Charleston, South Carolina Legal Blog

Inattentional blindness and its role in motorcycle accidents

Did you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident? If so, you are not alone. Collisions involving motorcycles are fairly common in the state of South Carolina. According to researchers, something called inattentional blindness contributes to many of them every year.

What exactly is inattentional blindness? How common is it? Is it an excuse to get responsible parties off the hook for their actions?

Remaining silent is always your right to use

It doesn't matter what charges you may face, you still have the right to remain silent. Whether police accuse you of shoplifting, driving drunk, drug trafficking or even murder, your rights under the U.S. Constitution are yours to exercise.

One of the most important rights that the founding fathers of the United States gave you is not to incriminate yourself. You do not need to answer anything but basic questions when police ask. They cannot force you to talk, but you do need to say a few words in order to avoid inadvertently waiving your right to remain silent.

Passengers and emotions can easily affect driving ability

Distractions are issues that all people must deal with throughout their daily lives. Whether your kids are vying for your attention while you try to get some much needed errands completed or you are unable to focus on your work while in the office, you likely find yourself having to remain disciplined to make sure that you do not let distractions ruin your productivity.

This discipline may prove immensely useful when behind the wheel of a vehicle. Any number of activities inside or outside the car could easily result in a driver taking his or her mind off the task of driving, putting others at risk. By staying alert and aware of possible distractions, you may help yourself as a driver.

Dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite

If you own a dog, you are among nearly 40 percent of the population of the country. Dogs are a favorite pet in many households, providing companionship, comfort and protection. However, dogs can also be unpredictable. Even the gentlest dog has its breaking point, and it is unfortunate when someone suffers injuries as a result.

Dog bite injuries can be very serious. Twenty percent of dog bites need medical care, and nearly as many result in serious infections. While you may do your best to keep your dog confined and even-tempered, not everyone takes these precautions. If you or your child has suffered injuries from an unprovoked dog bite, you have every right to seek redress for those injuries.

Facing fraud charges? A strong criminal defense is important.

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you are likely feeling overwhelmed and concerned about your future interests. Regardless of the nature of your crimes, you know there is a lot at stake when there are charges pending against you. While there is a lot on the line, a conviction is not your only option.

Financial crimes, particularly fraud, are serious charges. You would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests by seeking defense help as soon as possible, working on a strategy uniquely suited to your individual needs. With help, you can confront any type of fraud charges and work to shield your future from the negative impact of a serious financial crime allegation or conviction.

Teachers Deserve Better: How the workers' compensation system deprives educators

We are blessed to have so many committed teachers who devote countless hours and energy to educating our children. We all know our teachers are underpaid. What many teachers don't know is just how underpaid they are if injured at work.

Under South Carolina law, a worker who is out of work as a result of a job injury is not entitled to compensation in the same amount that he/she was making. Instead, the worker is entitled to weekly payments of 66 2/3 of her "average weekly wage."

South Carolina Code of Laws ยง42-1-40 calculates "average weekly wage" as follows: take the total wages paid for the last four quarters ...and divide by:

i. fifty-two or

ii. the actual number of weeks for which wages were paid, whichever is less.

Best defense options to avoid DUI conviction in South Carolina

Nothing can ruin a fun evening out with friends more than seeing flashing lights in your rear view mirror and realizing that a police officer is pulling you over in a traffic stop. If you roll down your window and the officer asks if you'd mind stepping out of your car, it's a real game changer because this often means he or she suspects you of drunk driving. The old cliche that prosecutors can use everything you say and do against you in court may just be true.

That's why it is crucial to know your rights ahead of time and how to quickly access support when you need it. While it's never a good idea to act aggressively, try to flee or directly oppose a police officer who is making a lawful request, you are not required to answer any questions beyond those pertaining to your identification or that of your vehicle. In fact, if you wind up facing DUI charges, it doesn't necessarily mean the court will hand down a conviction.

Signs that the driver near you may be placing your life at risk

There's nothing worse than being on a South Carolina roadway heavily laden with fast-moving traffic when suddenly a car comes dangerously close to you that appears to be moving in erratic patterns. Such stressful driving situations can make your heart feel like it has skipped a beat, and even if you are alert and as cautious as possible behind the wheel, you can't control another motorist's actions. Drunk and/or distracted drivers put your life and others at risk.

If you know the signs of drunk driving ahead of time, you can keep a careful lookout for potential dangers on the road. Police officers receive extensive training in spotting drunk drivers, but really, anyone can learn what to watch for to increase the chances of avoiding collision.

New report on bicycle accidents reveals surprising statistics

If you ever needed a compelling argument for why it's crucial to wear a helmet, there is a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association that may convince you. The report identifies some key differences in cycling accidents and injuries, especially those where motor vehicles are involved. The data may surprise you.

The GHSA report, which analyzes data from 1975-2015, notes one major finding: while bicyclist fatalities on U.S. roadways hit an all-time low in 2010, they are now on the rise again, accounting for at least 2% of all roadway fatalities.

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Riesen DuRant, LLC
613 Long Point Road #100
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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