Do You Need a Lawyer?

Being in an accident can be overwhelming, especially if there is an injury involved.  Insurance companies, medical bills, time missed from work…can you handle it on your own or do you need an attorney? How can you be sure?

The lawyers at Joye Law Firm developed this simple tool to help you determine whether you are getting a fair shake or getting hosed by the insurance company. Try it for free with absolutely no obligation or annoying follow-up emails – promise!


Completing this survey does not create a lawyer-client relationship. This is not legal advice. All lawsuits are different; the firm’s past results do not guarantee outcomes in future cases.

Hi, [NAME]

Were You or a Loved One in An Auto Accident in South Carolina?

What Kind of Injuries Were Sustained?

Click all that apply

What Kind of Medical Treatment Occurred?

Click all that apply

Has The Accident Impacted Work?

Click all that apply

Vehicle Damage

Choose the car with the level of damage most similar to yours



Moderate/ Body Damage


Do Any of These Circumstances Apply?

Click all that apply

Did you get a rental car?

Sounds like you need to contact an attorney.

Based on what you’ve described, this sounds like a considerable accident.  If you aren’t already working with an attorney, we encourage you to speak with one immediately. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, so it won’t cost you anything just to be sure that your rights are being protected.  In SC, the law limits the time you have to make a claim, so please do not hesitate to call a lawyer if this is something you’d like to pursue.  We hope everything works out for you and your family.

You need to contact an attorney.

First and foremost, please accept our condolences on the loss of your loved one.  We can’t begin to understand what you are going through, but we can reassure you we’ve helped others in your situation.  Considering that the loss of a life was a result of this accident, it is paramount that you seek a free consultation from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  An experienced lawyer can make sure you are making the right choices for your family’s future.  In SC, the law limits the time you have to make a claim, so please do not hesitate to call a lawyer.

Sounds like you may be able to handle this on your own.

Based on what you’ve described, no injuries occurred as a result of this accident.  Unless a special circumstance exists (like the at-fault driver was DUI), you should be able to handle the property damage claim on your own.  Click here to download a free guide we put together on handling South Carolina property damage claims. (note:  insert – or send to landing page where they can have it emailed to them. I will supply you with the brochure).  Remember, injuries are handled separately from the property damage portion of your claim.  Even if you don’t believe you were injured in the wreck, you should be sure to seek some medical treatment and get cleared, just to make sure you aren’t missing an injury that could be claimed as part of this accident.

Consider These Factors:



Since you or a loved one has suffered a moderate injury, it is crucial that all of your medical needs have been met (including consideration for future needs) before settling your case. If you settle your case before you know the full extent of your medical needs, you could be left on the hook for medical bills that an hasty and insufficient settlement won’t cover.

Back/Neck Injuries

Since you or a loved one has suffered a spinal neck or back injury, it is crucial that the extent of your injuries is fully evaluated before you start settling your case. What starts as a “minor” or “moderate” spinal injury can quickly be uncovered as a much larger issue.  You are responsible for all medical bills incurred after your case settles; you can’t go back and renegotiate a settlement if you find out your “sore back” turns out to be a ruptured disc.  Tip: The insurance company may try to pressure your claim quickly – before you know how much your injury will cost – don’t fall for it. Wait until your doctor “releases” you from treatment before starting to settle the injury portion of your claim.  Considering your injuries, it is in your best interest to take advantage of a free consultation from a personal injury lawyer.

Concussion/Brain Injury

Since you or a loved one has suffered a concussion or brain injury, you may be dealing with a life-altering injury. The human brain is an incredibly complex and vital organ, and it can take a long time to heal.  Additionally, it can be difficult to immediately understand the extent and permanency of the injuries.  Since a head injury can present future issues, the insurance company may try to settle your case quickly, before they know the extent of your injuries.  That’s because if you agree to a fast, small settlement, they’ll be off the hook for the serious medical bills you may have to incur after further diagnoses/treatment.  When dealing with a head injury – from minor, moderate, severe or traumatic – you owe it to yourself and your family to get a free legal consultation.


Since you or a loved one is suffering from a permanent injury, it is in your best interest to have your claim evaluated by an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney knows how to properly value these types of injuries and will try to ensure that you receive the highest amount of compensation possible.  Settling the claim on your own with the insurance company could result in a much lower settlement than you deserve for this type of injury.

Broken bones

Since you or a loved one suffered such a significant injury, you should have your claim evaluated by a personal injury attorney. You must be sure that the bone heals properly and you reach maximum medical improvement before you should start negotiating a settlement.  As of now, there could be unforeseen complications that can greatly increase your medical bills.   A quick settlement could bar you from getting the compensation you deserve.

A loved one was catastrophically injured

Given the severity of the injuries described, this accident should be evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney. The severity warrants a thorough review of all possible legal angles, especially considering what future medical needs your loved one may require.

A loved one was killed

Given the fact that a life was lost in this accident, it should be evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney. The severity warrants a thorough review of all possible legal angles.


If the accident you haven’t already sough medical treatment for the accident you described, it is a good idea that you do. Remember some injuries do not present themselves right away or need diagnostic tests to be determined.  The more seriously you take your injury, the more serious the insurance company will be with you.  They will be; however, suspicious about delays in seeking treatment or exaggerated injuries.

Lost Time for Work

Missed time from work

Missing time at work can result in what is called a “lost wages” claims. Basically, you seek compensation for the time/pay you missed from your job due to the accident.  While it seems simple enough, the insurance company may try to take advantage of you by undervaluing your lost wages claim.  An experienced personal injury attorney can prevent that and maximize the value of your claim. We recommend that you seek a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can.  Most offer a “free” initial consultation, so it won’t cost you anything.

Expect to miss time from work

Anytime you miss time from work you may be entitled to a “lost wages” claim as part of your settlement. This process can be tricky, especially if you are expected to miss a lot of time or cannot return to your position.  If you are in this situation, consider engaging a personal injury attorney rather than trying to negotiate the claim on your own.

Special Circumstances

Other party was an 18 wheeler or commercial vehicle

Drivers of 18 wheelers and some other commercial vehicles have to follow different rules and regulations than your average motorist. Since the accident you described involved a commercial vehicle, we highly recommend you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Most, our firm included, offer a free consultation. So, it won’t cost you anything to get a free legal evaluation of your case.  Dealing with the insurance company on your own could greatly – and negatively – impact your compensation.

Other party was DWI

We are so sorry to hear that you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a driver who was DUI/DWI. What a scary and unnecessary thing to have happened.  In SC, the law takes DUI/DWI very seriously. In some circumstances, it enables victims of DUI/DWI drivers to receive a special class of compensation called “punitive damage,” meant to punish the bad actor for wrongdoing.  However, this is a very complex process and knowing who is and isn’t entitled to this compensation can be confusing.  We highly recommend that you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer (one with experience handing DUI/DWI cases) for a free consultation.  It won’t cost you anything to make sure your rights are being protected, and will prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you


First and foremost, thank you for your service.  America is the great nation it is today because of the dedication of those in uniform.  We understand the unique challenges facing servicemen and women who’ve been in an accident.  Deployments, rigid scheduling and other pressures can make a difficult situation even more complex, but we can help put your mind as ease by handling the heavy lifting.  Since your health is the most important aspect, be sure to seek medical treatment as soon after your accident as possible, even if you don’t “think” you were hurt.  Injuries don’t always present themselves immediately and may need specialized diagnostics to identify.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Auto accidents can be broken down into two portions – the personal injury claim (damage and injuries incurred by the people involved in the accident) and the property damage claim (damage sustained to the vehicles or "property" from the accident). In most cases involving ONLY property damage, it is usually not necessary to get an attorney involved. Unless there are special circumstances, like the at-fault driver being DUI, there are few times when having an attorney handle the property damage will be beneficial (especially if the lawyer charges you for his or her services). The Joye Law Firm does not handle property damage-only cases. However, as a service to our injury clients, our legal team assists our auto accident clients with their property damage claim.

The personal injury portion of the claim is much different. This is where an attorney can really help. In fact, according to research by the Insurance Institute of America, on average, people represented by an attorney receive 3 ½ X more money than those who represent themselves, even after lawyers’ fees are paid. That is some strong evidence that an attorney can bring value to your claim. That’s because an attorney knows the in’s and out’s of personal injury law. He or she knows what your losses, injuries and other damages cost and what you are owed. Plus, since most personal injury attorneys are paid on a "contingency fee" basis (meaning the lawyer doesn’t get paid unless he or she wins your case), your lawyer if financially motivated to do a good job. Now, not all lawyers are created equal. It is important to find out more about a perspective firm’s track record of success, recent trial wins, peer recognition awards and leadership positions before deciding if they are right for you.

How to Choose a Lawyer

Choosing a lawyer, like choosing a doctor or other professional, can be a very personal decision. Often you want to find the lawyer who "gets it," one who "clicks" with you. Personality and ease of communication is vital, but it is also important to get an idea about his or her background and whether they are experienced and capable of handling your case.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more tips on choosing a lawyer.