Frequently Asked Questions
Hilton Head Island attorneys helping injured people
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions we receive at the Law Office of Berry & Carr P.C. in Hilton Head Island, SC. Please remember that the specific facts of your case will determine what legal rights you may have. Please contact us to discuss your case. Our offices are conveniently located at the corner of Highway 278 and Spanish Wells Road in Hilton Head Island, and we offer an after-hours phone number so you can call us 24-hours a day.
Our contingent fee representation means you do not pay any attorney fees unless we secure a recovery for you. We represent injured people and their families in Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort, Charleston, Hardeeville, Ridgeland, and throughout the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.
- Since I was injured through no fault of my own, can I file a personal injury action?
- Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer's help?
- Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?
- What is considered "pain and suffering"?
- What determines the amount I might recover?
- Is there a minimum or maximum amount that can be recovered in a personal injury settlement?
- What is a typical settlement amount?
- Can the insurance company refuse to pay my medical bills in an auto accident if my car was not damaged?
- What if I know that a defective product harmed other people besides me?
- A dog bit me. Who do I tell?
- Which jurisdiction covers dog bites—state or local?
- What is wrongful death?
- What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?
- Who can sue for wrongful death?
- What should I do if I get injured on the job?
- How can I jeopardize my benefits?
- Under what circumstances could I be denied workers' compensation benefits as a result of an on-the-job injury?
- Am I barred from recovery if I was at fault?
- Can I sue anyone else for a work-related injury?
- What if my workers compensation claim is denied?
- Can I receive Social Security Disability and workers compensation?
- Is there more than one definition of "disabled"?"
When someone is injured by another person or entity's negligence, carelessness, or wrongful conduct, he or she can often seek compensation from the negligent party and his or her insurers.
It is in your best interests to only provide your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.
About 95 percent of personal injury cases filed are settled prior to trial.
Pain and suffering includes harm caused by physical injury and mental anguish experienced through avoiding activities you engaged in prior to your accident and the potential of surgery.
Every case addresses three issues:
- Liability—establishing someone's negligence
- Damages—the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
- Source of collection—insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered
An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim:
- Incurred medical bill amount
- Future medical bills
- Loss of past income
- Your age
- Any permanent limitations caused by the injury Impact on future earning capacity
- Activities you can no longer do
- Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
- Prognosis for further problems
- Strength of lay witness testimony
The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury. An experienced attorney will know what a reasonable jury would award. The strength of lay and expert witness testimony will likely influence the amount.
No. While the insurance company might try to draw a direct correlation between damage done to your car and the severity of your personal injury, it is possible that the body sustains damage even if the car did not. The reverse may also be true—a car might experience major impact but the people might only suffer minor cuts and bruises.
When the same defective product injures a large number of people, they may join together in a class action lawsuit to hold manufacturers and sellers liable for the injuries caused by their product.
Contact your local animal control agency or the police.
Both. In addition to South Carolina laws, your local communities might also have animal laws covering bites, leashing, and vaccinations. Your local laws might ban ownership of certain breeds, too.
The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also brought harm to the people who depended on that individual for financial and/or emotional support. The wrongful act might be:
- A negligent or careless act (e.g., careless driving)
- A reckless act
- An intentional act such as deliberate murder
South Carolina has a statute permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the decedent's relatives in the event of a wrongful act.
South Carolina law sets the timeframe for filing. Time begins with the time of the incident or when the party became aware of or discovered the injury. The state will not honor a wrongful death claim filed after the legislated timeframe and the opportunity to recover damages for the family will be forever lost.
South Carolina defines the person(s) allowed to bring a wrongful death suit. In South Carolina, a spouse and children may file. [In South Carolina, grandparents or other relatives may also be allowed to sue.] [South Carolina restricts a filing in which one family member sues another for the wrongful death of a third family member.]
You must notify your employer of the injury. You should also tell your employer if you need medical attention. You may also have to notify the state industrial commission. [Under South Carolina workers compensation law, your employer and/or its insurance carrier can choose the physician to attend to you.] An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you understand the process and your rights in South Carolina and file your claim.
Your claim may be denied if you fail to report injuries promptly or fail to cooperate with your employer and authorized treating physician regarding medical evaluations, treatment, rehabilitation services, and claim investigation. Your claim can also be denied if you refuse to return to suitable employment. Some other reasons for denial of claims include submittal of fraudulent information, refusal to take a drug test, and refusal to submit to a medical examination by the authorized treating physician, at reasonable times.
Under what circumstances could I be denied workers' compensation benefits as a result of an on-the-job injury?
Benefits are not payable if you are injured while engaged in willful misconduct or if your injury is due to the use of alcohol, drugs, or the misuse of controlled substances.
This is called a third party suit. If your injury was caused by the negligence of a third party—other than another person who is also an employee of the company for which you work—you may have a right to sue that party.
If your employer and its insurance company deny coverage on the claim, you may file a claim with the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission. There is a time limitation—all workers compensation statutes restrict the amount of time you or your dependent has to file a workers compensation claim, usually between one to three years from the date of injury, depending on certain factors. If your claim is for a job-related disease, the time limitation period begins when you learn you have the disease.
Yes, and that is why it is possible to receive both Social Security Disability and workers compensation. And, workers compensation could determine you are not disabled and Social Security could determine that you are. Further, insurance companies could define disability in other ways. Attorneys knowledgeable in this complex area of personal injury law, such as Berry & Carr P.C. can work with you to explain the differences in easy-to-understand language and help you file all appropriate claims to receive the compensation you deserve.