Frequently Asked Questions
Motor vehicle accidents account for more than half of all head injuries that occur in the US. Other injuries are caused by falls, sporting accidents and violence.
That depends. The statute can be either 2 or 3 years. It depends on other particulars.
Traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain caused by an external physical force. This force may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness, resulting in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning.
- Motor vehicle crashes - roughly 1/2 of all injuries
- Firearm-related incidents
- Slips and falls
- Violence-related injuries - abuse, Shaken Baby Syndrome
- Recreational Accidents - bicycle falls, playground equipment falls, all-terrain vehicle accidents
- Short term memory loss
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty with communication
- Spatial disorientation
- Impaired judgement
- Unable to do more than one thing at a time
- Muscle spasticity
- Double vision or blindness
- Loss of smell or taste
- Speech impairments
- Balance problems
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Increased anxiety
- Mood swings
- Impulsive behavior
If there is evidence of gross damage to the brain, such as hemorrhaging, swelling or contusions, these physical findings are detected by CT scan or MRI. Where the damage is minimal, a diagnosis is made by obtaining history from the patient, the symptoms reported by the patient and the results of neuropsychological testing.
After a brain injury, a variety of other damages may occur including:
- Hematoma (epidural, subdural and/or intracerebral)
- Brain swelling/edema
- Increased intracranial pressure
- Cerebral vasospasm
- Intracranial infection
Patients with brain injury require proper assessments and diagnostic tests. These include:
- Neurological Exam: A series of questions and simple commands to see if the patient can open their eyes, move, speak, and understand what is going on around them. There are also more sophisticated procedures used in this evaluation process.
- X-ray: A picture that looks at bones to see if they are broken (fractured).
- CT scan (CAT scan): An X-ray that takes pictures of the brain or other parts of the body
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scan: A large magnet and radio waves are used, instead of X-rays, to take pictures of the tissues of the body.
Angiogram: A test to look at the blood vessels in the brain. Using a catheter, dye is put into an artery that supplies blood to the brain. This test can tell if the blood vessels are damaged
Cerebral contusions are bruises on the brain caused by the brain striking the wall of the skull. A severe contusion will involve swelling of the brain. If swelling is severe, these injuries can cause a severe headache, dizziness, and vomiting. One pupil may be larger than the other. Depending on which area of the brain is damaged, the ability to think, control emotions, move, feel, speak, see, hear, and remember may be impaired. The person may become irritable, restless, or agitated.
Yes. It is important that a lawyer be contacted to evaluate a case as soon as possible. Often, the circumstances of an accident or injury must be investigated promptly or valuable evidence is forever lost. In addition, there may be a statute of limitations governing how long after an injury or accident that you can bring a complaint against the other party. Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. would be available to discuss any potential claim. We have a team of highly trained personnel. Contact our Charlotte head injury lawyers to discuss your claim. For more information, visit our page on Head Injuries.
When a large group of plaintiffs sue a large group of defendants, naming a representative in place of the entire group. Examples would be the tobacco industry suits and the suits against the drug manufactures of the popular diet medications, such as fen-phen.
A failure to act reasonably in a situation is considered negligence. This includes doing something carelessly or failing to do something; i.e. driving without your headlights on.
Damages awarded to punish the defendant, above those damages awarded for injuries, medical care, etc.
This would generally be money awarded over and above medical costs and lost wages, specifically for the emotional suffering and the physical pain a victim incurred.
It is a common defense to a negligence claim stating that the plaintiff's negligence contributed to their injuries and therefore a claim should be barred.
Conduct that harms another person or their property. Examples include fraud, misrepresentation, slander, negligence and others.
Negligence does not simple mean doing something wrong. All of the following elements must exist for an act to be considered negligent:
- Lack of reasonable care
- Breach of duty
- Injury to the victim
- Forseeability (knowing an act would occur based on the circumstances)
It is used as part of a defendant's defense. It states that a user assumes risk in the following ways:
- If you've discovered the risk, but disregard it,
- If you've failed to properly maintain an item, or
- If you've failed to follow the enclosed directions
Getting a competent legal opinion regarding your case assures that your legal rights are protected. It is in your best interest to at least have an attorney review your case before you decide what course of action to pursue.
It is often necessary to sue to protect your rights and receive full and fair compensation for your injuries
There is usually very little discussion between attorneys over compensation for things such as lost wages and hospital bills because this is an exact amount that you can prove with your receipts. On the other hand, the difficulty is putting a dollar amount on the injuries that you suffered. Your attorney at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. may give you a general idea of what you can expect, but any amounts are subjective and vary widely from case to case. Contact us today. For more information, visit our page on Personal Injury.
Prescription negligence results in more than 550,000 injuries and over 100,000 deaths each year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
I've been taking a drug that was not prescribed by a physician. Do I still have a possible legal claim for injuries suffered?
In a case where a physician did not prescribed the drug which caused injury, but instead you purchased it on your own, you may still have a claim against the drug manufacturer. Contact an experienced prescription negligence attorney at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A to discuss your possible claim.
Prescription drugs are often rushed to market without adequate testing. The long-term effects of prescription medications are difficult to determine and tests that are thought to be performed by the FDA are sometimes done by laboratories and are funded by the drug manufacturer.
It is possible that you have a case. Lawsuits can be based on improperly filled prescriptions. In most cases, either a medication is prescribed that contradicts a medication that the patient is already taking, or a pharmacist gives an incorrect medication or dosage. In a situation such as this, pharmacists and/or doctors would be held liable. If a person dies due to a medication, a wrongful death case may be filed. If a medication causes serious illnesses or side effects during its manufacturing, the drug manufacturer is held accountable. In North Carolina there is a shorter statute of limitation where death is involved.
While any drug can lead to prescription negligence if improperly handled, drugs on the following list have been known to cause serious side effects:
- Ortho Evra Patches
Bextra (valdecoxib) is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Valdecoxib works by reducing substances in the body that cause inflammation, pain, and fever, and is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis. Valdecoxib is also used to treat painful menstruation.
You should not take Bextra if you have had asthma, hives or allergic reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or COX-2 inhibitors. Some examples of NSAIDs are ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam), nabumetone (Relafen), ketoprofen (Orudis), celecoxib (Celebrex), and rofecoxib (Vioxx). You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of these medications. You should not take Bextra if you are allergic to valdecoxib (Bextra) or to any of the ingredients in Bextra.
Some of the more serious, possible side effects of Bextra include:
- Abdominal pain, tenderness, or discomfort
- Bloody, black, or tarry stools
- Bloody vomit
- Unusual fatigue or lethargy
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
Pfizer also said it is updating its label on Bextra to strengthen a warning about a rare but serious skin reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, that can occur mainly within the first two weeks of therapy. Less serious, but sometimes life threatening side effects can include:
- Stomach pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Rarely serious ulcers and stomach bleeding have occurred in patients taking Bextra.
Contact your doctor to discuss discontinuing use of Bextra and possible alternative medications. If you have experienced any side effects, contact a lawyer at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. to review your case. We understand your medical concerns take priority, but don't ignore your legal right to compensation. Your state's law may limit your time to bring a legal claim. To protect your rights, you need to have your personal injury claim evaluated immediately.
Celebrex is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), manufactured by Pfizer, that is used to reduce pain and inflammation (swelling and soreness). It can be used to treat the following:
- Rhuematoid Arthritis
- Acute Pain
- Menstrual Pain
- To reduce the number of colon and rectum growths (polyps) in patients with a disease called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
- Shown to reduce cancer that happens with FAP
Celebrex works by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (Cox-2) enzymes that catalyze the production of prostanoids, substances that spur inflammation and pain in the body. Celebrex is believed to halt the production of prostanoids resulting in less pain, without compromising the homeostatic quality of cyclooxygenase in the kidneys, stomach, and gastrointestinal tract, protecting the GI system.
Side effects of the drug include:
- upper respiratory tract infection
- sinus inflammation
- stomach pain
- stomach ulcers
- breathing problems
- serious allergic skin reactions
- swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat
- serious kidney problems
- liver damage
Do not take Celebrex if you:
- have had an allergic-type reaction to sulfa medicines
- have had asthma, hives or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAID medicines
- are allergic to Celebrex or to any of the ingredients in Celebrex
- if you have asthma, you may have aspirin-sensitive asthma. If an aspirin-sensitive asthmatic takes aspirin it can cause severe narrowing of the airway (bronchospasm), and even death. Since this type of reaction to aspirin and other NSAID medicines have happened in aspirin-sensitive patients, aspirin-sensitive patients should not take Celebrex.
A recent study by the National Cancer Institute revealed that patients taking 400 milligrams of Celebrex per day were found to have a risk of experiencing heart problems that was 2.5 times greater than people not taking Celebrex. This same study found patients taking 800 milligrams of Celebrex experienced 3.4 times the risk of experiencing major heart problems.
Vioxx is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) - a class of drugs commonly referred to as "Cox-2 Inhibitors". It comes in liquid or pill form, and is prescribed to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It can also be used to treat acute pain in adults, such as those patients who experience severe pain associated with menstruation. Vioxx works by blocking COX-2 enzymes in the body that trigger pain and inflammation.
Merck pulled its best-selling arthritis drug off the market based on data indicating the drug increases the risk of heart attack and stroke among users. Merck announced the immediate, voluntary worldwide withdrawal after a three-year colon cancer clinical trial with 2,600 patients revealed that 18 months after patients started taking Vioxx, test results showed an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. 84 million people have used Vioxx since 1999.
Scientists say they are not sure. However, several studies have indicated that Vioxx and other COX-2 inhibitors are known to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack. Drugs such as Vioxx and Pfizer's Celebrex inhibit Cox-2, an enzyme that triggers pain and inflammation. Vioxx has also been associated with several other life-threatening side effects, including blood clots, angina and nonbacterial meningitis, severe intestinal damage, ulcerations and bleeding, and kidney damage.
Vioxx side effects may include, but are not limited to, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection, swelling of the lower extremities (legs and/or feet), high blood pressure, itching, stomach ulcers or bleeding, fatigue, vomiting, dark urine, and black stools. In addition to increasing risk of heart attack and stroke, patients taking Vioxx were found to be four times more likely to suffer from heart attack than those taking Naproxen (Aleve). Vioxx is more likely to cause severe intestinal damage, ulcerations and bleeding, blood clots and toxic epidermal necrolysis (a fatal skin disease), than other arthritis pain relievers. Other health problems include:
- Serious kidney problems that could lead to acute kidney failure.
- Serious liver problems.
- Allergic reactions, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat which can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- The FDA reports that Vioxx has also been linked to at least five cases of a non-bacterial type of meningitis, a rare but serious side effect.
Zyprexa is the brand name for an anti-psychotic drug approved for the treatment of Schizophrenia, Bi-polar disorder, and other psychotic mental disorders. Zyprexa may be linked to diabetes, hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar levels), and diabetic ketoacidosis (a potentially fatal complication of diabetes).
In September 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Eli Lilly to revise the Zyprexa® labeling and product information to inform doctors and patients that the use of Zyprexa® (and other SGAs) has been associated with an increased risk of glucose abnormalities and diabetes. On March 1, 2004, Eli Lilly issued a "Dear Doctor" letter to individual physicians in which it informed doctors of the increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes in patients taking Zyprexa® and described the label changes.
Zyprexa and other antipsychotic medications can cause serious problems such as:
- A life-threatening nervous system problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS can cause a high fever, stiff muscles, sweating, a fast or irregular heart beat, change in blood pressure, and confusion. NMS can affect your kidneys. NMS is a medical emergency. Call your healthcare professional right away if you experience these symptoms.
- A movement problem called tardive dyskinesia (TD). Call your healthcare professional right away if you get muscle movements that cannot be stopped.
- High blood sugar and diabetes. Patients with diabetes or who have a higher chance for diabetes should have their blood sugar checked often.
- Strokes have happened in older patients treated for mental illness from dementia. Zyprexa is not approved for this use.
- Other serious side effects include low blood pressure seen as dizziness, and possibly fainting; increased heart beat; seizures; liver problems; increased body temperature; and difficulty swallowing.
- The most common side effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, dizziness, restlessness, constipation, upset stomach, weight gain, increased appetite, and tremor.
Following are some examples of the serious Zyprexa side effects:
- Diabetic coma
- Kidney failure
- Diabetes Mellitus - when the body is unable to process sugar normally or produce adequate insulin
- Hyperglycemia - elevated blood sugar
- Pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas
- Tardive Dyskinesia - an irreversible neurological disorder
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome - a rare, life-threatening reaction to neuroleptic medication
- Ketoacidosis - when the body has severe deficiency of insulin
If you experience any of the symptoms related to Zyprexa or suspect you might have a glucose abnormality, you should consult with a physician promptly. Zyprexa has been approved by the FDA, and it can be dangerous to stop taking Zyprexa immediately. If you have concerns about Zyprexa, speak with your doctor or medical professional today.
The legal system can provide compensation for people victimized by the conduct of negligent drug manufacturers and other responsible parties. When an otherwise preventable serious injury or death occurs from the use of any prescription medication, a medical lawsuit provides an effective vehicle to obtain compensation for your damages. If you have experienced any of the adverse side effects associated with Zyprexa, contact Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. today.
The amount is based on your lifetime average earnings as determined by Social Security. You can get a copy of this record by contacting the SSA offices in your area.
Not necessarily, but your benefits can be reduced if you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, or benefits from certain federal, state, local government, civil service, or military disability programs. The general rule is that your combined payments cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before becoming disabled.
If your work situation has changed "substantially" (meaning you receive more than a certain level of earnings per month) or your condition has improved to the point that you are no longer considered disabled.
The Social Security Administration have "work incentives" that allow you to work while receiving benefits. It actually encourages its applicants to keep working. A general description of each incentive follows:
- Trial Work Period--For nine months you may earn as much as you can without affecting benefits. After your trial work period ends, your earnings are evaluated. If your earnings do not average more than a certain (amount changes with time) level a month, benefits will generally continue. If earnings average more than a certain level per month, benefits will continue for a three-month grace period before they stop.
- Extended Period of Eligibility--For 36 months after a successful trial work period, you may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit without a new application for any month your earnings drop below a certain level.
- Deductions for Impairment-Related Expenses-Any expenses that are related to your disability are not counted in your earnings.
- Medicare Continuation--Your Medicare coverage will continue for 39 months beyond the trial work period.
Normally only those with a very high income get taxed on their benefits. At the end of the year, you will receive a Social Security Benefit Statement showing the amount of benefits you have received. This will be used in completing your taxes for that year.
You should contact the NC Social Security Disability lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A to have your claim reviewed. Denial on first time applicants is fairly common. You are entitled to file an appeal with the SSA. You have 60 days from the time you receive the decision (starting 5 days from the date it was sent) to file an appeal to the next level.
You can apply at any Social Security office in your area or it can be done by mail or phone. This should be done as soon as you become disabled.
The fifth full month after the disability occurred. For more information, visit our page on Social Security Disability.
Workers' compensation laws allow workers who are injured in the course of their employment to be compensated for their injuries without having to resort to a traditional lawsuit, or court proceedings.
Almost any kind of physical injury or disease is covered by workers' compensation. An injury or condition you already had will not qualify, unless it was aggravated or made worse on the job.
Workers' compensation laws provide an opportunity for a hearing if you and your employer, or your employer's insurer cannot resolve a dispute. While it is not required, it is a good idea to be represented by an attorney at this hearing. Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A today to discuss your claim.
You still have the right to receive workers' compensation benefits. In addition, you may be able to bring a separate lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries.
The answer to this question is "maybe." If returning to work enables the employee to receive wages equal to or greater than he or she was earning before the injury, then it is likely benefits will be stopped. If, however, the employee is still experiencing a wage loss due to the on-the-job injury, he or she may continue to receive wage loss benefits.
No. Although most injuries are covered by workers' compensation, that does not mean that employees have free reign to injure themselves, or act in any manner in which they choose, and then collect benefits.
Employers are required to purchase insurance for their employees from a workers' compensation insurance carrier if, for the most part, they have 3 or more employees. When a worker is injured, a claim is filed with the insurance company, who pays medical and disability benefits according to a state-approved formula. Unless they fall within limited, exempt categories, employers without workers' compensation insurance are subject to fines, criminal prosecution, and civil liability.
This would likely fall under workers' compensation laws, as the benefits paid would be from the workers' compensation insurance afforded by your spouses' employer.
It is unlikely. Normally, the workers' compensation act only applies when an injury arises out of and in the course of employment. Getting to and from work would not be covered in most cases.
You have the right to be represented by an attorney of your choice concerning your work-related injury. Your attorney will assist you in seeing that your benefits are properly protected. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will represent your employer and you should have an experienced attorney representing you. Contact us today. For more information, visit our page on Workers' Compensation.
In general terms, a wrongful death claim refers to a cause of action that may be brought by certain family members of a decedent whose death was precipitated by the wrongful conduct of another. The wrongful act that resulted in death may have been intentional, reckless, or negligent. In cases where a dangerous product caused the death, it may not be necessary to show wrongful conduct in order to recover.
A surviving spouse may bring a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving spouse, the children may bring the death claim. If there is neither a surviving spouse or surviving children, the parents of the decedent may pursue the wrongful death claim. In any case, an administrator of the estate must be appointed and the administrator can sue on behalf of the estate.
Yes, even if the decedent never held a job, they may have contributed in some other way to the family. A good example of such a decedent is a housewife, who contributes services, guidance and nurturing to her family. These contributions are quantifiable as "pecuniary losses" in a wrongful death action.
Yes, in addition to the wrongful death, a decedent's family may recover damages for the pain and suffering that the decedent endured prior to death.
It depends on whether a person dies as a result of the injuries or from unrelated causes. If a person injured in an accident subsequently dies because of those injuries, that person's heirs may recover money through a lawsuit. If a person with a personal injury claim dies from unrelated causes, the claim survives in most cases and may be brought by the executor or personal representative of the deceased person's estate.
Normally, the following are recoverable:
- expenses associated with the death (medical & funeral)
- loss of victim's anticipated earnings;
- loss of victim's benefits (pension, medical coverage, etc.)
- loss of inheritance;
- pain and suffering of the victim; and the loss of care, protection, companionship to the survivors
A criminal case arises when the government seeks to punish an individual for an act that has been classified as a crime. A civil case, on the other hand, usually has to do with a dispute over the rights and duties that individuals and organizations legally owe to each other. The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case, and the penalty imposed is a criminal sanction, whereas, in a civil case, the defendant will typically have a monetary judgment entered against him/her.
Given that wrongful death claims and survival actions generally involve a variety of complex legal issues, the first step is to consult a Charlotte wrongful death lawyer. An injury attorney should be consulted as soon as reasonably possible because there are statutes of limitations ( which are or may be different than other statutes of limitations) and possibly other critical deadlines that may impact the case.
The vast majority of all cases, including wrongful death cases, are settled prior to trial. Some cases are settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit, while others are settled during litigation or even on the "steps of the courthouse" just before trial. A wrongful death case, if litigated to trial, could last a number of years. One who pursues a wrongful death case should understand from the outset that a quick resolution cannot be guaranteed. For more information, visit our page on Wrongful Death. Contact us online through our free evaluation form if you have any questions about your claim.