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October 29, 2020

DETERMINING NEGLIGENCE IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

In order to seek compensation after a motorcycle accident, it is important to show how negligence occurred – showing fault and liability to how the negligent party caused the accident and your injuries.

Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most serious accidents, and receiving compensation requires a personal injury law firm that understands how others, including motor vehicles, act in a careless manner. Here are some common ways negligence results in motorcycle accidents.

A DRIVER DOESN’T RESPECT MOTORCYCLIST’S RIGHTS

Not all drivers pay the same respects of the road to motorcyclists that they would for other motor vehicles. They drive too close to lanes, they change lanes without regard to their blind spots, and even may even brake check a motorcyclist that is behind them. These are considered aggressive driving tactics and can be deemed negligence if the vehicle driver causes the motorcyclist to crash.

RUNNING THROUGH INTERSECTIONS

When we learn to drive, we are taught to approach an intersection with care. However, many drivers are in such a hurry these days that they try to beat traffic lights, they speed up to go through the light or possibly to make a left-hand turn.

This is considered one of the more common causes of a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists may not be able to stop in time and the car crashes into the motorcycle and the motorcyclist is thrown from their motorcycle. It is a shame that many people look at a yellow traffic light as a sign to actually speed up instead of slowing down.

ONE FACTOR IN PROVING LIABILITY IS NEGLIGENCE

When proof of liability is discussed in a motorcycle accident, negligence is considered the breach of duty to care for others on the road. It is important to show that whoever caused the motorcycle accident was actually doing something that could be considered reckless. Once this is determined, then they need to be held accountable for compensating the injured motorcyclist.

At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, our proven, trusted, and experienced motorcycle accident attorneys are available to help you navigate the process ahead of you. Our attorneys will work hard to determine who is negligent and hold them accountable for their reckless actions. Call us today. 252-378-2525, for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to help you in your time of need.

October 27, 2020

STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE AFTER A DOG BITE INJURY

While dogs may be man’s best friend, it is true that not all dogs get along with humans. In fact, reports show that dog bite incidents are pretty common with an average of 4.5 million dog attacks yearly.

Most dog attacks can be prevented, and it is important to know how to approach an animal you are unfamiliar with. However, some attacks are a result of the negligence or recklessness of a dog owner. If this is the case, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the owner to you help cover medical or property damage expenses.

How you respond to the attack is critical, no matter what caused the attack. Remember to take these steps after you have been involved in a dog bite attack.

Move to a Sheltered Area

A good amount of dog bite attacks occur when an animal feels threatened or territorial. To reduce the risk of additional injuries after the initial attack, you should move to a protected area quickly, preferably something inside if it is available to you.

If the dog stays at the scene and continues to be aggressive, you should walk away slowly without turning your back to the animal. And, running away could make the dog see you as prey, and they may actually chase after you.

Assess the Injury

Dog bite injuries can range in seriousness – from just a nip to a more serious injury that requires surgery. As quickly as possible, you need to assess the severity of your injuries. If you do not have any broken skin or you have broken skin with no bleeding, you can clean and bandage the injury site yourself.

If you are bleeding, you should place a clean towel over the affected area and apply pressure. If the blood stops by itself, go ahead and clean the wound with water and an antiseptic before applying a bandage.

Pay attention to the shape of the wounded area. Puncture wounds from an animal’s teeth are prone to infection. So, even if the injury seems minor, you may want to seek medical attention. Your medical provider may need update your vaccinations or think it is necessary for you to have a prescription to prevent any potential infection.

If the bleeding does not stop with applied pressure, you should go immediately to the emergency room.

If you perform some initial first aid to your wounds, take pictures of all of your injuries. You may need photos for your insurance company or any personal injury claim proceedings in the future.

Gather Information About the Accident

It is important to collect information about the accident. As with any accident, law enforcement or legal representatives may need this type of information in the future. If you can get it, you should take down the name, address, and contact information of the dog’s owner.

If you have the chance to speak to the dog’s owner, you want to ask for the dog’s vet information so you can double check with them and make sure that the dog is up to date on their vaccinations and isn’t suffering from transmittable disease.

Also ask for contact information from any witnesses that may have seen the incident. If you need to file a personal injury claim, witness statements could support your account of the incident and your attorney may need to contact them further.

File a Report

Once any necessary medical treatment has been received, you should file a dog bite report. This report can be made to your local animal control provider or city or county officials. You should include as much information as possible in your report, but estimate or guess at the facts, just state them as you know them. For example, include as detailed of a description of the dog’s behavior as you can remember, but do not speculate on conditions that the dog may have exhibited.

Your report may corroborate other reports regarding the same animal, which could indicate an aggressive pattern of behavior that the owner is responsible for controlling. The report will also help the proper official to enforce leash laws and other relevant laws and restrictions.

Record Changes in Your Symptoms

As you start to recover from the injuries you sustained, pay attention to additional symptoms. Nerve damage, which is serious, may not be immediately apparent. Also, follow any medical order you received from the physician at your initial visit and seek immediate attention for any new medical symptoms. If you should develop any new visible injuries from the attack, be sure to take more pictures as/if injuries appear.

Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Not every dog attack will qualify as a personal injury, use these guidelines to minimize your injuries from a dog attack and make decisions about a claim. If you are unsure how to proceed, you should consult a personal injury lawyer with experience handling animal attack cases. At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP we offer free consultations before any claim is filed. So, if you are unsure about your rights and how to procced, call our office at 252-378-2525 and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced, reputable attorneys today.

October 21, 2020

REDUCING DRIVER FATIGUE TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS

If you are a truck driver who spends hours upon hours driving throughout eastern North Carolina, you probably know firsthand that keeping alert becomes more difficult the longer you have been awake. Being able to effectively and safely operate your vehicle and deliver freight in a timely manner, means you need to operate your truck at maximum capacity and stay alert.

When you feel drowsy because you have not had enough rest, your efficiency could be compromised and operating your truck could not only put your life at serious risk, but also those around you could be at risk. Protocols should be implemented by you, or your employer, to encourage drivers to get enough rest, as well as provide the time and resources necessary to help you and other drivers recuperate between hauls.

REPORTING AND TRAINING
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, your employer should provide you with the proper training, information, and resources to help you recognize and manage signs of fatigue. Statistics and role-playing may be used to help illustrate the importance of getting enough rest and staying alert.

Employers often implement ways for their drivers to report behaviors while they are on long trips. Trucking logs can often provide insight into whether or not a driver has spent enough time resting between hauls or shifts. Since these details have to be reported to your employer, they could help motivate a driver to get more rest between hauls so they can avoid reprimands and penalties for violating company policies.

MONITORING AND FEEDBACK
By monitoring driver’s performance, an employer may decide whether or not making changes to your schedule could help improve your ability to perform your job at a higher level. Feedback about your experiences and how you feel about rest times between shifts and/or hauls, should be encouraged by your employer. Implementation of technology such as lane assists and wristbands that can detect fatigue could be used to help improve driving experiences and prevent you from driving while you are too tired.

If you’ve or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you should contact the law offices of Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP. Our attorneys can help you decide if driver fatigue was a factor and if you have grounds for any legal action. Give us a call at 252-378-2525.

October 19, 2020

HOW TO IDENTIFY A HEAD INJURY AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

Head injuries are a common result of motorcycle accidents. WebMD defines head injuries as “any damage to the skull, scalp or brain.” Injuries to the head can cause mental impairment and even permanent disability.

How to know if you are suffering from a head injury?

TYPES OF HEAD INJURIES
Head injuries vary by type and range in severity. The most common type of a head injury is a concussion. This is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) where your brain bounces against your skull. Concussions can range from mild to severe. Fractures of the skull can often cause complications if pieces of bone cut into the brain. Some other types of head injuries include contusions and intracranial hematomas. Contusions are bruises on the brain and an intracranial hematoma is bleeding under the skull. The bleeding under the skull can form a clot, these can also range in severity.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF A HEAD INJURY
Some head injuries can present with symptoms right away, while others may not. For instance, a concussion may result in immediate (and temporary) unconsciousness, or it could take days for the symptoms to appear. If you suffered a TBI due to a head injury, you could feel:
• Confused
• Dizzy
• Groggy
• Nauseous

You could also have memory issues, or you may have fuzzy or double vision. If the injury you have suffered is more than a concussion, you could have clear fluid draining from your ears, nose, or mouth. Other symptoms of a serious head injury include:
• Distorted features
• Convulsions
• Changes in pupil size
• Low breathing rate
• Severe headaches

Face or skull fractures can lead to TBI. With a skull fracture, you could see facial swelling, bruising, light-headedness and more.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and suffered a head injury, it is important that you contact an attorney immediately. An injury attorney at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, LLP can review your case and help you determine if you have a negligence claim.