Construction Accidents and Workers’ Compensation

Accidents at Construction Sites

It’s good to see construction again. For too long, the economy dragged the building business down and kept workers from their jobs. No new houses or office buildings were being built. Even government spending was greatly decreased. Our country’s economy depends largely on good paying construction jobs. Now in Charlotte and throughout York County, we are seeing construction cranes and new housing developments. Here in Fort Mill and Rock Hill, there are numerous new housing subdivisions being developed. We will miss all the trees, but our area is growing again, and we will all benefit from the high paying construction jobs. However, with those jobs and wages comes the risk of serious injury while on the job and at work.

Workers compensation construction accidents are usually quite serious. People who work indoors or at offices can get hurt, but their injuries are typically minor and do not result in lost time. But folks who wear hardhats and build things can be seriously injured in an instant. Construction accidents can happen in an instant given all of the dangerous machinery and equipment being used. There is so much activity going on at the same time. Everyone has to watch out for each other. A moving crane or heavy loads being moved overhead can crush a worker or amputate a limb in a moment of distraction. Falls from at height can easily result in a serious back or head injury. And let’s not forget all of the saws and welding equipment that injure or even kill even the safest of construction workers. The point is we are all grateful for the new growth in building and everything that comes with new construction. But let’s be doubly careful while at work so that everyone gets back home safely to their families.

If you or someone you care about is injured in a construction accident, call us for answers and options. You can also download our free eBook South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law What To Do If Hurt At Work by going to our website www.rjrlaw.com. For a private, confidential review of your particular case, call Robert J. Reeves 803-554-4157 or email .

Be Safe. Get Home.

Semi-Truck Accidents Kill | Tractor Trailer Accident

Semi-Truck Accidents Seriously Injure and Kill

Studies conducted by the National Highway and Safety Administration from 2010 reveal that 3,675 people were killed and 80,000 people injured in crashes involving large tractor trailer or semi-trucks. From this figure, approximately 17,000 were children. Children are oftentimes more seriously harmed in semi-truck accidents due to a multitude of reasons but are clearly more vulnerable. Of course, given the physics of a large, multi-ton semi-truck impacting a passenger car, it is amazing that anyone survives this type of crash. Road safety by trucking companies should be followed and placed in the forefront of everything they do. But, despite heavy regulation by federal and state governments, trucking companies still seem to place getting their loads delivered at whatever cost ahead of public safety. Everyday you see large trucks driving too fast with big loads and cutting over lanes in front of other cars and trucks on the road. The causes of these fatal accidents are many, but we see a persistent pattern of negligence.

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

The picture to the right is a classic example of overloading and why tractor trailer accidents still occur on our roadways. The load depicted is clearly unsafe and never should have been allowed to leave the terminal. No matter how “secure” in the beginning, an experienced semi-truck driver will tell you ALL loads shift. Braking, turning, and other typical driving maneuvers will make heavy loads unstable and dangerous. If the truck has to take evasive action or a sharp turn, the load will move and cause the driver to lose control. It takes real effort to keep a fully loaded truck on the road. When control is lost, only time and distance will eventually stop the truck. Anything or anyone who gets in the way is just doomed.

Another major cause of tractor trailer accidents is driver fatigue due to long hours on the road and excessive delivery demands. These days, the average age of a semi-truck driver is over 50 years old. Younger people simply do not want to drive trucks. The life of a trucker can be a lonely one. You are gone from friends and family for days or even weeks at a time. In addition, being stuck behind the wheel day after day becomes very boring and monotonous. Semi-truck drivers say they get “stir crazy” even though they are traveling at 60 plus MPH. As a result, there is a real, nationwide driver shortage. Consequently, there are fewer drivers available to deliver more loads which means longer times and distances to get the job done. And tractor trailer trucking companies place more demands on their existing drivers to meet their schedules no matter what.

The final cause of semi-truck accidents we will discuss is improper maintenance on trucks. Given the shortage of drivers, trucking companies use fewer trucks. Semi-trucks are very expensive and have to be in motion to be paying for themselves. Companies still trying to remain profitable have to prolong usage between service rotations. As a result, trucks are going longer before critical updates other than oil changes. Brakes and tires require more time off the road and are costly. While oil changes keep the engine going, brakes and tires keep the truck on the road. Hopefully, as the economy improves, younger drivers will be drawn into the trucking profession. Although it is certainly hard work, the pay is also greatly above average. And with no time to spend it, a person could drive a semi-truck for a few years and really save up some money. It would also help make our roads a little safer as younger drivers can remain alert longer than older truckers. All drivers on the highways just want to get home safely.

What is Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina?

According to S.C. SECTION 42‑5‑10, Workers’ Compensation states that it is up to the employer to secure payment of compensation to the extent of liability.reeves-sc-workers-comp-cover

Specifically, the statute states that “Every employer who accepts the compensation provisions of this Title shall secure the payment of compensation to his employees in the manner provided in this chapter.  While such security remains in force he or those conducting his business shall only be liable to any employee who elects to come under this Title for personal injury or death by accident to the extent and in the manner specified in this Title.” S.C.  SECTION 42‑5‑10

In other words, what Workers’ Compensation really is, is an insurance policy that your employer essentially takes out on you when they have a certain amount of employees in working for their company. The employers pay out to the Workers’ Compensation, in the event that a person is injured on the job.

Most states will assess the damages occurred to the employee who was injured while working within the scope of their employment. In the event that an employee is injured while working on the job, they will be entitled to recover for their personal injury, or the estate for a death of the employee, only to the extent of the injury.

This places no blame on the employer, and then business is only liable to the employee who utilizes the statutes for recovery.

If you have been injured while on the job, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on compensation options.

What is Considered to be a “Personal Injury.”

According to various sources, including statutes and case law, a personal injury is simply a legal term that is used for any injury to a person’s body or mind (including emotions.) SC Personal Injury Attorney

Injury to property however is considered to be something entirely different and is a different type of “damage” that is typically covered by the defendant’s insurance company.

Typically, the legal term refers to an action of negligence by one person, called the defendant, against another person, referred to as the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffers an injury at the accidental fault of the defendant through the defendant’s negligent act, and then sues the defendant to recover damages for their losses.

What most people think of when they hear the phrase “personal injury,” is that someone has been involved in a major car accident where the plaintiff was seriously injured. They would be entirely correct to make this assumption.

Roadway accidents, accidents at work, “slip and fall” accidents, and holiday accidents are statistically proven to be the most common types of “personal injuries.”

However, the term “personal injury,” expands to encompass much more than simply the “run-of-the-mill” car accident. A personal injury can include anything from a car accident or motorcycle accident all the way to intentional infliction of emotional distress (referred to as IIED) and negligent infliction of emotional distress (or NIED.)

These two claims often arise when the plaintiff has suffered mental injuries, and these injuries are proven by medical attention reporting such injuries. These injuries could include anything from PTSD to depression due to the accident.

If you have suffered any sort of serious personal injury, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys directly at 803-548-5444 or toll-free at 877-374-5999 today.

South Carolina Personal Injury Law and Understanding Compensation

If you or someone close to you has been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity, you will likely be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries.  The first step in determining whether you have a joe-medics after car accidentpersonal injury case is to contact an attorney who in knowledgeable about the South Carolina personal injury laws and can provide you with sound advice.  It is likely that if you were injured, and it can be found that the other party is more at fault, you may recover damages for property, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

In order to succeed in a personal injury claim, the first thing that must be proven is that the person or entity was at fault for your injury.  If this can be established, the responsible party may have to compensate you for your injuries, property damage, and suffering.  There are three grounds on which a personal injury claim can be filed.  These are negligence, intentional wrong doing, and strict liability.  For negligence, it must be proven that someone acted or failed to act in a particular way, and as a result an accident occurred.  Next, an intentional wrong means that the party acted deliberately, such as in the case of an assault.  Here a person may also be entitled to punitive damages for willful, wanton, and reckless conduct.  The third ground is strict liability which protects consumers from being harmed by defective products.  South Carolina abides by strict products liability, and therefore the manufacturer has an absolute duty to make the product safe.

After grounds for a claim are established, you must prove that you suffered from physical, emotional, or mental harm as a result of the accident.  This can be a complicated process, and many variables factor into determining the amount of compensation one is entitled to receive.

The most common personal injury claims involve car accidents, medical malpractice, on-the-job incidents, and slip-and-fall cases.  At Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP, we are equipped to assist with a plethora of personal injury issues and claims that you may be confronted with.  Examples include wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, brain injuries, spinal injuries, motorcycle accidents, defective highways, nursing home abuse, bicycle accidents, and also insurance issues that may come up.  We work first-hand with the insurance companies to settle your case as effectively as possible to ensure adequate compensation.


This is why it is important to seek a personal injury lawyer to help you with your legal needs.  Contact our law offices today for free a confidential consultation to see whether you have a claim, and if so what damages you should be seeking.  You can contact our Fort Mill, South Carolina office at directly at 803-548-4444 or toll-free at 877-374-5999 with questions regarding your injuries.


How Do Probate Courts Work in the State of South Carolina?

In each and every South Carolina county, there is a specific probate court. Probate court is simply a different type of system/courthouse, in which a decedent’s estate will enter to distribute the deceased member’s devise’s, residuals, and pay off debts.Family Law Attorneys

The probate courts of South Carolina will have exclusive original jurisdiction over all South Carolina matters involving or related to someone who has passed away estate and all their belongings, including both personal and actual land property. The SC Probate courts moreover are entitled to hear any will contests, the determination of who is considered to be an “heir” entitled to take from the estate, and also any issues with the construction of the will.

Additionally, probate courts are permitted and mandatorily must hear any cases covering the protection of minors, trusts, marriage licenses and any ” involuntary commitments.” S.C. Code 62-1-302(2012.)  However, Family Court handles matters of divorce, child custody, and alimony.

So the next obvious question is, what actually happens in this so-called probate court? Accordingly, the parties enter into the court, and after the close of the pleadings, the parties are allowed to remove matters from the probate court to the circuit court( which is the typical courthouse you would be thinking of in your head right now), for all matters involving the “formal” probate of the wills, any actions to try title, trusts with discrepancies, appointments of personal representatives for the estate, and most importantly, any action for more then $5,000 that carry with it the Constitutional protection of a right to trial by jury. S.C. Code 62-1-302(2012.)

What is important to note is that these probate courts do not handle any civil liability claims for fatal perishes, such as wrongful death suits. Wrongful death suits are taken care of in circuit court first, and then appealed up if need be. These claims are different then probate because they concern the matters that caused the death to the decedent. Probate would occur later, after the wrongful action was taken care of, and the estate was ready to be distributed by the probate judge in the county in which the decedent died, had property, or left property.

If you have any sort of familial issues, such as the one listed above, and a wrongful death action took place, contact the attorneys at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on how we can help you with your case.