The more I practice law and take cases to trial, the more I am amazed that the general population thinks the case is truly against the Defendant with no insurance since an insurance company is not also named. Guess, what? You can not mention insurance in a trial. You focus on who or what did something wrong and as a result of them doing something wrong what damages have you incurred. Sure the insurance company is paying for that Defendant’s attorney 9 out of 10 times or it could even be your insurance company providing a defense to the other side for harming you, ie uninsured & underinsured coverage. Imagine getting struck by some reckless and careless uninsured drunk or underinsured driver with your whole family in the vehicle only to find out they have no assets, minimal coverage that will never make you whole or no insurance coverage at all. Well guess whose insurance company will provide them a defense against paying you full compensation in trial, stand up and poke holes in your case/life, and sit at the table with the drunk? In some scenarios your hard earned premiums paid to your insurance company is paying for that idiot’s defense against you. The good news is that at least it allows you to recover more than being dependent upon the drunk idiot and their personal coverages or assets.

One of my recent trials in Anderson County, involved a scenario of what happens when you have underinsured (UIM) coverage on your vehicle, along with behind the scenes negotiations. The at fault driver had $50,000/$100,000 in coverage which was a step above minimal coverage in South Carolina. It was a significant t-bone type collision with a litany of diagnostic testing at the ER that same day that all came back normal, thankfully. My client continued to have pains and followed up with orthopedic visits and PT but no definitive injury was diagnosed or could be pointed to with an MRI exam. The client continued to live their life with some modifications and inconveniences and that was the driving force in them wanting to have their day in court. However, the jury never knew we took the guaranteed money from the at fault driver during the mandatory mediation and therefore the client’s own insurance company fought against her and appeared to represent the Defendant during trial. To collect additional monies from her underinsured coverage, we would have to get a verdict over and above $50,000.00. After a hard fought battle stressing the human losses of my client on top of the significant collision and trauma, combated with the defense attorney stressing no actual injury, gaps in treatment, social media photos of my client doing activities that appeared to not limit her in anyway, the unanimous verdict came back at $50,000.00. We had hinted around at $125,000.00 but based on some juror feedback post trial, the female jurors thought my client’s legs were too toned to be that out of shape or without activity. Some of the men on the jury were willing to give the $125,000 but did not fight hard against the other jurors in the deliberation room that lowered the value. How they came to exactly $50,000.00 without knowing all the details outlined above, is amazing and ironic. Normally any verdict above the past medical bills submitted in conservative upstate, South Carolina venues is a win. However, to get that “good” of a verdict and collect nothing further was hard for both my client and myself. The flip side of those thoughts and feelings is in reality we had already collected money and been paid. Like athletic coaching, law can be the same, “What have you done for me lately?”, mentality when it comes to new money on cases or new cases with new facts being judged on past results & past facts.

Regardless of the behind the scenes actions, negotiations, or settlements, if you are a juror the main focus is what evidence and testimony can be presented to you during trial, coupled with the law the judge charges you with. Don’t come back and ask about things you never heard mentioned in trial but know to be true (Yes, there is an accident report from most wrecks but it is no admissible evidence. Yes, there is insurance and we cannot tell you how much, if any, has already been paid). If you saw how thick the books on Evidence and Civil Procedure are in law school you would appreciate that all those facts were able to be presented to you in such a timely and orderly manner. Of course we are fighting to get you more information and testimony during those breaks when you leave the room. Then again, sometimes the Judge, Clerk, court reporter or attorneys are tardy or just telling stories of the “Good ol Days”.

On Saturday, June 17, 1995, I had just returned from an up & down week at South Carolina’s Palmetto Boys State, sponsored by the American Legion. It was up & down due to the weird things going on with my body that just didn’t seem normal-night sweats, back pains, inability to use the bathroom at times, throwing up after I ate, & being really tired participating in sports activities throughout the week.

Continue Reading Saturday, June 17, 1995 & Living the Dream

I was talking to a psychiatrist at  a party once that asked what I did. I explained that I was a plaintiff’s lawyer and helped the poor, impoverished David’s of the world fight the big Goliaths, such as insurance companies. He laughed and said, “So the insurance company drags things out hoping that your clients will lose interest, motivation, or just give up?” I was shocked because in one sentence he outlined the crux of the insurance company defense and modus operandi.

Continue Reading Insurance Companies Love Your Apathy, Passiveness, & Shallow Pockets

The subject has come up too many times in the past couple weeks where clients are disputing what is documented in their medical records that were written by their own treating physicians. I will admit, prior to becoming an attorney in South Carolina, I would trust what the doctor told me in the private setting of the examination room. As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend.”

Continue Reading Why Your Medical Records Matter in Personal Injury Cases

They say imitation is the best form of flattery. As I watched the morning news at my home in Greenville, #yeahthatGreenville, I always like to compare my fellow lawyers’ commercials against our own. Yet this time,  I thought I was actually watching our commercial and found myself doing double takes.

Continue Reading They Say Imitation… We See You Looking Carolina Law Group

Through various avenues and referral sources, I often times get some interesting questions about “potential” cases. Lately, I have been looking over my shoulder for the hidden camera or wondering which one of my friends in playing a joke on me. I’m not sure it’s a result of our litigous nature, the dying art of customer service, or people just dont have time to properly deal with issues that arise.

Continue Reading When Do I Hire an Attorney vs. Handling It Myself?

From a field of more than 2,000 potential nominees, SC Injury Law Journal Blog has received enough
nominations to join the 250 legal blogs participating in one of the largest competitions for legal blog writing online today.

Now that the blogs have been nominated and placed into their respective categories, it is up to their readers to select the very best. With an open voting format that allows participants one vote per blog, the competition will be a true test of the dedication of each blog’s existing readers, while also giving up-and-coming players in the legal blogging space exposure to a wider audience.

Each blog will compete for rank within its category, while the three blogs that receive the most votes in any category will be crowned overall winners.

The competition will run from August 27th until the close of voting at 12:00AM on October 9th, at which point the votes will be tallied and the winners announced.


Many times when people are involved in a work accident, they will aggravate an old injury. We oftentimes hear concerns from these individuals that the Workers’ Compensation (“WC”) insurance carrier MAY NOT cover medical treatment for these types of re-injuries.  So the question in South Carolina becomes, is a work accident that aggravates and/or makes worse a pre-existing injury covered by the employer’s WC insurance carrier?

Continue Reading Will Workers’ Compensation Cover an Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Injury?

A recent Forbes article written by Steve Cohen entitled, “On Tort Reform, It’s Time to Declare Victory and Withdraw“, debunks the myths set forth many years ago when the catchy phrased initiative first started. Given the many states that have passed those “reforms”, aka insurance company dream goals to make more money, quantitative information is available to actually measure results. Since many of you went along hook line and sinker, let’s see what you have done to yourselves. Drum roll please….

Continue Reading Tort Reform Results: Higher Insurance Profits, Lower Patient Safety Initiatives & Higher Med Mal Premiums for Doctors

Many times we see potential clients fail to follow through with a Workers’ Compensation claim because they are “job scared.”  Some of the individuals may have a promising but new career with their employer, other times the individual has been employed with the same company for 20+ years and fear losing a good job.  If you have been injured on the job and are job scared, please read this before deciding NOT to pursue a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Continue Reading Injured on the Job? Too ‘Job Scared’ to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?