Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What to Know About Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits protect and provide for people who are injured on the job. These benefits can be temporary and can also lead to permanent disability benefits should an injury be long-term. Before getting involved in a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to know some essentials.

No Fault

The term “no fault” is used to describe workers’ compensation cases. This means it is irrelevant how you sustained an injury. If you are injured on the job, even by your own carelessness, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The only thing that would disqualify you is
deliberately hurting yourself. South Carolina is a “no fault” state when it comes to workers’ compensation.

Reporting Injuries

In the event that you are injured at work, the first step to receiving workers’ compensation is to report the incident right away. This means providing written notice of the incident to your superior. Make a copy of that report and keep one for your own records as well. The longer you wait, the tougher it may be to receive benefits.

Payouts

An employer who is negligent will not be required to pay more because of that negligence as it does not have varying degrees. And there may be more forms of payouts than people realize. For example, medical-related visits that exceed ten miles in distance require reimbursement for travel expenses. There are a lot of nuances that go along with workers’ compensation benefits.

Investigations

Insurance companies will usually investigate claims and may even rely on surveillance footage to verify the claim is legitimate. They may also interview other employees, which makes it important to be entirely forthright when filing a claim.

Medical Providers

After reporting a work-related injury, your employer should provide with a list of medical providers you can seek. These providers are supposed to be covered by company insurance and will not require you to pay out of pocket. However, you are free to get a second opinion or see your doctor of choice. But companies are required to have a list of providers on hand.

Denied Claims

It is not uncommon for a company to deny workers’ compensation claim. But that does not signify the end. You may then hire a workers’ compensation attorney to file a legal claim which will ultimately be decided on by a judge. These claims generally take anywhere from four months to a year to settle.



If you were injured on the job, learn more about what you are entitled to receive from a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at LEIP Law.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

An attorney on your side means you do not have to fight insurance companies alone

 Insurance companies are in the business of paying out claims to people who suffer some sort of injury or condition. However, insurance companies have a certain way of doing things so that it always winds up being more advantageous for them. As a claimant, there is a way to fight back and that involves hiring an attorney to help you deal with the insurance company.

Your interests matter

When you hire a lawyer for any kind of claim or lawsuit, that lawyer has your best interest in mind. An insurance company, on the other hand, is looking to pay you the least amount of money as possible. Insurance companies are in the business of making money for their own company. As much as it may seem that they are on your side, that is rarely the case. Hiring an attorney is an important part of going through the claims process as it will really put someone on your side.

Advice that can help you

There is a certain protocol to follow after sustaining an injury. For example, an auto accident requires you to make several decisions in a short amount of time. This involves providing a police statement, collecting evidence and more. An auto accident lawyer knows every step to take and will advise you on that protocol. That could be the difference in a larger payout.

Quicker results

Claimants who hire an attorney usually see the process move a lot quicker than it would if they were handling things on their own. Accidents tend to result in sizable bills that are required to be paid sooner rather than later. Expediting the claims process is an advantage that comes with hiring a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies may try to stall and an attorney will know how to counter those tactics.

Experience

Most personal injury lawyers have a previous history of dealing with certain insurance companies. This provides a distinct advantage because they are familiar with the way each company handles claims. Information of this nature can help project how a claim will play out. Based on experience, your lawyer may know the right time to settle and, more importantly, the right time to demand a higher payout.

When you suffer any kind of personal injury or are involved in an auto accident, contact the experienced team at LEIP Law. We can provide you with a personal injury lawyer in Columbia SC that is truly on your side and looking out for your best interests.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Texting and Driving Auto Accidents Becoming a Common Lawsuit


Male driver texting, female passenger beside him

The traditional method of handling an insurance claim because of an auto accident has recently been challenged with such a high number of texting and driving incidents occurring on a daily basis. If you were in an accident that was caused by another driver who was texting, you may be eligible to receive more than a typical insurance claim would pay out.

To compensate for a lack of payout from an ordinary claim, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. This means that a driver’s negligence would be determined as the cause of an accident and that stems from the act of texting while driving. Proving negligence may sometimes be difficult, although a qualified auto accident lawyer will know how to steer the lawsuit. There are also several reasons why texting and driving is considered highly dangerous and could award plaintiffs a handsome payout. Those reasons are as follows:

•    Sending a text while driving keeps a driver’s eyes off the road for about 100 yards
•    Texting and driving upgrades the likelihood of an accident by 23 times
•    Drivers who text are more likely to cause an accident when compared to drunk drivers
•    Texting and driving slows down a driver’s brake reaction time by 20%

Almost one-fourth of all accidents are now caused by texting and driving. Some are minor accidents while others could result in lifelong disabilities and even catastrophic circumstances. While teenagers are more likely to text and drive, there are no age exemptions.

Texting while driving is illegal in 47 states with restrictions in two other states, leaving Montana as the only state where it is legal. It is considered a form of negligence as it automatically puts all other drivers in a dangerous situation. Drivers are responsible to be on the lookout for the safety of other drivers. This is legally defined as a duty of care.

Negligence will also cause the guilty party to be liable for damages incurred by victims. That means those who are affected by the accident are likely to be awarded compensation. It could amount to a rather large payout as courts have shown a lack of leniency towards those who text and drive.

It is important to seek out a qualified personal injury lawyer Columbia that will be able to prove that kind of negligence. Contact the legal team at LEIP Law for texting and driving auto accidents in Columbia, SC.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

How to Choose a Nursing Home That Does Not Practice Negligence

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a very emotional time for families. However, it is also a time to do your due diligence. The reality is that new nursing home negligence lawsuits emerge every day and here is what to look for when considering a nursing home.

Daily Assistance

Just about every resident in a nursing home requires some form of assistance in the course of their everyday lives. This means there are standards that need to be met and that involves proper staffing. One thing to look for in a nursing home is its staffing and how many service members are present during a shift. A nursing home that is short on staff is likely going to be short on care. That in itself is a form of negligence.

Adequate Training

A nursing home with a large staff is not going to guarantee quality care. That is why it’s important to be certain that a staff is equipped to deal with all types of situations with the help of adequate training. A staff needs to not only know how to properly respond to emergencies but, there should also be protocol when a resident incurs an injury or becomes frustrated. Staff attempting to physically handle patients without first obtaining the proper training is a not too uncommon cause of nursing home injuries. The nursing home is obligated to care for the resident without inflicting any hurt or stress.

Hiring Protocol

Not just anyone should be entrusted with caring for seniors in a nursing home. The hiring process should require background checks. Nursing homes should take things one step further and have a policy for how complaints are handled. Monitoring staff members is integral to the performance of a staff and without it, nursing homes have a greater chance of opening the door for various forms of negligence.

Prior Claims

If a nursing home has been accused of negligence, there is going to be evidence. Take the time to look around the Internet for any reviews. It also helps to find out if there are any pending lawsuits against the nursing home. Any outstanding claims are usually red flags that indicate you should keep searching.

Nursing home negligence is more than just ignoring a resident It is essentially putting them in danger and living up to a standard of care. If you have a loved one who has fallen victim to nursing home negligence in Columbia, SC, contact the legal team at Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens today.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Popular Myths About Social Security Disability Benefits

Those are entitled to receive social security benefits may have a tendency to worry over how their individual situations will play out. It is first important to not get caught up in listening to anyone who is not a qualified social security attorney. There are a lot of myths circulating about receiving social security disability benefits and here are some of the more popular ones.

Myth: All claims get denied on the first attempt.

This is simply not true. The cases are separated into separate categories, which include mental, physical or a combination of both. Each case is unique and when there is a condition involved, there is an urgency to settle the matter and get the required assistance. That has enabled claims to get settled on the first attempt.

Myth: Doctors determine disability benefits.

Doctors can offer reports and recommendations on a person’s physical condition, although they are not the ones whose word determines whether someone gets disability benefits. There is a process that typically requires the presentation of medical reports and results, although a doctor has no say in the final decision.

Myth: You have to appear disabled to get benefits.

Not all disabilities have to be noticeable. Some people suffer from chronic pain which is not accompanied by any brace, crutches or wheelchair. There are also mental conditions that lead to disabilities, which have no physical signs. Just because you have a disability does not mean you have to appear disabled to get social security benefits Columbia SC.

Myth: Alcoholics and drug users cannot get disability benefits.

Social security disability benefits are granted in cases that show an alcohol or drug problem has nothing to do with a person’s disability. These can sometimes be coping mechanisms for people suffering from mental and physical disabilities. Having an issue with drugs or alcohol will not automatically disqualify a claimant.

Myth: Social security cases lag on for years.

Some social security disability cases have a tendency to drag on, but that is not a staple for all cases. When the first application is denied the appeal process can extend well beyond a year. But, in cases where a claimant has a deteriorating medical condition, the case can actually get pushed up. Some cases can be settled in just a few months as there is no standard time frame.

The most important part of working your way towards getting benefits is to hire an attorney. Contact LEIP Law for a social security disability benefits lawyer in Columbia, SC.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home

Sexual abuse against the elderly seems unfathomable to many people, but the sad reality is that this exists all across the country. Elderly people are more defenseless and can be preyed upon by nursing home staff members.

Most assaults occur during nighttime hours and many go unreported. There can also be difficulty when reporting these instances, since some elderly patients may have issues with cognitive impairment. Still, it is important to look out for the following warning signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home.

Fear and anxiety

Residents who are being abused sexual can display different behaviors. For example, some victims may become withdrawn and depressed while others could become paranoid. This could also include anxiety in the presence of others and is a tell-tale sign something is amiss.

Health issues

A sudden infection or sexually transmitted disease is a strong warning sign of sexual abuse. Sudden injuries that are coupled with random or vague explanations are also warning signs as health issues that are a result of sexual abuse can present themselves in a variety of forms.

Visible signs

Bruises, welts and scratches that are without explanation are one of the most obvious ways to identify sexual abuse. This also applies to their clothing as rips and tears should be investigated. And any presence of blood should always warrant an inquiry into the cause as it may be evidence of nursing home injuries.

Behavioral changes

Seniors who suddenly stop participating in weekly events do not do so without reason. In many instances, residents relish these kinds of events. It is also a good idea to look for a loss of appetite in otherwise healthy residents. Unexplained changes in behavior may be an attempt to conceal a more serious problem.

Potential abusers

While the profile of sexual abusers does not have to fit into one classification, there are some common characteristics. It is common for perpetrators to be socially withdrawn, possess anger issues or have a criminal history. Certain staff members may fit that profile.

Deterioration of health

Sexual abuse can lead to malnutrition, dehydration as well as the onset of mental illness. Some victims may also start to let their hygiene quickly deteriorate. A sudden decrease should be reviewed by the nursing home staff and a failure to do so can be construed as a form of neglect.

If you suspect nursing home sexual abuse in Columbia, SC, then it’s time to contact Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell and Owens. Let us help bring justice to your loved one.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Distracted Driving: What You Need to Know

LEIP Law


Today, distracted drivers are hitting the roads more than ever thanks to the rise in technology and cell phone use. Unfortunately, this spike is also causing a rise in automobile collisions.

If you were hit and injured by a driver who is distracted, you may be able to recover your damages with the help of a personal injury attorney. In your recovery efforts, however, you must prove that the driver was distracted.  Here are a few things you should know about distracted driving.

What Qualifies as Distracted Driving?

Car accidents occur when a driver is careless, reckless, or negligent behind the wheel. An obvious distraction is cell phone use, whether it is texting, talking on the phone, or checking social media. Cell phones aren’t the only means of distraction, as one may easily take their eyes off the road when eating, reading, fixing their hair or makeup, talking to passengers, or adjusting the radio.

How To Prove the Other Driver Was Distracted

Proof is essential and required in all cases, and it is just as important when proving the driver who hit you was distracted at the time. Proving a distraction may be difficult in some cases, but here are a few tips to help support your claim.

Evidence
If you are able, start gathering evidence at the scene of the wreck. Take some pictures of the scene, where the vehicles are situated, tires marks, or other notable scenes from the collision. Also, try to notice whether the other driver was eating or attempting to put on makeup before the wreck.

Witnesses
Eye witnesses to a collision are incredibly beneficial in determining what happened during a car wreck. Take note of the individuals at the scene who may have witnessed the event, and ask for their names and phone numbers.

If businesses are located near the scene, check with them to see if they have surveillance footage covering the roadway. Those businesses may also have employees that witnessed the collision.

Whether it is texting and driving or looking down to grab a sandwich, distracted driving places others in serious danger. If you need help after being injured by a distracted driver, please contact LEIP Law.

Friday, February 8, 2019

When to Hold a Hospital Liable for Your Medical Malpractice


If you suffer medical malpractice injuries in a hospital setting, you may be able to hold the hospital or the individual who caused your injury liable for your damages - and in some cases, both groups can be liable. Here are some of the cases in which the hospital might not escape liability.

Hospital Employs Unqualified Staff
The hospital is responsible for the credentials and qualifications of the staff it hires. A hospital that hires unqualified staff is liable for the injuries the staff might cause. The liability of the hospital is even more likely if an unqualified employee causes an injury that a qualified employee might not have caused.

Consider an example where a surgeon makes a surgical mistake during a transplant operation because the surgeon is not qualified for the specific transplant surgery. If the surgeon is an employee of the hospital, then both the surgeon and the hospital may have to pay for your injuries.

Hospital Accepts Unqualified Independent Contractors
Hospitals do not always employ doctors; many hospitals have arrangements with the doctors that let the doctors operate as independent contractors. In such cases, the hospitals are not always liable for the mistakes that the independent contractors might cause. However, a hospital that lets an unqualified contractor use its facilities is liable for the injuries the doctor might cause.

For example, a hospital may fail in due diligence and allow an unlicensed doctor to work as an independent contractor. In such a case, you may hold the hospital liable for your injuries based on the hospital's inability to vet the doctor properly.

Hospital Provides Few Nurses
Nurses provide critical services, and hospitals must ensure that they have a sufficient number of nurses at any time. Otherwise, some patients might not get the care need and incur medical complications. In such a case, the hospital's inability to provide adequate nurses will make it liable for the medical malpractice.

Take an example where a patient fails to get the necessary drugs because a hospital doesn't have enough nurses. If the patient suffers medical complications due to lack of drugs, the patient may have a case against the hospital for medical malpractice.

Hospital Employee Fails to Follow Orders
If a hospital's employee fails to follow orders - and the failure leads to medical injuries - you may be able to claim damages. A good example is a nurse aid that doesn't follow the instructions of a nurse or a nurse who doesn't follow the instructions of an independent doctor.

For example, an independent doctor may instruct a nurse to give you certain medication, but the nurse accidentally gives you the wrong dosage. Depending on the circumstances, you may hold the doctor, hospital, or nurse liable for your injuries.

Hospital Employee Is Negligent
Lastly, the hospital should also pay for your damages if one of its employee's negligence leads to your injuries. In this case, you can use the principle of respondeat superior to claim damages from the hospital. Respondeat superior is a legal principle that makes employers liable for the damages that their employees may cause.

Respondeat superior applies as long as:
  • The employee caused your injury while they were on the clock.
  • The negligent act is part of the employee's duties.
  • The employer benefited from the employee's activities at the time of the injury.
As the plaintiff, the responsibility is on you to prove the above elements and hold the hospital liable for your damages.

You have a limited amount of time to file your medical malpractice case, so you need to move fast. Contact Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens to review your case and help you chart the way forward. We will help you get compensation - whether from the hospital or an individual medical practitioner.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Release of Responsibility: What You Should Know Before You Sign

If you get hurt in an accident due to negligence of another party, you have the option to sue for compensation of your damages. Throughout the process of your case, you will be signing multiple documents. One of those important documents includes a release of the at-fault party and the insurance company from additional responsibility for your injuries.

This document means if you reach a settlement with the party at fault and the party's insurance company, you agree not to bring additional claims against either in the future for this particular instance. Additional important information spelling out the details of the settlement will also appear in the release. The following are some details and stipulations in the release of responsibility.

The Amount of the Settlement

One important part on a release is the amount of the settlement. The settlement includes the total you will receive for your injuries, damages, and losses due to the accident caused by the negligent party.

The Release of Claims

Once you sign the agreement, you release the faulty party and any other involved parties from additional liability for your claim against them. You essentially say you will not make any further claims against anyone listed in the release. You cannot ask for more monetary compensation related to your claim.

The Agreement to Indemnify and Hold the Defendant Harmless

Another section of the release states that you will not hold the faulty party responsible for claims of any sort. This includes anyone who claims an interest to any portion of the proceeds in exchange for the release.

Specifically, this includes liens on health insurance or healthcare, subrogation claims, government liens, claims of medical support assistance, or other third-party claims on the settlement in exchange for the release.

The Confidentiality Clause

When you sign a release, you are not allowed to disclose certain details of the case, including:
  • The existence of your release
  • Any terms on your negotiations within the release
  • The amount you receive as a settlement

If any other third party attempts to gain information regarding your release, you have to inform the requesting party about the confidentiality of the agreement.

However, there are some exceptions to whom you can speak to regarding your settlement. For instance, you may speak to an accountant or financial advisor when the discussion surrounds how to manage the settlement.

The Legal Fees and Release Enforcement

Some release agreements will include any legal costs associated with the enforcement of any provisions held within the release. The party who wins the legal action is entitled to his or her attorney's fees and legal expenses.

The Tax Implications

The release also states you are responsible for local, state, and federal tax liability regarding payments made to you under the release. Many attorneys recommend that you speak to your accountant or financial advisor to ensure you settle your tax obligations properly.

The Jury Waiver and Court Approval

Finally, your signature on the release states you agree to waive the right to a jury trial for your claim should the agreement need further litigation. In some cases, the release is not effective unless a court order approving your settlement is ordered and the lawsuit is dismissed permanently.

Going through a lawsuit for your personal injury is a long and complex process requiring a lot of important documentation. Do not attempt to negotiate a personal injury claim on your own. You need a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney on your side to help you. Please contact us at Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens for assistance. We'll be happy to help you on your case.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Compensation for Car Accidents in Poor Weather Conditions


Car accidents happen for many reasons. While accidents can happen on the sunniest of days, bad weather increases the likelihood of accidents. Weather conditions play a large part in many accidents, so determining who is at fault can sometimes be challenging.

Why Do Insurance Companies Deny Claims for Bad Weather Accidents?
Recovering compensation for your damages due to bad weather, or even good weather, requires proof of the other driver acting negligently in causing the accident. You also must prove your injuries and damages to personal property were the result of the other driver's negligence.

Proving negligence in a car accident caused by bad weather may present a challenge to claims. Insurance companies may blame the weather for causing the accident, instead of their insured driver. An attorney will start your case by investigating the accident thoroughly, including what role, if any, the weather played to take on the possible challenges presented by the bad weather.

What Is a Driver’s Responsibility on the Roadway?
Drivers must always operate their vehicle with care, keep their vehicle under proper control, and maintain the vehicle so it is safe for the road. To prove negligence of the other driver in an accident in bad weather, you must show that they failed to uphold this responsibility.

Operating a vehicle in bad weather requires an even higher expectation for a driver’s responsibilities. For instance, when rain limits your visibility and causes the water to pool on the roads, the driver remains responsible to keep their vehicle under proper control and to pay even more attention.

Drivers also have a duty to obey speed limits accordingly. Speed limits are designed for ideal road conditions, not the poor conditions caused by bad weather. When a driver is traveling too fast in wet conditions and loses control of the vehicle during bad weather, the driver could be responsible.

What Other Ways Could a Driver Be Negligent?
In addition those ordinary responsibilities, the driver should also use headlights so they are visible to other drivers, beware of hazards created by a storm, and have working windshield wipers to clearly see the roadway.

If you need assistance with a car accident claim, please contact us at Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens. Our firm focuses on those who need assistance with car accidents and personal injuries. Please give us a call with any questions or concerns you have about your claim.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why You Should Pursue Legal Action After a Car Accident


It's official, I have a blog and I know how to use it.

I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I'm super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.

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