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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Workers’ compensation claims involve accidents that took place while you were at work. The system is designed to provide injured workers with benefits for their missed wages and related medical expenses. Although this seems straightforward, there are instances where disputes arise regarding whether a claimant is entitled to benefits, the type of benefits they should receive, or whether the injury they suffered was related to the course and scope of their employment. One of the best ways you can ensure that you receive the fair treatment you deserve after a work injury is by retaining an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney.

In a recent claim, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a claim involving a nurse who appealed the denial of compensation for her workers’ compensation claim. Plaintiff slipped and fell on her right side in her home in July 2015 and did not seek treatment until September 2015. She did not have health insurance when she fell. Her employer offered her a job as a licensed practical nurse. She met the physical criteria for the job, and she was hired in September 2015 and promoted to full-time status in October 2015. She received health benefits three months after being hired. She received medical treatment for her slip and fall injury and the doctor recommended a total hip replacement as the treatment of choice, but plaintiff opted to manage it conservatively until she was eligible for leave under FMLA.

In March 2016, plaintiff was working in a patient’s room when her feet became tangled in oxygen tubing and she fell on her left side. She sought medical treatment during which the doctor observed issues with her hip. She was assigned work restrictions, which her employer acknowledged. Plaintiff then sought workers’ compensation benefits and the defendant employer challenged the claim on the basis that her work injury was not the primary cause of her need for treatment. The court agreed with the defendant finding that the plaintiff had failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that her fall aggravated her pre-existing injury and was the causal factor in her need for a total right hip replacement.

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Under North Carolina law, property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe for guests. When a property owner fails to abide by this duty, the outcome can be seriously painful or even fatal for an unknowing visitor. If you were injured on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for compensation against the owner of the property as well as the person who was in control of the premises. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of Charlotte premises liability attorneys is prepared to assist you with ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a case involving a woman who was injured on a set of bleachers at a college baseball game. According to her complaint, when she stood up from her seat and began to move one of the wooden slats in the flooring caught her foot and caused her to lose her balance. She fell down the bleachers as a result of this situation and suffered severe and permanent injuries including a broken back. The plaintiff had no memory of the fall due to suffering memory loss as a result of the impact.

The defendant responded to her complaint by denying that it was liable and alleging that the plaintiff acted negligently and was, therefore, the primary cause of her injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment, which the lower court granted. The plaintiff promptly appealed.

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If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages if you can show that the property owner did not exercise appropriate care in preventing your injury. This may sound straightforward, but a premises liability lawsuit can become complex especially if there is a dispute about exactly what happened and whether the injury was foreseeable. As Charlotte premises liability lawyers, Maurer Law is ready to assist you with determining whether you have a right to compensation after suffering an avoidable and unnecessary injury.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case involving an injury that happened in a private residence. The plaintiff in the case entered the home of the defendant for a party. The plaintiff went to a covered patio area and sat down to talk with other guests. Plaintiff was sitting near a step that was roughly six and one-half inches down leading to a lower patio area. The plaintiff got up from her seat after finishing speaking with the guests and fell almost instantly after attempting to walk away from her chair. She landed on her wrist and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit against the defendant alleged that the concrete step was unmarked and that because it was the same color as both patio levels it was difficult to see. She also alleged that the defendant failed to warn guests at the party about the hazardous nature of the step and that the defendant had considered painting the step another color or placing a railing next to it.

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Dog bites are incredibly painful and can result in devastating injuries and even permanent disfigurement. Many dog bite accidents happen suddenly and there may not even be any warning leading up to the attack. Dealing with an owner can be an additional frustrating component of this situation, especially if the owner is not wanting to take responsibility. One of the best ways to protect your right to recovery from a careless dog owner is to understand the North Carolina laws and to speak with an experienced Charlotte dog bite attorney.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a case involving a dog bite. The defendants’ two children were walking the family dog before school. The plaintiff was walking on the opposite side of the street after escorting her daughter to the bus stop. The dog began barking at the plaintiff and tugging at his leash. The collar broke and the dog attacked plaintiff leaving several bite marks on her body. The plaintiff received medical treatment for her injuries after being taken by ambulance to the hospital. The local animal control authority indicated that there had been no prior incidents involving the dog.

The plaintiff asserted negligence, strict liability, and infliction of emotional distress in her complaint against the defendants. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the basis that they had not received any complaints about the dog before this event or noticed him acting aggressively. The plaintiff filed a counter motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff included an affidavit from a veterinarian with her motion stating that the dog belonged to a dangerous breed, the American Bull Dog. The defendants deposed the expert, who testified that not all pit bulls are dangerous dogs and stated that a responsible way of restraining a pit bull is a collar and leash.

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Workers’ compensation claims can take a long time to resolve and even if you have been awarded benefits something can change in your claim to deprive you of continued payments. One example of how this can happen is if there is a change in your condition. If you were hurt at work, retaining a seasoned Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney can help you ensure that your claim is being handled appropriately and that you are receiving the compensation that you deserve. Contact Maurer Law today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

In a recent claim dispute, the worker suffered an injury to her wrist while working as a flight attendant in 2014. The injury required the plaintiff to stop working and continue receiving medical treatment for the injury over a long period of time. A year later, the plaintiff’s wrist was still tender, but a reviewing physician could not figure out why the pain was persisting. The next year, the plaintiff returned to work without restrictions, which required her to undergo training as a flight attendant. This training required the plaintiff to show that she could lift up to 55 pounds. The plaintiff passed the test and began working later that month.

During a hearing regarding her claim for benefits, however, the plaintiff testified that she experienced extreme pain in her wrist during the training but did not report it to anyone. The plaintiff was awarded a lump sum payment for her permanent partial disability, which she accepted, and continued working. Later that year, the plaintiff reported increasing pain to her employer and was authorized to return to her doctor for treatment. During the examination, plaintiff stated that she was able to perform all of her required job duties, but the doctor assigned temporary restrictions including not lifting more than five pounds. The plaintiff continued to work and did not request to be excused based on her injury.

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Workers’ compensation claims can be incredibly confusing. The system is not always straightforward, and it can be difficult to know whether you are receiving the treatment that you deserve. At Maurer Law, we provide compassionate and diligent legal counsel to individuals throughout North Carolina who may have been hurt at work. We understand how frustrating this experience may be for you and your family. Contact us today to begin learning about how our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers can assist you with your claim.

A recent workers’ compensation case discussed a few key procedural rules and determinations. The plaintiff in the case appealed a decision from the workers’ compensation commission stating that it erred in determining that he was not disabled and that his post-injury job was suitable employment. The plaintiff worked as a pipe fitter for many years. He was operating a scissor lift at work when the equipment malfunctioned causing him to be thrown. He returned to work after his injury but was restricted to light duty work and was unable to drive while taking his prescribed pain medication. After two years of treatment, the plaintiff was assigned permanent work restrictions including being prohibited from lifting more than 20 pounds, being required to alternate between sitting and standing, and wearing a brace while working.

The plaintiff was put on “helper” positions and he filed a Form 33 “Request for a Hearing” to determine whether his jobs were suitable. The commissioner presiding at the hearing concluded that the plaintiff did not meet his burden of proving that he was disabled and therefore the question of whether his employment was suitable was not discussed. His request for total and temporary partial disability benefits was denied. The Full Commission affirmed this finding and the plaintiff appealed again.

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Bicycle accidents can happen in virtually any situation, leaving the victim with painful injuries and serious financial damages. This includes areas or objects that are maintained by government entities like utilities companies. Although utilities are a necessary component of our modern lives and key infrastructure, when maintained poorly they can put people in serious risk of suffering harm. At Maurer Law, our diligent team of Charlotte bicycle accident lawyers is ready to assist you with reviewing your potential lawsuit and whether you are entitled to compensation.

In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiffs filed damages against a utility company for injuries they sustained when they collided with one of its utility lines at different times that was lying at ground level on a public roadway. During an initial trial, the jury concluded that the defendant acted negligently and that neither plaintiff was contributorily negligent for his or her damages. The defendant appealed the lower court’s judgment based on this verdict. It also appealed the lower court’s denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

On review, the appellate court concluded that the lower court committed a reversible error when it instructed the jury about the doctrine of sudden emergency, which allowed the jury to conclude that neither plaintiff acted in a contributorily negligent manner. The record showed that severe weather caused the utility line to fall from its poles and that the defendant received notice of the fallen power line that same day. The first plaintiff was cycling along the roadway that day when another cyclist in front of her hit the wire and crashed. She was unable to stop before colliding with the cyclist and suffered severe injuries in the ensuing pileup.

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