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Charlotte North Carolina Legal Blog

What is negligence per se?

Under North Carolina law, injured people can file a personal injury suit to recover compensation for their damages if their injuries were the result of another party's negligence. Typically, a plaintiff has to prove that the defendant acted negligently, that this negligence caused the injury, and that the injury caused the damages. Proving each of these elements can be difficult. One way to speed up the process is through a legal theory known as negligence per se.

Before we explain how negligence per se works, remember that to show negligence, a plaintiff must typically show that the defendant had a duty of care to others, that the defendant breached that duty, that this breach of duty caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff's damages.

Dealing with the disruption caused by an on-the-job injury

Most people in North Carolina who get up and leave for work in the morning expect to return to the same place they left: home, safe and sound. However, there are many people who face daily danger on the jobsites they visit. Some workers are aware of the dangers they face and attempt to take the proper precautions. Others, like office workers, don't think of their work environments as being unsafe. Unfortunately, across the spectrum, injuries can occur on-the-job and can disrupt life in a major way.

Our readers probably think that construction and industrial workers face the highest rate of danger in the workplace, and that is probably correct. However, there are other dangers in different areas of work as well. For example, those who drive a vehicle regularly for work put themselves in the possible position of being involved in one of the most common and dangerous events in America: a car accident. Others, even those who work in an office, may be facing the danger of a creeping injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems which, until they become severe, may not even be noticeable.

Avoid distracted driving to avoid fatal accidents

Distracted driving has become a plague on American society. Just as it seemed we were making progress on reducing the rate of drunk driving and getting drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts - and thereby beginning a decline in the rate of deadly accidents on the roads - along came "smartphones" and the world of distraction those devices present. Our readers in North Carolina can no doubt detect the telltale signs that a person is on their cellphone while driving: a quick jerk to stay within their lane; seeing the driver's eyes in the rearview mirror, looking down at their cellphone instead of at the road; and, of course, those drivers who just blatantly hold their cellphones up right in front of their faces while driving.

Distracted driving is, according to some reports, causing the rate of deadly accidents in America to begin to see an uptick after years of declining. Avoiding distracted driving is crucial if Americans everywhere, including in North Carolina, want to do their best to avoid fatal accidents.

Was your SSD claim denied for one of these reasons?

If you have been in an accident in Charlotte and you can not work, you may have tried to file a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim. If it hasn't happened yet, there is a good chance you might get a denial letter in the mail in response to your claim. This is not totally uncommon and should not be a cause for panic. Moreover, you should not give up on the claim.

There are a number of reasons why the Social Security Administration (SSA) might deny a claim for benefits. These reasons can range anywhere from a simple administrative error to the appearance of fraud. However, knowing some of the common causes can help you understand the reason for the denial and how to respond to it or avoid an error with the initial filing.

Fiery car accident in Charlotte leaves 6 injured

An accident on Interstate 485, the loop around Charlotte, left 6 people with serious injuries. Two of those injured fought for their lives at an area trauma center.

One of the vehicles involved in the accident burst in to flames at some point. Rescuers had to remove more than one person from the vehicle that burned after they managed to put the fire out. The rescuers had to cut the roof from the car in order to access the occupants. Authorities closed the Interstate for some time to conduct an initial investigation. Their investigation will continue. While the outcome of the police's investigation will give some clarity as to the legal rights and options of those involved, generally speaking, there are very few multi-vehicle accidents that are truly unavoidable.

When does a car wreck give you cause for a wrongful death suit?

Every time you ride in a motor vehicle, whether you drive or ride as a passenger, there is some risk of winding up in a crash that could leave you hurt or even kill you. Most people tend to suppress concern about the risks associated with driving for the convenience associated with motor vehicle transportation. Sadly, there are some people who will wind up paying a steep price for that convenience.

Motor vehicle collisions can and do claim the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year. Many times, fatal collisions are preventable with proper attention and safe driving practices on the part of everyone on the road. Sometimes, such as scenarios involving defective vehicle components, extreme weather conditions or even defects in the road itself, neither driver in a collision is truly at fault.

What is a herniated disc?

A person's backbone is made up of several smaller bones called vertebrae, all of which surround the spinal cord, which is arguably the most important nerve in the body. To prevent the vertebrae from rubbing against each other, there are softer tissues between the vertebrae called discs. These discs work a lot like the brake pads on one's car in that they prevent the wear and tear of two hard substances grating against each other. A herniated disc is a common type of back injury that probably affects many people in the Charlotte area.

A disc is considered herniated when the softer part of the disc comes out of the slightly tougher encasing around it. This leaking tissue can irritate the sensitive nerves around the spine, which causes pain. The symptoms of a herniated disc can be severe. The severity depends on how bad the condition of the disc is and where the defective disc is located along the spine. In the worst cases, pain, along with a weak or numb sensation, can keep a worker off the job. Corrective surgery may be required.

Rate of distracted driving increases at accident scenes

According to a recent study, the frequency of distracted driving behavior, including texting and driving and the like, skyrockets when motorists are passing through the scene of an accident or another roadside emergency where first responders, like police officers and firefighters, are present.

Specifically, the study by the National Safety Council concluded that, around accidents, over 70% of motorists admittedly either took pictures of the accident on their phones or sent a text, presumably about the accident. In other conditions, only about 25% of motorists are engaging in texting and driving. Additionally, 60% of motorists said that they quickly posted to their social media accounts about the accident, while about 2 out of 3 motorists said that they had sent an email while driving.

Can I still get disability with a drinking or drug problem?

Although people may not like to talk about it, many Charlotte residents suffer with alcoholism or some form of drug addiction. Oftentimes, they are still able to go to work and live productive lives despite their struggles. However, such behavior does have a tendency to take its toll on the body. On some occasions, a person may develop a medical or mental health problem that can be directly tied, or partially tied, to his or her addiction. These problems can force a North Carolina resident out of the work force permanently, leaving them to find some means of paying the bills.

The good news is that Social Security disability benefits are still available for those who struggle with drugs or alcohol, even if their addiction may have contributed to the disability in some way. As this blog has mentioned before, Social Security is a no-fault system, meaning that, for the most part, so long as a person qualifies as disabled, there will not be questions asked about who is responsible for the injury or illness.

Why do ladder falls happen to construction workers?

For construction workers in particular, ladder falls pose a serious daily threat. Ladders see extensive use in potentially chaotic settings, and falls can prove incredibly dangerous, even from the shortest ladders. It's not just a fall off of a 30-foot ladder that workers have to worry about. Falling from a 5-foot ladder while installing a light, for instance, can lead to serious back, neck and head injuries. Some of these "short" falls even take lives.

The key, then, isn't to limit exposure. Workers must use ladders and they must face some risks. Instead, the key is to figure out why ladder falls happen so as to make their use safer.

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