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​What to Know Before You Get Behind the Wheel of Your Golf Cart in South Carolina

Beaufort County and Hilton Head Island are famous for their large number of golf carts used by tourists and residents alike. In addition, Golf Carts have become more common in some downtown areas like Greenville and Anderson, but new changes to South Carolina law are poised to affect how golf cart usage is regulated. Before you hit the road in your golf cart this month, here’s what you should know about your responsibilities as a golf cart driver–and the potential penalties you face for violating them.

South Carolina Golf Cart Laws

Amendments to South Carolina’s law regarding golf carts (and similar low-speed vehicles such as mopeds) go into effect on November 19. Major changes to the penalties that can be imposed for breaking this law have the potential to affect the state’s golf cart drivers. For the first time, any driver caught violating any section of South Carolina law that applies to golf cart usage can be charged with a misdemeanor. This can carry a fine of as much as $100 or jail time of up to 30 days. (Note that severe offenses while driving a golf cart can also be charged as a felony.)

The ability to punish drivers with a misdemeanor already existed under South Carolina law, but the section that outlined potential punishments didn’t explicitly apply to golf carts. The changes to the statute are an attempt to make the rules for issuing citations against golf cart drivers clearer.

So how can you avoid being charged with a misdemeanor when you hop behind the wheel of your golf cart? First, know who can and who cannot legally operate a golf cart in the state. All golf cart drivers must be 16 years or older and have a regular and valid driver’s license. The golf cart itself must be registered with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and have a state decal permit displayed, and the driver must be prepared to show proof of insurance. There are also limits to where a golf cart can be legally operated: all drivers must stay within a four mile radius of the registered address of the golf cart and golf carts cannot go on any roads that have a speed limit over 35 miles per hour.

Nighttime usage is also limited. Up until a couple of years ago, all nighttime golf cart driving was banned throughout the state. Recent changes have allowed individual municipalities to allow nighttime driving as long as the golf cart has front and rear tail lights–but be certain to check to see a specific municipality’s rules on nighttime usage.

South Carolina Injury Attorney

Following these rules can help ensure that you don’t get charged with a misdemeanor after November 19. As always, remember that golf carts are vehicles and failing to operate them properly can be dangerous as evidenced by four fatal accidents involving golf carts occurred in Beaufort County in the last decade alone. If you have been in an accident involving a golf cart, call the attorneys at Ryan Montgomery Law for a free case evaluation.

South Carolina’s “Move Over” Statute

We all probably know that emergency responders, police officers and tow truck operators have a potentially dangerous job when they need to stop on the side of a busy road to help another driver–but many South Carolinians are breaking a traffic law designed to protect them without even realizing it.

The Move Over Law

Enacted in 2002, South Carolina’s “move over” law is designed to protect those that stop to help stranded or injured drivers alongside the road. How exactly does the law look to safeguard these hard-working professionals? The general guidelines of the law aim to have drivers either move over (as the law’s name implies) to avoid hitting any unseen rescue workers or slow down if moving over isn’t possible. When there are two lanes on a road traveling in the same direction, the law requires drivers to move to the lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle and personnel. In cases where moving over isn’t possible–either because there’s only a single lane in each direction or doing so wouldn’t be safe–drivers are to slow down by at least five miles per hour and keep an eye out for emergency personnel moving into their path. What counts as an emergency vehicle? A good rule of thumb is that any vehicle with flashing lights should be treated as one for purposes of this law. Police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances and tow trucks are all covered by the law.

Penalties for Breaking the Law

The penalties for violating South Carolina’s “move over” statute can be significant. A simple violation of the law can result in a misdemeanor charge with a fine between $300 and $500. Of course, if you do strike and injure or kill an emergency responder or tow truck operator while violating the law, the penalties can be much more severe. Despite these penalties, South Carolina highway patrolmen cite this law as the one most commonly broken by the state’s drivers.

The Hard Facts

The surprising fact is that all 50 states have some form of “move over” law, despite many drivers remaining completely unaware of their legal obligations as they approach a stopped emergency vehicle. What’s more, these laws have been enacted for good reason. In 2016 alone, 71 paramedics and firefighters were struck while assisting stranded and injured drivers roadside, and 63 tow truck operators were killed by the side of the road in the same year. So if the potential misdemeanor charge and fines aren’t enough to get you to slow down, remember these statistics and do your part to help protect the lives of emergency personnel.

If you were injured because someone failed to obey the law, the attorneys at Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law can help.

21 Injured in Upstate South Carolina School Bus Crash

Traffic accidents are an all too common occurrence on South Carolina roadways and school buses are certainly no exception. According to the original story on a local NBC affiliate station, seventeen children and 4 adults were injured in a school bus crash in Greenwood county.

The accident occurred around 1:15pm on the 19th of October on highway 25 at Nation road according to the state patrol.

School Bus Was Returning from a Field Trip

The students and chaperones from Westwood Elementary were returning from a field trip says the superintendent.

Of those injured, sixteen children and two adults were taken for treatment at Self Regional Hospital, according to Self Regional Healthcare media relations director Mark Hyatt. The other two injured adults were taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital and one child was taken to GHS Children’s Hospital.

Superintendent of Abbeville Schools, Betty Jo Hall, said the bus was one of three buses returning to Westwood Elementary School after a field trip. The school’s website said a fourth-grade field trip was scheduled Friday. No other vehicles were reported to be involved in the crash. The school bus exited the right side of the roadway, struck a utility pole and a fence before traveling down an embankment, Department of Public Safety Officials said.

Public Safety officials are reporting that “The driver of the bus, and Abbeville resident, was injured and transported to Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood. The cause of the school bus crash is still unclear at this time.

This particular crash could have been much worse considering there were a total 29 students and 5 chaperones on board. Safety on South Carolina roadways should always be a top priority for motorists. Prevention of motor vehicle accidents by staying alert while operating a motor vehicle and following all traffic laws is critical.

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.

South Carolina Injury Guide To Social Media

Social Media Guide for the South Carolina Injured

You’ve been hurt in a car accident or you have a workers’ compensation injury and now you worry someone might be watching you or your social media sites.  Well, you are probably right.  There is a growing trend among employers, insurance adjusters and attorneys to search your social media sites. They want to know if you are being truthful, if you are being active or if there is anything that can be used to deny your claim or limit your medical benefits.    All of our new clients receive a handout that is titled “Social Media Will Ruin Your Case“.  This is not because someone is lying but rather because the intent is to deny claims if at all possible.  See our suggested Social Media guidelines** for the injured:

  1.  DO NOT POST On Social Media PERIOD.  That is the easiest way to limit what will be scene. Note you cannot “delete” old posts as it could be considered destroying evidence;
  2. See #1 but if you must post then please read on…
  3. Make Your Settings Private-   This is easier said than done. with every Facebook update that you download from the app store there is the chance that your privacy settings go back to public;
  4. Don’t add co-workers or new friends during your claim;
  5. Don’t re-post old pictures of when you were being active.  They will assume the picture is current and accurate as of the day it is posted;
  6. Do not let someone “tag” you in photos.  That will share across their social media, your social media and friends of friends can see it and share it;
  7. Do not check in anywhere.  Easiest way to know where you are and what you are doing is to check in;
  8. Do not leave online reviews.  Again, another way to see what you are doing on a daily basis;
  9. Do not let friends or relatives post pictures of you.  A savvy investigator will check your friends and family pages too;
  10. If you have hobby’s like hunting or fishing, do not post on the various message boards – “how’s the red fish bite been? I am thinking about fishing this weekend”; and
  11. **This is not an extensive list so contact an injury attorney for my recommendations.

Perception Can Be Reality in Injury Cases

Whenever you post or write something you must assume that it will be presented to a Judge or a Workers Compensation Commissioner.  They do not know you and your post will be left to interpretation. Every post should include you thinking “what would a judge think about this post”.  Because we cannot always guess what a judge or work comp commissioner might think, we always recommend that you not post at all.  The judge’s perception of your post can quickly become your reality.

Contact A South Carolina Injury Lawyer

With offices in Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC offers a free consultations on all injury cases.  This includes workers compensation cases, on the job injuries, car accidents and trucking accidents.  Before Social Media ruins your case, call or email for your free meeting.

​One Officer Dead Six Wounded in Florence SC Shooting

Officer Terrance Carraway was laid to rest in Florence, South Carolina, after an ambush style shooting in an upscale section of the community. Carraway was one of seven officers shot by 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, a disbarred attorney with increasingly frequent run-ins with the law. Hundreds of residents flocked to a local church to honor and remember Carraway, a thirty year veteran of the force and; a more formal public memorial was scheduled as well.

7 Officers Shot in Florence SC Ambush

The officers came under fire during a prolonged standoff with the heavily armed assailant; the shooting began when police arrived at the Hopkins residence to serve a search warrant. Their arrival was met with gunfire and turned into a devastating shootout with the elderly gunman. According to the New York Times, the actual reason for the warrant is still unknown, but the shooter is not believed to be the subject of the warrant.

When deputies arrived at the Hopkins home at 4pm, they were met with gunfire; all three officers were wounded. In response, other officers arrived at the scene as the gunman continued to fire. The suspect remained barricaded in his home with family members, including children. Hopkins used multiple weapons to engage the officers, shooting from the second story of the house with a rifle and other firearms.

Hopkins has a long history of troublesome behavior, from a disbarment to recent charges of disorderly conduct. Some of the family members held in the home during the standoff were children; the family has nine kids, according to the State newspaper.

A Town in Mourning

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for officers to be shot in the line of duty, but to have so many injured in the same incident is uncommon. The town of Florence mourns officer Terrance Carraway and the injured officers and remains unsettled by this terrible act of violence in a normally placid and safe area.

The officers injured are being treated at local hospitals, the suspected shooter is also at the hospital with a head injury. Details continue to emerge in this tragic story that shocked the town of Florence and the nation this week.

Hurricane Michael Results in Car Accidents

Hurricane Michael Results in South Carolina Car Accidents

When there are hazardous roadway conditions like rain or ice require drivers to be safe.  If a car wreck happens because of water in the road or some other condition there is a good chance that the police officer will still assign fault for the wreck.  Typically we see drivers placed at fault for “driving too fast for conditions” or “failing to pay full time and attention” .  In short, you must operate your car in safer manner regardless of the weather.

Safe Driving In Bad Weather

Storms and hurricanes can create dangerous road conditions  because of  poor visibility, decreased traction on the road, debris in the lanes, and rising or standing water.  These factors significantly increase the potential of a South Carolina car wreck. It your responsibility to use additional care behind the wheel regardless of weather.   Some ways that a driver in Columbia, Lexington or Greenville, South Carolina can stay safe:

What to Do if in a Car Accident

Every car accident is different and the circumstances following the accident vary.  The main thing is to prevent yourself from additional injury. If you can pull to the side of the road then try and do that to get out of the lanes of travel.  Call the police or EMS If you believe they are needed. While you are waiting, assuming you can do so safely, take photographs of the scene, your car and the other car.  Weather can wash away some evidence.  Get checked out by a doctor.  Many injuries seem minor at first because the adrenaline is pumping but as that goes away the injury lingers.  Finally, protect your rights.  Schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer – the meeting is FREE so you can learn about your rights.

About Ryan Montgomery

Ryan is a lawyer that has been practicing law since 2000.  Early in his career he represented insurance companies in car accident cases and also workers’ compensation cases.  He grew tired of insurance company games that hurt the citizens of South Carolina and switched sides to help the injured.  He now fights for you and your family.  If you are in Columbia, Lexington, Greenville, Anderson and/or Spartanburg call now for your no charge meeting.

​I’ve Been Hurt in a Car Accident, What Now?

In South Carolina, many accidents are caused each year because of distracted driving or driving under the influence. If you are injured because a driver is using a cell phone to text and not paying attention to the road, you are entitled to compensation if it is determined that you are not at fault. Texting or sending emails on a smart phone is illegal in South Carolina, although using your smart phone or other hand held device to make a phone call is not.

Accident Injuries From Distracted Driving

Your compensation in any personal injury lawsuit is determined by how serious your injuries are, how long they are expected to last, and the percentage you are at fault for the accident. If the other driver was at fault, you receive 100% of the compensation you are entitled to if you win your case. If it is determined that you share fault for the accident, your compensation is lowered accordingly.

Driving laws permit teenagers as young as 15 to have a conditional license in the state of South Carolina. They are allowed to drive alone during daylight, and until midnight with a licensed driver over 21. The number of passengers is restricted, as many young drivers are easily distracted when they get their first license to drive. If you are hurt by a young driver not following the rules of their conditional license, it’s time to talk with an attorney to learn about and protect your rights.

Getting Hurt in an Auto Accident

If you are out of work because of your auto accident injuries, you need a way to support yourself financially. If your injuries are severe enough, you may not be able to return to work at all. These factors are considered in a personal injury lawsuit, and you have the right to seek damages if you are injured because of the negligence or willful misconduct of another driver on the road.

If you have been hurt in a car accident and have received medical attention, it’s time to meet with a personal injury attorney who can help you. Ryan Montgomery, Attorney at Law, LLC is ready to talk with you about your injuries and to develop a case for you to receive financial compensation because of your injuries. For a free initial consultation contact our Greenville or Columbia office.

Parasailing Accident Attorney in SC

Parasailing is a popular activity on the nation’s lakes, waterways, and beaches, and the much-visited resort and tourist areas along the coast of South Carolina are no exception. Each year millions of people worldwide take to the air to enjoy a thrilling ride, strapped into a parachute being towed behind a speeding boat. At first glance, it would seem to be an inherently safe activity, being in a chute that will bring its occupant slowly to the water if the rope breaks or the boat’s engine stops.

A Fun But Risky Pursuit

Nevertheless, parasailing is one of what are known as extreme sports, an airborne one at that, and part of the thrill is that there is an element of danger. That danger is demonstrated by the number of injuries and even fatalities that occur each year, and South Carolina has had its share of them. Many of those that have been injured, or who have lost loved ones in accidents, have filed personal injury lawsuits against the operators of parasailing businesses and have been awarded significant compensation. Industry and safety experts point out that part of the problem is that there is virtually no regulation of the sport at the state or federal level.

Parasailing Accidents In The Carolinas

In 2009, in a widely reported case, Cynthia Collins Woodcock, 60, from North Carolina, and Lorrie Shoup, 56, from Colorado, fell to their deaths off of Ocean Isle Beach, NC when the towline snapped in high wind of up to 34 mph and with tropical storm Danny approaching. After an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities, the parasailing company involved was found negligent in the accident for taking the pair out despite severe and hazardous weather alerts in effect.

In June of 2018 a parasail rider lost both of his legs in an accident off of Myrtle Beach, though this one happened after he had come back down and was heading back to the boat, and somehow became entangled in the boat’s propeller. That accident is still under investigation at the time of this writing.

Many other parasail riders have suffered injuries ranging from bruises, strains, and pulled muscles to broken bones.

Reckless And Negligent Behavior

Many accidents and injuries, as well as equipment failures, go unreported by operators, although they are required to do so to the U.S. Coast Guard and in some cases to local authorities.

A majority of accidents, over 40%, are caused by operating in adverse weather conditions. Many others are caused by human error or reckless operations.

Although passengers sign a waiver, it doesn’t protect businesses from gross negligence.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you know has been injured in a parasailing accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our offices today for a free and confidential consultation.

​First Case Goes To Trial In Monsanto RoundUp Class Action Suit

The Monsanto Company, a huge global agricultural conglomerate, is in the midst of another class action lawsuit. This time over its widely popular product RoundUp, the most used herbicide in the U.S. It has long been a controversial organization, in recent decades for its role in the proliferation of genetically modified organisms, or GMO foods like corn and soybeans, which many believe to be harmful. It has also been accused by some of attempting to take de facto control of the world’s food supply using its technology and tremendous political clout.

Before it became an agricultural giant, it was one of the companies that produced Agent Orange, used in Vietnam and linked to many veteran illnesses, and also Dioxin, DDT, and PCBs. In 1970 Monsanto introduced RoundUp, chemically known as glyphosate, which brought the company $4.8 billion in profits in 2015. But now it’s the basis of a lawsuit which potentially could cost the company much more than that in compensation to cancer victims.

RoundUp And Cancer Risk

The company’s troubles began in March of 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization, found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, was “probably carcinogenic to humans”, which means it can possibly cause cancer. Specifically, studies have linked exposure to the chemical to multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia. The report also stated that “The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001. In addition, there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals.”

The Monsanto Company has long refuted these findings. Vice president of strategy Scott Partridge stated, “More than 800 scientific studies, the U.S. EPA , the National Institutes of Health, and regulators around the world have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer…we have empathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the scientific evidence clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause. We look forward to presenting this evidence to the court.”

First Case Goes To Trial

In June of 2018, Dewayne Johnson, 46, a former California public schools groundskeeper and father of two, became the first cancer sufferer to go to trial in the class action lawsuit against Monsanto. More than 800 others joined the lawsuit last year, but Johnson is the first to see a trial because he is close to death, according to his doctors. Thousands of others are ready to join the class action, because anyone who has been exposed to RoundUp and has cancer can also be a part of the lawsuit, and the financial settlement in compensation to cancer victims could be considerable.

Contact RoundUp Attorneys

We are dedicated South Carolina attorneys helping those harmed by Roundup®. Call Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law in Columbia or Greenville for a no-obligation claim evaluation.

Injured on the Job? Here Are Some Answers

Injured on the Job? Here Are Some Answers

How Long Do I have to Report a Workers Comp Injury?

Under South Carolina Law you have 90 days to report an injury from the date you knew, or should have known, you had the injury.  Repetitive Trauma cases like carpal tunnel or others can be tricky as to the 90 day requirement. Note: the longer you wait to report any injury the more likely it is the insurance company will use the delay against you.

How Long Do I have to File  a Claim for Workers’ Compensation?

In South Carolina you have two (2) years to file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. This is NOT the same as reporting it to your job or to the insurance company. You MUST establish a claim with the Workers Comp Commission in Columbia, SC. 

My Employer Says He Doesn’t Have Workers Comp Insurance. What do I do?

If an employer has 4 or more regularly employed workers then he/she must carry workers comp insurance coverage.  If they do not, then there is a State Fund set up to pay these claims and the employer will have to reimburse that Fund for your on the job injury.  You are still protected but will likely need a lawyer to assist.

My Employer Says I am an independent Contractor So I don’t get Workers Comp. Is this true?

Depends.  Many employers think that simply because they pay someone under a 1099 form that makes them an independent contractor. This is not true.  There is a test in South Carolina to determine if you are in fact an independent contractor (no comp) or a statutory employer (yes comp) and all centers around your boss’s control of you.  The 4 factors are:

  1. Direct Evidence of Right or Exercise of Control- I.e. Who sets work schedule, who tells you where to go, who tells you what to do, etc.
  2. Method of Payment- Cash, Check
  3. Furnishing of Equipment or Tools
  4. Right to Fire The Injured Worker

Who Pays My Medical Care for an On the Job Injury?

If the claim is accepted then the insurance company “should” pay 100% of all casually related authorized medical care. This means any doctors they send you to that they should pay the bill. If you are getting an invoice for any amount this may not be correct.

Can I Pick My Own Doctor?

Not if you want workers’ comp to pay the bill.  If it is an admitted case then you have must go to their doctor in order to have that bill paid. I am of the mindset you are always entitled to go to your own doctor but don’t expect that bill to be paid by the workers comp insurance carrier.

What if I have Other Questions that Aren’t Answered here?

That’s easy.  Schedule a free workers comp injury consultation where I will personally sit down with you and answer all of your questions.