The Law Firm of Ledbetter & Titsworth, P.A.

Representing Injured Residents Of North Carolina

Raleigh Personal Injury Blog

Holiday celebrations lead to more motor vehicle accidents

It is perhaps only fitting that December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. The holiday season is the time when almost all gatherings of people in North Carolina and elsewhere include the serving of alcohol, typically leading to increased numbers of motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, many of them leave victims with catastrophic injuries or worse.

Authorities say the number of traffic-related deaths nationwide increases significantly from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. They report that alcohol-impaired drivers kill more than 45 people per day during the early season, with the numbers increasing closer to year-end. Reportedly, almost 70 percent of the road accident fatalities involve drunk drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding .15 while the legal limit for adult drivers is .08 percent.

Workers' compensation claims for falls are prevalent in winter

North Carolina winters can increase the risks outdoor workers face. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds employers that the primary cause for industrial injuries nationwide is fall hazards. This danger is underscored by the number of workers' compensation claims that follow slips, trips and falls across the country every year. The chances of workers falling are significantly higher during the months when workers must negotiate icy and snow-covered walking surfaces.

Safety authorities advise workers to avoid rushing by giving themselves sufficient time. Walking on steps can be dangerous if the feet are not firmly placed on each step, and using the handrails can provide additional stability. Another precaution is to walk slower than usual, with slightly bent knees and using shorter steps to allow quick responses when changes in traction occur. The hands and arms play an essential role in a person's ability to maintain balance, and traversing slippery walkways while carrying large or heavy objects is a recipe for disaster.

Beware of winter workplace hazards

Workplace safety is always important, but the winter brings some unique concerns. No matter what your profession is, you likely face distinct hazards once the temperature drops. With preparation and staying alert, you can prevent injuries to the best of your ability. 

While your company must enact and reinforce seasonal safety policies, you can take some actions to be safer in the workplace. Here are some guidelines from OSHA for avoiding occupational injury during the wintertime. 

Medical malpractice suit follows experimental stem cell procedure

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers about undergoing medical procedures that involve stem cells obtained from fat cells. Even though such stem cell use is not approved, doctors continue to experiment on patients. A recent medical malpractice lawsuit -- filed in another state -- might serve as a warning to North Carolina residents who consider stem cell treatments because they are promised incredible results.

A woman with Macular Degeneration -- a disease that causes blindness -- started losing eyesight and was promised by doctors that they could reverse the degeneration and give her full vision again. According to the lawsuit, the doctor misrepresented the risks by saying that the worst-case scenario would be the failure of the procedure, leaving her with the same partial eyesight as before. In an $8,900 experimental process, abdominal fat tissue was obtained, from which a stem cell cocktail was produced.

Motor vehicle accidents: The hazards of DUI teenage drivers

At this time of the year, many people of all ages in North Carolina and other states start to feel the excitement of the holidays. Alcoholic drinks are offered at house parties and other gatherings, and the numbers of impaired drivers rise significantly. Unfortunately, some of the drivers are underage and inexperienced, increasing the risks of motor vehicle accidents and resulting injuries and deaths.

Safety authorities say the annual number of crash-related deaths that can be linked to alcohol impairment exceeds the combined number of such accidents involving heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances. For this reason, all 50 states have zero tolerance for underage impaired driving. Parents are urged to make sure their teenagers understand the risks posed by all medications -- whether they are prescribed or over-the-counter drugs.

What you should do after food poisoning from a restaurant?

Getting food poisoning is an experience no one ever wishes to have. Unfortunately, it can occur anytime you eat out at a restaurant or buy food from an outside vendor, even from a small establishment like a street food cart. 

If you experience food poisoning after eating something you purchased at a restaurant or other food service establishment, you should know that you have certain rights you can exercise. Food poisoning can cause severe symptoms and even hospital stays, and you should not have to handle the expenses on your own if the food establishment is responsible.

Motor vehicle accidents: Head-on crash kills day care van driver

Following the tragic death of another driver, a 38-year-old North Carolina man might face a civil lawsuit along with criminal charges that could put him in prison for many years. The number of motor vehicle accidents that involve alcohol and drug impairment is frightening, resulting in the loss of many innocent lives. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, a 39-year-old day care van driver lost her life in such an accident.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, an employee of a plumbing company failed to remain on his side of the roadway while traveling on a Smithfield road at about 4 p.m. He allegedly crossed into the opposite lane and smashed head-on into a van carrying elementary school children. None of the children suffered serious injuries, but the vehicle landed in a ditch, and the driver became trapped inside.

Can mold be toxic to your health?

Mold is a common presence in many homes and offices, and people do not often stop to consider how this might be negatively impacting their health.

The truth is that mold can be toxic in certain circumstances, so it is important to know what these situations are in order to protect yourself.

Personal injury: Concern about prevalence of elder abuse

Anyone in North Carolina with elderly loved ones might dread the day that those seniors need around-the-clock care. Personal injury reports such as the one in which the Senate Special Committee on Aging reported that approximately five million seniors are elder abuse or neglect victims each year are concerning. In addition, it was reported that the National Center on Elder Abuse said studies indicate that between 3 and 5 percent of senior citizens in the United States have suffered some form of abuse.

Sadly, the prevalence of these incidents is rising, and many cases go unreported. Some signs of elder abuse or neglect are more obvious than others, and visitors to loved ones in nursing homes need to be alert to telltale signs. Elderly patients with dementia and cognitive impairment appear to be mostly targeted by abusers because they are so vulnerable.

Personal injury lawsuits might follow burrito and pizza recall

According to a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Bakkavor Foods USA, Inc. recalled almost 800,000 pounds of packaged, prepared burrito and pizza meals. The firm is a food manufacturer with establishments in various locations, including one in Charlotte. The recall followed the firm's discovery that its onion supplier had recalled its products because of potential Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella contamination of the onions. Similar recalls in the past have led to personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina and across the country.

Salmonella contamination causes a bacterial foodborne illness that typically lead to abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever that could last for four to seven days. People with compromised immune systems might need hospitalization. Consuming L. monocytogenes contaminated food can cause a severe infection, called listeriosis, in older people, pregnant women, newborn babies and others with compromised immune systems. This is a life-threatening condition that typically appears with flu-like symptoms within 60 days after consumption of contaminated food.

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The Law Firm of Ledbetter & Titsworth, P.A.
1135 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511

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