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Questions to Ask Yourself If you Were Injured in an Accident

Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law provides the highest quality legal services to those who were wrongfully injured in an accident. The infographic below answers questions you should ask yourself if you were injured in an accident. This will help you decide if you need to contact our firm. For more details or questions, you can reach out to us and we will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.

do i need a personal injury attorney infographic

Drunk Driver Car Accidents

Drunk Driver Car Accidents

Many clients come to our firm after having been hit by a drunk driver.  They may have met with other lawyers or done some online research.  Those potential clients are often under the impression that their financial recovery is limited to the at fault driver.  This isn’t always the case and some lawyers are willing to go the extra mile to find out of there are other sources of recovery like from a bar, restaurant, country club, or night club.

**You MUST move quickly and act now!  See below.

Greenville Dram Shop and Alcohol Liability Lawyer

Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other establishments have a legal responsibility not to serve alcohol to patrons who may be intoxicated.  South Carolina has dram shop and/or social host liability laws that allow victims of a drunk driving accident to bring a claim against the bar or restaurant for recovery of damage. New Law in South Carolina mandates that every bar or restaurant carry at least $1 Million in liability insurance to cover these type of claims.  South Carolina does not want innocent people who have been bit by a drunk driver to suffer more than they have to by only being able to recover money from the driver. The law allows us to go after the source if the drunk driver was over-served.

**However you must move quickly and act now.  Much of the evidence in these cases can disappear after 60 or even 30 days.  We go after surveillance video, credit card receipts, witness statements, etc. The things can be deleted, disappear or memories fade. Act sooner rather than later.

At Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC our Greenville, SC based legal team have handled these type of cases successfully recovering Millions of dollars for those effected in a drunk driving accident. Examples:  Dram Shop $1.05 Million Settlement; $750,000 Dram Shop Settlement *

South Carolina Drunk Driver Dram Shop Cases

Bars, clubs, restaurants, and individuals who serve alcohol at parties that do not take public safety into account and over-serve their customers they should be held accountable. Innocent  people are often the ones who have to pay the price for these avoidable incidents. Dram shop liability includes a wide range of different types of establishments, and may include bars, restaurants, music clubs, country clubs, dance clubs, night clubs, adult clubs, etc.

In certain circumstances if a Social Host or parent serves alcohol to someone under the age of 21 and that person then causes a drunk driving accident you may be able to hold the social host accountable.

Greenville, Anderson and Spartanburg Dram Shop Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer

If you have been the victim of a drunk driver who may have become overly intoxicated at a bar, restaurant, or other establishment, we can help.  We have the experience of having handled these cases before.  The drunk driver accident lawyers at Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law handle Dram Shop cases statewide in South Carolina.   Schedule your free consultation with a dram shop liability lawyer now.  Sooner the better so we can get the evidence necessary.

*Please note that past results do not guarantee future results. Cases are handled on a case by case basis.

​Be Careful During Snow Conditions to Avoid Auto Accidents

Snow and icy conditions may occur this winter in upstate South Carolina, closer to the mountain region of the Palmetto State. We aim to educate drivers so they are not ill-prepared for nasty traffic conditions. In addition to snowy weather, South Carolina drivers often face slushy or icy conditions, including black ice, which can quickly cause dangerous accidents.

Snow-Related Accidents in SC

In 2017, there were 499 collisions in the state with snowy, icy or slushy road conditions, including 113 with injuries involving 125 people.

The numbers were far worse in 2016, when there were a staggering 911 accidents with those same road conditions. Those collisions included 202 with injuries that resulted in 278 hurt people, including 8 fatalities.

That adds up to a lot of pain and suffering, lost wages, costly medical expenses and rehabilitation.

Safe Driving Tips

The state Department of Public Safety recommends that drivers think slow when there’s snow, ice, sleet or slush — slower speeds, slower steering, slower braking and slower acceleration. The state department offers some other helpful tips:

What Should I Do If My Car Starts to Skid?

A skidding car can be a terrifying experience, but it’s important to stay calm and focus on a few important tasks:

Car Accident Legal Advice

If you do find yourself injured in a winter car accident, you need an advocate like Ryan Montgomery on your side. His expertise in car accident law can help you recover lost wages and income, medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, and gain damages for pain and suffering. Contact one of the lawyers at Ryan Montgomery Attorney At Law, LLC, for an initial consultation. Call (864) 362-3183.

​Information About Wrongful Death Claims in SC

In September 2018, two female patients being transported to a mental health hospital drowned when their van became stuck in floodwaters. The Horry County, South Carolina, jail van, with two deputy sheriffs on board as well, was traveling near the Little Pee Dee River, which had been rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

The deputies reported that they tried to rescue the two women but could not open the van doors. The deputies were rescued from the top of the van by high-water rescue teams.

The deputies have since been fired and charged in connection with the deaths and South Carolina state senators have formed a special committee to investigate the deadly incident.

How Is Wrongful Death Defined in South Carolina?

Tragedies like the one in Horry County underscore the senselessness and suddenness of such losses. While families and friends are grieving, it’s important to consider getting the right legal representation.

Under South Carolina law, wrongful death is defined as one caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another that is of the type that a personal injury case could be filed if the decedent had lived. In other words, a wrongful death case is like a personal injury case where the injured party is unable to file for themselves.

In most cases, the administrator or executor of a person’s estate files the wrongful death claim. If there is no administrator or executor, a judge can name one who would file. The claim is then filed on behalf surviving family members, which can include:

What Can Damages Cover in a SC Wrongful Death Case?

A wrongful death case results in monetary damages if successful. Successful plaintiffs may have claims in several areas, including:

How Do I Submit a Wrongful Death Claim

If you and your loved ones have been affected by a tragic loss, you need legal representation that has your best interests at heart. Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC, has extensive experience helping families with wrongful death claims. Contact one of our attorneys for an initial consultation to learn more.

​The Recent Uber Debate

The “gig economy,” where workers seek additional income acting as independent contractors is becoming a fact of life in the modern world as wage growth remains stagnant. For some, it’s the sole source of income. However, the benefits of being an employee are lost to those workers, like ride-sharing drivers who may find themselves injured while performing their job duties.

Uber Tests Providing Insurance for Drivers Injured on the Job

The ride-sharing company Uber, looking to attract more drivers and maintain the current stock, is using South Carolina as a test-case for their own form of worker’s compensation insurance for their independent contractors. They are instituting a form of personal insurance where drivers opt-in, paying 3.75 cents per mile for coverage with a maximum limit of $1 million. Uber’s customers in South Carolina will pay an additional 5 cents covering the cost. The driver can use the extra pay to cover the insurance or pocket the money.

Whether Uber Drivers Are Employees or Independent Contractors

The coverage could call the status of drivers into question regarding whether they are employees of Uber or independent contractors. Uber drivers set their own hours and their workplace, such as it is, is not limited or directed by Uber. However, a benefits package – Uber also offers employees savings accounts and health insurance – could suggest that these drivers are in fact employees under the law.

Moreover, if the employee does accept Uber’s offer of personal injury insurance, can they still sue Uber for liability if they are injured while driving a customer? Worker’s compensation is a bargain between the worker and employee. Does the policy create a bargain between Uber and its drivers?

Uber’s contract with its drivers includes an arbitration agreement. Uber drivers can opt out of this agreement as well, as many have. If there is no arbitration agreement, the driver may still sue Uber.

As a practical matter, it may be difficult for a driver to show that Uber is at fault for an on-the-job injury. The Uber driver may attempt to show that they are in fact an employee and so then eligible for benefits under South Carolina’s Worker’s Compensation program.

Current Law Declares Uber Drivers to be Independent Contractors

This may also be a tough task. A federal judge in Philadelphia recently held that Uber drivers are independent contractors, finding that Uber does not exert enough control over the drivers (Uber settled other similar lawsuits). Uber does impose penalties on drivers for refusing customers, for example, which could be a form of controlling work behavior. With the addition of a benefits package like the South Carolina test-case, a judge may see things differently than the judge in Philadelphia.

The gig-economy is increasingly popular. With companies like Uber acting less like a booking agent and more like an employer, drivers in South Carolina could be classified as employees and thus eligible for worker’s compensation. Development in the law is something to keep an eye on.

​South Carolina Personal Injury News

The new year is in full swing, and in South Carolina, it is best to stay informed about everything from winter weather to the products you may use everyday. Most of the US, will see a spike in traffic through the beginning of 2019. A few other things to be aware of in the state are detailed below, to keep you aware and alert to these potential hazards.

Poor Weather Leads to Bad Conditions

All experts indicate this will be a cold and wet winter for most of South Carolina; this means roads could be icy and slippery in the morning and evening hours – right at the time we head to or from school and work each day. Extra caution is advised, as many in our area are not used to driving under poor wintery weather conditions and could pose an additional hazard during your commute.

High Profile Settlements Across the State

In the weeks leading up to the start of the new year, there have been settlements and decisions in some high-profile cases across the state. A woman hit by a falling store display in North Charleston was awarded almost $600,000, while a worker hit by a city truck on a job site was awarded $6 million to compensate for his injuries. Many of the recent settlements feature injuries caused by government workers or contractors and by negligence on the part of retail store employees.

Product Malfunction and Danger

One of the most significant issues to hit the news in South Carolina and across the country was the discovery that not only was a dangerous chemical present in Johnson & Johnson baby powder, but the company was allegedly aware of it. Recent news stories indicate that despite having knowledge that this universally used baby product was laced with arsenic, the health and beauty giant continued to sell it to families with babies; in some cases, families were given the tainted powder in hospitals as part of “congratulatory” baby bags.

There is no way to know the extent of the injuries and illnesses this may have caused, but South Carolina residents are urged to be aware of the dangers of asbestos and the signs of exposure.

From increased danger on the roads to injuries in stores, at work and on the go, if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, it is time to seek help. Our team understands the hazards posed by seemingly benign products and circumstances and knows how a single accident caused by someone else can derail your life, health and finances. Contact us today if you have been injured; we’ll be able to talk with you about your case and ensure you are being treated fairly by all involved parties.

​SC Drivers Cautioned To Stay Safe On The Roads

The State of South Carolina is in for a harsher than usual winter, according to weather experts, making typical road conditions more hazardous than usual. Our roundup of driving news, tips and ideas designed to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road is detailed below. We hope that by being aware of these coming hazards, you can avoid injury this winter.

Traffic on the Rise

According to statistics from AAA, the 2018 holidays saw drivers hit the roads in record numbers and we imagine the upcoming year will follow suit. School is back in session and people are back to work. More vehicles mean more delays, plus angrier drivers and more congestion on the roads – the perfect setting for accidents.

Trucks Turn out in Massive Numbers

As brick and mortar stores in the state continue to see increases in online shopping demand, the number of trucks on our highways has increased. Recent wintery weather also rendered some shipping avenues impassable several days; this has led to an increase in freight traffic as well as truckers rush to speed supplies to where they are needed. Expect to see more trucks on the road throughout the winter season and to take additional precautions.

Distraction and Drinking

Distracted drivers are just as dangerous as impaired ones; according to the State newspaper, it is legal to drive with headphones on (rendering the driver less aware of his surroundings ) or driving with a dog loose in your vehicle (or sitting on your lap). These distractions, coupled with eating or texting while driving, contribute to additional risk on our roadways.

Proceed with caution as you travel our roadways and know what to do if you spot a drunk driver.

Kids at Risk

Reduced visibility on roadways coupled with an increase in traffic make the roads particularly dangerous for cyclists of all ages and children. Kids climbing off of school buses, playing in or near the street are at heightened risk due to conditions this time of year.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an aggressive or impaired driver, we can help. Contact us to learn more about your options and to talk about the specific details of your case. Our hope is that you will be able to avoid injury and accidents, but if you are harmed by someone else’s negligence, we are here for you.

​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.