Archive for May, 2020

What Is Negligence In A Personal Injury Case?

If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident and believe you should receive monetary compensation for the damages you’ve incurred, like loss of work and pain and suffering, you must be able to prove negligence. You need to be able to show that the other party was negligent in some way that caused the accident that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred, and that your own actions weren’t responsible. The defendant in your case and their insurance company will do their best to prove the opposite, that your inattention or recklessness was the cause, and that they owe you nothing. In a personal injury case, proving negligence on the part of the defendant is the first thing an experienced attorney will do.

How Is Negligence Defined Legally?

Negligence is a legal concept that is framed by the term ‘duty of care’. This term is defined as the responsibility any person or entity has to take steps to avoid causing harm to another person. Your personal injury attorney will gather evidence to show that the defendant had a ‘duty of care’ in the location and situation where your accident occurred and that they were in ‘breach’ of that duty in some way. In other words, they either did or didn’t do something that led to the accident happening, that they didn’t take a reasonable amount of care in the situation. For example, they may have left slippery liquids or obstacles in a hallway or stairway, distributed a defective product they should have detected, driven a vehicle in a reckless manner, or provided a medical treatment carelessly. Your attorney will use all the evidence available, including your own testimony and that of any witnesses, as well as direct evidence such as video and photographic documentation, to prove that the accident was preventable and happened because the defendant was negligent, and is therefore liable for damages. In many cases, the court may award a percentage of liability to each party, meaning they were both negligent to a certain degree. The defendant may be found to be 80% negligent, while you were only 20% at fault. Compensation amounts will be determined on the amount of negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney will often be able to prove 100% negligence on the part of the defendant.

Proving Injury And Damages

Once your attorney has proven negligence on the part of the defendant, they will then prove the extent of your injuries, often with a doctor’s testimony and other medical documentation, and then show the extent of your damages because of the injury, including any unpaid time off of work, pain and suffering, any permanent disability, etc. A personal injury attorney can ensure that you get all the compensation legally allowed.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Greenville, SC, Ryan Montgomery will help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

Slip and Fall Cases Examined

Maybe you’ve suffered a personal injury and you think that the cause and responsibility for the accident is clear enough that you can save some money by representing yourself and not hiring a personal injury attorney. This could not be further from the truth. As an example, slip and fall cases aren’t usually simple, and self-representation is not advised. This is because liability for slip and fall cases often isn’t clear, and property owners and businesses and their insurance companies won’t accept responsibility for an accident unless their liability is crystal clear. They will also do their best to prove that any injuries you’ve received aren’t as bad as you’re claiming, thus limiting the damages they might have to pay out to you.

It’s also true that if you’re representing yourself, the defendant and their insurance company simply won’t take you very seriously. But when you retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney with a track record of winning cases and securing the highest compensation for their clients, they’ll sit up and pay attention.

A Slip And Fall Attorney Can Establish Clear Liability

The first thing you and your lawyer will do is to clearly prove that the injury happened on the premises of the defendant and that the fall was most likely caused by negligence on the part of the property owner. This will put you in a position to possibly reach a settlement agreement with the defendant without going to court, or to show cause to take the case to trial.

Then you’ll confer with your attorney to determine exactly how your slip and fall injury occurred. You’ll document every small detail of the incident to show that you didn’t do anything to cause the fall yourself, like being reckless or inattentive, and that it was caused by a factor in the area, like a slippery substance or a loose handrail. A good slip and fall attorney will leave no doubt in the mind of the judge or jury.

A Lawyer Can Prove Extent Of Damages

The next thing to do is prove the extent and costs associated with your injury, and the related damages incurred because of them, like loss of income, pain and suffering, permanent disability, etc. This will determine how much compensation you’re entitled to, and an attorney can ensure you get all that you deserve. If you try to represent yourself, you could wind up with a fraction of what you’re entitled to, or nothing at all.

If you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall injury, you need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Ryan Montgomery Law today for a free consultation.

5 Facts South Carolina Workers Need to Know About Workers’ Comp

If you’re injured on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits are designed to cover the cost of not working as well as medical costs incurred as a result of your injury. Here are five essential facts you should know before making a claim.

1. Most South Carolina Workers Are Covered

Under South Carolina law, all businesses with four or more employees must provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage. There are exceptions for the railroad and agricultural industries, and some businesses with low payroll costs may also be exempted.

If you are a partner, a business owner, or a freelancer you may not be covered, but the majority of workers in South Carolina have workers’ comp coverage.

2. You Don’t Have to Prove Negligence

When you bring a personal injury lawsuit against another party, you have to prove they were negligent, but the standards for workers’ comp are different. As long as you sustained your injury while on the job, you are entitled to receive compensation.

3. Workers’ Comp Provides Weekly Benefits

If you qualify for workers’ compensation, you can receive weekly benefits. The benefits are worth ⅔ of your weekly salary up to a set maximum. As of 2020, the maximum workers’ comp benefit in South Carolina is $866.67 per week, and this number gets adjusted every January.

If you are permanently disabled, you can receive benefits for up to 500 weeks. People who suffer brain damage or paralysis may receive weekly benefits for life.

4. You May Be Entitled to Benefits Even If You Can Work

In some cases, you may suffer an injury that prevents you from doing your regular job but allows you to keep working in another capacity. In this situation, you can receive temporary partial benefits for up to 340 weeks. These benefits pay ⅔ of the difference between your current and past job.

For instance, if you normally earn $1000 a week but take a job earning $400 after your injury, the difference is $600, and you can qualify for $400 in weekly workers’ comp benefits.

5. Workers’ Comp Can Provide Additional Benefits

In addition to weekly payments, you may qualify for some lump sum benefits. The workers’ comp program in South Carolina has a schedule which outlines potential payments for certain disabilities. For instance, if you lose total use of a foot, you can receive the equivalent of ⅔ of your income for 140 weeks.

Disabilities not listed on the schedule may lead to the equivalent of up to ⅔ of your wages times 500 weeks. If you suffer disfigurement to your face, head, or other visible body parts, you may receive additional compensation for up to 50 weeks.

Workers compensation claims can also include the following:

In most cases, you need to make a claim within 90 days of your injury so you need to act quickly, and when applying, you need the right workers comp attorney in your corner.

A South Carolina Super Lawyer for workers’ compensation, Ryan Montgomery can provide you with the personalized attention and expertise you need for your case. To learn more, call us to set up a no-cost case evaluation today.