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driver-making-phone-call-after-traffic-accidentEvery year, more than 10,000 people die in drunk driving and drug-related car accidents. Hundreds of thousands more people suffer injuries. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are life-altering. People who survive these crashes may spend the remainder of their lives disabled or disfigured. The things they were able to do before the crash are impossible to do after. Some who survive require medical care for the rest of their lives.

What follows a DUI accident can be as traumatic, or more traumatic, than the crash itself. There may be physical pain and suffering. Some families are saddled with financial burdens that are too much to bear. Survivors may find themselves facing tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. These financial burdens combined with a loss of income can bankrupt a family. This is why drunk drivers who are convicted after a car accident may be held civilly liable for the injuries caused to their victims.

Any person who makes the decision to get behind the wheel and drive after consuming alcohol or taking drugs may be financially liable for the results of their decision and actions. The victims of these drivers may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical care, pain and suffering and other damages. The law may limit the amount of compensation a victim is able to recover beyond the cost of actual damages or injuries.

Victims of drunk drivers have a legal right to seek compensation from the individual who caused the accident they were involved in. Any person who has been injured in a drunk driving accident, or has had a family member or loved one killed in this type of accident, should consult with an attorney who is experienced in car accident law. An experienced attorney can assist the victim or their families in seeking the compensation they are entitled to.

If you have been injured a car accident in Charlotte, you have rights. Call our team of personal injury attorneys today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We are here to assist you and your family as you put your lives back together following this traumatic event. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

old-clock-on-autumn-leaves-on-wooden-table-on-natural-backgroundDaylight savings time is approaching. Whether you love it or hate it, moving the hands on your clock is inevitable. While many people enjoy falling back instead of springing ahead, getting used to the time change can take days for some and weeks for others. Changing the clocks has a strange effect on the human body. In turn, those effects have an effect on the bigger picture. Here are five odd things that may be attributed to adjusting the time.

1. Car Accidents

The opinion that car accidents occur more often when the clocks change is both supported and refuted by experts. The general thought is that the circadian rhythms and sleep patterns of drivers are altered thanks to daylight savings time, increasing the risk of an inability to maintain alertness behind the wheel.

2. Workplace Injuries

People who are employed in more physical occupations may see an onset of more frequent injuries thanks to daylight savings time. That said, a rise in workplace accidents is typically seen in the spring and not the fall. This may be attributed to less sleep and increased drowsiness.

3. Heart Attacks

There was a team of Swedish researchers who began a study about heart attacks in 2008. The results of that study showed that the first three weekdays following daylight savings time in the spring saw an increase in heart attacks. Just like with workplace injuries, the same did not occur during the fall time change.

4. Cluster Headaches

Our circadian rhythms control the release of hormones that control our hunger levels, moods and need for sleep. When our rhythms are thrown out of whack, our bodies feel the difference. For some people, daylight savings time means an increase in chronic pain, including cluster headaches.

5. Cybersurfing

No, it isn’t life threatening, but an increased bout of websurfing could have an affect on your job. Employers report that the first Monday after daylight savings time is huge for loafing on the computer. This may cost employers thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Don’t fall into the trap. Spending countless hours online watching funny cat videos could be grounds for termination.

It may not be a scientific study, but ask anyone and they will likely tell you that they feel a bit “different” or “strange” when the clocks are adjusted. Daylight savings time is creeping up on us and while there is not much you can do to prepare for it, knowing the risks involved with the change can help you notice them more quickly.

If you are injured in an accident in Charlotte, you may be entitled to compensation under current state law. Call our team of personal injury attorneys today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We are here for you and ready to give you advice pertaining to your unique situation.

young-white-man-holding-cellphone-hailing-uber-taxiRide sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are becoming increasingly popular as more people report using the services without a hassle. When Uber and Lyft first appeared on the scene, summoning a ride was though to be akin to putting your thumb out on the side of the highway and hoping you caught a ride with an honest, respectful driver. At the beginning, Uber and Lyft weren’t incredibly forthcoming about their safety policies. As the apps have caught on and gained popularity, both companies are trying to put the concerns of their customer base to rest. But who exactly is your driver? Let’s take a closer look at the driver screening processes of both companies.

Uber

Uber claims that their process of screening employees is airtight. They use Social Security numbers to verify the identities of drivers, determine all addresses they have used, and search criminal records for the past seven years. They also utilize databases that are used to flag terrorists and the National Sex Offender registry.

Lyft

Lyft says that their screening process depends on the driver. It also says that the process may take anywhere between 10 and 14 days. The company runs a check on the driving record and criminal history, and they verify employment history. New drivers are given the opportunity to participate in a type of mentoring program, driving with an experienced Lyft operator before going it alone.

Despite what Lyft says, most drivers are approved in two days or less. The same can be said for Uber. This hurried screening process may allow for some drivers with violent or criminal records to slip through the cracks.

Because some drivers are indeed falling through the cracks, state and federal legislatures are pushing for more intense screening processes. They would like to see fingerprinting be put into place and all potential drivers run through the FBI database.

For now, it is recommended that you use these ride sharing apps with your eyes wide open. Don’t relax in the back seat. Keep your eyes open and your senses alert. If you feel that you may be in danger, listen to your gut and ask to get out of the car if it is safe to do so.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, call our team of accident attorneys. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any damages you incurred. Call now to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.

traffic-jam-with-row-of-car-on-express-way-before-nightThere is little doubt that driving through Charlotte can be a test of patience. Traffic congestion and long commutes can make driving through the heart of the city nothing short of a headache. Throw in an aggressive driver or two and your drive can become downright dangerous. We have put together a few reminders of what to do when you encounter a driver who has lost their cool.

1. Concentrate on Driving

The first step to driving safely around an aggressive driver is knowing one is present. It’s easy to become distracted while driving. Technology, the radio and even other passengers can all take your attention off the road. When you don’t notice another driver maneuvering their vehicle in an aggressive manner, it’s hard to avoid them. Always keep your eyes open for drivers who aren’t operating their vehicles safely.

2. Don’t Tailgate

If an aggressive driver cuts in front of you, avoid the temptation to ride their bumper. Instead, back off and put as much distance between your two vehicles as possible. You never know what kind of moves an aggressive driver will make and if you are too close when they slam on their brakes, you could hit their rear bumper and be charged with following too closely.

3. Be Considerate

It’s important to be considerate of other drivers, even the aggressive ones. If someone is intent on getting in front of you, let them in. Being considerate will help you negate any possibility of road rage and ensure that you get where you are going safely.

4. Keep Your Distance

When you notice someone driving aggressively, put as much distance between you and the other driver as you can. It can be difficult to control your anger or frustration when someone is driving in an aggressive manner, but distancing yourself from that person by getting in a different lane is the safest option you have.

5. Alert the Authorities

If someone is driving so recklessly that they pose a danger of causing an accident, alert the authorities. Dial 911 and provide the dispatcher with your location and the license plate number of the driver. Do not give chase. Simply provide the information and let the officers who respond do their job.

Sharing the road responsibly is everyone’s job. If you notice that someone is driving aggressively or recklessly, do your best to not make the situation worse. Follow the tips above to help make your commute a safer one.

If you are injured in a car accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, call our team of accident attorneys. We will schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and help you determine if seeking compensation for your injuries is a viable option.

parent-taking-children-trick-or-treating-at-halloweenWhen parents begin to worry about Halloween, their minds typically turn to tainted candy. Stories of pins, needles and even razor blades stuck inside the candy of unsuspecting trick-or-treaters have made the rounds for decades. These stories are rarely based in fact, and they cause parents to focus on a danger that may not be there. Unfortunately, these stories take attention away from the real danger: Cars.

There are more than 40 million trick-or-treaters that hit the pavement each year. Of course, with this number of children out and about, accidents will happen. Slips and falls will result in skinned knees. Plastic props will cause injury. Of all the dangers that children face on Halloween, cars are the most common, yet least thought about.

According to Safe Kids USA, children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car when they are out trick-or-treating than at any other time of year. Most of the accidents involving costumed little ones and vehicles occur between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. There seems to be a peak at dusk, when the sun is setting and drivers are dealing with glare, depending on their direction of travel.

Children do not tend to watch where they are going. The excitement of the evening makes them even less cautious. Children that are unsupervised are in even more danger. Parents are urged to make sure that an adult, or at least an older teenager, accompanies any tiny trick-or-treater. Having supervision makes a child less apt to wander into the street and directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Make sure that children are carrying flashlights or that they have reflective tape adhered to their costumes. Glow sticks and glow jewelry can make children in costume more visible, but there are dangers in these popular items. The liquid inside the sticks and jewelry can be toxic. It’s important that children understand not to break a glow stick and, if one does break, not to ingest the liquid.

If your child is injured on Halloween in a pedestrian versus car accident in Charlotte, call our team of attorneys. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at which time we will advise you of your options. You may also choose to browse our website for more information about the types of cases we handle.

If you plan on partying this Halloween, whether or not you will be partaking in an adult beverage or two, it’s important to know that 52 percent of all drunk driving fatalities occur on Halloween night. From 2007 to 2011, 172 people lost their lives in drunk driving related crashes on one of the most popular holidays in the nation.

There is nothing wrong with heading out in your best costume and celebrating with friends. What you don’t want to do is celebrate so hard that you aren’t able to get home safely. Worse would be to drink and get behind the wheel, putting not only yourself in danger but everyone else on the road.

According to statistics, young men between the ages of 21 and 34 are most at risk of being involved in a car accident due to buzzed or drunk driving. During 2011 and beyond, this age group comprised almost half of all drunk drivers who lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes. Because the holiday is so popular and because traffic collisions are so prevalent, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up patrols.

By planning ahead, you can avoid turning the road into your own scary story. Before the party begins, find a way to get home at the end of the night. You may choose to designate a sober driver, load an app like Uber onto your phone, or decide to use public transportation. You may also choose to spend the night at your host’s house once the party has ended.

Drinking and driving on Halloween is a dangerous choice. You will be putting yourself and others in a potentially deadly situation. There is nothing that says you can’t go out and enjoy yourself on Halloween, but you do have to go about it safely. You don’t want your party to turn into an event that has lifelong consequences.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, call our team of accident attorneys. We are happy to help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at which time we will review your case and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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hayden-lovelace-photoAuger and Auger are proud to announce that Hayden Lovelace has won the Disabled Scholar Award, worth $1,000. When she was just 14, Hayden was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration. This condition is untreatable and caused her to slowly lose her central vision. When Hayden received this diagnosis, it was shocking. She and her mother thought their visit to the optometrist that day would be routine. But when the doctor told her she would never drive and would face other obstacles for the rest of her life, Hayden was ready to throw in the towel. However, instead of letting Stargardt’s keep her down, Hayden rose up to reach accomplishments most thought impossible.

Just two years after her diagnosis, Hayden obtained her driver’s license. In fact, she is able to do most things others can, if not with a little assistance. In school, she relies on her friends and peers to help her find the classrooms, at least until she has her schedule memorized. When she uses her computer, she has to greatly enlarge the text, and her textbooks are all in large print. Since she cannot read anything on a board at the front of the classroom, she needs handouts of everything. Yet, even with these struggles, Hayden has excelled in academia.

Hayden graduated from high school in Tennessee with a 3.8 GPA. This fall, she will start her first semester at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She has been accepted into the university’s early-entry pharmacy program, and will eventually earn her Doctorate in Pharmacy from Ole Miss. It’s a competitive seven-year journey, made more difficult by Hayden’s vision problems. But Hayden knows she can achieve her goals, if not with a little help. She has always had an interest in the medical field, and pharmacology is an area in which tools can be adapted so she can excel.

Every year, Hayden helps to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness by participating in the Memphis VisionWalk. She first became involved when her mother was researching potential treatment options and found a retinal research specialist in Memphis. Hayden began visiting that doctor, who has been conducting extensive tests to keep up with the progression of her disease. He is also the president of the the Memphis Foundation Fighting Blindness chapter, and explained the VisionWalk to Hayden and her family. This year, they have already exceeded their goal of $2,000 raised.

Though Hayden has overcome many of her struggles by her own strength, she says she wouldn’t be where she is without her parents. They have provided her with all the tools she has needed to succeed, including glasses, magnifiers, a large television and phone and zooming software for her computer. No matter what she needed, her parents were there to help and provide. What’s more, her mother is on the board for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and has always been proactive in keeping up with doctor’s visits, researching and organizing the VisionWalk team.

“She has taught me that I will be miserable if I sit back and wait for a cure. I have to make the best of my situation, and I would not have done that if it weren’t for my mom,” Hayden says.

Along those lines, Hayden encourages those who struggle with vision impairments to be self-sufficient. There are always alternative methods to accomplishing one’s goals, even without site. In addition, being proactive is crucial. One way in which Hayden pushes forward is with her involvement with the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Each person who makes a team at the VisionWalk is getting researchers a step closer to a cure for macular degeneration, something she hopes to experience in the near future.

Above all, Hayden encourages those who are facing difficulties similar to hers to push forward. As she has learned in the four years since her diagnosis, nothing is accomplished by simply standing still.

hugo-concha-stony-brook-medicine-lab-coatAuger and Auger are proud to announce that Hugo Concha has been awarded the Disabled Scholar Award, worth $1,000. At the age of 6, Hugo was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. He had to undergo a 13-hour surgery to remove his thyroid and part of the tumor. In addition to the surgery, he was given radioactive iodine to take care of the cancer; in order to take all of the cancer out surgically, he would have had to undergo a tracheotomy. For a time after that surgery, he lost his ability to speak. However, with the iodine, Hugo was able to beat the cancer and continue on his life as normal — or at least he thought.

When Hugo turned 16, he was diagnosed with cancer again, this time acute lymphoblastic leukemia. While the leukemia may or may not have been caused by the iodine treatment from his childhood, one thing was certain: he would need extensive radiation and chemotherapy in order to defeat it. The new, more aggressive treatment was ongoing for three years. During that time, Hugo was bedridden for over 8 months. Being bedridden caused his muscles to atrophy, requiring therapy in order for him to walk normally again.

Even now, after his therapy is complete, the cancer and its subsequent treatments have made it all but impossible for Hugo to run or even walk quickly. In addition, the chemotherapy affected his heart, compromising it in such a way that he is unable to lift more than 50 pounds. Hugo is 24 years old now, and starting at age 30, he will require screenings at least once a decade to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned and his body is functioning properly. Though the cancer is unlikely to come back, if it does, it will be more aggressive than ever.

After facing more difficulties before he had a driver’s license than most people face in a lifetime, Hugo has chosen to take his experiences and use them to help others. He is planning to go to Cornell Medical School to earn a degree in clinical anesthesiology. He chose Cornell due to the impact the university has already had on his life. The surgery when he was 6 was performed at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, which is affiliated with Cornell. In addition, he wants to remain in the city after he gains his medical doctorate to help those in need.

While he was facing his two cancer diagnoses and treatments, his mother and older sister (who is now a doctor) were by his side the whole time. In fact, his sister stopped an antifungal treatment during leukemia treatment because it could have damaged his kidneys. It is for these reasons that his mother and sister are two of the most influential people in his life. However, Hugo is quick to point out that his other sister, his little brother and his father have also played an important role in his life.

While his mother and sister were with him in the hospital, Hugo’s father was home with the other two children, making sure their lives continued as normal. Because of this dedication and his mother’s will to never give up — she came to America and learned how to speak English here — Hugo and his two older sisters have been able to chase their dreams in the medical field. Both of Hugo’s sisters are now health care professionals — one is a doctor and the other a nurse — paving the way for him and his little brother.

When it comes to facing difficulties in his life, Hugo remembers and draws from his fights with cancer. “Ninety percent of the battle is mental,” he says. “Difficulties like cancer can always be used to your advantage and to help you grow as a person. It’s never an easy situation, but there is always a silver lining.”

Hugo encourages those facing cancer or who have recently defeated it to not dwell on the negatives, as easy as it is to do. Rather, look forward, taking each day at a time and living this life to the fullest.

Halloween is a highly anticipated time of year for both adults and children. If you will be handing out treats this year, it’s important that you keep your property as safe as possible. When you take the time to make sure your home and yard are safe, the only thing you will have to worry about is making the little ones happy.

1. Property Lines

Many people concentrate on the area closest to their house when thinking about safety. This could be a mistake. Your liability for injury incurred by others starts at your property line. To ensure that there are no hazards, walk your property line and look for anything that could cause someone to trip and fall. Walk the path that people would typically take to your front door. Are there any hazards? If you suspect that there may be an issue, remedy it before you welcome the ghosts and goblins.

2. Lighting

It’s tempting to make your property dark and eerie for Halloween night, but you may unwittingly be making your property dangerous. At a minimum, make sure your entryway is lit brightly. This will not only provide a beacon for the ghouls, but will help shed some light on their path.

3. Decorations

Halloween decorations are becoming more elaborate every year as neighbors try to outdo one another and stores sell amazing pieces designed to delight on-lookers of all ages. If you decorate your property, be sure to tuck any extension cords neatly out of the way. Make sure lawn decorations are secured to the ground, and anything on your walls or roof should be tied down in such a manner that a strong wind won’t send them crashing to the ground.

4. Meet Children at the Sidewalk

What if your yard is a bit too dangerous? What if your driveway is cracked and your walkways are crumbling? You know your property is unsafe but you really want to hand out candy. Consider doing so at the sidewalk or, if  trick-or-treaters walk in the street where you live, at the end of your driveway. This way little ones aren’t risking their safety and you are still participating in the holiday.

No one wants to consider the fact that may be sued for trying to do a bit of good, but that is exactly what could happen if someone is hurt on your property this Halloween season. Make sure your property is as safe as possible before you hand out your first piece of candy and, if it isn’t, make the necessary repairs.

If you or a loved one is injured in Charlotte, call our team of experienced attorneys. We will review the details of your case and advise you of the options available to you. Call now and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.

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You picked out your costume. You have all of your accessories. You’ve put hours of thought into exactly what you will look like for your costume party. Have you thought just as long about how you will keep yourself safe?

While Halloween parties are typically held on Halloween night or weekend, there may be some people you know who will be holding their celebrations early due to other obligations. As Halloween becomes more popular, parties are held with as much frequency as Christmas and New Year’s Eve bashes. Whether you have one party or several in the coming weeks, it’s important that you consider your health and safety.

1. Drinking

You are an adult and, as such, it is well within your rights to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. You may even choose to partake in several beverages. If you are not a routine drinker, take it slowly. It can become very easy very quickly to drink one after another. Binge drinking is the official term and it can lead to inappropriate behaviors and actions. If you know that you will be drinking more than usual, make plans for your trip home ahead of time.

2. Food

Have you ever been to a party where the food looked a bit sketchy? It can be tough to discern good food from bad on Halloween because it may be dressed up to look unsavory. If food has been sitting out for hours, it may be best to avoid it. If you have any food allergies, make sure to ask your host what ingredients they used to cook with. You certainly don’t want to ruin your night with an allergy attack.

3. Driving

Aside from the standard “don’t drink and drive,” it’s important that you keep an eye out for pedestrians. Be sure to watch for trick-or-treaters the closer you get to Halloween weekend. Children don’t always watch where they are going and may pop out from unexpected places.

4. Hosting

If you are hosting a party, make sure that you are keeping an eye on your guests. You may be tempted to drink in excess simply because you are staying in. The more alcohol you consumer, the less attention you will be paying to your guests. You can be held civilly responsible if one of your guests gets too drunk, drives away from your home and injures or kills someone.

Take it easy this holiday, but be sure to have a great time. You should be as concerned with your safety as you are with your outfit. Follow the tips above to make sure you leave a Halloween party as safe and healthy as you were when you arrived.

If you are injured this season in any type of accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your options for seeking compensation. Call now to set up an appointment for a free case evaluation.

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