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Pfc. Emmanuel Pickett, age 20, died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. The soldier, originally from Smackover, Arkansas, was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was assigned to E Battery, 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

Pfc. Pickett’s accident occurred in his home state near the city of El Dorado. Details of his accident were not immediately released. It is known that he joined the army in 2013 and trained at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He was assigned to Fort Bragg and his brigade in 2014.

While in the Army, Pfc. Pickett received several awards and decorations, including the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service medal, the Parachutist Badge, and the National Defense Service Medal. He is survived by his wife, mother and stepfather.

Even though the facts surrounding the accident have not been released, the accident should serve as a reminder to everyone. The weather is heating up and motorcycles will be on the road in greater numbers. If you are behind the wheel of a car, stay extra vigilant for these two-wheeled vehicles. Here are just a few safety tips:

1. Windows

Keep your windows rolled down at least part of the way when you can. This makes it easier to hear motorcycles that you may not be able to see.

2. Radio

Keep your radio turned down. This not only allows you to hear motorcycles, but emergency vehicles as well.

3. Surroundings

Stay aware of your surroundings. Don’t rely on your mirrors when switching lanes or backing up. Always turn your head to look. Even though most are loud, you may not be aware that a motorcycle is nearby unless you look.

4. Distance

Do not tailgate a motorcycle. If the rider in front of you has an accident or falls off their bike, riding too closely could mean disaster.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation for property damage and injury. Call our office today and let us provide you with a free case evaluation. We will tell you what compensation you may file a claim for. Call now.

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Have you ever seen someone on the verge of a drug overdose? Medical professionals see it frequently. Some see it so frequently, in fact, that they can tell by looking at someone’s face what they are overdosing on.

Opiate abusers on the verge of overdosing have constricted pupils, are itching their skin, are turning pale and their skin is becoming clammy. Their fingernails and lips are turning blue or purple, and they are starting to make choking noises. When doctors see these signs, they know it is time to act quickly.

If doctors are so well versed in opiate overdose, why does one occur every 19 minutes in the United States? And why do doctors continue to prescribe these drugs for pain management when there are alternatives available?

It is known that some pharmaceutical companies misled the FDA. They downplayed the risks of opioid addiction in order to sell more drugs. It is also known that our own government has thrown up so many roadblocks that studying other therapies has become difficult at best.

In the same way that doctors write prescriptions for antibiotics far more than is necessary, medical professionals are writing prescriptions for opioids at an alarming rate. Even worse, those who have recovered from overdose are often able to receive another prescription for the drug, and often from the same doctor that issued the original prescription.

The short-term use of opioids and other dangerous drugs in North Carolina may be beneficial for severe pain caused by surgery or trauma. Long-term use for the management of chronic pain is something that needs to be considered a health risk. These drugs are highly addictive, and long-term use can be dangerous. Unfortunately, living pain-free is not always possible, and doctors should make their patients aware of this.

When you visit a medical professional, you believe that you will be taken care of properly. Unfortunately, medical errors happen and negligence occurs. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you need an experienced attorney like Auger & Auger on your side. Call today for a free case evaluation and let us advise you of your options.

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There is a significant risk of injury to anyone who works in the construction industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were just over 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries reported in 2009. Of those, 9 percent were incurred in the construction industry. Of those injuries sustained, 22 percent were due to falls.  Here are the most common causes of accidents in the construction trade.

Falls

This is, without a doubt, the most common cause of injury among construction workers. Whether falling from great heights or just a few feet off of the ground, falls can cause catastrophic injury.

Falling Objects

Falling objects strike construction workers by the hundreds. When objects are not properly secured, they can easily fall to the ground, striking innocent people on their way. Falling objects can result in a variety of injuries, from minor scrapes to serious head trauma.

Equipment

Improperly used or maintained equipment is a third cause of injury among construction workers. If a forklift fails to work properly, the driver can be seriously injured. Any equipment that is unsafe should be taken out of the fleet immediately and repaired or discarded properly.

Compression

Compression injuries occur when a worker is caught between two objects. These may be vehicles, walls or concrete. Compression injuries can result in fractures, tissue trauma and internal damage.

Collapses

Trenches that are being built need to be supported to prevent collapse. Buildings that are being demolished can quickly collapse in an unexpected way. The cause of accidents such as this may be negligence or error. They typically occur when safety protocols are not followed correctly.

Respiratory Diseases

Construction workers work in chronically dusty and dirty conditions. These particles are breathed into the lungs and can cause serious disease. From 1990 to 1999, there were more than 1,000 workers pronounced dead of pneumoconiosis. It’s a condition legally defined as chronic dust disease.

If you have suffered illness or injury as a result of your work in the construction industry, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation in North Carolina. You won’t know what you may qualify for unless you contact an experienced attorney like Auger & Auger. Call today and a member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation.

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If you have never heard of brain-centered hazards, you are not alone. When most people think of a brain hazard, they think stroke. That isn’t exactly what is being discussed when people talk about brain-centered hazards. Instead, these are the things that apply to ways we behave, or our brain functions, in the workplace.

Brain-centered hazards are typically described as human errors. For example, if you have employees and speak to them in an urgent tone, they may take your instructions to mean that work needs to be finished quickly at all cost. Instead, taking your time to craft your sentence properly may be a better idea. By first telling people that they need to take their time and produce work of high quality, they are more likely to slow down and pay close attention to the task at hand.

Researchers say that employers typically take great are in creating a safe workplace. They pick up trip and fall hazards, they make sure things overhead are secured properly, and they train employees before they are permitted to utilize heavy equipment. What many employers don’t do, however, is considered the way that the human brain conducts itself at work.

Organizations can cut down on workers’ compensation costs, researchers suggest, if they take brain-centered hazards into account when putting together a workplace safety plan. Adapt work schedules and cultures in such a way that workers are protected. Brain-aligned operational procedures should be instituted in order to reduce the risk of brain-centered hazards or, in other words, “human errors.”

When you are injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation in North Carolina under current federal and state law. Determining what you are entitled to can be difficult if you have never experienced a workplace injury. You need an experienced attorney like Auger Law on your side as you fight for your rights. The insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind when offering you a settlement. Let us help you determine what is fair.

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North_Carolina_barbecue_hushpuppies_baked_beans_red_cole_slawWhether you live in Charlotte or are planning a visit, there is no doubt you are going to get hungry at some point. It can be easy to miss some of the city’s top culinary delights if you don’t know where to look. When you feel like grabbing a bite to eat, here are some fantastic options that shouldn’t be skipped.

1. 300 East – Dilworth

If we were forced to give you only a single reason to visit 300 East, it would be the welcoming patio. You won’t find this kind of ambiance anywhere else. This family-owned establishment has been a staple of its neighborhood for more than 25 years. The chef’s use local ingredients in their dishes, and the waitstaff welcomes diners like long-lost family. Sit down for a mouthwatering selection of burgers, fish tacos and desserts.

2. Bill Spoon’s Barbecue

It can be difficult to visit the South without treating yourself to a heaping plate of barbecue, and why wouldn’t you? Bill Spoon’s has been serving visitors for over 45 years, and the originator’s grandson is running the business today. The menu includes an array of traditional barbecue dishes, including pulled pork dripping in hickory smoked sauce. Be prepared to loosen your belt before the end of your meal.

3. Bonterra – Dilworth

You’re looking for something a bit more refined, Bonterra may be it. Dine on fried lobster tail, lamb ribs and salted caramel trifle inside this 110-year-old revamped church. If wine is your thing, you will find over 200 options by the glass and another 300 available by the bottle. Seasonal specials include Appalachian ramps and soft-shell crabs.

4. Luna’s Living Kitchen – SouthEnd

You’re a bit green. Maybe you’re even a bit crunchy. Let out your inner flower-child at Luna’s. Living Burritos, Rawco Taco salad and gingerade are all popular among diners. This raw-foods cafe is a must-try if you’re in the city. No one says that one healthy meal has to have you munching on broccoli for the rest of your days but, after a lunch at Luna’s, you just may get the urge.

5. Lang Van Vietnamese – Shamrock/The Plaza

Everyone remembers that old sitcom where everyone knew everybody’s name. Think of Lang Van Vietnamese as the food version of that popular drinking establishment. No matter what time you enter the eatery, you will find it packed with locals. Turn yourself into a regular and you can expect the staff to remember your order along with your name.

No matter which of these fantastic establishments you decide to visit, we want you to stay safe. If you do happen to be injured in North Carolina, we are here for you. Call our office for a free case evaluation and let us tell you how we can offer our assistance. Call now.

Man bit by snake at Lowe'sA man in Denver, North Carolina was shopping with a friend in a local Lowe’s gardening center to surprise his wife with new flowers for their landscaping. While he was shopping, he was bitten by a 3 foot long poisonous copperhead snake while reaching to pick up a plant. He suffered from extensive swelling and was rushed to the hospital. His wife had to miss work to be by his side.

He was transferred to ICU the intensive care unit when the swelling in his arm was stopping blood flow to his fingers and had traveled down his right side to his hips, lower back and abdomen. He is being treated with anti-venom and is currently on three pain medications.

The victim has hired Auger & Auger to represent him. It is the law firm’s contention that Lowe’s Home Improvement, its managers, employees and/or suppliers were negligent, careless and reckless in failing to implement and/or carry out reasonable safeguards and processes to prevent this kind of injury.

Attorney Herb Auger said his firm is investigating two issues. One, did Lowe’s have a plan or process implemented to inspect plants at the time of delivery? It would seem reasonable for any retailer to have a process in place for inspecting products for defects upon delivery from a third party vendor.

Inspecting not only for dead, diseased or damaged plants, which would be in their own financial interest, but also having a plan for inspecting for foreseeable dangers to their customers with the infestation of venomous snakes being their number one concern. If they did, the 3 foot snake should have been spotted.

Second, Lowe’s has snake repellants on its shelves for sale to the public. Why would they not use this in their own facilities?

You can learn more about the incident here.

About Auger & Auger:

For over 26 years, Auger & Auger have been providing top quality representation for victims of personal injury in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina. Since 1995, the firm has won over $50 million for our clients in a wide range of case types, including: car accidents, dangerous drugs, golf cart accidents, workers’ compensation and many others.

Auger & Auger has offices in five locations throughout North Carolina. They provide free consultations to prospective clients and Auger & Auger will never charge a legal fee unless they win.

It’s not unusual for people to question whether or not they should call an attorney after they have been involved in a car accident. The question most often comes up when the accident results in property damage or injury. There is no doubt that foregoing the hiring of an attorney will save you some money, but a lawyer skilled in representing people after automobile accidents can help you in many circumstances. Here are the top reasons to seriously consider hiring legal representation.

1. There Are Severe Injuries

If you or someone in your vehicle suffered severe injuries in the accident, you want an attorney. Your lawyer will have experience in personal injury law and can help you fight that insurance company and their lawyers. You can expect your attorney to act as your advocate from the beginning of your case to the end.

2. Liability Is In Dispute

When you hear the phrase “disputed liability” coming from the other party’s insurance company, it means that the insurance company is arguing the fact that their client was at fault for the accident. If this is the case, they do not plan on paying any claim you have filed. An accident attorney can gather and show proof that the other party was at fault, if this was the case, and help you stand up to the insurance company.

3. A Refusal to Pay

The insurance company may be refusing to pay a fair amount or any amount altogether. You don’t have to fight the insurance company for a settlement when you have an attorney. Your lawyer will do it for you. An experienced lawyer will determine why the insurance company is refusing to pay and help you get what you deserve under law.

If you are involved in a car accident in North Carolina, you want to hire an attorney who focuses on personal injury law. Call our office today for assistance. A member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of the options you may have. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can help you.

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It isn’t difficult to find information regarding dangerous occupations, the number of on-the-job injuries occurring each year, and even the cost of workers’ compensation. It can be difficult to find all of the information in one place. We did a bit of research into the true cost of workers’ compensation, and here is some information regarding the costs that you may find as eye-opening as we did.

1. Worker Injuries and Cost

Workers are injured in a variety of ways, but the most common are: Overexertion, fall on same level, fall to lower level, bodily reaction, highway incident, struck by object, compression, struck against object, repetitive motion and assault.

Taken from 2009 statistics, here are the costs, per type of injury per year:

  • Overexertion – $12.75 billion
  • Fall on Same Level – $7.94 billion
  • Fall to Lower Level – $5.35 billion
  • Bodily Reaction – $5.28 billion
  • Struck by Object – $4.64 billion
  • Highway Incident – $2.18 billion
  • Compression – $2.04 billion
  • Struck Against Object – $2.01 billion
  • Repetitive Motion – $1.97 billion
  • Assault – $0.59 billion

2. The Most Dangerous Industries

When it comes to workplaces, some are inherently more dangerous than others. In order by number of accident, these injuries are: air transportation, beverage and tobacco manufacturing, couriers and messengers, building materials dealers, transportation and warehousing, education and health services, manufacturing, natural resources and mining, leisure and hospitality, construction, retail trade, and utilities.

3. Cost to Businesses

Businesses who pay out for injuries incur direct and indirect costs. Examples of direct costs are those paid for legal services, workers’ compensation payments and medical expenses. Indirect costs include those paid for repairs of damaged or faulty equipment, investigating accidents, putting corrective measures into place, lost productivity, and the cost of training replacement workers. According to BOLT, indirect costs may surpass direct costs by 20 times.

In 2009, employer costs were $73.9 billion. Workers compensation benefits paid totaled $58.3 billion, medical benefits totaled $28.9 billion and other cash benefits totaled $29.4 billion. Employers also paid covered wages to the tune of $5.68 billion.

It’s important to remember that if you are hurt at work, your health insurance will not cover your medical expenses. Filing a claim for workers’ compensation is often one of the only ways to ensure that your expenses are covered. If you are hurt at work and need assistance with workers’ compensation in North Carolina, call our office. We will provide you with a free consultation and help you determine your next steps. Call now.

Late last summer, Charlotte’s Department of Transportation released a list of the most dangerous intersections in the city. Some that made the list held their spots, and others changed dramatically from just the year before.

Four intersections that made the top of the list sit along Cedar Street. Those intersections are Cedar and 7th, 8th, 9th and 12th Streets. The final intersection rounding out the top five is Hill Street and Church Street. Some may remember this intersection as being the one where Cam Newton was involved in an accident.

Many people attribute the danger last year to the construction of the Blue Line Extension. According to many drivers, the construction made getting around complicated, to say the least. Said Angela Berry of the CDOT, “Work zones are always challenging and they present their own set of things you need to pay attention to as a driver.”

In 2o14, the intersection at University City Boulevard and North Tryon didn’t make the list. Last year, it was ranked as number 13. Again, construction on the road may have been at least party to blame for the rise in accidents.

While some intersections were new to the list, others fell in the rankings, proving to some that improvements have been worth it. Hawthorne Lane and 7th Street, for example, fell to 30th place last year from 5th in 2014. Freedom Drive and Toddville Road fell from 28th most dangerous in 2014 to 79th last year.

According to  CDOT, improvements take years to show any kind of statistical change. It is because crash data must be gathered and analyzed before an official report can be released.

Here are the top 10 most dangerous intersections according to last year’s data:

  1. N College St and E 8th
  2. W Hill St and S Church
  3. N College St and E 9th
  4. N College St and E 12th
  5. N College St and E 7th
  6. 3rd and 4th Connector and E 4th St, N Kings Dr
  7. N Tryon and E Sugar Creek Rd
  8. N McDowell St and E 6th
  9. Lakeview Rd and David Cox Rd
  10. Harrisburg Rd and Cambridge Commons Dr

If you have been hurt in a car accident in North Carolina, call our team of personal injury attorneys. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and tell you how to best proceed. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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The workers’ compensation process may seem like a daunting one if you have never been through it before. There are specific steps to be taken and, if not taken properly, your case can be negatively impacted. Doing things the right way the first time will be to your benefit. Read below to discover what you can expect from the workers’ comp process.

Notification

As soon as you are injured at work, you must notify your employer. You may notify your boss verbally, but you need to make sure you also put the details of your injury in writing. Words can be misconstrued and memories can change. When you put your words in writing, there is no arguing what you have said.

Submission of Report

Once you have notified your boss, they will submit (or should submit) a report to the worker’s compensation board in your state. That board may be called the industrial commission in some localities.

Insurance

In some instances, you may visit the doctor who will then ask that you fill out a form. That form will be submitted to your employer’s insurance company. The insurance company may decide to pay your claim or take you to court to make you prove your claim.

Rejection

If your claim is rejected by either your state’s worker’s comp board or industrial commission, you have the right to appeal. The same goes if you you are denied by your employer’s insurance company. Never assume that a rejection means the end of your claim.

Court

If your claim is rejected, you may choose to go to court to fight for your rights. You could appear in front of a judge, a mediator or an arbitrator. No matter who will be hearing your case, you will want to at least consult at attorney before your day in court.

Worker’s compensation claims go smoothly in many cases. Unfortunately, they can be complicated in others. If you are dealing with workers’ compensation in North Carolina and need an attorney, reach out to our team. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and tell you how to proceed. Call us now or browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can help you.

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