Doctor holding an injured hand with a cast around it

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney After an Accident?

If you’ve been hurt in an injury accident, you may be wondering if you are entitled to financial compensation through a South Carolina personal injury legal action. Chances are if the accident resulted from another’s negligence, you probably have a viable claim against the at-fault party.

While you may be tempted to pursue damages on your own, hiring a professional South Carolina personal injury attorney may be a better choice. Let’s look at why hiring a personal injury attorney to act as your advocate is a good idea.

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney? 

After an injury accident, you are likely overwhelmed with emotion and concern in the face of physical injury, mounting medical debt, and lost wages. Trying to manage a personal injury claim under extreme emotional stress can leave you vulnerable to legal technicalities and manipulative tactics from the opposing party.  

Hiring a lawyer versed in personal injury law is your best bet to ensure that the handling of your personal injury action is thorough and well-executed. 

5 Reasons a Lawyer Should Represent Your South Carolina Personal Injury Claim

1. Protecting Your Legal Interests

When you retain legal counsel, you are hiring an advocate to protect your legal rights. Lawyers experienced in personal injury law understand the rules and regulations governing your rights to compensation. 

A skilled personal injury attorney will frame and argue your case within the scope of personal injury law and insurance regulations to get you the most compensation possible for your losses and pain and suffering. 

2. Conducting a Thorough Investigation

A personal injury claim requires well-documented, detailed facts to support an argument for financial damages. Personal injury attorneys use various resources and experts to gather evidence and build a case that will withstand scrutiny by the opposing party. 

3. Navigating Deadlines and Statutes of Limitations

Most personal injury cases are compromised by minor errors and oversights involving filing deadlines. Your claim is subject to a statute of limitations and other deadlines throughout the legal process from the time your injury accident occurs.

Attempting to balance your recovery and personally manage the complex legal process of an injury action opens you to errors and oversights that could compromise your case.  

An experienced personal injury lawyer will meet required timelines to ensure your case is not lost on a scheduling or other process technicality.  

4. Defending Your Rights Against Insurance Bad Faith 

Insurance companies are designed to make money, not lose it. Their primary interest is to minimize or eliminate financial losses, and they will use any strategy to do so.  

A savvy and experienced lawyer will anticipate the insurance adjusters’ tactics and ensure that you are not manipulated into accepting less than you deserve. 

5. Maximizing the Financial Award

Personal injury victims with lawyers representing their case are typically awarded higher payouts than victims who go it alone. This is generally attributed to an injury attorney’s ability to navigate the law, recognize and defeat bad-faith insurance tactics, and account for injury victims’ long-term recovery needs. 

Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Today

The aftermath of a personal injury accident brings with it a great deal of fear and emotion that can easily overwhelm even the most sensible person.

Hiring a personal injury attorney to represent your case for damages can offer confidence and peace of mind that your case will be properly handled. While you focus on healing and recovery, your attorney will fight for your rights to the maximum compensation you deserve. 

Contact our law firm today for knowledgeable and skilled representation by an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney. 

Business' paperwork on a table for a company

Legal Audits: Why Your Business Needs One

Anytime we hear the word “audit,” we automatically think of something negative, such as an IRS audit. However, a legal audit can be very beneficial for your business. Legal audits can save your company money and avoid future legal problems. Our South Carolina business attorney can perform a legal audit of your company and help you develop a strategy to address any problems that the audit reveals.

What Is a Legal Audit?

A legal audit is a routine “health” checkup for your company. Generally, an experienced business law attorney performs legal audits. An attorney reviews various aspects of your business to assess the risk and potential for legal problems. A legal audit can identify issues with your company’s structure, management, policies, procedures, and daily operations that could lead to compliance problems and lawsuits. 

Staying on top of everything can be difficult, especially when a company grows very quickly. The owner is busy with the daily operations of the business and may be more inclined to pay attention to the financial health of the company instead of its legal health. Having a business lawyer perform a legal audit ensures that your company is legally “healthy” in addition to being financially successful. 

Think of a legal audit as preventive measures to protect your business by minimizing legal risks. 

What Is Covered by a Legal Audit?

The items covered by a legal audit depend on the type of company being audited and the type of service or product the company provides. However, there are some standard issues and items that most legal audits include.

A checklist of some issues a legal audit should review include:

  • Protection of Personal Assets — Do you have a company structure and entity that limits personal liability for the owners? Do you maintain your business entity properly to avoid personal liability for company debts and obligations? 
  • Contracts — Are you using standard contracts that limit the company’s risk and protect the company’s best interest? Do you have contracts related to all aspects of your business? Are your contracts outdated? Do your contracts have the correct language required by current laws that make the contracts legally enforceable? 
  • Employee Matters — Does your company have a comprehensive employee handbook? Do your policies and procedures comply with federal and state employment and discrimination laws?
  • Tax Compliance — Are you in compliance with local, state, and federal tax laws, including sales, employment, and corporate taxes?
  • Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets — Do you have the necessary copyrights and trademarks to protect intellectual property? Do you use nondisclosure agreements in each situation in which trade secrets might be disclosed?
  • Websites — Do your websites have copyright notices, terms of use, and privacy policies?
  • Recordkeeping — Are your recordkeeping policies sufficient to protect yourself and the company if you are audited by a tax authority, named in a lawsuit, or investigated for compliance issues? Do you maintain accurate books and records and have redundant backups?
  • Customer Data Protection — Do your policies and procedures for protecting customer data and information comply with state, federal, and international privacy laws? Are there safeguards in place to prevent data from being shared, leaked, or hacked?
  • Compliance — Do you have any compliance issues? Does your company have the required permits and licenses? Are you complying with all federal and state regulations required for your specific enterprise?

The above checklist is not intended to be an exhaustive checklist for a legal audit. You should work with an attorney to determine the items that need to be included in your legal audit to protect your company. 

Contact a South Carolina Business Attorney for More Information 

If you have questions about a legal audit or want to schedule a legal audit for your company, contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA to discuss this important legal checkup in greater detail.

Man filing a UCC

What Is a UCC Filing & How a UCC Lien Works

When you borrow money, the lender may require you to provide collateral for the loan. If you default on the loan, the lender can exercise its legal right to claim the asset as payment for the debt. A security instrument is filed in the public records where the property is located to ensure that other parties are aware of a creditor’s lien on the property. South Carolina business attorneys assist creditors and lenders in properly securing liens on collateral to protect their rights in case a borrower defaults on a loan. 

What Is a UCC Financing Statement? 

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) regulates business transactions. Revised Article 9 of the UCC governs security interests in property owned by the borrower. In a secured transaction, the borrower pledges property as collateral to secure the loan. 

A UCC financing statement is the form used to file notice of the security interest. The forms are filed with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. The public can search for UCC statements online or in person. Some UCC statements must also be filed in the county in which the property exists, including statements securing an interest in mineral rights, real estate fixtures, and timber.

UCC statements are active for five years; however, filing a UCC-3 statement continues the security interest for an additional five years. The security interest expires five years from the date of filing without a continuation statement. 

What Type of Property Can Be Secured by a UCC Statement?

An individual or business can grant a security interest in its property by signing a UCC statement. Lenders may require a business to sign a security agreement for the specific property being purchased or pledge additional collateral to secure the lien. In some cases, a lender may require a “blanket” UCC statement. A blanket UCC filing gives the lender a security interest in all of the business assets.

Examples of business assets used to secure a UCC lien include, but are not limited to:

  • Accounts receivable
  • Vehicles
  • Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Office equipment
  • Real estate fixtures
  • Investment Securities

The property doesn’t need to be free and clear of previous UCC liens for a creditor to file a UCC statement. Likewise, a UCC statement does not prevent other lenders from using the same collateral to secure another loan. 

A UCC statement creates a lien on the collateral as of the date of filing. The first lender to file a UCC has priority over lenders with subsequent UCC statements. The UCC statement serves as notice to other lenders that their interests are subordinate to other liens of record. 

Rights After Default on Debt Secured by UCC Statement

If the borrower defaults on the loan secured by the UCC financing statement, the lender has several options. The secured party may petition the court for a judgment against the borrower. It may also utilize available judicial procedures to repossess, foreclose, or otherwise enforce the claim against the property secured by the UCC statement. 

How the secured party enforces the lien depends on the type of property secured by the UCC statement and who has possession of the property. 

Contact Our South Carolina Business Attorneys to Discuss UCC Filings in More Detail

It is crucial that a lender correctly completes and files a UCC statement to secure an interest in collateral. Schedule a consult today. Our South Carolina business attorneys advise lenders and companies regarding the execution, filing, and enforcement of UCC statements in South Carolina.