Insurance Companies Have Been Accused of “Bad Faith” in Settling Injury Claims

Insurance companies have been criticized recently due to the fact that they have failed to pay claims even though a legitimate claim is present.  When a liable party is involved in a car accident, the job of the insurance South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneycompany is to defend the person under most circumstances.  A serious problem in this industry is that insurance companies look for any reason not to pay a claim, and this is giving rise to litigation regarding “bad faith” of these companies.

A bad faith claim is present when an insurance company, that has a duty to settle for a certain policy limit, fails to pay a claim after being notified of the claim.  In South Carolina, a person may make a demand to his or her insurance company to settle for the policy limits in order to resolve the case.  This is also known as a “Tyger River” demand, which derives from the case Tyger River Pine Co. v. Maryland

This doctrine discusses the consequences an insurance company may face if they fail to protect the insured liable party when he or she is attempting to settle within the contract limitations Tyger Pine Co.v. Maryland Casualty Co., 170 S.C. 286.(1933)

He the insurer will be forced to provide the total amount recovered at trial, even if it exceeds the amount of insurance available under the policy limitations. This is to encourage the insurance company to settle when a reasonable offer is presented; and, to protect the insured party when they do not.

“Bad faith” is shown when four elements are proven: (1) a contract is formed; (2) the insurer refuses to pay benefits under the contract; (3) the results from the insurer’s bad faith or breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and finally, (4) damages were incurred by the insured.

An example would be if you had a loss due to a car accident, and the insurance company failed to cover you, you would have to prove these elements in order to recover for a bad faith action.  However, the dilemma lies in the fact that the insurance company does not have to perform until a verdict has been entered in excess of the policy limitations.  Then the insurance company waits until a trial for a reasonable settlement.  This complicates the process and beckons the need for legal counsel.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident it is prudent to seek an attorney to ensure that the insurance company is paying an appropriate sum given the procedural limitations.  For a confidential consultation, contact the law offices Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999.

 

 

“Negligence” in South Carolina

The central idea behind the theory of negligence is that people must exercise reasonable care when they act (any activity from driving your car to laying asphalt).  This takes into account the fact thatjoe-sedan and SUV accident any act may cause the harm of another person.  If an injured person proves that another person acted negligently, the action of which caused injury, the plaintiff may claim monetary damages.

Negligence cases are very fact specific, where the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant’s accidental injury not only caused the harm, but was followed through in an unreasonable manner.  Further, damages must be proven.

Now, where do we start?  In South Carolina, the statute of limitations during which suit may be brought on the theory of negligence is three years.  This means that if a period of three years has passed since the negligent act, suit may no longer be brought.  Further, South Carolina uses the doctrine of modified comparative negligence to assign fault.

This system has two important aspects: (1) the injured party may recover only if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault; and (2) if the injured party was also negligent, the originally negligent party is only liable for the percentage of damages he or she caused.

Therefore, if the jury finds that a driver is 70 percent negligent and the other driver is 30 percent negligent, the person who is 30 percent negligent will collect 70 percent of his or her damages.  Also, if either driver is more than 50 percent negligent, that driver will recover nothing.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in South Carolina that may have been the result of someone’s negligence, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP at 803-548-4444, or 877-374-5999.

School Bus Causes Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Rock Hill

Motorcycle Accident AttorneyA few weeks ago on a Wednesday morning, Rock Hill troopers were called to the scene on Highway 161, to investigate a deadly crash that took the life of a motorcyclist.

the 55-year-old motorist was riding his motorcycle when a school bus pulled abruptly into his path, causing the fatal crash.

The school bus was driven by a 71-year-old veteran with an immaculate driving history. The driver said he was in route from York District One pulling onto the highway from Pursley Dairy Road when the motorcyclist came out of nowhere.

The motorcyclist attempted to avoid the collision, and did in fact avoid colliding with the school bus, but to the detriment of himself. He and his motorcycle skidded down the road, causing life-threatening injuries that killed him only a few moments later.  The victim was wearing a helmet.

There were 15 children aboard the school bus, and luckily, none of them were injured by the incident, physically at least. Most of them were in the visual path of the accident, and witnesses the horrific event.

Other witnesses also saw the tragedy take place, but none wanted to comment on the event.

The school bus driver has been put on leave until the investigation is complete by not only the police, but the School Boards as well.

If you, or someone you know has been injured in a serious motorcycle accident, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on your options.

One Person Airlifted After Three Car Charlotte Crash

At least three people were injured in a car wreck  last Tuesday afternoon on the SouthEast side of Charlotte.  The incident happened just before 5 p.m. at the intersection of Ardrey Kell and Providence Road.

One person had to be helicoptered from the scene with serious injuries while the other two victims were transported to the Carolina Medical Center in Pineville.

According to the police reports, two SUV’s and a pickup truck were heavily damaged during the accident.  Also, A Charlotte Mecklenburg School bus was struck during the crash, but was not involved in the accident with the other cars, according to a report. 

Police have not yet said if charges will be filed against any of the drivers.

Contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower to consult with one of our personal injury attorneys.  Our personal injury attorneys understand the emotional and financial hardships facing persons injured in an accident and want to help you or someone you might know.  We are licensed in both North and South Carolina, where you can contact us at 704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll-free.

Man Hit by Amtrak Train in Concord, NC

An Amtrak train had to make an unexpected and sudden stop on Sunday night.  The train, which departed for Raleigh at 5:15 from near Charlotte, struck a man trespassing on the tracks.

 The accident occurred just outside of Kannapolis in Concord, NC, according to Amtrak reports.  Amtrak also stated that no passengers were harmed and the train was not damaged.  Authorities are investigating the incident and attempting to find information as to what the man was doing on the tracks.

Any injury can have a devastating effect on a person’s financial and emotional well-being.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a wreck or accident, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower to consult with one of our personal injury attorneys.  Our personal injury attorneys handle cases in North and South Carolina.  Our personal injury attorneys understand the hardships that come with injury related to an accident.  We are licensed in both North and South Carolina, where you can contact us at 704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll-free.

Middle School Student Struck and Killed at Bus Stop

A Forsyth County Middle School student is dead after being struck by a SUV while crossing the road to board the school bus Wednesday morning.

The accident occurred after the 11-year-old boy had missed the bus, causing the bus driver to turn around and head in the opposite direction.  The boy crossed the road to reach the bus when he was struck by an oncoming SUV.

According to the bus-driver, the bus lights were flashing and the arm was extended to warn motorists to stop.

Investigations into the accident are ongoing.

Studies conducted by the NHTSA reveal that in the 414,399 fatal motor-vehicle crashes since 1998, .34 percent (1,409) were classified as school transporation-related crashes.  Our children are the most precious cargo on our nation’s roads and highways.  Notwithstanding all of the precautions school transportation vehicles are equipped with, accidents still occur.  If you or someone you love has been involved in one of these tragic accidents, please call the Accident Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower at 704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll-free.