Look to find your answers below, or contact us with your question.

Questions About Motor Vehicle Collisions & Injuries

What am I entitled to be compensated for if I am in a collision that is not my fault?

In general, if you are involved in a collision that was the fault of another, you are likely entitled to costs related to your property damage. You may also be entitled to reasonable automobile rental charges incurred as a result of the collision, as well as towing and storage costs. In many cases, the cost of future medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, and reimbursement for your medical and pharmacy bills (related to treatment you received as a result of injuries caused by the collision), are also recoverable. If you have Personal Injury Protection Coverage (sometimes called PIP or Medical Pay) with your own insurance policy, you may also be entitled to reimbursement under that feature regardless of who was at fault.

Should I go to the doctor if I’m only “a little sore"?

Yes. The very nature of a collision creates lots of confusion, uncertainty, and adrenaline. You may not be thinking about yourself or if something might be hurt, and it may not be until the adrenaline and the chaos subsides that you realize you may be injured. It is always better, for your interest, to be checked out by a doctor. Not being evaluated by a physician or delaying your treatment could create further injury. It is also important for any future claim that you do not delay treatment. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to argue that the failure of an individual to see a doctor right away indicates the injury in question must have been a result of an unrelated event, after the collision.

Should I give a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

The best advice here is to be very cautious about giving any statement to anyone about the collision. Remember that any statement collected by the at-fault driver‘s insurance is being done to protect the legal rights of their insured, not you. Any statement you give could be misconstrued, and possibly used against you as the insurance uses any tactic available to minimize the claim. It is a good idea to contact us before you make any kind of statement.

What if the at-fault driver had no insurance?

The first responsibility for liability is always the at-fault driver, but if they are uninsured, you may need to turn to your own insurance policy for coverage. If you have “uninsured motorist coverage” or “underinsured motorist coverage” you can be compensated for your loss under that protection. It is especially important in instances like these to have the confident guidance of an experienced attorney like Rankin & Rankin, P.A. on your side.

How long do I have to file a claim after a vehicle collision?

In the State of South Carolina, the statute of limitations for automobile collisions is set at three (3) years. If you have not initiated action regarding your collision before this time limit, you will have no further recourse for recovery of your property damages or injuries once it has passed. Do not delay and miss the compensation legally due to you. Call or email Rankin & Rankin, P.A. today to set up your free consultation.

Questions About Worker’s Compensation Injuries

What am I entitled to by Workers' Compensation if I am injured at work?

In South Carolina, workers injured on the job are entitled to have all necessary relating medical expenses paid, your benefits continued, as well as compensation for permanent injuries. If your injuries require you to be out of work for more than seven days, you are entitled to weekly temporary wage benefits (which are figured as 2/3 of your average weekly wage). The maximum amount of award for wages is limited by the law to five hundred weeks of compensation. One thing to note, to receive the medical benefits you must go to the doctors chosen by your employer or the Insurance representative. That is their right by law.

What if my employer is not insured?

In South Carolina, if you have been injured, regardless of whether your employer purchased Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you are still entitled to coverage. There is an uninsured employer workers’ compensation fund available for situations like this. However, if your employer has less than 4 employees (including the owner) they are by law not required to carry workers compensation insurance, and your coverage would be in question under that plan.

How is my weekly compensation rate determined?

The rate is figured based on 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage based on the four quarters earned prior to your injury. Something additionally to keep in mind, if you were working more than two jobs at the time of your injury the wages from your other job may be included as part of your average weekly wage and figured into your compensation rate.

Can I sue my employer for damages?

No. You cannot sue your employer and have a workers’ compensation claim. However, if your injury was as a result of a third party – say a contractor or other person not employed by your company – you may try to get compensation from that third party for pain and suffering in addition to your workers’ compensation claim benefits.

How long do I have to file a claim after a vehicle collision?

You can call our office today contact us 843-438-1305 and we will be happy to speak to you, answer your questions, and see how we might be able to help you with your claim. The Workers Compensation website http://www.wcc.sc.gov/ also has very useful information.

Questions About Personal Injuries

How do I know if my injury qualifies as a personal injury?

Personal injury actions require, by their very nature, that someone be injured. The injury can either be physical or in some cases, emotional. The general goal of personal injury action is to place the blame for the injury on the party who caused it, and to require them to compensate the injured person for the losses they have sustained. So, if you have been injured either intentionally or negligently, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim.

How do I know if my injury qualifies as a personal injury?

Personal injury actions require, by their very nature, that someone be injured. The injury can either be physical or in some cases, emotional. The general goal of personal injury action is to place the blame for the injury on the party who caused it, and to require them to compensate the injured person for the losses they have sustained. So, if you have been injured either intentionally or negligently, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim.

What damages can I recover for a personal injury claim in South Carolina?

South Carolina law allows for personal injury claimants to be compensated for financial losses as well as other damages that are directly related to your injury.

What is considered a ‘financial loss’ in a personal injury claim in South Carolina?

Generally, a financial loss is considered any and all of the following: All medical expenses (past, current, and future) related to the injury; including prescription medications, lost wages (past, current, and future) if you have been unable to work as a result of the injury; including loss of potential future earnings if your injury is permanently disabling, care and treatment for you while injured; including future care and treatment if your injury is permanently disabling, care for your home, vehicle and or home modifications (if necessary to accommodate due to your injury), damaged property as a result of someone else’s negligence.

When is an injury not a personal injury claim?

In some situations, the defendant’s conduct, while questionable, does not rise to a level that entitles the injured party to a recovery. For example, if the injured person knowingly and willfully chooses to encounter a known hazard, the law holds that he or she has “assumed the risk of injury” and therefore the defendant is not liable. An injured person, in other situations, is denied recovery if their subjective belief about the situation does not match an objective “reasonable person” standard

What are some of the more common types of personal injury actions?

Personal injury law can involve many different types of claims, theories and principles. Some of the more common types of personal injury actions are:

Animal bites – can result in the animal owner’s liability to the person who is bitten or who is injured while trying to avoid a bite

Assault and battery – these are two intentional torts that involve improper contact with another person, without permission or consent or the threat of such contact.

Aviation accidents – these situations often result in serious injury or death

Defamation and privacy – two separate areas that concern the rights of individuals to have their names and reputations protected, and also to have their privacy preserved

Motor vehicle collisions – there are numerous questions as to the liability of one participant to another and also raise interesting questions regarding who should be responsible for covering the losses

Premises liability – this concerns the responsibilities of property owners to safeguard others from dangerous conditions or hazards on their property and to prevent others from being injured while on their property

Property damage causes of action – this area concerns the right of owners of property to protect their property from damage, theft or intrusion

Railroad accidents – these situations may result in personal injury or death and may subject the railroad to liability

Slip and fall cases – many times these relater closely to the duty of an owner or possessor of land to maintain their property in a safe manner for the benefit of others lawfully entering upon the land

Wrongful death actions – these may be brought by the dependents or beneficiaries of a deceased individual against the party whose action or inaction caused the death of their loved one.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims

What exactly is a Wrongful Death claim?

Typically, a Wrongful Death claim refers to a cause of action that is brought by a family member of a person whose death happened as a result of the wrongful conduct of another; the conduct may have been intentional, negligent or reckless in nature. In the situation where a product and not a person caused the wrongful death, there may not be a need to show wrongful conduct in order to be able to recover compensation.

Who can bring a Wrongful Death claim?

Only those recognized as “heirs” under the South Carolina Probate laws are able to recover for the wrongful death of a family member. In many cases, this is a spouse and children of the deceased. The exception to being an heir is to be appointed by Probate Court as a Personal Representative of the family member’s estate. In this instance, the Personal Representative may bring suit on behalf of the family.

What are the limitations to file a Wrongful Death claim?

South Carolina’s statute of limitations regarding filing a Wrongful Death suit is three (3) years. If a claim is not filed within this time, all rights are surrendered to recover damages for the Wrongful Death of your loved one.

What are my rights if my loved one was killed because of some else’s negligence?

If you are an heir or a named Personal Representative for the estate of the loved one who was killed, you can file a Wrongful Death suit to recover damages. Sometimes, through the Wrongful Death suit, there is an opportunity for a “survival action” to arise. This is an action that attempts to recover funeral and burial expenses and for any conscious pain and suffering that occurred prior to death.

What kinds of situations result in a Wrongful Death claim?

There are many situations of negligence, resulting in the death of a loved one, which can become a Wrongful Death claim. Some of the more common are: as a result of an automobile or other vehicle collision, personal injury accident, dangerous or defective products, and on-the-job accidents.

Five Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability Claims

(All answers taken directly from the SSA website)

How do I apply for Social Security Disability?

You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. You can apply three different ways: complete your application on line, call the toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213 (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call TTY 1-800-325-0778), or call or visit your local Social Security office.

What information will I need to be able to apply for Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Disability website offers a helpful tool for gathering all the necessary information for applying. To download the Disability Starter Kit, go to the Social Security website at: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits.htm

Does everyone qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

No, not everyone qualifies. “To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.”

Once I qualify for Social Security Disability, will I always have it?

“In most cases, you will continue to receive benefits as long as you are disabled. However, there are certain circumstances that may change your continuing eligibility for disability benefits.” The law requires that your case be reviewed from time to time to verify that you are still disabled. You will be notified if it is time to review your case, and kept informed about your benefit status. You also should be aware that you are responsible for letting the Social Security Administration know if your health improves or you go back to work.

How long does it take for the Social Security Disability process to be completed?

“The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your disability claim is from three to five months. It can vary depending on several factors, but primarily on: the nature of your disability; how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical source; whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination in order to obtain evidence to support your claim; and if your claim is randomly selected for quality assurance review of the decision.”

Resource Links

For our clients’ convenience, we have provided a list of helpful URL’s below. Please take a moment to browse. We hope you will enjoy the value of these links.


American Arbitration Association

American Bar Association

SC Workers Compensation Commission

The Official Website of the State of South Carolina

Business and Finance

Better Business Bureau

National Association of Consumer Advocates

SC Government

SC Senate

SC Congress

Representative Tom Rice

Senator Tim Scott

Senator Lindsey Graham

Rankin & Rankin, P.A. is a Corporate Sponsor for the Dragonboat event. His teams have won the past two years in their category. http://www.groundzeromb.com/dragonboat/