Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

What happens with the lien holder in an accident?

If you have a new vehicle you make payments on in South Carolina, whoever holds your loan has a lien on your title. This means you cannot sell or otherwise get rid of the vehicle without paying off the loan. If you have an accident and your insurance declares your vehicle a total loss, what happens with the lien holder?

According to the Foundation Insurance Group, if you end up in a situation where the cost of repairs to your vehicle is more than about 80 percent of the value of the vehicle, then your insurance company will likely declare it a total loss. This means they pay you for the value of the vehicle based on the Kelley Blue Book value.

Impaired driving is a serious matter -- don't handle it alone

You have already heard the spiel -- driving under the influence of alcohol is not just dangerous, it is illegal. You may have followed the advice of your parents and college professors religiously, which is why you felt so surprised when an officer charged you with impaired driving. In South Carolina, police can still charge you for driving while under the influence of other substances.

College life is difficult, and you may not have been thinking about this. However, the courts likely will not care whether it was a momentary lapse of youthful judgement or a systemic pattern of behavior. Either way, you are facing serious criminal consequences that could impact not only your current educational trajectory, but also your entire future.

DNA collection upon arrest

When arrested in South Carolina, individuals may have to provide a DNA sample as part of the routine booking process. This is a highly controversial thing because some feel it is a violation of rights. Specifically, they have concern over it being a wrongful search and seizure. However, according to NPR, the Supreme Court ruled taking DNA after an arrest for a serious crime is legal.

The Court's decision said that taking DNA is similar to taking photos and fingerprints. It is evidence to help ensure the person is not a suspect in another crime. It can help reduce flight risks and increase the chances of solving cold cases. They said there is no rights violation because it is a reasonable search and seizure, which the law does allow. It is important to note that the Court's ruling does not apply to lesser crimes. However, states generally set their own laws regarding DNA collection, which may differ from the opinions of the Court.

What are the signs of hypothermia?

While it may not get too cold too often in South Carolina that does not mean there are no risks for hypothermia in outdoor work environments. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothermia occurs when your body cannot keep itself warm enough because it is losing heat too fast. Generally, you are hypothermic if you have a temperature of 95 degrees or less.

Usually, this condition happens after exposure to conditions that lower your body temperature, such as cold weather or icy water. To treat it, you have to get your body temperature back up to normal and maintain that temperature.

Caving under academic pressure could lead to addiction

College isn't like high school. You chose to attend college, and you want to succeed because your future could depend on you completing your degree program. Perhaps you have trouble focusing when it comes to studying. Maybe you just need a little something extra in order to stay awake in order to study.

It is during these times when someone offers you a little pill he or she says will give you the focus, concentration and alertness you desire. You may figure that it won't hurt to take it just once, but you would be wrong. A medication like Adderall is highly addictive and comes with a slew of potentially devastating side effects.

Attending holiday parties? Don't drive if you drink

One of the best parts of the holidays is the parties. You might get together with neighbors, enjoy parties at work and spend time with family members you don't get the chance to see much of during the rest of the year. Many of the festivities could include alcohol.

You may want to have a plan to deal with the fact that you may have one too many to drive safely afterward. If you don't, you could end up under arrest. Your gift-buying money may have to go to bail instead of presents if that happens. An arrest for drunk driving would also put a damper on your and your family's holiday spirit.

Cycling in the city: tips to stay safe

When people go out for a leisurely bicycle ride in South Carolina, they are usually closer to home and in a place that they are familiar with. However, if they choose to take their bike into the city or in an area where there are more people and motorists, it is extra critical that they remain vigilant to protect their safety and wellbeing. 

According to REI Co-Op, one of the things that people can do to stay safer on their bike is to make sure it is adequately maintained. Many components help a bicycle function the right way and if anything is amiss, it could contribute to a malfunction that results in an accident. The ABC's of maintaining a bike include checking the air in the tires, testing the brakes and oiling the chain. Additionally, people should frequently make sure that all of the bolts are tightly secured and that the drivetrain is appropriately cleaned and lubricated to allow for seamless movement. 

An introduction to choosing protective motorcycle gear

With the purchase of your new motorcycle, you are also in need of investing in some high-quality safety gear that will serve to protect you in the event you are involved in an accident. Selecting the right safety gear is imperative to your safety and your confidence when you ride. At George B. Bishop, Jr. P.A., we have helped many victims of motorcycle accidents in South Carolina. 

When people think of safety gear for a motorcycle rider, their thoughts often immediately turn to helmets. While head protection is vital, it is not the only form of protection you should consider before you head out on your motorcycle. In addition to high-quality headwear, you should also make sure that you are wearing proper footwear, durable pants and a jacket and gloves that will provide a better grip, protection from weather elements and protection from the road if you crash. 

Woman awarded just enough to pay medical bills in lawsuit

The perception of those who initiate personal injury claims in South Carolina may be that such people are simply looking for a quick payday. What may be lost in this assumption is the fact that accidents (even seemingly mundane slips and falls) can produce devastating injuries that not only exact a heavy financial toll from victims, but an emotional one, as well. The net effect of such can be monetary deficits that one may simply not be able to afford on his or her own. In such a scenario, one might be left with no choice but to seek compensation. 

The compensation gained through civil action may, however, be only enough to cover the exact expenses one was forced to deal with. Take the recent case of a Pennsylvania woman: she slipped and fell at a local store, and later required surgery to repair a meniscus tear in her knee. She sued the store of for liability and was awarded $7,481, or just enough to cover the costs of her injury. In an appeal, the woman argued that the judge who initially heard the case did not let the jury know that they could consider the weight of the evidence against the store when deciding how much she should receive. The appellate court, however, upheld the earlier ruling. 

Reducing the odds of a collision by knowing the hazards you face

No one ever starts the day expecting to be involved in a motor vehicle accident, but in some cases, you might have little say in the matter. Even if you consider yourself the most cautious of drivers, you probably share South Carolina roads with a multitude of others, some of whom might not share your zest for safety.

In some cases, even a safe driver may slip up and make a mistake, and the consequences of even a small error can be disastrous. To reduce the chances that you will end up in a dangerous collision, it might be in your best interests to better understand the scenarios in which accidents frequently occur.

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