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What about “occupational diseases?”

Workers’ compensation claims also may be the result of “occupational diseases.” North Carolina’s Act contains a whole list of diseases that are covered at N.C.G.S. Section 97-53. The list includes the “traditional” industrial diseases, such as asbestosis and silicosis and hearing loss, plus a “catch-all” section that includes any disease caused by conditions peculiar to a particular trade or job.

The “catch-all” section specifically excludes the “ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is equally exposed.” So, that nasty case of the flu you got at work is not likely to be covered — but that case of carpal tunnel syndrome may be!

What is your fee in a workers’ comp case?

My fee in a workers’ compensation claim is 25% of whatever you get, plus whatever expenses I have incurred.  That’s the standard rate. 

You may wonder, “What kind of expenses might there be?”  In a workers comp case, my out-of-pocket expenses are usually pretty low.  Often, the only expenses are the fees that your doctors charge me for copies of your medical records.

Personal Injury Basics, Part 1.

Hurt in an accident? Please call me now at 919-683-2175  for a free consultation. 

 There are many types of personal injury cases. They often arise from car wrecks, but they can result from other causes as well, such as slipping and falling on a floor and from defective products.

When we say personal injury case, we are talking about an injury that results from the fault or negligence of someone else.  The other person’s negligence gives the injured person the right to seek payment from the person who caused the injury.

What is negligence? The “law-school” definition usually contains four parts or elements.  

            1.  The first element is duty. A person must have a duty or responsibility to the injured person. For example, all drivers have a duty to everyone else to drive carefully and to obey the traffic laws.

            2.  The second element of negligence is breach of duty. For example, if a person drives through a red light, he has breached his duty to drive lawfully and safely.

            3.  The third part of negligence is damage.  As a result of the breach of  duty,  another person must be harmed or damaged. Running through a red light without causing a wreck or injury can get you a traffic ticket, but if no one is harmed, there is no negligence case.

            4.  Finally, the injured person’s damage must be directly caused by the failure of the other person to uphold his duty (this last element goes by the rather technical- sounding name “proximate cause”). 

            So, if you enter an intersection with a green light, and another driver fails to stop for the red light and hits you, and as a direct result you are injured, then you may have a personal injury claim against the other driver.             

If you’ve been hurt in an accident please call me now at 919-683-2175  for a free consultation. 

Prayer for Judgment Continued (or “PJC”)

(Updated March 27, 2013)

What about Prayer for Judgment Continued?


With a prayer for judgment continued (or “PJC”), you plead guilty to a charge, but the judge never enters an official judgment — at your request ( or “prayer,” in legalese) entry of the judgment is postponed (or “continued”) indefinitely.

For insurance purposes, each household (not just each person) may have one (1) PJC every three years.  So, if you plead guilty to a charge that would result in insurance points, but the judge gives you a PJC, your insurance rates will not go up, as long as your household has not had any other PJCs in the past three years.

PJC’s also are useful if a driver is facing a license suspension.  For drivers license purposes, each driver is allowed two (2) PJCs every five years.  Here is an example of how a PJC could save a person’s license:

North Carolina DMV may suspend the licenses of drivers who get two convictions of speeding over 55 mph within a 12-month period.   So, if you plead guilty to driving 64 in a 55 mph zone in March, and then the following February, you plead guilty to driving 68 in a 55, DMV will suspend your license.  But, if the judge gives you a PJC on that second charge, your license will not be suspended.


Are you Entitled to a PJC?

No.  Just because you have not “used up” your PJCs does not mean that you are entitled to one.  Whether a driver will be given a PJC is within the judge’s discretion.  A driver (and their lawyer) may have to persuade the judge to give the driver a PJC  — so it helps to be polite to the officer and to wear a coat and tie to court!


A Common Misperception about PJCs

Many people believe that if they get a PJC, and then get another ticket a year or so later, the insurance points for that former PJC case will kick in.  That’s not how it works.  What you can not do is use another PJC on the second case.  If you do that, the two PJCs within a three-year period will cancel each other out, and you’ll get the points for both cases.   However, if you plead guilty to the second ticket without using a PJC, you will only get the insurance points, if any, that go with the second charge.

Note: This information is for general purposes only.  It is not meant to apply to a specific case. Also, this information is based on North Carolina law.  If you are licensed in another state, I suggest that you verify how a plea to a traffic case in North Carolina will affect your license where you live.

Have a traffic ticket? Please call me now at 919-683-2175  for a free consultation. 


Background on Traffic Cases

Have a traffic ticket? Please call me now at 919-683-2175  for a free consultation. 

Some background information about traffic cases:

Most tickets will cause your insurance to go up. The amount of the increase depends on the ticket. For example, driving 68 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone would result in two insurance points, which would mean a 45% increase.   Driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone is more serious, and would result in four points, and in an increase of 80%. Usually, I can get these types of charges reduced so that your insurance does not go up as much or not at all.

Some tickets will cause your license to be suspended unless they are reduced. The most common type of suspension occurs when both of these things are true: You are driving over 55 miles per hour and, at the same time your speed is more than 15 miles per hour over the limit. For example, a charge of 74 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone would result in a thirty-day suspension. Again, I usually can get these cases reduced to prevent the suspension.

 Please call  now at 919-683-2175  for a free consultation.