August is a month to celebrate anniversaries in our office! Earlier this month, our attorney Jessica L. O’Neill Gooding celebrated her two year anniversary with us and now, our attorney Christian E. Boesl celebrates one year of working on our team at Goings Law Firm.
How did Christian end up working at our firm?
“Robert begged me! Robert and I have practiced together previously at another firm, and we enjoy trying cases together,” Christian said.
Christian is the head of our Workers’ Compensation team, which is comprised of him, Mallory, and Catherine. He has a strong workers’ compensation background, with nearly fifteen years of experience. In addition, he holds a Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification, approved Circuit Court Mediator for workers’ compensation.
Outside of work, Christian loves to spend time with his family—his wife, Emily, and their four children—and they help keep him active in our local community.
“Having four children keeps me pretty involved in the community from Booster Club activities to volunteering at food banks,” Christian said. He also spent time volunteering during the days and months after the 1,000 year flood that hit our city and state hard in October 2015.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Christian became a South Carolinian after marrying Emily, a local of Columbia and it quickly became home for him due in part to the close-knit legal community
“My favorite thing about practicing in Columbia would be how cordial the Bar is and how closely connected you are to almost everyone in town,” Christian said. “It’s really almost a hometown feeling.”
Here in our office, we love having Christian as a part of our team.
“When I started my legal career, I worked at a law firm and Christian was my supervisor,” Robert Goings said. “I got to know him as an attorney and he became one of my closest friends. What I love is his honesty, his work ethic, and his passion for helping others. What has always set him apart from other people is his desire to help others. He’s a very strong advocate for his client—he believes in his clients. He never gives up. He has a zealous advocacy for people of need.”
Congratulations on your 1st anniversary, Christian! We hope to celebrate many more work anniversaries with you!
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may be wondering whether to hire a workers’ compensation attorney. The answer depends on the severity of your injury, the overall complexity of your case, and the actions of your employer or its insurance company. In South Carolina, the workers’ compensation system was designed to provide prompt and fair compensation to injured workers. But often times these days, the big workers compensation insurance companies have a long history of denying claims or neglecting the injured, all to protect the profits of their insurance company. The workers’ compensation system seems to work mostly for the benefit of employers and insurers if you are unrepresented. You need to understand that insurance companies have teams of highly trained lawyers on their side, even when you are without representation. If the insurance company is going to have a team of lawyers, shouldn’t you too?
As a general rule, you may be able to get by without an attorney if all of the following statements are true:
- You suffered a minor workplace injury, such as a twisted ankle or a cut requiring a few stitches.
- Your employer admits that the injury happened at work.
- You missed little or no work due to your injury.
- You don’t have a pre-existing condition that affects the same part of your body as the recent workplace injury (such as an old back injury from a car accident that was there before you slipped and hurt your back on the job).
Even in these uncomplicated and straightfoward claim, we would recommend that you contact our firm for a free consultation to make sure you are not missing something important. An attorney at the Goings Law Firm can walk you through the process, alert you to potential pitfalls, and give you an honest appraisal of whether you can handle the case on your own, or if hiring the Goings Law Firm would be in your best interest.
When and Why– Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney
The moment any complexity arises in your case is the moment you should hire an attorney. Here are some examples of situations that call for a lawyer’s intervention:
- If you have had any hospitalization or surgery. If you have undergone surgery or a hospitalization for your work related injury, most of the time an attorney needs to help you on your claim. This is true 9.9 times out of 10!
- Your Employer denies your claim or doesn’t pay your benefits promptly. Employers and workers’ comp insurance companies routinely reject true workers’ comp claims, with the hope that many workers will fail to file the appropriate paperwork with the South Carolina workers’ compensation commission or go through the hassle of making a contested claim. The good thing is that hiring our firm to represent you costs nothing up front, and it gives you the best chance to receive a fair settlement or award for your injuries.
- Your employer’s settlement offer doesn’t cover all your missed time from work or medical bills. If you’re not sure a settlement offer is good enough, don’t rely on the attorney for the workers’ compensation carrier or the adjuster to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal. Anytime your settlement offer doesn’t cover all your missed time from work or medical bills, you need to consult with an experienced workers compensation attorney immediately.
- Your injuries or medical condition prevent you from returning to your prior job, limit your work abilities, or keep you from performing any work at all. If you’ve suffered any degree of permanent disability—partial or total—you may be entitled to weekly payments (or a single lump sum) to indemnify you for your injuries or for your loss wages. These cases can be very expensive for insurance companies, and they’ll often stop at nothing to avoid paying you what you deserve. A knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney at the Goings Law Firm has experience to get you the compensation you desire if your case involves permanent injuries or illness.
- Your Employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ comp claim. If your employer has fired you, demoted you, slashed your hours, reduced your pay, or engaged in any other form of discrimination because you filed a workers’ comp claim, contact a workers’ comp attorney immediately to protect your legal rights. In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, your employer may be civilly liable for workers’ compensation retaliation.
- You were injured because of a third party’s actions. The workers’ comp system was designed to prevent civil lawsuits for work-related injuries. However, you are permitted to in civil court in certain situations, including when someone other than your employer contributed to your injury (such as reckless driver who hit you in your work vehicle or due to fall caused by a negligent landowner). If your on the job injuries were caused by a person or entity other than your employer, you may be able to obtain additional recovery in a third-party civil action. The Goings Law Firm always tries to go after any negligent third-party for additional compensation for any work related injury.
What Will Your Workers Compensation Attorney Do?
In addition to making sure you file all the necessary forms and meet the deadlines, an experienced attorney will know how to gather the evidence needed to support your case, negotiate effectively with the insurance company, and write a settlement agreement to avoid unanticipated consequences. If you can’t agree on a good settlement, an attorney can prepare for and represent you at the hearing or trial.
Don’t wait, contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation to better understand your legal rights for your on the job workers’ compensation injury. The number is (803) 350-9230, and ask to speak to one of our professionals!
We strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine if you need help from a lawyer. Not every claim requires an attorney, and we don’t think that everyone should automatically hire an attorney. However, in our experience, you will likely need a workers’ compensation attorney if you have an injury that may keep you out of work, or an injury that should require medical treatment such as a surgery or hospitalization. Many times hiring an attorney is the only way to ensure that the workers’ compensation carrier is treating you fairly. It is our experience that workers’ compensation insurance company will do anything possible to deny benefits that you are entitled to recieve under the laws of the State of South Carolina.
If you become injured as the result of a job accident, you are entitled to compensation for all related medical expenses and other out-of-pocket expenses that you incur as a result of your work related injury. Fault is irrelevant when it comes to your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. In many cases, you are also entitled to compensation for your reduced earning capacity resulting from your accident-related injuries. This includes any time that you are unable to work while you attempt to regain your overall health to the condition it was prior to your work related accident. If you have a degree of permanent injury, you are entitled to an award of disability to compensate you for your injuries.
People injured on the job are often naturally and reasonably concerned that they may face some retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim after suffering a work related injury. Fortunately, your employer cannot legally retaliate against you or terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Further, it is not only in your own best interest and that of your family, but also in the best interest of your employer that you report your injury receive the appropriate treatment to restore you to your full potential. This will not only restore you to a capacity where you are better able to undergo the physical requirements of your particular job in order to provide for your family, but it will also enable you to be a better and more productive and valuable employee at your workplace.
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, or you don’t know where to turn after an injury on the job, please contact us today for a free no obligation consultation. Our number is 803-350-9230, and ask to speak to the Workers Compensation Team lead by Christian Boesl. We are Real Lawyers – no cheesy TV ads, no sales pitches or gimmicks! We get Real Results for the clients that we help everyday! Call us today for a free consulation!
This month, our attorney Jessica L. O’Neill Gooding celebrates her two year anniversary with Goings Law Firm. We absolutely love having her on our team! She’s a dedicated attorney who works incredibly hard for and is dedicated to each one of her clients.
“My favorite thing about working here is just working with the clients,” Jess said. “I grew up wanting to be a teacher. I actually had a couple of my favorite teachers talk me out of that but, this type of practice allows me to educate clients and take them through the legal process. I really enjoy that type of interaction with clients. Also, Robert is really hilarious to work with!”
She also loves the history found in the walls of the historical home that houses our firm in downtown Columbia.
“My favorite part of our office is the bullet in the chimney,” Jess said. “Downstairs in the conference room, in the brick chimney above the fireplace behind the finished walls, there are bullets from the Civil War. This house is one of two that was built for a pair of sisters—they’re twin homes with almost the exactly same layout. A confederate general built them for his two daughters. When Sherman was burning the south and raiding all of the homes, they came into this house. There was a portrait of the young woman’s father—the Confederate general—over the mantel of the fireplace. When the Union troops saw it, they shot through the portrait and the lead bullets lodged themselves in the brick of the chimney.”
Jess stays active our local legal community, and is a member of the South Carolina Bar’s Young Lawyer Division, South Carolina Women Lawyer’s Association, the South Carolina Young Lawyers Division, the Richland County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
“In Columbia, it’s really easy to get involved with the Bar Association,” Jess said. “There are always a lot of events going on, the Annual South Carolina Judicial Conference is here in town, and it’s a great hub for the legal community with the government and the non-profits that are located here. It’s cool to be a part of that and to stay involved with it.”
Congratulations on your 2nd anniversary, Jess! We hope to celebrate many more work anniversaries with you!
Meet Chris Pascal, who has been working with Goings Law Firm this summer and will continue with us into the fall as he begins his 2L year at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Chris attended undergraduate at Wofford University and he graduated in May 2017. When he arrived at Wofford as a freshman in 2014, he decided to get involved in Wofford’s Student Government and was elected as a Freshman Delegate. Chis went on to lead the Student Government as Student Body President during his time at Wofford (just like Robert Goings did!)
When Chris began his classes at the University of South Carolina School of Law, he didn’t immediately jump into student government. However, at the encouragement of his friends, he decided to run for a Student Body Association position and was elected to the SBA as the Class Representative for the Class of 2020. He will begin his term this fall when he begins his 2L year.
“I’m really happy to be working for Robert and for Goings Law Firm,” Chris said. “It’s been a great experience, and I’m blessed to have it. I love seeing what it takes to be a successful attorney. You have to be hardworking and client driven. Goings Law Firm has taught me that you can be both principled and family oriented. Yes, it can be hard work and a lot of hours, but at the end of the day you still want to have your principles, your morals, and your beliefs.”
Like Chris, both Robert Goings and Jess Gooding, attended the USC School of Law. Because of our firm’s close ties with the University and because of our proximity to campus, we believe in being actively involved at the USC School of Law and try to do as many things with the school as we can. We are firmly invested in the futures of the law students there and want to do what we can to help further their education and their experience.
“Everyone here is very involved,” Chris said. “They have spoken to our entire graduating class, they help put on the Alumni and Student BBQ every June, and they participate in the On Campus Interviews each year. Goings Law Firm shows that even small firms can have a big presence on campus.”
As the summer begins to wind down and students begin making their way back to campus, we want to wish everyone at the USC School of Law a good school year. We look forward to seeing the new class and the returning students around campus!