Frank Hartman's Legal Questions and Answers




Questions and Answers

Generally speaking, yes. At the very least you need to preserve the scene in order to get your car fixed (if the cops don’t come, people change their stories). A lot of times people try and talk my clients into just exchanging information. This idea is a bad one. Again, the person leaves the scene and constructs a different version of events where YOU are the one who caused the wreck.

As a rule, take the ambulance ride. There is no shame in getting checked out at the ER. And it presents better to the insurance company if you end up being injured. After a wreck you are filled with adrenaline, it kills the pain. A lot of times, it takes two or three days for you to realize how bad you are hurt.

It depends on whether it was a recorded statement or not. If it was not recorded, then it is your word versus whatever their person states. Under no circumstances should you provide a recorded statement. You are waving your right to remain silent and providing evidence against yourself. DO NOT DO IT.

Schools bear a great responsibility for the welfare of the children in their care. Negligence is the standard we live by, so if they are negligent in some way and your child is injured as a result, then they are at fault. They have a responsibility as a State entity to keep your children safe. The law applies accordingly.

There is no such thing as accidentally with a dog bite in the State of South Carolina. It is a strict liability standard and there is no “one free bite” rule. If your dog hurts someone, then you are on the hook for any injuries and medical bills. The issue is often whether there is homeowner’s insurance in place or not. Otherwise, you can bring a lawsuit against the owner personally, but if they are broke, then the judgment is not worth the paper it is written on.

In a word, Yes. Provided the other person is clearly at fault (think rear-ended you at a stop-light) whether or not you are drunk is not important. You being drunk matters if you contributed in some way to the crash occurring.

Total loss means the defendant’s insurance company determined the cost of repairing your vehicle is more than 75% of the blue book value of the car (South Carolina specific). If that is the case, the insurance company will want to take your car to the junkyard to be junked. They will pay you the blue book value of the car. If the car is financed, then the majority of the money goes to your loan company and you get what is left. If you are upside down and owe more than the car is worth, then you will owe what is left on the loan, unless you had the presence of mind to get Gap Insurance. I pray you got Gap Insurance.

Wrongful Death is where someone you love died as a result of someone else’s negligence. Oftentimes it is a car wreck, but other scenarios apply too. For instance, drowning while boating because the captain did not have all the safety equipment needed. Or an airplane crash where the maker of the plane knew there was a problem with the onboard software that would prevent the pilot from being able to disengage auto-pilot when taking off or landing.

It depends on who threw you off the bus. If it was a city bus employee operating within the scope of their employment, maybe. If it was another person riding the bus, it is a sticky wicket.

Theoretically, you could. But I would assert as a defense that you were comparatively negligent. It also depends on the mechanism of how you fell. If it was an artificial condition known to the restaurant staff (they walk up right afterward and say, yeah I knew there was a puddle of water but forgot to clean it up), then you meet the actual knowledge standard. This scenario does not happen very often. So you are left with constructive notice, a squishier standard. Should the restaurant reasonably have known that the artificial condition was there. This determination is one for the jury.

Call the lawyer first. Our job is to guide you through the entire process, that includes making contact with your own insurance company. Sometimes, you make a claim against your own policy, then your are no longer in “Good Hands”

One of the few defenses to an animal bite is if you were antagonizing them. Don’t. Besides, cats are really sweet and deserve better.

Do you even know the people who made the explosive? Do they have insurance? Does their insurance cover their poor bomb-making skills? No, I didn’t think so. You are a trespasser on the land, so you have the lowest standard of care afforded to you. There is no case here.

Strangely enough, i had a case where someone fled from a snake at the Aquarium and broke their ankle in the process. If it is a public place, they have a duty to warn. But you knew you were going into a haunted house, no? Seems a little shakey to me.

No, you traveled illegally and outside the legal lane of travel. In my opinion, the injuries are on you.