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ARCHIVES: June 2018

Lockout/Tagout Errors

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on workplace lockout/tagout errors. Lockout/tagout was once again listed on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) top 10 list of most frequently cited standards. Lockout/tagout procedures are controlled by OSHA regulations, which address the proper measures for controlling hazardous energies, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal energies. It is extremely important for employers and workers to follow the critical safety standards set forth in order to safeguard workers around equipment.

OSHA Lockout/Tagout Standard

Lockout/tagout is the process of disabling machinery or equipment during servicing and maintenance activities. It is a necessary procedure to prevent employees from being exposed to improperly released hazardous energy. Failure to perform lockout/tagout properly can cause serious injuries or even fatality.  The OSHA lockout/tagout standard allows employers to develop an energy control program that best suits the needs of their workplace and the equipment being serviced by affixing the appropriate device to energy-isolating devices, according to the procedure outlined by OSHA.

Approximately three million workers service workplace equipment and face the greatest risk of being exposed to hazardous energy. According to OSHA, an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries can be prevented each year by complying with the lockout/tagout standard. On average, workers who are injured from exposure to hazardous energy miss 24 days of work while recuperating.

Lockout/Tagout Requirements

Some OSHA lockout/tagout requirements that employers must follow to safeguard workers include:

  • Developing, documenting, implementing, and enforcing an energy control program and energy control procedures, which should be inspected annually.
  • Using lockout devices when possible and only using tagout devices in accordance with an effective tagout program if employee protection is equivalent to that of the lockout program.
  • Ensuring that equipment is capable of being locked out and that only lockout/tagout devices authorized for equipment is used.
  • Establishing policies that ensure lockout/tagout devices identify individual users and permit only the employee who applied the device to remove it.
  • Providing training for employees.
  • Complying with additional OSHA energy control provisions.

The most commonly cited OSHA violations of the lockout/tagout standard include procedure development and use, inspections, employee training, notification of the program, and removal of lockout/tagout devices. To avoid being cited, employers should create a written document outlining the elements of the energy control program. Explanations of the procedures for each machine should be specific and provide step-by-step instructions of how to shut down, isolate, block, and secure equipment to control hazardous energy and how to apply and remove lockout/tagout devices.

All employees covered by the standard should be trained and informed of OSHA requirements as well as any customized program elements, such as machine-specific procedures. Employers can mark locks and tags with an employee’s name or photo to prevent mistakes. An overall culture of safety must be established to help employees comply with lockout/tagout procedures, prevent workplace accidents, and increase productivity.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Workers Claim Compensation for Their Injuries

If you were injured during a lockout/tagout procedure or another workplace accident, contact the Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. We can help guide you through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system and fight to obtain the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600.

We serve clients throughout the state of South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Handling Fuel Safely at Work

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss handling fuel safely at work. If your job involves fueling vehicles onsite or requires you to handle fuel for any reason, taking a few moments to review safe-handling procedures could save your life. Gasoline is highly flammable, and improper storage and handling can result in burns or explosions. To stay safe, follow these important tips:

  • Never store more fuel than you need. Fuel laying around in storage can explode.
  • Only handle fuel in well-ventilated areas.
  • Use only approved fuel containers for transporting or storing fuel.
  • Do not siphon gasoline from a hose with your mouth, this can result in fatality.
  • Refrain from prolonged inhalation of fuel fumes.
  • Do not allow fuel to encounter your bare skin.
  • If your clothing has been soaked or stained with fuel, it will remain flammable even after it dries. Remove any clothing that touches fuel and wash it.
  • Never smoke near a fuel delivery truck, the vapors from the truck can ignite, even if you dispose of your burning cigarette properly.
  • Keep spill kits handy wherever fuel is stored or transported.
  • Always make sure that caps on fuel containers, including vehicles, are closed.
  • If you fuel cars or equipment at work, review safety manuals so that you know how to operate emergency fuel cutoffs.
  • Know where all fire extinguishers are located at work.
  • When fueling a vehicle or machine, make sure that the engine is shut off.
  • Check fuel hoses routinely for kinks.
  • When filling a portable fuel container, always allow a little bit of extra space for expansion of the fluid in different temperatures. This will avoid a spill that could later result in a fire or explosion.
  • Do not use gasoline to start charcoal on a grill. Gasoline is not the same thing as a charcoal starter. Only use charcoal starters with grills.
  • Never use gasoline to remove oil-based paint from your skin.
  • Never store fuel in a container in your car.
  • If you are burned by a fuel fire or explosion, seek immediate medical treatment and follow all treatment instructions. Never pop blisters on burns.

If you inhale gas fumes on a regular basis, or your skin is in contact with fuel for prolonged periods of time, you could suffer from respiratory problems, rashes, irritated eyes, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, or vomiting.  Avoid meeting fuel or inhaling the fumes whenever possible.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers Burned by Gas and Fuel Explosions

According to the National Fire Protection Association, a single gallon of gasoline is as explosive as 20 sticks of dynamite. Always exercise caution when working with or around fuel. If you have been injured on the job, call the experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or contact us online to set up a free, confidential consultation.

We serve clients throughout the state of South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County. 

Car Seats Protect Children

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers advise parents on car seat safety. Car accidents are the top cause of childhood injuries and death in this country. In South Carolina, this percentage is higher than the average in other states. To keep children safer, properly used car seats are the best place to start. When used correctly, car seats may reduce the risk of death by over 50 percent for infants and toddlers.

Unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that four out of five car seats in use in this country are not installed correctly.

Car Seat Inspection Stations

Many organizations are working to educate the public about car seat safety. Founded in 1988, Safe Kids Worldwide has helped reduce U.S. childhood deaths from unintended injuries. They are now part of the Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy. With financial backing from retail giant Kohl’s, they have created 10 car seat inspection stations that are staffed by certified technicians.

One such inspection station opened in April 2018 at Greenville Memorial Hospital; it is the first that is based at a South Carolina hospital. The GHS Children’s Hospital Medical Director said that every infant will have the opportunity to travel “safely in an inspected car seat before they are discharged from the hospital.” These stations give parents and caregivers the car seat education they need to keep their children safer for life.

Car Seats and How to Use Them

The first step in car seat safety is choosing the right one. All children under age one should be in a rear-facing car seat that is in the back seat of the vehicle. Height and weight limits from the seat’s manufacturer should be adhered to, and the seat used until the child outgrows it. Afterwards, it should be replaced by a forward-facing car seat with a harness that sits in the back seat.

Again, the child should ride in this seat until they outgrow it, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Then it is time for a booster seat, also kept in the back seat. This must be used until he or she has grown enough to use a regular seat belt.

All children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat, because it is safer there. A seat belt should lie across the child’s upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest, in order to restrain the child safely, in the event of a wreck. The seat belt should not rest on the stomach area or across the neck.

All car seats should be installed according to the manufacturer’s manual. If the caregiver is uncertain, they should visit a car seat inspection station. Most importantly, a car seat should be installed properly before it is ever used. Oftentimes car seats are handed down and are not in good working order.  They should be checked frequently, and adjusted if needed, while they are being used.

A car seat must be replaced if the vehicle was involved in an accident. And whether a driver or passenger, parents should set a good example by always wearing their own seat belts.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Car Accident Victims

If you or your child has been injured in a car crash, contact the Columbia car accident lawyers of Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for a free case evaluation. Our experienced team can guide you through the legal process and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or toll free at 800-531-9780 to schedule a free consultation at one of our six offices.

We serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Lexington County Fatal Crashes

Lexington County Car Accident Lawyers discuss fatal crashes in Lexington County. It is shaping up to be a tragic year for Lexington County when it comes to traffic fatalities. The county leads the state in traffic deaths. Compared to the same time last year, twice as many people have been fatally injured in wrecks in 2018.

In an effort to raise awareness of these heart-breaking car accident statistics, the Lexington County coroner is having the roadways marked with crosses, as a tribute to each of the victims lost in a fatal crash.

Thirty-four people have already perished this year; last year at this time the county had experienced a total of 17 deaths and did not reach 34 until the end of September. Moreover, the so-called “100 Deadly Days of Summer” have not even begun. This is the name state police organizations across the country use to refer to the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day during which more people, especially teen drivers, are fatally injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Common Causes of Injuries and Fatalities in Car Accidents

Many car accidents, and their resulting injuries or fatalities, are preventable. The Department of Public Safety reports that of the 234 people who have died this year on South Carolina roads, almost half failed to use a seat belt. A mother and child were fatally injured in Lexington County in March when their car hit a tractor-trailer head on. The three-year-old toddler was traveling unrestrained in the vehicle and became the youngest fatality victim this year.

While not wearing a seat belt may result in injury or even death, there are plenty of other factors that go into car accidents. Besides not using a seat belt, other causes of crashes include:

  • Speeding: Driving too fast gives a driver less time to react in an emergency situation. A speeding vehicle also requires more time to stop, and is therefore less likely to be able to avoid a crash.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Alcohol and drugs slow reaction times and impair a driver’s judgement, leading to errors that cause car accidents.
  • Distracted driving: This includes anything that diverts the attention of the driver from the road such as eating, grooming, using the radio or navigation system, and cell phone use.

A Rash of Deaths Since April

In the last two years, Lexington County was respectively seventh and sixth in the state rankings for motor vehicle fatalities; however, a spike since April put it at number one this year.

Spartanburg County is number two in state rankings, with 28 fatalities; this is followed by 24 each in Greenville County and Charleston County.

Consider these statistics, before you get behind the wheel.

Lexington County Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Recover Compensation for Victims of Car Accidents

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an experienced Lexington County car accident lawyer from Chappell Smith & Ardern. Our dedicated legal team will obtain justice and fight for compensation for you whether your case involves a fender bender or wrongful death. Contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or toll free at 800-531-9780 to schedule a free consultation at one of our six offices.

We serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Outdoor Workers and Insect-Borne Illness

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss outdoor workers and the risk of insect-borne illness. We have all been bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea. According to a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insect-borne illnesses have more than tripled from 2004 to 2016, and outdoor workers are at the greatest risk in the United States. More than 640,000 cases of insect-borne disease were reported between 2004 and 2016, and nine new diseases were discovered or introduced in the United States in that time.

Insect bites are vectors, or pinpoints, for spreading germs. If one person with a vectorborne disease gets bitten by a bug, and that bug then bites someone else, the disease can be transmitted.

Examples of insect-borne diseases include:

  • Dengue
  • Zika
  • Lyme Disease
  • Plague
  • Chikungunya
  • West Nile
  • Malaria
  • Yellow Fever
  • Spotted Fever

The greatest defense against the threat of insect-borne diseases are federal, state, and local health departments. However, according to the CDC, a staggering 84 percent of local vector control organizations lack core competencies to perform their jobs effectively.

Signs and Symptoms of Insect-Borne Diseases

If you have been bitten by a bug and experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately:

  • Body pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Stiff Neck
  • Paralysis

Preventing Stings, Bites, and Insect-Borne Illness

If you work outside, you are at a greater risk than anyone else in the American public for catching an insect-borne illness. Everyone should take precautions, but those who work outdoors should be extra vigilant.

To help reduce your chances of acquiring an insect-borne illness:

  • Your clothes should cover as much of your body as possible
  • Wear clean, light-colored clothing
  • Keep work areas clean and free of open food and drink containers, as well as open trash
  • Bathe daily
  • Avoid cologne, perfume, deodorized soaps, heavily scented shampoos and deodorants
  • Never swat at flying insects
  • Check your skin every day for ticks
  • Wear insect repellent with 20 to 50 percent DEET on all exposed areas of skin, as well as on your clothing and boots. Reapply frequently if needed.

Handling the Increased Threat of Insect-Borne Illness

According to the CDC, the United States is not equipped to handle the increase in new diseases and increased frequency of outbreaks. Local and state health departments are under increasing pressure to respond to these threats.

More than 80 percent of vector control organizations have self-reported that they need help in nearly all areas of core competence, including testing for pesticide resistance. They also need assistance in conducting routine mosquito surveillance through trapping and identification; making treatment decisions; and killing mosquitos and ticks at every life stage.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers with Insect-Borne Diseases

If you work outdoors and have been bitten by an insect that has caused you any type of health problem, you may be entitled to compensation via your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. To speak to an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. about your case, call us today at 803-929-3600, or contact us online.

We provide free, no-obligation initial consultations to clients at our six office locations throughout South Carolina. We serve clients in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Falls Remain Deadliest Hazard

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on workplace falls. According to a recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), falls are the second leading cause of work-related fatalities in the United States. Over the past 11 years, 14 percent of all job-related deaths were caused by falls, according to NIOSH researchers.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the number one cause of death in the construction industry. OSHA considers falls one of the “Fatal Four” causes of death, along with electrocution, struck-by, and caught-in or between accidents. Like all of these work-related fatalities, falls are preventable.

Data Sources

The NIOSH researchers looked at the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries as a data source. They examined the rates of deaths from falls in different occupations, and found that between 2003 and 2014, nearly 9,000 workers were killed as a result of a fatal fall. Other than construction and extraction, the leading industries for fall-related fatalities were installation, maintenance, and repair.

Researchers found that the rate of death and injury from falls was highest among male workers, Hispanic workers, and older workers. Nearly half of all the fatalities from heights involved people employed by small businesses with ten employees or fewer.

Researchers also separated out the different types of falls, and noticed that falls from a higher level to a lower level represented nearly all of the fatalities (close to 85 percent). But 12.7 percent were “falls on the same level,” and the remaining roughly two percent of falls were categorized as “other.” NIOSH’s research was published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Staying Safe and Preventing Falls

In association with their study, the researchers stated that preventing work-related falls continues to be challenging in the United States. NIOSH suggested that there is a need for industry leaders and government safety regulators to work together along with unions, researchers, and employers, in order to curb the increase in these deadly, tragic accidents.

Safety Measures

In order to keep safe, it is important to use appropriate equipment, and educate yourself about fall hazards and how to use your equipment properly.

When estimating the cost of a job, or putting out a bid, an employer should be sure to take safety equipment into consideration. They should make use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) whenever appropriate (such as roofing). Using the equipment is one thing; regular inspection of the PFAS and making sure that they fit properly are also of great importance.

Anyone working at a height of six feet or more above lower levels is at the highest risk. Those working at these heights should make use of the right kind of ladders, scaffolding, and PFAS.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers Injured in Falls

If you have been injured in a fall at work, or have sustained another type of work-related illness, injury, or health condition, you may be entitled to Workers’ Comp benefits for your medical bills, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, and more. The Workers’ Compensation system is a no-fault insurance system, meaning you are entitled to benefits for any injury sustained on the job, regardless of fault. To schedule a free, no obligation consultation, call an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith and Arden today at 803-929-3600, or contact us online.

With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Triple Car Accident in Rock Hill Causes Fatality and Injuries

Triple Car Accident in Rock Hill Causes Fatality and InjuriesIn Rock Hill, South Carolina, a triple car accident caused a fatality and personal injuries for two other victims. Around 5:35 am, on Monday morning, the fatal crash occurred on Interstate 77 when three cars collided. Two of the drivers sustained injuries and were brought to the Piedmont Medical Center for medical treatment. The third driver succumbed to fatal injuries after the car overturned during the triple car accident.

Serious injuries and potential fatalities originate from multi-vehicle accidents. Many of these types of crashes start out from one accident and lead to others due to drivers engaging in reckless driving, speeding, or distracted driving around the accident site. The initial crash may send damaged cars careening into others, which is another result of multi-vehicle accidents.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our York County car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will protect your rights. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Serious Injuries After Myrtle Beach Car Accident with Farm Equipment

Serious Injuries After Myrtle Beach Car Accident with Farm EquipmentA car accident involving a minivan and farm equipment occurred in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Monday morning. Around 8:06 am, a minivan collided with the farm equipment on South Carolina Highway 31 near US Highway 501. Upon impact, the minivan overturned and ignited. Two occupants from the minivan incurred serious injuries after the Myrtle Beach car accident and were transported to a local hospital.

Although it is rare that cars may engage in accidents with farm equipment such as large riding lawnmowers and tractors, the possibility exists. Generally, vehicles used for farming tend to be large, unwieldy, and challenging to handle even for drivers with experience. If the farming equipment is used near busy highways, a serious crash like the Myrtle Beach car accident could occur and may lead to devastating personal injuries or potential fatalities for any parties involved.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our South Carolina car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will assist you during the recovery process. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Wrong-Way Car Accident in Charleston Fatally Injures Victim

Wrong-Way Car Accident in Charleston Fatally Injures VictimOn Thursday night, a wrong-way car accident in Charleston, South Carolina fatally injured a victim. The fatal head-on collision occurred around 11:45 pm on Interstate 26 after an initial crash with one car injured the driver. After the first car accident, the driver traveled the wrong way and near the Ravenel Bridge hit the second car, causing a fatality for the passenger and personal injuries for the second driver. A third car hit the wrong-way driver after the wrong-way car accident, which did not result in any injuries.

Oftentimes, head-on collisions originate from a driver traveling in the wrong direction. Head, neck, and spinal cord trauma and potential fatalities may be the outcome for car occupants in this type of crash. Factors for a wrong-way car accident may included speeding, intoxicated driving, drowsy driving, or reckless driving.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our South Carolina car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will lend a helping hand. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

How a Lawyer Can Help Your Car Accident Claim

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers provide excellent counsel for injured victims of car accidents. Having a lawyer working on your behalf as soon as possible after your car accident can help you with several aspects of your personal injury case. A skilled car accident lawyer experienced in your geographic area will be able to fight for your rights and interests with knowledge of the relevant laws pertaining to your specific situation. For more than three decades, the legal team at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. have helped accident victims obtain maximum compensation for their claims by:

  • skillfully communicating and negotiating with other parties
  • obtaining and presenting compelling evidence
  • ensuring compliance with all procedural requirements and deadlines

Communicating and Negotiating with Other Parties

An attorney can communicate with other parties involved in the accident, including the adjuster. If you receive benefits from a health, disability, or Workers’ Compensation insurer and they put a lien on your claim, an attorney will be able to work with the lien holder to reduce its lien to maximize your recovery.

A good car accident lawyer will also be able to negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that the settlement is fair and you receive all entitled compensation. Insurance companies often try to present low offers in the beginning. A lawyer can help you determine whether the offer is fair or needs to be further negotiated. Should negotiations not lead to an acceptable agreement, a lawyer can then help you file a lawsuit.

Obtaining Necessary Evidence

It may be difficult for you to obtain necessary evidence in your case. Health providers may not have the adequate staff or time to respond to medical record requests expediently. Therefore, without an attorney, it may be a long time before you receive your medical records and bills. It is also imperative to follow their procedures, which are not always apparent. A skilled car accident lawyer will be able to discover and follow these procedures, so you receive a quicker response.

Health care providers may provide you with incomplete medical records, making it necessary to follow up to obtain all the necessary documentation together. Also, the medical records may not be sufficient to prove that your injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence or show the extent of your injuries. Since doctors often do not mention causation or exact injuries in their medical records, a good car accident lawyer can ask the doctor to clarify their statement in a separate letter that will satisfy the legal requirements for your claim.

Ensuring You Meet All Procedural Requirements and Deadlines

An attorney can also help you meet all procedural requirements and deadlines for your claim. For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in South Carolina is three years from the date of the injury. A good lawyer can ensure that you do not miss these important deadlines when filing your lawsuit.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Protect Your Rights in a Car Accident Claim

If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you with all aspects of your claim. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are experienced and dedicated to protecting the rights of car accident victims. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600.

We serve clients throughout the state of South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

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