SC Auto Accident Victim: Now What?

SC Auto Accident Victim

South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Fighting For Justice for Injured Victims

SC Auto Accident VictimWhether you are t-boned coming back from a USC basketball game, injured in a hit and run on I-26, or involved in a rush hour fender bender on your way into downtown, Columbia, SC, car accidents occur every day.  Knowing what to do immediately after a Columbia, SC car accident can ensure that your rights are protected.

As a SC auto accident victim, there’s a flurry of activity immediately following an accident.  Having a checklist in mind can help ensure that you do not overlook anything.  With this in mind, our SC Car accident attorneys offer you the following 5 tips to maximize the likelihood of recovery:

1.  Report the Accident:

If there are injuries, call 911 immediately.

2.  Seek Medical Attention Immediately:

If you or anyone else is injured and sustained accident related injuries, you should seek medical attention immediately.  Make sure that when you meet with the doctor you report all of your symptoms and problems

3.  Document the Scene:

Take pictures of the damage at the scene: If you are safely able, make notes and take pictures of all of the important details of the scene. If anything is damaged in your car such as a computer, cell phone, etc, make sure you document the damage.

4. Get the Other Driver’s Information:

Secure contact information, including name, address, phone number and car insurance coverage for the other driver.  Identify and secure contact information for any witnesses; note the make, model, color of the other car or cars involved.

5.  Be Careful What you Say.

Do not volunteer any information regarding who is at fault.

Saying that you are sorry or admitting that you were distracted may be used against you later as an admission of fault.

6.  Don’t Talk to the Insurance Adjuster:

While you may be required to issue a statement at some point during the claims process, don’t talk to the adjuster until you have had the opportunity to speak with one of our Columbia, SC attorneys.

Our Columbia, South Carolina car accident attorneys are here to help navigate you through the claims process.

7. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice:

While the demands of every day life will continue after a car accident, make sure that you follow any medical restrictions and your doctor’s recommended course of treatment.

8. Call a Columbia, South Carolina car accident attorney.

Take advantage of a free consultation. Centrally located in Columbia, South Carolina, our car accident lawyers are here to help.  We fight for fair compensation for SC auto accident victims. Let us deal with the insurance company while you focus on getting better.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Accident on Double-Decker Tour Bus

wrongful death lawsuit

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Double-Decker Tour Bus Company

wrongful death lawsuitAfter a teenager died from striking his head on a freeway overpass while on a tour in an open-air double-decker tour bus, his parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the tour bus company.

Matthew and Amy Zisette are the parents of victim Mason G. Zisette. The couple filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, January 20th, alleging that Starline Tours of Hollywood Inc., the bus driver Jose Barajas Curiel and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, the manufacturer of the 2000 model bus, failed to warn passengers of potential dangers when passing under overpasses or bridges, and committed serious negligence when allowing tour bus passengers to sit on the top deck.

The incident occurred on July 10th, 2014. The 16-year-old victim reportedly attended a “Sweet 16” party with some friends, who then decided to take a 4-hour sight-seeing tour around the South Bay, focusing on Los Angeles and Hollywood. Mason was a 6 foot, 2-inch varsity tennis player about to enter his junior year at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach.

On the tour’s return trip, the driver took a freeway from Sunset Boulevard and began driving at 60 miles per hour. Mason and some friends were on the upper deck, which was open to the air, admiring the sunset around 7:25 PM when 14-foot tall bus passed under a 15-foot-and-1-inch tall Arbor Vitae Street overpass near San Diego Freeway. The clearance, according to the lawsuit, does not allow passengers on the top deck to safely pass under the overpass, and the tour bus manufacturer, driver, and tour bus company all failed to monitor the passengers, and failed to warn of such a potential danger when passengers signed up for the tour and sat on the top deck.

“This recipe for disaster resulted in the back of Mason’s head impacting the … overpass in Inglewood near LAX,” the suit states. “Mason suffered a traumatic brain injury, fell motionless on the bus floor, never to wake again.”

The teenager died 2 days later, on July 12th.

The wrongful death lawsuit states that Starline Tours has “long been on notice of the risk of instant death presented by these double-decker buses. Despite this notice, (Starline) continues to needlessly and recklessly … transport the public on these double-decker buses.”

Mason’s family seeks unspecified damages in their wrongful death lawsuit.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with A South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The unexpected loss of a loved is a very painful experience.  While mourning their loss, surviving family members are often with mounting medical bills, the loss of an income, and sudden expenses such as hospital bills and funeral costs.

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to file a South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit. A SC wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members in a wrongful death lawsuit may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.

You do not have to face the emotional and financial pain of a loved one’s wrongful death alone. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

Drive-Thru Hamburger Leads to Distracted Driving Charges

Alabama Man Faces Distracted Driving Charges for Eating Hamburger While Driving

distracted driving chargesAn Alabama resident faces distracted driving charges in Cobb County, Georgia, after a police officer pulled him over for eating a hamburger in his vehicle.

Madison Turner says he went through a McDonald’s drive-thru and ordered a double quarter pounder with cheese, which he then – as many of us do with drive-thru fast food – consumed the burger while driving. A police officer in Cobb County then pulled Turner over and ticketed him with “eating while driving,” a specific part of Cobb County’s distracted driving laws.

“The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for 2 miles,” Turner said. “He said specifically three times, you can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.”

“Even though I was not exceeding the speed limit or driving erratically,” Turner continued. “Maybe I was enjoying the burger too much I needed to tone it down. I was certainly willing to do so but I didn’t expect to be fined or punished.”

Distracted driving charges for eating while driving under distracted driving laws are unusual, but eating while driving is a form of distracted driving. Most states are concerned about drivers talking on their phones, or texting or using social media while driving – a practice that kills as many US citizens every year as drunk driving. However, any form of distracted driving should be a concern.

The specific Cobb County law reads, in part: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.” Removing one hand from the steering wheel in order to eat, or taking your eyes off the road while consuming food, is a form of distracted driving and can be dangerous.

Distracted Driving Accident Litigation in South Carolina

It is a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina and Georgia roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of a S.C. distracted driving accident can result in life altering and even deadly consequences.  If you were in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you need to hire a South Carolina distracted driving attorney to protect your legal rights.

Distracted driving includes:

  • texting and driving
  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina distracted driving accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

Settlement Talks Begin in Comedian’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Tied to Tracy Morgan Walmart Crash

wrongful death lawsuit

“Jimmy Mack” Family Begins Settlement Talks in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Tracy Morgan Walmart Car Accident

wrongful death lawsuitIn June of last year, comedians Tracy Morgan and James “Jimmy Mack” McNair were involved in a severe car accident with a Walmart truck, which killed McNair and left Morgan with a serious traumatic brain injury.

About 1 AM on Saturday, June 7th, 2014, Tracy Morgan’s limo van was hit by a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. McNair died in the car accident, and Morgan was hospitalized with a broken nose, broken ribs, broken leg, and a traumatic brain injury that left him spending at least 5 months at a skilled nursing facility undergoing physical therapy. Morgan reportedly still suffers physical and mental difficulties due to the tractor trailer accident.

Reportedly, 35-year-old truck driver Kevin Roper had been awake for 24 consecutive hours before causing the tractor trailer accident. Morgan and McNair’s family filed separate lawsuits – Morgan filed a personal injury lawsuit against Walmart for negligence, and McNair’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the retail giant.

The 62-year-old McNair grew up with Morgan in Peekskill, NJ, and was a friend and mentor for decades.

Although Walmart refutes the validity of Morgan’s personal injury lawsuit, the retailer reportedly has begun settlement talks in the wrongful death lawsuit for McNair, which involved McNair’s two children – 26-year-old Jamel, and 19-year-old Danita.

“Nothing will bring back their father,” the family’s attorney said. “But this settlement takes care of them and allows them to carry on their father’s legacy.”

“You don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives,” Jamel McNair said. “My dad made a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives.

The terms of the wrongful death lawsuit settlement have not been publicized, and so far Tracy Morgan has not commented on Walmart’s offer. When Morgan filed his own personal injury lawsuit last November, the retailer tried to blame the accident on Morgan and McNair, claiming that their limousine was erratic or dangerous in some way. However, criminal filings against Roper, the tractor trailer driver, allege that he was driving between 60 and 65 miles per hour on the New Jersey Turnpike, which normally has a speed limit of only 55 mph, and at that time had reduced the speed limit to 45 mph due to construction.

“After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out,” Morgan said after the personal injury filing. “I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I’m fighting hard every day to get back.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help You with Your Wrongful Death Claim

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members may be awarded money for damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.

Common wrongful death claims arise as a result of a:

A South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation for:

  • medical bills and funeral expenses
  • loss of income
  • loss of consortium and loss of support.

Depending upon the circumstances, our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys may also assert a claim for punitive damages intended to punish the wrongdoer and discourage others from engaging in such behavior.

If a loved one is the victim of a wrongful death, through no fault of your own, we may be able to help. We understand the emotional and financial impact of serious personal injuries. Our firm offers free consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.

SC Paid $5 Million for Car Accidents Caused by Bad Roads

car accidents

South Carolina Spent $5 Million on Car Accidents and Personal Injury Claims Caused by Bad Roads

car accidentsLast year, a statewide survey showed that South Carolina has some of the least up-kept roads in the nation, which can result in accidents leading to South Carolina car accident and personal injury claims. Now, information obtained about the extent of the damage caused by the state’s poor road maintenance shows that South Carolina paid at least $5 million to motorists last year due to bad roads.

Records from South Carolina’s Insurance Reserve Fund showed that the state paid $5.1 million in personal injury, wrongful death, and car accident claims, along with another $2.3 million in legal fees. That was just 2014 – the preceding three years saw the state pay out $18.7 million in personal injury and car accident claims to motorists.

According to a report released on January 15th by TRIP, a Washington, DC-based national transportation organization, 46% of South Carolina’s roads are in such poor condition that they can cause vehicular damage, car accidents, traffic congestion, and personal injury or wrongful death. Deficient roads cost drivers in the state at least $1,250 per year in the form of car repairs, lost time, and fuel delays. The bad roads in the state cost motorists an estimated $3 billion every year – a financial investment that, if paid in taxes instead of personal injury or car accident costs, could go a long way to fixing the problem.

“The South Carolina Department of Transportation manages the 41,000 miles of state funded roads with the third lowest motor fuel user fee in the nation.  With an estimated additional $1.5 billion needed per year for the next 25 years to “get to good”, they are currently having to do the best they can with what they have,” said Eric Dickey, vice president of Davis & Floyd, Inc. and chairman of the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads (SCFOR).

“To me it’s a large chunk of money. Would we rather continue to pay out funds like this and put people in danger rather than come up with a viable solution to fix our roads and bridges?” said Rep. Chandra Dillard, a Greenville Democrat who sits on a House committee studying the state’s infrastructure needs.

Sen. Ray Cleary, a Georgetown County Republican who has spearheaded road-funding efforts in the Senate, said he was unaware that people could sue the state due to road quality-related personal injury and car accidents. “In the last five years, we’ve raised the cost of fixing the roads in South Carolina by $14 billion,” he said. “If that’s not a waste of taxpayer money, then what is? Why aren’t people like the Tea Party demanding these roads be fixed?”

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source. If not, South Carolina is going to see its future federal funding threatened, resulting in fewer road and bridge repair projects, loss of jobs, and a burden on the state’s economy.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with South Carolina Car Accidents and Personal Injury Caused By Bad Roads

Our car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom, and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills; lost wages and future earnings; your pain and suffering; and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Contact the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and how we can help. 803.252.4800

SC Orders Uber to Halt Services in State

As Uber’s Legal Woes Continue, South Carolina Demands Mobile App Cease and Desist

UberOn Thursday, January 15th, the Public Service Commission of South Carolina ordered popular and infamous ridesharing service Uber to stop its operations in the state.

Uber has faced numerous accusations, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, as the mobile app company expands rapidly across the globe. One of the most common accusations has to do with the company’s employee screening process: although Uber company spokespeople have repeatedly claimed that the rideshare startup company screens its potential drivers as thoroughly or even more thoroughly, than state regulations require, many passengers have said they were victimized.  Allegations include assaults, such as sexual assaults and rapes, as well as other types of personal injury, and even wrongful death accidents.  Many believe that these issues have arisen because the drivers are not screened carefully enough to keep passengers and pedestrians safe.

For example, Uber faces a wrongful death lawsuit in San Francisco, in which a driver who was using the mobile app to pick up a fare while operating his vehicle, struck and killed a 6-year-old girl on New Year’s Day 2014. He hit two other members of the family as well, who survived. The driver himself faces criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter and distracted driving, but the family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the ridesharing company because they claim the mobile app nature of the business encourages drivers to use their phones while operating a vehicle.  It’s this mobile nature that can be a deadly combination.

In Chicago, a 22-year-old victim has filed personal injury charges against the company after her Uber driver drugged and sexually assaulted her while she was drunk.

Ridesharing companies like Uber, and its major competitors Lyft and Sidecar, also face accusations that the businesses rely on individual drivers’ personal insurance, which does not provide adequate, if any, coverage for passengers that suffer personal injury in the event of a car crash. These companies recently changed their driver policies to pay for insurance to cover cars while they are working for the rideshare service, but some opponents of the ridesharing services question if the coverage is enough, when these companies still try to dodge responsibility for personal injuries and wrongful deaths, often pointing to the drivers themselves, who are independent contractors with the companies, not full employees.

South Carolina demanded that Uber cease and desist operations in the state because the company refuses to register as a taxi service, which could help customers and drivers in the event of a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

“Consumers benefit from, and deserve choices in, the marketplace,” the directive states. “However, those choices must be consistent with state law intended to protect the public.”

“Despite working closely with the PSC for the past several months on a permanent solution for Uber in South Carolina, today’s actions are unexpected and not reflective of the progress made thus far,” Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said. “We will challenge the order and remain committed to providing South Carolinians with greater opportunity and choice.”

Uber faces similar regulatory questions in its home base, San Francisco, as safety regulators in the city try to decide who can inspect Uber’s vehicles for safety and emissions regulations.

“We believe the vehicle inspections mentors conduct are very rigorous,” said Chelsea Wilson, a Lyft spokeswoman. “They’ve gone through training and have an exhaustive checklist. We very much stand behind the safety of those inspections.”

However, safety inspections for taxis are much more rigorous than the self-appointed inspectors for Uber and Lyft, so many states have raised concerns about vehicular safety.

The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Distracted Driving in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of an accident, whether it was caused by distracted driving or DUI, the South Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. The sooner you hire one of our accident lawyers, the sooner we will be able to investigate your case and the stronger your case will be. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to call us. 803.252.4800

App Solutions Offered for Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Some Apps Offer Solutions to Prevent Distracted Driving

distracted drivingState Farm recently released information from its distracted driving survey, which found that fewer people talk on the phone while driving, but the advent of smartphone technology has led many drivers to read, text, Tweet, and chat message while driving.

A writer for TechCrunch laments the “Pavlovian response” drivers have to their smartphones. She wrote that she has deal-finding apps downloaded to her iPhone, and they consistently make noise when she drives past stores and malls. She suggested built-in apps on the phone that would automatically silence app and text alert noises, even if the user forgets to put the phone on silent. Some third-party phone apps already discourage distracted driving by disabling texting or count the number of times you text while driving – which is illegal in most states.

The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis recently looked at distracted driving data and found that 1.6 billion vehicle accidents per year were the result of texting or messaging while driving. These accidents kill 11 teenagers per day, according to the research, and are as dangerous as driving after consuming four beers. The number of deaths caused by distracted driving from mobile phone use is higher than the number of deaths caused by running red lights. Worst of all, distracted driving is completely preventable – but drivers have to want to stop, so companies find they might need encouragement.

Automobile manufacturers are also looking at ways to prevent distracted driving. Many of these same companies have begun to build in touch screens and wireless connections so that the driver can hook their phone into their car, and talk or access apps while on the go. One automotive manufacturer, Ford, has recognized that this technology boom can encourage distracted driving even further, and the company says it has now partnered with mobile app developer Life360 to build in not just the GPS feature of the original app – which allows friends and family to track each other based on the phone’s GPS signal – but also to develop a “Driving Mode” for the vehicle version, which would text all the driver’s contacts when the car is on and inform them not to text while the vehicle is in motion. When the driver arrives at their destination and parks the car, the app would alert friends and family that the driver is available again – hopefully preventing the bemoaned Pavlovian response to phone noises by asking for community support against distracted driving.

At least 44 states have, so far, passed some form of distracted driving legislation. This year, South Carolina passed a statewide ban on texting and driving, although other forms of distracted driving are legal.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina distracted driving accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

SC Worst in Nation for DUI Deaths

DUI Deaths

MADD Finds that South Carolina Leads Nation in DUI Deaths

DUI DeathsNew traffic death information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that South Carolina leads the nation in DUI deaths.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a national anti-DUI advocacy group, examined the information from the NHTSA, which shows in 2013, there were 335 South Carolina deaths from DUI-related accidents. That number was about 44% of all traffic fatalities in the state – the national average is 33% of traffic deaths being caused by DUI.

“Improvements aren’t being made fast enough, and it’s a shame that we lead the nation in such devastating circumstances,” said MADD South Carolina Program Director Steven Burritt in a released statement. “It forces us to ask ourselves as a state once again whether we’re doing everything we know we should to drive these numbers down. We know the answer is that we’re not.”

Although national DUI deaths reached over 10,000 for yet another year, the number of DUI accident deaths fell a small amount between 2012 and 2013 – there were 10,322 DUI deaths in 2012, and 10,076 DUI deaths in 2013, the most recent year for traffic fatality data.

MADD examines DUI fatality data as part of the group’s ongoing “Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving,” which calls for better law enforcement sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers, and better driver alcohol detection systems in cars.

The group was part of passing Emma’s Law this past year in South Carolina, and MADD South Carolina hopes that the effort will reduce DUI deaths in the state in 2014 and beyond.

“Emma’s Law is going to help with these numbers going forward, for sure,” said Burritt.  “But we did not go as far as 24 states have done to require these devices for every DUI offender, so we can’t expect the kind of massive drops those states had.  Also, Emma’s Law can only meet expectations if those who should be convicted of drunk driving actually are.  We know this isn’t happening.”

DUI Accident and Wrongful Death Litigation in South Carolina

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, DUI, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.

Common wrongful death claims arise as a result of a:

  • tractor trailer accident,
  • automobile accident, including DUI accidents,
  • burn injury,
  • brain injury,
  • motorcycle accident,
  • construction site accident,
  • defective product,
  • toys or childrens’ product,
  • medical malpractice claim,
  • nursing home neglect and abuse, or an
  • injury sustained while working on the job.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Car Accident Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or was a victim in a DUI car accident, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death caseContact the South Carolina personal injury accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

Target Zero Campaign Focuses on DUI and Traffic Fatalities

Target Zero Campaign Aims to Prevent Traffic Fatalities this New Years

Traffic FatalitiesEvery year, the holiday season, stretching from Thanksgiving to New Years, corresponds with a rise in traffic fatalities. Many people drive to visit family and friends for various holiday festivities, and the stress of driving can lead to car accidents. And holiday festivities often involve drinking alcohol, so many people make the mistake of driving home after a few beers or glasses of wine, and at the very least, are arrested on DUI charges; at worst, they cause a deadly accident.

This year, traffic fatalities and accidents in South Carolina have gone up again, after finally declining in 2013. Last year, there were 762 traffic fatalities, which was a 30-year low for the state. However, this year, that number has jumped to 806 due almost entirely to the holiday traffic rush.

South Carolina police will be involved in the Target Zero campaign – a program which runs all year, but which becomes the focus for many officers during the holidays.

“Through Target Zero we go around asking people how many fatalities do you want in your family? How many people do you want to know to be killed in the state of South Carolina?” Senior Trooper Hannah Wimberly explained.

“When you put it into reality there’s always gonna be some type of fatal collision of course throughout the state. But when it’s in your family or it’s somebody you know, it always hits home,” Wimberly said.

“Driving under the influence still contributes to almost half of the fatalities,” Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said. “We want to start 2015 on a positive note. Target Zero is our goal.”

South Carolina recently passed legislation to ticket drivers who text and drive, so Target Zero will focus not only on drunk drivers, but on distracted drivers as well. Studies show that distracted driving can be just as fatal as drunk driving.

“We just ask that you find some other way home so you don’t go out and kill someone or yourself,” Wimberly said.

“We made tremendous strides in reducing the number of highway fatalities last year,” SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said. “Unfortunately, motorists are still not heeding the warnings about the dangers of drinking and driving. We want to finish out the year with zero traffic fatalities, and removing drunk drivers from our roadways is a major step toward that goal.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Wrongful Death Lawsuits from Traffic Fatalities

Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, distracted driving can lead to an accident, causing serious personal injury or even death. If you have been injured by an accident caused by traffic safety violations such as drunk or distracted driving, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.

Uber Driver Faces Criminal Charges Tied to Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Suit

personal injury and wrongful death

Criminal Charges Filed against Uber Driver Related to Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claim

personal injury and wrongful deathIn the continuation of one wrongful death lawsuit, an Uber driver in San Francisco has been charged with vehicular manslaughter after hitting a 6-year-old girl at a crosswalk last New Years’ while checking the Uber mobile app.

Syed Muzzafar was charged with vehicular manslaughter on Monday, December 29th. On New Year’s Day this year, Muzzafar was reportedly checking the Uber mobile app to pick up a fare when he struck several members of the Liu family as they were crossing at a crosswalk. He injured two, and killed Sophia Liu, 6 years old. Uber now faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family as well.  Uber maintains that Muzzafar was actually off-duty at the time of teh accident, meaning that the company denies liability for the wrongful death accident. The company also maintains that it is against employment policy for drivers to check the mobile app while driving, because that can lead to dangerous distracted driving accidents.

“The last thing I saw before the Uber driver killed my little girl, and forever changed my life, was him looking down at his phone,” Huan Kuang, the girl’s mother, is quoted as saying in a statement issued by her attorney on Tuesday. “The driver is a man who was working to feed his family and he did wrong, but Uber is the one who makes the drivers look at their phones as part of the way they do business. Uber is just as responsible as Muzzafar, but they say they are not.”

“The design and use of these mobile applications requires drivers to violate the law as they have just seconds to respond to instant messages from Uber or they will lose the fare and receive negative ratings and possible termination of their driver status,” the Liu family’s attorney said in a statement.

Uber has been accused not only of implicitly encouraging distracted driving, which can lead to personal injury and wrongful deaths, but of also failing to screen drivers according to state standards. This can also lead to serious injuries for passengers, including a case involving the rape of a 22-year-old woman.

In Chicago, an unidentified 22-year-old woman said she used the Uber mobile service to catch a ride in November, after a party with coworkers. She was picked up by driver Maxime Fohounhedo, who asked her about 20 minutes later to sit in the front seat with him as he was unfamiliar with the area. Then, he assaulted her in the vehicle and she blacked out; later, she woke up later in an unfamiliar apartment with him on top of her. Fohounhedo has been criminally charged with sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. However, he is only the latest in a string of accusations against Uber drivers, claiming assault and rape.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800