The attorneys at Stewart Law Offices handle all facets of personal injury, including:
Having enough auto insurance coverage is essential in case you’re ever hurt in a South Carolina car accident. Certain types of insurance are required. Drivers also have the option of purchasing additional coverage for added protection if a crash occurs. One of these is personal Injury Protection, or PIP insurance.
PIP is a type of auto insurance coverage that pays for reasonable medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages in the event of a car accident. These benefits are available to you regardless of who is at fault for the accident. For this reason, they are sometimes called “no-fault” benefits.
No. PIP is optional for South Carolina drivers. However, everyone is required to carry liability insurance for:
In order to keep premiums down, drivers often choose to purchase an auto insurance policy only up to South Carolina’s required limits. The drawback to this plan is that car accident damages, especially serious injury crashes, often have expenses that far exceed the minimum policy limits. That could leave you on the hook for any remaining costs once you’ve maxed out your policy.
PIP is an attractive option for several reasons:
As car accident attorneys, we recommend purchasing as much auto insurance as you can afford to provide maximum protection if you’re in a wreck.
You may have also heard of Medical Payments Coverage, or MedPay. PIP and MedPay are terms often used interchangeably in South Carolina, but they are slightly different.
MedPay is similar to PIP in that it will cover costs from your accident regardless of fault. However, it will only pay for your medical costs and funeral expenses. PIP can also provide compensation for lost wages, which can be especially critical if your injuries prevent you from working.
Because of its more comprehensive coverage, PIP is more expensive than MedPay.
Dog bites are disturbingly common and can cause serious physical and emotional harm.
Consider these statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association :
Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) within 24 hours.
The most common reasons that dogs bite include:
It’s important to note that any kind of dog can bite — regardless of breed or size. Even a dogwith the gentlest temperament may lash out if it feels threatened or provoked. That’s why it’s critical for dog owners to take every reasonable precaution to protect the public from harm.
Many dog bites are preventable. Follow these safety tips:
It is important to take the following steps if you are bitten by a dog.
Only an attorney can tell you whether you have a valid legal claim for a dog bite injury. Claims are often possible if:
Compensation in a dog bite claim generally comes through a homeowners or renters insurance policy. A dog bite lawyer can help you prepare a claim that demands full and fair compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Children are particularly at risk around dogs. Parents should always exercise caution when their children are around unfamiliar dogs, and teach their children to ask before petting any dog.
Parents should never assume that their children know how to behave around a dog, nor should they ever leave their child alone with a dog.
The injuries that are sustained during a dog bite or attack are often serious and may require multiple medical procedures as victims heal. For this reason, it’s wise to get legal help to fight for maximum compensation in your case.
In South Carolina, the employer is responsible for providing workers’ compensation coverage for employees. In South Carolina, all employers with four or more employees must provide coverage, and part-time workers are counted as employees. This includes non-profit organizations.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers injuries that occur on the job or while the worker is performing a work-related task. Illnesses that result from work-related activities are referred to as occupational diseases. These are also covered under workers’ compensation insurance.
Yes, repetitive motion injuries that are a result of work-related activities are covered under workers’ compensation.
Both full- and part-time employees count as employees for workers’ compensation purposes. Only employees are covered under workers’ compensation, not independent contractors. General contractors are also required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Unfortunately, volunteers are not typically covered under workers’ compensation insurance, although a volunteer who was injured as a result of an employer’s negligence may have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the company.
Employees who contribute to their injuries through their own negligence may still be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits, as workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You may, however, be barred from recovery if you were engaging in illegal activity at the time of the injury, your injury was self-inflicted, or if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Whether or not you will be covered for a motor vehicle accident is dependent upon your situation. If you were “on the clock” at the time of your accident and driving was part of your job duties, then yes, you should be covered. However, the “going and coming rule” holds that workers’ compensation benefits generally do not apply to workers who are injured while commuting to or from work or work functions.
In order to recover workers’ compensation benefits, you must prove that your injury was work-related. If you were off the clock and off of the premises at the time of your injury, it will likely not be covered. It’s important to consult with an attorney for more information that’s specific to your case.
You may be able to recover compensation if an old injury was aggravated or injured to a more severe degree as a result of a workplace accident. However, you cannot recover workers’ compensation for an injury that is not related to your current workplace accident.
Again, the answer to this depends on whether or not you were acting within the scope of your employment. Whether you are covered likely depends on the type of work you were performing at the time of the accident that led to your injury.
It’s important that you act quickly to initiate the claims process. In South Carolina, you have 90 days to provide your employer with notice of the injury, and two years to file your actual claim for benefits.
Yes, if you do not report your injury to your employer within the required time frame (90 days from the date of your injury in South Carolina), you can be denied compensation. It is best to report your injury immediately and to follow up with your employer after providing notice of injury to ensure that the claims process is under way.
You should apply for workers’ compensation benefits in the state in which you are employed. Typically, simply providing notice to your employer will kick-start the process. If your claim is denied or your employer fails to report your accident, reach out to a lawyer who can provide more guidance.
No, it is against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee for exercising a protected right, including the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer retaliates against you in any way, you should immediately contact an attorney.
In South Carolina, the most common form is Form 50-Employee’s Notice of Claim and/or Request for Hearing. Of course, there may be other important forms that are necessary depending upon your situation, too.
You should not sign a settlement/release of claims without consulting an attorney. Once you accept a settlement, you forfeit your right to pursue further benefits.
If your employer refuses to file an accident or incident report and initiate the claim process, you maintain the right to do this on your own and request benefits without your employer’s help.
If your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is denied, you maintain the right to appeal the decision. It is important that you act quickly, as an appeal is limited by a certain amount of time. If you are appealing a denied claim, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal counsel immediately.
Unfortunately, as part of the investigative process, a workers’ compensation insurance company may assign an adjuster to your claim ─ or even hire a private detective ─ whose job it is to learn more about your injuries. They may do this by following you, tracking your activities, taking photos, referencing your social media profiles, and even talking to people who know you.
People who are seriously injured in auto accidents rely on insurance coverage to help with the cost of medical bills and other losses after a crash. But what happens if the at-fault driver has no insurance, or not enough insurance to cover your damages? In South Carolina, you have at least one safety net — and maybe more, depending on your insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is a type of insurance that allows you to recover compensation from your own auto policy if you are hit and injured by a driver without insurance. It can also be a source of compensation if you’re hurt in a hit-and-run accident.
South Carolina drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. The amount must meet the state’s minimums for liability insurance: $25,000 per person for bodily injury up to $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. There is usually a $200 deductible.
Underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM, can help if the driver who hit you does not have enough insurance to cover the extent of your damages. If you’re hurt in a crash and you purchased UIM, you can draw on this insurance to make up the difference when the at-fault driver’s own policy limits are reached.
In South Carolina, UIM coverage is optional. However, the insurance company is required to make a “meaningful offer” to you. If the offer is not meaningful, you may be able to force them to reform the policy so that it has UIM coverage that matches the amount of liability coverage you purchased.
As car accident lawyers, Stewart Law Offices strongly recommends that you purchase as much auto insurance as you can afford. This includes underinsured motorist coverage.
Here’s the truth. Buying the minimum amount of car insurance is often not enough to cover the costs of a serious accident. Today’s medical expenses are astronomical. The average cost of an emergency room visit alone is over $1,300*. The lifetime costs of some of the most catastrophic injuries can easily reach into the millions.
In addition, each state sets its own minimum car insurance limits — some much lower than South Carolina’s. If you’re hit by an out-of-state driver with a smaller insurance policy, your ability to recover compensation for all of your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering could be significantly limited. With UIM on your own policy, you will be able to make up the difference for whatever is not paid by the other driver’s insurer up to the policy’s limits. It’s added protection.
The most important priority after being hurt in a car accident in South Carolina is getting medical treatment. After a crash, many people wonder whether it’s best to go through their health insurance or through the at-fault driver’s insurance company first. Here, Stewart Law Offices breaks down what you should do and why.
Yes. After a motor vehicle accident, you need timely medical treatment. Bill your health insurance for your medical care first. You do not want to risk your medical bills going to collections while you are waiting for your car accident case to settle.
Oftentimes, health insurers will ask if the injuries are related to car accidents and if they pay,they will likely seek reimbursement from your future personal injury settlement. A car accident lawyer can work to make sure your best interests are represented at each step.
That depends on your injuries, the circumstances of the car accident, the other driver’s insurance policy limits, and the terms of your own auto policy. The insurance company will only pay up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits.
However, if you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to recoup your losses through your own insurance
Your health insurer will often place a lien on the settlement that you stand to receive, regardless of whether or not it goes to court. This lien allows them to be reimbursed for whatever they paid towards your treatment in a process called subrogation.
If you’re found to be at fault for a crash in South Carolina, you won’t be able to collect compensation for your injuries. The state uses a system called comparative negligence to determine fault. You must be found less than 50 percent to blame for an accident in order to recover any money at all.
Haggling over who is at fault is one of the primary ways that insurance companies try to avoid making payouts. If they can push your portion of fault just one percentage point higher, they can avoid settling with you altogether. This is an important reason to consider hiring an attorney who can handle negotiations on your behalf and shield you from unfair insurance