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I have asked my landlord several times to fix a dangerous problem. What can I do to protect myself?

You are renting an apartment or a house, and you have noticed a dangerous problem. Maybe it is exposed wiring that could lead to fire or even electrocution. Maybe it is a loose floorboard that could lead to tripping and being injured on nearby furniture or appliance. Or maybe it is a leak that could lead to a slip or the accumulation of deadly black mold.

When you are renting an apartment or house, your landlord has a responsibility to make the dwelling safe. If you notice a potentially dangerous problem like those listed above, or similar, you should notify your landlord right away about the problem to have it fixed.

Unfortunately, not all landlords are responsive or meet their obligations. It is important to document what you have done to notify your landlord about the problem and your request to have it fixed. You can do this by sending your notification by e-mail or through a letter sent by certified mail. Be sure to provide details about the problem and to specifically ask to have it fixed. Take photos both for documentation and for sending in with your request to your landlord.

Simply asking your landlord verbally to fix the problem is not enough. Should your landlord neglect or refuse to fix the problem, it is important to have tangible documentation that you provided notification about the problem and requested to have it fixed. You can use this to appeal to a local housing court, or to take the matter further in a civil case, if necessary.

Should you become injured as a result of the problem, this documentation will become even more important.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have become injured because of a problem in your apartment or house that your landlord refused to fix, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for 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.

What If I'm Hurt on My Friend's Property? Can I Sue?

You are invited to a party at your friend's house, and when you arrive, you slip and fall on an electrical cord that is running across the walkway, chipping your tooth and seriously injuring your face. You end up having to get dental surgery and stitches for the injuries on your face. Your doctor tells you that you will have a serious scar and that you will need plastic surgery to fix it. Your medical bills could cost thousands of dollars.

Frustrated5_06032014Can you sue your friend for damages?

It depends on the circumstances of your case and whether your friend was negligent or has some other liability. However, if the question is simply can you sue a neighbor, friend or acquaintance in the same way you can sue a business for injuries you sustain as a result of their negligence, the answer is yes.
Personal property owners are not subject to the same liability as business owners, so it may be a bit more difficult to pursue a claim in some instances.

However, the law still protects you if you are injured, no matter who owns the property in question.

But Should I Sue My Friend?

In most cases, people are more worried about whether they should sue a friend or acquaintance rather than whether they can.

If you are injured on your friend or neighbor's property, you may face thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost time from work, or even permanent disability.

If you do not seek the compensation to which you are legally entitled, you will have to pay these expenses yourself and you could even face the loss of your ability to care for yourself and your family if you become unable to work.

In most cases, you will be suing your friend or neighbor in name only -- their homeowner's insurance company actually provides the defense and pays any settlement or judgment. Your friend buys this insurance for this very reason -- protection against financial liability.

The majority of personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. In most cases, your friend will never have to pay a dime directly and will never have to appear in court. You can get the compensation to which you are entitled under the law, and you can preserve your relationship with your friend.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

Every case is different, and a North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you determine what the factors are in your case that may influence your legal rights. If you have been injured on a friend's property or in a place of business, the North Carolina personal injury 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.

Categories: Auto Accidents

Tips to Stay Safe this Holiday Season and Prevent Burns and Other Injuries

Lights2_090902013Sparkling Christmas lights and festive holiday feasts can make the holidays brighter -- and they can pose dangers such as fire or illness. This season, make sure that your holiday celebrations are festive and bright by practicing a few safety tips in your home.


1. Keep your Christmas tree watered and hydrated. A dry tree can become a fire hazard. Be sure to cut the base of the tree to allow it to soak up more water, and put it in a stand with a deep dish.

2. Keep your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from your fireplace or electrical outlets. Be sure garlands or other decorations are also kept far enough away from these sources to avoid becoming a fire hazard.

3. If you choose an artificial tree, make sure it is fire resistant.

4. Secure your tree. Make sure it is tied at the top so that it can't be pulled or knocked down by small children or animals. Keep it behind a gate if you have
small children so that ornaments do not become a choking hazard or cannot become broken and cut small hands.

5. Check all extension cords and strings of Christmas lights for exposed wiring or cracked or frayed cords or plugs. These can spark and start a fire.

6. Make sure all extension cords and strings of Christmas lights are secured. Run them under rugs and carpets, or pull them back with ties or staples. If extension cords are used, make sure they are not overloaded with wattage.

7. Turn out all lights and blow out all candles when you go to bed. Lights could short out and start a fire while you are asleep, and candles always pose a fire risk and should never be left unattended.

8. Install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm. Make sure you are aware of any signs of danger as soon as possible.

9. Develop a fire escape plan. In the unfortunate event of a fire, knowing how to act quickly could save you and your family from danger. Create a specific plan for how to escape your home and call for help, and practice it with your whole family. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be.

10. Thoroughly cook all meats. E. Coli and Salmonella poisoning are both dangers when it comes to handling raw meats. Make sure you cook them thoroughly, and use a meat thermometer to check.

11. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Bacteria can live on the surface of fruits and vegetables, including E. Coli and Salmonella. Make sure you wash these thoroughly before eating them.

12. Thaw meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Again, harmful bacteria can breed, increasing your risks for food borne illnesses.

13. Follow proper food-storage guidelines. Don't leave perishable foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Make sure you refrigerate or freeze all foods that require it. Pay special attention to items such as eggnog or dip that are left out for long periods during get togethers.

14. Wash your hands often. When you're in the kitchen, washing your hands often will ensure that you don't spread harmful bacteria. During the winter months, washing your hands often will help to limit the spread of illness like the flu.

Following these tips can help you and your family to stay safe this holiday season to make sure that your celebrations are happy and bright.

National Transportation Safety Board Identifies "Most Wanted" List to Reduce Personal Injury for 2013

Ambulance_06062014The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases its "Most Wanted" List each year, identifying its top safety priorities to reduce personal injury across a number of areas. The list is designed to "increase awareness of, and support for, the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives," according to the NTSB.

The 2012 NTSB Most Wanted List includes:

• Improve safety of airport surface operations
• Improve the safety of bus operations
• Eliminate distraction in transportation
• Improve fire safety in transportation
• Improve general aviation safety
• Preserve the integrity of transportation infrastructure
• Enhance pipeline safety
• Implement positive train control systems
• Eliminate substance-impaired driving
• Mandate motor vehicle collision avoidance techniques

Six new issues were included on the list: distraction, fire safety, infrastructure integrity, pipeline safety, positive train control and motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies.

"Transportation is safer than ever, but with 35,000 annual fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries, we can, and must, do better," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement. "The Most Wanted List is a roadmap to improving safety for all of our nation's travelers."

The Most Wanted List identifies the top priorities for the NTSB, which will be the focus of advocacy and lobbying efforts to enact reforms.

Several of the issues identified on the list are those that North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin deal with everyday. If you have been injured in a transportation accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

5 Ways to Stay Safe When Driving around Large Semi-Trucks

Tractor Trailer1_07032014Driving around large semi-trucks on the highway is not the same as driving around other passenger vehicles. Semi-trucks that are fully loaded can weigh more than 80,000 pounds - or more than 40 tons. All that extra weight makes it hard for these trucks to brake quickly or to respond to dangers on the road.

It is important to follow additional precautions when driving around large semi-trucks in order to keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road. Here are 5 tips for safe driving around large semi-trucks:

Be Alert

When you approach a semi-truck, or you see one approaching you, be on alert. Tractor trailers and other large trucks do not move the same as other vehicles on the road. Wind can push the trailers into other lanes, tires can explode onto the road, and the truck can start to drift across lanes if the driver becomes fatigued.

Unfortunately, a truck driver cannot react as quickly to these situations because of the size and the weight of the truck. You must be alert to take defensive measures as needed when the truck driver cannot, including braking or changing lanes quickly.

Don't Pass on the Right

Trucks have to swing widely to the left to make a right turn, creating a large gap that may make it seem like there is room to pass. If you try to pass a truck on the right, you leave open the opportunity that the truck will plow into your vehicle if it is trying to turn right.

Passing on the right is never a safe idea, but it presents even more problems if you try to do it to a truck. Stay safe and always pass on the left.

Don't Drive in a Blind Spot

Every vehicle has a blind spot for the driver. If you are in a truck's blind spot and the driver makes a lane change or has to swerve to avoid debris or other obstacles, the results could be disastrous.

Stay safe and stay out of a truck's blind spot. Pass quickly, and stay ahead of or behind the truck instead of side-by-side.

Don't Cut Off a Truck

With all that weight in tow, it can be very difficult for a semi-truck to slow down or come to a stop quickly. In fact, it can take a large tractor-trailer the length of three football fields to come to a complete stop from traveling 60 mph. If you cut off a semi-truck, the driver won't be able to stop quickly and may just plow right into the back of your vehicle.

Leaving plenty of room between you and a semi-truck when pulling into the same lane. Not only is it courteous, but it will also keep you both safe.

Don't Follow Too Closely

If you are tailgating a semi-truck, chances are that the driver can't see you and that you can't see anything in front of the truck - meaning that you also can't know if obstacles are approaching. If the truck has to come to a sudden stop, you may not have any warning, and an accident could easily occur.

It's always a good idea to allow enough following space between you and another vehicle on the road. It's even more important to do so when you are behind a large tractor-trailer.

Remember: Semi-trucks don't behave the same way as other vehicles on the road. Following these tips will help keep you and other drivers safe.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for 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!

Texting and Other Distracted Driving May be Possible Factor in Increase in Traffic Fatalities, Data Shows

Last month, it was reported that the number of traffic fatalities had increased 13.5 percent in the first three months of the year over the first three months of last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) both suggested that warmer-than average winter weather may have contributed to more people driving, increasing the number of accidents.

However, data from the NHTSA during the same time period also showed that distracted driving became more of a factor in accidents during that time, and a new study from Ohio State University reported on the dangers of texting while driving.

In the last several years, the number of accidents caused by distracted driving has risen significantly. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving rose from being a factor in only 10 percent of crashes in 2005 to 18 percent in 2010.

Some officials believe that distracted driving and texting may be a bigger factor in the rise in traffic fatalities than the warmer weather encouraging more people to be on the roads. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) showed that there was only a 1.4 percent increase in miles traveled for the first three months of 2012.

Distracted Driving_07222014Research shows that not only are more people getting in wrecks as a result of distracted driving, but that many people are overconfident in their abilities to multitask while driving, perhaps contributing to the increase in accidents.

"What is surprising is that our results also suggest that people may perceive that texting is not more dangerous - they may think they can do a good job at two visual tasks at one time," said Zheng Wang, a lead author of the study at Ohio State University.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident - whether it was the result of distracted driving or not - you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to get a free evaluation of your case and find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!

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