When something important happens to you, the first thing you probably want to do is post it on your social media. This is something that has become part of our lifestyle, and most of the time, it isn’t a problem. Posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram after an accident is a very bad idea and can hurt your case.
If you have been in a car accident or any other serious accident, you must put your social media on standby. Although you want to reassure your family and friends and let them know you’re doing okay, you need to be careful about where and how you let them know. The information posted on social media accounts can destroy a lawsuit.
Expectations of Privacy and Online Accounts
In 2009, Nathalie Blanchard went on vacation. After a year’s struggle with serious depression, her doctor advised her to spend time with her family away from home. Ms. Blanchard posted a photo of herself and her family on a beach, and her employer happened to see it. Subsequently, Ms. Blanchard lost her health insurance because her boss decided she couldn’t be too depressed if she was smiling and having fun on a beach.
Even though you think your social media accounts are “private,” they are not private according to the law. You have no expectation of privacy if any third person can see what you post. On most social media platforms, even when you have turned all your settings to “private,” friends can still allow their friends to access your pages. Community sites and “members only” sites are open to people you do not know.
After an accident, insurance companies, attorneys, and other individuals may be reviewing your social media, as Nathalie Blanchard discovered. Most of the time, the insurance companies will not be spying on you, but in situations where the facts of a case are contested, you need to be careful. For instance, if you are claiming that you were seriously injured, the opposing side may be looking for evidence you were not hurt. This is when pictures of you on the beach can be trouble.
What You Can Do
There are some things to do if you have a social media account. You should consult your attorney when you have been in an accident and have multiple platforms to consider.
- Stay off your accounts. The best thing to do is to just stop posting. If people ask about you, contact them via email or phone. If you posted anything just after the accident, let that be the last thing you posted.
- Turn all your security settings as high as they will go. If you must continue to use social media, for instance, for work or community obligations, make sure that nobody can access your page without your knowledge. Avoid posting any recent photos, and do not comment on your case. If anyone asks, refer them to your attorney. This is what “no comment” was created for.
- If you are a professional influencer, Instagrammer, Tik-Tokker, or another person who uses social media for a living, be especially careful. Keep yourself out of your images as much as possible. Again, avoid discussing your accident and your case. If possible, put your account on hold until your case is resolved.
Do Not Take Anything Down
After hearing all these dire warnings, you may be tempted to run to your social media accounts and take everything down. This is a bad idea. The legal term for destroying potential evidence is “spoliation.” Destroying evidence is not a crime unless you receive a letter from the opposing counsel telling you not to do it, but it looks suspicious. After all, why would you run to Facebook and start taking pictures down unless something was wrong?
If there are pictures or posts on your social media that you believe might look bad, you should contact your attorney. A legal professional will be able to tell you if anything needs to be removed or explained to opposing counsel. You’re probably safe enough. Things are seldom as bad as you think. But ask your lawyer to be sure.
Contact a Columbia Lawyer Now
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should contact an attorney whether you have a social media question or not. Call the Columbia personal injury lawyers of Goings Law Firm, LLC for a free and confidential consultation. Our legal team will be glad to help. Call us at (803) 350-9230 today.
When it comes to road accidents, there are many different variables to factor in. But these differences manifest in particularly significant ways when we consider the differences between a car accident and an accident with a commercial truck.
If you have been the unfortunate victim of an accident with a large commercial vehicle and you are considering filing a claim for compensation, it is essential that you understand the important legal differences that may affect your case. Having an experienced lawyer that can help you navigate the legal complexities involved when dealing with truck accident claims may mean the difference between getting what you truly deserve and settling for a “lowball” amount.
Truck Accidents Are Usually More Severe
It may sound obvious, but one of the biggest differences is the severity between a private car accident and a commercial truck accident. Truck accidents have the potential to be far more brutal in just about every way. Because of the size and weight of a semi-truck, the momentum of a moving commercial truck is significantly greater than that of a small car moving at the same speed. Because of this, the impact of an accident is invariably greater. The result of this is not only a far greater amount of damage to the vehicles that are involved but also a vastly increased potential for serious injuries that can be long-lasting, if not permanent.
The Difficulties of Battling a Trucking Company
In terms of the legal process, this may constitute the greatest difference between car accidents and collisions with commercial trucks. If you file a case in the aftermath of an accident with a semi-truck, the lawsuit usually involves a trucking company, not just an individual driver. Because South Carolina law allows a claimant to sue more than one defendant in a single claim, you may have a case against both the driver and the trucking company.
In many ways, this makes the case more challenging. When making a claim against a trucking company, you will be dealing with both their lawyers and their aggressive insurance company. These representatives are incredibly highly trained, and their one goal is to ensure that they do not have to pay out large settlements for these accidents. This is perhaps the main reason that it is so important to work with a personal injury lawyer who understands the tricks these trucking companies, their lawyers, and their insurance representatives have up their sleeves.
Understanding the Accident’s Causes
Another major difference between car accidents and truck accidents is how to determine the causes of the accident. Accidents that involve large commercial vehicles are usually the result of different circumstances. While car accidents tend to happen because of human error (driver distraction, speeding, etc.), truck accidents are often the consequence of the trucks’ sheer size and mass. These factors make it far more difficult to make proper turns or to stop quickly.
Truck accidents also frequently come about because of equipment failure. Both the driver and the trucking company should be responsible for check-ups and maintenance of the commercial vehicle. Neglect of the truck’s upkeep can lead to the malfunction of the vehicle. Alternatively, if this happens due to a manufacturer defect, the lawsuit will involve the manufacturer of the truck or its parts instead of (or in addition to) the trucking company.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge and the skill necessary to investigate the precise cause of the truck accident. This typically involves analyzing trucking logs, the company’s safety records, and the driver’s records, along with their related licensing and training. When it comes to truck accidents, this analysis is generally far more complicated than it is with car accidents.
General Complexities of Truck Accident Cases
While car accidents come with their own challenges, commercial truck accidents tend to involve more significant damages and multiple parties. Determining the financial damages (such as the cost of medical care, loss of earnings, etc.), non-financial damages (physical and emotional pain and suffering), and punitive damages (for a trucking company that has acted in bad faith) presents multiple complex challenges in truck accidents. Therefore, the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer is essential.
Contact a Columbia Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have suffered injuries or losses in a truck accident in or around Columbia, contact Goings Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible for a free consultation about your case. Our experienced and knowledgeable personal injury team will make you a priority and will be with you every step of the way to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (803) 350-9230.
Formal education isn’t a requirement to become a commercial truck driver, although entry-level drivers are required to take training with a registered training provider. Prospective trucking employees must complete tests successfully and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Since large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, are difficult to operate, truckers need a comprehensive knowledge of how to maneuver them safely on the road and respond to emergencies appropriately.
An inexperienced or unqualified truck driver could lose control of their vehicle and crash into a car, pedestrian, or stationary object. Without the proper skills, a trucker might take a turn too fast, load cargo incorrectly, or brake improperly, resulting in an accident.
Federal Regulations for Entry-Level Truck Drivers
Anyone who wants to operate a commercial motor vehicle in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce must apply for a CDL. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also requires prospective employees to meet the conditions below:
- Certify the vehicle they use during the test represents the motor vehicle they will operate or intend to operate
- Surrender all commercial learner’s permits and non-CDL licenses held in the state of employment
- If applying for a hazardous materials endorsement, meet the Transportation of Security Administration requirements
- Provide documentation to prove citizenship or lawful permanent residency
- List any state in the last ten years of holding a license to operate a motor vehicle
- Pass a skills or driving test in a vehicle that represents the motor vehicle they will operate or expect to operate and provide proof of test completion
- Show documents for proof of domicile in the state where the application is being completed
- Certify there isn’t licensing for more than one jurisdiction or state, and disqualification under the disqualification of drivers regulation or state law doesn’t apply
- Submit information the state requires to apply for a CDL
When an entry-level trucker applies for a license to operate a commercial motor vehicle, they must receive instruction regarding:
- Hours of Service – Training should include information on maintaining an adequate record of duty status, handling fatigue while driving, driving within the maximum driving limits, and spending a specific number of hours off duty.
- Driver qualifications – All truck drivers must understand requirements, such as medical exam procedures, disqualifications based on loss of driving privileges, offenses, and orders, responsibilities, and general qualifications for operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- Whistleblower protection – All trucking employees have the right to inquire about safety practices without termination by their employer or reprisals for discussing safety concerns.
- Driver wellness – Information about driver wellness should include the importance of basic health maintenance, such as exercise and diet, and avoiding excessive alcohol use.
Once a truck driver completes their training, they receive a training certificate. Employers must keep a copy of the certificate while employing the truck driver and up to one year after termination.
Longer Combination Vehicle Driver Regulations
A longer combination vehicle (LCV) is a combination of multiple trailers attached to one tractor with a gross vehicle weight of over 80,000 pounds. Drivers operate these vehicles on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
Anyone who wants to apply for an LCV license must meet training requirements, including:
- Successfully pass a skills and knowledge test
- Answer at least 80 percent of questions on the knowledge test correctly
- Demonstrate the ability to perform the required skills of operating an LCV
- Obey traffic laws and avoid involvement in a preventable accident during the skills test
- Present the LCV instructor with evidence of meeting the general requirements for obtaining an LCV license
Who Is Liable for an Accident Involving a Commercial Truck?
Most people assume the commercial truck driver is at fault for a crash, thinking that they were driving, so they should be held liable. However, multiple parties could be responsible for causing an accident. Although the trucker was operating the commercial truck at the time of the collision, their employer could be liable for knowingly hiring an unlicensed or inexperienced employee.
Motor carriers must perform various background checks before hiring prospective drivers. Unfortunately, some might skip this crucial step if they experience staffing shortages or a limited pool of qualified truckers. They might hire anyone they can find to complete necessary deliveries and make money.
You can pursue compensation from the individual or company at fault for your injury. Common parties held liable for truck accidents include:
- Trucking company
- Truck driver
- Cargo loading company
- Maintenance worker
- Manufacturer of a defective truck or part
- Owner of the cab or trailer
Goings Law Firm, LLC has represented clients injured in truck accidents for over a decade. We will fight hard to protect your rights and seek the maximum compensation you deserve. Our legal team will be your advocate and remain by your side until the end.
If you were injured in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, call Goings Law Firm, LLC at (803) 350-9230 number today for your free consultation with one of our Columbia truck accident lawyers.
When you seek medical treatment for injuries you suffered in a car accident, you likely are not thinking about your claim for compensation. But the doctors that you seek treatment from for your car accident injuries can serve as an important resource to help you secure the financial recovery you need and deserve. Below we’ve compiled five important tips to keep in mind when talking to your doctors about your car accident injuries.
Make Sure to Mention that You Were Involved in a Car Accident
First, you should ensure that your treating physicians know that you are seeing them for injuries that you suffered in a car accident. If you simply go into your doctor’s office complaining about pain or other physical limitations without letting them know that you were involved in a car crash, your doctor may not think to ask you if you had been in an accident.
When your doctor knows that you are seeking treatment following a car accident, they will note that in your medical records and treatment notes. These can help serve as evidence to link your injuries to the accident so that you can get compensation for your medical expenses and other losses related to those injuries. Your doctor’s notes may also help explain how the car accident caused your injuries, such as by explaining how the force of the accident resulted in the injuries you’ve suffered.
Provide a Full Medical History
If you are seeing a doctor other than your primary care physician who has been providing regular care to you in the past, you should make sure that your treating doctor has your full medical history. In many cases, insurance companies and at-fault drivers try to avoid liability for car accident injuries by trying to claim that those injuries were caused by pre-existing conditions such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis.
If the doctors treating your car accident injuries don’t have your full medical history, they may end up being unable to provide persuasive medical expert testimony in your case. The insurance company may try to challenge their credibility by showing that your doctors did not know about certain pre-existing conditions you may have had and therefore did not consider whether those conditions caused or contributed to the injuries you have claimed.
Be Detailed and Specific about Your Symptoms and Complaints
When seeking medical attention after a car accident, you should make a point to provide detailed and specific descriptions of the pain and symptoms that you are experiencing. Providing your doctor with as much detail as possible will help them to accurately diagnose your injuries and identify the prognosis of your expected outcome from your treatment.
In addition, providing some details about the car accident can help your doctors conclusively link your injuries to the crash. Important details you may want to provide include what kind of accident you were involved in or how your car was impacted (for example, if you were involved in a T-bone or rear-end accident), where you were sitting in the car, or whether your body impacted the steering wheel, dashboard, or another object in your car.
Go Over Your Treatment Plan and Prognosis
You should also take the time with your doctor to fully understand your course of treatment and your expected prognosis, or what degree of recovery your doctor expects you to make. This can later become important if you are facing a long road of treatment and rehabilitation and need to pursue future medical expenses in your car accident claim.
Or if your doctor expects that you will be left with some degree of physical limitation, you will want to know so that you can pursue financial compensation for that as well.
Discuss Your Work Limitations
Finally, you should confirm with your doctor whether you can return to work while treating your injuries and whether you require any accommodations to safely work in your job. This information can prove helpful if your doctor advises that you should stay off work due to your limitations, as it can allow you to claim compensation for lost wages/income or future earning capacity.
Contact Us after Being Injured in a Car Crash
If you were injured in a car accident, reach out to the Columbia car accident lawyers of the Goings Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You’ll be able to speak with a car accident attorney about your case. We can go over what you should talk to your treating physicians about to make sure that the medical evidence in your case helps establish your right to compensation. Call us at (803) 350-9230 or use our website’s contact form to talk to a member of our legal team today.
Millions of people across the country hit the road during the holidays, either to travel to visit family or friends in another town or state, or to go on vacation. But a long road trip requires taking steps to ensure that you stay safe on the road. Below we’ve identified five important tips to keep in mind for helping you to travel safely during the holidays.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Before setting off for a road trip, you should make sure that your vehicle is prepared for a long journey. This includes making sure that your vehicle has undergone all recommended maintenance. If your vehicle hasn’t been to the mechanic in a while, a road trip is a good reason to take your car in for maintenance.
Before you leave, you should also make sure that your vehicle’s fluids are topped off, including engine oil, coolant, and antifreeze. You should also make sure that your tires have sufficient tread to help you maintain traction if you encounter slippery conditions on the highway. In addition, if your vehicle has summer performance tires and you are driving into colder conditions, you should switch your tires over to all-weather or winter tires. Finally, you should make sure that your vehicle’s lights, wipers, and window defrosters work.
Pack an Emergency Kit
You should pack an emergency kit into your vehicle before setting off on a long road trip. An emergency kit should include a first-aid kit, warning triangles or road flares, a flashlight or lantern, gloves, a jack, jumper cables, a box of coarse sand or kitty litter, battery packs to recharge your cell phone, bottled water, snacks, and blankets. These items can help you if you get stuck, suffer a tire puncture, breakdown, or are otherwise stranded on the road, especially if it takes time for help to reach you.
You can help yourself stay safe on a long road trip by planning out your travel. This includes going over the route you plan to take and familiarizing yourself with alternate routes in case you encounter delays or closed roads on your primary route. You should also check for construction zones along your route. Finally, on the day you set off you should check traffic and weather conditions. Having all these details can help you to avoid delays due to weather or traffic and reduce your risk of being involved in an accident due to heavy traffic or bad weather.
Remember to drive more carefully when on the road during holiday travel. This includes sticking to the speed limit and keeping extra following distance between your car and vehicles in front of you. This can help reduce the risks of being involved in an accident. You might also encounter precipitation and slippery road conditions from winter weather, which can increase stopping distances or make losing control and spinning out more likely. Slowing down and avoiding tailgating of other vehicles can reduce these risks.
Avoid Drowsy or Fatigued Driving
Finally, you can keep safe on long road trips during holiday travel by avoiding drowsy or fatigued driving. Spending hours on the highway can prove mentally and physically taxing. Taking frequent breaks during long road trips can help you stay energized and alert. Pull into a parking lot or rest stop every few hours to get out of the car, stretch, take a walk, and have some food and water. If you are traveling with other licensed drivers, consider trading off driving duties so that everyone can get a few hours’ rest from being behind the wheel.
You can help avoid drowsy or fatigued driving by refraining from driving during the late afternoon or at night, when your natural circadian rhythm may cause you to feel sleepy. If you do begin to feel drowsy or sleepy while on the road, pull into a rest stop or parking lot as soon as possible where you can take a nap. A brief nap can help refresh you for about an hour or so, allowing you to reach your destination or somewhere that you can get a full night’s sleep.
Contact Us If You Have Been Hurt in an Auto Accident
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of your own, reach out to the Columbia car accident attorneys of Goings Law Firm, LLC for a free, no-obligation case review. Call us at (803) 350-9230 or fill out our contact form to speak with a member of our legal team about your rights and options for pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Fall may be the quintessential time to enjoy a long motorcycle ride. The weather is crisp and mild, and the scenery is breathtaking. It may also be the last time you get to enjoy a ride on the open road before the cold, harsh weather of winter sets in. However, autumn can present a few challenges to road warriors.
Before you set out on your next autumn riding adventure, consider some of these safety tips from Goings Law Firm, LLC.
A spontaneous autumn ride sounds appealing, but for safety reasons, it is always best to plan ahead before you hit the pavement. Consider your route in advance and take note of dangerous curves, road construction, and other potential hazards you may encounter on the way. You want to witness the natural beauty of your surroundings, so be sure that you know your route well and can anticipate safety issues along the way.
While generally mild, autumn can also be unpredictable. You’ll want to check weather reports and local road conditions before venturing out. Wear layers so that you will be comfortable if the temperature changes. It’s a good idea to keep rain gear with you in case of sporadic showers.
Make Sure Your Bike Is in Good Condition
Before a long autumn ride, make sure your motorcycle is ready for the trip. Fill up on gas, be sure all fluids have been topped off, and check the air pressure in the tires. You will also want to make sure that the brakes are in good, working condition. These types of basic safety inspections are especially important if the summer heat has kept your bike in the garage for a few months.
Watch Your Speed
The best drives for viewing the changing fall leaves are often filled with dangerous curves and turns. Again, know your route before you embark on your journey and keep your speed in check. Taking a curve or turn too fast can turn tragic. Be on the lookout for signs warning of sharp turns and curves and adjust your speed accordingly.
Use Caution on Popular Roads
If you are out looking at the beautiful autumn scenery, chances are that others are, as well. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the lookout for motorcycles. That means you may have to be extra vigilant to avoid an accident. If you are traveling through a popular scenic area where other drivers may be distracted, increase your following distance. This will give you more time to react and maneuver if another driver makes a sudden stop for a photo opportunity.
You will also want to be alert for cars as they pull off and get back on the road. Many areas have scenic pullouts where people can stop and enjoy the view. Sometimes motorists are not watching carefully enough when they exit and enter these areas.
Watch for Wildlife on the Road
Fall isn’t just a popular time for people to be out and about, it’s a popular time for animals to be on the move. Between mating season and searching for the last remnants of food before winter sets in, animals are often much more active than in summer. Remain aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes open for signs of wildlife. A collision between a large animal like a deer and a motorcycle can be devastating.
You may also want to avoid hitting the road during times when animals are at their most active. Dusk and dawn, when light levels are low, are peak times for animal activity.
Wear a Helmet
At this point, it should go without saying: helmets save lives. If you are embarking on an autumn ride, be sure to wear a helmet. Helmets should meet all DOT safety guidelines. In addition to a good helmet, you may also want to pack eye protection and wear light-colored or reflective clothing. The more visible you are, the better.
Motorcycle Accident? Contact an Experienced South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Autumn may be an ideal time for motorcyclists to venture out onto South Carolina roads, but it can be a dangerous time as well. One reckless or negligent driver can cost a motorcyclist their safety and even their financial stability. At Goings Law Firm, LLC, we want to protect motorcyclists and help them recover the compensation they are entitled to following a collision.
If you are injured in a serious motorcycle crash that wasn’t your fault, contact the office of Goings Law Firm, LLC immediately. Our legal team is committed to helping motorcycle accident victims seek the compensation they deserve after a crash. For a free case evaluation, call our office today at (803) 350-9230.
The Goings Law Firm, LLC is pleased to announce that Horry County Schools have agreed to pay $260,000.00 to a Horry County School Board Member who was injured in a trip and fall due to defective and unsafe steps at the district office. The steps violated several state and federal safety codes in failing to have required hand rails. Our firm was successful in proving that several prior employees of the school district had fallen due to the lack of hand rails. The victims of the prior falls and injuries had requested the administration add safety railings. The safety railings would have prevented the prior falls. Unfortunately, it only after our client fell and sustained severe injuries that the Horry County School system chose to do anything to fix this code violation. Below is a picture of the location where our client fell only after hand rails were installed:
The fall resulted in a severely broken arm and extensive reconstruction surgery. Here is an x-ray of our client’s arm after surgery showing extensive metal hardware plates and screws.
This injury was completely preventable if Horry County Schools would have installed the required handrails. The school system had prior notice of the defective condition and prior injuries in this location, but did nothing about it.
Injuries that result from preventable falls caused by trips or slips at businesses or public property give rise to civil liability, allowing for financial compensation to cover medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and loss wages and earnings. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a property owner violating safety code requirements or failing to properly construct or maintain pedestrian traffic areas of ingress and egress, please contact us today at 803-350-9230 for a free, no obligation, consultation. We are happy to explain your legal rights and represent you if the need arises.
This settlement was featured in Horry County’s the The Sun Newspaper. Here is the article:
Horry County Schools to pay $260k settlement to board member injured on property
Horry County Schools will shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars after voting to settle a lawsuit brought by one of its own board members.
The district’s school board voted unanimously Monday to pay $260,000 to settle a 2019 lawsuit from board member Sherrie Todd, who represents district 2 covering parts of Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest. Todd’s suit alleged she suffered a serious fracture to her arm that required three surgeries after she fell on the stairs leading to a school board meeting in 2017.
Ahead of the vote, the school board received legal guidance in executive session, where matters aren’t made public. Todd recused herself from executive session during the discussion on the lawsuit and abstained from voting.
The lawsuit alleges the spot where Todd fell should have had a railing, and there was no other entrance for Todd to access the door where she was attempting to enter. The district knew or should have known about the safety hazard, according to the lawsuit, which also says at least two other people have been seriously injured on the same stairs. The district denied these claims in its response, The Sun News reported at the time the lawsuit was filed.
Todd declined to comment on the settlement.
Todd’s injuries were a result of “her own negligence, carelessness, gross negligence, recklessness, willfulness and wantonness,” the district initially responded, arguing she failed to look where she was walking and wore inappropriate shoes. Last week, Todd had offered to accept a $300,00 settlement from the board, court records show. She also attempted to get workers’ compensation for her injuries, but the district opposed that, asserting she was a board member, which differs from a district employee. The two parties were set to go to trial last month, but the date was delayed so the two parties could attempt to settle out of court, records show.
An accident with an 18-wheeler will leave you reeling, and wondering “how did this happen?” And soon enough, that question will be relevant for your attorney, for your insurance company, and for your finances. To get the answer, you might need to request information held in the black box of a truck.
Black boxes aren’t just for planes. They are also installed in many 18-wheelers to record driving data. If you’ve been in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, your attorney can request data from the black box to understand who was at fault for the accident. That information can bolster your case for compensation.
What Are Black Boxes?
“Black Boxes” are more accurately called “EDRs” or Electronic Data Recorders. EDRs are designed to collect data in the brief period before, during, and after a crash. EDRs collect several different types of information, including:
- Pre-Crash Vehicle Speed and Velocity — This information indicates whether a driver was exceeding the speed limit before the crash or making urgent maneuvers.
- Driver Inputs — The EDR helps us understand what actions a driver was taking in the moments before and during an accident. This includes the use of or failure to use seatbelts, the presence or absence of steering wheel turns and acceleration or deceleration, and whether the brakes were used.
- Vehicle Crash Data — The EDR collects detailed mathematical data on the velocity and dynamics of the vehicle during and after the crash. This includes tire pressure, oil levels, and more.
EDRs collect all of this information via sensors dispersed throughout the truck. The “brain” of the EDR, however, is typically housed in an area insulated from damage, like the driver’s seat. Though not required by law yet, black boxes are installed in most 18-wheelers nowadays.
How a Black Box Can Help You in Case of an Accident
If you’ve been in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you deserve compensation. But, to get it, you will likely be going up against a large trucking company. Naturally, trucking companies are not apt to want to disclose information about reckless drivers they employ. A black box could reveal that the truck driver was speeding, making sudden turns, or failing to brake. Therefore, they will not willingly hand over information contained in the black box. If they did, they might be on the hook for huge compensation settlements.
However, all is not lost. A skilled attorney can gain access to the data and establish a case for compensation.
An attorney will be able to assemble data from eyewitness reports, the ELD of the driver, the physical evidence remaining from the crash, and the raw data from the black box. They will then help build a case to bring before the trucking company’s insurance carrier and fight for you to get compensation for your pain and suffering. The right personal injury attorney will be accustomed to dealing with all the intimidation tactics of insurance companies. They will be able to help you get the answers you deserve and understand who is liable for the accident.
Call Goings Law Firm, LLC Today
Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be nearly as nerve-wracking as the accident itself. You are likely dealing with a pile of medical bills, hordes of insurance queries, lack of communication from the trucking company, and maybe even questions from government agencies. While the black box holds the key to how the accident happened and to getting compensated for your pain, you struggle to access it. You need help. Contact a Goings Law Firm, LLC attorney today.
Any sort of vehicular accident is devastating. However, truck accidents, as opposed to car accidents, often result in larger financial, physical, and legal consequences for victims. Truck accidents can wreak havoc on your life and cause issues that last for years to come.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, call the skilled lawyers at Goings Law Firm, LLC today. We are adept at assisting with all types of personal injury cases. We will deal with the trucking company, insurance companies, and even the government on your behalf. You need a professional in your corner who can gather evidence, organize a case for compensation, and fight for you to get the money you deserve.
Don’t let a truck accident hold you back any longer. Call Goings Law Firm, LLC at (803) 350-9230 now.
If you’ve suffered an injury that was not your fault, you may be wondering how personal injury claims work. Here are the stages of a personal injury case, how settlements work, and what happens when personal injury cases go to trial.
The typical steps in a personal injury claim include:
- Seek medical attention. The first thing you should do is seek medical attention. You should do so promptly. If you don’t seek treatment right away, the insurance company may argue your injuries were not the result of the accident caused by their policyholder.
- Consult with an attorney. Seek out a qualified personal injury attorney to evaluate and investigate your case, collect evidence, help you document and calculate damages, and represent you in negotiations or at trial.
- Investigate and gather evidence. Your attorney will launch a full, independent investigation into the accident. As part of their investigation, they will gather evidence to help support your claim. Evidence may include witness statements, surveillance footage, photo evidence, the accident report, the at-fault person’s admission of guilt, and more.
- Negotiate a settlement. Your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit entities chiefly concerned with keeping their shareholders happy, so they will use various tactics to try to reduce the amount they must pay you. Your attorney will know how to subvert those tactics and will seek the compensation you actually need and deserve.
- File a personal injury lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached, then your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party on your behalf.
- Attend mediation. Mediation is a last-ditch effort to reach a settlement before trial, and many claims do settle out of court at this stage. Mediation is usually conducted by a retired judge and allows both sides to try to come to an agreement.
- Go to trial. If mediation fails, then your case will proceed to trial, where your attorney will argue your case in front of a jury and a judge. The jury will then render a verdict based on the evidence presented from both sides.
What Happens in a Personal Injury Trial?
A personal injury case will usually go to trial if settlement talks have reached a stalemate. The trial could be as short as one day and as long as a week or more, depending on the complexities of your case.
In a personal injury trial, a jury will render the final verdict. Jury selection is followed by opening statements, where your attorney will lay out the basic facts of your case before the jury before getting into the “nitty-gritty.” Your attorney may call people to testify, including witnesses who may have seen the accident occur, accident reconstruction experts, and more.
Once both sides have presented their evidence, the jury will deliberate and come to a decision.
How Do Personal Injury Settlements Work?
A majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. This happens for a variety of reasons, including time, cost, and other factors. Your attorney will initially try to settle your case with the insurance company, but if that effort fails, then your attorney will pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Between the discovery phase of a trial and the trial itself, the two sides will usually again attempt to reach a settlement through mediation.
Once you accept a settlement, you generally forfeit your right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. That’s one reason why it is so important to have an attorney at your side during negotiations. Insurance companies often make an initial lowball settlement offer that may seem generous but, in reality, is less than you need and deserve. If you accept it without consulting an attorney, you could end up paying out of pocket for expenses the guilty party’s insurance should cover. Consulting with an attorney will improve your chances of getting the settlement you actually deserve.
The main factors that will affect the value of your settlement include the severity of your losses (called “damages”), the defendant’s financial resources, and the strength of your case against the defendant.
Contact Goings Law Firm, LLC
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else, reach out to one of our attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC at (803) 350-9230 today for a free consultation. We will discuss your case, help you determine your legal options, and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve on your behalf.
The attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC has been featured in the list of “Legal Elite” in South Carolina since 2015. Integrated Media Publishing, the publisher of Charleston Business, Columbia Business Monthly, and Greenville Business Magazine, has announced the 2021 winners of its annual Legal Elite awards in its August edition. All four attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC were selected to the list of 2021 “Legal Elite” in South Carolina. 2021 Legal Elite publication honors attorneys based on peer review voting from other attorneys in the Lowcountry, Midlands, and Upstate areas of South Carolina based on attorney reputation, legal skill and experience, and quality of legal services. The “Legal Elite” list recognizes lawyers whom peers consider among the best and outstanding in their respective practice areas. We are proud to be recognized as “Legal Elite” in the fields of personal injury litigation, business litigation, and workers’ compensation law.