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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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  • I am a pretty smart person who normally handles my own affairs, and I don’t see why my divorce should be any different. After all, I know what I think is fair. Should I try to save some money by not getting a lawyer and negotiating my own marital settlement agreement?

    The answer is almost certainly not. I have seen many people regret the day they represented themselves in a divorce, particularly when there is an attorney on the other side. Often, these are educated people. Sometimes, they run successful businesses that they created from the ground up. And many times, they end up with agreements approved by the family court that are unfair to them or not practical in their application, or both.


    The following are some of the reasons why you should get an attorney:

    • Some portions of agreements are final (unless very special circumstances exist), such as equitable division and a waiver of alimony.
    • Some things, like child-related issues and support obligations, can’t be changed unless there is a change in circumstance. So if you later realize you don’t like it or it’s unfair, you can’t necessarily change it.
    • Ambiguous terms and obligations can leave you paying more than you anticipated.
    • There are certain tax consequences of which you should be aware.


    Family law may seem straightforward, but it is the details that are often difficult. Many lawyers who don’t practice in family law are surprised to learn how complicated it can sometimes be. If some lawyers find it difficult, and they are trained to practice law, that should tell non-lawyers to pause before deciding to represent themselves.


    Consider the following examples…


    • The person who agrees to receive a certain amount of alimony on a monthly basis. This person believes it is enough to meet his monthly needs, until he realizes that it is taxable. But there has been no change of circumstances, so he is likely stuck.


    • The person who agrees to pay certain monthly obligations, such as continuing health insurance, instead of a set alimony payment. What happens over the years if this health insurance premium increases, going from $300 to $600 a month? Can the spouse who was ordered to pay it, get it changed? Maybe it is a change in circumstance, but was it an anticipated change? And doesn’t the spouse who is covered now have different circumstances too? It is unclear.


    • The person who takes his share of the marital estate in a 401(k) without considering that, to get the cash portion of it, he will be penalized and taxed. Again, equitable division is almost always final.


    • The person who agrees to college support. One of the most well-intentioned unrepresented pitfalls in the family court is the provision that simply says: Father (or mother) will pay college expenses. What happens when the child elects to go to an expensive private school at the other parent’s insistence—the  one who’s not paying—and no effort is made to obtain grants or scholarships? What happens when the child loses the Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) scholarship because he is not interested in doing well in school and isn’t invested in his education? The child suffers no financial consequences when he makes all Cs or Ds, and the parent who agrees to pay college expenses is probably stuck footing the bill. Not only is a lot of money wasted, but the child graduates college (if he graduates) viewing the world as a place where he is rewarded for no reason and effort is unnecessary.


    The above are examples of how not having a lawyer can come back to haunt you. Getting divorced is serious business, and you should have a lawyer who is well versed in handling these sorts of issues. If you are facing a divorce or a Decree of Separate Maintenance and would like to discuss it, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Holland & Usry, PA at 864.582.0416 or toll free at 888.230.1841 for your confidential consultation.


  • Can I get the no-contact condition of my bond removed? I got charged with domestic violence, but my wife and I are trying to reconcile.

    Possibly, but you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you. 

    Until the no-contact condition gets lifted, DO NOT violate it. Doing so could cause your re-arrest and expose you to the possibility of staying in jail until your case is over. 

    Here’s how we try to get the no-contact bail provision lifted:

    • Spousal consent. If possible, we like some assurance that your spouse wants the condition lifted—a clearly worded letter or email, or a promise to tell the judge at the hearing will do. If your spouse won’t consent, forget it. You can’t expect a judge to lift a condition designed to protect someone if the protected person objects. 
    • File a motion to amend (change) bond conditions. In the motion, we list good reasons to justify the judge in lifting the no-contact provision. Reconciliation is an excellent one, as is help with child rearing. 
    • Present arguments at the hearing. We go before the judge to decide the motion. The state prosecutor will be there. Your spouse will be there. Expect the judge to ask your spouse if she agrees to lifting the condition, and if so, why. We present your arguments showing all the good reasons the judge should. 
    • The judge issues an order. Hopefully, it lifts the no-contact condition or allows some contact, like counseling or help with children. 

    Domestic abuse suspects who want no-contact provisions removed from bail orders face prosecutors who oppose them and judges who need to be extremely cautious in lifting these provisions. To give yourself the best shot at getting the provision lifted—not to mention winning your case—you need an experienced lawyer who is not afraid to stand up for you and point out how a so-called victim can change her mind, and how you both have the right to save your relationship even if it got a little rocky. There’s a whole lot more at stake than just your freedom—it’s your family. 

    At Holland & Usry, we are sensitive to your needs and how reconciliation can be best for everyone in the end. Call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 now to start building your defense and paving the way to reconciliation, if reconciliation's best for you.


  • My child was playing in our backyard and wandered onto our neighbor’s property where she was injured when she fell into his pool. She has a concussion, she is hurting, and medical bills are adding up. Can I hold my neighbor liable?

    Yes, if certain facts and circumstances apply. Historically, it has been recognized that the owner of property has no duty to protect trespassers from injury. However, one long-held exception is when it comes to children. In recent years South Carolina has simplified the law to a single exception to this enduring trespassers’ rule, dangerous conditions that injure children.

    The law recognizes that children have curious minds and sometimes cannot fully understand the dangers in which they put themselves. Thus, landowners should be mindful of the possibility of children coming onto their property, and should take reasonable steps to protect them from harm.

    Premise Liability for Trespassers Exception

    In South Carolina, the owner of land may be held responsible for physical harm to children trespassing on his property caused by a dangerous condition if…

    • The landowner knows, or should know, that children are likely to come onto the property. For example, the landowner lives in a suburban neighborhood but may not have a fence around his property.
    • On the property is an object or condition which the landowner knows—or should know—could cause death or serious bodily harm to children. Think: This landowner has a pool.
    • The child injured is too young or inexperienced to understand the risk involved with the condition. Think: A five-year-old would not fully grasp the risk of falling into this pool by playing near it.
    • The benefit of maintaining the condition versus the cost required to make the condition safer is minimal compared to the risk to children. Think: The cost to put a fence around the pool or a cover on the pool would be rather inexpensive, while the risk to children is serious injury or death.
    • The landowner fails to exercise reasonable care or eliminate the danger. Think: There is no fence around the yard or cover on the pool when the child is injured.

    Whether we’re talking about a swimming pool, a trampoline, or an old refrigerator tucked away in a garage, these dangerous items seem to fascinate kids—and yet they are serious hazards for children.

    As you can see, in certain cases a parent or guardian can recover on behalf of an injured child who wanders onto another’s property and is injured…but each case is different. And you should hire a professional to handle it the right way from the start, since you’ll likely end up in court to get a settlement approved.

    If your child has been injured on another’s property, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Holland & Usry, P.A. at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841 for a free and confidential consultation.


  • Do I have any hope of winning my DUI when the officer took my blood and urine? Doesn’t he just have to show up at court with my medical records and BANG, I’m convicted?

    You do have hope to win…if you get an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side.

    There are many ways to overcome a blood or urine sample by keeping it out of evidence, which could lead to a dismissal or a plea deal you can live with. But the law is complex and it requires gathering facts you might not know are important to present the right arguments to the judge. Here are some of the main ones:

    Sound simple? So is flying into outer space, when all you see is the rocket fire and soar into the sky. The reason it seems simple is that the professionals handle all the details. If you’ve got a blood or urine DUI case, you need a professional to handle your details.

    For other questions about DUI or DUAC cases, check out our free report on the subject. Feel free to email us with your questions so we can schedule a free meeting to start building your defense.


  • How long do I have to file for workers’ comp in South Carolina?

    It depends. That’s why you need to find an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. For most employees—and for most injuries—there are actually two critical deadlines to meet. If you miss the deadlines, well, you’re out of luck.

    Deadline for Notice of Injury to Employer

    To qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you must “give notice” to your employer of your injury. That means tell your employer you got hurt. Usually this involves telling your supervisor or a manager.

    • Typical case. Most cases come from accidents—a single event like a car crash or pain rocketing down your back when you pick up a heavy object. These cases require notice to be given within 90 days of the triggering incident.
    • Repetitive trauma injuries. These injuries happen bit by bit over time, such as leg pain from standing at a cashier station day after day or shoulder joint damage from operating a vibrating machine in an industrial plant. You must notify your employer within 90 days of the date you discovered the injury, or could have discovered it if you used reasonable diligence. Watch out! “Could have discovered” can be a trap the insurance uses to deny benefits.
    • Exceptions. There are some, but why sweat bullets over them? Take action now.

    Deadline to File Claim

    Your right to workers’ compensation benefits ends if you don’t file a claim on time. “File” means sending required documentation to the workers’ compensation commission.

    • Typical case. You must file within two years of the accident.
    • Repetitive trauma injuries. You must file within two years of the date you knew or should have known of the injury. Again, “should have known” can be an insurance company trap to keep you from benefits. There’s an outright deadline of seven years from the last exposure to injury.

    Don’t Wait—Too Much Is At Stake

    Waiting jeopardizes your vital rights to medical care and income you’ll need if you can’t work. Don’t leave your health and your family’s financial future to chance—or to the mercy of your employer’s insurance company, because you won’t get any.

    Do one simple thing so you can rest easy: call (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 for a free meeting to discuss the law of your case, how it affects your rights, and how we can maximize your benefits.


  • My doctor says I have a repeated motion injury from work. Can I still get workers’ comp?

    Yes, if you can present your case the right way. South Carolina workers’ compensation law calls these “repetitive trauma injuries.” Here’s a little more on them:

    • Definition. The typical on-the-job injury results from a single event, like a fall or getting yanked into a machine. But repetitive trauma injuries occur over time from the combined effects of repeated activity. Classic examples include factory or maintenance workers required to make the same repeated moves, day after day, like reaching up or lifting objects.
    • Proof. The law, insurance companies, and commissioners are skeptical of these injuries. To get benefits, you’ve got a complex legal standard to meet. Basically, you must prove by proper medical evidence that it’s likely your repeated, regular job duties caused your injury.

    Sound tough? It is. These cases are hard-fought because they’re hard to prove. If you’re a victim of a repetitive trauma injury, you owe it to yourself and your family to protect your rights to medical treatment and disability income. Hire a professional who knows how to win your case—because the insurance company already has a legion of adjusters, investigators, and lawyers who know how to win theirs. Email us or call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 to set up a free meeting on how to prove your case.


  • Can I recover income I lost while caring for my injured spouse?

    Unfortunately not, but you can recover for other damage to your marital relationship as a result of the accident. It’s called loss of consortium, a topic we have recently discussed on this website- see the link below. If you actually witnessed the accident from a nearby view point, you might also qualify to recover for extreme emotional distress, provided you can meet the fairly tough burden of proof, which we also discuss below.

    What About Employment-Related Injuries?

    If your spouse got hurt in a workers’ compensation accident—in other words, got hurt on the job—the South Carolina workers’ compensation law unfortunately provides no recovery for you. Because these benefits are already limited, it makes it even more important to be sure your spouse has an experienced lawyer to protect his or her rights against an insurance company bent on saving money and increasing profits by shortchanging injured workers. Vital benefits are at risk, including permanent disability compensation and future medical treatment, especially if your spouse qualifies as permanently and totally disabled.

    If you’re missing time at work to care for a spouse disabled from an accident injury, your plate is way too full to solve your legal problem alone. Call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 to set up a free meeting how we can protect both of your rights to compensation from the wrongdoer who hurt you.

  • Can I get a financial recovery for pain and suffering in my workers’ compensation case?

    Usually not, which makes it more important for you to have a professional on your side to maximize the limited benefits you can get from workers’ comp, and to guide you through the many options you have after an on-the-job injury. We’ll touch on those in a second.

    Even though the general rule is that you can’t collect for pain and suffering, there is one important exception. If you can prove someone besides your employer caused you to get hurt, you can sue the at-fault party in a third-party action. The classic example is a car crash when you’re driving for work.

    Workers' Compensation Excludes Pain and Suffering

    The reason you usually can’t get pain and suffering in workers’ comp is due to the nature of workers’ compensation. It’s basically an agreement between employees and employers (for all practical purposes, employer insurance companies). Employees agree not to sue employers for work injuries. In exchange, employers provide certain benefits for most job injuries, without requiring the employee to prove fault.

    Here are the basic benefits that South Carolina workers’ compensation provides. You’ll be most interested in the last one:

    Even though you can’t get money for pain and suffering, your workers’ compensation case can be complicated with all its settlement options. And you’ll likely be confronted by an insurance company seeking every chance to make things hard on you and shortchange you in the end. Don’t let that happen. No matter how seriously you are hurt, take the time to call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416, or start a live chat where you are. We can talk about your options and see if we can help you protect your rights to the medical care you need and the financial compensation you should get.


  • I had a bad driving record when I was younger and my license has been permanently revoked. Is there anything I can do to get my driver’s license back?

    Yes. In some circumstances a person whose driver’s license has been revoked permanently based on a bad driving record can get his license back. It is not easy, but it can be done.

    A big part of the puzzle is that the person who had his license revoked must correct the behavior that led to the revocation. In order to get his license reinstated, he must show the following to be true:

    1. He must not been convicted for any alcohol or drug violations during the previous seven years…and not just in South Carolina, but in any state.

    2. He must not have been convicted of or have any charges pending for a driving violation during the previous seven-year period in South Carolina or any other state.

    3. He must have successfully completed the program provided by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services in South Carolina (ADSAP).

    4. His overall driving record, habits, character, and driving ability would make it safe for him to operate a motor vehicle.

    As you may imagine the first three are fairly easy to show. Either they have occurred or they haven’t occurred. It’s the last condition that is subjective. That is why one important part of the process is to have an attorney who knows how to present the evidence in a way that will best show that it is safe for you to have a driver’s license. This is an action that is filed in the Circuit Court, and is tried in front of a Circuit Court judge.

    No Easy Way to Restore A Permanently Revoked License

    If your license has been permanently revoked, there is no easy path to regaining your license. If you are eligible to apply, you must show seven years of “good behavior.” That’s difficult, but it can be done.

    If you would like to discuss your driver’s license problems or traffic-related charges with the attorneys of Holland & Usry, please do not hesitate to contact us at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841 for a free, confidential consultation.


  • What does the law say about driving 18-wheelers in bad weather?

    Federal regulations require the driver of a semi-trailer, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or other large truck to use—and I quote—“extreme caution” when driving in “hazardous conditions” that reduce visibility or tire traction. You might be surprised to learn the law defines “hazardous conditions” to include:

    • Snow
    • Ice
    • Sleet
    • Fog
    • Mist
    • Rain
    • Dust
    • Smoke

    In these conditions, federal regulations require speed to be reduced. If the situation becomes sufficiently dangerous, the trucker is required to stop. We’ve already written about how commercial truckers should handle slick roads.

    Bad Weather is No Excuse for an 18-Wheeler Accident

    Few things on the interstate are more terrifying than encountering these highway mammoths in bad weather. While truckers are legally required to use extreme caution in bad weather, don’t let your guard down. Truckers sometimes are blinded to safety requirements, just as they’re blinded by blowing snow or thick fog. But these regulations have some real teeth in them when a violation causes a crash.

    And if you get victimized by a crash as a result, don’t let a truck driver’s insurance company victimize you twice. Send us an email so we can talk about how to enforce your rights for a fair recovery without breaking the rules of the road and the laws of the land.


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