Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Wilmington North Carolina Law Blog

Stand up for your rights after a workers' compensation denial

As an employee in North Carolina, you have paid into workers' compensation for much of your adult life. You've done that through your employer, likely without ever stopping to think about it. Unless you work in a particularly dangerous field, like construction, you probably never thought that you would need the benefits associated with workers' compensation, as no one really plans to get hurt at work or wind up sick because of their career path.

Unfortunately, work-related illnesses and sudden accidents do impact thousands of people every year in North Carolina. Most of these individuals can quickly and easily connect with the workers' compensation benefits that they need after such an injury or diagnosis. Those benefits include short-term disability compensation, permanent disability compensation, medical coverage and even death benefits for surviving family members after a fatal injury or illness.

Does ADHD treatment decrease the chances of a crash?

From drinking while driving to surpassing the speed limit and taking to the road during periods of heavy snowfall, there are a number of risks that drivers have to watch out for which can lead to a fatal collision. Moreover, some drivers, such as teenagers who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) may be especially likely to exhibit risky behavior on the roadway and cause a motor vehicle collision. If you have a teen with ADHD, it is important to make sure that they are treated and that both of you understand the risks they face while driving.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that teen drivers with ADHD who do not receive treatment have a greater chance of taking risks on the road. In fact, the CDC reports that adolescent drivers who struggle with ADHD and do not receive treatment are two times as likely to find themselves involved in a traffic collision. The FDA also states that teen drivers with untreated ADHD have a greater chance of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Can your public record be expunged?

The defense of any crime you may have been accused of committing in Wilmington will often continue even in the event that you are convicted. For example, once you have fulfilled whatever requirements associated with your criminal conviction, you may need to fight to ensure that you maintain your rights going forward. Having a criminal conviction on your record can limit your future opportunities. Thus, seeking an expunction of your public record is certainly something you should pursue. 

Yet is such a benefit available to you? For many years, North Carolina mainly allowed those who committed offenses as a juvenile to have their records expunged. However, according to the North Carolina School of Government, recent years have seen the state extend that benefit to include the age of the offense. Today, expunction is available for a broad range of misdemeanor and even felony offenses. To qualify, five to 10 years has to have passed from either the date of your conviction or the completion of your sentence before you can apply to have the offense expunged (the exact time period depends on the offense you were convicted). On top of that, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You cannot have any other prior felony or misdemeanor conviction on your record (other than a traffic violation)
  • You must have displayed good moral character since your conviction
  • You cannot have any outstanding warrants or criminal cases pending against you
  • You cannot have any outstanding restitution orders or judgments in place representing restitution 

Contact with a child and custody

When it comes to determining how custody will be awarded, there are all sorts of factors that courts go over. From a parent’s financial well-being to the child’s preferences, so many different issues can come into play when a custody dispute arises. If you are worried about being able to secure custody or visitation rights, or you are concerned about your former partner having an advantage in the courtroom for some reason, it is critical to prepare. There are a number of ways in which you may be able to increase your chances of a successful outcome, and the amount of contact you or your ex have with your child could affect the custody decision.

If you do not currently live with your child, it could be very helpful to prove that you still have regular contact with the child. This could be proven through phone logs, for example. The amount of time that you spend with your child may indicate the strength and closeness of your relationship, which can certainly affect how custody is determined. There are other factors to consider as well. For example, a parent may be unable to regularly talk or visit with their child because the other parent refuses to allow any access to the child.

Many types of traffic violations can result in trouble

As a driver, you should follow the rules of the road at all times. Doing so lessens the likelihood of a traffic violation while enhancing your safety.

Familiarity with the many types of traffic violations can help you avoid trouble. Here are six of the most common:

  • Speeding: This is a common traffic violation, as many people struggle to adhere to the speed limit. Police are always on the lookout for speeders, especially on the interstate and in residential settings.
  • Reckless driving: There are many forms of reckless driving, all of which are associated with the willful disregard for the safety of other drivers. Common forms of reckless driving include excessive speeding, illegal lane change, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and illegal passing.
  • Distracted driving: With the rise of technology, distracted driving has become one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents. Police are watching closely for people who are distracted when driving, especially those who are texting.
  • Running a stop sign or red light: Not only is this against the law, but it also increases the risk of an accident at an intersection. This traffic violation is often combined with others, such as speeding or reckless driving.
  • Driving without a license: While an officer won't know if you're driving without a license by simply looking at your vehicle, if they stop you for something else, this is sure to come to light. Driving on a suspended license is just as serious of a violation.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: If you're involved in a car accident, even a minor collision, it's important to stop to determine what happened. Call 911 to protect yourself and any others who were part of the crash.

Abrupt changes and child support payments

Family law issues can be very tough, particularly when children are involved, or finances are concerned. Sometimes, both of these issues can make life tough for a parent who is trying to move on with their life after a divorce. Some people are able to take care of child support and other responsibilities without any issues, but others may find themselves in a bind for a number of reasons. Sometimes, these difficulties may arise over completely unexpected challenges that interfere with a parent’s ability to pay child support.

Major financial changes can lead to this predicament, such as the loss of a job without warning or a health crisis that requires immediate (and costly) attention. There are many other reasons why parents may suddenly be unable to pay child support as well, such as a parent who has to relocate for one reason or another and can no longer work for a particular employer. These unexpected life changes can make a parent unable to continue paying the child support they owe, which can lead to even greater problems if not handled appropriately.

What to know about turning right on a red light

Many drivers would say that turning right on a red light is fine as long as you make sure there is no oncoming traffic. However, you should keep in mind that not every state permits motorists to turn right after stopping on red at an intersection. Fortunately, North Carolina law spells out the conditions that permit you and other motorists to make right turns without legal repercussions.

According to state law, when a motorist approaches a red light, the driver has to come to a complete stop. From there, the driver has to yield the right of way to pedestrians and traffic that are traveling through the intersection. The motorist also must wait to see if pedestrians are approaching the intersection and if they are so close that they are about to cross in front of the vehicle and any other drivers that are stopped at the red light. Once these conditions are met, the driver can make a right turn.

Attacking Breathayzer evidence after drunk driving charges

Getting arrested on drunk driving charges may feel like a crisis, both personally and financially. For those without a strong legal strategy to defend themselves, it can turn into a nightmare. Although drunk driving charges may be common, they are still serious and can affect many areas of a defendant's life.

Even if you believe that you do not have any good defense options, facing these charges with no defense whatsoever puts your future freedoms and rights at risk. The prosecutor is not likely to "take it easy" on you, even if it your first time. It is their job to secure convictions, and they are probably pretty good at it. If you recently were arrested for drunk driving, you must consider all your legal options in order to preserve your rights and avoid gifting an easy win to the prosecution.

Suspected carbon monoxide leak leads to work-related injuries

Approximately 500 hundred people in the United States die of carbon monoxide poisoning every year, while 20,000 to 30,000 more, potentially including some in North Carolina, become sick from it. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is virtually undetectable by humans because it is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Burning certain fuels in poorly ventilated spaces can cause carbon monoxide to build up to dangerous levels. 

That appears to be what happened last week on a construction site in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Workers were preparing to pour concrete in a basement containing two gas-powered generators. Officials pointed to one of the generators as the source of the reported carbon monoxide leak.

Using your emergency brake to avoid a crash

Many people use their emergency brake when they are parked on a hill, but it is important to be aware of another important function of these brakes: avoiding an accident when brake failure occurs. When someone is driving along and discovers that their brakes are not working and they are unable to come to a stop, this can be incredibly terrifying. Some people panic, which can be very dangerous, while others are able to handle the situation appropriately and protect those in their vehicle and surrounding vehicles. Unfortunately, brake failure and the improper use of brakes has contributed to many collisions.

Sometimes, drivers find out that their brakes have failed while traveling at relatively slow speeds or in an area where they do not need to come to a stop suddenly. On the other hand, some people may have very little time to bring their vehicle to a stop after realizing that their brakes have failed. Drivers who are not familiar with how their emergency brakes work should review reliable information in order to protect themselves and avoid a collision in the event that their brakes ever fail.

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4009 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: 910-338-9813
Fax: 910-395-8391
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