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October 6, 2021

YOU’RE IN A CAR ACCIDENT, HOW DO YOU PAY YOUR BILLS?

After a car crash it could take years to recover financially. As your body is healing, your bank account and credit report could become depleted and damaged to lose of income and bills piling up.

The driver responsible for the car crash is liable for the damage inflicted during the accident, but the claims process could take time for you to receive any financial compensation. So, the question is, what do you do with your bills while you wait?

Your car insurance policy

After the car accident, both insurance companies will conduct an investigation of the case before determining fault. If you have medical payments coverage through your own automobile insurance policy, you can use that to help pay your medical bills. However, there’s usually a limit, and there’s a good chance that the emergency treatment you received immediately after the crash will take most of your medical payments coverage.

Your healthcare insurance

If you have health insurance coverage, the hospital where you received treatment will bill your health insurance company. You will have to pay your deductibles for treatment upfront. As your car accident claim continues to go, you may have to continuing paying these out-of-pocket costs until there is a resolution.

Even if you are unclear on your insurance coverage, North Carolina law recognizes doctor and other medical provider’s right to be paid for their services. But, just know that any payments you make out of pocket can be reimbursed at the end of a successful lawsuit or insurance claim.

The at-fault driver

Once the insurance companies determine liability, you could receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. Your medical files should be sent to the responsible driver’s insurer, as well as all your payment records. You should receive reimbursement of these costs as should any appropriate policies.

Part of a car accident claim is ensuring that you receive just compensation. Having an experienced injury attorney on your side is key to a successful outcome of your claim – one where you may receive repayment of any monies paid out of pocket and getting your insurers paid on your behalf.

For most people, car accidents are not an everyday occurrence, but for the attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett they are just that! With more than 58 years of combined legal experience, our Greenville, NC car accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge and experience handling medical bill payment issues.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another part, call us today. 252-378-2525, to schedule a free consultation. Our team of attorneys are dedicated to taking on insurance companies and at-fault parties. Put us to work for you.

August 13, 2021

INVOLVED IN A PILE-UP ACCIDENT?

A multiple impact car accident involves a crash that has more than one impact. The most common type of multiple impact car accident is a “pile-up” accident. These types of accidents get their name from the piling up of vehicles following the initial crash. In pile-up accidents there are multiple impacts that can cause vehicle damage and result in injury.

Pile-up car accidents often happen on highways where people are traveling at higher rates of speed. Once the initial collision occurs, the vehicles that are following in the same lane may be unable to slow down and avoid the first crash. As a result, a second, third or even fourth or fifth impact may occur directly behind the vehicles involved in the initial crash.

In a typical “pile-up” accident the additional impacts are usually caused by drivers who are: 1) traveling too fast for the road conditions; 2) traveling too close to the car in front of them; 3) not paying attention, are distracted and are unable to brake in time; or 4) a combination of all three.

In most every pile-up accident, there is a dispute as to which impact caused the harm and injuries. Since these impacts usually involve multiple drivers with different insurance carriers, each driver’s insurance company is likely to place blame on the other. As a result, these types of cases can be hard to resolve and the insurance companies argue between themselves trying to decide what, if any, of the injuries they caused and how much they are responsible for.

The good news is multiple impact accidents may have multiple insurance policies that you or your loved ones can recover. Instead of being limited to one insurance policy with a limited amount of coverage, you now may have the chance to look to other insurance policies. These added policies could increase the total amount of coverage and offer a greater chance of having a higher policy that will adequately cover your injuries.

These accidents present challenging situations which is why you will need an experience personal injury law firm representing you in this situation. If you or a loved one was involved in a pile-up car accident, contact one of our Greenville, NC car accident attorneys today. Our personal injury attorneys have successfully represented clients harmed in pile-up accidents. Our attorneys are available now to discuss your case at no charge, consultations are free.

March 22, 2021

SAFEGUARDING LOVED ONES FROM NURSING HOME ABUSE

As your loved one ages or as his or her health worsens, you may consider placing this family member in a nursing home. After all, you may not have the training, time, or ability to provide your loved one with the extensive care he or she needs. But you worry about how your loved one will be treated once admitted to a care facility.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), 1 in 10 elders experience some form of abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing home. The NCEA also states that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse are reported to the authorities.

Despite these alarming statistics, you can take steps to protect your loved one from nursing home abuse or neglect. Read on to learn how you can improve your family member’s safety and what you should do in the event of abuse or neglect.

Ask About the Facility and Staff

Before your loved one enters a nursing home or long-term care facility, take a tour of the property. Note the condition of the building, the quality of the rooms, and the types of amenities the facility offers. As you take a tour of the facility, observe the staff members and how they interact with the residents.

If possible, talk to the facility director. Ask him or her about the process of hiring staff. For example, you could ask if the hiring committee conducted background checks and drug tests on each employee before offering a position. You can even ask if the facility has had any previous incidents of elder abuse or neglect.

As you ask questions, you can better decide which facility best fits your loved ones needs-and which facility staffs responsible, trustworthy aides.

Remember to tour a few different facilities so you have a clear understanding of the care options available to your loved one.

Know the Types of Abuse

When you hear the word “abuse,” you likely think of physical abuse. While nursing home residents can endure physical abuse from staff members and other residents, there are other forms of abuse that occur. Elder abuse can include emotional, verbal, sexual, and financial abuse, as well as neglect.

The most common neglect- and abuse-related issues include:

  • Assaults
  • Improper transfers
  • Unnecessary sedation
  • Malnutrition
  • Medication errors
  • Medication overdoses
  • Wandering from the facility
  • Yelling or insults

Unfortunately, some forms of abuse can lead to death. When you visit your loved one, watch out for any of the signs listed above. If you do notice that your loved one has suffered from an item on this list, contact an attorney immediately. You will also want to move your loved one to another care facility or to your home (if possible) to prevent additional abuse or neglect.

Note Any Warning Signs

To clearly determine if your loved one has suffered abuse from a nursing home employee or another resident, keep an eye out for the following warning signs:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Cracked lips or dry mouth, which indicate dehydration
  • Difficulty moving
  • Disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear
  • Foul body odor
  • Immobility
  • Incontinence
  • Lack of interest
  • Missing money
  • Muscle weakness
  • Open wounds and bed sores
  • Poor hygiene and grooming
  • Rashes, including diaper rash
  • Sleeping more often than normal
  • Swollen tongue
  • Unexplained injuries, including dislocated or broken bones, scratches, burns, and bruises
  • Unexplained illness
  • Weight loss

If you notice any of these warning signs and suspect abuse, contact the proper authorities. Start by getting in touch with North Carolina’s Long Tern Care Ombudsman, Social Services Department, or Adult Protective Services, and contact a legal professional.

Understand Your Loved One’s Legal Rights

Regardless of your loved one’s physical or mental state, he or she has legal rights. State and federal laws provide specific protections and rights for nursing home residents. The Nursing Home Reform law and the Older Americans Act protect nursing home residents on the federal level. State laws differ, but most typically outline:

  • The duties of facility staff.
  • The ethical code by which facility staff should care for residents.
  • The obligation nursing home staff members have to report abuse and neglect.
  • The residents’ specific rights.
  • The rights a loved one has to act on behalf of the nursing home resident.

Even if your loved one cannot advocate for himself or herself in the event of abuse, you still have to right to act in your loved one’s behalf. Familiarize yourself with the rights your loved one has as a nursing home resident. One of the attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett would be happy to explain those rights to you.

Take the steps listed above to protect your loved one from nursing home abuse, injury, and neglect. Should your loved one sustain injury or wrongfully pass away while in the care of a nursing home facility, contact our law firm immediately. Our experienced and trusted attorneys can help you file a claim against the offending party and ensure you and your loved one receive compensation.

December 24, 2020

TRANSPORTING LIVESTOCK CAN BE STRESSFUL

Transporting livestock can be very stressful to truck drivers and farmers. There are reckless drivers all around, changing lanes without signaling and veering over the center line. Even if you are driving at a safe speed and following the law the drivers of other vehicles can send your trailer sailing off the road, possibly causing harm to you and your livestock.

There are also cases where drivers honk their horn to intentionally scare your livestock, this can cause them to panic and that can make it hard for you to control of your vehicle as the large bodies of your livestock move around inside your trailer. If you’ve been in an accident that is the result of a similar situation, you may want to know who is really at fault.

If you want to learn more about North Carolina personal injury law involving damages sustained to hogs, cattle, and other livestock that are involved in an accident, continue reading below.

How is Livestock Classified under Personal Injury Law?

Generally, most tame animals—from livestock to pets—are classified as property. However, if your pet is killed in an accident caused by someone else, you’re not very likely to have much, if any, financial recourse unless your pet is considered to be expensive or a rare breed.

Depending on the accident’s circumstances, you may have a claim for your personal pain and suffering; in most cases however, your damages will be limited to the proven financial value of your pet.

Conversely, if your livestock is killed or injured due to the negligence of another person, you are likely to have a financial claim. The reason for this is that it is easier to assess the value of a cow, horse, or pig than it is to put a value on your family pet.

The value assigned to livestock depends on several factors, including the livestock’s age, health, and the reason it was being transported at the time the accident took place.

This latter often determines the fate of a claim on its own. Livestock costs fluctuate a great deal depending on the time of year, the supply and demand regionally and nationally, and the quality of the livestock.

If the accident occurred while you were hauling pigs for processing, and the pork was selling for $4.00 per pound, the cost of your lost livestock would likely be based on this per-pound price.

However, if you were involved in an accident and your pigs were eight weeks away from being ready to sell at market can make the loss trickier to calculate, and the price of pork at the eight-week mark may be used, not the time of the accident. If this is the case, you may need the help of experts to determine and testify to the true financial damages incurred in order to receive a fair judgment.

What Options Do you have if Your Livestock are Harmed or Killed in an Accident?

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle and you’ve suffered physical injuries to yourself and harm (or death) was caused to your livestock, your claim may be more complicated than a straightforward personal injury claim or a property damage claim under an automobile insurance policy.

If fault cannot easily be determined, this becomes even truer. Say you lost control of your vehicle and had an accident due to the action of another driver such as honking to spook your livestock or swerving in your lane, you could have a hard time proving this in court.

Your best option may be to file a personal injury suit. A personal injury judgment can compensate you for your own injuries and other damages (such as lost wages) and the cost of damages to your personal property, like your livestock and your vehicle.

With an injury suit, you may have the option to settle early or to take the matter to trial to determine fault and assess damages.

If you’ve been in an accident that was not your fault, we recommend you contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our office will be happy to discuss your case and let you know if they think you have a claim.