Archive for May, 2022

Summer Road Trip Safety Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Auto Accident

Summer is a great time to hit the road with your friends and family. Adults and children of all ages typically enjoy exploring new places. However, while you are seeking adventure, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of an auto accident.

1. Ensure Your Car Is in Good Condition

Before you set off on any road trip, you should inspect your vehicle thoroughly. It’s a good idea to have a professional mechanic perform a checkup on your tires, lights, battery, brakes, wipers, and other parts. Don’t forget to fill your fluids and get a fresh oil change, if needed. Your air filters should also be routinely replaced. You don’t want to end up without a functioning vehicle in a strange place.

2. Frequently Stop for Breaks

No matter how far you are driving, you should schedule frequent breaks to stretch your legs and stay well rested. Driving fatigue can set in when you focus on the road without any other stimulation for hours on end. This can make you less responsive to emergency situations. Stop at a rest stop, gas station, restaurant, or tourist attraction and get out of your vehicle and walk around for at least 5 to 10 minutes to relieve lower back pain, get blood flowing in your legs, and refresh your thought processes.

3. Always Wear Your Seatbelt

Nearly every state (except New Hampshire) has a law requiring all front-seat occupants of vehicle to wear seat belts. Many states also require rear-seat passengers to wear available seat belts. Not only is it required, but it will prevent some of the most severe injuries and even death if you are involved in a crash.

4. Avoid Driving in Blind Spots

Many motor vehicles like large trucks have significant blind spots where they can’t see other cars around them. IF you drive in these blind spots, then you risk a sideswipe accident or being run off the road. While the other driver is definitely negligent if they don’t carefully look around them and remain aware of their blind spots, you can take action to prevent an accident.

5. Be Aware of Rush Hour in Urban Areas

As you travel through large cities and urban areas, you should be careful to avoid rush hour. The times when people are traveling to and from work can be the most dangerous, especially for rear-end car accidents. If you want to avoid unnecessary stress and the potential for accidents, you should schedule your trip around rush hour in cities.

6. Be Familiar with Your Route

Although most people use GPS to get from one place to another on road trips, it’s best to have a general idea of the major highways you will be taking. You should also know the cities through which you will be traveling. GPS services may fail or your phone or other electronic device may shut down and you will have no way to navigate without a general knowledge of your route.

7. Keep a Car Safety Kit in Your Vehicle

You should always carry emergency supplies with you on road trips. Even if you have AAA or other roadside service, you may be sitting on the side of the road for hours if you run out of gas or break down. During the summer months, you should always carry one gallon of water per person, basic first aid supplies, and various foods that will withstand heat, such as nuts, peanut butter, and crackers. Other items you should have in your car safety kit include a flashlight with fresh batteries, road flares, jumper cables, rope, and a basic tool kit.

8. Check the Weather on Your Route

While you may be familiar with summer weather near your home, but it can be very different as you trek across the country. Make sure you look up the forecast for your road trip as well as your destination. This will allow you to pack appropriately and be prepared for any inclement weather.

9. Refill Your Gas Tank Often

When you set off on a road trip, you should have a full tank. Don’t let it get too low. You should never allow your tank to get below one-quarter tank when you’re in an unfamiliar area. It may be hard to find gas stations, or you might get stuck in traffic and have to idle using gas for a while.

10. Discuss Your Plans with Other People

Discuss your travel plans with friends and family prior to leaving. Make sure someone knows your approximate route and where you plan on stopping each night. Check in with those people at regular intervals. Have a plan for how they should proceed if they don’t hear from you within a certain amount of time.

What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident on a Road Trip

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident With Crash In Background.

Whether you are in a car accident in South Carolina or outside of the state on a road trip, you should call a car accident lawyer who can help you file a claim. You will have many costs associated with your crash, including property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. You have a right to get compensation from the at-fault party. Call attorney Ryan Montgomery Law today for a free car accident case review: (864) 207-4927.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases in South Carolina

It’s understandable to be devastated after the unexpected death of a loved one, especially if it was caused by the wrongful or negligent actions of another person. You shouldn’t have to deal with all of the stress alone. A skilled wrongful death lawyer can help you understand if you have a strong case and how you should proceed.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Greenville, South Carolina

Attorney Ryan Montgomery has handled all types of wrongful death cases. Some of the most common our office has seen include the following:

Fatal Car Accidents

More than 1,000 people die every year in fatal car accidents in South Carolina, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Whether the crash is caused by a defective auto part or another driver, you will likely have many costs associated with the crash. A car accident wrongful death claim can help you cover those costs.

Fatal Truck Accidents

Because of the sheer size of semi-trucks, crashes involving these big rigs are often fatal. Collecting evidence in these cases can be complex and the insurance companies often have teams of lawyers on their side to protect their interests. You need someone on your side to represent you as well.

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians have no protection from motor vehicles that pose significant threat to them. If a driver or even bike rider negligently causes the death of a pedestrian, they can be held liable for any damages that result.

Fatal Bike Accidents

Bike riders are typically forced to ride alongside large motor vehicles, such as cars and semi-trucks. When they are hit, they have little to protect them other than a helmet. Fatal injuries are common in bike vs. car accidents.

Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcyclists are often given a bad reputation as being risk takers; however, many fatal motorcycle crashes are caused by the driver of the other motor vehicle. Drivers often fail to properly look for motorcycles, cut them off, and don’t yield proper right of way. Motorcycle wrecks can be immediately fatal or the victims may suffer injuries that lead to death soon thereafter.

Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose, surgery mistakes, and many other causes of medical malpractice can lead to patient deaths. When a doctor or medical facility breaches a national standard of care, they should be held accountable for the losses associated with the death of your loved one.

Fatal Work Accidents

Workplace injuries can result in death due to falls, electrocution, and other fatal accidents. In South Carolina, Workers’ Compensation benefits may cover some of the losses associated with fatal workplace accidents, but you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party.

Fatal Aviation Accidents

An aviation accident may involve a crash from the air, an incident on the tarmac, or even severe turbulence. Airplanes, jets, and helicopters are all at risk of causing a fatal aviation accident. When these accidents are caused by the negligence of a pilot or other airline employees, then you can get compensation for your injuries.

Defective Products that Cause Death

Manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and other companies that handle products are responsible for injuries caused by defective items they make and sell. Car parts, medical devices, food products, toys, and more must be safe when distributed to the public. Otherwise, they may cause fatal injuries.

South Carolina Wrongful Death Laws

South Carolina establishes civil remedies, or how compensation can be obtained, in wrongful death cases in the Code of Laws Title 15, Chapter 51, Article 1.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Section 15-51-10 states that when a person causes a death by a wrongful act or neglect, the victim is entitled to recover damages from the person who is liable.

It is worth noting that a survival action is different than a wrongful death lawsuit. A survival action recovers compensation for damages that the victim could have received prior to their death for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This type of claim is also permissible in South Carolina and arises out of the same types of wrongful actions as death claims.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

According to Section 15-51-20, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death action for the benefit of a:

Damages for Wrongful Death Claims

Damages for wrongful death actions are detailed in Section 15-51-40. The family may recover compensatory damages, which include actual losses for funeral costs and other out of pocket expenses. You may also get exemplary damages, also called “punitive damages,” which are meant to punish or make an example of reckless, willful, and malicious actions that caused the death.

Wrongful Death Settlements

In South Carolina, only a personal representative of the victim’s estate can settle a wrongful death claim. Additionally, court approval is required for settlement of a wrongful death claim or survival action, pursuant to Section 15-51-42.

A Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You

If your loved one was fatally injured due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another person or company, then you have a right to recover compensation. A Greenville wrongful death attorney can help.

Ryan Montgomery, Attorney at Law, LLC helps clients throughout South Carolina. He has extensive experience with all types of wrongful death claims. Our goal is to help you find peace and get what you need to move forward with life. Call us today at (864) 406-3776.