Articles Posted in Personal Injury – Other

parking lotKnowing when and how to file an appeal after a ruling in a case is a critical step to preserving your rights. If you do not comply with the appeal procedures, you will lose your right to appeal. There are many different ways and times during the proceedings that you can file an appeal. As knowledgeable North Carolina personal injury lawyers, we have handled numerous trials on behalf of injured residents and understand how to help you protect your rights.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered whether the plaintiff properly appealed from a partial summary judgment order dismissing her claims against two defendants in a wrongful death action that she asserted after her husband was killed in a car crash. The crash happened when a dealership allowed a relative of a vehicle buyer to take the newly purchased vehicle from a dealership lot. The relative crashed it into the back of the decedent’s vehicle, pushing him into oncoming traffic. The decedent’s wife brought a wrongful death claim against the vehicle buyer, the relative, and the dealership. All defendants brought motions for summary judgment and the trial court granted the dealership’s motion. The plaintiff appealed this ruling while her claims against the vehicle buyer and the relative remained.

Because the plaintiff still had pending claims against other parties in the lawsuit, the appeal was classified as an appeal from an interlocutory order, which means the order only resolved some of the claims in the action and not the entire action as a whole. In most situations, there is no immediate right to an appeal from interlocutory orders. In seeking her appeal, however, the plaintiff failed to comply with N.C. Gen. Stat Section 1A-1, Rule 54(b), which requires a trial court’s certification that an order is appropriate for immediate appellate review.

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Legal News GavelInjury accidents can take place virtually anywhere, including in a hospital. If you believe that you were harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence, then it is essential that you speak with a competent North Carolina personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to understand and protect any legal rights that you may have.

One aspect that an attorney can assist you with is determining the appropriate venue and method for asserting your rights. In a recent appellate opinion, a North Carolina court discussed whether a plaintiff’s cause of action was properly based in medical malpractice or personal injury. In the lawsuit, a hospital patient was injured during a fall while undergoing an x-ray examination. The plaintiff asserted a cause of action for ordinary negligence. During discovery, however, the evidence indicated that the fall happened when the technician operating the x-ray machine was rendering specialized services that required skill and clinical judgment. As a result, an issue arose regarding whether the plaintiff should have brought the claim as a medical malpractice action, which would have required compliance with certain procedural rules.

The plaintiff was an elderly woman who was brought to the hospital by her daughter on the day of the accident. The mother had been experiencing chest pains after suffering a fall several days beforehand. She had a history of falling as a result of her lack of steadiness and she frequently requested assistance to walk. At the emergency room, the personnel determined that a chest x-ray was appropriate. She was transported to the radiology room in a wheelchair. The technician asked the elderly woman whether she would be able to stand for the procedure and she indicated that she believed she would be able to stand. Once she stood up and walked a few steps, the technician indicated that she seemed stable so he turned around and walked a few steps away to position the equipment. It was at that time that he turned around to observe the elderly woman falling backward, resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury.

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Legal News GavelWhen an assault or another type of intentional bodily harm happens, there is often a criminal investigation and prosecution. The victim of the incident also usually has a civil claim against the perpetrator to recover compensation for any medical bills and other damages associated with the event. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of North Carolina personal injury lawyers is prepared to help you protect your legal right to compensation during this difficult and stressful time.

In a recent opinion from the North Carolina Supreme Court, the justices considered a civil claim stemming from a criminal matter. The plaintiff and defendant were long-term domestic partners who separated. They had three shared children.

In September 2010, the woman filed a claim against her former partner in addition to claims on behalf of their three children in her capacity as guardian ad litem. The claims included allegations of negligence, premises liability, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence. The complaint also sought punitive damages. According to her complaint, the woman alleged that the defendant attempted to break into her home and was eventually successful. She alleged that the defendant attacked her by hitting her with a ladder from the attic, thereby causing serious injuries to her head and neck that resulted in permanent injuries. Hearing the noise, the children awoke, came to the scene of the attack, and saw their mother being hit by the ladder.

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Legal News GavelIn order to protect younger individuals, there are many unique and special rules that apply to legal claims involving minors. If you aren’t careful, it is easy to make a mistake or to miss a procedural rule, which could have a devastating outcome for the minor’s claim. As North Carolina personal injury lawyers with experience handling claims on behalf of minors, we have the experience it takes to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.

The North Carolina Supreme Court recently considered whether the appointment of a guardian ad litem for a minor removes a disability and starts the statute of limitations for that minor’s claim. A guardian ad litem is an adult party assigned to represent the best interests of a child and to make legal decisions on behalf of that child. In the case at hand, a baby suffered a brain injury during delivery under the guidance of a nurse midwife who managed the delivery. Three years later, a trial court appointed a guardian ad litem for the child for the purpose of bringing a civil claim against the nurse. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit on that same day against the medical professionals involved in the delivery. For unknown reasons, the guardian ad litem eventually dismissed the claim.

Six years later, the trial court appointed the same guardian to represent the child in a similar medical action, which the guardian filed the same day. This time, the complaint named additional defendants. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that the statute of limitations for the claim had expired, relying on North Carolina’s three-year limit for bringing a medical malpractice claim.

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Legal News GavelWhen it comes to the sudden loss of a loved one, there is no amount of money or legal action that can truly make you whole again. It may, however, assist with the financial burden of the sudden loss and help your family get back on its feet after such a tragic and untimely loss. As Charlotte wrongful death lawyers, our seasoned team of professionals is ready to help you ensure that your family receives the justice that it deserves.

Recently, the Supreme Court of North Carolina considered whether the state recognizes an injured person’s first-party claim for dram shop liability and, if so, whether that claim will be barred when the decedent is deemed contributorily negligent. The complaint alleged that the plaintiff and his wife checked into a resort one evening to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The defendant was a hotel company that operated the resort and a restaurant on the premises. After the couple checked in, they had dinner at the restaurant and consumed 24 alcoholic beverages. The wife consumed at least 10 drinks, and testimony indicated that she was visibly intoxicated. The wife was so intoxicated she had to be transported via wheelchair to her hotel room.

The next day, the husband woke up to find his wife dead on the floor next to the bed. Medical reports indicated that the wife died from alcohol poisoning. The man filed a wrongful death action against the hotel, alleging many causes of action, including dram shop liability. He also alleged negligent aid, assistance, or rescue, and he sought punitive damages on the basis that the hotel acted in a wanton, willful, and reckless manner.

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Legal News GavelThere are many different medical issues that can take place in a hospital or a nursing home facility. We trust medical professionals to take good care of us and to provide us with the attention and treatment that we require. When we fail to receive this treatment, and we suffer unnecessary and avoidable injuries as a result, the outcome can be devastating. As North Carolina personal injury lawyers, we have assisted numerous individuals and families with understanding their legal rights following a medical malpractice incident.

In a recent appellate decision, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against a hospital, alleging that she suffered injuries as a result of sepsis while in its care. The jury returned a verdict finding that the hospital was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff appealed this decision, arguing that the trial court made a number of errors regarding the evidence that it allowed or disallowed in the proceedings. It also dismissed her claim based on a nursing negligence theory.

The plaintiff’s first argument on appeal alleged that the trial court made an error when it allowed evidence from experts regarding three medical studies that were published many years after the plaintiff suffered the alleged injuries. In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff did not make an appropriate objection to the admission of these studies at the time they were offered into evidence at trial. In reviewing the appropriateness of admitting the studies, the appellate court first noted that the trial court provided the jury with a limiting instruction regarding the studies and advised the jury that the studies were not indicative of the standard of care in the case. The appellate court found the limiting instruction appropriate and an effective way to mitigate any prejudice resulting from the admission of the studies. As a result, it rejected the plaintiff’s argument on this appellate issue.

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Legal News GavelThere are many important procedural rules that parties must follow when it comes to a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not file certain documents by certain deadlines, or fail to respond to certain documents, you may waive your right to compensation. As experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyers, we are well-versed in North Carolina’s rules and can ensure that your claim is handled effectively and appropriately.

A recent appellate opinion highlights how important it is to abide by procedural rules. In the case, the plaintiff filed a complaint against certain defendants, alleging that she suffered injuries as a result of their medical malpractice. The plaintiff dismissed the lawsuit voluntarily over one year after it was filed. Pursuant to Rule 41(d), the plaintiff was required to pay costs upon the voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit. Roughly one year later, the plaintiff filed the lawsuit again, and the defendant responded by filing a motion seeking costs pursuant to Rule 41(d).

Shortly thereafter, the court entered a Consent Order that required the plaintiff to pay costs to the defendant and noted that failing to pay costs within the stated time period would result in the dismissal of the current lawsuit. The defendant emailed a copy of the Consent Order to the plaintiff and later filed a Certificate of Service for the Consent Order. The payment period lapsed, and a few days later the plaintiff notified the defendant via email that a check for costs was being sent. The defendant received the payment but refused to cash the check, stating that it would seek a dismissal of the action pursuant to the Consent Order. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and the plaintiff appealed.

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Legal News GavelIf you are injured by another motorist in a car accident, you probably have countless questions about your insurance coverage and whether the other motorist’s insurance will be sufficient to cover your losses and damages. Our dedicated North Carolina car accident attorneys have assisted many victims with navigating the insurance claims process after suffering injuries inflicted by a careless driver. We are also seasoned trial lawyers who are not afraid to take the matter to litigation if that is what is necessary to protect your rights.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered whether the primary underinsured motorist insurer can obtain an offset for any liability payments that it made to an accident victim when there are multiple underinsured motorist insurers involved. The underlying facts of the case are as follows. A man was driving his son’s vehicle with his wife as a passenger at the time of the incident. The man fell asleep while driving, and the car collided with a tree after veering off the roadway at a high speed. The man’s wife, unfortunately, died in the crash, and the son suffered serious injuries.

The son had three insurance policies with the same insurer. The policies each provided liability and underinsured motorist coverage in the amount of $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each accident. One of these policies applied to the vehicle involved in the accident, while the other two were taken out for different vehicles. The man also had an insurance policy through a different insurer that provided similar amounts of coverage. In each of the policies involved, there was the same language regarding underinsured motorist coverage.

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Legal News GavelRecently, two North Carolina plaintiffs appealed after the defendants’ summary judgment motion was granted in a case alleging negligence, gross negligence, battery, assault, vicarious liability, and reckless infliction of emotional distress, among other causes of action.

This North Carolina personal injury case arose when the defendants started constructing on a piece of property adjacent to the plaintiffs’ home. The construction company’s trucks used the plaintiffs’ driveway as a turnaround for large construction trucks. This damaged the plaintiffs’ driveway. The plaintiff explained to an employee (the defendant) that he’d given some information about their own home and how valuable it was to them. The goal of the plaintiff was to make sure the construction company and its employees understood the importance of the property, since they were turning around on their little driveway, which was made of river rocks. The plaintiff was concerned that the workers were tearing up the driveway and being inconsiderate.

The defendant’s construction workers kept using the driveway as a turnaround. The plaintiff and the defendant spoke three times about the workers using the driveway. The defendant told the plaintiff he had a small crew and would talk to them about it.

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Legal News GavelIn a recent North Carolina injury decision, the defendant doctors appealed the lower court’s denial of their motions to dismiss based on grounds of public official immunity. The plaintiff started his case against the defendants in their individual capacities and also claimed that the doctors (both employed by the Department of Public Safety) were negligent.

The claims alleged the doctors hadn’t met the professional standard of care for doctors when treating the incarcerated plaintiff. He claimed he started suffering serious back pain in 2012, and he turned in the first of multiple requests for medical care. For 10 months, nurses, the doctor’s assistants, and a doctor repeatedly evaluated him for his back pain. One of the doctors evaluated him nine times and asked for an MRI to be done. A member of the review board, also a doctor, denied the request for an MRI and instead recommended a month of physical therapy. The plaintiff kept submitting requests as he got worse.

Eventually, a doctor’s assistant sent the plaintiff to the ER for treatment. There, imaging showed that the plaintiff’s L3-L4 vertebra had eroded and that he had a spinal infection. The plaintiff claimed that it was medical malpractice for his doctor to fail to treat his condition and for the board member to refuse the requested treatment.

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