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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

How Good Are You at Eating & Talking on the Phone While Driving? Take Our Test.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making it illegal to talk on the phone while driving. North Carolina may be next. If some NC lawmakers have their way, by 2020 it will be against the law to talk on the phone while driving.

As personal injury lawyers, we think this is a good thing.

Think You’re Good at Multitasking While Driving?

We are not wired to get behind the wheel and text, talk on the phone, or even eat fries. (Eating behind the wheel, incidentally, has been shown to be more distracting than using a cell phone to text or talk.) Face it. Wielding a two-ton vehicle at 60 mph on an eight-lane highway surrounded by 18-wheelers and your garden variety of inattentive drivers is no place for multitasking distractions of any kind.

Yet why can’t we stop? We know the statistics and understand the devastating consequences of one split second gone wrong. But what makes us continue to check that text or voicemail. Spoiler alert: your own brain’s dopamine production. Click here for your chemistry lesson explaining why it is so hard not to check that text message while driving.

Everyone Multitasks Behind the Wheel

It seems as though everyone is a drive-by multitasker. It’s something we’ve done since the early days of auto travel. Today, not only is it hard to stop multitasking while driving, but we tend to think we are better at it than we really are. (Oh yes you do, admit it.)

But are you as good at multitasking as you think? Click here for a fun and quick exercise that can help you find out.

What Do You Think About People Who Multitask While Driving?

Are you a “hang up and drive” person? Or are you the one applying mascara at a stoplight on Trade and Tryon in Uptown Charlotte? Tell us on the social media links below what you thought of this exercise. Better yet, share this exercise with your teen drivers!

 

Wheel Runoff Accidents – Will Insurance Try to Blame You?

No one is prepared for a wheel to come off their car while they are careening down the I-85 near Greensboro or the I-77 near Charlotte. Nor are they usually prepared to encounter a runaway tire as they are headed down the I-40 to the Crystal Coast. Yet it happens more often than you might realize.

Crashes involving a detached wheel are known as wheel runoff or detached wheel accidents.

A Wheel Runoff Crash Is a Road Debris Crash

A wheel runoff accident is often referred to as a road debris crash. Approximately two-thirds of road debris-related crashes involved debris that became detached from a vehicle, including wheels, tires, driveshafts, etc. These items can either strike another vehicle as they detach or remain on the roadway and contribute to a crash.

Our firm has represented thousands of car wreck cases, some of them wheel runoff accidents. Here is how these types of accidents happen – and who can potentially be at fault when they do happen. (Spoiler alert – you could potentially be blamed even if you are the victim.)

Wheel Runoff Accident Causes

Many things can cause a car wheel to fall off while in route. Some of the more common can include:

  • Over-torqueing the lug nut: Overtightening the bolts that are used to secure the wheel to the car. This is the most common cause of wheel runoff accidents.
  • Under-torqueing the lug nut: When the bolts securing the wheel to the car aren’t secured tightly enough.
  • Wheel paint thickness: When the paint on a wheel is too thick, causing parts to become defective.
  • Hub failure: Like the lug nut, the hub of the wheel can become defective if it the axle nut is too tight or too loose. Additionally, the hub can lack necessary lubrication or be overloaded.

Some Reasons Why Wheels Detach

Experience has taught us that typically the causes mentioned above are usually a result of an error during the wheel maintenance or installation process. Here are some specific examples:

  • Incorrect use of tools: Over-torqueing the lug nut occurs because of the widespread use of impact wrenches. These tools make it fast and easy to add a lot of torque. But sometimes this results in dangerous outcomes when used incorrectly.
  • Use of defective tools: Under-torqueing can be caused by using cheap or worn out wrenches.
  • Hasty remanufacturing: Paint thickness defects can potentially occur when tire dealers and traders try to quickly repaint wheels to make them look new for resale.
  • Not following procedure: Correct axle installation involves following detailed steps to adjust and preload bearings.
  • Improper maintenance: Hub failures are usually progressive and often come with warning signs. These include leaking hub seals, tire tread wear anomalies, strange sounds and smells coming from the car, and smoke.

Who Is at Fault for Wheel Runoff Crashes and Injuries?

Wheel runoff accidents can be complex and must be investigated thoroughly to try to determine who was at fault. Negligence can sometimes be found in:

The driver or owner of the car. Did the driver or owner know about the defect? Was the owner a private party or was the vehicle a company vehicle? Maintenance records must be thoroughly examined and, in some cases, mechanics may need to be interviewed.

The mechanic or repair shop. While there are many exceptional mechanics throughout North Carolina, as in every profession, some can be less than exceptional. Of course, no mechanic wants to admit fault, and in many cases, they may not have been aware that they potentially contributed to the wheel runoff situation. It takes an experienced car accident attorney who is skilled at interviewing potentially negligent parties to try to uncover the truth as to who was at fault.

The manufacturer of the wheel or wheel part. While many of these errors are caused by those performing car maintenance and upgrades, wheel runoff accidents can also be caused by manufacturer defects. In late 2018, Toyota recalled the 700 2019 C-HR Crossovers because of axle issues that could cause the rear tires to come off. It seems that tire recalls are almost as common as new tires, themselves. Michelin, Firestone, Goodyear, Bridgestone – all have had recalls for one reason or another. When an accident occurs because a tire failed to function properly, the manufacturer or distributor could potentially be found negligent.

Contributory Negligence – Are You Partially at Fault?

There’s one more entity that the insurance company could try to pin the blame on. You.

North Carolina is one of the few states known as a contributory negligence state. In insurance terms, that means that, barring a few exceptions, if you are at found to be fault for an accident or injury – even partially, just 1%, for example – the insurance company may not have to compensate you for your injuries or damages. Worse, you may even have to pay for some of the damages caused from the accident or injury.

NC Personal Injury Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured in a wheel runoff accident we urge you not to try to settle with the insurance company on your own.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own*

Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

 

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

Don’t Let Insurance Take Advantage of You With a Swoop and Settle Offer

Imagine you’ve been in a car accident – nothing serious, but your injuries are enough to send you to the hospital to get checked out. You have head, neck, and back pain. The doctors note some whiplash and send you home with pain medication and a caveat that you may feel worse the next few days. A few days later the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls and offers you a settlement for your hospital bills and an additional $500 to settle your case. You think, cool…an extra $500. And they want to settle so quickly. You’re busy and you’d just as soon put this all behind you. So you accept the offer and cash the $500 check.

Life is good. Or so you thought.

A month later you begin to get consistent migraines and you have tingling down your left leg that has gotten progressively worse. You go back to the doctor and learn that you have a concussion and a slipped disk, which will require an operation and weeks of rehab and treatment. The doc notes that these secondary issues likely stemmed from your car accident.

What do you do? You might as well cry. When you cashed that $500 insurance check, you settled with the insurance company whether you were aware of it or not.

The insurance company duped you into falling for what is known as the  “swoop and settle.”

By cashing that check, you absolved them of any further liability. And now you’re on the hook for your own medical bills. We’ve seen this rush to settle to be a favorite ploy among some insurance companies to try to trick injury victims into settling prematurely in an effort to pay them as little as possible.

The “Swoop and Settle” Insurance Tactic

Here is how swoop and settle typically works. An insurance company representative contacts you very soon after a wreck and makes you a lowball settlement offer. They know you have a lot going on, you’re probably in pain, have no car to drive, and could be missing work. And the insurance company may try to settle before any “secondary” injuries manifest.

This is a confusing time for victims, and the insurance company may try to take advantage of your confusion to get you to settle for way less than your case is worth, and to give up your rights before you know how badly you are hurt or before you have had time to talk to a lawyer to learn about the many rights you have to fight for more money. The idea is to get you to quickly settle for a miniscule amount before you even know the full extent of your injuries. To many people, this quick cash seems too good to be true. But you know what they say about that – too good to be true usually is.

Sadly, we’ve seen a lot of our non-English-speaking clients (especially Hispanic clients) become victims of “swoop and settle.” When one of our paralegals had called to make initial contact with a new client, he said his insurance company sent him a check and that he cashed it that morning. It was money in the mail and he didn’t think twice – so he took it to the bank. The insurance company didn’t give him a chance, but what’s worse is the check was only for $500.

We also represented a client who had an adjuster come into the client’s house, make an offer and sit on the couch, refusing to leave until someone accepted his offer. The client didn’t know what to do.

These are just two of dozens of examples of insurance company tactics we feature in our free downloadable booklet Insurance Companies (and others) Behaving Badly. Read it if you dare. It’s a real shocker.

Beware the Recorded Statement

As part of any accident protocol, the insurance company will likely call you as soon as possible for a “recorded statement.” What you say to the insurance representative and the words you choose on this recorded statement are extremely important to your settlement. (Click here for five things not to say on a recorded statement.)

The recorded statement is so important, I advise my clients not to give one unless they have consulted with me first, or I am on the phone with them during that statement.

We’ve seen it time and time again. The representative may likely ask you leading questions that may get you to admit partial fault, or answer in such a way that your own words may be used against you in court, if it comes to that. Even something as simple as “How are you doing today,” needs to be dealt with carefully. If you respond, “Oh, I’m fine, thank you,” some insurance companies may try to interpret that to mean you are indeed fine from a medical perspective. When all the while, you were speaking rhetorically.

Other Insurance Tactics to Try to Pay You Less

Most insurance companies are for-profit companies. Their profit, not yours. And many of them have a variety of methods to try to keep as much of their money as possible. Click here to learn some surprising ways some insurance companies have devised to keep money you potentially deserve out of your hands.

Why Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Get a Lawyer

The real reason insurance companies don’t want you to get a lawyer? Insurance industry studies show that, on average, car accident victims who handled claims on their own received 3.5X LESS* compensation for their loss than they would have if they hired a personal injury lawyer.

What Can an Accident Lawyer Do for You?

We will deal with the insurance company and your medical bills for you. All you have to do is follow your doctor’s orders and heal up as quickly as possible. While you’re healing, we’ll do all the heavy lifting to try to:

  • Prove damages
  • Determine fault
  • Prevent and deflect insurance stalling tactics
  • Investigate claims
  • Secure evidence
  • Negotiate a fair settlement

You may have a right to maximum compensation for:

  • Medical and rehabilitation bills
  • Lost time from work
  • Cost of vehicle repairs
  • Diminished earning capacity for permanent injuries

Not only do we offer a free case evaluation, but you pay us nothing upfront and no attorney’s fee if we don’t recover for you.

NC Car Wreck Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluation

If you see a check in the mail or are offered a settlement too soon, that is a red flag. If you cash that check, you just may be cashing in your financial future. Take your time and talk to an experienced car accident attorney before settling your case

Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

 

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

 

Who Pays for E-scooter Injuries?

If you’re in the Triangle area, you’ve undoubtedly seen at least one brand of electric scooter (most likely Byrd or Lime). These e-scooters, as they are more commonly known, have become a popular method of transportation. They have their good qualities, a handful of bad injury repercussions, and some downright ugly outcomes of the ramifications of these injuries.

The Good. On one hand, their arrival has created jobs, reduced pollution, helped to decrease traffic in some areas, and given riders a chance to get from point A to point B in a novel new way.

The Bad. Unfortunately, however, e-scooter injuries have increased exponentially.

The Ugly. When it comes to paying for these injuries, don’t look to the scooter companies. Or to insurance.

Common E-scooter Injuries

WRAL cited a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study, which stated that head injuries are among the most common e-scooter mishaps (40%). Although this study was conducted in California, Triangle physicians also reported seeing broken bones (more than 31% of injuries), and arm, wrist, or hand fractures. Many are serious enough to require permanent plates and pins.

Injuries span all ages. From younger people under the age of 18, who are sometimes seen as risk seekers, to those over the ages of 50.

The JAMA study noted that nearly 5% of those injured, were intoxicated during the accident. Drinking and operating an e-scooter can lead to more serious injuries that have required some people to receive intensive care for bleeding on the brain or intracranial hemorrhages.

If that is not bad enough, even worse accidents have been reported. In recent months, there have been at least three deaths across the country related to e-scooters. One young woman riding a scooter in Ft. Lauderdale was so severely injured, it left her in a vegetative state. The woman’s mother is suing Lime based on the argument that Lime’s app includes language that specifically instructs people not to operate scooters on local sidewalks, pushing them onto city streets instead. The conundrum here is that operating a motorized scooter on the street is against the law in Fort Lauderdale, though the city does permit e-scooters to be ridden on sidewalks.

There have been so many accidents nationwide that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has entered the picture. The agency is studying the health risks associated with e-scooters by analyzing injuries to riders and pedestrians.

Safety Rules for E-scooters

As that story illustrates, the rules governing e-scooters are confusing. They vary from state to state and seem to change. In North Carolina, riders are not allowed to ride on sidewalks and they must wear helmets. Yet, these rules are routinely broken.

Who Pays for E-scooter Injuries?

Are riders completely held liable, or do the scooter companies provide insurance for its riders? According to Bird’s and Lime’s rental agreements, the rider assumes all responsibility.

When an at-fault driver of a car is involved in an e-scooter collision, that driver’s car insurance coverage may potentially apply. That might lead someone to believe that if they are a scooter rider and become injured as the result of a vehicle driver’s negligence, the driver’s auto insurance might pay for the scooter rider’s injuries. Not necessarily so.

Don’t think that the negligent driver’s insurance company is simply going to hand you over a fat check for all your medical bills and other expenses to fully compensate you for the injuries you suffered. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses – some of the world’s most profitable. They are so profitable, in fact, that in 2016, the insurance industry’s assets ($5.8 trillion) totaled more than the GDPs of all but two countries – the United States and China.

Insurance companies understand how to try to avoid paying you what you may potentially deserve. Click here for stories of individuals who have had to deal with insurance companies’ tactics.

Did You Contribute to an E-scooter Crash?

One more thing. North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. What that means is if the insurance company can prove you were partially at fault – even just 1%, – you will most likely not get compensation.

Electric scooter accidents have been proliferating in NC cities and towns and across the nation. If you decide to ride an e-scooter, make sure you obey the rules and remain extra cautious to try to avoid injury to yourself or others.

Careful With Opioids – What Greensboro Is Doing to Try to Help

A colleague’s 16-year-old daughter recently broke her arm. Although the daughter had stated that the pain was not “that bad,” the ER sent her home with opioid pain medication. The mother gave her ibuprofen, instead. Smart mom.

This information happened to come on the heels of an article I recently read about Dr. Wayland McKenzie of Greensboro. Dr. McKenzie is a doctor who lost his license for overprescribing opioids – allegedly to addicts.

When are some doctors going to wake up and smell the poppy seeds? There’s an opioid crisis in our country and it has reached epidemic levels. Innocent victims of injuries continue to unwittingly fall prey to the highly addictive nature of opioid pain killers. Why? Part of the reason is because some doctors have been handing them out like candy for years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the US in 2017. More than 67% of these deaths were from opioid overdoses.

Opioid Crisis in Greensboro Triad Area

North Carolina is among the states that showed statistically significant increases in drug overdose deaths from 2016 to 2017. In fact, a Winston-Salem Journal article reported that an average of four people die from opioid overdoses in North Carolina every day. The highest death rate among the 14-county region of the Triad and northwest North Carolina is Guilford County with 73 deaths in 2016.

Cone Health Pilots Opioid Peer-Support Program

In 2018, Cone Health launched a pilot project to try to combat opioid abuse. This one-year test program has put certified peer support specialists, each of whom have been in recovery for at least three years, in the emergency departments of the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Wesley Long Hospital.

NC Personal Injury Attorneys in Greensboro and 13 Other NC Offices

As a personal injury attorney, I applaud this effort. I have been privy to cases involving the misuse of drugs and dangerous medical devices. These cases are heartbreaking and often preventable. Opioid addiction is insidious and can sneak up on victims before they realize their plight. Sadly, many of these addictions begin with a family doctor or ER prescription.

 

No permita que el seguro se aproveche de usted con una oferta de “Precipitarse y Resolver”

Imagine que ha estado en un accidente de auto – nada grave, pero sus heridas son suficientes para enviarle al hospital para ser evaluado. Tiene dolor de cabeza, cuello, y espalda. Los doctores mencionan latigazo cervical y le despachan a la casa con medicamentos para el dolor y la advertencia de que se podrá sentir peor en los próximos días. Unos días después, el seguro del conductor culpable le llama y le ofrece una transacción  cubriendo sus facturas del hospital y unos $500 adicionales para resolver su caso. Usted piensa, bien… $500 extra. Y ellos quieren resolver tan rápido. Usted está ocupado y quiere dejar todo esto en el pasado. Así que usted acepta la oferta y cambia el cheque por $500 en efectivo.

Todo está bien. O eso pensó.

Un mes después, empieza a tener migrañas consistentes y siente hormigueo por su pierna izquierda que progresivamente ha empeorado. Usted regresa al doctor y se entera que tiene una concusión y una vértebra dislocada, que requiere una operación y semanas de rehabilitación y tratamiento. El doctor dice que estos problemas secundarios probablemente surgieron por su accidente de auto.

¿Qué hace usted? Más le vale llorar. Cuando cambió el cheque del seguro por los $500 , usted resolvió el reclamo, sabiéndolo o sin darse cuenta.

La compañía de seguro le engañó  usando lo que se llama el
 “Precipitarse & Resolver”

Cambiando el cheque, usted los libró de responsabilidad adicional. Y ahora usted es responsable por sus facturas médicas. Hemos visto esta prisa por llegar a un acuerdo como la estrategia favorita de algunas compañías de seguro para intentar  engañar a víctimas de lesiones y transigir prematuramente  para pagar lo menos posible.

La Estrategia “Precipitarse y Resolver” del Seguro

La técnica de “Precipitarse y Resolver” típicamente funciona así : un representante de la compañía de seguro le contacta poco después del choque y le hace una oferta muy baja. Ellos saben que usted tiene muchas cosas que hacer, probablemente siente dolor, no tiene un carro para manejar, y puede estar faltando al trabajo. Y la compañía de seguro va a intentar resolver antes de que otras lesiones “secundarias” se manifiesten.

Este es un tiempo confuso para víctimas, y la compañía de seguro puede intentar aprovecharse de su confusión para que usted termine resolviendo el reclamo por mucho menos de lo que vale su caso, y que renuncie a sus derechos antes de que usted sepa cuan herido usted está o antes de que tenga la oportunidad de hablar con un abogado para aprender sobre los varios derechos que usted tiene para luchar por más dinero. El objetivo es tratar de que usted acepte una minúscula oferta antes de que usted sepa la magnitud de sus lesiones. Para muchas personas, este dinero rápido parece demasiado bueno para ser verdad. Pero usted sabe lo que dicen sobre eso – demasiado bueno para ser verdad usualmente lo es.

Tristemente, hemos visto a muchos de nuestros clientes que no hablan inglés (en especial clientes hispanos) convertirse en victimas del “Precipitarse y Resolver”. Cuando uno de nuestros paralegales llamó a un cliente nuevo por primera vez, él dijo que la compañía de seguro le envió un cheque y que lo había cambiado en efectivo esa mañana. Fue dinero en el correo, y no lo pensó dos veces – así que lo llevó al banco. La compañía de seguro no le dio oportunidad, y lo peor es que el cheque solo fue por $500.

Nosotros también representabamos a un cliente que tuvo a un ajustador de la compañía de seguro que fue a la casa del cliente, hizo una oferta y se sentó en el sofá, y se negó a irse hasta que alguien le aceptara la oferta. El cliente no supo que hacer.

Estos son solo dos, de docenas de ejemplos, de las estrategias de las compañías de seguro que tenemos en nuestro folleto gratis Compañías de Seguro (y otros) Comportándose Mal que usted puede descargar de nuestra página web. Léalo si se anima. Es realmente impactante.

Cuidado con la Declaración Grabada

Como parte de cualquier protocolo de accidente, la compañía de seguro probablemente le llamara lo más pronto posible para obtener una “declaración grabada.” Lo que usted diga al representante del seguro y las palabras que usted escoja son extremadamente importantes para la transacciónde su reclamación. (Haga click aqui por cinco cosas que no debe decir en una declaración grabada.)

La declaración grabada es tan importante, que yo le aconsejo a mis clientes que no provean una antes de consultarlo conmigo primero, o solo si yo estoy incluido en la llamada telefónica durante la declaración.

Lo hemos visto una y otra  vez. El representante probablemente le hará preguntas para dirigirlo, que pueden hacer que usted admita culpa parcial, o que responda en tal manera que sus propias palabras pueden ser usadas en su contra en la corte, si llega a esto. Algo tan simple como “¿Cómo te sientes hoy?,” requiere ser manejado con mucho cuidado. Si usted responde, “oh, yo estoy bien, gracias” algunas compañías de seguro pueden tratar de interpretar que eso significa que usted está bien desde la perspectiva médica, aunque usted solo respondió retóricamente.

Otras Estrategias de Seguros para Pagarle Menos a Usted

La mayoría de las compañías de seguro son compañías con fines de lucro. El lucro de ellos, no el suyo. Y muchas de ellas tienen varios métodos para intentar  retener tanto dinero como sea posible. Haga click aquí para aprender maneras sorprendentes que algunas compañías de seguro han creado para quedarse con dinero que usted posiblemente merece, de sus propias manos.

Por qué el Seguro no Quiere que Usted Contrate a un Abogado

¿La verdadera razón por la cual las compañías de seguro no quieren que usted contrate a un abogado?  Estudios de la industria de seguros muestran que, en promedio, víctimas de accidentes de auto que manejaron su reclamo sin ayuda legal recibieron 3.5 VECES MENOR* compensación por su pérdida, de lo que hubieran recibido si hubiesen contratado a un abogado de daños corporales.

¿Qué puede hacer un Abogado de Accidentes por Usted?

Nos ocuparemos de la compañía de seguro y sus facturas médicas por usted. Lo único que usted debe hacer es seguir las órdenes de su doctor y recuperarse lo más rápido posible. Mientras usted se recupera, nosotros haremos lo difícil e intentaremos:

  • Probar daños
  • Determinar la culpa
  • Prevenir y bloquear tácticas evasivas de los seguros
  • Investigar el reclamo
  • Proteger la evidencia
  • Negociar un acuerdo justo

Usted puede tener derecho a la compensación máxima por:

  • Facturas médicas y de rehabilitación
  • Tiempo faltado al trabajo
  • El costo de reparaciones a su vehículo
  • La disminución de la capacidad de generar ingresos por daños permanentes

No solo ofrecemos una evaluación gratuita para su caso, usted no paga nada por adelantado, y no paga los honorarios de abogado si no obtenemos compensación para usted.

Abogados de Choque en NC ofrecen Evaluación Gratuita de su Caso

Si usted ve un cheque en el correo, o le ofrecen un acuerdo demasiado pronto, eso es una señal de peligro. Si usted deposita o cambia el cheque, usted puede estar intercambiando su futuro financiero. Tome su tiempo y hable con un abogado de accidentes de auto con experiencia antes de llegar a un acuerdo.

Contáctenos o llame 1-800-968-5342 por una evaluación gratuita de su caso.

 

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

 

Will workers’ comp pay for new injuries that develop after my initial work injury?

“I injured my left knee at work, but now my right knee is hurting because I am putting more weight on it. Will workers’ compensation pay for treatment to my right knee?”

I guess some insurance company adjusters never learned the kids song, Dry Bones … “The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone…and the leg bone’s connected to the hip bone…”

While I mention this example in jest, there’s nothing to joke about when another part of your body starts hurting after your initial work injury. While this can happen quite often, just as often I have found that many insurance adjusters try to refuse to pay for medical treatment for other body parts that start hurting after the initial injury.

The good news is our experienced workers’ comp lawyers know how to try not to let them get away with this one-sided tactic.

Common Examples of Referred Pain

Referred pain is common. For example:

  • Joe injures his right foot. After using a cane for month or so, he starts having pain in the left hand from the pressure of leaning on the cane. Will the insurance company pay for left hand treatment?
  • After a shoulder injury, Mary starts feeling pain in her neck which radiates down her arm. Will the insurance company pay for her to have an MRI of her neck?
  • Martin hurts his knee at work. After a few months of limping, he starts having low back pain because of an altered gait. Is the insurance company going to pay for back treatment?

In each of these instances, my experience has been that some insurance companies will do everything they can to deny new treatment. Here’s why.

The majority of insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They may try very hard to pay as little as possible on claims because this is more money they get to keep. That is why when you report your work injury, you had better tell them about every single body part you injured. If you fail to mention a body part at the beginning of a claim, it can often be difficult to get the insurance company to pay for any medical treatment for it. (That is why we suggest injured workers to contact us immediately after an injury. We can help frame initial injuries in a way that may potentially help get other parts paid for if they stem from the work injury.)

Will Workers’ Comp Pay for New Medical Issues?

It is difficult to get insurance companies to pay for new medical problems that arise while your body is recovering from the initial work injury. Let’s say an infection set in after surgery from a work injury, and you had to take strong antibiotics, which resulted in severe ulcerative colitis. According to workers’ compensation law, a subsequent injury, whether an aggravation of the original injury or a new and distinct injury, is compensable if it is the direct and natural result of a prior compensable injury.

In order to get the insurance company to accept responsibility for the new medical problems that crop up after a work injury, you must have medical evidence from doctors that the new problems are the direct and natural result of the work injury. But don’t think that the hand-picked workers’ comp doctor will simply agree that subsequent issues are indeed the direct result of your initial injury. I have often seen the opposite to be the case.

Contact NC Workers’ Comp Attorneys Soon After Your Work Injury

Err on the side of caution and contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin as soon as possible after your work injury. Our experienced and formidable lawyers will fight for your right to get medical treatment, not only for your immediate work injuries, but also for all the medical conditions that you may develop as a result.

There is a lot to know about workers’ compensation law, and the system is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to navigate successfully on your own. The sooner you hire the professional legal team at James Scott Farrin, the better we can fight to protect your rights.

Even if you don’t think you may need a lawyer, contact us anyway, or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation. Sometimes we are able to offer simple and direct advice even if we don’t think you need a lawyer.

James Scott Farrin Offers Durham Gas Explosion Victims and Businesses Help, Hope

The Blast That Shook Downtown Durham

On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 911 received a call from a woman who reported smelling “a very strong gas smell” around the Durham School of Arts at around 9:11 a.m.

Firefighters were dispatched to the area at 9:13 a.m. to investigate, but reported that they could not confirm its source.

At 9:37 a.m., a contractor called 911 to report that they had hit “a gas service line.” In a released audio clip of the 911 call, the contractor describes how they had hit a gas line and that they were waiting for the gas company to come turn off the gas. Firefighters and first responders started evacuating people inside the buildings.

At around 10:06 a.m., a building in the popular Brightleaf District exploded. The resulting blast radius could be heard and felt throughout downtown Durham, including the James Scott Farrin headquarters. The entire building shook, windows rattled, and the lights flickered. As co-workers anxiously left their cubicles and offices looking for a cause, news started to trickle in that a building had exploded and collapsed a mile away.

“We looked out the windows and saw the giant black tower of smoke rising above the skyline,” one Farrin employee said.

Chaos and Panic in Downtown Durham

Businesses near the blast suffered severe damages. People in nearby offices or inside their cars when the blast occurred were injured by shrapnel and glass. As people ran away in terror, some ran into the chaos to help the injured. Images and videos started streaming onto social media. Over two dozen people were injured, and one person tragically died. Some remained in the hospital a week later in serious condition.

Durham Community Rallies Around Blast Victims

As authorities continue to investigate the cause of the blast, many in the community are reaching out to the victims to see how they can help. With damages set to exceed $100 million in total, those affected have to assess how much they lost and eventually, rebuild and repair.

Damages are wide-ranging and some may take months or years to rectify. Many people were physically injured, some lost their businesses and livelihoods, many no longer have a place to work or live, and vehicles were severely damaged.

James Scott Farrin — Committed to Helping Victims of the Durham Gas Explosion

Our firm is ready to lend a legal hand to those affected by the explosion. We have an attorney who volunteered to help victims of 9/11*, an attorney that represented victims of the 2009 Garner ConAgra plant explosion, and one that represented those affected by the 2017 Hatteras Bridge blackout that caused hundreds of businesses to lose revenue at the height of the summer season. Our lawyers have handled other fire/explosion personal injury and loss of business cases.

CBS17 news and other news outlets interviewed Farrin attorney Gary Jackson about the legal options for those impacted. Gary has over 30 years of legal experience, and he believes the best outcome for all involved is for the insurance companies and those parties responsible to step up to the plate. Click on the image below to watch the interview:

If you want help or guidance in putting together your claim, AND discussing whether or not you need an attorney to represent you, we would be happy to talk with you. Contact us here or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

We can lay out all of your options for you and help you assess the full extent of damages you may be owed along with any potential claims.

 

*Results obtained prior to joining the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

Categories: General Legal News

How Your Body Reacts to a Car Accident

One minute, you’re driving along the highway on your daily commute to work. The next, you’re laying roadside after being tossed from your vehicle in a high-impact collision. Your body lies motionless. Or does it?

A lot can happen to your body in a short period of time during a car crash. Much of it you may not even be aware of. Many assume that the effects of a car crash are only those you can see externally, but in reality there’s an internal crash of your body’s organs that can be just as debilitating.

Let’s break down the anatomy of a car crash…

Step 1: Metal Hits Metal

Depending on the vehicles involved and the nature of the collision, this can come in many different forms. The severity of damages to the car will ultimately depend on the speed and size of the involved vehicles.

Cars are built to take on collisions and to try to protect drivers and passengers as much as possible. The nose of the car is often referred to as the “crumple zone” and is designed to absorb some of the shock and energy from a crash. However, there is only so much your vehicle can shield you from…

Step 2: Body Hits Metal

After the car has taken all it can, the body will start to feel the effects of the crash. This stage is the one that you will feel directly. The kinetic energy unabsorbed by your car’s exterior will now transfer to your body and force it into motion.

The motion could be restrained by a seatbelt or airbag, or the force could cause the body to collide with other parts of the car – often the window or steering wheel. In serious incidents, the body could be entirely ejected from the vehicle, leading to the next stage of the collision. However, even if the movement is controlled by safety features, further injuries are still probable.

Step 3: Internal Organs Keep Moving

When your body has finally come to rest after a crash, you may think you are lying very still. But you are not.

Your internal organs continue to bump into each other even after you have stopped moving.

We’ve all learned Newton’s law that “an object at motion tends to stay in motion.” This law is especially applicable to human bodies when suddenly jolted into high motion situations. Despite the fact that there is only so far your physical body can be tossed, the internal organs will continue to move toward the point of impact until all energy is absorbed.

During a car wreck, the human body naturally goes into an instinctive survival mode. Both adrenaline and endorphins are released as a reaction to the shock. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural pain relievers when released. That’s why you may not feel the internal pain immediately.

Even if a body appears to have escaped a car crash uninjured, there’s a strong possibility that internal organs could be torn, bruised, or bleeding.

How to Stay Safe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that seat belts saved over 14,000 lives in 2016 alone. Frontal air bags saved an additional 3,000 that same year.

While car crashes can be unpredictable and unavoidable, it is important to take the necessary precautions to limit the injuries, both internal and external, caused by a car wreck. Buckle up and familiarize yourself with the proper use of an air bag to try to lessen the severity of any potential injuries.

Finally, be alert while on the roads. Click here for more helpful tips about driving safely on NC highways.

North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys Evaluate Your Case for FREE

If you have been in an auto accident, don’t wreck twice. The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin will fight for you and try to get you the maximum compensation you potentially deserve. Call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click here to contact us online.

P.S. Why choose our car accident attorneys? Here are a few good reasons.

Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Pain & Suffering?

You’ve been hurt at work, and the pain and suffering you’ve experienced have been real. Physical pain and mental suffering, strains on your finances and personal relationships, and a general sense that your life is spinning out of control are often part of recovering from a work injury.

So when it comes time to settle your workers’ compensation case, you might think you’ll be paid for all the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. Unfortunately, that is incorrect.

Workers’ Comp Will not Pay You for Pain & Suffering

Fair or not, the law doesn’t require insurance companies to pay you for pain and suffering when you are hurt on the job. So it’s important to try to make sure the insurance company is paying you the full benefits the law does require. Sadly, we have seen some insurance companies seemingly work overtime just to save themselves money by denying you the benefits you are owed. Here are actual stories of this type of bad behavior.

3 Things Workers’ Comp Will Pay For

Workers’ compensation pays you for three kinds of benefits: a partial wage benefit, the cost of medical treatment, and the value of any permanent loss of use of your injured body part. Click here to find out more about your benefits payments.

Weekly Wage Benefits

When you’re hurt on the job and are unable to work while you recover, the law requires the insurance company to pay you a weekly wage benefit. The benefit is supposed to be two thirds of your average weekly wage. Often, some insurance companies will drag their feet in sending you these checks. Other times, some insurance companies may pay you less than you are entitled to receive.

Medical Benefits

Some insurance companies may also try to delay your medical treatment. The law is clear that if you are hurt on the job, the insurance company must pay for treatment that your authorized doctor recommends. But some insurance companies have been known to try to dodge this responsibility. We have seen many simply refuse to authorize treatment or attempt to send you to another doctor who they think will be more conservative about your treatment.

Permanent Disability

At the end of your claim, a doctor may decide that you suffer from some permanent disability. You are entitled to payment for this disability. Again, some insurance companies may try to save money by sending you to a doctor who they think may give an opinion about your disability that is more favorable to the insurance company.

Why You Need an NC Workers’ Comp Lawyer

The workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina are very complex. Because you can receive only limited damages in a workers’ compensation case, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. With over 20 years of experience handling workers’ comp claims, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin can work with you to try to maximize your recovery and push the insurance company to pay everything required under the law.


Why choose us over the hundreds of other workers’ compensation attorneys
throughout NC? Click here for some very good reasons.


Get a Free Case Evaluation From NC Workers’ Comp Attorneys

Sad but true, the insurance companies do not have to pay you for pain and suffering, and the law lets them get away with that. But that is not good enough for the insurance companies. They may try to add insult to injury by trying to deny you the benefits the law does allow you.

We fight to try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 if you have been hurt on the job, and we can discuss the benefits you may be owed and the best way to try to make the insurance company pay.

 

Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
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

Durham Law Office

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

Fayetteville Law Office

2915 Raeford Road, Suite 204
Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Phone: 919-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greensboro Law Office

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

Greenville Law Office

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

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
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

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
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