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KellyGram – Labor Day – Football Season’s Finally Here!

 

It’s Labor Day Weekend, and I’m sure you have big plans for the days ahead. While there are many fun and exciting activities to choose from, there is one I am most excited about… it’s finally football season!

I must confess, I love every season of the year. Now that I am north of sixty, I’m more appreciative of the privilege that God gives me to wake up every morning and enjoy each day to the fullest! With that being said, I am especially excited during football season!!! I love all kinds of football: Canadian, high school, middle school, college, and professional, but my first love is most definitely college football. It’s no secret that I am a Gamecock fan, and I will be travelling Saturday to Charlotte to watch them take on a very tough opening team, the NC State Wolfpack. Thursday night, in the same stadium, will be the final Panthers exhibition game, and I think it’s fair to say that I am going to be enjoying football season this year like never before. Go Gamecocks! And for those other fans… Go Tigers!


Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – The Eclipse

 

I hope everyone receiving this KellyGram had the opportunity to witness the eclipse. I talked about eclipse safety last week, but now that this historical event is over, I have two major thoughts that I would like to share about Monday’s event of a lifetime.

First, I have to touch on the event as a whole. The entire experience was absolutely spectacular, and exceeded my expectations a million times over. It was phenomenal! Although I try not to preach religion in my KellyGram, I don’t think anyone could witness what I saw during totality and not know in their heart that there is a God responsible for this planet’s existence. The view from the MKLG parking lot was majestic, and a very special memory that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I was privileged to watch the eclipse unfold with two of my employees, Jamie Smith and Kimberly Smith, plus Jamie’s dog Moby! Secondly, I have to commend how well organized and problem-free things were on both sides of the river, thanks to excellent planning by the authorities. Everything went very smoothly, and I am certain that the out of town visitors got an extremely favorable impression of our city and region. I hope everyone enjoyed the view of this spectacular event.


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Eclipse Safety

 

I am excited about the international attention that our state’s capital is receiving, as Columbia buzzes with the anticipation of the upcoming eclipse. South Carolina is projected to have an influx of hundreds of thousands of visitors, eager to witness the total solar eclipse, one of nature’s rarest spectacles. While I am personally very excited about experiencing not just the eclipse, but also all of the affiliated activities going on in Columbia on Monday, it is important to remember that safety comes first. This includes not only safely viewing the eclipse, but also coping with traffic, which is expected to be ten times more than a Carolina vs Clemson home game! One of the missions of the Mike Kelly Law Group is to make South Carolina a safer place to live, work and play. Please take extra caution on the road over the next few days, and be vigilant of your surroundings. Most importantly, be prepared. Below are some helpful links for advice on viewing the eclipse safely. Enjoy the eclipse, but please be safe!

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety


Have a blessed weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Corporate Disgrace – A Blow To Fairfield County

 

As you know, the Mike Kelly Law Group has an office in Fairfield County, and I have a very special place in my heart for this community. I grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia that reminds me very much of Winnsboro, and I have grown to love the town, the surrounding countryside and especially its people! A week ago this past Monday, SCE&G and Santee Cooper delivered the devastating news that they would halt the construction of the two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Plant in Jenkinsville. In the blink of an eye, thousands of people lost their jobs, and a county that had relied heavily on the promise of future revenues from the project was economically and emotionally devastated.

While the prospects of the utilities reconsidering this awful decision are slim, I am hoping that through political, regulatory or legal means, SCE&G and Santee Cooper will be held accountable for the damage they have caused to Fairfield County as well as the customers who have been forced to pay higher rates over the years. Investigations are underway by the legislature and the Attorney General, and I strongly suspect that some very disturbing facts will come to light about the handling of this construction project, as well as the parameters of their decision making in halting construction. Stay tuned…

http://www.wltx.com/news/local/sceg-santee-cooper-to-stop-building-billion-dollar-nuke-reactors/460752000


Have a blessed weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Our Friends at CBE

 

This week’s KellyGram features one of my favorite businesses in South Carolina, CBE – Carolina Business Equipment. CBE is our long time, office equipment and technology partner. They do an outstanding job for us, servicing all three of the Mike Kelly Law Group offices in Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Winnsboro. Due to their technological excellence and exceptional customer service, they have become a multi-state business concern based out of Irmo, South Carolina. Their president and CEO, John Eckstrom, and his team are not just concerned with running a successful business; they are also very active in our community. Last week, the Mike Kelly Law Group had the pleasure of being hosted in CBE’s private suite at the Spirit Communications Park to watch the Columbia Fireflies play against the Augusta Green Jackets. Needless to say, a great time was had by all! John and his team truly believe in giving back to the community. The Mike Kelly Law Group appreciates all that you do for us, and our community! Thank you CBE!


Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – A Tribute to John V Grisetti – March 2nd, 1943 – July 23rd, 2017

 

I met John Grisetti thirty-one years ago, shortly after he moved to South Carolina from Florida. I was lucky enough to have his wife, Sally, become my receptionist, and over the last thirty-one years, I have gotten to know both John and Sally very well. Sally, or “The Queen”, as she is referred to at the office, is our Social Security Paralegal, and I can confidently say that she is the best in the country, hands down. This KellyGram, however, is about John, who sadly passed away this past Sunday, July 23rd 2017, after a lengthy battle with cancer. John was born on March 2, 1943 to Rose Grisetti and the late Angelo Grisetti. He was a graduate of Wooster High School in Florida. When John and Sally moved to Lexington, South Carolina, I remember him being an expert in tennis court construction, and he worked for many years in the building and real estate industry. First and foremost, John Grisetti was a family man. He and Sally were very much in love with each other, and were constant companions and best friends for 53 years. He was also very involved with his children and his church.

I always found John to be a man of integrity, great character and an amazing personality. Always cheerful, John loved a good joke, and was a great storyteller! Later in life, John became an avid golfer, and I had the privilege of spending many Sunday afternoons on the golf course with him, which was always a treat. Our times together are now treasured memories for me. John truly made a difference in many peoples’ lives, including mine. He will be missed greatly by many. I know the most important concern for John was to know that his beloved, Sally, would be taken care of in his absence. It is up to the rest of us to do our very best and do just that. I extend heartfelt condolences to Sally and her family, on behalf of myself and the entire Mike Kelly Law Group family.


Have a blessed weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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DON’T MISS THE ECLIPSE!

Brad Hewett

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible along a thin, roughly 70 mile-wide path that runs diagonally across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Parts of the continental United States will darken through a total eclipse of the sun. If the weather and skies are clear, then you will see the moon pass between the sun and the earth, and the sky go dark in the middle of the afternoon. It’s been said this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Columbia is positioned in the best location on the East Coast for an event that has not been seen in the continental United States since 1979, when a total solar eclipse was visible from five Northwestern states. A transcontinental solar eclipse, a total eclipse of the sun that passes from coast to coast, has not occurred in the United States since 1918.

At 2:41 p.m. on August 21st, the Columbia area will experience the longest period of 100% total eclipse for a metropolitan area on the entire East Coast of the United States, ranging from 2 minutes and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 36 seconds of total darkness.

It is anticipated that more than 1 million people will visit the Columbia area to view the eclipse. If you thought that it was frantic in Columbia during a USC home football game, the eclipse is likely to create next level type of craziness in this area. Staff members at the Mike Kelly Law Group plan to take in the event in the grassy area of our parking lot. You are welcome to join us at 500 Taylor Street to take in the show, or there are other festivities that are showcasing the eclipse: http://totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/event/. Below is a list of events and viewing spots taking place in the Columbia area on August 21st:

Finlay Park: 930 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Siesta Cove Marina: Gilbert, SC, siestacovemarina.com
Congaree National Park: 100 National Park Rd., Hopkins, SC 29061, www.nps.gov/cong
Sheraton Hotel Rooftop Bar: 1400 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201
Random Tap: 10509 Two Notch Rd., Elgin, SC 29045, FB.com/randomtap
Riverfront Park: 312 Laurel St., Columbia, SC, www.columbiasc.net/parks-recreation
Owens Field: 1351 Jim Hamilton Blvd., Columbia, SC 29205
Lexington County Baseball Stadium: 474 Ballpark Road, Lexington, SC, www.blowfishbaseball.com
South Carolina State Fair: Rosewood Drive and George Rogers Boulevard, Columbia, SC 29201, scstatefair.org
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC 29210, www.riverbanks.org
Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival: Historic Columbia Speedway, 2001 Charleston Hwy., Cayce, SC 29033
Solar 17 at Lake Murray: Lake Murray Dam, Columbia, SC 29212
South Carolina State Museum: 301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201, www.scmuseum.org
Columbia Fireflies/Spirit Communications Park: 1640 Freed St., Columbia, SC 29201, columbiafireflies.com

Wherever you may be during this cosmic phenomena, stay safe and make sure that you protect your eyes during the before and after partial eclipse phases by using eclipse viewing glasses. It is safe to remove the eclipse glasses when the sky goes dark during totality. While Columbia is the place to be during the solar eclipse next month, such a historic event also creates the potential for accidents and trouble of one kind or another. If you can, stay off the roads and find a spot to kick back and enjoy the astronomical show!


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.