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shutterstock_236826346Deer versus vehicle accidents can cause major damage, not to mention terrible injuries. People in states with heavy deer populations know to watch out for these beautiful creatures, especially in the early morning and late evening hours. While some people can go their lives without ever seeing a deer cross the road, many are not as lucky.

As the holiday road-trip season approaches, people will be heading out by the thousands. It’s “over the woods and to grandmother’s house we go.” Unfortunately for some, the trip won’t be as uneventful as planned. Hitting a deer with your vehicle can put a serious damper on your holiday festivities. Here are the 10 states, in no particular order, where you are most likely to find a deer crossing your path.

1. Mississippi

There are close to 2 million white-tailed deer in the state by estimates. That means that drivers are highly likely to run into one of these animals. The odds of hitting a deer in the state of Mississippi are approximately 1 in 8.

2. Michigan

You stand a 1 in 85 chance of hitting a deer with your car if you travel through Michigan. According to AAA, the average number of vehicle versus deer collisions in the state totals 185 per day.

3. Wyoming

Deer versus vehicle crashes have climbed by more than 17 percent in recent years. It’s not only white-tailed deer that drivers need to keep their eyes open for. If you drive through Wyoming, watch out for mule deer and antelope.

4. Minnesota

The state estimates that there are approximately a million deer on the move within its borders. Deer can be found in every county in the state. Keep your eyes peeled.

5. Wisconsin

There were close to 20,000 vehicle versus deer accidents in the state last year. In fact, there are so many of these accidents that they account for approximately 16 percent of all crashes in the state.

6. South Dakota

Your chances of hitting a deer in South Dakota rise every year. The state’s population of deer continue to grow.

7. Iowa

Deer love the cornfields of the Midwest, and Iowa is no exception. Even after hunting season, there are still approximately 400,000 left. Drive through the state with your eyes wide open.

8. Pennsylvania

Six people were killed last year in vehicle versus deer accidents. Chances of hitting a deer in the Keystone State is approximately 1 in 67. Keep in mind that deer accidents most typically occur during times of low light.

9. Montana

Chances of hitting a deer with your vehicle in Montana are fairly high. Accidents are up about 19 percent when compared to previous years.

10. West Virginia

If you drive through this rural and winding state, watch out for deer around every turn. You have a 1 in 41 chance of striking a deer driving through West Virginia.

Though not in the top 10, you still have a good chance of hitting a deer in North Carolina, especially on the country back roads. If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and property damage. Call our office today for more information about our firm and to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Let us put our knowledge of accident law to work for you.

shutterstock_317002400Black Friday has come and gone, but it served to officially kick off the holiday shopping season. If you have little ones on your gift list, chances are you will be buying one or more toys this holiday season. Toys are meant to be enjoyed and most are. Sadly, some toys cause more damage than joy. When small children are left unsupervised with some toys, disaster can result.

There are more than three billion toys sold each year. These toys are marketed to different ages, and many people rely on the age guidelines marked on the packaging when purchasing these gifts. It is important to know that even when following these guidelines, children can fall into hazardous situations if left unsupervised with the toy.

Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk of sustaining a toy-related injury. Choking is typically the most common injury, but children are also susceptible to falls, burns, suffocation, poisoning and drowning. Despite coming with instructions and warnings, toys need to be taught, so-to-speak. A child must learn how to properly play with a toy to avoid suffering an injury.

Riding toys are the cause of the most toy-related fatalities. Children fall off, hit their heads and sustain fatal injuries. Balloons pose a serious choking hazard. When choosing toys for the little ones on your list, the most important thing you can do is look at the construction of the toy. Read safety labels, and know the child you are purchasing the item for.

Tips for Selecting Toys

Choosing toys for children can be difficult, even if you have kids of your own. It seems that there is danger lurking inside every box and behind every tag. Before you decide it would be safer to skip the toys altogether, read these tips for selecting the best toy for your small recipient.

1. Read Labels

The first thing to do is to read the label. If the toy is marked for a certain age group, don’t purchase it for any child younger than the stated minimum age.

2. Know the Child

Some children are very careful with their toys. Other children put everything they see in their mouths. Know the type of child you are purchasing the toy for and choose accordingly.

3. Look for Recalls

Take a look at the most recent recall list before buying any toy. Avoid purchasing any toy you find on the list.

4. Get the Okay

We all want to surprise the child we are purchasing for, but we don’t have to surprise the parents. Get an okay from the adults in the house before you buy a toy. The parents may not want their child to have a skateboard. They may know that their child is apt to put small pieces in their mouths or nose. Run your idea by the little one’s parents first.

5. Open and Inspect

Once you purchase the toy, open the box and inspect the toy. Look for any broken or damaged pieces. If the toy is not intact, take it back to the store for an exchange or refund.

If your child has been injured by a defective product in Charlotte, call our office. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and advise you of your options.

shutterstock_126762269For some people, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, the family and the football. For others, it is merely a day that precludes one of the best days of the year: Black Friday. Millions of people will be heading out to local malls and shops the day after Thanksgiving to kick off the hottest shopping season of the year. It’s not only shoppers who know about the great deals, but thieves as well.

Bad guys know that people will be out shopping and will be concentrating on finding good deals, not on their own safety. If you and your loved ones will be shopping with the masses this season, keep these safety tips in mind.

1. Try to stick to shopping during the day. If you have no choice but to shop at night, don’t do so alone. Use the buddy system when you must go to the stores after dusk. A thief or other criminal is less likely to strike pairs or groups of people than those walking alone.

2. Avoid being flashy. Keep your clothes casual and your accessories to a minimum. Don’t be so eye-catching that you make yourself a target. Wear comfortable shoes to avoid slips and falls. As an added benefit, sneakers will help you run more steadily should you find yourself in danger of becoming a victim.

3. Do not carry large amounts of cash. It is far easier to cancel your credit and debit cards than it is to retrieve money that is stolen from you. If you must carry cash, don’t put it in your wallet but in your front pants pocket or inside jacket pocket. If someone does lift your wallet, your money will remain safely with you.

4. Don’t overload yourself with packages. Make several trips to your vehicle if you need to, securing your packages out of sight. Carrying heavy bags for long periods of time can lead to muscle strain. Carrying a large number of packages can also make it difficult for you to run if you need to.

5. Keep an eye open to your surroundings. It’s not uncommon for shoppers who are concentrating on other things to run into doors, trip over cords or slip on wet floors. Know what is going on around you at all times. If you feel yourself getting distracted by all that is happening, take a moment to pause and gather your thoughts.

Shopping for the holidays is a joyful event. We spend our time thinking about what we will be giving and maybe even what we will be receiving.  Go ahead and have a great time, but remember to keep your safety in mind.

When you are injured through no fault of your own in Charlotte or the surrounding area, an experienced attorney may be able to help you secure compensation for your injuries. Reach out to our team of experienced attorneys today and speak with a member of our team. We will help you set up an appointment for a free case evaluation in order to advise you of your options.

shutterstock_149842034Plans have been set for this year’s Thanksgiving Bowl. Teams are being chosen for the Christmas Crunch. No matter when you will be tossing the pigskin in the backyard, no one wants to end the game early due to an injury. Playing touch football has become as much of a tradition as family meals themselves. While many of these makeshift games end with a proper celebration for one team, some are called early when an uncle throws his back out or a young cousin twists her ankle.

Don’t let your annual family football game end in injury. Read on to discover how your family’s yearly sporting event can go off without a hitch.

Training

You won’t see a professional athlete sitting on the couch for three months and hitting the field without proper training. Why would you do anything different? You certainly don’t have to train for months but if you know you will be playing in the annual family game, start getting your body ready a few weeks before. Even walking around the neighborhood every day after dinner can help your body prepare for the physical demand of a football game.

Warm Up

It’s not unusual for the family to arrive, hit the backyard and start throwing the ball. This can be a bad idea. Most people warm up before exercise for good reason. Warm ups lubricate joints and increase flexibility to the muscles. Take five or 10 minutes to warm up before the football game.

Know the Field

Many an injury has occurred because someone stepped down on a rock or go their foot stuck in an unnoticed hole. Take a walk around the section of yard you will be playing in before the first pass is thrown. Toss or pick up any objects that could potentially be a trip and fall hazard.

Suit Up

Don’t wear tight, heavy clothing. Instead, opt for several light layers that you can both move easily in and remove should you get too hot. Encourage your family members to do the same. While you are at it, make sure that you are wearing sneakers with a decent tread. Boots and flats are better suited for the indoors.

Stay On Your Feet

It’s not unusual for backyard football games to get a bit heated. Resist any urge you have to tackle another family member. Tackling increases the risk of injury, especially to younger players.

Drink in Celebration

Stick to drinking after the game. Alcohol not only decreases your balance and ability to make quick decisions, but it is dehydrating. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks when you are playing the game instead.

The annual family football game doesn’t have to result in injury if everyone plays with safety in mind. Go out back, have a good time and then enjoy your feast.

If you or a loved one are injured in Charlotte through no fault of your own, you may have the legal right to seek compensation for those injuries. Call our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your injury and advise you of the options available to you.

shutterstock_90581383Thanksgiving is just a few days away. As it approaches, you may be thinking about cooking the family’s bird in a non-traditional way. Deep fried turkeys have become all the rage in the past several years and are tasty to be sure. Unfortunately, this “new” way of cooking Thanksgiving dinner has caused quite a number of accidents across the country. If you will be deep frying your turkey for the first time this year, do so with these safety tips in mind.

1. You wouldn’t grill right next to your house. Many people won’t even grill on their decks if they are using charcoal. Deep frying a turkey is no different. In fact, deep frying a turkey should be done even farther from the house and any structures in your yard.

2. Thaw the turkey first. This cannot be said enough, and it is often one of the first questions that people ask. Ice and water will mix into the hot oil and cause bursts of flames or flare ups, which can lead to an explosion.

3. If you are using a propane-fueled fryer, leave at least 2 feet of space between the fryer and the propane tank. This will help to ensure that the propane tank won’t explode if something goes awry with the fryer.

4. Just before you put the turkey in the fryer, turn off the machine’s burner. If oil spills or pops over the edges, it won’t land on an open flame. Turn the burner back on after the turkey has been safely submerged.

5. Do not overfill the fryer with oil. Your instruction booklet should tell you how much oil you can safely put in the fryer. While you are at it, choose a smaller turkey. They tend to work out better in fryers. Look for a turkey that weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. You can always cook two turkeys: One for the family to snack on throughout the day, then one for dinner.

6. Don’t stuff the turkey or use any type of water-based marinades. Make your stuffing separately and, if you like, rub a bit of marinade over the turkey after it is done or drizzle it with your favorite sauce.

7. Safety equipment should be worn and kept nearby at all times. Wear eye goggles to protect your eyes and oven mitts to protect your hands. Keep a fire extinguisher on the ground nearby in case something catches fire.

8. Keep children and pets away from the fryer. It’s a good idea to keep everyone away from the fryer as a matter of fact.

Deep frying a turkey has become a holiday tradition for some, and deep frying will be a new activity for many this year. If you plan on trying your hand at this cooking method, follow the steps above to be sure that you do so as safely as possible.

If you or a loved one are injured in Charlotte this holiday season through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.

shutterstock_171924614You make sure the winter coats are clean and fresh. You find your supply of hats and gloves just in case. Maybe you even recaulk your windows just to keep a bit of the cold air outside where it belongs. What do you do for your car?

Even if you live in a relatively mild climate like what we have here in North Carolina, you need to make sure that you have planned ahead for cold-weather driving. Vehicles respond differently when the temperatures dip. Failing to maintain your vehicle properly can cause you to be held liable if you cause an accident, especially one that leads to injury.

Use these five tips for making sure your vehicle is winter-weather ready.

1. Oil Change

Are you coming up on an oil change? Make sure to talk to your mechanic about adding a different type of oil for this time of year. Oil tends to become thicker in the cold weather, so thinner oils should be used for changes that occur before winter sets in. Check your owner’s manual to see if there is a recommended oil for cold weather months.

2. Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are one of those strange things that we know we need, yet put off replacing for longer than we should. We are always “getting to it.” Maybe next week. That can quickly turn into next month or even next year. If your blades need replaced, get it done.

3. Battery

Don’t panic. You don’t need to replace your battery just because the temperatures drop, but you should make sure that it is in good working order. Have a mechanic test any battery that is more than three years old. You want to know that your battery can still hold an adequate charge before you drive off down a wintery road.

4. Tire Pressure

How long has that light indicating low pressure been on? Stop ignoring it. Proper tire pressure ensures that your wheels are making contact with the road in the way they are meant to. When you let your pressure stay low, your tires are jeopardizing your safety in wet, inclement conditions. Plus, tire pressure tends to drop in the cold months, so be sure to keep your tires filled.

5. Four-Wheel Drive

If you have four-wheel drive, now is the time to make sure your system is working properly. Very few, if any, people use their four-wheel drive in the summer months, and it isn’t unusual to find out it isn’t working right when winter hits. Often, it is too late by the time a driver is alerted to some issue. Check your system now and make any necessary repairs.

Don’t let your lack of maintenance be the reason that you and your family are in an accident this winter. By taking just a few moments of your time now, you will be helping to make sure your family is safe for the whole season.

If you are injured in a car accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced accident attorneys. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at which time we will advise you of your options.

 

shutterstock_84328594According to the National Institute on Aging, more than half a million seniors over the age of 70 give up their keys every year. More seniors than these should stop driving, but resist doing so. It can be a difficult situation for families of seniors to find themselves in when they think its time for their loved one to stop driving.

Seniors are known to be one of the most conscientious groups in our society. They are typically thoughtful and empathetic. Why, then, do so many insist on driving long after they should have given up the privilege?  For most, the idea of giving up their driving privileges equates to a loss of independence. This is something that many seniors struggle with.

If you are wondering whether or not it is time for your loved one to give up their keys, here are some things to consider.

1. Do They Get Lost?

One of the first symptoms that seniors experience when cognitive function begins to wane is the inability to remember where they live or need to go. It is not uncommon for a senior to forget exactly which road they need to turn down or how many miles they have yet to travel.

2. Have They Been In Accidents?

Even minor fender benders can be a sign of something needing to be dealt with if they occur frequently. This is especially true of a senior who has a clean driving record and suddenly becomes involved in collisions on a seemingly regular basis.

3. Do Things Appear Out of Nowhere?

Listen to your senior as they describe their driving. Do they frequently mention things coming out of nowhere? For instance, your loved one may tell you that they almost got into an accident because a car was suddenly in their path. They may complain about pedestrians walking into the street from nowhere. This can be incredibly dangerous.

4. Have Others Expressed Concern About Their Driving?

Do other family member approach you about your senior loved one’s poor or declining driving skills? If this is starting to happen, take their concerns seriously. If you haven’t seen the evidence for yourself, take a ride with your loved one and judge for yourself.

5. Has Your Loved One Expressed Their Own Concerns?

Some seniors may decide to open up to their loved ones about concerns they have about their own driving abilities. As has been said, this group of people is typically very compassionate. They may be concerned about hurting others or causing property accidents.

When a senior’s driving skills are on the decline, it is time for a family member to step up and start the difficult conversation. Your loved one may be hesitant to give up their independence, but it could mean others on the road area s safe as they should be.

If you or a family member have been involved in an accident in Charlotte, reach out to our personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation. We will advise you of your options and help you decide how to move forward.

shutterstock_243809152Come on. A blog about winter injuries? Have you forgotten that we live in one of the most beautiful states in the nation where winter is something that happens to other people? Before you dismiss this article as nonsense or unnecessary, consider that the weather is changing.

It is more common to hear of unusually high temperatures during the summer, and freezingly cold temperatures in the winter. States that aren’t used to hot and humid days experience deaths. Where winter is unheard of but suddenly appears, people are injured. North Carolina is typically protected by the mountains, experiencing winters that are wet but mild. With the changes in weather, it is not unreasonably to expect that people in Charlotte may experience harsh weather at least once this season.

Knowing how to stay safe in the winter is important for everyone, whether you are caught in a freak storm or trapped in your house by mountains of snow for days at a time. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of injury this frigid season.

1. Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are one of the most common accidents in the winter months. Slipping and sliding on ice and snow is easy to do, especially when you can’t immediately see the slippery patch. Even if you only skid for a moment, you can strain muscles trying to catch yourself. It’s not uncommon to incur an ankle twist, a fracture or even a head injury in this kind of accident. Stay as aware of your surroundings as possible and tread carefully.

2. Shoveling

No one likes to shovel snow, and many people shovel in a hurry just to get the job over with. Rushing while shoveling can cause injury. It’s important to pay attention to your body when you are shoveling snow as doing it the wrong way can cause injury to your shoulders, neck or back. Shovel slowly and with purpose. If you begin to feel tension in your back, stop and take a break if you can. Always remember to use your knees and not your lower back.

3. Auto Accidents

Most people continue to drive as they normally do despite harsh conditions. In other cases, people drive much too carefully for the conditions, posing a similar type of danger. If you aren’t sure how to drive in the snow, take the time to learn. Know how your car handles and drive appropriately. Driving too fast or too slow can both be dangerous. And if you are planning on traveling to the mountains or another snowy area this year, it may be wise to invest in a set of tire chains.

No one wants to end their day in a doctor’s office or hospital bed because of a winter injury. Follow the tips above to help make sure that you stay safe and healthy all season long.

If you happen to be injured on someone else’s property this winter due to that property owner’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of legal professionals today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Call today for assistance.

set-of-red-chain-swings-on-modern-kids-playgroundMost parents know that there are dangers associated with contact sports like football and hockey. Safety gear is available for these sports, helping to ensure that children are kept as free from injury as possible. What many parents don’t consider to be hazardous is a good romp on a playground. Whether at school or in the public park, playgrounds pose a danger to little ones, especially a danger of concussion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20,000 children aged 14 and younger suffer some type of brain injury on playgrounds each year. The same study found that the rate of concussions is on the rise among young children.  The CDC can’t pinpoint what is causing this rise, but it is recommending that parents, guardians and school staff supervise children as they participate in recess and play on playground equipment.

Playground Equipment Dangers

The two pieces of equipment that are responsible for the most injuries are monkey bars and swings. Poorly assembled and poorly constructed equipment is often the cause for injuries, but even well-made equipment can be dangerous. Playground equipment should be set up on sturdy surfaces and used only as they are made to be. This means that children shouldn’t be jumping from swings, standing on monkey bars and the like.

Compensation for Injuries

Where the playground is located will make a difference in how you seek compensation. If your child is injured in a public park, you may have a case for premise liability against the city. If your child is hurt on the daycare or school playground, you could have a case against the care facility or school.

If your child has suffered a brain injury or concussion as a result of a playground accident in Charlotte, an experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a case and against whom. Our personal injury attorneys are happy to speak to you at no cost and help you determine if you have a case for personal injury or premise liability. Reach out to our team today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation.

close-up-of-male-bandaging-his-armFor many people, deciding to file a lawsuit comes after weeks or months of deep thought. It is rarely something that people undertake on the spur of the moment. Because people put so much thought into their decision, it can be extremely disappointing when an attorney tells them they either don’t have a case or the attorney won’t take their case.

Attorneys want to help people. It is not an easy thing to tell people they are unable to offer assistance, especially when the person and their family are experiencing difficulty. There are very specific reasons that an attorney won’t take a case, and there may be more personal ones. Here are some of them.

1. Liability

An experienced personal injury attorney always offers a case evaluation before making a decision about a case. During this evaluation, the attorney will determine liability. Even if someone feels strongly that their injuries should be compensated, an attorney cannot prove a case if they cannot first prove that someone was liable for those injuries according to the wording of the law. If an attorney believes that no one can be held legally liable for the injury, they won’t take the case.

2. Damages

Even if you were injured, it may not have been an injury that you would be compensated for in such a way that would make sense for the attorney to spend their time and effort representing you. That may sound unethical, but it is not. Consider the amount of time you would be willing to work for no pay. If an attorney won’t make money by taking your case, they often times will not take it.

3. Ability to Collect

In 99.9% of cases, insurance settlements will cover the costs of a personal injury. In most states, there is no ability to collect pain and suffering outside of catastrophic injuries. If a settlement covers your medical bills and lost wages, filing a lawsuit for more doesn’t make sense in every case. Again, because personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, they may not be willing to take a case in which they will not receive adequate compensation even if you win.

4. The Client

An attorney and a client will spend a lot of time together building a case. If an attorney feels as though you aren’t being truthful or forthcoming, they may choose to not work with you. An attorney needs to trust their client, and vice versa.

If you have been injured in Charlotte and are wondering whether you should file a lawsuit, call our team. We will schedule a free case evaluation, review the details of your injury and advise you accordingly. Call today for assistance.

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