Bike Week — Spring Rally, Myrtle Beach

Bike Week–Spring Rally has descended upon us! We actually look forward to this week, as well as Fall Rally! As a matter of fact, you’ll probably see a couple of us riding around on our own Harley’s this week. This type of tourism is just one of the many things we love about Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand! Unfortunately, along with all the cool and exciting things about motorcycles flooding the area, there are many hazards as well.

DUIs: Let’s be honest…one of the primary things that bikers like to do on bike week is check out the action at the biker bars. This often involves the over-consumption of alcohol. And, we get it. People don’t even like to leave their cars behind, overnight at a bar; let alone their motorcycles. Especially if you’re from out-of-town and are unfamiliar with the area. But I can assure you, it’s a lot less of a hassle than a DUI. Be smart!

Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately one of the inevitable parts of bike week, that make everyone cringe. And with the combination of alcohol, it is sure to be a bad scenario. But, it shouldn’t have to be inevitable. Staying smart on the road – you know what we mean, no weaving in and out or traveling at obnoxious speeds, using your turn signals and/or hand signals, could do a lot to bring the rate of accidents down. Also, wearing the right gear in the event of an accident could lessen the damage to your body. Just because Myrtle Beach took away the helmet law, doesn’t mean that’s the best way to ride. Also, making sure your legs, arms, and feet are probably covered can go a long way.

Hopefully you make it through this week unscathed, literally and metaphorically. But, in case you do get in some trouble, call the attorneys at Grand Strand Law to represent you. 843.492.5422



Traffic is Picking Up! Don’t Add Insult to Injury.

It’s that time of year again…the tourists are in town and traffic is picking up! There are so many things to watch out for; motorcyclists, people on their phones, people from out-of-town who aren’t sure how to get where they’re going, teen drivers, senior drivers, people under the influence, tractor-trailers, etc. The list goes on and on! We hope that you never end up in an accident but, if for some reason you do, we handle everything from minor injuries to wrongful death. The attorneys at Grand Strand Law are the ones you need to call!

If that worst case scenario happens and you do get in an automobile accident, some factors could arise. For one, you may not be able to work. This will likely add stress to whatever painful predicament you are already in, as you wonder how you are going to pay hospital bills on top of monthly expenses. The next thing to worry about is how to deal with the insurance company. Insurance companies will usually try to bully you into paying more than you should have to, so they don’t have to pay out. Luckily, we know the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies and how to negotiate to get you the fairest settlement. We help you recover lost wages and income, payment of medical bills and compensation for physical pain and suffering. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, then we are fully prepared to litigate an injury case on your behalf.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call because you don’t want to “add insult to injury”, by adding more bills to your collection. We will evaluate your claim for free and then, if we decide that you have a case that we can assist you in pursuing, we won’t ask for payment until you get paid. In other words, we are paid on a contingency fee basis in automobile accidents. This way you do not have the added stress of worrying about how to pay our bills.



Don’t Get a DUI this St. Patrick’s Day!

Make sure to wear green and put down your keys if you want to avoid getting pinched, physically and metaphorically, this March 17th. Despite its religious undertones, St. Patrick’s Day inevitably results in some light bruising for folks whose dress doesn’t express the Emerald Isle’s characteristic hue. In America, it also ranks fourth on the list of the year’s most popular drinking occasions. There seems to be no end to the flow of green beer and Irish car bombs.

So why did St. Patrick’s Day come to be such a huge holiday in the United States? To Americans, especially those 36.5 million with Irish heritage, it represents something quite different than it does to the Irish living in Ireland. When close to a million poor Irish Catholics immigrated to the United States during the Great Potato Famine in the mid-1800s, they were despised for their religious beliefs and had a hard time finding even menial jobs. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States were met with contempt. When the Irish began to realize that their great numbers gave them political power, they started to organize themselves into a force. Annual St. Patrick’s Day parades, that started not in Ireland but in New York City in March of 1762, were a demonstration of strength and solidarity among a people who, at that time, were for the most part unwelcome in protestant America.

So to Irish Americans and those claiming Irish American descent, a population that currently stands at about nine times the population of Ireland itself, St. Patrick’s Day means much more than the celebration of a religious figure – it’s a day that came to represent the strength and pride of the Irish people in a foreign land. And as such it has a very important meaning here – tens of millions of Americans are both proud to be American, and proud to be of Irish ancestry. On March 17th comes their chance to celebrate as such.

Each year, more than 33 million Irish-Americans and fellow partiers worldwide raise pints of Guinness and forkfuls of cabbage in the name of the Ireland’s primary patron saint. But the good times are too often ruined by drunk-driving incidents, which can have a devastating impact on lives in general and wallets in particular. Try to keep your celebrations safe this year. The cost of a quick Uber or Lyft ride pales in comparison to that of a DUI or vehicular manslaughter charge, after all.

*Source: Entangled.com, wallethub.com



Is A Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?

Once you understand the basics of premarital agreements, you should focus on the specifics of your circumstances and figure out whether a prenup is what you need.

Step One: Take a Prenup Quiz

If you or your fiancé answer yes to any of the following questions, there is a good chance a prenup would be helpful. If you answer no to every question, you might still benefit, but having a prenup might not be as critical.

  • Do you own any real estate?
  • Do you own more than $50,000 worth of assets other than real estate?
  • Do you own all or part of a business?
  • Do you currently earn a salary of more than $100,000 per year?
  • Have you earned more than one year’s worth of retirement benefits or do you have other valuable employment benefits, such as profit sharing or stock options?
  • Does one of you plan to pursue an advanced degree while the other works?
  • Will all or part of your estate go to someone other than your spouse when you die?

Step Two: Identify Important Issues

Jot down on a piece of paper a list of the things you might want to include in a prenup, such as identifying separate property, decisions about how you will handle money and property while you are married, whether alimony will be paid or waived in the event of divorce, retirement benefit agreements, and agreements about how you want to leave property at your death.

Common Prenup Topics

Here’s a quick list of some of the issues that can be included in a prenup:

  • separate vs. joint property
  • estate planning issues, such as providing for children from prior marriages or leaving family property
  • how to handle a separate business
  • retirement benefits
  • nonresponsibility for the other person’s debts
  • who gets what, including alimony, if you separate or divorce
  • procedures for filing tax returns, including allocating income and deductions
  • who pays household bills — and how
  • whether to have joint bank accounts and, if so, how to manage them
  • agreements about specific purchases or projects, such as buying a house together or starting up a business
  • how you will handle credit card charges
  • agreements to set aside money for savings
  • agreements for putting each other through college or professional school
  • provisions for a surviving spouse in your estate plan or through life insurance coverage, and
  • how to settle any future disagreements, such as with the help of a mediator or by a private arbitrator acting as judge.

Step Three: Assess Your Comfort Level

Next, ask yourself this question: On a scale of one to five, how comfortable am I with the idea of having a prenup?

Score of one or two. If you give yourself a one or a two, try to identify the reasons for your discomfort. If it is because you are uncertain how the terms of a prenup might compare to your legal rights without one, you may want to investigate the laws of your state before making a decision.

If you are pretty sure you want a prenup and your discomfort comes from fear of starting an argument or offending your fiancé by asking, then you might take this as an opportunity to practice talking about difficult matters in a loving way. You may even find it helpful to work on communication and negotiation skills with a counselor who specializes in premarital counseling.

The same is true if you don’t think you want a prenup and you feel that your fiancé is pressuring you to make one. This is a good time to practice communicating — clearly and kindly — about stressful issues. Whether or not you eventually make a prenup, you’re sure to learn more about what you each need and want.

Score of three, four, or five. If you scored a three, four, or five on the comfort scale, you are ready to start talking specifics with your fiancé. Even so, bear in mind that every good conversation involves some give or take. Don’t assume that you and your fiancé will see eye-to-eye on everything, especially when you first start talking. Allow plenty of time to talk — and be willing to get help if you need it.

 

 

When you’re ready, Nolo’s book, Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting Contract, by Katherine E. Stoner and Shae Irving, walks you through each of these steps in more detail, and helps you draft your own agreement.

 

Source: Nolo.com; “Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?” by Katherine Stoner

 



South Carolina Motorcycle Statutes

South Carolina has several statutes that directly relate to motorcyclists and with the upcoming Bike Weeks descending upon Myrtle Beach shortly, we thought we everyone could use a reference refresher so riders and pedestrians can all enjoy their time safely.

If for whatever reason you feel you rights have been violated please give us a call at 843.492.5422 and speak to one of our attorneys familiar with South Carolina motorcycle laws.

 Section 56-5-140. Motorcycle

Every motor vehicle having no more than two permanent functional wheels in contact with the ground or trailer and having a saddle for the use of the rider, but excluding a tractor, is a “motorcycle”.

Section 56-5-145. Automotive three-wheel defined

An automotive three-wheel vehicle means a motor vehicle having no more than three permanent functional wheels in contact with the ground, having a bench seat for the use of the operator, and having an automotive type steering device, but excludes a tractor and a motorcycle three-wheel vehicle.

Section 56-5-150. Motor-driven cycle.

Every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor which produces not to exceed five horsepower is a “motor-driven cycle”.

Section 56-5-2180. Signals shall be given by hand and arm or signal lamps

(a) Any stop or turn signal when required herein shall be given either by means of the hand and arm or by signal lamps except as otherwise provided in subsection (b).

(b) Any motor vehicle in use on a highway shall be equipped with, and required signal shall be given by, signal lamps when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab or load of such motor vehicle exceeds twenty-four inches or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load thereof exceeds fourteen feet. The latter measurement shall apply to any single vehicle or to any combination of vehicles.

Section 56-5-3610. Rights and duties of operator of motorcycle generally.

Every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles, except as to special regulations or other provisions of law which by their nature would not apply.

Section 56-5-3630. Manner in which motorcycles shall be operated

(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.

(b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

(d) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.

(e) No person riding upon a motorcycle shall attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on the roadway.

Section 56-5-3640. Motorcycle entitled to full use of lane; riding two or more abreast; overtaking and passing; operation in other instances.

(a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.

(b) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

(d) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

(e) Items (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

Section 56-5-3650. Footrests; rear view mirror.

(A) Any motorcycle carrying a passenger, other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, must be equipped with footrests for its passenger.

(B) A person shall not operate any motorcycle unless it is equipped with a rear view mirror which will afford the operator ample vision to the rear at all times.

Section 56-5-3660. Helmets shall be worn by operators and passengers under age twenty-one; helmet design; list of approved helmets.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to operate or ride upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. Such a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap and be reflectorized on both sides thereof. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved helmets which meet the specifications as established hereunder.

Section 56-5-3670. Goggles or face shields shall be worn by operators under age twenty-one; list of approved goggles and face shields.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to operate a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears goggles or a face shield of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering types of goggles and face shields and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved goggles and face shields which meet the specifications as established hereunder.

Section 56-5-3680. Wind Screens

The provisions of Section 56-5-3670 with respect to goggles and face shields shall not apply to the operator of a two-wheeled motorized vehicle equipped with a wind screen meeting specifications established by the Department of Public Safety. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering types of wind screens and specifications therefore.

Section 56-5-970. Traffic-control signal legend.

Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control signals exhibiting different colored lights or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors, green, red, and yellow, shall be used except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word legend. Such lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:

(A) Green indication:

(1) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

(2) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

(3) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal, as provided in Section 56-5-990, pedestrians facing any green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(B) Steady yellow indication:

(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter.

(2) Pedestrians facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in Section 56-5-990, are advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.

(C) Steady red indication:

(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown except as provided in item (3).

(2) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow, and unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication permitting the movement indicated by such arrow is shown except as provided in items (3) and (5).

(3) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street after stopping as required by item (1) or (2). Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

(4) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in Section 56-5-3110, pedestrians facing a steady circular red or red arrow signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a driver of a motorcycle or moped, or a bicycle rider, approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic-control device, the driver may proceed through the intersection on a steady red light only if the driver or rider, as the case may be:

(a) comes to a full and complete stop at the intersection for one hundred twenty seconds; and

(b) exercises due care as provided by law, otherwise treats the traffic control device as a stop sign, and determines it is safe to proceed.