North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys

HensonFuerst, PA

HensonFuerst, PA
2317 Sunset Avenue
Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804

Phone(252) 443-2111 or(866) 777-1170
Fax (252) 443-9429

Website www.lawmed.com
Contact HensonFuerst, PA  Contact the Law Firm

Other Offices: Raleigh (NC)  

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Law Firm Overview

Henson Fuerst, P.A. is a personal injury law firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina with convenient office locations in Rockymount, Creedmoor, and Boone.
For over 35 years the firm has been providing representation and advocacy for injury victims throughout North Carolina, and in that time has gained a reputation for their knowledge, experience, and exceptional service. The firm’s goal is simple: to put clients first.

The team at Henson Fuerst has been able to assist countless clients with personal injury cases of all kinds, including cases involving foodborne disease, injuries caused by Taser guns, and toxic exposure. The firm also helps individuals who have suffered a workplace injury file for worker’s compensation, as well as Social Security Disability (SSDI/SSI). Henson Fuerst also takes great pride in assisting veterans file for and receive their disability benefits. In addition to their injury practice the firm can also handles cases involving business disputes and other general litigation.

If you or a loved one has been injured, it is vital that you consult with an attorney before making any decisions on your claim. Insurance firms will try to press you into a quick settlement that will work out in their favor. A skilled attorney, such as those at Henson Fuerst, can ensure that you get the settlement that you are rightfully entitled to. Your damages can cover much more than just medical expenses – lost wages/lost ability to earn, as well as emotional and physical hardships endured by you and/or loved ones are also things that need to be considered, and the team of professionals at Henson Fuerst can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Year this Office was Established: 1976

Languages: Spanish, English

Areas of Law


Additional Areas of Law: Drug Injury; Fire Injury; Land Condemnation; Taser Gun Injury; Veterans Disability; Copyright Infringement Dispute; Breach of Contract; Breach of Non-competition and Solicitation Agreements; Dissolution of Partnerships; Misrepresentation; Unfair Insurance Practices; Warranty Claims; Business Disputes; Foodborne Illness; Toxic Exposure; Supplemental Security Income.


Areas of Law Description

Our areas of practice include:

- Auto Accident

If you've been involved in a car wreck, you're at risk of becoming a victim twice—first in the accident and second by the insurance company. You may trust the insurance company to compensate you fairly and promptly, but many insurance companies don't play fairly. Whether the insurance company devalues your injuries or offers you less than you're owed, our North Carolina auto accident attorneys will stand up for your rights.

- Business Dispute

Business litigation disputes can be complex and lengthy, and without the help of an experienced North Carolina business dispute attorney, you and your company may be vulnerable. We'll keep track of the paperwork and keep you informed of your responsibilities throughout the entire legal process.

- Defective Product

At HensonFuerst, we believe that the company responsible for the product that injured you should be held accountable. The product’s designer and manufacturer should make sure the product is safe, has clear instructions, and discloses all risks associated with usage. When they fail to ensure their product’s safety, they put people’s lives at risk.

- Medical Malpractice

There is a standard of care that all physicians are expected to uphold, and when that standard is compromised, your life is put at risk. At HensonFuerst, if you're the victim of a medical mistake, it's our goal to help you get the compensation you're owed and the proper treatment you need to recover. If you have suffered an injury during the course of medical treatment, talk to our North Carolina medical malpractice lawyers.

- Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income are benefits programs designed to be a safety net for people who are unable to work due to injury or illness. If you're unable to work due to a disease or injury, you may be eligible for SSD benefits regardless of your age. Applications for SSD claims can be difficult to file, and most initial applications are denied. Even if you have a valid case, your application could still be rejected.

- Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation laws are designed to provide benefits for injuries you suffered while working. That means, if you're hurt while performing services on behalf of your employer, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

- Wrongful Death

Nothing can truly compensate you for the loss of a loved one. Your future is changed, and you're deprived of the ability to create more memories with the person who died. No one can correct that injustice. At HensonFuerst, we understand that there is no way to undo the cruelty of your situation. As your North Carolina wrongful death attorneys, it's our job to look after the part of your future you can control—your financial security.



Partners

Bob Fuerst Mr. Bob L. Fuerst
Attorney
Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury, Professional Malpractice

Rachel Fuerst Mrs. Rachel Fuerst
Attorney
Burn Injuries, Medical Malpractice, Motorcycle Accident, Truck Accident, Veterans Disability

Carma Henson Mrs. Carma Henson
Attorney
Brain Injury, Car Accident, Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse, Truck Accident

David Henson Mr. David S. Henson
Attorney
Car Accident, Defective Products, Social Security Disability, Wrongful Death

Thomas Henson, Jr. Mr. Thomas W. Henson, Jr.
Attorney
Birth Injury, Brain Injury, Catastrophic Injuries, Nursing Home Abuse

Thomas Henson, Sr. Mr. Thomas Henson, Sr.
Attorney
Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury, Toxic Torts



Lawyers

Anne Duvoisin Fisher Ms. Anne Duvoisin Fisher
Attorney
Eminent Domain, Litigation, Nursing Home Abuse, Land Condemnation

Eric Goodale Mr. Eric Goodale
Attorney
Social Security, Social Security Disability

Travis Harper Mr. Travis Harper
Attorney
Civil Litigation, Litigation, Motor Vehicles, Personal Injury, Product Liability

Joseph Hodgin Mr. Joseph Hodgin
Attorney
Motor Vehicles, Negligence, Workers Compensation, Workplace Injuries, Wrongful Death

Bill Hoyle Mr. Bill Hoyle
Attorney
Motor Vehicle Accidents, Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury, Business Dispute

  

Affiliations

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice

More Information on HensonFuerst, PA

Brain Injury Law Firm
Car Accident Attorneys
Truck Accident Law Firm
Wrongful Death Attorneys
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm
Workers' Compensation Lawyers
HensonFuerst, PA Blog
HensonFuerst, PA News and Publications

Videos Provided by HensonFuerst, PA

Veterans Disability Benefits

Applying for and getting approved for veterans disability benefits can be a long and difficult process. Veteran's benefits are paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that are "service connected," which means they happened while on active duty, or were made worse by military service. A service-connected disability can include any problem incurred while you were in service, even if you didn't receive treatment while in there. This applies to injuries that happened during combat, or even while on leave.
This video discusses the basic issues involved in applying for and winning veterans disability benefits.

David Henson, HensonFuerst Attorneys
(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)
(800) 452-9633
www.lawmed.com

Social Security Disability HEaring- What to Expect

This video by David Henson, managing partner of Henson Fuerst Attorneys, discusses what to expect when you attend your Social Security Disability Hearing. Topics include: what to bring (you MUST bring your ID), who will be in the hearing room, what will happen during the hearing, and how long it will likely last.

2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 390, Raleigh, NC 27607

Social Security- What to do to Improve Your Chances for Approval

Learn the 7 things you can do to improve your chances for approval of Social Security Disability benefits. These include:

1. Don't give up!
2. Get proper treatment for your physical and mental conditions.
3. Keep good records.
4. Promptly respond to any and all letters or calls from Social Security.
5. Get RFCs from your treating doctors. (RFCs=Residual Functional Capacity forms)
6. Prepare for your hearing.
7. Work with a lawyer.

This video will explain each of these critical points in more detail, to help you maximize your chances for approval.



David Henson
HensonFuerst Attorneys
2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 390 Raleigh, NC 27607

Independent Contractors- Are you really one?

Many employers classify workers as Independent Contractors, in an attempt to get around wage and hour laws that are designed to protect workers, and ensure that they are paid fairly. If you think you may be classified as an Independent Contractor, this video will help you determine whether you may have a legal claim against your employer for being unfairly paid.

Tips and Tip Pooling- Wage and Hour Law in NC

If you work for tips, there is a lot to know about the law that protects you as a worker. This video covers how under Wage and Hour laws tips can be paid, what amounts can be taken out of your tips, how tip pools should be managed, and what to do if your employer is paying you incorrectly.

David Henson- HensonFuerst Attorneys


(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

Overtime Pay and the Law in NC

Are you owed overtime pay? Many people who thought they couldn't collect overtime are pleasantly surprised to learn that their employers must pay them overtime for working more than 40 hours per week. In this video, HensonFuerst managing partner David Henson discusses who is eligible for overtime, and what you can do if you suspect that your employer owes you back wages.

Hi, David Henson here, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys. I get more questions than you can imagine about overtime law. People want to know if their employer owes them overtime pay, and—if so—how much they should earn for the overtime hours they work.

In North Carolina, the law is clear. In most cases, if you work over forty hours in a week, you should be paid a premium rate for that additional time. If you are paid hourly, then the overtime premium means you should earn one-and-a-half times your normal hourly rate for each hour over the full-time forty-hour work week.

There are some cases when an employee participates in a flexible schedule over a period of two weeks, or when an employee earns a salary for an agreed upon number of hours. If you work a schedule like this, then you may not be owed time and a half. However, you may still be owed additional money—over and above "straight time"—for all the hours over forty that you work in a week.

Some employees are labeled "exempt" from overtime laws. This refers to employees who are paid on a salary basis and who have particular work duties—they may work more than forty hours a week and are not owed any overtime pay.

In general, "exempt" employees are higher up in the management or administration of a company. Exempt employees often manage other employees and have the authority to exercise their own judgment in business decisions. For example, some exempt employees have the ability to hire and fire... or to at least make suggestions about who should be hired and fired within the company. Executives within the company are often exempt from overtime laws, as are professionals who have gone to school for a long time to be trained to do their jobs. This is a very complicated area of the law, though. It's not always clear who should or should not be labeled "exempt." If you suspect you are owed additional overtime that your employer refuses to pay, you may want to consider talking with an attorney.

Independent contractors are also not owed overtime under the law. If you are an independent contractor, please check out my video on employment law that pertains just to you.

It is important to know, however, that just because you are paid a salary does NOT mean that you automatically can't earn overtime. Many salaried workers also earn overtime at a premium rate... and many employers offer a weekly salary, and then ask employees to work more than forty hours a week. Often, this is against the law. If you are in a situation like this, you may be owed for the overtime you have worked.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

Wage and Hour Law- North Carolina

One of the HensonFuerst practice areas is "Wage and Hour," sometimes known as employment law or overtime law. In this video, managing partner David Henson discusses what you need to know about Wage and Hour law to make sure you are not missing out on wages you may have earned.



Hi, David Henson here, managing partner with HensonFuerst Attorneys. Today, I want to talk with you about our newest legal practice area, which we call "Wage & Hour." It is also sometimes known as "Overtime Law" or "Employment Law."

"Wage & Hour" refers to the laws that require employers to pay their workers at least minimum wage, and a premium rate for overtime. This law applies to most employees, no matter how they are paid—hourly, by salary, on piece- or trip-rate, and even some employees who work on commission.

These laws were originally written and made into law in the 1940s in order to protect workers from over-reaching or abusive employers. At that time, employees were made to work for far too long, in unhealthy conditions, and for wages that were far too low.

Today, the federal "Fair Labor Standards Act" and North Carolina's "Wage and Hour Act" ensure that non-exempt employees are paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and that those who work more than forty hours a week are compensated at a premium rate.

That's a great start, but unfortunately, there are still areas of W&H that could use improvement. For example, in North Carolina, employers are not required to give their workers a lunch hour or regular breaks. BUT—if you are on an unpaid break (meaning that you clock-out or otherwise get the time deducted from your shift), the employer cannot expect you to perform work during that time. In other words, you should be paid for any time that you work.

That simple statement contains a lot of legal meaning...and employees may have more benefits than they realize. For example, if your employer asks or requires you to arrive early for your shift, OR if your employer has you clock out before you have finished cleaning up or wrapping up for the day -- that is illegal. You must be paid for all of the work that you do for your employer, regardless of whether that work is done during your assigned shift, or before or after your shift. If you work from home (but off the clock), and your employer knows about this extra work, then you must be paid for it.

This is true for all hours you work, and it is certainly true for overtime hours. It is illegal for an employer to avoid paying you overtime simply by saying "I did not approve that work." If you do the work, and your employer benefits from you doing extra work, then you must be paid for your time.

W&H law is complex, and there are always exemptions and exceptions to the rules. For example, many people think that if they are paid a salary, then they are not owed overtime. This is not true. In order to be exempt from receiving overtime, an employee must earn a salary of at least $455 per week, and his or her duties must meet certain legal tests. The salary alone does not make the employee exempt. I discuss more details about Wage & Hour law in other YouTube videos.

If you have specific questions, please check out the W&H section of our website at lawmed.com/wageandhour. If there is a question that I have not answered, feel free to send me an email at dhenson@lawmed.com, and I will try to record a video to address your question. And if you believe that you are owed overtime or wages that your employer refuses to pay, and you want to explore your legal options, call HensonFuerst Attorneys at 1-800-4-LAWMED.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

Social Security Disability- What NOT to do

The process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits is long and difficult. If you make the wrong move, you could RUIN your chances of getting benefits. In this video, David Henson--managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys--discusses what NOT to do during the application process.

Applying for Social Security Disability is tough. At the time when you are feeling bad enough to be considered disabled, the agency seems to want to make the process as difficult as possible. If you want to make their job easier, I can help you with that.
Hi, I'm David Henson, managing partner with HensonFuerst Attorneys. We help people through the long and exhausting process of attaining Social Security Disability benefits everyday. Of the many things we've learned along the way, one lesson is clear: The SSA looks for reasons to reject your claim. Here are the top 5 things you can do to help SS shut you out.

1. Don't get medical care for your conditions.
2. Do drugs or alcohol.
3.Break the law, or end up in jail.
4.Don't keep your lawyer up-to-date on your situation.
5. Miss deadlines or appointments.

If you work hard all your life, and end up so injured or sick that you can no longer work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. But just because you are eligible, that doesn't mean you are entitled. There is a world of reasons why your case may be not be approved...don't hand the courts a reason to deny your claim.
This is David Henson, with HensonFuerst Attorneys. For more information about how we can help you fight for your SSD benefits, visit our website at LAWMED.com/SocialSecurityDisability/. Or, call us at 1-800-4-LAWMED.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

Medicare Set Asides

If you have a settlement from a workers' compensation or personal injury lawsuit, and if you have Medicare (or expect to be eligible within 18 months), you should be aware of a new legal concept called "Medicare Set-Asides." This requires people to set aside a certain amount of money from their settlement funds, to be used for the purpose of paying for future medical treatment.

Medicare Set-Asides are complex, and if calculated improperly, can be costly. The best way to navigate these complicated legal waters is to have an experienced lawyer at your side. In this video, David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, discusses the details of Medicare Set-Asides, and why you need to be mindful of them.

For more information about many other legal issues related to workers' compensation or personal injury, please visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com/. And don't forget to watch our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst/.


*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

How much car insurance should you buy?

Buy as much as you can afford. This video covers all the basics.


*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

What is a declaration page?

What is an Automobile Liability Insurance Declaration Page? Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Underinsured Motorist coverage. It is an alphabet soup. Learn how to look at your own declarations page.


*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Auto Property Damages- When you owe more on a car than it is worth

If you're in a car wreck and your vehicle is a total loss, what is the insurance company obligated to pay you? This video discusses what it means to be "upside down" on a car loan.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Auto Wrecks- Why didn't my airbag deploy?

Hey David Henson here with Henson and Fuerst Law Office. Want to talk to you today about air bags. We're not talking about windbags, not your boss or your husband who likes to drone on about things. We're talking about air bags. Those things that are in your car that if you get involved in a car wreck are there to protect you and the occupants. First of all how do they work? Well, an air bag has three main parts. First part is the actual bag. That's the nylon part. It's got baby powder and things like that around it that when it deploys and opens up helps it get out and to protect you as the occupant. Second of all is the inflation system. That's the part of the air bag that makes it explode and come forward in the event of a deployment. Kind of like that. Those air bags happen really fast. We're talking at 200†miles an hour in excess of that deployment less than 1/25 of a second to open. Third of all is the computer part. That's the module that sits in your car that when it experiences usually a 10 to 15-mile deceleration in speed the air bag will deploy setting off that explosion to protect you. Now sometimes clients call me and say hey I was involved in a car wreck and my air bag didn't deploy. What gives, what happened, why didn't it open? Well, a couple of things could have happened. First of all the impact or deceleration could have been less than a 10 to 15-mile-an-hour decrease over a certain amount of time. Second of all it may have been a side impact, a collision from the other side. It may have been a rollover, you drove off the side of the road and the vehicle rolled over and none of the sensors fired indicating that there was a sudden deceleration. Last of all it could just be a defective bag. Maybe the auto manufacturer or the air bag manufacturer had a design flaw or something wrong with the actual air bag causing it not to deploy. So why is all of this important? If you're involved in a car wreck and seriously injured and your air bag doesn't deploy you want to have a lawyer come out and take a look at it to try and make a determination as to whether something could be wrong. Second of all you want to make sure that any of the automobiles you're riding in have air bags. All of them have been required since 1998, at least frontal air bags for passengers and drivers. make sure the car you have has one of those air bags. Last of all if you do get involved in a collision be thankful that you have that air bag there to protect you and the other occupants. This is David Henson with Henson and Fuerst Law Office. Thank you very much.


*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Workers Compensation- Nurse Case Managers

In this video, David Henson talks about the role of the nurse case manager: who they are, what their role is, how they can help or hurt your case, and everything else you need to know to make sure that you get the help you need for your injury.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***


Hi, David Henson here, from HensonFuerst law office.

We get a ton of questions about nurse case managers, and their role in Workers' Compensation cases. Who are they, what do they do, and how much should you really trust them. All excellent questions...lets talk.

In North Carolina, a workers' comp nurse case manager does have the right to attend your doctors appointments. However, the nurse DOES NOT have the right to be in the room while you are being examined by the doctor. You can allow them to stay in the examining room if you want, but you have the right to choose to have a private exam, and the nurse case manager must respect that decision.

Once the exam is complete, the nurse has the right to speak with your doctor. We always encourage clients to be in the room when your nurse case manager talks with your doctor. You want to know everything that they discuss so that you can be informed about all aspects of your medical care and treatment. Also, you want to know if the doctor has given any work restrictions—such as restriction on lifting items above a certain weight—or if the doctor puts limitations on standing or sitting, stooping, bending or reaching. All of those factors can affect your workers' comp case.

Now...whether the nurse is there to hurt your case or to help your case is a harder question to answer. As a general rule, you should never forget who is ultimately paying the nurse to be there: the Workers' Comp insurance company. Because of that fact, nurse case workers are beholden to the insurance company, so if they have to align themselves with one side or another, many take the side of the insurance company. That said, however, I have found that many nurses are actually strong patient advocates, and can be one of your best allies in a case. If they support your case and your treatment, they can be a big help to you in your case. So the question of whether they help or hurt a case can't be answered in the abstract—it depends on the nurse and the facts of the case. Lawyers sometimes know the specific nurse case manager assigned to your case, and they will probably be able to discuss the nurse's track record and how they acted with other claimants.

The reality is that if the workers' compensation insurance carrier wants to assign a nurse case manager to your case, you are basically stuck with having a nurse. Hopefully, the person assigned to you will be an advocate for you as you recover from your injuries and attempt to get back to work. If not, it is even more important to get advice from your lawyer on how to deal with the case manager.

Again, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst law firm. If you have additional questions, you can go to our website at http://www.lawmed.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

What is subrogation?

If you have a personal injury settlement, you may not always get to keep the money you are awarded. In addition to medical provider liens, which we discuss in another video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7lLZXoy5fs), you also need to be aware of something called "subrogation interests," which is a way your health insurance company may take money out of your pocket.

In this video, David Henson of HensonFuerst Law firm talks about subrogation: What it is, what it means for your settlement dollars, and how a lawyer can help you navigate the complex state and federal laws that come into play.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Hi, this is David Henson from HensonFuerst Personal Injury Attorneys. In another video, I spoke about liens, and how they can reduce the amount of money that you end up with after a settlement for your personal injury claim. In addition to those medical provider liens, you also need to be aware of what are called SUBROGATION INTERESTS, which are claims that may be made by your health insurance company.

If you think the word "subrogation" sounds scary, you're not alone. And unfortunately, subrogation IS scary. Essentially, subrogation means that your health insurance company can make a claim to get repaid for medical bills that they paid on your behalf. If the claim is valid, it can dramatically eat into your portion of settlement dollars. Got that? Your health insurance company...which collects premiums from you year after year with the promise of paying for your medical bills if you get sick or injured...puts in a claim to back your medical bill payments. Does that sound fair to you? Well, it shouldn't, because it is unfair, and some people believe it is even unethical.

Before I describe how this works, let's take a quick trip back to civics class for a refresher on the difference between state laws and federal laws. STATE LAWS apply only to a single state. For example, North Carolina state laws only apply to people who live in North Carolina. Federal laws, however, apply to all 50 states in the country. Federal laws ALWAYS trump state laws, which mean that if a state law and a federal law are in conflict, then the federal law wins out.

So, back to subrogation. North Carolina has state laws which say that a health insurance company CANNOT make a claim for reimbursement out of your personal injury settlement. This means that if they pay $1,000 on your hospital bill, then when you settle your case, they have no right to get repaid for that amount. You get to keep it.

Federal law, however, says that if a health insurance company jumps through certain paperwork hoops, then they can collect repayment for your medical bills, with no cap on the amount. I have seen cases where the health insurance company made a claim for ALL of a client's personal injury settlement dollars, which meant that the client was left with nothing.

Now...what determines whether a health insurance plan is controlled by state or federal law? It's complicated, and that's why having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference. A personal injury lawyer's job is to carefully analyze the guts of the health insurance plan to see if they have a right to repayment, and to make sure that they have jumped through all the appropriate hoops. If not, then state law kicks in, and in North Carolina, state law says the health insurance company has no right to repayment. On the other hand, if the claim holds, then a good lawyer will fight to help you keep every possible dollar. Many times, we can negotiate the repayment down to a fraction of the original claim, which means more money staying in YOUR pocket.

Subrogation is a highly technical issue. If your injury case involves substantial medical bills (and health insurance payments on those bills), then I STRONGLY encourage you to talk with an experienced lawyer. It could make a huge difference in the amount of money you are able to preserve out of your personal injury settlement.

Again, I'm David Henson, managing partner with HensonFuerst. If you have additional questions, go to our website at http://www.lawmed.com, or you can email me directly at dhenson@lawmed.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

Reimbursing Medicare and Medicaid from Personal Injury cases in NC

If you have Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employees Health Insurance, VA Benefits, or other government insurance agencies, then you need to watch this video. Government agencies require repayment of some or all of the money they lay out for your health care after a personal injury. When your settlement dollars come in, you need to consult a lawyer to figure how exactly how much you owe to each agency. This is a complex issue that you can't afford to tackle on your own--the government will find a way to get paid back...or punish you for nonpayment.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***
Hi, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst. In other videos, I've talked about liens and subrogation interests, which all involve someone else trying to get their hands on your settlement proceeds after your case is resolved. If you missed those videos, then you might want to go back and watch them, as well. Liens, subrogation interests, and reimbursement rights are all related. The common denominator is YOUR MONEY.

Today, I want to talk about those government agencies that also want to get their hands on some or all of your settlement proceeds. This video is for anyone with Medicaid or Medicare or any other government health insurance program. If you don't take advantage of any of those benefits, then feel free to click STOP and go to one of our other educational videos.

If you have Medicare or Medicaid, however, you need to know that they have a statutory right—which means a CLEAR, LEGAL right—to get repaid out of your settlement...for ANY amount they paid on your behalf.

Now for the complicated part: Each of these agencies gets paid back in different ways, sometimes with very different sets of rules. Here is some basic information though:

MEDICARE. Since it is a federal program, MEDICARE gets paid FIRST out of the settlement. As a general rule, MEDICARE must reduce their lien by 1/3 for attorney fees , but otherwise they have the right to full repayment. If you have a very large settlement and only a small MEDICARE lien, then this will be easy to resolve. However, if you have a small settlement, but a very large MEDICARE lien, then you can have a real problem on your hands. MEDICARE can gobble up ALL of your settlement proceeds before anything else is paid. Unfortunately, we run into this situation regularly. In an attempt to reduce the amount repaid to MEDICARE, quite often we have to resort to certain appeals for a waiver or reduction of the lien.

MEDICAID in NORTH CAROLINA has a different set of rules. They get in line behind MEDICARE in order of priority. If you have MEDICAID, then, as a general rule, they get treated the same as a "valid lien holder." This means that North Carolina Medicaid, together with the other valid lien holders, cannot get more than approximately1/3 of the settlement proceeds, no matter what amount they paid in your case.

Some of you may have both MEDICARE and NORTH CAROLINA MEDICAID, in which case the situation can get exponentially more complicated depending on the amounts paid by these agencies, the amount of settlement of your case and the amount of outstanding bills. Unless there is plenty of money from the settlement to pay all of these agencies back, then I strongly encourage you to talk with legal counsel to get some assistance. You absolutely want to make sure that you pay these agencies back correctly, one because they can stop future benefits if you don't, and two since they are the government, they have the ability to come after you civilly or even criminally under the law if you stiff them.

We have focused today on the two major government health insurance plans of Medicare and Medicaid. If you have one of the other government health insurance plans such as Federal Employee's health insurance plan, Tricare or Champus, or VA benefits, then shoot me an email at dhenson@lawmed.com and let me know to do a future shoot on one of those agencies if you would like more information.
No matter the kind of insurance, if your case involves ANY government health insurance—MEDICARE, Medicaid, TriCare/Champus, or VA benefits—then you need to proceed carefully with the settlement and resolution of your case. You should know in advance that these agencies will be standing with their HANDS OUT when your case is resolved. It is critically important that you and your lawyer follow the laws, and when possible, attempt to reduce or minimize the amounts that must be paid back.

This is David Henson with HensonFuerst. If you have additional questions, please go to our website at www.lawmed.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst have answers.

DePuy Hip Replacement Recal

Hi, I'm David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, here to talk about the DePuy hip replacement recall which was just announced a few weeks ago in August of 2010.
A hip replacement is a difficult surgery with a long, painful recovery. No one looks forward to it...and no one wants to repeat it—not the doctors who perform the surgeries, and certainly not the people who are on the painful side of the scalpel. On average, most replacements last 10 to 20 years, depending on the person and the type of activities they do. For many people, that means that their artificial hips last the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, people who received hip replacements made by DePuy Orthopaedics are not that lucky. DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has issued a recall of two hip replacement products because their higher-than-usual failure rates caused people to have to have second surgeries to replace the replacement.
The two hip replacement products DePuy recalled are the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System. Research showed that people who had these implants had a 1-in-8 chance of needing a "revision surgery" within 5 years. What's worse, the faulty hip replacement causes serious pain and difficulty walking, and recovery from the second hip replacement is often more difficult than after the first.
The DePuy hip implant recall affects an estimated 93,000 replacement systems and more than 29 different models of hip replacement implants. These products are no longer being used.
Orthopedic Surgeons who used these particular devices have been sending letters out to their patients to advise them of the recall by the manufacturer, so check your mailbox, or if you have moved since your surgery, please contact your surgeon and they will be able to advise you on whether you were given one of the problem hip replacement units.
If you already know that you received one of the recalled DePuy hip replacement systems, then we recommend that you scheduling a follow-up appointment with your surgeon, even if you're not currently having symptoms. It is possible that you could have early signs of failure before you recognize the pain. Your doctor will be able to evaluate how your hip is functioning and whether the recalled implants is in need of replacement.
In that visit, your orthopaedic surgeon may also want do a blood test that looks at the level of microscopic metal particles—metal ions-- around your hip. Metal ions are a sign that recalled implant has failed. If the blood test indicates a high level of these particles, your surgeon may want to do a second blood test three months later. These levels may be high even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, so this blood testing is very important.
If you or someone you care about received one of these defective joint replacement components, we would like to speak with you right away. You may have a legal case and be able to collect compensation for the injury caused by this faulty medical device. Call us at 1-800-4-LAW-MED , or visit our website at www.lawmed.com for more information. You can also fill out a free online consultation form for an immediate evaluation of your case.
One important thing to note: DO NOT SIGN ANY RELEASES OF YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS TO DePuy or JOHNSON & JOHNSON before you talk with a lawyer.
Again, this is David Henson of HensonFuerst. Don't hesitate to contact us--If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.


*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***
This law firm is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or associated with the Associated Press, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., or Johnson & Johnson

Epidemic of Concussion in Youth Sports

In the past 10 years, there has been a huge increase in the number of concussions suffered by kids who play sports. As brain injury lawyers, we've seen first-hand the devastating long-term effects of head injuries. When the victims are children, it's heartbreaking.

In this video, Thomas Henson of HensonFuerst Law firm discusses the current epidemic of concussions, including symptoms and how coaches and parents need to come together to keep kids safe.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

If you have additional questions, feel free to visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com, and don't forget to look at some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst

How does Social Security Work?

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a long, complicated, frustrating, and often confusing process. As Social Security lawyers in North Carolina, we are often asked about what happens. How long does it take? What steps are there? Is there a way to improve your chances of being approved? Let David Henson of HensonFuerst Attorneys walk you through what you can expect to happen as you apply for Social Security Disability.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***
Hi, this is DH, with HensonFuerst Attorneys serving all of North Carolina. We get calls every day from clients wanting to know about social security disability and how to apply, so I thought I would take a little time today to outline the ways you can apply and point out a couple of things that I think you should keep in mind when applying:
First, there are four main ways that you can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration:
1. Call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 . They will arrange a time for you to conduct a telephone interview with a disability representative who will fill out your initial application over the phone, or...
2. Visit your local Social Security Administration office. They will schedule an in-person interview to complete your initial application, or...
3. If you have Internet access, go to www.socialsecurity.gov and fill out an application electronically, or...

4 You can contact a social security disability attorney to help you apply in one of the above ways. Most clients apply on their own, but we regularly assist clients at the very start of the process.

Now, when you apply, we recommend that you ask the social security representative about three things:
1. What is your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)? This is the amount of monthly benefit that you would be entitled to, if you are approved for benefits.
2. What is your Date Last Insured (DLI)? This is the cutoff date after which you are no longer eligible for SSDI benefits--sort of like an expiration date. You must be able to prove that your disability condition began before this date.
3. Are you eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or both? Depending on your work history, number of credits paid into the system, and financial situation, you may be eligible for one or both of these programs run by Social Security.

The answers to these questions are important because they tell us what claims for benefits you may be entitled to, and assist us in calculating how much in past and future benefits you will receive (if approved). We find that these are common questions asked by clients, and allow us to explain what your options are available to you when you are considering hiring a lawyer.

If you have additional questions regarding the application for social security disability insurance, please visit our website at www.lawmed.com We have an entire section of materials available to assist you in becoming more educated about the application process.

This is DH with HF. If you have questions, we have answers.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Concussion Symptoms

A traumatic brain injury can happen as the result of a motor vehicle wreck, bicycling crash, sports injury, a fall, or a blow to the head. It is critically important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a brain injury so that you or your loved one can get prompt medical care. In this video, Thomas Henson of HensonFuerst Attorneys discusses some of the common physical and behavioral symptoms of concussion (as known as "mild traumatic brain injury" or MTBI).

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

What are Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Hi, I'm Thomas Henson with Henson Fuerst Attorneys. One of the most profound and devastating injuries that I handle as a lawyer is traumatic brain injuries. They can be permanently life changing not only for the victim, but also for the families and friends around them as well. We get asked lots of questions by wreck victims about traumatic brain injuries and what to look out for, so I wanted to take some time today to discuss that with you.
First, what is a traumatic brain injury? Generally, a brain injury is caused by a direct blow to the head. But it can also be caused by a forceful impact to the body that causes the brain to be shaken inside the skull (a phenomenon known as a coup-contrecoup injury), or in other events where the brain is deprived of oxygen. Common injury-causing events include car wrecks, sports injuries, falls, drug overdoses, or exposure to toxic materials.
Some of the signs and symptoms of a brain injury may include:
• Confusion
• Amnesia
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Nausea, with or without vomiting
• Difficulty thinking clearly or answering questions
• Feeling like you are moving "in slow motion"
• Slurred speech
• Balance problems
• Blurred, double, or fuzzy vision
• Sensitivity to light or noise

It's important to note that you do NOT have to be knocked unconscious to have a concussion. Symptoms of concussions that may not appear until later include:
• Difficulty concentrating
• Difficulty remembering new information
• Memory problems
• Fatigue; feeling like your "energy plug" has been pulled
• Sleep disturbances (sleeping more or less than usual)
• Mood changes (may include irritability, depression, anxiety, general emotionality)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after an injury, it is important to get treatment from qualified doctors immediately. This may include treatment from doctors including: primary care physicians, emergency rooms, or neurologists. For more serious brain injuries, the treatment team might be expanded to include neuropsychologists, and neuro psychiatrists.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please visit our website at www.lawmed.com or our Traumatic Brain Injury blog at www.lawmed.com/braininjury. We have developed an entire section of resources and information for victims and their families, and are continually adding to it to include recent articles and research to keep visitors current.

This is Thomas Henson with Henson Fuerst Attorneys. If you have questions, we have answers.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Law- Wasting Policies

This is the second of two videos we've created about liability insurance in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This one is about a special kind of policy called a
wasting policy. (The other video is about a liability insurance in general. It is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pffeYYuAdTs)

Placing a loved one in a nursing home is an amazingly difficult decision. You'll want to choose a facility that has a record of good, competent, compassionate care...and you'll want to ask about liability insurance. Liability insurance protects nursing home and assisted living residents in the event that they become injured at the facility. In this video, "Wasting Policies," attorney Carma Henson discusses what wasting policies are, and why they are bad news for nursing home residents.

Carma Henson and the rest of the HensonFuerst Nursing Home Abuse legal team work on behalf of nursing home patients who have been hurt in nursing homes, either through abuse or neglect. Let her experience help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

If you have additional questions, feel free to visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com, and don't forget to look at some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***


Hi, I'm Carma Henson, a partner at HensonFuerst Attorneys in Raleigh & Rocky Mount North Carolina.
In another video, I talked why it is important for nursing homes to carry liability insurance. Here, I want to tell you about a particularly disturbing type of policy called a WASTING POLICY.
A "wasting policy," otherwise known as an "eroding" policy, is a type of nursing home liability insurance policy that borders on a scheme. I bet many of you will think I'm making this up—it's just that ludicrous—but it is for real, and it is real-wrong.

Here is how it works: a wasting policy is an insurance policy that pays the nursing home's OWN lawyers' fees out of the insurance money. Their own lawyers!

For instance, say a person makes a claim against a nursing home that has a hundred-thousand-dollar wasting insurance policy—the fees the nursing home's own lawyers charge to defend that case will get paid out of that hundred-thousand-dollars before a single cent gets paid toward the claim. This means that there is often no insurance money left to pay for the medical bills your loved one incurred, or to compensate them for the damages that the nursing home caused. It's true. It can and does happen.

So ... a $100,000 wasting wasting policy is, in all likelihood, not much insurance, and certainly not much benefit to the residents.

When you are looking for a nursing home, ask whether the facility carries liability insurance...and THEN ask: "what KIND of policy do you have?" If they say "wasting policy," then you'll know that the insurance probably will not protect your loved one's interests at all.
This is Carma Henson, of HensonFuerst Attorneys. We have much more information about nursing homes on our website at www.lawmed.com. And remember, if you have questions, HF has answers.

Nursing Home Insurance- Liability Coverage

Hi, I'm Carma Henson, a partner at HensonFuerst Attorneys in Raleigh & Rocky Mount North Carolina. Much of the work I do here involves representing persons who are residents in nursing homes, and their families.
In my first educational video—the one titled "How to Choose a Good Nursing Home"—I talked in general terms about nursing homes. I suggested what to look for when considering a nursing home for a loved one; I explained the federal government's Five Star Rating program for nursing homes, and I reminded viewers of their rights.
Today, I want to talk about one specific area of concern to me as an attorney-advocate; that is, liability insurance—liability insurance covers a nursing home should it be found guilty of wrongdoing in regard to patient care. It might really surprise you to discover that nursing homes and assisted living facilities in North Carolina are not required to have liability insurance.
Yes, you heard me right ... nursing homes and assisted living facilities in North Carolina are not required to carry liability insurance. You and I are required to carry liability insurance in order to simply drive on our streets, but the laws in North Carolina do not require the people and companies who are responsible for taking care of our frail and elderly senior citizens to carry liability insurance. That seems very odd to me, and it doesn't seem right, especially since some other states do require nursing homes to carry liability insurance.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Social Security Disability- Applying for Benefits

Applying for Social Security Disability is an extensive, complex process that is quite confusing. In this video, David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, discusses four different ways you can apply for Social Security Disability. In addition, you'll learn why knowing about PIA, DLI, SSI, and SSDI can work to your advantage. If you don't know what all those initials mean, you will after watching this video!

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Hi, this is DH, with HensonFuerst Attorneys serving all of North Carolina. We get calls every day from clients wanting to know about social security disability and how to apply, so I thought I would take a little time today to outline the ways you can apply and point out a couple of things that I think you should keep in mind when applying:
First, there are four main ways that you can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration:
1. Call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 . They will arrange a time for you to conduct a telephone interview with a disability representative who will fill out your initial application over the phone, or...
2. Visit your local Social Security Administration office. They will schedule an in-person interview to complete your initial application, or...
3. If you have Internet access, go to www.socialsecurity.gov and fill out an application electronically, or...

4 You can contact a social security disability attorney to help you apply in one of the above ways. Most clients apply on their own, but we regularly assist clients at the very start of the process.

Now, when you apply, we recommend that you ask the social security representative about three things:
1. What is your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)? This is the amount of monthly benefit that you would be entitled to, if you are approved for benefits.
2. What is your Date Last Insured (DLI)? This is the cutoff date after which you are no longer eligible for SSDI benefits--sort of like an expiration date. You must be able to prove that your disability condition began before this date.
3. Are you eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or both? Depending on your work history, number of credits paid into the system, and financial situation, you may be eligible for one or both of these programs run by Social Security.

The answers to these questions are important because they tell us what claims for benefits you may be entitled to, and assist us in calculating how much in past and future benefits you will receive (if approved). We find that these are common questions asked by clients, and allow us to explain what your options are available to you when you are considering hiring a lawyer.

If you have additional questions regarding the application for social security disability insurance, please visit our website at www.lawmed.com We have an entire section of materials available to assist you in becoming more educated about the application process.

This is DH with HF. If you have questions, we have answers.

Social Security Disability- What you need to apply

Most people are shocked at the extent of the information needed during the application process for Social Security Disability. You can improve your chances of being approved and make the process much less frustrating if you prepare all the necessary documents in advance. Exactly what do you need? David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, is here to tell you in this video.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Hi, this is David Henson, with HensonFuerst Attorneys serving all of North Carolina. I have talked in another video about how to apply for social security benefits with the federal government, but today I would like to give you a list of some of the information and documents things that we strongly encourage folks to have with them at the time of their application.
Ideally, you should have:
1. Medical Information:
• Names, addresses and phone numbers of all doctors, hospitals, and clinics since your disability began.
• Patient ID number(s) from hospitals and clinics seen (if known)
• Dates seen (as best you can remember)
• Name(s) of all medicine(s) you are taking, with dosages
• Copies of any Medical records in your possession
2. An original or certified copy of your birth certificate. If you were born in another country, you also need proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
3. If you were in the military service, the original or certified copy of your military discharge papers (Form DD214) for all periods of active duty.
4. If you worked, your W-2 Form from last year; or if you were self-employed, your federal income tax return (IRS 1040 and Schedules C and SE).
5. Worker's Compensation information, including date of injury, claim number and proof of payment amounts.
6. Social Security Number(s) for your spouse and minor children.
7. Your checking and/or saving account number(s), if you have accounts.
8. Name, address, and phone number of an emergency contact.
9. Kinds of jobs, names of employers, and dates you worked in the 15 years before you became unable to work.

The more information and documentation of these items you can provide the better. We have found over the years that a complete and thorough application can greatly increase your chances for approval.

If you have additional questions regarding the application for social security disability insurance, please visit our website at www.lawmed.com . We have an entire section of materials available to assist you in becoming more educated about the application process.

This is David Henson with HensonFuerst. If you have questions, we have answers.

Social Security Disability- Why am I getting denied?

In this video, David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, discusses how Social Security arrives at its decision to approve or deny your application, and what you can do to greatly improve your odds of finally receiving Social Security Disability.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Hi this is David Henson with HF Attorneys in NC. Our social security department meets with prospective clients every day, and one of the most common questions we get asked is... "Why am I getting denied my social security benefits, when my doctor says that I cannot work?" That is an excellent question, and unfortunately nothing is simple when you are dealing with the federal government. Let me try and help you sort it all out though to help you understand it a bit better.

As you might guess, the government has a complex system to determine whether you meet the federal disability guidelines, something that we as social security lawyers spend hours a day trying to sort out for clients. In a nutshell, they use a 5-step process, in which they ask the following questions:
1. Are you engaged in substantial gainful activity? In other words, are you working?
2. Do you have a medically determinable impairment, or a combination of impairments, that is "severe"? In other words, is your medical situation bad enough that you cannot perform basic work activities.
3. Do you have a certain medical condition, or combination of conditions, that SSA says entitles you to automatic disability benefits? If you have one or more of the conditions listed under 20 CFR, Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-ap10.htm) then you get approved for benefits.
4. Do you have the residual functional capacity to perform past relevant work that you have done in the past? In other words, can you do any of the same kind of work that you had done at some point in the last 15 years?
5. Can you perform any other work, given your residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience? In other words, are there other jobs in the economy that you could be doing instead, given your medical condition, age, experience and education.

In a Social Security case, the initial claims examiners, examiners at the reconsideration level, and the Administrative Law Judges rely on a number of pieces of information. First and foremost, they look at your medical records. It is critical that your medical records support the particular medical conditions that you are claiming prevent you from being able to work, and that any objective symptoms, physical and mental limitations or restrictions, medications and their side effects, and any testing results are properly documented. When we represent claimants, we often find that these factors are poorly documented in our client's medical records. As such, one of our roles as your lawyer is to work with you and your doctor to make sure that this information is properly added to your medical records.

In addition, Social Security relies on your work history. They focus on the education requirements, necessary skills sets, and physical requirements to perform the jobs you have done in the past. In addition, they will refer to publications, such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, that outline job requirements.

If your application reaches the level of a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge, or what is known as an ALJ, will usually ask for testimony from vocational and medical experts. These are experts hired by the Social Security Administration, who provide testimony regarding your medical conditions and ability to work.

If you are represented by a lawyer, it is your lawyer's job to cross examine those experts and provide evidence that supports your case. In my office, this is often done by presenting letters or affidavits from your treating physicians that explain your physical and/or mental limitations and how they impact your ability to work.
When you look at the national numbers, it is important to remember that Social Security denies far more applicants than it approves. At the initial application level, approximately 92% of applicants are denied. At the reconsideration level, approximately 83% are denied. In my opinion all of that makes the hearing level the most critical stage of all. That is your one opportunity to present all aspects of your case before a judge, with an opportunity to cross examine the experts who will be called against you by the Social Security system. Having an experienced social security lawyer can be critical to dramaticall increasing the odds of winning your case.

If you have additional questions, feel free to go to our website at www.lawmed.com. Or, you can give me a call or email me at dhenson@lawmed.com If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

SSI vs SSDI- Social Security Disability Basics

Hi, David Henson here, I get a lot of questions about Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income---what are these programs, who qualifies for benefits and what are the differences in the programs.

First, let's talk about Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. What is it? SSDI is a federal system designed as a safety net for people who, after years of paying into the system, become too injured or sick to work any longer. When you are employed, you pay into the federal system throughout your professional career--your employer is required to take out SSDI premiums every month. If you look at your check stub, you'll see the amount that is taken out as your personal contribution to the social security system.

Second, who qualifies under SSDI? When you apply, the Federal Government looks at two things to determine your eligibility: 1) have you worked enough "quarter credits," or said another way- have you paid enough INTO the system in order to receive benefits OUT OF the system; and, 2) Do you have a disability—that is, do you have a medical condition, injury, or illness that will prevent you from working for at least twelve months. If you meet the criteria, then you are generally qualified to receive benefits. The hard part, however, is convincing the Social Security system that you are in fact disabled.

Now, the other system under the federal government is Supplemental Security Income, or what is known as SSI. SSI is a federal income supplement program that has nothing to do with whether you have ever worked or how much you have paid into the system. It is assistance that is funded through general tax revenues of the government and pays people based on need.

SSI is designed to help the aged, blind and those who are sick or disabled and have little or no income. The goal is to provide money to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. It is only available to those who fall under certain financial thresholds.

Now, frequently, when people apply for SSDI benefits, they will also apply for SSI benefits, depending on their family and economic situation. If you meet the application criteria then we strongly encourage our clients to apply for both. If you are awarded benefits for both, generally the SSI payment will be much less than the SSDI payment, but this is only a general rule and varies from case to case.

Unfortunately, the process of applying for and receiving Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits is long and complicated, especially if you are sick or injured. Just when you need someone to help take care of YOU, you'll find that the process can be exhausting. The federal government makes you jump through a lot of hoops. As a lawyer, my job is to help you navigate that process—to help you understand and deliver all the information the government needs in the fastest, best manner possible... AND to make sure that you get all the benefits to which you're entitled.

If you have additional question please check out some of our other social security benefits videos or the social security section of our website at http://www.lawmed.com . If there is a question that I have not answered, send me an email at dhenson@lawmed.com, and I will try and get a video to address your question. This is David Henson with HensonFuerst law office. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.


*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Wrongful Death Claims in NC

Every death seems "wrongful," but in the law Wrongful Death means something very specific. So, what exactly is Wrongful Death? In this video, HensonFuerst partner David Henson answers that question. In addition, you'll learn the first steps you need to take to bring a Wrongful Death case, and what financial losses a family might hope to recover.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Wrongful Death- what is a wrongful death claim and how does a family go about making a claim?
Hi, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst Attorneys. I want to talk with you today about wrongful death cases---what they are and how a family goes about making a claim.
In North Carolina, a wrongful death claim is a legal case brought to seek compensation for a death caused by the negligence of someone else. Wrongful death cases can result from a number of different causes, such as an automobile wreck, a tractor-trailer wreck, a defective product or prescription drug, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or neglect, or any other situation in which someone negligently causes the death of another.
In North Carolina, a family can recover for a number of losses in a wrongful death claim, including: medical bills incurred as a result of the negligence that lead to the death, pain and suffering by the decedent until death, funeral costs, and future lost wages. In addition, the family can recover compensation for certain intangible losses due to the death of a valuable and loved family member. For example, the legal system has ways to quantify the value associated with not having the companionship, protection, care, assistance, guidance, and other services that the decedent would have provided in life. In some cases, if the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death are severe enough, then the family may also make a claim for punitive damages.
Before the family can make a claim for legal damages, they must first have a Personal Representative appointed. This is done by going to the courthouse where the decedent lived and opening an estate. The court will then appoint either an executor or an administrator, depending on whether the person who died had a will nor not. This Personal Representative has the legal capacity to act on behalf of the decedent's estate to handle any financial, legal or other important decisions for the decedent. in future videos, I will talk about this application process in more detail, but for now, it's important to know that this is the first crucial step in the "wrongful death" process.
As a lawyer, I can tell you that wrongful death cases are always difficult cases to handle. We are called in to provide help when things seem darkest and scariest for the families who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We take that responsibility seriously, and we strive to provide a comforting and reassuring place for our clients. Our goal, as with every case, is to make sure that we listen to our clients, that we advise them on all of the legal alternatives available to them, and that we work to achieve the best possible outcome for the family.
If you have additional questions, please go to our website at http://www.lawmed.com and visit our Wrongful Death section. We have placed a large amount of information, videos and resources there to assist families in their time of need.

Wrongful Death CAses- Estate Planning

One of the most important and also confusing issues for families involved with a wrongful death case is setting up an estate. In this video, David Henson talks about this first step to bringing a wrongful death case, including what needs to be done when a loved one dies without a will, and whether you always need to hire a lawyer to set up an estate (surprise answer: not necessarily). Getting control of this very basic concept can give families the space to grieve and get closure during this most difficult time.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

How do I set up an estate in a wrongful death case? Do I need a lawyer to help me?
Hi, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst Attorneys serving all of NC. When a wrongful death occurs and families come to us, they often feel like they have a million questions and no answers. Our goal is to try to answer as many of the legal questions as possible, so that the family can finally focus on coming together and grieving the loss of their loved one. Among the most confusing and stressful legal concepts in wrongful death cases is understanding what a personal representative is and how an estate should be set up.
First, what is a personal representative? A personal representative is someone appointed to handle all of the affairs for the person who died, also called the decedent. That is done by the court, through something called an estate, which is a term used to collectively describe all of a person's property, belongings, and wealth. An estate is usually set up in the county in which the decedent lived. If a person died without a will, then the personal representative is called the Administrator of the Estate. If they died with a valid will, then the personal representative is called an Executor of the Estate.
For those who died without a will, and with only minimal assets and a small number of heirs, then an estate can usually be set up without a lawyer. This is a relatively simple matter that can usually be done in one or two visits to the courthouse. It involves a couple of forms that must be filled out by the personal representative and any family members who would be entitled to receive money from the estate. If you want to have a lawyer to assist, then that is fine, but I have found that, for simple estates, the family can save a lot of money by handling it themselves. You can even download all of the forms in advance from the Wrongful Death page on our website.
Now, if the individual who died had no will but a large amount of assets, or a large number of potential heirs (particularly if those heirs may be prone to disagreeing or fighting over money), then it may be advisable to hire a lawyer to assist in the appointment of the Administrator of the Estate.
If the decedent had a valid written will, then the appropriate documents must be submitted to the court for probate and appointment of an executor of the will. The executor is responsible for handling all matters of the estate. Copies of all of the forms required to open an estate under a will are also available on our website, on the Wrongful Death page.
In the end, the appointment of an administrator or executor of an estate is an important first step to investigating and bringing forward a wrongful death claim. Once appointed by the court, the administrator or executor is given all of the proper legal powers to make decisions on behalf of the estate, and on behalf of all of the heirs, to hire an attorney, and decide what legal courses of action to take.
If you have additional questions, please visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com. This is David Henson with HensonFuerst Attorneys.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

If you are considering filing a wrongful death case after a fatal injury to a family member, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Each case must be filed by a particular deadline, called a statute of limitations, otherwise you could lose the ability to seek compensation for your losses. The actual time limit depends on the very specific details of your case—in some cases, you may have less than two years from the date of the original injury.

In this video, David Henson talks about what you need to know about the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases, including the one most important guideline you cannot ignore.

If you have additional questions about wrongful death, feel free to visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com/, where we have compiled a large amount of information. And don't forget to look at some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst/.

(Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

Hi, this is David Henson, with HensonFuerst Attorneys in North Carolina. I have gotten a number of questions lately from families who were confused about the time limits for making wrongful death claims in NC, and I thought that I would take some time today to try and answer those questions.

When confronted with the sudden or untimely death of a loved one, a family has an overwhelming number of questions, and oftentimes they need real answers in order to achieve closure and come to some level of understanding of what has happened. My role as a lawyer is to answer the legal questions surrounding the death so that the family can make the best possible decisions, and---perhaps more importantly---so that the family can focus on their own grieving and loss, without having to worry about the legal complexities.

Perhaps the most important legal issue in wrongful death cases is the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time deadline—the amount of time in which a wrongful death case must be either filed or resolved. Failure to meet this deadline means that you are barred from bringing any legal claims for wrongful death against the responsible parties.

As a general rule, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in North Carolina is 2 years from the date of injury or death. There are a number of exceptions to this rule, however, so it is very important to talk with an attorney about the details of your case so that a proper statute of limitations can be calculated. This is especially true if your case involves a condition or symptom that took an extended period of time to develop or become known, which could happen in claims involving medical malpractice, products liability, defective products, drug litigation, or toxic chemical exposure. Depending on these and other factors, the time limit could be less than 2 years, or the time limit could be longer, although that's quite rare. You shouldn't assume that you have 2 years or longer to file a claim---each case is different and deadlines must be analyzed individually.

Also, please note---and this is very important---you should not wait until the last moment to contact an attorney to file your wrongful death claim as a lawsuit. Wrongful death cases are very complex, and filing a lawsuit is far more complicated than it seems. A lawyer needs adequate time to research the case, obtain all of the necessary records and documentation, and make a determination of the strengths and weaknesses of the case, which legal claims should be made, which parties to sue, and the proper court to file the case in. In my own office, we will typically not accept a case that has only a short amount of time remaining on the statute of limitations. Our best advice is to contact an experienced North Carolina lawyer as soon as possible, even if all you want to do is gather information.

If you have additional questions, please check out our website at www.lawmed.com and go to our Wrongful Death practice pages. This is David Henson with Henson Fuerst Attorneys.

Burn Injury Losses

Hi, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst Attorneys serving the Carolinas. I recently met with the family of a man who was severely burned by a piece of manufacturing equipment because of shoddy construction. The family had a number of questions about what they might be entitled to try and recover if they were to make a claim against the manufacturer. I thought this might be a good topic to cover today in my weekly video blog in order to help educate others who might be in a similar situation.

Generally, in most burn injury cases you are entitled to recover compensation for:
• medical bills caused by the burn incident,
• lost wages,
• any out-of-pocket expenses that are related to your injuries,
• physical pain and mental suffering,
• permanent disability.

Many serious burn victims are have lasting scarring and disfigurement. Even with the incredible advances in plastic surgery over the last three decades, many burn victims will have some sort of permanent residual scarring . In addition, our burn clients may have unique long-term needs for future surgeries for scar revision. The law allows those future expected medical bills to be included in the damages claimed.

Another common factor in many serious burn injury cases is that the victims are frequently unable to return to the kind of work that they had done before the fire, either because of resulting physical limitations... or because of the emotional scars left behind. Our job as lawyers is to quantify those losses so that our clients can be fairly compensated. That means that we may sometimes need to perform a comprehensive evaluation of our client's future vocational or rehabilitation training needs, in addition to the long-term financial costs. This is done by using a variety of unbiased and impartial experts, including vocational and rehabilitation experts, physical therapists, life care planners, and economists to prove our client's losses.

In the end, our job as burn injury lawyers is to make sure that all of our client's losses are considered by the insurance company, or if a law suit must be file and tried, by the jury.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Burn and Fire Accident Reconstruction

Hi, this is David Henson with Henson Fuerst Attorneys, serving all of the Carolinas. In almost all of our fire and burn injury cases, we hire specialists called Fire Accident Reconstruction Engineers. That is a mouthful, so I thought it might be a good topic to talk about today to explain exactly what they are, and what their role is in a burn injury case. Fire cases can get complicated very quickly, and whether we are evaluating the cause or origin of a fire, or we are investigating the type of injury sustained, fire experts can help us sort through all of the issues involved.
Many people may not realize that burn injuries can be caused by more than just fire flames, although they are the most common source of injury. Burn injury can also be caused by smoke inhalation, toxins, heat, electricity, sunlight, natural gas explosions, chemical fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and cyanide poisoning.
Fire accident reconstruction engineers are independent and unbiased experts who investigate all aspects of serious burn or explosion injuries. These experts are trained to analyze fire-related factors, such as combustibility (how easily something burns), temperature, fire retardancy (how well something resists burning or breaking into flames), flammability (how easily something bursts into flame with minimal ignition), burn rate, fuel coefficients, explosive tendencies, and hazardous chemical reactions. The analysis allows the engineers to prove exactly what happened during a fire or explosion, and can therefore provide testimony regarding how a fire started and burned, which materials caught fire, and why the fire or explosion occurred in the first place.
We decide whether to use a fire accident reconstruction engineer on a case-by-case basis. The decision depends on the likelihood of available insurance coverage, the severity and degree of injuries, and the circumstances and facts surrounding the incident. As the attorneys on the case, our job is to make sure that we have evaluated all facets of the fire or burn in order to be able to explain them to an insurance company or jury.
If you have additional questions regarding fire and burn injury cases, please go to our website at www.lawmed.com. This is David Henson with HensonFuerst Attorneys. If you have questions, we have answers.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Foodborne Illness Lawsuits

Most cases of foorne illness are mild and resolve quickly. But what should you do if your symptoms are more serious, or if they cause long-lasting injury?
In this video, David Henson talks what steps you should take if you suffer serious effects of food poisoning, when hiring a lawyer might be recommended, and how you can improve your chances for a successful lawsuit.

If you have additional questions about foorne illness injuries, feel free to visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com/. And don't forget to look at some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst/.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

Most cases of food-borne illness are mild, resolve quickly, and don't cause long-term problems. But sometimes, food-borne illness can cause serious injuries, long-term physical problems, or even death. In this video, I'll talk about the process of what to do after you get sick after eating contaminated food.

Hi, I'm David Henson. So... what should you do if you think you have been infected with a food-borne pathogen?

First, get medical care. If the diarrhea or vomiting doesn't stop, you run the risk of becoming dangerously dehydrated. If your doctor isn't available, you may need to go to the hospital emergency department. As always, if it's an emergency, call 911.

Second, report the incident to health authorities. Call your State Department of Public Health. (You can find contact information for your state on the website www.foodsafety.gov. Reporting is important so that authorities can investigate the matter and intervene to keep others from being exposed.

Third, document any evidence you have to support your claim. If you still have the packaging of the contaminated product, place it in a safe location where it is protected and cannot be altered. If the illness started after eating at a restaurant, save the receipt to show the date and time of your meal, and write down everything you ate (even if you just picked off someone else's plate). If there are witnesses or others who also became sick, then make a list of their contact information and any details concerning their symptoms. Contamination cases are typically easiest to prove when others who were similarly exposed suffered from the same symptoms and injuries as yours.

Finally, if your symptoms are long-lasting or severe, consider talking with an attorney. These cases are not simple, but as lawyers who regularly handle food-borne illness cases, we know the process. We can investigate to prove your injuries, and to find out who is responsible.

Proving your injuries requires medical documentation. That means getting copies of your medical records and bills, and then talking with your doctors about your illness-related problems. Our goal is to understand exactly what your injuries are, and to determine whether you are likely to have any ongoing or future problems related to your food-borne illness.

Generally, you are entitled to recover compensation for:
Medical bills caused by the food borne illness incident;
Lost wages;
Any out-of-pocket expenses that are related to your injuries;
Physical pain and mental suffering;
Permanent disability.

Our job is to pursue all of the elements of damages that the law allows you to recover.
Once we have proof of your injuries, we work to determine who to make a claim against. Typically, we will evaluate all of the parties who manufactured or handled the product up until the point that you were exposed to it. This may include the provider of raw materials of the product, manufacturers, distributors, markets, and retailers of the product. Our goal is to fairly evaluate at what stage of the process the contamination occurred so that we make legal claims only against those responsible for your illness.

For additional information, visit our website at www.lawmed.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Choosing a Jury in NC

Hi, This is David Henson, of HensonFuerst Attorneys. If you have ever watched Law & Order, you've had a taste of what the process of choosing a jury is like, but the process can be long and confusing, so I thought I'd take some time to talk about how a jury is chosen.

A jury is selected through a multi-step process called Voir Dire. Step 1 begins when you receive a summons for jury duty in the mail. These notifications are sent to residents of the county, chosen by random, who meet the North Carolina juror requirements. Potential jurors:

• must be age 18 or older;
• they must be physically and mentally competent;
• they must be able to hear and understand the English language;
• they must not have been convicted of a felony, or pleaded guilty to a felony (or had their citizenship restored)

That's it! The pool of potential jurors will likely reflect the demographics of your county, with a broad mix of people from all different social, economic, racial, religious, age, sexual orientation, employment and educational backgrounds.

The second part of the voir dire process involves choosing 12 jurors from the group of people who reported for jury duty. Although judges can handle the process however they wish, typically, 12 people at a time are called to the jury box for questioning. Through a combination of written and oral questions from the judge and the lawyers, jurors are interviewed to determine whether they can be fair and impartial. Jurors are usually asked about their background, beliefs and thoughts about the issues in the case, and whether they know any of the lawyers, the plaintiff, or the defendant.

After the questioning, potential jurors are either chosen for the jury or released. This part of the process is part logic, and part legal strategy. If a judge determines that a potential juror is not likely be fair to both sides of the case, then the juror will be excused 'for cause'. In addition, if either of the lawyers or their clients decide that they don't want a particular juror on the jury panel, for any reason, then they are allowed to make a 'peremptory challenge', which dismisses that juror from the case. Each side is allowed 8 peremptory challenges, which allows them to excuse up to 8 jurors for any, or no, reason at all.

Once the final 12 people are selected, then the jury is "empanelled," which means that these 12 jurors are given the legal right to determine the outcome of the case for both sides. In North Carolina, all injury and wrongful death cases must be a unanimous verdict, which means that all 12 jurors must reach agreement about all of the issues in the case, and also about the amount of damages to award.

Trial by jury in North Carolina is a fundamental right for all of our citizens. While many people view jury duty as an inconvenience and hassle to their already busy lives, it is important to remember that we all depend on the legal system for help whenever there is a dispute. It is our civic duty, and an honor, to participate in the jury process in a fair and impartial way.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Foodborne Illnesses and the Law

Most cases of foorne illness are mild and resolve in a day or two. However, sometimes the effects are more serious and can cause long-lasting injury.
In this video, David Henson talks about the most dangerous types of foorne illness, and how HensonFuerst Attorneys can help if you have been the victim of food toxins.

If you have additional questions about foorne illness injuries, feel free to visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com/. And don't forget to look at some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst/.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)


There are lots of different ways you can get sick from food-borne toxins, but there are a few illnesses are so serious that they can cause long-term problems, or even death. The ugliest, most dangerous bugs that cause food-borne illness are:
Campylobacter is a bacterium that causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. This pathogen is spread through eating raw or undercooked chicken, or other foods that have been cross-contaminated with raw chicken.
Salmonella is also a bacterium, and it causes a disease called salmonellosis, which causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, it can also cause life-threatening infection, particularly among people with compromised immune systems.
E. coli O157:H7, more commonly called simply "E-coli." These bacteria are found in cow feces, and any illness in people is results from ingesting food or water contaminated with microscopic amounts of dung. Disgusting, right? This infection typically causes severe and bloody diarrhea, and painful abdominal cramps, but without much fever. In a small percentage of people, the initial symptoms are followed by a severe disease called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause anemia, profuse bleeding, and kidney failure.
Norovirus, or Norwalk-like virus, is extremely common—it causes most cases of what people call "stomach flu." The virus causes acute gastrointestinal illness, with severe vomiting, that resolves within two days. This virus spreads easily from person to person, which is why outbreaks tend to occur in "closed population" settings, such as schools and child care facilities, nursing homes, dormitories, and cruise ships.
After you eat a microbe-infested meal, there is a delay, or "incubation period," before the symptoms begin. This delay ranges from hours to days, depending on the organism, and on how many microbes were swallowed. Many organisms cause similar symptoms, most commonly diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea. There is so much overlap that it is rarely possible to say which microbe caused your illness unless laboratory tests are done, or unless the illness is part of a recognized outbreak.
Now that I've scared you, what should you do? First, make sure you get all the medical care you need. Second, report the incident to public health authorities so the illness can be investigated. (Go to www.foodsafety.gov for state contact information. Third, collect and save evidence—that might mean packaging from the food you believe made you ill, receipts from a restaurant meal, names and contact information of witnesses, or anything else that supports your claim. Also, write down information about your illness while your memory is fresh. Include the date your symptoms began, what your symptoms felt like, days taken off work, and any other way the illness affected your life. Finally, if your injuries are severe or long-lasting, contact HensonFuerst Attorneys. Our experienced food-borne illness lawyers are here to listen, and to help determine what rights and obligations you have.

Can I sue the Insurance Company in NC?

Taking a lawsuit to court is full legal complexities. In this video, HensonFuerst managing partner David Henson discusses one of the most unfair legal rules in the North Carolina system. Even though North Carolina requires all drivers to carry insurance, a jury in a motor vehicle wreck case cannot know that an insurance company covered the at-fault driver. Watch this video to learn more about this strange legal rule.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)

In the event of a car wreck, drivers in North Carolina are protected by their insurance company, which handles claims against them up to the amount of insurance coverage purchased. This means that if you're in a wreck, the insurance company is supposed to negotiate claims on your behalf in good faith. If they fail, meaning that the claim isn't settled and a lawsuit is filed, then the insurance company must hire an attorney to represent you, to the extent of the insurance coverage that you bought. This is where it gets tricky, however.
In a traditional automobile wreck case, your legal claim is technically against the at-fault driver, not their insurance company (even though their insurance company has a legal obligation to handle it for them). If the insurance company won't pay the fair value of your case, then you are only allowed to sue the at-fault driver. You cannot sue the insurance company, even though you would like to, or if it seems logical, or even if they have not negotiated your case fairly or in good faith.
That's why, if a lawsuit is filed, the caption of the complaint will read "John Smith, plaintiff v. Bob Jones , defendant." Nowhere in the complaint will Allstate, Nationwide, Geico or any other insurance carrier be named or referenced.
Even more frustrating is that, during the trial of your lawsuit, the identity of the automobile insurance company cannot ever be mentioned in front of the jury. Even though the insurance company is paying for the defendant's lawyer, even though there might be an insurance adjuster sitting in the courtroom, and even though the insurance company will have to pay the award that the jury makes, there can be NO MENTION of the insurance company. At the end of the trial, the jury will be asked how much is "Bob Jones, Defendant" obligated to pay to "John Smith, Plaintiff" as a result of the automobile wreck...NOT how much will the insurance company pay.
If even the existence of automobile insurance comes out during the trial and the jury hears it, then there is legal ground for a mistrial, which means that the trial will have to start over again with a new jury .
This among the most frustrating and unfair laws in North Carolina. Juries are confused when insurance isn't mentioned in trial, especially because they know that we're all required to carry automobile insurance. As a lawyer, I have seen countless cases where a jury makes an award believing that the judgment will have to be paid by the defendant personally, rather than by an insurance company who is in the business to do this. As a result, the award is often unfairly low for the types of injuries they are meant to compensate.
We believe that insurance companies should be held accountable for the way that they treat injured people, and for they way they deny claims without regard to fairness or what is morally right.

Process of Filing a Lawsuit

We talk a lot about filing a lawsuit, but what does that really mean? What's the process?

Hi, I'm David Henson, Managing partner with HensonFuerst Attorneys. Once the decision is made to file suit in your automobile wreck or other personal injury case, your lawyer leaps into action.

The first major step is to research the applicable laws as they relate to the specific facts of your case. Then, we draft the lawsuit paperwork, which is called the "complaint." After the complaint is filed at the courthouse, the court issues official notices of the lawsuit, called "summonses." These summonses and the complaint are sent to the sheriff, who delivers them to the defendants. This part of process, from filing suit to serving the defendants, takes about two to three weeks to complete.

Defendants then have thirty days to file an answer to the complaint, although this is usually extended to sixty days by the defendants' attorney.

Once the answer is filed, the next step is called "discovery," which is where each side gets to learn (or "discover") all of the basic facts of the case. There are typically two parts of discovery: written and oral. Written discovery involves the exchange of written questions known as "interrogatories." The defense lawyer will send us written questions regarding how the accident occurred, your previous medical history, and your injuries. We also send similar written interrogatories, asking the other parties questions about how the accident happened, eyewitnesses, defenses they may have, etc. Each side has thirty days to answer those interrogatories, but, again, this is usually extended to sixty days.

After the written discovery, the next step is "oral discovery," when lawyers get to ask questions in person. The lawyers for both sides gather with the plaintiff and defendants to take "depositions," which are sworn statements, questions answered under oath and then typed into a transcript. We always advise our clients in detail about what to expect during a deposition so they are not taken by surprise during the questioning.

Once depositions are completed, the next step is usually "mediation," which is a court-ordered process to see if there is any way to avoid going to court. A specially trained mediator works with both sides to open lines of communication and facilitate settlement discussions with the hope that the parties can resolve case on their own. The mediator does not make any binding decisions, but simply determines if there is any room for negotiations within the context of the lawsuit. A great number of cases settle at mediation.

If mediation doesn't work for your case, then we proceed with the case by picking a trial date, and conducting depositions of witnesses, your treating physicians, and any other people who might have relevant information. Once we have all that information, we can complete preparations to have your case heard in a trial before a judge and a jury.

We tell clients to expect a one-and-a-half to two-year period from the date they file suit until their case goes to trial. Although the attorneys at HensonFuerst try to move each case as quickly as possible, unfortunately, the legal system in North Carolina is complicated, with intricate rules and requirements that keep cases moving slow as molasses. As your attorneys, our job is to move your case as swiftly as possible, while also building your case as strong as possible so that you stand the best chance of being fully compensated for your injuries.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Billed v. Paid Law Change in NC

October 1, 2011 marked a major change in the way injury compensation is calculated in the state of North Carolina. In short, thanks to legislation called "Billed versus Paid," plaintiffs can expect to recover LESS for their injuries than they could before the change. Who stands to make more money than before? Insurance companies, of course.

This is a complex piece of legislation that has ramifications for just about everyone who wants to file an injury lawsuit in North Carolina. In this video, HensonFuerst managing partner David Henson discusses the new law, how it affects compensation, and what you need to know before filing an injury lawsuit. If you are considering taking legal action, then this video is a must-see.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Court Exhibits

Hi, this is David Henson with HensonFuerst Attorneys. Our firm was preparing for trial recently, and a client asked about court room exhibits, what they are, and how we decide which ones to use. I thought that was an interesting question, and figured it would be something fun to talk about in a video. Trial exhibits can be plane jane and simple, or they can be exciting and interesting (well, maybe to just a lawyer, but you get my drift).
First, what is an "exhibit"? An exhibit is a document or object that is used in court to prove your case to a judge or a jury. It can be a paper document, a video, a model, or practically anything that would help a jury decide a case fairly.
The most basic of exhibits are paper documents. For example, exhibits might include a client's set of medical records and bills, or a police report documenting a car wreck. Sometimes we may present the document as just a single 8x11 page, or as part of a group of documents in a notebook. Other times, we may present the exhibit it as a huge blow-up so that everyone in the courtroom can see it
An exhibit might also be a photograph or video, which might document the scene of a car wreck, or a set of injuries.
Alternatively, a court exhibit might be an anatomical model of the body. We use these in conjunction with the testimony of doctors to demonstrate to a jury how a joint in the body works, what the parts of the body are, or how a surgical procedure is done.
An exhibit may also be the actual equipment used in an examination or surgical procedure. For example, this is a rod that was inserted into a client's leg after she fractured her femur.
Similarly, we may use a model of bone, this particular one is called a "Saw Bone." These are designed so that the bones can be fractured in the same way that a bone was broken in a wreck. You have all heard the adage of "A picture speaks a thousand words" and these saw bones do that for me. There is no doubt that this fracture was painful.
In other videos we have talked a lot about the importance of accident reconstruction engineers, experts hired by lawyers to help figure out what really happened during the event that caused an injury. Those engineers often make video recreations like this one which shows happened during a wreck, to help the jury visualize exactly what happened.
Similarly, we also can use computer-generated animations of injuries and surgical procedures of our clients, like the one playing now.
At the end of the day, our job as lawyers is to ensure that we have communicated our client's case to the jury in the most effective way possible. At HensonFuerst Attorneys, we devote significant time and money to thinking through and investing in the proper exhibits that will best explain our client's injuries. That, in our opinion, is what separates an average firm from the leaders in the courtroom.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit is an important decision, because it's not a quick process, it's not an easy process, and it's not a cheap process. So before we file any lawsuit, we obviously want to collect all the data and all the information necessary to make sure that it is going to be an endeavor that you wanna go through, because filing a lawsuit, as I said, takes a lot of your time. Obviously, we try to get cases resolved if we can before we ever file a lawsuit. We try to deal with the insurance company, see if we can come to a resolution that both you are happy with and that the insurance company is somewhat happy with so that you don't have to go through that process. However, as we know, you're not always able to agree or reach an agreement with the insurance company, so that's the next step in the process is getting your case ready for filing of the lawsuit. The first thing we do is we try to send all of your medical records, your medical bills and other information about the losses that you incurred as a result of a wreck. But if the insurance company is not reasonable, if they don't want to pay you what they should to fairly compensate you for what you've been through, then that's when we talk about filing a lawsuit so that we can force their hand, make them do the right thing.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Burn Injuries and Fire Reconstruction

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse can make the difference between your loved one's suffering and well being.

[Common Signs and Symptoms]
Some common signs of nursing home abuse are indicated by physical symptoms, destruction of personal items, or poor facility condition.

[Physical Symptoms]
Look out for physical signs, such as abnormally pale complexion; bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints; excessive and sudden weight loss; unattended health problems; and untreated bedsores, wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts.

Any of these signs usually indicate nursing home negligence.

[Hygiene and Cleanliness]
You should also look out for signs of poor hygiene and cleanliness, such as fleas, lice, or dirt on resident or in resident's room; torn clothing or broken personal items; and unpleasant odors.

These may also indicate nursing home negligence.

[Take Action.]
If you suspect that your family member is the victim of nursing home abuse, take action. The North Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys at HensonFuerst can help.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

Roadway Defects Cases

Roadway Defects

[What Is a Roadway Defect Claim?]
A person involved in an auto accident that was caused as the result of a poorly designed, maintained, or repaired road may be able to take legal action for his or her injuries. Roadway defects include defective guardrails, poor placement of construction barriers, and shoulder drop-offs.

[Hydroplaning]
In some instances, hydroplaning also may be considered a roadway defect. Hydroplaning occurs when a driver loses control of his vehicle as a result of a large amount of water, oil, or other liquid substance on the road. If the roadway doesn't allow for proper water flow, it could be considered a design defect.

[Who Is Responsible?]
The Department of Transportation has established safety guidelines for street design and roadway construction. If those responsible for the design, construction, or maintenance of the road—such as architects, engineers, construction companies, paving companies, contractors, and even the state of North Carolina—fail to adhere to those rules, they should be held accountable.

[What Caused Your Accident?]
At HensonFuerst, we'll investigate all the details of your claim to determine the exact cause of your accident. If you have questions, we have answers. Give us a call now.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

How to chose a good nursing home

How to Choose a Good Nursing Home

One of my jobs with HensonFuerst is protecting the rights and privileges of people living in nursing homes and ensuring their human dignity. Sometimes that means filing a lawsuit against nursing homes and taking them to court when necessary.

[5-Star Quality Rating System]
Of course, there are some nursing homes that provide good—even excellent care—but there are also many that provide poor care. To help you find the good ones, the federal government recently created a 5-Star Quality Rating System.

This rating system was developed to help consumers, their families, and care givers compare nursing homes and find homes that can best meet their needs.

[How They Score]
Nursing home ratings are based on three sources of data:

• First, health inspections performed by the government.
• Second, facility staffing, which is how many nurses and certified nursing assistants—or CNA's—the facility has taking care of residents.
• And, third, quality measures, which measure the level of quality care the nursing home provides to its residents.

[Star Rating]
The federal government provides a star rating for each of these three areas. Those three ratings are combined to calculate an overall rating. A one-star is the worst rating—you should stay away from those homes. A five-star is the best rating—those are typically very good nursing homes.

[Do Your Own Research.]
Besides star ratings, we advise those considering a nursing home to begin with doing their own research. There is no better place to begin then finding out how many stars the facility you are considering has.

You can find ratings on Medicare's website at medicare-dot-gov under the resources locator tab, or you can also find a link to ratings on the HensonFuerst website on the nursing home resources page.

[Trust Your Instincts.]
Now, equally important to looking at the star rating, it's important to trust your instincts. Go to the facility that you are considering, unannounced, and walk-in the front door.

• What does it look like?
• What does it smell like?
• Is it clean?
• Is it free of odors or do you smell urine?
• Are the furnishings neat and modern or are they stained?
• Are you quickly greeted by a staff member who is friendly and anxious to help or are you made to feel like a bothersome intruder?

[Ask Questions.]
Ask the staff about their resources:

• How many nurses are working at any one time?
• How many residents does one CNA have to take care of on a shift?

Ask about the activities for the residents:

• What do they do during the day?
• Do the just sit in their rooms or in hallways and stare at each other, or do they have activities to keep them busy?

[Check the Menu.]
Look at the facility's menu for the month and see what the residents have to eat. Then, look at the food and the trays.

• Is the food hot?
• Does it look edible?
• Would you want your loved one eating that?

Use your common sense.

[We Have Answers.]
Finding a good nursing home for your loved one is an important decision. And remember, if you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

Truck Accident Lawyers- What do they do?

Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

[Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer]
When you've been involved in a truck accident, you don't want just any lawyer. You need a lawyer that knows how to act fast. At HensonFuerst, we work immediately, preserving evidence from the crash scene, and calculating the injuries you've suffered so you can get the medical treatment you need.

[Gathering Pertinent Evidence]
We realize how important it is to take immediate action. We work quickly to visit the scene of the accident to take photographs and video of any evidence, such as debris and gouge marks on the pavement. We also make note of traffic flow, lane configurations, visual obstructions, and signal patterns—all things that can factor into the cause of your truck accident.

[Working with Specialists]
Our North Carolina truck accident attorneys often work with accident reconstruction engineers who are trained to investigate black box data, collect testimonies from witnesses, and analyze skid marks on the road, to recreate the accident scene. Their analysis and expert testimony about what caused the accident and how it occurred can be vital to your case.

[Understanding Truck Regulations]
In addition to knowing how to investigate the accident, you need a lawyer who understands the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rules and regulations that truck drivers must follow. At HensonFuerst, we'll gather: hours of service records and log book, repair and maintenance records for the truck, driver qualifications, trailer weight, post accident drug and alcohol test results, and more.

[Knowing Your Injuries]
Securing all of this information is imperative for building your case, but so is understanding the injuries you've suffered. As your law firm, it's our job to help you assess the medical treatment you need now and in the future, so we can determine the compensation you'll need to cover these expenses.

[Getting a Fair Settlement]
The last thing you need after an accident is a fight with the insurance company. You need to focus on your recovery, and you deserve a fair settlement. Hiring a truck accident lawyer who knows that truck accident cases should be handled differently than other vehicle accidents can improve your chances of getting the compensation you're owed.

If you have questions about your truck accident claim, HensonFuerst has answers.


Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

Workers' Compensation in North Carolina

Workers' Compensation in North Carolina

[What Is Workers' Compensation?]
In North Carolina, most businesses with more than three employees are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. In the event that an employee is injured or killed while on the job, workers' compensation will cover the expenses of certain benefits, including all medical treatment related to the injury, partial lost wages, on-going or future injury-related medical expenses, and compensation for permanent injuries.

[What's Not Covered?]
By law, workers' compensation is required to cover those medical expenses; however, workers' compensation will not pay for pain and suffering. Also, you should know that your employer is not required to keep a job for you when you're able to return to work, and the insurance company is allowed to choose the medical provider you visit when you've been injured.

[How Are Workers' Compensation Claims Different?]
Different from most personal injury cases, a lawsuit can't be filed for workers' compensation cases and a jury will not be involved when determining the amount of benefits you'll receive.

Workers' compensation is an administrative-based system and can be difficult to understand. That's why it is important to keep track of all your paperwork, medical records, and deadlines; otherwise, your claim can easily be shuffled back and forth in the system.

[HensonFuerst Has Answers.]
Remember, you don't have to deal with the insurance company alone. If you have questions about your on-the-job injury, the North Carolina workers' compensation attorneys at HensonFuerst have answers.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

Defective Product Deadlines

Defective Product Deadlines

[Deadlines for Legal Action]
In a defective product claim, there are two time limits that can either allow or prevent you from pursuing legal action—the statute of limitations and statute of repose.

[Statute of Limitations]
By North Carolina law, a person must file a personal injury claim within three years from the date of the injury—this is known as the Statute of Limitations. If the accident resulted in a death, the statute of limitations is two years. These deadlines apply to any type of personal injury case.

[Statute of Repose]
For defective product claims, you also must meet the statute of repose. This statute requires a personal injury claim to be filed or resolved within twelve years from the date of sale of the product, unless the defective product involves real estate—these cases have a six-year statute of repose.

[Out-of-State Products]
It's important to understand that these deadlines are broad rules for the state of North Carolina. If you were injured by a product that was manufactured or purchased in another state, these time limits could be affected and different limitations may apply to your case.

[Professional Legal Help]
The North Caroline defective product lawyers at HensonFuerst can help you determine the time restrictions surrounding your case. If you have questions, we have answers. Give us a call today; we're here to help.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

What questions should you ask when hiring an attorney?

DAVID HENSON: I think for a client coming in and interviewing the firm and trying to make a decision as to whether they should hire that firm, the question I would ask them is, do you have the financial resources as a firm to make sure that my case is handled in the best possible way and that decisions aren't made because of fear of resources and financial resources? Because in today's world, you know, a complicated, catastrophic injury case, or malpractice case, or nursing home case, or products liability case, you know, let's be honest, they're very, very expensive. We're talking about large amounts of resources and monies that have to be invested in a case. And you know, we fortunately are lucky enough that we're in a position where we can make the best decisions for our client's case without real regard to what it's going to cost to take on Goliath.

BOB FUERST: And I think another thing you can ask is, have you tried cases like this, and what kind of success have you have? That's important, because we have actually had cases like that. We're taking a case, we have had a case like that. This is not something new to this office. Now, personal injury cases aren't new, malpractice cases aren't new, nursing home cases. We have a large practice and we've done those cases over and over again and we have experience in those areas.

TOM HENSON: I think another aspect too that needs to be addressed is that it sounds like we take every case that comes in, and we don't. And you have to trust your lawyer, but we also have to trust our client. We have to believe that that client's case is something that is worthwhile. So while we are there for your help, we also are very careful to make sure that we have good clients.

DAVID HENSON: And there are some times we meet with a client and listen to the client's situation and tell them, I don't think you need a lawyer. You can handle this on your own and here's how to do it. And I think a very important role for a lawyer is to first, listen to what the client's needs are, but then be honest with the client. I think it's important for us to listen to our clients, but also make sure that they feel a connection with us, because most cases do take a long time. This is a longer process and so you have to have a positive relationship with your lawyer and with the client.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal
advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst
directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

Nursing Home Litigation Basics

I think some lawyers look at nursing home litigation as just another form of injury. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nursing home litigation is very complex and it requires a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge about how the geriatric population is affected by certain medical conditions, but also how they're affected by the institutional aspects of being in a nursing home, what the staffing levels are of the facility, are the corporate owners of the facility spending enough money on the therapies and the other services that they're supposed to provide in order for the patient to be getting what they need. If a family member suspects abuse and neglect and if the incident of the neglect is not too significant, you need to talk to the people there. Use your common sense and try to work out a deal. If there are more bothersome things going on, if there are a lot of falls, if somebody has fallen out of bed, or fallen in the bathroom and suffered a fractured hip, if a person is getting pressure ulcers because they're not being turned and repositioned, if a person does not get the right medication at the right time and the right dose, those are all concerns that are significant and may warrant a higher level of investigation, such as calling the department of health and human services who can investigate the facility to try and figure out what's going on there and see if there's a problem that can be resolved. But a lot of times, the only answer and the only way for the family to get answers as to what happened is to hire a lawyer who can dig into that kind of thing. An experienced lawyer in nursing home litigation is gonna know how the facility operates, what's driving them financially, and ultimately, most importantly, how does that financial motivation impact patient care, because that's where we need to draw the line.

Videos found on this and other websites associated with the law
offices of HensonFuerst are for general information only and are
designed solely for the promotion and discussion of relevant legal
issues in North Carolina.
They present information that may be helpful to the general public
but are in no way intended to create a standard of care, establish an
attorney-client relationship, or provide specific legal advice.
Individual situations and circumstances demand individual treatment. For legal
advice on a particular issue or concern, please contact HensonFuerst
directly at (800) 4-Law-Med Principle Office of Henson & Fuerst P.A., 2501 Blue Ridge Road,
Raleigh, NC 27607

Taser Injuries

Hi, I’m David Henson, managing partner with HensonFuerst Attorneys.
When a Taser is fired, it shoots electrical barbs to a distance of 15 to 35 feet, depending on the model. The barbs lodge in the target's clothing and skin, and deliver enough electrical voltage to temporarily disable a person, knock them off their feet, and put them in a daze. When used for self-defense, the effects can disable a bad guy long enough for a person to run to safety. When used by law enforcement, Tasers and other ECDs are a valuable alternative to firearms.

Problems can happen however when Tasers are abused or used inappropriately—problems such as serious as irregular heart rhythms, and even death. Scientific research has demonstrated that the electrical charge delivered by Tasers can stop the heart and cause sudden death. Medical experts have acknowledged that the risk of sudden death from Tasers is no longer arguable, that it is a scientific fact. So the question now becomes how to manage that risk.

Some guidelines are already in place. The Taser manufacturer provides warnings about hazardous situations that could result in death or serious injury. These include:
----Repeated, continuous, or simultaneous Taser hits.
----Sending Taser hits to sensitive and vulnerable body parts, including the head, throat, neck, and chest.
----Causing a fatal fall or incapacitation as the result of the electrical jolt. This means that it is dangerous to shoot a Taser at a person who is on a ledge, ladder, balcony, stair, or other high location… or a person who could fall on a sharp object on the ground… or a person who is on a vehicle, such as a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or motorcycle.
----Tasering a person who is standing in water.
----Tasering people at high risk of injury, which includes people who are elderly, infirm, pregnant, or under 100 pounds.

Despite these warnings, abuses have happened…and continue to happen, sometimes with tragic outcomes. All of us at HensonFuerst Attorneys support the hardworking people in law enforcement, but anyone who uses these potentially lethal weapons with disregard for the safety of the target should be held accountable.

To learn more about how HensonFuerst Attorneys are investigating Taser and ECD injuries, visit our dedicated webpage at http://www.lawmed.com/taserguninjury/.

This is David Henson of HensonFuerst Attorneys. If you have questions, we have answers.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Land Condemnation Basics

In this video, HensonFuerst managing partner David Henson discusses eminent domain and land condemnation—what they are, who can claim rights to your land, whether you need an attorney, and what you should do if you receive a letter of condemnation.

For more information about legal issues, please visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com/. And don't forget to watch some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst/.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)


My grandfather used to say that the two best investments in life are education and property, because once you have them, no one can take them away. Nice idea, but it's only half true. In cases, a company or even the government can claim "eminent domain" and begin the process of "land condemnation" that would allow them to take your property away.

Hi, I'm David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, serving all of North Carolina. Whether you just bought a plot of land a few years ago, or your family has lived in the same home for more than 60 years, having your property taken can be traumatic and heartbreaking. It is painful to watch something you've built disappear...the place where you raised your children, the land you thought would be in the family for generations.

The process is called "land condemnation," which sounds as if there is something wrong with your house or land, but it's just a legal term that means that some organization has the right to seize your property. Land taken must be used for some public good, which can include building a road, laying utilities, building or expanding a hospital, erecting a cell phone tower, or any number of other uses.

Who can condemn your property? Federal, state, county, and city governments, and even private businesses, as long as they are able to show that the seizure is for a public purpose. Among the groups that commonly condemn property in North Carolina are the Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the Department of Administration, cell phone and telephone companies, pipeline construction companies, railroads, utility companies, hospital and housing authorities, and mosquito control and sanitary districts.

When you're fighting huge entities like these, it is easy to lose hope. But if your property is condemned, you still have rights. You may not be able to save your land, but you can take steps to get the best compensation possible.

The first step is to contact an experienced North Carolina land condemnation attorney as soon as possible after you are contacted by the government or corporation with an offer to buy your land. Do not talk with anyone over the phone, and do not make a counteroffer, even if it is just "feel them out." Every word you speak could be legally binding...and you don't want to give away your rights with a casual comment.

Legally, your land may only be taken from you for public or commercial use if the purpose of the property taking is to benefit the public. The first thing a land condemnation attorney will do is determine whether the condemnation will truly serve a public purpose, or if the condemnation is frivolous. If it is frivolous, an attorney can help you fight to keep your land. And if the condemnation cannot be prevented, an attorney can work to ensure that you are paid just compensation for your property. In addition, you may be able to recover moving expenses.

If you receive a notice of condemnation, it's imperative that you seek legal help immediately—the sooner the better. There are time limits for when you must take legal action. Depending on what entity is condemning your land, the time limit may be as little as 120 days, after which you could lose your right to challenge the condemnation or to receive the full amount of compensation you're entitled to. Plus, many attorneys—including my firm—practice law on a contingency fee basis. That means you don't owe us any attorney's fees unless we win. So it won't cost you a dime to seek out legal advice and protect your interests.

Land condemnation cases are complicated, and the stakes are high. You need experienced legal help on your side. If you have questions about land condemnation, feel free to call us at 1-800-4-LAWMED , or visit our website at www.LawMed.com/landcondemnation/. The condemnors won't wait...life doesn't wait...call HensonFuerst.

*** Principal Office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 ***

Inversre Land Condemnation

David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, discusses inverse condemnation—a type of lawsuit you can file if you believe the government, a corporation, or other entity has devalued your property.

For more information about legal issues, please visit our website at http://www.lawmed.com/. And don't forget to watch some of our other videos at http://www.youtube.com/hensonfuerst/.

(Principal office of Henson & Fuerst, PA: 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607)


When you bought your home, what attracted you to that property? Was it the peaceful setting on a quiet street...or the inspirational view from your backyard...or the beauty of the horses and crystal-clear stream on your neighbor's farm?

Well, what if everything that made your property special and desirable suddenly turned into a highway...or giant parking lot...or other eyesore? What would you do? Or, more importantly, what COULD you do?

Hi, I'm David Henson, managing partner of HensonFuerst Attorneys, serving all of North Carolina.
If you saw our video about land condemnation, then you know that if a government agency or other organization wants to take your property for what they call "the public good," they can file a land condemnation suit. But what if the property they take isn't yours, but your neighbor's, but your property is harmed or diminished in the process? In that case, you can bring your own lawsuit, an action called "Inverse Condemnation." Instead of the organization suing YOU for the right to use your land, YOU sue THEM for "taking" your land without permission or compensation. They don't even have to physically be on your land—you can file an inverse condemnation suit for losses due to a highway being built in front of your house, or if a manufacturing plant pollutes the stream that runs through your property, or if your land is made infertile due to flooding or chemical run-off.

If the government or some organization plans to take your property and bring a land condemnation action, you will be served an official complaint or declaration telling you so. In that case, you don't need to file an inverse condemnation suit, but you still need a lawyer to help you win proper compensation. HOWEVER, if your property has been taken or damaged—or if it is in the process of being damaged—and you have NOT been served an official declaration of land condemnation, you have the right to file an action for inverse condemnation. But be aware that there are deadlines: You must file an inverse condemnation complaint within 24 months of the date your property was taken, or 24 months from the time the project that took your property was completed, whichever is later. Don't delay—inverse condemnation cases require a great deal of time to research the scope of the project, determine the repercussions, and estimate how much money you will lose due to the damage to your property.

If you believe that your property has been unjustly taken or damaged or devalued, talk with an attorney who understands the intricacies of inverse condemnation as soon as possible. At HensonFuerst, we handle land condemnation and inverse condemnation cases on a contingency basis, which means that you don't pay us any attorney's fees unless we win your lawsuit for you. Come talk with us about your concerns, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us anytime at 1-800-4-LAWMED, or visit our website at lawmed.com/LandCondemnation for more information.

This is David Henson, with HensonFuerst Attorneys. Life Doesn't Wait, and neither will the government. Call us today.




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