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Fayetteville Personal Injury Law Legal Blog

Identifying and handling whiplash trauma

Drivers in North Carolina are involved in a crash may experience whiplash. While some people might want to brush whiplash off as a minor injury, it can actually cause long-lasting and potentially expensive problems for the sufferer.

FindLaw describes whiplash as one of the most common soft tissue injuries car crashes can cause. It usually involves the damage of muscles, ligaments, nerves and vertebrae after an abrupt motion (being rear-ended, for example) causes the aforementioned areas to become strained. It can also be called a hyperextension injury, cervical strain, or cervical sprain.

Truck accident fatalities rise in North Carolina

Like most people in North Carolina, you likely see tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles on the roads, highways and freeways quite regularly. While it is understood that these big rigs are necessary to help move goods from one place to another, it is also normal that you might feel a bit uneasy about being too close to them. Accidents involving semi-trucks can be extremely serious in large part due to their size and weight.

Despite laws and rules that truckers and trucking companies are supposed to follow in order to keep people safe, there continues to be too many people killed every year in crashes involving these vehicles. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that North Carolina has seen an increase in truck accident fatalities for four years in a row. In 2013, there were 121 people killed in these crashes but by 2017, that number rose to 164.

Trucker drive time limits questioned by DOT

North Carolina residents should be able to trust that people who hold commercial driving licenses take the responsibility to operate vehicles in a safe manner seriously. Unfortunately, the demands of business can push some truckers or trucking companies to limits that may create risks, such as when a person continues to drive when they are tired. Combatting trucker fatigue has been a focus for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is why the agency instituted its Hours of Service rule.

This rule sets limits on how many hours a trucker can drive in a single working day. While they may log a total of 14 hours per day, only 10 of those hours can be spent driving. After the first eight hours, a trucker must take at least 30 minutes of rest time before continuing to work or drive. Every working day must be separated by 10 hours of off-duty time. 

How can you prevent eye injuries from fireworks?

Most types of fireworks are not legal in North Carolina, but during the summer, you may travel to an area in which they are legal and decide that you would like to set some off. The month of July is a popular time for fireworks due to the warm weather and the Independence Day holiday. Unfortunately, careless handling of pyrotechnics can lead to serious eye injuries. As a matter of fact, during the two weeks before and after July 4th, fireworks-related injuries can send 280 people to the emergency room per day. 

Even more alarmingly, according to WebMD, the number of fireworks-related injuries to the eyes reported per year is on the rise. Between 2016 and 2017, the reports of injuries nearly doubled from 700 to 1,200. A significant number of these injuries affect children. 

Car crashes into North Carolina apartment building, injuring 6

Chaos reigned in an apartment complex in Raleigh, North Carolina, last week. A collision between two vehicles at a nearby intersection propelled one of them into the side of an apartment building. Three of the people inside that unit, one of them a two-year-old boy, required hospitalization for injuries. The expectation is that all three will survive. 

There was a television set near the wall of the apartment unit that the car crashed into. The TV fell onto one of the occupants of the room as the wall collapsed in as well. One of the occupants of the room shielded the two-year-old boy with his body in the hopes of protecting him from injury. Another of the family members in the unit described it as sounding like an explosion. 

10 facts about the recent increase in truck accidents

It’s scary enough to think about getting into an accident with another car or SUV, but a truck crash can change your life in the blink of an eye. The size and weight of the nation’s trucks and buses makes them among the deadliest vehicles on the road, and they’re only getting deadlier.

Statistics posted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that truck accidents have been on the rise since 2009. The most recent numbers show that things got worse in nearly every category from 2016 to 2017.

What should you know about electrical injury?

As a resident of North Carolina, you most likely work with electricity in some form every day. Whether it's the coffee maker you rely on to help wake you up or the electronics you use for communication, navigation and work, you are constantly exposing yourself to electricity. This means you're also constantly exposing yourself to the dangers related to electricity.

FindLaw states that electric shock from consumer products contributes to up to 70 fatalities every year. This isn't even counting shocks that may come from other sources, such as faulty wiring in a workplace. In fact, they state that in the workplace, electrocution is one of the most common sources of injury. 9 percent of workplace fatalities every year are due to electric shock of some kind.

Who is responsible for a child getting hurt on personal property?

Like other responsible parents in North Carolina, you may have taught your children not to go onto others’ property without permission. However, as you may be aware, children do not always follow the rules, especially if they are younger or are influenced by their friends. Attractive nuisance law exists to protect children who may wander onto others’ property and get hurt.

FindLaw explains that an attractive nuisance is something on someone’s property that may be dangerous, yet can entice curious children. For example, your neighbor may have a backyard pond or swimming pool, which, as you can imagine, may be irresistible to children during the hot summer months. As such, property owners are required to take reasonable measures to discourage or prevent children from accessing an attractive nuisance on their property. These safeguards may include the following:

  • Installing a high, locked fence around a yard that contains a pool or pond
  • Putting up warning signs about an aggressive dog in the yard or keeping the dog inside the home
  • Locking a shed containing power tools and other dangerous equipment
  • Not keeping the keys to a riding lawnmower in the ignition

How often are truck drivers abusing drugs and alcohol?

If you feel uneasy anytime you find yourself driving near a semi-truck, you are not alone. Trucks, based on size and weight alone, pose a substantial threat to everyone else on the roadway, and the fact that many of today’s truck drivers are abusing drugs and alcohol makes sharing the road with these vehicles more dangerous than ever.

Just how prevalent is the substance abuse problem in the trucking industry? According to the American Addiction Centers, a series of 13 studies on truck driver substance abuse conducted between 2000 and 2013 revealed some extremely troubling statistics surrounding trucker substance abuse. In fact, the results of those 13 studies revealed that alcohol abuse is a particularly notable problem in the industry, with up to 91% of commercial truckers surveyed acknowledging drinking while on the clock.

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Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A.
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Fayetteville, NC 28301

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