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Knowing the challenges facing all young drivers, our North Carolina car accident attorneys are always excited when we hear about new drivers’ training programs or new technology that will reduce injuries and deaths among our teenagers and young adults.

Just recently, USA Today published a story about teenage drivers and the consequences of accidents that occur when they are distracted or impaired. Virtual Driver Interactive Incorporated (VDI), a California based company which specializes in driving simulators, has created a device called One Simple Decision. The device provides the driver with various scenarios about what happens should one operate a motor vehicle while texting or impaired. Perhaps even more important, the device provides simulated interactions with police officers questioning them about whether they have been drinking and how the accident occurred. The 20 minute simulation covers the police investigation and interrogation by EMTs. There is also a simulated appearance in court before a judge regarding the charges and the real life impact of their behavior.

VDI has confirmed that 86% of all teenagers and young adults who participated in the One Simple Decision experience acknowledged that they would rarely, if ever, operate a vehicle while distracted, in the future. Furthermore, the response by 71% of the participants was that the real life consequences of making bad decisions when operating a vehicle were far worse than what they had imagined.

A 19 year old driver from Rye, N.Y., Henry Mochel, had been driving for a while before experiencing the One Simple Decision device. After beginning to drive on the simulator, it told him to begin texting. He confessed that he ran into a stop sign, had a head on collision and admitted, “It’s crazy to see how easy it was.”

The part of the experience that really got Mochel’s attention was what occurred after the accident happened. He found himself faced with a policeman shining a flashlight in his face and asked if he had been drinking. This was all followed by being booked into jail and appearing in court, thus providing a real life experience of what really happens when individuals are involved in alcohol related accidents.

Driving while being distracted or impaired is not limited to teenagers and young adults. Every day, accidents involving distracted or impaired adults cause others to suffer injuries. If you, a friend or family member have been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted or impaired driver, you need to seek the advice of an experienced car accident lawyer.

Auger & Auger is a Charlotte, North Carolina law firm that has dedicated its entire practice to representing clients involved in car accidents and other personal injury matters. Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients throughout the state and are highly regarded by the judiciary and other members of the bar.

We have three offices located in Charlotte. We have our Midtown office, University office and Ballantyne office for your convenience, as well as offices in Greensboro and Raleigh.

Contact us for your confidential, no obligation consultation to discuss the facts of your case. All of our cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that you will never owe our firm a fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Simulator shows young drivers the risks of distraction, USA Today, Article by Larry Copeland, June 18, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

North Carolina Ranks #2 in Teenage Deaths From Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, May 4, 2012

Three Teens Ejected From Truck Following Drunk Driving Crash
, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 25, 2012

Image: VDI JPG

 

Alcohol is poison

Our North Carolina car accident attorneys know about the dangers of drinking and driving. We have witnessed the tragic results and the impact they have on loved ones.

Recently a 28 year old female from Erwin, Jennifer Brooke Marbell, was seriously injured in a one vehicle accident near Linden, North Carolina. According to the investigation, she was a passenger in a Lincoln Navigator being operated by her boyfriend, Harold “J.R.” Currie, 32, when he lost control and flipped the SUV. The accident occurred on Collier’s Chapel Church Road at 3:00 A.M. on Sunday June 3, 2012.

North Carolina State Troopers indicated that the vehicle was traveling at approximately 80 mph when Currie lost control, sending it across the center line and into a ditch.
Initially, Currie told officers that he was not driving the vehicle when the accident occurred. However, he later recanted that version of how the accident happened, and admitted to being behind the wheel. Currie said he was scared and disoriented earlier and was sorry for the accident. WRAL News reported that an ice chest and beer cans were visible in the wrecked SUV at the storage facility where it was towed.

The couple was on their way home from a birthday party when Currie lost control during an argument. Marbell was ejected from the vehicle. In addition to losing her right arm, she suffered internal injuries and was flown to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. Currie suffered only minor injuries.

State Troopers said that Currie told them that he did not feel like he was drunk when he left the party and would not have gotten behind the wheel had he felt he was too drunk to drive. Nevertheless, he received citations for driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving and driving without a license. The license, which was from Massachusetts, had been suspended.

Drivers often get behind the wheel of a car, truck or SUV after drinking when they should not. While they might think that they are capable of operating a vehicle safely, an impaired or drunk driver is four times more likely to be involved in an accident than a sober driver.

If you, a family member or a friend have lost a loved one, or either you or they were injured because of a drunk driver, you need to seek the advice of an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer.

At Auger & Auger, we have committed our entire practice to helping clients in a wide array of personal injury matters. The attorneys at our firm have nearly 40 years of collective personal injury experience and are highly respected by the judiciary and other members of the bar.

For your convenience, we have five office locations. Three offices are located in Charlotte and one each in Raleigh and Greensboro.

Contact us to schedule your confidential, no obligation consultation to sit down with one of our attorneys to discuss your particular situation. We want to help you and we handle cases on a contingency basis. This means that you will never owe us a fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Woman loses arm in Cumberland wreck, WRAL News, June 3, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

North Carolina Man Convicted of Murder in DWI Case is Released After 15 Years in Prison, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, April11, 2012

Three Teens Ejected From Truck Following Drunk Driving Crash, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 25,2012

Bulldozer

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys are aware of the dangers lurking at every construction site. Accidents and resulting injuries are bound to occur with different trades performing different tasks simultaneously on the same job, each with their own deadline.

Last week one worker was killed and another injured at a construction project for Greenville Water on Scuffletown Road close to Jones Mill Road and across from Gordon Elementary School. Pedro Alberto Miguel Perez, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Greenville County Coroner’s office. The other worker, Sam Schudel, was taken by ambulance to nearby Greenville Memorial with serious injuries, where he is now listed as being in improved to fair condition.

According to a WSPA-Channel 7 news report, both workers were working for Payne, McGinn & Cummins, Inc., the company with the contract to complete the Scuffletown Road water project for Greenville Water. At the time they were injured, they were digging a 16 foot deep ditch to be used for the water line when a piece of heavy equipment tipped over on top of one man and trapped the other down inside the trench.

In 2007, the employer of the men had been cited with two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations in Troutman, North Carolina. The Department of Labor revealed that both previous violations were serious, one involving the firm’s failure to perform daily inspections of the construction site to remove hazards for workers, and the other for failing to provide for proper support and other safety devices to protect workers against cave-ins. Payne, McGinn & Cummins, Inc. was reportedly fined $4,200 for those OSHA violations.

The investigation into what caused this accident is ongoing by the South Carolina OSHA office and the results will be unknown for six to eight weeks.

If you, a friend or family member have been injured in an on-the-job injury at a construction site, it is in your best interests to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney regarding your legal rights. You are entitled to your statutory benefits for workers’ compensation such as medical care, weekly compensation benefits, and a possible lump sum settlement depending on the extent of your injuries. You could also have another case if your injuries are the result of the negligence of some third party other than your employer or a co-worker. These cases require further investigation into the contractual responsibilities of the parties and possibly the hiring of an expert.

At Auger & Auger, our attorneys have experience representing injured workers and helping them receive the workers’ compensation benefits that they are entitled to through the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). We can also assist you in determining whether your injuries resulted from the negligence of some third party, which could possibly entitle you to a recovery in addition to workers compensation.

Contact us to set up an appointment for your confidential, no obligation consultation to talk about your case. Our firm handles cases on a contingency basis so you will never owe us an attorney fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Worker Killed In Accident Identified, Contractor Had Prior Violations
, WSPA-Channel 7 News, June 15, 2012
Related Blog Posts:

Middle School Principal Entitled To Workers’ Comp Benefits After Being Shot
, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 12, 2012

Fatal Accidents In The Workplace On The Rise, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2012

Image Credit: stock.xchg, 1342272, Digger

Speeding Motorcycle

Our North Carolina personal injury attorneys have first-hand knowledge about the dangers inherent to operating a motorcycle and the unfortunate facts surrounding the growing number of motorcycle accidents. From 1998 to 2008, the number of bikers injured in accidents almost doubled, and the number of fatalities more than doubled during the same period. Furthermore, fatalities increased by some 20% in 2010 over 2009.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that roughly 80% of all motorcycle accidents cause serious injury or death, as compared to 20% for car accidents. Also, the North Carolina Department of Transportation released data showing that the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities are both continuing to rise in our state. According to the report, there were 3,782 accidents and 172 fatalities in 2010, up from 3,321 accidents and 138 fatalities in 2005.

Recently it was reported that a young female biker, Mariah Danielle Lance, 18, was killed in an accident in Asheville, North Carolina after she was seen driving recklessly, speeding and attempting to pass another vehicle in a no- passing zone. Last week, she plowed into a minivan that was trying to make a left hand turn. According to the Asheville Police, the girl had the motorcycle for only a week before the accident happened. Their investigation is ongoing.

Lee Barrett is the owner of Rider Insurance Services in Asheville. As an experienced claims adjuster for some 23 years, he is active in promoting motorcycle safety. Barrett says that 90% or more of the motorcycle accidents he has seen happened because of operator error involving motorcyclists who operate a bike that is beyond their ability and experience.

A couple of Asheville police officers have become certified motorcycle safety instructors and the department is offering free riding skills courses at its downtown station on June 23, 2012. Other motorcycle safety courses are being offered at North Carolina Community Colleges, including Asheville-Buncombe Technical.

If you are a new motorcycle operator or one that has recently upgraded to a more powerful machine, take the time to learn about motorcycle safety and get used to your new ride before embarking on a road trip to enjoy the beautiful North Carolina scenery.

If you, a friend or a family member has suffered serious injuries or death from a motorcycle accident, you should seek the advice of an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney.

Auger & Auger
is a law firm that has devoted its entire practice to representing individuals in a wide array of personal injury matters, including those who have suffered from injuries or death in motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys have nearly 40 years of experience representing clients just like you and are held in high esteem by the judiciary and their peers in the legal profession.

Please contact us to schedule your own confidential, no obligation consultation to discuss your situation. We can advise you as to whether you have a case and how best to proceed. Our firm handles cases on a contingency basis, which means that you will never owe us a fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.

Other Resources:

Asheville Citizen-Times, June 9, 2012

Related Blog Posts:

Intoxicated Driver Takes The Life Of Father And Son Motorcyclists
, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2011

Deadly Weekend for North Carolina Motorcyclists, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 12, 2011

French BulldogsAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a family that has at least 2 dogs is at 5 times the risk of being bitten. The fact is, as much as we love our dogs, they are animals, and as animals, they are unpredictable and they can bite.

Risks Are Even Higher If Family Dog Is Pit Bull

It is doubtful that Chelsea Lynn Brigman, Carmen Ramos, and the unidentified parents of a one-year old west Charlotte girl, ever thought that the family pet would bite a family member, and likely inconceivable to them that the family dog would actually kill a family member.

In late August, a 9 day old baby girl in Clarkton, North Carolina, was fatally mauled by at least three of the families five dogs, which included at least one pit bull and one Rottweiler. Investigators say the baby, Addison Paige Camerino, was left unattended while her mother, Chelsea Lynn Brigman, showered. The baby’s grandfather, Nelson Camerino, was also home at the time of the attack, but was not with the baby. Both Brigman and Camerino have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Also in late August, 50 year old Carmen Ramos of Philadelphia was fatally mauled by her husband’s 5 pit bulls. Neighbors told authorities that the dogs were known to be a menace, and had prior attacks. An autopsy confirmed that Ramos’ died as the result of severe head, face and body injuries inflicted by the dogs.

A 1 year old west Charlotte girl suffered life threatening injuries in September when attacked by the family pit bull. Police did not release the name of the girl or her parents, but did confirm she was attacked by the family dog. The child was taken to Carolinas Medical Center for immediate surgery on her neck wounds. It is unclear why the dog attacked but neighbors told television reporters that this is not the first attack by this dog.

Children Are At Greatest Risk

Common sense dictates that you would not leave a child, or even yourself, alone with your pet if you thought it would attack. The CDC reports that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the highest risk of being bitten by a dog.

How To Protect Yourself And Your Family

-Research the nature of the breed you are considering to determine compatibility with your family.
-If you have children, do not consider a breed with a history of aggression.
-Observe your child. If fearful of dogs, reconsider whether you should own a dog.
-Spaying and neutering a dog can diminish aggressiveness.
-Train the dog to engage in submissive behavior in the house.
-Make sure your dog is current on its vaccines.

Teach Children The Following:

-Do not go near a strange dog.
-Do not run away from a dog.
-If approached by a strange dog, stand still with hands at side.
-If knocked down by a strange dog, curl up into a ball with hands over the face and don’t move.
-Do not disrupt a dog that is eating, sleeping, or with puppies.
-Ask permission before you pet a dog, and let it sniff you first.

What To Do If You Are Bitten

-Try to remain calm and get away from the dog.
-Identify the dog and if possible, its owner.
-Get immediate medical attention.
-Call the Police/Animal Control.
-Contact an experienced dog bite attorney

Isn’t There A “One Bite Rule?”

The phrase “One Bite Rule” is misleading. In counties such as Mecklenburg that have leash laws, dog owners are required to keep their dogs appropriately restrained within the owners property, and on a leash when outside the confines of their yard. Violations of the leash law, however, do not automatically make a dog owner liable. North Carolina will, however, charge a dog’s owner with having knowledge of a particular breeds general propensities, and requires the owner to use reasonable care to prevent injury from reasonably anticipated behavior of that breed. This means that the owner of a pit bull, even when complying with the leash law, will be charged with familiarity of the general characteristics and propensities of that breed.

Love Your Family, Love Your Dog

Train your dog. Make sure he is well socialized. Exercise common sense; most dog bites are preventable.

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