If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another driver in South Carolina, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There are two basic purposes of an initial consultation:
- You can evaluate the lawyer and the firm and decide if you’d like them to represent you.
- The lawyer can learn the details of your accident/injuries and decide whether to take your case.
What You Should Bring To A Car Accident Consultation
A car accident case is generally less complex than other types of personal injury claims, so your initial consultation should not take too long. To make the most of the meeting, it’s a good idea for you to be prepared with the information we need to understand and evaluate your case:
- Your identification and insurance information
- Any photos or video footage of the accident scene, your car, and/or the other vehicle
- Contact information for the at-fault driver and that driver’s insurance company
- Contact information for any witnesses to the crash
- All your medical records, bills, and receipts to-date, as well as your doctor’s diagnoses of your injuries and prognosis for your recovery
- Wage statements
- Car repair estimates/bills
- Rental car receipts
- A copy of the police report on your accident
- Any other relevant information
What Else We’ll Need
In addition to the details of your accident, injuries, and pain and suffering since the crash, our attorneys might want any or all of the following:
- A signed release form giving us access to your medical records
- The names, employers, and/or titles of anyone with whom you’ve discussed your accident, especially adjusters from the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Details of what you’ve discussed
- Copies of anything you’ve posted on social media about your accident or injuries
- Information about how you feel now, your level of pain, and your estimated recovery time before maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- To know whether you’ve given a written or recorded statement to anyone
- To know how long you’ve been off work and/or expect to be off work
Information We’ll Give You Regarding Your Charleston Car Accident Claim
By the end of your initial consultation, we should be able to explain:
- The details, in layman’s terms, of the law that applies to your case
- What your legal options are
- Whether we’ll consider your case and how soon we’ll let you know
- How we’ll proceed if we do accept your case
- Approximately how long it might take to resolve your case
- Information about our firm, including:
- Our experience with car accident cases like yours
- Our track record in terms of settling and/or trying such cases
- Exactly which attorney(s) in our firm will handle your case if we accept it
- How often and by what means your attorney will contact you about the progress of your case
- Answers to any questions you might have
- Our fee structure, including what, when, and how much you will be expected to pay for our services
We take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no attorney fees if and until you receive a settlment. Fees on personal injury cases are a percentage of the total recovery for the client. If The Derrick Law Firm advances case costs, it will be reimbursed from the client’s recovery after the percentage fee is deducted. If there is no recovery, the client is not responsible for reimbursement of costs advanced by the law firm.
Calculating Damages For Your Horry County Car Accident
To determine what a settlement for your damages may be, your attorney must consider not only your current injuries, pain, and suffering, but also possible future medical issues resulting from your accident. For this reason, we are likely to ask specific questions about any current symptoms that might indicate ongoing injuries and the need for future treatment and/or medical care:
- Stiff neck
- Pain or tightness in the upper back, arm, or shoulder
- Spinal cord injuries:
- Numbness or muscle issues in arms, legs, or chest
- Trouble breathing
- Bowel or bladder issues
- Internal bleeding:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Dizziness or low blood pressure
- Eye issues
- Head injuries/concussions:
- Mental confusion
- Passing out
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Ears ringing
Honesty Is Essential
From your very first meeting, the information you share with your lawyer falls under the protection of attorney-client privilege. That means it’s completely confidential. No one except you and your lawyer will ever know about it, so you should disclose all the details of your case honestly. Your lawyer needs to know everything you know as you file your claim and move forward, perhaps all the way to a trial.
For example, if you had any pre-existing medical conditions at the time of your accident, we need to know. If you were partially at fault in any way for your accident, you should tell your attorney honestly about your partial fault. In South Carolina, you can still file a claim for compensation if you were 50% or less at fault for the crash. Any award you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If, however, you were more than 50% responsible, you will not recover anything for your damages. You don’t want your attorney to start the process of filing and proving your claim, only to find out later that you were more than half responsible for your own accident and injuries.
Making it Official
If we agree to accept your case and you’d like us to represent you, we’ll ask you to sign an agreement establishing us as your legal representative.
Have You Been Injured In A Charleston South Carolina Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.