Articles Posted in Premises Liability

National Childhood Injury Prevention Week happens in September.  It’s a time when parents in North Carolina, South Carolina and across the U.S. help raise awareness about preventable accidents that result in injury and death to children each year.

shutterstock_547980853-300x200According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9.2 million people from ages 0-19 are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries, while another 12,000 die from “unintentional injuries” each year.

The leading causes of these “unintentional injuries” are pedestrian/traffic accidents, drowning, falls, and burns. For children under 1 year of age, suffocation was the leading cause of death, while drowning was the most likely cause for children 1 to 4 years of age. From 4 to 19, more children were killed as the result of being an occupant in a motor vehicle crash than any other cause of death.

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stockfresh_6321710_bright-eyed-unique-looking-dog-canine-looks-at-camera_sizeS-300x200As “man’s best friend,” dogs are known for their friendly, devoted nature and their willingness to protect those they love. At the same time, the gentlest dog can get aggressive under certain circumstances, and can end up biting or attacking strangers, acquaintances or even those they know well.

At Grimes Teich Anderson, LLP, animal attacks are one of the many types of cases we handle. We understand the serious injuries and potential scarring these attacks can cause. In many cases, it is possible to get compensation for your damages through a homeowner’s insurance claim against the dog owner’s policy, avoiding the need for any further legal action.

Dog Bite Injuries

According to the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP), as many as 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. More than 800,000 dog bite injuries are serious enough as to require medical treatment.

Over half of the dogs involved in these attacks were owned by family members, friends, and neighbors. A significant percent of the victims in these cases are children.

Even if you are familiar with a dog, there are certain situations in which they could attack. Dog bite injuries are more likely to happen if the dog is sick or feels threatened, and a get together with friends or neighbors involving music and lots of noise could be enough of a trigger.

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The tragic death of a two-year-old boy from Nebraska in the water by Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel as the result of an alligator attack may have some families considering their own safety when they make plans for outings in similar places.

stockfresh_1879902_roller-coster_sizeS-300x200Amusement parks, with their sprawling spaces, various features and terrains, and day-long and sometimes week-long guests, are responsible for the enormous task of keeping their premises safe, secure, and as hazard-free as possible for their guests. That is not an easy task, and at times companies fail to adequately address safety hazards.

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stockfresh_5975459_doctor-holding-brain-mri_sizeS-300x200Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions and other head injuries can have devastating long-term consequences. All employers must take proper precautions in order to protect workers from suffering a TBI. Construction workers, in particular, are at high risk.

Unfortunately, far too many construction companies are still falling short of their legal duty to protect the safety of their workers. If you have suffered a construction TBI in Western North Carolina or Upstate South Carolina, please contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP today to discuss your legal options.

Traumatic Brain Injuries on Construction Sites

TBIs on construction sites are a major problem. Recently, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report exploring the frequency of traumatic brain injuries in the construction field. The study was included in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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stockfresh_3606518_swimming-pool_sizeS-300x200When children are out of school for the summer and look to have fun in pools and on trampolines, they see fun, not danger. Many parents, too, don’t realize the hidden dangers that trampolines and pools present to children.

However, the statistics do not lie. A study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine found that approximately 289,000 children suffered bone fractures as a result of accidents on trampolines between 2002 and 2011, according to USA Today. A similar study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics found that trampoline accidents resulted in 1 million emergency room visits during the same period.

Pools are not any safer. An average of 10 people per day died in unintentional, non-boating-related drownings between 2005 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 50 percent of these victims were children under the age of 14.

Who Is Responsible for Swimming Pool and Trampoline Accidents?

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stockfresh_4512872_penalty_sizeS-300x212Companies in the North Carolina are facing stiff penalties if they fail to purchase required workers’ compensation insurance to pay for their employees’ workplace injuries and occupational illnesses, according to a recent report by the Raleigh News & Observer.

In the past year, more than 100 employers across the state have been charged with crimes for failing to carry the legally required workers’ compensation insurance, and more than $1 million in fines have been levied against uninsured employers, according to the article. Continue Reading

stockfresh_5321475_judge-giving-verdict-by-hitting-mallet_sizeS-300x200I handed the document to my client while the jury watched us. I asked my client, “Can you tell me what this document is?” He answered honestly, “It’s the property damage estimate… prepared by State Farm”.  I knew what was coming, and I slumped. Defense counsel stood up and asked the judge, “Can I take a matter up outside of the presence of the jury?” The jury was marched out of the courtroom so the lawyers could speak to the judge.

At that point, the lawyer hired by the insurance company to represent the person who rear-ended my client made a motion for mistrial.  Mistral means that the trial is so irretrievably broken that a whole new trial must be started. Bear in mind that only the truth had been spoken. The document had been prepared by State Farm, but it also had been carefully redacted by agreement of the parties to remove all reference to State Farm. There was no mention as to who State Farm Insurance Company insured in the case, and it was just as likely that State Farm insured my client and prepared the property damage estimate for him. Furthermore, state law requires that owners have car insurance. Nevertheless, the trial court granted the insurance company lawyer’s motion for mistrial. Days of preparation for that trial were wasted. We will re-try the case, but much will have to be redone.

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stockfresh_749112_the-guardian_sizeS-300x200With many American households owning at least one canine, chances are you know a friend, a relative or a neighbor who has a dog. Many dogs may appear to be friendly, but it is important to remember that any dog is capable of biting or attacking – even a dog that you are familiar with and have spent a significant amount of time around.

A dog attack is no trivial matter. Victims can face serious injuries such as:

• Deep cuts and lacerations
• Puncture wounds
• Broken bones if you are knocked to the ground by a dog
• Infections
• Disfigurement and scarring
• Loss of limbs such as fingers

If you or a loved one have been attacked by a vicious dog, the most pressing matter is for you to seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. You may also consider filing a dog bite lawsuit in North Carolina or South Carolina to recover compensation for your injuries.

Dog Bite Laws in North Carolina and South Carolina

Dog bite laws in North Carolina differ markedly from those in South Carolina. Although both states have adopted “strict liability” laws (meaning that the dog owner can be held responsible for injuries caused by the dog regardless of whether the owner acted carelessly), the conditions under which these strict liability rules may be applied are not the same. Continue Reading

stockfresh_423047_devastated_sizeS-300x225The 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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stockfresh_3489216_fire-flames_sizeS-300x200There’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

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