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.
On August 9, 2017, the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed an Order of the Workers Compensation Commission in the matter of Sellers v. Tech Service, Inc., Op. No. 5508 (S.C. Ct. App. filed August 9, 2017) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 30 at 14). The Court of Appeals found that the injured worker, Stacey Sellers, was an employee under the Act, and not an “independent contractor” as claimed by his employer.
On November 8, 2013, Stacey Sellers fell off a ladder while performing HVAC work during the construction of a single-family home located in the Market Commons subdivision in Horry County. Claimant injured his lower extremities, his back, and his neck as a result of the fall. Claimant alleged that he was a long time employee of two HVAC companies, Tech Services of Myrtle Beach, LLC and/or Tech Services, Inc., and that he was working in the course and scope of his employment with one or both Tech Services entities at the time of the accident. The Employer claimed that Mr. Sellers was an independent contractor because he obtained his own workers’ compensation insurance, was provided a Form 1099, and worked for himself on other projects.
The Court of Appeals thoroughly analyzed the facts based on the 4 factor test to determine whether an injured worker qualifies as an employee in South Carolina. “Under settled law, the determination of whether a claimant is an employee or independent contractor focuses on the issue of control, specifically whether the purported employer had the right to control the claimant in the performance of his work.” Shatto v. McLeod Reg’l Med. Ctr., 406 S.C. 470, 475, 753 S.E.2d 416, 419 (S.C. 2013) (citations omitted). “Under the controlling common law rubric of the right of control, the Court examines four factors which serve as a means of analyzing the work relationship as a whole: (1) direct evidence of the right or exercise of control; (2) furnishing of equipment; (3) method of payment; (4) right to fire.” Id. (citations omitted). As Shatto requires, these factors should be applied “in an evenhanded manner in determining whether the questioned relationship is one of employment or independent contractor.” Id.
In applying these factors, the Court of Appeals held that the greater weight of the evidence supports the finding of an employment relationship between Mr. Sellers and Tech Service at the time of the accident. The Court noted there was overwhelming evidence in the record illustrating Tech Service had the right to exercise control over the details of Mr. Seller’s work. The record in this case is devoid of an independent contractor agreement. Tech Service furnished equipment for Mr. Sellers to use while on the job. At the time of the injury, Mr. Sellers was wearing a Tech Service uniform and had Tech Service business cards. He told service contracts for Tech Services and purchased supplies on Tech Service accounts with HVAC suppliers. Mr. Sellers received the majority of his income from Tech Service. In addition, the court found evidence illustrating Tech Service supervised, inspected and monitored the quality of Respondent’s work product supporting the finding that Tech Service had the right to terminate its working relationship with Respondent without liability. The totality of the evidence favored an employer/employee relationship over an independent contractor relationship.
If you have any questions about whether you are considered an “employee” or an “independent contractor”, please give us a call so that we can help. Unfortunately, employers and their workers compensation carriers will do anything to deny paying for benefits, even so far as to claim the you are not an employee under the law. This is a big win for injured workers!
The Full Opinion from the South Carolina Court of Appeal can be found here: http://www.sccourts.org/opinions/HTMLFiles/COA/5508.pdf
In South Carolina, motorcyclists are in more danger than in almost any other state in the Southeast, statistics show. The state’s 2015 fatality rate was its highest since 2007, and the 135 motorcyclists who died on South Carolina roads last year were the most this century. The cause has been attributed to poorly maintained road, potholes and pea gravel, inexperienced riders and distracted drivers. South Carolina law also allows riders to obtain motorcycle licenses with no training and minimum evidence of road proficiency.
Among nine Southeast states, South Carolina’s average annual fatality rate from 2011 to 2015 is approximately 10 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles. The annual fatality rate is second worse, only to Mississippi, which has the least number of registered motorcycles in the region. The road skills test in South Carolina is taken on a closed course where requires riders to perform turns, stops and weaves. In fact, the most of the exercises of the Department of Motor Vehicles involve speeds of approximately 15 m.p.h.
The Goings Law Firm, LLC wants to remind South Carolina motorcycle drivers to be safe and vigilant on the roads. Watch out for other drivers who may not be operating their vehicle as carefully as you. The personal injury lawyers at the Goings Law Firm know all too well the life-altering injuries that can occur when drivers are not driving carefully
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, trucking accident, or motorcycle collision, please call us at (803) 350-9230 to see if we can help. Our personal injury attorneys may be able to assist you with the applicable legal process and help you obtain the compensation you need.
A state officer in South Carolina recently suffered injuries after his service vehicle was involved in an accident, a January 16 article of Fox 57 reported.
Information coming from the Greenville County Sheriffs’ deputies revealed a vehicular mishap involving a patrol vehicle happened along I-85 on January 14. The patrol vehicle with one occupant was parked at the side of the northbound lane and was struck by a vehicle that veered off the road. The officer involved, whose name was withheld, received medical treatment and was later discharged, authorities said. Authorities identified the vehicle driver who caused the collision as Amber Faye Hamilton, 23. She was charged with DUI and marijuana possession the day after the incident.
The attorneys at Goings Law Firm, LLC in Columbia understand that individuals who have suffered injuries while in the line of duty often have to deal with financial issues because they need to stop working to recover. However, if you are in such a situation, we may be able to offer you legal assistance to help you obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you need for recovery. Find out how we may represent you today by calling (803) 350-9230.
An associate professor in South Carolina was recently taken into custody for operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, an article of The State reported on December 12.
A Kershaw County officer observed a vehicle driving erratically on a highway in Lugoff on December 8. Authorities later identified the vehicle driver as 52-year-old Ronald David Lamie, an associate professor at the Clemson Sandhills Extension facility. Lamie failed a field sobriety test after an officer detected the smell of alcohol inside his vehicle, which is owned by the state. While in custody, a breathalyzer showed Lamie’s BAC was 0.15 percent. Lamie had to sober up before he was allowed to be discharged on a bond.
Unfortunately, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal vehicular accidents in America. If you were harmed by a DUI offender, an attorney may be able to help you obtain the compensation you need for recovery. Call a Columbia attorney at the Goings Law Firm, LLC today by calling (803) 350-9230 to learn more about your options.
USA Today recently published the results of a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study showing that drivers who are sleep deprived are significantly more likely to be involved in a serious car collision, similar to the increased risk of collision that results from drunk (or “buzzed”) driving. The study reviewed thousands of car crashes, but only collisions that occurred between 6a.m. and midnight were included, which may mean that the study actually underestimates the effect of sleep deprivation. According to the article, previous studies have shown that the effects of sleep deprivation on attention and performance are greatest during the early morning hours.
The increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident when a driver is sleep deprived is actually quite astonishing. The study showed that drivers who had skipped just one of the recommended seven hours of sleep were approximately 30% more likely to be involved in a serious crash. Drivers who received 5-6 hours of sleep were almost twice as likely to be involved in a collision as those who received seven hours or more, and drivers who slept 4-5 hours were more than four times as likely to crash. Most significantly, the study showed that drivers operating on less than four hours of sleep were 11.5 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle collision resulting in injury than their well-rested counterparts.
Goings Law Firm, LLC wants to remind South Carolina drivers to be safe and vigilant whenever they are behind the wheel. Be sure to get enough sleep at night, take frequent breaks when traveling long distances, and try to travel with an alert passenger, especially at night. The personal injury lawyers at the Goings Law Firm, LLC know all too well the life-altering injuries that can occur when drivers are not alert and focused on the road.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and need help, call us at (803) 350-9230. Our personal injury attorneys may be able to assist you with the applicable legal process and help you obtain the compensation you need.
A driver in Rock Hill, South Carolina was recently taken into custody due to the suspicion he was intoxicated behind the wheel, an article of wbtv.com reported on November 16.
According to reports, Patrick David Butler was stopped by police on November 14 after they spotted him driving erratically while navigating a curb in the 500 block of Heckle Boulevard. One of the officers noted Butler spraying a body spray into his mouth. Butler later told police he had consumed a significant amount of alcohol in Columbia shortly before he was stopped. He was taken into custody after he registered a 0.13 percent BAC and failed the sobriety test given to him.
Though no one suffered injuries in the recent DUI arrest, the lawyers at the Goings Law Firm, LLC understand many people in Columbia have been victims of drunken driving accidents and have to deal with a great financial loss. If a drunk driver caused you harm, call us today at (803) 350-9230 to find out how we could help you obtain compensations from negligent parties.
Approximately 108,000 chairs sold in the U.S. have been recalled due to potential injuries, according to CSPC.
The recall affects the “Sawyer bar stools” distributed by Bed Bath & Beyond. The bar stools come in two sizes and three different colors. There have been 15 incidents reported in which the chairs have collapsed because of defective screws.
Consumers who have purchased the recalled bar stools are advised to visit the company’s official website to be guided on how to repair their products.
Injuries caused by faulty products can be devastating. However, a skilled personal injury attorney at Goings Law Firm, LLC may help you obtain compensation. Call (803) 350-9230 today to set up a consultation.
Rosemary Ann Cseh (64) was killed in a house fire on Sunday night on Darian Drive according to . When the fire department arrived, the fire was well underway, and the property damage was in excess of $4,500. The Lexington County Coroner determined that Ms. Cseh died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the scene.
Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, fire fighters did discover that there were not any working smoke detectors in the home.
In some instances, tragedies are unavoidable. But in those instances where injuries or even death are the result of negligence or an avoidable accident, people often find themselves needing the assistance of a lawyer in order to seek compensation for their injuries. The personal injury attorneys at the Goings Law Firm are experienced in navigating the world of insurance companies and litigation and may be able to offer you assistance in seeking compensation. Speak with an attorney of the Goings Law Firm, LLC in Columbia, SC today by calling (803) 350-9230 to learn more about your options.
At least 13 people in Anderson County suffered injuries after the bus they were riding was involved in an accident caused by a reckless driver, according to a Spetember 26 article on wspa.com.
According to reports, a two-vehicle accident happened at about 9:50 a.m. on Interstate 85. The persons who were hurt were reportedly members of the Homeland Park Baptist Church. The bus carrying the church members was bound for Georgia when it was rear ended by a pickup truck. The bus fell on its side after the collision. At least three of the bus’s passengers were in critical condition while most of the others have already been discharged from the hospital. State authorities apprehended Christopher Mezzapesa, the pickup truck’s driver, due to a suspicion that he was negligent while behind the wheel. He was completely uninjured.
Many people, unfortunately, suffer incapacitating injuries when they got involved in vehicular accidents caused by negligent drivers. If you have been injured in a car crash, a Columbia car accident attorney from the Goings Law Firm, LLC may be able to help you. Call us today at (803) 350-9230 to find out how we may work for you.