Our thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Katie Arrington – fatal collision in Charleston

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Katie Arrington, and the family of the deceased driver in a fatal collision that occurred in Charleston County on Friday night, June 22, 2018

Katie Arrington, a representative in the State House for the Lowcountry and a U.S. congressional candidate, was seriously injured in a fatal car wreck Friday night.   The driver of the vehicle that collided with Arrington’s car was killed on the scene, according to Mount Pleasant’s WCBD.  Reportedly, the collision occurred when the driver that was killed was driving on the wrong side of the road, striking Arrington.

Arrington won the Republican primary for the House of Representative (1st District) seat, defeating incumbent Mark Sanford.  She was traveling with a friend on U.S. Highway 17 when a driver traveling in the wrong lane collided with the vehicle Arrington was in.

Arrington “sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs, as well as injuries that required Katie to undergo major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon,” according to a statement released Saturday morning via her Twitter account. She is expected to remain in the hospital for at least two weeks, according to the statement, which read:

“Last night, Katie Arrington and her friend were traveling to Hilton Head, where Katie was scheduled to receive an award from a state medical organization this morning. Katie was the passenger in the car traveling southbound on Highway 17, when a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction — northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 17 — struck the vehicle containing Katie and her friend. Katie sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs, as well as injuries that required Katie to undergo major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon. Additionally, the main artery in her legs has a partial collapse and will require a (stent). Additional surgeries will be required including one likely today; and it is likely that Katie will remain hospitalized for the next two weeks.  As we all know, Katie Arrington is an extremely strong woman and has tremendous faith and an incredibly supportive family. And it is from her strong faith, the support of her family, the prayers and support of our community, and the incredible doctors and staff at the hospital that she is certain she will be back to work for our state soon. As her family asked last night, Katie asks for your continued prayers for the deceased and the deceased’s family, as well as prayers for a quick recovery for Katie and her friend.”


Indiana man was tragically killed when a tractor trailer struck the construction lift he was operating on I-77 in Columbia, South Carolina

Photo of Tractor Trailer Truck

On Wednesday morning June 20, 2018, a 40-year-old Indiana man was tragically killed when a tractor trailer struck the construction lift he was operating on I-77 South in Columbia.  The crash happened just after 5 a.m. on I-77 South near the Blythewood Road exit, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The collision involved a tractor-trailer and a piece of construction lift equipment, according to Lance Cpl. David Jones of the Highway Patrol. The tractor-trailer was traveling south on I-77 when it hit the construction equipment, which was moving in the southbound lanes, Jones said.  It was reported that the driver of the construction equipment was trying to cross from the median to the shoulder of the road, Jones said. When he was hit by the truck, he was thrown from the bucket of his equipment and killed.

Officials have identified the worker killed in an accident on I-77 as Nathaniel B. Deaton, 40, of Martinsburg, Indiana. Deaton was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy indicated the cause of death to be blunt force injuries suffered in the collision, says Richland County coroner Gary Watts.

I-77 South in Columbia was closed for more than 6 hours following the accident as S.C. Highway Patrol investigators reconstructed the scene. WLTX News 19 in Columbia spoke with Trooper David Jones who wants to share a reminder with drivers on the road. He says, “Make sure you limit your distractions. Slow down in construction zones, make sure you put your cell phone down and pay attention to your surroundings because again a lot of times these are active work zones.”

Tragic collision on the interstates are preventable if drivers are exercising care and not distracted while driving.  It’s important to slow down in construction zones and be mindful of workers that are making our roadways safer.  If you are a loved one has been injured or tragically killed in a collision in South Carolina, please contact the Goings Law Firm at (803) 350-9230 today to learn about your rights.


Goings Law Firm, LLC featured in Fig Magazine

The Goings Law Firm, LLC has been featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Fig Magazine.

Fig is a local publication that explores “shopping, dining, arts, history and community in Columbia.” The current issue focuses on food and drink.
goings law firm staffTo view the entire issue of the magazine online for free, click here.


South Carolina Workers Comp – Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation laws that we receive from people who have been injured on the at work.

  • How do I report an on-the-job injury?

    Report all injures at work to your employer immediately and request medical treatment, if needed. If you neglect to report the injury within 90 days of the accident you may lose your benefits. However, it is very important that the injury be reported as quickly as possible so that the employer does not claim that the injury did not occur. Although you must report the injury within 90 days, you have up to two years to file a claim for benefits. If a worker dies because of work-related injuries, the workers’ dependents, or parents if there are no dependents, must file a claim within two years of the death to claim benefits.

  • How do I file a claim?

    You may personally file a claim if your employer does not report your accident, denies your injury by accident, or if you believe you did not receive all of your benefits. To file a claim you must submit a Form 50 or Form 52 to the Commission.  When filing a claim on a Form 50 or Form 52, mark the box 13a. which states, “I am filing a claim. I am not requesting a hearing at this time.”  However, if you believe that you are not receiving the benefits that you are entitled, you should contact an attorney immediately so that you can properly request a hearing

  • What medical treatment am I entitled to receive?

    You are entitled to all necessary medical treatment that is likely to lessen your disability. Workers’ compensation generally pays for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions. Keep in mind that in most circumstances in order to receive these benefits you must go to the doctor chosen by your employer or its insurance representative.

  • How is the compensation rate determined?

    You are entitled to compensation at the rate of 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage based on the four quarters prior to your injury, but no more than the maximum average weekly wage determined each year by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. If you are working two or more jobs at the time of accident, those wages may be included as part of the average weekly wage and compensation rate.

  • Will I get compensated for missing time from work because of my injury?

    The law requires a seven-day waiting period before benefits can be paid. If you are out of work for more than seven days, payments will come from your employer’s insurance representative. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you will receive compensation even for the first seven days. You can expect payments to be made directly to you and these should continue until the doctor releases you to return to work.

  • When are my benefits terminated?

    After the doctor releases you to return to work with or without restrictions, within 150 days of notification of the accident, you should receive two copies of Form 15 with Section II completed indicating that compensation has been stopped and for what reasons. If the insurance carrier stops your compensation, and if you disagree, complete Section III of the Form 15 and send it to the Commission’s Judicial Department. This is your way to request a hearing to be held in sixty (60) days. If the doctor releases you to return to work after the 150-day notification period, your employer or insurance representative will ask you to sign a Form 17 (receipt of compensation) after you have been back to work for 15 days.

  • What if the doctor releases me to light duty? 

    You must accept light work if it is ordered. If you do not accept, all compensation may cease as long as you refuse to return to work. You have a right to a hearing if you believe that you are not able to do the work assigned to you. If you return to light work before you are fully discharged by the doctor at a wage less than you were earning at the time of your original injury, you are entitled to weekly compensation at the rate of  66 2/3% of the difference between your average weekly wage and your new wage.

  • What if I receive an impairment rating?  

    If you receive an impairment rating, then you may be entitled to additional benefits under workers compensation.  We strongly urge anyone who is injured to contact an attorney  if their injury involves a surgery or a impairment to a body part.  Without an attorney you may be required to have a hearing against the insurance company’s doctor.  It has been our practice that insurance company never want to pay what you are entitled to receive based on the level of impairment or disability from your work related injury.

  • Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?

    Yes, if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. Effective August 23, 2004, Commission approved allowance for trips to a pharmacy if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. You should be reimbursed for the round trip mileage at the rate allowed state employees for mileage.

  • Can I get a second opinion if I am not happy with the doctor to whom the insurance carrier refers me?  

    Under certain circumstances you can obtain a second opinion, but the insurance carrier will likely send you to another “insurance company doctor.”  If you need a second opinion, we strongly urge you to contact our firm so that we can obtain a fair and impartial  second opinion from a trusted physician.

  • Who sends me my weekly check?

    Your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees and the insurance carrier will be responsible to pay compensation to you if you are out of work for more than seven days.  If the insurance company has not started you checks, or if your checks are delayed or not timely coming to your address, you need to contact our office immediately to protect your rights.

If you or a loved one has a question about any worker’s compensation issue that you are facing, please do not hesitate to contact us today.   Often times a claim for workers compensation benefits can be tricky to navigate on your own, and the insurance companies can be notorious for my protecting the injured workers so that it can save money.  Don’t put your financial benefits in the hands of a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster without first talking to a seasoned worker’s compensation attorney.  We are here to help, so call the Goings Law Firm today at (803) 350-9230.


Amtrak blames freight train company CSX for deadly South Carolina crash

Amtrak blamed a freight rail operator, CSX Corporation, for causing a crash on Sunday that killed two people and injured more than 100 others when one of its passenger trains was diverted onto a side track and slammed into a parked, unmanned freight train in South Carolina.

In the U.S. passenger rail operator’s third fatal crash in as many months, Amtrak Train 91, carrying nine crew members and 136 passengers, was traveling from New York to Miami when it hit the CSX Corp freight train that was stopped on a side track, or siding, at about 2:35 a.m.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Richard Anderson said CSX was responsible for the tracks and signals, including one that had a lock attached to it and diverted the Amtrak train onto the side track.

“CSX had lined and padlocked the switch off the mainline to the siding, causing the collision,” he said in a statement.

CSX did not address the comments by the Amtrak CEO but said it was working with federal investigators. Both Amtrak and CSX offered their condolences to the families of the two people who died.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Board, told a news conference the section of track was operated by CSX and there was a padlock on the switch that steered train traffic onto the siding.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way,” he said, calling the damage to the locomotives “catastrophic.” An NTSB investigation team was at the site.

Amtrak engineer Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Georgia, and conductor Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Florida, were killed, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters. Autopsies were being conducted, she said.

Two of the 116 people injured were in critical condition after the wreck, which occurred about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the state capital, Columbia.

“It’s a horrible thing to see, to understand what force was involved,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told reporters. “The first engine of the freight train was torn up, and the single engine of the passenger train is barely recognizable.”

Anderson said the passenger train hit the tail end of the CSX train. That train had two locomotives and 34 empty auto racks used to transport cars, the NTSB said.

The passenger train’s locomotive was left lying on its side, and the first car was bent and also derailed, although it remained upright, images from the scene showed.

At least four of the freight train’s cars were crumpled, looking like crushed tinfoil, but remained on the tracks.

The passenger train was part of Amtrak’s Silver Star Service. Officials said some 5,000 gallons of fuel leaked as a result of the collision but that there was no threat to public safety.

If you or a loved one was injured in the Amtrak / CSX train collision in Columbia, South Carolina, please contact the Goings Law Firm immediately to learn about your legal rights.  Trust a South Carolina law firm with the reputation and experience of recovering millions of dollars for its injuries clients.


The Train Collision In Columbia Was Preventable

The train collision that occurred in Columbia on Feburary 4, 2018 was preventable.  It seems like negligent conduct is to blame for this tragic event

A train switch that was apparently locked in the wrong position is being blamed by federal investigators for a train collision early Sunday that killed two people and injured up to 116 others near Cayce.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Sunday afternoon that there’s no evidence of foul play, although the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Sumwalt said the accident could have been avoided if a federal safety system, under consideration for years, had been in place. The system is supposed to slow down trains when a problem lies ahead on a track. He called the damage to the trains “catastrophic.’’

Sumwalt made his remarks after an Amtrak train slammed into a stationary CSX freight train at 2:35 a.m. in Lexington County. An NTSB official declined to say if the accident was the fault of CSX, but noted that CSX is responsible for maintaining proper track position. CSX is the owner of the track but Amtrak uses the line.

If you or a loved one were injured in this train accident, call us today for a free consultation. We are Real Lawyers in Columbia. 803-350-9230


COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

The Goings Law Firm are South Carolina lawyers that represent victims hurt in train collisions.

Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Administration (NTSB) suggests that a train wreck or train crash occurs every 2 hours in the United States. There are approximately 3,000 train wreck and crashes per year in the United States. Trains are still used to move products and materials throughout South Carolina but when train wrecks happen, the results are usually catastrophic.  Many factors result in the train accident being more serious because of the speed of the train, the weight of the train and the stopping distance for a train. Train wrecks happen for many reasons but some of the more common are:

  • The train conductor falls asleep or fails to properly operate the train
  • Improper communication between trains, and train conductors and engineers
  • There is a collision with another train
  • A derailment occurs
  • A collision with a car or bus
  • There is a train mechanical failure that leads to an accident
  • The train tracks are too old or improperly serviced or maintained

Since there are many factors that lead to a train wreck, there are many people who can be held responsible for your injury, loss of income, or pain and suffering. While it’s the responsibility of the railroad company to maintain the tracks and the train you ride, truck and car drivers also have the responsibility of following the laws and not attempting to cut across the tracks after the crossbars have been lowered.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a train accident, contact the Goings Law Firm today for a free consultation.  We have the experience to get you the result that you deserve.  Call us today at 803-359-9230


Columbia Cayce South Carolina Train Accident Attorneys – Train Collision on February 4, 2018

Amtrak, CSX train collision in South Carolina leaves 2 dead, 115+ injured

On Sunday morning, February 4, 2018, two people were killed in a crash involving a freight train and an Amtrak passenger train early Sunday in Columbia South Carolina, as the trains were traveling through the town of Cayce.

Amtrak Train 91 was traveling between New York and Miami with 147 people aboard when it collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce. At least 115 people were injured and transported to local hospitals, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said. Injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.

The crash occurred at about 2:35 a.m., derailing the lead engine and some passenger cars, Amtrak said in a statement. About 5,000 gallons of fuel were spilled, authorities estimated, but Cahill said there was “no threat to the public at the time.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation. Robert Sumwalt, the NTSB chairman, told CNN that an NTSB team will arrive in South Carolina Sunday morning to begin the investigation, which should take 12 to 18 months.
Investigators will hold a press conference Sunday afternoon, Sumwalt said.
Amtrak said in a statement the train’s lead engine derailed, as did some passenger cars that was carrying eight crew members and approximately 139 passengers on board. TV footage from the crash scene showed the aftermath of the collision, with the Amtrak engine on its side and its front crumpled.
If you or a loved one was injured as a results of this collision, please contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC today at (803) 350-9230. We have experience in handling significant personal injury cases in Columbia, South Carolina.

DON’T LET THEM LIE- WORKERS COMPENSATION IS A NO FAULT SYSTEM

WORKERS COMPENSATION IS A NO FAULT SYSTEM

We often help people who have been told by their employer or the insurance company their on the job accident “has been denied by workers comp because they failed to follow a safety rule.”  Sometimes employers mistakenly mislead employees into thinking they can’t bring a claim as a compensable workers compensation accident because the accident occurred as a result of some violated safety rule or was the fault of the employee.  This reasoning is just simply not the law. The South Carolina legislature specifically designed the Workers Compensation Act to be a No Fault System.  So what does no fault mean?

A “No Fault System” means whether the accident (an unexpected event or unintended result) was due to a freak chance of events or due to an actual violation of a work safety rule it is still a compensable accident under the Worker’s Compensation Act. The fault of an injured worker has no bearing on the right to recovery. (See Jones v. Harold Arnold’s Sentry Buick, 376 S.C. 375, 656 S.E.2d 772 (S.C. App. 2008).  The only exception to this rule is the willful and intentional act of an employee to hurt themselves. Id.

So, if you were involved in an accident at work through no fault of your own or through your honest mistake it matters not, you are entitled to medical treatment, out of work pay and damages resulting from permanent injury.  Let us answer your questions and guide you through the waters of workers compensation in South Carolina.  For a free consultation call the Goings Law Firm, LLC and ask for the Workers’ Compensation Team lead by Christian E. Boesl, at 803-350-9230.


Workers Compensation FAQ: Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?


Question: Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?

Answer: Yes, if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. Effective August 23, 2004, the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission has approved allowance for trips to a pharmacy if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. You should be reimbursed for the round trip mileage at the allowed state employees for mileage. Effective January 1, 2018, the reimbursement rate is 54.5 cents per mile.

If you have any questions or concerns about your case, just give us a call today. It will not cost you anything to see if we can help! The number is (803) 350-9230 and ask to speak with a member of our Workers Compensation team.


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