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If you drive on the highway on a regular basis, it’s fair to say that you have driven near an 18-wheeler. For many people, the thought of cruising along side a large truck is nerve wracking. Your heart speeds up, your blood pressure rises and you become anxious. This is completely normal. Considering that a semi truck is a very large and fast moving vehicle, it’s easy to see how people may become stressed when having to drive near a tractor trailer.

In most instances, you can drive along side a big rig and pass it with no problem. In other instances you may find yourself forced into another lane or, worse, the shoulder. In situations like that, you may believe that the tractor trailer driver is driving aggressive or unsafely.  However, there is a better explanation and it is simple; the driver of the 18 wheeler may not have seen you because of a blind spot.

Semi Truck Blind Spots

When you slip behind the wheel of your vehicle, you are aware that you have two blind spots on either side of your car. For most non commercial vehicles dealing with a blind spot is as easy as adjusting the mirrors and looking over your shoulders before you change lanes or merge onto the highway. It’s not quite that simple for truckers.

The best way a driver can protect themselves against a  potential accident with a tractor trailer or semi truck is to understand the truck’s blind spots. There are “danger zones” on a big rig that many people are unaware of. The danger zones are:

  • The length of both sides of the truck
  • 20 feet in front of the cab
  • 30 feet behind the trailer

When you find yourself in any of these danger zone areas, the best move is to get out of the danger zone as quickly and safely as possible. This may mean you have to speed up slightly to pass or get ahead of the truck, or you may have to let off the gas and fall behind a few feet more.

Imagine driving your own car and having your side windows and mirrors blacked out. Imagine that your rear window is blacked out as well. Now consider how difficult it would be to be sure you were changing lanes safely. This is what truckers face every time they drive. Help keep the roads safe by doing your best to be aware of these danger zones and try to avoid them when possible.

It can be easy to get frustrated while driving. Traffic moves too slowly, especially during rush hour, and you have places to go. Don’t get so frustrated that you crowd a semi. You’re not only putting yourself in harm’s way — a truck accident can quite easily cause a chain reaction. If you can’t see the truck driver in one of the cab’s side mirrors, assume that the trucker can’t see you.

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, and the truck driver was at fault, you may have a case that could entitle you to compensation and other protections that the law allows for such as money for lost wages and pain and suffering. Reach out to our team of experienced  accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We will discuss your accident with you and help you determine your best plan for moving forward after your accident. Please drive safe and let us know if we can help you.

According to recent statistics, there have been more than 700 children since 1998 that have passed away after being left in hot cars. This year so far, 12 children have died in hot cars. While it is clearly the children who suffer most, parents and guardians of these children are understandably devastated. These horrible accidents can be prevented — and should be.

Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) wants to make sure that these tragedies stop. Ryan introduced a bill into the legislature on June 7. The bill, titled HOT CARS Act of 2017, is co-sponsored by Peter T. King of New York and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

The bill outlines a plan for the requirement of a warning system if children are left in the backseat after a car’s engine has been turned off. The cost of implementing the technology is small, and General Motors already has it in place in many of its models dated 2017 and later.

When Hot Is Too Hot

Many people simply don’t think that a car is any hotter than the air temperature outside. Others believe that they will only be out of the car for “a minute,” and end up taking far longer. According to those who understand heat stroke deaths, here is a timeline for the temperatures of the interior of vehicles.

  • 0 minutes: the air inside the car will be the same as the air outside of the car.
  • 10 minutes: temperatures inside the car climb to approximately 19 degrees higher than those outside.
  • 20 minutes: temperatures are 29 degrees higher inside of the car.
  • 30 minutes: temperatures are 34 degrees higher inside of the car.
  • 40 minutes: on a 70 degree day, the temperature inside of the car is 111 degrees.
  • 60 minutes: on a 90 degree day, the temperature inside of a car that has been closed for an hour is approximately 140 degrees.

It’s already hit 90 degrees this summer in Charlotte, and it’s only going to get warmer. Even adults struggle with facilitating their body temperatures in these conditions:

How Do These Accidents Happen?

Children are not left in hot cars because their parents don’t care. Rather, it is often attributed to forgetfulness or a sense of being on auto-pilot. In many cases, it occurs when a parent who does not normally transport the child on that day or time takes them. The parent is used to their routine and distracted by other thoughts, essentially forgetting that they have their child at all. According to experts, this is a brain science issue and not a neglect issue. Technology, such as that introduced in the bill, may help bridge the gap between routine and necessary behaviors.

If a parent has a child in the backseat, they should put their purse, wallet, work bag and even cell phone in the backseat as well. The parent may remember that they carried their bag or wallet and also be reminded that their child has traveled with them.

If your child has suffered an injury in North Carolina due to someone’s neglect, you may have the legal right to compensation. Call our attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about what you may be entitled to.

Summer may not be in full swing quite yet, but we are getting close. With the rise of the temperatures and the availability of sunshine, we will soon begin to see an uptick in warm-weather accidents. Here are some of those dangers and how you and your family can avoid them.

1. Car Accidents

Studies have shown that more teenagers are killed in vehicle collisions between Memorial and Labor Days than any other time of year. It doesn’t mean that your teen has to hang up the keys for the summer, but you should take the time to review safety rules with them.

2. Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a possibility for anyone. Spending too much time in the hot summer sun can cause the human body to overheat. When the body overheats in an extreme way, heat stroke can occur. Signs include headache, confusion, nausea and vomiting. Any person spending time in the hot summer weather should be sure to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks in the shade.

3. Accidents In and On the Water

Boating and drowning accidents peak during the summer. Don’t let anyone near your pool without supervision, take your kids to swim lessons if you haven’t already, and make sure everyone on the boat has a life vest.

4. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning isn’t often thought of as a summertime injury, but it is. With the abundance of picnics, it stands to reason that food poisoning spikes during hot weather. If you are having a cookout, make sure that there are plenty of coolers filled with ice to store food. If you are uncertain about the safe condition of any food, don’t chance it; throw it away.

5. Fireworks

Fireworks used to be centered around the July 4th holiday, but people tend to set them off all summer long these days. No child should ever touch a firework, lit or not. Any adult using a firework should understand how to handle it carefully, and there should be a safety plan in place in case of accident.

6. Pets

Don’t forget about your furry family members this summer season. Dogs and cats are at the same risks, for the most part, as humans. Bug bites, heat stroke and poisoning can all occur in your pets. Do not leave your animal unattended, and make sure your pet has lots of clean water available.

While some summertime accidents cannot be avoided, many can. When you put safety procedures into place, you can reduce your risk of injury. Have fun this summer and enjoy your time with friends and family — just be safe while you are doing it.

If you do happen to be injured in an accident due to negligence in Charlotte or elsewhere in the state of North Carolina this season, reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for a consultation. We are here for you and your family and would like to advise you of your legal rights.

People tend to feel safe when they are behind the wheel. They believe that once they slide into the driver’s seat, they will get where they are going without incident. Few people, if any, expect to fall victim to a carjacking. Unfortunately, the crime occurs more often than people believe.

Most experts say that the crime is preventable as long as drivers stay alert. One of the worst mistakes that a driver can do is to let their guard down, especially in certain situations. Here are tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of this serious crime.

1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled

When stopped at a traffic light, what do you do? If you are like many people, you quickly check your phone, change the radio station or even give yourself a once-over in the mirror. You are far better to spend that time surveying the scene around you car. Know what is happening in front of, behind and to the sides of your vehicle.

2. Don’t Be Isolated

Avoid the temptation to pull into the closest ATM that you see when you need cash. Isolated areas offer opportunity for would-be criminals. If you need to make a stop, wait until you get into a heavily-populated, well-lit area.

3. Don’t Stop

If you see a stranded motorist or pedestrian, stay in your vehicle and call emergency services. While most people are truly stranded, you never know if you are falling for a ruse.

4. Keep Your Windows Rolled Up & Doors Locked 

If you see someone approaching your vehicle and cannot drive away safely, keep your doors locked and your windows rolled up. If someone asks you for directions, you can easily talk to them through a closed window. Don’t be tempted to roll your window down or open your door for a stranger.

5. Police Impostors

Police in an unmarked car will rarely pull over a motorist. If you find yourself in this situation, advise the person that you are calling 911 to confirm their identity. A real police officer will have no problem with this. Someone pretending to be an officer may attempt to flee the area to avoid arrest.

6. Make a Scene

There may come a time when someone approaches your vehicle and you know that you are in a bad situation. Lay on the horn. Criminals do not want to draw attention to themselves. The best thing that you can do in a situation like this is to make a scene. Yell, honk, flash your lights — do anything you can to draw attention to yourself.

If you are injured in an accident in Charlotte, you may have the legal right to compensation for your injuries. Reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation. We will discuss your injuries with you, including how they occurred, and advise you of your legal options. Call today.

You know how to eat — that’s no problem. That said, your New Year’s Resolution may have something to do with food. Maybe you want to lose weight and get fit. Perhaps you want to simply eat better and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Have you given a thought to food safety? Most people don’t, but it’s one of the easiest resolutions you can make.

Whether you are cooking cold-weather comfort food in your home or getting ready for the first cookout of the spring, chances are you could up your game as far as food safety goes. Here are a few things you can start doing right away.

1. Use a Thermometer

Foodborne pathogens, those that make people sick, are destroyed when food is cooked. The trick is cooking food to the right temperature. Invest in and start using a food thermometer. While you’re at it, know the temperatures that are considered safe for the foods you are cooking.

2. Always Wash Your Hands

This is something that most people don’t think about unless they are cooking for guests. You deserve the same protection. Wash your hands before you cook and do it again after you handle food. This will remove any bacteria you may introduce to the food, and any bacteria that hitches a ride on your skin after you handle the food.

3. Avoid Cooking When Sick

Parents, this one is for you. You may feel like you can’t take time “off” when you are sick, but at least avoid cooking. This is especially important if you have diarrhea or are vomiting. You can easily spread your germs, even if you wash your hands. Let someone else do the cooking if you are sick, or order out.

4. Wash Fruits and Vegetables

How many times have you pulled an apple out of the fridge and taken a bite? It’s not an uncommon practice. Take a moment to wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat or prepare them.

5. Skip the Raw Foods

Eating any kind of raw food, especially meat, is risky. You may have a love affair with sushi, but know that you are taking a chance. Limit the amount of raw food that you eat. If anyone in your family is young or immune-compromised, they shouldn’t eat any raw food at all.

6. Skip the Sponge

No matter how well you think you are cleaning your sponge, if you are cleaning it at all, it holds bacteria. Avoid sponges in favor of dish towels that can be tossed in the wash. You may want to clean with wipes that can be tossed in the trash, but these aren’t exactly eco-friendly.

New Year’s Resolutions are popular right now, but some are easier to keep than others. Instead of making a resolution you know you won’t keep, make some of the changes to your habits as outlined above. Each will keep you and your family healthier this year.

If you are the victim of food poisoning or another injury in Charlotte, we are here for you. Reach out to our office to discover how you may be able to secure compensation for your injuries.

Let’s be honest: Very few people stick with the resolutions they make on January 1. Whether it’s losing weight and getting fit or saving more money, people have the best of intentions in the first few weeks of the year, and then those intentions slowly wane. If this sounds like you, why not make a few resolutions that you can stick to?

Your home is your haven. No one in your family, nor any guests, should be injured in your house. Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions for yourself, make a few for your home. You may find them easier to stick to.

1. Declutter

Trip hazards are a danger to everyone in your home and the more clutter you have, the more likely someone is to trip and fall. Getting rid of the clutter and organizing what you have left is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidents in your home. Best of all: It’s free.

Many people accumulate things throughout the year. Few people throw one item away when it is replaced by another. Take a day or two and empty out cupboards, drawers and closets. Donate what you don’t need to charity, sell it online or simply throw it away. If you aren’t sure if you can part with it, use this tip. Put it in a box labeled with the date June 1, 2017. When the box is full seal it. Come June 1, if you haven’t opened the box, you can safely get rid of its contents.

2. Look for Hazards

Check around your home for common hazards and what you are currently doing to prevent them. If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors and have gas-powered appliances, now is a great time to install them. If you have loose area rugs or carpets, repair them. If the handrail on the staircase is loose, fix it. You may not be able to get everything done in a day, but you can certainly put together a list of all of the things you need to repair in your home and start checking it off in the coming weeks.

3. Cleaning

If you are like most people, you’re busy. Cleaning the house tends to take a backseat to other important things in your life. If you find yourself cleaning only when you get overwhelmed by the clutter, now is the time to put together a cleaning schedule. You can keep your home clean quite easily if you do one small thing each day. For instance, you may want to dust on Monday, vacuum the floors on Tuesday, and clean sinks on Wednesday. Come up with a schedule that works for you. You might want to clean an entire room each day or decide on the things that must be done daily and those that can be done weekly.

4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

This is a great time to decide to make your home and lifestyle more “green.” Get in the habit of switching off lights as you leave a room, reduce your reliance on your HVAC system, install compact fluorescent light bulbs and turn off power strips. Look around your home and figure out ways that you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint.

Making New Year’s Resolutions for your home may seem a bit silly at first, but if you think about it, aren’t you more likely to stick to them than that fad diet you’ve been considering? Make your home a safer and healthier one this year. If you do happen to be injured in Charlotte due to someone else’s actions, at home or elsewhere, be sure to reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys for assistance in determining whether or not you may be legally entitled to compensation.

It’s that time of year. Thousands of people across North Carolina and beyond have waited for just the right type and amount of snow to fall so that they could head to the Ski Beech, Sugar Mountain and other areas to enjoy all the fun the season has to offer. As these people strap on skis and snowboards, they are thinking about the rush of adrenaline soon to hit, not the injuries that may befall them.

Skiing and snowboarding are typically safe sports, involving very little contact with others. Even though these athletes won’t be colliding with one another on a regular basis, there are still unexpected injuries that can occur. Improper preparation, poor decisions and unexpected weather conditions can all lead to injury. The good news is that many of them can be avoided.

Common Causes of Injuries

There are a variety of causes of skiing and snowboarding injuries. Some of these include a failure to prepare the body for the sports, participating on slopes and courses that are above a person’s ability level, and faulty equipment. Other causes include dehydration and fatigue, skiing and snowboarding in closed areas, and a failure to observe warning signs.

The Most Common Injuries

There are a wide range of skiing and snowboarding injuries that participants suffer from. Some of the most common include anterior cruciate or collateral ligament injuries, shoulder fractures or dislocations, and shoulder separations. Other injuries include those to the spinal cord, head, wrist or hand. In some cases, the injuries sustained in a skiing or snowboarding accident can be severe, requiring hospitalization, months of therapy and more.

Preventing Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

Most injuries on the slopes can be prevented by using common sense. Participants should stay hydrated throughout the day and well rested. Abiding warning signs and keeping an eye on current weather conditions can be an easy way to prevent injury.

Instruction prior to hitting the slopes is important. Beginners should take instruction from experts. These people can show beginners how to warm up and cool down, how to properly fit their equipment, and how to ski or snowboard safely. Experts can also help beginners decide when they are ready to move on to more advanced terrain.

Safety equipment should be worn by everyone on the slopes. Helmets, wrist guards and elbow pads are recommended as well as kneepads. Studies have shown that the use of protective equipment can reduce head, neck and face injuries by 43 percent.

Skiing and snowboarding don’t have to be dangerous. When participants take the proper precautions, they are less likely to fall victim to injury. Follow the tips above to help reduce your chances of being hurt while taking part in your favorite winter sports.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a skiing or snowboarding accident in Charlotte, call our team of personal injury attorneys. A member of our team will help you schedule a free case evaluation and we will advise you of your options. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.

Your holiday festivities shouldn’t be dampened because of a trip to the hospital. That is exactly what happens for thousands of people each year. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 15,000 people are seen in emergency rooms across the country during the holiday season because of injuries sustained while decorating. Keep in mind that number doesn’t include those involved in car accidents or other seasonal mishaps.

Most accidents occur because people make poor choices. One of the best ways to avoid accidents is to use common sense. Here are five tips to help you avoid a trip to the ER this holiday season.

1. Climbing Carefully

About a third of all holiday injuries result from falls from ladders. Those injured are typically males between the ages of 60 and 85. Approximately 6,000 people are seen in hospitals after falling from a ladder either putting up or taking down lights. If you are going to climb a ladder, make sure you have someone holding it steady or, at the very least, standing outside with you.

2. Burn Injuries

Candles are popular during the holiday season, and Menorahs have a central position in Jewish celebrations. The National Safety Council says that just over half of home fires in December are started by candles. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the top three days for house fires started by candles are Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

3. Christmas Trees

Christmas tree fires are widely publicized during the holiday season, with warnings to check string lights and ensure that live trees are watered appropriately. Unfortunately, many people don’t take heed of these warnings. It may be tempting to leave lights on when you leave the house or go to bed, but do yourself a favor: unplug all lights when you are not awake and able to respond to a snap or spark quickly.

4. Decorations

A variety of decorations can cause injury in ways that people don’t often consider. For example, fake or spray snow can irritate lungs and eyes, tree ornaments can be deadly to children, and some holiday plants can be toxic. These are just a few examples of decorations that can be harmful. Always decorate your home with safety in mind.

5. Drinking

You may be tempted to have a few adult beverages before undertaking a holiday decorating project, but don’t. Drinking and decorating are two things that don’t mix well. If you want to drink and enjoy time with friends and family, leave the decorating to a time when you are sober.

Holiday decorating shouldn’t involve injury. Your festivities shouldn’t be ruined by a trip to the hospital. Use the above tips before, during and after the holidays to help ensure that you remain as healthy as possible.

If you are injured in an accident in Charlotte this season, call our office. A member of our team will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Let us review the details of your injuries and advise you of your options today.

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.

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