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$260,000 settlement for School Board Member involved in Trip and Fall

$260,000 settlement for School Board Member involved in Trip and Fall

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:

       Newly Installed Handrails AFTER Client was Injured

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.

                              Client’s Surgically Repaired Arm

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.

Read more at:

Why Is the Black Box Important in Truck Accidents?

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:

  • black box truck accidentPre-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.

What Are the Steps in a Personal Injury Case?

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.

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Last Updated : October 4, 2021
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