What To Do If You've Been Hurt in an Accident

[by Ezizze Davis Foxworth] 

 
 
If you are injured in an automobile accident, here are important steps to take to protect your well-being and your interests:
 
 
Get the medical attention that you need. If you have any doubt or concern about your physical condition, it does not hurt to have an emergency medical professional examine you. Oftentimes, the pain from vehicle injuries is not apparent at the time of the accident. 
 
 
Provide all necessary information to the responding officer and retain your copy of the FR-10 "accident report" form. This form is usually green in color and contains all of the insurance and driver information provided to the officer at the scene of the accident. South Carolina law requires that you provide a copy of this form to your insurance company immediately following the accident even if you are not responsible for the collision. 
 
 
Start a photographic and written record of the accident. Keep a journal diary of what you experience, including any pain, physical limitations, sleep disruptions, medications and doctor's visits. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicles as well as pictures of any physical injuries you have sustained. Document your injuries immediately after the accident and continue to document your visible injuries, including bruises, over the days that follow.
 
 
Protect your rights. An attorney can look out for your legal interests allowing you to focus on your medical treatment and get life back to normal. Before signing any releases or authorizations or even before you make official statements; contact an attorney as soon as possible to understand your legal rights. 
 

Why Do I Need a Will?

[by Ezizze Davis Foxworth] 
 
 
Yes, we all need to consult with an attorney about the necessity of a will. Your will is a legal document in which you give certain instructions to be carried out after your death. Your will is your last words to the world that you leave behind and aims to eliminate any confusion relating to your assets, property and finances and whom you desire to control and distribute those items. Review the following considerations relating to the need for preparing a will:
 
 
A will allows parents to nominate persons who they would want to become guardians of their minor children after their death. 
 
 
A valid will may reduce your estate taxes. 
 
 
A will can reduce the expenses and costs of your estate administration with the probate court. 
 
 
A will may also eliminate or clarify any misunderstanding that may arise with your family members relating to your estate. 
 
 
You can choose the person or institution that you would want to serve as personal representative or executor of your estate. 
 
 
You are at liberty to waive the bond requirement for the personal representative to serve for your estate and this can be done in your will. Without a will, your personal representative is usually required to purchase a bond to protect the value of your estate. 
 
 
If favorable conditions arise for property of your estate to be sold, your will may authorize your personal representative to take necessary actions to procure the sale without added expense or advance permission from the probate court. 
 
 
Your will allows you to direct how your property is to be distributed, including to whom, when and what amounts and percentages. If you fail to leave these instructions behind, South Carolina will determine these matters for you. Your personal wishes based on knowledge of your assets and your family make-up and background will not be considered in this instance. 
 
 
You can also make charitable gifts to your favorite organization in your will.