Law Office of James R. Snell Jr. October 2018

18 OCT

Road to justice |

What Happens After a Hit-and-Run

And How to Get Compensation

Getting in a car accident, even a minor fender bender, is a stressful experience. At the very least, it will be a logistical headache. Even worse, you may be injured and

your car may be totaled. All of this stress gets magnified when you can’t find the other party involved in the accident. Like a ghost, they’ve disappeared, leaving you to pick up the pieces.

Before I get into how we deal with hit-and-run claims, I want to give you one piece of advice. If you’re in an accident of any type, but especially one where the other party flees the scene, the first step you should take is to call the police as soon as it’s reasonable to do so. Doing so gives credence to your claim and eliminates the possibility of a “he

said, she said” case. Try to remember any details you can about the other vehicle. You may not have the plate number, but every bit of information is valuable. Here’s an example of why those details matter. Years ago, we had a client who was run off the road by a red pickup. Our client didn’t get the plates, but they did remember the color of the car and that it had some damage to its front end. Armed with this information, we decided to hire an investigator to monitor the road where the accident took place around the day and time when it occurred. After a few weeks, lo and behold, we found the truck we were looking for. Our investigator spoke to the person behind the wheel and they promptly confessed to the crime.

“There are instances where we never find the

at-fault party, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated if that happens.”

You may not have UM in your policy, but that’s through no fault of your own. In South Carolina, auto insurance companies are not required to include UM and its sibling, UIM (underinsured motorist coverage), in policies automatically. What they are required to do is make a “meaningful offer” of these coverages. If we can prove that a meaningful offer was never provided, you can get UM and UIM coverage retroactively.

The possibility of being in a hit-and-run is scary, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The good news is that you can receive a substantial resolution from accidents of this type. Don’t get spooked into doing nothing. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, whether the other party is playing tricks or not, call our office today to find out how we can help.

Sadly, not all hit-and-run accidents or incidents of being run off the road end with such a clean resolution. There are instances where we never find the at-fault party, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated if that happens. When the party responsible cannot be located, you receive compensation through a clause in your auto insurance policy known as uninsured motorist coverage (UM). UM is how you are paid when the at-fault driver is uninsured, hence the name, but it’s also used in hit-and-run cases.

–Jim Snell | | F: 800-567-6249 | P: 803-753-1476 1

Best in Show or Halloween Hazard?

Costume Safety Tips for Kids

For many kids, picking out a costume is the best part of Halloween. Will they be a spooky witch, a wildcat, or

The same goes when you’re buying fabric for homemade costumes. And remember, fire-resistant is not the same as fireproof. While fire-resistant material takes longer to burn and can be put out quickly, it can still catch fire and cause serious injuries. Remind your child to use caution around open flames and avoid costumes with flimsy, hanging components, like flowing sleeves, long skirts, and capes. TEST MAKEUP FIRST. Halloween is a great time to have fun with face paint, and makeup is a good alternative to masks, which can obscure a child’s vision. However, a lot of costume makeup isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Before letting your child cover their face in makeup from the Halloween store, test their skin for allergic reactions by putting just a little bit on the back of their hand first. PRACTICE PROP SAFETY. What’s a Jedi Knight without her lightsaber or a wizard without his magic wand? The right accessories can really bring a costume together, but it’s important that props — especially weapon props, like swords, knives, or guns — are not mistaken for the real thing. Choose props that are obviously fake, with round edges made from soft, flexible material. And if your child wants to wear their Halloween costume to school or some other event, check the rules on props beforehand to avoid any trouble.

their favorite superhero? There are so many options! But in all the fun, it can be easy for parents to overlook certain risks that

Halloween costumes can pose. Here are important safety tips to remember when choosing the best Halloween costume.

LOOK FOR FIRE-RESISTANT COSTUMES. Candles inside jack-o’-lanterns and other open flames are everywhere on Halloween night, so make sure your child’s costume isn’t a fire hazard. Most store-bought costumes are made from fire-resistant materials, but you should still check the labels on all costumes, wigs, and accessories.

Halloween is a night for ghosts and goblins to come out to play, and with these tips, your kids can safely dress up and join in the fun.

Normally, we use this space to share a story of the good people we work with on a daily basis. This month, in the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to shine a light on one of the bad guys. For most people, the thought of fleeing the scene after an accident is unconscionable. The assailant you’ll find interviewed below, who asked that we protect their anonymity, is most certainly not one of those people. Here’s an inside look into the mind of somebody who hits and runs. WHAT MADE YOU FLEE THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT? Look, it’s not like I planned this stuff out. Nobody gets in a car to hurt somebody they don’t know. It’s mostly, I think, the result of panic. I’m in an accident, I don’t want to have to deal with the cops, and my car is still running. All of that adds up to me deciding to get the heck out of dodge.

problems to deal with, so why should I spend time worrying about somebody else’s?

Again, I’m no criminal mastermind, but I am smart enough to know who’s at fault in that accident: me. The only way to avoid taking a big financial hit is to hope nobody finds me. WHAT IF SOMEBODY WAS HURT? I’d love to tell you that if I had even the slightest inkling somebody was injured that I would remain on the scene. That’s probably not true, though. The fact of the matter is that I’m not thinking about the other party while fleeing; I’m thinking about myself.


‘Interview’ With an Unknown Assailant WhyPeople HitandRun

Well, you can’t stop somebody from driving off after an accident. What you can do is be a careful driver and minimize your risk of being in a wreck in the first place. And if you see the other driver taking off after impact, do whatever you can to get their plate number.


The simple answer is because I’ve gotten away with it. Every day that passes after a hit-and-run, you think about it less and less. I’ve got my own

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3 of the Weirdest Cryptids in Pseudoscientific History The Monsters Some Believe Are Real

THE BUNYIP When European settlers began edging into the territory of Aboriginal Australians, they heard whispered, frightened tales of a man-eating “water spirit” that lived in the lakes and rivers of the area. Descriptions of the creature varied wildly. The monster was alternately described as an enormous starfish, an alligator-like creature with the head of an emu, or a massive bulldog- faced beast. But accounts held one thing in common: The monster claimed the lives of any who dared camp near its watery domain. reportedly beheld a trio of bipedal frog-people slapping their webbed feet along the side of the road. If that wasn’t enough, one even had a magic wand, which shot sparks as the man ran off. Apparently, not all mythical beasts are bloodthirsty monsters; some are a little more Kermit than Cthulhu. THE LOVELAND FROG One night, near Loveland, Ohio, a man

There are people who would have you believe that monsters live among us all year long. These individuals, referred to as cryptozoologists (or just “wishful thinkers” by their skeptics), believe a hidden animal kingdom exists just beyond the edge of mainstream biological science. Here are three of the weirdest, almost-certainly imaginary “cryptids” to ever capture the human imagination.

THE JERSEY DEVIL According to legend, the 1.1 million-acre Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey are home to more than just birds and deer. The story goes that when one Jane Leeds gave birth to her 13th child, she was dismayed to add yet another kid to her responsibilities. She cried out,“Oh, let this one be the devil!” Shortly after the child was born, the boy was transmogrified into a twisted creature with the malformed head of a goat, leathery wings, and a thrashing, forked tail. After slicing the midwife with

its ragged claws, the beast flew up the chimney and fled into the trees. Hundreds of years later, the beast is still said to creep the backwoods on its cloven hooves, glowering from the blackness with shining, red eyes.





Which Las Vegas casino mogul paid a $1 billion divorce settlement to his ex-wife, Elaine?


3 packages unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

Send your answers to Caitlyn (

Powdered sugar, to coat

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. The first correct answer wins a $15 gift card to Starbucks.


into gelatin mixture. Switch speed to high and whip for 15 minutes, until very thick. Fold in vanilla after whipping.

1. In a mixing bowl, combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit while you make the syrup. 2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water until the sugar dissolves. 3. Raise heat to high and bring syrup up to 240 F, using a candy thermometer to check for temperature. 4. With an electric whisk on low speed, slowly whisk syrup

2. All other submissions are entered in a drawing to win a second $15 gift card to Starbucks.

3. The funniest wrong answer will be chosen by Caitlyn and will also win a $15 gift card to Starbucks. All entries must be sent to Caitlyn by Friday, Oct. 26, and the winners will be announced in our next edition.

5. Dust a nonmetal baking dish with powdered sugar and spoon mixture into dish. Smooth mixture, top with

more powdered sugar, and let stand uncovered overnight.

6. Cut into squares, decorate, and serve.

Inspired by

Congratulations to last month’s winner, Patricia Teal | | F: 800-567-6249 | P: 803-753-1476 3


The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC 123 Harmon Street Lexington, SC 29072

Don’t hesitate to give our office a call! 803-753-1476

Inside this Issue

A Different Type of Car Accident PAGE 1

What Parents Need to Know About Halloween Costumes Spotlight on Those Who Hit and Run PAGE 2

3 of the Weirdest Cryptids in Pseudoscientific History Homemade Marshmallows PAGE 3

Lee and Jim’s Spookiest Vacation PAGE 4

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for being spooked. As such, Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I always take our team out for a haunted experience during this time of year. Not everyone gets as excited about it as I do, but it’s always a great way to bond and have some fun. We work so hard that it’s really nice to do something together that has nothing to do with the law. And what brings a group of people together more than being jointly terrified? Wompus Woods in Cowpens. While they’re both great, I have to say I find Wompus Woods a little more frightening. When you’re walking through the woods with no idea when a chainsaw-wielding killer clown will jump out at you, you don’t feel relaxed for one second. The open space also makes the experience feel more real We’ve held these outings at both Deceased Farm here in Lexington and

and less like a carnival ride. That level of immersion is what really makes the hair on your neck stand up. The creepiest place I’ve ever been, though, was not designed as an attraction. A few years ago, Lee and I traveled to Paris. We saw the Eiffel Tower and spent hours upon hours at the Louvre, but the eerie atmosphere was provided by the Catacombs of Paris. A massive network of underground ossuaries, the Catacombs hold the bones of up to six million people. While the rules state that you’re not allowed to touch any of the bones during your tour, I saw more than a couple of people reaching out to grab them. I guess that’s what they mean by “morbid curiosity.” Whether you love or hate being scared, I hope you manage to have some fun this Halloween. I know that I will.

Delightfully Frightful Places From South Carolina to Paris

4 The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC | P: 803-753-1476

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