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As much of the country braces for a cold and icy winter, it’s a good time for a reminder about driving through the rotten weather. Living in Charlotte means that you don’t have to deal with snow on the roads too often, but what if you’re traveling? Knowing how to avoid winter-weather car accidents can help keep you and your family safe. Here are the top causes of winter crashes and how you can avoid them.

1. Ice

Icy roads are incredibly dangerous, especially if you can’t see the ice. Black ice is that which coats the road very thinly, making it difficult to see until it’s too late. If you know that freezing rain is predicted or if it is extra cold when you get up in the morning, it’s a good idea to assume there will be ice on the road and behave accordingly.

Drive slowly and plan on taking a bit of extra time to get to your destination. Slow down slightly as you cross bridges and, if you encounter ice, take your foot off of the gas and coast over the patch. Don’t slam on your brakes and don’t accelerate. If you find yourself sliding, steer into the slide to regain control of your tires.

2. Poor Visibility

One of the first things you should do before winter weather hits is to make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is filled. If you need to add fluid, choose one that is rated for winter weather and has added deicer. These fluids are typically orange, pink or purple, making them discernible from the typical blue of washer fluid. While you’re at it, make sure your other fluid levels are where they’re supposed to be.

3. Tires

Bald tires and those that aren’t inflated properly are another leading cause of accidents in the winter. When you tires don’t have enough tread or when the tread isn’t meeting the road properly, you are putting yourself in danger. If you aren’t sure what to look for when it comes to your tires, ask a mechanic to take a look for you. If your tires are worn or, worse, bald, you should have them replaced before you have to drive through snow and over ice.

Cold weather driving isn’t something that people in every state are used to. As winter begins to grip a larger number of states each year, knowing how to drive in poor conditions is something that benefits everyone. While people up north may be more used to driving over snow-covered roads, people in the south may want to learn how to do it properly.

In many cases, winter-weather accidents can be avoided. If you happen to be involved in an accident in Charlotte that was due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and property damage. You shouldn’t be put into financial difficulty because of someone else. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Adults aren’t the only people who want to enjoy New Year’s Eve. Preteens and teenagers may have their own ideas about ringing in 2018. Instead of telling your child no when it comes to their going out, consider laying down some important ground rules for how they can spend New Year’s Eve without having to stay at home or being one of the few kids at a party for grown-ups.

1. Lay Down the Plan

Know exactly what your child will be doing, and with who and where, at least two days prior to the big night. Your child should know how they are going to get to the party, the address where they will be, the time they are leaving home and the time they will return.  Do not accept I don’t know as an answer to any of those questions.

2. Speak with the Parents

If your child will be partying at someone’s home this holiday, insist on speaking with the parents or guardians of the party host. You want to be confident that there will be no alcohol at the party, that the party is actually permitted to take place, and that there will be plenty of supervision present.

3. Make Sure You Can Be Reached

Your teen should know that they can call you if and when they need you. Stay available while your child is out.   If the party gets out of control, your teen should have no doubt that they can call you for a ride home. If that phone call comes, save your questions for the morning and just focus on getting them home safely.

4. Have Kids Check In

As embarrassing as it may be, let your child know that you will be calling at various times throughout their evening to check in on them. Let them know that if they don’t answer the phone, you will come looking for them. They may prefer that you weren’t calling, but you make the rules!

5. Host The Party

If you really want to keep your child safe, you can always host a party for the kids at your own home. You will have peace of mind and your kids and their friends will have a good time. If you are friendly with the parents of the teens, invite them as well. The kids can celebrate in the basement while the parents celebrate upstairs.

You don’t have to nix the New Year’s Eve party for your kids because you are afraid of the dangers lurking out there. Let them go, but make sure you lay down these ground rules. Know who they are going to be with and where they will be.  Know when to expect them to contact you next or arrive back at your home.  Reiterate over and over, no drinking and driving, no riding with someone that has been drinking, and don’t take rides or drinks from people that they do not know.

We understand how stressful accidents can be, especially if they involve a child or another loved one. Reach out to our team to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.  We have been helping injury victims in North Carolina for over 20 years.  Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.

For many people, New Year’s Eve is one of the most anticipated nights of the holiday season. Adults get together to ring in January 1st in style and have a great time. If you are planning on being one of those people who will be out celebrating this year, make sure you are doing it safely in order to avoid injury.

1. Gunfire

In some places, gun fire at midnight is a way that folks choose to ring in the new year. Pointing a gun into the air and firing is not safe. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also dangerous. Keep in mind that what goes up must come down! A bullet has the potential to travel up to two miles into the air before it falls back to the ground traveling up to 700 feet per second. That speed is enough to cause a fatal injury to someone on the ground. Unfortunately people have been injured and killed by gunfire that struck them upon returning to the ground.  Please be mindful of this if you are celebrating the new year outdoors.

2. Fireworks

New Year’s Eve is second only to the Fourth of July when it comes to the amount of fireworks that are set off on an American holidays. It’s always a good idea to leave fireworks to the professionals, but if you plan on setting them off, here are some safety tips to follow. First, only purchase fireworks that are sold legally.  Do not use fireworks in locations where they are prohibited by law. Never allow minor children to use fireworks. If you are going to be setting off fireworks, make sure you have water or a hose nearby. Lastly, do not use fireworks if you are under the influence of alcohol.  It only takes a minor mistake to cause a very serious injury or accident with fireworks.

3. Alcohol Consumption

Drink responsibly. New Year’s Eve is a holiday that is commonly associated with binge drinking. Don’t overdo it.  Pace yourself. Snack while you drink and stay hydrated with plenty of water. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.  If you don’t regularly drink and are on prescription medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist and make sure it is safe for you to drink alcohol while taking your medications.

4. Drinking and Driving

Do not drink and drive. Drunk driving accidents are 100 PERCENT PREVENTABLE!!!   If find plan to drink, make a plan for getting home safely.  If you are celebrating with others, elect a designated driver or share the cost of a limo, taxi or ride sharing service.  It is also a fun idea to make New Year’s plans where you can stay overnight such as staying with your party hosts or having a hotel room within close proximity to where you will be celebrating. Lastly, there is nothing wrong with ringing in the new year at your own house. Again, there is no excuse for drunk driving.  It is not only dangerous for you, but you are placing other people in danger as well.  Uber, Lyft, taxi, designated driver, stay in, etc… Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are celebrating responsibly.

If you are planning on celebrating in Charlotte or elsewhere in the Carolina’s, do so safely! Auger & Auger represents injured people in North and South Carolina.  We offer free case evaluations and it will not cost any money to see if we are able to assist you.  We have been helping injury and accident victims for 20+ years.  Please give us a call and let us know how we can help you.

boats on a cold lake with snow in the backgroundMore states than ever before are experiencing cold winter months. While our neighbors in the north may be used to cold winters and feet of snow, those of us in North Carolina are more used to mild winters and tolerable temperatures. Whether you are staying at home this holiday season or heading up toward the Great Lakes, you may be planning on spending some of your time on the water.

While boating accidents can occur at any time of year, those that occur when the water temperatures drop can be especially dangerous. Being immersed in cold water, even for a short time, can put your at risk for hypothermia and, in the most severe cases, death. Here are some cold-weather boating tips to keep in mind before you head out.

1. Dress for the Water

You aren’t necessarily planning on entering the water of your own accord, but you could end up getting wet anyway. The acceptable rule if to dress for the temperature of the water, not the temperature of the air. Dress in multiple layers, making your base layer designed of fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin. Pack an extra set of clothing in a waterproof bag so you can change into something dry if you need to.

2. Eat and Drink

If you hope to maintain your internal temperature, you’ve got to keep your body fueled. Pack snacks that contain a fair amount of protein and pack at least a liter of water. It would also be a good idea to make coffee, tea or cocoa and put it in a thermos so you have something hot to drink.

3. Life Jacket

You must always have a life jacket on when you are in a boat. That said, it’s not a good idea to throw the first life jacket you see on if you don’t have your own. If you are a guest on someone’s boat, try on several available life jackets to find one that fits appropriately. If you do have multiple layers of clothing on, you’ll want to adjust straps accordingly.

4. Understand the Dangers

Even if you practice safety, you can still be involved in an accident. You need to understand how cold water can affect the body and the dangers it poses. Hypothermia will set in within 30 minutes of being submerged in the water. You will lose muscle coordination and find it impossible to swim. It will be more difficult to breathe and you may find your mental function inhibited. If someone falls overboard into the cold water, get them back into the boat as quickly as possible, dried off and into warm clothing.

If you are involved in a boating accident in North Carolina due to someone’s actions or negligence, you may have a case for compensation. Call our attorneys today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and discover more about your legal options. Reach out to our office today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

man walking on icy road with boots onAs winter firmly settles into the region, walking will become more difficult. Sidewalks and driveways will be slippery, and parking lots will be the same. The dangers of walking across snow and ice are real, but with the proper precautions you can reduce your risk of slipping and injuring yourself on the hard ground.

1. Stay Off Your Phone

If you are walking, keep your phone in your pocket. Distracted walking can be just as dangerous, at least personally, as distracted driving. Some cities across the country are even considering legislation to make it illegal to use a cell phone while walking across the road. Keep your eyes on the path ahead.

2. Stay Visible

You should be visible, no matter the time of day or night. Wear bright clothing that is easily noticed. If your clothing doesn’t have reflective strips, put a piece of reflective tape on your jacket or across your backpack if you are wearing one. You can also consider attaching a glow stick to your bag at night.

3. Wear the Right Footwear

Ballet flats and smooth-soled shoes may be right for the office, but they aren’t appropriate for walking in the snow and over the ice. Make sure you are wearing tennis shoes with good traction or boots that are made for walking in the snow. The right footwear can help you stay on your feet no matter the conditions you are walking in.

4. Schedule Your Outings

If you have things that need to be done and are planning on walking, schedule your outings appropriately. Give yourself extra time as well so you don’t make poor decisions when you are in a hurry.

5. Stay Light

Don’t weigh yourself down when you are walking over snow and ice. The extra weight could throw off your balance. If you need to carry things, wear a bag that distributes weight evenly, such as a backpack.

6. Don’t Jaywalk

It’s never a good idea to jaywalk, but it can be especially dangerous in the winter. Make sure you cross at intersections and through marked crosswalks. Don’t be in such a hurry that you are tempted to dart into the street and in front of cars that may not be able to stop in time.

7. Make Eye Contact

Make eye contact with drivers before you step into the street, even if you are at a marked crosswalk. When you make eye contact with someone behind the wheel, you can be assured that they see you and, hopefully, understand your intention to cross the street.

If you are injured in a pedestrian versus vehicle accident in Charlotte this winter, you may have rights to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for assistance. We will review the details of your case during a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation and advise you of your legal options.

man shoveling snowForecasters are expecting a white Christmas this year. That means much of North Carolina can reasonably plan on digging out from at least under an inch or two. If you own your own home, it’s your job to get rid of snow and ice on common walkways like public sidewalks. If you don’t and someone falls, you could be the defendant in a premise liability lawsuit.

While you don’t want to find yourself in court, you also don’t want to find yourself in the hospital battling at injury because you didn’t shovel correctly. Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways to shovel the snow and chip the ice from your walk. Use these tips to clear a path and avoid both a lawsuit and an injury.

1. Slow It Down

If you’re like most people, you are planning on grabbing your shovel and getting to work. Not so fast. Just like you wouldn’t run for miles without first warming up, you shouldn’t shovel your driveway and walk without first stretching out your muscles. Before you grab your shovel and get to work, take some time to bend over and touch your toes, raise your arms high above your head and even twist at the waist a few times. Loosen up and warm up before you tackle the snow.

2. Shovel the Powder

It may be tempting to sit in your house and wait for the skies to finish dumping the snow before you head out an shovel, but you would be safer to shovel more than once if it means shoveling lighter snow. Snow that is falling is lighter than snow that is allowed to sit and accumulate. If there are several inches forecasted, try to shovel at least once before the storm is over.

3. Push the Snow

We’ve all seen those people pushing snow across their driveways and wondered if they were just too lazy to lift it and throw it. The truth is those people aren’t lazy — they are doing it correctly. Instead of scooping and lifting the snow, you should use your shovel like a plow and push the snow. It’s much easier on your body.

4. Don’t Eat First

You really shouldn’t shovel immediately after you’ve eaten. You should also avoid smoking while you are shoveling. Shoveling on a full stomach can cause you to vomit. Smoking while you are shoveling will reduce your ability to properly utilize oxygen.

5. Stop Before You Are Tired

Don’t push yourself too hard. You need to stop shoveling before you’ve reached the point of exhaustion. Listen to your body when you are shoveling. If you find yourself getting short of breath, are too cold or start to feel ill, go back inside.

If you slip and fall on someone’s property this season, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you sustain. If your accident in Charlotte was the result of someone’s negligence, reach out to our experienced team of personal injury attorneys. We are happy to be able to offer you a free case evaluation.

young girl holding a burlap wrapped christmas giftEvery year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. releases its nominees for the toys no one should be buying as gifts. This year is no exception, and the non-profit group has released its holiday list. If you’ve gone shopping but haven’t handed out gifts yet or if you are still thinking about when you’re going to get your shopping done, use this list in order to make informed decisions. You certainly don’t want to be putting a child at risk with your thoughtful gift.

1. Itty Bittys Stacking Toy

This toy is sold by Hallmark for under $30, making it popular. The toy is comprised of four rattling rings, presumably for small children, though there is no age recommendation on the packaging. The toy was recalled in August due to it being a choking hazard, but can still be found online if you look hard enough.

2. Pull Along Pony

You can find this toy manufactured by Tolo Toys Limited at a variety of online retailers. There are no warnings included with the toy that includes a 19-inch pull string. Industry standard requires that strings on playpens and crib toys measure a foot or less.

3. Wonder Woman Battle Action Sword

With the wild popularity of the Wonder Woman movie, children across the country have been asking for replicas of items used by their favorite female hero. W.A.T.C.H. suggests you don’t purchase this sword made by Mattel that it considers too rigid to be safe.

4. Hand Fidgetz Spinners

These toys can be purchased for about $2 at various big box stores, making them popular as stocking stuffers. The toys are labeled with a sticker claiming that they are not, surprisingly enough, intended to be used as a toy. Small parts can slip from the toys and cause choking hazards.

5. Spiderman Drone

This is an “official movie edition” drone complete with a remote control. It works by spinning several rotor blades and moving upwards into the air. Those blades can cause lacerations and other injuries. The toy comes with numerous warnings that should be heeded.

6. Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow

Zombies are wildly popular thanks to television shows and movies. This toy crossbow is sure to catch the eye of children. Unfortunately, the force of the “arrow” that is launched from the toy makes that arrow strong enough to cause serious injury.

No one wants the gift they give to cause injury. Shopping for children can be difficult, especially as an adult. You want to make them happy and buy them the popular gift, but sometimes those popular gifts are actually very dangerous ones. Visit the W.A.T.C.H. website for a more comprehensive list before you head out to the stores.

If you should ever become injured, you may have a right to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for assistance today. We are happy to offer you a free case evaluation and review the details of your accident in order to provide you with the options that are right for you.

man wearing christmas sweater untangling christmas lightsThe holidays are upon us and most of us are prepping. No matter what holiday you are celebrating, there are certain things that need to get done so we can celebrate in style. Unfortunately, the excitement that surrounds the various holidays can have us forgetting our usual commitment to safety and, ultimately, accidents both at home and in the workplace.

When you know the most common accidents that occur during the holiday season, you are better able to avoid them. Here are some of those accidents that happen a few times too many and what you can do to make sure you aren’t visiting a hospital instead of celebrating with friends and family.

1. Falling Decorations

The holidays are a time for decking the halls and outdoing our neighbors. It should come as no surprise that one of the most common injury accidents is the falling decoration. Think very carefully about where and how you are hanging holiday decorations both in and outside of your home.

2. Foreign Objects

You may think that adults are less likely to swallow foreign objects than children. You could be right but, then again, you could be wrong. Whether you are plating your holiday meal in a way that would rival a top chef or simply stringing popcorn for the tree, make sure that anything small enough to be a choking hazard isn’t included or is at least pointed out.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol is the number one cause of accidents of many types during the holiday season. From drunk driving to slips and falls, a bit too much indulgence can have disastrous consequences. There’s nothing wrong with having an adult beverage, but do so in moderation.

4. Cooking

You would think that cooking injuries are limited to burns. Maybe lacerations. Interestingly, some of the most serious injuries come from dropped objects. Imagine a frozen turkey being dropped and landing squarely on your stocking feet. If you are pulling something out of the fridge or freezer, stay on guard.

5. Food Illness

It’s not unusual to sample things you may not typically eat during the holiday season. This can lead to food illness or even food poisoning. If you are going to try something new, do so in moderation. If you aren’t sure of how something was cooked, ask. You don’t want to spend the holidays feeling as though you have the worst bought of influenza you’ve ever had.

While nothing can prevent every accident from happening, you are better able to prevent most if you know what to lookout for. If you can’t avoid an injury in Charlotte this year, and your injury was caused by someone’s error or negligence, you could have a personal injury case on your hands. Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and more.

You’re traveling for the holidays when you notice a car in front of you driving erratically. You’re fairly certain that they are either distracted or impaired, and you aren’t sure how to react.  No one wants to be in an accident any time – especially during the holidays.

Thousands of people are killed on the country’s roadways each year due to impaired driving, distracted driving or in some cases, just plain negligence. The holidays are a busy time of year and the amount of accidents that happen during this time of year generally are increased in comparison to other times in the year. If you and your family are planning to visit friends and family this season, here are some tips for staying safe on the road.

1. Keep Your Distance

It can be tempting to drive closely to the car in front of you, especially if you’re in a hurry or traffic is backed up.  The greater the distance you can keep between you and the car in front of you, the better able you are to notice erratic or dangerous driving behaviors.

2. Buckle Up

No, the act of buckling your seat belt won’t protect you from getting in an accident, but it will keep you safer in the event you are in an accident. Buckle your belt every time you get in the car and make your passengers to do the same.

3. Look Both Ways

Many holiday accidents occur at intersections. As you approach one, make sure you are looking both ways, even if you have the green light. If you notice a car coming from your left or right that doesn’t appear to be slowing down, you slow down. Side-impact crashes can cause severe injuries, especially in vehicles that aren’t equipped with side-impact airbags.

4. Stick to the Daylight

If you can avoid driving at night, do it. Studies have shown that accidents are more likely to occur after the sun goes down. Consider also that bars close in the wee hours of the morning and unfortunately their patrons may choose to drive instead of having a designated driver, taxi or Uber. Avoid driving late at night if you can.

5. Be Mindful 

Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day is actually a very dangerous  time of year when it comes to car accidents.  Drive safely and just be aware that the roads are especially busy and dangerous this time of year.

It is impossible to know when you are going to be involved in a car accident.  This list of tips may help you to be more cognoscente of the busy roads and increased number of accidents that typically happen during this time of year.  Drive safe and have happy holidays!

If you should ever happen to be involved in a car accident in the Carolinas, please reach out to our team of experienced injury attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and let you know how we may be able to help you. Compensation for injuries that are caused in an automobile or truck accident may include payment for lost wages, medical bills, future medical care, and pain and suffering among other things.  Make sure you speak to someone that can point you in the right direction.  Let us know if you ever need assistance.

house decorated with lots of christmas lightsDecorating for the holidays has become a sort of competition in some neighborhoods. Thanks to social media and fantastic DIY sites, it’s easier than ever before to get ideas for decking the halls. While you are trying to outdo your neighbor this year, or maybe even just decorate a bit more outlandishly than you did last year, don’t forget that you need to make sure your home and property are safe for guests.

Premise liability is a type of personal injury law that essentially states you are responsible for ensuring the safety of guests while they are on your property. If you decorate your home in a way that presents a hazard to others, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Here are some tips to use when decorating your home this holiday season.

1. Keep Cords Tucked Away

Cords for lights and other decorations should be kept tucked away both in the house and out. Don’t run extension cords over any walkways outdoors, and keep cords for decorations in the house tucked up against baseboards.

2. Don’t Block Walkways

Keep large decorations in the yard or against the house where guests wouldn’t normally walk. This may mean that you have to scale back on outdoor decorations if you have a small yard. With the number of inflatable decorations available, it can be tempting to purchase several. Stick with one or two.

3. Secure the Tree

If you put up a tree this year, make sure that it is securely in place. You may have to tie it to the wall if it is extraordinarily tall. If you have it in a stand, and chances are that you do, make sure that the stand is secure and level. If your tree comes toppling down on an unsuspecting guest, they could be injured.

4. Up on the Rooftop

If you’re going to be hanging decorations up on your roof, make sure they are secure. A strong wind can easily blow off decorations that aren’t tied down properly. Should your roof decor come crashing down, you could find yourself in court if someone is injured.

5. Be Mindful When Asking for Help

You may be thinking of asking for help when decorating this year, but you better ensure that you are providing adequate tools for the job. Old, rickety ladders won’t cut it. If your helper falls off of a ladder that is in ill repair, you could be on the hook for their medical bills.

If you are injured on someone’s property in Charlotte, you have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for more information about your legal rights. We will review the details of your accident during a no-cost case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call today to schedule your appointment or browse our website to learn more about the types of cases we handle.

DISCLAIMER: The listed settlements and client reviews/testimonials do not constitute a promise or guarantee of any particular result in any particular case, as every case is unique. Each case was handled on its own merit, and the outcome of any particular case cannot be predicted by a lawyers or law firms past results. If a recovery by settlement or trial is made, the client will be responsible for cost advanced in addition to attorney fees. Client remains responsible for costs, expenses and disbursements, including medical bills, within the scope of representation. The attorney’s contingency fee percentage will be computed prior to the deduction of expenses from the total recovery.