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Get REAL!

Mark your calendar – one year from tomorrow. Starting October 1, 2021 your South Carolina Driver’s license may not be honored any longer in certain circumstances. Your South Carolina driver’s license will not work if you want to board a domestic airline flight, enter a Federal Building (court house) or visit a military base or installation. For those who travel internationally, you will still be required to have a valid United States Passport in order to travel. According to the SCDMV website, the REAL ID will replace that driver’s license and will have a gold star in the upper right hand corner. If you do not have a driver’s license you can still get a REAL ID that will not have driving privileges.

Much like your driver’s license there are certain documents and requirements to obtain this new DMV ID. Per the DMV website, here are examples of acceptable documents as well as what is needed if you have had a legal name change:  

South Carolina DMV REAL ID

The last thing you want to do is have to wait in a long DMV line. Before you do that, check online to see if you qualify for an online purchase of your REAL ID. If you don’t qualify, then please do not forget you cannot just show up at the DMV in the age of COVID-19, you must make a South Carolina DMV Appointment up to three weeks ahead of time.

Ryan Montgomery is a South Carolina injury lawyer focusing on car accidents, drunk driving accidents, personal injury, workers’ compensation and on the job injuries. For more information, please contact (864) 373-7333.

Treating Injuries During Quarantine

Quarantine may have prevented you from venturing out as much as you once did, but injuries are still a possibility. If you sustain an injury during quarantine, you may need treatment. Depending on the situation, you may choose from one of four approaches to treatment.

If it is a medical emergency dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Injury Treatment Options

1. Seek treatment virtually.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, virtual treatment has become a much more popular option among people who don’t need emergency medical services. A virtual doctor’s appointment will allow you to talk to a medical professional over video chat. You may be asked to show the doctor or nurse the injured area, and you may also need to answer questions about the injury. At the end of the appointment, you may be given instructions, additional treatment options and/or a prescription for medication.

2. Call a health line.

If you are not able to seek virtual treatment, or if you want to talk to a medical professional about your injuries faster, consider calling a health line for advice. You may be instructed to take steps to treat the injury at home, or you may be advised to make an in-person appointment. In cases of severe injury, you may be told to go to the emergency room.

3. Do exercises at home.

In some cases, you may be able to rehabilitate an injury at home by doing specific exercises. However, you should not attempt any rehabilitative exercises unless you have been advised to do so by a physician. You can also use exercises to reduce the risk of sustaining an injury in the first place.

4. Go to a clinic in person.

Now that facilities are reopening for non-emergent appointments and procedures, you may be able to seek treatment for your injury in person. However, if you are worried about exposure to coronavirus, you should go to the clinic only if no other option is appropriate. If you choose to go to a facility in person, call ahead to make an appointment and/or make sure you will be permitted to see a doctor. Wear a mask while in the clinic to reduce health risks to yourself and others.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured during quarantine because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries can be costly, leading to expensive medical bills, lost wages and more.

If someone else caused your injury, they can be held legally responsible for these expenses. The best way to recover the compensation you deserve for a personal injury is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for guidance. A qualified personal injury lawyer will be able to review your situation and help you determine whether to move forward with a lawsuit. Your attorney will also be by your side to help you maximize your chances of bringing home a fair settlement. Please contact our firm today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

My Elder is in a Nursing Home During Covid, Legal Help

Covid-19 has rampaged nursing homes across the country, where vulnerable populations live in close quarters. The pandemic is a challenge for nursing homes to manage, and an emotional and legal minefield for families to navigate. If you have an elder loved one who’s in a nursing home during this Covid-19 pandemic, here are some tips to help manage the situation.

Stay Abreast of State and Local Laws

Nursing homes are generally governed at the state level, although the federal administration is considering demanding testing for all nursing homes and some local municipalities may have their own regulations. At all levels — and especially at the state level — regulations are evolving as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds

Because the laws and regulations regarding nursing homes change at times, make sure you stay abreast of the state and local laws that could impact the nursing home where your elder is living. These changes can include everything from relaxed or more restrictive shutdown orders, and they certainly include anything that’s specific to nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

In general, you can remain current by monitoring your sate and local news for updates to any changes. Anything significant will likely be reported. If you want to be absolutely sure you’re aware of the current laws and regulations, though, you should check directly with your local health department.

Ask for Documented Policies and Procedures

To learn exactly how your elder’s specific nursing home is managing the risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, ask for a copy of the policies and procedures that are being followed. You might find these online, or you may have to request a copy from the administrative office. If you ask, they should be willing to send or email you their Covid-19-specific protocols.

Verbally finding out about a community’s policies and procedures is somewhat helpful, but that information won’t be terribly useful in the event that you need to seek legal recourse. Written documents that detail policies and procedures can be used to check whether a nursing home is currently complying with all local and state regulations. The documents might also be useful should you ever need to show that the community is guilty of nursing home negligence.

Document the Mistakes You See

As tragic as it would be, everyone who has an elder in a nursing home must consider the possibility that their loved one could be exposed to Covid-19.

If your elder dies of Covid-19 and you want to take recourse against the nursing home, you’ll need to provide evidence of nursing home negligence. One key step to proving this in court is to provide evidence, and the best way to do that is to document what you see that’s wrong.

Get Legal Help from an Attorney

If you need legal assistance establishing nursing home negligence in South Carolina, contact Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC.  An experienced nursing home negligence attorney, Ryan is uniquely qualified to help you in your case against an elder’s nursing home.

How the Coronavirus Pandemic May Affect Personal Injury Cases

The Coronavirus pandemic is leading to all kinds of uncertainty in the United States at this time. If you are in the middle of a personal injury case, COVID-19 can cause some delays in settling or litigating your case. When you meet with a personal injury attorney, you may need to meet virtually to discuss the merits of your case. While the court may be accepting filings, motions and discovery, you might need to wait longer for a court date if the court building itself is closed.

COVID-19 is a pandemic that is changing the legal landscape rapidly. You might feel rushed to settle your personal injury claim, for fear that you are never going to get your case into court for litigation. If money is getting tight, you might feel additional pressure to get any money you can from your case through a settlement. It’s important to listen to your personal injury attorney and build a strong case despite the continued pandemic presented by the Coronavirus.

Your personal injury attorney will guide you through your personal injury claim. While you might have to wait for a trial, discovery can be done to collect all the evidence you need to take your case to court. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company of the defendant or the defendant’s attorney to try and come up with a settlement agreement that works for both of you. If you can afford to wait for your money, it is going to be worth your time and effort to fight for a settlement that is fair to you.

Consider the Financial Position of the Defendant

COVID-19 has done more than impact individuals. If you have filed a personal injury claim against a business that is not open because of the pandemic, they may not be able to offer you a reasonable financial settlement no matter how long you wait. There is going to be a balance between the financial stability of the defendant and your ability to wait for a reasonable settlement offer. Your personal injury attorney will work through the merits of your case with you in order to decide if it is time to accept a settlement offer when it is the best option.

With so much uncertainty, you want to work with a personal injury attorney that is flexible and able to work within the constraints of the partially closed court system. Your claim can be successfully negotiated, but you have to be willing to get creative when it comes to gathering information and recording witness statements.

Technology can play a big role in your personal injury claim, making it easy to meet with your attorney through virtual means. When you are worried about your personal injury claim during COVID-19, your personal injury attorney is ready to work hard to get you the settlement you deserve.

How to Protect Your Legal Rights During a Pandemic

Many services have come grinding to a halt since the pandemic struck. There is now less freedom of movement and many offices aren’t open. Perhaps getting someone to handle your personal injury case feels more challenging than before. This doesn’t mean that you should shelve your injury case until a future date. Here are some things you can do to keep things moving along nicely despite the circumstances.

Exchange Contact Information With Other Parties

Get the contact details of the other parties involved in the incident before moving on to the next steps. This is assuming that you are still well enough to talk or move about. You should record details like full name, physical address, phone number, and insurance details. Don’t forget to adhere to the social distancing and personal protection guidelines given by the authorities to reduce the risk of exposing yourself to the virus

Get Medical Attention

While staying away from emergency rooms might protect you from being a statistic in the pandemic, you still need treatment if you are seriously injured. If it is minor scratches, call a physician and have them tell you what to do from home. Sometimes, you can even get off-site visits that will take care of your injuries while keeping you out of the emergency room.

Report Accidents to Relevant Authorities

If you were involved in an auto accident, you still have to contact and record a statement with the police. Law enforcement is still working. Their notes of the accident will come in handy when resolving your case.

Call a Lawyer

Most law firms are available on call amidst the pandemic. Don’t think you should sit it out and wait until everything clears to start pushing for a settlement. It might be too late at that point. Trying to handle the case on your own might sound like a good idea, but it rarely beats the results you will get with an expert by your side

Our office will find a way to handle your case while adhering to the social distancing directives. This will ensure that you get maximum compensation from insurance companies or other parties involved in the incident.

Keep Records, and Back them Up

Recording everything can make an investigation and pushing for settlements more direct . Take videos or photos of the accident and injuries. You can also record your recovery process, keep track of all treatment procedures and bills, and give personal notes on your recovery process

If you can do so, provide videos and photos of any physiotherapy sessions at home under the directive of your physician to help prove your diligence in trying to recover. Remember to back up all this information at least once so that you can have it when you meet an attorney. Staying organized will make it easier for your personal injury attorney to formulate and present a good case , hence increasing your chances of getting a better settlement.

The prevailing pandemic doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less. You still deserve and need legal counsel. Contact an attorney as soon as possible and have an expert walk you through the entire personal injury settlement process.

What Does COVID-19 Mean for My Personal Injury Case

COVID-19 is causing disruptions throughout the world in most facets of life. The number of businesses closed in the United States is staggering, and this includes the courts in many states. In South Carolina, the courts are open, although functioning differently than before COVID-19 struck. Hearings are backed up from the shutdown in mid-March, and hearings that require witnesses or cross examinations must be postponed until the court is open to the public.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations in a personal injury claim is three years. You must file your claim within three years of your personal injury in order to seek damages for your case. While no trials can occur while the court is not open physically to the public, a claim can still be filed because court personnel are working remotely. Your personal injury attorney can file an initial claim, work on the discovery process, and file motions with the court in order to keep your case on track.

Negotiation and Mediation Can Still Occur

Many personal injury claims don’t go to trial, as both parties are willing to negotiate a settlement to avoid a lengthy trial. Your attorney can represent you in mediation, trying to get you a deal that you are comfortable with. As discovery is gathered, your personal injury attorney will have a good idea of how strong your case is and work to negotiate a settlement that is fair to you.

If depositions are needed for your personal injury claim, these can be done remotely. Witness statements can be gathered, and your personal injury lawyer can prepare for your trial for when the time comes. As COVID-19 gets under control, courts are expected to become accessible to the public so that cases can move forward.

COVID-19 Won’t Stop Your Personal Injury Claim

If you have bills piling up because of a personal injury, they aren’t going to stop just because COVID-19 is around. An attorney can work with you to discuss the merits of your case and prepare an initial claim for court. The system is accepting new filings, and you will be able to schedule a hearing if necessary once the court is open to the public again.

While life is different for everyone at this time as new systems are put into place for the safety matters because of COVID-19, the court system will open with new protocols in place to keep the risk of COVID-19 community spread down. If you have a personal injury case and you aren’t sure if your case can be managed during the pandemic, it is important to understand that plenty of work can be done. With e-filing systems, remote depositions and the ability to conference through video means, the legal system has not come to a halt.

Your personal injury claim can be worked on throughout the pandemic, and will continue to get the attention it deserves.

Meet Personal Injury Attorney Ryan Montgomery

When you’re injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it can be hard to know who to trust. The lawyer you hire can make or break your case, and it’s critical to work with someone you can feel good about. Meet personal injury attorney Ryan Montgomery and learn how he’ll stand behind you and advocate for your best interests through every step of your case.

Mission

At the beginning of his legal career, Ryan represented employers and their insurance companies in injury and workers’ compensation cases. Part of his job was to help insurance companies pay lower settlements or deny the claims of injured people. Ryan began to see how the companies he worked for were utilizing his skills to harm the injured, not help them. He knew it was time to switch sides.

Ryan decided he would no longer represent businesses and insurance companies and instead, provides compassionate, caring legal services to accident victims and their families. His mission is to ensure that these people have someone on their side looking out for what’s best for them when they are too injured, stressed, and shaken up to advocate for themselves.

Education

Ryan Montgomery attended Clemson University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in speech and communications in 1997. He pursued his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Baltimore and graduated in 2000, the same year he attended Georgetown University as a student visitor.

Career

Fresh out of law school, Attorney Montgomery’s first position was as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Michael D. Mason for the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Later, he joined a trial and litigation law firm in Rockville as an associate attorney until he relocated to South Carolina after the birth of his oldest child. He now practices law at his own private practice in Greenville.

Awards

Attorney Montgomery has earned a prestigious place within the field of personal injury through hard work and dedicated compassion for his clients. Ryan achieved an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® for 7 consecutive years, a designation reserved for those who practice law with the highest ethical standards and professional expertise. For 6 of those years, Ryan was designated legal elite in the areas of workers’ compensation and personal injury.

An AV rating is only awarded to approximately 10% of attorneys nationwide and means that a lawyer’s own peers have ranked them highly. Attorney Montgomery was also selected by Greenville Magazine’s Best and Brightest. This means when you work with Ryan, you can trust his expertise and dedication to your case and the best possible outcome.

Family and Hobbies

Ryan’s a family man and enjoys spending time with his wife and three children — all boys! — when not working to help other families recover from devastating accidents and injuries. He’s a soccer coach and loves being on the field encouraging young players to do their best. Ryan also enjoys fishing, basketball, and other sports with his wife and boys when he’s not in the office.

Injured? Let Attorney Ryan Help

Attorney Ryan Montgomery cares about you and your loved ones. If you were injured, Ryan is on the case. He’ll help you find doctors with experience treating victims of negligence, gather as much evidence as possible to support your case, and pursue the maximum settlement award. Call today at (864) 362-3418.

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.