If you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence in South Carolina, you’ll likely have concerns about your health, finances, and future. Serious injuries can disrupt your life, requiring money you never anticipated for medical bills, lost income, and more.
Recovering from an accident might force you to miss months of work. That also means missing out on the paychecks that you and your family depend on to pay household expenses. Fortunately, South Carolina civil law allows you to seek compensation if another person or business is responsible for your injuries. Recovering full compensation will almost always require the assistance of an experienced injury lawyer. Luckily, there are many highly skilled attorneys practicing law across South Carolina. But with so many excellent injury lawyers to choose from, how can you decide which attorney will be right for you and your case?
At Joye Law Firm, what sets us apart is our team. We have a skilled group of attorneys and legal professionals who are consistently willing to go the extra mile for our clients. Not only are they uniquely qualified and highly skilled, but they genuinely care about every case, which is really what makes the difference. We pride ourselves on our ability to serve people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own, and we’re eager to help you. Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers have secured over half a billion dollars in settlements and judgments in a wide range of personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. This includes countless six-figure awards for our deserving clients. Our record of results reflects the effort we make to make a positive difference in the lives of people struggling to recover from serious accidents.
Do the Following to Select a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance providers have teams of attorneys who defend the companies against injury claims. To have the best chance of recovering full compensation, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling the type of case you have. An effective lawyer can go toe-toe with the largest insurance companies. He or she will also know how to seek compensation at the negotiating table, and will be ready to litigate your case in court if the insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement.
When selecting a personal injury lawyer, consider the following steps:
- Get referrals – Do you have friends or family members who have previously hired a personal injury attorney? Ask about their experience. Were they happy with the attorney’s representation? Did they receive personal attention? Was the attorney responsive to their concerns? If the case was litigated in court, were they well-represented at trial? Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys’ client testimonials reflect our effectiveness and commitment to personal attention.
- Identify your priorities – Make a list of the qualities most important to you when hiring a lawyer. These qualities may include the attorney’s track record, past client reviews, level of availability, professional qualifications, and experience dealing with similar cases.
- Narrow your search – We recommend interviewing more than one lawyer, but advise you to limit your options to no more than four or five attorneys. Meeting with many different lawyers can be incredibly time-consuming, especially while recovering from serious injuries.
- Review qualifications – Once you have recommendations, review each attorney’s website and qualifications. Has the attorney received professional recognition in the form of statewide or national honors? Is the attorney a member of well-regarded professional associations? For example, 11 attorneys from Joye Law were selected for inclusion in either Best Lawyers® or Ones to Watch in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Joye Law had the most attorneys of any firm in Charleston recognized by Best Lawyers in the practice areas of personal injury and workers’ compensation.
- Assess each law firm’s size and availability – Both small and large firms have pros and cons. A large firm may have more resources to pursue a case. Regardless of the size, you should find a firm that offers personal attention, understanding, and attorneys who will be accessible when you have questions. Our attorneys at Joye Law have a policy to return clients’ phone calls within one business day, but strive to do so the same day.
- Schedule consultations –Many personal injury lawyers provide a free initial consultation to prospective clients. Schedule case evaluations with your top choices once you have a short list of job candidates. During the consultation, explain the details of your situation and give the attorney any evidence you have gathered. The attorney should offer an opinion concerning your case’s validity. Ask the prospective attorney how many cases he or she has handled that are similar to your case. Experience matters.
- Evaluate your options and select an attorney – Once you’ve met with several attorneys, assess your options before making a final decision. Check online for the comments of former clients about their experience with the attorney. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable confiding in the attorney about how the injury has affected your life. Keep in mind that you will spend months working with the attorney. You should choose someone you trust and can communicate with effectively. Select the attorney you feel is the best fit to represent you.
Six Questions to Ask a Potential Lawyer for Your Injury Claim
“Who will handle my case?”
Most firms have more than one attorney on staff, and you may end up having a different attorney working on different phases of your case. Furthermore, make sure to ask how much, if any, of your case will be handled by junior associates or paralegals, and if so, who will be supervising them.
For example, at Joye Law Firm, we’ve developed a unique system that you won’t find at many firms. Although one attorney will be assigned to your file, you will also get input and oversight from every attorney in the practice, including our most senior partners. By working as a team, we employ over 250 years of collective legal experience in every case, enabling the best possible legal outcome for each client.
“How many cases are you working on right now?”
Sometimes attorneys will take on more cases than they can handle, which means your case may suffer because they can’t devote as much time to it as they should. They may even set your case aside after agreeing to take it on to complete other cases first, leaving you in limbo while your medical bills continue to pile up.
As a follow-up question, make sure to ask how often you can expect to get updates on your case. This can help hold the attorney accountable.
“How many cases have you worked on that are similar to mine?”
Depending on how you were injured, your case may have to be handled differently. For example, if you were injured in a collision with a truck, you may need to pursue compensation from the truck driver’s employer rather than the driver. If you were injured while riding a motorcycle, you will also be fighting the insurance company’s bias against motorcyclists.
Other types of injuries, like workplace injuries or nursing home abuse, are handled very differently from motor vehicle accidents as well as from each other.
Each practice area has different laws and a different approach for the best results, so you should make sure any potential lawyer you hire has experience with your type of injury. Our case studies and results showcase a sample of our firm’s expertise in different practice areas.
“Do you have a lot of experience with jury trials?”
Personal injury lawsuits are most often settled without ever going to trial. However, sometimes it’s the only option when the insurance company simply refuses to compromise and pay what you deserve. Once negotiations with the insurance company break down, it’s important to make sure your lawyer is experienced at both jury selection and presenting evidence in front of a jury, since at that point those are going to be the most important factors in determining whether you get compensation and how much.
“Do you get a lot of referrals?”
It’s always good to ask for client referrals and to check a law firm’s reviews online to see what former clients have said about them, but another important reference is other attorneys.
Because not all attorneys handle all case types, they often refer clients to other firms when necessary, including when a case might be “too big” for them. Making a bad recommendation to a client can hurt the referring firm’s reputation as well, so if an attorney has received lots of referrals, it usually means they have a great track record and are well respected by their peers.
“How do you charge?”
Most people’s perception of lawyer costs includes huge retainers and hourly fees. However, many personal injury law firms, including Joye Law Firm, work on a contingency fee basis. This means clients only pay if the firm wins their case for them, and the lawyers are paid a percentage of the settlement amount rather than based on how much time they spent working on the case.
Most injury attorneys charge between 33-40% in fees per case, depending on the case’s circumstances. Do your homework on any firm that charges well above or below that margin.
The percentage your lawyer will take in fees should be agreed on when you hire them and not later.
One Question to Ask Yourself
“How do I connect with this person?”
When speaking with a lawyer who could potentially work on your claim, ask yourself this: Do I like this person? Do I trust them? Although it is possible to switch lawyers if your first choice doesn’t work out, it’s always better to not have that hassle.
Furthermore, you will need to feel comfortable sharing many personal details about your accident and how it has affected your life with this person, including medical information and information about your mental health, since it will affect how much compensation you may be owed.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing that type of information with this person, they may not be the best choice to be your lawyer.
Are Personal Injury Lawyers Expensive?
Most personal injury lawyers, including the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm, represent clients on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe any upfront legal fees or pay any out-of-pocket legal costs before receiving a settlement or court award. We only collect fees if we successfully secure compensation for you. If we obtain a financial award for you, we’ll deduct our payment from the settlement or verdict amount and we vow never to take home more than our clients do.
At Joye Law Firm, you’ll get complete transparency regarding any and all costs associated with your case and will never receive surprise bills from us.
What Type of Cases Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With?
Personal injury attorneys help injured clients with a wide range of cases, from motor vehicle crashes to slip and fall accidents. At Joye Law Firm, our lawyers have over 250 years of combined legal experience handling the following types of personal injury cases:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Airplane accidents
- Maritime accidents
- Workplace accidents/workers’ compensation
- Manufacturing accidents
- Accidents involving children
- Premises liability
- Dog bites
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
Regardless of the severity of your injury or the complexity of your case, you deserve a personal injury lawyer with the resources to investigate the incident, collect evidence of liability, document your damages, and build a strong claim for you. You need someone you can trust with your family’s future.
At Joye Law Firm, our attorneys will guide you through the process and seek all the money you need to pay your bills, recoup lost wages, replace damaged property, and move forward after the accident. We won’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Let us manage all interactions with the claims adjuster and negotiate a settlement on your behalf, while you focus on your recovery.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Our South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, know that you are not alone! Qualified legal help is available to you, and it is just a call or click away. With five convenient offices across South Carolina, we’re never too far – plus, we’re happy to come to you if you can’t come to us. The injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready to stand up and fight for you. Contact a South Carolina personal injury lawyer at Joye Law Firm today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.