Joe and Martin are ready to assist you with personal injury claims and lawsuits that may stem from a variety of accidents.

Fourth of July Firework Injuries

Tips for a Safe Fourth of July

There’s nothing like the sticky heat of summer on a July evening lit with colorful fireworks. The Fourth of July marks our nation’s independence and has become a time of celebration with our families, friends, and neighborhoods. Everything turns red, white, and blue to mark the Declaration of Independence across the country. Plus, there are plenty of fun activities planned across Myrtle Beach and South Carolina that range from boat parades to concerts to fireworks over the beach. Whatever you decide to do this holiday, these Fourth of July safety tips can help keep you and your family out of harm’s way.
Fourth of July Firework Injuries
Firework Safety Tips
Fireworks have become an iconic symbol of the Fourth of July, right after the American flag. If you and your family are planning on setting off some of your own fireworks, keep these Fourth of July safety tips in mind:

  • Keep the fireworks outside! Never light them inside.
  • Keep water on hand just in case. A hose nearby is ideal.
  • Make sure to read the instructions—and the caution label—before lighting any fireworks.
  • Don’t drink and light! Drinking can impair your judgment.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when using fireworks.
  • If a firework doesn’t go off, wait 20 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water. Don’t try to relight it.
  • Make sure to soak all used fireworks with water before tossing them in your outdoor garbage. Just because they don’t look lit, doesn’t mean they aren’t.

The first week of July is notorious for firework accidents. Last year, a professional football player even injured his hand lighting fireworks. Every year around the Fourth, 200 people check into the emergency room with firework injuries. Don’t be a statistic—if you choose to set off fireworks, follow the instructions, use proper safety equipment, and stay sober.
Beach Safety Tips
With the gorgeous South Carolina beaches, there are bound to be plenty of people in the sand and surf this holiday. The Red Cross advises beachgoers to:

  • Have young children and those who can’t swim wear a life jacket,
  • Follow the lifeguard’s instructions, and
  • Beware of rip currents (remember, swim parallel to the shore when caught in a rip current until you are free).

Check the weather before heading out and consider bringing along an umbrella or tent to provide some shade. And of course, pack plenty of sunscreen and apply liberally.
Grilling Safety Tips
Who doesn’t love setting out the grill for the Fourth? If you’re planning on grilling corn on the cob, burgers, or even pizza, make sure to follow these grill safety tips:

  • Tell the kids to run elsewhere and steer clear of the grilling area.
  • When you set up the grill, make sure it isn’t too close to anything that can burn like deck railings, eaves, and low branches.
  • Remove any grease that has built up.
  • Don’t go crazy with the lighter fluid if you’re using charcoal. You can always add more.
  • Make sure someone is always on grill duty. Don’t leave the grill unattended.

If you have any foods set out for a picnic, bring along plenty of ice packs. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot to lessen the chance of food contamination.
General Fourth of July Safety Tips
However you choose to spend the holiday, there are a couple of no-brainer safety tips that you should always follow. If you plan to be outside, make sure to use sunscreen. And if you plan on drinking, assign a designated driver beforehand. There’s never an excuse for drinking and driving.
We hope these Fourth of July safety tips help you and your family enjoy a fun Independence Day!

stages of a personal injury case

Stages of a Personal Injury Case

All cases have different aspects to them, but the basic stages of a personal injury case usually remain consistent.  At Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys, we work to get you the best possible result. Do not hesitate to ask any questions regarding the development of your case. If questions arise, contact your attorney or client manager, who can schedule a telephone conference with your attorney.
stages of a personal injury case
To help give a basic understanding of how a case may progress, read about the five stages below:
1. Pre-Litigation/Pretrial Stage.
This stage forms the foundation of the litigation process. It is here where attorneys engage with you, the client, in order to get a general idea of the case. This stage also includes gathering all of your medical records and bills and talking with your healthcare providers to ensure we have a full understanding of your injury.  This is also they stage we may work with your health insurance provider.  We also investigate how the injury happened, and collect liability insurance policies and limits of coverage.
2. Demand-Settlement Negotiations Stage.
During this stage, attorneys on both sides of the matter will negotiate to attempt to come to a common agreement between their clients. If this negotiation is successful, both sides can avoid going to trail.
3. Litigation/Trial Stage.
This stage is where the attorneys present evidence and argue in front of a judge or jury. Almost all personal injury cases are tried before a jury of residents of the county the action is tried in.
4. Settlement-Closing Stage.
During this stage, parties can settle on an agreement any time before judgment is delivered. If the parties allow the decision to go to the judge or jury, then they will make their final arguments during this stage.
5. Appeal and Post-Judgment Motions Stage.
At this stage, attorneys may appeal a negative judgment or make a motion for a new trail.
For a FREE consultation, contact Joe and Martin Attorneys today.

National Bike Month

National Bike Month: 10 Tips to Keep You Safe

National Bike Month was created to showcase the many benefits of bicycling – and encourage others to give it a try. While biking has many benefits, it can also be dangerous if you don’t take proper safety precautions. According to Injury Facts, more than 1,000 deaths resulted from cyclists colliding with motor vehicles in 2014.
National Bike Month
Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to a healthier lifestyle or for the environment, the importance of biking safety is vital and cannot be overstated.
Follow these 10 tips to keep yourself and others safe while biking.

  1. Get acquainted with traffic laws; cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists
  2. Know your bike’s capabilities
  3. Ride single-file in the direction of traffic, and watch for opening car doors and other hazards
  4. Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
  5. Never hitch onto cars
  6. Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder
  7. Wear bright clothing and ride during the day
  8. If night riding can’t be avoided, wear reflective clothing
  9. Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
  10. A horn or bell and a rear-view mirror, as well as a bright headlight, also is recommended

If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe and Martin Attorneys for help.
 

7 Summer Boating Safety Tips

With summer just around the corner, many people will be gearing up to hit the open waters for adventure. No matter what type of boater you are, from avid to beginner, it is important to keep safety top of mind. first always to help reduce your risk of injury or being in an accident. Follow these 7 helpful tips to reduce your risk of injury or getting in an accident.
Summer Boating Tips
Check the weather.
It’s dangerous to be out on any body of water during a storm or extremely windy conditions. Check your local weather before you head out and don’t take any risks. According to DiscoveryBoating.com, if you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water. Make sure to also take a portable radio just in case the weather changes while you are out.
Make a Pre-Departure List.
Making sure that you are prepared for any possible scenario on the water is vital when taking sail. Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten. A pre-departure list should include: life jackets, sound producing devices, lights, distress signals, tools and spares, fuel and oil, fire extinguishers, ventilation, bilges, battery care, docking and anchoring tools, rules and documentation and emergency locator beacons. For more details about this list click here.
Use Common Sense.
There aren’t as many rules for the water as there are for the road, so using your common sense is a must. This means operating at a safe speed (especially in crowded areas), staying alert and steering clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your own safety.
Take a Boating Course.
No matter if you are a beginner or expert, everyone should familiarize themselves with all boating safety rules of operation. It is always important to learn and be prepared for every circumstance that could arise. Boater education requirements vary by state; however, some require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. Look locally for a course or online to help educate yourself.
Use life jackets appropriately.
According to DiscoverBoating.com, the majority of drowning victims are a result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets. Make sure every person on board has a lifejacket that fits.
Be mindful of cold water, especially during the spring, as low temperatures reduce your margin for error.
Loading/unloading your boat.
To decrease the risk of capsizing, don’t overload your boat with passengers or gear . A helpful tip to help with this is to always abide by the boats capacity plate that is typically located near the boats operator’s area.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys for help.

Pool safety

Pool Safety Tips Just in Time for Spring

With spring break just around the corner, it’s almost time to pull out the swimsuits and take a nice dip in the pool. Many residential properties and hotels throughout South Carolina have swimming pools on the premises. Swimming is an enjoyable activity and great exercise for people of all ages; however, the threat of death by drowning is a very clear and present danger in any size pool. If not properly maintained and secured, swimming pool accidents can happen easily. The potential for a slip and fall accident is high due to the water and wet walking area around the pool. Severe head and neck injuries can occur when swimmers dive into shallow pools.

Before you jump in, make sure to know common pool accident injuries and how to avoid them.

A few swimming pool accident injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Head Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Torn Ligaments
  • Dislocated Joints

Inappropriate or unsupervised diving may cause even more serious and severe injuries that can require extensive and ongoing medical treatment. They include:

  • Head Trauma
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Paralysis
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Drowning

According to SwimmingPool.com, to help avoid these injuries make sure to:

  • Teach children to float or swim as soon as possible.
  • Always provide competent adult supervision when the pool is in use.
  • No one should ever swim alone.
  • Caution children against showing off and playing rough and explain the dangers of running and diving recklessly.
  • Never push others into the pool.
  • When using water slides, always go feet first.
  • Before diving or sliding, check to be sure that other swimmers are out of the way.
  • Keep rescue devices and first aid supplies near the pool.
  • Teach children what to do in case of emergency. An alarm bell that could summon help would be a good idea.
  • Keep electrical appliances such as radios out of the pool area because of the hazard of electrical shock.
  • Never swim after drinking alcoholic beverages, eating, or taking medications.

Contact Us Today

If you have been injured in a South Carolina swimming pool accident or someone you love was injured or drowned in a swimming pool, please contact Joe and Martin at (843) 357-8888, or fill out an online form. We understand what a painful time this can be for you and your family, and we want you to know we are always available to help you get through it.

South Carolina personal injury law jargon

Personal Injury Law Jargon You Should Know

While you can leave most of the personal injury law jargon to us, there are a few terms that everyone should know and learn if involved in a personal injury case. Every case is different, but if you know these personal injury law jargon terms, you’ll be ahead of the game.
South Carolina personal injury law jargon

PERSONAL INJURY LAW JARGON

Average Daily Wage (Adw)-The ADW is a calculation of an injured employee’s average daily earnings and is sometimes used to determine entitlement to wage loss benefits following an injury, particularly where the AWW would not be an accurate representation of the employee’s earnings.
Bench trial– A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.
Brief– A written statement submitted in a trial or appellate proceeding that explains one side’s legal and factual arguments.
Burden of Proof– The burden of proof refers to the plaintiff’s obligation to prove his or her allegations to be true — or at least more likely true than not. There are several different thresholds of proof that could apply depending upon the type of case being litigated.
Class Action– An action in which a representative plaintiff sues or a representative defendant is sued on behalf of a class of plaintiffs or defendants who have the same interests in the litigation as their representative and whose rights or liabilities can be more efficiently determined as a group than in a series of individual suits.
Complaint– A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.
Damages– Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct).
Defendant– The party against whom a criminal or civil action is brought.
Gross Negligence– A conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care.
Negligence– Failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a situation.
Plaintiff– The party who institutes a legal action or claim.
Pleadings– Written statements filed with the court that describe a party’s legal or factual assertions about the case.
Prayer For Relief– A prayer for relief is a part of a pleading, and it usually appears at the end of the pleading. It includes a request for specific relief or damages which the pleader deems himself entitled. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. A prayer for relief is also termed as a demand for relief.
Res Ipsa Loquitur- A doctrine or rule of evidence in tort law that permits an inference or presumption that a defendant was negligent in an accident injuring the plaintiff on the basis of circumstantial evidence if the accident was of a kind that does not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence.
Statute of Limitations- A statute of limitations is the time period (set by law) in which you may file suit claiming damages. The statute of limitations can vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances.
Tort – A wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures another and for which the law imposes civil liability.
We hope these definitions will help you to understand some of the common used personal injury law jargon terms you will encounter throughout our site and when working with an attorney.
 

Dog Bite Injury Lawyer South Carolina

Do you know how to prevent dog attacks?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 4.5 million dog attacks and bites occur each year in the United States. Dogs are commonly referred to man’s best friend. Studies have proven to show that dogs provide many benefits to their owners including decreased stress levels and an increase in exercise.
Dog Attack Injury Lawyer South Carolina
Sometimes, man’s best friend isn’t so friendly, and unfortunately, children are most at risk. When a person is attacked by a dog, the injuries can be serious. With the following tips, you can learn how to prevent dog bites.

Basic Safety Tips

  1. Avoid unknown dogs at all times no matter the breed.
  2. Never run from a dog you don’t know.
  3. Don’t yell, hit or make sudden movements toward the dog.
  4. Always ask the owner or handler if you may pet their dog before you do so.
  5. Avoid direct eye contact.
  6. Allow a dog to sniff you before you pet it.
  7. Never encourage your dog to play aggressively.
  8. Don’t let small children play with a dog unsupervised.
  9. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, stand still, speak in a deep, firm voice and stand with the side of your body facing the dog and slowly back away.

If You Are Attacked

  1. Curl into a ball with your head tucked in and your hands over your ears and neck.
  2. Attempt to place something (purse, bag of jacket) between yourself and the dog.
  3. Immediately wash wounds with soap and water.
  4. ALWAYS seek medical attention no matter how severe the wound.
  5. Contact your local animal control agency or police department to report the incident.
  6. If possible, contact the owner of the dog to ensure the animal has an updated shot record.

Dog bites and attacks can be every bit as mentally and emotionally traumatic as they are physically painful and damaging. Negligent dog owners can often be held responsible for any injuries sustained by the victim of a dog bite or attack. At Joe and Martin, we will defend your rights and take every available course of legal action necessary to restore your health and recover fair compensation.
 

Joe and Martin Myrtle Beach Food Poisoning Lawyer

The Dangers of Food Poisoning

Food recalls can be confusing. Just because an item is recalled isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. For example, recently, some Oreos were recalled because their labeling failed to mention they may contain milk. This should be a cause of concern for those with milk allergies, however, for most Americans, consuming those Oreos should be fine. Undeclared allergens have been a popular point of recall for many items this month, including cookies, juices, taco seasoning, and more.
Other recalls, on the other hand, can be caused because of the presence of deadly bacteria in packaged foods. Recently recalled foods include frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, cheese, ice cream, and beef that may possibly be tainted with listeria, hepatitis A, or E. coli.
And that’s just October.
Every couple of days, a new recall is announced. Most don’t make it to the evening news until there are dire consequences.
Joe and Martin Myrtle Beach Food Poisoning Lawyer

Food Poisoning Can Cause Severe Injury

When you think of food poisoning, you probably just think of being sick to your stomach for a few days. And while that’s generally the best case scenario, food poisoning can actually be very dangerous. Depending on the cause of food poisoning, those who eat contaminated foods may be hospitalized with pneumonia, be paralyzed (botulism), or even be killed because of dangerous bacteria or viruses.

Causes of Food Poisoning

Most food poisoning is caused by undercooked food or by poor preparation procedures like failing to wash hands before handling food or leaving food out too long before serving or eating. Food that comes in contact with raw food or that is eaten with dirty or contaminated utensils is also at risk. Food that has been improperly stored or packaged or whose packaging has been damaged may also be contaminated.

The common viruses and bacteria that cause food poisoning include:

Reporting Food Poisoning

If you believe you’ve been affected by food poisoning because of a South Carolina restaurant or from milk, ice cream, or a bottled beverage, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control asks that you make a report on their site. This can help find the cause of a potential outbreak and protect others from becoming sick. The organization also provides information on how to save uneaten food for investigation.

Consulting with a Myrtle Beach Food Poisoning Lawyer

If you’ve been sickened because of someone else’s negligence, speaking with a Myrtle Beach food poisoning lawyer can help you better understand your legal options.
Food poisoning can have severe consequences and may even cause death. Those who sell and distribute food products have a unique responsibility to provide the public with items that are safe for consumption. When poor handling or tampering results in contamination, they should be held liable.
If a bout of food poisoning has forced you to incur medical debt or has otherwise injured you, consult with a Myrtle Beach food poisoning lawyer. We can help you discover who is liable for your foodborne illness and help you seek compensation.

Joe and Martin Myrtle Beach Product Liability Lawyer

Product Liability Law in South Carolina

It feels like every day there’s a new recall for a product, from baby carriers to kale and car tires to toys.
Joe and Martin Myrtle Beach Product Liability Lawyer
While some wilted lettuce may not seem like a big deal, product defects can have devastating consequences. Peanut butter laced with salmonella and unsafe baby carriers can harm us and the ones we love. Product recalls generally occur when manufacturers or sellers realize they have a defective product and need to remove it from use. Unfortunately, sometimes this happens too late and consumers are injured before a product is recalled.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability laws protect U.S. consumers from faulty products that may be dangerous. Essentially, it holds the seller, designer, or manufacturer of a defective product responsible or liable for injuries resulting from normal use of the product. The belief is that sellers and manufacturers have a duty to the consumer to provide a safe product. When they negligently or recklessly provide unsafe products that cause harm, consumers have legal recourse to hold them responsible.
Product liability law is part of personal injury law. These laws are not federal laws, but state laws and can vary state by state, so it’s important to speak to a Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer rather than relying on information online that may not be accurate.

Who is Responsible For a Faulty Product?

A defect can originate in different ways. Your Myrtle Beach defective product lawyer can help determine where the defect originated and who should be held responsible.
Product liability falls into three categories: design, manufacturing, and marketing.
A design defect occurs when a product has a flaw within the design itself. For example, if an engineer used the wrong measurements or called for use of an unsafe material.
A manufacturing defect occurs when a mistake is made during the manufacturing of a product or when substandard materials are used to save costs.
A marketing defect is when a company fails to foresee injury and does not provide adequate warnings or advice on how to use a product. Products must be properly labeled.
When retailers sell an item knowing that it may be defective, they can be held responsible. However, if a consumer continues to use a product, knowing it is defective and that it may harm them, they may lose the ability to seek compensation for injuries, according to South Carolina law.
If you’ve been injured by a product, stop use immediately and call a Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer. It is important to keep the defective product and not alter it in any way.

Consulting with a Myrtle Beach Product Liability Lawyer

If you’ve been injured because of a defective product, you should speak with a Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer.
A reputable Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer can investigate your claim to determine who is liable for your injuries and begin legal action against them.
Defective products can lead to serious injuries like burns, broken bones, and even death. In order to prove your claim, it is important to keep the defective product in its original condition and to speak with a Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer as soon as possible.
When you purchase something, you have the expectation that it will work as described and that you will not be injured within the normal course of use. When that expectation is broken, a Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer can help you fight for compensation.
Speak to a Myrtle Beach product liability lawyer today to learn whether you have a claim.

Joe and Martin Myrtle Beach Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

Amusement Park Accident Statistics and Safety Info

After the recent accident at Dreamworld theme park in Australia and the spat of amusement park accidents that struck the United States this summer, we thought it was important to share some information about the frequency of amusement park accidents and why you can do if you’re injured at an amusement park.
Joe and Martin Myrtle Beach Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

Amusement Park Accident Statistics

For the most part, amusement park rides are generally safe. Most owners and operators abide by safety laws and regularly have their rides inspected. Staff is properly trained on ride operation and safety issues.
This past summer, however, it seemed like multiple people were injured or killed in amusement park accidents. A young boy died on a waterslide in Kansas. Another was killed by an alligator at Disneyworld. Three girls fell from a Ferris wheel in Tennessee and a toddler was tossed from a roller coaster in Pennsylvania. This is the kind of news that makes a parent’s heart skip a beat. Amusement parks are supposed to be a fun diversion, a great way to celebrate life events or hang out together as a family.
CNN reports that in 2014, there were 111 serious accidents at amusement parks. According to Amusement Safety Organization, there were over 1,500 significant injuries reported at amusement parks across the nation.
Finding information about these injuries and accidents can be difficult. Statistics are not widely available and reports by the National Safety Council rely on surveys.
With over 330 million people visiting amusement parks yearly, how can we ensure we stay safe and have an enjoyable time?

Safety Precautions for Amusement Parks

Part of safely enjoying amusement park rides and diversion is being aware of your own health. Many reported injuries involve back and neck injuries. If you are prone to back pain or have previously suffered back or neck injuries, it is wise to abstain from rides that may aggravate those injuries.
Most rides provide potential riders with a disclaimer if they may cause harm to particular groups. For example, rollercoasters advise those with heart conditions or who are pregnant to skip the ride. If you know that the jerky motion of a rollercoaster is likely to bother your neck, consider skipping it and opting for a slower, smoother ride.
Most rides also provide information on the height and weight requirements to safely enjoy a ride. Don’t just take their word for it, however. If you notice that your child does not look properly secured in a seat, for example, if the harness is loose, tighten it if possible or abstain from that ride. While amusement parks work hard to provide height and weight regulations aimed at keeping riders safe, we must ultimately judge for ourselves whether our children are responsible enough and large enough to go on certain rides. Some children may be tall enough, but too thin to be properly restrained. Others may have difficulty remaining buckled thanks to curiosity. Set limits based on your knowledge of your family.

Consulting with a Myrtle Beach Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured at an amusement park, you may want to consider speaking with a Myrtle Beach amusement park accident lawyer.
Individuals who have sustained injuries due to an owner or operator’s negligence or recklessness have legal recourse under personal injury law. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured because of an amusement park accident, a skilled Myrtle Beach amusement park accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries.
A Myrtle Beach amusement park accident lawyer can help investigate whether the amusement park was at fault (liable) for your accident and assist you with seeking damages to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our amusement parks have a responsibility to provide a safe environment. When they don’t, they should be held responsible. Don’t get stuck with the bill for an amusement park accident. Speak to a Myrtle Beach amusement park accident lawyer today.