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Product Liability Cases in South Carolina

Dangerous and defective products can cause serious injury and even death.  There are hundreds of product recalls every year, despite the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for consumers to use.  Recalls of a product often indicate that people have already suffered injury when using the product.  Who can be held liable when an injury or death occurs?  The responsibility for faulty and defective products is not just limited to the manufacturer.  Others in the “chain of distribution” can also be held responsible.  Liability may extend to the suppliers, distributors, and retailers who sell the product, and potentially advertisers and maintenance companies.  A lawsuit typically tries to show negligence in some capacity, and that the negligence resulted in injury or death.

There are three different types of product liability claims that are generally made in lawsuits.

Defects in design

A flaw in the design has made the product dangerous.  This is not an error in the manufacturing process.  The product may have been made exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications.  The consumer may have been using the product properly and for its intended purpose.  Examples may be poorly designed automobile airbags or an electrical appliance that overheats and causes a fire.

Defects in manufacture

An error occurred during the making of the product.  There may have been faulty, broken, or missing parts.  There may have been a failure to assemble the product correctly, according to manufacturer’s specifications.  Contamination of a food product or medication batch may have been allowed to occur, thus tainting the product.

Insufficient or missing warnings

Warning labels may have failed to alert the consumer of potential dangers if the product was not used properly.  There may be a lack of instructions or insufficient instructions for the safe handling of a product.  An example may be a medication that fails to list possible side effects or a lack of warning about using it with other medications.  Product warnings must be clearly stated and specific.  They must be placed in a conspicuous location for consumers to easily see.

South Carolina law requires that product liability or defective product lawsuits be filed within three years of the date of the injury.  The injured party doesn’t have to be the buyer of the product if they were injured while the product was in use.  The injured party can claim medical bills, lost wages, depreciated earnings, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, speak with a product liability attorney at Ryan Montgomery Law.  Save the product, if possible, along with operating manuals, product instructions, and sales receipts.  Document injuries and medical treatment.

Ryan Montgomery Law handles the following types of product liability cases:

Call Ryan Montgomery Law today for a free case review.          

Airplane Crashes Give Rise to Multiple Claims

Pilot Negligence in a Plane Crash

Airplane wrecks are like shark attacks, they provide the news with some interesting headlines. Plane crashes can give rise to multiple theories upon which to bring a claim or a lawsuit. Many people think that if there is an accident then it is the pilot’s fault and there was airplane pilot negligence. While this can be this may not always be the case. For a passenger that is injured or dies in a crash then it is almost a certainty that there will be a claim against the pilot. The theory being that there was an inflight issues that was not properly addressed by the pilot and his/or her ADM (aeronautical decision making). Pilots are required to self assess their ability to safely fly and determine where there are external factors that should postpone a flight like pilot fatigue, illness, alcohol use or hangover the next day, stress level etc.

Instructor or Program Negligence

I can personally attest that not all flight schools are created equally. I participated in one where there was a complete lack of oversight thereby causing me to switch to a different one. There are some that have a lack of oversight over young instructors or ignore young instructor mistakes. Often these younger instructors may not be willing to correct bad pilot tendencies for a host of reasons including but not limited to the student pilot being older than the instructor, the instructor being new, the instructor’s desire to please the student (customer) and have the student return for the next appointment, etc. In addition, some plane manufactures (See Cirrus) provide transitional training specific to their plane or mode of airplane. The question can arise as to whether or not the training was sufficient or was there a rush through that training in order to get the person in their new plane thereby leading to injury or crash.

Mechanic and Manufacturer Negligence

Airplane mechanics are charged with properly repairing and servicing an airplane which ranges from everything from changing a tire to rebuilding an engine by hand. If this is done properly and caused a plane crash then the mechanic may be at fault for the accident. In addition, and it does happen, some planes that come from the manufacturer can have a built in issue that leads to a crash.

Airplane Crash Lawyer

Whenever there is an airplane crash it is important to have an advocate in your corner that understands the duties and roles of each person or company in that crash and investigation. If you, or a loved one, has been involved in a plane crash, then give plane crash lawyer Ryan Montgomery Attorney at Law, LLC a call to discuss your case at no charge for the consultation. (864) 373-7333. It is imperative to do this quickly before evidence is assessed and witnesses memories fade.

Signs it is Time to Contact a Daycare Injury Lawyer

When you leave your children in the care of someone else, including a daycare, you need to be able to trust that they will treat your children well and that they will be safe until you come to pick them up at the end of the day. Unfortunately, this is not something that is necessarily true for every daycare provider. While you should fully vet any place that you are considering as your daycare provider, there may still be some issues that occur even after you have started using their services. If you have had incidents that don’t seem right, you may need to consider is now is the time to not only take your child out of daycare but also if now is the time to contact a daycare injury lawyer. These are some signs that you may need to do exactly that.

If you think that you should get in contact with a daycare injury lawyer, you want to find one that will fight for you and your rights. Be sure to reach out to us today to get started and schedule a meeting to determine if you have a case.

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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