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damages you may receive after a car accidentIf you have been involved in a car crash, you may have someone recommend to you that you seek the services of an experienced car accident attorney who can help you with your case. The typical reason is that a non-lawyer may not be capable of assessing all of the types of damages / compensation that they may be able to recover from the other driver’s insurance company following their car accident.

Without knowledge of North Carolina car accident law, an individual may unknowingly accept a far lower settlement ask for less than they may be entitled to under the law. In fact some injured people may not even pursue an injury claim at all because they may not know that they can! Some people avoid fighting with the other driver’s insurance company over their settlement, believing that the amount of money that they have been offered by an insurance company is fair. Others hold tight to the feeling that they aren’t “the type of person” to sue someone. The truth of the matter is that insurance companies aren’t out for a car accident injury victim’s best interests and utilizing a car accident lawyer and the Court (if necessary) doesn’t make you anything other than a person that wants to protect their rights!

Working with North Carolina car accident lawyers can allow you to be informed of how much your case may be worth. Your lawyers can also assemble the facts and evidence necessary to prove your case and its legal value.

To help you get oriented as to how much your case and injury claim might be worth, take a look at the following categories of car accident damages available to North Carolina car accident victims.

Recovering Your Medical Expenses After a Car Accident in North Carolina

Medical expenses are among the most immediate and quantifiable damages victims can recover after their serious car accident. The average person understands that if someone else was responsible for causing the accident that injured them, they are eligible to recover their reasonable and necessary healthcare costs.

What they may not know is how to accurately and thoroughly document these expenses so that they can recover nearly every penny they spent on their own healthcare. Even if their own private medical insurance provided the initial coverage for their treatments, they still have the right to seek compensation for those costs.  (An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to tell you how your own private health insurance may affect your potential settlement – let them know about your health insurance when you speak to them!)

Additionally, a car accident victim may recover medical expenses, including:

  • Hospital fees
  • Emergency room charges
  • Bills from doctors’, private practices, and specialists
  • Prescription drugs and medication
  • Physical therapies and other therapies that are medically necessary
  • Incidental expenses necessary to receiving treatment, such as travel costs to and from your medical appointments.

A car accident settlement or award may include should certainly consider past related medical expenses, and it may attempt to predict all future medical expenses as well. For instance, a victim who will need multiple surgeries scheduled in the future may receive compensation in advance based on a projection of how much those surgeries may cost.

Recovering Loss of Earnings and Income After Your Accident

Injury victims will likely miss work and other income-earning opportunities. Since this outcome is the result of the accident, that lost income can potentially be recovered as part of an injury claim.

Officially, recovering lost income pertains to the loss of the victim’s time they could spend fulfilling their employment duties, the loss of their ability to perform ordinary work, and a reduced capacity to earn money in general.

Compensation for these losses will account for past, present, and future income potential. To project the possible lost future income, a jury is instructed to account for the injured party’s:

  • Current age
  • Their occupational duties, and how their ability to perform them was affected by the accident
  • Their earnings history, including the value of past wages or salaries
  • Their present or most recent earnings
  • The nature and extent of their employment
  • The loss of income potential from their personal business, if they have one
  • The expected duration it will take for the individual to heal from any temporary injuries
  • The potential impact on future earnings from any permanent loss of limb or loss of use of a bodily function

Physical Pain and Suffering

In cases of serious injury, car accident victims may be able to request a monetary amount intended to compensate them for the pain and suffering they experienced as a result of the car accident. This pain and suffering must be directly traced to the negligent actions of the defendant. Individuals wishing to add pain and suffering as part of their settlement will be expected to provide concrete evidence to support their claim. An attorney can often assist individuals with the process of documenting such evidence. This evidence can include information from a pain journal or a list of activities that are difficult or impossible because of the victim’s suffering.

Permanent Injury or Disability After Your Car Accident

Many car accident injuries are so severe as to cause the victim to permanently lose a limb partially or completely. They may also lose the full capacity of certain bodily functions, such as having an eyesight impairment as the result of retinal damage. Such damages may include the permanent scarring or disfigurement of a visible organ, even if the organ functions normally. Calculating the value of a lost limb is complex and North Carolina does not set forth specific guidelines.

Loss of Consortium, Loss of Society, and Diminished Life Expectancy

In instances where a major accident injury causes the victim to lose their ability to lead a normal life at home, they may be eligible to receive additional compensation. Such losses may include an inability to:

  • Perform household chores
  • Engage with children and loved ones in the same manner as before
  • Provide domestic services that help keep the family functioning
  • Have sexual relations with their spouse

In some rare instances, permanent damage to a vital organ may shorten the accident victim’s life measurably. They may be able to claim that loss of life as part of their general damages in the same vein as calculating lost future income or lost functioning of a limb.

Wrongful Death Car Accident Cases

In the event that an individual dies as a result of car accident injuries directly caused by someone’s negligent actions, the victim’s survivors and the representatives of their estate can file a wrongful death case in North Carolina.

A wrongful death claim will account for all medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and losses of a normal life as above. The final amount requested as compensation may also reflect what the individual may have been able to recover had they survived.

Punitive Damages

In cases of extreme “gross” negligence, malicious behavior, or behaviors exhibiting a lack of remorse for harmful actions, certain judges and juries may award additional compensation intended to punish the defendant. These awards are rare, but they are intended to add additional punishment to those who commit heinous acts as both a deterrent and a symbolic action of justice.

Punitive damages are awarded in only the most egregious of cases. Punitive damages are capped in almost every state and there are guidelines on who receives these damages after they have been awarded.

Recover Damages with Help from Our NC Car Accident Lawyers

The amount that a person may receive after an accident is based upon many factors. A judge will consider the amount of medical expenses the victim has already paid and how much they may have to pay in the future. The judge may also consider the time a victim is required to spend recuperating, whether the victim is able to return to work, and if the victim’s ability to enjoy life has been diminished.

If you have been hurt in an accident, reach out to Auger & Auger Law. An experienced member of injury team can review the details of your case at no cost to you and help you determine the type of damages that may you may be entitled to under the law.  You do not have to take the insurance company’s word for it, speak to a lawyer about your options and what you may be entitled to! (855) 971-1114 We answer our phones 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Evidence is the backbone of any injury case, and having solid evidence could mean the difference between your claim succeeding or not. While you do have several top priorities after your accident — such as calling the police and seeking medical attention for all hurt parties, including yourself — documenting the accident scene as soon as possible falls right in after those in terms of importance. This evidence typically includes photos, eyewitness testimony, detailed notes, official documents, and anything else that’s relevant.

Our Charlotte car accident attorneys have seen countless cases where solid evidence either strengthened a claim or poked holes in the negligent driver’s defense. Without evidence, negotiating or receiving a judgement in your favor could easily turn into a game of “he said, she said.” With it, you can definitively and confidently point to the truth of the matter. You may also be better equipped to remember crucial facts or details you may have otherwise gotten mixed up.

evidence to collect after a car crash

In short, documenting evidence of your car accident could easily play in your favor in most injury cases.  You can use the following tips to help you gather evidence on your own at the scene of your next car accident.

 

First Make Sure Everyone Is Safe, and Call an Ambulance for Anyone Who Needs It (Including You)

Before you gather evidence after your car accident, you should take some immediate steps to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

  1. Check if you’re ok. If you need an ambulance, dial 911 immediately.
  2. If you are able and can do so safely, go check on the other people involved in the accident. Determining their condition and whether they need emergency medical attention is critical.
  3. Get to a safe place away from the road, and dial for emergency services if you haven’t already. Inform them of how many people are hurt and if possible, give them information regarding their injuries. Give 911 your location as accurately as you can. Use nearby landmarks and businesses to supplement any street names you offer. If you are on the highway, try to identify a billboard, road sign, nearby exit, or a mile marker. 

Capture Photos of the Other Driver’s License Plate

Your next order of business is to protect yourself if the other driver decides to speed off.

You should immediately capture a picture of their vehicle and, preferably, a close up picture of their license plate to help with identifying them if necessary.

If they allow you to, you will also want a photo of their driver’s license and insurance policy card. Do not confront the driver if they are being belligerent or simply refuse to present this information to you.

 

Document Your Injuries

Once you have the other driver’s information, document your injuries. Snap a few quick photos now while the injuries are fresh. Try to have a strong, clear light in all the photos. You can include common objects like a quarter or dollar bill as reference props to give an idea to the size of your bruises or cuts.

Later, you can get some better close-ups of your injuries in proper lighting. You will want to document the condition of things as they develop, such as how the color of a bruise deepens hours after your accident.

 

Take Wide Photos of the Accident Before Vehicles Are Moved

After you get at least one photo of all your injuries, you will want to snap photos of the accident.

Try to capture multiple angles and viewpoints. You will want a few wide angles of the entire accident scene so that everyone reviewing the case can have a frame of reference. You can also take a few orienting pictures with road signs or landmarks in the background to verify the accident’s location.

A walking video “tour” of the accident may also help orient people trying to recreate it.

At this point, if your vehicles are functional and you can safely enter them and move them, you should immediately move to a safe, secure location nearby with all the other drivers involved. North Carolina law mandates that you remove vehicles from the main roadway unless they are disabled or you cannot reasonably approach them.

When moving your vehicle, go to the closest location where you feel safe. That may mean the shoulder of the road or a short drive to another location. If one is available, you may wish to find a well-lit area where other people are present.

Ideally, you will have told 911 dispatchers that you intend to move the vehicles if possible and let them know where you will be going.

On the other hand, your vehicles may not be functional or safe at all to approach. For instance, you may have gotten into an accident along a busy freeway with poor visibility. If this is the case, find a safe place for yourself to wait for police and medics.

 

Take Closeups of Vehicle Damage and Debris

Regardless of whether you moved the vehicles, your next step is to get a close up photo of all the vehicle damage. Try to capture details like crunched metal, broken glass, or obvious indicators of damage. If your front tire is pushed into the driver’s side fender, for example, get a closeup of that.

 

Get Video Statements of Eyewitnesses

If you have a smartphone that you’re snapping photos with, you can switch to video mode to interview any eyewitnesses.

Capture statements that include specific details, like the timing of who hit whom and where it happened. Do not interrupt the witnesses to correct them or attempt to lead their answers in any way. Ask them to tell you their full name and contact information in the video. If they’ll let you, take a photo of their ID.

 

Take a Video Testimonial

You will want to take notes of your experience during the accident before you forget important details. You can take notes using a pen and paper or your smartphone’s note-taking function. Or, you could simply record yourself making a statement as you did for eyewitnesses.

 

See Police and Medics

At this point, the police may have arrived and begun providing instructions. Or, maybe you have been largely incapacitated because you knew you had a major injury and shouldn’t move.

In either case, you should accept all medical care offered to you. That may include accepting an ambulance ride to the hospital even if you did not initially request one on your emergency call.

Provide complete, accurate, detailed statements to the police officer so they can note them on their report. Remember that the police report may be very helpful in proving the cause of the accident. You are the only person who can tell the police what happened from your perspective and the police report is your opportunity to explain how the accident happened.

 

Request Copies of the Police Report and Your Medical Documentation

A copy of the accident report will be made available to you within a few days or weeks after it is filed. Request several official copies, including some for your Charlotte car accident attorneys.

Likewise, keep a copy of every bit of medical notation or billing information you receive. Keep a running tab of your out-of-pocket costs, too, like copays. You can even track incidental expenses that were only made necessary because you had an injury, such as mileage to and from your doctor visits.

 

Make Copies of Your Evidence as Backup and to Provide to Your Charlotte Car Accident Attorneys

All of these bits of evidence can greatly benefit your personal injury case. Since they are so important, you should make backup copies just in case something happens to your device. Consider saving them to the cloud or emailing yourself the information from your phone.

After an accident, you should consider speaking to an accident lawyer about your potential injury case.  Initially an injury lawyer may be able to help you determine if you need their assistance. An injury lawyer is going to want to see your police report (let them pull it for you) and to speak to you about your recollection of the accident and the evidence that you have gathered.

You can reach out to Auger & Auger today to schedule a free case review regarding your accident when you call us or contact us online. With your evidence and your attorneys’ legal expertise, you stand equipped for the fight for compensation relating to your medical bills, lost wages and your pain and suffering.  Call Auger & Auger at (855) 969-5730 to find out more about how we may be able to help you!

staying safe when shopping during the holidaysThough Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed us by, the holiday shopping season is still in full swing. Whether you’re in Charlotte or elsewhere in the Carolinas this holiday season, remember that a lot of people will be out there on the road and in the stores with you as you look for gifts for your loved ones. With everyone out shopping unfortunately there is an opportunity for more people to be involved in car accidents and other situations where they can get hurt. Our Charlotte, North Carolinas personal injury and accident lawyers are here to help this season if necessary, but it is our most sincere hope that everyone have a safe, happy and wonderful holiday season.

Here are some of the top ways you can stay safe while shopping for the holidays this season in North Carolina.

1. Practice Safe Driving

When you’re out and about this season, drive defensively. Keep your cool, and be proactive on the road. Allow traffic to merge as needed, and don’t speed down the highway or through intersections. You should also keep an eye out for increased pedestrian traffic this season, especially children walking with their parents.

Along the same vein, be predictable when you drive. Don’t swerve in and out of lanes, and make sure you use your turn signal. When you’re driving through parking lots, drive slowly in the proper lane. Be on the lookout for other shoppers returning to their cars and pulling out of parking spaces.

2. Be Safe While Shopping in Stores

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 dark. A thief or other criminal is less likely to strike pairs or groups of people than those walking alone.

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 may give you a longer and more comfortable shopping experience.

Do not carry large amounts of cash. It’s far easier to cancel your credit and debit cards than it is to retrieve cash 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.

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 many packages can also make yourself a target to the bad guys.

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 always going on around you . If you feel yourself getting distracted by all that is happening, take a moment to pause and gather your thoughts.

3. Practice Safe Online Shopping Methods

It’s expected that online shopping will account for around $130 billion this holiday season. Chances are, you’ll be part of the online shopping craze. If you’re planning on doing any of your holiday shopping on your computer or phone this year, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind.

Stick to Websites You Know

While Amazon and other massive retailers are the most popular sites for online shopping, there are other boutique sites you may visit. Always make sure you’re shopping on trusted sites. One of the easiest ways you can do so is to look for “https” and the lock symbol at the beginning of the website address.

You may also want to look at online reviews to make sure the online store you’re shopping at is legitimate. Otherwise, you could lose your money or have your identity stolen.

Use a Secure Connection

When you’re shopping online, you’ll obviously need to input your personal information. Make sure you’re doing so on a private connection. Shopping on public Wi-Fi leaves you vulnerable to attacks from hackers. If you’re shopping in public, use a private network at a coffee shop or other establishment. However, the most secure shopping can be done in your own home.

If you do need to do your shopping on a public Wi-Fi network, be sure to use a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN essentially creates an encrypted private network for you, protecting you from potential attacks.

Watch Out for Scams

During the holiday season, scammers are out in full force. You may think you’re savvy enough to avoid such scams; after all, you know there’s not a Nigerian prince out there waiting to send you a fortune. But scams are a lot more sophisticated than that these days.

Many scams will ask you to reset your password due to fraud or other issues and use a false link to do so. The email will look legitimate, too. If you have even the tiniest doubt about the email, don’t give out any personal information unless you are one-hundred percent sure that the email is from who it purports to be from.

Our Charlotte Accident and Injury Lawyers Want You to Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season

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 elsewhere in the Carolinas, an experienced attorney may be able to help secure compensation for your injuries. Reach out to our team of experienced Charlotte personal injury attorneys today and speak with a member of our team. We will help you set up an appointment for a free case evaluation so we can talk to you about what options may be available to you.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means good food and good times with family and friends. But for too many, it also means an unfortunate trip to the ER. Though injuries can happen on Thanksgiving, they can also be avoided easily.

 

As Charlotte, NC personal injury lawyers, we’re all too familiar with the injuries that happen on Turkey Day. Though people can get injured in a variety of ways, it seems the most common reasons are food safety and outdoor activities.

Here’s a breakdown of those two categories, and how you can avoid injury this year:

Outdoor Activity Safety

Backyard Football

Playing touch football has become as much of a tradition as family meals themselves. While many of these makeshift games end with a proper celebration for one team, some are called early when an uncle throws his back out or a young cousin twists her ankle.

Don’t let your annual family football game end in injury. Here are a few ways you can avoid injury this year:

Training: You won’t see a professional athlete sitting on the couch for three months and hitting the field without proper training. Why would you do anything different? You certainly don’t have to train for months but if you know you will be playing in the annual family game, start getting your body ready a few weeks before.

Even walking around the neighborhood every day after dinner can help your body prepare for the physical demand of a football game.

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

Take five or 10 minutes to warm up before the football game.

 

Know the Field: Many an injury has occurred because someone stepped down on a rock or got their foot stuck in an unnoticed hole. Take a walk around the section of yard you will be playing in before the first pass is thrown.

Toss or pick up any objects that could potentially be a trip and fall hazard.

Suit Up: Don’t wear tight, heavy clothing. Instead, opt for several light layers that you can both move easily in and remove should you get too hot. Encourage your family members to do the same.

While you are at it, make sure that you are wearing sneakers with a decent tread. Boots and flats are better suited for the indoors.

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

Drink in Celebration: Stick to drinking after the game. Alcohol not only decreases your balance and ability to make quick decisions, but it’s also dehydrating.

Drink plenty of water or sports drinks when you are playing the game instead.

Food Safety

When you’re preparing food, be sure it all reaches the right temperature before serving. Specifically, make sure your turkey gets to at least 165° F by checking the thickest part of the breast or thigh. A good rule of thumb is 15 minutes of cooking per pound, but always use a thermometer to check.

When you’re serving food, be sure the hot food stays hot, and the cold food stays cold. Otherwise, harmful bacteria may start growing, causing food poisoning among you and your guests.

Storing Leftovers

There are right ways and wrong ways to store your Thanksgiving leftovers.  Food should be in separate containers within two hours of serving. You may be tempted to store “meals” in sealed containers, but your foods will go bad at different speeds. Storing them together is a mistake unless you plan on reheating them within a few hours.

When putting food containers in the fridge, make sure that you don’t stack them too tightly. Your fridge needs to be able to circulate air. It can’t do that if it is filled wall to wall with plastic containers.

Speaking of your refrigerator, make sure that the temperature is correct. Your food needs to be kept under 40° F, so set your refrigerator’s temperature accordingly.

Your food is generally safe for up to four days, provided it has been stored properly. Thanksgiving is on a Thursday every year. Any food that isn’t eaten by Monday should be thrown away or frozen.

Eating Again

When you decide you want a bit more turkey, make sure you are heating it to the right temperature. It needs to be reheated to above 165 degrees. The same can be said for all of your leftovers unless they are meant to be cold. Soups and gravy should be brought to a boil.

If you have frozen any of your leftovers, don’t thaw them on the counter. Let them thaw in the refrigerator so they remain as cold as necessary before you decide to reheat them. Otherwise, bacteria may start to rapidly grow.

Frying a Turkey Outdoors

Deep frying a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner has become wildly popular in the past few years. However, it can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing (and even if you do know what you’re doing). If you’re going to be deep-frying your turkey this year, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Set up the fryer on a flat clearing: Find a patch of grass (or preferably, dirt) that’s flat and has no trees or structures around it. NEVER deep fry a turkey on a deck or patio.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Your deep fryer should have come with instructions on how much oil to use, and how big of turkey to use. Always follow those directions for safe frying.
  • Wear protective clothing: You should have goggles to keep oil from splashing up in your face. You should also have long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a heavy duty apron and gloves on when you’re near the fryer.
  • Don’t leave the fryer unattended: Unless you want a fire, always stay near the deep fryer. You should also keep children and pets away. Make sure you always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Go oil-less: There are deep fryers available now that don’t require oil. These infrared fryers are much safer than traditional oil fryers.

 

Keep a Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer’s Number On Hand

Even if you follow every safety tip you can find, there’s still a chance you could get injured. If you get hurt by someone else’s actions or negligence, you have legal options. Call the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Auger & Auger today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help make sure your holiday season goes right. 1-855-969-5671

  • Drowsy driving is estimated to cause up to 6,000 fatal wrecks each year.
  • Commercial drivers may be more likely than Non-Commercial drivers to drive drowsy.
  • People who snore or sleep 6 or fewer hours at a stretch are more likely to drive drowsy.

 

dangers of drowsy drivingWhen you are involved in a car or big truck accident, you are understandably anxious. Due to the catastrophic and powerful nature of car and big truck accidents, victims are often left with severe physical injuries, emotional turmoil, and financial difficulties.

Our Charlotte truck accident attorneys are here for you and your family if you fall victim to a drowsy driver. Here is some helpful info about drowsy driving.

 

Drowsy Driving and Big Rigs

No one can argue that truck driving is a tiring job. The occupation may not always require heavy lifting, but it does require driving for long stretches of time while remaining alert, something that can be difficult to do.

According to a study released by the University of Minnesota, Morris, commercial truck drivers who have obstructive sleep apnea and do not adhere to their treatment protocols are at five times greater risk of crashing.

Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes people to momentarily stop breathing when they are asleep, causes daytime sleepiness. This, in turn, can result in drivers who are too fatigued to be on the road. Obstructive sleep apnea is estimated to affect nearly 25 million adults in this country.

For the study, researchers looked at 1,613 truck drivers diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and 1,613 drivers without the disorder. They looked at drivers with similar experience and approximately the same number of hours on the road. The drivers with obstructive sleep apnea were all given the same prescribed therapy. Close to 700 drivers followed the treatment, 600 followed it partially and 400 did not follow it t all.

The rate of preventable accidents among truck drivers who did not follow their prescribed obstructive sleep apnea therapy was five times greater than those who did. Those drivers who only partially followed the therapy had a crash rate similar to those who followed it completely.

The study shows that untreated obstructive sleep apnea is a danger to transportation safety. The recommendation of researchers is to screen all potential commercial truck drivers for the condition and to treat those who are found to have the disorder. Both the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that they would be gathering more information on the effects of obstructive sleep apnea on their workers.


All Drivers Need to Be Awake

According to a survey of 150,000 adults, 4 percent reported falling asleep within the past 30 days. One of the best ways to prevent drowsy driving, aside from catching enough ZZZs at night, is to know the warning signs of drowsy driving.  Even though we discuss commercial drivers in this post, everyone should know that ANY driver that is drowsy driving is dangerous whether they are in a semi or in a car, van, SUV, etc.

If you notice that you or your driver are showing any of these signs while you’re driving, it’s time to get off the road.

  1. Yawning

This is an obvious sign of being tired, but a yawn here and there also signals boredom. What you want to notice is frequent yawning.

If you notice frequent yawning in a short period of time, chances are high that it would be a good idea to take a break from the road.

 

  1. Zoning Out

We’ve all been in that place where we can’t remember how we got where we are. This is especially true of commuters who take the same route every day. Our brains go on a sort of auto pilot and we discover that we can’t really recall getting to work.

This is normal but still dangerous. It’s even more dangerous if you don’t take the same route every day and still find yourself wondering about the last few miles.

 

  1. Missing Exits

You’re driving down the highway and thinking about something else when all of a sudden you miss your exit. It’s not something to be too concerned about. It’s when you weren’t really thinking about anything else that you need to worry.

If you miss an exit, or several exits, you could be too tired to drive. It may be time to just pull over for a while and take a nap.

 

  1. Drifting

All the sudden you find yourself jerking the wheel to the right to get fully back in your lane. The next thing you know, you’re moving to the left to get back into your lane.

Drifting is a common sign that someone is too tired to operate their vehicle. If you find yourself drifting, ask yourself if you may be too drowsy to drive.

 

  1. Rumbling

Those rumble strips on the side of the road are there to alert you to something. It may be that you’re drifting too far, or it may be that you need to slow down. If you’re hitting the rumble strips on the side of the road and aren’t trying to get off at an exit, you’re drifting.

The vibration and noise from driving on rumble strips will hopefully wake you up and make you realize that your driving is not at its best. If you can’t stay off the strips, it’s time for a rest.

 

Speak to an Experienced Charlotte Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you have been involved in a car or big truck accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you need an experienced injury law firm like Auger & Auger on your side. Having an advocate by your side as you move forward after your accident is one of the many potential benefits of hiring our law firm.  Call us today at1-855-969-5730 to find out more.

Call our team of Charlotte truck accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation and discover your options. We are here for you. Call today.

  • A woman in Los Angeles broke her arm in March after falling from a scooter.
  • A woman at UCLA was knocked unconscious after being hit by a rider on a scooter.
  • A woman encountered uneven pavement on a sidewalk in Santa Monica, falling off her scooter and breaking her arm.

Electric scooters have been in the news recently. No, they aren’t the hottest toy this holiday season, although Razor scooters are still popular among kids. These scooters are making the news because they are popping up on city streets across the United States.

From Santa Monica, California to Charlotte, North Carolina, these machines have been showing up on streets seemingly without notice. Go to bed in your urban apartment with an empty sidewalk in front of your window and you may wake up to a street lined with dozens of scooters.

Where are they coming from? It’s hard to tell which company put the first scooters out for the masses, but companies like Bird, Lime, Skip and Spin have all put their tiny vehicles on the street.

Download an app from one of the companies and you can pay for and ride a scooter for as long as you like. When you are done with your ride, simply park the scooter on the sidewalk, end your rental in the app, and walk away.

It sounds great, so what’s the problem? Injuries and liability are the issue, along with crowded city sidewalks that no one planned for. This is mainly because the scooter companies never asked for permission or waited until the use of the scooters were regulated before placing them in the excited hands of the public.

For now, the dangers are real and the companies behind the scooters are free from liability.

 

Recent Accidents

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, several people in California have been seriously injured as a result of an accident involving an electric scooter. Here are just a few of the accidents detailed.

  • The author of the article fell off of a scooter when a person wearing headphones didn’t hear her yelling about her presence and turned in front of her. The author went down, landing on both knees and hitting her head on the pavement. The helmet she was wearing may have saved her from further injury.
  • A woman swerved on her scooter to avoid striking a toddler. She fell forward and ended up breaking bones in her right arm. Her injuries required surgical intervention to repair. She must undergo physical therapy and is fighting with her insurance to determine who will pay for her medical bills.
  • A woman was walking down the street with her son when she was struck by a scooter rider. She was knocked unconscious and sustained a concussion. She was forced to miss work due to her injuries. She is considering a lawsuit against the scooter company.
  • A woman was riding a scooter when she encountered uneven pavement. She was tossed off her scooter when her backpack shifted. She broke her arm near her shoulder.

So what’s the issue with liability? In essence, when a person rents a scooter from one of the companies, they are agreeing that the company cannot be held liable for any accidents they are involved in. Unless the scooter itself malfunctions and leads to an accident, the companies who rent them out cannot be held responsible for any financial damage that arises from an accident.

If a person is involved in an accident on an electric scooter they have rented, they may be able to sue the at-fault party, assuming that there is indeed someone else at fault. When the person falls off the scooter or makes an evasive maneuver that results in an accident, they may have no recourse at all.

As a Charlotte personal injury attorney, we believe it is in anyone’s best interest who decides to ride one of these electric scooters down the block or for several miles to heed a few safety tips.

 

  1. Stay Aware

Keep your eyes open and stay aware of your surroundings. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, but some can be avoided.

Watch for uneven pavement, sewer grates that can catch small wheels, and pedestrians who aren’t paying attention to you. If you know what’s coming at you, you have time to react accordingly.

 

  1. Mind Your Speed

Don’t hop on an electric scooter for the first time and think you are invincible. Scooters take practice and going too fast can put you in harm’s way.

Don’t hit top speeds until you’ve gotten a feel for the scooter and how it reacts.

 

  1. Beware of Wet Pavement

You know that your vehicle’s tires can slip when the pavement is wet, but so can a scooter’s. In fact, the small wheels on a scooter may slip and slide across wet pavement more readily than a vehicle’s tires.

Avoid riding in the rain or on wet pavement.

 

Our Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyers are Here for You

If you are involved in a scooter accident in Charlotte, you are not without recourse. You may not be able to sue the rental company, but you may be able to seek compensation from the person responsible for your accident if it wasn’t you.

Reach out to the team at Auger and Auger for a free case evaluation. As a team of Charlotte personal injury attorneys, we know what it takes to make things right. Don’t assume that you have to absorb the financial damage caused by your accident without first speaking to our experienced attorneys.

 

If someone else was responsible for your accident, we believe they should be held accountable, and we will fight to make that happen.

  • 4,976 motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents in 2016.
  • These fatalities comprised 13% of all traffic deaths that year.
  • 27% of motorcycle drivers who died as the result of an accident in 2016 were unlicensed.

Link: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles

 

The state of North Carolina has many laws on the books that relate to motorcycles. In general, these laws are enforced to keep motorcyclists safe. They also serve to keep passengers and other drivers on the road out of harm’s way. These laws pertain to licensure, the use of roadways, and inspections. Here is a brief rundown of the laws every motorcycle operator must know.

 

Definition

A motorcycle, as defined by law, is a vehicle designed to travel on three or fewer wheels. Motor scooters and motorized bicycles are included in this definition. Mopeds are defined under their own category in some states but are considered to be the same type of vehicle in North Carolina. According to the letter of the law, if you are driving a motorized vehicle that has either two or three wheels, you are operating a motorcycle.

 

Licensure

If you want to drive a motorcycle on any road in the state, you must have one of the following:

  • A provisional license with a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • A driver’s license with a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • A provisional license with a motorcycle endorsement
  • A driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement

 

Additionally, your motorcycle must have a license plate securely attached in a horizontal fashion.

There are two different avenues you may choose from to obtain a motorcycle license in the state, and which you choose will depend on whether you are licensed out of state or will be obtaining a motorcycle license for the first time.

 

  1. Out-of-State Motorcyclists

If you move to North Carolina and want to maintain your valid motorcycle license, you will need to do so within 60 days of establishing residency. You will go to the DMV and provide proof of your name, date of birth, residency, citizenship and Social Security number. You will take a vision test, pass both written and road exams if your license is no longer valid, and pay an endorsement fee. Once you obtain your North Carolina motorcycle endorsement, you will surrender your out-of-state license.

 

  1. New Endorsement

In order to receive your North Carolina motorcycle endorsement, you have to be at least 16 years old and have a standard state-issued driver’s license, provisional license or commercial driver’s license. You will have to pass a written test and an on-road test and pay an endorsement fee. More information can be found on the DMV’s site.

 

3. Lights, Horns and Mirrors

Every motorcycle on the road must be equipped with a working brake light. The brake may be operated by hand or foot. Under normal conditions, your bike’s horn must be audible from no less than 200 feet away. Your bike must also be equipped with a rearview mirror that allows you to see at least 2,000 feet behind you.

Your motorcycle must also have at least one headlamp that is lit at all times, no matter if it is day or night. Your license plate must also be well lit.

 

4. Helmets

North Carolina is among several states in the country that require that a driver wears a helmet. Your passengers must also have protection on their heads. Your helmet must be “compliant” with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.

 

5. Insurance

State law dictates that anyone who owns a motorcycle must have their vehicle insured. You must have a minimum amount of coverage to be considered legal in the state. You can, of course, purchase a greater amount of coverage if you choose to do so. You must carry at least:

  • Bodily injury or death to a single person in a single accident in the amount of $30,000.
  • Bodily injury or death to more than one person in a single accident in the amount of $60,000.
  • Property damage in a single accident in the amount of $25,000.

 

It is up to you whether you carry collision or comprehensive coverage, but both are a good idea. Other optional coverages include medical payments and towing and labor.

Failing to purchase or maintain insurance coverage is considered against the law. If you do not carry insurance or let it lapse, you will be fined and your license could be suspended. In North Carolina, insurance companies are required to alert the DMV when someone purchases insurance and when that insurance is allowed to lapse.

 

Beginner Bikes

While you are certainly not bound by law to purchase any specific motorcycle, the DMV has recommendations when it comes to buying your first bike. People who are new to riding may want to choose bikes that are of lighter weight and have a lower seat height. They may also want to purchase a bike that is at the more cost-effective range and is non-specialized. Consider that your first bike will likely be your starter bike. Choosing something you can learn on in order to gain experience will prepare you for a larger, more expensive bike later.

Motorcyclists are also ruled by the same laws as those operating four-wheeled vehicles. You are bound to the same laws regarding speeding, stop lights and the like. If you have any questions as to the laws pertaining to motorcycles in our state, you can click here for more information.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, we want to assist you. Reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We are here to help you and your family. Call now.

Hot summer temperatures mean that more people are outside enjoying activities. Sports, bicycling and even walking are popular near residential areas. Driving can be more hazardous in the summer than you may imagine.

People need to be on the lookout for one another in order for everyone to stay safe. When you slip behind the wheel in Charlotte or elsewhere this summer, keep in mind that you may be seeing more people out and about and this often means altering your driving habits.

It’s not only drivers that need to be cautious. People on their feet and those on two wheels need to be careful as well. Safety is often a team effort. Here are some tips for both drivers and pedestrians that will keep everyone able to participate in their lives as normal.

 

Safety Tips for Drivers

  1. Stay Aware

Keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians. Look for kids on bikes, people walking and little ones playing in front yards.

If you see children playing by the street, be prepared to stop. Kids can be unpredictable and, despite being told by parents to stay away from the road, children can dart out in front of a vehicle unexpectedly.

 

  1. Pay Attention to the Elderly

If you see an elderly person on a sidewalk or in the street, slow down. An aging person may have difficulty seeing and hearing adequately and may not be aware of your presence.

Always attempt to make eye contact with an elderly person before you pass them to be sure that they see you.

 

  1. Don’t Assume

Assuming anything regarding pedestrians can be a mistake. Don’t assume pedestrians will follow the rules of the road or obey traffic signals.

Don’t assume that they see you. Don’t assume that they will remain on the sidewalk. Be prepared for the unexpected.

 

  1. Use Caution When Reversing

Always look in your rearview and utilize your back-up camera if you have one. Look around your vehicle before you get in it. Back out of your driveway or parking space slowly and carefully.  

 

  1. Look Before You Open Your Door

If you park on a city street, look in your blind spot and behind you before you open your door. Too many people have been injured because a vehicle’s driver opens a door unexpectedly and right into the path of a bicyclist.

 

  1. Don’t Rest at Night

People stay up late when the weather is warm. In fact, people are more apt to wait out the heat of the day and walk or cycle at dusk and in the dark when it is cooler.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your guard down when the sun sets. Look for reflective materials when you are driving, especially ahead of you and along the side of the road.  Also drive with the knowledge that even though it isn’t safe, some pedestrians, runners and bike riders are not always going to wear reflective clothing and in some cases they may even be wearing dark clothing that is hard to see at night.

 

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

 

  1. Keep Your Eyes Up

Chances are you know that texting and driving is against the law. It may not be illegal to use your cell phone and walk, but it’s rarely a good idea.

Put your phone in your pocket and keep your eyes up. Pay attention to your route and stay on the lookout for vehicles and cyclists.

 

  1. Make Eye Contact

Don’t assume that a vehicle is going to stop or yield to you, even if you are in a marked crosswalk. Make eye contact with drivers before you step into the street.

When you make eye contact, the driver may even wave for you to go. Don’t take a chance, make sure that the driver sees you before entering the intersection.

 

  1. Hold Hands

Small children should not be allowed to walk or cross streets by themselves.

If you are walking with your child on the sidewalk, you stay on the outside closest to the street and hold their hand for additional safety.

 

  1. Wear the Right Clothes

Don’t walk at night wearing dark clothing. In fact, don’t walk during the day wearing dark clothing. Light, bright colors will help to make you visible.

You can increase your visibility by attaching reflective tape to your back and chest. If you are walking after dark, carry a flashlight or glow stick. You can even carry a backpack and attach a small, blinking light to it.

 

  1. Use the Buddy System

Find someone to walk with. The more people you have in your group, the more likely you are to be spotted. The same goes for those riding bikes. Ride in groups. A vehicle driver is more likely to see multiple people than a single person.

The summer weather makes it great to get out and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, but it also means that you may be at a heightened risk of being involved in an accident. Follow the tips above whether you are a driver or a pedestrian. Doing so could save someone’s life.

 

Speak to a Charlotte, North Carolina Accident Attorney Today

If you are injured as a pedestrian in an accident, reach out to our experienced car and truck accident team. We can review the details of your accident during a free case evaluation and help you determine how we may be able to help you.

You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you’ve incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. Call our office at (704) 364-3361 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.

Have you ever taken a medication and noticed a black box on the bottle with writing inside? If you do, you should pay close attention. The black box is how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers that there is a serious or life-threatening risk in taking the drug. Invokana (canagliflozin) is one of those drugs.

The decision to include a black box warning on Invokana was made in 2017 after a 2016 safety alert in which rates of amputation were higher in patients taking the medication compared to those taking a placebo. In fact, the risk of amputation was found to be twice as high in those people taking Invokana. Nearly 7 out of every 1,000 patients prescribed 100 milligrams of the drug had an elevated risk. A second trial proved the findings.

The FDA said, in a statement, “Based on new data from two large clinical trials, the FDA has concluded that the type 2 diabetes medicine canagliflozin (Invokana, Infokamet, Invokamet XR) causes an increased risk of leg and foot amputations. FDA is requiring new warnings, including the most prominent Boxed Warning, to be added to the canagliflozin drug labels to describe the risk.”

The FDA has warned that the risk most often affects the toes and middle of the foot.


What Is Canagliflozin?

Canagliflozin is intended to be used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. It works in conjunction with the patient’s kidneys to remove excess sugar from the body through the urine. By itself, canagliflozin is known as Invokana. When it’s combined with metformin, it’s known as Invokamet.

When the drug was tested clinically, it seemed to work well. People who took it reached A1C levels of less than 7 percent. Unfortunately, people soon began being diagnosed with kidney issues linked to canagliflozin, and medical providers were advised to evaluate kidney health before prescribing the drug.

How Is Invokana Taken?

When a patient is prescribed Invokana, they should take it only once a day and before their first meal. Patients are typically told that they may experience lowered blood pressure while taking the medication and should alert their doctor if they become ill with diarrhea or vomiting. Patients should be sure to drink water regularly while taking the drug.

Invokana, patients are told, is only a single part of their treatment program after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Invokana will be used in conjunction with things like diet and lifestyle changes as well as weight control and regular testing of blood sugar. Although there have been side effects and reactions in some patients, others have obtained positive results.

Side Effects of Invokana

Patients who are taking Invokana are advised to call their doctor if they experience any of the following side effects of the drug:

  • The feeling that you may pass out
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Any signs of a genital infection
  • Pain, ulcers, infections or tenderness in the feet or legs
  • Signs of high levels of potassium: slow heart rate, nausea, loss of movement, weakness
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Ketoacidosis — vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, trouble breathing
  • Kidney problems: no or little urination, swelling in the lower extremities, shortness of breath

There are 775 drugs that are known to interact negatively with canagliflozin. It is extremely important that any patient with type 2 diabetes tells their medical professional about every medication they are on, including over-the-counter supplements.

Amputations: The Real Risk of Invokana

According to several studies, both by the FDA and by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), canagliflozin has been proven to increase the risk of lower limb amputations. For patients taking a placebo, the amputation rate was 2.8 per 1,000 patients. Those taking 100 mg of canagliflozin had an amputation rate of 6.2 per 1,000, while those taking 300 mg had an amputation rate of 5.5 per 1,000.

Medical experts are still unsure how or why canagliflozin causes these issues. What is clear, however, is that taking canagliflozin and other sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors increases the risk of needing an amputation for diabetic patients. As such, canagliflozin and other similar medicines now must carry a warning label in the US and the European Union.

Fighting Invokana’s Manufacturer in Court

In the past few years, many different lawsuits have been brought against Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, due to the risk of Invokana. According to these lawsuits, the pharmaceutical company failed to conduct pre-market safety testing. Moreover, these lawsuits claim Janssen knew about the risks, but failed to properly warn doctors and patients.

In 2016, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all of the Invokana lawsuits be consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey. This multi-district litigation will be an ongoing case throughout 2018. There are several upcoming court proceedings:

  • March 8, 2018
  • April 12,2018
  • May 10, 2018
  • June 7, 2018
  • July 19, 2018
  • August 23, 2018
  • September 13, 2018
  • October 11, 2018
  • November 15, 2018
  • December 13, 2018

You need to understand that to be a part of such a lawsuit, it is not enough to simply have taken the drug. To open a case against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, you must have suffered kidney injury, ketoacidosis, amputation or another injury directly related to or caused by canagliflozin. If a person was taking canagliflozin and passed away due to injuries or complications associated with the drug, their remaining family members may qualify to file a suit.

If you believe that you have suffered some sort of injury or condition as the result of taking Invokana, reach out to our team for a free consultation. We will review your medical information and the dates of your taking the medication compared to your injuries to help you determine whether or not your case qualifies to be part of the multi-district litigation. Reach out to our team in Charlotte today for more information about your legal options and appropriate next steps.

turkey, thanksgiving dinnerDid you know that vultures don’t get food poisoning from old meat? You aren’t a vulture, meaning you are very susceptible to being poisoned by food. Now that Thanksgiving is over and you’ve feasted to the point of stuffed, you may be wondering just how long you can enjoy those leftovers.

For most people, a telltale sign of food gone bad is a foul smell or slimy coating. These two things are clear indicators that bacteria has settled in and food has turned dangerous for consumption. That said, meat behaves one way and other foods in a completely different manner. If your mashed potatoes and stuffing start to turn, you may not know it until it’s too late.

Preventing yourself  or your guests from getting food poisoning should always be an obvious goal for anyone that is hosting or catering an event. If you give a visitor to your home food poisoning and its serious enough to warrant medical attention, you could be opening yourself up to potential liability. Here’s what you need to know about the portion of your feast still sitting in the fridge.

Storing Leftovers

It may be too late for you to follow these tips, but you can always use them for next time. There are right ways and wrong ways to store your Thanksgiving leftovers.  Food should be in separate containers. You may be tempted to store “meals” in sealed containers, but your foods will go bad at different speeds. Storing them together is a mistake unless you plan on reheating them within a few hours.

When putting food containers in the fridge, make sure that you don’t stack them too tightly. Your fridge needs to be able to circulate air. It can’t do that if it is filled wall to wall with plastic containers. Speaking of your refrigerator, make sure that the temperature is correct. Your food needs to be kept under 40 degrees Fahrenheit so set your refrigerator’s temperature accordingly.

Your food is generally safe for up to four days provided it has been stored properly. Thanksgiving is on a Thursday every year. Any food that isn’t eaten by Monday should be thrown away.

Eating Again

When you decide you want a bit more turkey, make sure you are heating it to the right temperature. It needs to be reheated to above 140 degrees. The same can be said for all of your leftovers unless they are meant to be cold.

If you have frozen any of your leftovers, don’t thaw them on the counter. Let them thaw in the refrigerator so they remain as cold as necessary before you decide to reheat them. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with enjoying your Thanksgiving meal through the weekend, but you’ve got to do it safely.

Our office handles injury cases for people hurt in automobile accidents, work accidents and other accidents that caused an injury on someone else’s property.  We always offer a no obligation free telephone case evaluation.  We will review the details of your case and advise you of how we may be able to help. Call today to schedule a case evaluation.

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.