Articles Posted in Personal Injury – Other

It is not unusual for someone to be involved in multiple injury accidents within a short timeframe. While one claim for compensation is usually overwhelming enough for the victim, two claims can be incredibly confusing. If one of your claims involves a workers’ compensation injury and the other is a civil injury, you may need to follow specific rules regarding how the two claims are related. At Maurer Law, our competent team of diligent Asheville personal injury lawyers is ready to help you ensure that you handle your injury claims correctly and that you receive the compensation that you deserve.

A recent appellate opinion highlights the unique issues that can arise when someone suffers multiple injury accidents in the same timeframe in North Carolina. The plaintiff suffered a work-related accident in June 2009 and he promptly filed a workers’ compensation claim. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving to his doctor’s office to pick up a note indicating that he was unable to work due to the pain from the work-related injury.

The plaintiff hired an attorney to represent him in seeking compensation from the driver who caused the car accident, which caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury. He later settled his personal injury claim for roughly $45,000 and received net proceeds of $16,000 after paying attorney fees, costs, and medical expenses. These proceeds were distributed without reimbursing the employer for its workers’ compensation lien and without an order from the Industrial Commission allowing distribution of the funds. The plaintiff’s attorney learned about the car accident during a mediation involving the work injury and claimed that the injuries from the car accident should have been covered under the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy because the plaintiff was driving to the doctor’s office to obtain a work release note.

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If you are injured as the result of someone else’s negligent conduct, you may be entitled to compensation. Recovering the compensation that you deserve often involves filing a civil claim against the person or companies who are responsible for your injuries. The North Carolina civil justice system has numerous laws that a party must follow in order to preserve his or her rights and to pursue his or her claim successfully. As seasoned Charlotte personal injury lawyers, we proudly assist injured persons throughout the region with bringing a claim for damages against someone who hurt them. Let us help you ensure that you are asserting your legal rights to the fullest extent and protecting your right to recovery.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether a trial court properly granted summary judgment in a wrongful death claim where the defendants alleged that the plaintiff failed to comply with a key rule of civil procedural. Just as there are substantive rules that set forth when a party can or cannot recover compensation, the legal system also has many procedural rules that cover things like time limits for filing a claim, the specific documents you must provide the court, and the information that must be contained in each document.

In this case, the defendants alleged that the plaintiff failed to comply with Rule 9(j), which requires a plaintiff alleging a claim for medical malpractice to contain in his or her complaint a statement that the records and evidence have been reviewed by a person who will reasonably be expected to qualify as a medical expert and that this expert believes that the defendants acted negligently. In this case, the plaintiff filed a complaint containing the Rule 9(j) statement as well as a motion identifying the person designated as the proposed expert witness. The motion included the C.V. for the proposed expert witness, too.

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There are some situations where a third party has a duty of care to protect you from the dangerous acts of another person. Although there may be criminal charges pressed against the person who carried out the battery, false imprisonment, or other crime, the victim can also bring a claim against the persons allegedly responsible for failing to prevent the harm. At Maurer Law, our committed team of Charlotte personal injury lawyers is prepared to assist you with determining whether you have a claim against another person or company for failing to protect you from foreseeable harm from a third party.

A recent appeal demonstrates this theory. In the claim, the plaintiff alleged that a medical group and its staff failed to protect the plaintiff from an agitated and violent patient that entered the business’ waiting room while she was present and waiting for an appointment. The agitated person ended up attacking the plaintiff in the office. The plaintiff alleged in her complaint that the medical group and its staff had a duty to protect persons who entered the business and that the attack was foreseeable once the agitated patient arrived. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendants acted negligently by failing to immediately call for help when the agitated patient made statements threatening severe violence, by summoning the plaintiff to the area where the agitated patient was located, and by failing to train staff about how to deal with the situation.

In response, the defendants argued that the assault was not foreseeable and that therefore they did not have a duty to the plaintiff to protect her. They also argued that even if a duty was established, they immediately contacted the police and attempted to diffuse the situation before attempting to restrain the agitated patient. The lower court ultimately granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment finding that no duty arose. The plaintiff appealed.

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If you are the victim of a battery, you can bring a civil claim to recover damages that is separate from any criminal action pending against the person who battered you. The impact of a battery can be extremely severe and painful for the victim even after any physical injuries have healed. Being the victim of physical abuse can lead to anxiety, trouble sleeping, and loss of enjoyment of life. At Maurer Law, our Charlotte personal injury lawyers are standing by to assist you with understanding your potential right to recovery after being the victim of a battery. There is no shame in standing up for yourself and asserting your rights under the law.

In a recent claim, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered an appeal involving a battery claim. The facts of the case involved an altercation between the plaintiff and the defendant outside of a tool store. The men were neighbors. The defendant believed that the plaintiff made a complaint to the county that resulted in the county ordering the defendant’s parents to remove junk cars from their property. The defendant confronted the plaintiff in the tool store and accused him of being at the root of the issue and cursed at the plaintiff. The plaintiff cursed back, and the defendant later left the store. The men became involved in an altercation in the parking lot and the defendant fired one round at the plaintiff from his personal firearm. The plaintiff required surgery.

The plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages in the complaint that he filed. The defendant denied the allegations and argued that he shot the plaintiff out of self-defense and that the plaintiff was chasing him through the parking lot. The lower court entered a directed verdict in the plaintiff’s favor on the battery claim. The jury then returned a verdict awarding plaintiff $1 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages. The defendant filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a motion for a new trial, which the lower court denied. The defendant appealed.

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A personal injury lawsuit can involve more than just an accident where someone acted negligently. If you were the victim of an intentional act of violence like battery or sexual abuse, then you can bring a civil claim against the perpetrator to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. This claim is separate from any criminal charges that are pressed against the person who hurt you. The medical expenses and emotional distress that results from an intentional tort can be devastating. Call a North Carolina personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your potential legal rights.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion discussing a case where a man died from injuries he sustained after being punched in the head at a bar. The defendant and decedent arranged to meet at the club to discuss an alleged altercation between the defendant’s sister and the decedent. The decedent arrived with two friends and his sister. The defendant punched the decedent soon after and he fell striking his head on the floor. He was taken to a hospital where he was eventually declared brain dead and removed from life support.

The decedent’s brother filed a wrongful death action against the defendant alleging a number of claims. Evidence in the record suggested that the decedent and his mother had a special bond. He lived with his mother and provided her with assistance around the house. Witnesses testified that the mother’s behavior changed after the death and she stopped taking care of her health issues. She suffered a major stroke roughly one year after the death.

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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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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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