Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Wilmington North Carolina Law Blog

Risks associated with driving on the job

There are a number of different reasons why driving while working can be so dangerous. Some people find themselves in a work vehicle on a daily basis, or their job responsibilities revolve around driving (such as a taxi driver, trucker, etc.). For others, driving on-the-job may be less common, but they may be required to get behind the wheel from time to time, and this can also be dangerous or even riskier due to less experience, in some instances. It is pivotal to be aware of the different hazards you may encounter if you need to drive as part of your job duties and take appropriate action in the event you are ever involved in a crash.

Driving while working can result in driver fatigue, and many people have found themselves in accidents because they were too tired to drive safely. Those who have to work long hours or stay up late into the night as part of their job requirements may have a harder time focusing on the road. Some people are also asked to drive a company vehicle they may not be very familiar with (such as a larger truck that they have difficulty managing), and this can also lead to a wreck.

When do you have to go to court for a traffic offense?

You may be able to simply pay the fine indicated on your North Carolina traffic ticket and forgo the trip to court. However, the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts lists a number of circumstances when going to court for a traffic offense is a must. 

No matter what the offense is, if you want to get out of paying the ticket, you must go to court in order to plead not guilty and fight the charge. However, some offenses specifically require a court appearance. 

Were your rights violated during a drug search?

When police stop and search you for drugs, you have rights that deserve protecting whether they find any illegal substances or not. Far too often, law enforcement does not operate as if suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, which is a core principle of our legal system.

In many cases, arresting officers break the law in the course of allegedly upholding the law. They bend the rules to allow them to charge a suspect or violate a suspect's rights during an interaction. If you believe that a police officer violated your rights or broke the law while charging you with a drug crime, you should examine your legal options.

Reasons why people drive on the wrong side of the road

There are many different behaviors that can be incredibly dangerous on the road, such as people who drink and drive and those who use their smartphone while they are supposed to be paying attention to driving. However, some drivers blatantly disregard traffic safety laws or drive recklessly in ways that are unbelievable, such as those who drive on the wrong side of the road. When a driver sees another vehicle heading toward them when they are supposed to be in another lane, it can be extremely terrifying.

Drivers may find themselves on the wrong side of the road for all sorts of reasons. For some, inexperience may be to blame, such as a teenager who does not have much driving experience or someone who is visiting from another country. In other instances, a driver may be on the wrong side of the road because they are intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs, or because they have fallen asleep at the wheel as a result of driver fatigue. Drivers who use their phones on the road may also find themselves traveling in the wrong lane.

Certain mental health conditions can qualify for Social Security

Social Security Disability benefits help protect those who have worked for a living and can no longer do so. Individuals with jobs pay into Social Security over their entire career. Many of them will never need to take advantage of Social Security Disability benefits, but for the tiny percentage that need them, these benefits can be a lifeline.

Social Security Disability benefits correlate to the amount of pay and time worked by an applicant. There are caps on how much someone can receive and what assets they can own. The benefits can truly help those with serious medical conditions that make working difficult or impossible.

How is child support determined and can it be modified?

Parents in North Carolina who are going through a divorce need to figure out child support so they cover the needs of each child the same as when the parents were together. Both the parents' incomes and the child's expenses figure into the amount that one parent owes the other. Either parent can ask for a support modification if their circumstances change.

The North Carolina Child Support Services outlines what determines support obligations. A major determinant is the amount of money each parent makes, and the sources include:

  • Employment
  • Social Security benefits
  • Retirement
  • Workers' compensation benefits
  • Capital gains
  • Disability pay
  • Unemployment benefits 

Car crashes which involve trains

There are various reasons why a train crash involving a vehicle (or multiple vehicles) may take place. For example, a driver may come to a stop in the path of a train because they are suicidal or because they are careless. Moreover, a driver may not see a train coming or realize that they were supposed to come to a stop. Sometimes, accidents can be caused by an oncoming train even when the train does not make any contact with a vehicle. Sadly, careless drivers have caused a lot of accidents including some which involve trains.

If a driver tries to push through and continue moving even though a train is close, even though they were supposed to come to a stop, they could collide with another vehicle on the other side of the train tracks. Or, a driver may not be paying attention to the road and they may not realize that the vehicle in front of them is coming to a stop because of a train, causing them to rear-end the other vehicle. These are just a few examples of ways in which motor vehicle collisions involving trains can happen.

Teenage crime: Violence, environment and peer pressure

Often, parents can't believe that their children broke the law. Some deny it even when facing obvious proof. Others become outraged at the suggestion that a son or daughter would have gotten into criminal trouble.

It's easy to assume that parents blindly back their children because they love them. That may be true to an extent, but it's not the only issue in play here. The reality is that the parents cannot believe that this happened because the child they know is very different from the child other people know.

How many people are hurt in ambulance accidents?

From large trucks to scooters, motorcycles and small cars, there are many different vehicle types involved in crashes. Some people may not think about the likelihood of an ambulance accident occurring, but there are actually a handful of reasons why these collisions are especially likely to take place. For example, an ambulance driver may be in a rush to get someone who needs medical care to the hospital quickly. Moreover, an ambulance accident may involve high speeds and the consequences could be devastating.

According to material that was provided by the National Highway Traffic Association’s EMS website, it is believed that around 1,500 ambulance accidents cause someone involved to become injured each year. Furthermore, about 33 lives are lost due to ambulance accidents that occur on the road every year. The NHTSA points out that a majority of the lives which are lost in these accidents do not occur in the ambulance but in other vehicles. However, many people are also seriously hurt and even killed while riding inside an ambulance as well.

When is self-defense legally justified?

The it may seem as though the default justification offered by those accused of violent crimes in Wilmington is that they were acting in self-defense. You may immediately skeptical when hearing such claims, yet in the event that you are the one making the claim, then you most certainly would want to know under what circumstances your use of force may be justified. 

North Carolina has enacted a "stand your ground" law that can be found in Section 14-51.3 of the state's Criminal Law Code. Here, it states that you have no duty to retreat (and, by extension, are permitted to defend yourself or others) if situations where the fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury is present. Defining when such belief may exist may seem like a subjective task (and thus open to interpretation and/or misuse). However, the law has established a very clear definition of when such a belief is assumed. 

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Wilmington, NC 28403

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