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

Representing Injured Residents Of North Carolina

Raleigh Personal Injury Blog

Workers' compensation: Is black mold making you sick?

Some of the most significant threats to the safety of workers nationwide, including North Carolina, are those that they cannot see. Exposure to black mold is one such a hazard, and proving it to be work related in a workers' compensation claim can be challenging. The illness that is caused by exposure to toxic mold develops gradually over time and not overnight.

Several fungus species are included in the group of molds that release toxic spores, called mycotoxins, into the air. These dark green or black molds thrive in areas with high humidity, such as North Carolina. When the microscopic airborne spores are inhaled or ingested, they can cause several unpleasant and dangerous symptoms. Workers with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk.

3 myths about workers' compensation

Sustaining an injury at work is not only a physically painful event but also an emotional challenge. You have to worry about treatment and recovery, as well as how you are going to make ends meet while you are unable to work full time or at all.

The purpose of workers' compensation is to provide the finances you need to cover medical and daily expenses. While it is supposed to alleviate your worries, the process of filing a claim can be stressful. Knowing these common myths is the first step in navigating workers' comp successfully.

Many workers' compensation claims are for preventable injuries

Employers must conduct frequent workplace hazard assessments, analyze them and address potential injury hazards. Unfortunately, it is often only after preventable accidents happen -- some of them catastrophic -- that safety authorities come in and identify safety violations. An employee of a North Carolina arms company was a victim of a preventable amputation injury, and the worker will likely rely on workers' compensation benefits to provide financial assistance.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an inspection was launched after the worker lost a part of his finger because the broaching machine that he was operating lacked guarding. Along with that violation, compliance inspectors also identified multiple other unaddressed safety hazards. Included were exposures to struck-by, electrical, ladder, chemical, crushing and tripping hazards.

Motor vehicle accidents: Hit-and-run kills Raleigh teenager

The principal of a high school in Raleigh advised parents that he had arranged for a team of psychologists, social workers and counselors to provide support to students after a tragic event that claimed the life of a ninth grader. Traumatic events like fatal motor vehicle accidents that kill fellow students are known to cause feelings of vulnerability and a range of emotions. These could include anxiety, sadness, anger and fear, all of which can be eased during discussions with professionals who can help affected students to process their emotions.

According to the Raleigh police, a vehicle struck the 15-year-old student at approximately 7 a.m. on a recent Tuesday. The driver of the car did not stop to render aid or call emergency services but drove off instead. He left behind the critically injured ninth grader. The teen was rushed to a medical facility, but he later succumbed to his injuries.

Personal injury: Recalled pork skins could cause food poisoning

Anyone who experiences headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and weakness is advised to consider what he or she consumed within two to six hours before the onset of the symptoms. Sometimes food contains bacteria or undeclared ingredients that could cause food poisoning. In some cases, this could give rise to personal injury claims against the producer and marketer of the product. A North Carolina company recently recalled a dangerous food product that might cause health problems or even death.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services detected that pork skins, manufactured by a Kannapolis company, contained ingredients that were not listed on the labels of the products. Undeclared ingredients in Two Brothers Pork Skins include chorizo powder, tomato puree, orange juice, vinegar, black pepper, onion, garlic and other spices. Consumers with allergies to any of these ingredients could suffer severe reactions after consuming these snacks.

Motor vehicle accidents might be fewer with stricter phone laws

Although North Carolina has had laws to limit mobile phone use while driving in place since 2009, lawmakers are advocating to revisiting those laws to further curb distracted driving, which remains prevalent despite existing laws. Sponsors of the proposed changes to the bill believe prohibition of all smartphone use by motorists will prevent motor vehicle accidents caused by device distractions. The National Conference of State Legislatures shows that the District of Columbia along with sixteen other states have complete bans on mobile phone use while operating a vehicle.

Current laws prohibit drivers from sending emails or text messages while driving, as well as any cell phone use by drivers younger than 18. The new law will not allow any driver to hold a smartphone in his or her hands or against the body -- except in emergencies. However, adults can use devices in hands-free stands if they require no more than the push of one button. Drivers younger than 18 would only be allowed to use smartphone devices for following preset navigation systems.

Motor vehicle accidents: how trucking accidents are different

Truck accidents are different. That is partly because people sustain serious injuries in semitruck accidents in and around Raleigh. However, there is also often a different legal process.

Part of the increased complexity has to do with the different people involved. Part of it comes from the higher stakes. There are even some special laws that govern commercial vehicles. Anyone involved with these types of cases should probably apprise themselves of these issues before beginning negotiations.

Workers' compensation: Contractor severs hand on Carowinds ride

Many visitors from various locations, including Raleigh, travel to Charlotte for a day of fun at Carowinds, an amusement park on the state line between South and North Carolina. The safety of all the rides is crucial, but few fun seekers pause to spare a thought for the workers who risk their safety to do maintenance on the equipment to ensure safe operation. The state-regulated workers' compensation system has dealt with many benefits claims from injured workers throughout the years.

The latest incident caused a catastrophic injury to a worker who had to be rescued from one of the tallest rides at the park. Reportedly, the man was inspecting the Windseeker as a part of the preparation for the facility's imminent re-opening for the new season. A Carowinds worker at ground level heard the distressed worker calling for help from where he was working at a height of about 300 feet. The worker's hand was severed, apparently because the ride was tripped while he was inspecting a pulley.

Personal injury claim might follow collapse of Nike sneaker

When products malfunction or when defects lead to incidents that harm consumers, the manufacturers, retailers and any other entities in the supply chain might face financial accountability for monetary damages. Nike Inc. might soon be named in a civil lawsuit after a star basketball player of Duke University recently suffered personal injury when one of his basketball shoes came apart. The incident happened shortly after the start of a game against a rival North Carolina team.

Reportedly, the high-profile sneaker manufacturer designed the particular style specifically to support athletes like Zion Williamson. However, when the player needed that support at the moment when he stepped onto one foot to change direction, the shoe failed. When it fell apart, the athlete tumbled and fell to the court.

Personal injury: Recalled chicken products can cause harm

Consumers in Raleigh and other cities in North Carolina are exposed to many food-related threats. The number of personal injury lawsuits that are filed in civil courts is not surprising when one considers the fact that manufacturers of chicken products have issued eight recalls within the first six weeks of 2019. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service provided a list of some of the reasons for these recalls.

An FSIS spokesperson says none of the recalls involved whole chickens. According to her, the more steps in the manufacturing process, the higher the chances for bacterial contamination or foreign material being present in the final products. Further reports indicate that it is almost always caused by human error. These could include suppliers changing the content of ingredients, workers getting the recipe wrong, employees putting a product in the wrong box or loading the wrong roll of ingredient labels into a packaging machine.


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