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download (14)There are several primary causes for accidents in the US. The largest reason that people get into car accidents is that there was a moment of inattentiveness behind the wheel. This inattentiveness can come about for many reasons.

What happens when the driver falls asleep behind the wheel and someone gets killed?

Jackie’s son and four others were killed in a crash in Hendersonville.  She remembers every moment that happened after that, “Ma’am there’s been a terrible accident.” Those are indeed the words that nobody wants to hear coming from troopers standing at your front door.

The accident was caused by a trucker who fell asleep at the wheel.  Jackie decided to devote her life to making sure that the roads are safer, and that truckers are driving less, not more.  Unfortunately, a proposal was passed that allows drivers to drive 82 hours a week instead of 70.

“If you’re driving 70 miles per hour and you have a micro-sleep for only three seconds, you’ve driven a football field,” she said.

Who pays for the crashes that happen as a result of the fatigued driving?  Is it on the drivers, or those who allow the drivers to be on the road?  Who makes sure that justice is served I these incidents? At Auger Law, we have over 20 years of experience helping accident victims get the justice and settlements that they deserve.  If you’ve been injured in an accident, give us a call for your free consultation.  We can help.

school bussesIREDELL COUNTY, N.C. – Millions of parents across the county send their children to school every day. Parents do this assuming that teachers will keep their children safe. This is not always how the story plays out.

A teacher at South Iredell High School resigned her position, effective last Friday, after being arrested and charged with sexual activity with a student by a teacher and a single felony count of taking indecent liberties with a student.

Julianna Ortiz Mills, 37, was witnessed by a deputy to be with a male student in a car in an undeveloped residential area. The student, over the age of 16, is a pupil at South Iredell High School.

Even though the student is over the age of 16, it is still illegal for a teacher, or other school personnel, to have sexual relationships with the students in their care. The age of the student is not a factor.

According to reports, the witnessed act was not the first time the teacher and student had inappropriate contact. All incidents occurred in Iredell County, but none were on school property.

Mills, hired by the school district at the start of the 2013-2014 school year as an English teacher, was arrested and given a $10,000 secured bond. The school district is cooperating with the police investigation.

Teenagers Can Be Abused

Although most people think of small children being victimized when they hear talk of child abuse, it is important to remember that teenagers can be abused. When teenagers are involved in sexual relationships with adults, teachers or otherwise, it is a form of sexual abuse.

The teenage brain is not fully developed. Teenagers do not possess the ability to make rational decisions in the face of heightened emotions or stress. It is the responsibility of adults in authority to guide and shape teenagers. When a teacher pursues a sexual relationship with a teenager, there is little doubt that it can be considered abuse.

If you or someone you know has been or is the victim of child abuse, it is important that you understand your rights as they are provided in North Carolina. The experienced sexual abuse attorneys at Auger & Auger are here for you. We offer a confidential, free consultation, during which we will discuss your case.

Our compassionate staff is here for you. Call us today so that we can begin working on your case immediately.

DWI Saturation Patrol in Fairfax CountyYou have a few too many, or maybe just one too many, and find yourself charged and convicted of DWI after deciding to drive home. It’s your first offense, how bad can it be? For many, a first offense in North Carolina includes steep fines and a suspended license. Getting your license back is possible, but there are hoops to jump through. Miss a hoop and you’ll be begging friends and family for a ride.

Assessment

The first step in getting your license back is to complete a Substance Abuse Assessment. Your assessment must be completed by a certified or qualified professional. The person will meet with you and test you, providing you with paperwork once the assessment is complete. Those papers must be delivered to the court personally.

Post-Assessment

Once the assessment has been completed, your tester will recommend treatment, an education program, or both. You must follow the instructions of your assessor in order to comply with the rules of the court.

You should note that if you fail to submit to a breath test or if you register higher than 0.14% on your breath test, you will be referred to treatment.

The provider of your treatment or education program is required to provide you with a list of all licensed providers in the area. If there is a provider closer to you, your case may be transferred at no cost to you.

When you complete your education or treatment program, you will be instructed on how to obtain your driver’s license. Follow the instructions that you are given to letter to be sure that no issues arise during the process.

Getting your license reinstated is not free. You will also need to pay all of your required court costs, fees and fines prior to being able to have your license reinstated.

Seeking Legal Assistance

If you have not done so already, seeking the assistance of a legal professional can be helpful as you navigate the process of having your license reinstated. The experienced DWI attorneys at Auger & Auger can help you along the way.

We always suggest hiring an attorney before you appear in court for your DWI. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better the outcome of your case. Do not hesitate to call us if you have been charged with or convicted of a DWI. We are here to help, and first consultations are always free. Call now!

What a DUI Might Look LikeEvery state, including North Carolina, has its own set of penalties when it comes to DWI. If you have been charged with the crime in Charlotte, Raleigh or elsewhere within the state, you are subject to fines, jail times, court costs, fees, and suspensions if convicted. While you may think those penalties are harsh, check out these DWI penalties from around the world!

Malaysia

When you are married, you share everything. In Malaysia, that includes DWI sentences. If the driver who is charged and convicted of DWI is married and tossed in jail, so is his wife.

Russia

In America, your first DWI offense may cause you to lose your driver’s license for a few months. Not having a license is a hassle, but it can be dealt with. In Russia, if you are arrested, charged and convicted of a DWI, your license is gone. For life.

Turkey

Talk about being run out of town. Anyone in Turkey who is arrested for DWI is taken 20 miles outside of town by the police. Offenders are dropped off and forced to walk back under police escort.

South Africa

There is nothing minimum about the minimum sentence for a DWI in South Africa. Anyone convicted of the crime is sentenced to 10 years in jail and what is the equivalent of a $10,000 fine.

Australia

Public shaming is nothing new for the continent of Australia. Anyone who is arrested for DWI will wake up one day to find his or her name in the local newspaper under the headline: He’s Drunk and in Jail.

Finland and Sweden

When you are convicted of a DWI in Sweden or Finland, there are no second chances. You are automatically sentenced to one year in jail. Add hard labor on top of your sentence and it is easy to see while people avoid drinking and driving.

Costa Rica

If you are suspected of driving under the influence in Costa Rica, the police remove the plates from your car on the spot. Obviously this makes it illegal to drive your car. Good luck getting wherever you were going.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving here at home, the experienced DWI attorneys at Auger & Auger are here for you. Do not appear in court without one of our expert attorneys at your side. In many cases, we can get your fines and sentence reduced. Call us now!

Guns & Ammo 2CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Last week, federal agents confiscated a loaded .45-caliber handgun found in a passenger’s carry-on at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

According to authorities, this was the 24th weapon found in carry-ons in airports across the country. Other items seized, according to the federal Transportation Security Administration, include novelty grenades, knives, and stun guns.

Many flyers are unaware that passengers are permitted to travel with handguns, provided they are kept in checked baggage and cleared with the airline.

The TSA makes it clear that not everyone with a weapon has nefarious intentions. It is often good people who make a mistake. Unfortunately, these mistakes lead to slowdowns and congestion in the nation’s airports.

Concealed Carry In North Carolina

At any time, you may be in a room, on a plane, or riding in a vehicle with someone carrying a handgun. Because North Carolina is a concealed carry state, news like this serves as an important reminder about gun safety and concealed carry laws in the state.

Persons desiring the permission to carry a weapon within the state of North Carolina are required to acquire a permit. A Pistol Purchase Permit or Concealed Handgun Permit must be sought and obtained. There is no firearm registry with the state, negating the need for anyone with a permit to register their weapon.

There is no limit to open carry laws, however, some local ordinances prohibit open carry in certain establishments, institutions, and public spaces. Federal rules must be followed as they pertain to suppressors and silencers.

Gun Safety Basics

Anyone who owns a handgun legally and responsibly is typically aware of basic gun handling safety. It is beneficial for anyone in a concealed carry or open carry state to be aware of the same basics.

  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction (away from people and pointed to the ground).
  • Firearms should not be loaded when in storage or during transportation.
  • Safety’s fail, do not rely on them.
  • When firing, know your target and your surroundings.
  • Only use ammunition made for your handgun.
  • Handle any gun that fails to fire with extreme care.
  • Eye and ear protection should be worn when shooting for recreation.
  • Inspect the gun regularly and clean as required.
  • Do not modify weapons.
  • Learn the specifics of your gun.

Gun safety basics are important for anyone to understand. If you do not know how to handle a gun properly, or if you come across a gun that is not your own, the best rule of thumb is hands off.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a gun due to someone’s negligence or firearm failure, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Auger & Auger. We are here to fight for your rights! Call now.

playgroundWAKE FOREST, N.C. – Playground maintenance is not something that people often think of. It is something that often happens behind the scenes. Screws get tightened, hinges get oiled, and mulch gets laid down.

In the coming weeks, playground maintenance will be at the forefront of the goings on in Wake Forest. Several of the city’s playgrounds will be closed so that crews can perform required maintenance.

According to Ruben Wall, the city’s parks, recreation and cultural resources director, no new equipment will be installed in the parks. Instead, crews will concentrate on making changes to playground platforms, replacing rusted parts, and adjusting equipment steps.

Residents concerned about the city’s financial status need not worry. Says Wall, “We were right at the mark of the warranty expiring.” This means that any maintenance and improvements will be covered by warranty.

Playgrounds are expected to be closed for two hours, one at a time, with the exception of Ailey Young Park. Work at Ailey Young is expected to take approximately two days.

Tyler Run Park, Kiwanis Park, Holding Park, Dubois Park, and Plummer Park are the playgrounds slated to see improvements.

Citizens are advised that only the playgrounds will be closed. Access to greenways and other park features will be given as normal.

Why Maintenance?

Parents take their children to playgrounds every day with the expectation that the equipment is safe. Like anything else, playground equipment requires routine maintenance in order for the swings, slides, and every piece children love to be safe and secure.

When crews fail to inspect equipment and repair any issues that are discovered, children are more likely to be injured. No parent should have to think twice about taking their child to the park. Unfortunately, injuries happen every day. Some are due to misuse of equipment and some due to equipment failure.

What to Do if Your Child is Injured on the Playground

If your child has been injured on a playground due to equipment failure, you have rights. The experienced lawyers at Auger & Auger can fight for your rights to get you the compensation you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our knowledgeable attorneys today so that we can review your case. First consultations are always provided at no cost to you. Let us help you now!

download (31)Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic experience.  As a driver, you want to know what’s going on, and you want to know it as soon as possible. Are there damages?  Is anyone else hurt? What will my mechanic say?  These are all questions that come up right after the accident.

Sometimes, however, something even more devastating happens right after the accident.  In this case, a man had gotten into an accident on I-77 North.  He was near exit 88, and wanted to have a discussion with the driver of the other car, presumably to make sure that everyone was okay.

Unfortunately, his Hyundai Genesis was probably the safest place of refuge, as the man who left his vehicle was struck and killed by another vehicle.  Other than the man who left his vehicle, everyone else was not hurt.

The Highway Patrol is looking into the causes of the crash and determining possible liability.  The man who was killed was married for over 30 years and sold medical devices.  He leaves behind a daughter and two sons.

In cases like these, it becomes necessary to involve a professional personal injury lawyer at the very beginning of the process.  Was the initial accident the fault of the man who died?  Were there extenuating circumstances?  A lawyer can help sort all of that out.  Give Auger & Auger a call and we can help you.

043_auto_fail.jpgWhen you are involved in an accident and the vehicle you are driving belongs to your employer, do you know who is responsible for paying your bills? If you are driving the car or truck as a requirement for your job, your bills may be covered.

Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, if you are operating the vehicle during the course of your duties, and can prove the requirements, the accident is compensable if injuries occur. In fact, injuries suffered while at motels, eating in restaurants, at lodges, while traveling by airplane, train, or car, while engaged in recreational activities, and while traveling to your area of service are all compensable if they are being done as required for your job. The part of the law that covers these injuries claims that they are “in the course of employment.”

The Going and Coming Rule

Most people with a job have to travel to and from work. For much of the public, it is an unavoidable part of employment. Because of this, many injuries occurring while on your way to or from work are not compensable.

The Going and Coming Rule has exceptions:

  • You are driving to or from work, but you are on your employer’s premises when the accident occurs. This is the premises exception.
  • You are performing a mission, errand, or duty pursuant to your employment. This is the special errands exception.
  • You are not restricted to a specific place or time of employment. This is the traveling salesman exception.
  • Your employer provides transportation or covers the cost of your transportation. This is the contractual duty exception.

In general, if you work at a fixed place and are given a time to arrive and a time to leave, the going and coming rule applies to you.

Traveling Employees

If you are required to travel away from your permanent residence or place of employment, you are considered a traveling employee. Any injuries are covered. If you decide to run a personal errand or travel for any reason that is not required as part of your duties, your injuries are not covered.

Whether or not you are compensated often depends upon your ability to prove that you were driving as part of your duties. This is where the exceptional attorneys at Auger & Auger can assist you. If you were injured in an accident while driving a vehicle provided from your employer, call us immediately. First consultations are free, and we are ready to help you today. Call now.

As a cyclist, you undoubtedly know about safety gear. From pads to helmets, headlights to horns, you know how to outfit yourself and your bike in the safest ways available. That is a great first step, but do you know how to avoid some of the most common accidents?

Riding to avoid accidents is about more than strapping a helmet on your head or a few pads on your knees and elbows. Avoiding accidents takes awareness and a bit of knowledge. Here is how you can avoid being hit in the rear end by a motor vehicle.

How It Happens

This type of accident occurs when your bicycle is hit from behind. It most typically occurs for one of two reasons:

  1. You swerve left to move around an obstruction; or
  2. The vehicle behind you is not able to see you for one reason or another.

Avoid the Collision

The good news is that there are several was to avoid this type of collision. Follow this advice to keep yourself and your bicycle upright.

  • Look behind you before you decide to move to the left. If you are riding on a busy street, moving to the left even a few inches could cause an accident. Do not veer from a straight path without looking to your rear.
  • Stay out of the parking lane. You will be more likely to have to swerve into the line of traffic to avoid parked cars and other hazards.
  • Install a mirror on the handlebar of your bike. The mirror should provide a clear, unobstructed view of the area behind you.
  • Get a rear light and mount it on your bike. A light makes you more visible, even during the day.
  • Wearing light-colored clothing is not always enough. Invest in a reflective vest or jacket to wear while you ride.
  • Plan your route well. In most cities, it is possible to get where you need to go by cruising through neighborhoods. Plan a route that keeps you off of the busiest streets.
  • Get off of the curb. It can be instinctive to ride as close to the curb as possible. Unfortunately, this gives you very little room to maneuver should the need arise. Keep at least a foot of space between you and the curb.

Accidents are not always avoidable, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you are as safe as possible. Keep the above in mind the next time you strap on your helmet.

If you have been injured in a cycling accident, the experienced attorneys at Auger & Auger are here to help. Give us a call today for a free consultation. We will fight for your rights!

downloadSchools are filled with many types of dangerous but necessary equipment. Scissors, sharpeners, and playground equipment come to mind immediately, but one recent and tragic story shows how dangerous mobile folding tables can be.

In New Jersey, a seven-year-old boy was killed at soccer practice when the bench of a folding table came away from the wall where it was fastened. The 108-pound object struck the boy in head and killed him instantly. It’s not known whether the boy touched the table or bench when the accident occurred. The incident is still under investigation. The model involved in this incident folds into the wall and is held in place by a key, but when asked the superintendent didn’t know if the unit was locked at the time or not.

This isn’t the first time that folding tables have killed or injured students. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned schools about the dangers of some models of folding tables. The ones involved in this incident weren’t the ones they have warned about however.

When an injury or death happens at school, parents can feel helpless. The school system is supposed to help take care of their children. School officials have many of the same rights as parents. However, all is not lost. It is possible to receive compensation for the negligence of the school. Call the offices of Auger & Auger if you believe a school should be held responsible for injuring your child.

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