation Work Injury Highlights Risk of Ignoring "Minor" Incidents

A PBS science correspondent recently recounted a medical emergency which led to the amputation of his arm


Our Greenville personal injury attorneys know that even a seemingly small injury can have severe medical implications.

While the PBS correspondent was on an assignment in Asia he suffered an injury to his arm.

Continue reading "Amputation Work Injury Highlights Risk of Ignoring "Minor" Incidents" »

March 12, 2014

Reducing Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

There are many situations, which lead tomedication errors in nursing homes. If for example, a newly admitted resident arrives at a nursing home from a hospital, it is possible that the doctor who released the patient is not familiar with all the medications the patient has been prescribed.


According to the American Medical Directors' Association, the "vast majority" of medication errors at nursing homes involve one of the following:

--Lack of assessment;
--Lack of monitoring for efficacy;
--Lack of reassessment for continuous need;
--Lack of monitoring for adverse drug reactions;
--Lack of recognition of adverse drug reactions;
--Attribution of adverse drug reactions to other causes.

OurSpartanburg personal injury attorneys are fully aware that the more medications a patient is taking the great the chance that a mistake will be made. Often individuals in the care of nursing homes are taking a great deal of medication the risk for caregiver missteps is great.

Continue reading "Reducing Medication Errors in Nursing Homes" »

March 11, 2014

Prescription Drugs: Overdose and Malpractice Risks on the Rise

If proscribed and used responsibly, prescription medication is a way to assist patients in living healthier lives but when prescription drugs are abused the consequences can be very serious, leading to overdoses and major accidents that can cause death, including car accidents.


Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys caution patients to monitor the medicines they prescribe themselves. As well as those prescribed by a health care provider. Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals cannot always be relied on to manage multiple medicines a patient may be ingesting, even if this is their job.

Studies show that since 1999 the number of deaths attributed to prescription painkillers has increased by over 300%. It is estimated that 45 U.S. residents perish every day due to unintentional overdoses on pain relieves acquired through a prescription. In addition to the problems with patients taking pills as they are intended, nearly 1 in 20 United States citizens over the age of 12 admits to ingesting prescription painkillers for recreational purposes.

Continue reading "Prescription Drugs: Overdose and Malpractice Risks on the Rise " »

March 9, 2014

Carolina Medical Malpractice Cases Must be Properly Filed

No matter how strong your medical malpractice lawsuit is, it won't get very far if you don't file it properly. gavel51.jpg

This means not only filing it within the statute of limitations, but providing timely and proper notice to any and all defendants and providing proper statements of sustained injuries and monetary damages.Failure to do this could result in a lawsuit dismissal, which means you will either have to start all over again, or worse, you could lose your chance to obtain compensation altogether.

This became obvious in Sleeth v. Sedan City Hosp., reviewed recently by the Kansas Supreme Court. At issue here was whether one or more letters to hospital administrators and an insurance carrier representative amounted to substantial compliance with state statutes that require certain forms of notice prior to filing a civil lawsuit for medical malpractice.

Continue reading "Carolina Medical Malpractice Cases Must be Properly Filed" »

March 6, 2014

Fighting Insurance Auto Companies Over Wrecks With "Excluded" Drivers

We all know there are drivers who take their chances behind the wheel without insurance.
In some cases, these individuals may be "excluded" drivers, or those who have been expressly named as not being listed on a household member's policy. People or insurance companies will list individuals as excluded for a host of reasons, ranging from a spouse who has a bad driving record to a teen whose presence on the policy would cause rates to spike.

Our Charlotte car accident attorneys know that auto insurance firms love these policies because it minimizes their risk. In theory, anyone you allow to drive your vehicle is considered a "permissive user" of that vehicle and as such, will be covered under the vehicle policy. However, if a vehicle owner allows an excluded driver to operate the vehicle and he or she is subsequently involved in a crash, the insurance company may be indemnified and both the driver and the car owner may be held personally liable.

Continue reading "Fighting Insurance Auto Companies Over Wrecks With "Excluded" Drivers" »

March 3, 2014

UNC Hazing Incident Highlights Personal Injury Rights

Fraternities and sororities are promoted as a way for college students to make friends, get more involved on campus and give back by participating in various charities or public service opportunities.
Unfortunately, there are some chapters that have taken to converting new pledges into their own personal punching bags through ritual - and largely accepted - hazing. Such practices - which range from encouragement of immense alcohol consumption to subjection to physical assault - are not only personally degrading, they have in some cases been known to result in serious injuries - and even death.

Just recently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a fraternity was suspended over allegations of possible hazing that involved "alcohol violations and inappropriate new-member activities."

Continue reading "UNC Hazing Incident Highlights Personal Injury Rights" »

March 1, 2014

Root v. Balfour Beatty Construction LLC - Keeping Personal Injury Complaints Off Facebook

It's perfectly understandable that grief-stricken, frustrated or outraged victims of personal injury, who have been wronged by the negligence of some other party, might take to social media to express those emotions.
You want affirmation and solace and to not feel so alone.

We get it. However, our Winston-Salem personal injury lawyers would generally advise against it. As it stands now, personal injury defendants will likely be combing through your social media profiles, trolling for any information that could help bolster their case.You might not even realize that what you are posting could have significance to your case. Through the discovery process, opposing counsel might even be allowed to obtain electronic communications you thought would be considered private.

Continue reading "Root v. Balfour Beatty Construction LLC - Keeping Personal Injury Complaints Off Facebook" »

February 27, 2014

"Error in Judgment" Jury Charge in Medical Malpractice Cases

In any sort of injury trial - but specifically those involving alleged medical malpractice - judges must be extremely careful when instructing jurors on the laws of negligence.
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Charlotte recognize that in these incredibly complex cases, it is crucial that the jury be given clear instruction on the law.

Commonly referred to as a judge's "charge" to the jury, these instructions will succinctly spell out the issues of the case, define any words or terms that may not be familiar to the jury and discuss the standard of proof that should be applied in each case.

Continue reading ""Error in Judgment" Jury Charge in Medical Malpractice Cases" »

February 25, 2014

North Carolina Construction Fall Results in Death

A 30-year-old worker was killed in a North Carolina construction accident, after suffering a five-story fall from scaffolding.
The incident occurred in Raleigh, about an hour outside of Greensboro, and was the second construction accident in that city in just two days.

News reports of the incident, citing Department of Labor sources, indicate that the company that had been overseeing the site was cited two times in recent years for safety violations involving scaffolding and worker fall protections.

Our Greensboro wrongful death attorneys know that this is so often the case when there is a death or catastrophic injury stemming from a workplace accident. While many companies do try their best to adhere to proper safety protocol, we see the same offenders violating these laws again and again.

Continue reading "North Carolina Construction Fall Results in Death" »

February 23, 2014

Mann v. Northgate Investors, LLC - Landlord Premise Liability

A recent case heard by the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the legal principle that holds landlords have a statutory duty to maintain safe conditions on their properties, extended to both tenants and guests of tenants, and that breaches of that duty may constitute negligence and grounds for legal liability.
Rock Hill premise liability lawyers know that the same principal is outlined in South Carolina, where business owners as well as private landowners can be held liable for a wide range of injuries, including slip-and-fall accidents, swimming pool drownings and even third-party criminal acts.

In the case of Mann v. Northgate Investors, LLC, the plaintiffs alleged that the landlord negligently failed to maintain adequate lighting on the premises, and that the plaintiff suffered injury relating to a fall on the property as a result.

This case unfolded back in 2007. At that time, the plaintiff was just 16-years-old and was visiting a friend, who was a tenant at the apartment. her friend resided on the second floor of the building. As the plaintiff exited the apartment around 11 p.m., she had to walk down two flights of stairs with a landing between them. The hallway was dark, both because it was night and there was lighting. The existing light figures were not operational.

She made it to the bottom of the stairs, but at the last step, she mistakenly thought there would be another step. She stumbled forward, through a glass panel next to an exit door, sustaining serious injury.

She filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging negligent failure to maintain adequate lighting for safe egress from the building at night, which created a danger to both residents and guests.

The landlord responded by filing a motion for a summary judgment, asserting he had not breached any duty of care to the plaintiff, who was an invitee to the property. The duty owed would be ordinary care of property maintenance, the landlord stated, and that duty was met. It was further argued that darkness is an obvious danger, and that business owners could reasonably expect invitees to recognize the danger and take appropriate action to protect themselves.

The plaintiff countered that the state's landlord-tenant act required the landlord to keep the common areas of the premises in fit, habitable condition.

However, the trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant, indicating that because the plaintiff was not a tenant but a business invitee, the landlord owed her only a duty of ordinary care, further accepting his argument that the darkness of the staircase was an open and obvious hazard, negating the duty of ordinary care.

That ruling was appealed, and the appellate court reversed that finding, holding that tenants' guests are entitled to the same protections as tenants. However, the court certified the question to the state supreme court, as it acknowledge this finding conflicted with that of another state appellate court.

The state supreme court determined that a landlord is in fact liable for injuries suffered by tenant guests when that injury is proximately caused by the landlord's failure to fulfill the duties it normally owes to tenants.

Continue reading "Mann v. Northgate Investors, LLC - Landlord Premise Liability" »

February 21, 2014

"Retained Surgical Items" Grounds for Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

In the recently-reviewed case of Tucker, Jr. v. Tombigbee Healthcare Authority, the plaintiffs alleged that the health care staff was negligent after a surgical hemostat clamp was left inside her abdomen during a hysterectomy and appendix removal. medicalinstruments.jpg

Not only did the doctor fail to account for and remove the clamp at the time of the surgery, it went undiscovered for six years, until the patient began to complain of severe pain and cramping, resulting from serious infection and life-threatening medical problems, including blood clots, sepsis, infection and most likely, a stroke.

The first count of her claim was against the surgical team who left the device. The second count pertained to the doctors who failed to diagnose, treat and make timely referrals for her condition. She eventually died as a result, though not prior to filing a lawsuit.

Continue reading ""Retained Surgical Items" Grounds for Medical Malpractice Lawsuit" »

February 17, 2014

U.S. v. Chhibber - Medicare Fraud & Medical Malpractice Claims

Both federal and state attorneys general have been focused in the past two years on cracking down on doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that commit Medicare fraud.
Just recently, the Charlotte Observer reported that several doctors working at a for-profit hospital have alleged the owner offered them illegal kickbacks to order unnecessary tests on patients and admit more of them so that the hospital could bolster its corporate revenues. Two of the doctors have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Charlotte against Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates - the fourth-largest for-profit hospital chain in the country.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, alongside the U.S. Department of Justice, lists numerous Medicare fraud arrests that have occurred over the last five years in North Carolina.

Continue reading "U.S. v. Chhibber - Medicare Fraud & Medical Malpractice Claims" »

February 15, 2014

North Carolina Emergency Care Given "C" Grade

When it comes to the quality of emergency medical care, mediocrity is certainly nothing to celebrate.
Our Charlotte medical malpractice lawyers are not encouraged by the "C" grade given to North Carolina by the American College of Emergency Physicians in their most recent emergency care environment report card - despite the fact that it's a step above the national "D+" grade.

Continue reading "North Carolina Emergency Care Given "C" Grade" »

February 13, 2014

Carolina Bicycle Accidents & Premise Liability Claims

So often when we discuss bicycle accidents, we're talking about incidents in bicyclist was hit by a motor vehicle.
However, there are instances in which dangerous road design or other hazards may have played a part in the crash. In these cases, it may be appropriate to seek action against those entities responsible for maintaining the property where the crash occurred.

This was the case in Camicia v. Howard S. Wright Constr. Co., a matter that was recently litigated before the Washington state Supreme Court. Here, the question of liability rests largely on how the land on which the crash occurred was formally classified.

Continue reading "Carolina Bicycle Accidents & Premise Liability Claims " »