Articles Posted in Local Legal News

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I trust the insurance adjuster?”

Legislation culled from so-called “bill-mill” American Legislative Exchange Council’s library of plaintiff-unfriendly proposals has become the law of the land in the State of Arizona, and personal injury attorneys are crying foul. They say the bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law last Thursday will prevent victims of asbestos exposure from recovering the damages they are owed.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

Physicians, politicians and law-enforcement officials across the United States are lining up to issue calls to ban Palcohol, a powdered version of vodka, rum and three cocktails.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I trust the insurance adjuster?”

 

The American Bar Association—prodded by American businesses like Legal Zoom, Inc.—is studying the issue of non-lawyer ownership of law firms.

medivac Charlotte Injury Law Firm North Carolina car accident lawyerIn the United States, lawyers are generally prohibited from “creating, owning or managing law firms” with non lawyers. Multidisciplinary practices—or those practices that combine the provision of legal services with non-legal services—are greatly restricted.

This is not the case in the United Kingdom, the fount from which the United States’ Common-Law legal tradition sprang. In the United Kingdom, restrictions of non-lawyer ownership interests in law firms have largely been eliminated, leading to the development of so-called “alternative business structures.”

The United Kingdom lifted its restrictions on alternative business structures in 2007. Since then, by most accounts, it has encouraged the establishment of alternative business structures for largely the same reason that they are prohibited in the United States: for the benefit of clients.

The 2007 Legal Services Act—which lifted the prohibition against alternative business structures—was passed after a study of the legal industry in the United Kingdom revealed a glut of unmet but nonetheless needed legal services.  The new Act focused on the functions of advocates as opposed to the identity of law-firm owners, restricting the performance of certain activities to authorized lawyers. Those activities include the right to appear as an advocate in court, to certify documents and transactions, to probate estates, administer oaths, cause the consummation of a transfer of real property and to conduct litigation.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

Now in addition to birds, planes and Superman, spectators at sporting events can look up in the sky and see drones.

Drone Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a number of recent drone-related incidents at packed football stadiums across the United States.

Agency officials say small drones pose safety hazards, hazards University of Wisconsin-Madison campus police spokesman Marc Lovicott saw firsthand when a drone swooped over the student section in the 80,000-seat Camp Randall Stadium during an October 11 football game against the University of Illinois.

Lovicott is worried criminals or terrorists could arm the drones.

That’s a drone stigma to which Nick Stover said he is accustomed. Stover is director of social media for the University of Louisville’s athletic department. The university purchased three drones, which Stover said he has used to film practices and fan events.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What does the “one-bite rule” mean in NC dog bite cases?”

 

A killer is on the loose in Union County. On Saturday, a pet owner in the county notified law-enforcement authorities that his two Great Danes had been shot by arrows.

Dog close up Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg North Carolina Dog Bite AttorneyAn officer responding to the call found one dog lying near the back corner of the man’s property, while a second dog was found under a shed. An arrow was still stuck in the first dog. The officer could not find a second arrow, but observed what appeared to be an arrow wound to the second dog’s neck. Both dogs died of their injuries.

This followed the fatal shooting of a dog in Union County last week. In that case, a woman found her husky mix dead under her storage building, with four gunshot wounds. The storage building also was riddled bullet holes, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The dog’s owner said the husky was valued at $500.

Last month, two dog owners in Union County reported that their pets had been poisoned with antifreeze. The dog owners theorized that hunters had put out antifreeze to ward off dogs or coyotes. The Union County Sheriff said an investigator was working on those cases, and that using antifreeze to get rid of dogs was illegal.

North Carolina treats cruelty to animals as a criminal matter, and the state routinely prosecutes those who commit cruel acts upon or who are neglectful toward animals. But what recourse does a pet owner have against one who is found responsible for the death of a beloved animal?

Believe it or not, the North Carolina courts have answered this question, but pet owners may not like the answer.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I have been injured on another person’s property.  What should I do now?”

If Carole King still feels the earth moving under her feet, it may not be Carolina’s own James Taylor. Soon it could be Carolina herself.

Oil Drilling Rig Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyWith Gov. McCrory’s signature on new legislation, the Tar Heel State took some giant steps towards beginning hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) – a process of natural gas extraction that uses horizontal drilling and the injection of sand, water and chemicals into shale formations deep underground. Fissures made in the formations by the injections allow natural gas to rise to the surface, where it is captured.

The state legislature has been working on the issue since at least 2010. North Carolina’s 1945 Oil and Gas Conservation Act prohibited horizontal drilling, so legislators had to change the law in order to sanction hydraulic fracturing.

While the state legislature has been moving to the right in recent years, the “fracking” legislation – rife with apparent political and corporate cronyism – leaves little over which Conservatives can crow.

An unelected commission is tasked with “energy modernization,” which means local communities that do not want hydraulic fracturing will be forced to accept it. If a community wants to know how a company plans to conduct its operation, it can’t.

If you get sick and your doctor wants to know what chemicals you might have been exposed to, he or she can find out, but only after signing a written waiver promising not to tell anyone. Ditto on the fire chief; he or she has to sign a written waiver while the inferno is raging because a “fracking” company’s intellectual property is more important than putting out a fire. If “fracking” information leaks – no pun intended – the leaker is a criminal.

The bottom line on “fracking” is the legislature has said “We’re doing this, you’re not going to stop us, and we’re not even going to tell you how we’re doing it. Ever.”

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

In an alarming bit of news out of AAA, officials say the number of hit-and-run accidents across North Carolina is on the rise. The Automobile Association says that numbers show that those living in Charlotte specifically and in North Carolina more generally are all at increased risk of being involved in a dangerous hit-and-run collision.

 

Car headlight Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Hit and Run AttorneyThe data indicates that in Charlotte, the number of hit-and-run accidents is up by 5.4 percent so far this year. This increase is on top of the already high rate of one hit-and-run accident in Charlotte each and every day, which was observed in 2013. Last year, Charlotte saw an even bigger increase, with numbers indicating a nearly 13 percent rise in such accidents over 2012. These kinds of accidents result in injuries and even deaths and such a steep rise spells trouble for everyone in the area.
Statewide the numbers are even wore, with five hit-and-run accidents occurring across the state every day. The statewide rate of hit-and-run collisions has risen by 5.7 percent so far this year.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “If I am injured in a car accident or at work what should I do?”

 

North Carolina Highway Patrol says that a young woman in Aberdeen died after an accident that officials say was likely caused by slick and snowy roads. The fatal wreck happened in Moore County earlier this week on Sand Pit Road.

 

Snow Plow Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car Accidents AttorneysEmergency responders say that the 23-year-old woman, Breanna Tile, was a passenger in the car driven by 24-year-old Viacente Gonzalez. According to the police report, the vehicle driven by Gonzalez drifted off the snow-covered road and slammed into a pine tree. Tile died at the scene of the accident while Gonzalez was taken to a regional hospital for treatment of his injuries.

 

Though police investigators say that the snow likely played a role in the accident, there’s a chance that the driver will face criminal charges. In another similar accident, police say that the driver of a 1996 Ford will face misdemeanor charges after a Chatham County accident left a passenger dead. Police say that the driver is facing charges related to exceeding a safe speed.

 

That accident took place a little after 1 p.m. on Silk Road Wednesday afternoon. Miguel Caseres was driving the Ford down a snowy road when it crossed over the centerline and collided head-on with a 1999 Chevrolet. A passenger in the Chevy was killed in the accident, though the passenger’s name has not yet been released.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What exactly is a wrongful death claim?”

Jonathan Ferrell’s surviving family members have filed a wrongful death suit against the officer who shot him as well as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in an attempt to ensure that those responsible for the grisly encounter that left Ferrell dead are held accountable for their actions.

 

Handgun Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyThe terrible incident began back in September when Ferrell, who used to play football for Florida A&M and recently moved to Charlotte to be with his fiancé, was driving a co-worker home. After dropping his colleague off, Ferrell was involved in a serious accident that left his car trapped in a ravine. Ferrell had to kick his way out of the badly damaged vehicle and went in search of help for his own serious injuries.

 

Ferrell walked more than a half-mile uphill until he found the home of a young mother whose husband was away at work. The woman, startled by Ferrell’s appearance, mistakenly believed he was there to break into the house and called 911, asking for police help. Officers arrived and this is when things went terribly wrong.

 

According to statements made by Officer Kerrick, Ferrell charged the officers, forcing them to open fire. However, a police investigation determined that Kerrick acted hastily and used excessive force. The wrongful death suit claims that Ferrell, who was disoriented, was in the process of lying down when Kerrick opened fire, shooting 12 bullets, eight of which struck Ferrell in the chest. The trajectory of the wounds show that Ferrell was either laying down or kneeling when he was shot, further calling into question the actions of the officers.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What if the medical condition improves before the hearing?”

The North Carolina legislature is moving ahead with a plan that would allow some state highways to increase speed limits to 75 miles per hour.

The House Transportation Committee voted earlier this week to allow the bill from the Senate to move forward. The legislation would permit the Department of Transportation to set speed limits higher than the current 70 mile per hour limit on some sections of interstate and highway. The legislation says that only those sections that engineers deem capable of handling the higher speed will be changed.

Spedometer Charlotte Personal Injury Wrongful Death Workers' Compensation Lawyer Attorney North Carolina.jpgThough specific segments of road were not named in the bill, the committee members in the House discussed certain rural stretches of I-40 in eastern North Carolina. If the bill is passed, North Carolina would become the second state on the East Coast to have a speed limit of 75 miles per hour on certain highways in the state.

The bill has already passed the full Senate and now that it has moved through the House Transportation Committee the next stop will be the full House floor. Though the legislation did pass the committee, some legislators have expressed concern about whether the measure might lead to increase highway accidents and thus increased traffic fatalities.

The current maximum speed limit on North Carolina highways is 70 miles per hour. Some safety advocates worry that increasing the speed limit to 75 miles per hour could create a serious safety hazard since most drivers tend to travel faster than the speed limit posted on highways. They argue that if the state increases the speed limit, it will mean that drivers will be driving even faster than they already do, increasing the risk of being in a potentially deadly car accident.

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