Posts

Types Of Injuries

Under the law, a personal injury is any harm that you, as an individual, sustains including physical injuries, financial costs and emotional trauma. Injuries can also be personal losses such as losing the care and companionship of a loved one.

As you work to resolve your claim, you may hear insurance adjusters, lawyers and doctors talk about different degrees of injuries. You may hear injuries described as minor, moderate, severe or catastrophic.

Minor and Moderate Injuries

Minor or moderate injuries can be injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, bruising or superficial cuts. These may be painful, but they usually heal well and quickly with minimal medical treatment.

Soft Tissue Injuries

You may also hear insurance adjusters refer to “soft tissue injuries.” Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the non-bony parts of the body such as internal organs, nerves, muscles and connective tissues. Sprains, whiplash and pulled muscles are all types of soft tissue injuries. Some soft tissue injuries can result in chronic pain and disability, which can be permanent if not treated properly. Typically, it is harder to recover substantial compensation in these types of cases compared to the cases involving serious or catastrophic injuries.

Catastrophic Injuries

A catastrophic injury is a serious injury that is expected to permanently change the victim’s life. Examples of this type of injury include burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and certain head injuries. These types of injuries result in the most significant settlements and verdicts because the injuries can be proven objectively and are more obvious to the insurance company and/or the jurors.

Although catastrophic injuries are immediately obvious in most cases, sometimes the full extent of the injury is not immediately revealed. This is especially true when the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, which may also be called a closed head injury. In some cases, the brain may be affected in ways so subtle that only people close to the victim notice changes in his or her abilities, behavior or personality. A concussion is the mildest form of brain injury, but more serious brain injuries leave their victims permanently disabled.

If you’ve been injured in any accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call Joe and Martin at (843) 357-8888 to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE, comprehensive case evaluation.

The 4 Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injurie

We wanted to touch on the seriousness of motorcycle accident injuries and how to rectify an accident of this intensity should it happen to you. Because of the lack of protection that motorcycles offer compared to standard vehicles, accident injuries are typically more severe.

Head Injuries

At this point, most states have passed laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets to limit the number of head injuries seen on the road annually, but there are always those audacious enough to not heed the law and crank up their bike without the proper protection. We cannot advise against this enough. Head injuries are one of the most severe because they can have life-long consequences like traumatic brain injury. These injuries require years of recuperation where the patient must relearn to speak, walk, feed themselves, or use the facilities. Sometimes even these basic tasks cannot be relearned.

Road Rash

Road rash occurs when the biker’s skin is dragged along road surfaces during an accident. Because of friction, external layers of skin are rubbed off which results in abrasions, cuts, and bruises along any exposed part of the body. Depending on how much protective (typically leather) gear the biker is wearing at the time of the incident, road rash can range in severity from light burns to deep scarring.

Spinal Injuries

The spine is an incredibly sensitive part of the body— one that is especially exposed to trauma during a motorcycle accident. Accidents can lend themselves to inflicting minor injuries to discs and soft tissue to causing life-long paralysis. Paralysis involves the loss of control of motor functions of the neck down, waist down, or for certain limbs that can’t always be rehabilitated. Those who experience spinal injuries such as these can require long-term care at assisted living facilities.

Broken Bones

Most common of all is the broken bone. It’s easy to break bones if you’re slung off your bike at high speeds. Because bikes don’t have airbags or seatbelts to keep you in place at the time of a collision, your body is forced to leave the bike. Because there’s nothing to absorb the impact, bikers are often inflicted with severely shattered or broken bones which can potentially tear through neighboring tissue and organs.

If you or a loved one has suffered an 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Construction Accidents

Most Common Types of Construction Accidents

The Four Most Common Types of Construction Accidents

Let’s be honest: Construction is a dangerous industry. And we’re so thankful to those individuals who risk their safety day in and day to help build the beautiful homes we live in and the places we enjoy visiting. It’s a hard job that requires fortitude, skill, and know-how. Unfortunately, as mentioned, it’s a dangerous job—one that accounted for 23% of worksite fatalities in South Carolina in 2014. Across the country, construction site accidents were responsible for 20% of worksite fatalities in 2014. Of those 874 construction worker deaths, 58.1% were caused by the four most common types of construction accidents.

Construction AccidentsWho’s Responsible for a Construction Accident?

Construction accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Who’s at fault will depend on whether faulty equipment, a dangerous worksite, poorly trained co-workers, or poor conditions were involved.

South Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you determine who was at fault for your accident and whether you have a strong claim to move forward. Whether a malfunctioning crane or a poor-quality scaffolding caused your accident, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate your options.

Four Most Common Types of Construction Accidents

These four types of construction accidents were nicknamed by OSHA as the “fatal four” in their commonly used statistics. Reducing these types of accidents could save over 500 lives nationwide. OSHA works hard to inform employers and employees about these risks and inspects worksites for safety. They continue to find failures nationwide.

Falls

The biggest cause of death on construction sites were falls. In 2014, 349 construction workers across the United States died on the job because of a fall. That’s 39.9% of all construction fatalities. Falls may be due to shaky scaffolding, slippery conditions, or path obstructions.

Electrocutions

Electrocution can be caused by poor wiring, unsafe work conditions, shoddy training, and defective tools and is responsible for 8.5% of all construction site fatalities.

Struck by object

An object dropped by someone else, falling from a crane or other piece of equipment, or falling because of improper hanging can injure or kill a worker or pedestrian. Of the 874 construction fatalities in 2014, 8.4% were caused by an object striking a worker.

Caught-in/between

Getting stuck between machinery, debris, and other large objects is another construction hazard and is the fourth biggest cause of death on construction sites, accounting for 1.4% of all construction site fatalities in 2014.

A South Carolina Construction Accident Lawyer Can Help You

You should not be held responsible for the mountains of medical bills that can accompany a workplace accident. If you are injured while doing your job and your employer is not compensating you to cover your medical bills or if you believe your employer may have been at fault for your accident, it’s important to consult with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

Because of the dangerous nature of construction work, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has devoted an entire website to the construction industry. Much of the burden of compliance with OSHA standards is on employers, however, manufacturers of faulty equipment also bear responsibility for harmful or malfunctioning products. A skilled South Carolina personal injury lawyer who is well versed in construction accident law can help explain the OSHA requirements and help you decide how to move forward.

Your life was changed after helping provide new space for your fellow citizens—but you don’t have to face it alone. Call a South Carolina personal injury lawyer today and start planning for tomorrow.