Pedestrian Killed on Broad River Road

2016 saw a rise in traffic fatalities in Richland County, and it seems that the problem will continue.  67-year-old Alicesene Dear Gilmore was killed on Friday, March 3, 2015 after being struck by an unidentified vehicle that fled the scene.  According to Cola Daily, Ms. Gilmore was walking from Trenton Court Apartments to the store with two family members when the vehicle crashed into her.  Police are still investigating and looking for the driver of the vehicle who struck Ms. Gilmore.

At the Goings Law Firm, LLC, our personal injury attorneys understand the hardships that families go through when a loved one is killed or seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision. There are often more questions than answers, and the legal implications can be confusing and burdensome. Give the Goings Law Firm, LLC a call today to see if we can help. (803) 350-9230


Drowsy Driving is Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

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.


Eight People Injured in Accident on Interstate 77 in Columbia, SC

Eight vehicles were involved in a car crash around 7:30am on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Columbia, SC, and eight passengers were taken to the hospital from the scene.  No report yet on the severity of their injuries.

According to WLTX, the accident occurred when a vehicle spun out of control just as it got to the bottom of the Shop Road ramp onto Interstate-77 and  hit three other cars.  When traffic came to a sudden stop, four additional vehicles collided.  All South-bound lanes on I-77 were closed for about an hour near Exit 6.

The personal injury lawyers at the Goings Law Firm, LLC understand how difficult it can be for people to deal with the aftermath of car crashes. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, we may be able to offer you legal assistance to hold negligent parties accountable. Call us at (803) 350-9230 to learn more about your options.


Attorney General announces partnership to end drunk driving in SC

In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities and accidents caused by drunk drivers in South Carolina this upcoming holiday season, the state’s attorney general has announced a partnership with Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving intended to raise awareness and promote safe ride options.

The state’s Smart Choice program is intended to provide and spread information regarding safe transportation options for individuals who will be drinking this holiday season. In a news conference held at the Statehouse in Columbia, Attorney Alan Wilson spoke of his meetings with people from the “Mothers Against Drunk Driving” (MADD) program and from Uber Technologies in which all parties discussed ways to encourage drinkers to stay safe this season. Attorney Wilson is hoping that the partnership will help curb accidents caused by drunken drivers in the state, as South Carolina currently ranks ninth in drunk-driving related deaths in the United States.

The lawyers at the Goings Law Firm, LLC in Columbia work for people who have been victims of drunk driving accidents. If you are dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact us today by calling (803) 350-9230 to discuss your legal options.


90K Tesla vehicles with seatbelt issues recalled

At least 90,000 Tesla vehicles will be inspected in a voluntary recall to address a possible seatbelt malfunction that may cause further injuries to occupants, an article of USA Today reported on November 20.

According to reports, Tesla Motors will inspect all of their Model S sedans to determine if any have a suspected seat belt defect that may fail to protect passengers in the event of a collision. Though there were no injuries or collisions reported, the issue was detected after one owner of the affected vehicle in Europe notified Tesla of the problem. While Tesla has yet to find any issue in the 3,000 vehicles they examined so far, they will conduct free inspections and offer repairs to all vehicles covered in the recall.

The lawyers of the Goings Law Firm, LLC understand that many families in Columbia have to deal with great financial loss after suffering injuries in accidents. We want you to know that we are here to help you recover compensation for any injuries or damage you suffer as a result of a defective product. Call our offices at (803) 350-9230 today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you.


Robert Goings wins $897,500 verdict in Columbia Car Accident trial

Robert F. Goings of the Goings Law Firm, LLC won a jury verdict in the amount of $897,500 for a client involved a car accident in Columbia.  The client sustained $58,000 in medical bills for treatment from shoulder and back injuries caused in a rear end collision on I-26.  The client also sought damages for future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.  The jury award punitive damages in addition to actual damages.

This case was featured in Columbia’s The State Newspaper.  Here is the article:

—–

Richland jury awards Iraq vet $897,500 for injuries in I-26 crash

By: John Monk

 — A Richland County jury has awarded an Iraq veteran $897,500 in damages stemming from a rear-end crash on I-26 while he was on active duty at Fort Jackson.

According to a civil lawsuit filed by ex-soldier James Smith, now 28, he was driving on I-26 March 10, 2012, when a vehicle driven by Joseph Giordano ran into the back of another vehicle, causing that vehicle “to violently collide” into the rear of Smith’s car.

Smith didn’t “cause or contribute to the collision” and had no ability to avoid the crash, his lawsuit said.

According to court records, Giordano was underinsured, and Smith’s insurer, GEICO, declined to pay Smith damages for injuries he claimed he sustained in the crash. Those injuries severely affected his shoulder, back and neck, causing him permanent disabilities that will incur future medical expenses, Smith’s lawsuit alleged.

During the trial, Smith – who had wanted to make the military his career – testified he had to get a medical discharge from the Army because he was no longer up to the demands of the job. Smith had been a military police officer whose job in Iraq was guarding troops who disarmed IEDs, the hidden explosive devices designed to blow up U.S. vehicles, according to his lawyer, Robert Goings of Columbia.

Evidence in the case came from two doctors, who gave medical evidence favorable to Smith. Smith also testified.

Under S.C. law, facts about insurance were not presented to the jury at trial. The jury returned its verdict after 30 minutes, Goings said. Of the $897,500 total verdict, $359,000 was for actual damages and $538,500 was for punitive damages.

Smith paid premiums to GEICO to compensate him for damages if an underinsured driver was at fault in causing an accident.

But, according to the answer to Smith’s complaint, GEICO’s lawyer, Anthony Livoti of Columbia, argued that the underinsured driver was not negligent in any way.

Under S.C. law, a motorist can’t directly sue his own insurer – he has to sue the person alleged to have caused the accident and, at that point, the motorist’s own insurance company takes over defense of the case. Also under S.C. law, the jury is not permitted to know the insurer will pay any award.

Goings said, “This fine solider paid for insurance. GEICO had no problem accepting his premium each month, but after this collision, it refused to compensate him for his injuries. Although this jury was unable to know about insurance, this jury saw that justice was done.”

Judge DeAndrea Benjamin presided.


S.C. National Guardsman killed during tragic DUI accident

On October 29 around 5:00 in the morning, Vincent Omear Thomas, 33, was killed when another car drove off of the road and slammed into two other cars. The car that ran off the road was driven by Kyeon Glover, 19, who was charged with DUI involving death.

The accident happened near McLeod Hospital at East Cheves and South Church Streets in Florence, S.C. Authorities report that when the accident occurred, Glover was in a high-speed chase with police because Glover fled the scene of a domestic dispute. In addition to his felony DUI charge, Glover was charged with simple possession of marijuana, failure to stop for blue lights, burglary first degree, assault and battery first degree, assault and battery second degree, possession of a weapon in a violent crime and discharging of a firearm in city limits.

The victim, Thomas has served in the S.C. National Guard since 1998, including one tour of duty in Afghanistan.

This is truly a tragic incident, and our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to all friends and family members affected by this accident. While the law imposes criminal penalties against utterly reckless and avoidable acts like drinking and driving, there are sometimes civil remedies available to victims and their families. Though nothing can undo the pain that you have already faced in a drunk driving accident, with the help of the Columbia legal team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, you may be able to secure compensation that will help you move forward. Our drunk driving accidents lawyers are ready to handle your specific situation today. Call our Columbia offices at (803) 350-9230.


Jennefier Lopez and Leah Remini Involved in Hit-and-Run with Drunk Driver

450770946On September 29, actresses Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez were hit by a drunk driver while driving along Pacific Coast Highway in California. The two celebrities were stopped at a red light when a small pick-up truck hit them from behind and then sped off. They called police and provided a description of the car. Authorities located and apprehend the driver shortly after the incident. The driver of the pick-up truck was under the influence and arrested for DUI and hit-and-run.

Lopez and Remini had two children with them in the back seat of the car. Thankfully, in this case, no one was injured. Yet, oftentimes injuries resulting from accidents caused by drunk drivers can be very severe and oftentimes can even result in wrongful death. Further, this case is an example that anyone can be the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, our legal team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, believes that you may be owed financial compensation. To find out how we may be able to help you take action in order to get the compensation you are seeking, call (803) 350-9230 today.


Truck Accident on I-26 Causes Traffic Jam During Morning Rush Hour

Earlier today, Friday, August 1, 2014, two separate accidents happened in the eastbound lane at the interchange of interstates I-26 and I-126. The first accident happened when a tractor-trailer collided into a car while changing lanes. The second accident happened when two cars collided as a result of the slow-down from the first accident. These accidents happened during the morning rush hour when many residents make the commute from the communities of Irmo and Lexington into the City of Columbia for work. Local news reports indicate that traffic did not begin to clear until after 9:30AM.

Often times when slow downs happen as a result of an accident, these situations can create distracted drivers. Traffic caused by an accident can often be very hazardous because of a drivers tendency look at the accident, which takes the focus away from the driving. Law Enforcement Officials have reported problems with “rubber necking effects” because of these tendencies.

If you have been injured in an auto accident of trucking accident, contact an experienced attorney today!

Injuries from trucking accidents can often be very severe. Additionally, auto accidents can be equally as traumatic to the parties involved. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, trucking accident, or as the result of a distracted driver, then contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC. You can discuss your case with an experienced trial attorney to evaluate your claim for free. Call today at (803) 350-9230.


Rules of the Road in South Carolina: Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the South Carolina Highway Patrol have teamed up for a new campaign to educate South Carolina Drivers on the proper actions to take when encountering emergency vehicles while on the road. At the Goings Law Firm, LLC we want to help spread the word about this new campaign in order to increase safety on the road for both drivers and pubic safety officers.

Generally, when driving if you see emergency lights in your rearview mirror, the rule is to slow down and move to the right when you are able. Many drivers feel panic when they see lights in their mirror, especially when the emergency vehicle is a police officer. Yet, the campaign emphasizes the importance of remaining calm. It is important to keep your focus on the road and surrounding traffic.

Another instance when many drivers encounter emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, or law enforcement is when the emergency vehicles are pulled over on the side of the road assisting with an accident. In this case, slow down and move over when you are able. Even if you are not able to change lanes, slow down and keep your focus on the road and traffic conditions. One problem that troopers have reported on major highways is the “rubber necking” effect. This occurs when onlookers slow down to look and see what happened on an accident scene. Again, the campaign emphasizes the importance to focus on the road and traffic conditions, not on the accident scene.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact a Columbia Personal Injury attorney today.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, we are here to help you. Or, if you are a part of emergency services personnel and you have been injured while assisting on the scene of accident, please contact us today. This firm has represented first responders, such as paramedics, who were injured by a negligent driver while assisting in a traffic collision. The attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC in Columbia are highly experienced in auto accident cases and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (803) 350-9230 today for a free case consultation.


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