Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Do you take steps to avoid common types of car accidents?

Most people hope to avoid car accidents, but the majority of individuals end up in some type of vehicle crash at some point in their lives. Hopefully, the incident does not have serious outcomes, but you may suffer injuries if another driver collides with your car. Remaining aware can help with your safety, but awareness cannot prevent all accidents.

While not completely preventative, understanding different accidents and how they happen can still allow you to do your best to avoid causing a crash. In the event that someone else causes an accident, you may then need to understand your legal options.

How much will I get paid for a work injury?

If you get injured at work in South Carolina, your employer probably has workers' compensation insurance that will pay for your injury. Most employers are required to carry this insurance on workers. Often, injuries are severe enough that you miss at least some time on the job. You probably want to know if you will be paid for that time off. When it comes to workers' compensation, the Workers' Compensation Commission explains that you can get paid, but there are limitations to those payments.

To begin with, you have to have at least seven days off to be paid for any time off. Your employer may allow you to use other paid time off if you do not reach the seven-day requirement. If you do reach seven days, you will get paid starting on the eighth day. You will not get paid for the first seven days you have off unless you miss more than 14 days. This is a pretty standard requirement that most states workers' compensation systems follow. 

Drugs, college and police: Not always a good combination

Countless issues may impact your college career. You hopefully chose a South Carolina school that's a good fit for your personality as well as your academic goals. You also hopefully fell in with a good crowd of friends to encourage and support you as you work your way toward a diploma. Having a close friend comes in handy when times get tough, as they inevitably will at some point in your educational journey.  

Some types of problems are par for the course in college, such as finding enough time to study for major exams or getting all your homework done on time. Other problems surface through personal choices, such as those having to do with drugs or alcohol. Even doing drugs one time can lead to personal or legal trouble. That's why it's critical to know as much as possible about college age drug addiction and also where to seek support if a problem arises. 

What is a restraining order?

If you have been physically abused or assaulted by another person in South Carolina, then you have the right to protect yourself legally. One option is to get a restraining order against the person. Under the law, the South Carolina Judicial Department explains that you can get a restraining order, referred to as an order of protection by the court, if you have been injured physically by another person or you have received threats of physical injury from another person.

You can get an order from either the magistrate's court or the family court. For protection in family court, the person you are filing the order on should be your spouse, former spouse, someone you lived with or the parent of your child.

Can crash collision systems stop distracted drivers?

No matter how many precautions you take behind the wheel or how closely you adhere to the speed limit, you cannot avoid encountering distracted drivers. This is a scary thought for anyone who must share the road. After all, you have probably noticed other drivers so engrossed in conversations with passengers that they failed to notice what was happening around them.

To combat the growing number of distracted drivers, many car manufacturers now include collision warning systems in new vehicles. These systems should protect you from drivers who are more concerned with their phone or the radio than focusing on the task at hand, but they may not be as effective as previously thought.

Why does law enforcement oppose the Compassionate Care Act?

Many states across the country have adopted medical marijuana laws, which allow people with certain medical conditions to use marijuana products to treat their symptoms. South Carolina currently has a bill, called the Compassionate Care Act, being looked at by lawmakers that would legalize the medical use of marijuana. It is important to note that under this law, medical marijuana would mean marijuana byproducts that are not psychedelic. In layman's terms that means it does not get the user "high." The benefits from these products are specifically for relief from medical symptoms. While many support the act, there are also many who do not, including law enforcement.

It may be difficult to understand why they oppose the act since so many other states have legalized the product with relative ease. However, with medical marijuana laws being so new, there are still a lot of unknowns, which are outlined by the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association as reasons lawmakers should reject the bill. These reasons include concerns that people will try to capitalize on the new law to earn money illegally, such as making and selling counterfeit medical marijuana access cards and selling the product on the black market for cheaper than legal dispensaries sell it. 

Methods that can be used to prevent drunk driving accidents

You have recently taken your teenager to get his license and are sharing his excitement for the newfound freedom of being able to get himself too and from school and other commitments. However, there is always the lingering concern that irresponsibility or a moment of weakness may result in dangerous errors such as the decision to drive while under the influence. At George B. Bishop, JR. P.A., we have helped many victims of drunk driving accidents in South Carolina to recover from legal consequences. 

One of the most effective things you can do to encourage your child not to drink and drive is to educate him or her. Have open discussions about the deadly consequences that result from choosing to get behind the wheel after having a drink. Reiterate your position by leading through example and following safe and responsible driving practices yourself. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several valuable methods that can be used to prevent drunk driving accidents. These include the following:

  • Interventions: You may consider looking into community resources designed to educate drivers on the direct consequences and dangers of drunk driving. 
  • School programs: There may be programs at your child's school that are created to instruct young drivers on responsibility behind the wheel.
  • Ignition interlocks: These innovative devices can measure the alcohol content of your child's breath and will prevent the vehicle from starting if he or she has had too much to drink. 
  • Social media: Encourage your child to be involved in advocating against drunk driving. He or she may be interested in becoming involved in a campaign that encourages young drivers to form good habits from the start. 

Pulled over? Don't make matters worse

If you've gotten a traffic ticket in the past, you are definitely not the only South Carolina motorist who has faced such an outcome during a traffic stop. There's a big difference, however, between a police officer issuing you a speed warning or writing a ticket for traveling 5 miles over the posted speed limit and winding up in jail on suspicion of drunk driving or illegal drug possession.  

Such matters typically carry very severe penalties under conviction although it's critical to remember that accusation does not constitute guilt. The right to dispute criminal charges against you is a guarantee. Your ability to mitigate your circumstances might begin long before an arrest, however. In fact, the more you know about your rights and what to do or not do during a traffic stop, the better off you'll be.  

College students weigh in on why they drink

If you are winding down another year at a South Carolina college, you may be looking forward to some free time, away from the books and rigors of academic life. However, if your social activity at college has landed you in trouble with the law, your summer vacation may not go exactly as you had planned. When police make arrest incidents on or off campus, circumstances are often alcohol-related. If you're age 21 or over, you are not necessarily breaking the law if you drink.

You're not necessarily breaking the law by having a drink before driving. You might be, but it depends on the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream at the time, which is why most people wishing to avoid DUI abstain from alcohol altogether if they plan to drive. If you're facing DUI or other alcohol-related charges, your summer vacation may include having to take time off work for court hearings and other inconveniences. It's good to know there's support available to help you try to avoid conviction.

What kinds of injuries does workers' compensation cover?

While some industries are significantly more dangerous than others, no matter where you work in South Carolina, you face unique risks every day when you arrive at your job. While your employer has probably implemented guidelines and protocols to mitigate accidents in the workplace, there may still be incidents that result in the unexpected injury of yourself or one of your colleagues. 

Despite how safe you may feel at work, it is always a good idea to understand the types of claims that are covered by a typical workers' compensation policy in case you find yourself needing to use yours. According to Chron, all reported injuries that you claim must have happened on the job. You cannot ask for compensation on an injury that you received while not at work. Your employer may provide financial assistance for any of the following:

  • Disability
  • Retraining 
  • Medical bills
  • Hospital expenses
  • Benefits to your family (if you are disabled or killed)
  • Rehabilitation
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