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  • 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.

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

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

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

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

Common Zip Line Injuries

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

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

Zip Line Safety

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

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

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

empty courtroomWhen you hire an attorney and file a personal injury lawsuit, your ultimate goal is to prove that someone has been negligent. Once this has been proven, your attorney will work to prove that the negligent party’s actions caused your injuries. When both of these elements are proven, a judge will award damages in the case.

Damages are a monetary award that compensate a victim for any injury or property damage that has occurred due to another person’s negligent actions. There are two main categories of damages that a defendant may be ordered to pay: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are the standard that is sought in court. They are meant to pay back the victim. Punitive damages are sought in extreme cases as a way to punish the person who is found to be at-fault or negligent.

Compensatory Damages

These damages are awarded for actual loss. Compensatory damages are normally sought when a victim has been injured. The purpose of compensatory damages is to restore the victim’s financial status to the state it was in before the injury. Under the umbrella of compensatory damages are those for tangible losses and intangible losses.

1. Tangible losses include medical treatments, loss of income, loss of property and legal fees. These damages are easily calculated using receipts, bills and estimates. Damages awarded for medical costs may include those that have already been paid and those that a doctor deems will be necessary in the future.

2. Intangible losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium. Intangible losses are not as easily calculated. These types of losses may be calculated based upon testimony from the victim, friends and family and even experts.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are exactly what they sound like: Punishment. These damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages and are meant to serve as a warning or motivator to the at-fault party to not behave in a specific way again. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. A judge typically only considers punitive damages when the plaintiff is determined to have acted in a way that disregarded the safety of others.

To be awarded any type of damages, a victim must prove fault. This is done by entering evidence against the plaintiff. When a personal injury attorney is able to prove that the plaintiff’s actions caused injury or property damage, they will be made to compensate the victim of their actions. In some cases, depending on the types of damages awarded, there may be a cap, or maximum amount, set.

If you have been involved in an accident in Charlotte and believe that your injuries are due to someone’s negligence, you may have the elements necessary for compensation. Reach out to Auger & Auger Law today for a free case evaluation. We will sit with you to discuss the details of your accident and advise you of the options available to you under current state law. Call us today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

shutterstock_149842034Plans have been set for this year’s Thanksgiving Bowl. Teams are being chosen for the Christmas Crunch. No matter when you will be tossing the pigskin in the backyard, no one wants to end the game early due to an injury. 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. Read on to discover how your family’s yearly sporting event can go off without a hitch.

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

The annual family football game doesn’t have to result in injury if everyone plays with safety in mind. Go out back, have a good time and then enjoy your feast.

If you or a loved one are injured in Charlotte through no fault of your own, you may have the legal right to seek compensation for those injuries. Call our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your injury and advise you of the options available to you.

shutterstock_243809152Come on. A blog about winter injuries? Have you forgotten that we live in one of the most beautiful states in the nation where winter is something that happens to other people? Before you dismiss this article as nonsense or unnecessary, consider that the weather is changing.

It is more common to hear of unusually high temperatures during the summer, and freezingly cold temperatures in the winter. States that aren’t used to hot and humid days experience deaths. Where winter is unheard of but suddenly appears, people are injured. North Carolina is typically protected by the mountains, experiencing winters that are wet but mild. With the changes in weather, it is not unreasonably to expect that people in Charlotte may experience harsh weather at least once this season.

Knowing how to stay safe in the winter is important for everyone, whether you are caught in a freak storm or trapped in your house by mountains of snow for days at a time. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of injury this frigid season.

1. Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are one of the most common accidents in the winter months. Slipping and sliding on ice and snow is easy to do, especially when you can’t immediately see the slippery patch. Even if you only skid for a moment, you can strain muscles trying to catch yourself. It’s not uncommon to incur an ankle twist, a fracture or even a head injury in this kind of accident. Stay as aware of your surroundings as possible and tread carefully.

2. Shoveling

No one likes to shovel snow, and many people shovel in a hurry just to get the job over with. Rushing while shoveling can cause injury. It’s important to pay attention to your body when you are shoveling snow as doing it the wrong way can cause injury to your shoulders, neck or back. Shovel slowly and with purpose. If you begin to feel tension in your back, stop and take a break if you can. Always remember to use your knees and not your lower back.

3. Auto Accidents

Most people continue to drive as they normally do despite harsh conditions. In other cases, people drive much too carefully for the conditions, posing a similar type of danger. If you aren’t sure how to drive in the snow, take the time to learn. Know how your car handles and drive appropriately. Driving too fast or too slow can both be dangerous. And if you are planning on traveling to the mountains or another snowy area this year, it may be wise to invest in a set of tire chains.

No one wants to end their day in a doctor’s office or hospital bed because of a winter injury. Follow the tips above to help make sure that you stay safe and healthy all season long.

If you happen to be injured on someone else’s property this winter due to that property owner’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of legal professionals today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Call today for assistance.

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