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Road Debris – Who Pays for Your Damages?

A colleague of mine was hauling one of those large plastic toddler play houses in the back of her truck recently, when suddenly the roof of the house blew off right onto the roadway, causing traffic behind her to swerve into other lanes to avoid crashing into the roof. She pulled over and retrieved the runaway roof, thankfully avoiding injury to herself or other drivers.

The incident prompted a conversation about injuries and accidents from escaping debris. Who is responsible? What role does insurance play? And just what would have been the legal consequences to my colleague if that roof had caused an accident and injury in North Carolina? Points on her license? A fine? Traffic court? Jail?

Road Debris Causes Numerous Crashes Says AAA

A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that unsecured loads falling off cars and trucks have been blamed for more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roads between 2011 and 2014. There were 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths from those incidents during that time.

More than a third of those deaths occurred because drivers swerved to avoid the debris.

Roadway debris can be a serious matter. One of our clients was severely injured in a life-altering way because of roadway debris.

What NC Law Says About Debris on NC Roads

Drivers responsible for creating road debris can face fines in every U.S state. All 50 states have laws that make unsecured loads illegal, according to AAA, with fines that range from $10 to $5,000. North Carolina’s fines are capped at $100.

North Carolina says you must properly secure all items on a vehicle. If you don’t and you cause an accident, you may be held liable. Specifically NC law states:

“No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is constructed and loaded to prevent any of its load from falling, blowing, dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom, and the vehicle shall not contain any holes, cracks, or openings through which any of its load may escape.”

Legal penalties for infraction are determined by the degree of the infraction. It could be misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the degree of willful negligence.

Will Auto Insurance Cover Road Debris Accidents?

But what about auto insurance? Will it pay for your damages or injuries if you crash as a result of running into or trying to swerve from road debris? In many instances, yes.

Crashing Into an Object

If your vehicle is damaged from running into or running over an object in the road, then your collision coverage should most likely pay for repairs.

Flying Objects That Land on Your Car

If the object flies through the air and hits your car, then your comprehensive coverage may come into play.

Personal Injury

If you or a passenger are injured, personal injury protection or medical payments would likely pay for treatment of injuries.

Getting the At-Fault Driver to Pay

If the accident was the result of someone failing to secure a load, you may be able to make a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance.

It’s always prudent to file a police report, which can help establish the facts for your insurance claim.

Road Debris Safety Tips

If You Are Driving

  • Try to look farther than two or three cars ahead, so you potentially have time to change lanes before you reach a hazard.
  •  In many instances it can be safer to hit the debris than to swerve to try to avoid it. (Remember that more than a third of road debris deaths occurred from swerving.)
  • If you’re on a roadway at night (and it’s not foggy and there’s no traffic), drive with your high beams on so you can potentially spot debris in the road.
  • Call 911 to report hazards in the roadway.

If You Are Carrying a Load

  • Properly secure the load on your vehicle. Test your cargo before you leave. If it moves, secure it better.
  • If you lose something, pull to the side of the road where it is safe and call 911. Keep your seatbelt fastened until help arrives.

Get Free Advice From Experienced NC Road Debris Lawyers

Proving liability can be tricky because North Carolina laws on road debris can be vague and leave lots of room for interpretation. Based on our experience in fighting the insurance companies for compensation for damages and injuries, we strongly advise getting an experienced roadway debris lawyer.

If you have been injured by roadway debris, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. Our experienced auto accident lawyers will evaluate your case for FREE.

How to Try to Avoid Hitting a Deer – 11 Tips!

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission estimates our deer population this year is topping roughly a million. And those million or so deer are watching for two things – mates and hunters. Especially from October through December, which is their mating season and our deer hunting season.

With nearly 18,000 animal-related car crashes in North Carolina (90% of them deer) in 2104, these fleet footed beauties are not looking out for you or your car.

1912586_1Deer on the Move in Autumn

While deer can travel at any time, be particularly alert between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. – and especially at dawn, and in areas where there’s development and where deer are being displaced. For example, for many years there has been a lot of construction and development in Wake County. And likely as a result, it has had the highest number of deer-related crashes 12 years in a row through 2015, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

11 Tips to Try to Avoid Deer-Related Car Damage or Injury

Here’s what the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and other roadway safety experts suggests to try to avoid colliding with a deer.

Preventative Measures

  1. Deer travel in groups. If you see one deer cross the road, others are likely nearby.
  2. Slow down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening.
  3. Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-related car crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  4. Deer are most likely to travel near bridges, overpasses, railroad tracks, and streams and ditches, and this is where most deer crashes occur.
  5. Drive with high beams on when prudent, and watch for eyes reflecting in the headlights.
  6. Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also crash.
  7. Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away. Deer can be easily mesmerized by consistent light, so flashing your lights may also help scare the deer away.
  8. Do not swerve to avoid a collision with deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, flipping it over, veering it into oncoming traffic, or overcorrecting and running off the road, causing a more serious crash.
  9. Let off your brakes if you see you are about to collide. GEICO Insurance company suggests that you try to let off the brakes at the moment of impact. Braking through the impact could cause the hood of your vehicle to dip down, which can propel the animal through the windshield.
  10. Do not rely on deer-related devices such as deer whistles, deer fences, or reflectors to deter deer, as these devices have not proven to reduce deer-vehicle crashes.
  11. Do not touch the deer if you crash into it. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. Get your car safely off the road if possible, and call 911 to report the accident.

Get Evidence That a Deer Caused the Crash

Take a photo of any evidence that shows you hit a deer. (For insurance reasons. I’m not suggesting you should pull over and take a selfie.) If you see any animal skin, hair, or other parts on your car (in the grill perhaps), get it on camera up close.

Sounds insensitive and inhumane, I know. (I love deer and I wouldn’t like to do this, myself.) But the reality is if you report the accident to your insurance company or if someone is injured as a result, you will need proof that you faced a “sudden emergency.”

Proof You Were Not Negligent

In North Carolina (and many states) there is a legal principle called the “sudden emergency doctrine” that can be used to defend negligence on your part.  It provides a challenge to the standard of care for ordinary negligence in certain situations where you are faced with an emergency situation.  In other words, an action that might have otherwise been negligent, might not be so if you are confronted with a surprise emergency situation.

Proof for Insurance Company

Let’s say, for example, no one is injured (except the deer), but the front of your car is a mess. The insurance company will want proof that you actually did hit a deer. Or that you swerved to avoid the deer. Otherwise they could deny your claim. Or at the very least, if they cannot prove you hit a deer, they could raise your rates.

While our firm handles primarily personal injury cases (not auto damage claims), here is food for thought about how an insurance company may view your predicament if you are filing for auto damages.

The insurance company cannot recover damages from the deer. (We all know deer don’t pay insurance premiums.) And even though colliding with a deer or any wildlife is technically considered a collision, this particular type of collision is usually covered under your comprehensive policy. Usually with comprehensive, you don’t’ pay a deductible and your rates are not likely to go up.

If your insurance company doesn’t see “evidence” that you hit a deer, they might make you file your car damages claim under your collision policy, which means you will pay your deductible and they could increase your rates!

Deer-Related Accident? NC Auto Accident Attorneys Offer FREE Evaluation

If you do find yourself in a situation where you have been injured in any type of car wreck through no fault of your own, contact us  or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE.

Hurricane Matthew – What Do You Do If Your Car Hydroplanes? (And Other Road Hazard Tips)

If Hurricane Matthew sets its eye near North Carolina, the Category 3 storm is likely to cause quite a wave of car accidents if history is any guide.

Driving in heavy rain, high winds, or any type of inclement weather means you should take extra precautions for everyone’s safety – including your own.

Have an Evacuation Plan

The most important thing is to have an evacuation plan – especially if you are along the coast or in low-lying areas. If the state issues evacuations, heed them.

If you do get caught in hazardous road conditions, here are some tips to help you and others try to stay safe on slick, flooded, and windy roads.

Tips to Help You Drive Safer Despite Hurricane Matthew

Driving in Heavy Rain

Do not use cruise control. When you are not in cruise control and you lift your foot off the gas to brake, the front of your car starts to dip a bit, transferring some weight to the front. This gives the front tires more traction. In cruise control, the car doesn’t dip when you brake. Instead the speed remains constant so you lose that early weight transfer.

Watch for splashing from potholes and pools of water. If the roadway develops “ruts” where the heaviest traffic tracks, try to drive within them while remaining in your lane to avoid pools of water.

Never drive through high water. Cars can be swept off the road in only a foot of moving water, and roads covered by water can collapse. Driving through it may stall your engine, which can cause irreparable damage if you try to restart it. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route. If you cannot, click here for tips from The Weather Network on how to proceed with caution.

And remember, never ever drive through water with a downed electrical line.

Be aware of skidding and hydroplaning.  If you feel the car begin to skid, remain calm and steer in the direction where you want the car to go. Don’t slam on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

When you hydroplane, your tires have very little to no contact with the road. Most hydroplane skids last for just a split second before your car regains traction. Waiting it out is the best way to handle the situation. Remain calm and don’t make sudden turns or motions. Just let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you are heading.  Keep a steady hand on the wheel and steer with small movements to correct your course.

Be aware that brakes can be affected by water. Wet drum type brakes are especially prone to decreased stopping power after driving through deep water. Occasionally pump your brakes gently to help dry them and make sure they work.

Turn on the defroster if the windshield fogs.

Driving in Windy Conditions

Expect gusts. Take special care when driving through areas prone to strong winds, such as wide open areas, bridges, and overpasses.

Be diligent near larger vehicles. Tractor-trailers and recreational vehicles are more susceptible to high winds, and drivers may have difficulty staying in their lanes.

Keep a firm grip on the wheel. Keep both hands on the wheel in case the wind begins to move your vehicle, especially if you are driving a large vehicle or towing a trailer. If the wind begins to move you, gently steer in the direction you want to go.

Driving Defensively in Hazardous Weather

Keep both hands on the wheel.

Slow down. Rule of thumb: reduce your speed by 10 mph each time you increase your windshield wiper speed. Driving slower reduces your risk of losing contact with the road and can possibly help keep you from hydroplaning.

Stay 5 seconds behind the car in front of you. Watch the car in front of you as it passes a fixed object, like a light or utility pole. Then count 5 seconds. If you reach your marker before 5 seconds, you may be too close for a sudden emergency.

Pay attention to the front, sides, and back of you. Be aware of falling or flying debris, electrical wires, mudslides, puddles, swerving cars, and anything that may cause you to lose control of your car.

Turn off cell phones and the radio. And don’t do anything that distracts you from driving. You need to be extra cautious and diligent while driving in slick windy conditions.

Turn on your headlights. Even in daylight. Besides, it’s the law in North Carolina. Remember: wipers on, lights on.

Prepare Your Car for a Hurricane

Tires should have proper inflation and the tread should have more than 2/32-inch. An easy way to check the tread depth is to insert a penny into each groove with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head (including his hair), you need new tires. Consult your car manual to check for the proper tire pressure for the recommended tires. NHTSA offers many other tire safety facts.

Rotate your tires. Goodyear recommends you rotate them every 3,000 to 6,000 miles to help keep the tread life and even wear.

Use a rain repellent on your windshield, side windows, and mirrors to clear standing raindrops.

Keep a car emergency kit. At the very least, have a flashlight, window breaker tool, and seatbelt cutter or Swiss army knife. The National Hurricane Center offers more information on hurricane safety kits.

North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

If you do find yourself in a situation where you were injured on slick hazardous roadways or in any condition because of someone else’s negligence, contact us.

  • Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times1more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.
  • We are one of the largest personal injury law firms in North Carolina and have many resources to draw from.
  • We have recovered over $600 million2 total for more than 30,000 clients since 1997.
  • We have more than 150 staff members, including over 35 attorneys.
  • Several of our lawyers have achieved peer- and client-reviewed designations including Best Lawyers Best Lawyers in America 20173 and Lawyer of the Year 20174; Super Lawyers Rising Star 20165 and Super Lawyer 20166.

(See for yourself some of the things clients have to say about us.)

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From North Carolina Lawyers

If you are injured in a car crash, we strongly urge you to contact us  or call 1-866-900-7078. We will evaluate your situation for FREE and let you know if we think we can help.


P.S. Click here if you want your teen driver to learn hands-on defensive driving techniques under simulated hazardous conditions. There’s a non-profit organization in NC that offers instruction around NC and the U.S.


1  Insurance Research Council 1999.

2  Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

3  Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel Magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” For information regarding standards for inclusion visit

4  Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the Lawyer of the Year, making this accolade particularly significant. Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit

5  To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. Rising Stars undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. While up to 5% of the lawyers in any state are named “Super Lawyers,” by  Super Lawyers magazine, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit

6  Super Lawyers undergo a rigorous, multiphase process which combines peer nominations with third-party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made annually on a state-by-state basis. For information regarding standards for inclusion visit

Why Are More Bikers Dying? 4 Main Reasons. And 4 Things You Can Do.

I love riding my motorcycle. Been riding for years. My dad had an old, ugly green Honda CB when I was a kid. My uncle airbrushed Harleys. Another uncle used to take me out jumping giant mounds of dirt on my grandfather’s tobacco farm down east. I was enthralled at a young age and got my first dirt bike, a Yamaha Mini Enduro, when I was only six years old. I got my first road bike as soon as I turned 16.

mj-bike-1My current bike, shown here, is an 1800cc beast of a machine.

When my wife announced she wanted to start riding together (on a motorcycle of her own), I was a bit surprised – but definitely up for it.

She, as usual, did the smart thing and enrolled both of us in a motorcycle safety class.

While I have always tried to be careful and prudent while enjoying the freedom of the open road, I had not taken a motorcycle safety course in many years. I am thankful my wife gave me a reason to. What I learned was that the roads today are a far cry from when I first started riding more than 30 years ago. The recent accident and death rates are alarming – particularly for “older” riders. So much so, that I felt compelled to do some additional research of my own. I’d like to share reasons I found behind the rise in motorcycle fatalities, and offer ways each of us can try to keep motorcycle safety in mind.

By the way, even if you do not own a motorcycle, you should be aware of some of the ways you may be unintentionally contributing to an unsafe environment for motorcyclists.

Increase in North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Fatalities

I was surprised to learn that a primary reason for the rising death toll in all motor vehicle accidents both in North Carolina and nationwide is due to an increase in motorcycle fatalities. Motorcyclist deaths in 2015 accounted for 13% of all vehicle fatalities in North Carolina, and were the highest in seven years both nationwide and in our state.

It got me to thinking. Why the uptick? What has changed? And more importantly, how can each of us help keep motorcyclists – and each other – safer on North Carolina’s roadways?

4 Likely Reasons for Increased Motorcycle Fatalities

  1. Nationally, fewer riders are wearing helmets. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declares that having universal helmet laws is the single most effective way for states to save the lives of motorcyclists. In North Carolina about 80 lives are saved for each 100,000 licensed motorcycle drivers, according to an article in North Carolina Health News. Helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the 1970s, all but three states mandated helmets. Yet lobbying efforts by rider groups and “personal freedom” advocates slowly etched away at those mandates. By 2012, only 19 states still had mandatory helmet laws. North Carolina is one of them.
    Look, I get that most of us are on the road in part for the feeling of freedom that riding offers. But there are certain basics that increase safety. Airbags, seatbelts, staying sober, and using helmets all contribute to saving lives. I enjoy my freedom, and I encourage you to enjoy responsibly.
  2. Reduced gas prices means there are more cars and trucks crowding the roadways. Cars and trucks are larger and heavier than motorcycles. Common sense and the laws of physics dictate the motorcyclist is on the losing end in the event of a crash. The fatality rate for motorcycle riders is 26 times the rate of death for people in cars. This is partly because a motorcycle doesn’t provide the protection that a car would, such as seat belts, air bags, and a cage of metal armor.
  3. There is an alarming rise in distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, 26% of car accidents are caused by cell phone use. In North Carolina more than 22% of accidents resulted from distracted driving. Distracted driving is not limited to texting while driving. It includes anything that distracts you from paying attention to the road.
  4. Alcohol and drug use has also been a factor in motorcyclist fatalities. This, sadly, is what the Governors Highway Safety Association reports. And more often than not, it was the biker who was drinking. Don’t be that biker.

4 Tips to Try to Keep Motorcyclists Safer – and Others Too

North Carolina offers so many scenic roadways, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is the longest scenic roadway in America. And don’t forget The Dragon, which attracts riders from all over the country. Many motorcyclists believe this drive is best experienced from a motorcycle. But safely. Here are some ways to maximize safety, whether you’re on a motorcycle or in a vehicle.

  1. Alcohol and drugs have no business being a part of any road trip – no matter what you are driving.
  2. Pay attention to the road. Especially when motorcycles are nearby. Look in both side mirrors if you hear a motorcycle. Be diligent. You are driving at least a two-ton vehicle. If you’re a motorcyclist, don’t serpentine between cars at the speed of light on the interstate. Many drivers will not being paying attention to their surroundings – and that includes you.
  3. If you’re a motorcyclist wear protective clothing and gear – the brighter the better. You want drivers to see you. As much as I believe in helmets, I also strongly believe in hi-viz. Only once do I recall getting a call from an injured motorcyclist who was wearing hi-viz clothing. I personally always wear a hi-viz helmet and jacket and follow the ATGATT rule: All The Gear, All The Time. You will always find me riding in boots, heavy-duty pants, leather or armored jacket, gloves, and a full-face helmet. And you’ll see me coming from a mile away.
  4. Helmet laws are mandatory in North Carolina. Wear them. We have represented too many motorcycle crash victims who did not obey this law. Some lived, some did not. Others’ lives were forever changed.

FREE Evaluation From Our North Carolina Motorcycle Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call a fellow biker. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation or call 1-866-900-7078.

What’s Wrong With Providing a Recorded Statement to My Workers’ Comp Adjuster?

What a lot of clients are surprised to learn when they come to us is that sometimes the insurance company who is supposed to help when you are sick or injured on the job, may use your words against you to deny benefits.

Sad, but true.

I’m referring to one of the first moments of truth an injured worker faces after an injury – the recorded statement.

Seems innocent enough, you reason. I’ll just tell them in my own words what happened. Tell the truth, you think. Think again. The words you use can (and often are) used against you by the very entity you expect to help you in your time of need.

What Is a Recorded Statement?

The recorded statement is an approach the insurance company uses to investigate your workers’ compensation claim to determine if they will accept or deny your claim.

One of the very first things the insurance company often does after you report an injury is to proceed with a recorded statement.

What’s Wrong With Giving a Recorded Statement?

Based on our experience, you need to know a few things about the recorded statement:

  • The questions can sometimes be asked in such a way as to give the insurance company ammunition they may need to deny your claim.
  • If you don’t agree to a recorded statement, your claim may very well be denied because the insurance adjuster could potentially argue that you refused to cooperate with their investigation. And as a result, there was insufficient information with which to make a determination.
  • The insurance adjuster most likely already knows more about your case then you suspect.
  • The insurance adjuster has a better understanding of North Carolina workers’ compensation law than you.

If you agree to give a recorded statement, proceed with caution. A wrong answer could damage your case and result in denying you benefits.

How Might an Innocuous Statement Hurt Me?

“I’m fine, thank you”

Let’s say you recently suffered a traumatic injury at work. The adjuster calls and states that the call will be recorded. You acknowledge that. After that, the adjuster might start the recorded statement by asking something like “How are you today?

Naturally, it is good old-fashioned common courtesy to give a rhetorical response along the lines of “I’m fine; thank you.” or “I’m doing OK today.” However, your response may not be considered rhetorical to the adjuster. It’s gospel! The adjuster could very well take those words to mean that you really are fine and the traumatic injury you reported was not that traumatic after all.

“Nothing unusual”

Some workplace injuries do not fall under the protections of our state’s workers’ compensation laws – and insurance companies are keenly aware of this. Let’s say, for example, you injure your arm after lifting a box at work. If lifting a box is a normal part of your job then there’s a good chance the injury will not be compensable.

During the recorded statement the adjuster might ask “What happened?” They already know your likely answer will be, “I injured my arm lifting a box at work.” The next question might be “Did anything unusual happen?”  You might think the insurance adjuster is asking if there was a fire, a power outage, maybe an equipment malfunction – something out of the ordinary. Those seem like unusual events to you. But what the insurance adjuster may really be asking is a very pointed question that could potentially be designed to steer your claim toward a quick denial.

Let’s go back to the injury sustained while lifting the box. “Unusual” by their definition might mean that this particular box was heavier or lighter than other boxes. Or perhaps the box slipped from your grasp and your arm was injured as you tried to save it from crashing to the ground. This is very important information that injured workers may not consider “unusual.” And it is something that could potentially help your case. The adjusters know this! And we know they know it.

Our NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers Help With Recorded Statements

The recorded statement is almost always taken over the phone, often because people that participate in the recorded statement live in different cities and states. We find that’s a disadvantage to you because the insurance adjuster does not have the opportunity to view you physically to see, firsthand, the difficulties you are experiencing as a result of your workplace injury.

Instead, the insurance adjuster will have to rely on what you say in response to the well-crafted questions they ask you.

If your case is denied because you would not offer a recorded statement, you need to immediately contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney to pursue your case and to try to ensure that your rights are protected. By understanding what information the insurance company wants to obtain, we can better equip you to provide honest responses that may reduce the likelihood of your case being denied. We can not only prepare you for the recorded statement, we can also be present with you during your statement to try to ensure your rights are protected.

TIP! As a general rule, experience has taught us the best plan of action when you are asked to give a recorded statement is to immediately contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney.

Get a FREE Evaluation From an NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Not only do we have many experienced workers’ comp attorneys who deal with these issues every day, we have six North Carolina Board Certified specialists in workers’ comp law. And we have a number of team members who used to work for the insurance companies – and two who worked at the NC Industrial Commission! So we have a pretty good bead on their game.

Before you proceed with a recorded statement, contact us or call us at 1-866-900-7078. If the insurance company isn’t there for you in your time of need, we will certainly do our best to try to help. Call us anytime 24/7.

If You Ignore a Recall and You’re Injured, Will Insurance Pay?

From the latest VW emissions cheating device scandal to GM ignition switch malfunctions to the Takata airbag recall (the largest recall ever), car and car parts recalls seem to have accelerated exponentially over the past several years.

Over the past 50 years, 400 million cars have been recalled – as many as could stretch around the earth’s equator almost 45 times! That’s a lot of recalls.

When a recall is issued, the manufacturer and/or the dealer, sends a notice to the owner outlining steps to fix the problem. But surprisingly many auto owners either don’t pay attention to the recall notices or ignore the issue when notified. If that happens, and an injury occurs to the owner or to others, who is liable for damages?

Here’s what attorney Mike Jordan had to say about this issue when interviewed on WNCT 9 On Your Side, Greenville.

Kids Can Overheat When Left in Cars – EVEN WHEN IT’S NOT HOT OUT

8 Things to Know

Many of us are parents. We’re painfully familiar with the soccer mom routine. Rushing from errand to errand, sport to sport, store to store.

And getting babies and toddlers in and out of car seats can take a long time! Even loving and well-meaning parents might feel compelled to leave their precious ones strapped in the car seat in a locked car (especially if they’re asleep) and “run in and out of the grocery store for a quick two minutes.” But if it’s hot outside, even warm, that two-minute trip could turn deadly fast. And in the first seven months of 2016, it did for 19 children across the U.S – two in North Carolina.

The stories are beyond heartbreaking.

Recent Hot Car Deaths in North Carolina

Earlier this week a three-year-little girl was spotted unresponsive in a locked van in Durham. Efforts to revive her failed.

In May, an eight-month-old baby was found dead in the backseat of his mother’s car in Wilmington. WWAY Wilmington reported that when the mother went to the day-care center to pick him up, she realized she had never dropped off her child, but instead left him inside the car all day – in 86-degree heat.

How Hot Is Too Hot?

Those stories might lead you to believe it’s only extreme circumstances, like accidentally leaving the child in there all day, or high-temperature levels, that could turn deadly, but that’s not true.

A car can heat up 19 degrees every 10 minutes, according to a report by the Today Show. One heat-related death of a 13-month-old child occurred on a 52-degree day!

There are ways to prevent these tragedies. Here are some of them.

8 Ways You Can Help Prevent Deaths in Overheated Cars

  1. When debating whether or not to make that quick run into the store or office, a rule of thumb is: When in doubt, DON’T. No errand in the world is worth losing a life.
  2. Make a consistent effort to check your car when you get out. You never want to “forget” your child.
  3. Place an essential item such as a wallet, phone, badge, or even one of your shoes near the child when you enter your car. This could help you remember. Or if you do happen to forget, hopefully you will return for your belongings and discover the child.
  4. Leave your child at home if you can. Run errands and then return to pick up your child afterward.
  5. Make a schedule for your day, so you are not in any hurry and can make direct trips without stops.
  6. Lock the car at home and keep the keys out of reach so curious little ones don’t accidentally crawl in and get stuck there.
  7. If you see something, say something. Call 9-1-1 if you see a child – or an elderly man/woman, or a pet – locked in a car.

How to Rescue Someone From a Hot Car

Here is a very informative must-see video from Todays Show that shows exactly how to rescue a child (or a pet for that matter) out of a hot car. Spoiler alert. It’s not how you might think.

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Infants and toddlers are most at risk – 87%of children who have died in hot cars are under age three. And young children are likely to overheat almost twice as fast as adults. (The elderly are also at higher risk.)
  • Heat stroke may occur when body temperature surpasses 104 degrees. Excessive brain temperature can cause such symptoms as:
    • Dizziness
    • Disorientation
    • Agitation
    • Confusion
    • Sluggishness
    • Seizure
    • Hot dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Rapid heart beat
    • Hallucinations
    • Death
  • If the outside temperature is 90 degrees, temperatures inside a car can increase from 80 to 130 degrees in less than 10 to 15 minutes.

You Can Help Prevent Heat Stroke

We hope you learned as much as we did researching this blog. For more helpful tips on keeping your child safe in a car, please visit


Will I Get Workers’ Comp Benefits If I Got Hurt on the Job in Another State?

We live in a mobile society where people sometimes live in one place and work in another. It’s not uncommon for an individual or family to reside in one city or state for only a short period of time before moving on to another community.

What happens if you live in North Carolina when you get hurt on the job in another state? And what happens if you’re hurt on the job in North Carolina and then move to another state?

The short answer is you are still entitled to benefits in most instances. But we urge anyone in these circumstances to get a lawyer to help them navigate this process. Here’s why.

Hurt on the Job in Another State

If you get hurt on the job while in North Carolina, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina. If you travel outside the state for work, the protections of the workers’ compensation system generally travel with you.

TIP! Workers who are hurt outside the state can still pursue a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim if their employment contract was made in North Carolina.


Seems simple enough. But it’s not always. Whether your employment contract was made in North Carolina can often be a complex question. And one that’s best addressed by an experienced workers’ comp attorney.

Generally speaking, your employment contract is formed wherever you were hired. This means if you live in North Carolina and are hired by your employer in North Carolina, then you can usually pursue a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim no matter where your injury occurs. So, for example, if you’re hired in North Carolina as a long-haul trucker, and are injured in a work-related accident driving in Virginia, you would generally be able to pursue a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim.

But again, I cannot stress enough that these situations can often be difficult to properly address as there can be many nuances in workers’ compensation law.

Getting NC Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Moving Out of State

Sometimes an injured worker has no choice but to move out of North Carolina for one reason or another.

TIP! The injured worker’s right to wage and medical benefits is not usually affected by relocation to another state.


Still, certain practical difficulties can arise in these situations. For example, the insurance company might argue that they would have had work for you if you hadn’t moved, so they should be able to cut off your checks. (I’ve heard this one.) A skilled and experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help, not only deal with some of these difficulties, but try to help you avoid them in the first place.

Getting Workers’ Comp Wage Benefits Out of State

If you’re hurt on the job and are receiving weekly wage benefit checks, simply moving to another state will not automatically disqualify you from continuing to receive benefits.

However, that has not stopped some workers’ comp insurance companies from trying to use an out of state relocation against the injured worker. We’ve seen it happen. It can be a slippery slope, but an experienced attorney can help combat their arguments.

Don’t wait too long before hiring an attorney, though. Time is not on your side in these instances and delay can sometimes hurt your claim.

Getting Workers’ Comp Medical Benefits Out of State

Moving to another state also does not disqualify you from continuing to receive the medical treatment you need to recover from your work injury. After all, if you require certain medical treatment for your injury while you live in North Carolina, nothing about your need for treatment changes because you move to Tennessee.

TIP! No matter where you are, the insurance company is responsible for paying for your medical care.


However, as a practical matter, it can sometimes be difficult to find doctors in other states who will agree to treat an out-of-state workers’ comp patient. Again, it’s prudent to contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney who can help address any problems you may likely face from an out-of-state move.

2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”

There are 28,000* attorneys licensed to practice in North Carolina. Of course, not all practice workers’ compensation law, but many do. Here are just a handful of very good reasons we believe you should consider the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin to help you with your workers’ comp claim.

Our firm received the highest ranking by the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for Workers’ Compensation in the greater Raleigh area**.

Our workers’ comp attorneys include six North Carolina Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists. One is a former North Carolina state senator and former Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission (the workers’ compensation “court”). Others used to work for workers’ compensation defense firms.

Get NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers to Evaluate Your Case FREE

With all these credentials, you may think you can’t afford to hire us. We believe you can. We work on contingency, which means you pay no attorney’s fees unless we get compensation for you.

Any of our attorneys will be happy to evaluate the circumstances you may be up against – for FREE. Just click here or give us a call at 1-866-900-7078.


*  Figure provided by the N.C. State Bar as of December 31, 2015.

** Visit for more information about criteria for inclusion.