Joe Sandefur and Martin Stark serve South Carolina as Auto Accident Lawyers.

Rear End Accident

Who is at fault for a rear-end collision?

Who is at fault for a rear-end collision?

When you think of who is at fault for a rear-end collision, you normally think that it is the car behind you that is at fault. While this is most likely the case, it is not always 100% true. The circumstances of the accident will end up determining who is truly at-fault. Sometimes the car in front can be considered responsible. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, it is important to speak with an attorney. An attorney can help establish liability, but also ensure that the other party does not try to hold you accountable for something that wasn’t your fault.
At times, the front diver can be at-fault. This is because that driver could have hit their brakes suddenly which did not give the car behind them enough time to stop. Generally, the rear driver should be following far enough behind to avoid a rear-end collision. But sometimes, at high speeds, if the car in front does stop without warning, there isn’t a distance that is far enough to avoid it. The front driver could also have burned out brake lights – this would also leave them at-fault.
Road hazards can play a role in determining who is at-fault too. Say you hit a pothole and you end up losing control and hit another vehicle or another vehicle could hit you. In this situation, it isn’t your fault or the other drivers –  it is instead the fault of whoever maintains the road. The maintainer would then be responsible for any damages that result from that accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury and have been thinking about filing a claim, Joe and Martin can help you. Call us at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.

Road Conditions Accidents

When Road Conditions Cause Accidents, Who is at Fault?

When road conditions cause an accident, who is at fault?

Poor road conditions can lead to devastating accidents.Determining who is liable for these damages is not always an easy task. You must prove that the road conditions were unsafe and that the government agency or third party responsible for the road conditions was negligent.
Who is responsible for the road maintenance?
The city, county, or state typically maintains the roads. Some private roads are maintained by the homeowners. There are different responsibilities that go to different agencies – sometimes multiple agencies. For example, the state could be responsible for potholes and paving roads, but the city is responsible for plowing and de-icing.
How do you prove negligence? 
Once you figure out who was responsible for maintaining the road, you must prove that they were negligent. This means that the responsible party had plenty of time to repair the road but failed to do it. For example, the city had to cut back on funding for repairs which caused the road to deteriorate. If the accident happened because of this, they could be negligent.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a road condition related accident and have been thinking about filing a claim, Joe and Martin can help you. Call us at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.

Why Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident that has resulted in a personal injury or monetary loss because of it, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. While you could file your own personal injury claim against an insurance company yourself, they could try to reduce compensation and deny your claim. A personal injury attorney can help you combat an auto insurance company and their lawyers. They can effectively handle the legal work for you and act as your advocate through the duration of your case.
Now that you’ve decided that you want to hire a personal injury lawyer, here’s a few tips to use so that you hire the RIGHT personal injury attorney:

  1. Find an attorney that specializes in your type of case -There are many different areas of personal injury lawyers. Make sure you choose one that focuses on the area you’re dealing with like an auto accident or a slip and fall.
  2. Research the attorney’s reputation – see what others have to say about the lawyer online and if you can, directly from other clients.
  3. Ask about the attorney’s case load – you don’t want someone who isn’t dedicated to your case because they are spread out to thin.

Safe Driving Tips for Cars with Motorcycles on the Road

More than 4,956 motorcyclists were killed in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With a sizeable increase in the number of motorcycles on the road in recent years, drivers must practice safer driving while sharing the road. Here are three things you can do to help keep the motorcyclists safe as well as yourself:
#1 –  Check your blind spots
Not checking your blind spots is the number one reason for accidents involving motor vehicles. Because motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles on the road they can be harder to spot while changing lanes. Looking for larger cars is your first instinct, but a motorcycle and the rider tend to blend in and make them harder to spot. Take your time when changing lanes and pay special attention to your blind spots.
#2 –  Give them the whole lane
Although motorcycles take up less space than a car, they are still legally allowed to have their own lane of traffic. You must move completely into the next lane to pass. There is no reason to pass in the same lane as a motorcycle, even if it looks like there is enough room. Sharing a lane is an accident waiting to happen and it could be your fault.
#3 –  Treat motorcycle turn signals with extra caution
Cars have self-cancelling turn signals, but many motorcycles on the road don’t. So that means if you notice that a motorcycle is driving with their turn signal active for a long distance, increase the distance between the two of you to ensure you have enough time to react when they do turn.

Road Debris: In the way on the way

Imagine you’re driving to a friend’s place, it’s dark, and you suddenly approach a large tree branch in the road. How do you react? Do you slam on your brakes, risking who’s behind you possibly rear-ending you? Do you swerve left into oncoming traffic? Or right and possibly into a ditch?
With only a split second to decide, it makes sense how road debris causes over 25,000 crashes and 80 fatalities per year in North America. ([Crash Course in Collision Prevention and Preparation, Now Available | AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety](https://www.aaafoundation.org/crash-course-collision-prevention-and-preparation-now-available?button=vrrdFS))
And if a static tree branch doesn’t scare you, understand that most road debris actually moves. If other cars on the road drive past or come into contact with road debris, that same object may be moving when you get closer, making it even more difficult to determine what you should do to avoid it. Now, you must not only judge how you should maneuver your vehicle, but how you should maneuver it with respect to another moving object.
The true culprit, however, isn’t always the environment. It’s us! Blown tires, mufflers, bumpers, or cargo like mattresses, firewood, or bicycles that fall off cars are extremely tricky to steer around. Even if you’re an advanced driver you can never be sure how something is going to bounce. With other cars on the road and distractions you’re already dealing with like a phone or a child, lost cargo can be absolutely fatal.
That being said, we each need to do our part to not contribute to road debris. Here are some things you can do to keep our roads safer:
* Always uses ropes, straps, and chains to hold down items. Don’t trust the weight of an object or flimsy materials like bungee cords or string.
* Always anchor your ropes. If you’re going to spend the time tying your cargo down, finish the job correctly by tying a knot on something sturdy.
* Use a bowline, Truckers Hitch, and Double Fisherman’s Bend to secure your cargo.
* Try to keep cargo below the top edge of the truck bed.
* Be sure all bags, boxes, and containers are 100% closed.
* Cover loose items.
And if you are following someone who’s carrying a large assortment of cargo, give them another car length of space. This way you’ll have a bit more time to react should something fly off.
Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys is committed to keeping our roads safe and representing those who have been a victim when it’s not. If your auto accident was caused by someone else’s negligence to properly secure their cargo on the road, we are here for you. Call Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys at (843)357-8888 or visit us at joeandmartin.com.

4 of the most Dangerous Types of Accidents

Truly, all types of automobile accident can be fatal. Below are some of the types of car or truck accidents that are often the most injury causing, life changing, and fatal.

Head-On Collisions
Beginning with the most dramatic, head-on crashes need no introduction. Head-on collisions make an example of Newtons Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If two cars traveling toward one another, both traveling at 40 mph, crash— the resulting impact will be comparable to the impact of a crash at 80 mph. Head on collisions are considered the most fatal of the list.

T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents are dubbed so because of the shape two vehicles make when the front of one hits the side of another. These side impact collisions normally take place in intersections. They are especially dangerous because the sides of cars provide considerably less protection than the front and back of a car. Because there is no engine or trunk space in-between you and the other car, the side is an extremely vulnerable position to be hit.

Pile-ups
A collision involving two cars is bad enough, but instances do occur when drivers don’t notice or cannot avoid an accident happening in front or around them which results in vehicles piling up on top of one another. This is particularly dangerous because it makes it more difficult for those involved in the accident to escape as well as introduces them to more hazards like flying debris, fires, or explosions.

Rollovers
Larger vehicles like SUVs, vans, and pick-up trucks are more likely to roll over than smaller cars, but rolling a vehicle is a threat to any make and model. Fast, sharp turns or overcorrections made due to drivers trying to avoid a hazard in front of them are typically the cause of rollovers. Rolling over means even less control over your vehicle when crashing and makes abandoning your vehicle much more difficult.

If you or someone you know has been in any of these kinds of collisions, we can help you during this hard time. Call an experience lawyer to fight for you while you fight to recover.

Call Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys at (843)357-8888 or visit us at joeandmartin.com.

Symptoms and Side-Effects of Whiplash

There are several common causes of whiplash: car or cycling accidents, falls from horseback riding, contact sports or other falls and accidents in which the head jerks back violently.  How do you know if you have whiplash? If you have been in an accident like those listed you may have neck pain, headaches at the base of you neck, dizziness and blurred vision.  Some treatments for whiplash like aspirin and physical therapy may help ease the pain within a few weeks.  Some instances of whiplash last up to three months.  In any case, seek medical attention to be sure of a proper diagnosis and treatment. If you have been injured and suffer from whiplash, we may be able to help you.  Call today for a free consultation (843) 357-8888 or visit joeandmartin.com.

A Guide to Stop Distracted Driving

In today’s fast-paced world. we are faced with distracted driving daily. With as many billboards as there are advising us to not become distracted and drive at the same time, most of us are familiar with the concept at this point. But did you know that there are actually several different types of this offense that can be committed? Understandably, cell phones take most of the heat on the topic of distracted driving, but they’re not the only kind.

Manual Distractions 
Manual Distractions quite literally encompass any action that requires one or both hands being removed from the steering wheel. Cell phones are a given, but think about all the other things we do in the car that require our hands? Fixing your make-up, adjusting the radio, eating, or even reaching for something in the back seat. These tasks seem innocent, but they can be distracting and the defense won’t let up if they find out you were preoccupied while operating your vehicle. Parents are especially susceptible here because of all the many ways they must tend to the needs of their children in a vehicle.

Visual Distractions
Visual distractions can generally be defined as anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road. For instance, looking in the back seat, a glove compartment, or the center console are all examples of visual distractions. An example we’re all guilty of would be checking out accidents, emergency vehicles, or hazards on the side of the road. Regardless of how attractive the stimulus is, these distractions cause us to lose focus and potentially harm ourselves and others.

Cognitive Distractions
Cognitive distractions are described as a loss of focus when driving. Sleepiness or “zoning out” are common while operating a vehicle, especially on long or late drives. Cognitive distractions are hard to prove because it’s difficult to show what a driver was focused on just prior to an accident, but they are dangerous nonetheless.
At Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys, we work hard to help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver. An experienced injury lawyer who cares about your case can help you make sense of your accident.

Call us today at (843)357-8888 or visit JoeAndMartin.com/contact for a free consultation.

Pedestrians: Pay Attention!

An alarming number of pedestrian fatalities occur each year.  Between 2015 and 2016, the number of pedestrian deaths rose from 57 to 66 in South Carolina according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Sadly, some pedestrian fatalities could be avoided if pedestrians were alert and aware of their surroundings when walking. A few pieces of advice to remember while you are walking could save your life:

  • Unless you are stopped and standing a safe distance away from the street, put your phone away so this won’t be a distraction for you.
  • Always walk in crosswalks after the sign indicates it is safe to do so, but remember to look before you cross as well.
  • Walking while under the influence is also a factor in fatalities. Take an Uber or Lyft or have a sober  friend drive you home rather than walking after drinking.
  • If you are listening to music, be sure that the volume is low enough to still hear what’s going on around you.

Be safe and pay attention, pedestrians! Take safety while walking into your own hands (or feet!).

Tips for Meeting with a Doctor After an Accident 


Tell the truth and be cooperative, anything that wastes time is time lost that could be spent on you getting better after an accident.  Work with your doctor to determine the cause of pain after injury – remember, you should mention all ailments, physical and mental, so your doctor can determine the best way to treat your injuries.
If an examination becomes painful, tell your doctor that you do not want to continue that part of your consultation due to pain. Inform your doctor about any activities you can no longer perform or restrictions in movement. Even small annoyances can become lifelong problems.  Remembering these guidelines will help make your appointment run smoothly and should legal counsel need any information, your doctor will have made a thorough evaluation of your injuries and ailments.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, call Joe and Martin for your free consultation.