North Carolina and South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Burn Injuries

The loss of a loved one is one of the most traumatic and psychologically stressful events that a human being can endure. The stress and pain are only magnified when a loved one’s death is sudden, unexpected and caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person. This can leave the surviving family members devastated. Not only must they say goodbye to their loved one and process their feelings of grief and anger, they are also left worrying about the costs associated with the funeral and carrying on without their loved one’s contributions.

While a North Carolina or South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit cannot undo a tragic and untimely death, these lawsuits can provide surviving family members with much-needed financial compensation to address the expenses and losses they must endure because of someone else’s wrongdoing.

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There’s nothing cozier than curling up by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa as fall nights become cooler. Kerosene heaters are also a commonly used option for chasing away the chill in many homes in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Candles, of course, are popular at Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmastime, and add a romantic ambiance during the dark nights of fall and winter.

However, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and candles are all potential fire hazards, so it’s important to make sure you know how to use them safely this fall and winter.

Take Precautions Around Flames of All Kinds

Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe when using fire this season: Continue Reading

The Fourth of July may be over, but the use of fireworks by people on vacation continues in the summer months. If you shrugged off warnings before the Fourth of July about the danger of fireworks and their potential to cause serious injury, you might be interested in a couple of post-holiday news items.

We refer, of course, to reports about two NFL stars who suffered disfiguring injuries in fireworks accidents over the holiday weekend: C.J. Wilson, a North Carolina native who plays with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Wilson, who is from Lincoln County and played at N.C. State University, lost the index and middle fingers on one hand, and Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated and suffered fractures to his right thumb.

These are two pro athletes, which means they have great reflexes and physical instincts and are strong and physically fit.

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Backyard barbecues are a summer staple in American society. As soon as the weather warms, people in the Upstate area head outside to fire up those grills and cook a feast for family and friends. Many people, young and old, have fond memories of picnics around their backyard barbecues.

Fun can be had at these outings, but safety must remain a top concern. Fire and burn injuries are common when propane and charcoal grills are not handled correctly. Inexperience, distractions, alcohol and a wide range of other factors can contribute to serious or fatal burn injuries.

Grill Fire and Injury Statistics

  • According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): Grilling is responsible for an average of 8,800 home fires each year.
  • Approximately 16 percent of these fires are caused when the barbecue is lit and result from an item or object being close enough to catch on fire.
  • One in five grill fires stems from either a leak or broken piece of equipment.
  • In one recent year, 16,900 people were treated in emergency departments for burn injuries associated with grills.
  • Close to half of all burn injuries involving grills are a result of individuals sustaining thermal burns. Continue Reading

Pet Therapy Corkboard Word ConceptAccording to the Humane Society of the United States, pet ownership in the United
States has more than tripled since the 1970’s with about 62% of American households said to have at least one pet in 2012 and 47% of households owning at least one dog. Many of us experience first- hand the joys and benefits of pet ownership. But for those suffering from a mental or physical illness, animals and pets can provide much needed healing and therapeutic benefits.

There are two basic categories of animals that assist the disabled – service animals and therapy animals.

The American Disability Act provides a very specific definition of a “service animal” and as of March 15, 2011 only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA and are defined by the Act as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Service animals are not considered pets and are specifically trained to assist a disabled individual with things such as pushing a wheelchair, alerting one to the sounds of smoke alarms, timers, and telephones; or picking up and carrying
items for an individual. While many therapy animals are specifically trained to provide therapeutic benefits to the disabled, they are not service animals and do not have the same rights to public buildings as service animals. They do, however, provide many healing benefits to the disabled and their families and have been found to significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue for people suffering from mental and physical disabilities. Continue Reading

workerinjury.jpgIf you have been injured on the job, it is critically important that you notify your employer and take certain steps so that you can pursue your Workers’ Compensation benefits in South Carolina.

As a Workers’ Compensation Attorney, here are the two most common questions I get regarding notice:

Who do I need to notify of my work injury?

Giving notice to your employer of your job accident is the first step in obtaining the medical or compensation benefits you deserve. South Carolina requires that an injured worker must notify his or her employer of the accident. The employer representative that you give notice to should be one of your supervisors or managers rather than a co-worker.

Failure to notify your employer of your work injury could keep you from the medical care and compensation that you deserve. It important that every accident on the job, regardless of how insignificant it may seem at that time, is reported to your employer immediately. Sometimes, injuries that seem insignificant at first develop into serious injuries over time.

Ideally, notice of the accident should be given in writing and should specifically state how you were injured and should request that your employer send you for medical care and treatment. It is very important that you ensure that an accident report is filled out, that it correctly states how you were injured, and that you get a copy of the accident report. Too often, claimants are denied the benefits they deserve because their employer never documented the accident; don’t let this happen to you.

How long do I have to give notice of my work injury?

Other than some exceptions, the rule is that you have 90 days from the date of your accident to report your on-the-job injury. Practically though, it is best to notify your employer as soon as possible after your work injury. The sooner you report the injury to your employer, get an accurate accident report filled out, and request medical care the better.

Tell your employer exactly how you were hurt. Insist that an accident report is filled out, review it for accuracy, and request to be sent for medical treatment. Document as much as possible and keep copies of any emails, text messages, or letters you send to your employer.

Workers’ Compensation laws are complex and rapidly changing and every case is different. It important that if you suffer an injury on the job that you contact lawyers that handle these claims and have experience in the area of Workers’ Compensation. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson are here to help you.

If you have been injured on the job and are concerned about whether you properly notified your employer of your accident, have questions about the Workers’ Compensation process in South Carolina, or simply need to find out if you have a case, call Grimes Teich Anderson at 864-421-0770 or contact us over the internet at

Initial workers compensation consultations are free; it won’t cost you anything to speak with us.

We have three convenient office locations in the Upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, and Gaffney. At Grimes Teich Anderson we are committed to protecting the rights of hard working South Carolinians.

A patient has died in a sixth-floor acute care room after a fire at Durham Regional Hospital that sent three others to the emergency room, the News & Observer reported.

Three staff members were treated for smoke inhalation. The hospital has released little information about the victim, except to say the patient was critically ill before the fire and cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner. Firefighters received an alarm at 2:19 a.m. when the building’s sprinkler system activated. Cause of the fire is under investigation. 38746_oxygen.jpg

Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers know hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and elder care facilities have a special duty when it comes to protecting occupants from fire, evacuation hazards and other associated risks. This week’s tragedy underscores the dangers, as does an incident late last month in which a 94-year-old nursing home resident in a wheelchair died after rolling downhill into a ditch of water during a fire drill at an Alabama facility.

Space heaters, holiday decorations and candles increase the risks through the holidays and cold winter months. In fact, the National Safety Council supported National Fire Prevention Week last month as officials kicked off the autumn awareness campaign. Each year, more than 3,000 people are killed in unintentional structure fires.

Unfortunately, fires and workplace explosions are also a common cause of workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina, and of reported serious and fatal work injuries nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its annual report on work injuries last month; 143 employees died in work injuries caused by fire or explosions in 2011.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration makes various requirements of general industry, including compliance with exit codes, design and construction requirements, adequate exit routes, emergency action plans and fire-prevention plans.

The hospital suffered water damage and all six-floor patients were affected. Patients were being moved to open beds as Durham police and Duke University police responded to investigate. Durham Regional Hospital is owned by Duke University. A hospital spokesperson praised staff for quick action during the emergency.

WFMY News reports an explosion rocked the hospital’s entire sixth floor. The news outlet also reported that the hospital’s sixth floor houses Select Specialty Hospital, a separate facility that provides long-term acute care.

Risks and regulations specific to the health care industry may also govern requirements for various facilities. For example, those working with bottled oxygen, are at increased risk of an explosion accident. In April, an Oregon ambulance worker was injured after an oxygen bottle exploded as he was filling tanks. Last month, an exploding oxygen tank started a house fire in Peoria.

Those who survive a fire or explosion are frequently left to deal with serious burn injuries. These injuries are among the worst injuries a victim can suffer. The American Burn Association reports about 450,000 patients received medical treatment for burn injuries last year and about 3,500 died. Almost 50,000 were hospitalized as a result of their injuries.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845 for a free case evaluation. There’s never an attorneys fee unless you’ve been paid.*

*Attorney’s fees are a percentage of the entire recovery and will be deducted before other expenses. In addition to the fee, Client will be responsible for litigation expenses, which will either be deducted from the recovery or paid by the client.

Our Asheville Injury lawyers wish you a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend. Please celebrate responsibly, leave the fireworks to the professionals and don’t drink and drive.

A horrific North Carolina fireworks accident that left three people dead last year on Ocracoke Island has prompted the City of Asheville to change plans for its annual fireworks show, Fox Carolina reported.
The city is moving the event to Memorial Stadium, instead of holding it at its traditional location downtown. The move will also assist the pyrotechnic professionals hired to conduct the show. New state law requires licenses for all pyrotechnic operators. South Carolina has had a similar law on the books since 1991.

“We want communities to have fireworks displays and pay tribute to the holiday,” North Carolina Fire Marshal Kerry Hall told the Charlotte Observer. “Prior to this law, it was up to local jurisdictions to decide what a pyrotechnics expert is. Now we have a minimum benchmark for everyone in the state.”

Fireworks accidents can happen at a professional show (including falling debris) or in your own backyard. Last year’s accident on Ocracoke Island was ruled an accident by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms; a truckload of fireworks exploded near the South Ferry Terminal.
The holiday weekend will also increase the risk of traveling, whether on the roads or on the water. Car accidents in Asheville and elsewhere in North Carolina are most likely to be caused by distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding. Driving at night, in congested traffic or in areas of road construction will also increase the risk.

The USA Today reports that AAA expects high gas prices to put a crimp in travel plans. But it’s all relative — 39 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home over the Fourth of July holiday, compared to 40 million last year.

Other Fourth of July Safety Topics include:

-Barbecue Safety: From food poisoning to propane explosions, grilling out can be dangerous, particularly for those families with small children or where excessive alcohol consumption marks pre-dinner celebration.

-North Carolina Boating Safety: Please be a safe and courteous captain on the water and remember that drinking and boating is as dangerous as drinking and driving.

-North Carolina Swimming Pool Accidents: Always designate an adult in shifts to be responsible for watching children around water, whether lakes or swimming pools. A recent report found even small backyard swimming pools can be dangerous. A total of 244 submersion accidents involving children younger than 12 have occurred in portable pools in the last decade.

And the Consumer Products Safety Commission reports 75 drownings or near drownings were reported before spring even got under way in May.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, contact the North Carolina injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

Additional Resources

New Fireworks Law in Place, by Mark Hensch, Charlotte Observer.

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