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Insurance Stacking in South Carolina Car Accidents

Stacking Underinsured Motorist Coverage in South Carolina

What is Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

Do you have UIM Insurance?

Underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage insurance above and beyond the at fault driver’s insurance if that amount does not compensate you for your car accident injuries.  South Carolina law requires that all motorists maintain at least $25,000 in liability insurance.  Sometimes medical bills from a car wreck exceed the $25,000. If you have UIM insurance then you can request additional compensation from that UIM policy.

How Do I know if I have Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage is not a requirement. It is an additional level of insurance coverage that you elect to pay a premium to have on your vehicle.  While liability insurance is required, UIM is not.  Many times a person does not elect to have this additional coverage. In order to determine whether or not you have underinsured motorist coverage to protect you in a South Carolina car accident, you can look at your insurance card, look at your policy and the declarations page, call your agent or call your insurance company. The cost for UIM insurance is usually pretty inexpensive so it may be a good thing for you to add.

What is Insurance Stacking?

Stacking insurance is when you have multiple vehicles with UIM insurance. If your damages exceed the first UIM policy you can then “stack” the policies for each of the remaining vehicles assuming they all have UIM insurance.   The Court has held that  “stacking refers to an insured’s recovery of damages under more than one insurance policy in succession until all of his damages are satisfied or until the total limits of all policies have been exhausted.” State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Moorer, 330 S.C. 46, 60, 496 S.E.2d 875, 883 (S.C. Ct. App. 1998).

Stacking Insurance Can be Complicated

Many people injured in a car wreck or trucking accident do not know they can stack insurance.  Even if they know they can stack insurance they don’t necessarily know how to do it.  An experienced car accident or personal injury lawyer can assist with determining whether or not your injuries and damages rise to the level of needing to be stacked.  In order to protect your case, many people choose to have a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer just to find out their rights. Knowledge is power in these circumstances.  Often you are dealing with an insurance adjuster that is trying not to pay you the most benefits or to allow you to stack your policies.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Do yourself a favor and meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer. There is no obligation so why not at least know your rights?  With offices conveniently located in Greenville and Columbia we can offer a free consultation to you to discuss your injury case issues.

 

Can My Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied for Intoxication?

Workers’ Comp Intoxication Defense

Insurance companies are not looking to “accept your claim”.  If there is a ground to deny the claim then it will be denied. One of those denials is that of alleging intoxication. According to South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law, generally, “the fault of an employee in a workers’ compensation claim has no bearing on the employee’s right to recover.  Zeigler v. S.C. Law Enforcement Div., 250 S.C. 326, 329, 157 S.E.2d 598, 599 (1967).  Section 42-9-60 makes an exception to this general rule and states, “No compensation shall be payable if the injury . . . was occasioned by the intoxication of the employee . . . .

But what does this mean?

Intoxication is a condition that results from the use of a stimulant, which renders an employee impaired in his or her faculties to the extent that the employee is incapable of carrying on the accustomed work without danger to the employee.  Reeves v. Carolina Foundry & Mach. Works, 194 S.C. 403, 408, 9 S.E.2d 919, 921 (1940).  Intoxication is an affirmative defense which requires the party asserting the defense to carry the burden of proof.  Chandler v. Suitt Constr. Co., 288 S.C. 503, 504, 343 S.E.2d 633, 634 (Ct. App. 1986). 

“Generally, the fault of an employee in a workers’ compensation claim has no bearing on the employee’s right to recover.  Zeigler v. S.C. Law Enforcement Div., 250 S.C. 326, 329, 157 S.E.2d 598, 599 (1967).  Section 42-9-60 makes an exception to this general rule and states, “No compensation shall be payable if the injury . . . was occasioned by the intoxication of the employee ..” 

What the insurance company doesn’t tell you is that they (NOT YOU) must prove that but for the intoxication the accident would not have occurred. 

Workers Comp Claim Denied Because of Drugs or Alcohol

Many times drug tests show the presence of a drug.  However, they do not show the levels of the drug and when the drug entered the system.  Your claim will be denied and you won’t know whether or not you can file a claim.  We recently handled a case that had a positive drug screen. Another high volume law firm wanted no part of the case.  We took the test results and sent them to a toxicology expert that pointed out all of the problems with the test and there was no proof that the alleged intoxication caused the accident because the other driver was at fault.

Greenville, Anderson, Columbia, Spartanburg Workers Comp Lawyer

If you aren’t willing to go against the insurance company lawyers or think you need help then our South Carolina work comp lawyers offer a free consultation.  You will get a real meeting, go over your rights and then you can make a decision whether you need a lawyer or not. Schedule your free meeting now.

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