Archive for March, 2018

Hit and Run DUI Accidents

Pedestrian Killed During DUI Hit and Run Accident

Spartanburg and Greenville DUI Accident Hit and Run Lawyer

According to WYFF.com, “charges were upgraded Friday afternoon for the man troopers say caused a series of crashes on Interstate 26 that left an elderly man dead and five others injured. The Spartanburg County coroner said Donald Ray Bain, 80, of Spartanburg, died as a result of one of the crashes.  Our thoughts are with the family of Donald Ray Bain during this time”.

Personal Injury Claims from Hit and Run Death Claim

These cases get quite complicated quickly. Multiple claims can come out of one accident. Obviously, the driver of a DUI hit and run accident can be charged criminally but what can the family of the injured or dead due to be compensated for their loss?

South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit

South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-51-10  defines a “wrongful death” as a death that is caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another leading to the death. In short, this statute allows the family of the person killed to step into the shows of their lost relative and bring a claim for the death of their loved one.

South Carolina Survival Action Lawsuit

Many times in serious personal injury cases a person is injured and ultimately passes away. Sometimes this death is not right away. If the injured persons survives for a period of time then they may also have a survival action claim.

South Carolina’s survival action statute, Section 15-5-90, allows a person who has been injured, but doesn’t die right away, to recover for damages incurred during the time between the accident and the person’s death which means that person can recover for the conscious pain and suffering before they pass away.

Dram Shop Lawsuit – Bar Restaurant Liability in Drunk Driving Accident

In the case reported by WYFF, it is alleged that the driver of the vehicle was charged with Felony DUI meaning that it is believed he was drunk at the time of the car accident. If this is the case, then it is important to trace back where the person was drinking prior to the accident.  South Carolina allows for recovery of damages if a bar or restaurant over-served the person before an accident which is known as a South Carolina Dram Shop action.

Serious Injuries Need Serious Lawyers

In a case where multiple personal injury claims or death claims could arise, it is important for the injured or the family to select a lawyer that best suits their needs and is willing to work the file to track all potential sources of recovery. It is important to research that lawyer and decide if that lawyer is what the injured wants and needs.  From there, some lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss a wrongful death accident claim or other injury.  At Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC we offer free consultations on injury cases. Why not schedule a free consultation now so you can know your rights?

We proudly serve all of South Carolina with a focus on Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Lexington and the surrounding areas.

 

Can I file a Workers’ Comp Claim if I was at Fault?

Greenville and Columbia Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Fault doesn’t Matter  in Workers’ Comp

I used to represent insurance carriers and now I represent injured people all over the State of South Carolina.  One of the main questions I receive in a workers’ compensation claim is whether or not the injured worker can file a work comp claim if it was the employee’s fault. The other question is whether or not an injured worker can “sue” their employer because it was the employer’s fault for the injury. The short answer is that an insurance company  cannot deny your claim if the accident is your fault and you cannot sue your employer if it was their  fault.  The South Carolina Workers’ Comp system is a “no fault” system.

A “No Fault System” means whether the accident was due to an accident or due to an actual violation of a work safety rule it is still a compensable (work related) accident under the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act. The fault of an injured worker should have no bearing on the right to benefits. See the case of   Jones v. Harold Arnold’s Sentry Buick, 376 S.C. 375, 656 S.E.2d 772 (S.C. App. 2008).  Like every rule there are some exceptions: horseplay, substantial deviation, fighting, intentional injury, etc.

My Comp Case is Denied- Why?

Sometimes there really is not clear answer. We have clients that come to us with a  denied case with and without reason.  Generally speaking a work injury should be covered if it was in the scope of employment and in furtherance of company business.  Sometimes preexisting conditions are denied until a doctor says there was an aggravation. Sometimes work comp claims are denied “in order to investigate”.  And sometimes they are denied for no reason whatsoever.

An  Injury Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer that knows the South Carolina Workers Comp’  Act can assist you to make sure you get medical care, weekly wage benefits and possibly a  settlement at the end. Injury lawyers work on a contingency fee which  means if you don’t win your case and get money at the end then you wont owe them an attorney fee.  Why would you not take advantage of a workers comp free consultation?  Who is protecting you?

Passenger in Car Accident Rights

Passenger Rights in A Car Accident

WISTV.com in Columbia, SC is reporting that the South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly car accident crash on Interstate 26 near the Broad River Road exit in Richland County. Initial reports are that a driver of a motor vehicle was traveling eastbound when he/she over corrected and went off the roadway hitting several trees.  The passenger died on the scene.

Passengers Can Have Multiple Injury Claims

Sometimes in a South Carolina car accident where there are two or more cars involved in an accident then multiple drivers can share in the fault of the accident. One driver may be 30% at fault and the other 70% at fault.  If that is the case then a passenger could have claims against all drivers that had fault in the accident.  Passengers are generally innocent bystanders so to speak and blame is not assigned to them for the cause of the accident.   This is important because South Carolina has fairly low minimum level of insurance requirements.

What is the Required Amount of Insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina law requires that drivers maintain a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage in case of a car wreck. This means that if you are hurt there “should” be at least $25,000 on the at fault driver’s car.  When we are talking about paying medical bills this $25,000 can go quickly. If a passenger can file claims against multiple at fault drivers then the passenger may be able to have multiple insurance policies cover the injuries from the South Carolina car accident.

How to I Protect my Rights After a Car Crash?

Many personal injury lawyers offer free consultations to go over a persons rights following a Columbia or Greenville car accident.  What do you have to lose by at least speaking with someone to find out if you need a lawyer? Many lawyers, including this firm, will tell you whether or not it is worth your time to hire a lawyer to assist you.  Lawyers don’t get paid unless they recover money for you so it is usually in everyone’s best interest to make sure the case is worth bringing. If you or a loved one has been injured at work or in an accident, schedule a free car wreck consultation right now.

 

 

Do I need a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

Do I need a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

I’ve practiced law 17 years going on 18 years this year.  For the first 10 or so I was a defense lawyer which means I represented insurance companies and South Carolina employers when a worker was injured on the job.  Adjusters are generally alright and are just doing a job but like every other profession there are always a few bad apples that ruin the bunch.  Our clients will tell us that after a job injury the adjuster denied my case for no reason; the adjuster won’t call me back; my weekly check hasn’t started; my medical care hasn’t been approved and so on.  Generally this is because the adjuster is overworked carrying 200 claims or more.  Sadly, you are more of a number as in claim number than an actual person. The adjuster may or may not know who you are as a person.  Why are they overworked?  In order to answer this, you must look to how insurance companies make money.

How do Insurance Companies Make Money?

Generality speaking an insurance company makes money if it takes in more money than it pays out in expenses or on injury claims.  After the insurance company  takes the money in then the money is invested  and then the company tries limit how much is paid out- keep as much as possible.  So let’s think about the insurance adjuster.  The company loads the adjuster up with work, maybe more than they can handle, and pays the adjuster less than their value.  That means they take in more money than they are paying out.  The problem is this will also trickle down into your workers’ comp claim.  If the goal is to pay out as little a possible do you think you will get full value on your claim without help?  Do you think they will always authorize the medical care you need?  Do you think anyone cares about you or your injury?

Insurance Companies Have Lawyers

When I handled defense claims, I always received calls from insurance company client asking questions about potential claims.  Mainly the question was are there grounds to deny this claim?  Point is, adjusters are trained in handling claims and the law of South Carolina.  Insurance companies have relationship with South Carolina workers comp lawyers they can call for free advice.  You don’t have any of that.

How to a Pay for a Lawyer?

The great thing about South Carolina Workers’ Compensation law is that most attorneys offer a free consultation where you can sit down and discuss your claim. If the lawyer is willing to take your case and you want to hire that lawyer then most work on a contingency fee. This means you don’t pay any money up front for the lawyer.  We front out services, paralegals, office, etc. and only get paid if you do at the end of your claim.  If you don’t recover any money then you don’t have to pay an attorney fee.    If you think you need someone to fight the insurance company for you or you just want to know your right for your injury on job, then contact Ryan Montgomery Law now for your free consultation.

How to Report a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim

How Long Do I Have to Report an On the Job Injury?

Whether you were injured in Columbia, Greenville or Spartanburg the reporting requirements are the same.  In South Carolina a worker that is injured on the job must report the injury by accident within ninety (90) days from the date the injury occurred.   If the injury is a repetitive injury claim like carpal tunnel then an injured worker must report the injury from the date he/she knew, or should have known, that the injury was work related.   While the law allows for 90 days to report the injury many employers require it sooner.   If your company requires a quicker reporting then this is an employment policy and if you don’t abide by this policy you could be disciplined at work.  Many times a workers comp claim will be denied because it was reported outside of the employer guidelines but still within the 90 day requirement which shouldn’t preclude you from filing a claim.  If your case has been denied for this reason you can still win your case.

How Do I report a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Claim or Injury?

Every company has a different procedure for reporting. Some require a written form to be completed and some require that you go to an onsite medical facility.  Others have no procedure at all. A general recommendation is to report early and often and try and report in writing where possible such as an email or even a text message.  We’ve had cases where our client says they reported the injured to the supervisor only to have the supervisor so no they didn’t or they don’t remember.  If it is in writing then it will protect the injured worker.  So if you have been injured on the job then immediately report it to your supervisor verbally.  Then ask for a form to complete or follow it up with an email documenting the injury.

Columbia and Greenville Workers Comp Lawyer

The lawyers at Ryan Montgomery Law represent the injured from the Midlands to the Upstate of South Carolina with two convenient office locations in Downtown Columbia and Greenville.  Free case reviews and consultations are offered to those who have been injured.  We feel it is important for an injured worker to know his or her rights before they have a misstep and the case gets denied. For your free consultation, please take action now to protect yourself.