2019 Legal Elite of the Midlands

We are honored to announce that two of our attorneys, Robert and Jessica, have been recognized in Columbia Business Monthly’s Legal Elite List of 2019!

 

 

Robert was recognized as Legal Elite under Personal Injury Law and Consumer Products/Retail. He received the most votes for Personal Injury Law and was nominated by his peers in Columbia as the Top Personal Injury Lawyer in the Midlands.

 

“It’s a great honor to be recognized in the field of Personal Injury Law by other attorneys in the Midlands,” Robert said. “To receive the most total votes twice in the last three years for Personal Injury is humbling. It’s a true calling helping restore the lives of people who have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful acts of others. In the age of lawyers with silly billboards and gimmicky phone numbers, it’s nice when other attorneys recognize those lawyers that work tirelessly to achieve real results for their clients. You will never see me in a cartoon, but you can find me in the courtroom!”

 

Jessica was recognized as Legal Elite under Personal Injury Law and Workers’ Compensation.

 

“It is always a privilege to be recognized in a well-respected publication such as Columbia Business Monthly, but it is especially meaningful to be nominated by my peers for Midlands’ Legal Elite,” Jessica said. “I have enjoyed representing the people of South Carolina in navigating the legal system over the past few years, and I hope to continue to have opportunities to get to know great people and represent them well. I am honored to find my name among a list of such talented attorneys, and I offer a heartfelt congratulations to each of them, and to Robert for being the featured Personal Injury attorney this year!”

 

Congratulations to all of the attorneys recognized in the 2019 Legal Elite List! Our firm is honored to be listed among so many great attorneys.

Staying Safe on the Roadways This Summer

Summertime is here, and with it, one of our favorite things: vacation!

Our entire team loves to go on vacation with our families each summer. Some of our favorite destinations include flying up to New York City or taking a trip down to the low country for a week of relaxation at the beach. Where do you and your family enjoy vacationing over the summer?

If you’re hitting the road to travel down to the coast for a week at the beach or to road trip to visit the grandparents, you’ll want to take extra care on the roadways. Millions of Americans gas up and travel by car throughout the summer months from Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day. Traffic is heavier and patience is thinner as people hurry to get to their vacation destination.

In South Carolina alone this year, 438 people have died on South Carolina roadways.

How can you make sure that you and your family stay safe on the roads as you travel to your vacation destinations this summer?

Buckle Up.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, of the 438 people who have died in 2019, 292 had access to seatbelts and 143 of them were not wearing them. It’s the easiest step towards keeping your family safe: buckle up!

Stay Alert.
Plan ahead for long drives and have stops mapped out along the way for you to stretch, wake up, and refuel for the next portion of your drive. You don’t want to drive while drowsy!

Look Twice.
Help keep everyone safe on the road this summer, and be sure to look twice for motorcycles. Be alert and be sure to share the road with all motorists including motorcyclists and bicyclists.

Here’s to a safe, fun-filled summer full of wonderful vacations with your friends and family!


Goings Law Firm Attorneys Recognized in 2019 South Carolina Super Lawyers List

The entire team at Goings Law Firm is proud to announce that our team of attorneys—Robert Goings, Christian Boesl, and Jessica Gooding, were all included in the 2019 South Carolina Super Lawyers List.
 
Both Robert and Christian were recognized as Super Lawyers and Jessica was named as a Rising Star.
 

Photo by: Joshua Aaron Photography
 
Being recognized on the South Carolina Super Lawyers list is a true honor in our field as Super Layers is an exclusive list that recognizes the top 2.5% of lawyers in our state. Selections are made annually and they are based on several factors including peer nominations, research by the team at Super Lawyers, and on evaluations put together by a panel of attorneys.
 
Please join us in congratulating Robert, Christian, and Jessica on this honor!


Spring Visit to Wofford College

Recently, Robert Goings took a trip up I-26 from Columbia to Spartanburg, SC to visit his alma mater of Wofford College. Robert attend Wofford for his undergraduate degree and graduated from the college in 2003.
This visit was to speak with aspiring law school students and those students that are interested in practicing law in the future. Our team firmly believes in giving back to students and inspiring those who want to step into the legal profession. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that our team was in their chairs in the classroom!
 
While there, one of Robert’s former professors, Dr. William DeMars, shared with him something that he had written 16 years ago for the Senior Honors Convocation. Robert, a graduating senior at the time, had been presented with the Government Department Award and Dr. DeMars was the one who presented the award. He wrote a short speech to share during the award ceremony.

 

“Robert is just a farm boy from Union,” the speech began. “He’s a real good talker. In fact, he can talk with just about anybody, in any station or any walk of life. Most people feel that he likes them, because he does. As a farm boy, it’s no surprise that he’s a hard worker. More surprising to some people is how smart he is. In class, he can master massive amounts of material, and work creatively with complex lines of reasoning. However, even more impressive than his academic intelligence is his practical wisdom, what Aristotle called phronesis. Robert has a certain touch, an ability to get a diverse group of people to work together to accomplish something for the common good. This is politics in the best sense of the word. Watch where Robert is going in the future. It’s going to be hard to keep this boy down on the farm.”

 

Those words written about Robert sixteen years ago as a senior in college still hold true today. He’s a hard worker who instills the lessons he learned from the farm in Union, SC into our practice every day.

 

Of course, any visit to Wofford wouldn’t be complete without walking through the Richardson Athletic Building to see the SoCon 2018-2019 Men’s Basketball Champion trophy!

 


Columbia ranks in top 10 most accident-prone cities

In a new study conducted by QuoteWizard, Columbia has been ranked among cities with the highest rate of car crashes.

This is a fact that our firm already knew to be true. In 2017,more than 40,000 people nationwide died in car crashes. And that number is on the rise, with a six percent increase in traffic deaths since 2015. No matter what part of the country you live in, being on the road is always a risk. But driving is apparently more dangerous in some places than others. QuoteWizard analyzed self-reported driving infractions data from site users, which includes accidents. These rankings account for more than one million data points on accidents from 2017.

Cities ranked ‘most accident-prone’ have the highest rate of accidents per driver. “Car crashes are, sadly, all too common across the country. But crash rates vary quite a bit from city to city. Whether it’s distracted driving, lousy roads, bad drivers, or a combination of all three, drivers in some cities seem to crash more often than others,” says Adam Johnson, QuoteWizard content manager. “QuoteWizard analyzed over a million datapoints on drivers in America to find out where people are getting into accidents at the highest rates.”

From the most accidents to the least, these are the 25 most car accident-prone cities in the US:

  1. Columbus, OH
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. Sacramento, CA
  5. New Orleans, LA
  6. Charlotte, SC
  7. Columbia, SC
  8. Washington DC
  9. Baltimore, MD
  10. Greenville, SC

The study reveals that Charlotte, NC, Columbia, SC, and Greenville, SC all rank in the top 10 most car accident prone cities in the country. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car collision, please contact our firm immediately. We have the ability to ensure that you receive all the compensation that you are entitled under the law. We hold reckless drivers, and their insurance companies accountable. For a free consultation, call us today at (803) 350-9230.


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.


SC Worker’s Compensation Answers: Am I stuck with the Workers Compensation Doctor?

Do you feel like this when you treat with the Insurance Company Doctor?

Question: Do I have to use the workers comp insurance doctor?

Answer:

This is a question that we often hear from individuals who are dissatisfied with the medical care they been receiving from their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier. For individuals who choose to go through this legal process by themselves the answer is most likely yes….you are stuck with their doctor. To those who seek the proper legal representation the answer and the outcome can be quite different.

The South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act provides that individuals who are injured while working on the job are entitled to medical benefits. These benefits need to be provided at no expense to the injured worker. At first blush, the Workers Compensation Act provides that those individuals seeking medical treatment must receive treatment initially from a doctor provided by the employer and their worker’s compensation insurance carrier. That medical treatment must continue until it lessens the period of disability or the insurance doctor has placed you at maximum medical improvement (“MMI”). Similar to how your car’s damage is devalued instantly in an automobile accident by the insurance carrier, some injured workers find the insurance carrier’s physician devalue their injuries as well. This process often leads to months of frustration treating with a physician who will not listen to their needs or hastily rushes them out the door to end treatment.

If you have the proper legal representation, however, the process may be very different. Prior to my representation of injured workers, I worked as counsel for 14 years representing workers compensation insurance carriers. I have worked with some excellent carriers and physicians and unfortunately have seen firsthand some of the struggles injured workers face when paired with some carriers and physicians who do not care. My unique perspective allows me to know which physicians to steer away from and how to utilize the insurance industry standards and protocols for changing medical providers. We work, using the law, to obtain second opinions provided by the carriers or through our own means to allow our clients to get the best medical treatment that they need. Let me see if I can provide you that same medical treatment. For free consultation on your workers compensation claim, call me at 803-350-9230.
Answered by Christian E. Boesl, Manager of the Workers’ Compensation Department


Welcome Back Mallory Haber!

Mallory Haber

The Goings Law Firm is excited to have Mallory Haber back with the firm. Mallory helped with the start of the Goings Law Firm in 2011! We are so lucky to have her back!!
Mallory attended the University of South Carolina and graduated in 2005. Upon graduation, Mallory began working as a legal assistant at a firm in Columbia. Upon obtaining her paralegal certification, Mallory began working at the Goings Law Firm. Mallory then moved down to Charleston and worked as a paralegal at a firm on Daniel Island. Mallory returned to Columbia and the Goings Law Firm this Fall and couldn’t be more excited. In her free time, Mallory loves watching all Gamecock sports, and hanging out with her husband and dog.

Thousands of possibly defective CPR training air valves recalled in the US

A Massachusetts-based importer has issued a recall to estimated 10,000 units of air valves used in training people to conduct a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) due to a problem that could cause harm to people using it, a cpsc.gov article stated on November 23.

According to the recall, the “Practi-VALVE” CPR training air valves of Work ‘N Leisure may possibly cause choking injuries to intended users if a part of it suddenly detaches while being used. In the recall documents submitted by Work ‘N Leisure, the cap attached at the end of the air valves could choke the user when they use it in mouth-to-mouth CPR training using a dummy. Before the recall was issued, the company and the CPSC have been notified of three air valve end-caps accidentally getting into the trainees’ mouth or throat. People who might have the air valves bearing Lot 3197 have been advised to stop from using it and coordinate with the recalling company for the free product replacement.

People could find themselves seriously injured as a result of using defective products sold in the market. If you experienced this, the Columbia product liability lawyers of Goings Law Firm, LLC may possibly help you get compensation from negligent companies. Call us today at (803) 350-9230 to learn more about your legal options.


Columbia Flooding Causes Catastrophic Insurance Property Damage Claims

A view of the Columbia Canal, right, and the Congaree River at left. The aerial tour Monday was provided by the SC Army National Guard. 10/5/15

 

Over the weekend the state of South Carolina received torrential rainfall that caused historic flooding across our state. Our hometown of Columbia has experienced especially catastrophic damage. Many people have lost their homes to rising floodwaters. Others have been injured in auto accidents resulting from many of South Carolina’s roads and bridges being washed out. As we begin to pick up the pieces and Columbia and South Carolina moves into the clean-up stage of this disaster, there is a lot of work to be done and we are here to help you get through these difficult times.

 

If you, a loved one, a neighbor, or even someone you know has been the victim of this natural disaster, then contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC to find out if we can help. For homes and property damaged by the storms, if the insurance company has denied your homeowners or property damage claim, then please contact us immediately. Additionally, if you suffered injuries in an automobile during the flood or if you automobile was lost or totaled in the floodwaters, call us to find out if we can help you manage your claim with the insurance company. Claims involving flood insurance can be complex and challenging without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. At the Goings Law Firm, LLC we will be there for you to help you through your difficult time. Call the Goings Law Firm, LLC today at (803) 350-9230 for a free case consultation.


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