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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.

South Carolina Coronavirus and Workers’ Compensation

Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim if I Get the Coronavirus?

Section 42-1-160 of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act defines an injury in South Carolina Workers’ Compensation law. An “injury” means only an injury arising out of and in the scope of employment and shall not include a disease in any form, except when it results naturally and unavoidably from the accident. Diseases are further defined by Section 42-11-10 of the Act.

In short, the South Carolina State Legislature did not intend for community diseases such as the flu, colds and potentially the Coronaviris (COVID-19) to be deemed work related (compensable) under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.

South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Diseases

While the COVID-19 / Coronavirus is potentially a disease, it is not likely that it is considered a disease within the definitions of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. Section 42-11-10 addresses “Occupational Disease” which means a disease arising out of an in the course of employment that is due to the hazarsd in excess of those ordinarily incidnet to employment and is peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged.

In other words the disease must be specific to the type of job and be because of that job. Most occupational disease claims are with employment types where the employee is around chemicals, fumes, silica, asbestos and specific chemicals or substances that are because of the job in which they are employed. It is unlikely that the intent was to compensate an employee for community based illness or disease like the Coronavirus / COVID-19 as that would give rise to flu claims, cold, an other illness. In addition, the Coronavirus is not peculiar to employment. You can contract this anywhere thus the reason the government has discouraged gatherings of greater than 100 people. It is not something you get just at your employer like if you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace and nowhere else.

What Do I Do About Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Employers seem to appreciate communication from the employees. If you are scared of contracting the illness and spreading it on then bring it to the attention of your employer. Depending on the type of employment that employer may be able to modify your job duties to alleviate some of your fears. You may be permitted to work from home. A face mask may be provided. Direct contact with other personnel may be limited. You may also ask you employer if you have access to any paid time off through vacation, personal time, or through the Family Medical Leave Act that might cover you if you decide not to come to work. At the end of they day, you must do what is best for you but with every choice there can be ramifications including, but not limited to, unpaid time off, reprimands and/or termination.

Disclaimer

The Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 presents novel legal challenges. The reality is that this is very new and everyone is still trying to figure it all out. Given that newness of these issues, this blog is for informational purposes only, is not intended to be relied upon and does not constitute legal advice. For advice specific to your situation you should contact a lawyer.

Car Accidents In Bad Weather: Who’s At Fault?

As anyone who has lived for any amount of time in South Carolina knows, the state has its share of bad weather. Hurricanes, thunderstorms, fog, tornadoes, flooding, and even the occasional snow and ice. Any of these severe weather conditions can wreak havoc with driving conditions, especially in areas around cities with a high traffic density and drivers who may be speeding and driving recklessly during rush hour. Conditions like these not only decrease driver and vehicle visibility and test the nerves and skills of the operator, they also affect safe vehicle performance. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, over 1.3 million car wrecks in America were caused by bad weather over a ten-year period. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle collision, you may be eligible for a significant monetary award for medical bills, time off of work, pain and suffering, disability, and more. It’s vital that you retain the services of a qualified and experienced South Carolina car accident attorney to protect your rights.

Proving Negligence In An Accident

To receive compensation for an injury in an automobile wreck, you must be able to show that negligence on the part of some other party caused the accident. That could be another driver or the agency responsible for maintaining the road. When an accident occurs during bad weather conditions, it can be hard to prove that anyone was negligent other than nature. That’s why you need the services of a car accident attorney. Your lawyer will investigate the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and if another driver was involved, they’ll investigate whether they were at fault because they were speeding, driving recklessly, or driving inappropriately for the conditions. They’ll also determine if the condition of their vehicle could have been a factor, such as bad tires or windshield wipers. Every driver has a legal responsibility to operate their car in a safe manner and to make sure that it’s in safe operating condition. If they fail to take reasonable precautions against causing an accident, they and/or their insurance company could be liable for damages.

Negligent Road Maintenance

It’s not always other drivers or their vehicles that can be responsible for accidents. Especially during inclement weather, negligent road and highway conditions can easily cause an accident. Things like missing guardrails that should have been replaced in a timely manner, potholes that should have reasonably been filled, and unmarked areas of construction can be shown to be responsible for your accident. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to investigate these things to determine the liability of the governing authorities.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in South Carolina, you need to retain the services of a qualified attorney who is experienced with similar cases in the state to protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Ryan Montgomery can help. Contact him as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation.

Injured by a Faulty Product? Here Is What You Need to Know

If you have been injured due to a faulty product, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability claim. You may also be able to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit if you have lost a loved one due to a faulty product.

To help you understand the process, here is a look at the essentials of product liability claims in South Carolina:

Elements in a Product Liability Case

Product liability cases fall under the realm of personal injury law. To bring forward a claim, you cannot just prove that the product was dangerous. You also have to establish that you suffered damages as a result of the product, and that your damages arose from the manufacturer’s negligence.

Damages can include direct costs such as medical expenses incurred for your injury or lost wages, but they can also include indirect costs such as pain and suffering.

Types of Product Liability Claims

Product liability claims fall into three distinct categories:

Examples of Product Liability Issues

To help you understand the different types of product liability claims, imagine that your child was injured due to a toy. If the toy featured small detachable elements that caused your child to choke, that issue may fall under defective design. In contrast, if the toy wasn’t designed that way but a manufacturing issue caused those parts to become detached, the case may be related to defective manufacture.

Finally, if the toy did not have a label to keep it away from children under three, your case may be due to failure to warn.

Importance of a Quality Product Liability Lawyer

Product liability cases can be tricky to argue, and you need an attorney experienced with these types of claims. Ideally, as most product liability claims fall under federal jurisdiction, you need an attorney well versed in both South Carolina and federal law.

For example, the rules related to the admissibility of expert testimony can vary in different jurisdictions. In 2017, this issue came up in the case of Green v. The Bradley Company and HMU, LLC. Ultimately, the courts decided that because the case was in federal jurisdiction, the defendant could not exclude evidence presented by the expert witness.

If the case had been in South Carolina jurisdiction, that same testimony may not have been allowed, ultimately changing the course of the case. When bringing forward this type of claim, you need an attorney who understands these nuances and has the experience to help you.

Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, product liability cases have a three year statute of limitations. You must bring forward a case within three years after suffering an injury or after the death of a loved one. However, you can also bring forward cases related to breach of warranty and that has a six year statute of limitations.

To learn more about product liability claims, contact us to set up a free case evaluation today. At Ryan Montgomery LLC, we work hard to get the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Workplace Injuries: A Recap

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a lengthy report on employer reported workplace injuries and illnesses on November 7, 2019. This report compiled all the information across various industries in the United States for the 2018 year. It also compared this information with data from the previous year.

The purpose of this report is to compare rates of injury, length of hospitalization, and loss of work due to injury on the job. When looking at the available data from 2018, there is very little change in most areas from the data for the 2017 year. As a note, this is the first year that data on the total recorded cases did not decline since 2012. For workers and employers, this information can be enlightening and help to highlight the need for best practices in safety in the workplace.

Industries Included in the Report

This blog post serves as a quick recap of the report, but you can look at the full release for more specific data.

When people hear about workplace injuries, they often immediately think of manual labor, such as construction. While those industries may have a higher percentage of serious injuries when safety protocols are not followed precisely, the truth is that any employee can be injured during employment hours. Some of the industries this report studied included agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail, finance, real estate, and enterprise management.

It is possible to sustain an injury on any type of job site in any profession. In some of these cases, it may be due to the environment. In other cases, it may be a simple accident. There are protocols to help diminish workplace accidents, such as making sure the job space is clean, without tripping or falling hazards. The report seeks to gather data on all types of injuries to compare to previous years because declining incidents indicates that the current protocols to improve safety have made a positive impact.

Pertinent Information Studied

Some of the information that’s assessed in the course of the study includes the percentage of injuries that resulted in medical treatment, length of hospital stay, and the median number of days out of work following an injury. You’ll notice that the private industry and retail industry data on slip and fall injuries are very similar.

The report also breaks down the number of workers whose injuries resulted in days away from work, organized by their occupation.

For employers, this information can be exceptionally helpful in determining where better safety protocol needs to be prioritized in their organization. For workers, it can shed light on the possible injuries that their occupation sees a higher rate of and give them some ideas to prevent safety issues.

Another thing that workers should take away from this type of report is that an injury is not just the incident itself. An injury at work can result in incurred medical costs, costs associated with recovery, and loss of income due to days out of work. One incident can be financially devastating to an employee because the cost of the injury itself is compounded by the time without pay.

If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to research your next steps as soon as possible. A good workplace injury attorney can help you assess the accident and determine if there are legal steps you need to take to protect your rights and recoup any lost wages or medical fees.

Are You Looking for a Workplace Injury Attorney?

If you’re one of the many workers who have been injured on the job and you have questions about your legal rights, contact Ryan Montgomery today. As your workplace injury attorney, we can assess your case and make sure that your best interests are protected.

Grass Clippings Tossed In The Road Are Deadly To Motorcyclists

As a motorcyclist, you understand that traction is your best friend. It is why you avoid riding your motorcycle if there is ever a deep freeze or heavy rain. Maintaining this traction is critical to your overall safety. And yet there are instances where traction can be taken away from you, yet at no fault of your own. Sometimes it is poor road conditions. Other times it is directly caused by property owners tossing their grass clippings into the street.

The Dangers Of Grass Clippings

It may not seem like much, but grass clippings can be deadly. Blades of grass are especially smooth. There is no texture to the grass, which means there is very little traction. If you’ve ever had grass clippings stuck to your sidewalk before you know just how slick they can be. Ideally, when someone mows their yard they will collect the grass clippings and dispose of them properly. However, there are times when the owners may dump their clippings into the roadway. The city will, from time to time, come through different neighborhoods and collect grass clippings and raked leaves. The problem though is any grass clippings left in the street will eventually begin to catch the wind and disburse over the road. Even if a property owner does not deliberately dump their clippings into the road, if they choose not to bag the clippings and instead blow the clippings into the road (either with the mower attachment or with an air blower) it puts you in danger.

If your tire strikes the slick grass and you lose traction you may end up slipping from the motorcycle, leaving you potentially seriously injured and your motorcycle damaged. This is of no fault of your own. You didn’t put the grass there. You’re riding your motorcycle expecting a certain level of traction from the pavement, yet the grass took all of this away, resulting in your injury.

This Is Not Your Fault

It doesn’t matter if you suffered minor or more serious injuries, none of this is your fault. Motorcyclists are some of the most responsible vehicle operators on the road. You know how important it is to take extra precautions while riding on your motorcycle. Yet despite this, there isn’t much you can do about grass on the pavement. You won’t be able to easily see the grass, especially when taking a turn. Because this is not your fault you should not be financially responsible for the injury. so if you have been injured due to grass clippings you need to seek out an injury attorney.

Time To Contact A Personal Injury Attorney

Ryan Montgomery, Attorney At Law, is here to assist you with your legal case. The cost of medical bills, the time you take off of work, and the reduced quality of life can add up quickly. You didn’t ask for this injury, so it is important to hold the individual accountable who is at fault. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to grass clippings or another person’s carelessness, make sure to contact Ryan Montgomery today.

Why South Carolina Semi Truck Accident Victims Need Legal Representation

If you’ve been injured or had your property damaged in a semi truck accident, you should understand the importance of acquiring legal representation. Not only should you speak with an attorney, you should ensure that your lawyer has experience with trucking accidents. For now, take just a moment to learn why trucking accidents have become such a serious problem in South Carolina and how the right attorney can make a tremendous difference.

South Carolina Trucking Accidents

Explore the reasons why it’s important to contact an attorney with experience in semi accidents:

Trucking Accidents Tend to be Serious

Average cars weigh about 4,000 pounds. In contrast, the average loaded semi truck weighs almost 10 times as much as a typical passenger car, and a payload can easily double that weight. In South Carolina, these large rigs can’t weigh more than 80,000 pounds fully loaded, but that’s still 20 times the weight of the average sedan. In addition, 18-wheelers are longer, wider, and much more difficult to control.

Typically, trained, rested drivers with properly loaded and maintained vehicles help avoid accidents. However, when they do occur, they’re much more likely to result in serious injuries and property damage. Also, trucking companies don’t always adhere to the best safety practices or even comply with legal rules. An experienced trucking attorney will understand the factors that contribute to these kinds of serious accidents and know how to investigate them.

Trucking Accidents Are Complex

Trucking accidents aren’t just different because of the size and weight of the semi. Explore some reasons that properly investigating a semi truck accident takes more experience and effort than exploring a typical car accident:

How to Find the Best Lawyer for a Semi Truck Accident

If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, you have a lot at stake. Not only is Ryan Montgomery an experienced and successful trucking attorney, he takes cases on contingency. This means that you won’t incur any responsibility for legal bills until you’ve already received a settlement, and the fees will only amount to a transparent portion of the settlement. Contact us right away to explain your semi truck accident.

Tort Law and Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

In the United States, tort law is the type of law that covers personal injury. What you may not realize is that personal injury can be comprised of many types of scenarios. It can include car accidents, workplace accidents, injuries that occur in someone’s home.

Tort law might include injury to person, reputation, or property. What’s essential for the civil case to proceed is that the damage was the result of another party’s negligence or action. According to the Torts Claims Act, even governmental bodies can be held accountable for damages inflicted on a person through the government or their employees.

Some Statistics on Personal Injury and Tort Cases

According to the CDC, there were 29.2 million emergency room visits as the result of unintended injuries in 2016. The mortality rate for the year 2017 is even more sobering, with unintentional injury ranking as the third highest cause of death. These injuries include automobile accident, poisoning, and accidental falls.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million nonfatal injuries reported by private industry in 2018. The BLS also released a report indicating that there were 5,250 fatalities stemming from work related injuries in 2018.

Of the tort cases in the United States, there are some standards which have remained over the last decade. According to the Center for Justice Democracy, the percentage of civil cases and tort cases that were resolved through jury trial remained low. Medical malpractice and product liability cases were only a small percentage of the tort caseload across all states in the country in 2017, which is similar to previous years.

However, civil cases were 18% lower in 2017 than they were in 2007.

What You Need to Know in the Event of a Personal Injury

Personal injury law is not as straightforward as it might appear. While you can pursue legal remedies without an attorney, having a reliable, experienced attorney is always in your best interest. Some states and areas have a set length of time from the injury date (or the date you became aware of the injury) to pursue legal remedy. It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that you don’t miss the window to file your case.

Personal injury and tort law does not just cover workers compensation or automobile accidents. Civil law protects your rights from any number of injuries that you might sustain through someone else’s action or failure to act. In cases where the damages will be paid by an insurance carrier, you should know that they have a team of lawyers protecting their interests, which means that the settlement amount they offer may not be entirely fair.

A seasoned lawyer with experience in your type of injury case can help you prepare and understand every step in the system. They can also counsel you on the type of settlement or resolution you’re most likely to receive.

Every case is unique. This is why it is important to hire an attorney or firm with experience in your exact type of injury. They are more likely to have experience with similar cases and scenarios that can inform the way they present your case and move forward to better benefit you.

Are You Looking for the Best Personal Injury Attorney to Represent You?

If you’ve been involved in an accident or sustained an injury due to someone else’s action or negligence, contact Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC. As your personal injury attorney, we can assess your case and determine the best course of action to protect your rights and property.