When you purchase underinsured motorist coverage, most drivers assume that it will help them cover any gaps in the event that they are injured in an accident involving a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages. Insurance claims can be very complicated, however, and insurance companies do not always honor the terms of the policies provided. In other cases, an insurance company may delay providing payment or point to other provisions of the policy in an attempt to avoid having to pay benefits under the policy. At Maurer Law, our compassionate and knowledgeable team of Charlotte car accident lawyers are available to help you assert your right to insurance benefits after an accident.

The North Carolina appellate court issued an opinion in a case recently where an insurer and insured disputed whether or not the insurer was entitled to underinsured motorist benefits. The insured was a passenger in her sister’s vehicle when they were involved in an accident. The sister lost control of the vehicle, ran over a median, and collided with an 18-wheeler in the opposite lane of traffic. The sister tragically died in the crash and the insured suffered devastating injuries.

At the time of the crash, the decedent and the insured carried policies. The decedent’s policy was issued in Tennessee while the insured’s policy was issued in North Carolina. Both policies provided coverage for personal injuries up to $100,000 per occurrence and for injuries involving underinsured or uninsured motorists up to $100,000 per occurrence.

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Nursing home facilities have a responsibility to provide our loved ones with a certain level of care, support, and attention. When someone at a nursing home facility is injured due to neglect or intentional harm, the outcome is painful and devastating for the victim as well as the family. Arbitration forms are a common tool that these facilities use to try to ensure that these matters are subject to arbitration and not litigation. Fortunately, North Carolina law has made it clear that these agreements are not enforceable in some instances such as when the patient lacked appropriate mental capacity when executing the agreement. If you have concerns about the safety of your loved one living in a nursing home in North Carolina, reach out to the Charlotte nursing home abuse lawyers of Maurer Law as soon as possible.

In a recently filed case, the administrator of a decedent’s estate brought a claim alleging that the operators of a nursing home facility were negligent in providing the decedent care and that he died as a result. The plaintiff in the case, the decedent’s son in law, was named as the decedent’s power of attorney. The complaint included claims for negligence, medical negligence, and corporate negligence among other things. In response to the complaint, the defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration that it later withdrew. The defendants eventually filed another motion to stay the legal proceeding and compel arbitration. The court eventually denied the motion finding that the defendants acted inconsistently in regard to the arbitration agreement and that to allow it to pursue arbitration at this stage would cause undue prejudice to the plaintiff. The defendant promptly appealed the lower court’s decision.

On appeal, the court first noted that public policy favors arbitration because it is an efficient use of judicial resources and allows for the quick resolution of legal disputes. It then reviewed the record and noted that the defendants acted inconsistently regarding the supposed arbitration agreement. In addition to withdrawing the first motion to compel arbitration, defendants’ attorney sent an email to plaintiff’s counsel indicating that the defendants did not intend to move forward with the motion. Although it later reasserted the motion, the plaintiff had incurred expenses in the meantime in the form of litigation fees and related costs. More than 15 months had passed since the defendants first withdrew the motion and asserted it again. The plaintiff also took actions like hiring seven expert witnesses, traveling to attend hearings and other case-related matters, and preparing for deposition, and taking depositions. As a result, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s decision to deny the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration.

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Many people know that you can bring a civil claim to recover compensation for physical injuries that you suffer due to someone else’s negligence. But fewer people know that North Carolina recognizes civil claims against an employer for the tortious acts that its employees commit during the course and scope of employment. There is a specific rule regarding whether or not an employee can be held liable and it is important to know whether you may be able to assert a claim against someone’s employer. At Maurer Law, our compassionate and experienced Asheville personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you ensure that you name each potentially responsible party in your lawsuit so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.

The North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a case recently in which the plaintiff alleged that he suffered emotional distress, assault, and battery at the hands of a political campaign manager. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, a person working for the campaign held a pistol against the plaintiff’s leg while the pair were riding in a limousine. The complaint listed causes of action for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring and retention. The defendant moved for summary judgment and the lower court granted it, which means the court did not believe there was enough evidence to support the plaintiff’s allegations.

On appeal, the court concluded that it was correct to dismiss the claim because the man who allegedly held the pistol against the plaintiff’s leg was not an employee of the campaign and was instead an independent contractor. The test to determine whether someone is an employee or independent contractor examines whether the employer exercises a certain level of control and direction over the person in question. If the campaign was able to exercise control over how the man did his work, then the court may have concluded that an employee relationship existed and that the campaign was liable for his conduct.

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People who are injured in a car accident can bring a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the crash to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. This may sound straightforward, but the process can be complex and requires following countless procedural and substantive rules. This includes affirmative defenses, which the defense can use to argue that he or she should not be held liable for your damages. The seasoned Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Maurer Law are available to assist injury victims with evaluating their claims and making sure that they are treated fairly throughout the process.

In a recent case, an appellate court considered whether the lower court properly entered a judgment based upon the jury’s finding that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent. This doctrine stands for the idea that a plaintiff who contributed to his or her injury should not be allowed to recover compensation from another party involved in the situation. North Carolina follows a version of this doctrine that bars the plaintiff from recovering any compensation if the defendant can show that he or she was even a bit at fault for the accident.

The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that she was injured when the defendant failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection crossing causing his vehicle to collide with the plaintiff’s vehicle as she passed through the intersection. The officer who responded to the scene prepared a report stating that there were no braking marks, which suggested that the plaintiff had not attempted to stop. The plaintiff testified that she saw the defendant’s vehicle “a little bit before” he entered the intersection and that it did not look like he was going to stop. Based on this, the jury concluded that the plaintiff contributed to her injuries by not paying closer attention and identifying the defendant’s approaching vehicle sooner.

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There are few things more stressful and life-altering than losing a loved one in a sudden and unexpected personal injury accident. This type of loss is referred to as a wrongful death claim under North Carolina law and there are many rules that apply to how a wrongful death claim must proceed. While you are coping with the sudden loss and grief, the competent Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Maurer Law are prepared to help you explore your legal rights and recover the compensation that you deserve. Although no amount of money will truly make you whole again, it can go a long way towards covering the financial impact of a sudden loss.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal heard an appeal in a case where the defendant appealed from an award of compensatory and punitive damages in an action where the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was responsible for his wife’s death. Punitive damages are a special category of damages that a jury can award if it finds that the defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious and reckless.

Before trial, the parties stipulated to a set of facts establishing that the defendant was negligent in causing the death of the plaintiff’s wife while driving. The defendant agreed that she lost control of her vehicle and swerved into the opposing lane of traffic and running directly into the decedent as she was walking along the shoulder of the road. The trial was split into two phases, which is called bifurcation. The first phase was to determine the amount of compensatory damages that the plaintiff should receive for his suffering and loss. The jury awarded $4.25 million.

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Nursing homes provide an important service in our community, ensuring that elderly individuals with the support and care they need in the end stages of life. But some of these facilities fail to provide adequate care or even allow abuse to happen, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. At Maurer Law, we have served countless individuals throughout North Carolina with exploring a potential claim against the nursing home facility that failed to provide care for their loved one. We know how painful and stressful this situation can be and will ensure that your rights are protected to the fullest extent.

In a recent case, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a wrongful death claim against a nursing home facility. The administrator of the decedent’s estate brought a John Doe claim seeking subpoena power to investigate a fall that allegedly led to the decedent’s death, alleging that negligence was the cause of the fall. The facility responded by filing a motion to dismiss the complaint and denying the allegations. It asserted that the decedent was contributorily negligent and that it had already satisfied the defendant’s discovery requests seeking the decedent’s medical records.

The plaintiff filed motions to amend and argued that the defendant had not provided enough discovery to assist the plaintiff with prosecution of the case and moved to compel production of documents that it alleged the defendant was withholding. The plaintiff also alleged that he retained an expert who concluded that the nursing home engaged in malpractice and that he wished to add a cause for “nursing home malpractice” to the complaint. The trial court denied the motion to amend the complaint noting that both requests the plaintiff made to amend failed to include a certification of compliance in accordance with Rule 9(j). It also noted that the statute of limitations to add a new cause for medical malpractice had expired.

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The North Carolina civil justice system allows individuals who suffered physical injuries due to someone else’s negligence to bring a claim for compensation. There are also causes of action that allow individuals to recover compensation from individuals who cause negligent or intentional emotional distress. Because this injury is not as clear as a physical injury like a broken bone, these claims can be more difficult to prove. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of personal injury attorneys is prepared to help you evaluate your potential claim and whether you may be entitled to compensation.

In a recent claim, The North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a claim in which the plaintiff sued his stepmother for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. According to his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the stepmother failed to provide care for his ailing father and destroyed his relationship with his father. During the litigation, the record showed that the plaintiff routinely failed to provide responses to discovery requests from the defendant to the plaintiff asking for information about his emotional well-being.

The plaintiff also ignored a motion to compel from the court mandating that he provide answers to these discovery requests. Eventually, the lower court issued an order sanctioning the plaintiff by disallowing him to offer any expert or medical testimony about his emotional distress. The defendant moved for summary judgment and the court granted the motion.

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When you are injured in a car accident, you can bring a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash. This may seem like a fairly straightforward process, but lawsuits can be incredibly complicated. The North Carolina civil court system also has countless procedural rules that must be followed in order for you to receive compensation. One of the best things you can do to protect your rights following a personal injury accident is to seek guidance from an experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer. At Maurer Law, our team has assisted numerous individuals with understanding their rights and the best way to proceed after an accident.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered whether the trial court made a reversible error when it granted a motion for a new trial in a case involving a car accident. The plaintiff in the lawsuit alleged that he was rear-ended by the defendant while his car was stopped at a red light. The jury concluded that the defendant was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and awarded $500 in damages. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial on the issue of damages. More specifically, the plaintiff challenged statements made to the jury asking it to consider the financial impact of a verdict on the defendant’s finances and statements indicating that the defendant did not have liability insurance to assist with paying a judgment. The court granted the motion for a new trial and the defendant appealed.

Before the appellate court can review the merits of an appeal, however, it must first determine whether it has jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The defendant in this case acknowledged that his appeal was interlocutory. This means that it was an appeal coming before a final disposition in the case. The appellate court noted that because the motion for a new trial only granted a new trial on the issue of damages, it was not appealable. N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 7A-27(b)(3) specifically provides that motions granting partial new trials are not eligible for appeal.

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Arbitration agreements are a major issue when it comes to nursing home facilities and how patients are able to resolve disputes with the facility. An arbitration agreement requires the parties to send any legal disputes through arbitration instead of the civil justice system. An arbitration proceeding involves a neutrally-selected arbitrator who hears evidence and determines the outcome of the litigation. The results are binding. If you or a loved one were required to sign an arbitration agreement involving a nursing home facility and are now seeking to hold the facility responsible for a personal injury, contact Maurer Law today to learn more about your rights from experienced Charlotte nursing home abuse lawyers.

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who fell when she was 81-years-old resulting in injuries that required surgery. She was then admitted to a rehab facility before being transferred to a long-term patient care facility. The plaintiff was her daughter who was required to sign a form before her mother could be admitted entitled “Business Contract” and which described her as “Responsible Party.” Her mother was listed as the “Resident.” According to the terms of the agreement, the Responsible Party was financially responsible for the Resident’s time at the center. It also contained a seven-part arbitration clause.

The plaintiff’s mother suffered several more falls including a fall that resulted in a broken hip necessitating surgery. She eventually died at the center. The plaintiff filed a personal injury complaint against the center listing negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and a claim under North Carolina’s Statutory and Regulatory Rights Violations statute. The defendant responded with a motion to compel arbitration on the basis that the plaintiff agreed to arbitration when she signed the agreement as the responsible party. The trial court dismissed the motion to compel arbitration and granted dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim under the statute and claim for medical malpractice. The defendants appealed.

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Few things are more devastating than losing a loved one in an accident that could have been avoided if someone exercised proper care. In North Carolina, the estate of someone who died in a personal injury accident can bring a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for the costs associated with the accident as well as compensation for his or her surviving loved ones. The idea of dealing with a lawsuit during this already stressful and shocking time can be a lot to manage while other individuals are eager to seek justice for their loved ones. At Maurer Law, our Charlotte wrongful death attorneys are standing by and ready to help you determine the best route to asserting your legal rights after the loss of a loved one.

In a recent North Carolina Court of Appeal opinion, a man working as a pipe fitter died when he was attempting to reconnect water pipes to a portable chiller machine on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus. The device had been turned off for winter break. When he loosened a 13.1-pound metal flange on the water pipe, accumulated pressurized gas that had built up within the machine projected the flange directly into his head. He died at the hospital five days later as a result of his injuries.

His widow brought a wrongful death action against several parties including employees in the maintenance department and HVAC department for the school requesting compensatory damages and punitive damages. The latter category of damages is a category of damages designed to punish defendants for particularly reckless conduct. She alleged in her complaint that the defendants were negligent in shutting the chiller unit down and that it led to the explosion that killed her husband. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on several grounds including lack of subject matter jurisdiction, lack of personal jurisdiction, and failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The defendants alleged that they were sued in their official capacities, which meant that their employer’s status as a public entity entitled them to sovereign immunity.

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