Two-Car Accident in Goose Creek Involves Deputy

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

Car accidents do unfortunately happen in every locality. On August 11, 2014 an accident occurred in Goose Creek, South Carolina that caused more comment and concern than most – it was between a county deputy and a private citizen’s vehicle.

The Accident

Deputy Justice Jenkins was driving toward the Harbour Lake intersection on Red Bank Road when his car collided with a Chevrolet SUV. He was found to be at fault for the crash. He and the SUV’s driver and passengers sustained injuries in the crash.  During the investigation the South Carolina Highway Patrol discovered that Deputy Jenkins’ drivers’ license was suspended. He had not disclosed the suspension to his superiors. Deputy Jenkins then resigned. You can read more about the incident here: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140818/PC16/140819419

Governmental Liability for Injury Claims

Whenever a government employee causes an injury, the question that arises is “Is is possible to make a claim against the government”?

 Sovereign immunity is the doctrine which states that governmental entities are immune from prosecution. However, there are federal and state laws, called tort claims acts, that allow private citizens to make claims against governmental entities, if certain criteria are met. In many cases, automobile accidents meet the criteria set out in these laws so that an injury claim can be made against a governmental entity when its employee causes an automobile accident.

An Auto Accident Attorney Can Help

If you have been the victim of an an auto accident caused by a governmental employee , the attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse can help. We know the relevant law in this area and can help you get your life back to normal. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

 

Medical Malpractice in South Carolina: A Primer

Posted by & filed under Personal Injury.

Many states have medical malpractice laws that are extremely stringent, due to the power of the medical lobby nationwide. South Carolina’s laws in particular are very specific, leading to complaints that the system is biased in favor of medical professionals and against injured patients. Understanding the intricate requirements for who may file a claim can go a long way toward leveling the playing field.

General Regulations

South Carolina law sets forth a statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. A person injured by medical malpractice usually has from one to three years in which to file a claim, depending on who the claim is against.  When the time limits begins to run is specific to each case, but generally it begins on the date the injury occurred and in some instances it does not begin until the injury is discovered. However, this should not be confused with the statute of repose, which sets an outer limit on the time frame in which a claim can be brought.

The South Carolina legislature has set damage caps per defendant for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and punitive damages, or damages intended solely to punish the defendant if their conduct was extremely reckless or malicious. There is no damage cap on ‘actual’ or ‘economic’ damages, which includes medical bills and lost wages.

Another requirement for medical malpractice cases is that an expert witness affidvait must be filed when the lawsuit is filed.  The expert witness affidavit is a statement by an expert in the pertinent filed of medicine that supports the position that the standard of care was violated.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, we can help. Call the attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse today for a free consultation.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?

Posted by & filed under Workers' Comp.

Many on-site injuries occur in conducive workplaces. Construction sites, development projects and most physically demanding scenarios serve as popular tropes for workers’ compensation practices. But did you know that you may be eligible for workers’ compensation, regardless of the color of your collar?

The commonly painted picture of a workers’ compensation suit shows a physically inhibited warehouse or construction worker who fell victim to some sort of instantaneous equipment malfunction. While suits like this do happen, there are plenty of other instances in the workplace that qualify for compensation.

Think about it: As an office worker, you may not be subjected to the same physical strains as a contractor. If you spend most of your day at a desk, it’s unlikely you’ll be required to operate machinery or lift heavy objects. Your dangers lie elsewhere.

On-the-job injuries may not always come in one unfortunate swoop. If your office ductwork is polluted with harmful chemicals, you may find yourself exposed to them every day of the week. Slowly, this can take a toll on your health. And you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation suit depending on the damages.

Additionally, psychological stress plays a part in every job. When it becomes overwhelming – in an office park or in a warehouse – workers’ compensation may be a possibility. If you’re job has influenced mental unrest, disease or hospitalization, speak with the team at Callihan & Syracuse. Our policy is simple: Finding your best interests, and doing everything in our power to achieve them.

How much ground do you have to cover for work? Depending on your situation, injury during your commute or business travel may be covered under workers’ compensation. If you’re a traveling salesman or employee without a permanent office space, and you’re injured on the move, compensation may be awarded.

Speak with Callihan & Syracuse about your particular case, and we could help you develop a workers’ compensation plan that works best for your future. No matter where you work or how you were injured, it’s worth the call. We’re proud to serve our clients and assist them in finding the best possible solution.

Motorcycle Laws Should Help Keep Everyone Safe

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

It’s summer time.  Roads, highways, and backstreets all across our state are filled with travelers out enjoying the sunshine, warm weather, and cool breezes.  Some of those travelers are in cars, some are out walking, and some are on bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds.  It is very important that we all learn to share the road.

So far this year, there have been 359 fatal crashes involving motor vehicles in South Carolina. And with well over 3 million registered private and commercial vehicles operating daily and millions more regularly passing through our state, it is a wonder that there are not many more of these deadly accidents.  But any loss of life due to a traffic accident is indeed a tragedy.  And we have laws in place to protect everyone on the road, regardless of their preferred method of transportation.

Motorcycle Laws

With all the high profile motorcycle events that have called South Carolina home for the past several years, our state has earned a reputation as being “biker friendly.”  But as all of the motorcycle clubs and “free riders” converge on our roads, we want everyone to be safe.

The primary motorcycle law in the state of South Carolina can be found in the Code of Laws, Title 56, Chapter 5, Article 29.  This law governs who is allowed to lawfully operate motorcycles in our state, how bikers are expected to conduct themselves on our roads, how motorcycles are supposed to be equipped, and the various penalties noncompliant bikers may face if charged for breaking these rules.

Share the Road

Even with these laws on the books, the responsibility for safe traveling still falls on the shoulders of the adults who are out on the road.  Of the 359 accident-related deaths so far this year, 39 of them were motorcyclists.  If you are an avid biker, please be sure that you always remain visible to other drivers.  Be mindful of your surroundings when passing slower vehicles and when taking advantage of the state’s “Red Light” law, which allows for the running of red lights after being stopped for 2 minutes.  Additionally, always make sure that your lights and rear-view mirrors are fully functional prior to starting your ride.

Drivers operating motor vehicles have responsibilities on the road as well.  Drivers should always be mindful of motorcyclists and their ability to easily maneuver lanes in and out of traffic.  Drivers also should remain courteous and allow motorcycles enough space to pass without incident, and should be mindful that some motorcycle turn signals do not cut off automatically, so they should proceed with caution when they are attempting to pass.

Contact a South Carolina Attorney

In the unfortunate event that you, or someone you love, is involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle, whether a motorcycle is involved or not, it is incredibly important to secure competent, trustworthy, and experienced legal representation.  Along with the physical injury and pain that usually follow an accident, individuals often have to deal with mounting medical bills, lost wages, property damage, insurance companies, police reports, information requests, and more.

It is a comfort to know that you have a team on your side doing everything they can to ensure you get what you need to pay those medical bills, restore those lost wages, and fight for your rights to get you compensated in every way the law allows.  Our firm has such a team, and we are ready to serve your needs. Contact us today at Callihan & Syracuse in order to discuss your available legal options after a motor vehicle accident and to begin working to secure compensation.

Car Accidents Often Cause Different Types of Injuries

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

According to South Carolina’s Information Highway, there are 3.5 million registered vehicles currently within our state. In addition to this staggering number, countless other travelers come through South Carolina each day, inevitably leading to a significant amount of traffic accidents on roads and highways.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that there are at least 100,000 motor vehicle collisions resulting in either substantial property damage or injury occurring each year.  While the overall number of these types of collisions has steadily decreased year after year, they still happen frequently enough that it should be a concern to all of us who get behind the wheel.

What to Do if an Accident Happens

It is incredibly important for you to learn what to do after an accident occurs. In the immediate aftermath, your thoughts should be about your own health and safety, as well as that of any others involved in the accident. Car accidents can often lead to both devastating property damage and catastrophic injuries, although in the direct aftermath of an accident you should be solely concerned with the former.

Back Injuries

The lower back is the most common site of back injuries, including sprains and strains, herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. Unfortunately, back injury can cause long lasting pain and discomfort, and may ultimately lead to limited mobility. Sometimes the symptoms of even the most serious back injuries can take some time to show up after an accident.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are an extremely common result a car accident. They often appear in mild forms such as whiplash and neck strain, but are sometimes more serious injuries like cervical dislocation and disc injury.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The damage to the spinal cord occurs when displaced disc material, bone fragments, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue. Damage to the spinal cord often results in a loss of function or feeling.

Brain and Head Injuries

One of the most common and debilitating injuries suffered by drivers and passengers are brain injuries caused by the head being hit or hitting an object violently.  This is commonly referred to as traumatic brain injury. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain and the area affected. Even when there is no visible sign of trauma (i.e. cuts or bruises), the brain may have been jostled inside the skull due to the force of impact causing bruising, bleeding, and swelling of the brain.

Internal Injuries

The impact of a motor vehicle accident can cause internal injuries, including injuries to kidneys, the spleen, liver, lungs, heart, or bowels. Fractured ribs are also quite common, causing punctured lungs and other internal organs. Internal injuries are life threatening and should be treated by a medical professional immediately.

Facial Injuries

In a car accident, injuries to the face are common and can be caused by the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, windshield, side window, car seats or shattered glass. These injuries range in severity from scrapes and bruises, to laceration and fractures, and even serious injuries affecting the jaw and teeth.

Contact a South Carolina Attorney

Being in a car accident can be extremely traumatic, and it is important that anyone who has sustained injuries contact an experienced legal professional immediately. Contact us today at Callihan & Syracuse in order to discuss your available legal options after a motor vehicle accident and to get your case started in the right way. We have a team of legal professionals ready and able to guide you through the process. We will help you deal with the insurance company, order your accident report, assess any personal or property damage, recoup lost wages, and stay on top of your medical bills. We are passionate, dedicated, and ready to help.

Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way…Or Do They?

Posted by & filed under Pedestrian Accidents.

Many people have heard the saying that pedestrians always have the right of way when they are walking on roads that are used by motor vehicles. It is unclear if this statement is purporting to be an accurate representation of the law or merely a general rule for drivers to follow. As a South Carolina driver or pedestrian, it is important for you to know and understand what exactly the law is when it comes to pedestrians and when drivers must yield to them.

Earlier this month, 46-year-old Doyle Burke, a resident of South Carolina, was killed near an intersection on Chesnee Highway. Though news reports have not provided many details about the incident, it adds to the list of fatal pedestrian accidents throughout the state.

In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2010, there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities nationwide. This number represented over 13 percent of all deaths involving automobiles. In South Carolina, almost 100 pedestrians died that year, accounting for about 10 percent of all automobile-related deaths. Needless to say, enough pedestrians in South Carolina die each year to warrant a deeper look into the responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians.

Who Qualifies as a Pedestrian?

According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, “Any person on foot, such as a runner, walker or a mother with a stroller, is a pedestrian.  A pedestrian can also be someone who uses roller skates and skateboards or a person with a disability on a tricycle, quadricycle or in a wheelchair. It is your responsibility as a driver to be on the lookout and to take every precaution possible not to injure a person on foot. If you see a vehicle, pedestrian or children near the road, you should slow down and be prepared to stop.

There are three types of persons who most often become pedestrian fatalities: the small child, the older person and the drinking public. In the case of very young children, a responsible driver will always check around his car before getting into it to be sure no child is in the vehicle’s path. Walking from behind parked cars is a very common action in fatal accidents involving a pedestrian. All three types of pedestrians that we mentioned commit this dangerous action. A child chasing a ball gives no thought to an oncoming car. His mind is strictly on play, and he may dart into the street quite suddenly. Some older people may not be able to move as quickly as younger persons, and they may have sight or hearing impairments, making it difficult for them to see a car or to judge its distance. A drinking pedestrian may have his senses and his judgment impaired.

As a responsible driver, you should always slow down and be prepared to stop quickly when you are driving on streets lined with parked cars. You must also react in the same manner when you come upon any situation where people are gathered alongside of the street or highway on which you are traveling. Night is a particularly dangerous time on rural highways for pedestrians. Sounding the horn of your car as a warning is always a good idea when you are faced with a vehicle-pedestrian collision. It may warn the person on foot in time for him to stop or move out of the road. The law acts to regulate pedestrians’ actions as well as your actions as a motorist.”

What Does This Mean for South Carolina Drivers and Pedestrians?

Many drivers and pedestrians have misconceptions about who actually has the right of way on South Carolina roads. The best advice that can be given is to always be attentive when you are operating a vehicle or when you are entering a roadway where motor vehicles are driven. A temporary lapse in attention from either a driver or a pedestrian can be deadly.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident, you deserve the most experienced legal representation available. Being injured in an accident or losing a family member is always a very difficult process. The experienced South Carolina auto accident attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse can help you and your family through the process and fight to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today.

Preparing to Meet with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in South Carolina

Posted by & filed under Workers' Comp.

We understand that when you have experienced an injury on the job that it may threaten the livelihood and wellbeing of your family for days, months, and even years to come. At Callihan, Lohr, and Syracuse Law Firm we are committed to helping you receive the benefits that you deserve. You can make your appointment with us successful by preparing in advance. South Carolina laws about workers’ compensation are often confusing, so we are here to assist you through the process. Proper preparation can help you to develop a strong relationship with one of our lawyers so that you do not waste any of your time and money. Here are some tips to help make your first visit with an attorney successful.

Fill Out All Paperwork

A great way to come prepared to meet with your attorney is to ask beforehand if you should bring and completed paperwork to your meeting. An attorney may ask you to bring in documentation from the incident, such as photographs or signed testimonies from bystanders. You should always keep a copy of any documents that you submit to an attorney. If you do not have time to contact an attorney at Callihan, Lohr, and Syracuse before coming in for an appointment then you should bring all of your current contact information, including your home and work addresses, your home and work telephone numbers, as well as your email address and fax number if you have one. This information will help us stay in touch with you throughout the process.

Gather Employment Information

If you are thinking about pursuing workers’ compensation then it is important to collect information about the incident and the company that you were working for at the time. For example, you should collect basic information about the company and your employment status. If you have any physical evidence, such as photos, that document the event then it can be used toward your case. In addition, you should bring information about workers’ compensation insurance if the company provides it. If you have any questions about your injuries and if they are covered under your insurance, then you can bring in your employee handbook or request one from your human resources manager.

Prepare Additional Questions

Callihan, Lohr, and Syracuse is here to support you through your case and answer your questions along the way to receiving compensation for your injuries. You should arrive at your first appointment with a list of questions that you have for our attorneys. You can repeat this practice each time you come in to meet with us, which means that you have a productive and effective working relationship with one of our attorneys.

We are proud to have extensive experience in handling workers’ compensation cases and third party claims. If you have any questions or concerns about workers compensation in South Carolina then you can contact us at 843-790-3476 to learn more about our free consultation.

What NOT To Do After a Car Accident

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

Car accidents can cause physical and emotional injuries, as well as property damage that require immediate and ongoing attention. An automobile accident can not only ruin your day, but it can also have serious liability issues, traffic citations, and even injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 2.24 million crashes with injuries across the United States each year. Although each year the number of car accidents has decreased, it is still important that you understand what to do and what not to do following a car accident in South Carolina. Even if you are the safest and most cautious driver around, you can never control the behavior of other individuals on the road. After you are involved in an accident, you should think about your immediate health and safety as well as long-term insurance claims. You can avoid the following mistakes so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Stay Where You Are

If you are the person who caused the accident then it is required that you stay on scene because South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means you and your insurance company are liable for the physical and property damages that occurred as a result of the crash. The first thing that should be done is to contact to local law enforcement to report the collision.  You should stay at the scene if you are the victim because it is important to get the insurance information from the person who caused the accident.  You should also check on the physical well-being of people involved in the accident, just in case an injured person needs to be transported to a hospital.

Don’t Forget to Call 911

If nobody is hurt in the accident you may not feel that it is useful to call the police; however, the person who caused the accident could be giving you false information about their insurance. Keep in mind that often a person may not realize that they are inured until well after they have left the accident scene. You always want to make sure you have proper documentation following an accident and a police report is a useful tool to document the damages caused by the wreck. You need to call law enforcement in order to make sure that you receive an accident report.

Document Everything

After you have stayed at the site of the crash and called the police, you may want to note what happened before the crash, where the crashed occurred on, and in which direction you were headed so that you can provide the police with accurate information. You may find yourself telling the story multiple times, so it is important to have your facts in order. Make sure that you have the other driver’s name, address, insurance company, policy number, license plate number, and the model and color of their vehicle before leaving the scene. If you have a phone that is able to take photographs, that is an excellent tool to document the property damage caused by the accident. The pictures will be useful when looking to gain compensation in the future.

At Callihan, Lohr & Syracuse we understand that car accidents are common in South Carolina. We will help you find your way through the process so that you can get your insurance company on your side. We will work to support your best interests so that you get the compensation you deserve. For more information you can call Callihan, Lohr & Syracuse at 843-790-3476.

The Basics of Personal Injury Law in South Carolina

Posted by & filed under Personal Injury.

Personal injuries, such as being hurt on someone’s property, dog bites, and wrongful death can have a financial cost for you and your loved ones. In South Carolina, the law of damages attempts to return the injured person to the position they were in prior to being injured. We understand that people who have experienced a personal injury have a number of things to consider when choosing an attorney to represent them in order to ensure that they receive fair and just compensation for their damages.

How much time do I have?

Across the United States, each state sets its own regulations surrounding personal injury law. In South Carolina, there are various deadlines depending on the type of claim you are submitting. In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases ranges from two to three years from the date of the injury, but in some specific instances can be longer. Knowing the statute of limitations for your case is very important because if you do not file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations period expires, your claim will likely be barred from proceeding.

Whose fault is it anyway?

In some cases it may not be clear who is at fault for the personal injury, especially during automobile accidents. If the person you are filing a claim against argues that you are fully or partially to blame for the injury then you may have to share some portion of the liability which impacts the amount of compensation you can receive for your injury claim.  During settlement talks, insurers may raise the issue of comparative negligence so it is important that you have strong representation on your side in the form of a skilled and educated attorney.

Is there a maximum amount I can receive?

In most states there are limitations on the amount of compensation a person who has experienced certain types of injury can receive. At CLS Law Firm, our injury lawyers will help you receive compensation for all of your damages, to the fullest extent the law allows, including your pain and suffering. We understand that a personal injury not only impacts your job, but also your personal life. Our lawyers will investigate your options and find the best possible path to pursue so that you can receive compensation for the harm you have suffered.

How to File for Workers Compensation

Posted by & filed under Workers' Comp.

An injury sustained at work can have lasting effects on both your professional and personal life. In most states, all employees are covered under workers compensation law, which gives people access to financial resources if they have been harmed on the job. Although some professionals are excluded from workers compensation, most companies are required to carry general liability insurance for anybody injured on their premises.

Workers compensation covers either injuries sustained at work, illnesses and effects suffered from long-term exposure to hazardous or strenuous conditions. Some examples of injuries or illnesses covered under workers compensation includes, broken or fractured bones, hearing loss, carpal tunnel, or any other type of debilitating health issue that can be attributed to the conditions of employment. Due to the ‘Coming and Going’ rule, injuries that are sustained during your commute are not covered by workers compensation; however, some transportation-related injuries that are sustained on the job, such as transporting goods or running errands, may often be covered by workers compensation.

It is important to have the guidance of a lawyer while you are filing for workers compensation. Callihan, Lohr & Syracuse Law Firm provides victims of workplace injuries with the right guidance to make sure that you get the settlement you deserve. We even offer a free consultation for those who believe that their injury may be challenge by their insurance company or employer. In addition, we will help you file your claim as early as possible. It is important to complete the employee claim form as close to the time of injury as possible. Monetary compensation after workplace injuries typically help to raise a person’s income level to what it would have been before the injury and to cover any medical expenses associated with the injury. Fortunately, money that is received through workers compensation is tax free, which is helpful when filing taxes at the end of the year.

A key component of the workers compensation process is when the insurance company asks for an independent medical examination, which is when a doctor chosen by the insurance company performs a medical exam to report the results. The information gathered from the exam helps the insurance company allocate the appropriate compensation to the victim. If you are unhappy with your compensation award then you can always appeal to the state workers compensation board; however, it is often a long and difficult process.

We are happy to walk you through the process of filing for workers compensation or standing alongside you during the court hearings. Our attorneys have extensive experience support victims through the process of filing for workers compensation and third party claims and we will help to explore all of your options. If you have sustained an injury on the job then you can get in touch with us today for a free consultation by calling 843-790-3476 or submitting a request online.