Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect

Millions of elderly people are neglected in long-term care facilities every year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, nearly all older people experience nursing home neglect or abuse at some point. If you suspect your loved one has been neglected, you should act right away. Abuse tends to get worse over time and can even be fatal if it is not stopped.

What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

While more than 40% of nursing home residents report abuse, nearly 95% say they have experienced neglect. Nursing home neglect involves caregivers failing to uphold medical care guidelines and expected standards of care. They may fail to provide necessities like food and water to a patient, or they may simply ignore them.

Signs of nursing home neglect include:

These negligent actions are evidence that nursing home staff have breached their duty to your loved one and their family. This neglect can lead to illnesses and injuries that are fatal to your loved one.

Steps to Take If Your Loved One Experienced Nursing Home Neglect

senior women in a nursing home

If your loved one is being neglected at a long-term care facility in South Carolina, you should take the following steps:

  1. Call 911. If your loved one is in immediate or life-threatening danger, you need to contact the police right away. They can investigate the situation and help you document the neglect. 
  2. Call Adult Protective Services. The Long Term Care Ombudsman at the South Carolina Department of Social Services will help you determine what steps to take to protect your loved one. You can call them at 1-800-868-9095.
  3. Remove Your Loved One from the Nursing Home. If possible, you should help your loved one move to a safe location. This might include home-based care or a different care facility.
  4. Gather Evidence of the Neglect. If you have pictures of your loved one’s injuries or records that prove neglect, you should gather that information and provide it to the authorities during their investigation.
  5. Call a South Carolina Nursing Home Neglect Attorney. The nursing home will likely fight back against your allegations of neglect. You need someone by your side who will protect your rights and the health and safety of your loved one.

It’s important to report nursing home neglect and take action against it. If you file a complaint, it might prevent neglect from occurring to other residents in the future.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Nursing Home Neglect Case?

While you are not required to get legal assistance to handle a nursing home neglect case, an attorney can relieve some of your stress by handling the legal issues.

A long term care ombudsman can help you file a neglect complaint against the nursing home, but they cannot help you with a nursing home neglect lawsuit. They do not provide legal advice in South Carolina. Only an attorney has the knowledge you need to file a lawsuit and hold the care facility accountable for their neglectful actions.

It is in your best interest to work with a nursing home neglect attorney. They will conduct an independent investigation and handle all communications with government agencies as well as the nursing home and their insurance company. These parties will use complex legal language that may be confusing. They may also discourage you from trying to get compensation to cover you and your loved one’s damages. A lawyer will be on your side, representing only your best interests.

Compensation in Nursing Home Neglect Cases

If your loved one was severely injured due to neglect they experienced in a nursing home, you may have significant damages. You can get compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim.

You can get money to cover the following losses:

In some cases, you may also be able to get punitive damages. These damages do not compensate you for losses, but instead punish the at-fault party for wrongful actions.

When you call a nursing home neglect lawyer, you can ask about the value of your case. We know that money cannot make everything better, but it can help you cover costs that were incurred as a result of the negligence of the nursing home and their staff.

Call a South Carolina Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer for Help

Nursing home neglect cases can be complex. You must prove that the care facility and/or staff failed to take action that resulted in harm to your loved one. The nursing home will likely fight back against your allegations. With the help of a skilled nursing home neglect lawyer, you can protect your loved one as well as other residents in the long-term care facility.

Call attorney Ryan Montgomery today at (864) 207-4927 for a case consultation.

Upstate SC I-85 Construction Safety Tips to Avoid Auto Accidents

Construction on I-85 in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties promises a better highway system in Upstate South Carolina; however, in ongoing roadwork creates a risk of car accidents. Drivers on the highway need to be aware of frequent lane closures, narrow shoulders, and inconsistent construction signage. Read below to learn some construction safety tips that can help you avoid auto accidents in this area of the state.

What Is the I-85 Construction Project?

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is working with contractors to widen and rehabilitate Interstate 85 beginning at mile marker 77 and ending at the North Carolina state line. The roadwork involves a total of 29 miles of interstate in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties.

Between mile markers 77 and 80 in Spartanburg County, the construction team will widen and rehabilitate the existing highway. The current four-lane interstate will be widened to six lanes between mile markers 80 and 90 in Cherokee County and from mile marker 98 through the North Carolina state line. A travel lane will be added in both directions and several exits and exit ramps will be reconstructed. Additionally, two railroad bridge crossings will be replaced.

The goal of construction on I-85 is to reduce traffic congestion while improving safety for all drivers on the roadway. Widening the corridor will also boost the local economy by increasing the capacity of this section of the highway. These improvements to I-85 will allow this South Carolina interstate system to function more efficiently.

During the construction, SCDOT will use lane shifts to allow contractors to work on I-85 throughout the day. Barriers will be placed and traffic lanes going in one direction may be shifted to the other side of the highway. Northbound and Southbound traffic will each have two lanes for a period of time.  

Detailed information about the I-85 construction project and lane closures can be found on the SCDOT I-85 Widening Project website.

Work Zone Car Accident Statistics

Work zones are extremely dangerous because of constant changes and the presence of construction equipment and workers.

According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, there were approximately 102,000 crashes in construction areas throughout the United States in 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available). Those car accidents led to more than 44,000 injuries and 857 fatalities. More than 150 construction workers were killed by auto crashes.

All of these accidents could have been avoided with better diligence from drivers and construction workers.

How to Avoid Car Accidents in Construction Zones

There are steps that drivers can take to avoid car accidents in work zones.

  1. Plan Ahead – Work zones typically have significant traffic congestion. You should expect delays and avoid these areas whenever possible.
  2. Obey Signs – SCDOT will place cones, barrels, barriers, and signs in work zones that help you drive safely. These indicators will direct you which lane to drive in, when to reduce your speed, and how to avoid workers.
  3. Slow Down – Speed limits in construction zones are typically lower to allow drivers time to process new traffic patterns and to protect workers. Keep a safe distance from cars ahead of you to avoid a crash if there is a sudden stop.
  4. Move Over – If you see construction vehicles or workers on the shoulder of the road, move as far to the left as possible. Give them space to avoid swerving into them or throwing debris from your tires.
  5. Avoid Distractions – Distracted driving can be especially dangerous in a work zone. You must be alert to notice new signs, adjusted speed limits, increased traffic, and unexpected construction vehicles and workers.
  6. Watch for Sudden Stops – Traffic congestion is common in work zones, so sudden stopping is often required. Leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you so that a sudden stop doesn’t catch you off guard.
  7. Be Aware of Large Vehicles – Construction supplies and equipment often drive on the roadway in work zones. They can interfere with traffic and may drive slowly.
  8. Ask Passengers for Help – You may be so focused on the traffic ahead that you miss important signage. Ask passengers in your vehicle to help watch out for signs and lane closures.
  9. Watch for Workers – Construction workers will be present in all South Carolina work zones. Avoid them by moving to the left when you see them on the shoulder of the road.
  10. Be Patient – If you must drive through work zones, you should remain calm and follow the rules of the road. Keep in mind that the I-85 construction will be done soon and will benefit the entire area.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer If You Need Help

If you are involved in a work zone accident, you should immediately call a car accident attorney who can protect your rights. Ryan Montgomery Law has helped countless victims like you get the compensation they need to move forward after a serious accident. You shouldn’t shoulder the burden alone. Call us today at (864) 207-4927 for a case consultation.

Ryan Montgomery Law Named a Top Workers’ Compensation Firm

Ryan Montgomery Law selected as a 2022 Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Reports and Best Lawyers®.

PRESS RELEASE

Greenville, SC

U.S. News and World Reports and Best Lawyers® has named Ryan Montgomery Law as a 2022 Best Law Firm.  This is the 4th consecutive year the firm has been named to the prestigious list.  Ryan Montgomery Law is ranked regionally in the Greenville, South Carolina metropolitan area in the practice category – Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants.

The 2022 rankings incorporate more than 8.2 million evaluations of more than 115,000 attorneys representing over 22,000 law firms.  Of that number, more than 2,000 law firms received a national ranking this year.  The selection process includes both client and peer reviews.

Survey feedback is provided for the firm in the areas of expertise, responsiveness, integrity, understanding of the business and its needs, cost effectiveness, and whether they would refer a client to the firm.  To be eligible for consideration, a firm must have at least one lawyer who has received high enough peer reviews to be recognized in the current edition of Best Lawyers® in a Best Law Firms practice area in their region.  The annual rankings are available to the public at bestfirms.usnews.com.  They provide a credible and reliable resource to assist potential clients in choosing a qualified legal firm for their needs.

Ryan Montgomery Law in Greenville, South Carolina specializes in Personal Injury Law.  The firm is dedicated to helping people who have been injured through the negligence of others in motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall and other premise liability cases, and workplace injuries (Workers’ Compensation).  In addition, the firm handles wrongful death, product liability, and Social Security disability cases.  Ryan Montgomery Law has earned a 10.0 Superb rating by Avvo Rating and is Top Rated by Super Lawyers.

The firm serves clients throughout the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina.  For more information or to schedule a free consultation with Ryan Montgomery Law, call 864-881-4573 or contact https://www.ryanmontgomerylaw.com/.

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About Ryan Montgomery Law

Ryan Montgomery Law has served injured South Carolina clients for more than a decade from their Greenville offices.  The firm offers quality legal services to those who have been injured due to the negligence of others.  Attorneys specialize in Personal Injury cases including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Premise Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability, and Wrongful Death.  They are proud to have earned 5 Star ratings from Avvo and Lawyers.com.

Ryan S. Montgomery Chosen Top Rated Super Lawyer in Two Practice Areas

Greenville, SC attorney Ryan S. Montgomery named a 2022 Super Lawyer for Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury.

PRESS RELEASE

Greenville, SC

Ryan S. Montgomery, founder of Ryan Montgomery Law in Greenville, South Carolina, has been selected a Top Rated attorney by Super Lawyers.  He was chosen in two practice areas – Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury.  His law firm represents clients throughout the Upstate and Midlands regions.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained high peer recognition and professional achievement.  Lawyers are rated in more than 70 practice areas.  The nomination process is confidential, and attorneys cannot pay to be on the list.  The selection process includes peer nominations, peer evaluations, and independent research.  The annual list is published in Super Lawyers Magazine and as a special section in leading and regional magazines.  The online search directory is an invaluable resource that enables potential clients to select an attorney that meets their needs.

Ryan Montgomery is a graduate of Clemson University and the University of Baltimore School of Law.  He was admitted to the Bar in both Maryland and South Carolina.  Mr. Montgomery was honored as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2013-2014 and has been named to the Super Lawyer list since 2019.

A former insurance company lawyer who switched sides, Montgomery now represents Workers’ Compensation clients who have been injured in the workplace or who developed occupational disease through exposure to toxic materials.  He also represents clients who have been hurt in motor vehicle accidents, premise liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death through Personal Injury cases.

Cases at Ryan Montgomery Law are handled on a contingency basis.  There is no fee unless they recover a settlement for clients.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 864-881-4573 or contact https://www.ryanmontgomerylaw.com/.

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About Ryan Montgomery Law

Ryan Montgomery Law has served injured South Carolina clients for more than a decade from their Greenville offices.  The firm offers quality legal services to those who have been injured due to the negligence of others.  Attorneys specialize in Personal Injury cases including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Premise Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability, and Wrongful Death.  They are proud to have earned 5 Star ratings from Avvo and Lawyers.com.

Who Is Responsible When an Auto Accident Involves a Pedestrian in South Carolina?

Some people assume that motor vehicles are always to blame in pedestrian vs. car accidents. However, pedestrians also have laws to follow when walking along South Carolina roadways. Read below to find out who may be liable when a driver hits a pedestrian and what damages may be recovered by each party.

Is the Driver Always At Fault in a Pedestrian vs. Car Accident?

You may have heard that “pedestrians always have right of way.” However, that’s not always true in South Carolina. People who walk along roadways are required to follow nearly as many laws as drivers.

Pedestrian roadway laws can be found in the same South Carolina Code as motor vehicles: Title 56.

What Is Right of Way?

South Carolina Code Section 56-5-580 defines right of way as “the right of one vehicle or pedestrian to proceed in a lawful manner in preference to another vehicle or pedestrian approaching under such circumstances of direction, speed, proximity as to give rise to danger of collision unless one grants precedence to the other.” Basically, the person with right of way has the legal right to proceed along their path first, or with precedence over other vehicles and pedestrians.

In South Carolina, there is no overall assumption of right of way. Right of way is extended depending on the situation, including traffic signals and signs and circumstances (such as a roadway emergency or bus stop).

Traffic Lights and Traffic Control Signals

Pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 56-5-970, both motor vehicles and pedestrians must comply with traffic control signals.

A green light indicates that a vehicles and pedestrians may proceed forward through an intersection. Pedestrians must stay on sidewalks or marked or unmarked crosswalks when walking across streets.

When vehicles have a green arrow, they may turn, but must yield right of way to pedestrians who are lawfully in the crosswalk. Vehicles turning right must also yield right of way to pedestrians who are already lawfully in a crosswalk.

Pedestrians are not permitted to begin crossing a roadway while the light or traffic control signal is yellow. Yellow indicates that there is insufficient time to cross before a red indication.

Neither cars nor pedestrians may cross a roadway where there is a red traffic signal.

Special Pedestrian Control Signals

South Carolina use special pedestrian control signals as described in South Carolina Code Section 56-5-990. When the signal indicates “Walk,” a pedestrian facing that signal may proceed in the direction of the signal. They are to be given right of way by all motor vehicle drivers.

When a signal reads “Wait,” a pedestrian should not cross the roadway. If they are in the middle of the crosswalk, then they should continue to a sidewalk or safety island and wait until the signal changes to “Walk.” Motor vehicles have right of way when the pedestrian traffic signal reads “Wait.”  

Motor Vehicles Must Take Precautions Around Pedestrians

While motor vehicles may have right of way in certain situations, they still must be cautious when driving around pedestrians.

Reducing Speeds When Around Pedestrians

Under South Carolina Code Section 56-5-1520, drivers should reduce their speed when approaching pedestrians. This applies to situations where there are crosswalks as well as when pedestrians are on or beside the roadway for other reasons.

Obstructing Pedestrian Crossings

Motor vehicle drivers must also ensure they do not obstruct pedestrian crossings. For example, if a driver stops at a red light, they must provide pedestrians enough space to cross within the unmarked or marked crosswalk.

Pedestrians Stopped at Roadway Emergencies

Additionally, if there are pedestrians at an emergency scene along the side of a roadway, then motor vehicles must not block access to the emergency scene and slow down or move over to a lane farther away from the scene, if possible.

Pedestrian Roadway Workers

When pedestrian workers are on the roadway, all drivers must yield right of way to those workers. Drivers must follow special traffic control devices presented by pedestrian workers as well.

Bus Pedestrians

Drivers who come upon a school bus must abide by yellow lights and red stop signs used by the bus driver. Pedestrians getting onto and off the bus have right of way. Failure to yield right of way to a bus pedestrian that results in great bodily injury or death can result in a felony conviction. 

Who Is Responsible for Injuries in a Pedestrian vs. Car Accident?

If a pedestrian accident occurs, then the person who is at fault is responsible for the other party’s damages. That means, if the pedestrian had right of way and a driver hit them on the roadway, then the motor vehicle driver is responsible for paying for the injuries of the pedestrian. In most cases, the driver’s insurance company will cover losses like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

If a pedestrian was at fault for an accident, then they may be responsible for property damage or other losses to the car driver. This might require the driver to file a personal injury lawsuit against the pedestrian.

Comparative Negligence in South Carolina

However, South Carolina has a modified comparative negligence law that can affect your ability to recover compensation. Under this law, as long as the plaintiff is less than 51% responsible for the accident, they are eligible for financial recovery from the at-fault party. That means that someone who is partially at fault can still recover.

If a person is partially at fault, their compensation will be reduced by the percentage they are found to be responsible for the accident. For example, if you are 20% at fault for the accident and you had $100,000 in damages, then you can only recover $80,000 from the defendant.

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you should immediately contact a lawyer who can help you navigate a complex personal injury claim. These cases are often heavily fought by insurance companies who do not want to pay out for the severe injuries parties receive. Call attorney Ryan Montgomery today at (864) 207-4927.

What To Do After a Boating Accident in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for beautiful lakes and reservoirs, including Lake Hartwell, Lake Keowee, and Saluda Lake. These bodies of water allow residents and visitors a plethora of recreational activities like fishing and boating. However, the fun you can have in the Palmetto State is not without risk. You should be aware of potential dangers while on the water. Read below to learn more about what you should do after a boating accident in South Carolina.

Report Your Boating Accident to the Authorities

If you have a boating accident in South Carolina, you are required to report the incident to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). You can call them immediately at 1-800-922-5431.

If the accident involved more than one boat or anyone was seriously injured, you should also call the police. You can use the emergency line 911 to request an ambulance or rescue personnel. If you only need to document the crash and have a police officer file an accident report, then you may also call the local non-emergency line.

You are required to report any watercraft accident that results in:

Failure to make a report can result in penalties pursuant to state and federal laws.

Get Medical Treatment

The person who was injured in the boating accident should immediately get medical treatment. Some injuries, such as a concussion or bruises, may not appear for hours or days after an accident. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor right away to establish a basis for your injuries.

The medical records from your urgent care or emergency room visit will be used in your insurance claim to prove how much money you deserve for your losses. If you fail to get medical treatment, you may not be able to get all of the compensation you deserve.

Document the Scene and Collect Contact Information

In the aftermath of a boating accident, it is important to document what happened. The lakes of South Carolina can quickly hide evidence. You should take pictures and videos of the watercraft involved (including their vessel numbers), any injuries people sustained, and the environment around the incident.

Also, collect contact information and insurance policy numbers from everyone involved in the accident. If there are eyewitnesses, make sure you get their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. You will need this information to give your attorney a head start on investigating what happened.

Do Not Admit Fault or Speculate About the Cause

When you are talking to the other parties involved in the boating accident, do not admit fault. Even if you are unsure what happened and think you may be partially to blame, you should never say that to the other parties. They will use this against you.

Instead, calmly communicate with anyone else who was involved as well as the authorities when they arrive. When providing a report to the police or SCDNR agent, remain factual. Do not volunteer unnecessary information. Don’t speculate what may or may not have caused the accident.

Notify Your Insurance Company

As soon as possible after the accident, you should notify your insurance company of the incident. Many insurance companies require 24 to 48 hours’ notice; otherwise, they may deny your claim. You will also want to contact any other insurance companies with which you plan on filing a claim.

Be careful when you speak to the insurance adjusters. Their job is to pay you as little as possible so that the company continues to make money. They will use anything you say against you. It’s best to talk to a boating accident lawyer before you call the insurance companies.

Don’t accept an initial offer from the insurance company and never sign anything until you get legal advice. The insurance company may throw money at you in an attempt to make the claim go away. However, it will not likely cover all your losses. Instead, you need to talk to a personal injury attorney who can properly calculate your damages and help you get what you deserve.

Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer for Help After an Accident

Boating is supposed to be fun, but when an accident occurs the situation can become confusing. You may be unsure of where to turn or what to do. Your best option is to call a boat accident attorney who can evaluate your situation and help you choose your next steps.

Attorney Ryan Montgomery has helped countless clients who had boat accidents in lakes and on waterways around Greenville, SC. He is here to guide you as well. Call today at (864) 207-4927 for a case consultation.

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.

Can You Legally Use Your Own Dash Cam in South Carolina?

Many motor vehicle drivers, including semi-trucks, motorcycles, and cars, have dash cams to record events that occur while they are on the road. These mounted video cameras can provide valuable information if a car accident occurs. However, you may wonder if they are legal to use in South Carolina? The answer is yes. Read below to learn more.

South Carolina Laws About Video Recording

According to South Carolina laws, only one party must consent to a video recording. In fact, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record people without the consent of at least one person who is involved. However, as long as the owner or driver of the vehicle where the dash cam is mounted knows about and consents to its presence, then the recording is legal.

There are exceptions to these video recording laws, such as in places where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. That would include a restroom or bedroom. However, since a dash cam records incidents that occur in public, they are not prohibited.

Benefits of Using a Dash Cam

A dash cam can contribute to the investigation process after a car accident. It provides a detailed account of exactly what happened. It records all factors and parties that may have been involved.

Some of the beneficial information a dash cam can collect include:

Dash cams are primarily used to prove someone acted negligently and should be held liable for the damages they caused.

Potentially Negative Aspects of Having a Dash Cam

There is no guarantee that you will always been the non-liable party in a crash. If you do make a mistake, your dash cam is basically evidence of your negligence. Its footage can and will be requested by the other party and used against you.

In fact, dash cam footage can even be used to prove you shared some negligence in the crash. If the other party clearly caused the accident, dash cam footage may show that you were going slightly over the speed limit or failed to take last minute action to avoid the crash. Your minor mistakes will be used against you. This compares to a crash where dash cam footage was not available and the liable party had no evidence of your partial fault.

South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that as long as you were less than 51% responsible for an accident, you are still eligible for compensation from the other party. However, your financial recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you share. For example, if you were 10% at fault for the car accident and your damages totaled $100,000, then you would only be able to recover $90,000. Your dash cam may be used to positively point out your percentage of fault, where the other party may not have any such evidence otherwise.

Insurance Company Use of Dash Cams

Some insurance companies offer a discount to customers who use dash cams in their vehicles. The insurance company can use the dash cam footage to reduce investigation efforts in the event of an accident.

Insurance companies also know that many people who have dash cams, especially younger teen drivers, are more careful when they know they are being recorded and monitored. The insurance company may encourage you to utilize a dash cam to promote safe driving practices.

However, before you submit any dash cam footage to an insurance company, you should consult with a car accident lawyer. The insurance company may attempt to use the information to avoid paying for your claim. Your attorney can review the data on the dash cam and help you understand your rights.

Ryan Montgomery Law Has Answers for You

Ryan Montgomery Law has helped countless clients after car accidents in and around Greenville, South Carolina.

If you are considering a dash cam or were involved in a crash and dash cam footage is available, Ryan Montgomery Law can evaluate your specific situation and answer your questions. Call us today at (864) 207-4927 for help.

Understanding Car Seat Laws and Booster Seat Laws in South Carolina

Babies and children who are a certain age or size are required to be in safety seats when riding in cars. South Carolina laws provide detailed information about when a child should be in a car seat or booster seat. Read below to learn more.

If you were involved in a car accident and have questions about your rights, contact Ryan Montgomery Law right away. One thing we can do is help you get your car seat or booster seat replaced. Call us today at (864) 207-4927.

South Carolina Laws About Child Safety Seats

The South Carolina Code Section 56-5-6410 details requirements for child passenger restraint systems in passenger cars. It indicates that every driver of a motor vehicle, which includes cars, trucks, vans, and recreational vehicles, that is operated on highways and streets must properly secure children within the vehicle. Failure to do so can result in a $150 fine for a first offense.

There are exceptions to this law, which can be found at Section 56-5-6420. For example, if a vehicle lacks a rear passenger seat or all rear seats are occupied by other children under the specified age, then a child may ride in the front seat. However, they are still required to be in an appropriate restraint system or belt-positioner.

Another exception to the specifications of child restraint seats is for children who have special medical needs. A child may obtain written documentation from a physician, advanced nurse practitioner, or physician assistant indicating that a standard child restraint seat does not meet their needs. In such a case, they must have a specially developed child restraint system that still meets standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

When Does a Child Have to Be in a Rear-Facing Car Seat?

According to South Carolina laws, all infants under the age of 2 must be in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the height and weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. If a child under the age of 2 has outgrown their rear-facing car seat, they may be placed in a forward-facing car seat. All children in car seats must be in the back passenger part of the vehicle.

When Can I Put My Child in a Forward-Facing Car Seat?

A child who is at least 2 years old may be secured in a forward-facing car seat in the rear seat of a vehicle. A toddler should remain in a forward-facing seat until they exceed the height and weight requirements of their forward-facing car seat.

As previously mentioned, if a child under the age of 2 exceeds the height and weight requirements of their rear-facing car seat, they may be transferred to a forward-facing car seat in the rear part of the vehicle.

Booster Seat Laws in South Carolina

Children who are at least 4 years old and have outgrown their forward-facing car seats may use a booster seat in the rear part of a vehicle. When in a booster seat, both lap and shoulder belts must be used.

When Can My Child Use a Seat Belt?

When a child meets all of the height and weight fit requirements for adult safety belts, they no longer have to use a car seat or booster seat. South Carolina law specifies that a child must be at least 8 years old and 57 inches tall in order to be restrained with a safety belt without a booster seat. However, that only applies if the safety belt fits them properly. A seat belt fits properly if:

Can My Child Ride in the Front Seat of My Car?

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety recommends that all children under the age of 13 ride in the back seat of all vehicles. They are better protected from all types of crashes in the back seat. Additionally, air bags that are in the front dashboard can seriously injure small children.

South Carolina law mandates that children who are still in car seats and booster seats ride in the back passenger area of a car. However, if all back seats are taken by other children under the age of 8 or there is no back seat (common in older model trucks), then a child may be properly restrained in the front seat.

What Should I Do If My Child is Involved in a Car Accident?

If your child is involved in a car accident, the car seat will hopefully provide protection and your child will be uninjured. However, you should always ensure your child gets emergency medication treatment after a crash. They could have injuries that are not visible or immediately identifiable.

Additionally, you should always replace any car seat or booster seat that is involved in a car crash. Even if it doesn’t appear to be damaged, the plastic could have minor cracks or weak areas. Insurance companies will typically pay for the replacement of car seats that were involved in car accidents.

Ryan Montgomery Law Is Here to Help

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, you should immediately reach out to a lawyer who can walk you through a personal injury claim. You will likely have many expenses that need to be covered, from medical bills to a replacement car seat. Call Ryan Montgomery Law today at (864) 207-4927.