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Georgetown South Carolina Law Blog

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Key factors in substantiation of a wrongful death claim

You may be one of thousands in South Carolina whose life forever changed upon learning that a loved one was involved in a fatal car accident. Perhaps you were merely going about your daily routine when a phone call came in from an unfamiliar number. When the person on the other end of the line identified himself or herself as a police officer, you knew something was terribly wrong. That day and that phone call are now deeply etched memories in your mind that replay themselves again and again. 

When you learned that your loved one died because of another person's negligence or reckless driving behavior, you may have felt a flood of emotions, including anger. It's understandable when you've lost a family member in a situation that was preventable. Many people in similar situations in the past have sought counseling and support to process their emotions in the aftermath of their loved ones' sudden deaths. 

Do you know the 5 types of workplace hazards?

Going to work almost every day is how you and many other South Carolina residents earn a living. While you may enjoy your job, you could face risks to your health and safety without fully realizing it. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the health hazards associated with their jobs until it is too late.

Even if you do not consider your job especially dangerous, that fact does not mean that you are immune to suffering harm resulting from your work. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has five categories of workplace hazards, and many of those hazards could apply to a wide range of jobs.

College discipline hearings trample students' rights

An arrest for possession or distribution of drugs means your child will have criminal issues to deal with that could drastically derail his or her future. Having an attorney as early as possible in the legal process will allow your child to build a defense strategy in hopes of reaching the most positive outcome possible. However, the institution of higher learning your child attends also has a say in your child's future, even if the arrest occurred off campus.

In many cases, South Carolina colleges and universities work alongside local law enforcement. Police will likely inform the campus administration of the details of your child's offense. Consequently, in addition to your son or daughter's criminal case, the university is likely to summon your child for a disciplinary hearing to determine an appropriate penalty. This may include suspension, loss of campus housing, loss of college scholarships, exclusion from your child's program of study or even expulsion.

Have a stepparent? You may face probate disputes

Stepparents are becoming increasingly common, as divorce and remarriage are as well. While you may have tried to form strong bonds with your stepparents or at least tried to have amicable relationships, some type of tension may still exist. You may feel especially distrusting if the marriage did not last long before your biological parent passed away.

The death of a parent can bring up many emotions, and it is not unusual for these emotions to cause conflict during the probate process. Commonly, these fights can result between children and stepmothers for various reasons, and you may soon face such contention.

Your contentious family may set you up for probate litigation

Throughout your life, you may have dreaded any family gathering. For whatever reason, it just seemed as if you, your siblings, your parents or even stepparents could simply not get along. Animosity and the desire for conflict seemed to surround every topic and linger around every corner.

Now that one of your parents has passed away, you may find yourself feeling a great deal of emotions. You may have gotten along with this parent fairly well during his or her life, and as a result, you were named executor in the will. Of course, since you know your family's propensity for conflict, you may already be steeling yourself for the conflicts that may arise during the probate process.

After an accident, do you know what to do to protect yourself?

A car accident can be overwhelming, confusing and lead to substantial financial losses for the victim and his or her South Carolina family. If your accident was the result of the reckless or negligent actions of another person, you could have grounds for a civil claim against the liable party or parties. As an accident victim, you would be wise to know what to do after an accident to protect your interests.

The steps you take in the days and weeks after an accident can have a direct impact on your recovery and the success of your civil claim. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to build a strong case. These things can help preserve important evidence and give yourself a better chance of successfully obtaining the financial compensation you deserve. 

What you don't know about workers' compensation may hurt you

You shouldn't have to file a lawsuit against your employer just because you suffered an injury at work. For this reason, like other states, South Carolina law allows you to receive certain benefits, such as paid medical and medical-related care, and a portion of the income you lose while you recover from your injuries.

You receive these benefits through your employer's workers' compensation insurance regardless of fault. As long as you were on the clock and performing your work duties at the time, you should receive certain benefits for suffering a work-related injury. You may already know that part, but you may need other information in order to relieve any stress or trepidation you may feel if you do suffer an injury.

Conflict could arise if a person dies intestate

Probate can be a complicated process even under the best of circumstances. When a person dies without having created a will or other estate planning documents, it can take more time and effort to properly close the estate. Additionally, rather than having the ability to work with the instructions left behind by a loved one, you would need to follow South Carolina state laws in regard to succession and property distribution.

Some people may choose not to create a will because they think it will allow their surviving family to avoid probate proceedings. However, that idea is a misconception. You and other family members will still need to go through the necessary legal proceedings.

How can a personal injury lawyer help me?

Following an accident, you may have many questions about what to do next, what your rights are and how to effectively pursue those rights. People who seem to have your best interests in mind may approach you, including insurance adjusters and attorneys for the person responsible for your accident. Will you know what to say to them? Will you know how to judge whether their offers are fair and sufficient?

Accidents and injuries happen every day, and you may think that yours is something you can handle on your own. However, just as you rely on a medical professional to guide you in the steps of your physical recovery, you will certainly benefit from the trained and experienced guidance of a legal advocate for any issues where your rights are on the line.

James Brown’s contested will and estate

The estate of South Carolina native son and “Godfather of Soul” James Brown has been in a legal quagmire for more than 11 years. Since his death on Christmas Day 2006, Brown’s estate has not been settled due to a slew of lawsuits and constant bickering among his surviving children, grandchildren and widow.

Although Brown had a will with a bulk of the estate going toward a trust to distribute scholarships for children in South Carolina and Georgia, members of his family wanted it overturned. They claimed that Brown’s drug problems prevented him from making good decisions about his estate.

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