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Holland & Usry, P.A.

Honest Answers From Your South Carolina Lawyer

When you’re faced with a major life event, you’re filled with questions and uncertainty. Get the straight answers you’re looking for from a South Carolina attorney.

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  • What should I bring to my first meeting with an accident injury attorney?

    Here’s the simplest answer: any document or piece of evidence you think might relate to your case. When your case involves a slip or trip and fall, defective product, medical malpractice, or a loved one who got hurt at a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s especially important to make sure you can give an accident injury attorney all the facts about how the injury occurred. (We actually have separate articles if you get hurt in a car, motorcycle, or semi-truck accident or get hurt at work.)

    Below is a list of items you can gather to bring to your first meeting if you have them. If you don’t, no worries—one of the critical things a good attorney does is a sound investigation to help gather all the evidence you need. This list is ideal, but you don’t need to worry if you’re missing some of these items.

    Evidence You Can Bring to Your First Meeting With a Personal Injury Attorney

    To help you more, I’ve listed them in the order of importance from my years of experience helping folks like you.

    1. An accident report, if one exists and if you’ve got it. Sometimes our slip or trip and fall victims get an incident report from where they got hurt. This can be a key piece of information, as it often contains your statement about the incident. Sometimes it even contains what other employees or management said about it, which can be critical evidence. And if you haven’t reported it yet, here's why you need to right now.
    2. Pictures related to your case. This could be from the scene or depict anything related to your injuries. Folks often don’t have pictures from the scene of a fall, and they certainly don’t have any from how medical malpractice occurred. But if you’ve got severe injuries, some of the most powerful evidence in your case can be pictures showing gory wounds, broken bones, and what your injured limbs look like when stitches or casts are removed. These pictures can often be an important timeline of the treatment you endured to recover from your injuries. It’s also powerful to capture your limitations and suffering, like using crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair, or sleeping in a recliner because your bed hurts due to your injuries.
    3. Contact information for any witnesses. While you will almost never get helpful statements from anyone who works for the business, hospital, assisted living facility, or doctor who hurt you, some of the most important witnesses in your case can be people in your life who’ve seen your struggle overcoming injuries and the pain and suffering they created. We need to get in touch with them immediately so we can start building your case for pain and suffering—which we really don’t call pain and suffering.
    4. A short typed or written statement summarizing your accident. Because the facts of an injury are of utmost importance in these cases, it’s vital for you to make sure you’ve had time to think about them and record them, so the attorney has a clear understanding of exactly how you got hurt. That’s how we begin to evaluate whether we can prove fault that opens the possibility for a legal financial recovery for you. Make sure you put “WRITTEN FOR LEGAL ADVICE” on it.
    5. A medical provider list summarizing your treatment. This helps us figure out who we need to get medical bills and records from faster. It’s especially critical for you to take a little time to compile a complete list if you’ve gone a long time without hiring a lawyer because you’ve undergone extensive treatment from multiple providers over a long time.
    6. Any communications from an insurance company. This could be letters, emails, or texts. This can give us an idea how they intend to defend against your case. Plus, it lets us know who we need to get in contact with at the insurance company if we represent you, so the claims rep or adjuster knows they don’t deal with you anymore, they deal with us. This is often the first great relief to our clients, who no longer have to worry about falling prey to the adjuster’s dirty tricks.  
    7. Any medical records you have. While we don’t expect anyone to have all or even most of their medical records, if you can share anything you have with us, it’s a help. We may be able to figure out the nature and extent of your injuries, which helps our evaluation. It also gives us valuable contact information for your providers so we can get these records and bills requested faster.
    8. Any medical bills or proofs of payment you have. Again, this helps us identify providers we need to get bills and records from.
    9. Information related to your health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. Hopefully, if you’ve got these options, you’ve used them to pay for your injury care. While you do have to pay them back, this is the best way to pay your accident-related medical bills. Giving us this information lets us get in contact with them so we can begin the subrogation process to repay them and protect you from failing to pay them back.
    10. If you lost income because you couldn’t work due to your injuries, documentation of lost wages. Many people can’t work as a result of injuries, and you can legally recover your lost wages. If your doctor wrote you out of work, get us any information you have related to this. It may be copies of his excuses, letters, or other documentation of your missed work that could even come from your employer. You can bring us pay stubs or even tax documents if they clearly show the wages you lost. Don’t worry. We’ll make this process easy on you too.
    11. Copies of your photo ID, such as your driver’s license. We may need this for our file to help identify you.

    If you have the time to do it, you can massively impress your personal injury attorney by organizing everything by category into a folder or file. That’ll help attorneys like me, who actually review this information before we meet. When we get that done faster, we can get to answering your questions quicker.

    If you’re worried about the meeting, don’t be! If you’re thinking about coming to see me, here’s how that meeting works.  

    If you’re not ready to meet, you don’t need to worry about that, either. Feel free to call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. You’ll get your questions answered by an experienced accident injury attorney.

    And if you need a little more encouragement about what it’s like to work with us, check on these reviews from people who actually hired us or just met with us, posted on websites we don’t own: Avvo.com and Google + reviews.

     

  • What should I bring to my first meeting with a workers’ compensation attorney?

    The best answer is any document or piece of evidence that might relate to your work injury, the medical treatment for it, documents from your employer about it, and any communication from an insurance company about it.  I’ve got a list of more specific items below. If you don’t have some or even all these items, don’t worry—one of the most important things a good lawyer does is investigate to get all the information that you don’t have. We’ll get it for you.

    But first, congratulations! You’ve made the right decision to take control of your work injury case and get some guidance from a professional on how to handle it. By the way, if you’re still a little anxious about how the meeting will work, you can relax.  If it’s with me: just check out this article where I pull back the veil on what our first meeting is like—it’s a strategy session where the keywords are “free” and “easy.”

    What You Might Bring

    Again, if you don’t have all this, don’t let it stop you from the meeting:

    1. Any communication from the workers’ comp insurance company. This includes letters, emails, and texts. This helps us identify the adjuster we’ll be going against in your case. You may have already found out the hard way they’re really not on your side.
    2. Any medical records you have. You almost surely don’t have them all. And that’s okay. We’ll get them for you. But bring anything you have, since this helps us identify providers we need to get records from. Any notes you might have can give us an idea of the nature and extent of your injuries and your work restrictions, which helps us evaluate your case to determine how we can help you.  
    3. A list of medical providers, summarizing your treatment. This streamlines our requesting the records. It’s especially important if you’ve waited a while to consider an attorney, and have received extensive treatment from several providers over a long time.
    4. Any medical bills workers’ comp didn’t pay. One of the primary benefits of workers’ compensation is free medical care related to your work injury. Sometimes the insurance company doesn’t do its job. We need to make sure they do so that you don’t get saddled with medical debt you should never have.
    5. A timeline of the work you’ve missed. This helps us protect your right to your weekly check if you’ve been shorted by the insurance company. They may be up to date on your checks. If not, bring any documentation you have of missed work, which might include paystubs showing the times you missed for the injury.
    6. Your photo ID, like a driver’s license. We may need a copy of this for your file, which can help identify you if that’s required.
    7. Accident report or documentation of the injury. This may come from your employer. But if you are involved in a car accident while working, it’s at least the form you got from the officer at the scene. You may even have a full crash report. Bring what you have.
    8. Pictures, if you have them. Most folks don’t have pictures of the scene of the injury because it happens at work where you don’t have a camera—and all you care about is getting to the hospital! But you might have pictures of gory wounds or broken bones, or how your wounds healed as time went on, such as removal of stitches or a cast. These can be useful to document the extent of your injuries. It’s sometimes especially helpful to document things that are hard to describe, like the extent of painful swelling to an ankle that’s “as good as it will get” but still balloons to the size of a grapefruit if you stand it for more than a half-hour.
    9. Contact info for any witnesses. Witnesses are often unnecessary in these cases because many accidents are admitted. And you don’t have to prove the injury was anyone’s fault. In fact, it can even be yours! Plus, as you might imagine, getting your co-workers to testify against your employer generally just doesn’t work. For what’s it worth, you’re very likely not going against your employer—your benefits usually get paid by an insurance company.
    10. A quick summary in your own words. IF YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR LAWYER SOME BONUS INFO, type or write up a short statement summarizing your accident, injuries, and treatment. We cover all that in our first meeting.
    11. Additional relevant info. We might need a little more information if your injury got caused by someone else who doesn’t work for your employer. The classic example of this is if you drive for work and someone else causes a car crash. In that case, we can pursue the at-fault driver for additional compensation, called a “third-party case.” A third-party case complicates and improves your case at the same time. For a car crash, we will need information about the wreck.

    Now you’re ready! If you really want to “wow” your potential lawyer, organize this stuff by category into a folder or file. This saves a tremendous amount of time, so I can hit the ground running in our strategy session and move it as fast as possible for you to get the answers you need.

    Take Control of Your Case

    Even if you’re not ready to meet with an attorney, you still need your questions answered. You’re an injured amateur against a colossal insurance company, and you need help! We have a lot available for you, and not just on this website. Be sure to download my workers’ compensation book for free, which answers a lot of questions you are likely already asking—or should ask.

    It won’t cost you a thing to meet with us, and it certainly won’t cost you anything but a little time to get your questions answered. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. We’ll get your questions answered and get you pointed in the right direction.

  • What should I bring to my first meeting with a car, motorcycle, or semi-truck accident attorney?

    The easy, short answer is: for your first meeting with a car, motorcycle, or tractor-trailer accident attorney, bring every piece of paper that might be related to your case. If you don’t have many papers, or even any papers, don’t worry—one thing good lawyers do is chase down the evidence. We’ll do it for you! Don’t think you need to delay meeting because you don’t have enough evidence just yet.

    Documents and Evidence You Can Bring To Our Spartanburg Office

    To help you get organized for the meeting, below are documents and evidence that are most helpful for an accident attorney to evaluate your case at the first meeting. Again, don’t worry if you don’t have all of these. They are listed pretty much in order of importance:

    1. Accident or collision report. The officer should have given you a form at the scene. That isn’t actually the full report, but it’s a start. If you have gotten the full report, bring it. Don’t worry if it says you’re at fault—the report could be wrong, and we might be able to right it.
    2. Pictures of anything related to your case. That includes pictures of your wrecked car and the at-fault driver’s car if you are lucky enough to get that. Pictures from the crash scene can be especially powerful. Pictures of your injuries can speak volumes—especially if you have gory cuts or broken bones. Don’t forget pictures related to your treatment, like cast or stitches removal. Another extremely powerful piece of evidence can be pictures showing your disabilities such as using a cane or walker or sleeping in a recliner.
    3. Contact information for any witnesses. Hopefully, the most important witnesses are recorded by the investigating officer on the crash report. But we also need witnesses who can testify about their observation of the pain and suffering inflicted on you by the accident, especially any physical difficulties or disabilities as a result.
    4. A medical provider list summarizing your treatment. This can be especially helpful, especially if you’ve undergone extensive treatment from many providers over a long time. This helps us hit the ground running on getting some of the most important evidence in your case—medical evidence of your injuries from clinical professionals. It also lets us know who we need to request medical bills from so we can help you get compensated for those.
    5. Letters or emails from insurance companies. This helps identify the claims rep, or adjuster, handling your case, and may give us a clue how they intend to defend against it.
    6. Any medical records you have. Don’t worry about not having all of your medical records—we can get those for you. But you have any notes from any doctor, bring them along because that helps give us a clue sometimes of the extent of your treatment and the nature of your injuries.
    7. Medical bills and receipts for payment. This helps us identify providers and prove that you paid them.
    8. Your health insurance card or your Medicaid or Medicare card. If you have any of these options to pay your medical bills, use them because that’s what they are for and they are the very best option. While you do have to repay them from your settlement, it just works out a whole lot better for you to do it that way, I promise.
    9. Lost wage documentation, if you lost time from work as a result of the injuries. You can be compensated for lost wages. Try to let us know a rough estimate of the total time you missed from work. You can bring pay stubs or even tax documents proving your lost income.
    10. Color copies of your photo ID, like a driver’s license. We likely need this for our file. It just helps identify you and may help us find information on the crash using your driver’s license number.
    11. Your declarations page for your own insurance. This is also called a “dec page.” It summarizes your coverage on your own auto policy. You get it from your auto insurance company when your policy renews. Believe it or not, seriously injured victims can recover compensation from their own insurance policy if they have the right kind of coverage. It’s called underinsurance, or UIM, and you need to KNOW WHAT IT IS. Having this coverage can make all the difference in the world, as shown by these cases we’ve handled:

    If you have time, organize everything into different categories and put it in a folder or file. This could save us a whole lot of time getting ready when you come in for your first meeting.

    Get Your Questions Answered- Schedule a Free Strategy Session Today

    If you’re worried what the meeting will be like, stop. It's free, and I’ve worked very hard to make it a breeze for you. Here’s a sneak peek what goes on at that meeting, which will assure you that gathering this information won’t be for nothing—because I’ll actually read it!

    If you’ve got any other questions about crash cases in general, be sure to download my FREE BOOK on crash cases. To get your questions answered, always feel free to call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

  • How is a mediated settlement agreement in family court approved over the objection of the other party?

    South Carolina law requires mediation in almost all custody and/or divorce actions before the parties may have a trial on contested issues. As we have previously discussed, the goal of mediation is to reach a settlement agreement between the parties. When this happens, the agreement can and should be produced in writing and signed by the parties and lawyers.

    Approving Agreements Over the Objections of One Party

    From time to time, one party changes their mind and wishes to repudiate—or back out of—the agreement. When this occurs, the party wishing for the agreement to be approved may seek approval of the settlement agreement notwithstanding the other party’s objection. This makes sense; otherwise, the mandatory mediation loses much of its effectiveness in resolving disputes.

    When one party attempts to back out of a mediated settlement agreement, the Court should approve the agreement if it finds four factors have been met:

    1. Is there an agreement?
    2. Did the parties freely and voluntarily enter into the agreement?
    3. Is the agreement fair from procedurally and substantive perspectives?
    4. Is the agreement detrimental to children? (only if relevant)

    Why You Need a Strong Advocate

    If you are involved in a divorce and/or custody case, it is important to have a lawyer who will advocate for you. If you have an experienced family court attorney by your side during mediation, you are less likely to be guided down the path where you would wish to back out of an agreement.

    Likewise, if you need to enforce an agreement, an experienced family law attorney will know how to present evidence in such a way as to give you the best shot at having the agreement approved. Don’t go at it alone—there is too much at stake.

    If you have questions about your divorce and/or custody case, please do not hesitate to call toll-free at 888-230-1841 and set up a consultation with an experienced family court attorney.

     

  • What is mediation in family court in South Carolina?

    Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution required in most family court actions as a way to resolve disputes between the parties without the necessity of trial. If you are going through a divorce and/or custody case, your case will be mediated, if it has not been already, prior to a contested final hearing.

    What to Expect From Mediation

    In mediation, a neutral third party attempts to assist the parties in negotiating a settlement. Most of the time, the parties’ attorneys are present. Most mediators place the parties, with their respective attorneys, in separate rooms and move back and forth trying to narrow the disputed issues.

    If an agreement can be reached on some or all of the issues, an agreement can be drafted and signed by the parties and their lawyers. Once this occurs, absent special circumstances, the agreement is enforceable and cannot be changed except by agreement of both parties.

    Why You Need a Lawyer

    Mediation, like all aspects of family court, should be taken very seriously. You need an advocate on your side who knows how to protect your interests. Too often, I see folks squander their opportunity at reaching an agreement and avoiding the expense and acrimony of a full-blown trial. On the other side of the coin, I often see folks enter into an agreement that is poorly worded or one-sided, which the person is likely stuck with. An experienced family court attorney can help you avoid these pitfalls.

    If you are going through a divorce and/or custody case and have questions as to mediation or your case in general, it is important to have a lawyer on your side. If you would like to discuss your case with a lawyer, do not hesitate to call toll-free at 888-230-1841 and set up a consultation.

  • I need to hire a criminal defense attorney. Can I bring a spouse, friend, or family member to meet the attorney?

    Absolutely—at my firm, anyway. We understand folks charged with crimes need all the support and help they can get. We definitely encourage that from your friends and family members, because it helps you as a person.

    And make no mistake, we also understand the importance of friends and family chipping in to help you pay one of the most worthwhile expenses in your life—for an experienced criminal defense lawyer you trust. While a good lawyer isn’t cheap, it’s an investment into protecting two priceless gifts: your freedom and your future. You need the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll be protected. Getting a discount on a cheap lawyer won’t help, and it can definitely hurt when it matters most.

    You’re Always in Charge

    Even when others help you pay the fee, we make it clear to them you’re still the boss. This case is about you, not anyone else. The person whose life it affects the most is you. So, we make it absolutely, positively clear to anyone who helps you out that while we are incredibly thankful for their contribution, it is you who makes the ultimate decision on how your case is handled.

    We help captain your ship, of course. But you own the ship. It doesn’t matter who helps you pay for it. And we’re just the captain. We tell you where we think you should go, but in the end, you do what’s best for you and nobody else.

    Schedule a Strategy Session Today

    If you’ve got any questions about your criminal case, we offer a free, no-pressure strategy session where you can bring your friends and relatives to get their questions answered too. But if you want to meet alone with us in complete confidence, we respect and honor that—even if it means politely excusing everyone else from the room. Don’t worry; we won’t make you the bad guy there—we’ve done it so many times, it will make everyone feel comfortable.

    If you want to know what it’s like to work with us, check out these reviews by real-life clients on a website we don’t control.  

    To get started on your defense, call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

     

  • What are the major causes of fatal semi-trailer accidents?

    Since truckers are professional drivers, you’re right to wonder why so many 18-wheelers cause deadly crashes. And you’re not the only one wondering—the federal government is, too. That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates trucking safety, commissioned a study to find out what makes truckers cause fatal crashes.

    Warning: the top causes are simply appalling, as these mistakes that kill people are violations of the most basic rules of safe driving that even ordinary drivers are expected to honor.

    Statistics on the 10 Major Causes of Fatal Trucking Accidents

    Using fatal large truck crash data from 2017, the study concluded these are the top causes of fatal accidents by semi drivers:

    1. Speeding – Truckers drive 80,000-pound monster machines that are horrifyingly difficult to stop and they really do know it's critical to avoid speeding because it truly is a deadly sin for a trucker. Sadly, too many of them just get to wrapped up in making an on-time delivery, sacrificing our safety.              
    2. Distraction/inattention – This includes the most dangerous article in any vehicle: a cell phone. But it also includes just daydreaming, being lost in thought, or even eating. I’ve written on how truckers know way more than us that they can’t afford to drive distracted.
    3. Failure to yield right of way – This could be turning left in front of an innocent driver who has a green light. Or blowing through an intersection while a car tries to finish going through it. The results are devastating.
    4. Impairment – Likely the most disturbing factor, not to mention it’s in the top 5! As you might expect, this includes impairment from drugs or alcohol, which for a trucker is a death wish for the rest of us on the roads. Interestingly, the study includes some unexpected definitions of impaired. One of them is from fatigue. Overworked truckers are such a supreme safety concern there are federal regulations limiting the amount of time they can drive. This remains a regular concern in any tractor-trailer accident and can form the basis for punitive damages against the trucker and the trucking company who allowed him to do it.
    5. Careless driving – This is almost a catch-all definition that could define almost any driving mistake. The fact a professional driver entrusted with the most enormous machines we let out on the highway could ever drive careless is plain astonishing.   
    6. Vision obscured by weather, roadway design, vehicles, etc. - While it’s hard to conceive a trucker would have vision obscured by anything when he sits so high above the road with an enormous windshield, this factor just shows truckers should be expected to be more vigilant than the rest of us. As for bad weather, truckers are expected to overcome this because they are highly trained and held to a high legal standard by federal regulations.    
    7. Failure to keep in the proper traffic lane – It’s easy for us ordinary drivers to understand how driving a 40-ton machine might be hard to maintain a lane. But we aren’t professionals, truckers are. This is unacceptable. “Stay in your lane, bro.”
    8. Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic lights or traffic officers and failure to obey safety zone traffic laws – There’s just no excuse for a professional trucker to ignore a stop sign, red light, or police directing traffic. Sadly, truckers ignoring construction work zone safety rules are a key cause of wrecks with injuries and deaths.
    9. Following improperly – We all know the term for this: tailgating. When you’re driving an 18-wheeler, it’s just menacing, and it’s no surprise this is a top cause of fatal crashes. Truckers are expected to know extensive safety guidelines to keep this from happening. Apparently, it’s not enough.                                              
    10. Overcorrecting – This can happen when a trucker goes through a curve wrong, creating one of the most horrifying crashes on any road: the rollover.                              

    What’s Really Behind These Causes and What Do We Do About It?

    If your family suffered a deadly trucking accident, life is traumatized and overwhelming enough. You’ll need legal help for a lot of reasons, but for you, chief among them is the trucking company likely already has an attorney and legion of experts lined up against you- not to mention trucking cases are much more complicated than an ordinary car crash.

    And there very well may be someone behind this case that wasn’t out on the road – the trucking company.

    That’s why the law allows the trucking company to be held accountable for mistakes it helped create, which led to the crash. Sometimes that’s where the challenge starts—do you really even know who the trucking company is?

    Don’t risk losing compensation your family might really need. Get your questions answered by an experienced fatal trucking accident attorney who’s written a book on car crash cases that includes a chapter on 18-wheeler accidents. Download the book for FREE.

    To get your questions answered, call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. If you're wondering what it’s like to work with me and my team, check out these real-life reviews from actual clients on a website we don’t control.

     

  • Why is it tough to get a settlement for a slip or trip and fall in South Carolina?

    Because the law can work against you, and the insurance company definitely will.

    What the Law Says

    First, there’s the law. You’ve got to prove it’s someone else’s fault you fell. It’s just not as simple as showing you fell on something that wasn’t supposed to be there. The law requires you to prove wrongdoing by the business or property owner caused your fall.

    But the law’s on your side in two important ways: you don’t always have to prove anyone had “notice” of the danger, and you can still have a case sometimes if the danger was obvious.

    Often, you’ve got to prove the fall wasn’t your fault, or it wasn’t more your fault. In many cases, you’ve got to deal with the “comparative negligence” defense, which can reduce or even prevent a settlement. It usually grows out of the primary defense you might hear while you’re still laid out on the floor: Why didn’t you look where you were going?  

    What the Insurance Company Will Do

    And then comes the insurance company, whose claims representative will do all she can to convince you the deck’s just too stacked against you.

    Don’t believe it. There’s hope. If you’re seriously hurt, your case justifies the intervention of a skilled accident injury lawyer for this and other important reasons.

    You need a guide to shine a light through the darkness and pilot you safely to shore. For the right case, justice can be achieved, but you’ll need help. Don’t miss your one and only chance at getting your medical bills paid and obtaining compensation for all of your harm. 

    How We Can Help

    To get your questions answered, call me toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

    To get an idea of how we will treat you, read these real-life stories by clients telling what it’s like to work with us.

     

  • What are the factors the courts consider in equitable division of marital assets and debts?

    South Carolina law sets forth factors for the court to consider when dividing married folks’ assets and debts. The factors the court considers are as follows:

    (1) the duration of the marriage together with the ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce or separate maintenance or other marital action between the parties;

    (2)  marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties, whether or not used as a basis for a divorce as such, if the misconduct affects or has affected the economic circumstances of the parties, or contributed to the breakup of the marriage; provided, that no evidence of personal conduct which would otherwise be relevant and material for purposes of this subsection shall be considered with regard to this subsection if such conduct shall have taken place subsequent to the happening of the earliest of:

    (a) entry of a pendente lite order in a divorce or separate maintenance action;

    (b) formal signing of a written property or marital settlement agreement; or

    (c) entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement between the parties;

    (3) the value of the marital property, whether the property be within or without the State. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in value of the marital property, including the contribution of the spouse as homemaker; provided, that the court shall consider the quality of the contribution as well as its factual existence;

    (4) the income of each spouse, the earning potential of each spouse, and the opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets;

    (5) the health, both physical and emotional, of each spouse;

    (6) the need of each spouse or either spouse for additional training or education in order to achieve that spouses' income potential;

    (7) the nonmarital property of each spouse;

    (8) the existence or nonexistence of vested retirement benefits for each or either spouse;

    (9) whether separate maintenance or alimony has been awarded;

    (10) the desirability of awarding the family home as part of equitable distribution or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of any children;

    (11) the tax consequences to each or either party as a result of any particular form of equitable apportionment;

    (12) the existence and extent of any support obligations, from a prior marriage or for any other reason or reasons, of either party;

    (13) liens and any other encumbrances upon the marital property, which themselves must be equitably divided, or upon the separate property of either of the parties, and any other existing debts incurred by the parties or either of them during the course of the marriage;

    (14) child custody arrangements and obligations at the time of the entry of the order; and

    (15) such other relevant factors as the trial court shall expressly enumerate in its order.

    Why You Need to Consult an Attorney

    When facing the breakdown of a marriage, many things are at stake—one of which is the apportionment of marital assets and debts. The court can make a determination as to who receives the marital home, decide whether or not retirement accounts are divided, address ownership of family businesses, and divide any other asset which is deemed marital property. Likewise, the court can require one party to be responsible for certain debts over the other, and vice versa. For this reason, when you are facing a divorce or other marital litigation where the division of assets and debts needs to be determined, you must have an attorney who can advocate for you.

    Your attorney should be able to explain the factors as set forth above and how they are often considered by the courts. Additionally, your attorney needs to know how to best present evidence to the family court as to the facts in your case and how they are applied to the factors for consideration in order to obtain the best possible result for you under the circumstances.

    If you have questions about divorce or would like to discuss the division of assets and debts, please call toll-free 888-230-1841 to set up a consultation.

  • Will my accident injury settlement affect my Social Security Disability benefits?

    It depends. Folks who receive Social Security Disability need those monthly benefits—it might be the only income you can get due to a disabling health condition or prior injury. The law doesn’t discourage Social Security Disability recipients from seeking justice, but you’ve got to protect your rights—or your settlement could create a financial strain you can’t afford.

    Here’s How a Settlement Could Affect Your Social Security Disability Benefits

    If you’re hurt on the job, monthly Social Security benefits can be reduced by your workers’ compensation settlement, even if you don’t get Social Security until after your workers’ compensation case is over. But there’s good news! An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will know how to minimize that reduction with an important legal maneuver. The resulting money put back in your pocket makes the workers’ compensation case well worth pursuing.

    Any other accident settlement may impact you, depending on the type of benefits you're getting.

    • If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the settlement has NO effect on your benefits. Whether it’s a car or motorcycle accident, an 18-wheeler or commercial truck crash, a slip or trip and fall, medical malpractice, or any other type of injury, your settlement won’t reduce your benefits at all.
    • If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits could be impacted. You must report the settlement to Social Security. You'll need to take that into consideration and get professional legal advice on the best way to minimize the effect.

    One important thing to remember if you’re on disability—don’t forget Medicare or Medicaid, because they won’t forget you. You’ve got a looming disaster hanging over your case if you don’t properly protect Medicare or Medicaid’s rights. And if you’re on Medicare, your case may require a complicated negotiation with Medicare about future medical treatment related to your injury, called a Medicare Set-Aside.

    The takeaway here is, Social Security Disability recipients are just as worthy of compensation for your medical bills and injuries as anyone else, but your case has an extra wrinkle for those disability benefits.

    Ready to talk to a lawyer about SSD benefits? Call us at 864-582-0416 or fill out a contact form with your information.

    If You’re Seriously Hurt, Don’t Risk It Going Alone

    Though you have the right to pursue your case, you’ve still got to make sure you do it right—and be certain you protect your Social Security Disability rights at the same time. Here are the best reasons to hire an injury attorney or car accident attorney.

    If you’re on Social Security Disability and get seriously hurt, your case has a lot of moving parts. Get started now on free advice from a professional who’s experienced at solving problems like yours. It will only cost you a little time to get your questions answered—call us toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form for a free strategy session about your case.

    For more information on your case, be sure to download our FREE BOOK on crash cases and FREE BOOK on workers' comp cases, which we provide as a service to folks like you.

    You can also scout us out with real client reviews on an attorney review service we don’t own.