Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor After a Car Accident

Seeking medical care is a top priority after a car accident. In addition to ensuring that you are safe after a physically traumatic event, medical care offers you tangible evidence of the car crash. This is essential if you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim or negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers have created a list of questions to ask your doctor after an accident. These questions will help you begin building your case.

How Long Will It Take to Recover?

Recovery is often a long and tumultuous process. Your doctor should be able to provide you with an estimate of how long it will take for you to make a full recovery. This information will help you prove that the accident negatively affected your life over a period of time.

Will I Be Able to Work During Recovery? If So, What Limitations Do I Have?

For many people, the biggest concern about recovery time is whether or not they can work. Lost income adds additional stress to an already-difficult time when you are expecting large medical bills. It is important to ask your doctor whether or not your injury will prevent you from working and if there are any limitations regarding your work. You may have to work shorter hours or take on less physically demanding tasks. Before you leave your appointment, ensure that you have the paperwork you need to request time off or receive accommodations from your employer.

What Are My Injuries? How Severe Are They?

When negotiating with the insurance company, you will need to provide them with a thorough account of your injuries, including where they are located and their severity. Your doctor should be willing to provide thorough documentation of your injuries that can be used as evidence in court. Hard evidence regarding your injuries is an essential tool for our South Carolina car accident lawyers as they negotiate a fair settlement with the other party’s insurance company.

What Caused My Injuries?

This is one of the most important questions to ask a doctor after a car accident. You already know that your injuries were caused by a car accident. However, insurance companies typically need this to be verified by a medical professional before they are willing to negotiate.

Your doctor can identify how specific injuries occurred. For example, they can document that you are suffering from a concussion due to hitting your head on the steering wheel. This expert opinion can help you obtain compensation from the other party’s insurance provider.

Will I Need Further Care Down the Line?

Even if the majority of your injuries heal fairly quickly, there may be lingering symptoms that require long-term treatment. Most severe injuries often require long-term care. As an example, victims who sustain traumatic brain injuries during car accidents may need periodic MRIs, around-the-clock nursing care or mood stabilizers for the rest of their lives.

Reach Out to Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

The path to recovery may seem long, but working with experienced personal injury attorneys can limit your stress and allow you to focus on healing. Get your free case evaluation now—call the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. in Rock Hill at (803) 324-7200 to get started.

4 Nursing Home Injuries That May Qualify a Victim for Compensation

Nursing homes should be a safe haven for elderly and disabled individuals, offering around-the-clock care that is medically sound and respectful of each person’s needs. Unfortunately, some residents experience neglect or abuse. According to the CDC, up to 3 million serious infections occur in long-term care facilities every year, many of which occur due to poor hygiene practices and staff members neglecting residents.

If a loved one suffers an injury in a nursing home, he or she may be able to recover compensation. Family members of residents may also be able to recover compensation in cases involving the death of a loved one.

Bedsores

Bedsores, clinically referred to as pressure ulcers, are extremely common in nursing homes. Elderly and disabled residents often have thin, frail skin that is prone to rips, tears, and sore development. Generally, bedsores occur when an individual is in one position for too long and the skin wears away, leaving an open sore. These nursing home injuries are especially common on pressure points like the tailbone, hips, elbows, shoulder blades, spine, and heels.

The occasional bedsore may not be cause for concern. However, if your loved one seems to always have multiple bedsores or he or she has sores that will not heal, it may be a sign of neglect on the part of the nursing home staff.

Falls

Some nursing home residents suffer slip-and-fall accidents. In some cases, a fall is a sign of a more serious problem, such as abuse or neglect. Someone with limited mobility may try to get up if caregivers refuse to help them get to the bathroom or assist with ambulation, leaving the individual to try to get up on their own. The healing process from a fall is notoriously difficult for aging individuals. A single fall can lead to permanent disability.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are a common problem in nursing homes, as aging individuals’ bones are often weaker than those of young adults. A broken bone is a serious incident that should immediately be reported to family members and health care providers. If a facility tries to hide these nursing home injuries or does not have a clear explanation for how an incident occurred, it is possible that the broken bone was caused by caregiver neglect or abuse.

Medication Errors

A substantial amount of nursing homes have a higher-than-ideal resident-to-caregiver ratio, leading to improper medication administration. Residents can suffer greatly if they miss a scheduled medication, get too much of a prescribed medication, or get the wrong medication. If a nursing home does not report and take appropriate steps to fix these mistakes, it could be a sign of neglect or abuse.

Do Not Let Your Loved One Suffer in Silence

If you suspect that your loved one’s nursing home injuries are due to abuse or neglect, advocate for them and hire an attorney. The South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. are ready to help. Call our office at (803) 324-7200 to discuss your potential legal options.

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What Are My Legal Options After a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip and fall accident can lead to substantial medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering for victims. These types of injuries are extremely common, particularly for older adults who are prone to broken bones. From 2007 through 2016, slip and fall death rates increased 30% for older adults.

Proving Negligence

A slip and fall case is more complicated than most people think. It is not as simple as slipping and falling on someone’s property and getting a payout. In fact, there are several elements that must be proven in a slip and fall case for the other party to be considered liable:

  • There was a duty of care owed to the plaintiff by the defendant
  • The defendant did not fulfill their obligation, either through negligence or omission
  • There were measurable damages that occurred as a result of the breach of duty

Each element must be present for a slip and fall case to be successful. If any element is difficult to prove, then it may be more challenging to negotiate a settlement or win in court. For example, consider a trespasser. It is difficult to prove that a store owner has a duty of care to a person who is not supposed to be on the property.

The Statute of Limitations in South Carolina

Each state has its own statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents. In South Carolina, victims can file a personal injury case within three years of the incident. However, there may be unique circumstances that affect the statute of limitations for your slip and fall case. Always consult with an attorney before making any major decisions about filing deadlines.

Evidence to Keep After a Slip and Fall Accident

Compared to other types of injury cases, a slip and fall accident can be difficult to prove. For example, in a car accident case, there is typically a police report that records the incident and indicates the damage suffered on both sides. There is rarely a police report for a slip and fall, which makes it even more important to collect evidence. A personal injury attorney can help you conduct an investigation of the accident scene. Types of evidence include:

  • Security camera footage, which often needs to be pulled and backed up immediately to prevent intentional or unintentional erasure
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records and reports
  • Incident report filled out by the manager on duty

Explore Your Legal Options by Contacting Our South Carolina Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

Contacting a lawyer promptly after your fall can help you save necessary evidence and build a strong case against the property owner. For help with your Rock Hill slip and fall accident claim, contact the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. today at (803) 324-7200.

Your Guide to Getting Personal Injury Compensation for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health problem that can affect an individual after a life-threatening incident. Common triggers of PTSD include combat, a car crash, witnessing the death of a loved one, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. While the symptoms of PTSD are common in the aftermath of any traumatic event, if they last for months and do not improve with time, these symptoms may point to PTSD.

If the root cause of your PTSD is an event caused by someone else—for example, a car crash—you may be able to seek damages with a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially helpful for those who are unable to find or maintain employment due to the severity of their PTSD symptoms. Before heading to court, you will need to hire South Carolina personal injury lawyers and consider the following factors in your case.

Evidence Is Key

Every personal injury case relies heavily on evidence, but this is especially true when a mental disorder is the primary injury for which you are seeking compensation. Not only must your legal team be able to prove that you have the disorder in question, they must also demonstrate how it affects your life, prove that the initial accident caused your PTSD, and show how the other party’s action or inaction caused the initial accident. Your legal team may consult with psychiatric experts and researchers to build a solid case on your behalf.

Using Witnesses to Back Up Your Case

Witnesses are an important part of a personal injury case involving PTSD. PTSD is still widely misunderstood by much of the general population, with many still believing that it only affects those who have participated in armed combat. Expert witnesses can testify about the diagnostic requirements of PTSD and how PTSD manifests in individuals. They may also indicate whether the plaintiff’s symptoms would lead to a diagnosis of PTSD.

Your team may also call witnesses who can testify about your behavior after the incident. This does not necessarily mean someone with a background in medicine. Witnesses may simply be people who know you and have seen your PTSD symptoms impact your daily life. However, any mental health professionals you have seen may be able to provide expert testimony and testify that you have exhibited PTSD symptoms.

Determining Damages

For any personal injury case to succeed, a victim must have verifiable damages. Compensatory damages include medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that you can easily put a financial value on. General damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages that are harder to quantify. Your legal team must prove that you have verifiable damages as a result of your PTSD diagnosis.

Looking for Help With Your Personal Injury Case?

Choosing the right team of South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help you build the strongest case possible. Reach out to the team at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. to discuss your potential case. Contact our Rock Hill office at (803) 324-7200.

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The Basics of a Business Interruption Claim

If a business is closed, then the owners are missing out on potential revenue. On most occasions, business owners have control over choosing when to close their company’s operations. However, there are special circumstances where business owners forfeit this control. For example, business operations could be forced to close due to commercial property loss or damage. If a negligent party is responsible for your business closing, then you may have the option of filing a business interruption claim.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. have experience helping business owners recover losses due to business closure. We will aggressively fight the insurance company and negligent party that are preventing you from receiving your entitled compensation. Contact our business interruption claim attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

What Damages Does a Business Interruption Claim Cover?

After being closed for several weeks or month, your business is likely bleeding money. If a negligent party is to blame for your business closing, then you should consider filing a business interruption claim.

Although many people in South Carolina own businesses, they are often confused about the legal remedies available to them after their business is forced to close. Damages that a business interruption claim may cover include:

  • Lost income and cash flow
  • Loss of customers who took their business elsewhere
  • Loss of use or property value
  • Temporary lease of another commercial space

Our business interruption claim lawyers represent a variety of business owners, including owners of retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, warehouses and other types of commercial businesses. If you have additional questions about business interruption law in South Carolina, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Filing a Business Interruption Claim? Our Rock Hill Attorneys Provide Experienced and Aggressive Legal Representation

Many businesses in Rock Hill and the surrounding areas are forced to close due to unforeseen circumstances. However, you may find yourself in a situation where your business was forced to close due to the negligence of another party.

If you are suffering from property damage and forced to close your business, then there is a solution. Contact a business interruption claims attorney at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. today for a free case evaluation. Give us a call at (803) 324-7200, or use the confidential contact form on our website. We look forward to evaluating the merits of your claim and meeting with you in person.

Nursing Home Negligence: How to Identify Neglect and Abuse

nursing home negligenceAccording to a 2001 study conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives, approximately one in three nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that harmed or had the potential to harm a resident. One major factor that contributes to the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes is the lack of information known by family and friends of nursing home residents on how to identify abuse and neglect.

Signs of Nursing Home Financial Exploitation

Anyone in a position of power over a nursing home resident, such as aides or even family members, can take advantage of her for financial gain. Financial exploitation can include stealing a resident’s money or valuables, coercing her into giving away money or valuables, or cashing checks without permission. Some visible signs of financial exploitation are a resident giving uncharacteristic gifts to caretakers, a lack of amenities in the room. or transferring power of attorney or other property without fully understanding what that means.

Signs of Nursing Home Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is one of the most difficult forms of abuse to detect, but it can be the most damaging. Emotional abuse can include humiliating or demeaning a resident, habitually blaming, threatening or intimidating him, isolating him from friends and social gatherings, or simply ignoring him. Some visible signs of emotional abuse in a resident are unexplained changes in behavior, isolation and withdrawing from usual activities. Some signs of emotional abuse in a caretaker include verbal aggression toward a resident, an uncaring attitude and/or controlling behavior.

Signs of Nursing Home Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can involve scratching, pushing, hitting, slapping, inappropriate use of restraints or threatening a resident with violence. Physical signs of abuse include any kind of injury, a delay between the injury occurring and the resident receiving medical care, and a history of repeated injuries, especially if those injuries have been treated at different hospitals for no discernable reason. Behavioral signs of abuse include the resident not explaining how an injury occurred, giving inconsistent stories or offering unlikely explanations for the injury.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect can take many forms. Nursing home workers are often responsible for caring for their residents’ health, nutrition, personal hygiene and living conditions. Failing to appropriately care for any of these is considered neglect. Personal hygiene neglect includes failing to give a resident needed help in bathing, brushing his teeth, nail-clipping, changing clothes or any other act of basic personal hygiene. Basic needs neglect involves failing to provide residents with food, water and/or a safe environment. Medical neglect involves failing to prevent or appropriately treat medical conditions. Victims of medical neglect may experience bedsores, preventable falls and/or incorrect medication.

Do You Need a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney?

If your friend or family member is the victim of nursing home negligence in South Carolina, contact the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson right away. We can investigate the standard of care at the victim’s nursing home, among other investigative acts. To get started on your case, schedule a free case evaluation online or call us at:

Avoiding Construction Site Hazards: Six Tips

Construction is a necessary but sometimes-dangerous industry to work in. The fatal injury rate for construction workers is higher than the national average, with 4,836 workers killed on the job in 2015 alone. Construction companies and workers alike, though, can take steps to make the industry safer. Here are some of the top construction industry problems commonly found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and how to fix them.

Unsafe Scaffolding

Improper construction or use of scaffolds was the most common reason for an OSHA citation in 2004. OSHA estimates that improving scaffold-related safety would prevent 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths per year.

Construction companies can improve scaffold safety by ensuring that any scaffold is able to carry its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. Scaffolds must also have guardrails, midrails, and toeboards. If working on a construction site, always inspect the rigging on suspension scaffolds before each shift to ensure that all connections are tight and the rigging is undamaged.

Lack of Fall Protection

Falls are the number one cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Construction companies can prevent injury and fatality by using a guardrail system with toeboards and warning lines, and by covering floor holes. They should also install control line systems to protect those working near the edges of floors and roofs.

Unsafe Ladders and Stairways

There are an estimated 24,882 injuries and 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders. Almost half of these injuries required workers to take time off work.

To prevent accidents on ladders and stairways, make sure all ladders are inspected for defects before use. When ladders are damaged, mark them for repair or replacement, or destroy them immediately. Companies should make sure that all ladders can support whatever load is necessary, including the workers, their tools and their materials. Everyone should keep stairways free of debris and dangerous objects.

Improper Head Protection

Make sure that you wear a hard hat any time there is a chance that you could bump your head, or objects could fall from above, or you could make contact with an electrical hazard.

Lack of Hazard Communication

Companies should keep a list of hazardous substances used in the workplace and ensure that the list is updated regularly and made readily available. All containers of hazardous substances must be labelled with the product identity and a hazard warning. Companies should also ensure that employees are trained effectively on dealing with hazardous substances.

Electrical Dangers

Work should not commence on hot electrical circuits unless all power is shut off and grounds are attached, and an effective lockout/tagout system is in place. Companies should immediately replace any damaged or worn electrical cords or cables, and they should make sure that ladders, scaffolds, and other equipment never come within 10 feet of electrical lines.

Have you been injured in a construction liability accident? Read on.

South Carolina Construction Accident Attorney of Choice

If you are the victim of a construction liability accident in South Carolina, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson can pursue your case to help you receive a fair settlement. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

Getting the Compensation You Deserve Following a Burn Injury

There are few things more painful than suffering a severe burn injury. Victims that suffer from these injuries can take weeks, months, and sometimes years to recover. Some will never recover fully, and instead suffer from permanent disfigurement. 

Because of the seriousness of burn injuries, those found responsible are required to provide compensation — sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars worth.

However, in many cases, you must prove the defendant was guilty of negligence or recklessness in a court of law before recovering your compensation.

Proving Negligence

A burn injury lawsuit is a specific type of personal injury lawsuit, which is typically filed when the negligence of another person leads to serious injury or wrongful death. 

Proving negligence is, unfortunately, not as simple as giving a sworn testament. You must prove that (1) the defendant owed you a certain duty of care, (2) that duty of care was violated, and (3) that violation led directly to your injuries.

For example, if you were driving on the roadway, other drivers automatically owe you a certain duty of care. That duty of care is violated when another driver causes an accident. If that accident led directly to your burn injury, you can prove negligence in court.

It’s important to note that, in cases where a manufacturer or defective product is responsible for your burn injury, the process is quite different and may not require proof of negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help sort through the details and gather information to assist in building your case.

Types of Compensation

Should you win your burn injury lawsuit, there are several types of compensation you may be awarded. These include:

  • Medical Bills — The defendant may be responsible for paying your medical bills, including surgeries, medication, and long-term care. He or she may also be responsible for any future medical bills you incur due to your injury. This number will be estimated, so the court can render a full decision.
  • Loss of Income — When you suffer from a serious injury, you miss work. When you miss work, you lose income necessary to pay your bills. The defendant may be responsible for this missed time.
  • Property Damage — If the fire that caused your burn injuries also led to the destruction of your property, the defendant will likely be held responsible for footing the bill. This includes your home, personal property, equipment, or vehicle.
  • Disfigurement or Disability — Because burn injuries can so often lead to life-long damage, the defendant may be required to compensate for disfigurement or disability. This type of compensation is less tangible, but can amount to thousands of dollars.
  • Pain and Suffering — Much like disfigurement or disability, there is no surefire way to measure the amount of pain and suffering your injury caused. However, the defendant may be required to compensate for the emotional damage that came with your physical injury. Again, this type of compensation can be quite exhaustive, bringing your total to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Lawyer for Assistance

Have you or a loved one been the victim of a burn injury caused by a negligent or reckless party? You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. For representation, contact our team of South Carolina burn injury lawyers at The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster, or Union by calling (803)-324-7200.

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Steps to Take After Being Denied Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina

In South Carolina, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees injured while on the job. This compensation is intended to assist in paying for medical bills and missed time at work.

While workers’ compensation is often seen as a protected right, there are many circumstances under which compensation is denied. If you have received a denial, then you should note that an appeals process is available for you to fight the initial decision. 

There are four basic steps involved in the appeals process. 

Request a Hearing 

If you receive a denial, then your first course of action should be to file a request for a hearing. This hearing is a formal process that aims to resolve any disputes between yourself, your employer and your employer’s representative. 

In order to request a hearing, you can either both contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission of South Carolina directly and request a form, or you can obtain the form on the official WCC website.

Your hearing will be overseen by a single commissioner, who will hear your case, resolve disputes and determine whether you should be approved for benefits.

If you receive a positive outcome, the process ends. If not, the next step comes into play.

Appeal to the Full Commission

The next level of appeal involves filing a request for commission review. You should note before taking this step that it can be expensive. The filing fee is $150 — and that fee may be increased if the commission finds you lacked solid reasoning for bringing the case forward.

The decision made in this case is called an “award.” You will receive an award notification, along with legal rulings that detail the findings of your case.

In the vast majority of situations, whether the claim has been approved or denied, the process ends after this step. But, in rare cases, injured employees may choose to take their claim to the next level.

The South Carolina Court of Appeals

At this point, you will be required to file an official lawsuit with the South Carolina Court of Appeals. You will have thirty days from the date of your award notification.

In your filing, you must state your reasoning for the appeal and explain why you believe the decision is incorrect. This is rarely done without the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, who can help put your case into legal terms.

During this time, your employer is still required to pay you weekly cash benefits and medical care — but only while the appeal is pending.

The South Carolina Supreme Court

If you lose in the South Carolina Court of Appeals, then you need to make a decision about whether to move forward. Legal battles can be costly, and you should closely consider the details of your case with the assistance of an attorney.

Should you choose to move forward, you will file an appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court. It is important to note that not all appeals are heard, as the court has the right to choose which cases it will preside over.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance

Are you dealing with a denial of your workers’ compensation benefits? The time has come to fight for the assistance you deserve. For representation, contact our team of South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. by calling (803)-324-7200.

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Taking Legal Action Following an Uber Accident

The concept of ridesharing was meant to simplify travel in medium and large cities. While companies like Uber and Lyft succeed in making life easier for thousands of travelers each day, they present a unique problem when it comes to rideshare accidents.

If someone is injured by an Uber driver, then a series of circumstantial questions will determine who is considered at-fault. Rarely will this be the company itself, as both Uber and Lyft have gone to great lengths to protect themselves from legal action filed by disgruntled passengers and bystanders.

Employees vs. Independent Contractors

First and foremost, passengers should understand that Uber drivers are independent contractors. While they are paid by Uber for completing a certain amount of work, they are not considered employees. 

This means that Uber drivers typically make their own schedules, earn commission based on the number of rides completed and have the freedom to work other jobs if they choose.

It also means that Uber cannot be held accountable for driver mistakes in the same way a restaurant would be held accountable for an employee that served expired food. In the vast majority of rideshare accidents, fault is placed on the driver.

That said, there are extremely special circumstances in which Uber could be held responsible for the actions of an employee. You must be able to prove that Uber was negligent and that the company’s negligence led directly to the injury in question. 

For example, if Uber hired a convicted felon and that felon harmed a passenger, then a lawsuit could be filed against Uber to hold them responsible for the oversight. However, these cases are few and far between.

Insurance Policies and Protection

After being injured in a rideshare accident, you may just want to know whom to hold responsible for the bills that are piling up because of your injury. 

Assuming the responsible driver was active on the Uber application and carrying a passenger at the time of the accident, Uber offers a one million dollar liability policy.

If another non-Uber driver is responsible for the crash, then his/her personal insurance policy will be tapped first. Then, if that driver doesn’t have enough to cover medical bills, Uber has a one million dollar underinsured motorist policy that may be able to help.

However, if an Uber vehicle is being used for personal errands or has not been summoned for a ride, then the injured party will only have the driver to hold liable for the accident. 

Steps to Take Following an Accident

Should you be injured in an accident, your job is to prepare yourself for the possibility of legal action — whether you file against the driver or Uber itself. 

For this reason, there are a series of steps you should take immediately following an accident. These include:

  • Taking pictures of the wreck on a smartphone or other electronic device
  • Gathering the names and contact information of other passengers and/or witnesses
  • Taking screenshots of your Uber ride and receipt
  • Writing down the name and contact information of the involved Uber driver

Contact an Experienced Attorney for Assistance Following a Rideshare Accident

Have you or a loved one been injured in a ridesharing accident? The time has come to fight for the compensation you deserve. For assistance and representation, contact an experienced team of South Carolina rideshare accident lawyers at The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster or Union by calling (803)-324-7200.

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