March 20, 2014

GM Recalls 1.6 Million Cars Due to Faulty Ignition Switches

According to CBS News, at least 12 deaths have been linked with faulty ignition switches in certain GM model cars. These ignition switches can unintentionally turn to the 'off' or 'accessories' position at unpredictable and inopportune times when motorists are driving. If this happens, the engine or electrical systems can shut off without warning, leaving drivers and passenger occupants in dangerous and potentially deadly situations.

Models Being Recalled Due to Faulty Ignition Switches

• 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit
• 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
• 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
• 2005-2007 Pontiac Solstice
• 2007 Saturn Sky

If your car is one of the automobiles being recalled, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website recommends taking all of your keys and key chains off of the key when you start and drive your automobile, and getting the ignition switch repaired as soon as parts become available at your local service center. If you or a loved one is injured because of a faulty or defective part in your automobile, contact the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a consultation today.

March 19, 2014

I-40 Wreck in McDowell County


On Saturday night, a three-vehicle wreck sent at least two people to this hospital. The wreck happened at about 8:50 p.m. on I-40, near exit 75. Westbound lanes had to be closed or almost an hour while crews worked the scene. According to WLOS ABC Channel 13 News, a dump truck hauling a cement mixer was struck from behind by a pickup truck as it was merging into westbound lanes. The pickup truck was then struck by an additional vehicle. At least two victims were taken to Mission Hospital for treatment of injuries. As of Monday, March 17th, the crash was still under investigation, and no information on potential charges was released. Additionally, there is no word on the condition of the victims or the extent of their injuries. WLOS ABC Channel 13 News did report that their injuries were described as non-life threatening on Saturday.

At this point, it seems clear that the driver of the pickup truck is liable for the collision with the dump truck. Most likely, the people in the pickup truck were the ones injured in this crash. If the passenger in the pickup truck was injured, then that person would have the right to make a claim against the pickup driver's insurance company. But what if the passenger was seriously injured? In that case, the pickup driver's insurance company should pay the policy limits. In North Carolina, the minimum limits of liability coverage are only $30,000. You can rack up more than $100,000 in medical bills with one orthopedic surgery and a 5 day hospital stay.

The point here is that you must protect yourself from drivers who have minimum limits liability coverage. How do you do that? You purchase Under-Insured Motorist Coverage (UIM) on your own auto insurance policy. Talk to your insurance agent, and get the most UIM coverage you can afford. At Davis Law Group, P.A., we see people each week who have been seriously injured in situations where the liability coverage is only $30,000. Unless these people have UIM coverage, then the most they will be able to recover for all of their damages, including medical bills, is $30,000. The absolute minimum UIM coverage we recommend is $100,000.

Car Accident Facts

• More than 30,000 people are killed in car crashes each year.
• Total crash-related death costs in North Carolina amount to $1.5 billion in a year.
• Motor vehicle wrecks are the leading cause of death in children, teens and young adults.

Improving Highway Safety in North Carolina

In January, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Governor's Highway Safety Program held their third annual Highway Safety Symposium. Over 600 law enforcement officers, district attorneys, magistrates and judges from across North Carolina gathered in hopes to improve highway safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in the state. Topics included bicycle and pedestrian issues, texting while driving and ignition interlocks among other safety issues.

When to Call an Attorney

After any wreck, you should always take care of your immediate health needs first. Whether you're transported from the scene or visit a hospital later, make sure to get medically evaluated after a crash. Even seemingly minor crashes can leave victims with painful after-effects. If you were injured in a crash due to another person's careless, negligent, distracted or impaired driving, you need to speak with a skilled lawyer sooner than later. An attorney can get the ball rolling on your case, and help you deal with pushy insurance companies. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident, contact the experienced team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation today.

March 14, 2014

Multiple Crashes in Asheville on Thursday Morning

There were multiple crashes in and around Asheville on Thursday morning. Traffic was backed up in a variety of locations. Additionally, the morning commute was further delayed by the poor weather conditions. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, power lines were down on Sugarloaf Rd near Highway 280. Also, a three-vehicle wreck happened on Hendersonville road at Caribou road.

First responders with the Asheville Police Department were working multiple scenes this morning. There was even a crash involving an 18-wheeler in Haywood County. The wreck happened near 18-MM westbound, in the Gorge. Dispatchers were letting motorists know that they could take I-26 to I-81 as a detour if travelling west. No injuries were immediately reported in the crash involving the semi truck, but very few details have been released on the crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident, contact the experienced team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation today.

March 11, 2014

Overturned Tractor Trailer on NC 226

On Monday, a semi truck overturned on NC 226, also known as Coxes Creek Road. The 18-wheeler was hauling a mobile home at the time of the crash. The roadway was shut down for hours as crews worked on the scene of this McDowell County wreck. Motorists were diverted on detours through NC 226A and NC 221 North. At least two people were injured as a result of the crash.

At Least Two People Injured in NC 226 18-Wheeler Crash

According to WLOS ABC 13 News, one victim was taken to Blue Ridge Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, and a second victim was airlifted to Mission Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Very little information has been released about this crash which is likely still under investigation. There is no word on what caused the 18-wheeler to overturn in the roadway. Additionally, there is no information on the condition of the two victims involved in this collision.

Large Truck Crash Causation Study

When a semi truck overturns and results in an injury-causing wreck, it's absolutely critical to find out why and how it happened. In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the results of a Large Truck Crash Causation Study. Half of the collisions studied involved passenger vehicles. The study found that for crashes involving both large trucks and passenger vehicles, there was a statistically significant link between the 10 factors listed below for both the trucks and passenger vehicles.

Associated Factors for Large Truck Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles

1. Interruption of traffic flow
2. Roadway unfamiliarity
3. Inadequate surveillance
4. Driving too fast for conditions
5. Illegal maneuver
6. Inattention
7. Fatigue
8. Illness
9. False assumption of other road user's actions
10. Distraction by object or person in the vehicle

Commercial Truck Accidents in North Carolina

Crashes involving commercial trucks can leave victims in the hospital and out of work. Since the trucking industry has a variety of additional laws and regulations to follow, it's a good idea to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been injured in a crash. The experienced team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. can answer your questions and make sure you're on the right track for getting the compensation you deserve after an accident involving an 18-wheeler.

March 7, 2014

School Bus Crash in Buncombe County

Last Friday afternoon, a Buncombe County school bus struck a car. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, there were three children on the bus at the time of the crash. The bus was on Blake Drive, and it struck a car coming out of the Royal Pines community.

Authorities stated that the car was seriously damaged. Very little information has been released on the cause of this crash or the extent of the driver's injuries. Channel 13 said that no charges had been filed, but the wreck was still under investigation. Anytime a crash involves a school bus, making sure the children are okay is the top priority. Even though school buses are designed to be safer than traditional passenger occupant vehicles, children can still get hurt in crashes. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash involving a school bus, contact the skilled team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation.

March 6, 2014

Rule for Electronic On-Board Recorders Perpetually Delayed

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) seems to perpetually delay the proposed rule for requiring electronic on-board recorders (EOBR's) for vehicles in the trucking and transit industry. Many suggest that the delay is the result of the well-healed truck industry lobby. Proponents of the potential rule are hoping that greater accountability and accurate logging of hours will help to improve roadway safety for motorists across the U.S. With 26,000 Americans dying each year in crashes with big trucks, we need all the help we can get to make truck drivers safer.

Electronic On-Board Recorders (Electronic Logging Devices)

EOBR's, also known as electronic logging devices, are on-board monitors that will keep track of the amount of time a particular vehicle has been driven. These devices are of incredible importance to the trucking and transit industry, where hours-of-service (HOS) rules regulate how often and for how long a driver can get behind the wheel. It's not uncommon for unscrupulous drivers to violate HOS rules. These rules were put in place to prevent collisions caused by driver fatigue. If EOBR's are required on all commercial trucks, it will be difficult for truck drivers to violate HOS rules without getting caught. Accurate logging of hours and greater accountability will help keep big-rig drivers awake and alert.

Safety Implications

Critics are citing too much regulation and 'unnecessary' expense as two reasons why they don't agree with the proposed rule. It's important to note that the potential safety implications of EOBR's would mean fewer crashes involving fatigued drivers. Since crashes involving tractor trailers are often incredibly devastating, preventing these wrecks needs to be a top priority for the FMCSA. Semi trucks are much larger and heavier than traditional passenger occupant vehicles, and crashes can often cause serious and fatal injuries.

After a Truck Accident

After any kind of accident involving an 18 wheeler or other commercial truck, you should contact an experienced truck injury lawyer. Professionals in the trucking industry have an important set of rules and regulations to follow. If those regulations aren't being properly adhered to, people can get hurt or killed. Evidence of negligence or misconduct might not be immediately apparent either, so an experienced truck accident attorney can ask the right questions and safeguard your rights. An attorney can be your advocate during this difficult time. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, contact the skilled team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation.

January 10, 2014

Huge Gas Line Explosion at Enka Plant

Gas Line Fire Enka.jpgLocal residents near the old Enka Plant near Asheville heard a huge explosion late this afternoon. Then the ground shook like it was an earthquake. People near the explosion immediately suspected something had happened on the old Enka Plant campus. Then those close to the plant could see a huge flame of fire rising into the sky. Fire Department sirens were soon heard and fire trucks were seen approaching the explosion site.

The gas line that is on fire is located near Sandhill Road. The closest business is the Jacob Holms plant. Jacob Holm Industries, founded in 1794, is headquartered globally in Basel, Switzerland. The Buncombe County facility is the headquarters for its U.S. subsidiary. Jacob Holm Industries is one of the world's leading nonwoven corporations, offering high-quality products for the personal care, home care, hygiene, packaging and industrial markets.

An Asheville Fire Department spokesman said that a 12 inch gas line had exploded. Those living in close proximity to the fire have been evacuated to the Enka Baptist Church. Firefighters are now trying to control the blaze. It is unknown at this time whether anyone was injured or what caused the huge explosion. Most often gas lines do not explode without some external cause. Generally, there is a breakdown in some process that leads to a gas explosion.

March 14, 2013

North Carolina Legislators Taking Away Workers' Rights

workers-rights.jpgYesterday, two state Senators filed a new legislative bill that is designed to take away some very important rights to the working citizens of North Carolina. The new bill adversely changes the existing worker's compensation laws. Worker's compensation is the body of law that sets out the rules that apply when someone is injured on the job.

Worker's compensation benefits only cover lost wages and medical bills. The injured worker is not compensated for pain and suffering, mental or emotional anguish and other damages. In other words, the worker's right to recover is quite limited under worker's compensation. When someone is hurt on the job, worker's compensation is usually the worker's only remedy under the law. You cannot sue your employer even if your employer recklessly caused you to get hurt.

In some instances, when someone is injured on the job, there is a third person or entity that actually caused the on-the-job injury. For example, if a construction worker is hauling a load of lumber from a lumber company to a job site, and some third person runs a red light, crashes into him, and injures him, then the worker would receive worker's compensation benefits because he was injured on-the-job, but the third person (the at-fault driver) would also be liable to the injured worker.

In situations where the injury was caused by a third person, the employer's worker's compensation insurance company would have a "lien" (right to be paid back) against the worker's recovery from the third person's insurance company. The current law says that the employer's worker's compensation insurance company has a right to be paid back all (100%) of its lien, but that a Superior Court Judge can reduce that lien to an amount that the judge feels is fair so that justice is served to everyone involved.

In most situations, cases against third parties are settled or compromised for various reasons. Once a third party claim is settled, then the attorney for the injured worker and the attorney for the employer's worker's compensation insurance company usually work out a deal with regard to the employer's lien. If a deal cannot be reached about how much of the lien should be paid back, then the parties ask a Superior Court judge to decide what is fair.

CapitalBuilding.jpgThe new bill would chip-away at that last step, and instead give the employer the right to say whether a lien can be reduced more than 50%. In our experience, employers are usually aligned with their worker's compensation insurance company and oppose any reduction in the lien amount.

The BOTTOM LINE is that injured workers are about to see their right to recover fair compensation for their injuries further reduced so that insurance companies can continue to post ever increasing profits. "Pro-Business" and "Pro-Insurance Company" are the new mantras of our legislature.

If you are concerned about this, you can contact the legislators in your district and let them know that you do not want this bill passed into law. Here is a link to our state senators: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/reports/room-phone.pl?Chamber=senate&viewType=normal.

Here is a link to our state house representatives: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House.

February 21, 2013

US Supreme Court to Rule in NC Medicaid Reimbursement Case

US Sup Ct.jpgThe US Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a North Carolina case that could decide how 34 states recover for Medicaid benefits when the Medicaid recipient obtains a financial recovery from a negligent third party (Delia v. E.M.A., No. 12-98 (U.S. argued Jan. 8, 2013).

The North Carolina case involved a 13 year old little girl who suffered catastrophic injuries at birth as the result of medical negligence. The case settled for a discounted value ($2.8 million) in part due to the doctor's limited insurance coverage. Her lawyers argued that the girl's damages exceeded $42 million. Medicaid successfully argued that they were entitled to one-third of the little girls' recovery as reimbursement for money they had paid toward her medical care. The little girl's attorneys argued that Medicaid was not entitled to assert a lien against the recovery based on Federal preemption.

The case is significant for anyone who is a Medicaid recipient and who suffers injury as a result of someone else's negligence. In tort cases where there is a Medicaid lien, there is often a battle over how much does the recipient have to pay back to Medicaid. In most cases where North Carolina Medicaid has paid benefits, the injured person ends up having to pay back all of the money that North Carolina Medicaid paid toward the injured person's medical expenses. In cases where the amount recovered by the injured person is less than the full value of the case (e.g. where there is not sufficient insurance coverage), the Medicaid Lien is reduced to one-third of the recovery based on the North Carolina Lien Reduction Statute.

At issue in the US Supreme Court is whether the North Carolina statute is preempted by the Federal Medicaid Act.

Watch for the Supreme Court decision sometime in June, 2013.

Continue reading "US Supreme Court to Rule in NC Medicaid Reimbursement Case" »

February 20, 2013

Toddler Deaths Prompt Million Dollar Baby to Recall Dressers

dresser.jpgYoung children love to climb. They can climb onto anything, including tables, bookcases, chest of drawers, TV stands, and open oven doors. They can climb quickly, when you turn your back, when you run to the bathroom, when you put them in their room for a nap.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that at least one child dies every 2 weeks as a result of suffocating while trapped under a piece of furniture that has turned over on to them. In addition, CPSC staff estimates that more than 22,000 children 8 years old and younger were treated for injuries at local hospital emergency rooms for injuries resulting from tip-over incidents between 2008 to 2010.These are tragic and unnecessary deaths. Parents understandably feel responsible and guilty after something like this happens. But how is a parent supposed to know about this danger?

The reality is that most parents do not know about the potential danger posed by these innocuous pieces of furniture, but the manufacturers of these products know only too well about the lurking dangers. Children have been dying and parents have been suing these manufacturers for this very problem for over a decade.To sell these products without the necessary safety equipment to make them safe for children is incredibly callous and unconscionable because these manufacturers know that if it is not "if" these tragedies are going to happen, but "when" and "how often."

This week, Bexco Enterprises Inc., dba Million Dollar Baby of Montebello, Calif. is announcing a voluntary recall of 18,000 children's four-drawer dressers. The CPSC and Million Dollar Baby have received two reports of deaths associated with these dressers. One child's parents filed a lawsuit in California as a result of their child's death. That case recently settled, and it is suspected that the voluntary recall is one of the terms of the settlement.

This dresser recall involves "Emily" style four-drawer dressers with model numbers M4712, M4722, M4732 and M4742 and similar "Ryan" dressers with the model M4733. The recalled dresser measures 33-inches high by 20-inches deep by 40-inches wide and is a part of the DaVinci children's bedroom furniture collection.

The recalled dressers were sold at JCPenney and independent juvenile specialty stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, BabiesRUs.com, BabyUniverse.com and other online retailers from January 2006 through June 2010 for around $300.

While the Million Dollar Baby dressers met voluntary safety standards when first produced, a May 2009 voluntary industry standard, and subsequent revisions published in October 2009 and November 2009, required that tip-over restraints be sold with the dressers. The restraints attach to the wall with screws, framing or other support to help prevent dresser tip-over entrapment hazards for small kids. Million Dollar Baby is offering free retrofit kits with tip-over restraints to consumers who have older dressers.

Consumers can contact Million Dollar Baby to receive a free retrofit kit that contains a wall anchor strap, which attaches to the dresser and wall to help prevent the dresser from tipping. The kits can be ordered by visiting the firm's website at www.themdbfamily.com/safety2 and click on Safety HQ or call toll-free at (888) 673-6652 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.

February 19, 2013

"Magnet Balls" Pose Danger to Kids - Recalled by Feds

Magnet Balls are a very popular desktop toy on the market right now. The small 5mm diameter balls are extremely strong for their size and can be molded into any shape imaginable. The magnets are made of the rare earth neodynium and are at least 15 times more powerful than normal magnets.

These little balls stick together with such force that, if they are accidentally swallowed, they can cut holes in the stomach or intestines. Life-threatening injuries like perforations, sepsis and blockages can occur within hours following ingestion. They are manufactured by several different companies and marketed in slim plastic tubes filled with 216 shiny magnetic balls. So who in the world would ever put them in their mouth and swallow them? Young kids and teenagers apparently.

A recent study says that hundreds of children and teens have been treated by physicians, with dozens needing surgery for injuries, in just the past two years after swallowing the super-strong magnetic balls, despite bold labels and warnings to keep them away from children.

The U.S. consumer product watchdog, CPSC, recalled the magnet toys. The balls are sold under brand names such as Buckyballs, Zen Magnets, and NeoCube, which was the first of these toys to hit the market in 2008. While most manufacturers and importers say they will comply with the CPSC recall, two are fighting the recall. The CPSC has sued these manufacturers to force them to stop selling the dangerous product.

The latest study is based on reports compiled by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. That study found a total of 480 cases in which children or teens swallowed the tiny magnets, with 204 incidents occurring in just the past 12 months. Approximately 80 percent of those incidents required endoscopy or surgery.

More than 50 percent of the cases involved children six years old or younger; 16 percent involved teenagers, who use the magnets to mimic tongue, lip, and nose piercings. Teenagers are putting one magnet under their tongue and one magnet on the top of their tongue to make it appear like a piercing.

If you have some of these magnets and you also have young kids or teenagers, you should either make sure that the balls are safe and secure, or simply trash them. If you want your money back, you can return them to the seller for a full refund under the recall.

Continue reading ""Magnet Balls" Pose Danger to Kids - Recalled by Feds" »

February 7, 2013

Beware of Counterfeit Drugs

counterfeit drugs.jpgcounterfeit drugs1.jpg
More and more generic drugs are turning out to be COUNTERFEIT! A counterfeit drug is one that is marketed and sold as the real drug, but in actuality it is missing one or more of the key active ingredients. Taking such drugs can be dangerous and hazardous to your health. Headlines have recently discussed the popular flu remedy Tamiflu as having a counterfeit on the market.

Yesterday, the FDA announced that it had identified another counterfeit cancer drug. The drug is a generic counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin. This is the third case involving the best-selling Roche drug in the past year. The FDA is notifying and warning doctors about this latest counterfeit.

Most of these counterfeit drugs are found on-line at discount pharmacies. The on-line pharmacies that are selling counterfeit drugs have websites that look professional and authentic. But, as the old saying goes, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! So, beware consumers, if the price of the drug is unbelievably low, it is probably a fake. Buyers of on-line drugs must be careful that they are dealing with reputable pharmacies.

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January 29, 2013

Bus Crash Last Night - Did Driver Fall Asleep?

Imagine a city bus full of passengers heading down a busy city street. The bus driver slumps over in his seat. The bus blows through a red light and T-bones a car, sending it spinning around in the street. Just like in the movies, the bus keeps crashing into cars and taxis as it careens through intersections. This scenario happened in New York City last night. The driver lost consciousness while going north on Madison Avenue near East 81st at around 7:05 p.m.

A frightened but quick thinking passenger, Guy Praisler, rushed to the front of the bus, jerked at the driver and grabbed the wheel. hero bus crash.JPG The driver then woke-up and hit the brakes.

Really?? Now the bus driver claims to have fainted. As someone who has investigated dozens of bus and truck crashes, this sounds like a classic case of a fatigued bus driver falling asleep behind the wheel. The statistics would certainly indicate that fatigue is the most likely cause of this crash.

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November 28, 2012

Defective Trampoline Recalled by Feds

trampoline.jpgIf you bought a trampoline for your kids between 2005 and 2012, you should pay attention. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in conjunction with Sportspower Ltd, of Hong Kong issued a voluntary recall of the firm's best selling trampoline. More than 24,000 defective trampolines were sold at Sports Authority stores throughout the US during the last 7 years. The trampolines sold for approximately $600.00. What is not surprising is that these dangerous trampolines were made in China.

The hazard presented by these defective products is that the folding legs on which the trampoline sits can move out of position and cut through to the jumping area, creating a risk of severe injury or death, including deep, penetrating puncture wounds, cuts and bruises to children and adults bouncing on the trampoline.

The trampoline being recalled is the Parkside model TR-14FT-COM. The trampolines were sold with an enclosure net and are 14 feet in diameter.

If you purchased one of these trampolines, you should stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer toll-free at (888) 965-0565, from 9 to 5 Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, or online at www.sportspowerltd.net, or you can email customerservice@sportspowerltd.net for more information.

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November 25, 2012

Driving & Talking Ban in North Carolina Unlikely in 2013

Cell phone map.jpegOnly four states in the U.S. currently ban cell phone use while driving. Florida appears ready to join the list, as the newest version of a bill banning all cell phone use while driving has just been filed. North Carolina will probably not be joining that list anytime soon.

Last year, during the 2011-2012 Legislative sessions, Garland Pierce, Democrat-Scotland, introduced a bill banning all cell phone use. The bill encountered significant opposition while it was in committee, most notably from Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger. Several committee members remarked that they felt the bill infringed on citizens' rights. What they could not articulate was which specific rights they felt the bill might be infringing upon. That outcry was enough to effectively kill the bill, as Representative Pierce withdrew the bill, rather than have it die a slow death in committee.

One town in North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has shown some independent responsibility by banning all cell phone use within the town's city limits. That sounds pretty strong, but the law had so many loopholes that it was really just a symbolic law aimed at spurring the North Carolina Legislature to act responsibly and pass a stronger state law restricting cell phone use. The Chapel Hill law was over-turned by a Superior Court Judge in August in a ruling that found the town ordinance was preempted by the current state law that limits cell phone use while driving.

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