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m01229A year after the tragedy at the North Carolina State Fair, safety is a word on everyone’s tongue. Especially it would seem for Steve Troxler, Agriculture Commissioner for North Carolina, who used it numerous times in his speech on Monday.

“We’re catchin’ hell left and right – they’re double- and triple-checking everything,” said Omar Knight.

After last year’s accident that left several people injured, some severely; this year’s safety inspectors are paying even closer attention than usual. One of the victims of last year’s incident is Anthony Gorham who is still unable to work. Cases are still pending, both civil and criminal, against the owners of the ride that injured Gorham.

When these accidents happen that is when the services of professionals, like the Personal Injury specialists of Auger & Auger, Attorneys at Law, are needed. With a policy of aggressive representation for victims of personal injury, a focus on high quality, state wide service and excellence in the advice we provide for our clients.

The attorneys of Auger & Auger are here for you. We understand that each person is different and will have unique needs, so we will personalize our services for you as we listen to your situation. So if you have been injured, contact the attorneys of Auger & Auger today for your free consultation. There are no fees until we successfully obtain a settlement on your behalf.

 

ICotet seems like there are a lot of news stories today about violent shootings at schools and places of employment.  Definitely more stories than we would like to hear.  They have been reported throughout the United States and it’s scary that they can happen anywhere at any time.  Even Georgia is not immune from such violence.

With all the bad news it’s good to hear some good news about one of these stories.  The FedEx facility shooting in Cobb County last April seriously wounded security guard, Christopher Sparkman.  Sparkman has been recovering in the hospital since and just underwent his 18th surgery as a result of injuries sustained when shot during the shooting spree of 19-year-old Geddy Kramer.  Sparkman has improved significantly and is expected to make a full recovery.

Jamie Lynn, Sparkman’s wife, updates his internet page regularly.  Her latest post was that four days post-surgery.  She stated that Sparkman will receive reconstructive surgery on his small bowel and abdominal region after Christmas.  However, this is sooner than originally expected.

She further stated that “Christopher is heartbroken because of his love of all things edible, but he understands and is willing to do what it takes to help make a full recovery possible.”  He is disappointed, but understands, that his diet for the next several months will continue to consist of IV food, ice chips, sips of water and popsicles until his small bowel heals after his surgery.

The physicians estimate that Sparkman will spend another month or so in the hospital before returning home for outpatient treatment.

Injuries can happen when least expected and some injuries can be life altering.  How you are compensated for injuries depends on how and where the injury occurred.  Sometimes compensation for injuries sustained come from more than one party involved.  If injured in an accident or personal tort, an experienced injury lawyer understands where to look for coverage and can help you receive compensation to make yourself whole again.

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault you are entitled to be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages that are a result of your injuries. Often times, there is lost wages from missing work for treatment of the injury.  We at Auger & Auger understand how accidents disrupt lives.  If you were involved in an accident let us help you build a strong claim against the parties responsible.  Call us today.

Brad Hole Via Wikimedia Creative CommonsA 25-year-old man died from injuries he sustained as a result of a rear-end collision in Charlotte-Mecklenburg on Sunday.

Barnette White Jr., was a passenger in a 1999 Toyota 4Runner when a 1998 Saturn crashed into the back of the vehicle ejecting White.  The driver of the Saturn, 28-year-old Daniel Lewis Roberts was charged with DWI following the accident.  Roberts was seriously injured as a result of the accident.

The accident report suggests that the 4Runner was making a right turn onto Independence Boulevard when the Saturn hit it in the rear.  The 4Runner slid out of control and turned over on its top.  The Saturn also lost control and flipped over and hit a telephone pole.

The driver of the Toyota, and another front seat passenger were taken to Carolinas Medical Center with minor injuries.

Roberts will be charged with death by a vehicle, reckless driving, and expired registration plate in addition to the DWI charges once released from the hospital.

Even though there are criminal actions against the driver of the Saturn, a civil action may still be filed by the family of Barnette White Jr.  The passengers in the Toyota also have a civil claim against the Roberts.

When involved in an accident caused by an impaired driver, the criminal court deals with fines and punishment but a civil suit allows for a victim or family members to file a personal claim against the impaired driver.

A wrongful death claim arises out of a civil action accusing one party as responsible for causing another party’s death.  Since the person who died cannot bring a lawsuit against the one who caused the death, the civil action allows close relatives to bring the claim to court on the decedent’s behalf.

Every state has different laws and interpretation of statutes surrounding wrongful death claims.  These statues are important in understanding statute of limitations and other important matters of law that apply to the wrongful death statute in the jurisdiction where the death occurred.  If you have lost someone in an accident that was someone else’s fault, we at Auger & Auger are sorry for your loss.  We can help you build a strong claim against the parties responsible.  Call us today for a free consultation.

Recently, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights received a complaint from a group of current and former students and a former administrator who alleged that hundreds of victims of sexual assault had their cases mishandled at UNC Chapel Hill. The investigation is still ongoing and university officials have denied underreporting sexual assault cases. In general, the federal government and watchdog groups both want campuses to be proactive and aggressive in preventing sexual violence and protecting the rights of the accused.

Sad WomanVictims of sexual abuse may be able to hold their abusers accountable through a personal injury action in addition to actions in the criminal justice system or campus disciplinary process. Even if there is not a criminal case or discipline action, a victim may still file suit for their sexual assault case in North Carolina’s state or federal courts. Each person’s case is unique, and the facts of the event might fall under different legal definitions of sexual abuse. Sexual assault is when someone forcibly engages in sexual activity with you against your will by threats or use of force. Molestation is when someone persists in unwanted sexual advances. Fondling is unwanted touching, and rape is sexual intercourse without consent.

Sexual assault, molestation, rape, and fondling are all intentional torts in North Carolina. Intentional torts are deliberate wrongful acts that cause personal injury or property damage. In an action against the perpetrator, a victim of sexual assault or unwanted touching must show that the person engaged in the behavior and the amount of damage that it caused. It is not necessary to show whether or not the perpetrator intended the consequences or extent of damage caused. Other parties may be held liable for negligence if the perpetrator’s inappropriate behavior was foreseeable. For example, if an employee had a record of violent or inappropriate behavior, and the employer hired them anyway, then they may liable for negligence if the assault or unwanted touching occurred in the workplace.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress is a North Carolina cause of action that is available to those who have been assaulted. Victims must show that the perpetrator was engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct, that conduct was intended to cause severe emotional distress to the plaintiff, and that severe emotional distress resulted from the conduct. Severe emotional distress is much more than temporary fright or anxiety, and may involve medical records to show physical and/or psychological impact. A victim may also wish to pursue this cause of action against other parties, like managers or employers who purposefully aided or concealed the actions of the perpetrator.

Herbert Auger and Arlene Auger are both aggressive North Carolina personal injury attorneys who understand the need for experienced, confident representation in your time of need. Traumatic events like sexual assault come at great personal and financial cost to the victim, and the attorneys at Auger & Auger will work tirelessly to hold the perpetrator and negligent parties accountable for their actions so you are compensated for your injuries. For a free, confidential consultation, call (888) 487-0835.

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Daycare Worker Arrested for Criminal Acts, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 2, 2013

North Carolina Audit Shows Several Companies Do Not Have Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Their Employees, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 24, 2013

Industrial Accident

One worker died and another was injured on Tuesday morning, January 22, 2013, at the Resolute Forest Products plant in Catawba. Catawba is located in southeastern York County.

Although the accident was clearly work related, an initial investigation of the incident failed to reveal what exactly caused the death of the 39 year old worker from Monroe, North Carolina. According to Sabrina Gast, the York County Coroner, he died at approximately 1:30am while he was working inside a fume tank. There was no evacuation ordered for the plant that has 600 employees.

The men were hired to clean a large tank in the plant’s power generation section. The 10 foot by 40 foot tank was up for scheduled maintenance, according to a spokesperson for Resolute Forest Products.

It was reported that there were no burns on his body and there was no explosion. One of the other contract employees had some minor irritation and was taken to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill for further examination. The third man involved was examined on-site and released. All workers were wearing protective gear.

There was speculation that possibly some chemical may have leaked into the tank but there was no evidence of that happening. The tank that was being cleaned is used to collect odorless chemical fumes, which are later burned off in power boilers.

Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) will examine the site and report their findings. Such an investigation usually takes six to eight weeks.

This is not the first time Resolute Forest Products has faced an OSHA investigation. In May 2012, four employees were sprayed with a chemical called “white liquor” when a suction valve malfunctioned. In June 2012, a contract employee was splashed in the face with white liquor. The worst accident at Resolute was in 2000, when an explosion caused the deaths of two contract workers who were welding a tank. It exploded, killing them and injuring several others.

OSHA issued the company four violations last year which were listed as “serious.” Fines were set at $6,125 if these items were not corrected.

Workers at large plants like the Resolute Forest Products plant in Catawba face danger every day they go to work. When workers are injured on the job they are entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits from their employer’s insurance company. These benefits include weekly compensation benefits while they are off work and medical care. Once the worker attains maximum medical improvement following the injury, there can be a lump sum settlement negotiated depending on the extent and duration of their injury.

If a worker suffers an injury or death on the job and it is caused by the negligence of someone other than the worker’s employer, there might be a separate claim or cause of action for third party negligence. Those situations are often very complex and require immediate investigation to determine what caused the accident and to preserve valuable evidence.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury on the job or lost a loved one in an industrial accident, you need to talk to a Charlotte attorney experienced in handling workers’ compensation and third party cases.

Auger & Auger is a Charlotte, North Carolina based firm with three offices in Charlotte. We also have offices in Raleigh and Greensboro. Our Workers’ compensation team is headed by the firm’s founding partner, Herbert W. Auger. For nearly 20 years we have been helping injured workers get what they deserve.

Contact us through our website or you can call (704) 364-3361 or (800) 559-5741 toll free, for a free consultation.

With our firm, you never owe a fee unless we get you a settlement.

Other Resources:
NC worker dies in accident at York Co. paper plant, Herald Online, Article by Jonathan McFadden, January 22, 2013

Related Blog Posts:

OSHA Cites “Fatal Four” Hazards Leading To Construction Fatalities, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 14, 2013

Duke Energy Employee Escapes Tragedy, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2012

Construction Crane

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has compiled a list of the four leading causes of fatal injuries to workers in the construction industry. The leading cause was falls, followed by electrocutions, struck by object and caught-in/between.

There were nearly 4,609 fatal work related injuries in the U.S. during 2011, according to the data just recently released by OSHA. Even though this is down slightly from the 4,690 fatalities recorded in 2010, the harsh reality is that approximately 90 workers are killed on the job every week. This means that there are roughly 13 deaths per day. The bottom line is that 13 workers will go to work on any given day and never come home.

The OSHA report revealed that the “Fatal Four” causes of worker fatalities were responsible for more than half of all worker deaths. Three out of five, or 57% of all construction worker deaths, resulted from falls (35%), struck by object (10%), electrocutions (9%) and caught-in/between (3%). The conclusion is that by eliminating the “Fatal Four,” the lives of 410 workers could be saved each year.

According to the statistics gathered by OSHA, the age group most likely to suffer from a fatal on-the-job injury was for workers between the ages of 20 and 24 years of age. That age group had an increase of 18% over 2010, rising from 245 in 2010 to 288 in 2011. Interestingly, fatal female worker injuries went up slightly in 2011 and declined by two percent for male workers, 4,234 in 2011 from 4,322 in 2010. Older workers, age 55 or higher, work fatalities were down.

Amazingly, in 1970 there were 38 worker fatalities every single day. That is nearly three times as many as in 2011. The decrease in worker fatalities by more than 65%, when the employment numbers in the U.S. have nearly doubled, over four decades is nothing less than incredible.

Without a doubt, construction sites are dangerous places to work. There are usually many different trades on the job performing their specialties at the same time, including cranes and other heavy equipment, 18-wheelers, cement mixers and concrete pump trucks. The possibilities of being injured are endless and workers have to be aware of the danger that surrounds them.

Fall prevention measures such as cleaning up debris to prevent falls, using safety netting, guardrails and harnesses can save lives. Make certain all “hot” power lines are clearly marked so workers will avoid them and make sure all power tools are grounded to prevent electrocution. Wear protective hard hats and reflective vests to avoid being struck by falling objects or caught-in/between heavy equipment. And most of all do not allow anyone to tamper with or disengage the backup beepers on heavy equipment, no matter how annoying they are.

No matter how safe a construction site is, accidents and fatalities are still bound to occur. If you or someone you know have seen a loved one suffer from serious injuries on the job or lost a loved one due to a construction site fatality, you need to seek the advice of a North Carolina attorney experienced in workers’ compensation and third party claims.

Auger & Auger is a Charlotte, North Carolina law firm that devotes 100% of its practice to representing clients who have been seriously injured or lost loved ones in accidents. Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience that can help to maximize your recovery.

We have offices in Charlotte (3), Raleigh (1) and Greensboro (1) for your convenience.

Contact us online or direct at (704) 364-3361 to schedule your no obligation consultation. For contact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call (800) 559-5741 toll free.

With our firm, you owe us no fee unless we get you a recovery.

Other Resources:

OSHA Commonly Used Statistics

Related Blog Posts:

Duke Energy Employee Escapes Tragedy, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2012

NCDOL Warns Employers About Dangers of Extreme Heat For Employees, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 4, 2012

 

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