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Driving Fatalities Up 13.5 Percent in First Quarter of 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that an estimated 7,630 people died in automobile accidents in the first three months of this year - a 13.5 percent increase over the same time period last year.

EggCars_06092014There were 6,720 fatalities in the same period in 2011, and traffic fatalities had been on the decline in previous years.

If the estimates are confirmed, the numbers would represent the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in automobile fatalities since 1975, when the government began tracking these statistics.

Officials do not have any concrete reasons for the increase in traffic fatalities this year.

Typically, the fatality rate is much lower in the first quarter compared with the rest of the year. Cold winter months keep more people inside and off the roads.

This year, the winter months were unseasonably warm. Since more people tend to drive when the weather is better, some analysts believe that this year's higher than normal temperatures may have contributed to the higher crash fatality rate.

Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that there was an increase of 9.7 billion miles traveled in the first quarter of 2012 compared with 2011.

Whatever the reason for the additional fatalities this year, Jacob Nelson, the director of traffic safety advocacy and research with the Automobile Association of America, says that one thing is clear: "These data show there is more work to be done to improve driver safety such as limiting distractions, reducing impaired driving and promoting a culture of safety among motorists."

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury attorneys may be able to help you!

Newspaper Reports Rise in Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists in Charlotte

The Charlotte Observer performed an analysis of N.C. Department of Transportation Data from 2005 to 2011 and found that distracted drivers, jaywalkers, and inadequate sidewalks and crosswalks have lead to an increase in accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

Accident5_06132014The report found that there were 3,300 accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists from 2005 to 2011. The number of incidents has varied each year, but there were more incidents in 2011 than there were in 2005.

Fourteen people have been killed in accidents while walking or bicycling since January alone, and there were 24 fatalities last year. There were two pedestrian deaths this week.

While the number of fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists increased in Charlotte between 2005 and 2011, the same fatalities dropped nationwide in the same period, and the overall number of wrecks in Charlotte also dropped in the same time period.

The newspaper's report identified 12 trouble spots for accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists in Charlotte. The areas with the most accidents involving pedestrians included uptown, where there are inadequate sidewalks, and low-income communities where more residents walk and use public transportation.

Last year, a study by the safety advocacy group Transportation for America ranked Charlotte 17th most dangerous for pedestrians out of the nation's 52 largest metropolitan areas. Raleigh ranked 13th, and Orlando was 1st.

Need for Increased Safety Measures

Charlotte leaders have pushed for additional sidewalks, crosswalks and other safety features to make the city more pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

The city has adopted a strategic plan that would build 375 miles of sidewalks by 2035. However, the plan has faced roadblocks with funding.

The Observer report noted that about 480 miles of main thoroughfares and 1,600 miles of local roads do not have sidewalks.

A lack of adequate crosswalks - which were either missing or spaced too far apart - has also been a concern. The Charlotte Department of Transportation said it has developed a list of 200 locations where it plans to install pedestrian crosswalk signals.

The city council also said that it will consider a plan that would widen sidewalks and add crosswalks to a main thoroughfare that has been problematic.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you were injured in an accident while walking or biking, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If someone you love was injured or even killed in an accident while walking or biking, the law may provide compensation. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you.

Categories: Personal Injury

10 Most Dangerous Jobs

It may go without saying that working as a Hollywood stuntman is a considerably more dangerous job than working as an accountant. However, many everyday jobs pose considerable health and safety risks, which can result in serious disability and even death.

Some of the most dangerous jobs may surprise you, while others you may have expected. Here are the 10 most dangerous jobs, based on the most recent fatality figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Fisherman

 Opie and Andy Taylor apparently didn't get the message. But, then again, they enjoyed the sitting-on-the-shore variety of fishing, rather than the large-scale commercial variety that involves barges, large nets, and other industrial equipment.

Violent weather seems to be the primary culprit for workplace injuries and fatalities for corporate fishermen. Manufacturing equipment and accidents were also high on the list of causes for injuries.

Logger

 It's easy to see why cutting down trees that are hundreds of feet tall, transporting thousands of pounds of wood, and using high-powered saws and other machinery would lead to some injuries. Workers are also vulnerable to risks from working in high altitudes and inclement weather.

Pilot

Flying in a plane may be more safe than driving in a car for the average person who spends more time in a car and less in a plane - but not for pilots, who increase their odds of being involved in an accident by increasing their time in the air. Human error, malfunctioning machinery, and inclement weather were the primary reasons for injury and death.

Farmer

 Growing corn doesn't seem to be a particularly dangerous job - until you consider all the heavy machinery that is required to grow it, including tractors, harvesters, tillers, and more.

Besides injuries from heavy machinery, farmers also face injury from livestock run amok, becoming trapped inside silos, and breathing in fumes from chemicals sprayed on the crops.

Roofer

 Balancing on top of tall buildings in the blazing sun all day makes you pretty vulnerable to injuries like falls and heat stroke. Add in a strong wind, thunderstorms, and equipment like nail guns and saws and you increase your opportunities for injury exponentially.

Miner

 Miners make it into the news all the time because they have been trapped by an explosion or collapse inside a mine shaft. They are either crushed under falling debris, or they are exposed to noxious gases and other fumes.

Safety regulations and training have reduced the number of workplace injuries, but mining is still an inherently dangerous job.

Sanitation Worker

Sure, picking up other people's trash is definitely a dirty job, but a dangerous job? Turns out the biggest threat to these workers is other drivers on the road. Many suffered injuries or even death when other drivers tried to pass them hurriedly on the road, either hitting them or the truck they were in.

Sometimes, hazardous waste and sharp materials can also lead to injuries.

Truck Driver

 Spending a lot of time on the road greatly increases your chances of being in an accident and being injured. Truck drivers are especially vulnerable because they are driving large trucks that are heavy and are hard to maneuver on the road. They have limited sight distance and are unable to move or stop as quickly.

Drivers who are given unsafe vehicles or who are pushed to drive for long hours without rest are at additional risk.

Stuntman

Stuntmen make their living protecting other people. They are trained to do the dangerous tricks that would put the average person at significant risk for injury or death. But, sometimes, even with all that training, things go wrong.

Stuntmen are at risk of falls, broken bones and fractures, or serious injuries from vehicle crashes and fires.

Sheriff Line2_07032014Police Officer

Police officers are routinely placed in dangerous situations. They have to chase suspects on foot or in their cars, and they are subject to being physically assaulted, stabbed, or even shot. Though they have the training and the equipment designed to keep them safe, they can't protect against all these risks.

Even if you don't work in one of these dangerous jobs, you may still suffer injuries on the job. If you have been injured at work, one of our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you! Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

10 Things You Should Do When You’ve Been in a Car Accident

Crash Ahead Sign_07032014The things you do immediately following an accident can have lasting repercussions. If you are not at fault for the wreck, your actions could affect whether insurance pays your claims or whether you can pursue a case against the responsible party. If you are at fault, your actions could make things even worse.

We work with clients who have been involved in car accidents every day, and we see how unsuspecting people can damage their claims by taking the wrong actions. Make sure that you don't jeopardize your case by taking the wrong steps. Based on our experience, here are 10 things you should do when you have been in a car accident:

Don't Leave the Scene

Leaving the scene of an accident can result in serious criminal charges that may carry fines and even jail time. No matter what consequences you think you might face, they are almost guaranteed to be worse if you leave the scene of the accident.

Secure the Scene

Make sure the scene of the accident does not pose any more dangers to you or other drivers. Remove vehicles from the roadway, clear debris, and move away from any potential hazards, such as fire that may have been sparked from the collision.

Call 911

Even in a minor fender bender, you should call 911 immediately to report the accident and request police and medical assistance. Passengers can suffer serious medical injuries from minor accidents - even if the injuries are not immediately obvious. Law enforcement can also help provide a record of the crash, documenting all the relevant details to assist with an insurance claim or a potential lawsuit.

Get the Other Driver's Information

While you are waiting for police to arrive, go ahead and get the other driver's information if you are able to do so and are not seriously injured. Be sure to get the driver's name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, and vehicle details.

Document Details

If you are not seriously injured, document details of the scene of the accident by taking pictures and jotting down notes about what happened. Take pictures of all the vehicles involved in the crash, drivers and passengers involved in the crash, and other elements of the scene, such as smashed guard rails, tire tracks, and broken glass. Any pictures or notes you take can assist in the handling of a potential claim.

Get Medical Treatment

Once medical help arrives, be sure to get the treatment you need. This may be as simple as some first aid or just a brief examination. Not all injuries may be immediately obvious - such as a concussion or internal bleeding - so prompt medical attention is important to ensure the treatment of serious injuries.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible, either at the scene or once you get home. You will need to provide details about the incident and whatever documentation you have.

Talk to an Attorney

Call an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case and to find out what your rights are. One of the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you fight to get the compensation you may deserve for your injuries.

Don't Talk to the Opposing Insurance Company

You are not obligated to discuss the details of the accident with the other driver's insurance company. Representatives can talk with your attorney, or they can deal with your insurance company directly.

Keep Records

Be sure to maintain records of your accident, including your police report, photos or notes you took, conversations you had with the insurance company, medical treatment, repair estimates, and any other relevant information.

If you have been involved in an accident, the actions you take can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. The guidance of a qualified personal injury lawyer can help you take the right steps to try to get the best outcome for your case. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to get a free evaluation of your case and to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!

Categories: Auto Accidents

North Carolina Passes Law Closing Loophole for Workers’ Compensation Insurance

WorkersComp35_06032014In April, an investigation by the News & Observer revealed that tens of thousands of North Carolina employers do not have workers' compensation insurance. However, the Industrial Commission, which is charged with making sure employers have the insurance, often finds out that a company is not in compliance only after an employee has been hurt.

The commission contracts with the North Carolina Rate Bureau to collect information about when an employer purchases, renews, or cancels an insurance policy. The commission has acknowledged that it uses the database to find out which insurer is responsible for paying a claim, but it does not monitor for cancellations.

In June, legislators approved a bill that would require the commission to get all the information about these policies from the bureau so that it can more readily detect which employers do not carry the required insurance and enforce compliance. On July 2, Governor Bev Perdue signed the bill into law.

Prior to her signing the bill into law, many were calling on Governor Perdue to veto the bill because a last-minute amendment was added stating that information provided by the Rate Bureau to the commission will no longer be public record.

Call for Transparency

A group of media representatives and open records advocates pushed for a veto of the new law. The group includes the North Carolina Press Association, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, and News & Observer publisher Orage Quarles III.

Open records laws allowed the News & Observer to obtain the information for its investigation, which put a spotlight on the problem of employers not carrying required workers' compensation insurance. If this information were to be kept private, not only would it prevent public scrutiny, but it would also prevent workers from finding out if their employers had the required insurance.

Representatives who supported the amendment said that it will protect private information, such as social security numbers. However, personal information such as this has long been redacted from public records.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

If you have been hurt on the job or have been denied workers' compensation benefits, possibly because your employer did not carry the required insurance, the North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By Austin Baird The News and Observer

Consumers Should Beware of Abuse by Bankruptcy “Petition Preparers”

You don't have to hire an attorney to file for bankruptcy. In fact, when you consult with an attorney, that person is required by law to tell you that you don't have to hire an attorney to file for bankruptcy. There are other options, many of which may not be as reliable. One of those options is to hire a "petition preparer" who oversees the paperwork that you will file yourself.

However, an attempt to save a little in the short term may end up costing you much, much more in the long term.

Paperwork_06082014There has been an increase in the number of complaints filed against non-lawyers - "petition preparers" - preparing bankruptcy filings for a fee, according to a report released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts this month.

Petition preparers are not lawyers, and they are not allowed to advise clients on bankruptcy law. They are also restricted in how much they can charge for their services.

The report, however, found that complaints included violations such as the unauthorized practice of law and excessive preparation fees.

Some cases even involved petition preparers who had been barred from filing petitions charging a fee to prepare the paperwork and then asking the client to sign the petition instead - as if a preparer was never used. Such practices could put the client at risk of serious financial and legal repercussions.

There were 2,529 formal complaints between 2005 and 2011, according to the report, and the court granted relief in 98.5 percent of those cases.

Getting Trusted Legal Advice for North Carolina Bankruptcy

The abuse uncovered by this report should serve as a cautionary tale for consumers.

"We have seen an increase in abuse," said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Maureen Tighe in the Central District of California. "The increase in 'foreclosure rescue' and 'loan modification' services seems to be the source in the past three years. The homeowners are desperate and take advice from the most questionable sources. There is a wide range of [bankruptcy petition preparers], from those who are well-meaning but still are giving legal advice, to out-and-out fraud perpetrators - and the down-and-out consumer debtor doesn't know the difference most of the time."

An experienced North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer can review your personal circumstances and may be able to offer you tailored advice about a course of action that may offer you the debt relief that you need. A lawyer can advise you on the aspects of the law that apply to your case and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Consider this: If you needed to replace your roof, you would hire a professional to do it. Sure, you can learn how to repair your own roof and save some money. But if you don't have experience in home construction or roof work you are likely to end up with a roof full of holes and leaks.  Fixing that may cost you more than if you had hired a professional in the first place.

Get it right the first time. A qualified North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer may be able to prepare your case to help you to avoid making costly legal mistakes.

A North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Consumer and Business Bankruptcy Law at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you! Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case. You may be able to get the fresh start that you need!

Social Security Ruling May Pave the Way for Other Mentally Disabled Claimants

DownSyndrome_06132014The Social Security Administration has agreed to a settlement that some say is the first of its kind and that requires the agency to provide staff training and assistance to two mentally disabled men who lost benefits.

The two San Francisco men - whose ailments include schizophrenia, autism, severe anxiety and functional illiteracy - said they lost their benefits because they were unable to understand the rules.

One man saw a reduction in benefits because he did not deduct qualified expenses from his income, then lost his benefits altogether after signing an inaccurate income statement. The other man was disqualified from receiving benefits after an inaccurate review of his past income.

The settlement requires the Social Security Administration to assign a staff expert to meet with the men to go over forms and requirements for applying for benefits and to help them provide the information needed to protect their rights. The agency also agreed to pay $900,000 for the men's legal fees.

Signaling Change for Other Mentally Disabled Claimants?

Steven Bruce, the legal director of the People with Disabilities Foundation, which represented the two men, said that this appears to be the first court case in the nation that has required a federal agency to accommodate the needs of a mentally ill or disabled person.

Though the Social Security Administration started making accommodations for some disabled recipients after a judge ordered it to do so - sending notices to blind recipients in Braille or on audio discs and making similar arrangements for the deaf and hard-of-hearing - it has not provided such accommodations for those with mental or learning disabilities.

Bruce said the settlement could help to raise awareness of the issue and "ideally pave the way for millions of other mentally and developmentally disabled Americans to actually receive the equal, meaningful access" that is their right.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers

If you have been denied social security disability, the North Carolina social security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help! Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free, confidential evaluation of your case.

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078