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SC ranks second highest for DUI deaths amid New Year’s Eve

SC ranks second highest for DUI deaths amid New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve rings in more than the dawn of a new year—it’s also one of the deadliest nights on our nation’s roads. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, but one too many toasts before getting behind the wheel can turn revelry into tragedy.

South Carolina ranks second highest for DUI deaths amid New Year’s Eve based on a Study from Safewise.com. South Carolina’s statistics show that 6.22 per 100,000 people due to Impaired Driving. This is the second highest in the nation, only behind Wyoming.

Last year , nearly 22,000 people were arrested for DUI and more than 300 died in incidents involving drunk driving. In 2017, drunk driving accounted for 29% of all traffic fatalities nationwide, and nearly sixty percent (60%) of alcohol-involved fatal crashes involved drivers that registered very high blood alcohol content.

Drunk and impaired driving is a deadly problem in our state, and innocent lives are effected everyday. The Goings Law Firm fights drunk drivers in court. If you or a family member has been injured due to a drunk driver, call us today at 803-350-9230. We will get you the justice that you deserve, and we make DRUNK DRIVERS PAY!


Workers Comp: What if I can’t return to work?

A common question we get is “What happens if I cannot return to work due to my work injury.”  The fear of not being able to return to work is a real concern if you have been involved in a work related injury.  Often we counsel with people who have given their best years to an employer only to end up with a debilitating injury caused by their work.  Like any hard working individual, they are concerned with their ability to recover and get back to work as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, many individuals suffer injuries so bad that they are no longer able to meet the work requirements of their job.  Sometimes these injured workers are ill informed that their injury is limited to a recovery solely based on the injured body part.  The insurance company, or its attorney, will try to hurriedly rush an injured worker into a settlement that neither represents the fully injured body part or takes into account their inability to return back to work.  Many injured workers will reluctantly accept a quick settlement only to find out they don’t have a job to be able to return to and can’t support their family.

Fortunately, the South Carolina Workers Compensation Laws provide a mechanism where injured workers can receive an award to address their inability to return to their job instead of just the injured body part.  To be eligible for wage loss the worker must be able to demonstrate they meet the necessary elements of a wage loss claim.  If left to handle these complicated issues by themselves, injured workers may end up without the benefit of the law, or worse miss the requirements to be eligible for wage loss recovery.  At the Goings Law Firm we routinely assist injured workers to determine if they may be eligible for a wage loss recovery.   To determine if you need help with a workers’ compensation injury contact Attorney and Workers’ Compensation Managing Partner Christian E. Boesl with the Goings Law Firm.  Let us help you get the medical treatment you deserve to back to work, or get the money you are entitled to receive if you are unable to return to your job.


What are the 10 most dangerous intersections in Columbia?

Many of Our Clients Are Injured in the Worst Intersections in Columbia and Richland County by Reckless Drivers

The Most Dangerous Intersection in the entire State of South Carolina is located in Columbia.  A study performed by The State Newspaper in Columbia determined that the most intersection collisions in the entire state of South Carolina occurred in Columbia a I-20 and U.S. 176 (Columbia), with a total of 669 collision from 2011-2015.

In this study, the State Newspaper also analyzed the most dangerous intersections based on reports of collisions that occurred in Columbia and Richland County during 2016.  The data was obtained from incident investigated by the Columbia Police Department and S.C. Highway Patrol.

The State compiled the following list of intersections in Columbia and Richland County with the highest number of crashes:

INSIDE COLUMBIA CITY LIMITS

  1. Assembly Street and Elmwood Avenue: 50 collisions, 10 with injuries
  2. Taylor Street and Huger Street: 49 collisions, nine with injuries
  3. Devine Street/Garners Ferry Road and Rosewood Drive: 45 collisions, 10 with injuries
  4. Main Street and Elmwood Avenue: 38 collisions, four with injuries, one fatal
  5. Gervais Street and Huger Street: 37 collisions, nine with injuries
  6. Investigated by Columbia Police Department

JUST OUTSIDE COLUMBIA IN RICHLAND COUNTY

  1. I-20 and Broad River Road: 142 collisions, 26 with injuries
  2. I-20 and I-26: 84 collisions, 15 with injuries
  3. I-26 and Broad River Road: 78 collisions, nine with injuries
  4. Killian Road and I-77: 75 collisions, 10 with injuries
  5. Two Notch Road and Sparkleberry Lane: 64 collisions, eight with injuries

Read more here: https://www.thestate.com/news/local/article153453474

Please contact us today if you were injured in a collision in Columbia or its surrounding counties in South Carolina.  Many of the cases that we handle have involved collisions in the dangerous intersections that are listed in this study.  We offer compassion, aggressive, and experienced representation to victims of car and truck accidents — call us at 803-350-9230 today for a free consultation.


South Carolina Ranked 3rd Worst State for Dangerous Roads

The Highways in South Carolina are Among the Most Dangerous in the Nation

Wall Street 24/7 has released its latest study of United States Roadways, ranking the safest and most unsafe by state.   In ranking the safest and most dangerous states to drive in the United States, data of roadway fatalities from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Highway Administration was reviewed.  The state with the safest roads was Rhode Island.  The state with the most unsafe road was Mississippi.  Surprisingly, 9 of the 10 safest states were in the Northeast.  Six of the top ten worst regionally fall in the Southeast with South Carolina coming in this year’s survey as the 3rd worst state for roadway safety.  As the number 3 dangerous state, South Carolina has the following statistics:

South Carolina  (#3 most dangerous roads in America)

Road deaths per 100,000: 20.5

2016 roadway fatalities: 1,015 (13th most)

Seat belt use: 94%

Deadliest holiday in 2016: Martin Luther King’s Birthday (16 fatal crashes)

Fatal crashes on rural roads: 60%

If you or a loved one have been injured or suffered death as as result of a collision in South Carolina, you need to hire an honest, aggressive, and experienced attorney that can help you get the compensation that you deserve.  You need a Real Lawyer, with Real Results. Contact the Goings Law Firm today at 803-350-9230 to see how we can help you.


Drivers in Columbia SC are Speeders, 2018 Study Shows

We find that car collision are often caused by drivers who are breaking the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of car accidents in Columbia, South Carolina, and a new study may explain why: Columbia drivers are heavy-footed Speeders!

A new study ranks drivers in Columbia, South Carolina as among the fastest drivers in the United States. Columbia ranked 6th in the top 25, with drivers who break the speed limit. Charleston ranked 9th and Greenville, SC ranked 11th in the study. The study was published by QuoteWizard, an online insurance comparison website. QuoteWizard analyzed self-reported data from users on driving infractions, which includes speeding tickets. These rankings are based on over one million data points on speeding infractions from 2017. Cities ranked ‘speediest’ have the highest rate of speeding tickets per driver. A more detailed look at the study can be found here: more detailed looks at the fastest specific markets is available here: https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/fastest-driving-cities-2018

From faster to slower, these are the top 25 fastest driving cities in the US:

  1. Wichita
  2. Omaha
  3. Boise
  4. Portland
  5. Richmond
  6. Columbia, SC
  7. Salt Lake City
  8. Minneapolis
  9. Charleston, SC
  10. Virginia Beach
  11. Greenville, SC
  12. Charlotte
  13. Durham
  14. Columbus
  15. Kansas City
  16. Bay Area
  17. Riverside
  18. Seattle
  19. Greensboro
  20. Fresno
  21. Cleveland
  22. Sacramento
  23. Bakersfield
  24. Austin
  25. Denver

Increased Workplace Fatalities Prove that Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney Is Important

The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Prove that Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney Is Important

Fatalities and serious workplace injuries are on a rise in the United States.  Year after year, workplace deaths are increasing South Carolina.  If a loved one has died at work, or you have suffered a serious on the job injury, it is important to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney so that you are fully protected under the laws of South Carolina.  Without an attorney, the insurance company can take advantage of you and quickly deny benefits that the law affords you for medical treatment, pay while not at work, and disability payments for permanent injuries or death.  The insurance company has a team of lawyers, so should you!

Based on the current National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries published by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2016, a 7-percent increase from the 4,836 fatal injuries reported in 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) This is the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) since 2008. The fatal injury rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers from 3.4 in 2015, the highest rate since 2010.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent (2,083). Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 23 percent to become the second-most common fatal event in 2016. Two other events with large changes were exposure to harmful substances or environments, which rose 22 percent, and fires and explosions, which declined 27 percent.

In 2016, fatal injuries among transportation and material moving occupations increased by 7 percent to 1,388, the highest count since 2007 and accounting for more than one-quarter of all work-related fatalities. Occupations with increases greater than 10 percent in the number of fatal work injuries in 2016 include food preparation and serving related occupations (64 percent); installation, maintenance, and repair occupations (20 percent); building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (14 percent); and sales and related occupations (11 percent). Declines greater than 10 percent in the number of fatal work injuries in 2016 include healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (19 percent), military occupations (15 percent), and production occupations (14 percent).
Logging workers continued to have a high fatal injury rate in 2016, at 135.9 fatalities per 100,000 FTE workers.  A number of occupations recorded their highest fatality counts in 2016. This includes first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers with 134 fatal injuries; landscaping and groundskeeping workers, 125; roofers, 101; tree trimmers and pruners, 84; driver/sales workers, 71; automotive service technicians and mechanics, 64; and farmworkers, farm, ranch, and aquacultural animals, 61.
Fatal work injuries among protective service occupations increased by 68 fatalities (32 percent) in 2016 to a total of 281. This included an increase of 24 fatalities among police officers, 13 fatalities among first-line supervisors/managers of law enforcement workers, and 23 fatalities among miscellaneous protective service workers, including crossing guards and lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers. Police officers incurred 51 homicides in 2016, up 50 percent from 34 fatalities in 2015.
Asian, non-Hispanic workers incurred 160 fatal injuries, up from 114 in 2015, which was the highest percentage increase (40 percent) among any race or ethnic origin. Black or African-American, non-Hispanic workers also had a large percentage increase (19 percent), with 587 fatal injuries compared to 495 in 2015. The rate of fatal injury for both groups also increased. Hispanic or Latino workers had 3 percent fewer workplace fatalities in 2016 with 879 fatalities, down from 903.
Foreign-born workers make up about one-fifth of the total fatal work injuries. Thirty-seven percent of these workers were born in Mexico, followed by 19 percent from Asian countries.  Workers age 55 years and over had 1,848 fatal injuries, the highest number for this cohort since CFOI began reporting national data in 1992. In 1992, workers age 55 and over accounted for 20 percent of fatalities; in 2016, they accounted for 36 percent. These workers also have a higher fatality rate than other age groups.
The number of workplace fatalities in private industry increased 7 percent in 2016. This was led by an increase in service-providing industries, which were up 13 percent to 2,702 from 2,399. Fatal workplace injuries to government workers increased 9 percent overall to 497, with a 9-percent decrease in federal employee fatalities that was more than offset by increases in state and local government fatalities, up 20 percent and 13 percent, respectively.  Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and manufacturing both experienced large decreases in workplace fatalities in 2016, decreasing 26 percent and 10 percent, respectively.  Fatal injuries in the leisure and hospitality sector were up 32 percent (225 to 298) and reached an all-time series high in 2016. This was largely due to a 40-percent increase in fatal injuries in the food services and drinking places industry from 118 to 165.  A total of 36 states had more fatal workplace injuries in 2016 than 2015, including South Carolina.

Don’t Settle for Less than the Best- Hire an Experienced Lawyer.

If you or a loved one has suffered a work place fatality or a serious injury while on the job, you need to hire an experienced lawyer to help navigate you through the complex workers’ compensation laws.  Don’t settle for less than the best, contact the lawyers at the Goings Law Firm today to see how we can help you.  It will not cost you anything for a free consultation, call us at 803-350-9230 today.


Do you Need a Lawyer to Represent You in Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?

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!


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

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.


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.


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