O'Malley Tunstall PLLC
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Civil Trial Archives

Underinsured Motorist Insurance for NC Traffic Collision injuries

Underinsured Motorist Insurance for NC Traffic Collision injuries may provide coverage above the North Carolina minimum limits. In North Carolina the minimum insurance limit to drive is thirty thousand dollars per person.  If you have significant injuries or medical expenses that exceed one emergency room visit you may discover that if the defendant has minimum NC automobile insurance limits there may not be enough insurance available to compensate for your damages. Underinsured Motorist Insurance Underinsured Motorist Insurance is insurance above the minimum limits which pays for your compensatory damages when the defendant does not have enough insurance.  Underinsured Motorist Insurance can provide coverage in an amount between $50,000.00 and $1 million.  It is cheaper than liability insurance. You can arbitrate an underinsured motorist claim in NC.  Arbitration is an expedited type of trial to three attorneys rather than a jury.  It is typically cheaper, quicker and more reliable than some jury verdicts.  Finally, as resolving claims with your underinsured motorist carrier is your insurance, there is a first party duty of good faith, which requires your carrier to treat you correctly. If you have a significant claim that may result in a claim above the defendant's limits, call us to discuss what we can do to assist with your claim. what to do in an automobile collision Contact us to discuss your insurance coverage before your involved in an automobile collision or what we can do to assist with your case.

Add Medical Payments, Medpay, Coverage in North Carolina to your Auto Insurance Policy

Add Medical Payments Coverage, known as Medpay, in North Carolina to your Auto Insurance Policy.  Medpay coverage is cheap, no fault coverage that can be purchased to pay for lost wages and medical expenses in North Carolina.  Whether you have health insurance and need to pay for co-pays or have no health insurance medical payments coverage can be very beneficial. Medical Payment Coverage in NC Traffic collisions Some states provide no fault insurance for all automobile collisions.  In North Carolina we are not a no fault state.  Therefore in order to recover Medical Expenses or lost wages you must show that the other person was at fault and that you did not contribute to your own injury.  Medpay coverage is the exception in North Carolina. You can purchase additional coverage from your automobile carrier  called Medical Payment or Medpay that provides, regardless of fault, for reimbursement for medical payments or lost wages.  Even if you are at fault, hit by a deer or hydroplane in a storm, you can use medpay to pay for medical expenses or co-pays if you have medical insurance. If you are hit by another in a traffic collision you can use medpay to pay your medical expenses, pay your lost wages and prescriptions. What to do after an injury in a car crash Medical Payment coverage is sold in North Carolina at levels from $500.00 to $100,000.00.  Talk to your automobile Insurance Agent about adding Medpay coverage. Contact our office to discuss your case or discuss the use of Medpay or other automobile insurance coverage.

Injured Driving for Work? Report as workers' compensation?

Injured while driving for work? Should you report your injury as a workers' compensation injury or simply allow the case to be handled as a personal injury? Often its tricky to know whether to report your automobile accident case as a workers' compensation case as many people are concerned about their employer discriminating against them for getting injured while working.  

Welcome Bruce Daughtry to O'Malley Tunstall

O'Malley Tunstall is extremely happy to welcome Bruce Daughtry to our firm.  We have worked against Bruce for years and are excited to now add him and his tremendous experience to our litigation, serious personal injury and social security disability, SSI sections.  Joe and Susan have known for years what a strong advocate Bruce Daughtry is for his clients and are sure he will bring that passion to helping our clients. Bruce Daughtry Bruce Daughtry Personal Injury and Social Security Disability, SSI Lawyer Bruce Daughtry was born in Ahoskie, North Carolina where he attended Hertford County public schools and graduated from Ahoskie High School. He graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Bruce attended law school at Norman Adrian Wiggins School of law in Buies Creek, North Carolina and earned his Juris Doctorate in 1993. Bruce was admitted to practice law the same year. After graduation he returned to this home town of Ahoskie where he began his career practicing law, representing individuals and families in the District and Superior Courts of Eastern North Carolina. Later he focused his area of practice in civil litigation representing insurance companies and their insured in all levels of the North Carolina court system. Bruce has taken his extraordinary amount of trial and litigation experience gained by representing the insurance industry and uses it to fight for individuals' rights and maximize their recovery in their personal injury claims. Bruce has over 100 jury trials in serious injury claims.  He is a member of the North Carolina Bar, the Nash County Bar, and the Seventh Judicial District. He is admitted to practice in the Eastern District of the Federal Court. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Bruce lives in Rocky Mount with his wife, Cacky, and two children, David and William. He spends most of his free time on the field watching David and William participate in their sports activities. Bruce will handle serious personal injury, disability and social security disability, SSI cases.  Visit O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC for more information on Workers' Compensation, serious Personal Injury and Social Security, SSI cases.

Report your North Carolina Workers' Compensation Injury

In North Carolina an injured worker is required to report an injury at work to the North Carolina Industrial Commission within thirty days (30) of your injury and no greater than two (2) years of the date of your injury.  N.C. Gen.Stat. § 97-22. Injuries are reported on a North Carolina Industrial Commission Form 18.  The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is the state agency that handles all workers' compensation claims, hearings and appeals. To report your claim, report your claim with a Form 18, informing the Industrial Commission and your employer of the nature of your injury, how the injury occurred and when the injury occurred. Why you should file a NCIC form 18 with Susan O'Malley

Coin Sized Button Battery Child Swallowing Danger: Parents Beware!

Button Batteries also known as coin cell batteries create a serious swallowing danger for children.  Unlike a coin, rock or small toy, if a button battery is swallowed by a small child it does not just pass through the body, instead it can cause serious and life threatening burns. Saliva immediately triggers an electrical current that causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.  Once the burning reaction begins, it can continue even after the battery is removed. Coin battery in child's throat Coin battery in child's throat As batteries get smaller and are found inside remote controls, calculators, birthday cards and other small devices, these coin sized button batteries can be swallowed by children and stuck in the children's throats.  These devices sometimes are not designed correctly and the batteries can be too easily removed by children and then swallowed.  Severe burns, hemorrhaging and even death can result. Youtube: Joe Tunstall discusses the dangers of these batteries In 2010 alone, there were more than 3,400 swallowing cases reported in the U.S., according to Dr. Toby Litovitz, of the National Capital Poison Center. After ingestion of a button battery, the symptoms resemble those of the flu, including vomiting, fever, cough and lack of appetite. Data compiled from the National Poison Data System and the National Battery Ingestion Hotline, as well as a review of more than 8,600 swallowing cases and an analysis of recent medical literature, collectively explained how such accidents happen. In nearly 62 percent of cases, children under 6 are swallowing batteries they obtained directly from a consumer product. Nearly 30 percent find the batteries loose, while just over 8 percent get them from battery packaging. The danger of these coin sized batteries, both alkaline and lithium, is serious and the knowledge of the danger needs to be shared with the parents of all young children. The Battery Controlled is a campaign supported by Energizer, in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide, to alert parents and other caregivers to the hidden danger of swallowing coin lithium button batteries. Visit their informational website at Battery Controlled or at safe kids button battery ingestion. If your child is injured due to ingestion of a coin sized button battery contact our office to discuss.  O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC or 800 - 755- 1987.

Do you need an Attorney for Workers' Compensation in North Carolina

If you have been injured on the job while working in North Carolina you may need a lawyer to help with your claim for lost benefits and medical expenses. Our workers' compensation lawyers have handled numerous cases where employees were injured at work and have taken them to every level of appeal through the Industrial Commission and all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Ask SuperLawyers: Do I need an Attorney for Workers' Compensation in North Carolina Please remember you must not rely upon your company to report your injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You have a duty to complete a Form 18 yourself (Employees notice of Injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission). If you have any questions about whether you should compete a Form 18 or how to obtain one from the North Carolina Industrial Commission please give us a call. Our attorneys are  involved in assisting injured workers with their rights after serious head injuries, herniated discs, neck injuries, back injuries, broken bones and injuries resulting in serious surgeries. Youtube: Joe Tunstall discusses the need for a work comp attorney in NC If you are a worker who was injured in an accident in your workplace, you may be entitled to receive Workers' Compensation benefits. Please report your on the job injury swiftly and to the correct person within your company. Often workers' compensation claims become complicated simply because of poor reporting of the injury itself. If you were involved in a car crash while working you may be entitled to both workers' compensation and personal injury recoveries. In order to recover for both, often an attorney may assist by negotiating the workers' compensation liens or having a hearing in front of a resident superior court judge pursuant to statute to have the workers' compensation lien reduced or extinguished. If you were seriously hurt on the job by the negligence of another you may want to discuss your claims immediately. Compensable workplace injuries include most back or hernia injuries, regardless of the cause, other injuries such as broken bones or injuries to the joints caused by accident and occupational diseases such as black lung, brown lung and other diseases peculiar to a certain industry. Your rights after a workplace injury are narrowly defined by the General Statutes; however, a large body of case law has developed explaining these statutes. At O'Malley Tunstall we speak with injured workers quite often that may not need an attorney to resolve their issues. If we can assist you, we will not hesitate to put you in touch with the correct person at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Attorney for Workers' Compensation in North Carolina The North Carolina Department of Labor promotes the health, safety and general welfare of over 4 million workers at over 238,000 businesses in this state. Whether you suffer from physical, emotional, mental disabilities or occupational-related disease, your employer provided insurance should give financial support. The laws require that your employer, or your employer's insurance company, compensate you, or your family, for injuries or death that occur during the performance of your job. Under the Workers' Compensation program, you may be entitled to benefits that include:

What You need to Apply for Social Security Disability, SSI

Board Certified Social Security Disability, SSI attorney Susan O'Malley's lists what she thinks you need to have and consider when applying for Social Security or SSI. Board Certified Social Security Attorney Susan O'Malley what you need to apply for Social Security, SSI
  1. Gather the Names, Addresses and phone number of the doctors that treat you.
  2. Make a list of all of your medications. Include the name, amount, how often you take it, what you take it for, how long you have taken it and the doctor who prescribes it.
  3. Make a list of the activities you can no longer do. See Worksheet.
  4. Make a list of your work history for the last 15 years. Include the years, name of employer and job duties.
  5. Keep all letters from Social Security.
  6. If you do not have insurance, apply for Medicaid and look for clinics in your area that will charge based on income or free clinics. List of free clinics by county.
  7. Follow the doctor's recommendations.
  8. Make a list of any other benefits you currently receive such as Medicaid or Veteran's benefits.
  9. Talk to your doctor about disability and whether they would support your application for it.
  10. Call our office if you have further questions about applying for Social Security, SSI or need assistance filling your application.
Board Certified Social Security Attorney Susan O'Malley discusses applying for disability

Why you should hire a trial lawyer for your injury case

Why do you need a trial lawyer for your serious injury case? On September 13, 2013 I was invited to try a mock personal injury trial to a room of approximately 100 personal injury lawyers from all over North Carolina at the North Carolina Advocates for Justice office in Raleigh. During the trial attorneys from all stages of their practice, young and experienced alike, came forward to discuss how to handle issues in their cases. The experience was very uplifting and emotional for me as attorneys whom I have idolized, one I have known and admired since long before I became a lawyer, approached me to ask advice about how to protect their clients. Nothing builds your ego like a college asking your advice. Nothing destroys your ego like not having a good answer for that attorney. This fraternity of attorneys who try their client's cases to juries and invest emotionally and financially in their clients is a rare group. This same group of attorneys shares their collective knowledge on the premise that in helping a college to assist his/her client they raise the tide for all injured persons throughout north Carolina. Why you should hire a trial lawyer. Why hire a "trial" lawyer to assist in your claim? We have earned the title by winning and quite frankly loosing cases on behalf of our injured clients and have learned the true value of cases throughout North Carolina. Often in loosing a case for a deserving client, I have learned how to assist the next client, give better advice about settlement of cases and put my next client in a better position to recover for their injuries. Post settlement the medical bills, liens and costs must be accurately accounted for and properly negotiated to give our clients the best result. Whether you have a social security disability (SSI) claim, workers' compensation injury or a serious injury from an automobile collision - think about hiring a trial lawyer and putting that experience to work for you! Joe Tunstall

Social Media after a Car Accident or Personal Injury

Social Media after a Car Accident or Personal Injury?? Our clients rarely ask whether they should post to their social media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc) after a car accident or injury case -- they just do.  Our society is obsessed with instantly sharing what we are doing, what is happening to us and how we are reacting to our own lives.  In the past year, our attorneys have seen a significant increase in requests in discovery (written requests called interrogatories, request for the production of documents and verbal requests at depositions) for logon information for our clients Social Media and requests that they produce the history of their account. Why would the insurance defense attorney (attorney hired by the defendant's insurance company to defend them) care if I have 500 friends on Facebook or 1,000 Twitter followers?  They don't.  What they are counting on is that many of us share a lot about our lives, but rarely do we share the really ugly parts of our own pain and the shame of having pain and problems following injuries from a collision or injury. Often the best advice is what my grandmother told me many times -- don't put anything in writing you don't want to explain to your grandmother.  That is especially true of pictures. Joe Tunstall, why use a trial lawyer After a car accident our clients may post a picture of their vehicle, but rarely do they feel compelled to place a picture of themselves with no shower, hair messy from lack of sleep due to pain, stressed and frustrated for all their friends, co-workers and family to see.  Instead they may post a picture of their next GOOD hair day.  Although there is nothing WRONG at all with wanting to show your good day, your best days, to family and friends -- the insurance company lawyers know that if a jury sees your smiling face at a birthday party two weeks after the car crash, despite the fact you were in pain when you went, left early after taking a pain pill and didn't sleep that night -- the picture of your smiling face is enough to expose to the jury that you are exaggerating.  When you have to explain all the good looking pictures, the only ones you would want to post, even when your in pain and having a tough time, it erodes the juries confidence in your complaints of pain. In Virginia an attorney who was past President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association was sanctioned for advising a client to remove damaging photos from his Facebook page after receiving a request from the insurance defense attorney to produce the same.  article.  An attorney cannot assist a client in removing or erasing discoverable material.  A client must have the good sense not to post pictures of themselves they would not want to discuss with a judge, jury or their own grandmother.  They must also understand that if they tell a jury about all the pain they had for six months in 2011 and the only pictures are of them smiling with their children at the park (good days) and not of them on the couch afterwards sleeping from the pain their credibility will be attacked. If you have questions regarding this post visit us at our own social media where we still only post the good days.  @ncpilawyer on twitter and O'Malley Tunstall Facebook on Facebook. O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC Raleigh office of O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC  

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