Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome to Beaufort - Enjoy the summer!

As the weather warms, Beaufort, Hilton Head and Charleston South Carolina all begin to see an upswing in the tourist population. The hospitality industry is a key part of the economy for many business in the lowcountry of South Carolina and the surge of people fuels everything from golf courses, to restaurants, to hotels and carriage rides.

During tourist season I have observed that there are consistently two types of claims that increase and of which I am often contacted from March to October (It's a long season).

First, the number of motorcycles driving around Beaufort and surrounding counties increases dramatically. With the local military bases and the nice warm evenings, Beaufort seems to be what motorcycle enthusiasts are searching for. Unfortunately, where you have motorcycles on the road you have motorcycle accidents. Even more unfortunate is that many motorcycle accidents cause severe injuries or death. Whether that accident is caused by a tire defect or an auto driver that is not looking for a motorcycles on the road, I often see clients suddenly facing mounting medical bills and usually permanent injury and scarring.

The other issue that results from the tourist season is that many times vacationing brings people from many different states into South Carolina's jurisdictional reach. Navigating the jurisdictional and venue issues in injury and death cases can be tricky. I am frequently contacted by clients or attorneys from other states that need a Beaufort area attorney. While vacationing here a person may be injured in an auto accident or on the premises of the resort or hotel in which they were lodging. One couple was hit from behind while driving on I95 from New Jersey to Beaufort. In that case, neither party was from South Carolina. In many such situations, a lot of people want to wait until they get back home to contact an attorney they know. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, they often do so only to find out that they will need an attorney where the accident occured.

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