Archive for August, 2018

​South Carolina Law: 12 Changes That Went into Effect This Summer

New laws are on the books for South Carolina this year; from coping with the aftermath of the failed nuclear station deal to enhancing student safety and more, here’s what to expect from the latest laws in South Carolina.

Latest South Carolina Laws

Lower Energy Rates for SCE&G: Consumers in South Carolina have been overpaying for electric since the failure of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station deal. This new law aims to adjust consumer bills downward; most in the SCE&G coverage area can expect to save $25 a month until December of this year.

Santee Cooper Legal Woes: Another new law focuses on that failed nuclear energy deal. This one proposes to study the feasibility of the sale of Santee Cooper after the expensive nuclear deal fell through. A second law requires the beleaguered utility to increase transparency for members and calls for the live streaming of customer meetings and more.

Armed School Safety Officers and Enhanced School Security: Armed officers are headed to SC public schools to protect students and staff. Only about half of the state’s schools had resource officers at the start of the year; this new law comes after several publicized and dangerous school shootings in other locations.

A second provision covers school safety planning and the improvement of school security in the state’s districts and is funded by the SC state lottery.

Marijuana and Cannabis: Several new laws are addressing the issue of marijuana in the state of South Carolina. The first seeks to legalize marijuana for medical purposes; lawmakers funded studies to see the effects of medical marijuana on those suffering from a variety of conditions. Lawmakers also undertook a study designed to test the feasibility of replacing the prescription medications of prisoners with CBD and cannabis oils.

Protections for Faith Based Adoption Agencies; A new law that allows agencies that are faith based to decline to place children in LGBTQ homes was also approved. The aim of this program is to prevent the SC Department of Social Services from discriminating against faith-based organizations.

Hate Crimes Defined: A new South Carolina law that further defines Anti-Semitism is designed to protect Jewish citizens from hate crimes and discrimination on college campuses in the state.

Creation of a State Flag: A committee was created to pursue the thoughtful design of a historically accurate state flag; as of today, the state does not have an official standardized design.

Preemptive Ban on Sanctuary Cities: Our state does not have sanctuary cities, but the latest law seeks to ban them and revoke state funding for any areas which declare themselves to be sanctuary cities in the state.

Contact Your South Carolina Attorney

Understanding the latest law and legal changes coming to the state ensures you are in compliance and helps you get a full understanding of what to expect in the second half of the year. If you need legal assistance, please contact our firm. We will fight for you, tell us about your case.

Insurance Stacking in South Carolina Car Accidents

Stacking Underinsured Motorist Coverage in South Carolina

What is Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

Do you have UIM Insurance?

Underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage insurance above and beyond the at fault driver’s insurance if that amount does not compensate you for your car accident injuries.  South Carolina law requires that all motorists maintain at least $25,000 in liability insurance.  Sometimes medical bills from a car wreck exceed the $25,000. If you have UIM insurance then you can request additional compensation from that UIM policy.

How Do I know if I have Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage is not a requirement. It is an additional level of insurance coverage that you elect to pay a premium to have on your vehicle.  While liability insurance is required, UIM is not.  Many times a person does not elect to have this additional coverage. In order to determine whether or not you have underinsured motorist coverage to protect you in a South Carolina car accident, you can look at your insurance card, look at your policy and the declarations page, call your agent or call your insurance company. The cost for UIM insurance is usually pretty inexpensive so it may be a good thing for you to add.

What is Insurance Stacking?

Stacking insurance is when you have multiple vehicles with UIM insurance. If your damages exceed the first UIM policy you can then “stack” the policies for each of the remaining vehicles assuming they all have UIM insurance.   The Court has held that  “stacking refers to an insured’s recovery of damages under more than one insurance policy in succession until all of his damages are satisfied or until the total limits of all policies have been exhausted.” State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Moorer, 330 S.C. 46, 60, 496 S.E.2d 875, 883 (S.C. Ct. App. 1998).

Stacking Insurance Can be Complicated

Many people injured in a car wreck or trucking accident do not know they can stack insurance.  Even if they know they can stack insurance they don’t necessarily know how to do it.  An experienced car accident or personal injury lawyer can assist with determining whether or not your injuries and damages rise to the level of needing to be stacked.  In order to protect your case, many people choose to have a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer just to find out their rights. Knowledge is power in these circumstances.  Often you are dealing with an insurance adjuster that is trying not to pay you the most benefits or to allow you to stack your policies.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Do yourself a favor and meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer. There is no obligation so why not at least know your rights?  With offices conveniently located in Greenville and Columbia we can offer a free consultation to you to discuss your injury case issues.

 

Study Names Greer, South Carolina Drivers as the Worst in the Nation

Some South Carolina Drivers Top the List for Worst Drivers

An insurance Quote website has released a study that determines the Nation’s worst drivers.  As expected there are some larger cities like Boston, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.  Those larger cities have nothing on Greer, South Carolina, Greer tops the list with the worst drivers in the United States.  According to the study, Greer ranks at the top of the list for at-fault car accidents and at the top of the list for likelihood of receiving a speeding. In Greer a driver is 103% more likely to get a speeding ticker than the average driver and 63% more likely to get into an at-fault car accident than the average driver.  Interesting is that Greer proper only boasts a population of just over 30,000. One has to wonder if it is actually residents of Greer that are getting into the accidents or people from neighboring cities like Greenville, Spartanburg, Taylors, etc.   People from Columbia and the Midlands are happy as they did not make the list.

Greer Car Wrecks Aren’t the Only Problem in South Carolina

About every six (6) in there is a car wreck in the United States.  That is over 5 Million car wrecks per year. The statistics are staggering.   According to the Highway Patrol, in 2017 South Carolina had 565 fatal car accidents with 613 people loosing their lives.  So far in 2018 we have already matched that total of fatal car accidents at 565 and already have 607 car accident deaths.  Unfortunately, 2018 is shaping up to be a deadly year. In an effort to counter these wrecks, the South Carolina Highway Patrol has released its summer time guide to safe travel to the beach.

South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC serves the State of South Carolina in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and car accident cases.  With two offices, Columbia and Greenville, we can assist you with your injury case.  All lawyers at Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law are former insurance defense lawyers.  That means we used to represent the insurance companies but grew tired of insurance companies not doing right by people in South Carolina. we didn’t like an insurance company taking advantage of people who do not know the law.  We now represent accident victims- we now represent YOU.  We offer a free consultation where you will actually meet with a lawyer not an “intake specialist” and we don’t charge you any attorney fee unless we recover money for you.  If you would like to schedule a free injury consultation please contact us now.

 

​Success of Operation Southern Shield

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 2 million people are injured in car accidents in the United States every year. Alarmingly, over 10,000 people were killed in car accidents in the U.S in 2016, with speed being the cause in at least 27 percent of the fatal crashes that occurred. These shocking numbers lead to the creation of a new program intended to save lives.

Operation Southern Shield

In an effort to reduce fatalities, Operation Southern Shield was created in 2017 by state and local law enforcement officials from South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. The mission of the program was to lower highway fatalities and it was a huge success. Reports from 2017 indicated 35 percent fewer fatalities on state roads due to the 15k+ tickets issued to speeders, and law enforcement officials are looking forward to saving even more lives with the program in 2018.

Due to the success of Operation Southern Shield, the program was held again this year from July 16 through 22, where law enforcement officers from the five states concentrated their efforts on ticketing drivers for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and distracted driving, including those using cell phones, for the second year of Operation Southern Shield.

“There will be no warnings. Warning is drive right, drive the posted speed limit,” said Sergeant First Class Maurice Raines, the Post Commander for LaGrange Georgia State Patrol. “We’re taking this initiative very seriously, we’re not tolerating it. I would rather people arrive late than not arrive at all, because we do know and statistics have shown that speed kills.”

Officers in these five states work together for Operation Southern Shield in an effort to reduce highway deaths by collaborating with the state’s local law enforcement and highway patrol agencies to increase the force’s visibility and cover as much territory as possible for the week-long event. Their efforts have received recognition and they hope to continue Operation Southern Shield each year in the future.

Personal Injury Attorney in South Carolina

Speeding is no joke and can be a deadly a situation on highways and roads. If you or a family member are injured in an automobile accident, SC attorney Ryan Montgomery is here to help. With over 10 years of experience helping accident victims in the Columbia and Greenville, SC areas, Attorney Ryan Montgomery is here for auto accident, motorcycle accident and trucking accident victims in upstate South Carolina. Call today to schedule a free consultation about your accident at (864) 207-4927.