Articles Posted in Personal Injury – Other

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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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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If you are injured in an accident, one of the first questions that you will need to address is where you should file your claim for compensation. If your injury took place during the course and scope of your employment, then it is governed by the North Carolina workers’ compensation system and must be filed with the workers’ compensation department. If it did not happen in a work-related situation, then you can likely pursue compensation in the regular civil court system. Some factual scenarios raise complex issues regarding whether an injury took place within the course and scope of the injured party’s work duties. Another issue with jurisdiction involves situations where an employee was injured in one state but resides in another state. The state of residency may dispute that it has jurisdiction over the injury. As seasoned Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers, Maurer Law is ready to help you ensure that your claim is filed in the right place.

In a recent appellate opinion, the North Carolina appellate court was asked to consider whether an injury claim fell within workers’ compensation jurisdiction. The plaintiff, a North Carolina resident, alleged that he was hurt while working as a construction worker in Virginia. The employer was based in Tennessee and hires employees to work on specific projects. The plaintiff had worked for the employer on multiple occasions including pipelines in Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

He originally filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia and he received benefit payments. The plaintiff later filed a voluntary dismissal of the claim and refiled it in North Carolina with the state’s workers’ compensation commission.  The North Carolina workers’ compensation commission denied the plaintiff’s claim on the basis that it did not have jurisdiction to oversee his claim. The employer then filed a motion to dismiss the claim pending any evidence that the claim belonged in North Carolina. The plaintiff responded by offering evidence of his North Carolina residence and that his wages were deposited into a North Carolina account. The court disagreed with plaintiff and dismissed his claim.

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A common question that we encounter as seasoned Asheville personal injury lawyers is whether a particular injury accident can be brought forward as a civil claim or whether it must be addressed through North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. Under the exclusivity rule, if an injury happens during the course and scope of employment, it must be treated as a work injury. This means that the injured worker is barred from bringing a civil claim against his or her employer except in a few very limited scenarios. If you were injured and have questions about the best way to go about receiving the compensation that you need and deserve, we are standing by to assist you.

A recent case discussed the difference between bringing a civil injury claim and a worker’s compensation claim. The plaintiff originally filed a civil claim for negligence against his employer stating that the company nurse diagnosed him in a negligent manner after he suffered a stroke at work. Before filing this action, the plaintiff had also filed a claim with the North Carolina workers’ compensation commission based on the same scenario. The judge in the workers’ compensation claim denied his request for benefits and medical expenses reimbursements on the basis that the injury did not take place at work and did not arise out of the course and scope of his employment. The plaintiff did not file an appeal.

In the civil claim, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that the facts giving rise to the claim were related to his occupation and therefore should be asserted as a workers’ compensation claim. The lower court denied this motion on the basis that there was no relation between the injury that the plaintiff pled in his complaint and his occupation. The defendants appealed.

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Drug-related medical emergencies can be stressful situations for everyone involved including first responders. When a first responder fails to follow proper procedures or to take reasonable cautions to ensure that someone who is under the influence receives necessary medical attention, the outcome can be disastrous or even fatal. As seasoned Asheville personal injury lawyers, we have handled numerous cases involving fatalities that result from another person’s negligence. We are standing by and ready to assist you with seeking the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent appellate decision, the court considered whether a trial court properly granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss a complaint alleging negligence and wrongful death against a local sheriff’s office regarding the death of an individual who had taken several prescription pills. The decedent was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car. A 911 call alerted the sheriff’s office and a deputy and EMS responded to the scene. One of the deputies who arrived canceled the EMS call. The decedent asked the deputy to call one of his friends to pick him up. The friend took the decedent home and put him to bed. He was found deceased in the morning.

The decedent’s estate filed a claim alleging that the Sheriff was negligent in failing to establish appropriate procedures for dealing with drug-related medical emergencies, for not allowing paramedics to respond to the scene, for failing to call for further medical assistance, and for calling a friend instead of someone related by marriage or blood. The complaint also alleged that the office was negligent for not training officers on responding to situations involving substances and for a variety of other allegedly negligent acts based on the public duty doctrine.

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As seasoned Charlotte personal injury lawyers, we have seen how some of the most painful and damaging injuries can happen in sudden accidents that no one would have anticiapted. Regardless of the reasons behind the accident, if you are the victim of someone else’s negligence you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury lawsuit for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact Maurer Law today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.

In a recent lawsuit, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a claim in which a person reportedly died as the result of an accident involving a four-wheeler that was used at a high school football team practice location. The plaintiffs in the action sued the school for negligent infliction of emotional distress claiming that it was foreseeable as a result of the defendant’s allegedly negligent conduct that they would suffer emotional distress at witnessing their teammate and friend die.

The high school team had access to the vehicle and used it routinely to move items during and after practice. All players were authorized to use the vehicle even though they were minors and despite the fact that many of them were not given appropriate safety and operation training for the device.

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If you rent an apartment or house, you place your trust in the property owner that he or she has conducted proper inspections and ensured that the premises is free from dangerous conditions like mold. Certain types of mold can pose a serious threat to you and your family’s health and unfortunately, mold can grow in the walls or under floorboards where it is impossible to detect without high tech equipment. If you were exposed to mold or another dangerous condition as the result of a landowner’s neglect you may be entitled to compensation. Call our Charlotte premises liability lawyers today to learn more about how we can assist you.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal reviewed a case in which the plaintiff alleged that the owners of a property that he rented failed to keep it suitable for habitation according to N.C. Gen. Stat Section 42-42. According to this provision, landlords must comply with several requirements regarding the maintenance and habitability of rental properties, including keeping common areas in a safe condition, ensuring that electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and other facilities are in good working order, and providing smoke alarms.

He also alleged that the defendant’s failure to inspect or maintain the premises was negligent and reckless conduct and that the owner made negligent misrepresentations about the property’s condition.

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The media has covered several stories lately chronicling the dangers of hazing in fraternities and sororities. When students take initiation rituals too far, the consequences can be devastating for those involved. Although the police may investigate potential charges against the individuals responsible for the injuries that result, the victim and his or her loved ones may have a civil claim to recover compensation for their injuries.

In a recent case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals considered an unfortunate situation in which a student died while at the apartment of another student. The victim was a pledge of a local fraternity chapter and his estate brought a claim against the fraternity and other individuals alleging that the victim lost his life as a direct result of the fraternity’s failure to protect the victim from the dangers of hazing-related activities.

The fraternity moved for summary judgment and the trial court granted the motion on the basis that the plaintiff failed to plead facts showing that the victim’s death was the foreseeable cause of the fraternity’s conduct. The victim’s estate appealed.

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Some traffic accidents aren’t the result of another driver’s negligence. Instead, they may be the result of a poorly designed roadway. In this instance, the injury victims can bring a lawsuit against the government entity responsible for designing and maintaining the roadway under the North Carolina Tort Claims Act. The procedures and rules that govern cases against municipalities are much different than traditional negligence cases, however, which makes it extremely important to consult with an experienced attorney about your claim.

Recently, a North Carolina appellate court considered an appeal in a case involving an allegation that a government entity in North Carolina did not properly design and/or maintain a roadway. The plaintiff filed a claim for damages pursuant to the Tort Claims Act against the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking damages in excess of $1 million. He asserted that the DOT employees were negligent in designing, maintaining, and providing appropriate warning measures for a curve in a roadway next to a pond.

The plaintiff alleged that he was delivering firewood at the end of a rural, dead-end road that featured an “S” curve around a pond and that some of his relatives were following in an SUV behind him. There were no warnings about the curve or speed reduction signs. The driver of the SUV was unfamiliar with the roadway. Plaintiff heard tires screeching and looked in his rear-view mirror to see the SUV tumble into the pond where it landed upside down. Two occupants of the SUV passed away and the third suffered permanent, severe brain damage.

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Under North Carolina law, a jury can take into consideration whether a plaintiff’s own negligence was a contributing factor in causing his or her injuries. This is often one of the defenses that a defendant will assert in a personal injury case in an attempt to avoid paying damages. If the defendant is successful in establishing that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent, the defendant will not be required to pay damages. At Maurer Law, we can assist you in protecting your right to recovery and securing the outcome that you deserve.

A recent appellate opinion discussed the doctrine of contributory negligence. The plaintiff went with his fraternity to a state park that included a picnic area with a pier that extended several hundred feet into the middle of the lake. The plaintiff decided to take a swim one morning and went to the pier. The water was dark and he could not ascertain the depth. There were no signs regarding the depth of the lake, but he recalled seeing boats on the lake and various indications that swimming from the pier was acceptable. He also saw the metal ladders leading from the pier into the water. The plaintiff and his friends also threw rocks into the water in an attempt to determine its depth.

The plaintiff ultimately dove off the pier and struck the bottom of the lake with his head resulting in sharp pain in his right arm and torso stiffness. He ultimately required spinal surgery and spent six weeks in a cranial halo, although he lacked sensation in his right side and lower right extremity.

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