Beware of Sexual Offenders, Especially on Halloween Night

One of America’s most fun-filled holidays is just around the corner.  With proper planning and safety prevention, you and your family can enjoy a safe and Happy Halloween.

One of the most important safety measures a parent or guardian can take is to understand the laws regulating sexual offenders and know where they live within your community.  Look up the locations of sexual offenders here.
South Carolina Sexual Predator Directory

South Carolina prevents sexual offenders who are on probation or parole from answering their doors on Halloween night.  The law states that sexual offenders who are on probation should turn off any outside light (porch lights) and not answer the door at all on Halloween night.  They should also not participate in any Halloween parties, carnivals or other celebrations.  State law also prevents them from putting up any Halloween decorations.  (Note: This does not apply to all sex offenders, many of whom are no longer on probation or parole and therefore not under the jurisdiction of SCDPPPS.)

Sexual offenders also have to comply with a mandatory curfew from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. and some S.C. counties require sexual offenders to report to a designated location during the curfew.

Parents and guardians should be cautious and follow these additional safety tips for a safe and fun night:

  1. Make sure that your child trick or treats with you or other trusted responsible adults.
  2. Discuss safety issues in advance with children such as carrying a flashlight or glow in the dark wand and walking on the sidewalk or the proper side of the road.
  3. Children should be taught not to approach homes that do not have a well-lit porch or entryway and to stay together.
  4. Check EVERYTHING children collect while trick or treating.




Car Crashes into Columbia Building

South Carolina Accident Lawyers


WLTX-TV reports that an elderly woman was fortunate enough to walk away uninjured Thursday morning after her car came to rest inside a building located near Two Notch Road and Interstate 20.

Authorities say the 77-year-old woman hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes causing her to ram her Toyota Camry into a Buddhist center, Shin Hatch, located in the SGI-USA building on O’Neil Court. Ironically, the Department of Motor Vehicles is also located in the same building.

A volunteer manager at the center Shin Hatch says no members were inside the building during the accident, but if  the accident had occurred 15 minutes later, people could have been inside studying and praying.

“We never expected this,” said Hatch. “We had members arriving here right after it happened.”

A DMV spokeswoman said the accident may have caused a small crack in their space, but described the repairs needed as minimal.

Thankfully, no one was injured and no charges have been filed.

By: South Carolina Accident Attorney Pete Strom

Police: We Need Your Help for Car Break-Ins

South Carolina Accident Attorneys

WLTX-TV is reporting that Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking the local community for assistance in resolving a string of car break-ins in the Midlands.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department says a string of the break-ins have occurred in the Ballentine, White Rock, and Chapin areas of Richland and Lexington Counties.  The incidents, which occured between September 16 and October 21, 2011, took place in the early morning hours of 2:00 AM – 5:30 AM.

Authorities say a large number of these crimes have occurred in the Forty Love Point, Foxport and Lakeport communities in Richland County. Fortunately, one of the incidents was captured on surveillance video. In the video, it shows the suspect carrying items taken from a car break-in that occurred in Lexington County.

Sheriff Lott says the suspect is forcing his way into cars and stealing guns, laptop computers and iPads. He stated the suspect is believed to be a male approximately 6 feet tall and of slender build.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and Richland County Sheriff’s Department are working together to identify the person(s) responsible.

Anyone with information on the identity of those responsible is urged contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC or

By: South Carolina Accident Attorney Pete Strom

AAA: Teens Most Likely to Crash in First Month of Solo Driving

South Carolina Accident Lawyers

A new study conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, on behalf of the AAA Foundation, found that teens are at the greatest risk of getting into a crash during their first month of solo driving.  For the frantic parents out there, there is some hope. The risk of getting into an accident drops drastically after one to two years of experience behind the wheel.

The study also stated that during the first month of solo driving, teens are 50 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than in their entire first year, and twice as likely to wreck than after their second year of experienced driving.

The most common mistakes that caused crashes were failing to reduce speed, inattention and failure to yield. These mistakes accounted for approximately 57 percent of the crashes in which teens were at least partly to blame during their first month of solo driving.

If you have been injured in a car wreck, you need an aggressive Columbia, South Carolina auto accident lawyer to protect your legal rights. Even minor accidents can lead to severe and catastrophic injuries, result in permanent disability, and even death.

Centrally located in Columbia, South Carolina, the car accident and personal injury lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will pursue your right for fair compensation after an accident.

Our South Carolina auto accident injury lawyers have the experience you need. Whether your case involves:

The auto injury lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C.  will help you maximize the amount of compensation that you receive, and let you focus on getting better.

By: South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Pete Strom

HS Athlete Dies from TBI

South Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

New York authorities in Homer, NY say a 16-year-old high school football player, who passed away after collapsing during a game, suffered bleeding in his brain, apparently from a helmet-to-helmet collision.

Cortland County Coroner Kevin Sharp says the athlete died from a massive traumatic brain injury, specifically a subdural hematoma.

The lineman for John C. Birdlebough High School in the Oswego County village of Phoenix was injured during Friday night’s game at Homer High School, which is south of Syracuse.

Authorities say he was able to sit up consciously after the play, but did complain of a headache and collapsed when he tried to stand.

The Coroner said there was no evidence of any pre-existing injury or condition that contributed to the teen’s death; the deadly injury was consistent with the helmet-to-helmet collision reported between Barden and another player.

Traumatic brain injuries occur when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.

Traumatic brain injury may be the result of a

For many victims, a traumatic brain injury is not immediately noticeable. A great amount of force does not need to be applied to sustain a head injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident, the Strom Law Firm offers a free, no-cost consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

By: Pete Strom, South Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer



SC Traffic Fatalities Continue to Rise

South Carolina Accident Attorneys

After a 30-year decline, the number of traffic fatalities in South Carolina is back on the rise. The Department of Public Safety reports that 593 people passed away between January and September 2011 – twenty more people than this time last year.

For the most part, the accidents involved automobile drivers or passengers. However, nearly 28% of the accidents caused the deaths of pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.

Greenville County leads South Carolina in traffic fatalities. Authorities said the good weather and high gas prices are to blame for SC residents choosing alternative transportation.

Tom Crosby, vice president for AAA for South Carolina, said he believes the state’s approach to traffic safety is at fault. Crosby claimed the state’s history of eased driving regulations. The state has not yet limited drivers’ cell phone use, for example.

“I’m not surprised when fatalities rise in South Carolina. The state has a certain appetite for traffic lawlessness under the false guise of personal liberty,” Cosby said in an interview with The State. He added, “That’s a big reason why South Carolina has some of the highest road deaths per mile in the country.”

By: South Carolina Accident Attorney Pete Strom

Automobile accidents can result in a variety of injuries, whether the accident was minor or traumatic. It’s difficult to find jurors who have not been involved, directly or indirectly, in some type of automobile accident. These experiences taint the jurors’ views of car accidents, and you can expect that the insurance company will try to persuade jurors against plaintiffs’ claims.

An insurance company’s job is to make money, in part by paying as little money as possible to an automobile accident victim.

The insurance adjuster assigned to your case will likely want to obtain a statement from you soon after the accident. While the adjuster may initially seem concerned about your welfare, you can expect that your statement will be used to minimize your claim.

Don’t let the insurance company try to settle your claim for less than it is worth. Insurance companies are focused on making money, not ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Although the insurance adjuster may push you to settle your claim, you need to make sure that you finish treating, and understand the full extent of, your injuries prior to even discussing settlement. You also need to know whether you will need future treatment, or suffer from any future impairment before you even consider settlement.

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.

Browns DL Breaks Arm in Motorcycle Accident

South Carolina Accident and Injury Attorneys

USA Today reported that Cleveland Brown defensive end Marcus Benard broke his arm in a motorcycle accident Monday night, shortly after the team’s practice ended coming off their bye week.

Coach Pat Shurmur told USA today that Benard is undergoing more tests and evaluation. The 26-year-old wrecked his motorcycle on Interstate 71 about 90 minutes after the Browns wrapped up their first practice in preparation for Sunday’s game in Oakland.

Benard, who played in all four games this season, will likely miss a lot of time and may have to go on injured reserve.   However, it appears he was lucky to avoid a more serious injury.

Ohio authorities say they are still investigating Benard’s crash.  It’s not yet known if any other vehicles were involved in the incident.

Last year, Benard led the team with 7½ sacks.  However, it has been a rough year for the NFL player.

In November, he was hospitalized after fainting in the locker room before a practice.  He did undergo tests, which ruled out any heart problems or other major medical conditions.  He claimed the incident was related to stress caused by the impending birth of his son.

Unfortunately, the Browns have a history with motorcycle accidents that some know all too well.

Seven years ago, tight end Kellen Winslow sustained near-deadly injuries when he wrecked his motorcycle while doing tricks in a parking lot near his home.

Marcus Benard overcame long odds to make it to the National Football League. He was signed by Cleveland as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

He spent the first nine weeks of the season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster.  At the end of last year, he sacked Ben Roethlisberger twice as Cleveland upset Pittsburgh.

By: Pete Strom, South Carolina Accident Attorney

Marijuana Use May Increase Your Risk of Having an Accident

South Carolina Accident Attorneys

A new study at Columbia University found that driving while under the influence of marijuana may double the risk of an individual getting into a car accident, when compared to other drivers.

Researchers reviewed nine epidemiological studies and found that drivers who drive under the influence of marijuana are significantly more likely to be involved in vehicle crashes compared to drivers who are not under the influence of the drug.

The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that more than 10 million people age 12 and older have driven a vehicle under the influence of illicit drugs in the prior year.

Marijuana is the most commonly-detected non-alcoholic drug used by drivers.

Until recently, experts were not certain about its role in causing car accidents. A full report on the research is published online in the journal Epidemiological Reviews.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), approximately 5,811,000 automobile accidents occurred in 2008. Of these automobile accidents, there were 37,261 fatalities and 2,346,000 injuries.  In a single moment, millions of families were disrupted and forced to face costly medical bills and suffer lost wages, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol reported 270 fatalities in 2011 on South Carolina highways alone, and reported 1,000  deaths total in South Carolina due to motor vehicle collisions.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, in 2008 one person was killed in a DUI accident every 21 hours, and one teen driver was involved in a fatal car accident every hour. One pedestrian was killed by an automobile every 3 days.

Contrary to what television lawyers may tell you, motor vehicle accidents can be expensive and complicated. In all likelihood, “getting the cash you need now” really means is that you won’t have the cash you’ll need down the road.

Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Car Accident Victims
Automobile accidents, commonly called car wrecks, happen every day in South Carolina and nationwide. Even minor car accidents can lead to severe injuries and high repair costs. As a result, automobile accident cases are often complicated. Many people, including attorneys, regard car accident cases as run-of-the-mill, which is rarely the case.  The attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC, understand what it takes to protect the rights of victims injured in car accidents.

By: South Carolina Accident Attorney Pete Strom


When to File a South Carolina Accident Report

South Carolina Accident Attorneys

If any automobile accident results in death or injury to any person, or damage to personal property, an accident report should be filed immediately.

A South Carolina accident report must be filed within ten days after an accident occurs to avoid the risk of the driver losing their license. South Carolina accident report forms are at any police station or sheriff’s office. After completing the form, file it at the location listed.

The experienced South Carolina Automobile Accident Attorneys at The Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. can help you understand the legal process and will fight for fair compensation for your injuries.

Do not let an insurance adjuster take advantage of the situation by settling your claim for as little as possible. Insurance adjusters make money by pushing you through a quick settlement. If you have been in a South Carolina car accident, it is important that you understand your legal rights. The South Carolina car accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will review your case free of charge.

Our South Carolina wreck attorneys and support staff have experience dealing with automobile accidents and insurance companies, and can help ensure you receive fair compensation for all your injuries, current and future. Even if you are the victim, and your case does not involve life-altering injuries or complex legal questions, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will aggressively defend their case. The insurance companies who most often defend at-fault drivers spend millions of dollars teaching their adjusters how to successfully deny claims.

Have questions? The Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. offers a  free consultation with our personal injury attorneys.  Call us today to see how we can help. 803.252.4800

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.

Car Accidents: Never Leave the Scene


South Carolina Accident Attorneys

If you are involved in an automobile accident with another vehicle or pedestrian, it is important to remember to never leave the scene of the accident. If you leave the scene of the accident, you may subject yourself to criminal prosecution, even if the collision was not your fault.

If you are in a wreck, the most important thing to do is to make sure that everyone is safe, and determine whether there are any injuries.

You may want to warn oncoming traffic to avoid a second collision until law enforcement arrives.

What Should I Do Immediately After the Accident?

1. If  you or anyone else is injured, contact 911. If you are injured, you need to seek medical attention.  Once your injuries are examined, make sure that you follow your doctor’s advice. Continue reading “Car Accidents: Never Leave the Scene”