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There are many scenarios through which a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance benefits may arise. Typically, such a claim happens as a result of a South Carolina car accident in which the negligent driver either had no insurance at all or had only minimum coverage.

However, UM coverage can also apply in other situations, including an occasion in which the claimant is struck by another vehicle while walking as a pedestrian.

Facts of the Case

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When a South Carolina personal injury lawsuit is filed, it can be resolved in several different ways. The plaintiff’s claim may be dismissed – either voluntarily, or by the court – thus ending the litigation. The matter may proceed to trial, and a judge may enter judgment upon a jury’s verdict. Of course, the majority of cases are ultimately settled out of court (and many others are settled without formal litigation ever having been filed). But what happens when a settlement agreement is not honored? What recourse does someone have when they don’t get the benefit of the bargain into which they entered?

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff originally filed suit against the defendant back in 1998. Although the court’s opinion did not disclose the exact nature of the dispute between the parties, the dispute was apparently settled through some type of mediation that occurred in 2002. As part of the settlement, the defendant signed a “confession of judgment” in the amount of $350,000 plus post-judgment interest. In exchange, the plaintiff released all of his claims and dismissed his case with prejudice.

Legal News GavelSometimes, a personal injury or wrongful death case involves only two parties and one theory of liability. For example, when one motorist’s negligence harms another driver in a South Carolina car accident, the injured driver may only need to file a simple negligence claim against the careless motorist who caused the crash.

However, many cases are not so simple, and sorting out how who is liable and whose insurance company must pay for which damages can be a complex endeavor indeed. For example, what happens when a car accident injures someone who is on the job? Who is responsible for the injured person’s medical expenses – the workers’ compensation carrier or the injured person’s personal injury protection automobile accident insurer?

Facts of the Case

Legal News GavelTrying a lawsuit, such as a South Carolina premises liability case, in front of a jury requires close attention to not only the state’s rules of civil procedure but also a particular judge’s local rules and even the scheduling orders in a particular case. A mistake or failure to take certain action in a timely fashion can be costly.

Of course, a trial court judge’s ruling on such matters is subject to review by the court of appeals in most instances. The appropriateness of a judge’s decision to exclude certain evidence based on a procedural failing is something that must be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Facts of the Case

Legal News GavelUnder South Carolina workers’ compensation law, employers are supposed to purchase and maintain a policy of workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees, in case an accident or illness should happen on the job.

Of course, just as people break other rules in life, not every employer complies with the requirements placed on them under the law. Fortunately, a person who is hurt at work while on the job with an uninsured employer does have a potential remedy – the uninsured employers’ fund. (The employer does not get off scot-free, of course, but working out the details of how the employer ultimately reimburses the fund is a matter that typically does not require the injured employee’s involvement.)

Facts of the Case

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South Carolina medical malpractice cases can arise in a number of contexts, including not only obvious mistakes, such as leaving an instrument inside a patient’s body or surgically removing the wrong organ, but also more complicated situations, such as a failure to make a timely diagnosis of lung cancer.

While the physician may not have caused the underlying medical condition (such as cancer), if it can be said that his or her failure to make a diagnosis in accordance with the applicable standard of care caused ultimate harm to a patient, there is a possibility that a medical malpractice claim may lie against the doctor.

Of course, each case is fact-specific, and there must be competent evidence from expert witnesses – other doctors – to explain to the jury exactly what should have happened, what went wrong, and how the error ultimately affected the patient. Without expert testimony, most medical malpractice cases fail regardless of how seriously the patient was injured (or even if he or she passed away due to the alleged mistake).

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Notice can be an important issue in a case involving injuries or wrongful death. While sometimes the simple act of filing a claim within the statute of limitations is all that is required, there are some kinds of cases in which other, earlier action is required.

South Carolina workers’ compensation cases, for example, require the giving of notice of an injury or accident to one’s employer within a certain time period. (Cases in which negligence is alleged against the government or a governmental employee may also have a formal notice requirement.) While it might seem like the issue of whether appropriate and timely notice was given in a particular case would be easy to resolve, this is not always so.

The Facts of the Case

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In a South Carolina personal injury case, the plaintiff must be able to prove negligence in order to recover damages. This requires proof of four distinct elements:  duty of care, breach of duty, actual/proximate causation, and damages.

In negligence cases, the jury typically resolves factual issues, but the trial court judge has the task of resolving questions of law. Whether or not a defendant owed a duty of care in a particular situation is usually a legal question for the court to resolve. If the court finds that there was a duty of care owed to the defendant by the plaintiff, the issue of whether that duty was, in fact, breached falls to the jury in most cases.

Facts of the Case

Legal News GavelSpartanburg and Greenville workers’ compensation cases are sometimes met with much resistance from the employers of those who are injured, as well as from their insurance companies.

This is unfortunate because, very often, workers’ compensation is the injured worker’s only means of obtaining much-needed medical care and temporary disability benefits. Although it is wise to consult an attorney any time you are dealing with an insurance company, this is especially true in disputed workers’ compensation cases. Quality legal representation can make all of the difference.

Facts of the Case

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Those who have been hurt at work have certain legal rights, including the right to seek certain benefits like medical care and temporary disability payments from their employer (or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier).

Although the compensation available in a South Carolina workers’ compensation case is typically less than what the worker could have recovered in a traditional negligence claim, the trade-off is that the worker does not have to prove fault on the part of the employer. However, the worker does have to prove that he or she suffered a compensable injury in the course and scope of his or her employment. If the employer denies the claim, it may take months or even years for the case to be resolved.

Facts of the Case