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25 Things to Do After You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

Simulated Accident_07182014A lot is at stake after an accident. As such, there's a lot to do if you want to protect yourself. We've put together a quick list to get you started, but it is by no means comprehensive.

A NC car accident attorney may be able to help with many of these items.

  1. Gather information from multiple sources - names, numbers, statements, records of everyone on the scene, especially driver, police officers, witnesses, EMT personnel, if you can. Get the other driver's insurance information.
  2. Deal with the insurance adjuster, who will ask questions about the accident and your injuries. He/she may insist on a statement. Make sure you know what to say and what not to say
  3. Get medical attention for any injuries and symptoms. Go to all appointments. Follow doctors' orders.
  4. Figure out who is paying for your treatment, or will be expected to.
  5. Be aware of liens the hospital/medical provider may immediately ask you to sign if you don't have health insurance.
  6. Obtain, keep track of all medical records - diagnoses, tests, bills - physicians, hospitals, clinics, ER and EMT.
  7. Use your health insurance for all its coverages. Handle all those details carefully and promptly. Keep all records.
  8. Take photos of the scene right at the time of accident and after. Take photos of all vehicles involved, especially your own, while they are at the scene. Photograph skid marks.
  9. Obtain the police report.
  10. Find out all the details of your auto insurance policies. Everything. Read the policy's "summary booklet."
  11. Find out all the details of the at-fault driver's insurance policy.
  12. Determine if uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is going to be a factor
  13. Research whether you can utilize another family/household member's policy.
  14. If you have to take time off from work due to injury - or you lose your job, keep track of all records and lost wages dealing with employment that are given to you or sent by employer. Handle any possible appeals of the employer's decision to terminate.
  15. Save all evidence in and around your car at the scene...pieces of your car or theirs.
  16. Check to see if MedPay is available.
  17. Document & copy all reimbursements received from insurance company for any expense.
  18. Where is your car? Who's paying for storage? Would your collision coverage pay for that after it leaves a tow lot?
  19. Keep a journal - on everything insurance company, doctors, police officers, witnesses say. Track your healing progress (including how you are feeling) or lack of progress in writing and in periodic photos, if injuries are visible. Record what you do related to the accident.
  20. Get the car independently appraised. If you get repairs, have damage/problems/repairs documented by mechanic.
  21. Keep a log of your driving or other expenses to get to and from doctors.
  22. Have you made arrangements with the appropriate parties to make sure your rent or mortgage is paid?
  23. Prepare for your own formal negotiations with the insurance company, if you feel they give you the opportunity. The insurance company is interested in keeping its costs down. Know all the traps you may face.
  24. Make sure you fully understand all of the legal/financial aspects of any settlement offer, for the short and long term.
  25. Assess whether a given settlement offer accounts for your future medical needs.

And these are just 25 actions you may need to take after an accident - there could be dozens more items to get done.

For a free review of your case, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078. Or click here to speak with a live representative.

GM Ignition Switch Case Leads to Alarming Questions, Concerns for Car Owners

Traffic1_060820142.6 million GM cars have been recalled due to risks caused by potentially defective parts.

Media reports say that GM's own statements point to deaths - possibly as many as 13 - apparently associated with these defects in the ignition switch.

Some surviving family members of people who have died in crashes involving some of the recalled models have already filed legal cases against GM for damages and losses. The number of those lawsuits has been growing in recent weeks.

Your Questions, Our Answers:

Why was there a recall of 2.6 Million GM cars, which included all years of the following models?

  • Chevrolet Cobalt
  • Saturn Ion
  • Pontiac G5
  • Chevrolet HHR
  • Pontiac Solstice
  • Saturn Sky

 

After what was reportedly years of knowledge about problems with ignition switches that could move from "run" to "accessory mode" and force a car to stall, deactivate airbags and sometimes lose its ability to be controlled, GM decided to issue a recall for 2.6 million vehicles. In a recall, the car manufacturer pays for the cost of replacing or repairing a potentially defective part when a car owner brings the vehicle to a dealer's service center.

One study of federal safety records commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety and reported on in the New York Times showed more than 300 people have died in accidents involving airbag failures in the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Saturn Ion that may be tied to the ignition switch defect.

What if someone in your family died or was injured in a crash you think may involve these defective ignition switches? What can you do now?

The best advice is to contact an experienced product liability attorney right away. Among many other things, an experienced lawyer can try to help determine if there are records on you or your loved one's accident that you did not know existed - those records could point to the cause.

If you or your loved one were wronged, you have a right to seek justice.

Automakers are required to keep certain records of serious crashes, complaints, calls and lawsuits. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains extensive records on serious accidents, as well, and is responsible for determining when the public may be at undue risk because of a dangerous or deadly pattern of accidents in a given car model or models.

This is also another reminder why you should consult an attorney after any accident, especially a serious one, in part so you may have a better chance of a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash.

The more you know at the time of a terrible car accident, the better your chances of a full and fair recovery of your losses.

News stories seem to indicate GM knew years ago of these problems. Why didn't the company do more to let the public know? How could this affect you?

This a hard question to answer, and it may never be answered. However, in any series of consumer safety events like these, news reporting and new outside investigations can potentially demonstrate acts on the part of a manufacturer to downplay safety issues. If true, that kind of information could be vital in a legal case.

The GM defective ignition switch stories are rushing to the forefront. It is time now to seek legal guidance about how best to handle a possible lawsuit against GM and possibly some of its suppliers.

Timing is always important. More delay could hurt a potential case.

Are lawsuits being filed against GM already?

Yes. In fact, GM has reportedly already settled a number of cases involving deaths in accidents involving some of the car models under recall.

If you feel you may have a wrongful death or serious injury claim against GM involving accidents in the recalled Cobalt, Ion, HHR, Solstice, Sky, & G5 vehicles, the time to look into a potential case is right now.

Seek out experienced legal help so that, if the facts support a claim, you can try to make your case the strongest it can be. If a tragic accident didn't have to happen, and a defect caused it, the truth must come out.

If you or a loved one has had one of these recalled vehicles and been seriously injured or killed in a crash, contact us today. At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, we will evaluate your case for free and with no obligation. Just call us at 1-866-900-7078 today.

What to Do After a Car Accident – These 10 Resources May Help

Even "minor" car accidents are rarely simple.

And if you were injured in the accident, it may be even more important to get all the facts about how to proceed.

We've put together some of the basic resources to help you understand some of the issues you may face, but each case is unique, and we strongly recommend that you contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer.

Here are 10 resources you may want to look at:

  1. Our website - There you'll find an immediate way to contact one of our staff LIVE and arrange for a free case evaluation. Links to what we do, information about car accidents and what to expect, and what steps to take and when. Includes helpful videos answering frequently asked questions.
  2. The Property Damage Booklet: a quick, helpful guide with answers to frequently asked questions about property damage to your vehicle and what you should do about it.
  3. Self-help booklets:
    Inside Information: Insurance Companies May Not Want You To Know

    After a Crash: Don't Make These Two Mistakes
  4. Our YouTube page, with videos you really should see.
  5. Case results that have made a big difference in clients' lives.
  6. Video:  What is the first thing I should do if I've been in an auto accident?
  7. Video: Do you really need an attorney after an accident?
  8. Video: What you should look for in a personal injury attorney.
  9. Video: I was in an auto accident. Will I have to go to court to settle my case?
  10. Video: Are laws different for a personal injury claim when a child is injured?

When you get hurt in an accident - get help.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or at click here to send us a message.

Think You Know the Truth About the McDonald's Coffee Case?

We've all heard the story - a woman ordered a McDonald's coffee and tried to hold it between her legs while driving. It spilled. She sued; and then won millions of dollars in the "lottery" of personal injury cases.

As personal injury lawyers in North Carolina, we cringe every time we hear this story.

Partially because it has become a symbol of a justice system gone awry.

Medical25_06082014And partially because it's: Just. Not. True. At least not in the way many people understand it. Many facts have been altered or omitted along the way.

"This story is the most widely-misunderstood story in America."

That's a quote from the New York Times' recent video about what really happened.

The video tells the story a little differently. It talks about:

  • An emergency room visit
  • 3rd degree burns
  • Skin grafts
  • A week's stay at the hospital
  • $10k of medical bills
  • Multiple warnings from others to McDonald's
  • Coffee temperatures that can scald upon contact (30 degrees higher than home brewers!)
  • And a much, much lower settlement amount.

"If people would have seen the severity of the burns, they would have understood that this was no laughing matter," said her lawyer.

For those pictures (at the 5 minute mark - brace yourself), and the entire story, just click on the video below.

4 Insurance Claim Tips From a Former Adjuster

Paperwork1_07182014You've heard all the hype - one wrong step on your insurance claim after a car accident could leave you footing the bill for injuries that may not have even been your fault.

Unfortunately, there's some truth to that (in our experience).

We talked with a former insurance adjuster and asked him for his top recommendations to anyone who's been injured in a car accident, here's what he said:

1) Don't Rush - A Speedy Settlement Can be a Shoddy Settlement

Adjusters may want you to process your claim based on their timelines, which will usually be as quickly as possible. Don't feel pressure to do this. This is a common strategy among adjusters because it can limit the amount of money they pay out for a claim.

You are in control and shouldn't feel the need to rush into something that may not be the best decision. A good rule of thumb is if you're still getting any type of medical treatment, are on medications, or still in pain, you probably shouldn't talk about settling anything.

2) Get a Professional to Review Your Paperwork - for Free

Signing a release or medical authorization can substantially limit your options for seeking compensation. If you're not careful, you could give up benefits that you might have been entitled to otherwise. And often the damage from signing certain documents cannot be undone. It's generally a good practice to consult with an attorney before signing any paperwork.

Send your documents to an experienced attorney you trust (who focuses on your type of case) and ask them to review. Many personal injury attorneys will do this for free.

3) Keep in Mind - the Adjuster Is Not Looking Out for You

Although most adjusters present themselves as friendly and helpful, remember that their job is to resolve potential legal actions and claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible - that's it. They are not there to look after your best interests.

Even if your adjuster means well, they are just not trained to think of all the ways an injury can impact your life and what help you might need. What do insurance adjusters look for? Any potential problems with your claim and bring to light anything that could free their company of responsibility.

Their goal is to keep more money in house than they pay out on claims (like yours).

4) Don't Risk Your Future Needs - Get Concessions Upfront

Be careful resolving claims early on before you know the full extent of your injuries and medical care to come. You are bound by the agreement you enter into. If you settle too early and find that you still need ongoing treatment, you will likely have to pay for those treatments on your own.

If you believe your injuries will result in permanent damage or may need ongoing care, make sure these concessions are calculated into your settlement upfront. An attorney may be able to help.

Hurt in a car accident that wasn't your fault?

We've dedicated our practice to people like you. If you've been injured in a car accident, don't wonder if you're being treated fairly by the insurance company - get a professional opinion.

Call us for your free case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078.  We'll try to answer any questions you have and there's no obligation to hire us afterwards.

Categories: General

What benefits can I receive under workers’ compensation in NC?

If you're asking this question, it sounds like maybe you were hurt at work, but you're not sure if workers' compensation benefits are worth the risk - or if you even qualify. Maybe...

  • You're afraid of losing your job.
  • You're just not sure it's all worth the headache.
  • You need more benefits to get by after your injury because what you're currently getting just isn't paying all the bills.

Please don't let concerns like these get in the way of you trying to get benefits that may significantly improve your financial situation!

NC workers' compensation laws were written to help alleviate some of the financial burden for injured workers (like yourself).

And a NC workers' compensation lawyer may be able to help you protect your job and take much of that "headache" away - they will also help to try to make sure you receive all the benefits you may need.

Bills_07082014Workers' Compensation in NC

North Carolina workers' compensation law, known as the "Workers' Compensation Act" allows for benefits in two major categories: medical benefits and lost wages.

We'll explore each of those briefly:

Workers' comp for medical benefits

If you're injured at work and you're awarded a workers' compensation claim, your employer's workers' compensation insurance should:

  • Take care of all of your necessary medical bills for doctor's visits, diagnostics, prescriptions, surgeries and other needed treatments.
  • Pay for an attendant if you need at-home care (or reimburse a family member if they are caring for you).
  • Reimburse you for traveling to medical appointments if you had to travel more than 20 miles roundtrip.

In the event that your injuries result in permanent damage, you may be eligible for medical equipment that will make your disabilities more manageable (which could include vehicle and home modifications) and disfigurement for any scarring that's not covered under your Permanent Partial Disability benefits.

Which leads us into the next category....

Workers' comp for lost wages

Lost wages claims are what they sound like - reimbursement for wages that you've lost (or will lose) as a result of your injury. Typically wage-replacement benefits are two-thirds of what you would have earned if you had been working.

This can include reimbursing you for:

  • Time you had to take off work to heal (on a full or part-time basis).
  • Time you had to take off work to go to the doctor or other medical appointments.

But it can also include what's often known as "earning potential," which is your injuries' effect on your ability to work in the future.

Earning potential claims in NC

For example, if you work in manufacturing and your arm gets caught in a machine and is permanently damaged, depending on the severity of your injury, you could receive:

Earning potential claims are almost always calculated after you have reached "Maximum Medical Improvement" or "MMI" - meaning you have recovered as much as medically possible.

Waiting for MMI makes your claim easier to calculate, but it could leave you waiting a long time to be compensated for your claim.

A NC workers' compensation lawyer can't help you heal faster, but he/she may be able to push adjusters to resolve your claim quicker once you have reached MMI and help you set up medical liens in the meantime to try to help lessen your financial burdens.

Other workers' comp benefits

Although medical and wages lost benefits are the two major categories of workers' compensation benefits, depending on your circumstances you may also be eligible for:

  • Vocational rehabilitation, such as resume help, job placement services and educational assistance, if switching careers is necessary.
  • Death benefits - although there's no substitute for a loved one that's lost. If your spouse or parent (if you're a minor) died while working, you may be eligible for wages-lost benefits as well as funeral expenses.

You will typically receive most workers compensation benefits in the form of weekly checks or a lump settlement.

Need to apply for Workers' Compensation in NC?

We would be honored to help. We've dedicated ourselves to helping injured workers fight for the benefits they need.

If you want to know which benefits you might be eligible for, or if you are getting all the benefits to which you may be entitled, call us for a free case evaluation on our North Carolina workers' comp 24/7 hotline - 1-877-393-4980.

Categories: General

How Insurance Coverages Can Work: The Front Street Church Bus Accident Examined

BusAccident_06082014A recent church bus accident in Tennessee left 8 families without loved ones - all because one tire blew out.

Many more members of Front Street Baptist Church in Salisbury, NC, were left in critical condition and many suffered devastating injuries.

Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy.

No amount of money can ever replace what they've lost, but the fact is that we pay hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars in insurance costs every year so that when accidents do happen, we aren't financially ruined as well.

In this post, we'll attempt to illustrate how insurance coverage can work in NC by examining the accident.

Summary of the Front Street Baptist Church Bus Accident

According to news reports, members of Front Street's "Young at Heart" senior group were traveling on I-40 East in the church's bus from a jubilee in Gatlinburg, TN, when one of the bus's tires blew out - causing the bus to veer across the median and into oncoming traffic.

The church-owned bus then hit an SUV with two passengers in it and a tractor-trailer, carrying paper towels, which immediately caught fire.

5 passengers on the bus and the driver were killed, as well as the driver of the tractor-trailer and one passenger in the SUV. 14 others were injured.

The accident is still being investigated, but according to Tennessee Highway Patrol in an interview with WBTV, it appears the bus driver lost control after the tire malfunctioned. They further added that it would be extremely hard to maintain control in those circumstances.

Our Analysis

We've looked at how insurance coverages could play out in this scenario, but before we begin, please note that:

DISCLAIMER 1) - This accident will require a great deal of additional investigating and these are just our assumptions and generalizations, based on the information made available through news reports. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney.

DISCLAIMER 2) - Although victims listed could receive the same "coverages" that does not necessarily mean they will. Each victim's case is unique and will likely be evaluated and handled based on their individual circumstances.

DISCLAIMER 3) - In our experience, in a complex accident, insurance companies may be apt to deny coverage, but that does not mean they're not responsible. A NC personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Let's begin:

  1. The bus passengers
    Since the passengers were likely not at fault for the accident, they should receive payment for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and possibly other losses.For the passengers that died, their families may be awarded a wrongful death claim to cover funeral costs and other losses.The liability insurance company the church used to insure the bus (assuming the church had a policy in place - most do) could pay many of these bills. However, the investigation is unclear over whether or not the driver was properly licensed to operate the vehicle. If that's found to be the case, the liability insurance company covering the bus could try to refuse to pay for the damages.The driver, someone in charge of maintaining the vehicle and overseeing its use or even the tire manufacturer/seller may all be investigated and their insurance companies may also be held responsible, depending on the facts.

    Bills after an accident can add up quickly and the passengers may be able to use Medical Payments Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage on their own policies as well.

    If any of the passengers live with a blood relative that also has insurance, those policies may be additional coverage also.

  2. The SUV passengers
    The SUV passengers will likely have all the same coverages available to them as the bus passengers - since they were also victims.However, the SUV passengers may also be able to draw coverage from the SUV driver's liability insurance policy, since his/her policy is designed to protect the passengers in his/her vehicle.
  3. The SUV driver
    Although it may seem strange, the SUV driver's coverages will likely be very similar to that of the bus passengers - with all the liability insurance relating to the bus possibly covering his losses and his own insurance company possibly supplementing where needed with MedPay and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.Also, assuming the SUV driver was the owner of the vehicle he/she was driving, he/she may also be paid for the property damage to the SUV.
  4. The tractor-trailer driver
    Since the tractor-trailer driver was likely working, his family may receive death benefits from his company's workers' compensation insurance.Workers' Compensation in North Carolina allows for the families of workers who have died on the job to receive up to 500 weeks of benefits (typically two-thirds of the deceased's average weekly earnings), up to $10,000 in funeral expenses, and reimbursement for medical expenses incurred prior to death. A minor child or disabled spouse may be entitled to receive benefits beyond the 500 weeks.However, news reports say that the truck driver was from New Orleans and, assuming his company is located there, his workers' compensation benefits will likely be different from those in North Carolina.Workers' compensation is a "no fault" type of coverage - meaning it typically doesn't matter who is at fault for the accident. But since this accident does not appear to be the trucker's fault, his family may also be able to file what is known as a "third-party claim" for liability insurances that cover the actions of the bus.
  5. The  bus driver
    Many times, in situations like these, the bus driver is a volunteer and therefore workers' compensation insurance, would not apply.Since his injuries were fatal, as were his wife's, his next-of-kin would likely receive whatever coverage is determined for him.There are many factors involved in this particular case and a NC bus accident attorney would have to thoroughly investigate this case.As a whole, this accident is extremely complex, in terms of legal fault. Troopers have told the media that, although they're investigating now, the official report may take up to six months to be released.In our experience, that means victims could be waiting a long time for money they may need to cover necessary medical costs, etc. An experienced attorney may be able to help.

NC Car Accident and Workers' Comp Lawyers

Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific accident. We see the devastating results of car accidents every day, but it never gets easier to hear about the loved ones our clients lose.

If you need a car accident or workers compensation lawyer in NC, or you just have questions about legal process and insurance, please give us a call at 1-866-900-7078.

We're happy to help - even if you decide to seek legal representation somewhere else.

You Might Be More Likely to Die in a Car Accident in Halifax Country than from a Bullet in Charlotte (Study Indicates)

A recent study disproved the longtime belief that you're safer living in a rural area. They found that your risk of dying from an accidental injury is 40% higher in the U.S.'s most rural counties than in its most urban.

So if you moved to a rural county like Halifax for safety reasons, you may want to pack your bags and head to Charlotte, Raleigh or Greensboro.

BikeAccident_07012014"As you moved further and further away from cities you got less and less safe. Even going into the suburbs dropped your safety a little bit," said Dr. Sage Myers, the lead researcher of the study. "It's a little counterintuitive."

The findings can be summarized a little something like this:

  • Rock beats scissors
  • Scissors beats paper
  • Paper beats rock
  • And car accidents beat guns

 

How the Study Was Designed

For Dr. Myer's study, the researchers examined data on nearly 1.3 million injury-related deaths from all 3,141 counties in the United States from 1999 to 2006.

The causes for the deaths they examined ranged from car accidents, shootings, poisoning, drowning, falls, suffocation, and heavy machinery, among others.

Deaths as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack were excluded from the study, as they were deemed too anomalous.

The study was published by the American College of Emergency Physicians recently in an article called "Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the United States?"

Injury-Related Death Rates in the US

Injury-Related Death Rates in the US

The Most Common Causes of Accidental Deaths

The study identified the two most frequent causes of fatal injuries: car accidents and guns. Poisoning came in third. Here's what they found:

    1. Car Accidents

It's probably isn't very surprising that car accidents are by far the most common cause of injury-related deaths. However, it may surprise you that you're twice as likely to die in a car crash if you live in a rural area.

This may be true for several reasons:

      • People in rural areas may spend more time in cars.
      • Advanced medical care may not be as readily available in rural areas.
      • Rural drivers are more prone to drive at higher speeds
      • Other studies have shown that rural drivers are less likely to comply with seatbelt and child restraint laws.
    1. Guns

Gun violence is often what we tend to think about when we want to pick a "safe" place to live. And you're probably thinking that cities came out "ahead" in this category too, right?

Nope.

The study reported no significant difference in the risk of being shot and killed in the most rural or most urban counties.

There were, however, very different patterns among the types of deaths from firearms. Homicides were more prevalent in the cities, but suicides and accidental shootings were more common in the country.

The study did see significant patterns among different age groups, relating to fatal shootings.

Children, ages 14 and younger, and adults over 45, were more likely to die from a firearm injury in rural areas. But adults (ages 20-44), were much more likely to be fatally shot in urban areas.

The risk was roughly the same for teenagers ages 15-19, no matter where they lived.

Injured in an accident?

If you, or a family member, were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation.  And that compensation usually comes from an insurance company, so you shouldn't have to worry if your friend, family member or neighbor was at fault.

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, our NC personal injury lawyers deal with a variety of injury cases, from truck and car accidents to workers' comp incidents and defective drugs.

If you've been injured, give us a call at 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

Social Security Disability Benefit Delays Occurring Due to Sequester

Recently, the Baltimore Sun published an article indicating that people nationwide were growing frustrated with the government and likely to become much more upset as a result of lengthy delays in dealings with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has had to cut the hours of their employees and limit appointment times significantly. This has occurred as a result of the sequester.

Our Durham, NC disability attorneys know that those hit hardest by delays and backlogs with the Social Security Administration are the disabled. Those seeking disability benefits already had an average wait time of between three and five months to have a claim approved, assuming that there were no problems and that the claim was approved the first time without the need to appeal (otherwise the wait is much longer). Now, with fewer workers at the SSA and with reduced appointment times, people waiting for life-sustaining disability income may need to wait even longer and cope with even more problems and hurdles.

Paralyzed_06132014Sequester Makes Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits Harder

Individuals applying for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, will generally need to visit the office of their local SSA to obtain their application, to submit paperwork and documentation and to ask questions about their claims. Unfortunately, because of the sequester, the SSA has had to limit the hours that its offices are open and limit the number of appointments scheduled. Those who need to start the lengthy application process or who need help from an SSA representative could thus find themselves waiting days, weeks or even months just to get a simple application or question answered.

Once a person has applied for benefits, the claim will need to be reviewed by a disability claims examiner. With fewer employees at the SSA, it could take a longer period of time for the claim to be approved, even when the application is completed perfectly. During this time, typically a disabled individual is not working at all since part of the criteria for qualifying for benefits is that you are too impaired to work. Waiting months to get an answer on qualifying for benefits when you have no money coming in can be a terrible burden.

If your claim is denied, or if you have any questions about any of your benefits, then you'll also have longer wait times for appeals or to get your questions answered. An appeals process that already took an average of a year could take even longer.

All of these consequences have occurred as a result of automatic spending cuts that went into effect in March. The spending cuts were intended to be so unpleasant that the politicians in charge would be forced to agree to a deal to cut spending in a more sensible way. When lawmakers failed to agree, the harsh cuts went into effect and now lawmakers cannot compromise on how to replace them with alternatives that make sense. As such, the cuts to Social Security offices are likely here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. This means that while benefits checks go out as normal and as promised, anyone making a new claim suffers.

For those applying for benefits, having a lawyer representing you may be your best option so you can get questions answered quickly by someone who knows the disability benefits system and so you can get the help you may need to move your application forward as quickly as you can.

If you need help applying for disability benefits, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

Categories: General

NC Programs Warn Teens About Texting and Driving

DistractedDriving2_07212014In February, several hundred teenagers at Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, watched a car accident in the school parking lot. Although dozens of emergency vehicles arrived with sirens blaring and pulled a student out of the car with the Jaws of Life, this accident was not a tragic emergency. Instead, it was a staged play designed to teach teens about the dangers of texting and driving.

Our North Carolina accident attorneys know that each year, thousands of kids experience a real-life version of the staged accident. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year olds, and many of the teens who are killed - or who kill others - are texting while they drive.

Program Aims to Teach Teens about Texting and Driving Dangers

The play at the Greensboro High School finished up with the teens being told that the driver in the car had been texting her boyfriend when the accident happened. The teens were also told that the driver, who was played by a student actor, died after being airlifted to get medical help.

The purpose of the play was to drive home the serious dangers associated with texting and driving. Although there is a statewide ban on sending texts while behind the wheel, it is believed that more education efforts are necessary to stop young people from engaging in the behavior anyway. As such, law enforcement says that they are ramping up their education efforts.

The play presented at Western Guilford High School is part of the broader program going on statewide, which is called "message 2 die 4." Schools, local businesses and law enforcement are all collaborating.

The hope is that this program will be successful like other campaigns, such as Booze it and Lose It, and Click it or Ticket. These prior campaigns, which respectively targeted drunk driving and seat belt use, improved safety and raised awareness. The aim is for the texting education to do the same.

Stopping Teens from Texting and Driving

In addition to improving their educational outreach, WUNC.org also reported that law enforcement has indicated an intention to start cracking down by enforcing the texting ban.

In Guilford County last year, only 144 people were cited for texting and driving. Throughout the state of North Carolina, there were only 1,910 tickets total issued for texting. To put this in perspective, consider that there were 328,000 speeding tickets issued and 68,000 tickets for drunk driving issued during the same time period.

The small number of citations was not because teens weren't texting. In fact, according to WUNC.org, one law enforcement official said that anecdotal evidence suggested that the texting and driving problem is getting worse.

Hopefully, with increased efforts this year, both in terms of more citations and more educational outreach, teens will stop engaging in the dangerous practice of texting and driving. The risks of a crash -- which Distraction.gov indicates may be 23 times higher than someone not texting -- are simply too great to make the choice to text.

If you've been injured in a workplace accident or car accident, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

Categories: General

Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-552-8215
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

301 S McDowell St, Suite 900
Charlotte, NC 28204
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 Cromwell Dr. Suite G
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

Morganton Law Office

216 N. Sterling Street, Suite B
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: 828-219-3080
Toll Free: 1-844-520-2894

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

144 Woodridge Court
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