Archive for April, 2018

​Alarming South Carolina Roadway Statistics

South Carolina roadways represent a dangerous threat to health and safety. The South Carolina Department of Safety keeps detailed records about the accidents, injuries and deaths that occur on South Carolina roadways. When you look a the facts, there are some alarming SC roadway statistics.

South Carolina Crash Statistics

When you look at crash statistics alone in South Carolina, the numbers are staggering:

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there is one traffic accident every 4.7 minutes. A traffic accident can be anything from a fender bender to a multiple vehicle pile-up on the interstate. A property crash can involve a neighbor backing into your mailbox or a drunk driver crashing into your bedroom while you’re sleeping. There is one property crash every 6.6 minutes. It pays to be prepared for traffic accidents. Even though by their very nature accidents can’t be predicted, you can prepare by being aware of the statistics and by having an auto accident attorney’s contact information on hand for when it’s needed.

SC Vehicle Accident Injury Statistics

The statistics about South Carolina vehicle accidents involving injuries are frightening. Again, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety provides very good information about these facts and figures. For example, in South Carolina alone:

The worst statistic of all involves children. On South Carolina roadways, one child under the age of six is either seriously injured or killed in vehicle accidents once every eight days.

These statistics are are too terrible to ignore.

If you have been injured in a vehicle accident in South Carolina, or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a vehicle, you need help. Contact the law firm of Ryan Montgomery, Attorney at Law. Attorney Montgomery is a seasoned auto accident attorney who can help you get the representation and compensation you may be entitled to. Serious injuries require a serious attorney.

​Top 5 Industries That Lead to Common Workplace Injuries

In 2016, an average of 99 employees each week were killed while on the job according to OSHA data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that nearly 3 million workers experienced non-fatal injuries and illnesses that same year.

Common Workplace Injury Industries

According to the BLS report, the number of incidences of injuries are in industries that might come as a surprise to the general public. Below are the common workplace injury industries:

1. Animal Production

This industry is defined as raising animals for their eventual sale as a product. Feedlots, ranches and farms are common places where people work in the animal production industry. According to BLS data, it ranked as the most dangerous in terms of injuries with 6.6 for every 100 workers.

2. Nursing Facilities

Residential care facilities, such as nursing homes, were the scene of injuries for about 165,000 people in 2016. This rate of 6.5 injuries per every 100 workers means the industry is ranked as the second most dangerous. When compared to private-run facilities, those run by the state and local governments had injury rates that were nearly double: 11.7 injuries per 100 full-time workers.

3. Messengers and Couriers

Couriers and messengers as an industry resulted in almost 30,000 injuries as reported by the BLS. This figure equates to a rate of about 6.4 injuries for every 100 employees.

4. Wood Product Manufacturing

Though it’s a sub-category of manufacturing, the BLS data counts the data from it separately from the industry as a whole. Businesses that engage in shaping, sawing, laminating, planing and assembling wood products that began as logs fall into this industry. In 2016, 5.9 workers out of 100 were injured.

5. Air Transportation

The field of air transportation is diverse and spans workers such as mechanics, freight agents, pilots, cargo workers and others who work with helicopter and aircraft flights. For every 100 full-time employers, about 5.8 were injured on the job in 2016.

Contact Your Personal Injury Attorney

As noted above, the industries with the highest incidents of injury encompass a wide section of the population. If you’ve been injured on the job, you need to talk to a South Carolina personal injury attorney to learn how to protect your rights. We have two Upstate offices, one in Greenville and one in Columbia.

​Hot Car Death In South Carolina

Our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys want to remind parents, guardians, and caregivers about the dangers of leaving children unattended in a car. Please never leave a child alone in a car for any period of time.

Charleston South Carolina Hot Car Death

For the second time in 2018, a child was left forgotten in a hot car and died. This second incident occurred in South Carolina in early April. On Tuesday, April 3, a father was supposed to stop by his son’s child-care center on his way to work and drop the 10-month-old child off. According to statements given to North Charleston police about the incident, the father forgot to do so and the baby was left strapped into his car seat all day. The temperatures that day rose to 85 degrees — about 11 degrees warmer than normal.

The oversight wasn’t discovered until that evening when the boy’s mother arrived at the daycare center and learned that he’d never arrived. After the mother contacted the baby’s father, the man checked his vehicle and discovered his son in the back seat. He immediately drove to a nearby hospital where the baby was pronounced dead.

Each year, on average, 37 children die as a result of being left in a hot car. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of death for children ages 14 years and younger after only vehicular crashes. According to media sources, the local coroner is investigating the incident.

Though many people associate a hot car death with elevated outside temperatures, this isn’t always the case. Consumer Reports performed a test in 2017 that demonstrated that a car’s interior temperature can become significantly elevated in only an hour. This rise in the temperature is particularly dangerous for children, elderly adults and pets. This is especially true for those that are dependent on others who care for them as well as those who have cognitive issues.

During one test, the outside temperature was 61 degrees, but it quickly shot up to over 105 degrees in just one hour. Babies aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures as well as adults and can become dangerously dehydrated.

Contact Our Law Firm

There is a growing body of research about Forgotten Baby Syndrome. This occurs when a parent loses the awareness that their child is in the car with them. If you’ve been involved with a wrongful death due to a hot car death, you need to guidance of an injury attorney. Contact Ryan Montgomery Law for a free case review.

How to Choose the Best Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Choosing The Best Injury Lawyer and Work Comp Lawyer For You

As a Greenville and Columbia, SC based personal injury and workers’ compensation  lawyer, I can imagine it is quite difficult for an injured person to decide whether to hire a lawyer and then decide who is the best injury lawyer for their case when they see commercials, hear radio ads, look in the phone book (if that is even still around), etc.    This blog is in no way  meant to be a guide on how to choose the best workers comp lawyer as that varies from person to person but more a general article on some things people may choose to consider when hiring an attorney.

1. What is the Focus of My Case and Injury?

I have done insurance defense work where I represented employers and the insurance companies. I personally struggled with some of the marching orders I received from certain adjusters and decided it was time to switch sides to try and help the injured.  I believe it is a family decision on whether to hire a lawyer and which lawyer to hire.  From there I believe the family unit should decide whether you are looking to just get money or is it more important to protect yourself on all fronts- medical, compensation, future, family etc.   Once you’ve made that decision you can begin to narrow your search for the best lawyer for you with you overall goal in mind.

2. Does the Lawyer go to Trial or Just Settle Cases?

Depending on the nature of the claim, whether it is a workers’ compensation or personal injury, there are times when the insurance company will deny your claim, deny a request for medical, stop your weekly benefits or simply say “no” to something that should been a “yes”. As a lawyer there is no magic wand to get them to say “yes”.  The remedy is to take your case to a hearing or trial.  If you get a “no” will the lawyer you select be willing to fight for you, do the work necessary to prepare the case  and take it to a hearing or trial if necessary.  One question I often receive is:  when is the last time you tried a case? Are you willing to try the case and so on.  (Short answer: absolutely and we try many cases).  Who do you think an  insurance company worries about more- the lawyer that just settles everything and never steps foot in a hearing or court room or the lawyer that will take it the distance if necessary?  Who does the opposing lawyer worry about more- the professional “settler” or the lawyer that fights for the client? Who does a workers’ comp commissioner and/or judge respect more- a lawyer that rolls over or a lawyer that goes to bat for his our her client?  I am not suggesting one way is better than the other but rather as a client you have a right to ask these questions and interview the lawyer before you select.

3. Most Lawyers Give Free Consultations So is that a Good Way to Interview the Lawyer?

Yes. Absolutely.  From the start you’ll know the way the law firm works.  Are you meeting with the actual lawyer?  Or are you meeting with a paralegal or some  other  person like an”intake specialist” or “investigator”?  If you prefer to meet with the lawyer so you get a real consultation then you may want to look into firms that offer consultations with an actual lawyer.   A lawyer can answer questions about the law and specifically about the case where sometimes a staff member cannot.   Will you have the lawyer’s email address?  How responsive are they?

4. Client References

Whenever you apply for a job one of the things people ask for are references.  Why should this be any different when selecting a lawyer?  Some injury victims like to go on various internet sites (i.e. Google, Avvo, Facebook, etc.) and read former client reviews.  Generally, these reviews cannot be edited by the firm so you can get a feel for how that lawyer or firm operates and is that what you want in your advocate.  Think I am kidding?  Go read my bad review on Google from a person who’s case I would not take.

5. Experience Level of that Attorney

By experience, I do not mean the length of time the lawyer has been practicing law.  We were all young lawyers once.  In fact some young lawyers may hustle more than a seasoned veteran but some may not.  By experience I mean, how much of the lawyer’s practice is devoted to the type of case you have.  I get calls all the time on criminal issues or family law issues.  My experience level is just about zero in those areas so I will refer those cases to another lawyer whose focus is that type of law. For us, our focus is on the injured person.  We look to help people and get them back on track in life.   If you take a meeting with a lawyer, you may wish to ask him/her what is the focus of the practice.  You may want to pick a lawyer that has a focus on the area of your case but you may not.   That is all personal preference.

Personal Injury Attorney and Workers Comp Lawyer

Our firm serves Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, Lexington, West Columbia, Laurens and so on.   We protect the injured from the Midlands to the Upstate.  If you or a loved one has an injury or death claim and simply want to sit down and discuss your case  then please schedule your free consultation now.  It won’t cost you anything to meet with an actual lawyer and go over your case.  That way you can make an educated decision on who is the best South Carolina Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury lawyer for you, your family and your case.

 

South Carolina Driving Laws You Probably Don’t Know About

Driving laws tend to fall into one of two distinct categories – those that don’t really vary too much from state-to-state and those state-specific rules that often have travelers scratching their heads. South Carolina is certainly not unique in this way and, in fact, has several interesting driving laws that you likely may not know about.

South Carolina’s Driving Laws: Breaking Them Down

One of the lesser known driving laws in South Carolina that often catches people off guard is one that forbids drivers from getting in the left lane on highways and staying there for any lengthy period. As per state laws, the left lane is ONLY to be used for passing another vehicle or to prepare for an upcoming left turn. If you use the left lane in any other way, you could be subject to a $155 fine and up to two points on your license.

Another odd South Carolina driving law prohibits the use of obscene bumper stickers, terms which themselves are very broadly defined as any material that is “harmful to children.” Violating this law with any words or pictures on your car that are ultimately deemed to be indecent could see you end up with a fine of up to $200.

Not all South Carolina driving laws prohibit actions from drivers. Some forbid actions that other states do not, which itself can be quite confusing. State law requires that a car’s headlights be on whenever the windshield wipers are on. Additionally, headlights must be turned on from a half hour before sunset to a half hour after sunrise.

A strange South Carolina law is the fact that motorcyclists, people on bikes or moped operators, can run a red light at an intersection if the light has stayed red for at least 120 seconds. Along the same lines, while many other states prohibit the use of headphones while driving, regulators in South Carolina seem to have absolutely no problem with this because SC law does not prohibit people from driving while wearing earbuds or headphones.

Contact The Ryan Montgomery Law Firm Today

At The Ryan Montgomery Law Firm, we understand that being injured in an auto accident can be a harrowing and stressful journey for all involved – but this is one journey that you absolutely do not have to take alone. If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney South Carolina partner who will fight for your rights and stand by your side every step of the way, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own situation in a little more detail, please don’t delay – contact us today.

Myrtle Beach Windsor Apartment Fire Raises Questions

 South Carolina Burn Injury and Fire Injuries

The Sun News out of Myrtle Beach is reporting that a fire broke out at the Windsor Apartment Complex in Carolina Forest on Thursday April 12, 2018.  For now, no one lost their life but there were multiple injuries some of which are critical in nature.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the injured or displaced residents. In order to save their lives people were forced to jumped from upper level balconies resulting in broken bones and one witness even said a baby had to be thrown from a third story apartment and caught by a 16 year old young man.   Some people will recall that this isn’t the first apartment fire a Windsor Apartments as one occurred there in March of 2013 destroying 26 buildings at that time.  According to multiple reports the apartment complex did not have a sprinkler system in place.  It makes one wonder whether or not there were fire extinguishers in place. Was the building to code?  Were any short cuts being taken that resulted in these injuries from the fire?

Injury from Fire or Burns

There are roughly 450,000 burn injuries per year in the United States.   Fires can lead to burn injuries but also broken bones as we see in this fire. Many times burns can be life threatening and often people are flown to the Augusta Burn Center for life saving burn injury medical care. Not only is the injury itself traumatic and can cause physical and/or mental scarring but the medical treatment is as very traumatic as well.  Burn care ranges from skin grafts, to medical comas to pealing of the skin layer by layer to get new skin to grow.   In addition to the trauma and pain, the damages can go well beyond that.  Burn injuries can lead to medical costs. Burn injuries can lead to  lost wages.  They can also lead to future damages like heat sensitivity, scarring or PTSD. In short a burn injury can can ruin a person’s life.

Fire and burn injuries can be the result of many things.  It can be the fault of another person or company for being negligent, it can be from a work-related on the job injury, it can be caused in a car accident or even an apartment fire and don’t forget about dangerous products. The harsh reality is that many fires and burns could have been prevented.

South Carolina Burn Injury Lawyer

At Ryan Montgomery Law our main priority is making sure our clients get the medical care we’d want our own family to receive.  We focus on guiding our clients through the entire process to try and remove that weight and burden from the injury victim and their family.  Once our client is through that process we then make sure our clients receive the maximum compensation they can get based upon their damages, pain and suffering, wage loss, disability, scarring, disfigurement and so on.  We recognize that in a time like this you may have lost your home, may have mounting medical bills and may not be able to afford the cost of a lawyer.  We understand that so we offer all burn injury victims a free consultation and any attorney attorney fee comes out of any settlement or verdict. If you don’t recover compensation then you don’t pay any attorney fees.  Contact a South Carolina Burn Injury Lawyer now for your free meeting now. Serious injuries need serious lawyers.

The Attorneys at Ryan Montgomery Law proudly serve the State of South Carolina including Horry County injury victims.

South Carolina BMW Plant Confirms Accidental Death

Recently, a BMW assembly plant in South Carolina had an accidental death take place on site when an outside contractor was caught in a machine. When a workplace accident occurs, it can cause a serious impact on that worker’s finances, lifestyle and family.

South Carolina BMW plant confirms ‘accidental death’ following reports of person caught in machine

When a private contractor was working in the paint shop at the BMW assembly plant in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, recently, an injury lead to their death. Though BMW first responders and outside agencies responded quickly to the 10:30 AM call about an individual caught in a machine, nothing could be done to save the contractor’s life. Outside agencies that responded included Pelham Batesville Fire Department and Pelham-Batesville EMS.

The death was confirmed by both BMW as well as Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger. Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office investigated the accident. BMW did all the appropriate things at the time, including sending first responders to provide aid and closing down the paint shop and investigating the accident, but the real question is what else could have been done to prevent this tragedy.

Was the contractor provided with BMW’s procedures? Were there appropriate cautionary materials highlighting dangerous parts of the machinery that could have helped prevent the death? Was someone assigned to ensure that the outside worker came to no harm? Was the contractor provided sufficient safety training to prevent accidents in the paint shop?

When workplace tragedies take place, it impacts more than just the worker involved. It can cause problems as family dynamics shift in an attempt to pick up lost income, cover hospital or doctor appointments or handle final arrangements.

When you or a loved one has suffered a workplace accident, don’t settle without legal representation. When you need a worker’s compensation attorney, Ryan Montgomery Law Firm is here to help you in your time of need. Please feel free to contact us today for a free case review to get the help you need during your difficult times.

Four Killed in Collisions on South Carolina Roadways This Past Weekend

Car accidents are certainly nothing new and, unfortunately, they typically lead to serious injuries or even deaths more often than not. But rarely do you have a weekend that is as deadly as the one South Carolina just experienced. According to a story that originally ran on a local NBC affiliate station, four people were killed on roadways in the state between Friday, March 30 at 6:00 PM and Sunday, April 1 at 11:59 PM. To put that into perspective, that’s just 54 hours – on Easter Weekend.

Because the topic of road safety is obviously a very critical one, this trend is one that is worth exploring for a wide range of different reasons.

A Particularly Dangerous Weekend in South Carolina

Three of the deaths occurred on US routes, South Carolina roads or secondary roads and one occurred on a county road. If this sounds like a lot of deaths in a short period of time, you’re right – 189 motorists have died in South Carolina so far this year. While it’s a reduction from the 248 deaths from the same period a year earlier, it still points to an issue that needs to be addressed at all costs.

This also highlights the importance of making sure that you’re always using all necessary safety equipment when operating a motor vehicle in South Carolina. Of the four deaths, only one of the victims was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Likewise, two of the deaths were a motorcyclist and a bicyclist, respectively, and neither of them were wearing their helmets.

In fact, as per the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 75 of the 143 motor vehicle occupants who died so far in 2018 were not wearing their seatbelts.

Contact Us Today

At The Ryan Montgomery Law Firm, we’ve worked incredibly hard over the last several years to fight for the rights of people just like you who have been injured on roads all across South Carolina. If you’re looking for an accident attorney who you know will always fight to guarantee the outcome in court that you deserve, or if you have any additional questions that you’d like to see answered, please don’t delay – contact us today.

Teacher Sexual Assault Cases

Teacher Student Sexual Assault and Abuse Injury

It seems I cannot turn on the news or  look on Facebook and not see a case where a school teacher or school counselor had an inappropriate relation with an underage student. On Facebook, I have one friend that posts links to all the various reports which illustrates the overwhelming number of these cases of inappropriate educator student relationships.  As a parent of a high school teenager, I entrust my child and his well being to a school and the staff of that school to educate him and to protect him while I am not present.  What happens when the school fails to do so?

Sexual Abuse and Assault Lawsuit against School and School District

Aside from having a potential lawsuit against the abuser (in addition to the criminal charges against the perpetrator), the assaulted or abused may also have a claim against the school or the school district.   The school may have violated policy in hiring the school counselor, not properly monitored the teacher, and/or turned a blind eye to rumors or student reports of misconduct by the teacher.  If this has happened then the abused through their parents (if a minor) may have a claim or right to file a lawsuit to recover not only actual damages (medical care, counseling, etc.) but also non economic damages such as now having to deal with the long term effects of this avoidable abuse.

Teacher Sex Abuse Cases on the Rise

According to the The Children’s Center for Psychiatry, Psychology, and Related Services, teacher sexual abuse is on the rise.  According to this same article:

Why are Sexual abuse cases on the rise?

One explanation was offered by the Washington which according to the Washington Post, about 80% of children age 12 – 17 have a cell phone and 94% have a Facebook account.  The Post said stated that about 36 percent of those accused or convicted of an inappropriate relationship with a student – were reported to have used social media to start or continue those relationships.    This shows that children are still just that, children, and must be protected so what safeguards are put in place by the school?

Child and Student Sexual Abuse Assault Lawyer in South Carolina

If you believe your child has been abuse, assaulted or had an inappropriate relationship with an educator, whether that be a teacher, counsel or coach, then as a parent you have a duty to act on behalf of the minor.  The first step might be to meet with a personal injury or sex abuse lawyer to discuss your rights, the case and how best to proceed. Many law firm offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee.  We offer both- meaning there is no up front charge and only if there is a recovery of money do we receive an attorney fee.  Please feel free to contact us to schedule a free meeting with a South Carolina sexual abuse and assault lawyer now.

Serving Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and the entire Midlands and Upstate of South Carolina.