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Local Law News from The Davis Law Firm

 

SC Safety belt Law

Sc Seat Belt Laws and What You Need to Know:

South Carolina’s seat belt law states that every operator and passenger (whether in front or rear) of a motor vehicle, when it is being operated on public roads and highways of this State, is required to wear a fastened safety belt that complies with all requirements of federal law for its use. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure every passenger of the vehicle 17 years of age or younger is wearing a seat belt or that they are secured in a child restraint system as required by law. A driver is not, however, responsible for an occupant 17 years of age or younger who has a driver’s license, special restricted license, or beginner’s permit and who is not wearing a safety belt.
An individual may be fined up to $25 for violating the law and even up to $50 for breaking this law more than once, but no points will be assessed for the offense.

There are some cases where the seat belt law does not apply, listed below are examples of this:

A driver or occupant who holds a written verification from a doctor that he or she is not able to wear a seat belt for physical and/or medical reasons;

Medical or rescue personnel tending to wounded or sick individuals in an emergency transport when operating in an emergency as well as the injured or ill people;

Public transportation vehicles excluding taxis;

Participants of vehicles in parades;

United States mail carriers;

Seat belt laws are in enforced so that we can better help to protect our citizens. Motor vehicle accidents have been a leading cause of death in America.
By wearing safety belts and correctly securing children into age and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats, we can decrease the danger of severe injury and death in a car crash by half.

Child restraint laws require children riding in a vehicle to use approved restraint devices such as car seats, booster seats, or safety belts suitable for their age, weight, and height. When riding in a car or other vehicle, children 8 years old and younger are required to be appropriately restrained by an approved child safety seat.

However certain conditions apply:

Infants 2 years old and younger are required to be in a rear-facing child car seat in a rear passenger seat of the car or other vehicle unless the child surpasses the manufacturer's weight or height limits.

Toddlers 2 years old and over must be in a forward-facing child car seat in a rear passenger seat until they exceed the manufacturer's weight and height limits.

Children at least four years old are required to be in a belt-positioning booster seat in a rear passenger seat. Booster seats are required to use a lap and shoulder strap.

Children that are eight years old or are at least 57 inches tall can use a seatbelt if:

The shoulder seat belt crosses the child's chest and not their head or neck.

The lap seat belt fits over the child's hips and thighs and not across their stomach.

The child can sit, without slumping with their back straight against the seat back with their knees bent over the seat edge.

All children that are under the age of 8 years old must be in a rear passenger seat unless children occupy all rear seats under eight years old or if the vehicle does not have rear seats. Any child in the front passenger seat is required to be in an appropriate child safety seat for their age.

Call The Davis Law Firm In Orangeburg South Carolina Today!

Nov 15, 2018

One of the most crucial actions any family can take to ensure that their final property and health care requests are honored, and that loved ones are provided for in their absence is Estate Planning. Even though this is often put off in favor of more pressing affairs, a comprehensive estate plan can fix many legal issues that come up whenever a loved one passes away. Making it less complicated for loved ones dealing with the loss of a family member. 

Estate planning can answer questions such as: 


What is the status of their financial circumstances? 
What real and personal property do they have? 
Which family member gets what? 
Is a personal guardian required to care for minor children? 
How much will taxes be in order to transfer property ownership? 
What funeral arrangements have been requested?
 
In this article, you will find a summary of estate planning, a definition of basic terminology and how to find an experienced estate planning attorney near you.

What is an "Estate"?

An "estate" consists of all property owned by a person at the time of their passing, including:

Property Owned
Bank accounts
Insurance policies
Stocks and other securities
Personal assets including vehicles, jewelry, tools, etc.

 

How does an Estate Plan Help?

No matter the complexity of your estate, an estate plan can help achieve the following:

Recognizing the family and loved ones that are intended to inherit property after a persons passing.
Assuring that the property will be given to those identified in the estate plan, as promptly and with as little legal barriers as possible.
Minimizing the amount of taxes that will be required to be paid in order for the property to transferred to loved ones.
Bypassing the time and expenses connected with the probate process by utilizing estate planning devices such as living trusts and "payable on death" bank accounts.
Managing the different types of life-prolonging medical care a person wishes to receive should they be incapable of making those requests known when the time arrives.
Producing the intended funeral arrangements requested, and how similar expenses are to be handled.
Knowing the complexity of estate planning options that are right for a family can be a complicated task but The Davis Law Firm can help you with your estate planning needs.

In South Carolina, having an estate plan for your family is one of the most helpful things you can do. Making sure that you're estate plan is prepared accurately can be difficult. But, an experienced estate planning attorney can help explain all options available to you and your family in reaching your goals and satisfying the needs of your loved ones as well. Whether a person wants to change an existing will or create an estate plan, it helps to contact an attorney that knows how to handle all your needs so that you can get started on your estate plan today.

Call The Davis Law Firm In Orangeburg South Carolina for all of your Estate Planning needs.

Oct 23, 2018

The harmed party must first discover why the equipment was faulty. If "wear and tear" was the reason, then it is the employer’s liability. Employers have a legal responsibility to manage and inspect equipment correctly and declining to do so suggests they were possibly negligent.

Nevertheless, sometimes the equipment itself is faulty. Even with proper maintenance, the equipment faults due to a inadequate design or defective parts. In this instance, it is the manufacturer that can be held accountable.

Sometimes mishaps concerning equipment happen not because of the equipment itself, but because of the efforts of the equipment operator. If the worker knew that the equipment was defective, and proceeded to use it anyhow, that person could be held responsible. Even if the worker is the one injured, it is plausible for the liability to fall on that person. That is why it is necessary to get sound legal advice when handling an injury case involving defective equipment.

In multiple cases, there are two people that are held accountable. Both the employer and the manufacturer, for instance, can be held responsible. If the equipment was defective, the manufacturer is to blame, but if the employer chose to use it anyhow, they too are responsible.

Negligence and Fault Must Be Considered

In defective equipment cases, the main question is discovering what fault conclusively caused the mishap. Is the fault in the equipment, or in activities concerning the equipment? Did the fault come from the company or from how the equipment was managed at the site of employment? Then, after figuring out fault, the next problem lies in defining negligence. Did someone’s carelessness lead to the incident? Usually, asking these two major questions will undoubtedly show where the liability rests.

If you have any more questions about Work Place Injuries contact The Davis Law Firm at (803) 531-3888

Oct 12, 2018

If you have been hurt at your job, workers' compensation laws allow you certain benefits. These benefits can involve reimbursement of medical bills, payment while you're incapable of work, rehabilitation, permanent partial disability privileges, or total disability privileges. Your employer's workers' compensation insurance is liable for paying these benefits.

Injuries usually covered by workers' compensation include:

1. Traumatic physical injuries
2. Work-related illnesses
3. Mental injuries
4. Repeated trauma injuries

If You've Been Hurt on the Job

If you're hurt while at work or generate a work-related disease, you should inform your employer as soon as possible. Deadlines will differ from state to state, but your eligibility to obtain benefits may be restricted if you wait to inform your employer.

Find out the name of your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. You should still get medical treatment and seek workers' compensation with or without this knowledge, but it may be simpler if you identify the name of the insurance carrier.

You should seek medical treatment for your injury immediately. Make sure to inform the doctor that your damage happened on the job or in relation to your job. Once you've got medical treatment for your injury or work-related disease, you should consider communicating with a workers' comp lawyer to assist in guiding you throughout the process of applying for workers' compensation.

After you've obtained medical treatment, make sure that you notify your employer, in writing, before the deadline to get workers' compensation benefits.

Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Workers compensation laws differ from state to state. A workers' compensation lawyer in your city should be able to describe to you the application process and the benefits you are entitled to.

If you get workers' compensation following an injury, you cannot sue your employer for extra payment in relationship with your injury. However, you may, be capable of filing a lawsuit against others involved. A workers' compensation attorney can inform you of your legal options.

Oct 02, 2018

South Carolina's Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Anyone who desires to file a medical malpractice claim in South Carolina first should be conscious of the statute of limitations, which is a law that establishes a strict limit on the amount of time you have to get your case started in South Carolina's civil court system.

You can locate this law at South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-545, and it states that this type of case needs to be filed "within 3 years from the time of the treatment, omission, or operation giving origin to the cause of action or 3 years from time of discovery or when it reasonably should have been discovered, not to pass 6 years from time it happened."

In simpler terms, you must file the lawsuit inside 3 years of the date that you were actually harmed on or could have reasonably known that you were harmed on, the defendant's medical error. But when six years have passed, your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is no longer available in South Carolina, subject to a few rare exceptions.

The most popular exception to South Carolina's six-year rule is medical malpractice cases concerning "the placement and inadvertent, accidental, or unintentional leaving of a foreign object in the body," like a medical tool after surgery. In those rare cases, the lawsuit has to be filed inside of two years from the time on which the presence of the unknown object was detected, and the extended six-year deadline does not come into play.

If the lawsuit deadline has ended and you decide to try and file the complaint anyhow, you can almost, without doubt, count on the defendant asking the court to drop the case, and the court allowing the motion. If that occurs, that’s the conclusion of your lawsuit. That's why it's so essential to know and comply with the medical malpractice statute of limitations.

If you have any questions, contact The Davis Law Firm at (803) 531-3888.

Sep 25, 2018

1ST Offense:
-Jail: 48 hours to 90 days
-Fines: $400 to $1000
-License Suspension: 6 months
-IID Required: no

2ND Offense:
-Jail: 5 days up to 3 years
-Fines: $2100 to $6500
-License Suspension: 1 year
-IID Required: yes

3RD Offense:
-Jail: 60 days to 5 years
-Fines: $3800 to $10000
-License Suspension: 2 years
-IID Required: yes

4TH Offense:
-Jail: 1 to 7 years
-Fines: up to $10000
License Suspension: Permanent
-IID Required: ----

Lookback Period: 10 years

Multiple convictions for drunk driving could also end in a court-ordered installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your car at the convicted driver's expense. You could also be required to attend an alcohol or drug intervention program. The Department of Motor Vehicles will issue and publish the names of all motorists who have had their license suspended as a result of a DUI.

How much do you have to drink for a DUI in South Carolina (BAC*)?

-Under 21 : .02 %

-21 or older: .08 %

-Commercial: .04%


** BAC = blood alcohol content

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in South Carolina?

South Carolina has a suggested consent law. This implies that if you refused to submit to a substance test, you will be subjected to a fine and license suspension.

Refusal to take the test :

1ST Offense
6-month license suspension

2ND Offense
9-month license suspension

3rd Offense
1-year license suspension

Drinking and Driving Laws in South Carolina

It is illegal in the State of South Carolina to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (*BAC) of .08 % or greater. The limit is lower for commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21 (Legal Drinking Age). The .08 limit is the official measurement of the "impaired" driver in the United States. It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the State of South Carolina under the influence of substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other controlled substances.

 

Sep 23, 2018

Criminal defense lawyers must serve those charged with crimes in court. Crimes can vary in severity from a misdemeanor up to a felony. Discipline can range from a minor fine to years in prison or even death.

Representation is essential for those charged with a crime. The U.S. Constitution declares that all citizens accused of a crime will be presented representation. If you have hired the assistance of a criminal law lawyer or are attempting to retain one, you should understand what services your lawyer should be able to perform.

Why are Criminal Defense Attorneys Important?

Criminal law is a complicated body of state and federal legislation. Each state frequently sets its own penalties for state crimes. The majority of crimes are usually state offenses. Exemptions include creating damage to federal property or causing injury to a federal employee.

The average person will not have an adequate understanding of criminal law. Unfortunately, failing to understand the criminal law is infrequently a sufficient defense to bypass being found guilty.

Although a person has the legal right to represent themselves throughout criminal trial processes, the consequences of having inadequate legal representation can be critical. Misdemeanors might only involve a fine or a short jail sentence, but felonies, which are more severe crimes, can lead to lengthy prison terms. This is why it is so necessary to have someone educated about the law argue on your behalf.

Criminal Defense Attorney Services Pre-Trial

Criminal defense lawyers can help clients during the criminal justice process, including pre-trial. Some people prefer to hire a lawyer through the investigation phase of a crime before they are charged. This usually occurs if someone is a suspect and has ground to believe that he/she will someday be charged. In these cases, a criminal defense attorney may help instruct the person while being investigated by authorities to guarantee the suspect doesn't reveal any incriminating information.

A criminal defense lawyer can also help in persuading a court to dismiss charges against you based on inadequate evidence or incorrect procedure. For example, in numerous cases, a police officer must have probable cause before conducting an arrest. Probable cause involves a compelling reason to believe that you have performed a crime. Criminal defense lawyers have knowledge of probable cause as it is established within your jurisdiction and might be able to offer a challenge to the officer's argument in court. If the lawyer can prove that the officer did not have a probable cause to examine the alleged crime scene and make an arrest, charges on you could be dismissed before a trial begins.

When you are detained for a crime, you may be held pending trial. Though, you usually can be discharged as long as you present a certain amount of money which is called bail. Bail is designed to assure that you show up for trial. A criminal defense lawyer can try to convince the court to lessen your bond or waive it entirely.

If you know you will be deemed guilty of a crime, you might want to try to get a plea bargain with the prosecution. A plea bargain is a contracted agreement to decrease charges to a lesser offense or lessen the sentencing. Your lawyer can represent you throughout plea negotiations to improve your chances of obtaining a reduced punishment.

Criminal Defense Attorney Services at Trial

Criminal defense lawyers can also help you during the criminal trial. They can investigate your case, distinguishing its strengths and weaknesses. From there, you and your lawyer can cooperate to come up with a defensive approach.

Your lawyer can also explain the ups and downs of pleading guilty, mainly when a plea bargain is on the table.

Your attorney can also help with the conventional steps of a criminal trial, from jury selection to presenting opening statements to examining witnesses. And criminal defense lawyers can help you with the appeals process.

If you have any questions or require legal representation, do not be hesitant to contact The Davis Law Firm today at (803) 531-3888

 

Sep 20, 2018

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that in 2015, approximately a thousand people died in traffic collisions here in South Carolina. The state’s traffic death rate of about 20 accident-related deaths per 100,000 people is nearly double that of the national average. Why are South Carolinians at risk while on the road?

Primary Causes of Traffic Accidents and Deaths in South Carolina

There are several potential factors that can contribute to an automobile accident here in South Carolina. The most typical bad behaviors that can produce a collision include:

Drunk driving.
NHTSA’s statistics for 2015 reveal that out of 977 deadly accidents in South Carolina, 301 involved a person driving under the influence. That’s approximately one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the Palmetto state.

Speeding.
The NHTSA data reveals that 361 people were killed in South Carolina because of speed-related crashes, producing over one-third of traffic-related deaths.

Texting and distracted driving.
Nationwide NHTSA statistics confirm that in 2014, over 3,100 people were killed because of distracted driving and 431,000 people were harmed. Texting is the newest contributor to distracted driving, but different actions like speaking on the phone, eating/drinking, and changing the radio all produce accidents, too.

Extra usual reasons for accidents in South Carolina involve tailgating, dozing at the wheel, and failure to yield.

Protect Yourself and Your Legal Rights
The greatest way that you can preserve yourself proactively is by evading bad driving behaviors. Just by never driving intoxicated, following posted speed limits, and not using your phone while you drive, you can bypass being the potential reasonof tragedy on the road.

Though, we can’t always estimate the behavior of other people. Collisions can and do occur every day, no matter how careful we are. When someone else’s carelessness causes a wreck, the best thing you can do is to seek legal help from a qualified accident lawyer. Your car wreck lawyer can make sure that your rights are defended and help you seek fair compensation for any property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses you might need.

How to Get Legal Help After an Accident
If you’ve been in an auto collision and require legal help right away, please don’t delay to call me today. You can reach The Davis Law Firm at (803) 531-3888.

Sep 13, 2018

You’re side-swiped on the road, and the other operator speeds away. Or perhaps you come back to your car in the parking lot after going shopping, to find a dent in your vehicle and no phone number on your windshield. A hit and run car accident can leave you with injuries, vehicle destruction, or maybe both.

"Who’s going to pay for this?"

The answer may be your car insurance coverage, but there are other factors to take into consideration.

Usually, drivers obtain car insurance to make sure they're covered if they end up producing a car accident in which someone else is injured or incurs property damage. This is described as "liability" car insurance, and in most states, it's the type of car insurance that vehicle owners are obligated to carry. But since you don’t know the identification of the other motorist in a hit-and-run accident, let alone their insurance information then obviously their liability insurance (if they even have it) is not going to come into play.

Let’s look at a few of your best options :

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Usually, an insurer is obligated to at least give a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage to policy obtainers, which must decline UIM in writing if they don't desire it.

Uninsured motorist coverage usually gives financial compensation if you're injured and/or incur vehicle damage in a car collision produced by someone who is operating without car insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage provides similar protection if the at-fault driver's policy limits are less than your financial losses.

UIM would also be your primary source of security in the event of a hit-and-run accident. Considering that the other driver cannot be found, you should report the accident to both law enforcement and your insurance company within a reasonable period of time. The name and contact information for an objective car accident witness will be a big help, as you'll need to give some basic proof related to the accident.

PIP Coverage

Personal Injury Protection or (PIP) coverage reimburses you for medical bills and lost earnings for the insured driver after a car collision, regardless of who produced the crash.

PIP coverage is usually available in many states as add-on coverage, depending on where you reside and which car insurance company you have chosen. And in states that obey a no-fault car insurance system, PIP is part of your necessary coverage.

Collision Coverage

When all else disappoints, you can make a claim on your own policy under your collision coverage after a hit-and-run collision. This would at least cover the cost to repair your vehicle, but will in all likelihood cause your premiums to rise. So, your choice to go this route may depend on the amount of the damage and the cost of repairs to your vehicle.

If you have any questions about a hit and run accident contact The Davis Law Firm today for a professional consultation.

Sep 03, 2018

If you were hurt or sustained property damage in a car collision, you might be questioning how an attorney can help you. While much depends on the specifics of your case, in general, a lawyer can:

1. Communicate with the other driver’s insurer

2. Obtain the necessary evidence concerning liability/organize your medical records and bills

3. Talk with your health care providers to obtain missing records

4.Organize and present the evidence to prove liability and damages
negotiate with lien holders on your claim .

Let’s look at a couple of these things in-depth.

Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurer:

In any personal injury case, your lawyer will start up a line of communication with the insurance agency for the other party included. The insurance adjuster has the pocketbook, and so it is essential for a plaintiff’s attorney to have good communications with the adjuster.

Obtaining Necessary Evidence of Liability:

A skilled lawyer can help secure all of the evidence that you will require to prove responsibility in a car accident claim. Although you have already taken pictures of the accident, your lawyer will presumably go back to the scene to examine it carefully. While a photograph may be "worth a thousand words," truly seeing the scene can be "worth a thousand pictures."

The attorney will make sure to take all of the accident reports in the incident and will usually speak with the investigating officers and witnesses. A great lawyer will leave no stone unturned when it comes to collecting evidence of liability.

Though we only went through a couple of things a great lawyer can do for you, If you have any other questions about your car accident claim contact The Davis Firm today and let him assist you!

Sep 03, 2018
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Criminal Blunders

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Information found on this Website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.

You should consult an attorney regarding your individual situation.

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