Get your CLE before the MCLE deadline!

Adrienne S. Blocker-Education VP - crop for wordpress  by Adrienne Blocker, VP of Education

The February 28 MCLE reporting deadline is approaching fast.  Sign up for one of NCAJ’s live CLE offerings listed below before you run out of time.  NCAJ CLEs are timely and engaging with an emphasis on practical skill development.  Register today!  And you can also learn more about NCAJ’s many convenient online CLE offerings at

Civil Procedure Boot Camp  |  January 11, 2019 | NCAJ HQ
Learn from the masters as they describe best practices in civil procedure

Anatomy for Lawyers  | January 18, 2019 | NCAJ HQ
Study the parts of the body that are most susceptible to injury and those that are not through videos, illustrations, and animations

Employment Law 2019  | February 1, 2019 | NCAJ HQ
A practical, must-attend seminar for the employment law practitioner

DWI 2019 | February 8, 2019 | NCAJ HQ
Join us for the annual winter DWI program

Ultimate Civil Trial Notebook II  | February 15, 2019  | NCAJ HQ
Back by popular demand, join Program Chair Philip Miller for this highly informative seminar

Ethics Hot Issues  | February 20, 2019  | NCAJ HQ
Join NCAJ Legal Affairs Counsel Burton Craige as he leads this comprehensive seminar on ethics

Disbursements 2019  | February 22, 2019 | Triad
Explore the latest in disbursements including ERISA, Workers’ Comp liens in third party cases, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements and more

Traffic Law | February 22, 2019 | NCAJ HQ
Expand your practice or brush up on your existing practice with this comprehensive traffic law program

Discovery Toolbox for the Family Law Litigator   | February 21, 2019 | NCAJ HQ
A comprehensive program that covers everything that a family law practitioner needs to know about discovery and the discovery process

Specialized Lawyer Directories: Get Listed and Get Found

cloninger.brian  by R. Brian Cloninger


Today’s post covers improvements that have been made to the NCAJ Specialized Directories.

I always ask clients how they got my name. By far the most frequent answer is they found me online doing a Google search. Until recently, none of my clients found me using the NCAJ Traffic Referral List. Why are they able to find me (and other lawyers listed in the Specialized Directories) now? Keep reading for the answer, to learn why you should update your profile, and why you should get added to the directories, if eligible.

A week or so after NCAJ’s Annual Convention, I contacted Membership and Development Director Amy Smith to suggest changes to our membership profiles and the referral directories that would add a marketing benefit for NCAJ membership. She sent me a recent Trial Smith (aka MemberCentral) post entitled, “We’ve Enhanced SEO with Store, SeminarWeb, Events, and Blog Posts.” The single sentence post read: “New HTML Title Tags are now automatically inserted into pages making Store Items, SeminarWeb Programs, Events and Blog Posts not only more browser friendly for end-users, but also more search engine friendly, including more accurately titled search results in search engines.”

After I looked up the meaning of “SEO” and “HTML,” I started messing around on the NCAJ website and doing some Google searches. The improvements I suggested had already been made without me realizing it. I found myself.

Many of us have used the listserves to request referrals rather than using the NCAJ Specialized Directories. Now, we don’t have to use the listserve for that anymore. Even better, the public can now find NCAJ members easier using the directories or by simply doing a Google search.

All NCAJ members are listed in the Membership Directory. There is also a Bilingual Referral Directory ( Listing in other Specialized Directories is only available to members of the Section. For example, listing in the Traffic Referral Directory ( is a benefit of membership in the Criminal Defense Section. These directories are accessible to NCAJ members and to the public. You must be a member of NCAJ to access the Products Liability and Construction Defects Section Directory (, and must be a member of the Section to be listed.

Update your profile ( to get added to the Specialized Directories, and get found!



Negligent Homeowners — Trick or Treat…

Negligent homeowners beware: it’s Halloween and you’re getting visitors. North Carolina premises liability law governs whether you will be held liability for injuries sustained on your property. With Halloween just around the corner, you’ll no doubt be getting lots of guests to your property, whether you like it or not. Most of these guests are small children who will be running through the dark of night toward your front door in hopes of scoring lots of candy. But what happens if they trip and fall along the way?

The Basics of Premises Liability Law in NC

Property owners have a duty to keep their property safe. Negligent homeowners will pay the price for failing to do so, as the rules of negligence in personal injury extend not only to retail property owners, but also to homeowners. In some instances there are conditions which are dangerous or potentially dangerous. If the property owner can not remedy those conditions, there is at the very least a duty to warn your visitors and guests of the dangerous conditions, especially if it’s reasonable to expect visitors.

In addition to the potential for a trick-or-treater falling on your property, you should also beware that Halloween is a time where the family dog may not be so fond of visitors dressed in strange costumes. It’s reasonable to expect dog bites and injuries related to dog attacks to increase during Halloween, and the property owner or dog owner can be held liable for the attack, especially if the dog has a documented history of such behavior.

Am I A Negligent Homeowner?

Each claim against a negligent homeowner in a personal injury matter essentially requires that the components of Negligence are satisfied in order for the plaintiff to successfully prove their case. Those elements are:

  • The homeowner owed a duty to the injured party
  • The duty was breached
  • The breach of that duty gave rise to the injury in question
  • There were damages resulting directly from the injury

There are numerous instances where a homeowner may in fact be negligent; however, if there are no damages resulting from that negligence, there is no claim to be pursued by the other party. For example, a homeowner who fails to maintain his walkway may have breached his duty to his guest. If that guest trips and falls because of this failure to maintain the walkway, the guest is well on their way to having a negligence claim against the property owner. However, consider that in some instances the trip and fall victim lands softly in the grass, gets up, wipes the grass stains off of their pants, and realizes they are not injured. In this case, there is no viable claim for recovery under the principle of Negligence, as the fourth prong of Negligence has not been met: there are no damages (other than a bruised ego from falling in front of friends).

How Long Do I Have To File A Lawsuit?

As with most negligence claims, you have three years from the date of the accident to settle the claim or file a lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. This three-year time frame gives the injured party enough time to realize the full extent of their injuries. It also gives the injured party enough time to receive treatment for those injuries and obtain representation (i.e. get a personal injury lawyer) so that they may recover from the negligent homeowner.

Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know was injured at a private residence or in a retail location, call us today for a free case evaluation. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. Or, you can click HERE to request a phone call from an attorney. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

This post was authored by The Layton Law Firm, a Personal Injury and Consumer Bankruptcy firm in Charlotte, NC.  The Personal Injury work the firm handles ranges from minor traffic accidents and slip and fall cases, to wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. The Bankruptcy work the firm handles is all consumer-related and is a Federal law practice focused on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings for individuals.  Chris Layton, J.D. is the founder of The Layton Law Firm. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Maryland at College Park and a J.D. from Wake Forest University. For more, visit

Accidents involving a common carrier

Most Cary residents have been on a bus, in a taxi or on a plane. These transportation options are all considered “common carriers”. But what are common carriers and what duty do they have to their passengers?

A common carrier is an entity whose business is to move people from one location to another for a fee. These can include buses, trains, boats, planes or taxis. If a passenger is injured on one of these vehicles, the company may be liable. Most transportation companies have to follow government regulations when offering their services to the public. They are required to have the highest degree of safety for their passengers. A carrier can be held liable for injuries sustained by a passenger if they failed to follow an established regulation or did not exercise with care and diligence.

If a person is injured on a carrier, there are a number of things they need to prove in order to hold the carrier at fault. First, they need to show that the carrier owed the passenger a duty and that they breached that duty. In addition, the breach of duty then caused the passenger’s injury and if that breach of duty did not occur then the passenger would not have been injured. Finally, the passenger needs to show that they suffered damages in the form of an injury, emotional distress, loss of wages, etc.

If a person believes they were injured on a common carrier as the result of negligence of the carrier, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in personal injury. An attorney has the legal expertise necessary to understand what is needed to prove their client’s case. There are many sources of evidence a passenger may use to prove their case. Evidence may include witness reports, expert witness testimony, inspection reports, and videos or pictures. An attorney can gather this evidence and help ensure their client receives the compensation they deserve.

Source:, “What is a common carrier?,” accessed on July 15, 2017

This post was authored by The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A. in Cary, North Carolina ~  Dependable & Aggressive Lawyers Serving All Of North Carolina.   Since 1994, injury victims in the Raleigh area have been able to count on The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A. to pursue the compensation and benefits they deserve in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases.  Whether you were injured in a car accident, on-the-job accident, dog bite, or as a result of a defective product, they will go to bat for the outcome you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney from their firm, please call  919-899-9852 or toll free at 877-320-1851. Their firm has been given the highest ratings for their legal skills and ethics, including being named a Super Lawyer, one of the Best Lawyers in America and one of the top trial lawyers in North Carolina.

Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Remains a Serious Safety Hazard for North Carolina Drivers

Across North Carolina, car accidents linked to reckless driving continues to increase. With 80% of U.S. drivers experiencing road rage while behind the wheel, it is safe to say measures must be taken in order to prevent and minimize injuries linked to aggressive drivers. Far too many preventable car accidents occur each year due to distracted, aggressive and negligent driving behaviors while behind the wheel.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, accidents linked to aggressive driving and road rage are on the rise:

  • Between 2011 and 2015, there were a reported total of 55,000 car accidents in North Carolina as a result of careless driving.
  • Accidents related to careless driving resulted in 1,401 fatalities in North Carolina between 2011 and 2015.
  • The AAA Carolina’s Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 8 million U.S drivers experience extreme road rage.

Unfortunately, North Carolina is not the only state that deals with this issue. 78% of U.S drivers reported to being involved in at least one aggressive driving behavior in the past year. The most common aggressive driving behaviors include: abusing the car horn, knowingly tailgating other vehicles and yelling at other motorists.

Tiffany Wright, President of The AAA Carolina’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, reminds North Carolina drivers to always remain calm behind the wheel. Frustrations and aggressive driving can dramatically increase a motorist’s risk of being involved in a car accident.

At Daggett Shuler Law, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina Personal Injury lawyers, we care about the safety of all North Carolina drivers. Please remember to remain calm on the roads at all times. Do not allow frustration to put yourself and others in a dangerous position on the road.

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving an aggressive driver, call Daggett Shuler Law right away at 336-724-1234. When you call, you will speak with an experienced Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney absolutely FREE. We will review every detail of your accident at no cost and fight hard to protect your rights.

When you call Daggett Shuler, you will speak with an experienced Winston-Salem and Greensboro attorney at no cost to you. We will investigate every detail of your situation and fight hard to protect your rights. At Daggett Shuler Law, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front and you owe us nothing unless we recover for you.


Daggett Shuler is a law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured in accidents, workers hurt on the job and of people in need of Social Security Disability benefits.   For more information or for contact information for their Winston-Salem or Greensboro offices, visit 

How much insurance must business vehicles carry?

People in Cary, North Carolina, and the surrounding Raleigh metro area will probably know that, if they want to drive a car, they have to carry a minimum amount of insurance that will cover all or part of another person’s injuries. The minimum insurance requirement protects North Carolina citizens from negligent motorists by making sure that all drivers have some means of paying compensation should they cause an accident.

Unfortunately, these minimum limits are rarely enough to actually cover all losses in the event of a serious accident. Usually, a victim is left having to pursue the negligent driver directly or may be able to recover from his or her own insurance company if he or she purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

It may come as a surprise to people that commercial vehicles, including large dump trucks, delivery trucks, vans, and others are, generally speaking, subject to the exact same minimum limits as are North Carolina residents who use their private vehicles only for personal reasons.

There are some exceptions to this general rule. One of the most common exceptions is that haulers of certain types of materials and just about any commercial vehicle that transports goods across state lines will effectively need at least $750,000 in coverage, if not more. The federal government requires the extra coverage as a condition for receiving permission to transport materials subject to the regulation of the federal government.

After getting over the immediate aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident, a victim who needs to receive compensation for lost income and medical expenses should be made aware of the type and amount of insurance that the responsible commercial driver carries. The information could impact the victim’s overall case strategy.

This post was authored by The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A. in Cary, North Carolina ~  Dependable & Aggressive Lawyers Serving All Of North Carolina.   Since 1994, injury victims in the Raleigh area have been able to count on The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A. to pursue the compensation and benefits they deserve in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases.  Whether you were injured in a car accident, on-the-job accident, dog bite, or as a result of a defective product, they will go to bat for the outcome you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney from their firm, please call  919-899-9852 or toll free at 877-320-1851. Their firm has been given the highest ratings for their legal skills and ethics, including being named a Super Lawyer, one of the Best Lawyers in America and one of the top trial lawyers in North Carolina.

What to Do If You Are Injured in an Uber Accident

Ridesharing services like Uber have become increasingly popular. Consumers find their services to be both convenient and cost-effective. Late last year, Uber reported that it had officially given its billionth ride. This includes many thousands in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, with that much activity, there has also been a rise in Uber accidents. If you have been seriously injured in an Uber accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer for immediate legal assistance.

3 Things You Should Do After an Uber Accident

There are important steps to take if you have been injured in an accident as a passenger in an Uber, Lyft or other ridesharing vehicle. Specifically, if you find yourself in this situation, make sure to take the following actions.


  1. Seek medical assistance. After any car accident, all involved parties should first check to see if anyone needs emergency medical aid. However, even non-emergency car accident injuries still require professional medical attention. This is critical for two reasons. First, car accidents often cause delayed-onset injuries like soft-tissue damage and back injuries. Further, if you will be seeking legal compensation for your injuries, you will be best served by establishing valid medical documentation of your injuries immediately after your accident.
  2. Contact police. The appropriate law-enforcement authorities should be contacted after any significant North Carolina automobile accident. Even if you were simply a commercial passenger in an Uber, you will still have an interest in ensuring that the police report is accurate. Your witness statement should be included. Police reports can provide key evidence in Uber accident injury cases.
  3. Take photographs. Finally, photos are an extremely compelling form of accident evidence. It is best to take as many pictures as you can of the damage, the accident scene and your injuries. Your lawyer will be able to review this evidence in order to help build your case in the future, should an injury claim become necessary.

Make Sure to Report the Uber Accident

Beyond this, it is imperative that you report your Uber accident to the company. Failure to report your Uber accident in a timely manner could seriously harm your ability to recover full compensation.

Accidents can be reported by contacting Uber’s support team through the smartphone application and through the company’s website. If you have any trouble reporting your accident to Uber, or any trouble getting adequate communication from the company, call an experienced car accident lawyer immediately.

Understanding Uber’s Insurance Policy

An Uber passenger injury is covered by the company’s commercial insurance policy. This policy provides up to $1 million of liability coverage per traffic incident. Other Uber services such as Uber Black and Uber Taxi are required to carry their own commercial insurance policies that comply with North Carolina state law.

It is critical that injured Uber passengers are able to recover compensation for the full extent of their damages. Unfortunately, insurers are often extremely reluctant to offer victims the compensation they deserve. It may be necessary to bring an Uber accident lawsuit after your accident.

If you have been injured in a North Carolina Uber accident, the car accident lawyers at Younce & Vtipil, P.A. can help. Based in Raleigh, our lawyers have extensive experience providing compassionate legal representation aimed at getting results for injured people. To learn more about what the firm can do for you, please contact us today to set up your free personal injury consultation.

Younce & Vtipil is dedicated to representing individuals and families of all walks of life in North Carolina. Their attorneys handle a variety of claims, including automobile, truck and motorcycle accidents, workers’ compensation injuries, Social Security disability claims, wrongful death cases, harmful drug injuries, slip and fall injuries, and product liability claims, such as asbestos. For more information, visit  



National Click It Or Ticket Campaign Focuses on Improving Seat Belt Usage

Nationwide, seat belt use has been growing, but lack of proper seat belt safety remains a very serious public safety issue according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Even if it’s just for a short drive around the block, always make sure you fasten your seat belt, as well as the seat belt of any other passengers in your vehicle. Car accidents can happen without warning and in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to make sure that you are prepared.

From Monday, 5/23 to Sunday, 6/5, police in North Carolina and across the country will be stepping up enforcement of seat belt safety. This initiative is part of the annual Click It or Ticket Campaign, and is aimed at reducing the number of injuries and fatalities that occur when vehicle occupants do not buckle up.

Seat belts remain the most effective way to avoid serious or fatal injuries in the event of a car accident. According to the CDC, using a seat belt reduces your risk of serious crash related injuries or death by about 50%. Unfortunately, seat belt non-use is an especially dangerous problem for younger, inexperienced drivers.

Here are some troubling statistics about seat belt safety:

  • 58% of back seat passengers that were fatally injured in vehicle crashes in 2014 were not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Between 2010 and 2014, more than 50% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seat belt.
  • In North Carolina, 415 people that were not wearing a seat belt were killed in traffic accidents last year.

Click here to read more about the Click It or Ticket Campaign and seat belt safety.

At Daggett Shuler Law, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina Personal Injury lawyers, we care deeply about the safety of you and your family. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident that was not your fault, call Daggett Shuler Law at 336-724-1234. When you call, you will speak with an experienced, caring Winston-Salem and Greensboro Car Accident attorney absolutely FREE.

We will investigate every detail of your accident at no cost to you and fight hard to secure the maximum recovery you deserve. At Daggett Shuler, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.

Daggett Shuler is a law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured in accidents, workers hurt on the job and of people in need of Social Security Disability benefits.   For more information or for contact information for their Winston-Salem or Greensboro offices, visit 


What Drivers Need To Know About Motorcycles

Some of us see motorcycles as unsafe nuisances. In reality, most motorcyclists take their safety very seriously. They wear the proper riding gear, use their blinkers to signal turns or lane changes, and refrain from dangerous riding practices like lane-splitting.

A large portion of motorcycle accidents involve not just a bike but a passenger vehicle as well.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,316 of the motorcycle accidents that occurred in 2012 involved another kind of motor vehicle. Just under half of these, 41% to be exact, were caused because the other vehicle turned left in front of the motorcyclist while they were going straight or passing. A simple mistake like this on the part of the driver of the car or truck can easily kill or severely injury a motorcyclist.

In 2013, 3,789 motorcycle accidents occurred on North Carolina roads. Of those, 3,081 resulted in injuries and caused the loss of 146 lives. Wrongful deaths like this happen more than you’d think and, as attorneys, we hear stories like this far too often. Awareness is, perhaps, one of the best ways to prevent accidents like this in the future. So as the driver of a car or truck, what do you need to know about sharing the road with motorcycles?


If you don’t ride a motorcycle, you probably don’t know much about them, and that’s ok. The most important thing you can do is to check your blind spots and be sure a motorcycle isn’t in the immediate area. Using common sense can prevent potentially dangerous situations. It’s a good idea to keep the following tips in mind as well:


  1. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and may appear to be farther away than they really are. Check twice to make an accurate assessment of how far away they really are.
  2. A motorcycle’s small size makes it easy for them to hide in your blind spot or be obstructed by your surroundings (mirrors, road signs, etc.). Always look behind you before changing lanes to be sure nobody is there.
  3. Motorcycle drivers can slow their speed by shifting to a lower gear, but that doesn’t activate the brake lights. Make sure to leave extra following distance when behind a motorcycle.
  4. If you see a motorcycle changing their position inside of their lane, don’t assume they’re trying to show off. Motorcyclists change position within a lane to adjust for wind, debris, or to put themselves in a position that is more visible to other drivers.
  5. Many people like motorcycles because they offer unique maneuverability as compared to cars. However, this doesn’t mean that they can avoid a tricky situation any faster than a car can. Don’t assume that a motorcycle can dodge another vehicle or a pothole.
  6. A motorcycle stops at about the same rate as a car, given good conditions. If it’s raining, their ability to stop suffers. Leave extra distance when behind a bike, especially in bad weather.
  7. A motorcycle’s turn signals are not self-cancelling like a car’s. Sometimes a motorcyclist, especially a newer one, may forget to turn them off. Try to determine if they really mean to signal or change lanes before making your own move.
  8. Not all motorcycle riders are speed-crazed maniacs. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and may appear to be going faster than they really are.
  9. If you come upon a group of motorcycle riders on the highway, don’t merge into the middle of the group. There is safety in numbers and by breaking up the group you create a situation that’s unsafe for you and the motorcyclists.
  10. Practice attentive driving. It only takes one distraction from a text, phone call, or another passenger to change the course of someone else’s life. View a motorcyclist as a person, not a vehicle. They’re husbands and wives, sons and daughters. If you take a life because you were too distracted to drive, you may never forgive yourself.

[The warmer days of spring and summer] means more motorcycles on the road. Remember, you’re sharing the road. Be aware of your surroundings. Apply these principles and the above tips to your driving and you could help cut down on preventable motorcycle accidents. From all of us at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we wish you a safe ride!


The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has offices in five locations and employs over 98 attorneys and staff.  The firm has attorneys who are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, are AV rated, and two are Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists.  Visit for details.

Option to Cancel? Maybe Not…

“Do I have a right to cancel this contract?”  I get this question quite often from potential clients and far too often I have to answer with a resounding “no.”  Recently, however, I was made aware of a local vehicle dealership which apparently is providing a 3-day money back guarantee on certain pre-owned vehicles.  It sounds like a good deal but I would suggest folks still be careful and protect themselves by taking the following three steps:

Get it in writing:  At the time you make your purchase (or preferably, before deciding to purchase) make sure you have this money back guarantee and all terms and conditions in writing.  Review them and ask any questions before making a decision to buy.

Have the vehicle checked by a mechanic:  During this 3-day period in addition to driving the vehicle you should be sure to have it inspected thoroughly by an experienced mechanic.  Have the mechanic provide you with a written report of any issues or potential issues with the vehicle.

Think:  If you have taken the above two steps you should have the information needed to decide if you want to keep the vehicle.  Note that most dealerships do not provide any money back guarantee so this is your opportunity to back out if it makes sense to do so. If you do decide to rescind the deal and seek your money back be sure to provide the notice required in the Flow policy.

For more resources in protecting yourself when purchasing a used vehicle visit the O’Neal Law Office Free Information Center.  Best wishes in finding a vehicle that fits your budget and meets your needs.

John T. O’Neal is a practicing attorney in Greensboro, NC who focuses his practice in Personal Injury/Wrongful Death, Consumer Law (includes Auto Dealer Fraud/Vehicle Issues, Lemon Law, and Debt Collection Defense), and various types of Civil Litigation. A long-time NCAJ member and a two-time Ebbie Award winner, he is a former Chair of the Consumer Areas of Practice Section and the Hispanic/Latino Issues Division.