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Richland County accident results in one fatality

Richland County accident results in one fatality

A two-vehicle accident on Wednesday, April 23 in Richland County resulted in one fatality.

County Coroner, Gary Watts said that Cory Groover, 31, died on Sunday, April 27 after sustaining injuries related to the Wednesday morning accident. Reports said the accident happened around 6:00 a.m. when a dump truck turned over traffic and into Groover’s path.

Columbia Police Department spokesperson, Jennifer Timmons said that the dump truck driver, whose name was withheld, was charged with failing to yield the right-of-way. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash scene.

The attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, offer our condolences to those affected by this tragic collision.


Serious Accident Involving Dump Truck in Columbia, SC

The Columbia Police Department reported a serious trucking accident with injuries at the intersection of Percival Road and Screaming Eagle Road in Columbia, South Carolina that occurred on the morning of Wednesday, April 26, 2014. Investigators said the dump truck appeared to have turned left in front of an oncoming vehicle. The driver of that vehicle hit by the dump truck was transported to a local hospital in Columbia. The condition of the driver is unknown at the time, but we understand that injuries can be particularly devastating from a truck accidents due to the size and weight of these large trucks. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the victim and the family. The Columbia Police Department charged the dump truck driver with violating traffic laws.

Truck accidents, whether caused by large semis or dump trucks, can result in serious and deadly injuries. If you have been injured as a result of a truck accident, our lawyers at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, believe you shouldn’t have to go through this difficult situation on your own. With our help and guidance, you may be able to better hold the party responsible for the truck accident that harmed you or your loved one and get the justice you need. Call us at (803) 350-9230 today to speak with a dedicated legal professional about your case and learn more about what we can do for you.


Uninsured v. Underinsured Motorist Coverage in South Carolina

What is the Difference between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

This is a common question that you may have when purchasing automobile insurance or after an accident. It is important to understand the differences between uninsured motorists coverage and underinsured motorists coverage. The amount of coverage that you may have could play an important role in determining if you can be fully compensated for the injuries sustained from an automobile accident.

The Goings Law Firm, LLC recommends that you purchase as much UM and UIM insurance as you can afford.  The medical bills, loss wages, and other losses that typically result from serious injuries caused by a car accident can be very high. Make sure that you have enough insurance coverage to help compensate you and your family for these damages.

Uninsured motorist coverage, referred to as “UM,” is a type of auto insurance policy that pays you for your damages for bodily injury and property damage when an at-fault motorist is without any insurance, or insurance is less than the minimum limits. A motor vehicle is considered uninsured if the owner or operator is unknown, such as a hit-and-run. However, recovery under the uninsured motorist provision is subject to the certain narrow conditions set forth under the South Carolina law. Uninsured motorist coverage in South Carolina is mandatory.

Underinsured motorist coverage, referred to as “UIM,” is a type of auto insurance policy that that can be triggered if the at-fault motorist is underinsured. Unlike UM insurance, the at-fault motorist has insurance but the vehicle’s liability policy limits are not enough to compensate you for all of your damages. UIM coverage is optional. You should purchase UIM insurance because very often the medical bills and expenses related to personal injuries from auto accidents will far exceed in at-fault driver’s liability policy.

Additional Sources:
To view the South Carolina statutes related to UM and UIM insurance coverage, go here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t38c077.php

Contact a Columbia Personal Injury Attorney Today if you Have Insurance Questions Following An Accident.

The Goings Law Firm, LLC is a Columbia based law firm with experience dealing with the insurance company and finding you the right insurance coverage for your injuries after an automobile, motorcycle, or truck accident. If you have any questions about insurance coverage that may apply following a motor vehicle accident, contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC online today or call (803) 350-9230 for a free consultation.


South Carolina Motorcycle Accidents: Injury and Fatality Statistics

By: Robert F. Goings

According to a study by AAA in August 2013, the most dangerous county in South Carolina for most motorcycle collisions and most injurious motorcycle crashes was Horry County.  Myrtle Beach is located in Horry County, which hosts several biker weeks.  Horry County ranked second in both categories in 2011 and third in 2010.

After Horry, other South Carolina counties ranked as the best chance of being in a motorcycle collision were Marlboro, Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties. Those ranked as the best chance of being in an accident that caused injuries after Horry were Marlboro, Pickens, Greenville and Greenwood.

For fatal motorcycle crashes, Oconee, Williamsburg, Clarendon, Lancaster and Edgefield ranked in the top five.  All were new for 2012 except Lancaster, which ranked as number two for fatal motorcycle crashes in 2011.  These five counties accounted for 13% of fatal motorcycle crashes in South Carolina, while only carrying 5% of the total vehicle miles traveled.  Overall, fatal motorcycle crashes in South Carolina increased 3% from 104 in 2011 to 107 in 2012, accounting for 13% of all fatal traffic crashes.

If you or a family member has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC at (803) 350-9230 to discuss your legal rights with an experienced South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer.


Personal Injury Mediation: 5 Things to Expect

In South Carolina, mediation is mandatory in many counties in state court as a part of the pre-trial process. The federal court in South Carolina frequently orders parties to conduct mediation as part of a scheduling order. Mediation is a non-binding process designed to facilitate a settlement

Why mediation? Because it works in reaching a settlement, and works well. Mediation allows litigants to decide the outcome of their own cases without the risk of a jury or having your case or verdict overturned by a judge.

Mediation has been highly successful at resolving many lawsuits as a form of alternative dispute resolution, especially in personal injury cases such as business torts, automobile accidents, falls, and injuries caused by defective products. Oftentimes mediation is the first opportunity where the parties can meaningfully sit down and discuss the merits of case in an attempt to reach a settlement through negotiation. *While mediation is often productive, mediation can fail if the parties are not properly prepared of what to expect.*

If you are attending a mediation as a plaintiff (the injured party) in a personal injury lawsuit, here are 5 things to expect:

    1. Expect to hear statements from the opposing party that you disagree with. At the beginning of most mediations, the parties and their lawyers will gather in conference room together for opening statements. You and your attorney will be on one side of the table. The defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and usually a representative from the defendant’s insurance company will sit on the other side. The mediator, who is neutral, will sit at the head of the table. Your attorney will present your side of the case. The defense attorney will then make statements that will challenge your view of the facts and the value of your case. This is his or her job. Do not be offended.
    2. Expect the parties to be far apart at the beginning. At the early stages of the negotiations, you can expect the parties to be far apart. You can count on “low ball” offers from the defense, or offers that too low to consider. The defense can expect your starting point to be too high, as well. Remember to be patient. As with any negotiations, it’s not where you start, it’s where you end!
    3. Expect the process to be lengthy. A successful mediation can take anywhere from a few hours or a full day. In our experience, the average mediation time is between 4-6 hours. The process takes time because the mediator will be meeting privately with the parties in separate rooms in order to gather information about the case. The mediator will deliver offers and demands back and forth between all interested parties.
    4. Expect the mediator not to pick a side. The mediator is not your attorney or your advocate. The mediator’s only “client” is the “settlement.” In order for a mediator to facilitate a settlement, he must be neutral and fair to all parties. The mediator cannot “pick” one side over the other.
  1. Expect to compromise.  Mediation cannot work without compromise. If you want to reach a settlement, then you must be willing to make concessions that are reasonable and fair. Mediation is a “give and take” process that allows you to maximize your rewards and minimize your risks through a negotiated settlement. Without compromise, you can expect your case to end in court.

Columbia Personal Injury Mediation Attorney

If you or a loved one has sustained personal injuries from the negligence or fault of another, it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights. Many personal injury lawsuits are settled at mediation. If you have any questions about the mediation process, please call us today at (803) 350-9230 and we will be happy to answer your questions.


South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics


The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) has provided statistics about motorcycle crashes, including injuries and fatalities involving motorcycles in South Carolina.  Here is some of the facts from recent years:

South Carolina Motorcycle Crashes

  • There were 1,819 motorcycle crashes in 2010.
  • Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 10% of total traffic related fatalities in 2010, but represented on about 1.7% of all motor vehicle related accidents.
  • The number of motorcycle crashes increased by 5.8% and fatalities decreased by 10% from 1009 and 2010.

South Carolina Motorcycle Injuries, Fatalities, and Hospitalizations

  • A total of 81 motorcycle riders were killed and 1,984 were injured in 2010.
  • In 2010, motorcycle injuries resulted in 751 hospitalizations and 2,963 ER visits.
  • In 2010, motorcycle injuries resulted in almost $74 million dollars medical bills from  hospitalization and ER visits alone.
  • In 2010, the average hospitalization charge from a motorcycle injury was $78,825 and the average ER visit cost $4,901.
  • Most motorcycle injuries treated in the ER related to upper limb fractures, such as broken arms, broken shoulder, or broken fractured elbows.
  • Among those hospitalized for motorcycle injuries that died in 2008, 74% suffered a traumatic brain injury

Columbia South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to make sure that you understand you legal rights. South Carolina has laws that may provide compensation for injuries or death sustained from a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle accident cases can be complex and the deadline for filing a claim can be short.  You should speak to the Goings Law Firm, LLC today if you think you may need a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer.


Eighteen Wheeler Truck Accident Statistics

Eighteen Wheeler Truck Accident Statistics
By: Robert F. Goings

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its 2012 Annual Report which includes data regarding the number of people injured or killed in accidents involving large trucks. The NHTSA defines large trucks as vehicles with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds. These large trucks are also called semi trucks, 18-wheelers, or tractor trailers.

According to the report, there were 3,921 people killed and 104,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2012. The report found that 317,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes during 2012.  Large trucks were more likely to be involved in a fatal multiple-vehicle crash as opposed to a fatal single-vehicle crash than were passenger vehicles.  In South Carolina, 79 of the 1,163 total vehicles involved in fatal crashes involved large trucks.  A fatality may result in a wrongful death action.

Fatalities in crashes involving large trucks showed a 4 % increase from 3,781 in 2011 to 3,921 in 2012. Of these fatalities in 2012, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 10 percent were nonoccupants, and 18 percent were occupants of large trucks.

Of these people injured in 2012, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 3 percent were nonoccupants, and 24 percent were occupants of large trucks. The 2012 percentages show non-significant change in injuries when compared to 2011.

To view the NHTSA’s 2012 Traffic Safety Facts for Large Trucks published on January, 2014, click below:

2012 Traffic Safety Facts for Large Trucks (NHTSA)

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Columbia

With so many deaths and injuries occurring each year from trucking accidents, it’s important to understand your rights as a motorist. If you or a loved one has been involved in an truck or eighteen wheeler accident in Columbia, or anywhere in South Carolina, and you believe the truck driver or company is at fault, you may have important legal rights. You shouldn’t have to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage due to someone else’s fault. You may also recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical expenses that you may incur.

Contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC and we will investigate your accident, file a claim on your behalf, and work hard so you get the compensation that you deserve. Call (803) 350-9230 for your free consultation.


What to Do After a Car Accident- Best Advice!

By: Robert F. Goings

WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT:

Here is our best advise of what to do after a car or truck accident:

Step 1 – Get Medical Attention

Call 911 right away to make sure serious injuries get prompt medical attention.  Even if you experience bruises, soreness, aches, or pains, go the the emergency room or scheduled an appointment with you primary doctor as soon as possible.

Step 2 — File A Police Report or Incident Report

File a police report, even if you’ve only been in a minor car accident. This is your best protection against inflated or false claims. Only discuss the accident with police and do NOT admit fault.
Move out of the way of traffic to protect yourself from further injury.

Step 3 – Preserve Evidence for Your Case

Take photographs and video, if possible, of the accident scene, any injuries, and any resulting damages.
Obtain the following insurance-related information from the other driver:
Name, address, birthdate, phone number, driver’s license info, and insurance info
The make, year, model, license plate number, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the other car
If the other driver doesn’t own the car, get the names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance info of the other car’s registered owners
The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any passengers in the other vehicle

If the accident involves a truck, take photographs of:
The tractor-trailer involved, especially photographs of any company names, Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers, and logos.
The location of the tractor-trailer at final rest.
Identify any witnesses and obtain their contact information before they leave the accident scene.
Contact your insurance company to inform them that an accident has occurred, but don’t give a recorded statement.

Step 4 – Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Before you sign any papers or give a recorded statement to the insurance company, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced car accident attorney.  An attorney can provide you the best likelihood to receive the compensation that you deserve.

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you to:
Obtain the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve
Coordinate a rental car or other transportation method to replace your damaged vehicle
Avoid having your words used against you by the insurance company or the at-fault party
Focus on recovering from your injuries instead of stressing about medical bills and lost wages

If you’ve been hurt in a serious car or truck accident, it’s important to act fast.  The sooner you contact our law firm, the sooner we can investigate your claim, preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and help build your case.

Our legal consultations are free and there’s no obligation to use our services.  The Goings Law Firm, LLC is available at 803-350-9230 to answer your questions.


South Carolina Car Accident Fatality Statistics

By: Robert F. Goings

The number of fatal car accident dropped in South Carolina by approximately 15 percent in 2013 based on statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Traffic.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol campaigned strongly for people to be aware of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles during the year.  The number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths decreased, however, the number of motorcycle deaths increased in 2013.  The decline in fatalities on South Carolina roadways is a 41 percent decrease compared to the number of fatal car accidents in 2011.  However, several studies rank South Carolina drivers as among the worst in the nation for causing motor vehicle accidents.  South Carolina drivers received low scores on failure to obey traffic signals, drunk driving, and reckless driving.  South Carolina also has a high number of truck accidents caused by logging trucks and long haul tractor trailers operating on South Carolina highways.

To compare the number of 2013 v. 2014 South Carolina traffic related fatalities, click here.

If a family member or loved one has suffered a fatality from a car accident or truck accident in South Carolina, contact the Goings Law Firm today at (803) 350-9230 to find out about your legal rights.  We handle wrongful death lawsuits in Columbia, South Carolina and throughout the state caused by the negligence and reckless driving of others.


Is a trucking company required to give a driver a drug test?


By: Robert F. Goings

The Goings Law Firm, LLC is a Columbia, South Carolina truck accident law firm. Many trucking accident injuries happen because the driver is impaired or driving under the influence of drugs. A trucking company or motor carrier is required to perform a drug test on a driver or other employees in the certain situation to promote driver safety. Drug tests are mandated by Federal law in the following situations:

  1. Before Hiring: The driver must always be tested unless he or she has been in a federally-approved drug testing program in the past 30 days and meets other strict requirements.
  2. Randomly: All motor carriers must have random drug testing of 50% of its drivers annually.
  3. After a Collision: The driver must be tested in all instances when there has been a death and in some cases when there have been injuries or a towed vehicle.
  4. Reasonable Suspicion: All trucking and motor carriers must drug test drivers based on reasonable suspicion to violate drug regulations.
  5. Follow-up: Follow up tests must meet federal requirements.
  6. Return-to-Duty: All drivers must receive a return-to-duty drug test.

These drug tests are all mandated by Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 382, Subpart C. If a truck driver is impaired or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the trucking company may be liable for gross negligence, recklessness, and may be held responsible for based on actual and punitive damages. Punitive damages in South Carolina is designed to punish, deter, and to hold a guilty driver and trucking company responsible for wrongful conduct.


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