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Being hurt in an accident is a scary, confusing and frustrating.  Besides the possibility of being hurt and unable to work, car accident victims may also have problems related to unpaid medical bills, lost wages and a general lack of experience in knowing their options for moving forward and what they can expect for their possible future compensation.

It is common for accident victims to want to know the potential value of their injury case.  It would be wrong for an attorney to communicate to a prospective client or anyone else a guess or estimate of the potential value of their injury case.  Even a rough “ball park” figure is something that should not be expressed.  We caution everyone that is evaluating their options for legal representation to please exercise care with anyone that does this or expresses any guarantee of any kind of result.

Besides the ethical problems of enticing potential clients with promises or guarantees, every case is different and there are many, many factors that will effect a possible settlement or trial verdict. Legal professionals with experience in handling personal injury claims must fully evaluate a client’s evidence, injuries, insurance, bills, records and much more before ever being able to assess any potential compensation scenarios.  To best serve a potential client that is investigating their options for hiring a personal injury attorney, it is more accurate and ethical to discuss with them the types of damages that they may be able to recover.

If you have been involved in a car accident, here are the types of damages that you may be able to recover.

Medical Expenses

A personal injury claim involves the medical expenses incurred by the victim. An element of every personal injury case is that the incident caused injury and that damages resulted from that injury. A victim may be compensated for past, current and future medical bills related to the accident.

Loss of Income

If the injuries sustained in the accident are severe enough that a person is unable to work, the at-fault party may be held responsible for compensating the victim for lost wages. Economic damages can be very difficult to understand and speaking to an experienced attorney about past and future lost earnings from an accident or injury is something that injury victims should consider.

Pain and Suffering

Some injuries will linger after a car accident or other serious injury and some may get worse. When this occurs, you could be compensated for the persistent discomfort you experience. Because pain and suffering is not based on receipts or pay stubs, the exact amount a person may be entitled to will vary depending on the unique circumstances and facts of their case.

Emotional Damages

When a person is involved in a car accident or other serious injury case, they may experience stress, anxiety or other mental health problems that may continue long after the accident or initial injury occurred. Those issues may include but are not limited to fear, anxiety or depression that results from the accident or injury. Attorneys will often argue for compensation for clients that have received diagnosis’ and treatment for these types of damages.

Loss of Enjoyment

When you and your family have to make alterations to your lifestyle because of injuries sustained in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment. Like pain and suffering and emotional damages, the amount of compensation paid for the loss of enjoyment will vary on a case by case basis.

When a person is involved in a car accident, they should not have to suffer. These unexpected hardships can be devastating to an individual or family. If you have been involved in an accident and suffered an injury, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer that will fight for you by your side.

If your accident occurred in Charlotte or anywhere else in North Carolina, reach out to our team. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your possible options. You may be entitled to the damages described above. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.

 

There have been several reports this year of people being stranded on the side of the road or having to stop to make minor repairs to their vehicles, only to be struck by oncoming cars. One of the easiest ways to avoid these types of car accidents is not to be stranded in the first place. Overheating can cause your car to come to a sudden halt, but it is something that you can prevent.

1. Watch the Gauge

You may not pay attention to your dashboard until it lights up like an airport runway, but this is a mistake. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge during the hot months of summer. Your gauge will alert you to a possible problem with heat in your engine. Look in your owner’s manual or online to determine the normal needle position for your vehicle. If it starts to climb, you need to pull into your nearest service station.

2. Turn Off the Air

Turning off the air conditioning is the last thing you want to do, but it could be the first thing that prevents your engine from overheating. Turning off your air conditioning will ease up on the stress you are placing on your engine and possibly help it cool down.

3. Turn Up the Heater

You have zero desire to turn on your vehicle’s heater in the summer, but it can take the heat away from your engine. If you notice that the temperature gauge starts to climb higher, crank up the heat. It’s often the first step in preventing damage to your engine.

4. Step On the Gas

As soon as you are stopped in traffic, shift your gear to park or neutral. Step on the gas and rev the engine. This will speed the water pump and fan, allowing your radiator to work more efficiently, even if only for a moment.

5. Maintain a Steady Speed

Accelerating and braking, especially frequently, puts pressure on the engine. If you are in traffic, try to maintain a steady speed, even if it’s a slow one. This will allow your engine to operate at a regulated rate, reducing the strain it is experiencing and, ultimately, running cooler.

6. Pull Over

If you’ve followed the steps above and your engine is still overheating, you need to pull over. If you can get completely off the highway, do it. If you can’t, pull over to the shoulder and call for assistance. Running your vehicle when the engine is overheated can cause expensive damage.

If you are in a car accident in Charlotte and need assistance, our team of attorneys is here for you. Call today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and let us advise you of your legal options. You may be legally entitled to damages for medical bills, time off work and more. Reach out to our team or browse our website for more information about our firm.

 

If you are asked if you know how to drive in fog, chances are you will answer “of course.” Driving in fog is no different than driving on a clear morning. Or is it? There is more to driving in fog safely than simply turning in your fog lights. Read on to discover how you can avoid car accidents when you are driving in such low visibility conditions.

1. Keep Your Distance

The normal count between vehicles is 2 seconds. This means that if a vehicle in front of you passes a stationary object, like a light pole, it should take you 2 seconds more to pass that same object. Increase your distance to 5 seconds when you are driving through fog. This will give you enough time to see the vehicle ahead of you stop and allow you to do the same.

2. Use Fog Lights

If your vehicle is equipped with fog lights, turn them on. Fog lights are positioned in such a way that they light the road ahead of you without beaming straight into the fog. Experiment with your headlights. If keeping them on allows you to see into the fog, keep them on. If the light is bouncing back into your eyes, use your fog lights by themselves.

3. Watch Out for Animals

Drive cautiously as you go through the fog, keeping an eye out for animals in the road. The cover of fog makes animals feel brave. They are more likely to bolt out into the road when they feel as though they are protected. Drive slowly and stay aware of what is happening around your vehicle.

4. Keep High Beams Off

It can be tempting to use your high beams, thinking that you will be able to see further ahead. This is untrue. When you use high beams in fog, the light bounces right back into your eyes, making it more difficult to see. Keep the high beams off.

5. Pull Over

Don’t drive through thick fog if you can’t see more than a couple of feet in front of your car. It is incredibly dangerous to do so, and you run a great risk of being involved in a car accident. If you can’t see, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights to make your vehicle visible to others.

Driving through fog is not a difficult thing to do when you take a few extra precautions. If you encounter unavoidable fog, follow these tips above to avoid being involved in a collision.

If you are involved in a car crash in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, call our team of attorneys. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation and advise you of your legal options. You may be entitled to damages for any financial loss you have suffered. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm.

Driving a car requires little physical fitness. You get behind the wheel, you start your engine and you go where you need to go. Driving a motorcycle isn’t so simple. A motorcycle requires balance, and balance requires strength. A person who can’t control their bike is a danger to themselves and others on the road.

Picture this scenario: You are driving your motorcycle and feel it begin to tip. You plant your foot and do what you can to stabilize your bike. You lack the physical strength to hold it up, and you lay it down. Could it have been avoided? Quite possibly.

Getting into better shape can help keep you on two wheels longer. For many people, age-related declines in physical fitness have them giving up riding before they are ready. By staying fit, you will be able to enjoy the open road for years to come.

1. Work Out

How and when you workout is up to you. Some people find that they don’t have the time or desire to join a gym. The good news is that there are DVDs and even apps that can help you develop your fitness. If you don’t want to workout in your living room, hop on a bike and take a ride. Put the leash on the dog and go for a walk. There are a variety of ways that you can put a workout routine together.

2. Build Endurance

Building endurance will allow you to ride your motorcycle for longer periods of time. How you develop that endurance depends on your current state of health, but it should include increasing your heart rate. Start slow and increase your exercise over a period of weeks and months. Take your pulse and count your heartbeats per minute. A good goal is between 65 and 75 percent of your resting rate. Try to maintain this range for 10 minutes during your first workouts and longer in your subsequent ones.

3. Strength

You want to build the strength in your core, thighs and forearms. Weight training is the easiest way to build muscle, but any resistance activity will do. Yard work, swimming and even playing sports will help to build your strength. Here’s a good rule of thumb: When you take on resistance training, you will feel it in your muscles. It’s time to increase your weights when you don’t feel the burn any longer.

Anyone who has not been involved in any type of fitness program should speak with their doctor before undertaking a new regimen. Your medical provider can help you determine the healthiest amount of exercise for your age, body type and current state of health.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced accident attorneys. We will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Aggressive driving causes accidents. Ask a driver if they are aggressive, however, and chances are they will tell you no. Drivers in the United States have developed a habit of driving more aggressively than they should, and it has become the norm. Here are some of the maneuvers that these drivers make on a regular basis.

1. Speeding

If anyone has ever complained that you have a lead foot, you may have laughed it off. It may be illegal to speed down an empty stretch of highway, but typical. If, on the other hand, you speed every time you get behind the wheel and don’t slow it down when you hit heavy traffic, you are risking your safety.

2. Tailgating

We have all been behind that driver that travels under the speed limit despite perfect conditions. It’s frustrating. A defensive driver will hang back and give that person room until it is safe to pass. An aggressive driver will get on the person’s bumper thinking it’s going to make them hurry up. An even more aggressive driver will pass that slow driver, cut in front of them closely and then slow down themselves to “teach them a lesson.”

3. Speeding Up at Yellows

What does a yellow light mean? For many drivers, it is an indicator to hit the gas and speed through the light, not giving yourself enough time to stop if it turns red. This can lead you to being cited for running a red light, not to mention causing an accident. A yellow light cautions you that you will be coming to a stop. It actually means to slow down and proceed with caution.

4. Weaving In and Out of Traffic

This is something you have probably seen on the highway. You know the car. It’s the one that changes lanes as soon as there is an opening, believing that they are going to get where they are going faster. Changing lanes frequently is dangerous. Pick a lane and stick to it. If you are traveling the speed limit, there is no reason to get out of your lane.

5. Not Using a Turn Signal

There are popular memes on social media making fun of those that don’t use their turn signal. It’s annoying to most people, but it is also dangerous. A turn signal indicates to the drivers around you that you intend to change direction of travel. Even more dangerous is the driver who doesn’t slow appropriately, instead suddenly reducing their speed and cutting around a corner.

If you recognize yourself in any of these examples, you may be an aggressive driver. The good news is that aggressive driving is something that you have complete control over. The next time you get in your vehicle, simply follow the rules of the road. The more often you do, the more quickly it will become your new habit.

If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of accident attorneys. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your legal options.

Your vehicle speaks to you, but you may not be listening. Sure, it doesn’t use complete sentences or even words, but it will let you know when it needs help. When your car or a component of it isn’t working properly, you will hear a noise or two. It’s these noises that you need to listen to. A “funny” noise from your car shouldn’t be ignored, as tempting as it is. Here is what your car may be trying to tell you.

Squealing

If you hear a squealing noise from your vehicle, the most common cause is your brakes. Typically the squeal means that your pads are worn down. If you ignore the noise, your pads will continue to wear, and you will eventually ruin your rotors. The faster you heed the squeal, in most cases, the simpler and cheaper the repairs.

Scraping

There aren’t many components in your vehicle that will make a scraping noise. If you hear it and your windshield wipers are on, you’ve found the culprit. It means that your blades are worn down or missing. Ignoring it could scratch your windshield. Wipers are fairly inexpensive and easy to install yourself.

Clunking

A clunking noise should be diagnosed as quickly as possible. If the clunking only happens while you are driving, it may mean that a shock absorber has gone bad. If you ignore it, your steering and handling could be negatively impacted along with your brakes. A certified mechanic can get to the bottom of the issue and advise you which repairs need to be made.

Clicking

A click, click, click is indicative of a CV joint that needs to be replaced if the clicking happens while you are turning. This joint provides lubrication to the front axle. If you ignore the clicking and the problem is indeed the CV joint, you will eventually cause damage to the axle itself and have to pay out for costly repairs.

Ticking

When is the last time you had an oil change? If you can’t remember and you hear a ticking noise, you probably need one. If you hear the noise while your vehicle is stopped, it may mean that you are running low on oil. This is easy to check yourself in your own driveway. If you are low, take your vehicle in for a change.

Ignoring the things you car is trying to tell you may not only end up being more expensive in the long run, but could turn into a dangerous situation. If you suddenly begin to hear noises that you hadn’t heard before, have a mechanic take a look.

If you are involved in a car accident in NC, you have the legal right to compensation for injuries and property damage. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation and let us help you determine what you may be eligible to receive. We will help you recover damages from the at-fault party in a court of law.

 

A new bill is headed to the Governor’s desk. If it is signed into law, the bill would hold operators of zip lines liable for accidents and injuries on their courses. The state senate passed the bill unanimously. It is expected that the governor will add his signature.

Once made into law, Senate Bill 100 will require operators of zip lines and similar attractions to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage would be $1 million per incident or a total of $2 million. Zip line courses owned by the government or those that are not open to the public would be exempt.

Titled “Aerial Adventure Financial Responsibility,” the bill stems from a 2015 accident. After the accident, a study of zip line safety was conducted. It was found that zip lines would not be regulated like amusement park rides. The report said, in part, that increased regulations would not remove all risk or make the industry a safer one.

There are currently more than 100 zip lines in operation throughout the state. most are inspected at least yearly as part of insurance requirements, but, until now, none have been required to carry liability insurance. Once the governor signs the bill into law, that will change.

Common Zip Line Injuries

In 2012, a study found that there were about 10 injuries resulting from zip line accidents each day. Most injuries occur, according to experts, when people fall or crash into a stationary object. Broken bones are the most highly reported injuries. Others include sprains, concussions and bruises.

Some of the injuries occur on publicly accessed zip line sites, and some occur in people’s backyards. With the popularity of zip lines and the relative ease of purchasing the necessary equipment, many people are installing them on their own properties for the use of family and friends.

Zip Line Safety

It is suggested that anyone visiting a zip line attraction perform due diligence before strapping on any harnesses. Take a good look around the site to make sure that it seems legitimate. Listen to all rules and safety suggestions before taking off, and check your safety gear frequently over the length of the course.

People are also urged to know their own limits. If they are over the weight limit, have a heart condition or are pregnant, they should pass up the ride. While zip lines are certainly exciting, they are not designed for everyone.

If you are injured on a zip line or amusement park ride in Charlotte or elsewhere, you may be entitled to compensation if your injuries are due to someone’s error or negligence. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal rights.

Driving down a major highway during rush hour can be nothing short of a headache. Getting stuck in a traffic jam is stressful, especially if you are running late. Being stressed out can cause you to take risky maneuvers during rush hour that you may not otherwise. The bad news is that there may be nothing you can do to avoid a traffic jam. The good news is that you don’t have to be the cause of one.

1. Don’t Rubberneck

We’ve all seen an accident on the side of the road, and it’s not unusual to pass that unlucky driver that has been pulled over by the police, getting a horrible start to their day with a traffic citation. Resist the urge to slow your vehicle and take in the situation.

When you slow down, so does the traffic behind you. Moreover, not paying attention to the road could lead to a wreck. Stay your course so you can get where you need to be without incident.

2. Keep Right

Are you one of those drivers that has a habit of traveling in the far left lane? This is the express lane and it is meant to be used to pass slow-moving vehicles. It is not intended as a lane of travel. If you are going with the flow of traffic, stay to the right.

3. Stay In Your Lane

Again, if you are moving with the flow of traffic, stay in your lane of travel. Constantly changing lanes causes the cars behind you to have to brake and slow down. This can lead to congestion which could, in turn, lead to a full fledged traffic jam. If you cause a traffic jam, no amount of lane changes will get you where you are going faster.

4. Pull Over If You Breakdown

If you are the one who is involved in an accident, pull to the nearest shoulder. The right shoulder is always the safest for a stationery vehicle, but the left shoulder may be easier to get to. Whatever you do, try not to stay in the lanes of travel. When you get to the side of the road, turn on your hazards so that your vehicle is noticeable to oncoming drivers.

5. Carpool

If it’s possible, carpool with other people going to the same location or area. When people carpool, there are fewer cars on the road. Fewer cars on the road means a less likelihood of traffic jams. As a bonus, carpooling is better for the environment.

If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte, or elsewhere in North Carolina,  you may have the legal right to damages for your injuries. When another driver is found to be at fault for the accident, they may be responsible for paying your medical bills and vehicle repair costs. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will help you determine the types of compensation you may be entitled to.

In a recent court case, Carolinas HealthCare Systems has been ordered to and agreed to pay $6.5 million due to the False Claims Act. The settlement is a way for the company to make restitution for unlawful billing practices. The allegations were brought forward by a whistleblower.

It is contended that the hospital system up-coded claims for urine drug tests so that they received higher payments. A former lab director brought the billing to light, claiming that the payments would have been lower, and accurate, if the hospital system had billed correctly.

Court documents say that, over a period of four years, the hospital system submitted claims for urine tests that were “high complexity” when they were actually “moderate complexity.” Because of this categorization, the system was paid about $80 more than they should have been for each claim submitted. The lab director who blew the whistle on the company will receive just under one-and-a-half million from the settlement.

The hospital system cooperated with the government in the case, but gave up and settled after two years. N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein called the behavior of the hospital system an “unacceptable waste of taxpayer dollars.” He further stated that it was something his office would not allow.

In its defense, Carolinas HealthCare Systems said that the case was not about their quality of care or even safety. It was simply a matter of interpretation of constantly changing billing guidelines. The system said that it takes compliance very seriously and outside consultants had advised them that they were in compliance. The state disagreed.

Moderate Versus High-Complexity Drug Screens

The difference between moderate and high-complexity drug screens lie in the way the urine is tested. In a moderate test, chromatography is not used. The national reimbursement average for these tests is $20. In a high-complexity drug screen, enzyme assay or immunoassay may be utilized. The national reimbursement average for these drug tests is $100. It is widely known among medical providers that there is a greater reimbursement when high-complexity tests are utilized.

For example, if a medical provider issues 100 urine drug screens, they will be reimbursed approximately $12,000. If the overhead is $6,000, the medical provider will make a profit of $6,000 after reimbursement is delivered. If a medical provider conducts 1,000 of these high-complexity tests, their possibility of profit rises to over $100,000.

When a person causes a car accident and seems to be intoxicated on any substance, they may be subjected to a urine test, which is tested by Carolinas HealthCare Systems or a similar organization. If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, you have legal rights to compensation. We handle a variety of personal injury cases and are here for you. Call our team today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can assist you. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.

You’re taking a family road trip. Maybe you’re traveling to a new city in search of gainful employment. It doesn’t matter why you have found yourself driving through an unfamiliar area — what matters is knowing how to do it safely.

People are injured in accidents each year caused by drivers who were unfamiliar with the local roads. If you take a moment and ready yourself for the road that lies ahead, you are much less likely to be involved an accident due to some error on your part or the negligence of another driver.

1. Rent Something Similar

If you are vacationing and renting a car, choose one that is similar to your own. It can be tempting to rent something that you would never dream of buying for yourself, but you will be safer if you now the basics of the vehicle’s operation. If the rental agency doesn’t have a similar model, at least opt for something the same size as what you are used to.

2. Learn the Vehicle

Before you drive off in a rented vehicle, spend a moment familiarizing yourself with its controls. Find the switches for the headlights and turn signals, know how to operate the climate control system and any other technology you may use. Adjust your seat and the mirrors as well.

3. Plan Your Route

Take time to plan your route before you leave home. Program your GPS while you are still in the driveway. If you need to re-route at some point, pull into a safe area to do so. You don’t want to have an argument with your GPS while you are driving down the highway.

4. Remember Turn Signals

So many of us get out of the habit of using turn signals when we are driving close to home. Always use your turn signals and use them well in advance. This will give other drivers an indication of your desired way of travel with enough time to react appropriately.

5. Don’t Make Dangerous Maneuvers

There may come a time that you just miss an exit or turn. Don’t slam on your brakes and try to make it. Simply drive on to the next exit, letting your GPS recalculate itself. If it’s a turn you missed, make your way to the next street, shopping center or parking lot and turn around.

Driving on unfamiliar roads can be stressful. If you can avoid it, don’t drive at night. keep your driving to the day time until you learn the lay of the land. If you do happen to be involved in an accident in a location you aren’t familiar with, call emergency services for help.

If you are involved in an accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, our experienced car accident attorneys are here for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review your accident and help you determine what type of compensation you may be legally entitled to.

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