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”.

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Photo of Trey Mills Trey Mills

Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III knows that suffering a personal injury through no fault of your own can be a nightmare for the victim and his or her family

Mr. Mills was born on April 24, 1978.  His parents, Floyd S. “Butch” Mills,

Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III knows that suffering a personal injury through no fault of your own can be a nightmare for the victim and his or her family

Mr. Mills was born on April 24, 1978.  His parents, Floyd S. “Butch” Mills, Jr. and Patricia Yarborough Mills, were originally from Newberry, South Carolina, and soon after the birth of Mr. Mills, his parents brought him back to be raised in the same county they grew up in.

Education

Mr. Mills attended Newberry Academy from grades K-3, Gallman Elementary 4th grade, Rikard Elementary 5-6th grade, Mid-Carolina Middle School 7-8th grades, Mid-Carolina High School from 9-12th grades, Clemson University, and Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

Health Crisis

While Mr. Mills was a junior in high school he was chosen by his school to be a representative to Boys State.  This was a great honor and would have been an even better experience except, while at Boys State, Mr. Mills became unusually ill with blackouts, night sweats, and back pain.  Fortunately for Mr. Mills, his mother was an ER nurse at Lexington Medical Center, but unfortunately, for Mr. Mills that did not change his diagnosis of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  Along with his diagnosis, Mr. Mills received a prognosis of two weeks.

Obviously, Mr. Mills has been blessed with his second chance at life and those who have been wronged by health care insurance companies and other types of insurance companies can feel confident in knowing that Mr. Mills can not only empathize with them but fight fervently for their side.  Mr. Mills’ cancer experience and his mother’s arduous yet unsuccessful battle against lung cancer were very trying times.  However, those real-world battles and experiences were nothing compared to the administrative and billing wars he had to encounter with Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance. It seems BCBS would deny any charge over $1,000 without rational reasoning therefore prompting Mr. Mills to go to law school and carry the torch for those that were too ill to fight for themselves while the school yard bully beat them down.

College

Mr. Mills went on to Clemson University where he was very active in student activities along with academic accomplishments.  Mr. Mills was invited to join Calhoun Honor’s College, Sigma Pi fraternity, Golden Key National Honor Society, Student Government, IPTAY Student Advisory Board, and Tiger Brotherhood. Mr. Mills also worked as a student employee with IPTAY Scholarship Fund under the direction of Bert Henderson, formerly the Associate Athletic Director of Planned Giving at Clemson University.

Early Life

Mr. Mills was unsure of where his hard work and life experiences would best provide an adequate return to the outpouring of kindness he received during his cancer experience. Having received many blessings from the American Red Cross, Mr. Mills went on to be an Apheresis Donor Recruiter under the supervision of Barry Pollard at the American Red Cross Blood Donor Services in Columbia, SC after graduating Clemson University.

Running from his true calling, Mr. Mills fled to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).  Having spent a semester of college in Madrid, Spain, Mr. Mills thought he should be assisting foreign countries. Mr. Mills was certified by the Vancouver Language Centre in Guadalajara for his TEFL training.  Mr. Mills was in Guadalajara only a few months when September 11, 2001 occurred and helped him focus on his life priorities.

Law School

Mr. Mills went on to law school at Mercer University and clerked each summer trying to determine how he could best serve those less fortunate.  The corporate law firms never truly provided him with that personal feeling of assisting the common person in need.  It wasn’t until Mr. Mills became the first law clerk of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association under the supervision of Linda Franklin and lobbyist Michael Gunn that he realized where his education, life experience, drive, and hard work could truly benefit those who have been personally and directly affected by the negligence of another.  Mr. Mills wanted to be a coveted and much needed plaintiff’s trial attorney.  More importantly Mr. Mills realized the power of the faceless insurance companies, misinformed legislative members, and the true power of money and lobbyist in dictating laws.

What’s the one service you pay for all your life but you are actually penalized if you ever have to use it? Insurance.

Trammell & Mills

Mr. Ernie Trammell gave Mr. Mills his big break at leveling the playing field against the faceless and heartless insurance companies.  Mr. Mills works tirelessly every day in an effort to bring justice to those who have been wronged.  Mr. Mills has worked on both sides of the law and has been through some harrowing life experiences.  Mr. Mills has been tested and tried by many of the more traumatic events that life has to offer and now provides his services to the public.

Who would you rather have on your side? Someone whose resolve has been tested and tried? Or someone who has intertwined their morality and greed in such a way that they can’t tell one from the other?

Why haven’t you hired Mr. Mills to be your attorney yet?

Would you listen to the devil on how to get to Heaven? Then why listen to insurance adjusters?