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Pain & Suffering Under The Law in South Carolina

If you get hurt in a car wreck or injured in some other type of accident that isn’t your fault, you can take legal action to get fairly compensated. You may be entitled to collect damages, which is the legal term for financial payment from a lawsuit.

Whenever someone is the victim of a personal injury, the amount of money they can seek is broken down into two categories. First is Economic Damages, calculated by medical bills for treatment of your physical injuries, medications, or even an ambulance ride. This also includes lost wages, the amount of money you can’t earn from your job because you’re too hurt to work. It’s repayment for the measurable costs you experience after the accident.

The second category is Non-Economic Damages. You could be paid a separate amount for long-term physical disability or limitations caused by the injury, loss of a companion, ongoing inconvenience, or for pain and suffering.

What is “pain and suffering?” Legally, it refers to the physical and emotional injuries suffered by a victim after an accident.  This could be a combination of physical pain and mental or psychological agony.  It might be the result of ongoing impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, depression, or even anger. A traumatic accident or injury can have long-lasting effects.

How much can you collect for pain and suffering?  In South Carolina, there is no statewide standard for adding up a dollar value of Non-Economic Damages. There’s not a chart that lists standard payment amounts.  Each injury case is considered separately, and Non-Economic Damages are determined individually by the court. If you ever see a commercial for another law firm suggesting that a car wreck automatically pays $100,000, that’s just not true.

To determine pain and suffering, you need to look at the long-term disadvantages your accident injuries have caused and will cause, in your lifetime. This can be extremely difficult to do on your own, and we don’t recommend trying it. You need the professional experience of a personal injury attorney to establish fair and reasonable amounts that fit your specific situation. Trammell & Mills is a personal injury law firm based here in the Upstate that handles these types of cases all the time.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages apply to cases where you are less than 50% responsible for the accident or personal injury. There are statutes of limitations on recovering some damages, so taking legal action in a timely manner is important. And there are maximum dollar limit caps on some Non-Economic Damages, such as malpractice or claims made against the government.

If you’re the victim of a car wreck, if you get hurt because of negligence at someone’s home or business, or if you get an injury because of a defective product, don’t try to settle the matter yourself.  And never assume that insurance will cover all your costs. Trust the experienced attorneys at Trammell & Mills to help you recover your Economic Damages, as well as fair payment for any pain and suffering you may experience.

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Don’t Ruin Thanksgiving with a DUI

Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer in Anderson, SC

Nearly half of all Americans travel during the holiday season and Thanksgiving weekend is usually the busiest time on the roads.  Everyone is in a big hurry to get to their destinations and once they arrive, people just want to relax and have a good time.

Thanksgiving is when we pause and express gratitude for our blessings.  We love spending time with family and friends.  The problem is, too many folks see it as a time to drink…and drive.  Last year, law enforcement in South Carolina made nearly 22,000 DUI arrests.  Over 3,500 people were injured in DUI collisions and more than 200 died.  Property damage wrecks exceeded 2,500.  The consequences of drinking and driving are real and local.

Many of us have been at a bar, club, or even a private party, where there’s plenty to drink.  People drink to relax and the alcohol impairs their judgment enough that they assume they’re fine to drive.  It’s not hard to imagine the dangers of someone roaring drunk behind the wheel.  But folks who are just slightly intoxicated can also pose a huge threat on the road.

You’ve probably seen police shows where officers conduct sobriety tests, including blowing into a breathalyzer.  You blow in a straw and a device measures your alcohol level.  In South Carolina, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08.  Some people reach that intoxication level with just two drinks.  Even with a legal blood alcohol content of 0.05, your chances of having a car wreck increase 100% over being sober.  On top of that, legal defense of a DUI charge can easily cost you $10,000 to $30,000—or more.  Of course, the price of causing property damage, injuries, or even death could be far greater.

Here’s a simple truth: DUI wrecks are preventable.  If people who drank too much didn’t get behind the wheel, they wouldn’t crash vehicles, destroy property, or injure others.  Now more than ever, it’s easier to keep intoxicated people from driving- 1) Have a designated driver in your group; 2) Call a cab; 3) Text a friend to pick you up; or 4)  Hire an Uber or Lyft driver to deliver you safely.  The price of that ride is nothing compared to the cost of driving drunk.

Trammell & Mills doesn’t handle DUI cases.  That’s not our area of practice.  However, we do deal with the victims of DUI crashes.  People who had a vehicle, property destroyed or got injured because of someone else’s irresponsible driving.  We see the suffering our clients have endured from property damage, hospital bills, and missed time from work.  The reality is that insurance companies drag their feet when it comes to paying claims and may not even cover real costs.  We fight hard every day to get victims fairly compensated for the foolish mistakes of others.

Don’t ruin Thanksgiving with a DUI.  Please be safe and make smart decisions during the holidays.  Avoid being stopped by the police, getting into a wreck, causing injuries to others, or possibly killing innocent people.  It’s just not worth a few drinks. However, if ignorance and recklessness come into your life and harm your family or property, call Trammell & Mills Law Firm, LLC to handle the civil side of justice.

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November is the Peak Month for Vehicle-Deer Collisions

The Highway Loss Data Institute reported:

November is the peak month for vehicle-deer collisions, and a new analysis of insurance claims and federal crash data indicate the problem is growing. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), recently examined insurance claims for animal strikes under comprehensive coverage month by month from January 2005 through April 2008. The main finding is that insurance claims for animal collisions are nearly 3 times higher during November than the typical month earlier in the year.

  • State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, estimates that there were more than 1.2 million claims for damage in crashes with animals during the last half of 2007 and the first half of 2008. The company says animal strike claims have increased 14.9 percent over the past 5 years.
  • The states with the largest number of total deaths are Texas with 227 deaths during 1993-2007, Wisconsin with 123, and Pennsylvania with 112.
  • “The months with the most crash deaths coincide with fall breeding season,” Anne McCartt, IIHS’s senior vice president for research, points out. “Crashes in which people are killed are most likely to occur in rural areas and on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or higher. They’re also more likely to occur in darkness, at dusk, or at dawn.”
  • Most of the crash deaths occurred after a motor vehicle had struck an animal and then run off the road or a motorcyclist had fallen off a bike. Many of these deaths wouldn’t have occurred with appropriate protection. The study found that 60 percent of the people killed riding in vehicles weren’t using safety belts, and 65 percent of those killed riding on motorcycles weren’t wearing helmets.

A recent article by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stated:

Despite a persistent rumor, neither the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) nor any other state agency will compensate motorists for injuries or damages resulting from deer collisions. Besides practicing safe and defensive driving techniques, each motorist should carry adequate collision and comprehensive insurance.

Do you have the proper insurance coverage to protect you and your loved ones if a deer were to surprise you on an early November morning or late November night? Read my article on Full Coverage, advise your insurance agent, or call our office to learn more about insurance coverage.

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Camp Lejeune

Toxic Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

You may know someone who was stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.  Maybe you were there yourself.  We at Trammell & Mills want you to know the facts about the possible health dangers of living there at that time.  Thousands of Marines and their families lived on and around the base in Jacksonville, North Carolina in that 34-year span.  The camp got its water supply from eight area wells, and two of those wells produced water that was seriously contaminated with benzene and other dangerous chemicals.

The US Government knew about this toxic water for many years and purposely kept the truth from the public.  Countless military members, their families, and non-military workers were exposed to contaminated chemical levels that exceeded legal limits by more than 100%.  In 2012, Veterans with qualifying medical conditions were granted access to medical care for illnesses caused by tainted Camp Lejeune water, but there was no legal recourse for non-veterans.  More action was necessary for other victims who suffered health issues.

In 2017, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Completed an assessment of the contaminants and filed a comprehensive report.  The findings were devastating.  Last year, Congress passed the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021.  This law now allows veterans and civilians exposed the contaminated water to file claims seeking compensation for legal damages.

Anyone residing at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may file a claim if they have been diagnosed with Leukemia, Bladder Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Liver Cancer, Aplastic Anemia, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or Parkinson’s Disease.  Other diagnosed conditions that may apply include Breast Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Toxicity, Female Infertility, Miscarriage, and Lung Cancer.

If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of possible water contamination exposure, you need to contact the Trammell & Mills Law Firm for a free, no-obligation review of your case.  We’ll walk you through your legal options.  The law states that any attorneys handling Camp Lejeune toxic water cases must work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay any legal fees unless we win compensation for you.  Even if you already receive medical benefits or compensation from the Veterans Administration for Camp Lejeune water illness, you can still file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune, and they now have the opportunity to seek fair payment for the damages they faced unknowingly.  Veterans who served their country honorably, and their families, have the legal right to seek compensation from the Marines for the pain, suffering, and even death they have suffered over the years.  If you have a Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim, call the local attorneys of Trammell & Mills at (864) 485-8585 to get the peace of mind and payment you deserve.

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