Nursing home abuse victims face some of the most painful physical and emotional injuries. Although the criminal authorities can choose to investigate an incident of nursing home abuse, the victim can also bring a civil claim against his or her abuser to recover compensation for his or her injuries. As seasoned North Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that you are treated fairly and respectfully during this painful and stressful situation.

In a recent case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals considered a claim in which the plaintiff appealed from a dismissal of her complaint alleging that a nursing home facility was responsible for injuries that her mother received while her mother was in the facility’s care. The lower court dismissed her action on the basis that she did not name the right defendant in the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the facility where the mother was admitted for respite care attempted to move her using a lift. The plaintiff alleged that the facility was negligent in operating the lift, causing her mother to suffer injuries. In her complaint, however, the plaintiff named another company as the defendant. Instead of answering the complaint, the named defendant filed a motion to dismiss and provided information seeking judicial notice of public records showing that it did not own or operate the facility. The documents were the business organization papers for the company that did own the facility.

Continue reading

If you think a judge made a mistake in your North Carolina workers’ compensation claim, you can file an appeal to have a higher court review the decision. There are different rules that apply on appeals, and the standard that the court must use to review the lower court’s decision can change depending on the circumstance. Ensuring that you put forth the strongest appeal possible and that the appellate court applies the right standard of review is a key aspect of securing the benefits that you deserve.

In a recent claim, the worker suffered neck and spinal injuries while employed with a trucking company as a driver. Her employer and its workers’ compensation insurer appealed a decision from a lower court denying its request to terminate her temporary total disability benefits. Specifically, the employer and insurer alleged that the lower court erred in concluding that the worker was disabled after her doctor released her in December 2015 to “return to full activities.”

The appellate court began by noting the standard of review that it must apply, which is to review findings of fact to determine whether “any competent evidence supports the Commission’s findings … and whether the findings of fact support the Commission’s conclusions of law.”

Work-related injuries are always damaging and disruptive for the employee. In the most unfortunate cases, however, they result in the loss of the worker’s life. North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act allows a surviving relative to seek death benefits to help cope with the financial stress of the sudden and unexpected loss. There are countless considerations and laws that must be taken into account when developing a strategy for recovering damages, and no two cases are alike. As seasoned North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers, we have the skills and experience it takes to ensure that your family receives the fair outcome that it deserves.

Recently, the North Carolina appellate court considered a case in which an employee lost his life in a motor vehicle accident while driving a truck for his employer. He was operating the employer’s vehicle at the time of the crash, which was insured under an auto policy. The order also required the insurer to pay the widow five hundred weekly payments of roughly $650 each and over $8,000 for funeral expenses. The total amount of benefits amounted to approximately $333,000 dollars.

The widow was then appointed as the personal representative for the decedent’s estate. She filed a wrongful death action against the driver who caused the crash and his father. The plaintiff reached a settlement of roughly $950,000 for these claims including the policy limits for the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.

Store owners have a duty to keep their land in a reasonably safe condition for visitors and guests, but there are still countless incidences of shoppers becoming injured due to North Carolina slip and fall accidents. In some instances, the injuries that the victim suffers can be devastating and even life-altering.  At Maurer Law, we proudly assist North Carolina residents with holding negligent storeowners responsible for failing to keep their premises safe.

Obtaining any evidence possible to show that the defendant’s conduct caused your injuries is a critical step to securing the compensation that you deserve. A North Carolina Court of Appeal recently heard a case in which the plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on an oily substance in the defendant’s store in the Wake Forest neighborhood. She was shopping with a friend who caught her as she fell. The store manager had her fill out a customer statement in which she wrote that there was a greasy substance with food particles on the floor. She also reported that her right hip and ankle were painful. The manager informed the plaintiff that the incident was on camera, but there was no surveillance of the accident. The woman did not seek medical attention.

After a jury trial, the jury concluded that the defendant’s conduct was not the cause of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial and the plaintiff appealed, challenging a number of items including the jury instructions that the court provided to the jury and the denial of her motion for a new trial.

A key aspect of a workers’ compensation claim is to determine the severity and scope of the injury to assess whether the worker will be paid partial or total injury benefits as well as permanent or temporary injury benefits. This is a complicated process that involves a thorough examination of the employee’s work history, physical assessment, and other factors. As seasoned North Carolina work injury lawyers, we can help you ensure that you receive the amount of benefit payments that you deserve.

In a recent case, the North Carolina appellate court discussed the process for assessing whether a worker has sufficiently proven that he or she lost wages as a result of the work injury. The plaintiff owned a stump grinding business and fell while he was working in October 2012. He was diagnosed with a rupture to his quadriceps and required surgery. He had a second rupture in February 2013 that also required surgery.

Eventually, the plaintiff’s doctor concluded that he’d reached maximum medical improvement and that he had a 15% permanent partial disability in his left knee. A second opinion from another doctor concluded that it was a 20% permanent partial disability. An independent medical examiner concluded that the plaintiff could continue working in the same capacity.

One of the most important determinations in a workers’ compensation claim is whether the alleged injury can be directly related to the claimant’s job duties and functions. If the employer can point to a pre-existing injury as the primary cause of your pain and injury, then you may not be awarded workers’ compensation benefits. As dedicated North Carolina work injury lawyers, we have provided seasoned legal guidance to injured parties throughout the region and are prepared to help you ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal considered a dispute in a claim involving a pre-existing injury. The claimant worked at a hospital where she was injured on April 20. Roughly one month later on May 26, she stood up after finishing her lunch, heard a loud popping noise in her knee, and experienced immediate unbearable pain.

The plaintiff filed a claim seeking compensation for the original injury. She also had a history of conditions in both knees, starting roughly 40 years ago. The employer accepted the claim on a medical-only basis and denied further treatment on the basis that the claimant’s current condition was not causally related to the accident. It also denied the injury that occurred one month after the accident. A Deputy Commissioner denied the woman’s claim for benefits, which was later affirmed by the Full Commission.

There are many ways that a prevailing party in a lawsuit can win an award of attorney’s fees, which means the other party must pay the prevailing party’s costs incurred in hiring an attorney. This can make a substantial difference financially, especially if the lawsuit has gone on for a long period of time. In some instances, the losing party will fight the prevailing party’s request for attorney’s fees. As dedicated North Carolina workers compensation lawyers, we are well versed in the rule that governs claims proceedings, including when you might be entitled to having your attorney’s fees reimbursed.

In a recent lawsuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court considered whether a lower court acted correctly in denying to award attorney’s fees to the plaintiff under a North Carolina statute. The statute in question, N.C.G.S. §97-90(c), state that where an attorney has an agreement for a fee, it shall be filed with the Commission and if the agreement is not unreasonable, it shall be approved.

The worker was employed as a bartender when he suffered two back injuries in 2010. He sought workers’ compensation benefits, which he was awarded. The plaintiff underwent back surgery and therapy, but his disability did not improve and continued to worsen. He eventually required attendant care medical services, which the defendants agreed to provide if they could take the depositions of two of the plaintiff’s doctors. The plaintiff and his attorney modified their retainer agreement at this time to include fees for the attorney in the event that attendant care services were awarded.

Continue reading

Work injuries are incredibly stressful and disruptive for the victim, especially if it is unclear whether you will be able to return to work. The seasoned North Carolina work injury lawyers at Maurer Law have handled many different types of injuries on behalf of hard-working individuals and we are ready to use our skills and experience on your behalf.

The North Carolina appellate court recently considered a claim in which the worker suffered injuries to her neck and spine while working as a truck driver, which required her to maintain a Class A commercial license. Obtaining this license requires the applicant to undergo a medical examination on a periodic basis. She injured her back and spine while operating the landing gear on her vehicle. The company told her that there was no light duty work available. Eventually, the Industrial Commission concluded that she had suffered a work-related injury and she was entitled to temporary total disability benefits.

The woman underwent treatment for her injuries, including a surgical procedure. She was unable to work for several weeks after the surgery. Her treating physician testified that her injury would affect her for the rest of her life, in terms of her ability to move and lift heavy objects. He did indicate that she was able to return to full activities. He prescribed her Vicodin as needed and referred her to the DMV or federal Department of Transportation to determine whether she could return to truck driving.

Continue reading

If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our dedicated team of North Carolina work injury lawyers have assisted individuals throughout the region with a wide variety of injury types and legal issues. The workers’ compensation process can be very complex, which is why it helps to have an experienced legal advocate on your side.

In a recent case, the North Carolina appellate court considered a claim in which the worker hurt his back while working in the produce department of a grocery store. He was lifting watermelons from a bin which required him to bend over and scoop them out of the bin. He experienced a sudden onset of pain in his right arm and shoulder. A medical exam was conducted and the doctor concluded that the injury was likely neurological in nature. The MRI revealed acute and chronic damage to his spine with multilevel degenerative disc disease. The doctor attributed it to a sudden event but noted that MRIs do not indicate when an injury occurred. He also identified narrowing of the worker’s spinal cord.

He underwent further treatment, including a decompression surgery for his spine. One of his doctors testified that he could not give a medical opinion with a reasonable degree of certainty regarding whether the incident with the watermelons was the primary cause of his injury. The employer challenged the worker’s claim for benefits on the basis that the injury was chronic and not related to the course and scope of his employment. The Commission agreed with the employer and the worker appealed.

Continue reading

Personal injury incidences always involve deeply stressful and emotional situations. In some instances, however, they are extraordinarily painful for the victim and his or her family. A common example of this type of case is a sexual abuse incident. Although there is a criminal prosecution component, the victim can bring a civil claim seeking compensation for his or her suffering. Our experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you seek the justice you deserve.

Recently, the North Carolina appellate court considered a claim involving alleged sexual abuse against a minor. The victim was a 15-year-old girl raised in a strict household with her mother and her sisters. Evidence in the record indicated that due to her mother’s beliefs, the girl lived a very sheltered life which included not being able to spend the night at friends’ houses and not being allowed outside unsupervised past dusk. The mother needed to leave the state to care for her dying mother and the mother agreed to let the girl stay with a friend under the agreement that the friend’s mother provide constant supervision. The mother was unaware that the family had an adult son who was living at the house and that he had an alcohol abuse problem and history of violence.

One evening, the son and some friends were partying in the backyard. The friend’s mother went to sleep and the friend went into her bedroom, leaving the girl alone with the son and his friends. According to the victim, the son provided her with a beverage containing some kind of drug and ultimately raped her in the home. The girl filed a lawsuit against the friend’s mother and the son, alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress based on the friend’s mother’s alleged failure to protect the girl from her son and to provide support for her after she informed the mother of what happened. The friend’s mother’s insurer defended the action and requested a declaratory judgment stating that it had no duty to the mother or son to defend against the claims. The lower court granted the insurer’s motion. The defendants appealed.

Continue reading