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Sound of SilenceMoving into an elder care facility is not something that most people want to do. Placing a loved one in an assisted-living facility can be a cause of great stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, one of the issues that you need to concern yourself with is elder sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse occurs in resident-to-resident interactions, and it occurs when staff members or caregivers victimize the helpless. Being able to recognize the signs of elder sexual abuse can help prevent your loved one from becoming a victim. Elderly people who have experienced sexual abuse, whether verbal or physical, may exhibit emotional signs or physical ones.

Emotional Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Timid Behavior-Your once gregarious loved one has become shy, timid or withdrawn. He or she seems scared or anxious. Pay close attention to these common warning signs.
  • Personality Changes-Like changes in behavior, victims may exhibit changes in personality. A once happy individual may become sullen and depressed. A laid-back person may become quick to anger.
  • Overly Compliant Behavior-Your elderly loved one may suddenly become overly compliant. This is often the case when sexual abuse is used as a punishment or way to force specific behaviors.
  • Suicidal Thoughts-It is not unusual for terminally ill people to talk about death or have a sudden need to put their affairs in order. If your relatively healthy loved one becomes preoccupied with death or expresses thoughts of suicide, take heed.

Physical Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Bruising-Elderly people bruise easily. It is unusual for people of any age to have bruising on their inner thighs or the insides of their arms unless physical force has been applied.
  • STDs-Instances of sexually transmitted infections and diseases are on the rise in elder care facilities. Many of these cases are due to consensual intercourse, but some are not. If your loved one is diagnosed with an STD, ask questions.
  • Worsening of Illness-If your loved one experiences a worsening of a current illness in conjunction with other signs of sexual abuse, there may be cause for alarm.
  • Walking or Standing Difficulties-When your loved one has difficulty walking or standing and has previously not exhibited these symptoms, sexual abuse may be a cause.

The majority of elder care facilities operate with nothing but the best of intentions. The people caring for your loved one do so because they are nurturers at heart. Unfortunately, there are always those that are more than willing to take advantage of the elderly and, in some cases, that includes sexual abuse.

If you believe that your loved one is being victimized, do not hesitate to call the experienced sexual abuse attorneys at Auger & Auger. We find this type of crime to be reprehensible, and we will work tirelessly to ensure the safety of your loved one. Call us today so that we can begin building a case immediately. Do not let your loved one suffer for one moment longer; call us now!

crosswalkAccording to statistics provided by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed by vehicles each year. Greater than 70,000 pedestrians are injured by motor vehicles. You may have been led to believe that the operator of the vehicle was always at fault in these incidents, but that is not always the case.

Pedestrians Have Rights

It is true that pedestrians have rights. But they also have duties. As a pedestrian, you have the right-of-way in a crosswalk, on a private sidewalk, on a public sidewalk, and on public roads.

You have a duty to obey traffic signals and signs, walk on the sidewalk where one is provided, walk along the shoulder facing traffic when a sidewalk is not available, and behave reasonably and carefully at all times.

Causes of Vehicle versus Pedestrian Accidents

There are many causes when it comes to vehicle versus pedestrian accidents, and not all of those causes rest on the shoulders of the driver.

Pedestrians cause accidents when they ignore traffic signals, jaywalk, walk outside of marked crosswalks, choose not to walk on the sidewalk, or walk while intoxicated. Drivers cause accidents when they fail to yield to pedestrians, do not obey speed limits, drive while distracted, drive while intoxicated, or experience vehicle failure.

The Most Common Injuries

It is not difficult to imagine the injuries that you might sustain if you were struck by a vehicle while walking down the road. Primary injuries are those that are caused by the impact with the vehicle; secondary injuries are caused by the force of the impact and the resultant landing, wherever it may be.

Some of the most common injuries seen by emergency medical personnel in pedestrian versus vehicle accidents include:

  • Lacerations to the scalp, bruises, cuts to the body, and scrapes
  • Concussions, hemorrhages, hematomas, and brain swelling
  • Scrapes, cuts and contusions on the face, hands and arms
  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Sprained or torn ligaments
  • Fractures

When You Are Injured By a Vehicle

If you, as a pedestrian, are injured by a vehicle, there are immediate steps to take. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and, if you are able, record details of the accident. At a minimum, you should get the driver’s name, contact information and insurance information. If you are injured in such a way that you are removed from the scene by ambulance, the police will gather this information for you.

If you have been the victim of an accident and were struck by a vehicle, the personal injury lawyers at Auger & Auger are here to help you build your case. We can help you determine if the vehicle driver was at fault, and we can help you fight for the compensation you are due. Contact our offices today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are standing by to assist you during your time of need!

CocoYou may not want to believe it, but we are here to tell you an ugly truth: Your calm, placid, easy-going dog may bite someone. Most responsible dog owners do not want to believe that their precious pooch would use its teeth to cause harm. It is therefore not unusual for people to be both flabbergasted and distressed when their canine companion chomps the vet.

The good news for you, as an owner, is that you will not be held liable in most cases. As a rule, veterinarians and their staff know that dog, cat and other animal bites are a job hazard that must be accepted. These professionals knowingly take the risk of being bitten with every patient that they encounter.

Let’s use this scenario as an example:

Your dog is on the exam table, happily wagging its tail and accepting the touch of the veterinarian and staff. The veterinarian makes a move to open your dog’s mouth as part of the exam, and your dog reacts with a bite. Who is to blame?

Actually, no one is to blame. Every dog has its limits. For some dogs, it is an ear scope that makes them go wild. For other dogs, having a temperature taken is a clear violation of personal privacy. No matter what sets your dog off, one thing holds true: You are not liable when it happens in the vet’s office in all but the following circumstance.

You fail to disclose your dog as vicious or one that has a history of biting.

It is not atypical of owners with vicious dogs or those who have bitten a human to be embarrassed by their pet’s aggressive behavior. This embarrassment leads owners to keep their dog’s behavior under wraps. If your dog has bitten someone in the past or has been deemed vicious, not disclosing this to the veterinarian could cost you. But why?

Veterinarian’s who know that their patients have a tendency to use their bite more than their bark are able to prepare and protect themselves and their staff. These dogs may be muzzled or even sedated before they are examined. Should your aggressive animal bite any member of the veterinary hospital’s staff and you have failed to disclose its true nature, you can be held liable for damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

If you think that there is any chance that Lassie is going to lose it at the vet’s office, speak up!

If you have been the victim of a dog bite or attack, put the experience of the Auger & Auger team to work for you! We will discuss the details of your case with you at no charge and tell you the best way to proceed. We will not move forward unless we believe you have a case. Contact us today so that we can begin the process of getting you what you deserve. Call now!

download (61)A bridge that was still in the process of being built  at Wake Tech collapsed, leading to the tragic death of one of the workers. Skanska is the construction company who was contracted to build the bridge, along with a pedestrian bridge at another location that collapsed also. OSHA will be investigating the death along with whether the company was following all safety procedures.

“I think you can look at the metrics that construction safety is judged on and you can see that we have some of the best metrics in the industry,” claims Skanska Senior Vice President Allen Jones.

When these accidents happen that is when the services of professionals, like the Personal Injury specialists of Auger & Auger, Attorneys at Law, are needed. With a policy of aggressive representation for victims of personal injury, a focus on high quality, state wide service and excellence in the advice we provide for our clients, the attorneys of Auger & Auger are here for you. We understand that each person is different and will have unique needs, so we will personalize our services for you as we listen to your situation. So if you have been injured, contact the attorneys of Auger & Auger today for your free consultation. There are no fees until we successfully obtain a settlement on your behalf.

 

Where have all the people goneThere is a cold nap that has settled across much of the nation, prompting people in northern states and the Midwest to stock up on food, water, and other goods due to anticipated snow fall. People in Charlotte do not have to frequently deal with these issues but, as cold blankets the greater portion of the nation, it’s important to remember that inclement winter weather can occur, even in North Carolina.

The question that arises in many people’s minds is this: If someone slips on ice that has collected on your sidewalk, driveway, or even parking lot, who is held liable? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not always clear cut.

In North Carolina, and many other states, either party may be held responsible for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident that has occurred due to inclement weather. Ultimately, it is up to a jury to decide the outcome of the case as there is no clear law.

A jury may rule in your favor or in favor of the injured party. In some cases, it is decided that a reasonable person who knows that there is snow and ice covering the ground understands that prudent care should be taken while walking across pavement.

In other cases, it is determined that a property owner had ample time to prepare his or her property for pedestrians. This includes, but is not limited to, shoveling or otherwise clearing the snow, laying down salt to melt the ice, and/or posting cautionary signs to alert pedestrians of unsafe conditions.

What does this mean for home and property owners? To protect yourself, keep a close eye on weather reports during the winter months. If snow is forecasted, have a plan in place that includes clearing snow and ice from your property. If you will not be able to clear the snow and ice, set out signs warning people of the possible danger.

And for pedestrians? Take due care when walking through parking lots and across sidewalks when winter weather strikes. Walk slowly, pay attention to the ground, and wear proper footwear. Seek medical attention if you feel it is necessary should you slip and fall. Even if you don’t sustain any obvious injury, you can easily pull muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

If you fall, and you are able to do so, take pictures of the area. Winter weather can change quickly, especially in North Carolina’s temperate climate. Having photographs of the area where you fell can help your case should it be taken to court. Write down contact information for any witnesses to your fall.

If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident on public or private property, the personal injury lawyers at Auger & Auger are here for you. We will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation and let us discuss the details of the event with you. We will be happy to tell you if we believe that you have a case. Call now!

ryerson public school playgroundVery few parents want to leave their children behind while they go to work or attend class. Unfortunately, most parents are forced to do just that. Choosing a child care provider for your children is one of the most important decisions that you can make.

Opening a child care center in North Carolina involves much more than hanging a shingle and calling yourself a provider. There are strict guidelines and laws in place that are designed to protect providers, parents and children. Knowing the basics can help you choose the right center for your child.

  • Discipline—Corporal punishment is not permitted in any child care center unless it is exempt from these regulations due to religious beliefs and practices. Corporal punishment includes slapping, spanking or any form of physical punishment.
  • Ratios—Group size varies depending upon the age of children in the center. Infant groups have a maximum size of 10, while school-aged children can be grouped together in numbers totaling no more than 25. Teacher to student ratios vary from 1 to 5 to 1 to 25 dependent upon the age of the children.
  • Credentials—Administration and teaching staff must hold a North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential or its equivalent. Those who do not must currently be pursuing licensure within six months of hire.
  • Background Checks—All staff of the day care center must pass an initial background check and another every three years of employ.
  • Space—Indoor space must equal at least 25-square feet per child, and outdoor space must equal at least 75-square feet per child. Outdoor spaces must be fenced.
  • Equipment—All equipment must be age appropriate, well maintained, and free of hazards.

The above is just a small sampling of the laws and regulations that can be found in a report provided by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. Aside from these laws, it is also important to understand your rights as a parent. These are:

  • The right to enter a child care home or center at any time that your child is present.
  • The right to see the license of the center displayed prominently.
  • The right to know how your child will be disciplined should such discipline be necessary.

No one wants to think of a child being injured or abused in a center that is supposed to provide for their safety, health and wellbeing but, unfortunately, these things do happen. If you believe that your child has been hurt or injured due to neglect of the administration or any employee of a child care center, contact the law offices of Auger & Auger immediately.

We offer free consultation and will confer over every detail of your case. Our team is here to fight for your rights and those of your child. Call us today to discuss your case! We are here for you.

download (60)In a time when more and more of the news is filled with tragedy and violence, it is easy to doubt that people have much kindness left in their hearts. Sometimes you get reminded that people still care and one woman got a chance to experience that kindness first hand.

While her identity is not known at the moment, what happened to her is thanks to one eyewitness. The woman pulled out from the Chateau Royal in a blue Kia onto an icy road and immediately flipped over several times, stopping traffic. Within moments, other commuters piled out of their vehicles and, working together, pulled the driver and her infant child, both unharmed, from the wreck.

The people in this wreck were extraordinarily fortunate, but not everyone is. If you have been seriously injured you don’t have to go through such difficult situations alone. With over 20 years of experience, the attorneys at Auger & Auger are here to listen to you and answer your questions. Call our offices today for a free consultation, where you will speak with an attorney, not an assistant, paralegal or sign up specialist. We’ll listen to your case and discuss your legal options, you don’t have to suffer alone. Call Auger & Auger today.

 

Product Shoot - Springfield Armory XD subcompact 9mmWhen people choose to stay in hotels, they typically understand that there may be minor inconveniences. The guests in the adjoining room may be noisier than you would like, the towels may not be changed quickly enough, and the ice machine may be empty. Few people consider that their lives may be in danger when they choose to stay in a hotel.

On Friday, November 14, 2014, a young soccer player, visiting Raleigh from Lewisville, was fatally shot when a person in the adjoining room accidentally fired a gun. The bullet traveled into the room occupied by Nathan Andrew Clark, striking and killing the child.

Police report that the accident, which occurred at the Comfort Suites hotel on Corporation Parkway, resulted in shooter Randall Louis Vater, of Knightdale, being charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and involuntary manslaughter. The shooter and victim in this horrible accident were strangers to one another.

The 13-year-old Clark was in the city to take part in the Capital Area Soccer League tournaments this weekend with the rest of his team that pulled out of the competition following the accident.

The victim was a vibrant, active member of his eighth-grade class at Calvary Baptist Day Shool in Winston-Salem. The offender, on the other hand, has been previously convicted of multiple charges, including assault on a female, breaking and entering, simple assault, and hit-and-run. According to federal and state laws, Vater was not permitted to own or possess a firearm.

This statement was issued by Richard Hardy, head of Clark’s school, “Nathan was a terrific and gifted young man who had a great love for people, and he will be greatly missed.”

Statistics Do Not Lie

According to studies, children in America aged between five and 14 years, are 17 times more likely to die at the hand of someone with a gun than children in any other developed nation. Furthermore, when only accidental gun deaths are considered, children aged 15 and younger in America are nine times as likely to die than children in other developed countries.

As is evidenced by the above story, laws are not enough to keep children safe. They are, however, one source of protection. Gun owners are the other source. Any person who chooses to keep a gun in their home or in their company must do so under the assumption that, if located by a child, it will be picked up. Guns must be unloaded and locked in a proper storage box or safe for the protection of both children and adults.

If you or a family member has been the victim of an accidental shooting, regardless of the severity of injury, you have rights that include, but are not limited to, compensation. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Auger & Auger today to discuss your case. We will be happy to go over the details with you and always provide a free initial consultation. Please call us today so that we can put our knowledge and experience to work for you.

Accident!This year, automakers in the United States have recalled more than 40 million vehicles. The number has shattered the record set previously in 2004. Unfortunately, most of these recalls were for serious vehicle safety issues, putting owners at real risk of harm.

In days gone by, vehicle owners relied on letters in the mail alerting them to recalls. With the vast number of issues this year, many owners remain largely unaware. Knowing about auto recalls is the first step to keeping your family safe. Do not rely on automakers to alert you to car recalls. Here’s how to find out if your vehicle has made the list.

1. Visit the NHTSA Site

Visit National Highway Safety Administration and check out the list of recalls. The list is a comprehensive one, so you can be sure that if your vehicle has been recalled, it is documented on this site.

2. Enter Your VIN

Your VIN not only enables you to find a vehicle history report before you purchase your car, but it can also tell you if your car or truck is on a recall list. Once you navigate to the NHTSA site, enter your VIN. You can find this important number on your dashboard, just in front of the windshield on the left hand side.

3. Look for 14V

Any recall numbers, whether they are air bag recalls or other safety alerts, begin with 14V. Click on these numbers and read the Defect Notice. You will discover the problems with your vehicle, the issues that have been caused by this problem (if any), and any injuries or deaths suffered.

4. Contact Your Dealer

If you find a recall for your vehicle, contact your dealer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to the large number of auto recalls, dealers may have necessary parts on backorder. Contacting your dealer quickly helps to ensure that your vehicle can be repaired as soon as possible.

Car recalls are not something to ignore. You may think that you don’t have the time to have your car repaired but, if you don’t, you are putting yourself, your family, and other drivers at risk. If you are worried about not having a vehicle, be sure to ask your dealer for a loner while your own is being repaired.

If you have been in an accident and believe that an issue with your car is the culprit, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Auger & Auger. We will discuss your case with your in confidence and advise you as to the next steps. Each member of our team is here for you. We are ready to work to get you the compensation that you deserve. Reach out to Auger & Auger today to begin the process of getting what you so rightly deserve. Call us now.

Construction Tunnel

If you work in the construction trade, you may have been alerted to a rise in accidents in recent years. Site safety is the responsibility of everyone, from the job foreman to the clean-up crew. Site safety is your responsibility.

You can increase the safety of everyone on the site when you know how to prevent accidents. Here are the top five causes of construction-related injury.

  1. Uneven SurfacesUneven surfaces are one of the most common contributors to slips and falls. Reduce the risk of these injuries by clearly designating walkways, provide traction underfoot, and provide adequate lighting. If you need to carry unbalanced loads, utilize mechanical lifting aids instead of your arms.
  2. ObstaclesOther accidents occur because there are things in the way, either clearly visible or largely unnoticed. Reduce accidents by keeping the site organized, plan deliveries and put those deliveries in designated areas, and collect waste regularly.
  3. Trailing CablesKeep cables off of the ground whenever possible to reduce trips and falls. Cables trailing along the ground behind power tools and lighting equipment pose hazards. Keep cables tacked at high levels, particularly in corridors where people may not see them clearly.
  4. Slippery SurfacesWet or otherwise slippery surfaces are a danger anywhere, but are especially dangerous on construction sites. Wipe up spills immediately. Treat any slippery surface with grit or stone to provide extra traction for those walking on the site. If there are areas of the site that are perpetually wet, post a sign at eye level warning everyone of the situation.
  5. Changes in LevelUnlike uneven surfaces, changes in level are those caused by doorways and other walk-throughs. Thresholds can be dangerous, especially for anyone carrying a load of materials that blocks their line of vision to the ground. Consider installing ramps where possible. If ramps are not an option, install signs alerting workers to changes in level to keep everyone safe.Thousands of construction workers are injured every year because of trips and falls. While some of the injuries are minor, requiring no medical attention, others result in broken bones, dislocated joints and, in the worst cases, death. If you work on a construction site, you must share responsibility for your safety. Unfortunately, even your cooperation is not enough to keep a work site safe.If you have been injured on a construction site through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and even lost wages. At Auger & Auger, we specialize in construction accidents.

    We are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will be happy to discuss the events with you and advise you further. Reach out to us today so that you may get what you deserve.

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