South Carolina Injury & Accident Lawyers

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Nursing HomesAfter Hurricane Irma devastated Florida, around 160 nursing homes were still without power several days later. The heat, endured without air conditioning, took its toll on nursing home patients, with 11 deaths reported in Irma’s wake. It has come to light that many nursing homes across the United States are, to put it mildly, unprepared for disasters.

Shortly after the deaths occurred in Hollywood, Florida, SC Rep. Wendell Gilliard decided to shine a light on the preparedness of our own state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He accomplished this by sending a letter dated September 14, 2017 to the acting director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). In it, Rep. Gilliard asked, “In the wake of what happened in Florida, would you please inform me of our state’s policies and guidelines specific to the usage of power generators when a normal power outage occurs?”

David Wilson, the acting director of DHEC, communicated that, in light of the events in Florida, SC’s storm preparations were under review. During Irma, using a computer application developed after the lessons of 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, DHEC staff collected information regarding the locations to which nursing home patients were being evacuated, the details of their transport, and whether the facilities had enough water, food, and other supplies on hand to both move and care for patients. In the cases of four locations where phone calls did not reach anyone, emergency personnel were dispatched to check that all persons had been evacuated from the buildings.

intersection-wreckThere can be many reasons why an intersection in the Columbia area is dangerous. The primary one is volume. The more drivers there are at an intersection, the more likely a bad driver will pass through; and with more vehicles filling a space, a collision is simply more likely. You can also add poor design, especially if it encourages high speed or sets up circumstances where drivers trying to go in different directions conflict.

Broad River Road and Interstate 20 had the highest number of accidents in the county last year, with 142 causing 26 injuries, reports The State newspaper. Its reporters reviewed Columbia Police Department and South Carolina Highway Patrol records to come up with the figures. Assembly Street and Elmwood Avenue was the worst intersection in Columbia, with 50 crashes. For those of us living in the area, these numbers shouldn’t be a surprise.

As for the interstate, traffic to the northwest and northeast of Columbia is the busiest and fastest and causes the most problems. After I-20 and Broad River Road, the most dangerous intersections are:

South Carolina Vehicle Accident LawyerBuying a used car can be nerve-wracking. Unless you are an expert when it comes to assessing automobiles, trying to figure out whether a vehicle is safe, reliable, and a good buy can push some folks into recalculating their finances, shrugging, and driving to the nearest new car dealership instead.

Car dealers know that buying used makes the average person nervous, so they came up with the idea of a “certified pre-owned” car (CPO). The CPO designation, ideally, should mean that a used car has been inspected, repaired if necessary, and sold with full disclosure regarding previous accidents and safety recalls. Continue reading

SC Personal Injury LawyerDid you realize that, each time you see the doctor, your diagnosis and treatment are recorded using numeric medical codes? In the U.S., ICD codes, as they are known, are highly complex and detailed; physical injuries alone are described by more than 3,000 of these codes, ranging from insect bites to vehicular accidents involving animals. If you’ve ever looked at medical records or a medical bill, the five-digit number next to a diagnostic comment is the ICD code. Continue reading

South Carolina Healthcare Fraud LawyerCancer is difficult enough to endure, with many uncomfortable procedures, without you or a loved one having to worry about undergoing unnecessary ones. But that’s exactly what it is alleged that 21st Century Oncology Inc., headquartered in Florida and the US’s biggest physician-led integrated cancer care provider, did in many cases. Adding insult to injury, 21st Century Oncology billed $34.7 million for these medically-unnecessary procedures. Continue reading

South Carolina Tricare Fraud LawyerA sleep therapy products supplier, Respironics Inc., based in Pennsylvania, agreed to resolve charges of False Claims Act violations by paying $34.8 million because of a qui tam suit brought by a whistleblower. The agreement, announced in March 2016 by the U.S. Department of Justice, claims that kickbacks in the form of free call center services were paid by Respironics. These free services were supposedly given to durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers who bought sleep apnea masks from the Pennsylvania company during the period from April 2012 to November 2015. Continue reading

SC Environment Fraud LawyerEnvironmental regulations are part of our lives, and rightly so. We need to keep from trashing our home, this planet, for ourselves and for future generations. A lot of time, effort, and money have gone into cleaning up old messes and preventing new ones, from the fossil fuels industry to nuclear plants. However, as always, the fraudsters are looking for opportunities. Continue reading

South Carolina Grovernment Fraud LawyerThe Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that, for all of fiscal year (FY) 2015, over $3.5 billion in settlements and judgments were obtained because of fraud cases against the government brought under the False Claims Act (FCA). This marks the fourth consecutive year that recoveries exceeded $3.5 billion. It was also the sixth consecutive year that over 700 new cases were brought under the FCA’s qui tam provisions, which allows whistleblowers (also known as relators) to bring false claims suits on behalf of the government and thereby share in any monetary recovery. Continue reading

SC Medicare Fraud LaywerIn the largest series of arrests for Medicare fraud to date, 243 health care workers—including 46 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals—were nabbed in a nationwide sweep. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which includes personnel from the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and local law enforcement organizations, led the takedown in 17 areas over the course of three days. It is alleged that the health care professionals generated roughly $712 million of fraudulent Medicare billings. Continue reading

SC Student Loan Fraud LawyerEducational loan abuse and fraud are starting to see their share of whistleblowers bringing cases under the False Claims Act (FCA). Student loans taken under dubious circumstances have become multi-million-dollar moneymakers at for-profit schools like ITT and the University of Phoenix.

In February, 2016, the US District Court of South Carolina awarded a default judgment of $9,283,123 against Lacy School of Cosmetology and its president, Earnest “Jay” Lacy, for false claims involving the US Department of Education and federal student loans and grants. The suit was filed under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, which enables private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the government and to receive a share of the recovery. Continue reading