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Does My Insurance Cover Flood Damage in SC?

Horry County residents held their breath as Hurricane Florence moved through the Myrtle Beach area this month. But, as the winds slowed, and people began to breathe sighs of relief, media reports began to warn about the flooding that was to come...

This week, sections of the Myrtle Beach area and further inland have begun to record levels of flooding, entire neighborhoods have been evacuated, and there is an ongoing struggle to keep the main roads open so the Grand Strand area is not completely cut off from the outside world.

Many homeowners are now wondering, will my homeowner's insurance policy cover flood damage in SC? What if my car is damaged? If I have an auto accident caused by the flooding, will my auto insurance policy pay for the damages?

Common Law Marriage in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of only about ten states that still recognize common law marriages. How do you prove a common law marriage in SC, and why would you?

What does "common law" even mean?

Below, I'll answer some common questions about common law marriage in SC, how you can prove (or disprove) common law marriage in court, and how to make sure that you are not unintentionally entering a common law marriage.

Your rights as a father could hinge on establishing paternity

As a father, you want to do everything you can to protect your parental rights and shield your relationship with your children. Sometimes, however, a dispute with the mother of your child, a divorce or other complication could threaten your rights. Depending on the nature of your individual situation, it may be necessary to establish paternity.

Paternity, fathers' rights and your parental role in the life of your child are complex legal matters. It may seem overwhelming, but you can take steps to establish and secure your rights as a South Carolina parent. You do not have to navigate these sensitive and complicated matters on your own. 

Who is Entitled to Worker's Compensation Death Benefits in SC?

In York v. York, decided on June 6, 2018, the SC Court of Appeals reversed the Worker's Compensation Commission's finding that a common-law spouse was not entitled to worker's compensation death benefits after her common-law husband's death.

The commissioner in the case below held that the claimant (Yvonne) was not a common law spouse and was therefore not entitled to worker's compensation death benefits because a woman who lives "in an illicit relationship with a man to whom she is not legally married" cannot be considered a dependent for purposes of worker's compensation benefits.

Because Yvonne committed the "crime" of fornication, the commissioner found that she was not entitled to benefits even though she was dependent on the deceased at the time of his death.

Wait, what? Are we living in the '50s?

The commissioner did base his decision on a 1950 case...

Below we will discuss who receives death benefits from worker's comp, when a common law spouse is entitled to benefits, and how the SC Court of Appeals sidestepped an opportunity to address what is clearly an unconstitutional gender-bias in SC law.

When Do Police Need a Warrant to Arrest Me in SC?

On television, we often see a person getting arrested - the officer cuffs them, reads their rights to them, and off to the jail they go. But, we rarely see police handing someone an arrest warrant before they take them into custody.

Whether police need a warrant before they arrest you depends on the circumstances - sometimes they need to have a warrant signed by a judge. Other times, they can take you into custody and then get the warrant signed.

In other cases, police can use a "blue ticket," or "uniform traffic ticket" instead of an arrest warrant. Below, we will look at each of these situations, when police need a warrant to arrest someone, and when a uniform traffic ticket is enough.

Deny, Delay, and Defend - Frivolous Defenses by Insurance Companies

What's the purpose of auto insurance?

If your answer is, "to pay for damages if there is a car accident," you may be in for a surprise when you are in an auto accident and make a valid claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company.

The purpose of auto insurance is the same as the purpose of any insurance - to make as much money as possible for the insurance company and its shareholders. How do you do that? Charge the highest premiums that you can, and, when a claim is made, deny, delay, and defend.

What are some of the more common frivolous defenses that insurance companies make, and how can we limit frivolous defenses?

How Do I Get a Divorce in SC If My Spouse Lives in Another State?

We've been separated for a year, and my spouse has moved to another state - where do we file for divorce?

What if I moved to another state but my spouse still lives in SC? Can I file for divorce in my state or do I have to come back to South Carolina?

When spouses move out of state, it can complicate the questions of jurisdiction and venue for divorce proceedings or child custody actions - if you file a divorce action in the wrong state or county, it can delay the proceedings, your case may be get dismissed, and you will have to re-file in the proper location.

Below, we'll look at some of the more common scenarios and how they are resolved.

Can I Sue for Alienation of Affection in South Carolina?

After a NC man won $8.8 million in a lawsuit last month for alienation of affection against his ex-wife's lover, many people are asking, "Can I sue for alienation of affection in SC?"

The answer is no - South Carolina's Supreme Court abolished the civil claim in 1992, although seven states still permit lawsuits for alienation of affection.

Why was it abolished? Which states still allow it and why?

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Auto Accident?

Why do I need an attorney for my auto accident claim? I can handle this myself, right?

Maybe, although it's not likely - there are some circumstances when you may not need the advice of an attorney - for example, if you were in a minor accident with no injuries and the insurance company is willing to pay for the property damage to your vehicle.

But, when there are medical bills, pain and suffering, trauma from a serious accident, or the need for future medical care, you are more likely to recover full and fair compensation when you have an experienced car wreck lawyer handling your case.

Similarly, when there are potential issues as to liability or potential defenses that the insurance company will capitalize on, your claim may be dead on arrival without an attorney...

Your Myrtle Beach auto accident attorney at Axelrod and Associates will protect your interests, make sure that you do not make costly mistakes during the claim process, negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you are fully compensated, and take your case to trial when the at-fault driver's insurance company refuses to pay full compensation.

Hit by a drunk driver? Sue the bar

The South Carolina, Myrtle Beach, area, in particular, has more than its fair share of bars and other establishments that serve alcohol. These businesses have a responsibility to their patrons and the general public not to over-serve, yet it happens anyway. If a drunk driver, recently served alcohol at a bar or restaurant, hit you, you may seek compensation for your losses by filing claims against the establishment.

What makes it possible to file claims against alcohol vendors? Why go after the establishment? What is necessary to be successful in court when filing claims against bars or restaurants?

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