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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.

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!).

Selfie Photo

Selfies, Statuses, and How Social Media Can Undercut Your Personal Injury Claim

Some pieces off advice bear repeating again and again… and again. One of them is about being careful about what you post on social media. This guidance typically gets brought up as it relates to job hunting or family matters, but it’s just as paramount in personal injury cases.
It’s important to understand that if there is evidence that undermines your personal injury claim — it can be and very likely will be used against you. That’s why a status update, message to friends, and even selfies need to be submitted with absolute scrutiny so that insurance companies or defense attorneys don’t use them to their advantage.
In the case of personal injury, it’s typical to file claims asking for compensation for medical bills or for the suffering caused by the physical injury. Social media can threaten these claims. For instance, imagine you’ve filed a claim for a serious injury caused to you because of being rear-ended in your car. A posted photo of you at the beach can be taken out of context to show you are faking your injury. This is exactly the sort of evidence that may sway a jury’s opinion — leaving you without compensation for medical bills, inconveniences caused by pain, and psychological distress.
Many people believe they have a greater entitlement to privacy than they do. The hard truth is, just about anything you send, submit, post, or share is up for grabs to create a defense against you. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will use whatever they can to poke holes in your claim. Just because your messages to your friends are private to you, doesn’t mean it can’t be used against you.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken after a personal injury accident. We suggest converting all social media accounts to private to at least narrow down the audience of who sees what you share. Second, examine very, very carefully what you decide to post before you post it. Does it insinuate you’re healthy and happy, despite making a personal injury claim arguing you’re not? Then don’t post it. The same goes with your family and friends. Kindly ask them to refrain from positing about you for the time being. It’s not easy removing ourselves from the social media sphere temporarily, but respecting the process of winning a personal injury claim is well worth it in the end.

Construction Accidents

Workers’ Compensation: How your work can work for you

Accidents can happen anywhere, even the places we feel safest. One of our safe places is the workplace, but injuries happen there too and they can be life-altering. If you’ve been injured in your workplace, ensure your rights are protected by reaching out to Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys.
Because injuries and even fatalities can happen at work, employers offer workers’ compensation to help injured employees on the job. It’s important to understand what the general benefits of workers’ compensation are in case you’ve been injured.
Compensation for medical bills:
Workers’ compensation covers doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, surgeries, and various other hospital needs up to a certain amount.
Vocational rehabilitation:
Vocation rehabilitation is a process that helps people with injuries, disabilities, or impairments to overcome difficulties with work due to injury.
Disability benefits:
Compensation given in case your accident caused permanent impairment.
Compensation for lost pay:
Supplemental pay that is given to you at 2/3 of your wage rate for the time you were unable to work due to your injury.
Workers may have a third-party claim they can bring against other individuals or products that are responsible to the accident.
These complexities evidence the importance of having competent legal representation if you’ve been injured on the job. If you’ve been hurt at work, reach out to us so we can make sure you are being treated fairly.

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.

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!

Fourth of July Firework Injuries

Stay Safe on the Road this Fourth of July

Over the Fourth of July holiday, many drivers will be traveling to spend time with family and friends and watch the fireworks. Holidays are the most dangerous times to be on the road according to the National Safety Council, and while most people will be celebrating, careless drivers are more reckless making it hard to avoid getting in a serious accident.
Fourth of July Firework Injuries
Here are four tips to stay safe on the road this Fourth of July:
1. Driving while intoxicated.
Alcohol-impaired driving crashes accounts for nearly one-third of all traffic related deaths in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 10,000 people were killed in 2015 as a result. Avoid putting yourself and others at risk by not driving after you are intoxicated. If you plan on celebrating with alcohol, always make sure to have a designated sober driver who will take you home, or find another method of transportation such as an Uber, Lyft, Murrells Inlet Taxi Cab or public transit.
2. Drive defensively.
Be cautious that other drivers may not have avoided driving under the influence.  If you’re driving to or from Fourth of July festivities, always practice defensive driving techniques to give yourself ample time to react to hazardous drivers.
3. Buckle up.
This is the most basic rule when you get into a car, but it is also the most important. Wearing a seat belt can save not only your life, but also your passengers. Without exception, you should ALWAYS buckle up when you are in a moving vehicle. Encourage all passengers to wear one as well.
4. Allow additional travel time.
With many people out on the road for the Fourth of July holiday, there will likely be more traffic on the road, increasing travel times. If you’re planning on getting out of town for the weekend, make sure to account for the extra time it may take you to get somewhere. You don’t want to find yourself behind schedule and feeling like you need to speed. Make sure to plan ahead and obey the speed limits.
For a FREE consultation, contact Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys today.

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.

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.

Top 5 Distractions While Driving

April is National Distracted Driving month. This is an important time to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road for only two seconds can double your risk of being in a crash. The media usually focuses on helping to avoid texting and driving, and while the use of phones is the leading cause of distracted driving accidents, there are other distractions that commonly happen while driving. .

Below are five common distractions that happen while driving and ways to help avoid them.

  • Cell Phones. Cell phones are the leading cause of distracted driving. According to a study conducted by the University of Utah, using a cell phone while driving (even if it’s hands free) creates the same delayed reactions as a person with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent (the legal limit). Take the pledge to never text and drive, or download one of these recommended apps to deter you from using your cell phone in the car.

 

  • Car Stereos. Adjusting the radio is a common task while driving. To avoid distraction and a accident, create preset stations or change your music options while you’re stopped.No matter how you are interacting with passengers, this cognitive distraction is very dangerous in a car. Whether it’s turning around to talk to your kids or looking at the person sitting in your passenger seat, talking to passengers is one of the leading distractions. You can join in on the conversation, but keep your eyes on the road.

 

  • GPS Devices. Though these are helpful when navigating drivers to their destination, GPS devices can present a major distraction, that some have even compared to as dangerous as using your cell phone. Because GPS devices require the same type of visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver as sending a text message, they’re just as dangerous. Some vehicles won’t allow you to use the navigation system while driving. To be even safer, you can set your destination before you leave.

 

  • Eating or Drinking. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that eating while driving increases the likelihood of crashes by 80 percent. When eating or drinking, many drivers divert their eyes away from the road or remove their hands from the wheel.

These five distractions are some of the most common, but not the only instances of distracted driving. Other examples include smoking, grooming, dropping something or even reading a newspaper or book. At the end of the day, remember to stay focused when driving by eliminating any unnecessary distractions.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe & Martin today for help.