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Please use the links to the right to check out firm news and more information relating to these specific areas of law. Happy reading and please contact us if you have any questions that we can help answer.


KellyGram – Our Friends at 500 Taylor Street

 

Last Friday, the Mike Kelly Law Group threw a party and invited everyone who shares our workspace here in the office building at 500 Taylor Street. There are upwards of 150 people who are employed within the walls of our building, and we wanted to express our sincere gratitude for their continued friendship, courtesy and consideration, both inside and outside the office.

Our gathering was comprised of employees from Aflac, Crowe LaFave, LLC, Guidewire Software, Inc., Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, McLeod Law Group, LLC, SC Philharmonic, Williamson & Associates, Inc., and, of course, the Mike Kelly Law Group! We were able to mingle with our neighbors over a delicious breakfast catered by Jason’s Deli. It was a great opportunity to not only catch up with old friends, but to meet new people. We are very fortunate to have such friendly neighbors within the building at 500 Taylor Street, and the Mike Kelly Law Group was delighted to host them for breakfast! Hopefully we can do this again sometime soon!


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Boating Safety

 

For many, one of the more popular activities of summertime is being on and around the water. South Carolina is blessed to be home to some of the most beautiful waterways in America, and I personally enjoy getting out on the water whenever I can. Unfortunately, similar to our highways and interstates, some people are careless, reckless and negligent in their operation of boats and other watercrafts. Guidelines pertaining to boating safety are imposed to ensure the well-being of everyone in or around the water, and when they are broken or ignored, serious consequences are likely to follow.

I recently took a case involving horrific injuries caused by a boating accident, and it has reminded me of how important it is to obey all boating safety rules and regulations. All boaters must be sure that equipment is safe for use and that all safety devices, such as life preservers and lights, are readily available and working properly. Please take advantage of the opportunity to be on South Carolina’s rivers, lakes, and beaches this summer, but do so safely and responsibly. If you would like more information regarding boating safety, please follow the link below.

http://www.discoverboating.com/beginner/safety/tips.aspx



Have a great summer!

 

Mike Kelly

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Carrier Doesn’t Care

Jamie Smith

“Nationwide is on your side.” “Allstate: You’re in good hands.” “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” Insurance companies drill these slogans into the minds of consumers to instill a feeling of security in their customers that, with insurance, they are covered when disaster strikes. But in far too many instances, when one finds himself amidst “mayhem” that causes him to fall back on his insurance policy, those slogans become empty promises.

Sure, your insurer may be quick to fix your vehicle after an accident…if you have collision insurance, that is. But what about the liability aspect? Every driver licensed in South Carolina is required to carry liability and uninsured motorist insurance. Liability insurance is in place as a financial protection in the event that you are at fault in an accident resulting in injury to another person or his property. And though your insurer has a duty to protect your interest within the limits of your insurance policy, odds are, your insurance company has a very different understanding of what it actually means to protect your interests.

As attorneys, we see what goes on with insurance adjustors behind the scenes. Despite what some personal injury commercials claim, submitting a claim is not an easy way to walk away with a windfall. If you have caused an accident, and in doing so injured a third party, the reality is that your insurance company is fighting tooth and nail with the injured party over every dollar in an effort to pay out as little of the liability insurance you pay for, ensuring that the company remains as profitable as possible. Many times, insurers refuse to pay for medical care related to the accident for arbitrary reasons, just to keep a few extra dollars in the bank.

But how does this frugality fail to protect you as an insured? The answer is simple, and it is why you see so many personal injury attorneys around the state; if an insurer refuses to pay a reasonable settlement amount, the injured party must file a lawsuit to recover an amount sufficient to make him whole. But in South Carolina, an injured party cannot file suit against an insurer directly—in fact, you cannot even utter the word “insurance” in a courtroom. Instead, the at-fault driver must sue the person who caused the accident: you, the insured.

A lawsuit is no walk in the park. Plaintiffs and defendants alike must spend hours answering discovery requests and prepping for depositions and trial. The process can take upwards of a year, and your name as a defendant in a lawsuit becomes a matter of public record. Worse still, you are not in control of the lawsuit; your insurance carrier hires an attorney on your behalf, and holds all of the settlement power. So even though you may not have monetary liability at the end of the day—that will likely be covered by your insurance policy—if you cause an accident it is quite possible that your insurance company will unremorsefully drag you through the rigmarole of trial if it means they save a few bucks. (Ironically, in many instances if you add the amount an insurer pays in attorneys’ fees to their pre-suit offer, the amount would be sufficient to settle a claim without filing a lawsuit.) Is that really protecting the interests of its insured, or is it protecting the profitability of the insurance companies?

Perhaps even more unsettling is filing a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage that you purchase, and the claim is against your own policy. This may be coverage you have paid for decades and never need it; however, the second you file a claim your carrier becomes the opposition, the force working against you to limit your recovery, scrutinizing your injuries and medical bills in order to pay you as little as possible under your own policy.

Clearly it is not good business to pay out every demand that comes through, and frivolous and fraudulent claims are of great concern in the insurance industry. However, at the end of the day, all parties involved are harmed by insurance companies’ general unwillingness to make meaningful settlement offers on reasonable claims; all parties, that is, except the insurance company. The unfortunate reality is that you are not in good hands and your insurer is not by your side; your carrier doesn’t care.

If you are experiencing trouble with your insurance company in relating to a failure to pay uninsured or underinsured motorist claims, contact the Mike Kelly Law Group for a free consultation at (803) 726-0123. If you are concerned with the way your insurance company is handling any claim, take a look at the South Carolina law on improper claims practices at SC Code Ann. § 38-59-20 and contact the Department of Insurance for more information about filing a grievance.


KellyGram – Saluting The Central Carolina Community Foundation

 

The Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) is a nonprofit organization that works to connect charitable people and businesses with areas of need in the Midlands of South Carolina. CCCF receives donations from individuals, families, and businesses and pools the money to be invested for maximum growth and impact. The money is then awarded as grants to support charitable organizations in our community. In the past five years, CCCF and their donors awarded over $63 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. CCCF serves as the vehicle for philanthropy in the Midlands area.

Recently, the CCCF, in partnership with the Knight Foundation, awarded almost $500,000 in Connected Communities Grants here in the Midlands. These grants fund groundbreaking philanthropic projects that connect residents to the community. I first learned of the impact CCCF has on its eleven-county service area when I was given the opportunity to serve on its board, and I continue to be impressed by the leadership and generosity this foundation has for our community.

Under the leadership of President and CEO JoAnn Turnquist, CCCF continues to increase the size of its philanthropic fund and to award meaningful grants throughout our community. Thanks for your leadership and betterment of the Midlands area, CCCF! Follow the link below to learn more about CCCF and its impacts.

https://www.yourfoundation.org/


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Our Nation’s Birthday

 

Next Tuesday, July the Fourth, will mark the 241st anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and America’s separation from the British Empire. This momentous point in American history is a mile marker to be treasured and celebrated. On that day 241 years ago, it was declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation: the United States of America.

On this and every Independence Day, I celebrate and appreciate being able to call America “home”. I feel enormously blessed to have been born and raised in what I believe to be the greatest country in the world. For me, the Fourth of July is a special day, filled with remembrance, gratitude, and patriotism. It is a day to remember and honor our forefathers who envisioned a free America as well as those who have bravely fought to preserve it.

While these are clearly dividing and difficult times, I believe we can come together, regardless of political affiliation, to celebrate the common ground amongst us all: American pride and freedom. I would like to especially thank the selfless servicemen and servicewomen who courageously make sacrifices to ensure we are able to continue to enjoy our freedoms.


God Bless the USA, and have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Pay Attention to What Your Body is Telling You

 

Recently, a friend of mine was experiencing symptoms of back pain and strain. The symptoms continued to get worse during the next few days as she endured the pain and hoped the problem would go away and fix itself. After much encouragement from her family and friends, she took a trip to the emergency room, and it’s a blessing that she did! She was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. If she had continued to live through the pain, she may have suffered severe consequences or even death.

By no means am I encouraging you to become a hypochondriac, or spend hours researching your symptoms on the Internet, but if something does not seem or feel quite right, seek help! Your body is wise, and it needs you to pay attention to what it’s trying to say. It is always better to be safe than sorry!


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Happy Father’s Day!

 

On this Sunday, June 18th, we will honor our fathers and celebrate the influence they carry as well as the bonds we share with them. I am a bit prejudiced because I happen to be a father myself, but I believe the bond between a dad and his child is something that cannot be replaced. My father, Garland F. Kelly, had an eighth-grade education, but he was smarter than I will ever be. The relationship we shared was special and, while he didn’t show much emotion, I know he loved me very much. My dad taught me many practical life lessons. He would always say, “Mike, you have plenty of book sense, but you need a lot more common sense!” LOL!

This weekend, and always, honor your father (and your mother), and take the extra moment to thank him for everything he did and continues to do for you. If your dad is now deceased like mine is, I know this day can be especially difficult and emotional. Say a little prayer with gratitude and love, and I know he will hear you. I love you, Dad!


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Don’t Be Scammed

 

Recently, a friend of mine fell victim to a scam wherein criminals called her telephone posing as Deputy Sheriffs. They claimed that she had failed to show up for jury duty, and that she would be arrested in the near future unless she paid the fine. What my friend should have done was to take a deep breath and contact someone to help her verify the validity of the call. Instead, she paid the money without verifying and has now lost $900 of her hard-earned money! By no means, do I consider this friend to be naïve or gullible; in fact, she is a well-educated and respected professional. Sadly, these scam artists are experts at using the element of surprise and the threat of incarceration to frighten their victims so badly that it causes them to act emergently and fail to think rationally.

These scams have continued for over a decade. The “Failure to Show Up for Jury Duty” scam is only one of many that are victimizing people all around the country. These scammers frequently call later in the evening and might ask for your personal information. They are after your money as well as any information about your identity that could serve to benefit them later on. Don’t be fooled by your Caller ID, as it can often be manipulated to display a business or agency’s name and phone number. The criminals often request the fine to be paid with a pre-paid debit or credit card. Use these warning signs if you receive a suspicious call or email, and hang up before releasing any personal information.

If there is the slightest doubt in your mind concerning the validity of a call, email, etc. from someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer or government agent, consult a professional before taking action and certainly before giving away any of your money. We at the Mike Kelly Law Group are always happy and ready to help you, the people of South Carolina!


Have a wonderful weekend and be safe!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Summertime!

 

It is summertime in South Carolina! It is time for vacations, watersports, and outdoor activities of all kinds. We live in one of the most beautiful states in America, and, whether you’ve only lived here for six months or for over fifty years, I am convinced there are parts of South Carolina that we all have yet to explore. My recent trip to Landsford Canal State Park in Chester County is a perfect example of this, where the spider lilies were blooming and at their peak, making the park absolutely breathtaking!

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to discover new sights, places, and hobbies. For those of you with children, summer can be an even more exciting time with plenty of activities to juggle. My children participated in summer camps when they were younger, playing new sports and learning new skills. The eleven free weeks a child has during summer vacation serves as time to explore new passions and interests, and there are opportunities for your child right here in Columbia!

The Richland Library hosts countless activities and classes for children and adults of all ages to participate in free of charge! Throughout the summer, children can attend classes about comedy, crafting, astronomy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), poetry, SAT prep, and much, much more. There are similar activities for adults including lessons in creative writing, photography, sewing, Microsoft Word, etc. Summer doesn’t have to be just about “hanging out” and playing on our iPads or iPhones. Whether your children attend a few fun classes or a more structured summer camp, this is the perfect time to connect with people in our community, enrich children’s minds, and expand their life experiences!

However you choose to spend your time, have a great summer in South Carolina!


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Memorial Day 2017

 

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. First referred to as Decoration Day, the holiday originated following the Civil War in 1868 and did not become federally recognized until 1971. This holiday was set aside for Americans to honor and remember those men and women who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

While many of us will be enjoying a long weekend in the mountains or at the beach, picnics or sporting events, and time with friends and family, let us not forget that this country remains free through the grace of God and the sacrifice of many men and women who have given their lives for our safety and security.

The National Moment of Remembrance Resolution was passed in December 2000 and asks that at 3 PM local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps”. I hope everyone will join in this act of commemoration to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day, and may God continue to bless the United States of America and its citizens!


Have a wonderful weekend and be safe!

 

Mike Kelly

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